Cunningham, Boyd's draft stock status near season's end
Feleipe Franks and Jonathan Marshall have been playing at levels almost certainly good enough to get drafted in the 2021 NFL draft, even if it may be in the later rounds, but there are two other Razorbacks whose draft stock we need to watch as the Hogs approach the end of the season.
Senior running back Rakeem Boyd opted to return to Arkansas for another season after one that likely would've gotten him drafted, much like Mississippi State's Kylin Hill and Oklahoma State's Chuba Hubbard. The hope was to take the scouts' notes and improve his draft stock but so far, Boyd's season isn't panning out in a picture-perfect way.
Boyd led Arkansas in rushing in 2018 and 2019 but, due to an injury, the Houston native had to miss the Auburn game and, due to COVID-19 protocols, the LSU game. He's trailing leading rusher Trelon Smith by 160 yards this season and he isn't even in the top 100 in the nation in rushing yards.
Besides the missed games, a major factor in Boyd's depleted stats has been the emergence of Smith. Given half as many reps as Boyd to start the season, Smith is now carrying more of the load, and averaging 5.3 yards per carry to Boyd's 3.8 (almost 3 yards fewer than his average in 2019).
Known for breaking off long runs, Boyd's biggest gain of the season has been for just 15 yards and he's only topped 100 yards in one game this season (A&M) after five such games in 2019. Sam Pittman was quick to mention his offensive line could do more to help.
"He can certainly improve his numbers in the next three games if he goes out and plays well and they block well for him. I'm sure it's not ideal for him," Pittman said Monday ahead of game nine versus Missouri.
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