2024 NFL Draft – Top Running Back Prospects and Sleepers to Watch

April 23rd, 2024

The 2024 NFL Draft will not see the running back class have a star or a top prospect like last year’s Bijan Robinson. However, even though it lacks elite talent at the top, the class more than makes up for it with intrinsic depth and projected value picks in the middle top and later rounds.

While following these prospects might become as regular as checking the best OH online casinos, and there may be no elite talent, the class is deep; when all is said and done, 12-15 backs are expected to be selected in each of the seven rounds who can become prolific pros if they find the correct team and situation. This class is like the 2014 draft, where no back was taken until the 54th pick overall but multiple would-be starters were found in the mid-to-late rounds.

Top-Ranked Running Back Prospects

Will Shipley (Clemson), everyone’s weapon

Runner of the ball, pass catcher, and return man; a great vision, quick cuts, and open-field explosiveness to rapidly achieve top-speed flow. Shipley is quick and shifty with the ball in his hands, making space and a possible home-run hitter every time he touches up.

Blake Corum (Michigan), big-play power back

5’8 and 200 pounds, Cooper is a square but heavy back who dominates red-zone rushes; led FBS with 27 touchdowns in 2023 and ends soundlessly. Corum was Michigan’s two-time Big Ten Running Back of the Year and was little used in the reception game at Michigan but should be active in the backfield receptions, boasting a low center of gravity and shifty.

Frank Gore Jr. (Southern Miss), tough and ready

Frank is the son of future Hall of Famer Frank Gore and is a tough, every-down runner who is not afraid to lower his shoulder but also consistently makes the first defender miss. Gore Jr. showcased good vision and quickness at the East-West Shrine Bowl and is a solid route runner with reliable hands.

Jaylen Wright (Tennessee), explosive power

Wright is an explosive runner who is capable of hitting the home runs. He is an Alvin Kamara clone with breakaway speed, logging a run of 10 or more yards on over 25 percent of his carries in 2023. At the same time, he has demonstrated pass-catching ability, which should allow him to remain on the field at the next level.

Trey Benson (Florida State), potential to become a feature back

Running in the gap system, good vision and patience to allow game plays to evolve. The third-fastest 40-yard dash time at the NFL Mix among backs was Benson; 4.39 seconds to gauge how well his acceleration will play in the pros.

Sleepers and ones to watch

Donovan Edwards (Michigan)

Since Blake Corum has gone pro, Edwards has shown he can be useful as a receiver and runner, and he has a lot of untapped potential. Edwards has the makings of a reliable NFL contributor and could be a steal of a pick in the middle of the draft.

Braelon Allen (Wisconsin)

Allen, who is 6 feet 2 inches tall and 235 pounds, has been an absolute beast over the past two seasons. He was first among returning Power Five RBs in carries (415) and rushing yards (2,500). When the Badgers' new offensive plan debuted in 2023 under the direction of a new coaching staff, it will be fascinating to observe his performance.

TreVeyon Henderson (Ohio State University)

Despite injury setbacks in 2022, Henderson showed promise as a receiver in 2021, when he caught 27 receptions for 312 yards and four scores. Therefore, if Henderson can show his total RB potential in 2023 and recover from his injury, he might be a good sleeper.

You should also be familiar with the following names: Devin Neal from Kansas, Cody Schrader from Missouri, Raheim "Rocket" Sanders from Arkansas, Kendall Milton from Georgia, and Daijun Edwards from Georgia. All ones to keep an eyes on this year.

Remaining factors affect draft stock and fantasy relevance

In addition to talent evaluation, other factors will play a role in where these running backs are drafted and how relevant they are to fantasy football teams in their rookie season. The biggest factors will be their landing spot and their opportunity in their new team’s offensive system and depth chart. Scheme fit, testing numbers such as those at the Combine, and any health or durability issues that remain unexposed may also swing their draft stock several rounds, if not more. As always, situation will likely determine which running backs hit the field and peak their fantasy seasons in 2024.

Talent and Value While an elite top talent may be missing in this 2024 NFL Draft running back class, the depth found and potential value in the middle and subsequent rounds is impressive. History has shown that productive NFL running backs can be found throughout the draft.

Be sure to scout and keep track of your favorite running back prospects throughout the College football season, as a few potential value picks may materialize to become NFL starters and fantasy contributors.

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