2024 NFL Draft: The top 20 running back prospects for the Chiefs

The 2024 NFL Draft is about a month away and the Kansas City Chiefs could still use a running back. Here are the top 20 prospects they should consider.

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The 2024 NFL Draft is now almost exactly a month away. With the NFL combine in the rearview mirror and the NFL's initial free agent signing frenzy having died down the real lead-up to the draft is upon us. While the Kansas City Chiefs may make a few more free-agent signings that could impact their draft needs (especially now that they have $20M in cap space after the L'Jarius Sneed trade), we have a pretty good idea of what positions they will likely target at some point in the draft. One of those positions is running back.

The Chiefs running back need hasn't been a big topic of conversation this offseason because their top running back, Isiah Pacheco, is returning for his third season in KC. The former 7th-round pick has two years remaining on his rookie deal and looks poised for another productive season for the Chiefs. However, the rest of the running back depth chart is void of anything resembling a reliable second or complimentary option.

The Chiefs have four other running backs under contract: La'Mical Perine, Keaontay Ingram, Deneric Prince, and Hassan Hall. Perine and Ingram both have limited NFL experience, but neither could earn a role with the teams that drafted them. Prince and Hall are both undrafted players that have never seen a carry in the NFL.

While one of those four could potentially earn the #3 running back job in training camp, the Chiefs still need a better option to be the primary backup for Pacheco and a third down back.

Why does drafting a running back make sense for the Kansas City Chiefs?

The NFL has moved to a model where rookie running back deals are viewed as the best way to build around the position. So not only do the Chiefs need some reliable options behind Pacheco for this coming season, but they should already be looking for the next feature back to turn the backfield over to when Pacheco's rookie deal is up after two more seasons. Plus, with Pacheco's slight frame and violent running style, it's certainly possible that their running back depth could be called upon to do more than just fill out a rotation if an injury should occur.

The 2024 NFL running back class is short on elite backs, but there are plenty of backs in this class that can earn a starting running back job or fill important roles as part of a running back committee. There isn't a back in this class that should be drafted in the first round, but there are some pretty intriguing day two options.

I've decided to break this post into the following tiers: day two options, early day three options, late day three options, and undrafted free agent targets. I have the running backs ranked in the order that I think they should be drafted. I feel pretty set in what tier each running back belongs in, but I will acknowledge that the order the backs should be in within each tier is probably more a matter of preference.

So let's start things off with the best options in this class.