Here we are, again, with my pre-season 2024 NFL draft rankings — this time with the running backs. There are some similarities between the 2024 running back class and the last class. Like the quarterbacks for the 2024 class that I recently wrote about, there are some key differences as well.
Like last year, there looks to be a lot of depth in this class, but there is no Bijan Robinson or Jahmyr Gibbs. I don’t expect any running back in this class to go top 12, or even top 25. Still, it’s a solid group with a lot of day two talent.
2024 NFL Draft Top Five Running Backs
- TreVeyon Henderson – Ohio State: Henderson has the ideal running back size at 5’10 215, with sub-4.5 4o-yard dash speed. He burst on to the scene as a freshman with 1,248 yards, with a 6.8 yard average and 15 touchdowns. Even more, he contributed as a receiver with 27 catches. He ended up dealing with some injuries in 2022 and did not have the year he was hoping for. If he can stay healthy in 2023, he should have another big year.
- Donovan Edwards – Michigan: This will obviously surprise some people since he is not technically the starter, but he still had almost 1,000 yards and 7 TDs on just 167 snaps. He averaged 7.1 yards a carry, and in watching his film, I see a higher upside than Blake Corum. Listed at 6’1 204, he looks closer to 215 and has breakaway speed. He also has 39 catches in his two years, and just seems to have ‘it’.
- Trey Benson – Florida State: Benson had a bit of a inauspicious start to his career, suffering a major injury as a freshman at Oregon. He transferred out to Florida State for 2022 and didn’t play a lot the first seven games. He started the following six games, however, and rushed for 620 yards in those games. Even still, he was in a bit of a rotation never playing more than 23 snaps in a game. He is poised for a big season in 2023.
- Blake Corum – Michigan: The starter ahead of Edwards, Corum is still a great running back in his own right. He is a ball of muscle at 5’8 210. Corum has amazing vision and contact balance. Although, he will be 23 by the time the draft comes around and will have a lot of wear and tear on his body. His size might also turn off some teams.
- Raheim Sanders – Arkansas: Despite putting up 1,466 yards and 10 touchdowns, Sanders has not gotten a lot of hype this offseason. On film, he is explosive and will probably run in the 4.4 40-yard dash range — despite being 6’1 225. He even contributed as a receiver with 27 catches on the year, averaging just over 9 yards a catch. He should have another big season in 2023.
The Best Of The Rest: 2024 NFL Draft Running Backs
6. Jase McClellan – Alabama: McClellan finally gets his chance to be “the guy” in 2023. He barely played his first two seasons, being stuck behind a number of backs. As the #2 back in 2022, he finally showed something, a solid all-around skill set. He even averaged 12 yards a catch on 14 receptions. Solid size and good speed should finally see him break out in 2023.
7. Braelon Allen – Wisconsin: Allen has seen some comparisons to Derrick Henry, and there are some similarities. He hasn’t shown much as a receiver outside of dump offs and some basic wheel routes, but he is a big back with 4.5 40-yard dash speed. The question teams will have is how long his body will hold up.
8. Miyan Williams – Ohio State: Williams was able to take on a bigger role in 2022 while Henderson dealt with injuries. He barely played in 2020, but showed flashes in 2021. Starting just four games, he rushed for 825 yards and 14 touchdowns. While not the athlete that Henderson is, Williams can still play at the NFL level. He has good size at 5’9 225 and runs with some power. His biggest draw back is lack of experience in the passing game, with just 14 career catches.
9. Rasheen Ali – Marshall: The only ‘Group of Five’ player on this list, Ali was unranked coming out of his school, and didn’t play much as a freshman. Ali broke out as a sophomore with 1,389 yards and a staggering 23 touchdowns, even taking on 46 catches. Due to an offseason injury, he missed the vast majority of the 2022 season. Ali did come in and play the last three games, putting up 273 yards and showed flashes of the 2021 Ali. If 100% in 2023, he should put up big numbers and move up draft boards.
10. Will Shipley – Clemson: A five-star recruit coming out of high school, Shipley didn’t exactly set the world on fire as a freshman, averaging 5 yards a carry and a total of 740 yards, but scoring 11 TDs. He took it to another level in 2022 with 1,171 yards and 15 touchdowns, adding 37 receptions. A very good athlete with 4.45 40-yard dash speed and the ability to make cuts and jukes. He has kind of a small frame, listed at 5’11 205, a high running style, and can be a bit of a hot-and-cold runner. He is either ripping off a 15 yarder or a 0-3 yarder. Some in the NFL might see him as more of a third down back.
You can, of course, always view my database if you want to go beyond the top 10 guys.