Sky’s NFL Draft Reactions for Running Backs

This is my sixth round of RB rankings, but this time I list my rookie running back reactions following the NFL Draft. Bookmark this page to keep tabs on my rankings. These rankings are for RB only and based on PPR settings. Rookies are not yet listed in my rankings. However, incoming rookies could have impacted current RB rankings.

Which RBs am I too high/low on? Comment below and we’ll discuss in the chat.

Remember to check in with the @RazzballNFL team of writers as we host our Tuesday evening show, where we hit on all things offseason fantasy football.  Join Bobby LaMarco @BobbyLaMarco, Matt Stiles @stiles08, The Lineup Builder @Derek_Favret, and me, Sky Guasco @SkyGuasco at 9 pm EST/6 pm PST for the show as we answer all your questions thus keeping you engaged for the 2024 season while looking back at what coulda, shoulda, woulda been in 2023.  Come for the analysis, and stay for the laughs!


Player: Jonathon Brooks

  • Round (Pick): 2 (14)
  • School: Texas
  • NFL Team: Panthers
  • Current Starter: Chuba Hubbard

Brooks was the first running back drafted in this year’s NFL Draft and was the top RB listed pre-draft by Pro Football Focus. He produced well last season at Texas with 1,400+ total yards and 11 total touchdowns in 10 games before tearing his ACL. That is obviously a concern. However, the fact that the Panthers drafted Brooks as the top RB middle Round 2 knowing he’s recovering from a torn ACL suffered in November tells you something about his talent. He only really had one (not even) full season in college. That said, the Panthers backfield is up for grabs once he’s healthy. Miles Sanders disappeared and Chuba Hubbard is fine, not great. I’m not sure he’s my RB1 in rookie drafts yet, but I do think he’ll be the starter by midseason in Carolina.


Player: Trey Benson

  • Round (Pick): 3 (2)
  • School: Florida State
  • NFL Team: Cardinals
  • Current Starter: James Conner

I like this landing spot the most of the rookie RBs (as of now). Benson is a solid back all-around and ran 4.39 at the combine. That’s probably twice as fast as James Conner these days. No hate, but Conner is a mower, not a speed guy. Conner will also be 29 this season. Benson had nearly identical seasons in 2022 and 2023 statistically, but earned six more touchdowns last season. Benson should see third downs and passing downs early at least. If anything happens to Conner though, Benson could make an immediate impact in what should be a much improved and high-paced offense. Regardless, he could be a year-too-early sleeper before Conner fades at age 30 next year.


Player: Blake Corum

  • Round (Pick): 3 (19)
  • School: Michigan
  • NFL Team: Rams
  • Current Starter: Kyren Williams

Many picked Corum to be drafted to the Chargers with his former Michigan HC Jim Harbaugh now the HC for the other Los Angeles team. Welp… nah. He did end up in LA, but with the Rams. Corum would have been more exciting had he landed with the Chargers and run-happy HC/OC tandem of Harbaugh and Greg Roman, but the Rams are a nice alternative option. Their run-game has been very effective for years – pour one out for Todd Gurley and fantasy playoff CJ Anderson. Corum is “small” for an NFL back at just 5’8/205, but he has a nose for the endzone settling the Michigan school record with 27 rushing TDs in 2023 which led the nation. He also has decent enough pass catching chops. Kyren Williams was the RB2 in PPRPPG, but has missed 12 games over the last two years. Corum should see work and could fall into a great opportunity. 


Player: MarShawn Lloyd

  • Round (Pick): 3 (25)
  • School: USC
  • NFL Team: Packers
  • Current Starter: Josh Jacobs

Lloyd is basically Josh Jacobs, but faster. They’re both about 5’9”-5’10”/220, but Lloyd ran a 4.46 40-yard dash and Jacobs ran his at 4.69. AJ Dillon is still in Green Bay, but Aaron Jones landed in Minnesota. I’ve faded Jacobs for years in fantasy due to his lack of explosiveness, but I do like him as a Packer. Dillon will also take short yardage, but Lloyd has a gear those guys don’t. He was solid at South Carolina before transferring to USC. We know the Packers like to check it down. Lloyd made a habit of making chunk plays in the passing game last season. He’s buried on the depth chart, but could show signs in limited work as a rookie. 


