2024 NFL Scouting Combine: Running Backs and Wide Receivers to Watch

Last week, the NFL announced its official list of invitees for the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine. Next week, 321 NFL hopefuls will descend upon Indianapolis in hopes of impressing NFL scouts and coaches enough to hear their name called on draft day come April.

It's no secret that the combine is only a small part of the NFL Draft process, but it makes for a fun week for analysts who like to tie college production metrics to athleticism to see who may or may not have what it takes to excel at the NFL level.

To get us prepped for next week's combine, I wanted to take a look at some participants at fantasy-relevant positions who we could find ourselves targeting later this summer. I recently touched on this year’s quarterbacks and tight ends, and will be highlight some running backs and wide receivers in this article.

A look at the complete list of running backs and tight end prospects participating in this year's combine can be found below, courtesy of, which I linked to at the beginning of the article.

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There are a lot of intriguing prospects at running back and receiver this year, more than what I can rationally cover here. With that said, here's a look at some of the top names to know and a few guys who have drawn my interest in recent weeks.

Running Backs

Blake Corum, Michigan

Michigan's Blake Corum enters the draft as one of the more decorated backs. The four-year prospect closed out his career with a national championship win over Washington, where he rushed 21 times for 134 yards and two touchdowns on his way to a victory.

Despite the strong showing and a college resumé that's loaded with 3,780 rushing yards and 58 scores, Corum doesn't come without his concerns. For starters, Corum averaged only 3.08 YCO/ATT for his career and 2.42 YCO/ATT in his final season. This could be due to the torn meniscus that he suffered late in 2022, as several key metrics took a hit in 2023.

The 4.8 YPC Corum averaged last season was his worst since his freshman year, and he managed just 13 breakaway runs after ripping off 22 runs of 15-plus yards in the previous season. His career missed tackles forced rate of 23 percent is fine but far from elite.

He managed 55 receptions over four seasons but offered little as a receiver overall. His 7.4 YPR ranks 150th amongst the last five running back classes, and he has sometimes struggled as a pass blocker. In his final season, he earned a PFF pass block grade of 54.3.

He's expected to test moderately well at the combine, but Corum could see a slight boost in his draft stock if he can surprise in a few areas.

Jaylen Wright, Tennessee

Jaylen Wright is a true early-declare who spent three seasons at Tennessee after joining them as a three-star prospect. Wright showed steady improvement every season and topped out with a rushing line of 136-1,010-4 in 2023 while averaging an impressive 7.4 YPC and 4.35 YCO/ATT.

Considered by many to be the fastest running back at the combine, Wright was the 24th-ranked athletic "freak" on Bruce Feldman's 2022 College Football Freaks List. He reportedly hit 23.6 MPH in practice ahead of the 2022 season and posted a 44-inch vertical jump, which would have tied for the highest jump of any position player at last year's combine.

Wright's 2023 breakout featured an impressive 14 percent breakaway run rate, which ranked fifth amongst 157 qualified FBS running backs (min. 100 carries). His 31.6 percent missed tackles forced rate ranked 21st of the group.

Wright caught 30-of-34 targets in college but averaged an underwhelming 5.7 YPR for his career. We see few running backs at the pro level who averaged fewer than 6.0 YPR emerge as receiving threats at the NFL level, but guys like Isiah Pacheco, who also has top-end speed, have somewhat proven to be the exception. However, Pacheco managed just 5.5 YPR on 44 receptions last season with the Chiefs.

Earning a solid 72.6 pass block grade, Wright will be able to earn snaps on passing downs, which could translate to more targets. For what it's worth, he was targeted on 24 percent of his routes in his final season. Wright couldn’t participate in the Senior Bowl due to an injury but is expected to be fully healthy come combine time.

Audric Estime, Notre Dame

Audric Estime is one of my favorite backs in this year's class. Listed as 5-foot-11, 227 pounds, Estime has the ideal size for an early-down grinder and has the production profile to boot.

