NFL Draft News & Analysis

2024 NFL Draft: Biggest differences between PFF's big board and consensus board

• PFF is higher on Iowa cornerback Cooper DeJean: DeJean earned PFF grades above 75.0 in each of the past two seasons and delivers a strong athletic profile at over 200 pounds with a 4.44-second 40-yard dash and a 39-inch vertical jump.

• The consensus board is higher on LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels: The biggest concern with Daniels is how he’ll handle pressure at the NFL level. He attempted a pass on just 49% of his pressured dropbacks last season — the fourth-lowest rate among qualifying Power Five quarterbacks.

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Don’t be too confident in your own evaluations.

It’s a maxim that gets thrown around during draft season, and it’s often a good sanity check to compare your evaluations against the wisdom of the crowd. In this exercise, “the wisdom of the crowd” is the consensus big board compiled by Arif Hasan, which includes the thoughts of 80 draft analysts around the industry. The PFF big board being compared against it is the work of PFF lead draft analyst Trevor Sikkema.

Solely looking at the biggest differences in rank between the two boards returns a lot of Day 3 players, so I took a tiered approach, highlighting players in each range of the draft with the biggest differences in rank. We start with two defenders who stand out as potential values, according to PFF’s board, in the second half of Round 1.

Round 1 prospects PFF is higher on

CB Cooper DeJean, Iowa (PFF Big Board: 8 | Consensus Big Board: 23)

Nearly 80% of DeJean’s defensive snaps over the past two seasons at Iowa came on the outside, but questions about his best position and scheme fit in the NFL are likely the biggest driver in pushing him outside the top 20 on the consensus board. DeJean earned PFF grades above 75.0 in each of the past two seasons while delivering a strong athletic profile at over 200 pounds with a 4.44-second 40-yard dash and a 39-inch vertical jump.

Bottom Line in PFF Draft Guide:The talk of DeJean playing outside cornerback or safety or slot cornerback at the next level is not due to lack of a home position; it's because he could truly be an impact player anywhere. His footwork, ball skills and explosive athleticism make him an impactful outside cornerback — one with All-Pro potential.”

DI Johnny Newton, Illinois (PFF Big Board: 11 | Consensus Big Board: 21)

Texas interior defender Byron Murphy II is the top interior defensive lineman on the consensus board and has been gaining steam as a potential top-10 pick, but PFF still has Newton slotted slightly ahead of Murphy. Newton was an iron man for Illinois, logging over 80% of the team’s defensive snaps in 2023. He also joined DeForest Buckner and Jonathan Allen as the only Power Five interior defensive linemen since 2014 to record more than 100 pressures in a two-year stretch.

Bottom Line in PFF Draft Guide:Newton has some physical limitations due to his size and lack of natural flexibility, but his hand usage, pass-rush tools and block-shedding ability allow him to be very productive in any alignment as a three-to-five-technique player.”

Round 1 prospects PFF is lower on

QB Jayden Daniels, LSU (PFF Big Board: 21 | Consensus Big Board: 8)

Daniels is the betting favorite to be the No. 2 overall pick and step in as the Washington Commanders’ franchise quarterback. Quarterbacks always get a bump, but the consensus board is lower on Daniels than that. And the PFF big board views him more as a mid-first-round pick rather than a top-five selection.

The biggest concern with Daniels is how he’ll handle pressure at the NFL level. He attempted a pass on just 49% of his pressured dropbacks last season — the fourth-lowest rate among qualifying Power Five quarterbacks.

Bottom Line in PFF Draft Guide:Daniels' rushing ability and fundamentals give him a high floor as a player who can put a ton of stress on a defense. His arm talent is good enough to give him a decently high ceiling and makes him a worthy first-round bet to make.”

T Olu Fashanu, Penn State (PFF Big Board: 17 | Consensus Big Board: 9)

Fashanu is one of the cleanest pass-blocking tackle prospects to come out in the past several years. His 2.6% pressure rate allowed over the past two seasons was a top-10 mark among Power Five tackles, and he ranked in the 98th percentile among Power Five qualifiers in PFF pass-blocking grade on true pass sets since 2022. But questions about his run blocking and a talented tackle class could push him down the board in the first round a bit.

Bottom Line in PFF Draft Guide:Fashanu is not only incredibly talented but will also be one of the youngest prospects in the 2024 class. He is the type of athlete in the trenches you draft in the first round, even if he needs to get stronger to live up to his very high potential.”

