Analysis of 2024 Rookie Running Backs: Final Grades

Justin Taylor

This is the final edition of my rookie running back series for the 2024 NFL Draft.

Here is the grading system for this series. I have noted below my pre-draft grade and ranking and my post-draft grade and ranking for each running back as well as a bit about what I like or don’t like about where each player eventually got drafted and where they are going in rookie drafts.

Grading System:

  • A = Elite - Early to late first-round NFL pick
  • B = NFL starter Potential - Day two selection, second or third-round pick
  • C = RBBC, Needs an Opportunity - Day three selection, fourth or fifth-round pick
  • D = Backup or Specialty back – Day three selection, sixth or seventh-round pick
  • F = Bust/Longshot - Late pick or undrafted free agent

Trey Benson, RB ARI

Pre-Draft Grade/RB Rank – A- RB1

Post-Draft Grade/RB Rank – A- RB1

Benson was my RB1 coming into the NFL Draft, and he leaves as my RB1, barely. Benson was the second running back off of the board in April. Arizona took him with the second pick in the third round.

That is good draft capital and a nice landing spot with the Cardinals has me excited about Benson’s fantasy impact. He joins an Arizona offense that is starting to look dangerous with QB Kyler Murray, fellow rookie WR Marvin Harrison Jr (who was the number four pick in the draft), WR Zay Jones, TE Trey McBride, and RB James Conner.

Benson should start the season as RB2 behind Conner, but I could see a pretty decent split this season. Conner has missed eight games the last two seasons and has never played a full season in his seven-year career. He is also 29 years old and coming off his first 1,000-yard rushing season of his career.

I love this landing spot for Benson. Depending on your team build there are definitely some situations where I am taking him ahead of Brooks in rookie drafts. I just like the potential of the Cardinals’ offense versus the Panthers’ offense.

Benson has underrated hands and catches the ball well out of the backfield. I can see him stealing third-down work. Plus, he has the speed, 4.39 40-yard dash, to bust the big play. He is currently a steal at the beginning of the second round of rookie drafts.

Jonathon Brooks, RB CAR


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