A run of first-round wide receivers from Ohio State won't end in 2024. Buckeyes wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. could be in play as a top-five pick next April. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Scheller-The Columbus Dispatch

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Take 5: Top WR prospects eligible for 2024 NFL Draft

Not since the New York Jets drafted Keyshawn Johnson with the No. 1 pick in 1996 has a wide receiver been first off the board in the NFL draft.

There is plenty of promise in the 2024 wide receiver class, and the top tier includes potential No. 1 options.

Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr., who has the most impressive overall skill set of the group, is the son of former Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison.

Unlike sleek and slender peers, Harrison is a big-bodied receiver who can fly for his size.

Harrison has ground to cover before the 2024 rankings are set in stone. Here’s a look at our initial top five, one year out.

1. Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State — A breakout sophomore season in 2022 included All-American recognition, and there’s reason to expect Harrison’s climb to continue.

His 6-foot-4 frame gives Harrison an edge in traffic, he has natural hands to win consistently above the fray and consistently separates with smooth athleticism. Potential and production plus existing tools point to Harrison being drafted in the top 10.

2. Rome Odunze, Washington — Body-catching habits and consistent free releases off the line of scrimmage have scouts nervous about grading Odunze as a first-rounder without seeing more this season.

That pessimism overlooks all of the things to love about his game.

The second-year starter had a breakout 2022 season with the emergence of Michael Penix Jr. as Washington’s quarterback. An incredibly agile athlete with the ability to separate and make people miss, his upside outweighs the missing pieces.

3. Emeka Egbuka, Ohio State — A natural outside receiver with good hands and athleticism to compete with any defender, Egbuka might be pegged as the second fiddle to Harrison, but this Buckeye has enough game to run with the top pack in the 2024 class.

A talented receiver, quick to get back into his stride after the catch, Egbuka has enough elusiveness to make plays with the ball in his hands. Another year of technical growth could put him squarely in the first round.

4. Johnny Wilson, Florida State — Now a junior who breaks the WR tape measure, he spent two seasons at Arizona State before the move to Tallahassee unlocked his talent in 2022. The enormous 6-7, 235-pound pass catcher is built more like a tight end than a wide receiver, but he has surprising top-end speed for a big man.

One of the most intriguing evals in the class with a combination of size, ability after the catch, and ball skills.

5. Jermaine Burton, Alabama — A sure-handed receiver with solid technique and a feel for maximizing space against zone, he’s more of a high floor than a high ceiling type of prospect.

The former Georgia receiver spent two years with the Bulldogs before crossing state lines. The move paid off in furthering his development, but he’s more of a smooth operator than offensive game changer at this stage.

–Field Level Media

Jan 2, 2023; Arlington, Texas, USA; USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) in action during the game between the USC Trojans and the Tulane Green Wave in the 2023 Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Take 5: Top QB prospects eligible for 2024 NFL Draft

Southern Cal quarterback Caleb Williams and North Carolina’s Drake Maye are likely to be the prized jewels of the 2024 draft class.

The class has a handful of passers who could make their way into the top two rounds.

Here are five names to keep an eye on for next year’s crop:

1. Caleb Williams, USC — The 2022 Heisman winner and top-ranked quarterback eligible for the 2024 draft, Williams’ arm talent is the best college football has seen since Wyoming’s Josh Allen.

He is still honing his downfield ball placement but already hits passes that would make some NFL quarterbacks jealous. His ability to improvise as a runner keeps defenses honest, another similarity he shares with Allen. It might be too early to crown Williams as the next Patrick Mahomes, but that type of potential is no reach.

2. Drake Maye, North Carolina — Maye enters his second season as a starter for the Tar Heels and the redshirt sophomore is still relatively green.

What stands out after one season leading the offense is impressive touch for such a young quarterback (20). Highly confident when attacking leverage and giving his receivers a shot against man coverage, and anticipates well.

An other year of honing his accuracy and instincts should lead to projections in the top 64. There’s no doubt he’s a rising prospect despite physical tools that aren’t considered elite.

3. Quinn Ewers, Texas — A redshirt sophomore in 2023 has all the arm talent in the world, and seized the starting job in spring practice even with a Manning looking over his shoulder.

The top high school recruit in 2021, Ewers is one of the smoothest throwers in college football. Looks the part of the pocket prototype with an incredibly gifted arm and plenty of confidence attacking downfield. He dealt with injuries in 2022, prompting ups and downs from a production standpoint. A healthy 2023 could be enough to warrant an early declaration from Ewers and a spot in the top 50.

