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2024 Draft Talking Points

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So who should you be watching on Saturdays this season? Mel has issued his first big board and position rankings of the year. (paywalled of course but…)

Position rankings:


Rankings at every position for the 2024 NFL draft


1. Caleb Williams, USC
2. Drake Maye, North Carolina
3. Riley Leonard, Duke
4. Bo Nix, Oregon
5. Michael Penix Jr., Washington
6. Quinn Ewers, Texas

Running backs

1. TreVeyon Henderson, Ohio State
2. Blake Corum, Michigan
3. Donovan Edwards, Michigan
4. Braelon Allen, Wisconsin
5. Trey Benson, Florida State
6. Audric Estime, Notre Dame

Wide receivers

1. Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State
2. Keon Coleman, Florida State
3. Malik Nabers, LSU
4. Emeka Egbuka, Ohio State
5. Rome Odunze, Washington
6. Xavier Worthy, Texas

Tight ends

1. Brock Bowers, Georgia
2. Ja'Tavion Sanders, Texas
3. Ben Sinnott, Kansas State
4. Luke Lachey, Iowa
5. Cade Stover, Ohio State
6. Brevyn Spann-Ford, Minnesota


1. Jaheim Bell, Florida State
2. Oronde Gadsden II, Syracuse
3. Brant Kuithe, Utah
4. Trey Knox, South Carolina
5. Jared Wiley, TCU
6. Marshel Martin, Sacramento State

Offensive tackles

1. Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Penn State
2. Joe Alt, Notre Dame
3. JC Latham, Alabama
4. Amarius Mims, Georgia
5. Kingsley Suamataia, BYU
6. Jordan Morgan, Arizona


1. Cooper Beebe, Kansas State
2. Christian Mahogany, Boston College
3. Troy Fautanu, Washington
4. Zak Zinter, Michigan
5. Joshua Gray, Oregon State
6. Donovan Jackson, Ohio State


1. Sedrick Van Pran, Georgia
2. Graham Barton, Duke
3. Zach Frazier, West Virginia
4. Logan Jones, Iowa
5. Matt Lee, Miami
6. Beaux Limmer, Arkansas

Defensive ends

1. Jared Verse, Florida State
2. JT Tuimoloau, Ohio State
3. Adisa Isaac, Penn State
4. Braiden McGregor, Michigan
5. Eric Watts, Connecticut
6. Bralen Trice, Washington

Defensive tackles

1. Leonard Taylor III, Miami
2. Kris Jenkins, Michigan
3. Jer'Zhan Newton, Illinois
4. Maason Smith, LSU
5. Michael Hall Jr., Ohio State
6. McKinnley Jackson, Texas A&M

Off-ball linebackers

1. Jeremiah Trotter Jr., Clemson
2. Junior Colson, Michigan
3. Jaylan Ford, Texas
4. Smael Mondon, Georgia
5. Nick Jackson, Iowa
6. Tommy Eichenberg, Ohio State

Outside linebackers

1. Chop Robinson, Penn State
2. Dallas Turner, Alabama
3. Laiatu Latu, UCLA
4. Barrett Carter, Clemson
5. Steve Linton, Texas Tech
6. Curtis Jacobs, Penn State


1. Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama
2. Kalen King, Penn State
3. Cooper DeJean, Iowa
4. Josh Newton, TCU
5. Denzel Burke, Ohio State
6. Jason Marshall Jr., Florida


1. Kamren Kinchens, Miami
2. Tyler Nubin, Minnesota
3. Calen Bullock, USC
4. Rod Moore, Michigan
5. Lathan Ransom, Ohio State
6. Javon Bullard, Georgia


1. Joshua Karty, Stanford
2. Will Reichard, Alabama
3. Harrison Mevis, Missouri
4. Alex McNulty, Buffalo
5. John Hoyland, Wyoming


1. Tory Taylor, Iowa
2. Kai Kroeger, South Carolina
3. Austin McNamara, Texas Tech
4. Jack Browning, San Diego State
5.  Mason Fletcher, Cincinnati

Big Board:


1. Caleb Williams, QB, USC

2. Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

3. Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State

4. Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina.

5. Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

6. Jared Verse, DE, Florida State

7. Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

8. Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

9. Chop Robinson, OLB, Penn State.

10. JC Latham, OT, Alabama

11. Kalen King, CB, Penn State

12. Dallas Turner, OLB, Alabama

13. Leonard Taylor III, DT, Miami.

14. Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State.

15. Kris Jenkins, DT, Michigan

16. Jer'Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois

17. Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

18. Emeka Egbuka, WR, Ohio State

19. Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

20. Riley Leonard, QB, Duke

21. Bo Nix, QB, Oregon

22. Laiatu Latu, OLB, UCLA

23. Josh Newton, CB, TCU

24. JT Tuimoloau, DE, Ohio State

25. Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia


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Ah yes, another year of TE agita, just what we need! Bowers will be long gone unless this season goes far worse than we expect. The Texas kid, Sanders, gets good marks for both receiving and run-blocking. Maybe he’s there at 32? :)

I think DT has to be up there. Both nose tackles, Reader and Tupou, are free agents next March, and both will be just a few months from their 30th birthdays. We really don’t have anything behind them.

