*** Official not too soon 2024 draft thread***

Why a potential mediocre 8-9 season (considered an improvement over last year) is really a huge loss for this organization


Jul 21

"There are no flaws. What he sees, his ability to extend plays. He's Pat Mahomes, he's Bryce Young, he's all of that in my mind... Can't miss.-
@CoachNeuheisel on Caleb Williams
 
Harbaugh believes that 20 of his players will be drafted next spring...

Harbaugh knows his roster better than anyone. He’s also got a keen eye for talent and development. He once turned the worst program in Power 5 football, Stanford, into one that won a BCS bowl and finished No. 4 by his fourth year there. He also spent 14 years as an NFL quarterback and later coached in the league, taking a long downtrodden 49ers team and leading them to the Super Bowl in his second year. When asked about the talent on his roster, he made a bold prediction to The Athletic.

“I think we’ll have 20 guys picked (in the next NFL draft),” Harbaugh told me. “I bet we break that (draft) record. (Georgia) had 15 that year.”

Harbaugh proceeded to rattle off seven upperclass offensive linemen, the same ones that Jim Nagy, the Senior Bowl executive director had also told me about: Trevor Keegan, Drake Nugent, Zinter, Trente Jones, Karsen Barnhart, Myles Hinton and LaDarius Henderson. He named two running backs, Blake Corum and Edwards; McCarthy; and tight end A.J. Barner.

DL Kris Jenkins is another example of how hard it can be to evaluate high school prospects. He was a three-star coming out of high school and was listed at 239 pounds. But the son of a former NFL star defensive tackle has emerged as a dominant force. He played last season at 287 pounds and is now up to 302. In 2022, he had 54 tackles to go with 20 QB pressures. According to Pro Football Focus, Jenkins led all defensive linemen in the country in run stops.

Harbaugh calls Jenkins the biggest Freak in his program.

“He’s the mutant of all mutants,” Harbaugh said. “He’s the poster child for ‘enthusiasm unknown to mankind.’ Watch him become a top-10 pick. He’s super explosive.”


Jenkins looks and plays a lot like the defensive linemen Georgia and Alabama have been relying on.
 
Harbaugh believes that 20 of his players will be drafted next spring...

Harbaugh knows his roster better than anyone. He’s also got a keen eye for talent and development. He once turned the worst program in Power 5 football, Stanford, into one that won a BCS bowl and finished No. 4 by his fourth year there. He also spent 14 years as an NFL quarterback and later coached in the league, taking a long downtrodden 49ers team and leading them to the Super Bowl in his second year. When asked about the talent on his roster, he made a bold prediction to The Athletic.

“I think we’ll have 20 guys picked (in the next NFL draft),” Harbaugh told me. “I bet we break that (draft) record. (Georgia) had 15 that year.”

Harbaugh proceeded to rattle off seven upperclass offensive linemen, the same ones that Jim Nagy, the Senior Bowl executive director had also told me about: Trevor Keegan, Drake Nugent, Zinter, Trente Jones, Karsen Barnhart, Myles Hinton and LaDarius Henderson. He named two running backs, Blake Corum and Edwards; McCarthy; and tight end A.J. Barner.

DL Kris Jenkins is another example of how hard it can be to evaluate high school prospects. He was a three-star coming out of high school and was listed at 239 pounds. But the son of a former NFL star defensive tackle has emerged as a dominant force. He played last season at 287 pounds and is now up to 302. In 2022, he had 54 tackles to go with 20 QB pressures. According to Pro Football Focus, Jenkins led all defensive linemen in the country in run stops.

Harbaugh calls Jenkins the biggest Freak in his program.

“He’s the mutant of all mutants,” Harbaugh said. “He’s the poster child for ‘enthusiasm unknown to mankind.’ Watch him become a top-10 pick. He’s super explosive.”


Jenkins looks and plays a lot like the defensive linemen Georgia and Alabama have been relying on.
nice. Maybe we'll beat up on TOSU again this year right @Crossbones ?
 
Top QBs in the 2024 NFL Draft: Ranking Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, and Others

By Ian Cummings | August 1, 2023



The 2024 NFL Draft is a crucial moment on the horizon -- the next opportunity for struggling NFL franchises to secure their long-term quarterback. There's so much that goes into building a roster at the professional level, but at the end of the day, if you don't have a QB, you're not winning a Super Bowl. Which passers can open that door for teams in 2024?



