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  • Rookie Running Back Rankings Tiers For 2024

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    The Dynasty Football Rookie season is upon us. Today, we take a deep dive look at the Running Back position. So gaining the early edge, here are our RB prospects rankings by tiers. Check it out!


    Welcome to this installment of our rookie scouting. I will be following up this article with a YouTube video. As expected, this will be a deep dive into one of the more controversial position groups, we have this season. So, if you have a minute, let's go down the rabbit hole together and enjoy the wonderland of running backs that is offered to us in this draft class.

    Who Are The Top Rookie Prospects For The Coming NFL Draft:
    [QB] [RB] [WR] [TE] [DT] [EDGE] [LB] [CB] [S]

    Watch Exclusive Interviews With Our Team From The 2024 Reese's Senior Bowl:

     

    2024 Rookie Running Back Prospects Rankings Tiers

    One thing to know before we begin.

    The prevailing sentiment regarding the 2024 Rookie Running Backs is that this draft class is relatively weak, not warranting consideration in the early rounds, possibly not even in the second. The spotlight in terms of production is on the wide receiver position this year, with an additional emphasis on quarterbacks as you could imagine in Superflex leagues. Even Tight End is fairly easy to rank this year. This is one of the more polarizing draft classes to rank and I wanted to venture out and find out why,

    It started when the top two running backs opted to return to school (RAHEIM SANDERS and TREVION HENDERSON) potentially altering the landscape of top players. The third-best runner, Jonathan Brooks suffered a major setback when he tore his ACL, making this draft class even weaker.

    Ask any analysis or ranker, at the moment, and you will see how just how drastic this position group differs from the other groups. There is so much variety.

    Considering these factors, the pool of rookie running backs is less enticing. But if we squint our eyes just enough and focus on the positives just as much as we do all the negatives this class has some potential to make some buzz. Join me in dissecting these players and feel free to give me a like or follow @IDPHunter on Twitter for extended deep dive rookie coverage.

    Edit
    Tier One: Player 2023 Position Team
    1. Jonathan Brooks Running Back Texas
    2. Trey Benson Running Back Florida State
    3. Braelon Allen Running Back  Wisconsin
    4. Bucky Irving Running Back Oregon
    5. Audric Estime Running Back Notre Dame
    6. Blake Corum Running Back Michigan
    7. Will Shipley Running Back Clemson
     8. Marshawn Lloyd Running Back USC
    9. Ray Davis Running Back Kentucky
    10. Dylan Laube Running Back New Hampshire
    11. Cody Schrader Running Back Missouri
    12. Jase McClellan Running Back Alabama

    1. Jonathan Brooks–Texas

    Age: 20
    Height: 6’0
    Weight: 207 lbs.
    Prospect: Three-star recruit
    NFL Player Comp: Javontae Willaims

    Raise your hand if you might have thought this- The thought this season was Brooks was no longer behind Bjorn Robinson, and therefore the sky was the perceived limit. Thinking he would have an outstanding season out of Texas, I was one of those enthusiasts as well.

    But then bad luck happened as he tore his ACL. Getting hurt is always a major concern and coupled with being a slower back will explain the lower ranking, so he is certainly a player I want to see at the Combine.

    It's a pity, the talent is there just look at the last two years of work.

    In 2021 Brooks played 3 games for the Longhorns 143 yards on 21 attempts for an outstanding 6.8 yards per carry, with one TD, with no fumbles. In 2022 he played 5 games. and rushed for 179 yards on 24 carries for an outstanding 7.5 ypc, with 4 TDs Then in 2023 as a junior Brooks saw action in 11 games for the Longhorns 1135 yards on 187 attempts for an outstanding 6.1 ypc, with 10 TDs, with one fumble. 

    Fantasy fun fact stats: To be fair, what I showed you above, he had a very similar average yard per carry to Robinson as well. This has fantasy managers jumping up and taking him as their RB1.

    For fantasy purposes, he will be a top-three player debated as RB1 in your draft class, he has been going anywhere between 2.1-2.8 in drafts this off-season.

