Way Too Early 2024 NFL Draft Quarterback Rankings
It’s never too early to talk NFL Draft! The 2024 NFL Draft is expected to be significantly better than the 2023 class. So much so that for my way too early quarterback rankings, I’m including 25 names. It’s a deep QB class for the upcoming year. Some of these guys will return to school for another year. However, teams that need a signal caller should be very excited for the upcoming year. Let’s stop messing around and get right to the fun stuff!
*Just missed: Tyler Shough (Texas Tech)
25: Jaxson Dart (Ole Miss)
2023 is a huge year for the Ole Miss quarterback. After Spencer Sanders transferred in, I guess we’re not even sure if Dart is going to start or even be part of the program this Fall. Walker Howard entered via the portal as well.
I would guess that Dart starts because he’s still the most talented option there. Former four star recruit with a decorated baseball background as well. Any time you see him roll out and make plays on the run, you feel good about his potential success at the next level. He still tries to play hero ball too frequently. Needs to take the easy play that’s in front of him more often.
2022 was a step in the right direction for Dart. He fell out of favor quickly at USC and is coming off a 20-11 TD to INT ratio season. The accuracy sits at around 62% and will need to improve upon that mark this year. Has enough size at 6-foot-2, 215.
If everything goes right for Dart I think he can top out at an Alex Smith type of player. Just needs to be way more refined and open to taking the layups in order for that to happen. Like Smith, there is underrated athletic traits here.
24: KJ Jefferson (Arkansas)
I think I’ve comped KJ Jefferson to poor man’s Cam Newton in the past. I don’t feel any different today. I’m not super high on Jefferson but he has some traits you can’t deny. Big body at 6-foot-3, 245. He’s gotten way better as a passer. Jefferson has been over 67% in each of the last two years. I’m not sure he’s actually that guy but it’s a positive he’s doing that in the SEC while not having a ton of help around him.
Jefferson has enough arm talent too. It’s not a bad arm and he’s probably going to run in the 4.6 range. Also, a former four star recruit that has a real QB background. The problem I see with Jefferson is that he’s basically the antichrist version of Bryce Young when it comes to adapting. When plays break down around him, chaos ensues. Can Jefferson be more of a calming presence and improve his touch accuracy? Will he stop starting down his first read? TBD.
23: Jalen Milroe (Alabama)
The sample size is small. It’s 60 total passes. I think there just might be something here, however. Former four star recruit. Quarterbacks from Texas have a strong track record at the NFL level. Plus athlete and enough size at 6-foot-2, 212. I also might be too high on Milroe considering that he was supposed to get the keys to the offense. Then Tyler Buchner just transferred in to steal the job away.
The passing isn’t NFL level yet. It might not be college level. I doubt Milroe enters the upcoming draft anyway but he’s gifted enough of an athlete to where a Jalen Hurts type trajectory isn’t impossible? Not nearly as thick though.
I could have easily put the Texas backup Maalik Murphy in this spot instead. It just feels like Milroe is more likely to play and enter the upcoming draft. Murphy still a similar type of player that might actually be better. Just less of a pathway toward playing time.
22: Bo Nix (Oregon)
Bo Nix has come a long way. The guy we saw at Oregon this past year is something I didn’t even think was possible. Nix was still awful against real competition against Georgia last year. Still, things really started to click for Nix last year. Nix was under 60% during his three year Auburn career. This past year with the Ducks that skyrocketed past 71%. How much of that is improvement and how much of that is just playing inferior competition in the Pac 12? Has anyone seen USC play defense?
If you’re looking for positives, Nix represents a lot of what the modern NFL quarterback is supposed to look like. Nix is a way better pure athlete than anyone wants to give him credit for. Nix was the number one rated duel-threat quarterback during the 2019 cycle. He just couldn’t throw the ball until last year.
