2024 Rookie Faceoff: Jaylen Wright v MarShawn Lloyd

For running backs, it can often be more about opportunity than talent. In this edition of the 2024 Rookie Faceoff, we compare two running backs with entirely different skill sets, Jaylen Wright and Marshawn Lloyd. To see where they both fall in our rankings, check out our Rookie Rankings Page. Also, check out the 2024 NFL Draft coverage to stay up-to-date. For the sake of this faceoff, we will be comparing the prospects in seven categories. Size, speed, tackle-breaking, hands, college production, college dominator rating, draft capital, and landing spot. Welcome to the 2024 Rookie Faceoff: Jaylen Wright v MarShawn Lloyd.

This faceoff features two running backs who are going in the third round of rookie drafts. The winner will position himself in the top half of this tier of a large group of running backs with more questions than answers. Wright and Lloyd are very different players who were drafted to very different situations and should make for an exciting faceoff. Neither back will come anywhere near RB1 Jonathan Brooks in ADP but could be great sleeper options. Let’s see which one will stake their claim to victory in this faceoff.

Meet Jaylen Wright

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Jaylen Wright spent three years at The University of Tennessee and was a starter for his final two seasons. He is a speedy and explosive back. This explosiveness was on full display at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine where he posted an excellent Vertical Jump score in the 87th percentile and a Broad Jump score in the 100th percentile. Wright has a massive lack of vision but his home run speed and explosiveness make him a threat to score at any minute. Wright was thought to be a day-two pick but fell to day three and will have to prove himself for his fantasy value to rebound.

Meet MarShawn Lloyd

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MarShawn Lloyd is 23.4 years old and spent his three years of college at USC. He produced mixed results at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine with a Vertical Jump score in the 89th percentile being excellent, but a Broad Jump score in the 47th percentile was disappointing. Much like Wright, he was considered a day two pick and possibly even a round two pick, but with only Jonathon Brooks going in round two, Lloyd hearing his name called in round three isn’t a death sentence for his fantasy value.

Player Comparables

The two most relevant player comparisons for Wright and Lloyd are two very opposite players, one who has been successful and one who has been a backup. Wright’s profile has him closest to Seattle Seahawks running back Ken Walker, while Lloyd is closest to Cleveland Browns running back Pierre Strong Jr. Of the two-player comps, Ken Walker has been infinitely more successful at the NFL level, while Strong has bounced around as a backup at the next level. For now, let’s take a look at the 2024 versions of them to see if one stands out more than the other.

Size Comparison

As usual, this category is cut and dry, Wright checks in at 5’10” and 210 lbs. While MarShawn Lloyd checks in at 5’9″ and 220 lbs. This one I’m going to call a tie. I typically prefer the frame of Lloyd as he may be one inch shorter, but is 10 lbs heavier. However, in this situation, I think it’s a draw. The taller and lighter Wright plays a speed game and is not nearly as physical as Lloyd so his thinner frame isn’t nearly as problematic. As far as Lloyd is concerned, it’s good for him to be slightly shorter but overall thicker as he is a more physical runner who is far more prone to contact instead of running past defenders.

This one is a tie based on the context of how each player is expected to be utilized in their respective offense.

Winner: Tie (0-0-1)

Speed Comparison

As far as speed goes, Jaylen Wright runs a 4.38 second 40-yard Dash and was the fastest running back at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine. MarShawn Lloyd on the other hand runs a 4.46 second 40-yard Dash and is certainly one of the faster backs in this rookie class.

This category goes to Wright, which is a positive sign because speed is the other real pathway to relevance for Wright. He is a fast, home run-hitting running back and it’s no surprise that he wins this one hands down.

Winner: Jaylen Wright (1-0-1)

Tackle Breaking

This one was a surprise to me as I expected the speedier Wright to be worse at breaking tackles when compared to the bigger and stronger Lloyd. Wright received a grade of 95% on tackle-breaking and Lloyd received a grade of 85%.

