The 2024 NFL Draft presents an exciting quarterback class full of notable names. It is led by USC's Caleb Williams, the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner and dynamic dual-threat quarterback. He is followed closely by North Carolina's Drake Maye, who has performed well in the difficult areas of the game.
At wide receiver, Ohio State's Marvin Harrison Jr. likely would have been the best pass-catcher in the 2023 NFL Draft. Now, as a draft-eligible junior, he's the crown jewel for any team in need of help at the position.
Here are PFF's top 50 draft prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft. For the full ranking of 150 players, along with their three-year player grades, position rankings and measurables, click here.
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The 2022 Heisman winner surely would have been drafted last April had he been eligible, but the true sophomore will just have to wow us with another season before we actually see that happen.
Williams recorded a 91.7 overall grade last season, posting an impressive 90.1 passing grade and 82.8 rushing grade. But as fantastic as he was overall, his play under pressure makes him special. His 78.9 passing grade on pressured dropbacks was the best mark in the FBS last season, as was his 116.0 passer rating.
His big-time throw rate went from 4.6% from a clean pocket to 9.5% when he was put under pressure — he thrives when tough situations come his way and has all the talent to be a special NFL quarterback.
Right now, Marvin Harrison Jr. is getting top-three-overall-pick kind of hype for the 2024 NFL Draft. If you’re looking for us to temper that hype, you’re going to be disappointed.
Harrison, son of NFL Hall of Famer and Indianapolis Colts legend Marvin Harrison Sr., is as alluring as they come. His 6-foot-4, 210-pound measurables check the boxes for a WR1. Right away you can tell he grew up playing the position with how precise and calculated his hands and feet are at the snap out of his release, especially against press coverage. His hands are excellent, as evidenced by his 60.0% contested catch percentage last season. But he’s not just a big possession guy; his 36 explosive plays (passing plays of 15 yards or more) were the most for a wide receiver in the FBS in 2022.
He’s the total package, and one of the top receivers we’ve seen come through college football in recent years (and that’s really saying something).
Not long after Kyle Pitts dominated his way through the NFL draft process to become the No. 4 overall pick in 2021, Bowers might be the highest-drafted tight end in history.
If Bowers could have declared after his true freshman season, he would’ve been a first-round pick. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound tight end gives shades of George Kittle with his ability to impact the offense as a receiver and blocker. He posted 92.2 and 90.5 receiving grades as an underclassman in 2021 and 2022, respectively. His 24 explosive plays (passing plays of 15 yards or more) in 2022 were the most in the FBS for any tight end.
And when it comes to catches through traffic (a necessity for tight ends), he recorded a 76.5% contested catch percentage last season, which was top-10 for all FBS pass-catchers.
Expect him to be one of the highest-ranked players in the class, regardless of position.
Fashanu got a first-round grade from the NFL draft advisory board for the 2023 class, but as just a redshirt sophomore at the time, he opted to return to Penn State for another season.
He opens the year as our top offensive tackle, one who has top-10 — and even top-five — potential. His 6-foot-6, 319-pound frame is above the 50th percentile for NFL offensive tackles in both height and weight. He allowed no sacks on 299 true pass-blocking snaps in 2022, with a pressure percentage of just 3.0%.
Fashanu's movement skills at his size are impressive. He covers so much ground in his kick slides and combines that with great balance when mitigating contact. His IQ is also far beyond his years. He understands the importance of offensive line chemistry and pressure that could come from all angles. He’ll also be just 21 years old on draft night in 2024.
Maye has been so successful in the high-difficulty areas. His 91.7 passing grade on true dropbacks in 2022 — plays without a run-pass option or play action — was the best among my top 10 quarterbacks. His 7.6% big-time throw percentage on those same plays was second to only FSU’s Jordan Travis.
It gets even more impressive when you look at just throws deep down the field. Maye recorded a 96.1 passing grade on 10-plus-yard throws last season, racking up an absurd 45 big-time throws and a 20.5% big-time throw rate, both of which were without question the best among his peers.
Ultimately, Maye’s volume of big-time plays is too high not to no have him in the top five.
Verse would’ve been a top-10 pick if he had decided to enter the 2023 NFL Draft.
