Predicting Landing Spots for the Top Eight Rookie Quarterbacks in the 2024 NFL Draft

by Jason Allwine · NFL Draft
NFL Draft QBs 2024

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, Jason Allwine predicts landing spots for the top eight QBs in the 2024 NFL Draft. 

As the NFL Draft approaches, speculation and anticipation soar as teams strategize to secure the next generation of quarterbacks. With the 2024 NFL Draft on the horizon, the quest to identify which franchises will select the top rookie quarterbacks intensifies. This annual ritual captivates football enthusiasts and analysts alike, prompting a flurry of predictions, mock drafts, and scrutiny of player performances. Amidst the uncertainty and excitement, a careful examination of team needs, player potential, and draft dynamics offers insights into the intriguing question: which teams will prioritize and ultimately draft the premier rookie quarterbacks of the 2024 NFL Draft?

Caleb Williams – Bears Pick No. 1

No sense overthinking this one – the Bears are clearly locked in to Caleb Williams and the draft starts with the Washington Commanders at pick No. 2.

Williams will be landing in one of the most quarterback-friendly landing spots we’ve ever seen for a No. 1 pick. While his Junior year was nowhere near as sensational as his Heisman-winning sophomore year, Williams still displayed everything you want to see in a rookie quarterback. He has pocket awareness, arm strength, quick processing, leadership, and solid mobility. I could see some growing pains early, but they should be just that- growing pains. Williams will be a long-time quarterback in the league and probably break the Bears’ QB curse.

Drake Maye – Commanders Pick No. 2

The Commanders could go either way, but I think the upside and untapped potential will intrigue the Commanders too much to pass on Drake Maye. Maye profiles most similarly to the quarterbacks with whom new OC Kliff Kingsbury found success, and the Commanders brought basically their entire front office to the UNC Pro Day.

Over the last 2 seasons, Maye threw for nearly 8,000 yards, 62 TDs, over 1,200 rush yards and only 16 interceptions. That kind of production combined with his 6-4, 223-pound size and sub-4.6 speed makes him a tantalizing prospect. With the right coaching, he should be able to tap into his ceiling. The Commanders hired good coaches, and his WRs and RBs aren’t too shabby either.

Jayden Daniels – Raiders Trade Up for Patriots Pick No. 3

This is where I think the shake-up happens. Yes, the Patriots need a quarterback. But, they also need so much more and they are on a two- to three-year rebuild. Getting draft capital to start building a surrounding cast is a good way to go for this organization. Which leads us to the Raiders who are now full of momentum under new head coach Antonio Pierce who, coincidentally, coached Jayden Daniels at Arizona State.

While Daniels won last year’s Heisman, he took a long time to get there. He didn’t throw for 3,000 yards or even 20 TDs until his sixth season. It is possible he needs a good supporting cast to be truly successful, as talented as he is. Last season he threw for 3,813 yards, 40 TDs, only 4 INTs, and added 1,133 yards on the ground. That was all while throwing the ball to two first round WRs in Brian Thomas Jr. and Malik Nabers. The Raiders have a good supporting cast and a good coach. Vegas would be a great landing spot for Daniels.

J.J. McCarthy – Broncos Trade Up for Falcons Pick No. 8

If we are to believe the J.J. McCarthy hype, the only team that makes sense trading up is the Denver Broncos. I also don’t buy the rumors that the Chargers will trade back with so much potential talent staring them in the face – whether it’s Joe Alt or one of the Big Three WRs. Sean Payton gets his game manager without having to give too much to the Falcons.

McCarthy does possess a high floor when compared to a lot of this year’s quarterback prospects. He saw some of the worst volume in CFB last season, but still finished inside the top-36 in both pass yards and pass TDs. McCarthy also finished with the seventh-best Passer Rating in NCAAF last season, with only four INTs. He was able to produce without a great receiving corps at Michigan, and the Broncos have just enough. I think Payton will be able to cater the offense to McCarthy’s needs and this will be a good landing spot for all involved.

Michael Penix – Seahawks Pick No. 16

Another college connection to be made is Michael Penix reuniting with his Washington OC Ryan Grubb, who coincidentally stayed in-state to be the Seahawks OC. The discussion around Penix’s projected Draft capital is all over the place, but I think the potential for a fifth-year option and a new regime that is already familiar with Penix will make Penix hard for the Seahawks to pass up.

New HC Mike MacDonald even had an interview after being hired and said that he wasn’t sure what the future was for either Drew Lock or Geno Smith. I find it hard to believe he’d take a HC job without knowing who his quarterback will be. I know he has since come out and said Smith would start, but the Cardinals said the same thing about Josh Rosen before drafting Kyler Murray.

Penix spent his first four years at Indiana where he was unproductive before transferring to Washington where he exploded across his final two seasons. He finished two years at Washington with 9,289 yards, 66 TDs and 17 INTs. Not bad for a guy that didn’t even have 1,700 yards or 15 TDs at Indiana. The lack of production early in his career is what hurts his draft stock, but I think ultimately he’s done enough to still be a first round pick.

Bo Nix – Vikings Pick No. 23

The same can be said about Bo Nix, who also didn’t find much college success until transferring to the Pac 12. What if the Vikings love for McCarthy and Maye is all a smokescreen? Nix and Penix are the two quarterbacks that actually fit the Vikings system. And with Penix gone to the Seahawks, the Vikings can resort to their second first Round pick to lock down a potential fifth-year option on one of college football’s most prolific passers.

Nix finished last year with the second-most pass yards, and the most pass TDs in college football last year while throwing for a shockingly low three interceptions. Seeing such a prolific performance is really impressive considering the other top quarterbacks had Rome Odunze, Malik Nabers, etc to throw the ball. Troy Franklin wasn’t that, even if he was solid. With this pick, Nix now gets one of the best receiving corps in the league and a passer-friendly offense. The Vikings get a good chance at their future quarterback.

Spencer Rattler – Buccaneers Pick No. 89

Lots of teams need backup quarterbacks, but few have a chance to get a backup who plays so similarly to their current starter. Baker Mayfield and Spencer Rattler would be a good quarterback room, and the Buccaneers clearly don’t like what they have in Kyle Trask. Coming off a playoff win and getting most of their core back, the Bucs can afford to take an early shot on a decent backup quarterback.

I know a lot of people have fallen in love with Rattler throughout this process, but he is simply not pro-ready. It’s never a good sign when you break out early and then struggle to capture the same magic over five years of college football. He has shown flashes throughout his career, but has struggled with consistency. He has good moxie and potential, so, with the right situation, he should be able to improve. The Buccaneers are one of those solid situations for a quarterback like him.

Joe Milton III – Packers Pick 168

Another team that needs a developmental backup is the Green Bay Packers, and they have a compensatory fifth round pick burning a hole in their pocket. Why not take a chance on the guy with a true cannon for an arm and 88th-percentile burst? Sure, Joe Milton didn’t have much college production in his six years in college, but the upside is there.

See John Laub’s breakdown of the top QB prospects here: 2024 NFL Draft Prospects – Top 6 Quarterbacks | Scholar Study Sheets – John Laub

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