Is Wisconsin’s Braelon Allen RB1 in the 2024 NFL Draft?

Wisconsin running back Braelon Allen finds himself with a tremendous opportunity to rise up NFL draft boards this season.

The running back position has never seen worse value than right now. The NFL has been telling the world, time and time again, that they no longer value the position. Whether it be the franchise tag ordeals of Josh Jacobs and Saquan Barkley, or the ongoing Jonathan Taylor controversy in Indianapolis; running backs are seeing teams draft their replacements before paying the star. 

With the way the game is going, teams are going to be looking for the next cheap running back. The 2023 NFL draft saw a running back picked in the top ten, with Texas Star Bijan Robinson going to the Atlanta Falcons. That simply will not be the case this year. There are a handful of guys battling for the coveted “RB1” crown, but the biggest name to watch resides in Madison, Wisconsin. Braelon Allen has the opportunity to fully cement himself as the top runner in the 2024 NFL draft class. 

Strengths on tape

Allen is the definition of a meat-and-potatoes runner. He finds the hole, bursts through, and keeps his legs moving to gain additional yardage. Allen pairs a strong and physical running style with nice vision and an ability to make cuts and find running room. He is also a patient runner who does a good job to allow his blocks to develop. Allen routinely breaks through arm tackles and does a great job to fall forward and pick up extra yards.

In the pass game, Allen can be an interesting option on screens and swing passes because of his ability to break tackles and follow blocks. And of course, the often-forgotten trait for running backs is pass protection. Allen brings the violence and had some beautiful blocks last season.

Areas of concern 

Allen probably won’t win too many foot races in the NFL. His long speed is modest, but nothing to be incredibly concerned about. Allen sometimes struggles to beat people to the corner when trying to bounce it outside. Quickness is easily his biggest weakness. While fast, Allen is not a twitchy mover. He is an explosive runner, but not a shifty one. He does not provide much in terms of route running or lining up in the slot or out wide. 

Verdict: Is Braelon Allen the RB1 for the 2024 NFL Draft?

Allen has a tremendous chance to be the first running back taken in April. A rare combination of size and speed make him a threat to hit a homerun at all times. Allen certainly has some competition for the spot, though. Players like Michigan’s Blake Corum and Arkansas’ Raheim Sanders are also names to watch for the top spot.

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