Skip to main content

Get to Know Running Backs in This Year's Draft

Michigan running back Blake Corum is tackled by Washington cornerback Elijah Jackson during the second half of the national championship NCAA College Football Playoff game Monday, Jan. 8, 2024, in Houston.
Michigan running back Blake Corum is tackled by Washington cornerback Elijah Jackson during the second half of the national championship NCAA College Football Playoff game Monday, Jan. 8, 2024, in Houston.

The Ravens made one of the NFL's biggest offseason moves when they signed Derrick Henry in free agency. No running back has run for more yards (9,502) than Henry since he entered the league in 2016.

However, General Manager Eric DeCosta said Baltimore is still likely to select a running back in the draft, most likely on Day 3.

"There are no top-tier, first-round, necessarily, type talents this year," DeCosta said. "That being said, there are a lot of guys – if you are looking at the prospects in maybe the second, third or fourth round – there are a lot of those guys, particularly [in] third-, fourth- [or] fifth-round clumps. So we've looked at those guys very closely. We're excited about some of those players. There is probably a pretty strong chance that we will draft a running back at some point."

Here are 10 draft prospects who may be on Baltimore's radar:

Braelon Allen, Wisconsin

2023 stats: 11 games, 984 yards,12 touchdowns

Why he may fit: Standing in at 6-foot, 235 pounds Allen is a bruising runner who does most of his damage between the tackles. He has deceptive speed, but breaking tackles is his bread and butter. He scored at least 11 rushing touchdowns in three college seasons and is excellent picking up tough yards. The Ravens may feel less compelled to take Allen after acquiring Henry. If they're looking for another powerful back to spell Henry, Allen could be that guy.

Trey Benson, Florida State

2023 stats: 13 games, 906 yards,14 touchdowns

Why he may fit: The 6-foot, 216-pound Benson is a load for defenders to bring down, running with power and a low center of gravity. He also had the highest pass-blocking grade (84.6) in the running back draft class, according to Pro Football Focus. After returning from a major knee injury during his freshman year at Oregon, Benson has rushed for over 900 yards the past two seasons and could be a solid Day 2 or 3 selection.

Jonathon Brooks, Texas

2023 stats:11 games, 1,139 yards, 10 touchdowns

Why he may fit: Combining power with elusiveness, Brooks was one of the country's top running backs until suffering a season-ending torn ACL on Nov. 12. He didn't work out at the Combine or at Texas' pro day, but he started running in February and expects to be ready for training camp. Brooks could give the Ravens another talented young back with explosiveness.

Blake Corum, Michigan

2023 stats: 15 games, 1,245 yards, 27 touchdowns

Why he may fit: Corum displayed quick feet, excellent vision and explosiveness to help the Wolverines win a national championship. The Ravens are familiar with players who played at Michigan for new Chargers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, brother of Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh. Corum was Michigan's bell-cow running back the past three years, amassing a whopping 56 rushing touchdowns. His ability to slither through holes and bounce outside could be a nice addition to Baltimore's backfield.

Audric Estime, Notre Dame

2023 stats: 12 games, 1,341 yards, 18 touchdowns

Why he may fit: During his Combine press conference, Estime said he met with the Ravens and talked enthusiastically about the possibility of playing with Lamar Jackson. Estime doesn't turn 21 years old until September, so it's unlikely he's reached his full potential. He's powerfully built at 5-11, 221 pounds and would give the Ravens another power back with the potential to wear down defenses.

George Holani, Boise State

2023 stats: 8 games, 748 yards, 7 touchdowns

Why he may fit: Holani is a decisive one-cut runner and caught 88 passes during his college career as an effective target out of the backfield. Nagging injuries have plagued Holani, but he's been productive when healthy. The Ravens may view him as a potential third-down receiving back who could also contribute on special teams.

Bucky Irving, Oregon

2023 stats: 14 games, 1,180 yards, 11 touchdowns, 56 catches for 413 yards

Why he may fit: In addition to being an elusive runner, Irving offers a dual threat as an effective pass-catching back. Teams may worry about his ability to handle a heavy workload in the NFL, but the Ravens have been using a running back by committee approach, which could help Irving be an effective back in their offense.

Dylan Laube, New Hampshire

2023 stats: 10 games, 793 yards, 9 touchdowns

Why he may fit: Laube stood out against prospects from bigger schools with a strong performance at the Senior Bowl. He had 1,743 receiving yards during his career, more than many wide receivers who will be drafted. He's a multi-purpose back who can contribute immediately on special teams.

MarShawn Lloyd, USC

2023 stats: 11 games, 820 yards, 9 touchdowns

Why he may fit: Averaging 7.1 yards per carry, Lloyd made the most of his opportunities in a pass-heavy attack. He showed excellent vision and was a threat catching passes out of the backfield. Lloyd was solid as a pass-protector picking up blitzes, something that young running backs often struggle with. He's a Day 3 running back who looks prepared to transition into the NFL.

Jaylen Wright, Tennessee

2023 stats: 12 games, 1013 yards, 4 touchdowns

Why he may fit: Wright ran the second-fastest 40 among running backs at the Combine (4.38), confirming his breakaway speed. He was part of a running back committee with Tennessee and he's only 20 years old, so he hasn't been overworked. If he's still on the board in at No. 93 in Round 3, he could be tough to pass up.

Related Content