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Draft on Tap

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Draft on Tap: Assessing five running back prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft

The Browns could bring in young running back to develop under current running back room

Draft on Tap RBs

The NFL Draft is just days away – with the first round set to take place on Thursday – so to wrap up our position assessments, let's take a look at the running backs.

The Browns' running back room is anchored by star Nick Chubb, who continues to rehab from his season-ending knee injury that he endured in Week 2 of the 2023 season. Jerome Ford stepped into a more prominent role in 2023 and established his role in the run game as the featured back in Chubb's absence. Pierre Strong Jr. also carved out a role as a backup option that the Browns relied on throughout different points of the season. They all return for the 2024 season as key players in that room.

Then, during free agency, the Browns added more depth to the running back room, as they signed Nyheim Hines and D'Onta Foreman. However, the Browns could use a pick on Day 3 to add a young player they can develop with their current running backs.

Trey Benson could be that one of those young players who fits that category. He finished his collegiate career at Florida State rushing for 1,918 yards and 24 touchdowns on 316 carries, as well as 371 receiving yards and one touchdown on 33 receptions. He has a solid level of athleticism to his game, as well as some talent as a pass catcher. At the combine, Benson ranked third among running backs with an athleticism score of 88.

Jase McClellan played all four seasons at Alabama and finished his collegiate career with 355 carries for 1,981 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns. He also added 40 receptions for 409 yards and six receiving touchdowns. McClellan has a strong vision and is an instinctive runner who can extend runs through contact.

South Dakota State's Isaiah Davis follows his blocks well as an inside or outside runner and can break tackles to create additional yards on plays. He finished his collegiate career rushing for 4,548 yards and 50 touchdowns on 676 carries. He also recorded 53 receptions for 487 receiving yards and one touchdown in four seasons. Davis had his best season in 2023 when he rushed for 1,578 yards on 236 carries and 18 touchdowns.

Here's a look at the top prospects for running back that could be potential fits for the Browns.

NFL Network's Cynthia Frelund highlighted two other prospects in the latest episode of Draft on Tap in Tennessee's Jaylen Wright and Notre Dame's Audric Estimé.

In his three seasons at Tennessee, Wright recorded 368 carries for 2,297 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns, as well as 30 receptions for 171 receiving yards. Wright rushed for over 1,000 yards in his senior season at Tennessee.

"Jaylen Wright from Tennessee managed to earn an explosive run – that's one that netted the balls at least 10 yards – on 25.4 percent of his attempts last season," Frelund said. "That's ridiculous for a guy with 137 attempts and over 1,000 yards. Think of 10 percent as very good. He also has pass-catching upside and ran a 4.38 40-yard dash at the combine."

Estimé finished his three seasons at Notre Dame with 373 carries for 2,321 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns, as well as 26 receptions for 277 yards and one receiving touchdown.

"Speaking of upside, Audric Estimé from Notre Dame has a lot of it," Frelund said. "Especially in situations where he can leverage his power. One metric that translates well from the NCAA level to NFL level is what happens to a back when contact is made – especially head on. Estimé keeps his center of gravity intact, keeps his feet moving and does not let go of the ball. He also rated as above average in my coach survey of pass pro production."

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