The Reese’s Senior Bowl arrives next week, with practices starting Tuesday and running until Saturday’s game. Over the past few seasons, we have seen some of the best talents in the draft go through Mobile, this year they gave juniors eligibility to attend the game opening up the talent pool. This will allow them to get one-on-one time with NFL coaching staff and personnel to help boost their draft stock. Over the next few days, I’ll preview some of the top names at the skill positions at this year’s event, continuing below with running backs.

 

This is arguably one of the weaker running back classes in years, but that makes these Senior Bowl players that much more intriguing. Traditionally these guys would be fighting to make a roster more than becoming top-tier assets, but this year is a bit different — some of these players may jump into an important fantasy tier. We won't see the premier names like Trey Benson, Braelon Allen or Blake Corum, but we are going to be treated to some very good second-tier players.

(Check out the other Senior Bowl position previews: QB | WR | TE)

MarShawn Lloyd, USC

5-foot-9, 209 pounds

MarShawn Llyod's collegiate career started slowly after tearing his ACL in 2020 before even playing a snap. He then struggled to get much going at South Carolina, amassing only 1,021 scrimmage yards and 12 touchdowns over two years. This all changed after transferring to USC for 2023, where he produced 1,052 scrimmage yards and 9 scores this year. Most of this damage was done on the ground, with 7.1 yards per attempt en route to 820 rushing yards, both career highs. 

Lloyd is smaller in stature but has a thick frame allowing him to play with a physical enough edge. He lacks crazy twitch but does offer enough elusiveness to make guys miss in the open field. His best trait is the ability to constantly work upfield even when trying to make defenders miss, resulting in us hardly seeing him go backward or laterally for that matter. He displays good vision in all levels of the field allowing him to turn any play into a significant gain — especially in the screen game. He has quality hands and has shown some ability to run good routes although limited, making him a true dual-threat prospect. 

Ray Davis, Kentucky

5-foot-9, 205 pounds

It has been a long road for Ray Davis, but after a season-ending toe injury in 2021, he bounced back to become one of the more intriguing prospects in this cycle. He has played for three different schools (Temple, Vanderbilt, Kentucky) and has shown the ability to be productive at all of them. He has two 1,000-yard rushing seasons under his belt and has over 3,600 career rushing yards. In addition, he has shown a nose for the end zone, amassing 20 career rushing touchdowns (top 10 in the class). 

Davis has a stout frame that allows him to play extremely physically. He often initiates contact and is rarely seen not finishing forward. His burst through the hole is unmatched by most defenders and allows him to rip off huge chunk plays if you don’t hold gap integrity. To make things tougher his vision has matured nicely which allows him to find holes many runners would overrun or miss. He does lack significant wiggle or elusiveness, but he can make you look silly at times. As a pass catcher, he has been productive, but he hasn’t been asked to do anything complex when it comes to running routes. 

Rasheen Ali, Marshall 

6-foot, 211 pounds 

Rasheen Ali burst onto the scene in 2021, rushing for over 1,400 yards and tying for tops in the nation with 23 rushing touchdowns. After a knee injury costing him most of 2022, he managed to return late in the season and win MVP of the Myrtle Beach Bowl. Ali returned this year and didn't look any worse for wear, topping 1,100 yards again and finding the end zone 15 times on the ground. He has produced an impressive 3,388 scrimmage yards in just 34 games since joining the Thundering Herd. 

Ali has a lengthy but sturdy frame that allows him to bend corners and make lateral maneuvers with ease. He also has a knack for getting his pad level down at the point of contact which allows him to outpower larger defenders regularly. His best trait is speed, even post-knee injury he has shown the ability to turn on the jets, he also deploys speed manipulation to force defenders to take poor pursuit angles. He also displays solid vision and quick feet to navigate traffic inside the box as a runner. Ali has also shown a dual-threat ability, especially in the screen game where he excels. 

Cody Schrader, Missouri 

5-foot-9, 215 pounds

Man, was it a year for Cody Schrader, bursting onto the scene and producing an SEC-leading 1,627 rushing yards while finding the end zone 14 times for Missouri. He also added 191 yards through the air for a very impressive 1,818 yards from scrimmage. With only two years under his belt, it is impressive to think he amassed 2,700 scrimmage yards (averaging over 100) and found the end zone 23 times in a mere 26 games. 

Schrader is a thick-framed running back who offers great power and strength in his running style. He demonstrates good forward lean and pad level while initiating contact more often than not. His vision is mature and maybe his best trait, he seems to always find the correct hole initially, and once into the second level, he has a knack for finding cutback lanes. This makes up for his lack of speed and burst, allowing him to still create chunk plays often. This lack of speed is worrisome heading into the NFL, but I think he can find a home. As a pass catcher, he is reliable in traditional running back routes but won't wow you if asked to do much more. 

Jaylen Wright, Tennessee

5-foot-11, 200 pounds

Jaylen Wright has been steadily improving each year and the numbers back it up, this year he set multiple career highs, rushing for 1,013 yards and producing 1,154 scrimmage yards. Sadly, we did see his touchdown numbers drop off from 10 to 4, but that had more to do with the Volunteers offense than him. He averaged an impressive 6.2 yards per play throughout his college career en route to 2,468 scrimmage yards and 18 touchdowns. 

Wright has a lean frame allowing him to display above-average bend allowing him to navigate corners and tight areas effectively. Even though he runs slightly upright he manages to get his pad level low and minimize solid contact from defenders creating missed tackles and preserving himself. He has a ferocity,

with which he runs and is constantly displaying above-average contact balance. Don't sleep on him in the open field either as he has displayed some wiggle and can make a defender look silly. In addition, he is a freak athlete who is extremely explosive and will blow by you with ease, when paired with his vision and patience leading to plenty of big plays. He has also displayed an ability to be a threat in the passing game with versatility in where he can line up. 

Additional Running Backs 

In addition to these five, we will also see Dylan Laube, who is coming off a stellar 2023 where he amassed over 1,400 scrimmage yards and 16 touchdowns for New Hampshire. He has a solid frame and offers a great dual-threat ability. Also, Kimani Vidal out of Troy will be in attendance, coming off a Sun-Belt-leading 1,661-rushing-yard performance in 2023, his second straight year over 1,100 yards. Vidal is an undersized but hard runner who is one of the more explosive runners in the nation. Daijun Edwards of Georgia was added to the Senior Bowl Thursday as well.