Verse didn’t have a single FBS offer coming out of high school. He committed to Albany and worked to become an FCS All-American before transferring to Florida State in 2022. Last season, he showed the college football world he was not only ready to play with top-level competition but dominate it.
He’s a very powerful player with an explosive first step, violent movements and a good understanding of pass-rush plans, as evidenced by his 23.4% pass-rush win rate in 2022. Despite only one year of FBS ball, his pass-rush acumen is well beyond his years of experience. He has the power, speed and violence combination every team covets off the edge.
Newton is a fun tape study because of how smart he is. Don’t get me wrong: He’s also physically gifted. The 6-foot-1 1/2, 300-pound interior defensive lineman has incredibly fast hands and quick feet, which aid him in being one of the best pass-rushing three-techniques in the country.
But it’s the way he goes about pass rush and run defense that makes him No. 1 on this list. His anticipation is fantastic. He keeps his eyes on the ball, whether it’s a run or pass play, and can often disengage and get past blockers without even looking at them. He won’t win in the NFL with imposing size or length, but he’ll win with quickness and anticipation about as well as anyone in the class. Pair that with a motor that never seems to quit, and you’ve got a football player all 32 NFL teams will want on their roster.
Latu was one of my favorite film-watches of the entire summer scouting exercise, and you gain an even greater appreciation for him as a prospect when you learn he almost didn’t get to this point.
Latu started his career at Washington but suffered a neck injury going into his sophomore year that forced him to medically retire from football. After a few years off, he transferred to UCLA, where he has been medically cleared to play.
In his first season of action since 2019, the 6-foot-4, 260-pound edge rusher posted a 20% pass-rush win rate with 64 pressures, 10.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss. He’s a technician in his pass-rush approach, with a deep mental notepad of moves and counters. Once he gets his leverage and pad level to be more consistent, the sky will be the limit for him.
The massive 6-foot-8 Joe Alt has been on NFL radars since high school. His frame will naturally remind people of former Notre Dame offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey, who was 6-foot-7 and 309 pounds at the 2018 NFL Combine.
Alt provides the same allurement with his size; he’s just so tough to get around. But where some offensive tackles get by with just being mountains on the edge, Alt has some finesse to his game, too. His feet are light and quick for a player of his size, and that showed up in his PFF stats, as he allowed just a 2.5% pressure rate on 409 pass-blocking snaps in 2022. He also showed his power in the ground game with an elite 91.4 run-blocking grade. He could make a case as the top offensive tackle in the draft.
McKinstry is the next Nick Saban cornerback prodigy. Standing at 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, he is the ideal athlete to play as an outside cornerback and has been starting since his true freshman season. In 2022, he played 796 snaps out wide, all of which came as a right cornerback. His mirror ability and recovery speed are NFL-caliber for how much press coverage he plays (427 of his 518 total coverage snaps were in press).
His hips are fluid and explosive. He also has a ton of production on the ball in the form of forced incompletions (18) due to his great instincts with his back to the ball. He needs to get stronger to mitigate separation and penalties called on him, but the rest is there as a projected first-rounder.
King is a high-ceiling cornerback with ideal athletic ability. His 90.6 coverage grade and 93.4 grade in single coverage in 2022 were both the highest for draft-eligible cornerbacks. Those numbers came from his incredible quickness and explosiveness to mirror cornerbacks. When he gets in a footrace with receivers down the sideline, he rarely yields separation — sometimes he’ll even beat the receiver to where the ball is going. His 16 forced incompletions and three interceptions also point to great ball skills.
King also plays with a ton of visible passion in the form of trash talk and celebration with his teammates (a big plus for defensive backs).
An area of improvement for 2023 is his timing and placement of his hand strikes in press coverage. He has “NFL” written all over him.
When you flip on Penn State’s defensive tape from 2022, it won’t take you long to say, “Who is that dude on the defensive line with no gloves, no sleeves, wearing a number in 40s and wreaking havoc every other play?”
That would be Demeioun “Chop” Robinson.
Nicknamed “Pork Chop” as a baby, which has since been shortened to “Chop” after he leaned out and muscled up, Robinson has the best first step in the class. His speed-to-power conversion on bull rushes at 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds is imposing, which shows in his 20.9% pass-rush win rate from 2022. His arms are shorter than ideal and he’s still rounding out his pass-rush arsenal, but at a position that gravitates to elite athletes, Robinson has the gravitational pull of the sun.
