Top 10 Overall Prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft

The NFL Scouting Combine starts today, and even though the televised part isn’t until Thursday, teams will be evaluating hundreds of players all week long. Before they do, I wanted to share who I thought were the best draftable players at this point in time. These are listed without consideration of their position: just the best football players. That’s why you’ll only see one QB on this list; the others get pushed up because they’re quarterbacks, but they aren’t elite talents. Obviously, the players won’t be drafted in this order, but it’s a good exercise nonetheless. Here are the top 10 overall prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft!

1. WR Marvin Harrison Jr, Ohio State

Unless someone REALLY loves a QB in this draft, I think they’ll agree that Harrison is best prospect. The son of Hall of Fame WR Marvin Harrison Sr, Harrison Jr is actually a better physical specimen than his father was coming out of college. At 6’3″, 202 lbs, he’s big enough to box out smaller corners, but he’s also expected to run very fast. His route running, no doubt learned from his father, is sublime. Two straight 1200-yard, 14-TD seasons check the “production” box as well. This is as complete a receiver prospect as you can get, and he’ll definitely be the first non-QB off the board.

2. TE Brock Bowers, Georgia

Tight ends aren’t highly valued in the NFL, and that baffles me. The Lions, Chiefs, 49ers, and Ravens, i.e., the last 4 teams standing, all had elite TEs. That’s not a coincidence. This list places no such limitations on the position, and a freak athlete like Bowers can reach #2. Sturdily built at 6’4″, 240 lbs, Bowers is equally effective as a receiver and a blocker. It looked funny every time Bowers was lined up against a corner, as he dwarfed opposing players. His 26 TDs in 3 seasons demonstrate his status as a matchup nightmare. That he did this all in the tough SEC only adds to his pedigree.

3. LT Joe Alt, Notre Dame

After quarterbacks, the most valuable positions are those that hunt QBs and those that protect QBs. A two-year starter for the Irish, Alt allowed just 4 sacks over his college career. He has long arms, an athletic build, and ample power. Equally strong against the run and the pass, Alt is a very balanced player. I look forward to Combine drills that emphasize his lateral quickness, as I think he’ll open some eyes there. That shouldn’t be surprising given that Alt was a TE before coming to Notre Dame. I don’t see a clearer LT prospect in this class, and PLENTY of teams need one of those.

4. WR Rome Odunze, Washington

Analysts are split on whether Odunze or someone else (see #6) should be WR2 on teams’ draft boards. I for one side with the Washington product, though it’s close. I don’t think you can go wrong with a 6’3″ receiver possessing loads of speed, and Odunze has plenty of that. He earned 2785 receiving yards and 20 TDs over his final two college seasons, and his production increased every year. Odunze is a vertical threat who can make a game-changing play on any snap, but he also excels with underneath and intermediate routes. He’s a clear-cut WR1, and he won’t last long on the opening night of the draft.

5. QB Caleb Williams, USC

The draft’s presumptive #1 overall pick comes in 5th here. That’s actually a compliment to Williams: I never rate QBs as highly as the media does, and he’s my lone player at the position with a true first-round grade. The 2022 Heisman trophy winner broke into Oklahoma’s lineup as a freshman and starred before transferring to USC for his final two seasons. Big enough at 6’1″, Williams brings a cannon arm and superb athleticism. He is a magician in the pocket and can fire downfield lasers. Williams runs sporadically, particularly in the red zone (21 TDs). He has the look of a franchise QB, and passing on him could be a mistake.

6. WR Malik Nabers, LSU

Our third likely top-10 WR, Nabers played 3 years at LSU and got better each season. His best effort came in 2023, when he earned 1569 yards and 14 TDs. He became the #1 receiver for the Tigers through his constant production, as other talented wideouts never matched him. As with the other top WRs, Nabers comes with plenty of size (6’1″) to go along with his speed. Some scouts suggest that he has the best ability to separate from defenders among all receivers in this class. I have him a notch below the other two WRs, but he’s still firmly in WR1 territory. This is a very safe pick for a team in need of a strong pro.

7. EDGE Dallas Turner, Alabama

This draft isn’t considered top-heavy at edge rusher, but some premium players can still be had. Chief among them is Turner, who picked up right where reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Will Anderson Jr left off. Turner had a great freshman year before a bit of a sophomore slump, but he put together his finest season for 2023. Finishing with 10 sacks and 14.5 TFLs, Turner showed off his explosiveness against both the run and the pass. Unlike Anderson, Turner is a bit more of a raw prospect, but that just means he has an even higher ceiling than what we’ve seen. That’s both scary and enticing (for the team that lands him).

8. OT Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Penn State

Fashanu’s draft slot depends on how you view him: athletic enough to be a tackle or short-armed and thus projected to be a guard. As this list ignores positions, that doesn’t matter here. His monstrous size (6’6″, 321 lbs) suggests that he would excel at guard, but this is not quite a Peter Skoronski question. More people believe that he can play on the edge than do not, and I am cautiously optimistic. If you take him though, you’ll definitely have a strong player at some spot on the line. Whether that’s at LT remains to be seen, but his stock would only rise if a few teams deemed him to be a fit for that coveted spot.

9. CB Terrion Arnold, Alabama

What is your flavor as far as CBs go? Is it an elite athlete with a ton of upside or a skilled player with experience and production? With Arnold, you’re getting a bit of both. Outplaying teammate and oft-hyped teammate Kool-Aid McKinstry, Arnold operates with a high level of intelligence. He’s not the most athletic guy in the world, but he’s solid, and he plays to his strengths. His run defense is stellar among this draft’s CBs, and he became a ballhawk in 2023 with 5 INTs. At 6’0″, he can definitely line up on the outside, and I suspect he’ll do so on day 1. Arnold is an NFL-ready player who can contribute right away.

10. DE Laiatu Latu, UCLA

I feel as though the 2023 sack leader among all Power 5 players isn’t getting his due. Injuries during the 2020 and 2021 seasons at Washington may be giving teams some pause, as they nearly ended his career. He remained completely healthy during his 2 years with the Bruins though, so those concerns might be overblown. One thing that nobody can argue? The man hunts QBs. He earned 13 sacks in 2023 after notching 10.5 the prior season. Latu also earned a ridiculous 21.5 TFLs last year, showing off his strength. If medical staffs approve of the pick, Latu won’t fall out of the top 15 and could sneak into the top 10.

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