2024 NFL Draft Quarterback Tiers: How the NFL Views the Upcoming Class

There has been intense speculation about the 2024 NFL Draft quarterback class, and the latest inside info explains how the NFL views these QBs.

With the calendar turning to April, we’re officially in the draft month, and the focus sharpens on the upcoming class, with the future NFL destination about to be decided for hundreds of college football’s finest.

There has already been intense speculation about the 2024 NFL Draft quarterback class, and in this week’s column, we’re bucketing these talented passers into tiers using inside information to understand how the NFL views these passing prospects.

2024 NFL Draft QB Tiers: From Long-Term Starters to Potential Backups

In this column, we’re going inside how our sources (coaches and the scouting community) project these 2024 NFL Draft quarterbacks to the next level for the entirety of their careers.

These are not rankings. Instead, it’s how the people we’ve spoken with see these players performing over time, and we explain below what each tier represents.

2024 NFL Draft QBs: Tier 1

Tier Explanation: These players are projected to be long-term starters (6-10 years/expected to play into a second contract with the team that selects them) at the NFL level.

Williams, as one of the evaluators we spoke with during the NFL Combine said, has a very interesting skill set, and his traits should translate well to the next level. While he’s not the “generational talent” that some of the media have labeled him, Williams has a ton of upside and projects to be a long-term starter at the next level.

Like many of the top 8-10 quarterbacks in the 2024 NFL Draft, Daniels was a transfer from another school and, like Bo Nix, took his game to another level over the past two seasons.

What evaluators really like about Daniels is his ability to process information and to make throws off schedule and on the run. The knock on him has always been his thin build, but that’s the only true criticism that we’ve seen, and it’s one that can be alleviated over time.

What evaluators love about Maye is his size, arm strength, and aggressive mindset. Still, there has been a tendency to leave the pocket prematurely at times, and as one evaluator told us, “He wants to make hero throws when the much easier throw is there.” Maye has a ton of talent to work with but needs to clean up some parts of his game at the next level.

2024 NFL Draft QBs: Tier 2

Tier Explanation: These quarterbacks project to become a starter over time but have some concerns with their skill set in one form (examples: accuracy, arm strength, throwing under pressure, processing, athleticism, product of offensive system) or another, and they aren’t a given to get a second contract from the team that selects them.

Penix may not go in the first round due to his early-career injury history, but he has really strong traits (size, arm strength) that transfer well to the next level. However, the one true concern was how he performed under pressure with defenders around him, and that area will need to improve at the next level.

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We’re also told his age (he turns 24 in May) shouldn’t be a factor in his evaluation because players at his position can play well into their mid-to-late 30s.

Nix, who struggled a bit during his three seasons at Auburn with accuracy and timing, really brought his game to another level during his two seasons at Oregon and displayed marked improvement.

However, because of the system he played in over the past two seasons, he had a lot of time and space to throw, and his numbers could be seen as overinflated a bit. He will be an interesting quarterback at the next level due to his solid arm strength and ability to make throws on the run.

As for McCarthy, who has quite frankly been one of the most polarizing quarterbacks for evaluators to analyze in years, he has drawn the comparison from multiple evaluators we’ve spoken with to one-time Pittsburgh Steelers first-round QB Kenny Pickett due to his inability to drive the ball down the field.

There are questions about whether he can make NFL-type throws at the next level. Again, McCarthy won’t wow anyone with arm strength. Instead, it’s all about throwing with a sense of timing for him at the next level.

While we’re not giving players round grades here — and McCarthy likely will be a first-round pick due to supply and demand at the position — we noted in our most recent 2024 NFL Mock Draft that more than one personnel source did not grade him as a first-rounder due to some limitations in his game.

2024 NFL Draft QBs: Tier 3

Tier Explanation: These signal-callers project to be high-end backup/low-end starters at the NFL level.

As a few of the sources we spoke to explained, you see throws from Pratt that would fit in well for a timing-based offensive scheme at the next level, but he has not been able to put it all together for a consistent period of time. Some of the coaches we spoke to who graded his tape said they would like to see him throw with better timing when the pocket breaks down.

As for Rattler, who, like Pratt, was also a Senior Bowl week participant, he doesn’t possess any outstanding traits for the next level, but his competitiveness and moxie seem to stand out about him.

Travis, who is an interesting prospect based on his movement, is coming back from a serious injury, though he’s expected to recover fully well before training camps open. He would fit best in an RPO-based system that would maximize his movement ability.

Milton wowed Senior Bowl practice observers with his incredible arm strength, but his accuracy has been a major problem throughout his career. Accuracy, according to coaches we’ve spoken with, is very hard to improve, and in Milton’s case, he’s more of a project at this point in his career.

2024 NFL Draft QBs: Tier 4

Tier Explanation: These players are projected to be long-term backups at the next level with little chance of becoming starters. They are projected to be No. 2 or No. 3 QBs in the NFL.

Reed has some upside as a backup due to his ability to play in a system that focuses on quick decisions.

KEEP READING: Top QBs in the 2024 NFL Draft

Hartman has drawn the comparison from some NFL sources to veteran QB Gardner Minshew II in his style of play.

Bradley, the son of Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, opened some eyes during Senior Bowl week practices and should get an invite to an NFL rookie camp or signed as a priority UDFA.

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