Our Top 10 Running Backs in the 2024 NFL Draft

CHUBZBURGER FANTASYSPORTS
6 min readApr 25, 2024

By Brandon Lane

JONATHON BROOKS

Texas (rSO), RB

Brooks redshirted his 2021 season waiting in the wings behind Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson. After the departure of Robinson and Johnson, Brooks grabbed the longhorn by the horns rushing for 1,139 yards and 10 touchdowns on 187 carries in an 11 game span. His season was cut short when he suffered a torn ACL in November. Brooks was the would-be RB1 on most draft boards prior to the injury but is now being mixed in with other running backs for that honor. While he is schedule to have a full recovery by training camp teams may opt to take it slow before he gets his chance to shine.

Pluses:

• Well rounded
• Good contact balance
• Pass catching abilities
• Patient runner with good vision

Concerns:

• Injury concerns
• Questionable power
• Upright run style
• Lacks elite athleticism

Trey Benson

Florida State (SR), RB

Benson began his collegiate career at Oregon but his rookie season was cut short due to a severe knee injury. He then transferred to Florida State where he put his skillset on display. In his sophomore season he carried the rock 141 times for 969 yards scoring 9 TDs. He matched that success in his junior year rushing 156 times for 906 yards and 14 touchdown and padded those numbers by catching 20 balls for 227 yards. A big back with excellent speed and power coupled with his pass catching ability could very well set Benson up to be first running back selected in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Pluses:

• Three down back with excellent speed (4.39 40-yard dash)
• Runs with power, good pad level and contact balance
• Good hands and route runner
• Pass blocking
• Lots of tread left on the tires

Concerns:

• Injury history
• Good vision but has a tendency to dance a bit

JAYLEN WRIGHT

Tennessee (JR), RB

A 3 star recruit out of high school, Wright played three seasons with Tennessee before opting out. A dynamic back with good size and impressive speed. His finessed style combined with his ability to grind the tough yards makes him one of my favorite running backs in the class. There might not have been any back that moved up the board more than Wright after his showing at the NFL Combine where Wright posted elite scores, 40 Yard Dash: 4.38 (2nd among RBs), Broad Jump: 11’2” (1st among RBs), Vertical Jump: 38” (4th among RBs). One of the youngest backs in the class at age 20 with lots of tread left on his tires, he is likely to be one of the top backs off the board in this year’s NFL Draft.

Pluses:

• Athleticism
• Powerful tackle breaking runner
• Good pad level
• Ball security (only fumbled five times in three seasons)
• Illusive runner who is great in space
• Solid receiver

Concerns:

• Pass pro needs improvement
• Needs to improve route running
• Currently lacks size/strength to be a goal line back

MARSHAWN LLOYD

USC (rJR), RB

A 4-star recruit who committed to South Carolina only to suffer a torn ACL his true freshman year (2020). He returned to action for the Gamecocks the following season although saw limited action. The following season his workload saw a boost but he was still limited to 111 carries for 573 yards and 9 TDs with an additional two scores through the air. He transferred to USC his Junior season where he compiled his strongest season rushing 116 times for 820 yards. He earned an invite to the Senior Bowl where he boosted his stock displaying his explosive tackle breaking run style and demonstrating his untapped pass-catching skill set. He further boosted his stock with a nice showing at the NFL Combine. Look for Lloyd to come off the board in the 3rd round of this year’s NFL Draft.

Pluses:

• Size/speed combination
• Physical runner that is not afraid of contact
• Shows good vision, illusive/decisive
• Lots of tread left on the tires

Concerns:

• Fumbles
• Unproven pass catcher
• Injury history/durability
• Pass protection concerns

Others of note:

BLAKE CORUM, MICHIGAN (SR), 5'8", 205lbs

You may ask why a running back who scored a whopping 27 TOUCHDOWNS in 2023 falls to RB5 on the list. Corum is a pure runner that runs with power, and good pad level but the question remains: was his prolific production his athletic ability or the Wolverines mauling OLine? While the production is eye popping he’s a back that lacks illusiveness and struggles as a route runner. A knee injury suffered in 2022 seemed to zap the electric play-style he possessed earlier in his career. Health concerns play a factor in his draft capital but he enters the draft as a high-level two-down back.

AUDRIC ESTIME, NOTRE DAME (JR), 5'11, 221

Playing a bellcow role for the Irish, Estimé is a powerhouse back but lacks elite speed (4.71 40-yard dash). While the lack of speed is a concern, he is able to make up for that with his tackle breaking ability and enough long speed to make big plays. Questions surrounding his pass catching ability will likely limit his draft capital.

KIMANI VIDAL, TROY (SR), 5'8" 213lbs

A compact back who runs with good power, leg drive, and excellent acceleration (4.46 40-yard dash). A workhorse back who possesses solid ball catching skills but needs to work on his pass-pro. Vidal was productive his entire career with the Trojans combining for 4,710 rushing yards and 34 total TDs.

RAY DAVIS, KENTUCKY (SR), 5'8" 211lbs

A complete back who is known for his production between the tackles, he impressed me at the Senior Bowl with his pass catching chops, especially an amazing one-armed catch. A productive back while playing two seasons with Temple, he transferred to Vanderbilt for two seasons and then to Kentucky for a 5th year. Questions behind his team jumping and five collegiate seasons might be a red flag for NFL teams but I think he is a well rounded back who brings enough to the table to be a contributor at the next level.

BRAELON ALLEN, WISCONSIN (JR), 6'1, 235lbs

The BIG BOY of this year’s draft class possesses the frame and speed to be a bruiser but often doesn't play up to his size. He projects as a two-down back who needs to work on his physicality if he is to succeed in the NFL.

CODY SCHRADER, MISSOURI, (rSR), 5'9", 202lbs

A 6th year Senior who tested poorly may have fallen completely off most draft boards but I like him as a sleeper in this year’s class. A fluid runner who possesses good vision and doesn't shy away from contact. Schrader possesses a three down skill set with plus blocking chops. He will likely need to work his way up a depth chart in the NFL, but if given the opportunity I think he could surprise those who wrote him off.

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