2024 NFL Draft Stock Up
Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU
As we reported in the Hot Press, sources from two NFL teams said they see Daniels as a future first-round pick. The 6-foot-4, 210-poundser has pro size to go along with a good arm, mobility, athleticism and speed. His ability to ad lib his team into big plays is very desired by pro teams, and Daniels has shown an ability to carry his squad. Every year, quarterback prospects rise and fall over the draft process, but at the end of the regular college football season, some sources think Daniels is likely to be a first-round pick next April in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU
While Malik Nabers is the No. 1 receiver for the Tigers, Thomas has the more talented skill set for the NFL. At 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, Thomas possesses mismatch size while also retaining some serious speed. He has the skill set of a No. 1 receiver for the next level and could be an outside starter who stretches defenses vertically. Thomas could be a first-round pick if he enters the 2024 NFL Draft.
Jawhar Jordan, RB, Louisville
Some pro evaluators said they feel Jordan could be a better version of impressive Baltimore rookie running back Keaton Mitchell. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Jordan is a quick running back who can explode to the second level and rip off yards in chunks. While he is small, Jordan is slippery runner who shows the speed to hurt defenses. He probably won’t be able to hold up in the NFL as a three-down starter given his size, but Jordan could be a dangerous No. 2 back and change-of-pace to go with a bigger, physical starting ball-carrier. In the 2024 NFL Draft, Jordan could be a sleeper and nice value as a mid-round pick.
Quincy Riley, CB, Louisville
Pro team sources noted Riley has played well this season. They said they think he could be a solid backup/rotational cornerback in the NFL. At 6-foot, 185 pounds, Riley is at a size where he could offer the versatility to be a valuable backup at both the slot or outside corner. In 2023, he has 38 tackles, two interceptions and seven passes defended. He had three picks and five interceptions over the previous two seasons, respectively.
Laiatu Latu, DE, UCLA
Latu got off to a slow start to cross-town rivals USC, but he went on to put together a superb game. In the second quarter, Latu made a nice play in run support. bursting into the backfield to disrupt the play and set up a tackle for a loss for a teammate. Shortly later, Latu had an impressive inside rush to flush quarterback Caleb Williams out of the pocket. In the third quarter, Latu had an impressive sack that saw him cut between the guard and tackle off the snap. Latu shoved the right guard off of him and then closed on Williams in a blur. Latu added another sack on the next play after running around the right tackle and then using power to bull through the running back to get to Williams. That gave Latu 13 sacks on the season.
Latu’s performance against USC showed why he is a likely top-10 selection for the 2024 NFL Draft – and why he is the top defensive prospect for the 2024 NFL Draft. Latu has serious speed off the edge and the ability quickly fire upfield to blow by blockers. Beyond his speed, Latu possesses functional strength to fight off blocks and is able to use hands and feet at the same time. When free, Latu closes in a blur with a serious burst to the quarterback. Latu can bend, is athletic, and plays hard. He could be a dangerous quarterback hunter and an impactful player in the NFL.
J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan
There are some team sources who shared they believe McCarthy will be a first-round pick next April in the 2024 NFL Draft. This season, McCarthy has helped lead Michigan to a string of dominant victories, showing accuracy as a rhythm passer. He has improved his decision-making and patience, having learned to take checkdowns and doing a a good job of taking care of the football. McCarthy (6-3, 202) has athleticism and running ability to go along with size and a quality arm. He could be starting in the NFL next season.
2024 NFL Draft Stock Down
Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina
Maye really struggled against Clemson, which will hurt him with NFL evaluators. Versus Clemson, Maye completed 16-of-36 passes for 209 yards, one touchdown and an interception. While he made some nice plays that illustrated his arm strength and athleticism, he struggled to create big plays on his own and his accuracy was off on a lot of throws. Maye has an above-average arm, but not a cannon, and while he can run and has mobility, Maye is not an elite runner. Maye has the ability to start in the NFL, but he definitely is going to need to be surrounded by playmakers to be effective. Maye’s performance against Clemson could bolster the argument that USC’s Caleb Williams is the better quarterback prospect for the NFL.
Jordan Travis, QB, Florida State
Team sources had Travis graded on Day 3 of the 2024 NFL Draft, but against North Alabama on Saturday night, Travis suffered an ugly lower left leg injury that left his foot pointing the wrong direction after the tackle. This injury could have an impact on Travis being available to start his rookie season, and it definitely will knock him out of any all-star game or the NFL Scouting Combine. Getting hurt like this now could push Travis from the third day of the 2024 NFL Draft to the undrafted ranks.