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.

Northwestern v Wisconsin
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Late Day Three Running Back Prospects

If you look at enough running back rankings for the 2024 NFL draft you'll see several of the following names predicted to go higher than rounds six or seven. That may very well be the case for some of these guys.

While I like some things about them, there are enough question marks or limitations that I would prefer to see which ones slide to the later rounds. Will they all slide? No, but my guess is that at least a couple of them will and I'll take the value there as opposed to taking any of these guys in round five (or higher).

10. Audric Estime - Notre Dame - 5-11, 221 pounds

Audric Estime could have a great NFL career if he lands in the right situation. Estime is a two-down between the tackles back. He's great at that, but he doesn't have big-play speed (4.71 forty) and he doesn't offer much at all as a pass catcher. That's why I don't think he makes sense as a mid-round pick for the Chiefs.

If a team with a less reliable quarterback needs a back to pound up the middle 20 times per game, Estime could make a lot of sense. I just think the Chiefs would prefer someone with either a little more big play upside or someone who could play on passing downs. That having been said, if his slow 40-yard dash time pushes him into the seventh round, he could absolutely provide early down insurance as a runner if Pacheco were to miss time or could spell him on early downs if KC wanted to keep Pacheco fresh.

11. Ray Davis - Kentucky - 5-8, 211 pounds

I really liked watching Ray Davis' tape. He runs hard and has good vision and patience. He's just a little small to be a featured back at the NFL level. I know he weighed in at 211 pounds, but he looks smaller on tape. He has good hands and may be able to be a third-down back at the NFL level. He has decent speed and burst, but not elite. He gives good effort in pass protection, but his size does cause him to get overpowered at times. He's a fun back that I will be pulling for, but I have enough questions that I'd rather wait and see if he falls to where he's a great value than reach on him in the middle rounds.

12. Isaac Guerendo - Louisville - 6-0, 221 pounds

When you see that Isaac Guerendo is 6-foot and 221 pounds and ran a 4.33-second time in the 40-yard dash at the Combine, it's easy to start thinking you should jump on this guy much earlier than I have him here. In fact, his entire athletic profile is through the roof. His 9.99 RAS is the second-best of all time going back to 1987.

So why in the world wouldn't I jump on him in the middle rounds? My answer: The tape. If you just watch a highlight reel of Guerendo, you'll see long runs where that 4.33 speed shows up and he looks like a runaway freight train. It's awesome. The problem is that he doesn't get to show that off very often because of his running style. He runs leaning over forward with his weight out in front of his feet. That keeps him from accelerating right away and on contact he falls forward, which is better than getting knocked back, but at 221 pounds you'd like to see him run through more tackles.

Guerendo was a Combine star, but not an on-the-field one and while there's a big upside there if you can completely coach his running style out of him, I wouldn't reach too high for the right to do that.

13. Dillon Johnson - Washington - 6-0, 217 pounds

Dillon Johnson is another back that some people are much higher on than me. Johnson is an incredibly tough runner between the tackles, but he has some injury history and questionable athletic upside. While he has good size and runs hard I don't see him running over NFL defenders and he lacks the explosion and top speed to run away from them. He is an experienced pass catcher, but I would put him behind guys like Irving and Shipley in that area. He's a decent pass protector, but I don't think he's great there either.

While I respect Johnson's toughness and think his feet are good enough to stick in the NFL for a while, I just don't see anything more than a low-ceiling backup and spot starter at the NFL level and that's not something I'm looking to draft before the late rounds.

14. Isaiah Davis - South Dakota State - 6-0, 218 pounds

If the Chiefs want to draft a reliable between-the-tackles back with the size and power to hold up to the punishment that comes with that role, Isaiah Davis would be the perfect late-round option. While Audric Estime may have the bigger name and pedigree, I'm not sure he's going to be that much more successful in the NFL than Davis. So if someone wants to reach on Estime in the mid-rounds and Davis falls to the Chiefs later in the draft, that would be just fine. Davis doesn't have a lot of pass-catching upside, but he's one of the more underrated between-the-tackles runners in this class.

15. Kimani Vidal - Troy - 5-8, 213 pounds

If the Chiefs miss out on Ray Davis but want another short back with a nice burst, Kimani Vidal would make a great late-round pick. Vidal had a great NFL Combine, and while I don't know that he's cut out to be an every-down back in the NFL, he has some big play upside if you can get him in space. He could be a nice piece in a rotation.

Vidal can catch the ball, but I do have some concerns about his pass protection that would keep him from being a true 3rd down back early on. Still, if you're looking for a late-round sleeper with a little juice, Vidal is an interesting option.

16. Jase McClellan - Alabama - 5-10, 221 pounds

Jase McClellan is kind of a jack of all trades, but a master of none. He's a guy that you wouldn't draft to be a feature back but could back up several roles as part of a rotation. I can even see a situation where a starter goes down and McClellan fills in nicely for a while. Is he super fast? No. Is he a bruiser between the tackles? No. Is he such a good pass catcher that you want to draft him specifically as a 3rd down back? No, but you could do a lot worse than having McClellan as your 3rd running back on the roster, using him to fill in wherever you need him.

Finally, if you haven't seen your favorite sleeper back yet, I've got four more guys I would prioritize as undrafted free agents if they don't get drafted.