Wide cornerback, slot cornerback, safety, linebacker — Cooper DeJean can do it all, and he has been even beyond football. He holds high school records in football, state records in basketball and state championships in track (long jump and 100-meter). At 6-foot-1 and 207 pounds, he places above the 80th percentile for both height and weight for the cornerback position (if that’s where you want to play him). He is such a smart player in his awareness, spacing and ball skills, and that shows up in his five interceptions (with two more dropped) and six forced incompletions from 2022.
DeJean is a bigger cornerback, so his slower build-up speed relative to smaller corners might be a reason some teams project him best as a safety. But make no mistake, this is one of the best and most natural football players you’ll watch this season.
The 6-foot, 200-pound Nabers is a true playmaker. He recorded 1,017 receiving yards in 2022, and 48.6% of those came after the catch. He’s also made his case as one of the most natural and reliable pass-catchers in the class, with a 93.5% catchable pass percentage and a 61.9% contested catch percentage in 2022. He looks smooth as he accelerates and explodes out of his breaks. He’s also not limited to playing in the slot or on the outside — he can do it all.
It’s hard to watch his 2022 tape and not see a future difference-maker at the pro level.
Taylor was once Miami’s prized recruit as the No. 11 overall player and No. 3 defensive lineman in the 2021 recruiting class, according to 247Sports. He’s about as well built as you’ll ever see for a defensive lineman at 6-foot-3 and 300 pounds.
Taylor's five-star label shows up in his physical gifts. His burst off the ball is very impressive, and he can convert speed to power in a bull rush that is devastating for all kinds of offensive linemen. It also allows him to shoot gaps with ease. His pass-rush plan right now is basically just being bigger, faster and stronger than anyone else. That works at the moment, but he’ll need to develop a more diverse pass-rush plan for the NFL level.
If and when he does, he can absolutely be a first-round type of player.
Normal 6-foot-4, 215-pound receivers don't move the way Keon Coleman does. He was a two-sport athlete in high school, playing both football and basketball, and he was so good at both that he even played for Tom Izzo’s men’s basketball team at Michigan State for one season while also contributing at wide receiver on the football team.
His body is well filled out, and that gives him a lot of strength at the catch point. Go pop on the Michigan tape from 2022, and you’ll see a player who simply would not be denied the football when it was in his vicinity, no matter how many defenders were near him or even on him.
He’s an “X” receiver type who came down with 12 contested catches and recorded a 60% contested catch percentage last season. Now at Florida State, he’ll have quarterback Jordan Tavis throwing him the football, which could lead to his most productive season yet.
Two years ago, Kinchens was just a three-star safety recruit. He was the 21st-ranked safety in the 2021 recruiting class and the 320th-ranked player by 247Sports. Now, heading into his first draft-eligible season, you’ll find his name atop most preseason safety rankings for the 2024 NFL Draft.
Kinchens brings top-notch free safety ability to the deep parts of the field and earned an elite 90.7 coverage grade in 2022. His range in coverage is impressive thanks to a good pairing of long speed and awareness. He also has excellent ball skills to come up with takeaways, as evidenced by his six interceptions and three forced incompletions last year.
He could stand to be more tenacious when attacking ball carriers in run defense, but his mindset, athletic ability and size (6-foot, 205 pounds) for the position are that of a true playmaker.
The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Egbuka would be the top wide receiver on almost any other team in the country if he wasn’t with the Buckeyes. He recorded an 85.5 receiving grade in 2022 with a 52.8% contested catch percentage. He displays an elite level of short-area quickness and pairs that with great flexibility to sink his hips for precise and explosive change of direction. That makes him a standout separation player for throwing windows and yards after the catch.
In 2022, only 17.9% of his total receiving snaps came as the inside slot receiver, but that alignment feels like where Egbuka could thrive at the next level. Give this guy some two-way route options against defensive backs in space, and he’ll pick them apart with his skill set.
Barton is going to get the Peter Skoronski treatment this draft cycle, with questions over whether he’s an offensive tackle or an offensive guard. My answer right now: He’s just a damn-good football player.