    2. Trey Benson– Florida State

    Age: 21
    Height: 6’1
    Weight: 225 lbs.
    Prospect: Three-star recruit
    NFL Player Comp: Todd Gurley, Zach Evans

     Since making the transfer to Florida State, and being given the opportunity, Benson flashed in just a small sample size ranking top three in forced missed tackles.

    As a junior Benson saw action in 13 games achieving 14 touchdowns and running for 905 yards on 156 attempts, resulting in 5.8 ypc, (no fumbles). As a receiver, he also made a splash with 20 receptions for 227 yards.

    Benson has tape that most people are in awe of.  Fun Fantasy stat fact- He is the first running back at Florida State, since Dalvin Cook to rush for 200 yards in a game. A little caution, however, could just be a hype man at the combine so be careful Dynasty managers.  Not known as elusive despite the attributes. This ranking is hoping that his violent rushing ability of power mixed with speed, he's expected to run 4.4 at the Combine, will translate to a boom rather than bust potential.

    For fantasy purposes, he will be a top-three player debated as RB1 in your draft class and should be able to obtain mid 2nd -round.

    https://twitter.com/LWOSTrey/status/1753146035927687279?s=20

    3. Braelon Allen –Wisconsin

    Age: 20
    Height: 6’3
    Weight: 238 lbs.
    Prospect: Four-star recruit
    NFL Player Comp: Carlos Hyde or James Connor (bruising back type)

    This could be a diamond in the rough for Dynasty managers. Yes, you are reading this right, this player started College at an early age just 17 years old, and will enter the NFL at 20 years old!!!! Not only will he have a long-lasting shell life in the NFL, but his Tape is great, amassing 3,494 yards and 35 touchdowns in three years,

    One of the best runners in the country, despite being years younger than his position group and playing against guys five years older than him. He is not going to dazzle us at the combine as speed and agility is a concern and are not his game at all, however, look beyond that. What shows on film is his two seasons of being a bell cow and his ability to run people over.

    He was a linebacker that switched over to RB and that violent approach shows in his running. Fun fact with stat- Take the three games out where he had less than 12 carries, he would have been on schedule for 1400 yards finish,

    For fantasy purposes, he will be a top-three player debated as RB1 in your draft class and should be able to obtain 2nd round.

    4. Bucky Irving – Oregon

    Age: 23
    Height: 5'10
    Weight: 195 lbs.
    Prospect: Three-star recruit
    NFL Player Comp: poor man's Austin Eckler, Amp Lee

    You know not too long ago the narrative was that 195-pound runners were considered problematic, but I am less nervous about that as recent history proves that theory to be wrong. Players like Jahmyr Gibbs, Kyren Williams, and Devon Achane all have produced and our making this the new norm.

    In the passing game, Irving pulled in 29 receptions for 298 yards and had a rushing average of 6.3 ypc, on 10 TDs. Players like this will carve a role on some team late, regardless of how big that will be, and should be a taxi stash. As an excellent off-tackle runner and outstanding pass-catcher expect NFL teams to have an interest which will make him an excellent taxi stash.

    Fun Fantasy Stat- Although known mostly for his flashy catches, he is one of three Pac-12 players to have three running plays rush for more than 60 yards.

    For fantasy purposes, should be 2nd or third in your FF drafts depending on how the run at running back goes.

    5. Audric Estime- Notre Dame

    Age: 20
    Height: 5'11
    Weight: 225 lbs.
    Prospect: Four-star recruit
    NFL Player Comp: Bam Morris

    Known to pound the rock, he averaged 5.9 and 6.4 ypc during his two seasons at South Bend, just 20 years old, which should excite Dynasty managers. The only reason he makes this list lower is he is not a home run threat, and his lack of pass-catching ability makes him a bit of a one-dimensional player next level.