In three seasons at Notre Dame, Estime earned a PFF rush grade of 95.3 and ran for 376-2,325-39 while averaging 6.2 YPC. His 28 percent MTF rate ranks 46th amongst running backs in the last five draft classes, while his 4.03 YCO/ATT is good for 20th. Not one to be denied yards on any attempt, Estime saw only 10.9 percent of his go for zero or negative yards throughout his career, boasting one of the better stuff rates in recent memory.

Estime managed only 26 receptions in college but caught every target sent his way and turned them into 227 yards and one touchdown while averaging 10.7 YPC. The jury is still somewhat out on him as a receiver, but he was targeted a career-high 17 times in his final season and had two four-catch performances on the year.

When it comes to the combine, Estime has a chance to look like a size/speed specimen. For a player of his size, Estime looks surprisingly fast at times and almost hit 21 MPH on an 80-yard touchdown run last season against NC State. He should find a role in the NFL as an early-down and goal-line back.

Braelon Allen, Wisconsin

Braelon Allen appeared to be on a sky-high trajectory in his freshman season at Wisconsin. After enrolling in college early, Allen was a 17-year-old true freshman and rushed for an impressive 1,258 yards and 12 touchdowns while averaging 4.48 YCO/ATT.

Unfortunately for Allen, his per-carry numbers dipped over the last two seasons, as he averaged just 5.4 YPC. For a player of his size (6'2/245), Allen didn't break nearly as many tackles as we'd expect, posting an MTF rate of just 24.3 percent for his career. He also averaged just 3.29 YCO/ATT over his final two seasons.

While he struggled at times to break tackles, you don't have to watch too much tape to see that Allen is a physical runner who attempts to utilize his massive size every chance he gets. He's expected to offer little on passing downs, but a respectable combine performance will be enough to entice teams in need of more physicality in the running game.

MarShawn Lloyd, USC

MarShawn Lloyd's single-season rushing yard total topped out at 816 last season at USC. The former South Carolina Gamecock spent one season with the Trojans after transferring ahead of the 2023 season, but Lloyd led all Trojans running backs with 115 carries and averaged a solid 7.1 YPC in his final season.

His 3.97 YCO/ATT and 40.9 percent MTF rate in 2023 are also impressively high marks. Lloyd forced a missed tackle on 32.9 percent of his carries for his career, boasting one of the best MTF rates in recent memory. For some perspective, Bijan Robinson, Javonte Williams, Kenneth Walker, and Travis Etienne also had an MTF rate of 32 percent or higher during their college careers.

As a receiver, Lloyd averaged an impressive 12.9 YPR. Amongst running backs drafted since 2020, only Bijan Robinson had a higher YPR (13.4) for his college career. Lloyd has struggled to show consistency as a pass-blocker, which could prove problematic for him early on, but teams will want to find ways to get him on the field as a dual threat.

At 5-foot-9, 217 pounds, Lloyd's size shouldn't concern scouts. He has multiple plays where he looks like he was shot out of a cannon and has a breakaway run rate of 11.4 percent, which ranks 15th amongst the last five draft classes.

For all the great things we can say about Lloyd, we can't overlook his 21.6 percent stuff rate, which ranks as the 22nd highest mark amongst recent running back prospects. However, it's worth noting that Lloyd never played with an offensive line that graded any higher than 65.2 as a run-blocking unit per PFF. Lloyd had a stuff rate of just 15.3 percent in his final season at USC.

Isaiah Davis, South Dakota State

It wouldn't be a running back combine article without mentioning a running back from South Dakota State. We tried this with Pierre Strong back in 2022, after Strong tallied up more than 4,500 rushing yards and 40 touchdowns over four seasons with the Jackrabbits, but fourth-round draft capital and a trade to the Browns ahead of the 2023 season have all but rendered Strong obsolete at this point in his NFL career.

