National Football League
2024 NFL Draft Big Board: Joel Klatt's top 50 includes 6 QBs
National Football League

2024 NFL Draft Big Board: Joel Klatt's top 50 includes 6 QBs

Updated Apr. 12, 2024 11:51 a.m. ET

The 2024 NFL Draft is fast approaching.

In recent weeks, I've looked at the upcoming draft from all sorts of angles. I've ranked the top prospects at a few positions, I've conducted multiple mock drafts and I've shared which players I'm "planting my flag on" ahead of their perspective NFL careers.

As we're just over two weeks from the first round, it's time for me to share my top 50 prospects in this year's class. This is as deep of a draft that I can remember covering. This will mark my 10th year covering the NFL Draft as I'll be on the NFL Network for the first two nights of this year's event. I've been excited about this draft because of its depth. There are a lot of good players, and this list reflects that. 

Here are my top 50 prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft. 


Rob Rang's top 100 prospect rankings | Top 10 QB prospects | Top 10 RB prospects | Top 10 WR prospects | Top 10 TE prospects | Top 10 OT prospects | Top 10 IOL prospects | Top 10 Edge prospects | Top 10 DT prospects | Joel Klatt's mock draft

NFL Draft Big Board

1. QB Caleb Williams, USC

I have not covered a better college quarterback than Williams. He's elite in every category that I can evaluate on the field. You can question some of his off-field antics, but I know his coaches and have spoken with his teammates. They loved Williams. In a lot of ways, he was navigating waters that no player has had to navigate in the history of college football. No player has had to play college football as the incumbent Heisman winner with $12 million in the bank or whatever it was. He's an anomaly, in a lot of ways. 

He had to do things that there was no blueprint for, and he did it as a young man. I'm not concerned about him because of his tape — he's elite on the run, threatening with his legs, his football IQ and acumen and his ability to threaten the defense with his arm talent. He's an elite player. 

2. WR Marvin Harrison, Ohio State

Similar to Williams, I have never covered a better receiver in my career than Harrison. He's going to be a No. 1 wide receiver right away. You can game plan around him as a rookie because he can get open and will make the catch, particularly on third down, which is rare. When you get to the postseason, he'll make receptions when he has to fight through contested and physical areas. He can be the catalyst for your offense. 

Marvin Harrison Jr. Highlights

3. QB Drake Maye, UNC

A lot of people are going to knock Maye over the next few weeks for reasons I'm not sure of. He falls in the C.J. Stroud category for me of "Why is everyone knocking him?" Don't give me this bullcrap of, "Well, his feet aren't that good." Watch the tape! Watch the throws he makes! He makes throws that no one other than Williams can make in this draft. From a top-end perspective, he has a gear that the non-Williams QBs in the class don't have. Nitpick all you want, but it just doesn't sound right. If he isn't the No. 2 pick, I think it's a mistake. That's how much I believe in Maye. Sure, he can make some boneheaded mistakes, but he makes throws the rest of us dream of making. Those types of guys don't come around all the time. 

Marvin Harrison Jr. & Drake Maye among Klatt’s top 50 players in 2024 NFL Draft

4. WR Rome Odunze, Washington

There's not a lot to not like with Odunze. He can be a No. 1 who can win on the outside. He's going to be successful right away. There were a lot of routes in Washington's offense that required post-snap adjustments. So, you know he's really smart and can get on the same page as the quarterback.  

5. TE Brock Bowers, Georgia

I'm a big believer in tight ends, and I'm a huge believer in Brock Bowers. He's fantastic. He's the perfect style of player for an offense to build around, at least from a skill position perspective. He's going to be a playoff player and will probably be the focal point of an offense that can go and win a Super Bowl at some point. Every Super Bowl winner in the last eight years had a receiver who could own the center of the field. Bowers does that. His value should not be questioned because you see the letters "TE" next to his name. I love Bowers; don't overthink this. 

Brock Bowers & Michael Penix Jr. in Joel Klatt’s ‘plant the flag’ players

6. WR Malik Nabers, LSU

Nabers is an absolute rocket ship. His ability to turn non-descript offensive plays, when the play suggests the quarterback should throw the ball to the slot receiver, into a home run is unique. Not many receivers can do that. That's why he's a top-10 player. 