By the time Nix is drafted, he will be 24. Is there much progression left to go? We will find out this year. At the end of the day, Nix feels like a supped-up version of Sean Clifford. It’s why he’s much lower on the list than others will have him. Nobody should really forget about the early Auburn days either.
21: Jordan Travis (Florida State)
Another older college guy that’s been around the block. Just turned 23 and will be 24 by his rookie season. Former three star guy that enrolled at Louisville and left after a cup of coffee. Travis has been at Florida State the past four years and finally turned the corner a year ago.
FSU really unleashed Travis a year ago. The accuracy was the best it ever was at 64%. 353 passing attempts was by far a career high while sporting a 24-5 TD to INT ratio. Travis also has seven rushing touchdowns in three consecutive years. Bit on the short side at 6-foot-1 but not overly frail at 201.
2023 will be the true test for Travis. Is he just a successful college guy or does he have a real NFL future? I would lean towards the former but he’s got a shot. Florida State has a top five portal class incoming. New tight end Jaheim Bell should be a factor. The Seminoles also return tall drink of water Johnny Wilson. Every single spot along the offensive line is littered with upper class transfers. The running back Trey Benson is really good.
This is the point. For Travis to be taken seriously as a real quarterback prospect, he needs to propel Florida State to the next level. That means getting them back up to and winning the ACC. He has the talent around him this year to do it.
20: Kyle McCord (Ohio State)
We still don’t know who is going to start at Ohio State. It could be Devin Brown but after he left didn’t play in the Spring game because of an injury, it’s probably McCord’s job. It probably should be McCord’s job. McCord wasn’t a magician during the Spring game. He needs to be more consistent with his accuracy. With that said, he has real arm talent and the Ohio State system is really QB friendly. His life with Marv could be worse.
McCord has talent. CJ Stroud is probably the better talent but McCord can play. Former top 5 finish during the 2020 Elite 11 camp. Posted a 45 during his Elite 11 Pro Day in one of the more impressive performances at the event since Tua posted a perfect score.
McCord is a former five star guy with good size at 6-foot-3, 223. More athletic than he gets credit for but has a real shot to develop into a quality dropback passer. Too small of a sample size to know exactly what we’re getting but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him shoot up the board.
19: Jeff Sims (Nebraska)
I know what you’re thinking and I don’t care. There isn’t a single thing that Sims has done in his college career to warrant this ranking. We’re also talking about a guy that was stuck at Georgia Tech. It’s been arguably the most dysfunctional environment in CFB.
Sims is now at Nebraska and it’s been all positive so far. Casey Thompson has been around for a long time and Sims was so good during the Spring that he forced Thompson to transfer out. I don’t think Thompson is terrible and is probably going to get the Auburn starting QB job. What does that tell you about Sims?
Former four star recruit and 22nd ranked overall player in Florida once upon a time. I think he can throw. I think Matt Rhule thinks he can throw too. This one is all projection but I’m just telling you right now that Sims will be better than he was at Georgia Tech. Not a high bar but the surprise season is coming. It might be next year given how Rhule’s team usually struggles when he first takes over the job.
18: Dillon Gabriel (Oklahoma)
I wish he was taller than six feet. All I know is this guy has made big throws down the field over and over again. Had big time production at UCF and we’re waiting for that breakout season at Oklahoma. The only problem is Brent Venables is a defensive coach and might not have his act together.
Even during a lost year at OU, Gabriel posted a 25-6 TD to INT ratio. We need to see Gabriel go nuclear this year. It’s the Big 12. Time to act like it. Go post a 40 touchdown season and Gabriel could find his way on draft boards.
17: Spencer Rattler (South Carolina)
Total wildcard. Has Kyler Murray vibes. He’s so talented and has a total rocket arm despite being undersized. When I say Kyler vibes, I’m including the knucklehead part. Was awful at the start of the year in 2022 for South Carolina but turned the corner at the end of the year. Threw for 438 yards and six touchdowns against Tennessee. The trajectory is on the way up.
