Arizona Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort is going to have his work cut out for him when the 2024 offseason rolls around. After all, the club's current roster is far from a finished product. Several positions will need to be prioritized, but it's safe to say that the Cards need help in a whole lot of areas.
That being said, the running back spot is one faction of the squad that could garner Ossenfort's attention. James Conner, Arizona's injury-prone workhorse, has one season remaining on the three-year deal he signed in 2022. The 6 foot 1, 233 pounder has been a phenomenal addition to the team, but Conner's inability to get through a campaign unscathed is definitely a problem.
The Cards did add some insurance for the backfield last week when they claimed third-year pro Michael Carter off of the waiver wire. Emari Demercado, an undrafted rookie out of TCU, played well while Conner was out. Others like Keaontay Ingram, Tony Jones Jr. and Corey Clement will probably be moving on in '24.
Ossenfort will have two first-round picks to work with next spring, but it's unlikely that either selection will be used on a ball-carrier. Actually, there's a fair possibility that no team in the NFL will address the position on the draft's opening night. Filling that hole on the second night of the three-day event seems to be the more likely scenario for the Cardinals front office.
Several intriguing backs should still be available for the Arizona Cardinals when Round 1 comes to an end
Jonathan Brooks is a versatile ball-carrier who has positively shined for the University of Texas this fall. In his 10 appearances, the 6 foot, 200 pounder has amassed 1,139 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. Brooks has also flashed his ability as a pass-catcher, totaling 25 receptions, 286 receiving yards and another score as well for the Longhorns offense.
Florida State University junior Trey Benson is the back who appears to be garnering the most media attention in the months leading up to next April's draft. In 11 games this season, the 6 foot 1, 211 pounder has tallied 957 yards from scrimmage, and 12 total touchdowns. Benson was also fantastic during his sophomore campaign, racking up 990 yards and nine scores on the ground, and another 144 yards on 13 catches for the Seminoles.
University of Michigan senior Blake Corum has logged three productive campaigns for the school. Last Saturday, the 5 foot 8, 200 pounder contributed 94 rushing yards and two touchdowns during a 31-24 triumph over the University of Maryland. In 41 career appearances, Corum has been credited with 3,746 yards from scrimmage and a whopping 53 total touchdowns for the Wolverines.
One more ball-carrier worth mentioning is University of Wisconsin star Braelon Allen. In the 34 career matchups he has dressed for, the 6 foot 2, 238 pounder has registered 3,329 yards and 33 touchdowns on the ground for the Badgers. With his impressive combination of size and speed, Allen reminds many draft experts of Tennessee Titans stud Derrick Henry.