While the 2024 NFL Draft running back class might not have any elite prospects in it, it does have several players who could be great value picks. One of those players is Oregon’s Bucky Irving who has the versatility to make an impact in the run and pass game. Another prospect who fits this bill is USC’s MarShawn Lloyd who is one of the most physical runners in this year’s class.
2024 NFL Draft Class: Running back rankings No. 1-4
1. TreVeyon Henderson, Ohio State
Draft Grade: Second Round: While no running back has a first-round grade on my draft board, my number one running back TreVeyon Henderson should be a top 50 selection. The reason I am so high on Henderson is the explosiveness he shows for a 212-pound back which has helped him average 6.3 yards per carry during his Buckeye career. In addition to his speed, Henderson is also a physical runner who consistently runs behind his pads. The biggest concern with him is that he has been injury-prone the last two years missing significant time both years. He also needs to be more consistent in the passing game both as a receiver and blocker.
2. Bucky Irving, Oregon
Draft Grade: Second Round: One of my favorite running backs in the 2024 NFL Draft is Oregon’s Bucky Irving. What is so impressive about Irving is his ability to help out in both the run and passing game. As a runner, he shows good vision and the quickness to get through the hole. In the passing game, he has put up impressive production having accounted for 53 receptions this season. An issue NFL scouts will have with him is his lack of size as he comes in at only 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds. However, for a smaller back, he shows impressive contact balance and caused 61 missed tackles this year.
3. Trey Benson, Florida State
Draft Grade: Third Round: Going into the 2023 season expectations were high for Florida State running back Trey Benson who broke the Pro Football Focus record by forcing 0.51 missed tackles per rush and also led the ACC with an average of 6.46 yards per carry in 2022. However, 2023 was a bit of a disappointing year for him as he only had one 100-yard rushing game and also saw a drop in rushing yards and yards per carry. As a pro prospect, he is a physical back and also has the speed to break off the long run.
4. MarShawn Lloyd, USC
Draft Grade: Third Round: A sleeper in this year’s running back class is USC’s Marshawn Lloyd who is one of the most physical backs in the 2024 NFL Draft. His physical running style combined with his ability to keep his feet moving on contact has allowed him average an impressive 7.1 yards per carry this year. In addition to his pure power, he also shows impressive footwork for a player with his running style. One concern with him is he has only had one season with over 600 rushing yards and he has never had more than 116 carries in a season.