The talent is what pushed him to this spot. It’s been a rocky road for Rattler but you can’t deny the gifts he has. It’s pure rocket fuel in the arm. The 2018 quarterback class wasn’t great but Rattler won the Elite 11 MVP that year and it wasn’t close.
16: Grayson McCall (Coastal Carolina)
Does Sun Belt football matter when it comes to the NFL Draft? Maybe it should cause they have some good teams in that conference. Grayson McCall never transferred out that may or may not have helped his stock. It’s a bit of a goofy offense to evaluate at Coastal Carolina. Still, McCall has shown he’s deadly accurate posting over 70% for his entire career.
The positive for McCall is that he’s going to be well over 40 starts by the end of this thing. That really matters. Has good size on him too at 6-foot-3. Is there more progression to be had here?
15 Kurtis Rourke (Ohio)
I talked about the Ohio quarterback during the stock report notes a bit. The sad part is we didn’t get to see much because his season ended prematurely via injury. The footwork is there. Guy gets the ball out quick on time and on target. Has good size on him at 6-foot-3 and is coming off a year where he posted a 25-4 TD to INT ratio at 69% passing. 9.2 yards per attempt is damn good too.
Can we see Rourke elevate his game even further? How much juice does he have in the tank in terms of mobility? Can Rourke take himself past the point of being viewed as a potential backup? Posting monster numbers at Ohio this year would go a long way toward improving his stock. I think there just might be something here though.
14: Tyler Buchner (Alabama)
Tommy Rees must have a lot of power in that Alabama building. There isn’t anything that Tyler Buchner has done to warrant a 14 overall ranking. He was awful at Notre Dame in 2022. We’re talking 55.4% and a three to five TD to INT ratio. If you’re squawking at this ranking, I get it.
Nevertheless, I do think Buchner has a shot. Word on the street is that the lightbulb has finally clicked for Buchner this Spring. So much so that he almost beat out Sam Hartman for the job at Notre Dame before transferring to Alabama. Again, be skeptical all you want but Alabama is never interested if they didn’t think the guy had talent.
Sometimes it takes young quarterbacks time to develop and there is no question that Buchner was a deer in the headlights in 2021 and 22. The Bowl game win over South Carolina late in the year started to show some signs of what might be on the way.
Not the biggest guy in the world at 6-foot-1, 215. Has been hurt before in the past so you hope that isn’t an issue going forward. Former four star recruit that moves really well. Has some juice in the arm and can really make throws outside the pocket. He’s very much a threat with the legs. Not a burner but is going to pick up chunk yardage on the ground.
They just have to take some of that gunslinger out of him. Too many mistakes, and not enough moments where he excels as a game manager. We also don’t have a super long sample size and it’s no guarantee he even starts. The success he does have in the option game might be a tad gimmicky but I wouldn’t be surprised if Buchner works his way up the board and turns into a better Marcus Mariota type guy.
13: Michael Penix Jr. (Washington)
What am I supposed to do with Michael Penix Jr.? I’m on record for saying he sucked during his time at Indiana. I’m pretty sure the numbers back that sentiment up. Did you know as a junior, Penix put up a 3-5 TD to INT ratio season while completing 53.7% of his throws in five games? If that isn’t awful, I don’t know what is.
Penix transferred to Washington and he did his best Hendon Hooker impression on the west coast. He looked like a new man. 554 passing attempts for Penix last year. I didn’t think we would ever see the day. Also was more accurate than he’s ever been and threw 31 touchdowns.
What happened? How did it happen?
I think Kalen DeBoer has a lot to do with it. Rome Odunze has a smaller part to do with it. Turns 23 in a few days and will be 24 by the time he’s drafted to the NFL level. The arm really isn’t a problem. The mobility is obviously a plus.
I’m glad someone figured out a way to hoist the skillset but let’s not get too crazy. There is nothing to warrant first round hype and like Hooker this past year, he can play his way into that third round range.
