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2024 NFL Draft Senior Bowl Primer: Running Backs (Fantasy Football)

2024 NFL Draft Senior Bowl Primer: Running Backs (Fantasy Football)

NFL Draft SZN is here, baby!

The flagship event that signals the kickoff for prospect season is back. The Reese’s Senior Bowl cranks up with practice sessions starting on January 30th. We’ll be bringing you a TON of content all week at FantasyPros with daily practice recap live streams on Instagram, TikTok and YouTube, plus written content.

Welcome to the RB Primer, which covers every running back prospect that will be at this year’s Senior Bowl. Dynasty rookie draft season is here. Let’s dive into these prospects.

2024 NFL Draft Senior Bowl Primer: Running Backs

MarShawn Lloyd (USC)

Stats:

  • 2023 (minimum 100 carries, 18 targets)
    • Yards after contact per attempt: 20th
    • Breakaway percentage: 3rd
    • PFF elusive rating: 4th
    • Yards per route run: 48th
  • 2022 (minimum 100 carries, 20 targets)
    • Yards after contact per attempt: 16th
    • Breakaway percentage: 18th
    • PFF elusive rating: 15th
    • Yards per route run: 41st
  • Career
    • Former 5-star recruit
    • Torn ACL in 2020
    • 7 fumbles across the last two seasons (225 carries)

Scouting report:

  • Lloyd runs like a Tasmanian devil. He has an every-down tenacity and a mean streak to him. He has the requisite functional strength and temperament to become a strong pass protector. He just needs to improve his pass-pro technique and gain consistency there. He’ll have one rep where he stands up a free rushing blitzer and then gets blown back on the next. The leg drive he exhibits on rushing plays combined with some strong reps in pass pro lead me to believe that if he gains more consistency in this area he can develop into a trusted passing-down back in the NFL.
  • Lloyd is a functional receiver. He was utilized mainly as a check-down specialist. He did motion out to the occasional snap as an outside receiver but was rarely asked to run routes from this alignment. He did have the occasional stop or curl route. Lloyd does have soft hands and is a QB-friendly target adjusting to space when his quarterback is in scramble mode.
  • Lloyd is a scheme versatile rusher. He has the lateral agility, vision and speed to operate in stretch zone as well as inside zone. Lloyd’s burst is above average but not elite, so you wouldn’t want him operating in a heavy outside zone scheme, but that’s not to say he doesn’t have the speed to gain the edge.
  • He runs with a profound mean streak. Lloyd isn’t seeking out contact but that doesn’t mean he can’t drop the hammer when needed. Rarely does the first defender bring him down. It’s nothing for him to body bag a corner with a stiff arm. Lloyd also has plenty of plays on film where he’s asked to create yards on his own. He has more than a handful of runs I watched on film where he had to reverse course when the gap was clogged and create a play on his own — he did so marvelously.
  • Lloyd is a more physical rusher than his size would lead many to believe. He has strong legs to finish runs well and push the pile. Lloyd can be a tone-setting back.

Player Comp: Tre Mason

Jaylen Wright (Tennessee)

Stats:

  • 2023 (minimum 100 carries, 20 targets)
    • Yards after contact per attempt: 5th
    • Breakaway percentage: 11th
    • PFF elusive rating: 13th
    • Yards per route run: 35th
  • 2022 (minimum 100 carries, 20 targets)
    • Yards after contact per attempt: 26th
    • Breakaway percentage: 71st
    • PFF elusive rating: 48th
    • Yards per route run: N/A* (only two targets)

Scouting report:

  • Wright has “run away from you” type of speed. A downhill bowling ball that consistently looks like he has been shot out of a cannon. He has some pause at the line as he surveys the scene and finds a crease. While that could appear to be indecision, I think it’s more of a watered-down version of Le’Veon Bell‘s style. Wright has the immediate burst to more than make up for the quick pause.
  • Wright pin balls off defenders in the second level. Once he gets to the second level of a defense it’s usually game over. He offers more finishing power to his runs than maybe his stature would suggest. He consistently falls forward and earns every blade of grass.
  • Wright holds up well in pass protection. With a solid, strong base, he has no problem upending pass-rushing defenders. He had 59 pass pro snaps last season and only allowed one QB hit and zero sacks. His skill in this area will allow him to earn more passing down reps than his route running chops would suggest.
  • He’s a check-down option only in the passing game. Wright has solid enough hands with an 88.2% catch rate and only two drops from his 34 collegiate targets.

