Round 3, Pick 87: Audric Estime, RB
The Cowboys are hitting the reset button at the RB position in 2024 and need to bring in at least one NFL-ready RB from this draft class. They are letting Tony Pollard and Rico Dowdle leave in free agency (in this scenario) and return FB Hunter Luepke and the undersized RB Deuce Vaughn. Since the two carryovers are more niche players, Dallas can’t afford to take a gamble on a high-risk prospect here, making Audric Estime an ideal choice.
Estime, 5-foot-11, 227-pounds, is in the mold of a bell cow RB of yesteryear. He totaled 1341 yards rushing with Notre Dame in 2023, averaging 6.4 yards/carry and racking up 18 rushing touchdowns. He’s a power runner who will dominate in short yardage. He’s also an extremely patient runner, letting blocks develop before he commits downhill.
Estime has plus speed and a strong build, allowing him to avoid direct hits, maintain his feet and gain yards after contact. He’s an every-down RB who should have no problems maintaining a fulltime workload in the NFL. He’ll fit the Cowboys inside zone running scheme well but has the versatility to play a number of running game styles.
Estime wasn’t used much as a passing target in college and while he’s shown potential in pass protection, he’s nothing more than average at this point in his development. He’s not a finished product as a prospect but he’s an instant starter with a high floor and decent ceiling.