At 6-foot-5 and 306 pounds, he’s below the 30th percentile in both height and weight. You can also see that he likely won’t be crossing any traditional arm-length thresholds for playing offensive tackle. But just watch what he does on the field. He played seven sports growing up, and that athleticism is evident in how he moves. As a puller and lead blocker on the hoof on power run concepts, he recorded a 91.4 run-blocking grade in 2022, often erasing linebackers and apex defenders outside the tackle box. He also allowed just two sacks on 457 pass-blocking snaps.
The trait I like the most about him, though, is grip strength. He has a good awareness of where his hands should go, and when he latches on, he doesn’t break.
Turner was the edge rusher opposite Will Anderson Jr. last season, and many noted how often No. 15 for Alabama popped while watching Anderson’s film. The 6-foot-4, 242-pound Turner boasts elite burst, which he translates into power via the bull rush. He is flexible and shifty to attack either shoulder with ease. He also has good arm length and understands how to use it. But his 11.1% pass-rush win percentage in 2022 was lower than ideal.
Three things stand between Turner and becoming a top NFL edge rusher: more developed inside moves, more consistent hand swipes and about five to 10 more pounds of muscle.
If the name looks familiar, it’s because he is the son of former Carolina Panther and New York Jet Kris Jenkins Sr. For Junior, his NFL bloodlines quickly show up in his tape with how refined he already is.
Jenkins stood out as a run defender as a junior last season at Michigan. At 6-foot-2 1/2 and 292 pounds, Jenkins earned a positive grade on 29.2% of his run-defense snaps in 2022 — an incredibly high number, especially for a player of his size. He also missed just one tackle on 233 run-defense snaps. Jenkins’ ability to play with good leverage is a calling card of his. His shoulder pads are so low in his stance, yet he is able to fully explode out of his stance to get into his blockers and the backfield.
But unlike other players who might start low and pop straight up, Jenkins maintains lower leverage to consistently get up and under offensive linemen in order to control them in run defense and move them aside in pass rush. He’s still working on his pass-rush plan, but this is a top-30 player with a very high floor.
Latham had some of the highest highs of our summer offensive tackle watch, but also some of the less memorable reps, especially among the players in this top five. He’s a former five-star recruit who was a first-time starter in 2022, earning the right tackle gig for the Crimson Tide. On the year, he didn't allow a single sack across 426 true pass-blocking snaps.
First and foremost, he checks the measurable boxes at 6-foot-6 and 335 pounds. His footwork and hand movement were both quicker than you’d think for a player who can win with power the way he does. He also is comfortable in a variety of different pre-snap bases with his foot distance for run blocking and pass blocking, depending on where the nearest defender is aligned (shows good balance). Auburn pushed him around a bit and got him off his game. That revealed a bit of a trend: When he anticipates correctly, it is very hard to get around him. But when you can catch him off guard, he’s not as quick to recover.
That’s the next step we need to see, and if we do, the first round is certainly realistic.
Carter is the next super athlete linebacker to come from Clemson, but unlike some before him, he's a linebacker first and an athlete second. He’s a former five-star recruit, and the athletic pillars of that rating show up immediately. His potential as a run defender, pass-rusher and coverage player is high, as he did not record a grade below 75.0 in any of those three categories last year.
Carter forced five incompletions in coverage and notched 24 total pressures in 2022 (10.3% pass-rush win percentage). When he's been able to anticipate, his impact is high with forced incompletions and key stops. He has first-round ability.
No offensive tackle wants to see a player like Trice — a 6-foot-3, 270-pound edge rusher — on the other side of the line of scrimmage. Even if they do block him, it’s going to hurt.
Trice converts a fantastic first-step burst into some serious power at contact. His bull rushes and leg drive were so imposing that he recorded a sky-high 26.2% pass-rush win rate in 2022. His motor is running at 110% at all times. That can lead to a bit of recklessness in his game, especially in run defense. But you’d much rather see that and teach him to tone it down than the other way around. This is the kind of edge rusher you draft early and refine.
Words I thought I’d never say: Nix’s 2022 tape was impressive, and he deserves a spot in this preseason top 30.
