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    2024 NFL Draft QB Rankings: Top Players Include Drake Maye, Caleb Williams, Jayden Daniels

    Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, and Jayden Daniels will lead the QBs off the board in the 2024 NFL Draft, but how do they stack up based on film?

    In the NFL, if you don’t have a quarterback, you don’t have a chance. A select few teams will be able to rectify that in the 2024 NFL Draft, with the franchise QB and developmental starter options present. Which QB prospects in the 2024 class present the most intrigue? Here’s a look.

    Ranking the Top QBs in the 2024 NFL Draft

    10) Austin Reed, Western Kentucky

    If there’s a quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft class who goes Day 3 and emerges as a good backup and spot-starter in the NFL, that’s a win. One of the top candidates to follow that career arc is Western Kentucky quarterback and Shrine Bowl standout Austin Reed.

    After transferring to WKU from West Florida to succeed Bailey Zappe, Reed dished out 8,086 yards, 71 touchdowns, and just 22 interceptions in two seasons. He’s a pocket passer who wins with accuracy and poise, but he also has that gamer gene, which allows him to drift around and throw off-platform in a limited range.

    9) Jordan Travis, Florida State

    The Florida State Seminoles went 23-4 through 2022 and 2023, and Jordan Travis was far and away the team’s most important player during that stretch. If you need proof, look at how his absence swayed the College Football Playoff selection committee in 2023.

    The decision to exclude Florida State from the CFB Playoff after Travis’ injury was controversial, but there’s no denying the impact he made — both as a distributor and a playmaker from the pocket.

    At 6’1″, 200 pounds, Travis doesn’t fit the prototypical mold and doesn’t possess high-end arm strength. But he’s a phenomenal creator with impressive twitch and corrective mechanical feel as a passer. Those traits could help him stick around in the NFL.

    8) Michael Pratt, Tulane

    Michael Pratt is the best Group of Five passer in the 2024 NFL Draft. He made a great impression at the Senior Bowl with his ability to direct his teammates and throw with touch, and he has a long future ahead of him as a quality backup and spot starter.

    Pratt was a four-year starter at Tulane. That experience has afforded him one of the best operational profiles in his class. He’s poised in the pocket, has excellent field vision and window identification, and can use his arm to layer pace and touch on throws.

    Pratt’s arm is only above average at best, and he’s not an elite athlete. Those factors alone relegate him to a backup projection. But in a league where QB security is becoming increasingly valuable, he has the intangibles and toughness to be an excellent security blanket.

    7) Spencer Rattler, South Carolina

    It came with its ups and downs, but Spencer Rattler‘s college career was something to behold. When he was on top of his game, very few could elevate talent like Rattler did during his time at Oklahoma and South Carolina.

    However, when he was off his proverbial game, the team around him suffered, as did his accuracy and decision-making process.

    Rattler will require some projection at the NFL level, but there’s no denying his arm talent and short-range agility inside the pocket. He brings easy velocity, arm elasticity, off-platform freedom, and the arm talent to layer pace and touch on throws.

    MORE: 2024 NFL Draft Big Board

    Rattler could harness his talent and become a starting quarterback in the right system. He’ll need time, the right coach, and the aforementioned right system. However, if the cards fall in his favor, Rattler could turn heads in the NFL in a few seasons.

    The Gamecocks QB impressed at the Senior Bowl and left the event as a riser. Not only did he showcase the ability to progress and work within a structure, but he also appeared to have matured as a man since his time at Oklahoma. All it takes is one team to be taken by his tools, and Rattler will be picked early.

    6) Bo Nix, Oregon

    Bo Nix has quickly made the NFL world forget his struggles at Auburn. Now in more control of his urges and physical talent, he’s a legitimate first-round QB candidate.

    At 6’2″ and 214 pounds, Nix is one of the most dynamic running and off-script QB threats in the 2024 NFL Draft. He’s a quick, flexible, short-area athlete with excellent creation ability, plus he has the arm elasticity and flexibility to generate velocity off-platform.

    Nix’s arm strength, while above average, visibly falls below the elite mark. Nevertheless, he’s assuredly talented enough, and his development on the operational side suggests he can be a quality NFL starter in the right situation.

