Quarterback rankings are always the star of the ball that is the NFL Draft, in the 2024 NFL Draft ranking those quarterbacks will be tougher than ever. We have seen clear-cut top guys in draft classes recently, the last time we saw a true debate over who was QB1 was back in 2018.
In 2018 we saw five quarterbacks that folks were debating between being the top guy. While history has shown that it was really between Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson, at the time it wasn’t that simple.
When the time comes for the 2024 NFL Draft, the water won’t be any clearer than it is right now if we are being honest.
While for most there is one shining star in this class, some are saying the race is a lot closer than fans may expect. For the time being, here is where they rank heading into the new season.
While everyone clamors over Caleb Williams, Drake Maye is the true crown jewel of this quarterback class. In the 2024 NFL Draft teams will have to choose between them but as far as these quarterback rankings the choice is made, Maye is the man heading into the season. Where Williams flashes, the North Carolina passer just does what he needs to do. Not in a bland sense but in a tactical, methodical sense where he just picks defenses apart while also having the ability to make splash plays.
Just a few points behind Maye in the scoring of this class, the consensus number one for many is Caleb Williams. He is an absolute playmaker, a great example of someone who makes a chicken salad out of chicken…you know the rest. Williams will thrive in the NFL in that area and creating off-platform and out of the pocket. That skill especially will help him from day one if he is behind a poor offensive line. He very well could be QB1 by the Spring, only time will tell.
On the first watch of J.J. McCarthy I came away less than enthused, after getting to watch him more he climbed the quarterback rankings. McCarthy doesn’t make a lot of flash-in-the-pan throws but he takes what defenses give him and carves them up in doing so. He also is methodical in his ball placement while also not being risky with his decision-making. He can be too safe at times but if he opens things up then he can be a real wild card in the 2024 NFL Draft quarterback rankings.
From one safe quarterback prospect to the ultimate wild stallion of the group, Quinn Ewers. After transferring from Ohio State to Texas last Summer, Ewers faced high expectations and he fell well short of those but he did show at times what he could do. What he did to Alabama before getting injured was beyond impressive, if he can put a whole season of that together, with Arch Manning waiting in the shadows, he could skyrocket up the rankings.
The love of draft Twitter this Summer was Riley Leonard out of Duke, while it may seem confusing on the surface he is a fun prospect once you dive in. He is a great dual-threat talent at the position but in a controlled manner. He doesn’t run for the sake of it, when he runs it is to pick up a first down or more. Pair that with his exceptional arm talent and you have a quarterback prospect that teams will fall in love with this Fall and throughout the draft process.
After a rough start at Auburn, which did see him defeat Alabama at one time, Bo Nix headed out west and has settled in nicely at Oregon. He flashed big-time arm strength in his first year as a Duck while also showing improved accuracy and ball placement. What was lacking however was him keeping the strong performances up against the toughest parts of the conference as well as out of conference. You can carve up the Arizona State’s and UCLA’s but doing that to Utah or Oregon State goes much further.
Jordan Travis of Florida State rose the ranks quickly last year and surprised some folks when he decided to return to Florida State. By returning, however, he has a chance to leave his mark on the program and talent evaluators for the NFL. Travis is the best dual-threat quarterback in these quarterback rankings. He has no problem beating you over the top with his arm or with his legs in the open field. If he can do that more consistently then he may be cooking with gas finally.
Spencer Rattler is the ultimate X-factor in the entire 2023 college football season and the 2024 NFL Draft cycle. Rattler is arguably the most talented passer in this class, he can be explosive, and he can pick you apart, but between the ears, he needs to overcome himself. When things go bad they tend to snowball on him, he needs to develop that short-term memory that so many great NFL passers have and until then he will remain on the back end of these quarterback rankings.
Without several torn ACLs and being a lefty with a unique throwing motion, Michael Penix Jr. would be near the top of the class. With the injury history and mechanics holding him back he may project more as a fun backup for teams at the next level. That being said, he has as strong an arm as anyone in the class and can drop any ball in the bucket while getting over the defense. The prime example is the Michigan State game last season, which is prime Penix Jr. but it is hard to see that lasting 18+ games in the NFL.
Yes, the darling of draft Twitter is at the bottom of the rankings but that should be expected. Joe Milton has the craziest arm, strength-wise, that I have ever seen in covering the draft since 2018. Josh Allen obviously had a big arm but Milton’s is on another planet. Like Allen however, the college tape shows that the accuracy isn’t there at times and the fastball is his favorite pitch to throw. Once Milton gets more reps and learns more pitches he can pivot from being Wild Thing Rick Vaughn and becoming a Randy Johnson.