Draft Grade Index:

90+ All-Pro Projection

85-89: Pro Bowl Projection

81-84: 1st Round – Year 1 starter

77-80: 2nd/3rd Round – Year 1 contributor, year 2-3 starter

74-76: Early Day 3: Cores special teamer and rotational player

71-74: Mid Day 3: Core special teamer and backup

68-70: Late Day 3: Developmental and special teamer


1) Trey Benson – Florida State – 6’0 / 216

Grade: 82

Two-year starter. All-ACC in both 2023 and 2022. Spent two seasons at Oregon, one as a backup and one was missed due to injury. Transferred to Florida State in 2022 and took over the lead role in the backfield both years. Benson has the pro body and strength to handle the dirty work right away. What makes him special is the breakaway speed between the lines that he has proven multiple times over his career. Add in the capabilities on third down and his proven elite ability to break tackles and we are looking at the complete back with ball security strength and a lot of tread left on the tires.

*Big and fast? 215+ pounds and he was one of just THREE players at ALL positions and the combine to run a sub 4.4 at that size. He also tied for the lead among all backs nationally in runs over 21 MPH according to GPS tracking data. So, check. Ball protection? He did not fumble once over his entire career. So, check. Break tackles? He broke a tackle once every three touches. That is approaching Bijan Robinson territory, the number one trait that made him an elite prospect. Benson lacks some of the fluidity below the waist and natural innovation skills, but this is a physically gifted “Pro’s Pro” that has a game ready for the NFL. There is a blend of prime LeVeon Bell and DeMarco Murray here. When day two arrives, he is in the discussion. And he is the ideal complement to Devin Singletary.

NFL Comparison: DeMarco Murray / DAL

2) Jonathon Brooks – Texas – 6’0 / 216

Grade: 80

Junior entry, one-year starter. All-Big 12 in 2023. Brooks had to spend two years behind Bijan Robinson and Roschon Johnson, both of which were drafted in 2023. He had just 57 carries over his first two seasons. He passed that number during the fourth game in 2023 alone. As the season progressed, Brooks showed he was fully capable of handling the lead-back role. He runs with tremendous tempo and has a feel for daylight. Combine those traits with his bendy, agile lower half and propensity to break tackles and he averaged 6.1 yards per carry, the same Robinson did in 2022. He will miss the spring and the start of summer team activities as he recovers from a torn ACL, but if team doctors are confident in his ability to regain his form, Brooks should be considered someone you can insert into the starting lineup by the end of year two.

*Brooks was heading toward round one territory before the ACL. While backs can regain their form, it is usually 12+ months after where they get to 100% so I did knock him down a couple points. The immediate impact may be delayed, and the upside will be even more delayed. Sign me up day two, still. His missed tackles forced fell in line with Bijan and the looseness in his lower body is noticeably better than what Benson brings to the table. It was that trait that got him the nod among most I have spoken with. I also question if Brooks can pass protect; he rarely did it in his one year. Just a lot of unknown around a guy that does have real talent.

*NFL Comparison: Melvin Gordon / FA

3) Blake Corum – Michigan – 5’8 / 205

Grade: 77

Three-year starter. All-American in 2023 and 2022 and All-Big Ten three straight years. Corum will go down in history as one of the most productive running backs in Michigan’s storied history. He finished top ten in career yards and second in touchdowns and his 168 points scored in 2023 are a single season conference record. His ability to bounce back from a knee injury that ended his 2022 season combined with several other leadership qualities will make him an easy guy to welcome to any organization. The debate lies within how much versatile value he can bring to the offense and if his tool set is good enough to be a feature back or simply a rushing weapon from the backfield group.

*On one hand, Corum is 205 on a short and stout frame, which plays bigger. On the other hand, he is still 205 pounds with OK, but not great, speed and burst. His profile and style remind me of Ray Rice from back in the day. I could see a similar career as well. Where he falls short, however, is an area I look at with a lot of expectations. That is yards after contact and broken tackles. No stat should be worth more than a little bit with running backs, however it is worth noting that out of 263 backs with over 60 carries, Corum ranked 241st in yards after contact per rush and 93rd in missed tackles forced. Now, perhaps some of that is a result of his high volume of goal line carries and overall short yardage attempts. But this backs up game notes I have on him that center around lack of consistency when it comes to creating on his own. I like Corum and he could be a top-shelf weapon when one to two yards are needed. But he needs to be slotted correctly, and that is round three-on.

