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Clockwise from top: USC QB Caleb Williams, North Carolina QB Drake Maye, LSU QB Jayden Daniels (USA Today)

Over the last week, we’ve been publishing individual scouting reports on the top quarterbacks who will be in the 2024 NFL Draft (those can be found here, or in links below). Now, it’s time to put them in order with the first edition of our 2024 quarterback rankings.

The pre-draft process for the 2024 NFL Draft truly kicks off this week, with the Shrine Bowl and Senior Bowl – the two marquee showcase college football all-star games. That’s the beginning of a rapid three-month process that also includes the NFL Combine, pro days, team interviews and more.

A lot will happen over the next three months. During that time though, it’s important to remember that the biggest gauge of how good a prospect is at football is what they did on the football field. Things will happen over the next three months that tweak players’ projections, but a lot of it will be sorting out players who project close together rather than wholesale changes to the board.

That’s especially true at the quarterback position, where projections have at least three and as many as six players going in the first round. There’s sorting out to do within that group, but it continues down the board. After those six quarterbacks, none are projected to go in the top 100. Will any prospects further down the board establish themselves as true Day 2 options?

As that process begins, the board has to start somewhere. Who are the top passers right now, and who has the most to gain between now and when the draft begins in late April? Here’s a look at my 2024 quarterback rankings as they stand coming out of the 2023 college football season. As the pre-draft process goes on, we’ll update the board as needed, but any change to the No. 1 spot would be a massive surprise…

  • 1. Caleb Williams, USC

    LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 18: Caleb Williams #13 of the USC Trojans passes the ball during the first half of a game against the UCLA Bruins at United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 18, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

    LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – NOVEMBER 18: Caleb Williams #13 of the USC Trojans passes the ball during the first half of a game against the UCLA Bruins at United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 18, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

    Williams possesses all the traits teams look for in a modern quarterback. He’s the kind of QB that can instantly elevate an offense, but will need to do more in-structure at the next level. If put in the right situation and system he has a real chance to be a perennial MVP candidate.

    Projection: Top pick

    Full scouting report here (including stats strengths, weaknesses, and player comps)

  • 2. Jayden Daniels, LSU

    ORLANDO, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 03: Jayden Daniels #5 of the LSU Tigers looks to throw a pass in the first half of a game against the Florida State Seminoles at Camping World Stadium on September 03, 2023 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

    ORLANDO, FLORIDA – SEPTEMBER 03: Jayden Daniels #5 of the LSU Tigers looks to throw a pass in the first half of a game against the Florida State Seminoles at Camping World Stadium on September 03, 2023 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

    Daniels is an elite athlete at the quarterback position, but that’s hardly his whole game. He’s improved significantly as a passer his two years at LSU. He’ll need to work on his short game, and durability will be a question due to his frame, but he has the big-play potential – both as a passer and runner – that NFL teams covet. That top-tier athleticism and big play potential give him the slight edge for second place in our rankings.

    Projection: Top 5 pick

    Full scouting report here

  • 3. Drake Maye, UNC

    Nov 11, 2023; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye (10) looks to pass in the first quarter at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

    Nov 11, 2023; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye (10) looks to pass in the first quarter at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

    Maye has a chance to be an electric playmaker in the NFL. The biggest question is how some of the out-of-structure risks he took at UNC – with his arm and with his legs – will translate from the ACC to the pro game. He’ll be best in a system that prioritizes big plays and is O.K. risking turnovers to get them.

    Projection: Top 3 pick

    Full scouting report here

  • 4. Michael Penix, Washington

    SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - NOVEMBER 11: Michael Penix Jr. #9 of the Washington Huskies passes against the Utah Utes during the second quarter at Husky Stadium on November 11, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

    SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – NOVEMBER 11: Michael Penix Jr. #9 of the Washington Huskies passes against the Utah Utes during the second quarter at Husky Stadium on November 11, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

    Penix stacks up against any quarterback in this class as a pure passer. But concerns about his injury history and a lack of ceiling due to his age will push him down the board. The question is, how much?

    Projection: 1st round pick

    Full scouting report here

  • 5. Bo Nix, Oregon

    EUGENE, OREGON - SEPTEMBER 23: Quarterback Bo Nix #10 of the Oregon Ducks passes the ball against the Colorado Buffaloes during the second half at Autzen Stadium on September 23, 2023 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images)

    EUGENE, OREGON – SEPTEMBER 23: Quarterback Bo Nix #10 of the Oregon Ducks passes the ball against the Colorado Buffaloes during the second half at Autzen Stadium on September 23, 2023 in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images)

    There’s a lot to like about Nix’s game as a conductor, but it’s fair to question whether or not he’ll be able to elevate an NFL offense. He’d be best in a Shanahan-style or Reid-style system that features a lot of play action, rollout, and RPO concepts.

