Top 5 Quarterbacks in the 2024 NFL Draft

- Sports

by Jake Lynch

Quarterback is one of the most important positions across all sports. There are only a couple of quarterbacks in the NFL that can take over a team and win right away. Patrick Mahomes had a terrible wide receiver group all year with drops and fumbles at crucial points, and the Chiefs ended up winning the Super Bowl because Mahomes can take over games and be a rare difference-making player. If you have that quarterback, you have a chance. This draft class has many good quarterbacks, and we could see 4 taken in the top 5. Here are my top 5 quarterbacks in the 2024 NFL draft class.


1. Caleb Williams

Williams is from USC and comes in at 6’1, 218 pounds. Williams is one of the best prospects since Andrew Luck in 2012. He won the Heisman Trophy in 2022 and had a very successful college career. Williams has great arm talent that makes throws effortless consistently. The best part about his game is extending plays, and he thrives when the pocket collapses and he goes off-script. He keeps plays alive by keeping his eyes up and he’s great at the scramble drill with his receivers. Lincoln Riley has sent multiple starting quarterbacks to the NFL including Baker Mayfield, Kyler Murray, and Jalen Hurts. Caleb Williams is the best quarterback coming out of college under Lincoln Riley, a generational prospect, although not without his flaws. He hesitates at times taking the open underneath read because he’s looking for that homerun shot. His footwork can also get cleaned up in the short passing game because it causes him to be late at times.

2. Drake Maye

Drake Maye is from North Carolina and comes in at 6’5, 220 pounds. Maye comes from an athletic background across all the different sports in his family. His dad, Mark, played quarterback at North Carolina from 1983 to 1987. His brothers, Luke and Beau, played basketball at North Carolina with Luke winning a national championship. His other brother, Cole, played baseball at Florida while also winning a national championship. Maye had a great year in 2022 but struggled in 2023 when his offensive coordinator and WR1 left the Tar Heels in the offseason. Maye is the most accurate quarterback in the draft with a live arm that has great velocity behind every pass. Maye is also a dual threat that can extend plays when needed. Maye needs to clean up his footwork, there are too many snaps where he relies too heavily on his arm. He also held onto the ball too often this year and needs to have a plan when his first or second read isn’t open.

3. Jayden Daniels

Jayden Daniels is from LSU and comes in at 6’4, 215 pounds. Daniels is coming off an historic season in 2023 when he won the Heisman Trophy, averaging 412.2 total yards per game, totaled 4,946 yards and 50 touchdowns. The ultimate dual threat with a huge arm down the field and faster than most DBs, Daniels thrives in the deep passing game with elite accuracy of 20+ yards down the field. Daniels has also grown every year in college, starting with first season at Arizona State in 2019. His best trait is that he takes care of the football with only 20 interceptions over his 5 seasons in college. Daniels will have to work on throwing within the pocket. It’s great to move around and play to his strengths, but he’ll have to constantly throw in rhyme and on time within the pocket to be successful in the NFL. He also has an inconsistent release; throwing in different levels of the field, his release isn’t always the same.

4. JJ McCarthy

JJ McCarthy is from Michigan and comes in at 6’3, 197 pounds. McCarthy is coming off a 15-0 season where he helped lead the Wolverines to a national championship. He had an impressive record of 27-1 as the starting quarterback. McCarthy is 21 years old with a high upside and the highest ceiling out of any quarterback prospect. He can throw into tight windows and did that time after time at Michigan. He also tore up defenses when they blitzed him constantly, always with a plan that was utilized to his advantage.

McCarthy played on a run-dominant offense, so there are high concerns about the number of reps he took in his career. He has fewer attempts, dropbacks, less time analyzing defenses, and less experience with putting the team on his shoulders than every other big name QB in this draft. Can he take over games when he needs to? Can he throw within the pocket consistently? Can he throw the ball 40 times a game and have a good completion percentage? Can he lead a team with all the pressure on him to deliver? The talent is there with McCarthy, but so many questions arise about his game due to not having the same amount of passing opportunities as everyone in his draft class. He has the talent to succeed but will need to sit under a veteran to learn the passing scheme of the NFL and gain his confidence.

5. Michael Penix Jr

Michael Penix Jr is from Washington and comes in at 6’3, 218 pounds. Penix led his team to an impressive 14-1 season and were runners-up this past season in the national championship. Penix used medical redshirts and COVID year to his advantage because he played 6 years of college football, four at Indiana and two at Washington. He’s a high football IQ player who processes coverage and goes through his progressions quickly. He knows where to throw the ball and puts it in the right spot for his receivers to win. Penix reminds me of a 1980s quarterback who’s a gunslinger who will throw it all over the yard. He’s accurate and will put his receivers in the right spot with a back-shoulder or over-the-shoulder catch. Teams have been hesitant on Penix because of his injury history, though. In his four seasons at Indiana, he had four different season-ending injuries, two shoulder injuries, and two knee injuries. Penix will also be a 24-year-old rookie. To put in comparison, Trey Lance is going into his 4th NFL season and is younger than Penix. Penix also struggles with his mobility, staying in the pocket and not extending plays or escaping pressure. Penix ran a 4.46 at his pro day, but watching the film doesn’t show that running ability or desire to run at all.

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