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NFL Draft PRR 2024: Running Backs

As we turn the corner towards the end of this PRR cycle, we look at one of the most underrated positions in this class: Running Backs. Sure, there is a lack of top-end talent in this group, but there are still some diamonds in the rough who will be playmakers at the next level.

Today, we'll cover 10 players that have different skillsets and succeed in various ways. With no clear cut consensus RB1, there could be some players not getting a ton of buzz who end up being the best from this class. I have some personal stock among these prospects as well, but we'll get to that later. Let's plow through the best ball-carriers in this class!

Photo: Ryan Sun/AP Photo


10. Marshawn Lloyd - USC

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Tremendous speed in the open field, not a lot of guys who can catch him

Wasn't a factor unless blocking is near perfect, got stuffed in the backfield a ton despite having open lanes too

Pretty solid in the pass game, has soft hands and turns upfield quickly

Struggles with vision between the tackles, not the best at reading blocks

Better than expected in pass pro, does a good job running with the QB as he extends plays

Lacks a sense of running downhill, tries to be shifty way too much

A legit threat in one on one situations, makes defenders miss with ease

Marshawn is a fine prospect overall; he's awesome once he gets out into space, but that's few and far between. It didn't help that he played in a poorly designed offense and behind a bad OL, but even when he had lanes to exploit, he didn't see them. I think he could be a great change of pace back in the right system due to his good athleticism.


Pro Comp: Ameer Abdullah

9. Kimani Vidal - Troy

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Good center of gravity, tough to bring down when he keeps his feet moving

Does slow up a bit on inside runs, needs to continue to press the LOS

Great vision, exploits cutback angles and finds open creases

Not a home run threat, got caught in the open field a good amount

Best pass protector in the class, squared up rushers nearly every time

Despite being short and stocky, we've rarely seen RBs his size succeed as pros

Subtle shiftiness, wastes no movement to make defenders miss

Kimani is one of the biggest sleepers in this class. He does everything that you want a running back to do at a decent level; he can break tackles, burst to the edge of a defense, pass protects well, and has good all-around vision. I wanna see him hone in more on his speed and get more downhill on inside runs, but I liked his game a ton outside of that.

Pro Comp: Chase Edmonds

8. Dylan Laube - New Hampshire

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Best overall receiver of the RBs in this class, lines up all over the field as well

Will stop feet on contact from time to time, fails to break tackles consistently

Quick burst once he hits a crease, gets extra yards by out-speeding LBs and safeties

Pass blocking needs work, just drops a shoulder and doesn't square his man up

Flashes home run ability, has great game speed

Played against "worse" competition, didn't see top defenses week after week

Ran multiple concepts from gun and under center, ran NFL-level play designs

Will turn 25 before his rookie year is over, will need to play right away

Dylan is a solid prospect, he has the receiving tools to do damage out of the backfield and as a WR, has incredible one-cut burst that's a problem for defenses to adjust to, and is one of the more shifty backs in this class. The key will be improving his pass protection and landing on the right team so he can see playing time early. Throw in his fantastic special teams skills, and Dylan could be in the league for a while, even if he isn't a starter.


Pro Comp: Danny Woodhead

Photo: Earl Frost/UNH Athletics

7. Braelon Allen - Wisconsin

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Impressive at pressing the LOS on zone plays, won't look to bounce it unless he needs to

Not as tough to bring down as you would think, smaller DBs took him down with arm tackles

Great burst once he hits a hole, patient as he weaves in and out of blockers

Shaky in pass pro, gives up a decent amount of ground

Pretty good hands for a bigger back, was used more in pass game each year

Lacks shiftiness, won't juke someone in the open field or make wide jump cuts

Will be 20 his entire rookie year, plus has great size to go with it

Braelon is very much a downhill runner. Once he gets going, he's tough to stop. He's also pretty solid in the pass game as a receiver, but he needs to get more nasty in pass pro; he'll get too passive rather than trying to stop a guy in his tracks. I also want to see him run harder and trust his size and strength - it helps that he's young and has time to develop.


Pro Comp: Latavius Murray

6. Trey Benson - Florida State

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Rarely goes down on the first hit, always running his feet

Liability in pass pro, doesn't stand firm and lets rushers body him

Great vision, usually finds a cutback lane and gets the most out of it

Was limited between the tackles due to not being able to turn a corner at the edge

Wasn't targeted often, but has decent receiving skills

Not many explosive plays outside of running through guys

Can make defenders miss in close quarters to gain extra yards

Benson is a decent runner overall. He has good top end speed in the open field that makes it tough for defenders to catch up to him, and he'll run through your face when given the chance. He also does a good job following his blocks and is underrated in the pass game. He will need to greatly improve in pass protection and work on threating the edge of the defense with his speed, I can see him becoming a starter if he can improve on those things.