    Fantasy fun fact stats: He had 18 TDs which surprisingly becomes the most in Team History

    For fantasy purposes, he will be a part of the rookie draft run in the middle 2nd round and is a lesser-known name that you could draft at a better value than some of the other top 5.

    6. Blake Corum – Michigan

    Age: 23
    Height: 5'8
    Weight: 213 lbs.
    Prospect: Four-star recruit
    NFL Player Comp: Maurice Jones-Drew

    While running for 5.9 ypc on 1,493 yards with 18 TDs and being instrumental in helping Michigan win a national title. Those stats will cement a player as being a top prospect in the Nation. He was the secret weapon for their success this season and is projected to have 4.38 speed.

    Getting to play on a talented team and run behind a great offensive line has its benefits too. Take into account that he is a shorter player, isn't a great pass blocker, or is known for his catching ability. At the time of this writing, it is being reported that he will run at the Combine. He will need good drills to keep up his draft stock and settle some of these concerns.

    Fun Fantasy stat: Did you know Corum rushed for 58 TDs for the Wolverines? No question stats are indeed there.

    For fantasy purposes, he will be taken after the top three RB1s come off the board solely on name recognition, he'll be in the Rookie SF draft middle 2nd-round running back run, likely one of the first as he is a household name.

    7. Will Shipley – Clemson

    Age: 21
    Height: 5'11
    Weight: 212 lbs.
    Prospect: Five-star recruit
    NFL Player Comp: Danny Woodhead

    Proving to be a vital part of Clemson's offense, Shipley had a career 31 TD and 5.0 or greater ypc. He was a top-five all-purpose back in 2022. Where scouts see his game emerge next level is as a receiver.

    As a pass-catching running back, Shipley brought in 29 catches out of the backfield. Expect him to play this role as a pass-catching back or special teamer next level.

    Fun Fantasy stat: Shipley totaled 85 catches for his career.

    For fantasy purposes, He is generally a popular name and goes in the same running back run mentioned above. In SF Fantasy Drafts, expect Shipley to go early third round.

    8. Marshawn Lloyd – USC

    Age: 23
    Height: 5'9
    Weight: 210 lbs.
    Prospect: Four-star recruit
    NFL Player Comp: LeGarrette Blount

    Lloyd must love the name USC, as he played two seasons at the University of Southern Carolina and then transferred to the University of Southern California. In both Colleges, he was able to showcase a profile and unique skill set to make him a top-ten RB prospect.

    An Excellent pass blocker and Power back, Lloyd excels both as an inside tackle and off tackle. Used a lot in zone-read concepts, which complement modern-day NFL. He did tear his ACL as a freshman but appears to have moved forward.

    He profiles as a decent runner but doesn't do much catching even though he does display good tape at making difficult catches it's just not his game.

    In his three-year career, including transfer, he played in 21 games, rushed for 801 yards and 10 TDS (4.6 ypc)

    9. Ray Davis- Kentucky

    Age: 24

    Height: 5'10

    Weight: 230 lbs.

    Prospect: Three-star recruit
    NFL Player Comp: Pierre Strong, Damien Pierce

    Davis had rushed for 14 TDs in 2023. He broke the single-season record (20) touchdowns previously held by Benny Snell. He’s got that lower build to smash defenders in between tackles but with the speed to get down the field and make shifty moves, he forces defenders to miss tackles which has accounted for 106 extra yards in two seasons.

    Fantasy fun fact stats: Has back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons for two different teams both Kentucky and Vanderbilt. 

    For fantasy purposes, he is being slept on. In SF Rookie draft he is dropping late third and that is a mistake. Enjoy this sleeper.

    10. Dylan Laube– New Hampshire

    Age: 23
    Height: 5'10
    Weight: 207 lbs.
    Prospect: 3-star recruit
    NFL Player Comp: Cordelle Patterson

    This player's draft stock has risen in recent Senior Bowl practices. Labeled one of the more versatile backs in this draft class and might be its best pass catcher. Laube possesses 4.46 speed and really good route-running ability, The tape shows he likes to bounce off players.