If he leads the Longhorns to expected great heights or delivers a national title, Ewers immediately enters the conversation around the No. 1 pick in 2024.

4. Devin Leary, Kentucky — The replacement for Will Levis with the Wildcats is a super senior in 2023.

The sturdy pocket passer has the guts to stand in, take hits and deliver with velocity to make tough throws.

Leary, a transfer from NC State, has the requisite ball placement and touch to win at all levels of the field. He’s back in 2023 to show a combination of a season-ending injury in 2022 and a transfer to Kentucky is more about proving his pro potential than taking cover.

If he can get back on track, the potential for Leary to rise is undeniable.

5. K.J. Jefferson, Arkansas — Enormous (6-3, 242) for the position, Jefferson has the physique of Anthony Richardson (Florida, No. 4 pick in 2023). He’s built more like a tight end than your factory specs model quarterback. His arm and accuracy are average, but his ability to be a plus in the run game will draw plenty of interest from scouts and RPO fanatics.

–Field Level Media

Dec 31, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA; TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Max Duggan (15) against the Michigan Wolverines during the 2022 Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Chargers pick up TCU QB Max Duggan in seventh round of draft

The Los Angeles Chargers selected TCU quarterback and Heisman Trophy runner-up Max Duggan with the No. 239 overall pick in the seventh round of the 2023 NFL Draft on Saturday.

In Los Angeles, Duggan could compete for the back-up job behind starter Justin Herbert. Easton Stick was the only other quarterback on the Chargers’ roster entering the draft.

Duggan threw for 3,698 yards, 32 touchdowns and eight interceptions and added 423 rushing yards and nine rushing TDs in 2022 while guiding the Horned Frogs to their first College Football Playoff appearance. TCU beat Michigan to reach the national title game before losing 65-7 to Georgia.

In 47 games over four seasons at TCU, Duggan racked up 9,618 passing yards, 73 touchdowns and 28 picks and added 28 rushing touchdowns.

He was the 14th quarterback selected in the draft. Twelve quarterbacks went in the first five rounds, a record for the common draft era.

–Field Level Media

Oct 2, 2022; London, United Kingdom; New Orleans Saints tight end Adam Trautman (82) carries the ball in the second half against the Minnesota Vikings during an NFL International Series game at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Vikings defeated the Saints 28-25. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Saints trade TE Adam Trautman to Broncos in draft-day deal

The New Orleans Saints dealt tight end Adam Trautman and the No. 257 overall pick in the NFL draft to the Denver Broncos for the No. 195 overall pick on Saturday.

The Saints used that sixth-round selection from Denver on Wake Forest wide receiver A.T. Perry.

The deal reunites Trautman, 26, with former Saints and current Broncos head coach Sean Payton.

New Orleans drafted Trautman in the third round of the 2020 draft. In three seasons, he tallied 60 catches for 641 yards and four touchdowns over 43 games (28 starts).

Perry caught 28 touchdown passes for Wake Forest in four seasons, including 15 in 2021 and 11 last season. He was a 1,000-yard receiver in back-to-back campaigns and was an All-ACC first-team selection both seasons.

–Field Level Media

Mar 4, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Stanford quarterback Tanner McKee (QB09)  participates in drills at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles draft QB Tanner McKee to back up Jalen Hurts

Not long after signing Jalen Hurts to a $255 million extension, the Philadelphia Eagles added some insurance to their quarterback room in the sixth round of the NFL draft by taking Stanford QB Tanner McKee on Saturday.

The Eagles used the No. 188 overall pick on McKee, a 6-foot-6 pocket passer who joins a team that also signed quarterback Marcus Mariota in free agency.

McKee threw for 5,336 yards, 28 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in 23 games at Stanford from 2020-22.

He was the 13th quarterback taken in the 2023 draft after a record-setting 12 signal-callers were chosen through the first five rounds.

The NFC champions locked up Hurts with a five-year extension earlier this month. Former backup quarterback Gardner Minshew left in free agency to sign with the Indianapolis Colts.

–Field Level Media

Jan 2, 2023; Pasadena, California, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford (14) warms up before the game between the Utah Utes and the Penn State Nittany Lions at Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Draft record-setter: 11 QBs taken in first 150 picks

The Green Bay Packers’ selection of quarterback Sean Clifford from Penn State in the fifth round of the NFL draft on Saturday was a record breaker.

NFL Network reported that this is first draft in history in which 11 quarterbacks were taken in the first 150 picks.

