NFL Draft Odds: RB

Odds, trends and analysis

nfl draft odds RB
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If your team is hungry for a first-round running back talent, this year is not your year. Texas’ Jonathan Brooks, Wisconsin’s Braelon Allen, and Michigan’s Blake Corum highlight a group lacking of a true NFL star. However, that doesn’t mean this class is bad. In fact, with the continued devaluing of the running back position, the 2024 RB class provides a real opportunity in Days 2 and 3 to find solid options like Oregon’s Bucky Irving and Notre Dame’s Audric Estime. Let’s dive into the class and evaluate if we’ll see anyone taken Day 1.

Which running backs from this class are the top of the group? Will we see any of them taken in the first round? Here we look at NFL Draft odds for running backs.

NFL Draft odds: First RB drafted

Odds for first RB drafted will be released soon.

NFL franchises continue to devalue the running back position. This year’s class lacks a true star and, odds are, no running backs will be selected Day 1. Team needs for RBs will likely be addressed first in free agency.

How to bet on first RB drafted

Most sportsbooks have a full slate of NFL Draft bets including the first player drafted at each position. To find this section click the NFL tab and find a tab for “First Pick by Position” then view the odds listed below.

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NFL Draft: 2024 RB profiles

Jonathan Brooks, Texas

Brooks headlines the 2024 RB class on Dane Brugler’s Top 100. However, that top ranking checks in at just 70th. If that overall ranking is indicative of draft placement (which it’s oftentimes not), then the first RB off the board won’t come until Round 3. Brooks had already eclipsed 1,100 yards rushing last season until he suffered a torn ACL. That injury is sure to loom large during his draft cycle. Though he received an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine, Brooks likely won’t participate in many drills.

Blake Corum, Michigan

Like Brooks, Corum also has a major sustained injury on his ledger. The Michigan back suffered a season-ending knee injury in 2022 that visually hampered his explosiveness in 2023. His average rush dropped from 5.9 to 4.8 and he accumulated over 300 yards fewer after contact, despite largely consistent offensive line play and scheme. However, his nose for the end zone is undeniable – Corum found pay dirt 40 times in the last two seasons and fumbled the football just three times.

Braelon Allen, Wisconsin

Allen comes into the NFL Draft as one of the younger options on the board. At running back, that’s a huge positive. The issue is, Allen also carried the ball 545 times in three seasons with the Badgers. So while his biological age is young, the tread on the tires is definitely worn (and, fair or not, that factors into draft decisions). However, there’s a strong comparison to be made with Derrick Henry, given Allen’s 6-foot-2, 245-pound frame with 4.4 speed. That’s a model proven to work in the NFL.

Bucky Irving, Oregon

Irving garnered lots of attention from draftniks like Daniel Jeremiah this winter. DJ drew comparisons to Devin Singletary, a longtime starter in the league. At 5-foot-10, 190 pounds, Irving is the antithesis of what Allen brings to the table, but his ability to make players miss “in a phone booth” makes him an extremely attractive addition. Irving benefitted from the Oregon spread zone scheme, picking up 6.4 and 6.5 yards per carry during his last two seasons. He’s also a terrific pass catcher and will almost certainly be sought out as a No. 2 option for an NFL franchise.

Audric Estime, Notre Dame

At 5-foot-11 and 227 pounds, Estime’s bowling ball-esque frame is reminiscent of Doug Martin. That, and a tendency to never stop his feet, led Estime to accumulate almost 900 yards after carry. While not utilized in the pass game often, Estime is a capable pass catcher, but likely has a role as a heavy and goal line package back in the NFL. Perhaps a team like Dallas would pay special consideration in Rounds 3 or 4 to the Notre Dame product.

Will a RB be drafted in the first round?

DraftKings Sportsbook will post how many RBs will be picked in the first round closer to the event. Last year, Bijan Robinson and Jahmyr Gibbs both went in the first round, to the surprise of many. This year, if sportsbooks even hang this prop, the number will be set at 0.5 with a juice to the under likely at -500 or shorter.

NFL Draft RB history

Find a list of the first RB taken in each NFL Draft going back to 2010 below:

YearTeamPlayerCollegePick (No. overall)
2023AtlantaBijan RobinsonTexas8
2022NY JetsBreece HallIowa State36
2021PittsburghNajee HarrisAlabama24
2020Kansas CityClyde Edwards-HelaireLSU32
2019OaklandJosh JacobsAlabama24
2018NY GiantsSaquon BarkleyPenn State2
2017JacksonvilleLeonard FournetteLSU4
2016DallasEzekiel ElliottOhio State4
2015St. LouisTodd GurleyGeorgia10
2014TennesseeBishop SankeyWashington54
2013CincinnatiGio BernardUNC37
2012ClevelandTrent RichardsonAlabama3
2011New OrleansMark IngramAlabama28
2010BuffaloCJ SpillerClemson9

NFL Draft odds: Strategy and trends

As mentioned, running backs are becoming a less and less desired position, especially in the draft. Two backs were taken in the first round last year and in 2021. However, in 2013, 2014, and 2022, no backs were drafted in the first round.

When it comes to NFL Draft odds and betting, it’s important to think predictively. Whether or not you see Player X as the top player in the group, is that feeling shared among NFL front offices? Even draft rankings from experts should be taken with a grain of salt. At the end of the day, the executives are the ones drafting, not the scouts.

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