Likewise WR depending on how the situations with Boyd and Higgins play out, and how Jones and Iosivas do.

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9 minutes ago, ArmyBengal said:

Can someone explain how QB Quinn Evers is considered a top of the first prospect? Dude hasn’t completed a full season as a starter. WTF !?!?

Well, Mel’s got him as his No. 6 QB prospect so I don’t think he sees him as a top of the first prospect, though others might, I dunno. Based on what he wrote in Nix’s write-up I take it he thinks its Williams and Maye and then everyone else.


There are several quarterbacks competing for the second tier behind Caleb Williamsand Drake Maye, including Quinn Ewers (Texas), J.J. McCarthy (Michigan) and Michael Penix Jr. (Washington). I like Nix a little more, though, based on his massive improvement from a year ago. Nix started 34 games for Auburn from 2019-2021, completing 59.4% of his passes while throwing 39 touchdown passes with 16 picks. That's fine, of course, but I never saw him as more than a Day 3 developmental pick.

After a stellar season at Oregon, though, I have moved Nix way up the board. He was magnificent, completing a stellar 71.9% of his passes while throwing 29 touchdown passes with seven picks and adding 14 rushing scores. That's a Joe Burrow-esque riseafter transferring. Nix has a strong arm, can drop dimes on the run, and his experience is a huge plus.

Can he keep it up this season? The Oregon offense puts Nix in a position to succeed, and he doesn't always have to drive the ball down the field. I'd like to see more of those throws this season. He ranked 116th in the FBS in air yards per attempt (6.6) a year ago. That's not his fault -- he did an excellent job taking what the defense gave him. But he has the arm strength to make drive throws, and that's how he can keep moving up the board.

If anyone wants his write-ups of any other players on the big board let me know.

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Too early mock from Trepasso  here: https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/news/2024-nfl-mock-draft-shedeur-sanders-to-49ers-six-total-qbs-from-loaded-class-land-in-round-1/

Has the Bengals taking OT JC Latham in yet another bid to get RT right. Mel had him 10th overall on his big board.


Latham is a mountain of an offensive tackle who is light on his feet. I really like the way he explodes out of his stance. He's tough at the point of attack. He blows defenders off the line of scrimmage in the run game, driving and sustaining his blocks in space. Where Latham needs to improve is in his technique -- he can be sloppy. To get a top-five grade, he's going to have to be more consistent. Latham has started 13 games at right tackle, but he also has played guard. He'll likely be a right tackle at the next level.


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Some nuggets from the espn draft guys' post CFB week 2 roundup.

-- Matt Miller was a big fan of TE Ja'Tavion Sanders in Texas' win over Bama. He had 114 yards on 5 catches.

-- Miller also has Jer'Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois, climbing up his board. Had 2 sacks and 5 pressures v. Kansas. Kiper adds for the upcoming week:


Matt mentioned Illinois' Jer'Zhan Newton, and Week 3 will feature the hulking defensive lineman facing off on several snaps against top-ranked offensive tackle Olumuyiwa Fashanu as Penn State visits Champaign. Newton is used at right end a bunch, though his future will be at defensive tackle. Will he be able to get by Fashanu, who has a chance to be a top-three pick in April? Both usually dominate on Saturdays, so this will be fun to watch.

-- Jordan Reid likes T'Vondre Sweat, DT, Texas. Thinks he breaks into the top 100. Also eyeing this guy as sleeper: Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon


Franklin is one of the most dangerous offensive threats in the country even as he flies under the radar. The 6-foot-3, 187-pound wideout became the first Oregon player in the past 20 seasons to have at least 100 receiving yards in each of the team's first two games with six catches for 106 yards and a touchdown against Texas Tech. His vertical speed and explosiveness really pop on tape. I heard a lot of Day 2 grades for Franklin entering the season, but I wouldn't be shocked if he starts getting into the top-40 discussion if he keeps this up.


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Mini big board update from Mel today. Some WRs rising up.

-- Shedeur Sanders, QB, Colorado goes from not ranked to No. 5 overall.

-- Quinn Ewers, QB, Texas goes from not ranked to 13 overall.

-- Rome Odunze, WR, Washington from not ranked to 14.

-- Jalen McMillan, WR, Washington from not ranked to 17.

-- Jordan Morgan, OT, Arizona from not ranked to 21.

-- Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas from not ranked to 22.

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  • 1 month later...

New mock from Reid at E$PN today. With the 13th overall pick (ugh) the Bengals select:



Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

The Bengals' offense has been surprisingly stagnant so far this season, struggling to generate explosive plays. They have seven completions for 20-yards or more, a league-low. And with Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and Trenton Irwin all in contract years, wide receiver is likely to be at the top of Cincinnati's offseason priority list. Odunze is a well-rounded target who can attack defenses at all three levels. He has reliable hands and big-play potential, with 86.7% of his catches resulting in first downs or touchdowns this season.