    Week 7 of the 2023 college football season was a big checkpoint for Nix, who dueled against fellow prospect Penix in a high-pressure Pac-12 matchup. The Ducks didn’t get the win, but Nix did everything he needed to do to give his team a chance, completing 33 of 44 attempts for 337 yards and two scores.

    Nix didn’t break stride after the demoralizing loss, either. He came back with near-perfect games against Washington State, Utah, California, USC, Arizona State, and Oregon State, earning wins in all instances with his accuracy, arm talent, and quick decision-making skills both in and out of structure.

    By season’s end, Nix completed 364 of 470 attempts — a record 77.4% completion rate — for 4,508 yards, 45 touchdowns, and just three picks. In his final two seasons, he operated at a level of efficiency rarely seen and has the talent to generate big plays.

    Nix dueled Penix again in the Pac-12 title game and lost, but he took the loss with grace. For NFL evaluators, he’s shown everything needed to be an early-round pick. The bigger question is, where in the early-round range will he go?

    Mock drafts present a variety of ranges for Nix. Some have him slipping to the beginning of Round 3, while others have him going as high as the Denver Broncos with the 12th overall pick. The bottom line is this: With his combined distribution ability and creation capacity, Nix has definite appeal as a potential starter.

    5) Michael Penix Jr., Washington

    Michael Penix Jr. was one of the headliners of the 2023 college football season, leading his Washington Huskies to a national championship berth while throwing for 36 touchdowns and almost 5,000 yards.

    In the end, Penix came up heartbreakingly short against Michigan in the title game, but his play in 2023 earned him newfound respect as a legitimate early-round prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft — and a potential Round 1 pick now that he’s passed his medical check.

    Penix’s health issues are serious on paper. They include two torn ACLs and a shoulder problem. That medical history may scare off some teams, even after he passed evaluations at the NFL Combine. But for the team that takes a chance on Penix, he could reward them with eventual starting reps.

    Penix has excellent field vision, aggressiveness, and competitive toughness. Particularly on drive throws outside the numbers and to the intermediate range, he’s a merchant and can fit high-velocity lasers into microscopic windows.

    On top of his superb in-structure qualities, Penix also has a wicked arm to match. He’ll easily have the strongest left-handed throwing arm in the league over Tua Tagovailoa once he makes the NFL leap, and his driving velocity is a fusing element for his accuracy and intangibles.

    Penix’s only similarity to Tua, however, is his left-handed throwing ability. Stylistically, with his underrated straight-line running ability, competitive toughness and resolve, and elite arm strength and drive velocity, he bears some similarity to Colin Kaepernick, with the passing slider turned up and the running slider turned down.

    At 24 years old, Penix still has things to improve. Particularly, when he’s pressured and faced with tight coverage, he’ll attempt to force plays, and his incongruent mechanics can impact his accuracy and precision. But in the right situation, there’s enough to work with to make Penix a team’s QB1 — if he can stay healthy.

    4) J.J. McCarthy, Michigan

    At the start of the 2023 season, J.J. McCarthy was seen as a promising player with great potential in the QB3 race. There were QB3 flashes early on, but a lack of elevating performances — even amid a CFP National Championship run — left many feeling inconclusive about his profile.

    McCarthy has everything he needs physically to be a plus NFL starter, and the flashes of operational growth in 2023 were exciting. Particularly earlier in the season, McCarthy showed glimpses of high-end pocket navigation and anticipation on top of his mobility and elastic arm talent.

    On the surface, McCarthy’s 2023 campaign was a massive success. He won the Big Ten Championship and the National Championship — and winning matters to some NFL evaluators. But while Michigan didn’t win in spite of McCarthy, he was more or less a passenger for most of the season-closing run.

    MORE: J.J. McCarthy’s 2024 NFL Draft Landing Spots

    McCarthy’s tools and youth could earn him a spot in the early first-round range. The best outcome might be for the 21-year-old to sit and learn for a year or two while he hones his poise, field vision, and mechanical synergy.

    That said, in the right situation — perhaps in Minnesota with the weapons, offensive line talent, and the schematic fit with Kevin O’Connell — McCarthy could start early in his career and keep the offense flowing while he sharpens some of his less consistent processing habits.