7. QB Jayden Daniels, LSU

Daniels is a phenomenal football player. A lot of teams will have Daniels up there at two or three, and it wouldn't surprise me if he's selected with the second pick in the draft. I think that's likely at this point. He's safer, has played a ton of football, is athletic and makes great throws. There's nothing to knock about Daniels. My one question is if he can stay healthy, considering the way he plays. When Daniels runs, he exposes himself to further hits. 

8. OT Olu Fashanu, Penn State

It would've been easier and safer to put Joe Alt as the top offensive tackle, but Fashanu's top-end potential supersedes that. I think Fashanu has the potential to be one of the two or three best offensive tackles in all of football in the next five years. That's the trajectory he's on. He's very smart, incredibly driven, has great feet and is incredibly athletic for as big of a frame as he has. 

9. CB Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo

Mitchell is my top defender in the draft. He reminds me a lot of the trajectory of Sauce Gardner, but we knew more about Gardner because his college team was better. Guys can succeed in the NFL after playing in a Group of 5 conference, which Gardner has shown, as he might be the best corner in football. Mitchell, with his strength, length and speed, could be on a similar path. I know this is unique, but I just have a hunch that he's going to be phenomenal. 

10. OT Joe Alt, Notre Dame

Alt is fantastic. I think he's the most well-rounded and pro-ready tackle in the draft. 

11. OT Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State

Not many people likely know about Fuaga's game, but he's a powerful run blocker. If Jim Harbaugh gets his hands on him, look out. They'll run the ball all over everyone. 

12. Edge rusher Dallas Turner, Alabama

The top of my draft is loaded with offensive players. A lot of people will have Turner as their best defensive player in the draft. I'm on board with that take, I just like Mitchell a bit more. Turner is going to find a home, and he's going to be productive. He's a three-down player who can stop the run and has a motor that never stops. He can get to the quarterback, and he'll have a fantastic NFL career.

13. CB Terrion Arnold, Alabama

Arnold was recruited as a safety and just got better and better. He was a multi-time All-American and I think he's got a bright future.  

14. QB JJ McCarthy, Michigan

I'm higher on McCarthy than most. I've seen him since he was getting spot duty as a freshman, before he became the reason why Michigan won a national championship as a junior. Michigan has had other teams similar to this year's team in the past, but they were missing a quarterback who could deliver in big moments. McCarthy raised the level of the team in those moments this year, particularly against Ohio State and Alabama. When you watch the cutup of his plays from third-and-7 or longer from this past season, you begin to wonder, why isn't he a top-five player? Maybe I'm too low on McCarthy. He made those plays on third downs because he was able to extend plays or make plays on the run. That's why he's going to be great at the next level. He's also totally unselfish and doesn't get credit. Who doesn't want that in their locker room?

J.J. McCarthy & Bo Nix in Klatt’s top 50 players in 2024 draft

15. OT JC Latham, Alabama

Latham continues the run of strong depth at offensive tackle in this draft class.

16. Edge rusher Jared Verse, Florida State

17. Edge rusher Chop Robinson, Penn State

I gave Verse a slight edge over Robinson because I think he's better holistically and against the run. Not that Robinson can't stop the run, but there are times when he would take chances. When you take chances and leave your gap with speed, you can get beat. That happened against Michigan this season. On a positive note, Robinson changed Michigan's game plan in that matchup, beating the Wolverines' right tackle badly twice on the first two possessions that they opted to call 32 straight runs. Michigan was playing away from Robinson in that game. 

18. DT Byron Murphy, Texas

Murphy was a big reason why Texas was so good in 2023. I think he's the best defensive tackle in the draft. He's a leader, strong, a playmaker, and can be an anchor for an NFL defense for years to come.  

19. WR Brian Thomas Jr., LSU

In any other draft, Thomas is easily a top-three receiver. But this draft has a few elite guys ahead of him. He can be in my top 20 even though he won't have the accolades or acclaim that the other receivers have gotten because they're generational. 

20. OL Troy Fautanu, Washington

Fautanu was a big reason why the next guy on my list wasn't hit much for the better part of two seasons. 

21. QB Michael Penix Jr., Washington

I've been high on Penix since he was at Indiana, when he nearly beat Ohio State during the 2020 season. Everyone wants to take shots at him because of his injury history. I get it, it's there. He had a hard time staying on the field at Indiana. But he just stayed on the field for two full seasons at Washington and there was nobody in college football who threw the ball better than he did down the field. It was uncanny. I've spoken about his ability to pass with leverage at length. I can't get the Miami Dolphins out of my head as a possible fit for him.  