Now we're hopping back in the saddle with Isaiah Davis, who, like Strong, rushed for more than 4,500 yards in his career and found the end zone 50 times. Davis averaged an impressive 4.26 YCO/ATT for his career and forced a missed tackle on an absurd 30.3 percent of his rush attempts. If it weren't for his lack of FBS pedigree, scouts and draft analysts would be talking about Davis in a completely different light.

Late Round's J.J. Zachariason had high praise for Davis earlier this month, citing James Robinson and Tyler Allgeier as two early comps in his prospect model — two players who saw plenty of fantasy success early in their pro careers.

Davis is a workhorse back who averaged 16.8 carries per game over his final two seasons. He also sprinkled in 44 receptions over that span. Assuming he doesn't blow people away at the combine, Davis is likely closer to a Day 3 pick but could go early on Day 3, adding to his fantasy intrigue.

Wide Receivers

Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State

What's there to say about Marvin Harrison Jr. at this stage in the game? The son of NFL hall of famer Marvin Harrison, Junior saw limited action as a true freshman at Ohio State due to the likes of Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, and Jaxon Smith-Njigba already being veteran producers on the roster. However, in the Buckeye's 48-45 Rose Bowl win against Utah, Harrison stepped in to replace Wilson/Olave, who had opted out of the game and turned in a 6-71-3 effort in his first significant action.

At 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, Harrison has coveted size for a receiver and used that height to haul in 48.5 percent of his contested targets. He also averaged 16.8 YPR for his career and was targeted on 30.1 percent of his routes. He's just one of 14 receivers to have a TPRR of 30 percent or higher over the last three years, and among that specific group, he has the highest career YPR and fourth-highest aDOT (13.9).

Harrison is more or less locked in as the class's WR1. Scouts and analysts will want to see a strong showing from him at the combine, but how he performs shouldn't move the needle much in either direction.

Malik Nabers, LSU

LSU continues to churn out high-end wide receiver prospects and has two more receivers in this year's class. If not for Marvin Harrison coming out this year, we'd likely be talking about Malik Nabers as the locked-in WR1 for the class. Nabers' career 15.8 YPR and 2.73 YPRR rank just below Harrison's, while his 6.6 YAC/REC tops Harrison and ranks in the top 40 of the last three draft classes.

Nabers' elite play after the catch also pops in the missed tackles department, as his 30.4 percent MTF rate is good for third-best amongst receiver prospects since 2022, and his 48.2 percent contested catch rate also rivals Harrison.

When it comes to versatility, Nabers can line up all over the field. He played 53.6 percent of his receiving snaps in the slot last season and has a 56.8 percent slot rate for his career but remained elite on the outside. Per PFF, Nabers caught 78-of-129 targets for 1,148 yards and three touchdowns when lined up outside, averaging 14.7 YPR as an outside receiver.

An explosive receiver and savvy route runner who's a clear mismatch for opposing defenders, Nabers will be an immediate contributor the moment he steps on an NFL field.

Rome Odunze, Washington

At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Rome Odunze is another prototypical outside receiver. He played 75.4 percent of his snaps on the outside and amassed 167 receptions for 2,784 yards and 20 touchdowns over his final two seasons. Odunze caught 21-of-28 contested targets in his final season, good for a 75 percent conversion rate.

Odunze doesn't look like the most explosive receiver on the field, but his ball-tracking skills and ability to adjust late to secure the pass are plus traits to his game.

After the catch, Odunze posted an above-average 5.2 YAC/REC for his career and forced a missed tackle on 15.3 percent of his receptions. While he's not Marvin Harrison Jr. or Malik Nabers, Odunze's smooth route running and ability to win contested balls will make him a valuable asset for whichever team drafts him.

Brian Thomas Jr., LSU

LSU's Brian Thomas is another tall, big-framed receiver set to join the NFL ranks in 2024 after he declared for the draft following three seasons in the Bayou. Thomas managed just 59 receptions for 720 yards and seven touchdowns in his first two seasons but broke out for 68-1,177-17 last season, averaging 17.3 YPR on a 13.9 aDOT.