NFL Comparison: Ray Rice / RET

4) Marshawn Lloyd – USC – 5’9 / 220

Grade: 77

Two-year starter. Spent three years at South Carolina, one of which was missed because of a torn ACL suffered in fall camp. Transferred to USC in 2023 and earned All-Pac 12 honors. Lloyd split time with Austin Jones early on but quickly became the team’s top back and finished fifth in the nation with 7.1 yards per carry among backs that carried the ball over 100 times. His game is built on sudden burst and breakaway speed to create explosive plays for the offense. Get him a foot of space and he will turn it into multiple yards. Over 56% of his rushing production came on plays of over 15 yards. Only one player nationally had more explosive gains than Lloyd on such a small number of total carries. The small, but yoked frame will produce yards after contact, but he has consistently struggled to catch and hold onto the football and his early playing time will be impacted by his improvement as a blocker.

*Lloyd is a favorite of many guys I respect in the business. He is built the right way and plays fast. In the right system, this is the kind of guy that can lead the league in explosive runs. I did not love what he brought to the table in the passing game, as a receiver or blocker. I also noted a few times his decisions with the ball in his hand won’t fly in the NFL, a league that is just so much faster than what Pac-12 defenses have. I like him enough for a day two pick, however, and NYG would be a nice place for him to settle in. They want more speed and big plays from the backfield. That is going to be Lloyd’s calling card.

NFL Comparison: Doug Martin / RET

5) Ray Davis – Kentucky – 5’8 / 211

Grade: 77

Three-year starter with stops at three different programs. All-SEC in 2023. Began his career at Temple after growing up in foster care. A multi-sport athlete in high school. Transferred to Vanderbilt in 2021 and played in three games before suffering a season ending knee injury. Bounced back in 2022, finishing fourth in the SEC in rushing. Ended his career at Kentucky in 2023, where he once again finished fourth in the conference in rushing. Davis is a natural back that uses vision, anticipation, and timing to set himself up for success. He knows the mental side of the game well and it shows up in multiple areas, not just running with the ball. He is hungry for yards and will fight for every inch. The ability to make defenders miss with late movement and deceptive tempo will translate well at the next level. His feel and short area burst will work especially well in a zone-heavy attack. Davis also shows prowess as a pass catcher and can add value to the return game as well. This is a complete back that is built for the NFL in several ways.

*Davis’ best tape is better than every back in this class. He put that Wildcats team on his shoulder in ways nobody else did. The versatility in his game, never-say-die mentality both on and off the field, and sneaky athletic ability scream NFL starter. There will be a few durability issues. He isn’t the biggest guy, and he takes a ton of hits with the way he runs with the ball. But in a committee-type system, he will be reliable force. He would not be my first pick for a new NYG back in this situation, but I do think he can be a dude.

NFL Comparison: D’Andre Swift / CHI

6) Bucky Irving – Oregon – 5’9 / 192

Grade: 77

Junior entry, two-year starter. Earned first team All-Pac 12 honors in 2023. Began career at Minnesota in 2021 where he helped fill in for an injured Mohamed Ibrahim and finished second on the team in rushing. Transferred to Oregon in 2022 and became one of the most productive dual-threat weapons in the class, leading the country’s running backs in catches in 2023. Irving may not pass the initial eyeball test when looking for the prototype-size but the his tape, production, and the trend of smaller NFL backs creating explosive plays should lead Irving into an important role early in his career. This is the kind of shifty back that needs to be given a dozen touches weekly via the run and pass game because of how much he can create on his own in space.

*Some of the most productive first and second year backs in the NFL last season measured at or under 200 pounds. That used to be a number a back could not be under, but the extension of the passing game has softened that notion a few ways. If NYG wants a receiving threat out of the backfield without giving up too much as a pure runner, Irving is the target. I love how this kid plays. He has all the toughness and shiftiness to gain yards after contact. The glaring issue will be what he can do in pass protection. He is bottom-rung there.

