2024 NFL Draft Stock Up
Troy Fautanu, OT/G, Washington
Fautanu (6-4, 317) has been a very reliable and steady left tackle for Michael Penix Jr. this season. Fautanu became the starting left tackle in 2022 and has been a consistent contributor for Washington. Multiple team sources said they like Fautanu and see him as an early-rounder. Some project him as a second-round pick with a potential move to guard because of length limitations. Pro evaluators like Fautanu’s athleticism. He moves well on the edge while having some quickness and strength in his build.
Jalyx Hunt, OLB, Houston Christian
The Senior Bowl has been a great environment for some small-school players to show they are capable of playing at the next level, and Hunt will have the opportunity to do that in 2024. He impressed the Senior Bowl evaluators with his 2023 season, recording 46 tackles, nine tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks, one interception and three passes defended. In 2022, Hunt totaled 87 tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks and two passes batted. At 6-foot-4, 248 pounds, Hunt has sufficient pro size to be an outside linebacker in the NFL. It will be fascinating to see how he performs against the all-stars in Mobile.
Ja’Lynn Polk, WR, Washington
While Michael Penix Jr. and Rome Odunze have gotten a lot of attention, and deservedly so, there are other players at Washington who have also impressed pro evaluators. Polk has played well as the No. 2 receiver in 2023, catching 60 passes for 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns. The 6-foot-2, 204-pounder has quality size to go with quickness and athleticism. Some NFL team sources think he could be an excellent mid-round value pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Moose Muhammad III, WR, Texas A&M
The Aggies did not use Muhammad enough in 2023, but he is a talented receiver. The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder is tough, quick, shifty and crafty. He recorded 24 catches in 2023 for 277 yards and two touchdowns. In 2022, he turned 38 catches into 610 yards and four scores. It will be interesting to see if Muhammad decides to return to College Station, transfer, or enter the 2024 NFL Draft.
Byron Murphy II, DT, Texas
While T’Vondre Sweat had more media attention entering this season, Murphy is the defensive tackle who has generated the most excitement among NFL evaluators. In 2023, Murphy was a big presence for the Longhorns, recording five sacks and 26 tackles. He totaled three sacks over the previous two seasons. Murphy looks like a projected starter for the next level.
Kris Jenkins, DT, Michigan
Jenkins impressed team sources with steady play throughout the 2023 season. Over 2023, he has recorded 33 tackles, 1.5 sacks and an interception. Jenkins (6-3, 305) earned a starting spot in 2022 after spending a couple of seasons as a backup and had a strong debut with 54 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks and two hurries. While Jenkins does not have big sack production, he has consistently generated pressure on the quarterback. As the son of former Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Kris Jenkins, Jenkins has good NFL blood lines. He could end up being a late first-round or early second-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.
2024 NFL Draft Stock Down
Jared Verse, DE, Florida State
Verse played better to close out the 2023 season, but a lot of his production this year came against bad teams. Verse is tough and plays hard, but he has some tightness as an athlete, which was reflected in the lack of pass-rush production in many games. Entering the season, Verse was getting a lot of high first-round projections in the media. NFL teams, however, see him more as a late first- or early second-round pick for the 2024 NFL Draft.