As we reach the midpoint of September, it felt like a good time to drop my latest big board. Much of these rankings still rely on summer scouting, but as I continue to pour through film from the first two (well I guess three) weeks of the season, there is plenty that has influenced the shape of my top 50 big board.
A couple of important notes before we dive in. I do not weight positional value when putting together these rankings. I simply go with the best players as they fall. Secondly, these rankings are incredibly fluid. We are constantly adding new data and watching more film to help build a better profile of these prospects. We have about 7.5 months until draft day. A lot is going to change between now and then.
Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State
Let’s not overthink this one. Harrison is a monster with elite production, NFL bloodlines, and great size. Barring something truly unforeseen, he will be the best receiver prospect to come out since maybe A.J. Green. Ja’Marr Chase is likely in that conversation as well. It’s rarified air. Harrison has earned it and he will be a blast to watch all season long.
Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia
If you were to describe the prototypical NFL tight end these days, it would pretty closely align with Bowers. He is built like George Kittle, but he might be a better blocker and just as good of a receiver. Since the moment he stepped on the field as a true freshman, he has been one of the best players for the back-to-back national champions.
Caleb Williams, QB, USC
This is not a slight on Williams. He is an elite quarterback prospect. He just so happens to be in the same draft class as arguably the best wide receiver and tight-end prospect in about a decade. Williams is a playmaker. He has a great arm and incredible athleticism. On top of that, he already has a Heisman under his belt. It will be a shock if Williams is not the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL draft, assuming he does not return to school.
Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State
Speaking of players returning to school, it was a surprise to see Fashanu opt for another year at Penn State. He likely would have been a top-10 pick this past April. He has great size and moves so well for that size. His skill set makes him one of the most desirable prospects in this class. He should be a franchise left tackle for the next decade plus for whoever drafts him this year.
Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State
Much like Fashanu, Verse’s decision to return to school was unexpected. He dominated in his first season with the Seminoles after arriving from Albany. It is wild that he could be a top-five pick in 2024 given that he started his college career as a zero-star tight end. He burst onto the scene in 2022 against LSU and did a nice job against the Tigers again this year. He should be the first defensive player off the board in the 2024 draft.
Drake Maye, QB, UNC
In any other year, I think most teams would be fawning over Maye. He is coming off a stellar debut season at North Carolina. There are even scouts and analysts who have him ranked above Caleb Williams. I’m not quite ready to make that call yet. He has great arm strength and mobility, but I want to see him develop a bit more in some more nuanced areas of the game and take the next step at quarterback. Two seasons of dominant play will erase just about any question that exists about him.
Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA
One of my favorite prospects in his class, Latu is an unbelievable pass rusher who is nearly impossible to block. His ability to disengage, swim past pass blockers, and consistently get into the quarterback’s face is why I have him rated this high. He looked sharp in more of a rotational role last season. He took it to the next level to open the season against Coastal Carolina. He has an extensive medical history that could take him off the board for some teams, but based on his talent, he is a top-10 player in this draft class.
Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama
If you are looking for the latest Alabama corner ready to take the NFL by storm, look no further. McKinstry has the prototypical corner build to go with good speed and high-level experience. He is a leader on that Tide defense as well. Add in some punt return ability and you have an exciting prospect.
Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame
Few schools seem to prepare linemen better for the NFL than Notre Dame. Alt is the latest star tackle to make waves in scouting circles. He is a technician in pass protection. His 6’8″ frame and long arms help with that, but the hand usage is top-notch. There is room for him to get stronger, especially in his lower half. He had a fantastic game as a run blocker against NC State. If he can replicate that moving forward, he will be even higher on big boards.
Kalen King, CB, Penn State
King is the real deal. You might not really know about him if you casually watch Penn State games because opposing teams know better than to target him too often. He is a bit undersized at 5’11”, but plays the position really well. He won’t be a clear fit for every team if they run a defensive scheme that values big, long corners, but he should have no problem transitioning to most NFL systems.