I had all but given up on the Oregon signal-caller after his three seasons at Auburn turned out to be unworthy of the hype. But in his fourth season of college ball — this time at Oregon — the light really came on.
Nix earned a 70.8 passing grade under pressure last year, a number comparable to Bryce Young’s in 2022 (67.5). Even more impressive was his ability to take care of the ball when plays broke down, as he didn't record a single turnover-worthy play under pressure.
Oregon’s offense had him throwing short quite a bit — 221 of his 408 passing attempts were thrown less than five yards downfield — but he still executed beyond that. On passes thrown 10 or more yards down the field in 2022, he posted an elite 91.9 passing grade to go with a 61.7% adjusted completion percentage, the highest mark among my top 10 quarterbacks.
There are not many college redshirt seniors who are as impressive and NFL-ready as Nubin. He started 24 games combined in the past two seasons, and all of that experience has yielded an impressive and versatile player. There is a lot to like about his game and his mental makeup. He is a student of the game, and his instincts and anticipation are very good because of it, especially when defending over the middle of the field in robber coverage roles.
In 2022, Nubin logged 345 snaps at free safety and 177 snaps in the box with four interceptions and four forced incompletions. He's a bit limited in his long speed, so you won't want him in single-high coverage a ton. But in a two-deep system, he can absolutely be an NFL starter.
Newton plays like the type of cornerback you draft in the top 50, which is why I’m shocked we didn’t hear more about him in last year’s draft cycle. He has adequate size, measuring 6-foot and 190 pounds. His feet and hips are lightning quick, and that shows up well in his 71.8 coverage grade in single coverage assignments last season. He boasts good recovery speed, as well as the instincts and awareness to know when to give space and when to stay tight, as evidenced by his three interceptions and 14 forced incompletions in 2022.
I’d like to see Newton bring as much focus and intensity to run defense as he does locking down receivers. Ultimately, this is a player who can succeed in man or zone, inside or out.
The former three-star receiver was at Georgia for the past two seasons, playing in 21 games with 15 starts. In 2022, he missed nine games due to a high ankle sprain but played in six games with three starts. He transferred to Texas for the 2023 season.
The 6-foot-4, 195-pound Mitchell might not yet be a polished product, but he is a promising one. His feet are lightning quick out of his releases, and that helps him navigate and avoid press coverage, as well as close zone defenders. His flexibility and fluidity look to be the foundation of a really nice route runner. He may need to continue putting on weight to improve the strength profile in his game (contested catching as well as just taking and dictating contact). Mitchell being this high on the list is me betting his top-end flashes will turn into consistency — a bet I’m willing to make right now.
It will be quite the special story if Penix makes it to the NFL, as the former Indiana Hoosier and current Washington Husky has an injury history that would spell an early retirement for many players.
Penix tore an ACL in 2018 and 2020. He suffered a sternoclavicular joint —which connects the clavicle to the sternum — injury in 2019. He dealt with an AC joint shoulder issue in 2021. The 2022 season was the first time in his career that he played double-digit games in a single season, and it was his best season to date. He earned an 80.8 passing grade on true dropbacks, and that grade jumps to 88.1 if you include RPO and play-action looks.
Entering his sixth season of eligibility, all that time studying the game at the college level has paid off. His 70.7 passing grade under pressure on those true dropbacks in 2022 ranked third among my top 10 quarterbacks, behind only Williams and Maye, and he does a good job manipulating defenses with his eyes post-snap. He also has a cannon of an arm when he loads up and recorded just a 1.3% turnover-worthy play rate that ranked top-five among FBS quarterbacks last year.
Carson's tape is easy to love. When it comes to coverage, his stop-and-start ability and acceleration are near elite, which helped him earn a very impressive 77.3 coverage grade in single-coverage assignments last season.
He also has a knack for finding the ball, forcing eight incompletions a season ago. In the run game, he is a heat-seeking missile. He also loves to be physical with receivers on the line of scrimmage or down the field. He has the mental makeup of a first-round cornerback.
As a freshman, the 6-foot-1, 164-pound Worthy was incredibly productive. He set the Texas freshman receiving records for most receiving yards in a season, most receiving yards in a game, most receiving touchdowns in a season, most receiving touchdowns in a game, most receptions in a game and most receptions in a season.