    Projection: Top 40 pick

    Full scouting report here

  • 6. J.J. McCarthy, Michigan

    ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - NOVEMBER 25: J.J. McCarthy #9 of the Michigan Wolverines passes the ball against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Stadium on November 25, 2023 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

    ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN – NOVEMBER 25: J.J. McCarthy #9 of the Michigan Wolverines passes the ball against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Stadium on November 25, 2023 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

    If you feel strongly about McCarthy’s standing as a prospect – one way or the other – you’re probably kidding yourself. There’s just not close to enough high-impact reps on tape to fully evaluate where he’s at as a player relative to most quarterback prospects. He certainly has upside, especially with his young age and athleticism, but he still needs time to develop.

    Whatever team drafts him will need to have a strong development plan in place, and a willingness to be patient. A team that has a veteran (read: old) starter in place but will need a new quarterback in a year or two would be the best landing spot for him, setting up a Patrick Mahomes/Jordan Love type development path (not a player comp, more of a ‘path to starting’ comp).

    Projection: Day 2 pick

    Full scouting report here

  • 7. Joe Milton, Tennessee

    Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton III (7) is seen on the field during a football game between Tennessee and Texas A&M at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn., on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023. (Saul Young/News Sentinel/USA Today Network)

    Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton III (7) is seen on the field during a football game between Tennessee and Texas A&M at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn., on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023. (Saul Young/News Sentinel/USA Today Network)

    It’s impossible to oversell Milton’s arm strength. They call him ‘Bazooka Joe’ for a reason – he can throw the ball more than half of the length of the field without having to incorporate his lower body at all (look what happens when he steps into a throw). He’s not afraid to use his arm to test any window. However, the ball gets away from him leading to inconsistent accuracy (in part due to his mechanics and in part because he will almost always zip the ball even when a touch pass is called for), and he’ll spray fastballs all over the field.  As a runner, he’s a handful in the open field on a scramble – he’s not afraid to initiate contact at 6-foot-5, 235 pounds – but he doesn’t have as much success on designed QB runs.

    Overall Milton is an intriguing project player. But given that he turns 24 in early March, the project will have to be quick to maximize his physical gifts.

    Projection: Early Day 3

  • 8. Michael Pratt, Tulane

    Nov 11, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Tulane Green Wave quarterback Michael Pratt (7) looks to pass in first quarter action at Yulman Stadium. Credit: Matthew Dobbins-USA TODAY Sports

    Nov 11, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Tulane Green Wave quarterback Michael Pratt (7) looks to pass in first quarter action at Yulman Stadium. Credit: Matthew Dobbins-USA TODAY Sports

    Pratt is an experienced passer who dominated AAC competition over the last four years at Tulane. He made a total of 44 starts, making him one of the more experienced quarterbacks in this draft. He can pick a defense apart from the pocket and excels off play-action, but lacks the top-end arm strength or athleticism that will allow him to make plays when things break down around him. Right now he looks like the kind of low-level starter/high-level backup quarterback that goes often early on Day 3.

    Projection: Early Day 3

  • 9. QB Spencer Rattler, South Carolina

    COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA - NOVEMBER 25: Spencer Rattler #7 of the South Carolina Gamecocks passes the ball in the first quarter during their game against the Clemson Tigers at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 25, 2023 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

    COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA – NOVEMBER 25: Spencer Rattler #7 of the South Carolina Gamecocks passes the ball in the first quarter during their game against the Clemson Tigers at Williams-Brice Stadium on November 25, 2023 in Columbia, South Carolina. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

    Rattler wasn’t just a five-star prospect, but one of the most anticipated high school quarterbacks in recent history. An Elite11 MVP, he was the top-ranked quarterback in his class, directly ahead of Jayden Daniels and Bo Nix. He won the starting job at Oklahoma as a redshirt freshman, but lost the job the next year to Caleb Williams despite starting the season as the preseason Heisman favorite. That led to him transferring to South Carolina, where he played well but didn’t live up to the hype he had coming out of high school. If a team thinks they can tap into that potential six years later, then Rattler makes sense as a project quarterback.

    Projection: Middle Day 3

  • 10. Jordan Travis, Florida State

    ORLANDO, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 03: Jordan Travis #13 of the Florida State Seminoles scrambles out of the pocket in the first quarter against the LSU Tigers at Camping World Stadium on September 03, 2023 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

    ORLANDO, FLORIDA – SEPTEMBER 03: Jordan Travis #13 of the Florida State Seminoles scrambles out of the pocket in the first quarter against the LSU Tigers at Camping World Stadium on September 03, 2023 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

    Travis was having an excellent 2023 season and shooting up draft boards before suffering a severe undisclosed lower leg injury. Before the injury Travis showed skill as a creator both his arm and his legs, although his mobility moving forward will be a subject of question after his injury. Further complicating things is the fact that he turns 24 in May, meaning he probably won’t step onto an NFL field until he’s 25.

    Last year, Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker had a great season before tearing his ACL late in the year. As a 26-year-old rookie Hooker was still third-round pick by the Detroit Lions, a move that probably sets Travis’ ceiling – although Hooker was a higher-regarded prospect prior to the injury. Clearing medical testing at the Combine was key for Hooker, and will be something to watch with Travis come late February.

    Projection: Middle Day 3

  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at [email protected].

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