Player: Jaylen Wright

  • Round (Pick): 4 (20)
  • School: Tennessee
  • NFL Team: Dolphins
  • Current Starter: Raheem Mostert

As a player, I love Wright. As for this landing spot, oof. He’s going to have a hard time earning snaps as long as Raheem Mostert and De’Von Achane stay healthy, but if either (or both) go down… giddy up! Like Mostert and Achane (and the rest of the Dolphins offense), Wright can fly. He ran a 4.38 40-yard dash. He had 1,100 yards, but just four touchdowns last season. However, he had 875 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns in 2022. He’s got the tools and in a very high-powered offense that led the NFL in rushing TDs last season. It may be sparse, but when he gets an opportunity it could be fruitful.

  • Bucky Irving: 4 (25) (Oregon > Buccaneers)

You all know I love my Ducks. Irving is arguably the best pass-catching back in this draft and Rachaad White was tied for 7th in the league with 70 targets. If he goes down, Irving is an immediate waiver add in PPR leagues. 

  • Will Shipley: 4 (27) (Clemson > Eagles)

Shipley is probably the second-best pass-catching back in this draft, but the Eagles signed Saquon Barkey and still have Kenneth Gainwell. I can’t see Shipley getting much work, but this offense has run through the run, so there’s always a chance if injury finds the Philly backs.

  • Ray Davis: 4 (28) (Kentucky > Bills)

Davis played for three schools in college (Temple, Vanderbilt and Kentucky). He scored a whopping 20 touchdowns last season on 50 less carries from 2022. James Cook burst on the scene last year and the Bills got rid of Stefon Diggs. We know that Josh Allen has been Buffalo’s “goal line back”, but Davis profiles as that option if they want to save Allen from time to time. 

  • Isaac Guerendo: 4 (29) (Louisville > 49ers)

Obviously, Guerendo won’t sniff the field when CMC is healthy, but if he does get a chance on change-of-pace plays or blowouts he has the skill set to mimic what CMC and Elijah Mitchell do in this electric offense. Guerendo started at Wisconsin, but transferred out to Louisville making room for Braelon Allen (read below). Oh, and Guerendo had the third-fastest 40 time of all offensive players – 4.33! He’s got good size at 6’0”/220. Very high-end taxi squad handcuff stash.

  • Braelon Allen: 4 (34) (Wisconsin > Jets)

This landing spot makes perfect sense, but Allen falling to the 4th Round of the draft and the 10th RB off the board was surprising to me. We know that Wisconsin running backs have a great track record for success in the NFL – Jonathan Taylor, Melvin Gordon, James White, Montee Ball. Allen is by far the most accumulated back throughout his career as a Badger. His three year stat lines are as follows:

  • 2021: 194/1300+/12 (age 17!)
  • 2022: 242/1300+/11 (18)
  • 2023: 209/1100+/12 (19)

Allen is only 20 years old with a ton of experience and is possibly the most valuable handcuff of this draft class sitting behind only Breece Hall in what will be a much more effective offense with Aaron Rodgers returning. 

Download Table as CSV
Note: Filters and sorting in the table below apply to the output

# Name Team
Christian McCaffrey SF
Bijan Robinson ATL
Breece Hall NYJ
Saquon Barkley PHI
Jahmyr Gibbs DET
Jonathan Taylor IND
Kyren Williams LAR
Alvin Kamara NO
Derrick Henry BAL
De’Von Achane MIA
Josh Jacobs GB
Travis Etienne Jr. JAC
Aaron Jones MIN
Rachaad White TB
Isiah Pacheco KC
James Cook BUF
Kenneth Walker III SEA
Joe Mixon HOU
David Montgomery DET
Zamir White LV
Rhamondre Stevenson NE
James Conner ARI
D’Andre Swift CHI
Austin Ekeler WAS
Jaylen Warren PIT
Tyjae Spears TEN
Javonte Williams DEN
Gus Edwards LAC
Zack Moss CIN
Brian Robinson WAS
Najee Harris PIT
Raheem Mostert MIA
Devin Singletary NYG
Tony Pollard TEN
Khalil Herbert CHI
Jerome Ford CLE

For more from Sky and his Razzball content, find him on Twitter @skyguasco.