NFL draft: ‘Day two is going to be the running back day,’ an analyst says

Georgia linebacker C.J. Allen (33) attempts to tackle Missouri running back Cody Schrader (7) during the fourth quarter at Sanford Stadium, Saturday, November 4, 2023, in Athens, Ga. Georgia won 30-21. (Jason Getz /



Georgia linebacker C.J. Allen (33) attempts to tackle Missouri running back Cody Schrader (7) during the fourth quarter at Sanford Stadium, Saturday, November 4, 2023, in Athens, Ga. Georgia won 30-21. (Jason Getz /

Here’s the second story of our position-by-position NFL draft series. Today, we’ll look at the top running backs. Next, tight ends.

There is no Bijan Robinson at the running back position in the 2024 NFL draft class.

It’s possible there will not be a running back selected in the first round of the NFL draft, which is set for April 25-27 in Detroit.

The Falcons selected Robinson with the eighth overall pick last year, and Detroit selected Jahmyr Gibbs, of Dalton and Georgia Tech/Alabama, with the 12th overall pick.

UCLA’s Zach Charbonnet was the only running back taken in the second round, 52nd overall by the Seahawks.

“Day two is going to be the running back day,” NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said. “I’m curious to see – I have a little bit of a theory here. I have about six to eight running backs that are very closely graded. I don’t have any of them up to where we had Bijan or Gibbs last year with those types of grades.”

While there isn’t a marquee name heading this running back class, teams believe they can land a running back throughout the draft. There are several backs who were productive in college, including Michigan’s Blake Corum, Missouri’s Cody Schrader and Troy’s Kimani Vidal of Marietta.

Jonathan Brooks, who played at Texas, may be the first running back selected.

“He’s as talented as any of these guys,” Jeremiah said. “My two favorites are Jaylen Wright from Tennessee, who is just real springy and juicy, stop-start quickness, home-run hitter, and (he) finishes runs. He can get skinny through the hole. Really, really quick feet. He is 210 pounds, so he has a little bit of size to him.”

Brooks sustained an ACL tear in his knee in November.

“I am 12 weeks into my recovery, so I’m just starting to get to running, and the expected timeline (to return) is training camp,” Brooks said. “Start of training camp. July 1 or start of training camp.”

USC’s MarShawn Lloyd is another big running back with agility.

“Patient,” Jeremiah said. “Explosive ... kind of an aggressive, attacking running style. Those are two of my favorites, along with a little undersized version there of (Oregon’s) Bucky Irving, who reminds me of Devin Singletary.”

Other top running backs include Kentucky’s Ray Davis, Notre Dame’s Audric Estime, Wisconsin’s Braelon Allen and Florida State’s Trey Benson.

“Those guys are all in that mix together,” Jermiah said.

Corum was highly productive for the Wolverines. He rushed for more than 2,600 yards after the past two seasons.

He finished his career with 675 carries for 3,737 yards and 58 touchdowns.

“I’ve been busting my butt off man,” Corum said. “It is a childhood dream… It’s been a long journey.”

Corum finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting in 2022 and ninth in 2023.

Corum believes his game translates to the NFL.

“(I’m) someone that’s going to help a team on the field in terms of doing whatever I can to win and bringing that mindset,” said Corum, who’s willing to play on special teams. “Whatever I have to do to get a win and win a Super Bowl.”

Schrader led the SEC in rushing after transferring to Missouri from Truman State, a Division II school. He rushed for 1,627 yards and 14 touchdowns last season and had nine games of 100 yards or more.

Schrader was a first-team All-American and was named first-team All-SEC by the Associated Press and the coaches.

He also won the Burlsworth Trophy, which honors the most outstanding player in the nation who started his career as a walk-on. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.61 seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine.

After transferring, he started off eighth on the depth chart for the Tigers before breaking through in 2022.

Schrader had over 200 yards rushing and 100 yards receiving in a win over Tennessee last season after the Volunteers had put 60 points on the Tigers in 2022.

Vidal, who had a season of eligibility left, held up under a heavy workload for the Trojans.

“I think I showed that I was able to withstand it,” Vidal said. “I went through 14 games without getting hurt, without missing any time. I did the same last year, too. So, that’s 28 games straight with no missed games. I’m really just blessed with opportunity to be able to showcase that.”

Vidal was one of 35 players with connections to Georgia invited to the scouting combine. Georgia Bulldogs running backs Daijun Edwards (Colquitt County) and Kendall Milton were the other two running backs with Georgia ties who participated in the scouting combine.












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