10) Spencer Rattler, South Carolina



Spencer Rattler had first-round aspirations as early as high school when he arrived at the collegiate level as a five-star recruit. After a 2020 season that saw him toss 28 TDs to just seven picks, he looked well on his way to top-32 capital. A regression and a transfer to South Carolina followed, but Rattler might be on the path to revitalizing his stock.



Rattler has the arm talent to make outside-the-numbers throws that other passers can't, and he turned things on down the line in 2022. In the final five games, Rattler completed 120 of 174 attempts (68.9%) for 1,389 yards, 13 scores, and just three interceptions. If he can sustain that strong play in 2023, he has the traits and gunslinger mentality to go early in the 2024 NFL Draft.



9) Jeff Sims, Nebraska



There's always an element of projection involved with early NFL Draft rankings before the season. The summer months, in particular, allow for that projection, while the season itself divulges the true standing of each prospect. This is the time of year to acknowledge potential, and that's why Nebraska's Jeff Sims is on this list.



Sims toiled at Georgia Tech for several years before making the move to Nebraska this offseason. With better support playing for Matt Rhule and the Cornhuskers, he'll have a chance to deliver on his early-round upside if he can complete his game around that foundation. He's a high-energy athlete at 6'4", 219 pounds with a high-velocity arm and natural mechanics -- a QB who's built perfectly for the modern game.



8) Michael Penix Jr., Washington



Michael Penix Jr. will be one of the most fascinating case studies in the 2024 NFL Draft cycle. He has the prototypical size, arm talent, and production, having thrown for 4,641 yards, 31 touchdowns, and just eight picks in 2022. With Rome Odunze and Jalen McMillan returning in Kalen DeBoer's scheme, Penix's 2023 campaign could be even better -- but his draft stock is a more complicated topic.



Penix's injury history is extensive. It includes two ACL tears and an AC joint issue in his shoulder. That medical history may be a red flag for teams down the line. He's also not quite an elite short-area athlete or creator, and his lower-body mechanics can still improve. But in tandem with his arm strength and velocity, Penix also brings stellar field vision, aggressiveness, and competitive toughness.

7) Quinn Ewers, Texas



Naturally, Quinn Ewers is a well-established name heading into the 2024 NFL Draft cycle -- his first cycle of eligibility. Ewers was a five-star recruit coming out of high school whose highly publicized underclassmen saga led him from Ohio State to Texas. He was the Longhorns' starter for most of 2022 and returns as a highly anticipated breakout candidate.



Ewers will have a receiving corps that includes Xavier Worthy, Adonai Mitchell, and Isaiah Neyor, which should help his development. As an operator, he still needs to improve his mechanical discipline, accuracy, pocket presence, processing ability, and decision-making. But his rare arm talent serves as a differentiating factor in his ceiling evaluation.



6) J.J. McCarthy, Michigan



J.J. McCarthy's ultimate outcome as a 2024 NFL Draft prospect is still very much unsettled, but the upside is undeniable. That's something that remains clear after McCarthy's breakout 2022 campaign, in which the up-and-coming signal-caller completed 208 of 322 passes for 2,719 yards, 22 touchdowns, and five picks.



McCarthy's play style is one that invites frequent fluctuation at this point, but his tools are easy to grow fond of. He has a very live arm capable of hitting tight windows, and his elite creation capacity and rushing value give him an edge over Ewers. He needs to mature as a passer and tone down questionable decisions, but he has early-round potential at his peak.
 
5) Riley Leonard, Duke



There's a cluster of young quarterbacks in the 2024 NFL Draft class, and one of the most intriguing players on the board is Duke's Riley Leonard. In his first year as a full-time starter with the Blue Devils, Leonard passed for 2,967 yards, 20 touchdowns, and six interceptions, and the 6'4", 209-pound signal-caller also added 699 yards and 13 scores on the ground.



It's the "low hanging fruit" comparison given that they went to the same school, but at times, Riley Leonard does almost appear as a souped-up version of Daniel Jones. Leonard has a superior arm, and he's just as formidable of an athlete who can catch defenses by surprise with his creation ability. With more mechanical refinement, he can make the leap.