Michael Penix Jr. Highlights

22. OT Tyler Guyton, Oklahoma

23. OT Amarius Mims, Georgia

I like the games of both Guyton and Mims. We've got great depth at offensive tackle in this draft. That's reflected with another pair of offensive tackles being ranked this high.

24. CB Cooper Dejean, Iowa

Dejean is more valuable than anyone is going to give him credit for because of his all-around ability. He's dangerous with the football in his hands. It won't surprise me at all if he's a returner in the NFL. He can cover in the slot or the outside. If you put him in a primary zone defense, he's got such a good feel for route structure and combination, which is why he's had good interception numbers. 

25. Edge rusher Laiatu Latu, UCLA

The neck injury is interesting. He started his career at Washington before the school told him that he had a career-ending neck injury. He got a second opinion that allowed him to keep playing. He was amazing at UCLA. He's productive. You put him on the field, and all my former teammates will roll their eyes at this, but he's a football-playing Jesse. Put him on the field and he's just going to produce. He's a heck of a player.   

26. QB Bo Nix, Oregon

I'm higher on these quarterbacks than everyone. I love all of these quarterbacks. I won't allow anyone to say I dislike any of these six quarterbacks based on where I ranked them in comparison to the others. I love Nix. That's my least favorite part of the draft process. Anyway, I love Nix's feet, schematic acumen, intelligence, leadership and accuracy. The ball goes to the right spot, on time and all the time. Oregon was so hard to stop because of that. If he goes to the right team, like the Denver Broncos, he'll succeed. He's NFL-ready. 

27. DT Jer'Zhan Newton, Illinois

One of my "plant the flag" players, Newton's productivity as an interior defensive player is outstanding. I think his power and quick twitch ability are the reasons for that. That doesn't happen a lot for defensive tackles. Most win with brute force. Players like Newton are unicorns.  

Jer’Zhan Newton & Byron Murphy in Joel Klatt’s ‘plant the flag’ players

28. CB Nate Wiggins, Clemson

I love his length and he's athletic. You always know that teams are looking for corners as they might need to put as many as they can on the field at certain times, so Wiggins will find the field pretty early. 

29. Edge rusher Darius Robinson, Missouri

When you start to evaluate these players, you're like, "Oh yeah, I get it. I know why Missouri was such a good team." He and Ennis Rakestraw are NFL players. That is the lifeblood of success in college football. 

30. OL Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon

Powers-Johnson can play center or guard. He's highly valuable. He's probably one of the better offensive linemen in this draft, at least as far as versatility goes. He can play all over on the inside. 

31. CB Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama

We've been talking about McKinstry for a really long time, and he's still a really good player. 

32. WR Keon Coleman, Florida State

Coleman's ability to make contested catches is special. I spoke with Daniel Jeremiah about this quite a bit on a recent episode of my podcast, but there's a great importance on receivers to make contested catches in the playoffs. You have to make them, and it's not just 50/50 balls either. You will be contacted. Nothing's easy. So, the guys who can be physically ready for that will have more success earlier in their careers.

33. CB Ennis Rakestraw Jr, Missouri

Rakestraw's a good player. He has the requisite length and coverage ability that makes a corner valuable. 

34. WR Adonai Mitchell, Texas

Mitchell's the type of player who flies under the radar a bit in the draft process because we're going through so many different receivers. It's not going to shock me if in four or five years, Mitchell is a No. 1 receiver for a team. He's got the size, skill, speed and athleticism combination. 

35. OL Graham Barton, Duke

36. WR Troy Franklin, Oregon

I think Franklin can be a No. 1 receiver. His ability to get open and then make adjusted catches is uncanny. 

Troy Franklin & Chop Robinson in Joel Klatt’s 2024 mock draft 2.0

37. OT Jordan Morgan, Arizona

Arizona had an incredible 2023 season. While Noah Fifita and Tetairoa McMillan were incredible, they were able to do that because of the protection up front. The year that the Wildcats had rested in the hands of Morgan, in a big respect, and he was sensational. When he didn't play in the bowl game, you saw them struggle offensively for a little bit. 