Both Wright and Lloyd are great tackle breakers, but Wright is noticeably better than Lloyd overall. This was beyond surprising as I had always thought of Lloyd as the better tackle-breaker until I dove deeper into the film.

This one comes out of nowhere to give Wright the point and a 2-0 lead in this faceoff.

Winner: Jaylen Wright (2-0-1)


This category continues to trend of points that are awarded to Jaylen Wright. Jaylen Wright has a receiving and hands grade of 70, while Lloyd is only a 60.

Neither of these running backs project to be strong pass-catchers at the NFL level, but overall Wright is the better of the two. Both players have totaled more than 150 receiving yards in a season. Wright’s best receiving season was 22 receptions for 141 yards and one touchdown. Lloyd’s best season as a receiver was 18 receptions for 176 yards and two touchdowns.

Wright is a running back who can catch the ball when he has to, perhaps another reason why the Ken Walker comp fits well. Lloyd however, isn’t a great pass-catcher by any means and is unlikely to see multiple targets per game.

I’m calling this one for Wright, staking him to a 3-0 lead.

Winner: Jaylen Wright (3-0-1)

College Production

As far as production goes, we see two players who both put up good but not great numbers. Wright posted more than 400 rushing yards in all three of his seasons. His best college season saw him total 1,013 rushing yards and four touchdowns with 22 receptions for 141 receiving yards, and one receiving touchdown.

Lloyd posted more than 500 rushing yards in two of his three seasons. His best college season was 820 rushing yards and nine touchdowns with 13 receptions for 232 receiving yards.

On a straight best-to-best comparison, the best season for Wright easily trumps the best season for Lloyd. During the 2023 season, Wright outproduced Lloyd by almost 200 rushing yards and three touchdowns as well as nine receptions and almost 100 receiving yards.

This category once again goes to Wright as he starts to run away with this faceoff.

Winner: Jaylen Wright (4-0-1)

College Dominator

It took five categories, but MarShawn Lloyd finally got on the board. As far as dominator scores go, Lloyd posted 22.4% while Wright posted 15.5%.

There isn’t much to say here as this is a straight-up comparison of numbers. In some situations, these dominator scores can be taken with a grain of salt, but in this case, there was more talent on the USC roster than the Volunteers roster so we will take it at face value and award the point to Lloyd.

MarShawn Lloyd gets on the board to make it 4-1.

Winner: MarShawn Lloyd (1-4-1)

Landing Spot & Draft Capital

The draft capital is fairly cut and dry, Lloyd was selected in the third round with the 88th overall pick while Wright was selected in the fourth round with the 120th overall pick. So day two capital over day three capital and a 30-pick difference in draft capital give the edge to Lloyd very easily.

As far as the landing spot goes, Lloyd wins this as well. Neither went to a spot that screams day one starter. Lloyd however, is behind only aging and injury-prone James Conner and has an obvious pathway to touches, if not this year then in 2025 for sure. Wright on the other hand is buried on one of the best running back depth charts in the league. Veterans Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr are on this roster, as well as sophomore running back DeVon Achane.

Wright could see significant work as a rookie, but the smart money is on Lloyd, therefore Lloyd wins based on better draft capital and landing spot.

Winner: MarShawn Lloyd (2-4-1)

And the Winner is…

The winner here is Wright by a score of 2-4-1. While it’s true that Lloyd is far more likely to see a significant role as a rookie and provide an immediate return on investment, the overall talent level is higher for Wright.

Wright is more of a long-term play in hopes that his situation can break in some way that allows him to find a pathway to significant touches sooner rather than later.

Lloyd on the other hand is the less talented of the two but is likely the better target in redraft leagues where only this season matters.

If you would like to learn more about Wright and Lloyd, check out our 2024 Rookie Sneak Peek videos of both players on The Fantasy Football Universe Podcast.

Jaylen Wright Tennessee
Marshawn Lloyd USC
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