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2024 NFL Draft QB Rankings: Preliminary Grades For Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, Quinn Ewers, and More

As we approach the 2023 college football season, it's never too early to look ahead to the future of the quarterback position in the NFL. In today's analysis, we have compiled a preliminary ranking of the top projected quarterbacks based on our initial 2024 NFL Draft player grades.

Football Scout 365 NFL Draft Big Board previewing Caleb Williams

About the Football Scout 365 NFL Draft Grading Process

Every player we grade goes through the same process that starts with a film analysis of at least four full games followed by an in-depth analytical review. During the analytical review, we examine basic stats like total pass yards, rush yards, and efficiency, followed by an in-depth review of their positional-based advanced stats.

Every Data Point Matters

We aim to grade every player as accurately as possible by assessing every data point we can access internally and externally. In addition, we also consider each player's performance in varying situations, including high-pressured situations, key moments, and opponent strength, to determine if the prospect rises to the occasion in critical moments just as often as they do vs. the lesser opponents or in less critical moments.

Preliminary 2024 NFL Draft QB Rankings By Grade Tier

This analysis provides an early, in-depth look at the QB position ahead of the 2023 college football season. We are highlighting the potential top 2024 NFL Draft prospects for whom we have a grade thus far. The analysis includes each quarterback's play style, scheme fit, scouting report, player comparisons, and preliminary draft grade. While these rankings are subject to change as the season progresses, they provide an early glimpse into the potential future stars at the quarterback position. Let's dive into the analysis and see who tops the list.

Near Elite Level

70-74 Nearly elite players are expected to become significant contributors to the team by their second year.

Caleb Williams, USC (6′ 1″ 220lbs)

Preliminary Draft Grade: 74.3 (Near Elite).

Player Comparisons: Patrick Mahomes, Kyler Murray, Jalen Hurts.

Play Style and Scheme Fit: Caleb Williams is an electrifying dual-threat signal caller who excels at dissecting defenses from the pocket while utilizing his legs to extend plays. His cannon-like arm and nimbleness make him a constant danger in the open field. Williams fits seamlessly into an offensive scheme that exploits his dynamic skill set, such as a rollout and option-heavy playbook, maximizing his mobility and arm strength.

Scouting Report: Caleb Williams is one of the most exciting quarterback prospects in recent years. He possesses elite arm talent, mobility, and football IQ, making him a potential franchise quarterback in the NFL. His ability to fit into various offensive schemes and make plays under pressure adds to his value. With the right development, he has all the tools to succeed at the next level.

Drake Maye, North Carolina (6′ 4″ 225lbs)

Preliminary Draft Grade: 70.6 (Near Elite).

Player Comparisons: Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow, Trevor Lawrence.

Play Style and Scheme Fit: Drake Maye excels in a spread offense that maximizes his dual-threat capabilities. His ability to make accurate throws and extend plays with his legs adds versatility to the offensive scheme. Maye's mobility and decision-making make him a threat both as a passer and a runner, allowing him to excel in a system that emphasizes creativity and adaptability.

Scouting Report: Drake Maye's adaptability and physical stature draw comparisons to NFL quarterbacks like Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow. He delivers accurate throws from the pocket and improvises effectively on the move. Maye's football IQ and ability to quickly process information make him a potential leader of an NFL offense. His size, athleticism, and potential to operate complex offenses incorporating QB runs and RPOs resemble Trevor Lawrence's skill set.

High-End Starter Potential

65-69 High-End Starter Potential Players are projected to be among the top starters on the team within the second or third year.

Quinn Ewers, Texas (6′ 1″ 220lbs)

Preliminary Draft Grade: 66.3 (High-End Starter Potential).

Player Comparisons: Jordan Love, Will Grier, Geno Smith.

Play Style and Scheme Fit: Quinn Ewers would thrive in a West Coast offense, utilizing his mobility to extend plays and his arm strength to make all the necessary throws. With a strong arm, solid mobility, and accuracy, Ewers draws comparisons to Jordan Love, Will Grier, and Geno Smith. His ability to throw from multiple arm angles makes him difficult to defend, and his accuracy at all three field levels adds to his value.

Scouting Report: Quinn Ewers has a strong arm and can make all necessary throws from the pocket or in off-script situations. While he possesses arm talent and accuracy, he must work on consistency and decision-making. With his potential, Ewers could develop into a high-end starter in the NFL.

Spencer Rattler, South Carolina (6′ 1″ 218lbs)

Preliminary Draft Grade: 65.6 (High-End Starter Potential).

Player Comparisons: Baker Mayfield, Jimmy Garoppolo, Matt Corral.

Play Style and Scheme Fit: Spencer Rattler's play style thrives in an Air Raid or spread offense, maximizing his downfield passing and off-script play-making ability. His accuracy and decision-making resemble a college version of Jimmy Garoppolo, while sharing similarities with Matt Corral regarding off-script nature and running ability. Rattler's versatility suits various offensive schemes that highlight his arm strength, accuracy, and mobility.

