New 2024 NFL Draft prospects pop up weekly, with some flying under the radar. Each week, I’ll highlight a few prospects that need more attention. As we enter conference schedule season, we’ll get to see iron sharpening iron more often.
In this edition of Scouting the Nation, we look at a fast riser in Rutgers Scarlet Knights and a Pac-12 quarterback tearing it up through three games this season.
Top Underrated 2024 NFL Draft Prospects To Watch in CFB Week 4
Tyreem Powell, LB, Rutgers Scarlet Knights
No linebacker has been as good as Tyreem Powell so far this season. He has 29 tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble.
On film, it’s easy to see that Powell is an elite athlete. He moves incredibly well in space, easily flips his hips, and isn’t clunky for a 6’5″ player. Powell was very good last season, but he has really taken the next step in his development.
The flashes were there last season, but Powell is shedding blocks at a much higher level and hasn’t missed a tackle. As a blitzer, Powell has used his speed, length, and acceleration to get to the quarterback.
He’s a complete middle linebacker who should go very high next April if he can continue at this pace.
Cameron Ward, QB, Washington State Cougars
Cameron Ward is related to Seattle Seahawks safety Quandre Diggs and former Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Quentin Jammer. An FCS All-American at Incarnate Word in 2021, Ward arrived at Washington State with high expectations.
He performed well in 2022, considering the talent around him was unspectacular, completing 64.4% of his passes for 3,232 yards, 23 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. Ward has one more season of eligibility in 2024.
The biggest things evaluators wanted to see from Ward this season were improvements in his footwork and ability to throw from the pocket.
On his tape last season, Ward’s arm talent was phenomenal. He showed he could make any throw created outside of structure and always kept the play alive.
Ward has been excellent within the pocket this season and has made several NFL throws within the structure. In addition, Ward’s special playmaking ability has improved this season. He’s thrown nine touchdowns and zero interceptions this season, already produced a top-25 win, and has elevated the players around him.
The upside Ward possesses is so enticing, and he’s shown tremendous growth already this season. The arrow is pointing up with Ward, and strong performances in conference play could do wonders for his draft stock.
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