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Hidden Gems: Cody Schrader

Another month, another installment of NFL Draft prospects flying under the radar. This time, we will focus on the ground game and number 182 on Pro Football Focus’ big board. Introducing Missouri running back, Cody Schrader.


Schrader did it all at Mizzou. As a four-year starter, the five-foot-nine, 214-pound back rushed for a total of 6,759 yards and 99 touchdowns, along with 53 total grabs for 659 yards and five touchdowns. He also returned punts, had fourteen sacks, and got some touchdowns through the air. He made first-team all-state as a senior and had a 4.0 GPA at Lutheran South High School. He was awarded Honors with Highest Distinction by the state of Missouri.

Schrader was still not highly recruited coming out and went to Truman State, a division two school in Kirksville, Missouri. He was the Great Lakes Valley Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Year in 2021. Tallying and impressive, Division II led 2,074 yards on the ground and 24 scores. He also passed the 200-yard mark five times over the course of the season. Leading the nation in several categories like total points and touchdowns. 

After that amazing season, the Missouri native decided to stay close to home, going to Missouri University as a walk-on in the tough SEC. He would appear in all 13 games, starting in 11 of them, and led the team in rushing with 746 yards on the ground and nine touchdowns, capping it off with a bowl game against Wake Forest accruing 54 yards and a trip to the endzone. Coach Elijah Drinkwitz said this about the young back during the 2023 season in an article from

“To tackle him you have to sacrifice your body, because he is going to sacrifice his body to take you down,” Drinkwitz said. “It’s like a big game of chicken, that Cody always wins.”

The players and coaches all held him in high regard, and it would pay off big time during the 2023 regular season. 

Starting with awards, he won the Burlsworth Trophy, given to the most outstanding FBS player who started as a walk-on, was First-Team All-American according to the Associated Press and CBS Sports, and First-Team all SEC. He would back up those awards given his 1,627 rushing yards, averaging over 125 yards a game in 13 games, and 14 touchdowns from ESPN. He was the key cog in Missouri’s number-five offense in the conference. He was given a senior bowl invite for his hard work. 


  •  Has sneaky speed and has a very good stiff arm.
  • Good blocking prowess in both the run and pass game.
  • Can run routes out of the backfield and make a catch to move the chains.
  • Very good vision and knows when to find an area to cut back across the field.


  • Although he is fast, he doesn’t play that fast on the field. He can’t just outrun defenders all the time like he’s been doing at the college level. A place where everyone is as fast, or faster than him.
  • Doesn’t create the separation from defenders that he needs at the NFL level. 

Pro Comparison: Sean Tucker

Sean Tucker stands at around the same size as Schrader does according to NFL Draft Buzz and has the same, well-rounded skill set that seems to shine through. Ford is a better athlete than Schrader, but their skill sets, and ability to fly under-the-radar, are quite similar. Both can be quality pass-catchers and blockers. Both have quick feet and above-average vision, along with good patience and the ability to cut well at any time on the field. 

However, both struggle at having elite speed and are not the greatest athletes on the planet.

Final Verdict: Day 3 Pick

This is no knock on Schrader, but he isn’t going to have any exceptional traits that stand out on the field and will most likely go later on in the fifth or sixth round. This does not mean he won’t be any good, however, as his work ethic, and his ability to do it all will find him a place on the field during his career. Whether that be at the running back spot, to even playing special teams, something he did often during his high school days. Do not sleep on this hard-working, incredibly productive running back.

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