Daniel Jeremiah 2024 NFL Draft Big Board: Caleb Williams, Harrison Jr. Top Rankings
Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerX.com LogoFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 30, 2024

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 04:   Caleb Williams #13 of the USC Trojans at United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 04, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

USC quarterback Caleb Williams topped the initial 2024 NFL draft big board for NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah.

Jeremiah said the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner “has franchise-altering upside.”

“He is a natural thrower and delivers the ball with accuracy/velocity from a variety of platforms and arm angles,” he wrote.” He can power the ball into tight windows while stationary or on the move. He can also finesse the ball when needed. He has lightning-quick hands in the RPO game. He’s a dynamic runner and makes defenders look silly in space. He can run by you, through you or make you miss.”

Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., Washington wideout Rome Odunze, North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye and LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels rounded out the top five.

Before the 2023 season kicked off, Williams was the consensus pick as the best draft-eligible player in college football. His performance, particularly in the second half, cracked the door open for other candidates, though.

As the Trojans lost five of their final six regular-season games, Williams threw for 1,811 yards, eight touchdowns and four interceptions. Before that, he had 22 touchdowns to one pick.

Jeremiah outlined why Williams nonetheless remains too tantalizing a prospect to overlook as at the very least the top signal-caller available.

The battle for No. 2 will be far more interesting.

Like Williams, Maye didn’t necessarily play poorly in 2023 but failed to match his level from a year earlier. In 12 games, he had 3,608 passing yards, 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions. His completion percentage (63.3) and passer rating (149.0) were both down compared to 2022.

Daniels, on the other hand, saw his stock soar as he lifted the Heisman. His numbers (3,812 passing yards, 1,134 rushing yards and 50 total touchdowns) are straight out of a video game.

“Daniels is a tall/lean quarterback with exceptional accuracy, decision-making and speed,” Jeremiah wrote. “He is very poised and comfortable in the pocket. He likes to use a rhythm bounce at the top of his drop before settling his feet into the ground and smoothly transferring his weight to throw. He has an extremely quick release and beautiful throwing motion. He throws with anticipation, touch and accuracy.”

Assuming Williams is locked in as the No. 1 quarterback, Daniels might leapfrog Maye on draft boards.

The uncertainty about where Williams might land stems largely from the fact the Chicago Bears, who own the No. 1 overall pick, already have a young QB around whom they can keep building.

D.J. Moore largely delivered in 2023, but Harrison would be an even better cornerstone of the aerial attack. The 6’3″ wideout caught 144 passes for 2,474 yards and 28 touchdowns over the last two years.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. wrote Harrison “is on track to get my highest pre-draft grade for a wideout since Calvin Johnson (2007) and Larry Fitzgerald (2004).”

Even if Justin Fields isn’t the long-term solution, the tandem of Harrison and Moore would be a great foundation for the offense.

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