Drops have been a concern for Thomas, who has a 9.3 percent drop rate for his career, but he also proved lethal as a field stretcher. His 670 receiving yards on just 22 deep targets (min. 20 targets) ranked second only to Rome Odunze. His 99.9 PFF receiving grade on said targets tied for tops in the nation.

Despite his size (6'4/205), Thomas is expected to turn in a strong combine and should impress in the 40-yard dash. A true field stretcher who can burn past defenders and win the contested target (47.2 contested catch rate), Thomas is flirting with the possibility of being a mid-to-late first-round selection in April's draft. He could lock in first-round draft capital with a strong showing next week.

Troy Franklin, Oregon

Oregon's Troy Franklin is declared after his third season with the Ducks, in which he totaled 81 receptions for 1,383 yards and 14 touchdowns while averaging 17.1 YPR. Franklin showed steady improvement in every season and boasts a respectable 2.58 YPRR for his career and was targeted on 26.4 percent of his routes.

Franklin flashes on deep balls, catching 23-of-40 deep attempts over the last two years for 917 yards and 10 touchdowns, but he's also been prone to drops, as evidenced by his eight percent drop rate.

At 6-foot-3, Franklin has height to spare, but his 180-pound frame is cause for some concern. With that said, we've seen receivers with similar profiles find success in recent years, and Franklin can probably add some good weight post-draft.

Johnny Wilson, Florida State

Sticking with the theme of tall receivers, you won't find any taller than Florida State's Johnny Wilson. Listed as 6-foot-7, 237 pounds on the team's site, Wilson has a truly rare size. According to the RotoViz Screener Tool, since 2000, there have been only 38 offensive skill position players (RB/WR/TE) who have measured 6-foot-7 or taller.

For a player of such size, one would assume Wilson spent years dominating on the outside at the college level, but this was far from the case. In his final season at FSU, Wilson totaled 41 receptions for 617 yards and two touchdowns and caught only 40.9 percent of his contested targets.

That said, Wilson is billed as a decent route runner and led all receivers in YPRR (3.36) in 2022.

Whether or not Wilson sticks at receiver is to be determined, as some have suggested he could be the latest iteration of Darren Waller. For those who forget, Waller entered the league as a wide receiver with the Ravens in 2015 and converted to tight end the following season. When he finally had a chance to shine with the Raiders in 2019, Waller immediately erupted for 90-1,145-3 and was among the most explosive tight ends in the league.

Wilson's size and athleticism will make him a fun player to watch at the combine, but how teams view him after the fact will also make for an interesting discussion.

Isaiah Williams, Illinois

Isaiah Williams spent five seasons at Illinois but didn't begin playing receiver until his third season. Initially recruited as a quarterback, Williams immediately stepped in and impressed as a receiver in 2021, going for 47-525-4 while earning a 30 percent college dominator rating. He would go on to have another 30 dominator rating in 2022 while going for 82-743-5 in 2022 and eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark in 2023 while earning a 24 percent dominator.

Williams' abilities after the catch are a sight to behold. His highlight reel is chock full of missed/broken tackles and yards after the catch. Looking at how his missed tackle rate compares to the last three classes, Williams' 29.4 percent MTF rate ranks fifth.

Williams is listed as 5'10/185 and will likely spend most of his time in the slot. For his career, he saw 74.2 percent of his snaps lined up as a slot receiver, but over his final two seasons he boasts an 82.2 percent slot rate.

A career 6.7 aDOT for Williams is concerning, but some of that could be attributed to Illinois' poor quarterback play in recent years. He had saw a career-high 8.5 aDOT in 2023 in a year where the Illini ranked 83rd in the nation in scoring — their highest ranking since 2019 when they ranked 79th.

Williams is one of three receivers in this year's class to have been targeted on at least 30 percent of his routes run. How he tests could factor into whether or not he draws enough draft capital to make an early impact as a pro as a shifty slot receiver.