Day 2 prospects PFF is higher on

EDGE Adisa Isaac, Penn State (PFF Big Board: 38 | Consensus Big Board: 66)

After the wave of first-round edge prospects, Isaac stands out as a Day 2 selection who could continue to develop in the NFL and outproduce the 74.3 PFF pass-rush grade we saw from him the past two seasons at Penn State. He could stand to add some weight, but he tested well athletically and uses his hands well against the run and as a pass rusher.

Bottom Line in PFF Draft Guide:If he can pack on some extra pounds for added strength and anchor ability while remaining adequately explosive, he has the handwork and pass-rush profile to be an NFL starter.”

CB Mike Sainristil, Michigan (PFF Big Board: 34 | Consensus Big Board: 57)

The average nickel personnel rate for an NFL defense this past season was 67%. It’s a starting role in the modern NFL, and Sainristil stands out as the best slot cornerback in the draft. He’s explosive (40-inch vertical) and is coming off consecutive seasons with a 75.0-plus PFF coverage grade on more than 600 defensive snaps after flipping sides of the ball.

Bottom Line in PFF Draft Guide:Every NFL team would love to have a player like Sainristil. He brings a great skill set and mentality to be a starting slot cornerback, with safety and special teams versatility to boot. He should be viewed as one of the top ‘football players' in this draft, regardless of position.”

Click here to see Mike Sainristil's 2024 NFL Draft profile.

RB Blake Corum, Michigan (PFF Big Board: 52 | Consensus Big Board: 80)

Even when including a “down” 2023 season coming off injury, Corum was an excellent running back in college, particularly in Michigan’s gap rushing concepts. Corum finished in the 91st percentile of all qualifying NCAA running backs in gap rushing grade since 2021. He might not have breakaway speed, but he understands how to work between the tackles and rarely takes negative plays.

Bottom Line in PFF Draft Guide:Corum was not as efficient in the individual metrics of running back play after his meniscus tear, but the traits of an effective back were present in 2023, specifically toward the end of the season. He lacks elite overall athleticism but is precise, sees the field well, has good contact balance and brings good third-down abilities, which should yield a contributing role in the NFL.”

Day 2 prospects PFF is lower on

WR Xavier Worthy, Texas (PFF Big Board: 69 | Consensus Big Board: 33)

The team that drafts Worthy will add a player who immediately stresses defenses with his speed, but he slides down the PFF board due to questions about play strength and how he’ll deal with physicality in the NFL at 5-foot-11 and 169 pounds. Worthy’s 65.4 receiving grade versus press coverage over the past two seasons ranks 37th out of 54 wide receivers in the draft class with at least 200 routes run.

Bottom Line in PFF Draft Guide:Worthy must be identified pre-snap in all situations due to how easily he can take a pass to the house if not accounted for. If he can get stronger and learn to be a better hand fighter with defenders, he can be an impact pass catcher as a WR2/3.”

Click here to see Xavier Worthy's 2024 NFL Draft profile.

IOL Cooper Beebe, Kansas State (PFF Big Board: 93 | Consensus Big Board: 47)

Beebe was the most valuable offensive lineman in all of college football over the past two seasons, per PFF’s Wins Above Average metric. He also showcased that he could play multiple positions, with more than 400 offensive snaps at three different spots along the offensive line. But it’s expected that Beebe will take on an interior role at the NFL level with some length and athleticism questions that push him further down the PFF board.

Bottom Line in PFF Draft Guide: Beebe's high football IQ should lead to a long NFL career. Unfortunately, his athletic limitations will likely limit that career to that of a backup swing lineman.”

EDGE Darius Robinson, Missouri (PFF Big Board: 61 | Consensus Big Board: 31)

It’s not difficult to see how Robinson’s power in his 6-foot-5, 285-pound frame with 34.5-inch arms will translate to the NFL. The question with him as a fringe first-round prospect is whether he can develop into more than a pocket pusher. Robinson graded well overall in each of the past two seasons at Missouri thanks to strong play against the run, but he does not have a college season under his belt with a PFF pass-rush grade north of 80.0.