The Packers nabbed Clifford with pick 149.

The Minnesota Vikings went on to add Jaren Hall of BYU with the 164th pick, making him the 12th quarterback selected in the first five rounds.

The first 10 picks selected, and their draft number are:
No. 1: Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers
No. 2: C.J. Stroud, Houston Texans
No. 4: Anthony Richardson, Indianapolis Colts
No. 33: Will Levis, Tennessee Titans
No. 68 : Hendon Hooker, Detroit Lions
No. 127: Jake Haener, New Orleans Saints
No. 128: Stetson Bennett, Los Angeles Rams
No. 135: Aidan O’Connell, Las Vegas Raiders
No. 139: Clayton Tune, Arizona Cardinals
No. 140: Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Cleveland Browns

–Field Level Media

Nov 19, 2022; Lexington, Kentucky, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Kelee Ringo (5) intercepts a pass during the second quarter against the Kentucky Wildcats at Kroger Field. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles continue tapping Georgia pipeline on final day of NFL draft

The Philadelphia Eagles added former Georgia Bulldogs on both sides of the ball as the final day of the 2023 NFL Draft commenced Saturday in Kansas City, Mo.

Before the start of the fourth round, the Eagles traded up into the third pick of the day, No. 105 overall, by dealing a 2024 third-rounder to the Houston Texans. The Eagles used that selection on cornerback Kelee Ringo, the fifth Georgia defender they’ve drafted in two years.

The NFC champions later agreed to a trade to acquire Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift, who projects as their new first-string running back after the departure of Miles Sanders in free agency. Swift is a Philadelphia native and also played collegiately at Georgia.

“He’s got big-play ability as a runner and receiver,” Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said in an interview on the ESPN broadcast. “We saw it first-hand when we were in Detroit first game of the season. … We liked our running backs. We didn’t go into the draft feeling like this was a position we had to have. But we felt like this player was somebody who could really add to our culture and add to our team.

“And I’m sure I’m out of the Florida alumni association as we speak.”

On Thursday, the Eagles drafted Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter No. 9 overall and Bulldogs pass-rusher Nolan Smith at No. 30. Philadelphia also spent first- and third-round picks in the 2022 draft on Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis and linebacker Nakobe Dean.

Ringo had four interceptions in 30 career games over two seasons at Georgia, which fielded a record-setting defense in 2021 and dominated on that side of the ball again in 2022 en route to two straight national titles. The Bulldogs led FBS with 77.1 rushing yards allowed per game and ranked fifth in scoring defense at 14.3 ppg.

Swift, 24, is entering the final year of his rookie contract after three seasons with the Lions. In 40 career games (16 starts), Swift rushed for 1,680 yards (4.6 per attempt) and 18 touchdowns. But the Lions used a first-round pick Thursday on Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs, signaling their interest in moving on from Swift.

The Eagles dealt a seventh-round pick (No. 219) and a 2025 fourth-rounder to land Swift and Detroit’s seventh-rounder (No. 249), according to multiple reports.

Three quarterbacks went in the fourth round, bringing the total to eight quarterbacks over the first four rounds of the seven-round draft.

The New Orleans Saints traded up with the Jacksonville Jaguars to No. 127 overall and selected quarterback Jake Haener from Fresno State. Haener was the Senior Bowl MVP and is the first Fresno State quarterback to be drafted since Derek Carr — whom the Saints signed as a free agent in March to be their new starter.

With the very next pick, the Los Angeles Rams drafted Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett, who started for the Bulldogs in each of the past two seasons and helped them win back-to-back titles. Bennett threw for 4,128 yards, 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2022, added 10 rushing touchdowns and finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting.

With the last pick in the fourth round, the Las Vegas Raiders chose Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell. The Raiders signed Jimmy Garoppolo as their presumptive starting quarterback this offseason after parting ways with Carr.

The New England Patriots used an early fourth-rounder on Troy center Jake Andrews, then traded up with their division rival New York Jets to No. 112 overall to pick Maryland kicker Chad Ryland. He was the second kicker picked in this draft after the San Francisco 49ers used a late third-rounder on Michigan’s Jake Moody.

–Field Level Media

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett (13) throws a pass during the second half of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl NCAA College Football Playoff semifinal game between Ohio State and Georgia on Saturday, Dec 31, 2022, in Atlanta. Georgia won 42-41.