12: Jayden Daniels (LSU)
Still a huge mixed bag. There are positives. There are negatives.
I still hate his accuracy. I know he was 68.6% last year but it’s BS. 7.5 yards per attempt was the lowest number of his career thus far. If you’re asking me if he can make big boy throws at the NFL level, I’d tell you no.
The positive is that he’s collecting starts, continues to improve, has plus mobility, has production since his freshman year, has four star recruiting background, and continues to put Garrett Nussmeier on the bench.
Do you see how you talk yourself into it? Frankly given how bad the LSU offensive line was and how much Kayshon Boutte pouted last year, it’s a miracle Daniels was as good as he was. Still really skinny. I’m still never scared of him being the focal point of a team that beats you. 2023 will be a huge year for him one way or another.
11: Garrett Nussmeier (LSU)
There is some Brett Favre here. I’m just going to say it. Total gunslinger that hasn’t totally figured it out yet. Former 4 star guy from that great state of Texas that continues to produce quarterback talent. On the shorter side at 6-foot-2.
Did you see the SEC championship game? It was all flash and sizzle but the guy makes those big boy throws that Jayden Daniels can’t. Still needs major polishing. Still turns the ball over too much. Need a bigger sample size but I think he’s more talented than Daniels. Want to see a full year out of him because there is something here. Not saying he’s all world NFL prospect yet but he’s way better than past LSU guys like Zach Mettenberger and Matt Flynn.
10: Sam Hartman (Notre Dame)
I thought Hartman was going to enter the draft this year. If he did, I probably would have had him inside the top five QB’s. Wherever Jake Haener went, Hartman would have gone ahead of him. The showdown against Clemson a year ago was awesome.
2023 will be a new challenge for Hartman. The former Wake product is now suiting up for the Fighting Irish at Notre Dame. Can Hartman spark the Notre Dame offense? I think that’s what we all want to know. We’re still talking about a guy that has thrown for 77 touchdowns over the last two years. On the smaller side at 6-foot-1 but he is so good at perfecting those lollipop throws right in the bucket.
2023 is going to be a big year. Notre Dame has been a stale offense under Marcus Freeman. I’m not sure Drew Pyne could have been worse last year. I do think Hartman has some talent. Feels like he has a similar upside to him as Derek Carr.
9: Riley Leonard (Duke)
Duke football is good. Do you not know? Are you not on the streets? Duke won nine games in 2022 and placed third in the ACC. Yes, Duke football.
Riley Leonard has a lot to do with that. Former three star guy but posted a 20-6 TD to INT ratio without a star studded supporting cast. It’s not like this roster is littered with NFL talent. Also, 6-foot-4, 205 and ran for 699 yards last year. Has a gamer quality to him but also appears super humble. Probably smart too if he attends that university.
Leonard will head into his third year of starting experience. If Leonard takes another leap, he should absolutely be considered a draftable prospect in 2024.
8: DJ Uiaglelei (Oregon State)
I know, I heard you. Trey leave it alone!
A: I can’t because I own his draft rights in fantasy.
B: What if last year wasn’t totally DJ’s fault?
For as bad as DJ was last year he still posted a 22-7 TD to INT ratio. That doesn’t include the 545 rushing yards and seven scores on the ground.
C: It’s not like Cade Klubnik lit the world on fire either. Klubnik had a solid performance against North Carolina but stunk it up in the Bowl game loss to Tennessee.
Clemson underachieved in 2022 and it has a lot to do with their broken offense. Dabo Swinney won’t give you the satisfaction to say the haters were right but his actions speak volumes. Tony Elliott is out and Garrett Riley is in. Yes, that’s Lincoln Riley’s brother. Klubnik should have a very good year but it still doesn’t excuse the poor in house hire last year.
“I didn’t want to do what I was doing at Clemson,” the former Tigers quarterback told The Athletic. “I didn’t really like what we did there scheme-wise. I didn’t think we did very much. I thought it was very basic.