NFL Comparison: Kyren Williams / LAR

7) Audric Estime – Notre Dame – 5’11 / 221

Grade: 77

Junior entry, one-year starter. Estime has a game built on power and the ability to gain yards after contact. His downhill style is an ideal fit for a gap-heavy blocking scheme where he can shoot for a lane and adjust at the second level. His footwork and short area burst are sneaky-strong traits that will be a weapon for the right system. He has lead-back potential and will be, at the very least, a strong short yardage back that will score a lot of touchdowns.

*Estime was creeping toward a top three slot for a long time. As you can see, guys from 3-8 all have the same grade. I can still make a case he is RB3 based on what style of back you want. Estime ran a 4.71 at the combine and people started jumping off the bus faster than a handful of rocks sinking to the bottom of the ocean. I thought something was off, however. He has more than enough speed on tape, outrunning defensive backs in space. He ran a 1.58 ten-yard split, very similar to guys that ran in the 4.5s. He jumped 38” in the vertical and 10’05” in the broad – both numbers very much associated with guys running in the 4.5s (or better). He improved to a 4.61 at his pro day and while it won’t set records, it is enough for me to keep the 77 on him. Estime is a guy I would be all over in round 3 or 4. He is a mauler that can be paired with a Singletary-type to create a thunder and lightning duo.

NFL Comparison: Chris Carson / FA

8) Jaylen Wright – Tennessee – 5’10 / 210

Grade: 77

Junior entry, one-year starter. All-SEC in 2023. Wright is an explosive back with the kind of top end speed that can change how an offense operates. His ability to create on his own in the open field will be a sought-after trait and at his size, the potential can be dreamy. He led the SEC in rushes that went or 15+ yards and also finished in yards per carry. He also brings a level of toughness to table, leading the SEC in yards after contact per attempt. If he can tighten up his ball security and continue his ascending ability as a blocker, he can be a lead back for a space-friendly offense.

*Wright is similar to Lloyd, who is at #4. He has elite speed. There are a few speed metrics that are not available to the public where Wright finished number one and were better than Devon Achane (explosive Dolphins back). Doing that at 210 pounds with some quality film against legit SEC defenses is enough for some to label him RB1 in this class. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him be the top guy drafted. As I said earlier if NYG wants speed as the top asset added to the backfield, keep an eye on this kid.

NFL Comparison: CJ Spiller / RET

9) Tyrone Tracy Jr. – Purdue – 5’11 / 209

Grade: 75

Sixth-year senior. Four-year starter that spent four seasons at Iowa before his final two at Purdue. Tracy will turn 25 years old as a rookie but in terms of running back age, he is younger than most. He played wide receiver from 2018-2022 before moving into the backfield full time in his final year. In that one season, Tracy finished fourth in the country in yards after contact per attempt in the country among backs with over 100 carries. His career was sputtering, as his best season as a receiver came in 2019. The smooth position move opened a door, one that is searching for pass game weapons out of the backfield. Tracy is not a dynamic or explosive athlete, but he simply knows what to do with the ball in his hands and it shows up as a returner as well. His progression will be an interesting one to follow, one with a high ceiling.

*Tracy is one of the more interesting prospects in the entire draft. He runs like he doesn’t always know what he’s doing but that is part of the intrigue. What happens to him if it does click? He is already productive, and he is already a top-shelf pass catcher the position. He already adds return value. Something about him simply makes sense for a chance on day three because Singletary could easily be elsewhere before the end of 2024, let alone pre-2025. And I view that as the season this team can be ready to compete.

NFL Comparison: Antonio Gibson / NE

10) Kimani Vidal – Troy – 5’8 / 213

Grade: 74

Four-year starter. All Sun-Belt three times, first team in 2023 after leading the conference in rushing. Vidal is a densely built back with tremendous lower body girth. He can produce both power and sudden burst beneath the waist. The balance he can move with at full speed through contact breaks a lot of tackles. He broke more than any other player in this class. Vidal is also a productive receiver that is dependable to bring the ball in and get north right away. There are a lot of areas in an offense where he can be an asset as a backup. He wore multiple hats in college both stylistically and role-wise.

