Analysis: Running back BJ Emmons could be a late-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft

Emmons’ running ability will help him garner interest from NFL teams.


Photo by Alex Liscio.

Bryce Totz, Staff Writer

With the NFL Draft set for April 29, some of FAU’s players are hoping to get picked. BJ Emmons is among them, as he announced his declaration for the draft on Twitter

“The journey has not been easy, but it has made me better, stronger, and more determined than ever to succeed,” Emmons wrote. “Today I am pleased to announce that the next stage of my journey has begun as I look towards making an NFL roster.” 

Emmons transferred to FAU in 2019 after spending the 2016 season with the University of Alabama. He played nine games in two seasons, rushed for 353 yards, and scored nine touchdowns for the Owls. His biggest game of the 2020 season was against Western Kentucky when he ran for 56 yards. 

In 2019, Emmons had six touchdowns and 237 yards. He had a season-long 40-yard run against Southern Miss in week 12. 

Here are the pros and cons to Emmons, and where he may fit in:



Emmons’ biggest strength is that he runs hard, and helps his team in tough situations. He has the ability to pick up the first down when there is one or two yards to go and the defense is blitzing. He protects the ball well, as he never fumbled it in his college football career. 

Emmons participated in FAU’s Pro Day on March 30, where he displayed his talent. He ran a 4.58 40-yard dash, and had a 36-inch vertical jump. He was also approached by NFL scouts from the Miami Dolphins, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

He will be a good addition for a team that struggles to convert on third and short. He averaged 3.1 yards per run last season with FAU. He will be a solid acquisition to a team looking for a third option. 



One of Emmons’ flaws is his lack of game experience. He played only four games last season due to an ankle injury and ran the ball 37 times. NFL teams look for a player that has experience and built a larger profile than that of Emmons. NFL teams might not invest in a player who is prone to injury. 

Emmons was eligible for another season at FAU to build his resume, but he opted out. Another season would have given him more experience. 

Another downfall of Emmons is that he does not have many runs over 20 yards and only has nine career touchdowns. 


Best Fit

Emmons needs a coach that is willing to develop him further, as he will be able to adapt to what a coach needs him to do. 

Each coach runs their offense slightly differently, but Emmons does not have that experience. It will be favorable for him to learn from a new coach and watch how his teammates interact before he plays on the field.  

Emmons’ best team fit would be the San Francisco 49ers. Head coach Kyle Shanahan and running backs coach Robert Turner Jr. will be able to mold Emmons into an NFL player. 

Although the 49ers currently have four running backs on their roster, only one has the potential to really stand out. Emmons can learn from others on the team, and eventually make the squad.

Not only will the coaches help Emmons, but he can learn from Raheem Mostert, who is consistent for the 49ers. 

Emmons will not get too much on-field experience in 2021, but he will learn and by the 2022 season, he will be on the field consistently. 

Bryce Totz is a staff writer for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected], or tweet him @brycetotz.