Bust Candidates | Six Overrated Rookies in the 2024 NFL Draft

by Seth Diewold · NFL Draft
2024 Draft

PlayerProfiler is home to award winning dynasty rankings and tools. Our Dynasty Deluxe package includes complete Dynasty Rankings, Rookie Rankings, Trade Analyzer, Draft Planner, Mock Drafts, and more. Check it out. Below, Seth Diewold identifies six overrated rookies in the 2024 Draft.

Jayden Daniels

Sure, Jayden Daniels won the Heisman Trophy on the back of a 50-touchdown season in college. And there is no doubt Daniels is an incredible athlete. His rushing ability at the quarterback position is going to be great for fantasy football. However, we have to be careful when handling some of these quarterback prospects. When evaluating Daniels, there are more questions than answers.

Why did it take so long for Daniels to put up a 3,000 yard passing season in college? How come it took him so long to throw for 20 passing touchdowns in college? Why does he look to run more than he should? Why does he take such big hits? Doesn’t he know he is only 210 pounds?

This doesn’t mention that fact that Daniels was playing with two elite prospects at the wide receiver position – Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr. When watching Daniels play, it’s startling how many times he locks on to one receiver. If that receiver’s not open, Daniels takes off and runs. To be fair, many times Daniels can turn it into a big play. And Daniels might be able to turn in many big plays with his legs at the next level, but the problem is the NFL just told us how it feels about a quarterback who is overly reliant on their athleticism. 

An Undesirable Comp

Justin Fields was just traded for a conditional sixth round pick. Any of the teams picking in the top-5 could have acquired one to two years of Fields for a fifth-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. The Patriots, Commanders, and Vikings all said no (and yes, the Bears would have had no problem trading him within the division). Do we really believe they are going to draft a similar prospect in Daniels? To be fair, Daniels has a much better release and is a more accurate passer than Fields. The processing speed is what Fields still needs to develop. Daniels will also need to develop as a processor of the field at the quarterback position if he is going to succeed at the NFL level. 

Bo Nix

Some analysts are including Bo Nix in the first round of the NFL Draft. This would be the reach of all reaches on a quarterback prospect who will be 24 years old when drafted. For starters, it took Nix a while to break out in college. The breakout was prompted in his first season at Oregon when his completion percentage jumped from 61-percent the year before at Auburn to 72.1-percent at Oregon. Nix threw for 3,594 yards that season at Oregon, and 29 touchdowns against seven interceptions. He also added 514 yards of rushing on the ground. He built on that momentum in his fifth-year senior season at Oregon, passing for 4,508 yards, 45 touchdowns, and three interceptions while completing 77.4-percent of his passes. 

Nix’s last two years at Oregon were impressive to say the least. The question is going to be whether or not Nix is a product of the Oregon offensive scheme. Can he succeed in an NFL offense where he is going to be required to throw downfield into tight coverage? I have doubts. Nix had an underwhelming Senior Bowl and he ranked No. 120 in the country in air yards per attempt in his final season at Oregon. That is not a great indicator of success at the NFL level.

According to ESPN’s Jordan Reid, Nix didn’t necessarily answer essential questions at his Pro Day: “Scouts wanted to see how Nix could operate outside the Oregon scheme at the Senior Bowl, but it remains relatively unanswered. He was uneven throughout the week in ball placement and driving the ball.”  Could Nix wind up in a QB-friendly situation? Sure, but it’s not likely he becomes more than a fringe starter or backup in the NFL. 

Braelon Allen

The steam has since cooled on the running back prospect from Wisconsin, but, to me, Braelon Allen is one of the riskier picks in rookie drafts. Sure, he was productive in college. No one can take that away from him. The 1,268 rushing yards in his freshman season at the age of 17 is truly remarkable. Allen did it again in his sophomore season at the age of 18, rushing for 1,237 yards and 11 total touchdowns.

