2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Will Shipley
Last Updated: 8/8/2023
Will Shipley is a versatile running back ascending to stardom for the Tigers, with over 2,200 yards and 26 touchdowns from scrimmage in his first two seasons. His 1,182 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns in 2022 were both second in the ACC.
Shipley is a dynamic playmaker who can contribute in both the passing game and the ground game. As a runner, Shipley is best when he gets his shoulders square to the line of scrimmage and gets going north and south. He does this often and presses the hole quickly and viciously. He leans on his physicality and strength, but it works for him, in large part due to his constantly good pad level at the point of contact. His ability to bounce off initial contact should not be overlooked as well, he is constantly falling forward or spinning off the tackler to get the yardage needed.
On the flip side, he leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to lateral mobility and top-end speed. He has nimble feet and can manipulate a defender's leverage to make them miss, but he can not regularly make tacklers miss with much creativity or a juke move. He regularly loses one-on-one open-field battles as a result. His speed will not break any world records, but he is a quick mover who can make a defense pay if they miss a tackle or assignment.
Maybe his best trait is his hands, he is sure-handed and can catch the ball in an array of ways. He seamlessly transitions from a receiver to a runner allowing him to create a generous number of yards after the catch. It is almost impossible to stop him for no gain on the famous Clemson swing pass. Now, he has some route exposure but could definitely benefit from some more this year.
- Powerful runner who runs behind his pads
- Great pass catcher
- Versatile playmaker
- Constantly falling forward and bouncing off contact
- Lacks track speed
- Lateral mobility
- First player in ACC history to earn first-team All-Conference honors at three different positions, collecting first-team honors in the running back, all-purpose and specialist categories
- Finalist for the Paul Hornung Award, given annually to the nation’s most versatile player
- First-team All-ACC as a running back and all-purpose selection according to the Associated Press
- Second-team All-ACC running back selection by Pro Football Focus and College Football Network
- Blanchard-Rogers Trophy finalist
- Named ESPN’s 40th-best player in college football for 2022
- CSC Second-Team Academic All-American (First Clemson player since 2012)
- Second-team Freshman All-American according to The Athletic (2021)
- 40-yard dash: TBD
- Vertical: TBD
- Broad Jump: TBD
- Three-cone: TBD
- Shuttle: TBD
- Bench: TBD
- Passing-down back with upside
- Gap/Interior Zone
Will Shipley will likely make his money as a pass catcher or change-of-pace back in a committee, limiting his fantasy ceiling. Now, these types of players have succeeded in the past, but he feels more likely to be a RB3-4 on your roster who gives you a few scattered boom weeks. If we see an improvement this year, he could potential elevate some, but consistent numbers in the RB1-2 range don’t seem to be in his future.
From a devy perspective, the story changes drastically. He becomes a must roster and maybe the most consistent asset on your college roster. He is a consistent producer for Clemson, and with a new quarterback under center I expect them to lean on Shipley even more in his junior year.