NFL Draft: The most popular picks, from the no-doubt No. 1 pick to some old-school running backs

With college basketball over, MLB Opening Day a thing of the past and the Masters just days away, attention is heating up for the NFL’s biggest offseason event. Let’s turn to the NFL Draft. (Tyler Sievert/Yahoo Sports)

2024 National Football League Draft With just three weeks left to go, if all goes well we have the opportunity to bring some truly talented players into the league who will become fixtures for the next decade.

It’s tough for everyone with huge potential in a draft like this, but here are 11 of my favorite prospects I’ve evaluated this year who I think can become stars in the NFL. From quarterbacks to running backs, they could all become NFL stars. Begin their career on a committee.

USC quarterback Caleb Williams has been in the spotlight ever since the high school senior at Gonzaga College prepared to commit to Oklahoma State’s Lincoln Riley s concern. There’s a reason for this, and why it’s almost a foregone conclusion: He will be the No. 1 draft pick of the Chicago Bears A few weeks later. It’s no secret that Williams is one of the best outside-of-structure quarterbacks in college football, but he also excels within the structure of the game. There are few quarterbacks in the NFL who can match Williams’ arm talent and ability. It’s hard to say any quarterback is a slam dunk, but Williams is as close as it gets.

Brock Bowles may not be in his usual tight end mold, but he possesses such superior skills as a pass-catching weapon that it’s hard not to rate him highly as a draft prospect. For the third year in a row, Georgia did everything it could to get the ball into Bowles’ hands. Whether it’s deep down the field as a slot machine, a more traditional route from the inline tight end position, or even sweeping the distance on the jets, Bowles is a very, very special player, but teams that don’t think outside the box to some extent may not value him as much. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where his draft stock is, but he’s going to make some teams very happy on draft day.

Fashanu’s draft stock appears to have taken a hit after dealing with injuries in his final season of college football, but he’s still talented at left tackle. Fashanu has a good eye as a pass protector and the foot speed to stay in front of the defensive end and is a load for the Bulls to rush through and move people around in the run game. If you have any doubts, watch him play against the Iowa Hawkeyes – it’s a “set it and forget it” Day 1 starting left tackle. Some teams may discount him since his final season wasn’t the cleanest, but that means he could end up joining one of the best teams in the league.

Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

The only thing keeping Amarius Mims from being one of the top five or six players in the upcoming draft is that he missed a lot of games in college. He’s extremely mobile for a 6-foot-8, 340-pound athlete and can pass the ball vertically better than tackles who are 50 pounds lighter than him. He’s a heavy hitter in the run game with the ability to play left tackle, and Georgia’s offense is fundamentally better when he’s on the floor. Health may be the only thing keeping Mims from immediately becoming one of the best tackles in football once he enters the NFL.

When some analysts use the word “versatile,” they are actually referring to a player who is versatile but may not be good at any one thing. Iowa’s Cooper DeJean is legitimately great all over the field. He has the athleticism and chop to play the outside corner, the change of direction to play in the slot, the range to play deep safety and the toughness to be a willing downhill tackle. He should get a chance to start his career as an outside corner, but Dejean’s ability to play anywhere will provide a valuable piece for his future defensive coordinator in the secondary.

The Graham Barton prototype isn’t uncommon – at the NFL level, expected to play interior defensive tackle.However, Patton’s skill set yes rarely seen.He’s one of those imitators Zack Martin He may be a strong NFL offensive tackle, but has All-Pro potential inside. Patton continued his momentum in the draft, running a sub-5-second 40-yard dash at his pro day drills and excelling in agility drills. When the draft rolls around, a talented player who can play four spots on the offensive line likely won’t be on the board for long.

Jer’Zhan Newton, DL, Illinois

Squatting, tri-techniques are always players I fall in love with, and Jerjan Newton definitely falls into that category. Newton was an absolute monster when he was on the field at Illinois, showing off passing skills that few players at this point in his career are capable of running the rush. The NFL’s love for shorter defensive tackles has been inconsistent (although there have been so many good people in league history), so Newton may experience some draft-day busts. That shouldn’t change people’s opinion of him, though.he is That A skilled player with the athleticism and speed to be a difference-maker.

I’m pretending I didn’t see the 4.71-second 40-yard dash at the combine. The Audric Estime is a blaster of a back who may not have elite long speed, but has explosive power downhill quickly. Big-back balance is never an archetype to ignore, and a 220-pound running back who can give him a solid footing will be useful in the NFL. Despite a poor 40 (he did improve to 4.5 at his pro day), he jumped out of the gym with a 38-inch vertical and a 10-5 broad jump. Someone will get an extremely valuable piece of their running back space, plus Estime.

5 feet 9 inches. 220 lbs. 4.47. Let’s go. Lloyd is a guard style that will never go out of style. He may not be the most elusive running back in the world, but he is a powerful runner who likes to create opportunities on one cut, get upfield and isn’t afraid of contact on any offense. If he can fix some of the fumble issues, Lloyd could easily find himself becoming a true starting running back in the NFL. Keep it simple. Get behind your pads and live to see another guy go down. This is what happened to Marshawn Lloyd.

Malik Mustafa, S, Wake Forest University

There may not be a better safety at this level than Wake Forest’s Malik Mustapha. Moussafa has 15 tackles for loss in his career, plus four sacks and four forced fumbles. He may be the furthest or stickiest player in coverage but at its core football is still a game of hitting people and knocking them to the ground. Players like Mustafa who make a living in this style will always have a place in the league.

Mekhi Wingo is somewhere Grady Jarrett spectrum. Like Newton, he is a shorter defensive tackle who projects primarily as a 3-technique at the next level. He can really get upfield quickly and has an effective pass rush scheme to get rid of blockers. Wingo will be 21 years old – he was an old rookie his entire first season, so the upside here is really high. Like Newton, Wingo’s draft stock isn’t exactly clear, as the NFL has been inconsistent in how it values ​​short defensive tackles, but he’s a stud who can add strength and the ability to pass rush inside and get behind the line of scrimmage.

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