National Football League
Why is this year's QB draft class so valued? Hint: An underwhelming 2025 group
National Football League

Why is this year's QB draft class so valued? Hint: An underwhelming 2025 group

Updated Apr. 20, 2024 11:32 a.m. ET

If you are wondering why the NFL is clamoring over the 2024 quarterback class, it is due to the weak collection of signal-callers on the horizon. While this NFL Draft is loaded with blue-chip talent, with as many as six quarterback prospects carrying first-round grades — headlined by USC's Caleb Williams, North Carolina's Drake Maye and LSU's Jayden Daniels, — the 2025 class features only one prospect (Colorado's Shedeur Sanders) with "franchise" potential. 

Though it is possible for Georgia's Carson Beck, Texas' Quinn Ewers, or Penn State's Drew Allar to emerge as a viable QB1 candidate next fall, we are nearing the end of spring ball, and the NFL scouting community is not buzzing about the 2025 class. 

The lack of excitement over next year's collection of quarterbacks reminds me of the 2022 draft, when Kenny Pickett, Malik Willis, Desmond Ridder, and Matt Corral failed to generate buzz throughout the pre-draft process. Despite impressive resumes featuring notable individual and team accomplishments, scouts were not excited about the talent or long-term potential of the group. 

Consequently, Pickett was the only first-rounder of the class but failed to make his mark with the Pittsburgh Steelers before being traded away this offseason after a bumpy two-year stint with the team. Ridder experienced a similar fate as a third-round pick who was recently traded from his original team (the Atlanta Falcons) to the Arizona Cardinals after an inconsistent run as a part-time starter. 


With Willis stuck in a QB2 role and Corral out of the league, the ghosts from 2022 still haunt the scouting community when they look ahead to the 2025 class. 

Johnny Manziel previews 2024 NFL Draft QB prospects

Perhaps that is why so many teams are aggressively attempting to move up the board to snag one of the blue-chip quarterback prospects in the 2024 draft. Teams without quarterbacks or with veteran signal-callers entering the twilight of their careers must make a bold move this year or roll the dice on a quarterback from an underwhelming 2025 class. 

With that in mind, general managers are huddled up with their scouts to compare and contrast the quarterbacks in both classes to see how the Tier 2 quarterbacks from the 2024 group match up with the headliners of the 2025 class. Although Sanders and Co. have another year to work on their skills to better acclimate to the pro game, it is unlikely multiple quarterback prospects will make a Joe Burrow-like jump during their final seasons. 

Given the odds of landing a franchise quarterback next year, there are several teams who should consider making a move in 2024 to secure their quarterback of the future. Here are a few teams to watch: 

Los Angeles Rams 

Matthew Stafford is nearing the end of a great run with the Rams as a 15-year pro with nothing else to prove. The one-time Super Bowl champ is signed through 2026, but it is time for the Rams to find their future quarterback to groom behind the veteran. Given the talent and depth of the 2024 class, Les Snead and Sean McVay could move up the board to snag J.J. McCarthy, Bo Nix or Michael Penix Jr. as the heir apparent to No. 9 in Los Angeles. 

Atlanta Falcons 

Despite Kirk Cousins' arrival as the franchise's hopeful savior, the Falcons must create a succession plan that enables the team to compete at a high level over the next few years. Adding a talented signal caller in the 2024 draft would give the youngster enough time to acclimate to the pro game as an understudy to a respected veteran with an impressive resume. Though the Falcons are not expected to take a QB with the No. 8 overall selection, the team could jump back into the first round to grab the last of the "Big Six" quarterbacks in the class. 

Dallas Cowboys 

After engaging in a game of "Chicken" with Dak Prescott during their latest contract negotiations, the Cowboys need an insurance plan for the veteran's potential departure as a free agent at the end of the season. The prohibitive cost of the three-time Pro Bowler's contract ($60 million-plus annually) makes it imperative for the Cowboys to find a viable option if Trey Lance cannot fill the void as a developmental QB1 down the road. With the Cowboys successfully identifying their last two franchise quarterbacks as late-rounders or college free agents, the personnel staff could take a flier on an underrated prospect (SEE: Spencer Rattler) as a worthwhile gamble on Day 2. 

Bucky Brooks is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports. He also breaks down the game for NFL Network and as a cohost of the "Moving the Sticks" podcast. Follow him on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.


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