4) Jordan Travis, Florida State



Early in his career, it wasn't clear if Jordan Travis would earn an extended opportunity as the Seminoles' starter. But a wave of growth in 2021 led to a breakout 2022 campaign, in which Travis completed 226 of 353 passes for 3,214 yards, 24 touchdowns, and five interceptions while also tacking on 417 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground.



At 6'1", 201, Travis is undersized. He also has above-average arm strength at best, but he's a game-changing running threat with enough elasticity to whip the ball into buckets outside the numbers. On top of that, Travis is accurate, and he can adjust his shoulder alignment to add loft and precision on passes. His non-elite arm strength is a slight knock, but he has hyper-elite creation capacity in his toolbox.



3) Bo Nix, Oregon



Bo Nix was an afterthought when he hit the transfer portal and joined the Oregon Ducks. His career at Auburn wasn't without its gaffes, but with a change of scenery, Nix was able to play loose and build up his game in 2022.



The result? A 71.9% completion rate, 3,593 passing yards, 29 touchdowns, and seven picks, with 510 yards and 14 additional TDs on the ground.



At 6'2", 213 pounds, Nix is one of the most dynamic running and off-script QB threats at the college football level. He's a twitchy, flexible short-area athlete with excellent creation capacity and the arm strength and elasticity to generate velocity off-platform. Nix's development on the operational side in 2022 is extremely exciting and alludes to first-round potential.

2) Drake Maye, North Carolina



Two quarterbacks reign at the top of the 2024 NFL Draft QB class, and they're separated by a hair: USC's Caleb Williams and North Carolina's Drake Maye. The season could bring any number of unexpected changes across the positional group, but most evaluators expect this duo to be 1-2 at the position. The only question is this: Which order will they be in?



Williams is the consensus favorite, but having Maye over him is a viable stance. Maye doesn't quite have Williams' special off-script ability, but the 6'4", 220-pound Tar Heels talent is a stellar athlete with an effortless arm. He's arguably better than Williams at taking what defenses give him, and he's also underrated in his ability to torque his hips and produce off-platform.



1) Caleb Williams, USC



Caleb Williams is the defending Heisman winner after compiling 4,537 yards, 42 passing touchdowns, five picks, and 10 additional scores on the ground in 2022. His production checks out, and looking at the tape, he grades out resoundingly as a potential QB1 candidate. Maye is the only one who could potentially stand in his way.



It's important never to anchor to a specific ranking, but Williams' QB1 case is very strong. He's not a perfect prospect yet and has room to grow before he reaches the tier of Trevor Lawrence. Nevertheless, Williams awes with his hyper-elite creative capacity and his uncommon composite arm talent. And his competitive toughness is the cherry on top.
 
What's the O'Connel line here where it still makes sense to draft a guy ahead of the middling guy we just drafted that already has a year in the system?
 
The Athletic Mock Draft....:koolaid:

11. Las Vegas Raiders: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

Projected wins: 7.5

The most talented coverage player in this class, McKinstry should be in any top-10 conversation between now and April. His size and length allow him to play aggressively at the line of scrimmage and at the catch point, plus he has the hip fluidity to cover the entire route tree. He hasn’t produced much in the way of turnovers in his career (two interceptions), but he has enough ball skills (15 passes defended last season) and return abilities to make game-changing plays.
 
The Athletic Mock Draft....:koolaid:

11. Las Vegas Raiders: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

Projected wins: 7.5

The most talented coverage player in this class, McKinstry should be in any top-10 conversation between now and April. His size and length allow him to play aggressively at the line of scrimmage and at the catch point, plus he has the hip fluidity to cover the entire route tree. He hasn’t produced much in the way of turnovers in his career (two interceptions), but he has enough ball skills (15 passes defended last season) and return abilities to make game-changing plays.

Grape, cherry? Don't tell me orange :hmph:
 
Of course I do. I don't even like sugary drinks but to this day if someone offered me a properly mixed, ice cold cherry Kool Aid, I wouldn't turn it down.


I was liked Hawaiian Punch for some reason.
 
Back
Top