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SNS 2024 QB Tiers: An In-Depth Look at the 2024 QB Class

The 2024 QB class looks to be a fantastic draft in terms of the potential franchise QBs at the top of the draft but also notable is the number of potential starting QBs and quality long-term NFL backup QBs available in Detroit, April 25th to 27th. SNS breaks down the 2024 QB class to reveal who are potential franchise pieces, who could become starters, who have a chance to become long-term backups, and those who are just hoping for a chance.


Tier One – Elite Prospects

Caleb Williams / USC

Drake Maye / North Carolina

Jayden Daniels / LSU

JJ McCarthy / Michigan

These four QBs are likely to all be Top 5 selections in the 2024 NFL Draft and look like potential franchise defining QBs that could lead their teams to Super Bowl glory or back to the top of the draft board again in the near future. Williams looks like a potential generational talent with special capabilities to make plays most others could never hope to pull off. Maye fits the prototype of the modern-era NFL QB with great arm talent and mobility. Daniels has a near perfect mixture of athleticism, mobility, and game breaking ability that reminds one of Lamar Jackson. McCarthy is a proven winner with very good arm strength and athleticism. His production is not nearly at the level of the other elite prospects and he has never had to carry his team down the stretch of a game but he is a natural leader and winner that teammates rally around.


Tier Two – Potential Starters

Bo Nix / Oregon

Michael Penix / Washington

Spencer Rattler / South Carolina

Sam Hartman / Notre Dame

Jordan Travis / Florida State

Michael Pratt / Tulane

Taulia Tagovailoa / Maryland

Joe Milton / Tennessee

Nix and Penix have plenty of experience playing in five plus seasons of Power 5 football (Nix at Auburn / Oregon and Penix at Indiana / Washington) and have improved significantly and dominated PAC 12 football last season. Penix’s injury history is a concern and Nix did not seem like a future NFL starter while playing at Auburn. Both have great talent but also have questions to answer. Rattler does not have the athleticism or speed that Nix and Penix possess but has a good arm, plenty of starting experience in the Big 12 (at Oklahoma) and SEC, and good production who could become a reliable starter if he goes to the right NFL team. Hartman has the arm and athleticism that fits the NFL prototype of the modern-day NFL QB. He was highly productive at Wake Forest (where he set the ACC career passing mark) and then Notre Dame and has NFL-caliber arm strength. He has only average athleticism and mobility and is more of a game manager. But he has won at both schools and looks like he could start in the NFL. Travis is a great athlete who improved steadily throughout his career but whose senior season was ended by injury. He is a winner and a leader and could become a starter for a patient franchise. Pratt was an unheralded recruit who started for four years and is the best QB ever produced by Tulane University. Tagovailoa, whose brother is the starting QB for Miami, is a near clone, just right-handed, and has the arm strength and playmaking ability to become a starting NFL QB. His lack of elevating Maryland’s performance against better competition is the biggest knock against him. Milton has freakish athletic ability and a huge frame similar to Anthony Richardson. He needs serious development but has a unique skill set worthy of patience.


Tier Three – Back-Ups

Austin Reed / Western Kentucky

Carter Bradley / South Alabama

Kedon Slovis / BYU

John Rhys Plumlee / UCF

Spencer Sanders / Ole Miss

Jack Plummer / Louisville

Devin Leary / Kentucky

All of these QBs demonstrated NFL-caliber skills and abilities in college but also exhibited some concerning traits that will make them unlikely to be long-term starters. Reed has been a productive, multi-year starter for the Hilltoppers but he lacks some desired size and athleticism and played in an offensive system that is not employed in the NFL. Bradley, son of longtime NFL coach Gus, is a coach on the field with good arm strength and a quick release. He is not a great athlete and struggles with timing patterns. Slovis, who has started at USC and Pittsburgh prior to BYU, is a very good athlete with an NFL-caliber arm who has teased great potential but has never fully delivered on it. Plumlee has experience at WR and RB at Ole Miss and transferred to UCF for a chance to play QB. He’s a fantastic athlete with great mobility and a live arm. However, he has difficulty reading coverages and has a significant injury history in college. Sanders was a stud starting QB at Oklahoma State before transferring to Ole Miss and losing out in the QB competition with Jaxson Dart. Sanders has a strong arm and is a sneaky good athlete who can beat you with his feet. Issues dealing with pressure in Stillwater were not addressed by his year spent in the SEC and he might not be drafted. But his upside is enticing. Plummer has started at Purdue, California, and Louisville and he has the desired frame and size for the position. His senior season was his best but his arm strength is only average and he is an average athlete at best who struggles with consistency. Leary’s best football was two seasons ago at NC State but he has plenty of starting experience, good mobility and arm strength, and good field vision for reading coverages.


Tier Four – Long Shots

Frank Harris / UTEP

Darren Grainger / Georgia State

Ben Bryant / Northwestern

Rocky Lombardi / Northern Illinois

Gunnar Watson / Troy

Davius Richard / North Carolina Central

Harris played seven years of college football, has an extensive injury history, and regressed his last season in Arlington, but watching his previous two years of college football he looked like a difference maker for the Roadrunner offense and may find his way on a practice squad next season. Grainger has an elongated delivery with inconsistent release points that impact his accuracy but is a leader with a fast and physical running style similar to Cam Newton. Bryant has started games at Cincinnati and Eastern Michigan before having his best season at Northwestern in 2023. Bryant offers NFL size with enough arm strength to possibly gain a practice squad spot next season. Lombardi has started games at Michigan State and Northern Illinois and has good size and athletic ability but is very streaky and has long bouts of inaccuracy throughout his career. Watson has started for multiple years at Troy and is a gutsy, tough leader that teammates respond well to. Richard is a fantastic athlete who faced poor competition at the FCS level and suffered an injury at the HBCU Legacy All-Star game. Richard could use a season or two of seasoning in the CFL or UFL before he has an opportunity to earn an NFL job.

SNS will be posting new articles every day through the NFL Draft with SNS Final Top 300 Prospect Rankings, a complete set of Final 2024 Position Rankings, SNS’ Annual Deep Dive look at some deep sleepers in the 2024 class, an analysis of Michigan’s 18 invitees to the NFL Scouting Combine, a positional in-depth analysis of the QBs, WRs, and IDL available in the draft, and a complete 7 Round Mock Draft! 

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