NFL Draft: Three-year position rankings (2022-24)

2X3B717 Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams celebrates with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being chosen by the Chicago Bears with the first overall pick during the first round of the NFL football draft, Thursday, April 25, 2024, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Caleb Williams, the ultimate QB1: Williams would have cleared both Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud in my rankings. And Maye would have been above Stroud, as well, though Stroud has gotten the last laugh there.

The 2024 wide receiver group was even better than you think: Some really good receivers have entered the NFL over the last three years, but the three top prospects from this year had higher draft grades than any of the others.

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Estimated Reading Time: 8 minutes

We can often get caught up in the world of the most recent draft class. Analysts and scouts talk about how a player might have the class' best hands, the best pass-rush moves or the best vision as a ball carrier, but how do each of those traits stack up when they are compared against players from other classes?

Here, we revisit the last three NFL drafts — 2022, 2023 and 2024 — ranking players from each pool against one another to form a top 10.

[Editor's note: Performance at the pro level has not been considered for these rankings. We looked only at how we viewed these players as prospects before they were pros.]

Red text = players from the 2024 draft class


  1. Caleb Williams, USC
  2. Bryce Young, Alabama
  3. Drake Maye, North Carolina
  4. C.J. Stroud, Ohio State
  5. Anthony Richardson, Florida
  6. Jayden Daniels, LSU
  7. Will Levis, Kentucky
  8. J.J. McCarthy, Michigan
  9. Michael Penix Jr., Washington
  10. Bo Nix, Oregon

I am not using the benefit of hindsight to adjust my rankings here. Remember, this is strictly how we viewed these players as prospects before they were pros.

Williams would have cleared both Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud in my rankings. And Maye would have been above Stroud, as well, though Stroud has gotten the last laugh there.

I gave Richardson the advantage over Daniels due to overall arm talent, though Daniels was certainly more productive as a Heisman Trophy winner.

Click here to see Caleb Williams' 2024 NFL Draft profile.


  1. Bijan Robinson, Texas
  2. Jahmyr Gibbs, Alabama
  3. Breece Hall, Iowa State
  4. Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State
  5. Jonathon Brooks, Texas
  6. Blake Corum, Michigan
  7. DeWayne McBride, UAB
  8. De’Von Achane, Texas A&M
  9. Jaylen Wright, Tennessee
  10. Tyler Allgeier, BYU

No running back from the 2024 class came close to either of the top two backs in the previous two draft classes. If Brooks had not torn his ACL, he might have been in between —or even above — Hall and Walker as prospects. But with that injury and only one year of production, he finds a seat as No. 5.

The lack of depth beyond the top players in 2022 and 2023 gives way for Corum to take the next spot.

Click here for Jonathon Brooks' 2024 NFL Draft profile!


  1. Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State
  2. Malik Nabers, LSU
  3. Rome Odunze, Washington
  4. Jameson Williams, Alabama
  5. Drake London, USC
  6. George Pickens, Georgia
  7. Chris Olave, Ohio State
  8. Garrett Wilson, Ohio State
  9. Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State
  10. Brian Thomas Jr., LSU

We meant it when we said that the 2024 class had three WR1-caliber receivers.

Some really good receivers have entered the NFL over the last three years, but the three top prospects from this year had higher draft grades than any of the others. I was lower on Garrett Wilson just because I thought he didn’t have a standout trait like a few of the others above him, but if we were taking what they have been as pros into account, he would be in the mix with the top three from 2024.

Click here to see Malik Nabers' 2024 NF Draft profile!


  1. Brock Bowers, Georgia
  2. Darnell Washington, Georgia
  3. Dalton Kincaid, Utah
  4. Michael Mayer, Notre Dame
  5. Sam LaPorta, Iowa
  6. Ja’Tavion Sanders, Texas
  7. Trey McBride, Colorado State
  8. Luke Musgrave, Oregon State
  9. Greg Dulcich, UCLA
  10. Erick All, Iowa

Brock Bowers takes the cake for top tight end prospect over the last three years. I was really high on his teammate, Darnell Washington, as well, and even had him as TE1 in 2023.

After Bowers, there is a solid gap of players from 2022 and 2023 before we get to Ja’Tavion Sanders at No. 6. LaPorta and McBride would be moved up if we took NFL play into account.

Click here to see Brock Bowers' 2024 NFL Draft profile!


  1. Joe Alt, Notre Dame
  2. Charles Cross, Mississippi State
  3. Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State
  4. Ikem Ekwonu, N.C. State
  5. Evan Neal, Alabama
  6. Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Penn State
  7. Paris Johnson Jr., Ohio State
  8. Darnell Wright, Tennessee
  9. Broderick Jones, Georgia
  10. JC Latham, Alabama

We’ve had some good offensive tackle classes over the last three years, which made this position group close.

Joe Alt has taken the top spot as the highest-ranked tackle over the last three years. I loved Cross’ work in pass protection at Mississippi State and was relatively high on him in 2022. I liked Ikem Ekwonu and Evan Neal from 2022 quite a bit, but I liked Taliese Fuaga more.

To me, Fuaga was Darnell Wright but with quicker hands and feet in pass protection.

Click here to see Joe Alt's 2024 NFL Draft profile!