*I was a bit late on Vidal. I wasn’t breaking down any film on him until after the Senior Bowl where he didn’t stand out. This kid is a pure NFL back. He hit over 21 MPH in a game (very fast), he is a kid that Troy coaches told me is the best football person they’ve ever been around, and he has the body that will break tackles left and right. He is an excellent day three shot that brings a high floor to the backfield. There isn’t a ton of variety to his game but what he offers is more than enough.

11) Braelon Allen – Wisconsin – 6’1 / 235

Grade: 74

Three-year starter. All-Big Ten three consecutive seasons. Allen was just the fourth true freshman in school history to rush for over 1,000 yards (Ron Dayne, James White, Jonathon Taylor). He turned 20-years old just three months prior to the 2024 Draft. The second all-time leading rusher in school history among three-year backs finished near or at the top of multiple measurables among ball carriers in the class and he has the vision to complement his talent. His ceiling is a top rusher on a team that specializes between the tackles, but the change in offensive scheme at Wisconsin with the new coaching staff created some questions about his versatility. Allen needs a specific role in a specific style of offense to truly maximize his unique ability.

*My biggest gripe with Allen is the fact he plays more like 200-pound back than a 235-pounder. My first look put a day two label on him. There simply aren’t many guys his size with his speed and his production. He is going to be 20-years old his entire rookie season which is also enticing. Some will say the change in scheme altered his trajectory, but I still can’t get by the lack of fluidity in his hips coupled with inconsistent toughness. There are also issues I have with him as a receiver and with his ball security. Allen is still a high-ceiling guy, but he needs to be slotted correctly. If I’m wrong, it wouldn’t be the first time I whiff on a Wisconsin back.

NFL Comparison: Arian Foster / RET

12) Isaac Guerendo – Louisville – 6’0 / 221

Grade: 74

Sixth year senior. Spent five seasons at Wisconsin, including a redshirt in 2018. All-Big Ten as a returner in 2022. Transferred to Louisville in 2023 and was a part of one of the top rushing duos in the country. Guerendo was a high school receiver that struggled to get consistent action within the Wisconsin offense. His explosive speed (a high school state champ long jumper and sprinter) did show up in flashes. It was not until year six where he carried the ball over 65 times. He was always a big play threat that could also provide playmaking ability as a receiver and returner. There is some untapped potential on a big frame with elite speed that could finally break out in the NFL.

*Imagine if Wisconsin could have figured it out with this kid and Allen? That is about as impressive as you can find physically from two guys in the same backfield. The “idea” of Guerendo is better than the player right now. But we did see the flower start to blossom in 2023 and a team could be getting him just at the right time here. The speed does show up on tape, but it does not always show up with the decisiveness. The agility is there, though. His physical profile is top five all time at the position. Worth a shot.

13) Jase McClellan – Alabama – 5’10 / 221

Grade: 74

One-year starter. After a promising freshman year where he stood out as a special teamer but also averaged over 10 yards per carry, McClellan suffered a torn ACL in October of 2021. He returned for the 2022 season but had to play second fiddle to transfer Jahmyr Gibbs who ended up a first round pick. McClellan got his shot to lead the backfield in 2023 and shined, finishing as the team’s leading rusher. He is a thick, well-balanced back that can do everything well. His contact balance stands out on tape, and he has the skill set that can stay on the field in all situations. He fought through a foot injury toward the end of 2023; thus the medicals will be big for him. There may not be a standout trait to his game, but his proven ability to contribute on special teams and the dependable feel his game presents will land him a number two role early in his career.

*Many backs of a standout trait. Speed, pass catching, size, production…etc. But what about a guy that is just a jack of all trades, master of none type? A guy that simply answers the bell in any situation with a variety of approaches? That is McClellan. And there is a part of me that thinks he should be with the cluster of 77’s higher up. He was in line to be the next dude in the Alabama backfield but then Gibbs transferred in from Georgia Tech. McClellan does everything you ask him to do, he played excellent in big games, and he can contribute on special teams. Sure, he lacks some dynamic traits but there are times we get too wrapped up into that. This is a kid that would be a sneaky-strong day three pick late if he falls.

