2024 NFL Draft: Highest-graded draft eligible players through Week 5

2RXMRGG Seattle, United States. 23rd Sep, 2023. September 23, 2023: Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) turns to hand off during the NCAA football game between the Cal Bears and Washington Huskies at Husky Stadium in Seattle, WA. The Husky rushing attack accounted for 140 yards and 2 touchdowns. Washington defeated Cal 59-32. Steve Faber/CSM/Sipa USA (Credit Image: © Steve Faber/Cal Sport Media/Sipa USA) Credit: Sipa US/Alamy Live News

• Michael Penix Jr. leads the way: Penix has thrown for more than 300 yards in all five games and 2,004 yards on the year, 224 more than the next closest FBS quarterback. 

• Shedeur Sanders' stock continues to rise: Sanders has the highest passing grade in the country on intermediate throws (10-19 yards downfield), having completed 25 of his 40 attempts for 386 yards and two scores.

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Estimated reading time: 4 minutes


1. QB Michael Penix Jr., Washington Huskies

PFF grade93.7
Snaps: 285

Penix is arguably the Heisman front-runner right now, as he's putting up huge numbers and putting his team in prime position to make a playoff run. His 11.2 yards per pass attempt ranks third in the FBS, while his 13 big-time throws rank sixth. Penix has thrown for more than 300 yards in all five games and 2,004 yards on the year, 224 more than the next closest FBS quarterback. 

2. QB Tyler Van Dyke, Miami Hurricanes

PFF grade: 93.3
Snaps: 215

Van Dyke has completely turned the page on last season. He already has 11 big-time throws on 99 pass attempts, with only two turnover-worthy plays in that span. His 84.2% adjusted completion percentage ranks fourth in the nation.

T-3. EDGE Laiatu Latu, UCLA Bruins

PFF grade: 92.4
Snaps: 140

Not only is Latu our highest-graded defensive player, but he’s also the highest-ranked defensive prospect on our big board. The UCLA edge rusher currently ranks second in the nation in pressure percentage at 26.1%. He has even dropped back into coverage on a few occasions and succeeded at that, too, as he has already caught one interception.

T-3. QB Shedeur Sanders, Colorado Buffaloes

PFF grade: 92.4
Snaps: 394

No player in college football has attracted more attention through the first five weeks. Sanders has proven he is a legit NFL prospect and currently ranks second in the FBS in passing yards (1,780) and big-time throws (15). He has the highest passing grade in the country on intermediate throws (10-19 yards downfield), having completed 25 of his 40 attempts for 386 yards and two scores.

5. RB Jacory Croskey-Merritt, New Mexico Lobos

PFF grade: 92.1
Snaps: 135

Croskey-Merritt is averaging an astonishing 7.0 yards per carry and 4.21 yards after contact per carry. He has even been dynamic in the receiving game, averaging  10.0 yards after the catch per reception across four catches to start the year.

6. EDGE Donnell Brown, Maryland Terrapins

PFF grade: 92.0
Snaps: 140

The Maryland defense has been impressive this season, but Brown has stood out. The versatile defender has racked up eight pressures on 140 snaps, and he's also come down with two interceptions and one pass breakup as a coverage defender. 

7. QB Jayden Daniels, LSU Tigers

PFF grade: 91.4
Snaps: 318

Daniels has racked up 367 rushing yards — 211 on designed runs and 156 on scrambles — through five weeks, forcing 16 missed tackles along the way.

Entering this season, we knew how good Daniels was as a runner but questioned whether he’d take that next step as a passer. Well, he’s answered that question, recording more big-time throws (14) than he did in 2022 (12) on far fewer dropbacks. 

T-8. EDGE Ben Bell, Texas State Bobcats

PFF grade: 91.2
Snaps: 190

Bell currently leads the FBS in a handful of categories, including pass-rush win rate (36.4%), pressure percentage (29.0%) and total pressures (26). He also has 15 tackles for loss or gain on the year.

T-8. QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan Wolverines

PFF grade: 91.2
Snaps: 254

McCarthy’s draft stock will continue to rise if he keeps up this level of play. He hasn’t thrown a turnover-worthy play since his three-interception game in Week 3 and has even started to show off his dual-threat ability with three 10-plus-yard runs in the last two games. His 79.0% completion percentage ranks second in the nation, behind only Bo Nix. He looks so much more poised and confident in the pocket this season compared to 2022.

T-8. QB Jaxson Dart, Ole Miss Rebels

PFF grade: 91.2
Snaps: 324

You could make a case that Dart is the most improved quarterback in the country. He can beat you with his arms and legs and is not afraid to lay his body on the line. Dart’s 10.4 yards per attempt is tied for ninth among all quarterbacks, and he's averaged 4.37 rushing yards after contact per attempt so far. 

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