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2024 NFL Draft: Running Back Rankings

running backs

As of this writing, we know Wisconsin’s Brealon Allen has declared for the NFL Draft. Otherwise, I will be taking some educated guesses about running backs that will (or will not) be in the draft this year. Declarations will start coming in hot and heavy over the next few weeks but for this exercise, I’m just breaking down my favorite running back may be in the upcoming draft class. 

I know that a lot of folks are saying there are no elite backs in the class, and I’d say there’s certainly potential for some really strong backs to emerge throughout the draft season. We have big names, from big schools that could impress with a great combine, to go with great performances and interviews. 

2024 NFL Draft: Running Back Rankings

#1 Braelon Allen – Wisconsin

A big, imposing runner who has a nasty jumpcut to make defenders miss. Should run in the low 4.4s at the combine, and with his size/speed profile, I have no reason to not believe he’s a top 75 prospect in the draft. I’d think teams wanting to run more of a one-cut scheme would value Allen the most of these backs, he sees the hole and doesn’t hesitate to hit and roll!

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#2 TreyVeon Henderson – Ohio State

One of the faster backs in this top 10 list, Henderson exploded onto the scene in 2021 but has since really been more fizzle than pop on the stats sheet. I don’t necessarily care as much about stats as I do what the player can do on the field. Henderson is extremely patient as a runner and can be a sneaky pass catcher out of the backfield. You could make the case that he’s RB1 in this class, and I wouldn’t argue with you at all.

#3 Blake Corum – Michigan

He’s smaller but mighty (think Devonta Freeman from Atlanta’s Hayday) but faster and more powerful (if that’s possible). I think my biggest fear with Corum is just how much they’ve run him in the past few seasons but he’s a stud that will make whatever team drafts him immediately more formidable at running back. He can do it all, and I think NFL teams will love the power that could be used in the pass-blocking game. 

#4 Trey Benson – Florida State

Another speedy (sub 4.4) running back, Benson could easily be in the conversation as RB1 because he has the size/speed teams will fall in love with. Great burst, and willing blocker, I could see a team using him as their pass catcher out of the backfield or between-the-tackles thumper (think 3-down potential).

#5 Raheim Sanders – Arkansas

Imposing runner at 6’2″ and around 242lbs, and if you start comparing him to Najee, I don’t blame you. Probably runs in the mid-4.4s and wows when you watch the tape. Natural pass catcher, with nice agility and really everything you want out of a workhorse running back.

#6 Will Shipley – Clemson

A nice dual-threat runner who most likely comes in and competes to be a pass-down running back. Has great hands and probably runs low 4.4s, great athletic profile, and is explosive. 

#7 MarShawn Lloyd – USC

Not the smallest back on my top 10 but he slides down for me because he tends to hesitate a little too often for me. That aside, the kid is a willing (and pretty strong) blocker in the passing game, a strong runner, and could be an RB2 on a team from day 1.

#8 Audric Estime – Notre Dame

Probably one of the slowest 40 times on my top 10, I’d argue he’s one of the smoother running backs here though. I don’t see him as a between-the-tackles runner as much, once he gets to the outside he can make some magic happen!

Jonathon Brooks - Football - University of Texas Athletics

#9 Jonathon Brooks – Texas

There are folks that have Brooks as RB1 already now, I just can’t do it at this point. Brooks may not be Bijan but he certainly looks the part of a potential workhorse back. He’s a solid receiver out of the backfield, he can run between the tackles but will look more promising out in space. 

#10 Jase McClellan – Alabama

I’ve been a HUGE McClellan fan, and going to Alabama I thought this was it, he was hitting prime time. I was surprised he didn’t explode this year, though he has had his best production in 2023. He may not be the fastest but he’s got solid hands as a pass-catcher and is not afraid to run it up the gut. I could see him as a team’s big back but has enough wiggle to make the lineman miss when he does.

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