  1. Peter Skoronski, Northwestern
  2. Troy Fautanu, Washington
  3. Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa
  4. Graham Barton, Duke
  5. Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon
  6. Zach Frazier, West Virginia
  7. Zion Johnson, Boston College
  8. Jordan Morgan, Arizona
  9. Matthew Bergeron, Syracuse
  10. Christian Haynes, UConn

It was a dogfight at the top for the best interior offensive lineman, as Skononski, Fautanu and Linderbaum were all top-notch prospects in their respective years.

I ultimately went with who was ranked highest on each board, as Skoronski ranked top five, Fautanu top-15 and Linderbaum top-20. The rest of the list is filled with interior offensive linemen from 2024, as this year's class was strong at center and guard.

Click here to see Troy Fautanu's 2024 NFL Draft profile!


  1. Jalen Carter, Georgia
  2. Devonte Wyatt, Ohio State
  3. Jordan Davis, Georgia
  4. Jer’Zhan Newton, Illinois
  5. Byron Murphy II, Texas
  6. Calijah Kancey, Pittsburgh
  7. Braden Fiske, Florida State
  8. Bryan Bresee, Clemson
  9. Mazi Smith, Michigan
  10. Keeanu Benton, Wisconsin

Despite how much I liked Newton and Murphy from the 2024 class — both were top-15 players — Carter was the unquestioned top player from this group, and Wyatt and Davis were the next two for how I had them graded.

I was really high on Wyatt’s abilities as a pass rusher, but I did see Newton similarly, so that was close between the two.

It is poetic that both Kancey and Fiske are next to one another, as I felt like I was more willing to take a chance on both, given how I had them ranked versus consensus. Their unique quickness/explosiveness in the pass rush is very valuable.

Click here to see Jer'Zhan Newton's 2024 NFL Draft profile!


  1. Will Anderson Jr., Alabama
  2. Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon
  3. Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan
  4. Laiatu Latu, UCLA
  5. Jared Verse, Florida State
  6. Dallas Turner, Alabama
  7. George Karlaftis, Purdue
  8. Nolan Smith, Georgia
  9. Jermaine Johnson, Florida State
  10. Travon Walker, Georgia

Anderson was a blue-chip prospect for me, so it should be no shock that he is No. 1. In 2022, I had Thibodeaux slightly over Hutchinson, so I have to stick with that order, though Hutchinson is outplaying Thibodeaux two years in.

We then have the three 2024 guys, who were always very close to one another in my rankings, and it is fitting that they take up the middle three spots. I liked Latu’s polish, Verse’s power and Turner’s athletic ability honed into pass rushing more than the strengths of the player behind them.

Click here to see Laiatu Latu's 2024 NFL Draft profile!


  1. Payton Wilson, N.C. State
  2. Devin Lloyd, Utah
  3. Nakobe Dean, Georgia
  4. Edgerrin Cooper, Texas A&M
  5. Junior Colson, Michigan
  6. Chad Muma, Wyoming
  7. Drew Sanders, Arkansas
  8. Jack Campbell, Iowa
  9. Leo Chenal, Wisconsin
  10. Quay Walker, Georgia

We haven’t had an elite off-ball linebacker prospect over the last three years, so with everything Wilson can do, I ended up having him as the top linebacker in the group.

Lloyd and Dean are next, though they haven’t yet broken out in their NFL careers. To round out the top five, we have two more players from the 2022 class: Cooper and Colson. It was billed to be a “down” linebacker class in 2024, but when you stack it up against the guys from the last three years, it felt like the best at the top.

Click here to see Payton Wilson's 2024 NFL Draft profile!


  1. Derek Stingley Jr., LSU
  2. Sauce Gardner, Cincinnati
  3. Devon Witherspoon, Illinois
  4. Christian Gonzalez, Oregon
  5. Cooper DeJean, Iowa
  6. Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo
  7. Trent McDuffie, Washington
  8. Terrion Arnold, Alabama
  9. Deonte Banks, Maryland
  10. Nate Wiggins, Clemson

The 2024 cornerback class was very good, yet the first two names on my 2024 corner rankings don’t show up until Nos. 5 and 6. That’s because we had two elite CB duos in both 2022 and 2023.

Stingley, Gardner, Witherspoon and Gonzalez came with elite traits and tape from their college days that made them all top-10 prospects in their respective classes.

We have seen some really talented cornerbacks emerge over the last three years, and the position has a good case for being the most talented group from that period.

Click here to see Cooper DeJean's 2024 NFL Draft profile!


  1. Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame
  2. Brian Branch, Alabama
  3. Tyler Nubin, Minnesota
  4. Dax Hill, Michigan
  5. Jartavius Martin, Illinois
  6. Sydney Brown, Illinois
  7. Lewis Cine, Georgia
  8. Jaquan Brisker, Penn State
  9. Jaden Hicks, Washington State
  10. Jalen Pitre, Baylor

It was not the strongest or deepest safety class in 2024, but Nubin still snuck into the top three to represent the group as a versatile safety who can play both free and box roles.

However, Nubin wasn’t close to Branch or Hamilton, the top safeties of the 2022 and 2023 classes. After that, the safety classes over the last three years felt like a crapshoot.

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