Scouting Report: Spencer Rattler is a gifted quarterback with a strong arm, good accuracy, and the ability to extend plays with his legs. However, consistency issues and decision-making are areas of concern. With his arm talent and off-script ability, he is projected as a first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Development and improved decision-making will be crucial for his success in the NFL.

J.J. McCarthy, Michigan (6′ 3″ 200lbs)

Preliminary Draft Grade: 65.5 (High-End Starter Potential).

Player Comparisons: Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, Kyle Allen.

Play Style and Scheme Fit: J.J. McCarthy's skill set is compatible with spread or West Coast NFL offenses. His comparisons to Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, and Kyle Allen demonstrate a spectrum of potential outcomes. McCarthy displays impressive arm strength, good mobility, and a high football IQ. While he can make big-time off-platform throws, consistency in accuracy, pocket presence, and decision-making are areas for improvement.

Scouting Report: J.J. McCarthy is a promising quarterback prospect out of Michigan, showcasing impressive arm strength, mobility, and a high football IQ. While he has the potential to become a starting quarterback in the NFL, he must improve his accuracy, pocket presence, and decision-making. His blend of physical skills, mental acumen, and leadership abilities could position him for significant impact at the professional level.

Sam Hartman, Notre Dame (6′ 1″ 209lbs)

Preliminary Draft Grade: 65.0 (High-End Starter Potential).

Player Comparisons: Mitch Trubisky, Baker Mayfield, Jimmy Garoppolo.

Play Style and Scheme Fit: Sam Hartman is a pro-style quarterback with a strong arm and good accuracy, making him a good fit for a West Coast offense. His comparisons to Mitch Trubisky, Baker Mayfield, and Jimmy Garoppolo highlight his ability as a pocket passer with strong arm talent and accuracy. While not overly mobile, Hartman possesses good pocket presence and decision-making skills.

Scouting Report: Sam Hartman is a quarterback with a strong arm and good accuracy. He is a two-time captain known for his competitive nature and toughness. While his deep accuracy can be inconsistent, his experience and poise under pressure bode well at the NFL level. However, his undersized stature and age as a 25-year-old rookie may raise concerns. With his wealth of experience, Hartman has the potential to be a mid-level starter in the NFL.

Mid-Level Starter Potential

60-64 Mid-Level Starter Potential Players likely to be mid-level starters on the team, but with the potential to exceed expectations within 2-3 years.

Michael Penix Jr., Washington (6′ 3″ 216lbs)

Preliminary Draft Grade: 64.4 (Mid-Level Starter Potential).

Player Comparisons: Tua Tagovailoa, Deshaun Watson, Russell Wilson.

Play Style and Scheme Fit: Michael Penix Jr.'s playing style suits offensive schemes that leverage run-pass options (RPOs) and play-action, similar to left-handed quarterbacks like Steve Young. His anticipatory throwing skills and resilience in high-pressure scenarios draw comparisons to Tua Tagovailoa and Deshaun Watson. Penix would fit a West Coast offense emphasizing short to medium passes with a strong running game.

Scouting Report: Michael Penix Jr. is a highly promising quarterback prospect with excellent arm strength, mobility, and off-script creativity. He excels at making anticipatory throws but needs improvement in ball placement and overall accuracy, especially on the move. Despite these areas for development, Penix's raw potential suggests he could become a starting quarterback in the NFL.

Bo Nix, Oregon (6′ 2″ 214lbs)

Preliminary Draft Grade: 62.5 (Mid-Level Starter Potential).

Player Comparisons: Jalen Hurts, Ryan Tannehill, Gardner Minshew.

Play Style and Scheme Fit: Bo Nix is a dual-threat quarterback with a strong arm and good mobility. Comparisons to Jalen Hurts, Gardner Minshew, and Ryan Tannehill highlight his mobile passer attributes. Nix's fit lies in a spread offense that allows him to utilize his mobility, but he must improve consistency and decision-making to succeed at the NFL level.

Scouting Report: Bo Nix has good mechanics with a quick release and the ability to throw from various platforms. However, inconsistent footwork can lead to accuracy issues. He possesses a good football IQ, reads defenses well, and rarely makes costly mistakes. Nix has a strong arm, good accuracy on all three field levels, and the ability to make throws with anticipation. While not the fastest quarterback, he is an agile athlete who can move around the pocket and make throws on the run. He is a good scrambler and can gain yards with his legs.

Low-Level Starter Potential

55-59 Low-Level Starter Potential Players expected to be lower-level starters or high-level backups with some elite qualities. Development over 2-3 years is anticipated.

Jayden Daniels, LSU (6′ 3″ 200lbs)

Preliminary Draft Grade: 59.3 (Low-Level Starter Potential).

Player Comparisons: Justin Fields, Tyrod Taylor, Deshaun Watson.

