The NFL Draft is a highly anticipated event that showcases the future stars of professional football. Each year, college football players aspire to be selected in the first round, an honour that signifies their immense talent and potential.
As an avid football fan, I have closely followed the journey of numerous prospects, and in this article, I will share my favourite 2024 first-round NFL Draft prospects. These players have shown exceptional skill and promise, making them exciting prospects to watch next season as they prepare to transition to the next level.
My Favourite 2024 1st-Round NFL Draft Prospects
Marvin Harrison Jr. – WR – Ohio State
It’s hard to discuss the 2024 NFL Draft without mentioning Marvin Harrison Jr. He is easily the best receiver prospect since Ja’Marr Chase came out of LSU in 2020, with some saying he is the best since Calvin Johnson in 2007.
At 6’4″, 205 pounds, the Hall of Famer’s son makes unnatural things like sinking, separating and converting at the catch point look effortless. According to Bruce Feldman’s 2022 College Football Freaks List, as a sophomore at Ohio State, Harrison benched 380 pounds, doing 22 reps of 225, while also having a 10-9 broad jump. If that’s not enough, he also clocked a blistering 3.94 pro shuttle time to go along with a top speed of 23 mph.
In Marv’s last 14 games as a Buckeye, he totalled 83 receptions for 1334 yards and an absurd 17 touchdowns. Additionally, he was PFF’s highest-graded and most valuable receiver in the country last season, as a true sophomore.
Brock Bowers – TE – Georgia
Bowers came to Georgia as a true freshman in 2021 and has been beyond dominant from the jump. Over the past two seasons, Bowers has combined for 119 receptions for 1824 yards and 20 touchdowns while winning back-to-back National Championships. This past season Bowers led all tight ends in the FBS in receiving yards (942), yards after the catch (479), and receiving yards after contact (274).
According to PFF, as a true freshman in 2021, Bowers was the highest-graded Power Five tight end, as well as the most valuable. This is something he repeated again last season as a sophomore, and will almost surely do again this upcoming year.
The Georgia offence has always been great at getting Bowers the ball in space, but he has made the most of his opportunities thanks to his instant acceleration, zone awareness, contact balance, and iron grasp at the catch point. The Georgia Bulldog standout is on track to go down as one of the best tight-end prospects in history.
Jared Verse – EDGE – Florida State
Jared Verse who transferred to Florida State from Albany in 2022 has emerged as one of the most electrifying defensive players in college football. Last season, the standout edge rusher earned All-American honours along with being named first-team All-ACC, amassing 48 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and 9 sacks.
At 6’4″ and roughly 250 pounds, Verse has ideal size to go along with fantastic athleticism that should make him a surefire top-15 pick with another strong year in Tallahassee. The former Albany Great Dane has a deep bag of moves and pairs his superb burst, length, power, and bend with supremely quick and active hands.
Jer’Zhan Newton – DL – Illinois
Jer’Zhan Newton has been a force to be reckoned with on the Illinois defensive line for the past three seasons. At 6’2″, 295 pounds Newton is one of the most explosive interior pass rushers in college football. Last season for the Fighting Illini, the 20-year-old combined for 61 tackles, 14 tackles for loss, and 5.5 sacks making first-team All-Big Ten. Additionally, he was PFF’s most valuable Power Five interior defensive lineman, leading all DTs in pressures (59) and TFLs (14).
Newton is a player who provides flexibility on the defensive line and can play both DT and DE. He is very quick off the line, flexible in getting through blocks, and plays with violent and combative hands that can wreck blockers at times. The Illinois standout is also a very experienced player, already appearing in 32 games for the program.