    As a fifth-year senior in 2023, he took the field for 10 games, amassing 745 yards on 161 carries, and maintaining a solid average of 4.6 yards per carry. He scored 9 touchdowns and experienced 2 fumbles. In the passing game, his contribution remained noteworthy, securing 68 receptions for a total of 708 yards.

    With today's NFL being as pass-happy as it has become, a player with these skill sets certainly could find a path to stardom. Like most of these players, it will come down to landing spots.

    Fantasy fun fact stats: Laube led the nation in all-purpose yards this season with 209.5,

    For fantasy purposes, in SF Rookie drafts he is often forgotten about going as one of the later backs in the third or fourth round.

     

    11. Cody Schrader- Missouri

    Age: 24
    Height: 5'9
    Weight: 214 lbs.
    Prospect: Zero-star recruit (literal walk-in)
    NFL Player Comp: Payton Hillis

    Has sneaky speed at 4.6, a strong stiff arm, and catches well. His highlight film against Tennessee tells you all you need to know as he demonstrates he is capable of running through tackles and having inside rushing ability, an extremely good goal-line runner.

    Extremely good pass blocker. Can't reiterate how important that is for this draft class as pass blocking is important to stay on the field for 3rd down.

    He will likely move up for Dynasty owners during the Senior Bowl and Combine, He gets a lower rank here as he relies mostly on power running and doesn't have the speed to take the top off a defense.

    Fantasy fun fact stats: He ran for 1,499 yards, which is 399 yards more than any other player in the SEC. In the Tennessee game mentioned above Schrader had 205 yards rushing and 114 receiving, the first player to ever do that in SEC as well.  

    For fantasy purposes, he has not been loaded onto Sleeper so consider this your first look at this underdog player, he has no ADP yet.

    12. Jase McClellan- Alabama

    Age: 22
    Height: 5'11
    Weight: 212 lbs
    Prospect: Four-star recruit
    NFL Player Comp: Alexander Mattison

    McClellan was the leading rusher for the Crimson Tide this season, He needs a bit of polish and will need to be coached up next level. I see him not being a day-one starter, but perhaps getting an opportunity as his career progresses.

    Injuries like ACL tears have lowered his draft stock. Expect his medical history to be brought up throughout this pre-draft period.

    He has plenty of tape to showcase his 4.5 speed, but then other times gets lost during games. Scouts will have heavy eyes on this player during the Combine as many questions about speed and acceleration still need to be answered.

    Fantasy fun fact stats: Not necessarily a neat fact but let's compile his numbers. Over four years, he produced 1,894 yards, 16 Touchdowns, and 341 carries, this is proof that he can be productive next level as a situational back for some team.

    For fantasy purposes, he is a big name coming from a big program so owners tend to take him in SF Rookie draft during round four. Could be a free-agent taxi stash in some league formats.

    Honorable mentions:

    Edit
    Tier Two: Player 2023 Position Team
    13. Dillon Johnson Running Back Washington
    14. Dajun Edwards Running Back Georgia
    15. Jawhar Jordan Running Back Louisville
    16. Frank Gore, Jr. Running Back Southern Miss
    17. Jaylen White Running Back Tennessee
    18. Kendal Milton Running Back Georgia
    19. Emani Bailey Running Back TCU
    20. Isaiah Davis Running Back South Dakota
    21. Carson Steele Running Back UCLA
    22. Michael Wiley Running Back Arizona
    23. Kimani Vidal Running Back Troy
    24.*Rasheen Ali (IR) Running Back Marshal

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    Steve Hungarter (IDPHunter)

    Steve is U.S Army retired and recently selected into The Fantasy Sports Writers Association. An ECR ranker on Fantasy Pros and writes articles for Fantasy Six Pack and IDP Plus. When Steve was a kid he got in trouble a lot. He would be held after school for trading his Football cards and comic books. He spent his time in the hallways, doing his own original content. The teachers would say not to do those silly things and obide by the rules. Fortunately, Steve was not a good listener.

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