So why dislike Allen as a prospect? He isn’t a versatile player. Allen doesn’t catch passes well out of the backfield. In his junior season, he caught a career high 28 receptions for 132 yards. That’s 4.71 yards per reception. Additionally, Allen was much more comfortable and effective running inside the tackles than outside of the tackles in college. Allen is a big running back, but he weighed in lighter than people expected at 235-pounds and didn’t run the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. Those are all red flags.

Now, the other side of the argument is that Allen declared early and might not be running the 40-yard dash because it can only hurt his chances of being a Day 2 pick. However, at the end of the day, Allen is a between-the-tackles grinder who isn’t a great pass catcher and won’t have breakaway run ability at the NFL level. He reminds me of A.J. Dillon or Gus Edwards

Bucky Irving

Bucky Irving was in my top-5 in this class at the running back position before the NFL Combine. Unfortunately, Irving was one of those players who couldn’t afford to run a slow 40-yard dash time at his size. The allure of Irving is that he is a modern-day NFL prospect. Irving is 5-9, 192-pounds, and proved he could be an effective pass catcher out of the backfield. The NFL has embraced the undersized running back and wide receiver. Look no further than Devon Achane, Keaton Mitchell and Jahmyr Gibbs

The problem for Irving is he is now going to have to prove he is a good enough pass catcher and runner to make up for the lack of breakaway speed. It’s an uphill battle to climb. With other prospects in this class showcasing elite athleticism (Jaylen Wright, Trey Benson), Irving falls down the rankings significantly. By all accounts, Irving had a pretty decent showing at his Pro Day, but it likely won’t be enough to boost his draft stock back to where it was before the Combine. 

Keon Coleman

There is no doubt Keon Coleman is an athletic freak of nature. Not everyone can play football and basketball for the Michigan State Spartans. At his size – 6-3 and 213-pounds, Coleman is generally bigger than most of the cornerbacks he played against in college. And there was no doubt he produced early in his college career. In 2022, at Michigan State, Coleman caught 58 passes for 798 yards and seven touchdowns. In 2023, he transferred to Florida State and was a key part of the team in an undefeated season. 

The problem with Coleman is I don’t know what to do with him. On tape, he is extremely raw, and there are some things I like (his Breakout Age) and some things I don’t like (the 4.61 40-yard dash). Overall, Coleman is going to need to develop into a more polished route runner at the NFL level. He likely won’t break out right away and will be an inconsistent player until he can develop into a more complete receiver, which he absolutely has the ability to do. The problem is the NFL is a results-oriented business, and Coleman is likely going to be expected to contribute right away for the team that drafts him. For that reason, I prefer more polished prospects over Coleman in my rookie rankings. 

Ja’Tavion Sanders

There was no doubt Ja’Tavion Sanders was another prospect hurt by his performance at the NFL Combine. He ran a disappointing 4.69 40-yard dash and ranked in the middle of the pack in all the other drills. Sanders weighed in at 6-4, 245-pounds, put up back-to-back productive seasons at the University of Texas, and was able to produce in his age 19 and age 20 seasons. However, it is my belief Sanders was the beneficiary of other weapons in the offense. Some of these names include Bijan Robinson, Adonai Mitchell, and Xavier Worthy, who the defense keyed in on many times on film. 

He’s still my TE2 in the class, but moreso because none of the other prospects have his pedigree or skill set at the NFL level. There are no doubt there are some things to like. Sanders has good hands and is a good route runner, but is just okay after the catch. He’s also not the greatest in-line blocker and will need to develop to be a more complete tight end at the NFL level. Tight ends like Ben Sinnott, Theo Johnson, and Jaheim Bell are likely going to come much cheaper in rookie drafts and are my preferred targets – at value – over Sanders.

See some of Seth Diewold’s favorite 2024 rookies here: 9 Rookies I LOVE in the 2024 NFL Draft – Dynasty Fantasy Football