Player Comp: Marlon Mack

Isaiah Davis (South Dakota State)

Stats:

  • 2023 (among all FBS/FCS RBs, minimum 100 carries, 20 targets)
    • Yards after contact per attempt: 35th
    • Breakaway percentage: 112th
    • PFF elusive rating: 17th
    • Yards per route run: 102nd
  • 2022 (among all FBS/FCS RBs, minimum 100 carries, 20 targets)
    • Yards after contact per attempt: 46th
    • Breakaway percentage: 161st
    • PFF elusive rating: 50th
    • Yards per route run: 133rd

Scouting report:

  • Churns yards out like butter. His legs are always moving. He’s a high-energy spark plug locomotive teammates will feed off. He is always falling forward for a few extra yards thanks to a neverending leg drive or a well-timed spin move after first contact.
  • Davis has good patience at the attack point. He’ll follow his blocks toward daylight but also isn’t afraid to bounce a run outside if the lane is clogged. He has good vision with interior runs and the lateral agility to weave through the noise.
  • Davis has a stiff arm that can send defenders into the afterlife. He can also shimmy and shake defenders in the second level making people miss in a phone booth. He doesn’t have field flipping type of explosiveness but he does well with the juice he has.

Player Comp: Kenyan Drake

Kimani Vidal (Troy)

Stats:

  • 2023 (all FBS/FCS RBs minimum 100 carries, 20 targets)
    • Yards after contact per attempt: 51st
    • Breakaway percentage: 73rd
    • PFF elusive rating: 21st
    • Yards per route run: 143rd
  • 2022 (all FBS/FCS RBs minimum 100 carries, 20 targets)
    • Yards after contact per attempt: 106th
    • Breakaway percentage: 171st
    • PFF elusive rating: 84th
    • Yards per route run: 174th
  • Career

Scouting report:

  • Downhill pinball. Vidal will ricochet off incoming defenders and produce hard-fought yards with a nasty stiff arm and solid footwork. Give him a runway and he’ll chew up chunk yardage.
  • Vidal has enough juice to bounce a run outside when needed but he’s at his best when he builds up some steam and penetrates the second level of the defense. Vidal isn’t a home run hitter, though. His 35.2% breakaway percentage in college tells the tale. Vidal is built to churn out 5-15-yard runs with frequency. He has only an average burst and lacks a second gear to run away from defenders in the open field. Vidal is caught behind religiously.
  • He’s a volume rusher who’s proven he can hold up to the workload with at least 231 carries in each of the last two seasons and at least 23 carries in 57% of his games in his final collegiate season.

Player Comp: Devin Singletary

Michael Wiley (Arizona)

Stats:

  • 2023 (minimum 70 carries, 20 targets)
    • Yards after contact per attempt: 70th
    • Breakaway percentage: 200th
    • PFF elusive rating: 34th
    • Yards per route run: 5th
  • 2022 (minimum 100 carries, 20 targets)
    • Yards after contact per attempt: 1st
    • Breakaway percentage: 27th
    • PFF elusive rating: 2nd
    • Yards per route run: 25th
  • Career
    • 2021 YPRR rank: 16th

Scouting report: (no all-22 available)

  • N/A

Player Comp: N/A

Daijun Edwards (Georgia)

Stats:

  • 2023 (minimum 100 carries, 20 targets)
    • Yards after contact per attempt: 100th
    • Breakaway percentage: 57th
    • PFF elusive rating: 78th
    • Yards per route run: 61st
  • 2022 (minimum 100 carries, 19 targets)
    • Yards after contact per attempt: 87th
    • Breakaway percentage: 60th
    • PFF elusive rating: 69th
    • Yards per route run: 82nd

Scouting report:

  • Edwards has an average burst that is made less effective by his indecision at the line. Edwards would be better served to get the train rolling with conviction early, but he shimmies at the line with footwork better served in the open field.
  • Edwards is a tough runner who can get “the dirty yards.” His lively feet can be an asset moving forward, as they serve him well when necessary, getting skinny at the line.
  • At this stage, he is a check-down option only. Edwards was passable, leaking out of the backfield or running the occasional stop route.