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Rams draft ex-Georgia QB Stetson Bennett in fourth round

The Los Angeles Rams selected two-time national champion quarterback Stetson Bennett at No. 128 overall in the fourth round of the NFL draft on Saturday.

Bennett led the Georgia offense in each of the past two seasons, when the Bulldogs went a combined 29-1 and won the 2021 and 2022 College Football Playoff national titles.

Bennett threw for a Georgia record 4,127 yards, 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2022, added 10 rushing touchdowns and finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting. In four seasons at Georgia, he racked up 8,428 passing yards and 66 touchdowns with 21 interceptions.

Three weeks after the national title game in January, Bennett was arrested in Dallas on charges of public intoxication after residents complained he was banging on front doors in a neighborhood at 6 a.m.

He enters the NFL with some other question marks, too. He is not the ideal height of an NFL quarterback, measuring 5-foot-11 at the scouting combine, and at 25, he will be an older NFL rookie.

Entering the draft, the Rams had only 35-year-old Matthew Stafford on the QB depth chart. Stafford is a fellow former Georgia quarterback.

Stafford is coming off a season-ending injury, a spinal cord contusion that caused him to miss the final seven games, as Los Angeles missed the playoffs one year after winning the Super Bowl.

Bennett was the seventh quarterback selected in the 2023 draft, going one pick after the New Orleans traded up to No. 127 to tab ex-Fresno State quarterback Jake Haener.

The Las Vegas Raiders closed the fourth round by selecting Aidan O’Connell, the starting quarterback at Purdue the past two seasons.

Two more quarterbacks were taken within the first five picks in the fifth round. The Arizona Cardinals grabbed Clayton Tune, who played at Houston, and the Cleveland Browns selected Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who threw for 10,710 yards in five seasons at UCLA.

–Field Level Media

Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker (5) runs into the end zone for a touchdown during a game between Tennessee and Missouri in Neyland Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022.

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Lions take QB Hendon Hooker in third round of NFL draft

Hendon Hooker could be the future franchise quarterback in the Motor City after the Detroit Lions used an early-third-round selection to take the Tennessee product in the 2023 NFL Draft on Friday night in Kansas City, Mo.

Hooker was the fifth quarterback to be drafted, following Alabama’s Bryce Young (No. 1 overall to Carolina), Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud (No. 2 to Houston), Florida’s Anthony Richardson (No. 4 to Indianapolis) and Kentucky’s Will Levis (No. 33 to Tennessee).

The Lions reached the playoffs last season with Jared Goff as their starting quarterback. Goff, 28, is signed through 2024. Nate Sudfeld was the only other quarterback on the roster entering Friday.

Hooker was trending toward being a Heisman Trophy finalist during a second straight stellar season for the Volunteers and wound up fifth in Heisman voting after throwing for 3,135 yards, 27 touchdowns and only two interceptions over 11 games.

However, his 2022 season ended abruptly when he tore the ACL in his left knee in a game against South Carolina on Nov. 19.

In an article published Tuesday, Hooker told The Athletic that he expects to be “100 percent cleared” to play by Sept. 1. He also shared videos on social media this week showing him working out, saying it was his first day of dropping back to throw roughly five months after the injury occurred.

After spending six years in college, four at Virginia Tech and two at Tennessee, Hooker is already 25 years old — for comparison, just one year younger than former NFL MVP Lamar Jackson.

–Field Level Media

Apr 27, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kentucky quarterback Will Levis walks the NFL Draft Red Carpet before the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Titans trade up to select QB Will Levis with 33rd overall pick

Kentucky quarterback Will Levis waited through the entire first round without hearing his name called.

The wait was much shorter during Friday’s second round in Kansas City, Mo., as the Tennessee Titans traded up to grab Levis with the second pick of the night and 33rd selection overall.

The Titans traded their second-round (41st overall) and third-round (No. 72) picks in this draft and a 2024 third-round selection to the Arizona Cardinals for the pick used on Levis and a third-round pick (81st overall).

Levis, 24, had consistency and turnover issues during the last two seasons while starting at Kentucky but his arm has impressed pro scouts and talent evaluators. Levis passed for 5,232 yards, 43 touchdowns and 23 interceptions for the Wildcats.

The Titans’ decision to trade up comes one year after they selected Malik Willis of Liberty in the third round. Willis looked overmatched late last season when he was forced into action after Ryan Tannehill’s ankle injury.

Tannehill turns 35 in July.

The Pittsburgh Steelers opened the second round by picking Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr., the son of former Pittsburgh star Joey Porter Sr.

–Field Level Media