Play Style and Scheme Fit: Jayden Daniels is a dual-threat quarterback

who excels in a spread offense. Comparisons to Deshaun Watson, Tyrod Taylor, and Justin Fields highlight his mobility and arm strength. While he has the potential to be a good NFL player, Daniels needs to improve his accuracy to reach the level of success of those quarterbacks.

Scouting Report: Jayden Daniels is an archetype of a dual-threat quarterback, utilizing his running ability to create passing opportunities. He is comfortable on the move, whether it's designed QB-run plays or changing launch points, and can evade the pocket to locate open receivers. Daniels exhibits the ability to tuck the football and gain yardage with his legs when necessary. However, his consistency and accuracy when throwing from the pocket and across all field levels require improvement. His execution in the pocket and decision-making based on defensive reads need more refinement.

Jordan Travis, Florida State (6′ 1″ 212lbs)

Preliminary Draft Grade: 59.3 (Low-Level Starter Potential).

Player Comparisons: Lamar Jackson, Justin Fields, Tyrod Taylor.

Play Style and Scheme Fit: Jordan Travis is a dual-threat quarterback with a play style similar to Justin Fields, Lamar Jackson, and Tyrod Taylor. He poses a threat to run the ball on every dropback and has a strong arm as a passer. Travis would be a good fit for a spread offense that allows quarterbacks to use their mobility to create plays both through the air and on the ground.

Scouting Report: Jordan Travis excels in creating plays off-script, especially when escaping the pocket. His dual-threat ability allows him to run effectively and throw accurately on the move. However, his inconsistent lower-half mechanics can lead to accuracy issues. Travis needs to improve these mechanics to capitalize on his intriguing skill set.

Joe Milton, Tennessee (6′ 5″ 243lbs)

Preliminary Draft Grade: 58.6 (Low-Level Starter Potential).

Player Comparisons: Byron Leftwich, Josh Freeman, Cardale Jones.

Play Style and Scheme Fit: Joe Milton is a pocket passer with the athleticism to extend plays and move out of the pocket. With a strong arm and flashes of good accuracy, he shows potential in making every requisite NFL throw. His ability to throw on the move makes him effective in a system allowing quarterback movement and improvisation.

Scouting Report: Joe Milton presents an intriguing prospect at the quarterback position with natural athleticism and arm strength. While his college career has had its ups and downs, he has shown a quick release, good accuracy on shorter throws, and the ability to throw accurately on the move. However, consistency, decision-making, and mechanics are areas that require improvement. With his potential, Milton could develop into a starter in the NFL.

Riley Leonard, Duke (6′ 4″ 210lbs)

Preliminary Draft Grade: 58.1 (Low-Level Starter Potential).

Player Comparisons: Daniel Jones, Jalen Hurts, Ryan Tannehill.

Play Style and Scheme Fit: Riley Leonard thrives in a spread offense that maximizes his dual-threat capabilities. Comparisons to Daniel Jones, Jalen Hurts, and Ryan Tannehill showcase his mobility and arm strength. However, Leonard must work on consistency and decision-making to reach their levels of success.

Scouting Report: Riley Leonard possesses dual-threat ability, a strong arm, and the prototypical size for the quarterback position. While he is an improving decision-maker, he must work on consistency, accuracy, and going through progressions. With refinement and coaching, Leonard has the potential to become a valuable asset in the NFL.

Jeff Sims, Nebraska (6′ 4″ 220lbs)

Preliminary Draft Grade: 55.6 (Low-Level Starter Potential).

Player Comparisons: Dak Prescott, Hendon Hooker, Jordan Love.

Play Style and Scheme Fit: Jeff Sims is a dual-threat quarterback who thrives in a spread offense, utilizing both his passing and running abilities effectively. Comparisons to Dak Prescott, Hendon Hooker, and Jordan Love highlight his mobility and arm strength. While Sims has the potential to be a good NFL player, improvements in accuracy and decision-making are necessary for his success.

Scouting Report: Jeff Sims is a talented quarterback prospect with dual-threat ability, a strong arm, and the prototypical size for the position. He exhibits the accuracy, ball placement, and tight-window throwing ability needed at the next level. However, his deep ball consistency, anticipation on longer throws, decision-making based on defensive reads, and footwork when under pressure need development. Sims can become a valuable NFL asset with refinement and coaching.

Conclusion 2024 NFL Draft QB Rankings

As we analyze the preliminary 2024 NFL Draft QB rankings, it's clear that the quarterback position is brimming with talent and potential. From electrifying dual-threat quarterbacks like Caleb Williams and Drake Maye to strong-armed pocket passers like Quinn Ewers and Spencer Rattler, there is a diverse range of skill sets and play styles among these prospects. While these rankings provide an early assessment, it's important to remember that the upcoming college football season will significantly shape these quarterbacks' final evaluations and draft grades. As fans and scouts eagerly await the 2024 NFL Draft, the performances and development of these quarterbacks will undoubtedly be closely monitored, with the potential for additional rising stars to emerge.


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