NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein released the draft rankings at the position
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein released the draft rankings at the position

NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein released the draft rankings at the position

We’re officially in the final countdown with less than a month to go until the 2024 NFL Draft.

NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein recently released his rankings of the 11 position groups in this year’s draft, from strongest to weakest.

Zierlein uses the following criteria:

  • Identified star-caliber players, future starters and overall depth
  • Concentrated on prospects most likely to be selected in rounds 1 through 5
  • Weighted star players and future starters twice as much as overall depth

Here’s how the bands ranked, along with Zierlein’s commentary:

“Besides quarterback, offensive tackles are at the very top of the list as they relate to supply and demand issues. The position will likely be oversold due to demand, but this season’s crop of tackles is strong both in terms of high-end talent and depth when it comes to future quality starters. Teams’ drives will vary as there are several options at tackle , to choose from, but we should see at least seven tackles selected in the first round, with Day 2 starters yet to be found and quality depth extending into the fifth round.”

“The top of the class — Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers and Reem Odunze — offers star potential, but many teams are excited about the impressive collection of future starters who could still be available on Day 2, including Ladd McConkey, Roman Wilson, Malachi Corley, Xavier Leggett, Troy Franklin and Ricky Piersol. Day 3 will feature some prospects that still need polishing, but the starting-caliber players that teams can choose from in the top 100 are driving this hype train.”

“Quarterbacks went back-to-back to start the draft in 2021, 1999 and 1971, but we’ve never seen quarterbacks selected with each of the first four picks in the draft. We last saw four QBs taken in the top 10 in 2018. I expect to see four passers go in the top 10 again this year, and we may even see four taken within the first four picks. The draft is more star-heavy than usual (SEE: Caleb Williams , Jaden Daniels , Drake May , JJ McCarthy ), but also has potential starters in Beau Nix and Michael Penix Jr. While there will be good depth within the first 50 picks, the picks should be pretty slim for teams looking for a quality backup or development talent beyond the second round.”

“This group has legitimate potential star power with Dallas Turner, Jared Vers, Layatu Latu and Chop Robinson all offering different traits and talents for evaluators to prioritize. However, the tight end class is a bit lighter when moving to the future starting category beyond the “big four.” I’m a fan of Austin Booker as an inexperienced wild card, while other draft analysts may prefer Marshawn Kneeland or Addisa Isaac . All three could be picked on Day 2, and the decline in quality on Day 3 will be steep.”

“I don’t know if I consider the top of the cornerback class a ‘superstar,’ but there’s going to be at least two or three very good starters out of that group.” Players who could go late on Day 1 or early on Day 2 — like Ennis Rakestraw Jr., Cooper DeJean and Kool-Aid McKinstry — will go a long way in determining how we view the strength of the ’24 CB class after a few years. There is solid depth on Day 2, with Renardo Green standing out for me. The interesting development here is that this is an unusually light cornerback class from a weight standpoint. There will be talented cornerbacks who look to be top 100 picks with weights in the 170s and low 180s, which are usually outliers to consider in the first three rounds. Still, the coverage group is solid.”

T-5. Inner line of defense

“When I look at that position, I see Byron Murphy II at the top of the class and then there’s a gap before we get to the next best player. Jer’Jean Newton is a potential first rounder. I believe in Braden Fiske’s relentless drive, T’Vondre Sweat’s dominant stopping power, and Michael Hall Jr.’s wicked speed. in the NFL.”

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