Player Comp: Charcandrick West

Ray Davis (Kentucky)

Stats:

  • 2023 (minimum 100 carries, 20 targets)
    • Yards after contact per attempt: 27th
    • Breakaway percentage: 34th
    • PFF elusive rating: 54th
    • Yards per route run: 39th
  • 2022 (minimum 100 carries, 20 targets)
    • Yards after contact per attempt: 76th
    • Breakaway percentage: 83rd
    • PFF elusive rating: 73rd
    • Yards per route run: 89th
  • Career
    • 5th year Sr. Temple from 2019-2020, Vanderbilt 2021-2022, Kentucky 2023

Scouting report:

  • Downhill but an upright runner. He is at his best when he gets a head of steam. Can get tripped up by shoestring tackles. His running style is more shifty than powerful.
  • Get him in a gap/power run game. He has the necessary agility to operate within the inside zone as well. Davis will follow his blocks patiently but he lacks the necessary burst to gain the edge in the stretch zone. Davis did flash an improved burst in 2023 compared to his 2019 film. This difference is even palatable as his breakaway percentage by 10.7% from 2022 to 2023.
  • Davis is a proven volume rusher with at least 22 carries in 25% of his collegiate games. He likely slots in as an early down committee option in the NFL.
  • He’s nothing more than a check-down option in the passing game. Davis will leak out of the backfield and secure the occasional dump-off. His pass protection is suspect. Davis usually just attempts to chip at oncoming rushers. Unless his technique improves he won’t be a trusted passing-down option.

Player Comp: Thomas Rawls

Cody Schrader (Missouri)

Stats:

  • 2023 (minimum 100 carries, 20 targets)
    • Yards after contact per attempt: 95th
    • Breakaway percentage: 86th
    • PFF elusive rating: 106th
    • Yards per route run: 95th
  • 2022 (minimum 100 carries, 20 targets)
    • Yards after contact per attempt: 103rd
    • Breakaway percentage: 114th
    • PFF elusive rating: 125th
    • Yards per route run: 106th

Scouting report:

  • Schrader’s vision allows him to be scheme versatile. He quickly diagnoses lanes with inside zone runs and is adept at operating on stretch zone plays. Schrader’s lateral agility is underrated, which also plays into his prowess for outside zone. His burst is only adequate at best, though, which could limit his ability in the pros. To operate in the outside zone in the NFL he’ll need a very good offensive line, but he could have success with inside zone thanks to his vision and his tendency to get downhill immediately on those plays. Schrader compensates for lacking special burst by maximizing each run, thanks to his vision.
  • He has average burst and speed at the collegiate level — will have issues in the NFL. Schrader has a mild second gear but he lacks “shot-out-of-a-cannon” or “run-away-from-you” speed, which leads to plenty of runs where he’s caught from behind. This will only be more exacerbated against NFL talent. He’s very dependent upon his offensive line. He’ll get what’s blocked but not a ton after that. He cannot create a ton of yards for himself.
  • While not an imposing tackle breaker, Schrader can shed arm tackles or defenders that come at him high. He does so with an adequate-to-good leg drive. Schrader will flash the occasional spin move when a defender hits him high or a stiff arm — neither are go-to weapons in his tackle-breaking arsenal. There are plenty of reps where defenders square him up, though, and blow him out of his cleats.
  • Schrader has soft hands and displays some skills as a receiver. This is the untapped area of his game that could be expanded upon in the NFL. He wasn’t utilized creatively in college, with only check-downs and the occasional wheel route, but he has the foot skills to believe he could develop into a receiving weapon in the NFL. His pass protection abilities or struggles in this area could limit his usage on passing downs, though. Schrader has plenty of reps on tape where he squares up defenders and gets blown back. He is also not a max-effort guy with some reps where he merely attempts to chip a defender, which does nothing to impede the rusher’s path to the quarterback.
  • Schrader should find a home on an NFL roster/practice squad as a dependable player who will get every blade of grass blocked for him. His vision and solid overall game make him a dependable guy coaches will love.