NFL Comparison: Bilal Powell / NYJ

14) Dylan Laube – New Hampshire – 5’10 / 206

Grade: 72

Sixth-year senior. Two-year starter. Earned All-American honors two times as a returner and all-purpose player respectively. Was a Walter Payton Award finalist in 2023. Laube got the ball in his hands several ways. The stocky, quick-footed playmaker led FCS in all-purpose yards two straight seasons. He excels in the pass game with his ability to run routes both from the backfield and slot in addition to adjusting to the ball in the air. He has late hands and a sense for where the defense is post-catch. While he will not produce much as a typical ball carrier between the tackles and there are inevitable shortcomings that stem from his size as a blocker, there are enough roles Laube can fill at a high level to warrant an active roster spot weekly. How a team uses his skill set will be vital to his impact at the next level.

*I actually had some Tiki Barber vibes watching his film. Laube is stout enough to play through cheap contact and quick enough to get open against defensive backs. He does have some receiver-caliber skills in the passing game. He can line up out of the backfield and still pose as a threat. He did so 100+ times in college and I actually think that is where he can be used best. He is better at avoiding tacklers when there is some real estate to leverage. The quickness is elite, as his vision. How well he responds to the speed of the NFL will be the deciding factor.

NFL Comparison: Salvon Ahmed / MIA

15) Rasheen Ali – Marshall – 5’11 /206

Grade: 72

Three-year starter that missed most of 2022 (10 games). All Sun Belt in 2023 and first team All-Conference USA in 2021. Ali took the nation by storm as a redshirt freshman in 2021 scoring 23 touchdowns, tied for the most in FBS. After that Freshman All-American season, Ali pumped the breaks to address his emotional, physical, and mental health. He came back strong in 2023 but a rupture biceps tendon suffered at the Senior Bowl in February will cloud his initial impact at the next level. His home-run ability and aggressive, wild, but balanced running style is an attractive weapon for zone-blocking schemes. The issues in his game can be cleaned up via quality coaching and hard work, but the natural explosion and innovation he has cannot be taught.

*Ali’s best tape is exciting. He is a true home-run threat. The biceps tendon injury did not impact the grade. But I do need him to clean up the ball security at the next level, he truly is bottom tier there. We see day three backs surprise the league with explosive plays and wonder how they fell that far. Ali gives me that vibe.


16) Miyan Williams – Ohio State: 72
17) Will Shipley – Clemson: 72
18) Emani Bailey – TCU: 71
19) George Holani – Boise State: 71
20) Frank Gore Jr. – Southern Miss: 71
21) Michael Wiley – Arizona: 70
22) Cody Schrader – Missouri: 70
23) Dillon Johnson – Washington: 69
24) Daijun Edwards – Georgia: 69
25) Isaiah Davis – South Dakota State: 68
26) Kendall Milton – Georgia: 68
27) Jaden Shirden – Monmouth: 68


The Saquon Barkley era came and went with nothing more than the 2018 Rookie of the Year hardware and a few highlight plays. Now, he’s with Philadelphia and behind one of the best offensive lines in football. NYG is entering a new era of offensive football. In the next two years, I fully expect to see a new starting running back, a new quarterback, a new number one wide receiver, and likely a new tight end. How far up or down the list should running back be? We know the position itself has been devalued league-wide, but I feel the same way about that as I have about inside linebackers for a decade-plus. They’re still important. A really good one makes a very big difference. The debate is two-fold. One, how early of a draft pick is a team allowed to spend on one? And second, how much money should a proven difference maker get when it is time to get paid?

Fortunately, NYG will not need to answer either of those questions this year. There is not a special back worth taking early and they aren’t shopping for a veteran. But I want to circle back to the fact this team needs more talent, period. Eric Gray will rightfully get his shot (I still like him) and Devin Singletary has had a solid career; he can play. There is room for a rookie back and I want a guy who can move. I want a speed guy. I would settle for a power guy but I am confident you can find them any year and/or in cheap free agency. As for when the position should be approached? Day three only. That likely boots a few guys out of the picture of possibilities. As much as I love Trey Benson and Bucky Irving, taking them day two likely equals passing on better or same-grade players at more important positions in need of an upgrade. The secondary options to those two are the likes of Vidal, McClellan, and Tracy.

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