In 2022, he just didn’t look the same. He had some head-scratching drops and wasn't the same player. After the season, it came out that he was playing half the year with a broken hand, which would explain why his drops went from three to seven and his catch rate fell from 91.3% to 85.3%. His playmaking ability suffered, too, dropping from 14 missed tackles forced in 2021 to just four total in 2022. The same trend showed up with his yards-after-catch numbers.
Georgia’s left tackle last season, Broderick Jones, ascended from a promising young player with great size and movement skills to a first-round selection of the Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 14 overall. Mims possesses a lot of the same promise Jones had before the season last year.
Mims is a 6-foot-7, 330-pound former five-star offensive lineman who played 368 snaps at right tackle as a true sophomore in 2022. His youthfulness and inexperience show up with a lack of anticipation on some reps, but he understands the importance of leverage, can move very well as a puller and pass-blocker and has good power in his game.
His hand placement needs more consistency and can be overaggressive at times, as he likes to set the tone. But if he can add more patience to his game, there is a lot to get excited about.
Smith is another former five-star recruit who really just needs experience to solidify a high draft status. At 6-foot-6 and 310 pounds, he is a massive man in the middle. He played 354 snaps in his true freshman campaign with a 7.6% pass-rush win percentage. He was aligned mostly as a defensive end during that season, so his sophomore year was supposed to be when we saw him take over as an interior player. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL seven snaps into the 2022 season.
He has posted only one quarterback pressure across 46 pass-rushing snaps through Week 3 in 2023.
Anyone in the scouting realm, no matter their level of experience, has, at one time, fallen for a big, strong, contested-catch receiver who didn’t pan out in the pros. I certainly can raise my hand on that (J.J. Arcega-Whiteside and Kelvin Harmon are two who come to mind). But Wilson has me believing again.
Wilson isn’t just big. He’s really big. 6-foot-6 and 237 pounds, to be exact. Both of those numbers are in the 98th percentile for the position. But he appears to have some finesse in his game to go along with his dominant size. His physical advantage will obviously be his bread and butter, but taking into account weight-adjusted expectation, he actually gets off the line of scrimmage and seems to break on his routes better than most who would carry the “big WR” label. He’s a true “X” receiver who also has reps of strong blocking.
Tuimoloau was one of the highest-rated prospects in the 2021 recruiting class. And when you see how smooth he moves at 6-foot-4 and 270 pounds, it becomes clear why.
He is a smart and instinctual player, even from his tape of play as just a true sophomore in 2022. Tuimoloau has a good natural feel for where the ball is and where it is going. With his basketball background, you can tell he’s a natural athlete.
He also has a great understanding of pass rushing. His pass-rush tool bag is deep with initial moves and counters. Yet, his win rate was a pedestrian 9.3% in 2022. While he is smooth, he isn’t as explosive as other edge rushers in his class or even around his size. If he can develop more pop off the line of scrimmage, his pass-rush acumen will do the rest.
Leonard was reportedly torn between playing basketball and football back in high school. Football fans should be thankful he chose the latter.
The Duke quarterback feels like an under-the-radar prospect in this class, but that shouldn’t be for long. There are flashes of ball placement that are truly special, and there are signs he could someday be an NFL starter.
Admittedly, the overall accuracy and play under pressure need to improve. He recorded just a 69.2% adjusted completion percentage on true dropbacks a season ago, while his 49.1 passing grade under pressure ranked 66th among 144 qualifying FBS passers.
However, his overall turnover-worthy play percentage of 1.7% tied with Bo Nix as the second-best mark behind Penix among my top 10 quarterbacks. He’s also a good threat to pick up yards with his legs, as he produced 441 yards on designed runs and a further 335 yards on scrambles a season ago.
His consistency is a work in progress, but there is a lot to like about him.
Benson’s 2022 season was fantastic. After transferring from Oregon, he became the Seminoles' starter and had a dynamic season. He finished the year with a 91.3 rushing grade and an impressive 0.51 missed tackles forced per attempt. The latter figure is the highest average that PFF has recorded in the past 10 years.
He’s a back who has the vision, patience and footwork to consistently find open space, and then the playmaking mentality to make guys miss when he gets there. With adequate long speed, as well, Benson presents an alluring skill set and RB1 potential.
