Rookies to Draft in 2024 Underdog Best Ball Drafts

by Kelly Singh · Fantasy Football
Rookies to 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, Kelly Singh identifies 2024 NFL rookies to draft in Underdog best ball. 

There’s been plenty of discussion around the top rookie wide receivers and even top rookie running backs. The community has taken sides when it comes to quarterbacks and what about tight ends? We’re here to share our top Underdog rookie targets at QB and TE positions to help you sift through the noise. Let’s talk about a few of the picks you might be considering for your next best ball draft.

Underdog Rookie Targets: Tight End

Brock Bowers

It’s been clear from the start that rookie tight end Brock Bowers from the University of Georgia has been tops on everyone’s list. However, not everyone is seeking a tight end as they start their rookie best ball drafts. While he’s certainly not short at 6-3, Bowers weighs in at just 240-pounds, making him a bit smaller than the rest of the field. Does that matter? Probably not.

Considering Bowers is likely a top-10 pick, he could land with the Jets. During his time at Georgia, he had 175 receptions, resulting in 2,538 receiving yards and 31 touchdowns. He was recovering from an injury at the combine but recorded a 4.53-second 40-yard dash at the Georgia Pro Day, which would have been the second-fastest among tight ends.

Ja’Tavion Sanders

Ja’Tavion Sanders comes in at 6-4 and 245-pounds (not much bigger than Bowers), he’s also been labeled as “undersized”. While not much of a blocker, he’s an excellent receiver, compared to landing in a role similar to that of Baltimore Ravens tight end, Isaiah Likely. During his three years as a tight end with the Texas Longhorns, Sanders ranks No. 1 among tight ends with 99 career receptions, which led to 1,295 yards, but only seven receiving touchdowns.

Sanders is for sure a top-100 prospect, but arguably not among the top-five tight ends of this rookie class. He has significant speed – recording a 4.69-second 40-yard dash – and he’s an excellent route runner. Is it enough? We already know that it’s tough to come in as a rookie tight end and be an elite starter. Look for Sanders to have a high-level supporting role.

Cade Stover

Cade Stover has been named among the top-three tight ends in the upcoming NFL draft across many of the the most respectable media outlets. Coming to us from The Ohio State, Stover is 6-4 and 247-pounds, which means he falls right in line with the other two picks at the position. Stover ran a 4.65 second 40-yard dash, which is just a hair faster than Sanders’ 4.69-second run. He’s fast, he can catch and he has the ability to elude defensive coverage after the catch.

Here’s what I love most about Stover – he started out as a defensive player, playing line backer until 2022, when he switched to tight end. What a great move that was! Since then, he’s been named Big Ten Conference TE of the Year and a finalist for the John Mackey Award (the award for the nation’s top TE). In the last two seasons, he’s produced nearly 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Underdog Rookie Targets: Quarterback

Caleb Williams

The 2022 Heisman Trophy winner, Caleb Williams, leads the way as the top quarterback pick for the 2024 rookie draft. He’s been compared to NFL veteran quarterback, Kyler Murray, but I wonder if that’s more about height than ability. Williams is 6-1 which isn’t short by any means, but he is shorter than what the “experts” call a typical successful quarterback build.

Williams’ NFL draft profile lists that he “passes up easy scramble yardage for more challenging throws.” It’s tough to call that a weakness when he’s rarely intercepted. According to PFF, his touchdown to interception ratio in the red zone was 46:1 in 2022. Let’s say we go along with the narrative that his desire to pass rather than scramble is a weakness. The ability to scramble is something he can learn and grow into. In every article I read, Williams’ upside far outweighs any concerns.

Drake Maye

At just 21 years old, Drake Maye is one of the youngest in the 2024 draft class. At 6-4 and 230-pounds, Maye meets that prototypical body type that we hear about. He was still just a sophomore at North Carolina, so I imagine he’ll bulk up more as he grows. I mean, he is still a growing boy, right? Maye is said to be the most accurate quarterback in this draft class, but he’s also likely one of the toughest, taking 30 sacks in 2023 alone.

His NFL draft profile says, “he can make every throw, but he will try to make throws that he shouldn’t have attempted.” In contrast to that, he rushed for 1,209 yards and 16 touchdowns while at UNC. This shows that he’s very comfortable with play action and is good under pressure. Here’s a quick look at his stats – in 2022 he passed for 4,321 passing yards and 38 passing touchdowns with seven interceptions. In 2023, he slipped a little but was still a top performer with 3,608 passing yards and 24 passing touchdowns with nine interceptions total.

J.J. McCarthy

Lastly, let’s discuss J.J. McCarthy from Michigan. The 21-year-old junior is the youngest of the 2024 draft class. McCarthy was listed as a tall 6-3 but his NFL combine profile shows him at 6-2 and a half, weighing in at 219-pounds. Like Maye, I’m sure he could bulk up a little. These are youngsters! McCarthy led his team to the 2023 National Championship under Coach Jim Harbaugh. His career included 49 passing touchdowns with 11 total interceptions and 10 touchdowns as a rusher.

In 2023 alone, McCarthy had 2,991 passing yards, 22 passing touchdowns, four interceptions and three touchdowns as a rusher. To me, he seems like the most exciting quarterback in the draft, but we mostly hear about Williams in the media. While McCarthy may lack some weight, his NFL draft profile says one of his strengths is being able to take a hit while still making the pass. Among his weaknesses, it’s been said that he’s “sluggish” getting through progressions and can get stuck on the first read. That seems to be common among young quarterbacks, so this can certainly be overcome with experience.


So there you have it – some additional details around three of our favorite rookie tight ends and quarterbacks for your Underdog best ball drafts. Be sure to check out the 2024 PlayerProfiler Rookie Guide. It’s a comprehensive scouting report with over 60 Player Breakdowns including NFL Comparisons, PlayerProfiler Athleticism Scores, NFL Draft Grades, and Statistics! PlayerProfiler Dynasty Deluxe subscribers get access to the guide for FREE.

If you’d like to discuss this topic more, be sure to follow me on Twitter/X @KellyInPhoenix. I love a good discussion. Thanks for reading!

Read Josh Larky’s Mock Draft 1.0 here: NFL Mock Draft 1.0 Based on Vegas Odds with Josh Larky