“It didn’t help me out as a quarterback and play to my strengths. I wanted to go somewhere that would play to my strengths and go somewhere that would develop me for the NFL. Play-action, work under center, throw the ball deep.”
What if the playcalling was a problem last year? Again, we’re still talking about a guy who walked on the stage as a freshman against Notre Dame and killed them. DJ was the number one QB recruit in the country in 2020. Ideal size at 6-foot-4, 251. The man is a literal house.
Remember how we said he looked dead in the lower half last year? That what if this was just the NFL’s version of the Greg Oden story and he was just more physically imposing than everyone else at a younger age that wouldn’t sustain itself? DJ had an answer for that too.
“Sophomore year, I was hurt, tore my PCL, had a broken finger,” Uiagalelei said. “But I wanted to stay there and stick it out. But my junior year, towards the end, I knew, ‘I want to get out of here. Yeah, I need to leave and get a fresh start.’ “
Well, it’s put up or shut up time now. All of the qualities that should make DJ a franchise quarterback are still there. Rocket arm. Big body that can run. Can he stay light on his feet and be a professional passer? It has to happen now or it’s never going to.
7: Carson Beck (Georgia)
I’m expecting a big year out of Carson Beck. Kirby Smart told Stetson Bennett he has to leave and this is why. Beck needs game action and he deserves it too. During the Spring game, Beck was awesome. Touch passes, accuracy, poise, he showed it all.
It was a short sample size last year but Beck did everything to prove he can play. I have a bit of a longer form post on Beck here if you want to check it out.
6: JJ McCarthy (Michigan)
Michigan returns a lot of their team for 2023 and realistically they should be better. They just need JJ McCarthy to take another leap. It’s a matter of if it happens.
Former five star guy that can run around and make throws. Needs to be more consistent and stop making the bone headed throws that get him in trouble. 2022 was a solid year and definitely took a leap from his freshman year. It’s no more battling Cade McNamara for the job. The things that make McCarthy special were all on display last year and they don’t beat Ohio State last year without his high upside play.
The thing I worry about is that the second leap just never comes. What if he’s just another Kyle Allen / Sam Darnold where you see the flashes but you never remove that risk taker element. You never get that surgical aspect of him game? That’s the fear but we don’t live in our fears. McCarthy is being groomed well under Jim Harbaugh and carries all the traits to become a franchise quarterback at the NFL level. The pure arm isn’t an A+ but McCarthy is a total playmaker when he’s at the top of his game.
5: Shedeur Sanders (Colorado)
I’m eating the Deion Sanders cheese and don’t care what you think. No, Colorado won’t challenge for the Pac 12 title this year but I actually think the son has some talent. Always have. Former four star quarterback from Texas. The thing I like about Shedeuer is that he isn’t small. 6-foot-2, 216. Has some thickness on him and is a really plus athlete.
I understand that it’s Jackson State at the HBCU level but the production can’t be ignored. Over 70% and 40 touchdowns as a freshman. That’s not easy to do. You have to have some level of talent to put up those numbers even at the HBCU level.
Also remember, teams wanted this guy. This isn’t just a prodigy of Deion. Tennessee, Alabama, Florida State, Georgia all wanted this guy out of high school. He’s probably Florida State’s quarterback right now if the Seminoles give Deion the job instead of Mike Norvell.
We’re going to find out what Shedeur is made of at the Power Five level while playing for a team that won ONE game last year. I think he’s going to be better than even the people who are kinda in on him think. The arm is solid. The guy can throw. It’s not like he’s some athlete that’s making stuff up. This is a real quarterback and way more talented than one of the gimmicky guys like Malik Willis who you dummies fell for. The guy has a shot. I also wouldn’t be surprised if the real leap happens next year.
4: Joe Milton (Tennessee)
The Josh Heupal bump is real. Coaching just matters. When Joe Milton first attended Michigan, he was a lost puppy. Didn’t have a clue what he was doing. Almost like an untrained dog that was all over the place. Well, now the dog has been groomed and is well trained. When he’s fully unleashed this year, I think people will be very surprised.