38. OL Zach Frazier, West Virginia

Frazier's a really good player. Interior offensive linemen can be hard to evaluate, yet it's highly important. You've got to have strong players along the offensive line, particularly in the middle so the pocket doesn't immediately collapse on the quarterback. Frazier is going to help somebody out. 

39. LB Edgerrin Cooper, Texas A&M

For linebackers, along with running backs, it's really hard to generate top-end, first-round value. But Cooper is one of the better inside linebacker types. I think he'll find himself a good home in the NFL.

40. WR Xavier Worthy, Texas

Worthy's speed and ability to take the top off the defense is going to be highly valuable. We all know that. His ability to make plays is going to be highly valuable. We all know that. He's going to be a huge threat early in his career.

Quinn Ewers throws a 42-yard DOT to Xavier Worthy as Texas extends lead over Houston

41. DT T'Vondre Sweat, Texas

Sweat is huge and a run stuffer. In a lot of ways, he's exactly what the NFL is looking for out of a defensive tackle. Remember, it's a copycat sport, whether we're talking about the NFL or the college game. The Baltimore Ravens and Michigan had the best defenses at their respective levels of football last season, so people are going to want a piece of those defenses. The crux of both defenses is building a run wall. You need depth at defensive tackle to do that. With that style of defense becoming more prevalent, Sweat will be more valuable. He was a major reason why Texas finally got over the hump. 

42. WR Ladd McConkey, Georgia

I'm a big fan of McConkey. His route-running ability is underappreciated. He gets open and is reliable in catching the football. For me, those are two traits that are highly valuable. In a lot of ways, when they didn't have Bowers, the passing offense went through McConkey.

Mike Sainristil & Ladd McConkey in Klatt’s top 50 players in 2024 NFL Draft

43. CB Kamari Lassiter, Georgia

44. LB Junior Colson, Michigan

Going back to when Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Maconald was Michigan's defensive coordinator, he raved about Colson. When Colson was just a freshman in 2021, he said the linebacker is going to be a great pro. I love his background, he works hard. In a lot of ways, he epitomized what it meant to be a Michigan Wolverine this past season. His ability to be a hybrid player in the middle of the defense is going to be highly valuable. 

45. TE Ja'Tavion Sanders, Texas

Sanders is a really athletic player. With Texas having so many weapons, there weren't a ton of touches available for its tight ends. Yet, Sanders produced and he's a heck of a player. I love what he's able to do, particularly as a flex/move H-style tight end. 

46. RB Jonathon Brooks, Texas

I really believe in Brooks. I love his leadership and his ability to do everything on the field. He can run between the tackles or outside, hit home runs or gain tough yards, or catch the ball out of the backfield. He can do it all. That versatility is where value is created for a running back.

47. WR Roman Wilson, Michigan

Wilson is an interesting prospect. This draft is filled with solid wide receivers. Wilson's one of them. His production might not match the other receiver prospects in my top 50, but that's because of Michigan's system. The Wolverines' philosophy to win a national championship didn't emphasize throwing the ball. Even then, Wilson made some incredible plays to help Michigan last season, especially in the Rose Bowl against Alabama. He's fast; faster than people believe. He's going to be a really good receiver at the next level. 

Jonathon Brooks & Roman Wilson in Joel Klatt’s ‘plant the flag’ players

48. S Tyler Nubin, Minnesota

I love Nubin's game. He was a good leader for PJ Fleck at Minnesota. He's going to be a solid pro. He can walk into any locker room in the NFL and fit right in. He's also one of my "plant my flag" guys. 

49. CB Mike Sainristil, Michigan

Sainristil was one of my favorite players in college football last season, and really for the last few seasons. If you listened or read the players I'm "planting my flag" on, you'd know how highly I think of Sainristil. He was the best defender on the best defense in college football, and he's only played defense full-time for two years. His ceiling is ridiculously high because he's a hybrid player - he can play within the interior of the passing game, and he won't be intimidated by matchups. He's constantly around the ball.

50. WR Ricky Pearsall, Florida

Pearsall has been a bit of a late riser in the process. I like his game. I like his athleticism. He falls just inside my top 50. 

Joel Klatt is FOX Sports' lead college football game analyst and the host of the podcast "The Joel Klatt Show." Follow him on X/Twitter at @joelklatt and subscribe to the "Joel Klatt Show" on YouTube.


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