Bottom Line in PFF Draft Guide: Robinson is a powerful lineman who can line up anywhere from zero- to a seven-technique. He won't win with speed much at the next level, but he certainly can with power. His strength profile projects him to a rotational role as a floor with starting potential if he can continue to hone his pass-rush plans.”

Remaining Prospects PFF is highest on relative to consensus

RB Blake Watson, Memphis (PFF Big Board: 114 | Consensus Big Board: 259)

Watson is next in a line of Memphis running backs with a receiving background after starting his college career as a wide receiver at Old Dominion. In his lone season with Memphis, Watson averaged 10.5 yards per reception after the catch while also rushing for more than 1,100 yards at a 6.0 yards-per-carry clip, forcing 50 missed tackles on the ground. That profile highlights a potential Day 3 contributor.

Bottom Line in PFF Draft Guide: Watson is an alluring athlete out of the backfield, both as a rusher and a receiver. He should earn the versatile ‘offensive weapon' label with the potential to be an NFL contributor.”

EDGE Xavier Thomas, Clemson (PFF Big Board: 83 | Consensus Big Board: 181)

Thomas was a top-five recruit in the 2018 class before committing to Clemson, where he recorded an 83.5 PFF grade as a true freshman across 318 defensive snaps. Unfortunately for Thomas, that was the peak of his college career from a grading standpoint. His spot in the top 100 on the PFF board is a bet on the continued development of his athletic traits in the NFL, coming off 40-plus pressures for the Tigers in 2023.

Bottom Line in PFF Draft Guide: Thomas is a true low-floor, high-ceiling prospect. He is on the older side, but his natural athletic gifts are still worth taking a chance on to continue to develop as a 3-4 pass-rush specialist.”

TE Erick All, Iowa (PFF Big Board: 92 | Consensus Big Board: 168)

All played just over 300 snaps over the past two seasons due to injury (torn ACL in 2023), but he recorded PFF grades above 75.0 as a receiver and a run blocker with Michigan during the 2021 campaign. The injury history will be something that prospective teams will have to weigh, but All’s ability to create separation as a route runner and compete as a blocker could help him carve out an early path to the field if healthy.

Bottom Line in PFF Draft Guide: All could use a bit more nastiness in his game, but this is a player with a versatile, contributing skill set who projects as a TE2 at the next level if he can stay healthy.”

Remaining Prospects PFF is lowest on relative to consensus

DI T’Vondre Sweat, Texas (PFF Big Board: 122 | Consensus Big Board: 62)

Most of the concern with Sweat is off the field. There were concerns about his weight and maturity before an April DWI. Per The Athletic’s Dane Brugler in his draft guide, The Beast: “Improved maturity during the 2023 season but was labeled a ‘party animal' and ‘class clown' as an underclassman by NFL scouts, who also questioned his commitment to becoming the best player he could be.”

On the field, Sweat is coming off an outstanding 2023 season with grades above 85.0 as a pass rusher and run defender. His 0.44 PFF Wins Above Average ranked first among all interior defensive linemen in college football last season, edging out teammate and expected first-round pick Byron Murphy II.

Bottom Line in PFF Draft Guide: Sweat has size that you can't teach. At his best, he's an impact, versatile interior defensive player, but weight and conditioning will determine how often he showcases that in the NFL.”

S Cole Bishop, Utah (PFF Big Board: 132 | Consensus Big Board: 72)

Bishop has the type of size and explosiveness that NFL teams covet at safety, measuring in at 6-foot-2 and 207 pounds with 4.45 speed and a 39-inch vertical. His production in coverage keeps him a bit lower on the PFF board, though. Bishop ranks in the 30th percentile at the position in raw PFF coverage grade over the past two seasons, with three interceptions and five forced incompletions.

Bottom Line in PFF Draft Guide: Bishop has starting potential as a strong safety and slot defender, but he will require more discipline at the NFL level due to overaggressive tendencies and a lack of patience in zone.”

LB Jaylan Ford, Texas (PFF Big Board: 247 | Consensus Big Board: 142)

Ford was extremely productive in the middle of Texas’ defense over the past two seasons, but his grading profile (no seasons above 70.0 overall) doesn’t necessarily line up with the tackle and turnover numbers. He’ll have to show that he can remain on the field in coverage to earn a starting role in the NFL.

Bottom Line in PFF Draft Guide: Ford projects to be a high-energy depth linebacker as a Mike who could be a consistent contributor on special teams.”

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