Milton will be better than Hendon Hooker. Mark my words. Mostly because he’s just more talented. Yes, he’s on the older side being 23 already but the size and tools are undeniable. A true 6-foot-5, 243, and he has an absolute gun on him. I don’t want to ever compare someone’s arm talent to Josh Allen but he’s really not that far off. The fact that I even used his name should tell you the kind of hose he has.
All signs indicate that this is Milton’s team. The talented five star freshman will have to wait his turn just like the one at USC and Texas. How about the sample size Milton put together last year. In relief duty, Milton posted a 10-0 TD to INT ratio with a 11.8 yards per attempt mark. He’s athletic and can move too. It’s going to be fireworks this year.
The Anthony Richardson people should love Milton. This will be the 2024 version. It’s a lump of clay you’re hoping develops into a real franchise quarterback. The clay is being molded the right way too.
3: Drake Maye (North Carolina)
I guess I’m lower than most on Drake Maye but it’s mostly because I haven’t seen everything I want to see. Great year for Maye last year but I want more. Again, it’s not to discredit him. Third in the rankings is pretty good but my guess is most people have him on par with Caleb Williams, and I just don’t feel that way.
38 TD’s to 7 INT’s is about as good as it gets for a redshirt freshman season. Also provided an unexpected spark in the run game with 698 yards and seven touchdowns. Then again, it did come on 184 attempts (3.8 per carry) so maybe don’t get too overly excited about it.
This is my real question. Are we sure he’s light years ahead of Sam Howell? That was another guy who came on strong out of the gates and kinda lost steam. I need one more gear out of Maye. Show me that you’re one of these aliens like a Mahomes, Allen, Burrow, etc. Remember, Maye was just a four star recruit coming out of HS and if you check his profile his comp was Sam Bradford. A talented passer but not one of these aliens you hope lead you to Super Bowls.
Right now I think he’s about 85% Justin Herbert. Do I have another gear to climb? Do I see improvement with more starts under his belt? We’re going to find out.
2: Quinn Ewers (Texas)
Just needs to clean up the footwork. That’s it. We saw the things Ewers could do when Texas played Alabama. He had them beat. The injury set him back and the season sort of fizzled from there. Was the number one recruit in the country during the 2021 cycle. Not just quarterbacks. I’m talking overall players.
Don’t forget, he was also so good that he left high school a year early. He’s just 20 and more developing is still need to be had here. It’s mostly all in the lower half. His arm talent is so gifted that he’s going to make it. It’s a matter of cleaning up the lower half. It will or should happen. The light bulbs are already starting to go off. This Spring Ewers made quick work of things and already shut down the Archie Manning buzz claiming the job.
6-foot-2, 206 with a nasty arm. It pops off the screen. It’s an A arm all day. Mobility is also there. He’s 95% Trevor Lawrence without having popped yet. I’m a believer 2023 will be the year it happens for Texas and Ewers. They’re much better at the line of scrimmage than they were a year ago. Will also have some nice receiver talent to throw to so there won’t be many excuses if Ewers falls short.
1: Caleb Williams (USC)
I don’t know how elaborate I need to get here. It’s Caleb Williams and then everyone else.
Williams is coming off a season where he just won the Heisman and threw for 4,357 yards, 42 touchdowns, and five picks. That’s not including the damage he did on the ground. I don’t want to get too carried away but the Patrick Mahomes comps are so obvious that they’re scary to use. I don’t know how you don’t use them. He’s an A+ quarterback prospect and the odds on favorite to go first for a reason.
The arm is an easy A. He’s probably going to run in the 4.5’s-4.6’s. Can adapt and make plays when things around him break down. He carried an offense last year that was threw together on the fly and really didn’t have much outside of Jordan Addison. This is the type of guy that you should be tanking for.
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