Tuesday’s reveal of the 2024 ‘s full 32-player five-star field noticeably excluded the running back position. This was due to the devaluation of the position in the NFL Draft, as elite running backs such as Najee Harris or this year’s No. 1 back Bijan Robinson see their draft position slide the closer the event approaches.
The three backs in the top 50 are Jerrick Gibson, Taylor Tatum, and Jason Brown. Gibson and Tatum share two important and recent attributes: both weighed 200-plus pounds and both tested very well in a combined setting within the past few weeks.
Working in Tatum’s favor is a three-sport profile, a college-caliber baseball player, and the aforementioned verified combine athleticism. Gibson retains RB1, while Tatum is right on his heels.
Kameron Davis, James Peoples, and Dwight Phillips Jr. are all potential Round 2 to Round 3 prospects in the 2024 running back class. Davis has impressed on the 7-on-7 circuit in his pass-catching ability and is similar in on-paper measurables to Gibson and Tatum with all being in the 5-9 to 5-11, 200-pound neighborhood.
Peoples is a true track burner with hurdles and long jumps on his athletic ledger, while Phillips is a second-level move-stringer whose downfield creativity combines with above-average top-end speed. Additionally, there are several smaller-statured, track-verified speedsters such as Phillips, Caden Durham, Jordan Washington, and Nate Frazier.
Jeremy Payne is a smaller-sized back with consistent big-play ability, while Kevin Riley, Dilin Jones, and Peyton Lewis are potential risers from the Round 4 range into future top 100 lists. Riley and Jones are two of the more natural runners in the class, and Lewis is right there with them.
The 2024 running back group does not lack in bona fide speed and athleticism, and it provides a few top-tier backs who possess top 32 upsides. Some have said this is a down cycle for running backs, but that should not take away from the running backs in the update.
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