2024 NFL Draft Preview: Breaking Down the Top Prospects by Position

The 2024 running back class lacks a consensus RB1. Though scouts can envision several top prospects making key contributions in prominent roles, the private straw polls I’ve conducted on this year’s draft class with NFL coaches, NFL scouts and other experts in the media suggest teams are undecided on the pecking order at the position. Texas’ Jonathan Brooks, Florida State’s Trey Benson, Tennessee’s Jaylen Wright and Michigan’s Blake Corum are intriguing prospects, but evaluators are also paying close attention to Clemson’s Will Shipley, Wisconsin’s Braelon Allen and Oregon’s Bucky Irving as underrated players with upside.

The wide receiver class is loaded with premier playmakers with polished games. Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr., LSU’s Malik Nabers and Washington’s Rome Odunze are legit WR1s with the potential to flourish in any scheme. LSU’s Brian Thomas Jr. is a gifted player with the outstanding tools to develop into a dominant playmaker on the perimeter. With Florida State’s Keon Coleman, Georgia’s Ladd McConkey and Texas’ Adonai Mitchell and Xavier Worthy showing promise as WR2s, the collection of pass catchers in the 2024 class features some plug-and-play options for teams seeking impact wideouts.

The tight end class is not as loaded as the 2023 group, but Georgia’s Brock Bowers is a future All-Pro with a gold jacket-caliber game. He is the mismatch creator every offensive coordinator covets in a flex tight end with Y capabilities. Texas’ Ja’Tavion Sanders impresses as a designated seam runner with enticing potential as a red-zone weapon.

The 2024 offensive line class features a talented collection of road graders and dancing bears. Notre Dame’s Joe Alt, Oregon State’s Taliese Fuaga and Penn State’s Olumuyiwa Fashanu are Day 1 starters with all-star potential. Alabama’s JC Latham and Georgia’s Amarius Mims might need a little seasoning, but they also display rare skills as maulers on the edges. With Washington’s Troy Fautanu, Duke’s Graham Barton and Oregon’s Jackson Powers-Johnson flashing dominating skills as road graders, there is plenty of star power here.

Defensively, the 2024 class features several edge and interior defenders with disruptive pass-rush skills. On the edges, Alabama’s Dallas Turner, UCLA’s Laiatu Latu and Florida State’s Jared Verse are dynamic pass rushers who can win with force or finesse. With Penn State’s Chop Robinson showing intriguing potential as a speed rusher, teams seeking impact defenders could make a play early in Round 1 for high-end pieces.

Texas’ Byron Murphy II and Illinois’ Jer’Zhan Newton stand out among the defensive tackle class as energetic interior defenders with playmaking skills. Murphy, in particular, displays top-10 talent as an upfield penetrator with disruptive skills.

The scouting community continues to debate the merits of off-ball linebackers, but coaches love “see ball, get ball” defenders with exceptional instincts, awareness and playmaking skills. N.C. State’s Payton Wilson is a big-play specialist with a knack for taking the ball away and controlling the game from sideline to sideline. Texas A&M’s Edgerrin Cooper and Michigan’s Junior Colson are tackling machines with the speed, quickness and range to shrink the field as run and pass defenders.

The depth of the defensive backfield will enable teams to find quality starters throughout the draft. While Toledo’s Quinyon Mitchell and Alabama’s Terrion Arnold command attention for their stellar work on the perimeter, scouts are equally impressed with the work of Iowa’s Cooper DeJean and Michigan’s Mike Sainristil on the inside. With Minnesota’s Tyler Nubin flashing Pro-Bowl-caliber skills as a centerfielder, the 2024 class is stocked with difference-makers in the defensive backfield.

2024-04-19 18:18:00
#AllPros #Pro #Bowlers #overachievers #class

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