Will Shipley Dynasty Rookie Profile | Clemson RB Fantasy Football Outlook

Without a definitive RB1 heading into the 2024 NFL Draft, does Clemson RB Will Shipley have a case to be the first RB in dynasty rookie drafts?

Dynasty managers are always in search of the next fantasy football gem at the running back position to help send their team over the top.

In what many consider to be a weaker running back class entering the 2024 NFL Draft, what is the fantasy outlook for Clemson Tigers RB Will Shipley entering the professional ranks?

Should You Draft Will Shipley in Dynasty Fantasy Football?

The RB1 question in this class doesn’t feel like it has a definitive answer heading into the 2024 NFL Draft. Recent classes have given some top-tier prospects like Atlanta Falcons RB Bijan Robinson and New York Jets RB Breece Hall to comfortably invest high draft capital in, but most would argue this year doesn’t have a surefire stud.

This makes a player like Shipley tough to put a price point on, especially considering there is an entire offseason schedule left to play out.

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The upcoming NFL Scouting Combine, free agency period, and pro days may help us sort through these players and potential backfield landing spots. But where does Shipley rank right now?

He’s certainly in the conversation for the RB1 in this class. However, with how deep the QB and WR positions are this year, Shipley feels like he could go anywhere from the late first to the third round in rookie drafts.

Who Is Shipley?

Background

Shipley was a highly sought-after running back prospect during his prep days at Weddington High School in North Carolina, where he was considered a four-star or five-star prospect by many popular recruiting outlets.

He was labeled as one of the best all-purpose backs after posting an absurd 5,584 total yards from scrimmage to go with 80 total touchdowns during his high school career, which was cut short by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shipley is listed at 5’11” and 210 pounds, with a solid frame that has handled a leading role in the Tigers’ backfield for the last three years.

College Production

Shipley burst onto the national scene during his true freshman season when he scored 11 rushing touchdowns and produced 855 yards from scrimmage.

His production improved in his sophomore year, producing 1,182 rushing yards on 210 carries while adding another 242 receiving yards on 38 receptions to go with 15 total scores.

Shipley did see a slight dip in production his junior year in 2023, but he still finished with over 1,000 total yards from scrimmage and seven total touchdowns.

Injury History

Shipley sustained a knee injury during the Gator Bowl in 2023 against Kentucky, but will not require surgery. In addition, he suffered a concussion against North Carolina State during his junior year.

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Shipley missed some time during his freshman campaign with a broken tibia and a knee injury, but again avoided the dreaded season-ending type ACL tear and returned later in the year.

Shipley’s Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths

  • Versatile back with a true three-down skill set entering the NFL.
  • Comfortable, instinctive, and productive in both gap and zone-based running concepts during his days at Clemson.
  • Showcased more patience in 2023; proved capable reading pulling linemen and shooting through holes in gap schemes; displayed some GPS navigation skills when setting up his blockers by pressing/threatening another gap before bursting off of his outside foot to cut off the hip of his lineman.
  • Ability to navigate tight spaces with quick feet effectively; can quickly reset and accelerate when lanes or openings present themselves.
  • Capable of producing extra yardage in the open field with elusiveness and contact balance to force missed tackles in space.
  • Short area quickness and acceleration are enough to take the edge.
  • Productive pass catcher who caught more than 30 passes in each of his last two seasons.

Weaknesses

  • Shipley runs hard, but I wouldn’t say he overwhelms defenders with his power; play strength at the next level could present some limitations.
  • Had some issues with ball security during his best season in 2022.
  • Durability issues throughout his career could give some teams hesitation to believe he’s a bell-cow-type contributor to their backfield.

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