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2024 NFL Draft: ESPN shakes up Top 13 quarterback rankings as draft draws near

IMG_6598by:Nick Kosko04/01/24


NFL Draft quarterbacks

ESPN shook up its latest NFL Draft quarterback rankings ahead of the big weekend later this month.

Going down the list, the top 13 quarterbacks are clear and there’s a big difference between the top tier and the guys in the middle of the pack.

Let’s dive into the latest quarterback rankings from ESPN’s Jordan Reid with the draft rapidly approaching.

1. Caleb Williams, USC

Caleb Williams
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Williams has been at the top of draft boards since the 2024 draft was a thing. The 2022 Heisman Trophy winner didn’t have a season this past fall like that one, but still, it’s hard to deny the talent.

The Chicago Bears have the top pick and it’s hard to believe they would go in a different direction. The term “generational” quarterback is thrown around with Williams.

2. Drake Maye, North Carolina

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Maye could very well be the second quarterback taken. This is where the debate begins in the draft.

But the UNC star is the prototypical pro-style quarterback and he has a cannon for an arm. Is he the man for the Washington Commanders or New England Patriots? It’s to-be-determined.

3. Jayden Daniels, LSU

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Daniels won the Heisman this past season and the LSU star could be a dynamic game changer. He rose up draft boards quickly this year.

Will his dual threat capabilities translate to the NFL? It seems like in this day and age they will. As long as he has the right coach, Daniels could be very successful.

4. J.J. McCarthy, Michigan

(Rick Osentoski / USA TODAY Sports)

McCarthy is the one that caused the most debate over the last month. Once thought of as a late first round pick at best, McCarthy soared up boards.

Now, McCarthy could be the No. 4 overall pick at this point or at least go in the top 10. He’s lost one game in his career and has all the pro-style traits. He’s just on the next tier compared to the top three.

5. Michael Penix Jr., Washington

Washington QB Michael Penix Jr.
© Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Penix Jr., when healthy, is an awesome thrower of the football. This past season, he put himself in the Heisman conversation, leading Washington to the national championship.

The big-armed lefty could go in the first round but it’s tough to project right now. At the very least, Penix Jr. is within the top five signal callers of this class.

6. Bo Nix, Oregon

Oregon-Bo Nix
(Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports)

Nix put up super numbers at Oregon once he transferred in from Auburn. The veteran quarterback played a lot of football throughout his college career.

However, he’s not as highly regarded as the top five guys in front of them. Then again, some mock drafts even have him going in the top 12 picks! Nix will be a fascinating watch in the pros.

7. Spencer Rattler, South Carolina

Photo Credit: Chris Gillespie |

Rattler was once one of the top prospects coming into college football, but a rollercoaster career certainly altered his pro prospects. And up and down time at Oklahoma and South Carolina result in the No. 7 slot in these rankings.

Rattler has a huge arm and can be deadly throwing down field. Unfortunately, there’s a consistency factor with the Gamecocks quarterback. The right situation could make the biggest difference.

8. Michael Pratt, Tulane

Stephen Lew | USA TODAY Sports

One of the top Group of Five quarterbacks the last few years, Tulane’s Pratt now looks primed to take his talents to the NFL. He’s likely a mid-round pick though.

Pratt missed two games due to injury this year, but still threw for 2,406 yards and 22 touchdowns. Last season was his biggest, though, as he totaled 3,009 yards and 27 touchdowns to lead the Tulane offense and perhaps put himself in the Day 3 conversation in the draft.

9. Jordan Travis, Florida State

Jordan Travis-Florida State
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports)

Travis’ season-ending injury stole headlines for plenty of reasons. But what he did beforehand, though, proved he could be a fun prospect for NFL general managers as the 2024 draft approaches.

Travis was in the Heisman conversation as he threw for 2,756 yards and 20 touchdowns across a little over 10 full games of action at Florida State. Could a team take a flier on him a little earlier than expected? Sure, but we’re in mid-round pick territory.

10. Sam Hartman, Notre Dame

Notre Dame quarterback Sam Hartman
(Larry Blankenship, special to Blue & Gold)

When Hartman committed to Notre Dame, the hope was he could help his draft stock in a pro-style offense. Instead, the Fighting Irish struggled in key moments despite Hartman’s early success, and his hopes of hearing his name called in Detroit took a hit.

Hartman failed to top 3,000 yards for the first time since the COVID-impacted 2020 season, throwing for 2,689 yards and 24 touchdowns in his lone season with Notre Dame. ESPN noted his decision-making outside the pocket, and while he made some plays with his legs, it’s hard to say if Hartman will wind up on the draft board or signing as an undrafted free agent.

11. Joe Milton, Tennessee

Saul Young/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

We all know what Milton is capable of doing with his rocket arm. However, he struggled with consistency, and that’s why he came in so low on ESPN’s top quarterbacks list. But he started wowing scouts throughout the pre-draft process with said arm.

Milton had the best full season of his career, throwing for 2,813 yards and 20 touchdowns, but the Tennessee offense failed to reach the heights it did with Hendon Hooker under center. The key for Milton will be to keep things consistent, and that could determine whether he becomes a 2024 NFL Draft pick. Or you know, go way higher than expected.

12. Austin Reed, Western Kentucky

Western Kentucky QB Austin Reed
© Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Could Austin Reed follow the path of Bailey Zappe to the NFL? They both played at Western Kentucky, and Reed had plenty of success in his two years in that system.

Reed threw for 4,746 yards and 40 touchdowns a season ago, and his numbers dipped a bit in 2023. Still, he has a huge arm, and teams will surely see that on film as they consider whether or not to take the WKU product.

13. Carter Bradley, South Alabama

Carter Bradley, South Alabama quarterback
Photo by Vasha Hunt | USA TODAY Sports

Over the course of six years, Bradley finally found his footing at South Alabama. He took advantage of the extra year after playing sparingly at Toledo.

But during his career at South Alabama, Bradley finished with 5,995 yards, 47 touchdowns, 19 interceptions and a 66% completion percentage. He’ll teeter with the ending rounds or go into the league as an undrafted free agent.

The NFL Draft is scheduled for April 25th to 27th in Detroit. How many of these guys will hear their name called? All of them? Some? Tune in!