2024 NFL Draft: Best fits for top 5 running back prospects

Where will the top running backs in the 2024 NFL Draft land?
Michigan's Blake Corum
Michigan's Blake Corum / CFP/GettyImages

The 2024 NFL Draft running back class doesn’t have a prospect with a first-round grade, but it is still an intriguing class of backs that could produce some future stars if they are drafted in the right situation.

As it seemed the running back position was losing steam in the NFL, 2023 proved a star back can still be the featured weapon on offense.  San Francisco 49ers’ Christian McCaffrey torched the league on an MVP level with over 1,400 yards rushing to go with 564 receiving yards.  Will this draft produce the next McCaffrey or Derrick Henry or Kyren Williams?

The talent and versatility will be there, but which NFL teams will find that right fit on Day 2 or Day 3 of the NFL Draft?

2024 NFL Draft: Top running backs projected in the second and third round

NFL Network Draft analysts Daniel Jeremiah doesn’t see the first running back coming off the board until Day 2 or maybe Day 3 of the 2024 NFL Draft.

"I think Day 2 is going to be the running back day," he said. "I have about six-to-eight running backs that are very closely graded. I wonder if we're going to see a game of chicken in the second round where teams are saying, 'Well, we have the grade to take this guy here, but we don't want to be the first one in line. We just need to make sure we're not the last one in line.

"Maybe we could get to the bottom of the second, maybe even the top of the third round, and then once the first one goes. I think you'll see all these guys come off the board."

Who will be the first 5 running backs off the board and which teams will select them?  Let’s take a look below at the best fits for each of NFL Mock’s top 5 running backs in the 2024 NFL Draft.

No. 1 - Jonathon Brooks, Texas – Best Fit: Green Bay Packers

The Packers already have a running back duo of Josh Jacobs and AJ Dillon, but that won’t stop them from jumping at the opportunity to select Jonathon Brooks with the No. 58 overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.  Matt Lefleur’s offense can never have enough good backs and Brooks will fit in as a third back who will eventually form a nice two-headed running back duo with Jacobs. 

If completely recovered from his torn ACL suffered back in November, Brooks brings good size and acceleration as an outside runner and has good hands to be a weapon out of the backfield for Jordan Love.

No. 2 - Trey Benson, Florida State – Best Fit: Jacksonville Jaguars

Brooks may be the top-rated running back in the 2024 NFL Draft, but Florida State’s Trey Benson will be the first backfield prospect off the board at No. 48 to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

2024 NFL Draft prospect Trey Benson
Florida State's Trey Benson / James Gilbert/GettyImages

A big back with great size and speed, Benson led Florida State in rushing with 906 rushing yards with 14 rushing TDs. 

As the top power back in this draft, Benson is a great fit with the Jaguars because of that power and his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.  The Jags did re-sign D’Ernest Johnson and need to get Tank Bigsby more involved, but also adding Benson will help the Jaguars keep Travis Etienne's workload down.  The FSU product will also serve as a insurance in case Etienne does get injured. Plus, a team can never have enough good running backs!

No. 3 - Blake Corum, Michigan – Best Fit: Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys will be looking for a running back on Day 2 of the 2024 NFL Draft and Blake Corum is a running back who would look great in a Cowboys uniform.

2024 NFL Draft class: Michigan running back Blake Corum
NFL Combine - Blake Corum / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

At 5-foot-8, 205 pounds, Corum is on the shorter side, but he is a downhill runner who can break big plays by finding holes and hitting them quickly.  His combination of power and elusiveness between the tackles along with his competitive nature will bring attitude to the Cowboys running back group.

As the MVP of the CFP Championship Game in which he rushed for 134 yards with 2 rushing TDs, Corum has also shown he is a big-game performer, especially in the spotlight.  The Cowboys need as many as those types of players as they can get.  They will get that by selecting Corum.

No. 4 - Braelon Allen, Wisconsin – Best Fit: Seattle Seahawks

Wisconsin’s Braelon Allen may not be in the top 5 by many draft analysts, but he is in the top 5 on our list because of his rare size and how productive he was running the rock in the Big Ten.

Allen led the Badgers with 984 yards with 12 rushing TDs despite missing time with a leg injury.  At 6-foot-1, 235 pounds, he has that combination of size and power that makes him a great backup for the Seattle Seahawks as far as depth at the position.  With Kenneth Walker II and Zach Charbonnet forming a nice 1-2 punch, adding Allen to the mix just makes the Seahawks ground attack that much more productive and versatile.

No. 5 - Jaylen Wright, Tennessee – Best Fit:  Minnesota Vikings

A big-time athlete with three-down back ability, Tennessee’s Jaylen Wright is a good fit with the Vikings in the 4th round given.  His elusiveness and breakaway speed will remind fans of Dalvin Cook.  Given the other playmakers on offense, Wright will be a big play waiting to happen anywhere on the field. 

In leading Tennessee’s with 1,013 rushing yards on 137 carries, Wright was ranked second in the FBS with 7.4 yards per carry.  As a pro-level athlete, Wright could form a nice 1-2 punch with veteran running back Aaron Jones, who signed with the team after being released by the Green Bay Packers.