As I began my deep dive into McConkey’s film, I wondered if I’d just see a player who was a product of the system and a high volume of targets. But, to quote the well-known Shaq meme, “I owe you an apology. I wasn't really familiar with your game.”
McConkey is the ideal smaller slot receiver. His quickness and acceleration are elite, as is his footwork out of his release at the line of scrimmage. This makes for an already polished and deadly route runner. But it’s not like he’s just quick, either. His long speed and ability to threaten vertically might not be top-tier, but it’s nothing to sleep on. Almost 50% of his yards in 2022 came after the catch, which only adds to how dangerous he is as a slot receiver when you give him space. On top of all that, he’s as willing a blocker as you’ll find for a player who is 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds.
Odunze is an alluring receiver, especially for his size. Coming in at 6-foot-2 1/2 and about 217 pounds puts him well above the 50th percentile for a receiver in both height and weight. But then you turn on the tape and see he’s quite the athlete for his size, as well.
The fluidity is what really stood out for me. Big guys tend to be stiffer in their movements. If you think about it literally, it’s more body weight and, thus, more muscle to move, therefore it’s going to be harder to do. But Odunze makes it look natural. His contested catch percentages have been low the past two years, at 16.5% and 25% in 2021 and 2022, but I believe those numbers can improve with the strength I’ve seen elsewhere in his game.
Wiggins has the potential to be a high-impact outside cornerback. At 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, he brings a lot of versatility to play both left and right cornerback, as well as zone or man coverage. His experience right now is in off-coverage — when he can keep his eyes on the quarterback and bait them into throws (only 80 of his 481 coverage snaps in 2022 came in press). He moves fluidly and with explosiveness for a taller cornerback, which makes me think he can improve in press if he had the reps. His receiver background gives him good ball skills, as evidenced by his 10 forced incompletions.
There is even more left in the tank for Wiggins, though. His 78.9 coverage grade and 67.8 single-coverage grade from last year can both be higher with more consistency, mainly in the strength category (he likely has to put on weight for better contention at the catch point and in run support). He also dropped three interceptions last season, a figure that could have been even higher due to how well he can read the quarterback and play the ball.
This is the type of player who can be a turnover machine.
While there isn’t another tight end prospect close to Bowers right now, Sanders presents a very high ceiling, as well. The 6-foot-4, 241-pound former five-star recruit played both sides of the ball in high school, also showing his talents as a defensive end. In fact, he practiced at both positions when he was an early enrollee at Texas in 2021 before ultimately settling on tight end.
His natural flexibility to get down in a three-point stance as an in-line tight end and his explosiveness to get out of that stance and up the field are very impressive. That makes him a tough coverage assignment for almost all linebackers. He makes the most of a wide catch radius and hauled in 53.3% of his contested catches in 2022. He’s also a willing blocker who will only get better as he gets stronger.
McCarthy, who has a ton of arm talent, started the season lower on this list due to his poor play under pressure. He earned just a 44.0 passing grade under pressure in 2022 with one big-time throw and seven turnover-worthy plays. On film, you could see his internal clock just wasn't right, nor was his feel for pressure around him.
Though he hasn’t played the toughest of competition yet in 2023, he looks much improved in that area. So far, he has a 62.9 passing grade under pressure with two big-time throws and two turnover-worthy plays. His game against Bowling Green was his worst outing, but that doesn’t totally take away from the near-perfect performances we saw in Weeks 1 and 2. Overall, he’s earned an elite 91.4 passing grade with a handful of impressive “Sunday throws” already out there for scouts to see.
If it weren’t for a late-season knee injury, Corum would have likely declared after last season. He recorded the second-highest rushing grade in the FBS, at 95.7, behind only Bijan Robinson. Corum has averaged more than 0.30 missed tackles per attempt in each of the past two seasons and has averaged 3.8 and 3.5 yards after contact per attempt.
He has incredible contact balance, fantastic vision, quick footwork and so much more. He even brings good third-down skills with soft hands and a fiery willingness as a blocker. His 5-foot-8 stature be damned — this dude can play.
Three weeks into the college football season, Sanders' 93.3 passing grade is the best mark in the FBS (minimum of 100 dropbacks). He also ranks fourth in the FBS in passing grade under pressure (80.4). He has made seven big-time throws to just three turnover-worthy plays, all while recording an 81.4% adjusted completion percentage.