Player Comp: Jalen Richard

Dylan Laube (New Hampshire)

Stats:

  • 2023 (all FBS/FCS RBs minimum 100 carries, 20 targets)
    • Yards after contact per attempt: 237th
    • Breakaway percentage: 150th
    • PFF elusive rating: 188th
    • Yards per route run: 11th
  • 2022 (all FBS/FCS RBs minimum 100 carries, 20 targets)
    • Yards after contact per attempt: 205th
    • Breakaway percentage: 87th
    • PFF elusive rating: 108th
    • Yards per route run: 53rd
  • Career
    • 197 collegiate targets
    • 1,654 receiving yards with 1.81 YPRR

Scouting report:

  • Laube has average burst. He’s more quick than fast but he gets up to top speed in a hurry. His quick feet and short-area agility are his strong suits as he is a one-speed runner. Solid jump cut and change of direction in the open field without losing much steam, but he gets caught from behind far too often.
  • His pass game usage will be his calling card in the NFL. In two of the last three seasons, he has had 14.1% and 16.8% snap rates in the slot/out wide. He ran a variety of routes in college to the occasional wheel to check downs and lined up outside and was even asked to run go routes.
  • Laube is a solid pass protector and should be able to carve out the passing-down role in a committee. He squares up defenders nicely and anchors well in pass protection. His leg strength shows up more here than it does when he is utilized as a rusher.

Player Comp: Duke Johnson

Jawhar Jordan (Louisville)

Stats:

  • 2023 (minimum 100 carries, 20 targets)
    • Yards after contact per attempt: 86th
    • Breakaway percentage: 31st
    • PFF elusive rating: 102nd
    • Yards per route run: 32nd
  • 2022 (minimum 100 carries, 20 targets)
    • Yards after contact per attempt: 57th
    • Breakaway percentage: 17th
    • PFF elusive rating: 64th
    • Yards per route run: 0.77* (only 11 targets)

Scouting report: (only one game of all-22 available)

  • Solid initial burst. Jordan gets up to top speed in a hurry. Get Jordan behind a solid offensive line with a stretch zone scheme and he could make some noise. Easy speed to consistently gain the edge. No hesitancy in getting downhill. Decisive linear runner. A future 49er or Dolphin.
  • Thin lower half. Not a pile mover. Upright rusher who lives and dies with his quickness and speed. Jordan’s speed is how he wins but it’s not an elite trump card that will allow him to outrun corners at the next level.

Player Comp: Akeem Hunt

Rasheen Ali (Marshall)

Stats:

  • 2023 (minimum 100 carries, 20 targets)
    • Yards after contact per attempt: 141st
    • Breakaway percentage: 20th
    • PFF elusive rating: 148th
    • Yards per route run: 82nd

*limited to three games in 2022*

  • 2021 (minimum 100 carries, 20 targets)
    • Yards after contact per attempt: 48th
    • Breakaway percentage: 58th
    • PFF elusive rating: 58th
    • Yards per route run: 63rd

Scouting report: (only one game of all-22 available)

  • Average burst. Ali hesitates at the line at times looking for a crease but he doesn’t have the extra zip to explode through the hole. He has solid feet and fluid change of direction but lacks the juice to drop it into second gear and fire into the second level of a defense.
  • Ali runs with a high pad level which makes him an easy wrap-up at times. He does have a tenacious leg drive which allows him to fight for extra yards.

Player Comp: Shaun Draughn

Emani Bailey (TCU)

Stats:

  • 2023 (minimum 100 carries, 20 targets)
    • Yards after contact per attempt: 41st
    • Breakaway percentage: 40th
    • PFF elusive rating: 24th
    • Yards per route run: 96th
  • 2021 (minimum 100 carries, 20 targets)
    • Yards after contact per attempt: 85th
    • Breakaway percentage: 106th
    • PFF elusive rating: 70th
    • Yards per route run: 1.70* (only 16 targets*)

Scouting report: (only one game of all-22 available)

  • Bailey runs like a mini Isiah Pacheco. He runs like an over-caffeinated hedgehog. Max effort at all times. Bailey wins with straight-line speed and operates best with inside zone or gap runs that allow him clear lane options and the ability to get upfield immediately.
  • His feet can get choppy at the line at times. His burst is adequate. Bailey’s low center of gravity, combined with his constantly churning legs, allows him to break arm tackles. However, he’ll never be confused as a pile pusher.
  • Soft hands but has a limited catch radius due to his size. Serviceable as a receiver but will likely never be his main calling card.

Player Comp: Kerwynn Williams

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