Player Spotlight: Missouri Running Back Cody Schrader

Missouri v Arkansas
Missouri v Arkansas / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages

College: Missouri (transferred from Truman State)
Draft Day Age: 24
Position: Running back
Height: 5'8 1/2
Weight: 202
40 yard dash: 4.61


Cody Schrader may have one of the more intriguing stories in the 2024 NFL Draft. Schrader took a long route to college football prominence, one involving a lot of proving doubters wrong. Cody Schrader began his college football career at Truman State, a division two school, as a walk-on.

Schrader transferred to Missouri, guaranteed nothing but a walk-on spot and quickly earned a scholarship. In 2022, Schrader was thrust into a prominent role after some injuries to other running backs and turned the opportunity into 873 scrimmage yards and nine touchdowns.

After the 2022 season, the Missouri Tigers had their guy. Cody Schrader ran 18 times for 148 yards and a touchdown in the Tigers' week one win over South Dakota and he never looked back.

The SEC leading rusher didn't come from Alabama, or Georgia, or LSU, he came from the Missouri Tigers. Cody Schrader led the entire SEC with 1,627 rushing yards and he will be a great addition to whatever team drafts him at the end of April in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Schrader scored a touchdown in 11 of Missouri's 13 games and rushed for under 4.4 yards per carry just three times all season. Meanwhile, Schrader carried the ball for 5.0 yards per carry in nine of the 13 games and was over 8.0 yards per carry in four games. Those four games weren't just out-of-conference easy-win games either.

Cody Schrader carried the ball for over 8.0 per rush attempt against South Dakota (the only non-FBS team), Memphis (97th at 4.7 yards per attempt allowed), LSU (84th at 4.4 yards per attempt allowed), and Arkansas (80th at 4.4 yards per carry). These teams may not have been juggernauts against the run, but the fact that Schrader nearly doubled what they allow on average is no doubt impressive.

In fact, Cody Schrader outperformed what teams allow on average yards per attempt in 11 of Missouri's 13 games, including teams like Tennessee, Georgia and Ohio State.


Cody Schrader possesses a lot of skills that will serve him well at the professional level with a few opportunities to make himself even more dangerous.

Running through contact: It may be easy to look at the Missouri Tigers' offensive line and dismiss Cody Schrader's production as a product of his line which includes 2024 NFL prospect Javon Foster. However, Schrader's numbers should be looked at outside of the help of his blockers up front.

Schrader totaled 1,627 rushing yards on the 2023 season, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), 851 of those yards came after contact, 52.3 percent of his total. That means that Cody Schrader actually ran for more yards after contact than before it. Schrader's average yards after contact per attempt is an impressive 3.07.

Also, according to Pro Football Focus, Schrader forced 52 missed tackles, an average of four per game. It is a pretty uncommon occurrence that Schrader goes down on first contact.

Sure-handed: Cody Schrader being sure-handed takes two forms, the first being ball security. In his 298 touches in 2023, Schrader fumbled the ball only one time. For a player who plays through as much contact as he does, an emphasis on ball security is absolutely an important trait.

The second aspect of his sure-handedness is his receiving ability. Schrader was targeted 25 times in 2023 and caught 21 of the 25 targets for 192 yards. An 84 percent reception rate and 9.1 yards per reception means that Schrader can catch the ball and he's not just racking up a high reception rate with check downs, but actually doing some down the field work as well.

North/South Runner: Cody Schrader isn't going to wow anyone with jukes and a whole bunch of jump cuts while he dances around in the backfield waiting for something to open up. Cody Schrader sees the hole, hits the hole, and takes off. Schrader is often one cut and is running downfield with little dancing around. As previously emphasized, Schrader isn't afraid of contact and how he makes guys miss is by hitting the hole fast and breaking tackles. 28.5 percent of Schrader's carries last season went for first downs. Also, Schrader uses this North/South running approach to compensate for some of his lack of speed, Schrader may not be fast but that didn't stop him from having 39 runs of 10+ yards and 18 runs of 15+ yards.


Speed: Something mentioned in his strength as a North/South runner, Schrader doesn't have amazing top-end speed, his 40-yard dash clocked in at 4.61 seconds and Schrader also isn't very elusive. With this also some footwork could help his route running improve.

Age: Schrader spent four years at Truman State and two more at Missouri, so he will be 25 years old in September when the NFL regular season gets going. So he will be a fair amount older than a lot of his peers in the 2024 NFL draft.

Size: Schrader measured at 5'8-1/2" and 202 pounds. So while he could add weight at the NFL level, it could cost him a little bit more speed and his frame doesn't particularly suggest that he can handle a lot of additional weight.

NFL Draft Outlook: 4th Round

Cody Schrader could be an absolute steal for a team at the beginning of day three of the 2024 NFL Draft. Schrader does come in with a higher workload already on his body, but a team in a more prominent "win now" mode could see this as more of a plus that he comes in with a lot of experience.

Schrader's strengths do outweigh his weaknesses and if any NFL team believes they have the ability to get more speed out of him, they could find themselves with a very productive running back for a lower draft capital than many others in the 2024 draft class.

NFL Player Comparison: Dalvin Cook

Dalvin Cook
Houston Texans v New York Jets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

It is obviously high praise to compare a 24-year-old college running back to a player that has been as productive as Dalvin Cook has been throughout his career but hear me out. Dalvin Cook is 5'10", 210 pounds. Schrader is an inch and a half shorter and eight pounds lighter. That said, my comparison is not solely built on body type.

Dalvin Cook has had four seasons of 40+ missed tackles forced, Schrader will come into the league known for not going down at first contact. Cook didn't force his missed tackles by being overly shifty either, per Pro Football Focus, his career elusiveness rating is 61.4, Schrader's in 2023 was 56.7.

Dalvin Cook also owns a career 75.0 percent reception percentage, on a much smaller scale in 2022 and 2023 Cody Schrader has caught 75.0 percent of his targets.

Cody Schrader, like Dalvin Cook, didn't dazzle anyone with his 40-yard dash time, 4.61, Dalvin Cook ran a 4.50. Yes, there is still a slight gap but at the sake of finding a player whose play type, body type and skill set are comparable, Dalvin Cook is a name people will recognize and be able to get a feel for what Schrader brings to the table.