    3) Jayden Daniels, LSU

    No 2024 NFL Draft quarterback prospect helped their stock more than LSU’s Jayden Daniels this past season. Daniels was viewed as a Day 3 sleeper prospect in the summer, but he’s proven his merit within the top three.

    Through 12 games in 2023, Daniels completed 236 of 327 passes (72.2%) for 3,812 yards, 40 touchdowns, and just four interceptions. If those numbers aren’t gaudy enough, he also accounted for 1,134 yards and 10 scores on the ground.

    It was a universally agreed-upon conclusion in the summer months that Daniels had the requisite athleticism and baseline arm talent to be an NFL quarterback. His creation ability and running value were his primary selling points in 2022.

    MORE: Jayden Daniels’ 2024 NFL Draft Landing Spots

    But in 2023, Daniels completely reworked his game in the pocket, dicing up defenses with his quick leverage ID skills downfield, smooth mechanics, accuracy, and situational precision.

    Daniels has risen throughout the 2024 NFL Draft process to the point where he’s widely expected to be a top-five pick. There are still areas in which he can improve. In particular, his anticipation over the middle of the field is very hot and cold, and he could use more discretion as a runner and off-script presence.

    Still, Daniels has the high-energy athleticism and playmaking potential to elevate an offense. He can also work in structure with absurd efficiency and deliver passes down the field. Daniels can be an exceptional QB in a system that weaponizes those traits.

    2) Caleb Williams, USC

    Caleb Williams locked down his status as a collegiate star after throwing for 4,537 yards, 42 touchdowns, and five picks while running for 10 more scores in 2022 on his way to that season’s Heisman Trophy. He replicated that production in 2023.

    Williams’ production is impressive and looking at the tape, he stands out as a premier QB1 candidate. It’s ultimately a situation where Drake Maye and Williams are QB1a and QB1b in the 2024 NFL Draft cycle.

    It’s still a coin flip between the two, with reasons to pick Williams. He possesses all the necessary qualities to become a top-tier NFL quarterback early in his career. His hyper-elite creation capacity and composite arm talent will enable him to generate big plays, withstand adversity, and extend plays.

    Williams also has a solid operational floor and RPO profile, but there are still ways to improve. His decision-making and accuracy can be spotty under pressure, and his play style leads him to hold the ball too long and create unnecessary chaos. The Notre Dame game was the prime example.

    Nevertheless, Williams rebounded after that game and provided a new taste of his passing magic each week in the final stretch of 2023. He has a high enough floor with sky-high upside, and he’s very much worth banking on as a franchise QB option in the 2024 NFL Draft.

    Who Is the Best QB in the NFL Draft?

    1) Drake Maye, North Carolina

    The 2024 NFL Draft QB class is led by two talented quarterbacks who are neck and neck in terms of skill — Williams and Drake Maye.

    While Williams is the favorite to go No. 1 overall, Maye doesn’t always get credit as an equally viable QB1 candidate. He may not have Williams’ hyper-elite improvisational skills, but the 6’4″, 223-pound Tar Heel is a talented athlete with rare arm strength, elasticity, and anticipation ability.

    Decision-making was the lone factor keeping Maye from legitimately challenging Williams earlier in the season, and occasional poor decisions will be something for the former Tar Heel to iron out. However, with his 2022 and 2023 tape accumulated, he deserves QB1 credence.

    Maye, for his size, still has exceptional off-platform ability and athleticism. While Williams is generally more accurate and has cleaner mechanics on rhythm throws, Maye’s flashes of quick processing, anticipation, and efficient progression work are enthralling.

    Even more impressive is Maye’s leverage awareness, both as a pocket navigator and as a manipulative field processor. He uses his eyes and shoulders to misalign defenders and his rocket arm to capitalize in real time.

    Not dissimilar to the version of Jordan Love the Packers unearthed in 2023, Maye is an elite physical talent who can use his traits to elevate the offense within structure. And while he can still seek greater mechanical control, his combination of elite talent and natural QB’ing instinct makes for unmatched upside.

    Honorable Mentions

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