Pro Comp: Tony Pollard

5. Jaylen Wright - Tennessee

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

One of the best home run threats in the class, feels like any run can pop off

Won't try to run over a defender to get extra yards, even on 3rd and short

Great elusiveness, wiggles in and out of defenders without losing speed

Gets too lateral at times, needs to get north and south more often

Effective in the pass game as a receiver and blocker, solid in both areas

Played in an incredibly basic offense, not sure how he'll do with NFL schemes

Will be patient when he has too, didn't need to do it often though

Jaylen has some really nice tools for a young player; he runs hard, is really elusive and fast, and has some solid contact balance to get extra yards. If he's willing to get vertical and not bounce around to make a play, he could be a real threat at the next level. I like him as a third down back early on, then an every down back as he gets experience.


Pro Comp: James Cook

4. Ray Davis - Kentucky

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Some of the best inside-out vision in this class, seemed to always find a cutback

Takes a while to get going in open space, lacks home run ability

Nice contact balance, can break tackles from free defenders behind the LOS

Didn't break out until his final two seasons

Good receiving chops, nice hands and runs some good routes

Will turn 25 during his rookie season, needs to play right away

Can juke and truck defenders, good mix of elusiveness and power

Ray does everything at a high level, he can hit a crease with power, cut back to get bigger gains, break tackles, and has good contact balance. He also brings great vision and solid passing game ability. He is on the older side and doesn't have great speed, but he does enough to make plays and move the chains.


Pro Comp: Devin Singletary

Photo: Timothy D. Easley/AP Photo

3. Blake Corum - Michigan

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Great balance, not easy to bring down, looks to run through every tackle

Not a factor in the pass game, coasts through reps

Elite level vision, always finds a hole that may not be there at first

Throws shoulders in pass pro, doesn't take on pass rushers well

Follows his blockers well, doesn't try to make a play that isn't there

Lacks great top end speed, won't pull away from defenders in the open field

Played in a pro-style offense, ran a healthy mix of gap and zone schemes

Will turn 24 during his rookie season, may hurt his development

Blake is a great one-cut backp. He always looks to find an open hole and will continue to run his feet through contact. He needs to improve in the pass game to be an every down back, but he is more than capable as a pure rusher to be a key piece of any offense. He won't wow you with his speed, but man is he fluid and elusive.


Pro Comp: Khalil Herbert

2. Jonathon Brooks - Texas

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Good contact balance, shakes off the first hit to get extra yards

Missing great top end speed, will get caught from behind on longer runs

Minimal wasted movement, makes defenders miss without losing speed

Didn't get significant playing time until this year, overall production is lacking

Sound in pass pro, takes on blitzers and free rushers with ease

Coming off an ACL tear, will need to monitor his recovery

Great mix of knowing when to be patient and when to get vertical off one cut

A complete back with outstanding athleticism, Brooks can take on most hits and keep gaining yards, can hit a crease with one cut or be patient and wait for lanes to open, has great vision to expose cutback lanes, and is a decent receiving threat, want to see more burst on big plays, but has a ton of juice for a guy who didn't get a chance until this year


Pro Comp: Le'Veon Bell

1. Bucky Irving - Oregon

What They Do Well

What Could Limit Them

Noticeably fast game speed despite a 4.55 40 time, can bounce runs outside and burn a defense

Lacks patience to let blocks develop on a play by play basis

First guy usually won't bring him down, great balance and runs through defenders

Played in a heavy RPO offense, rarely got snaps in pro-style looks

Versatile weapon, lines up all over the field and has good receiving skills

Wasn't asked to pass block much, struggled when he did

Fantastic moves in the open field, constantly juked defenders out

Tested poorly overall, graded out with a 2.21 RAS

Despite his poor testing, I truly think Bucky could be an every down back. Sub 200 pound running backs have found recent success in the NFL, and Bucky is the next one to continue that trend. Has the skills to run through defenses on the ground and win through the air, as well great versatility positionally. We will need to see how he develops as a pass blocker and how his patience improves, but I loved his tape and what he does as an RB.


Pro Comp: Kyren Williams

Photo: Darby Winter/Ducks Digest


Final Notes:

Although there were no other backs that I struggled to leave out of the top 10, a few interesting prospects are Isaac Guerendo, Tyrone Tracy Jr, and Rasheen Ali. I think they all have NFL level rushing ability, but didn't have the best opportunity given the offenses they played in.

Stay tuned throughout this week as we cover the best cornerbacks and offensive tackles in this class - both of which are loaded with talent.


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