This will be part 2 in a series of 13 as we breakdown the top 5 running backs in the upcoming 2024 NFL draft. Last off season, the Giants placed the franchised tag on running back Saquon Barkley, which translated into a 1-year deal for 2023. The Giants GM Joe Schoen could duplicate that game plan again this off season by placing the franchise tag on Barkley.
This could force a stalemate between the two sides, which could result in either Barkley moving on or perhaps the Giants offering another short term deal at a team friendly discount. Either way, the Giants might want to consider looking for a running back via free agent or in the upcoming draft.
- Jonathon Brooks (Texas) 6’0/202: Brooks has emerged as arguably the top running back with a solid second half in 2023 and finished with a stat line of 1139 yards/10TDS. Brooks has the ability to be a threat in both the running and passing game and could make a big play at any time on the field. Projected mid-Day 2.
- Trey Benson (Florida State) 6’1/225: Benson was often overlooked when the discussion of the best running backs in the country comes up. However, Benson is a lethal weapon for Florida State and compiled an impressive stat line of 905 yards/14 TDS in 2023. Benson possesses surprising speed and the ability to hit the hole quickly between the tackles. Benson has the size and strength to succeed in the NFL and can be a threat in the passing game as well. Projected mid to late Day 2.
- Blake Corum (Michian) 5’8/210: Corum had an outstanding season for Michigan with a stat line of 1028 yards/24 TDS. Michigan’s offensive style of grinding it out with a heavy dose of ball control on the ground provided Corum with ample opportunity for success. Corum compact frame and the ability to change direction on a dime enabled him to avoid initial contact, which led to big gains. Projected early Day 3.
- Ray Davis (Kentucky) 5’10/220: Davis has been flying under the radar a bit by the casual fan, but make no mistake he is highly converted by many NFL teams looking for a plug and play running back in 2024. Davis is a dual threat amassing 1129 rushing yards with 14 TDS while also contributing in the passing game with 33 receptions for 323 yards. Projected late Day 3.
- Audric Estime (Notre Dame) 5’11/227: Estime is a pure power back with above average speed (4.48) as he excels between the tackles. Estime had a solid year in 2023 (1341 yards/18 TDS) and had a high yardage rate after first contact and displays reliable hands to be featured in the passing game. Projected late Day 3.
I don’t project a running back taken in RD1 and possibly not early on Day 2. Despite this, I do believe there is talent at the running back position in this draft. The Giants might be looking groom a young running back if they need to move on from Saquon Barkley or franchised tagged him for the 2024 season
Keep an eye out for part 3 as I list my Top 5 Wide Receivers.