The biggest concern with him coming into the season was whether his arm was truly NFL-caliber. He’s looked more impressive in that area in 2023, especially with his velocity up to 30-40 yards downfield. He may have to put more effort into tight-window throws, but he does so with anticipation and accuracy. For that, he’s put himself in the first-round conversation.
True single-high safeties can change everything for a defense. When you have a player with elite coverage ability on the back end of a secondary, it allows you to put more players in the box to create pressure and excel in run defense. Calen Bullock has that kind of ability and talent as a free safety.
As a former athlete recruit, Bullock has natural, impressive movement skills. His hips can flip fluidly and quickly, his first step is explosive and his long speed is excellent for the position. His five interceptions and five forced incompletions are evidence of his elite range in coverage. However, at 6-foot-3 and just 190 pounds, Bullock has to get stronger. He was a liability in run defense last season — a glaring weakness in his tape versus Utah. For as great as his coverage is, if he doesn’t get stronger and more reliable in run defense, he could get lost in the NFL.
If it weren’t for Corum, Edwards would have been up there for one of the most productive backs in the country in 2022. Even with Corum, Edwards almost rushed for 1,000 yards (991). His speed is his best attribute — his four runs of 60-plus yards were tied for the most in the FBS last season. He also averaged 7.0 yards per carry.
There are times when Edwards is a bit impatient behind his blockers because he’s ready to just unleash his speed, but his vision and processing are as fast as his legs can carry him. Don’t let the fact that he splits time with Corum fool you into thinking he’s not a top back in this class.
Pratt missed Weeks 2 and 3 due to injury, but he was nearly flawless in Tulane’s season opener against South Alabama. Well, technically he was flawless, as his adjusted completion percentage was 100% after going 14-of-15 passing with one drop. Seven of his 14 completions were 10 yards or less. Nonetheless, of the other seven that were further down the field, five were categorized as big-time throws.
Pratt's most impressive stat, though, was his 93.2 passing grade under pressure, which included going 3-of-3 with two big-time throws. Handling pressure and being confident under duress in the pocket was the sticking point on his preseason scouting profile.
Morgan is one of the biggest risers from a year ago and, honestly, could have been a solid draft pick in the 2023 NFL Draft if he didn’t tear his ACL in 2022.
Prior to his injury, Morgan was having a career year. He finished 2021 with a lowly 53.8 pass-blocking and 54.0 run-blocking grade but rebounded last season with an 82.4 pass-blocking grade and a 78.9 run-blocking grade. He was a different player in all the right ways.
He’s on the smaller side for offensive tackles, at 6-foot-4 1/2 and 306 pounds, but that smaller size comes with speed and movement benefits. He also shows good flexibility, consistently squatting in his stance — not just at the snap, but as he is kicking in his pass sets, ready to generate as much power as possible from his lower half.
If he can come back and be the same player he was in 2022, he’ll rise up draft boards.
Clemson has been churning out defensive lineman prospects over the past half-decade, and Orhorhoro looks to be another featured player in that assembly line.
The 6-foot-4, 290-pound interior defensive lineman was a former defensive end recruit but has since thrown on some weight and played more as an interior defender (though Clemson uses him all over the line). The first thing you see on his tape is the effort and motor; he is going full speed until the whistle is blown each and every play. This hot motor also yields quick hands and a great leg drive through contract when trying to push the line of scrimmage. He recorded 27 pressures and a 7.6% pass-rush win percentage in 2022. He also recorded no missed tackles in run defense.
The burst, effort and versatility from Orhorhoro will be coveted.
In just three games this season, the 6-foot-7, 315-pound left tackle looks like the best version of himself we’ve seen yet — not just betting on size traits. His flexibility in his stance is much better — lower to the ground with a wider, more powerful base. Although his hand placement isn’t perfect, it is much improved from a year ago. Plus, he doesn’t look top-heavy anymore.
When Oaul engages with defensive linemen, you can see he’s more upright, generating much more power and balance through his lower body all the way through his chest and arms. Throw in his elite 95.4 pass-blocking grade, and you’ve got a recipe for a major riser.