I’m pretty sure they can retain Irwin if they want since he’s an RFA. Not sure what Boyd’s market will be given his age. Possession guy pushing 30 doesn’t scream big bucks but sportrac has a market value of 3 years, $45 million on him so what do I know, the league is so awash in cash I guess. Injury or no Higgins is still probably gone.

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Well, in this draft Bowers is already gone so TE is out and this mock doesn’t really fall that well re OT. However, this guy is about to go at 16:


Jer'Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois

We gave Arizona a receiver in Harrison at No. 2 overall, but let's continue to stack talent on this roster with a second first-rounder via the 2023 draft-day trade. The Cardinals need a dominating presence in the middle of their defense. Newton is a versatile interior defender who has played every alignment during his career. The tape shows him to be not only a penetrating first-level defender but also a disruptive pass-rusher. His performance against Wisconsin on Saturday (six tackles, tackle for loss, forced fumble and a sack) was the best game I've seen from a defensive prospect this season.


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Not really a fan of a WR in the first, but anything is feasible depending on who is still on the board. Just wouldn’t do much for me. Coleman, Nabers and Egbuka would all be better options for me, but I assume they were off the board.

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Yeah, if he's available and they just HAVE to have a WR, give me Nabers in that scenario.
My preference however, would be the 6'4 Coleman from Florida State, as he would fill that role that Higgins holds now.

I've already been playing around with the ProFootballNetwork mock draft.
It's just fun to pass the time here and there.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Let the slide begin !!

Like I said, winning at this point does nothing for me as a fan.
This team is not getting to or winning in the playoffs without Burrow.

Fire Pollack and let the new guy start his tenure with a possible blue chip o-line prospect.

If not that, Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia.  There there are some nice sized WR's thought to go high as well for a Higgins replacement.

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I doubt they get high enough to have a shot at Bowers, but who knows he could slide as the draft hype machine gets going.

First question is what happens in March. They have potential holes at DT (Reader), OT (Jonah) and WR (Higgins, Boyd). Right now Sportrac puts the market value of each of those guys around $15 million/year. Some a bit more, some a bit less but that’s the range. And the Bengals do have an estimated $70 million in cap space.

I would say the Bengals need to address two of those positions in FA either with resignings or quality outside FAs. Ideally I re-up Tee and DJ, put what I can on the table for Boyd but if he can get more elsewhere, god bless, and give Jonah a gold watch and a hearty handshake. Then I target OT in round one — and after I ID my target player I’m not shy about moving up to get him.

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With Jonah doing well at RT, which I knew he would and said many times, I would have no issue bringing him back there.
Having him as a backup with Brown at LT would be a HUGE plus as well, but at what cost?
Along with that question is, does Jonah still harbor ill will about the move from LT to a point he has no interest in returning?
Maybe he really only wants to be considered at LT?  Guess we will see.

I think they need to get younger at DT, but have no issue if they bring Reader back.  Again, at what cost?

WR is a must in the draft and maybe double up at the position depending on what happens.
I have a question to pose about Higgins, but will ask in the main forum to stir up the talk.

Bowers may dip a bit due to the injured ankle, but he still goes high.  Personally he would be a no brainer for this offense.

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Im pretty sure Jonah will refuse to even consider re-signing here

I know Tee will consider staying.  Nowhere else will he hear TEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE all across the stadium after he makes a catch

Love Boyd but I figure he is the odd (or old) man out

I dont see Irv Smith being retained. 

Sample maybe, for his blocking, as long as he accepts a nfl min salary plus incentives

Volsen has regressed notably this year.  Not sure why.  Seems like a lunch pail hard working no-nonsense guy.    This team would see a huge boost if they could identify what is going on with him and fix it

Hopefully by the end of the year we settle on Dax and Battle as our safeties.  Not sure if there are salary cap problems releasing scott, who we have under contract at about 4M/year for 2 more years

Reader seems less productive this year.  Will he be willing to sign for less dollars and a reduced term?  Probably not.


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Speaking of tight ends, Tanner Hudson needs to continue getting more reps.
I feel bad for that dude because it appeared that him and Burrow had a really good connection.
Dude had 18 catches for 175 yards in his 5 games.  50% of his catches went for first downs.
He has a future with this team for sure, but I still want a high end TE to pair with him.
The rest of those dudes can be replaced in my opinion.

Would Volson do better in another scheme with a new coach or is he just done?
Never realized he has never taken a snap at OG until reaching the pro level.
Also wasn't aware he was a first team All-American, starting 15 games at RT in 2021.
Maybe OG isn't the spot for him or maybe he just can't but it at this level?

At this point either a better FA OG option or a draft pick should be a high priority.

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Wasting time today at the pff mock simulator:

15: RT Taliese Fuaga.

Known more for being a mauler in the run game than for pass protection, this pick is a big f**k you to head coach Zac Taylor. Bye-bye Jonah Williams.

47: DT Kris Jenkins.

Need some disruption up the middle to go with our edge guys. So long and thanks for all the tackles, DJ Reader.

79: WR Brenden Rice.

Because I hate myself so much I made me cheer for JERRY RICE'S SON. Thanks for all the catches, Tee.



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