NFL Draft Notebook, Segment 1: How speedily will rookie QBs and WRs salvage a delusion football impact?

In the first of a two-piece series, Dalton Del Don shows his delusion football expectations for contributors of the 2024 NFL Draft class, with currently’s level of curiosity on the quarterbacks and receivers.


Caleb Williams, Chicago Bears

Williams is the trusty deal and has the instruments to be a delusion huge name, at the side of dashing for 21 touchdowns over 26 games at USC. The Bears bear a middling offensive line, however few rookie quarterbacks bear entered with a setup greater than throwing to DJ Moore, Keenan Allen (who ranked first in beginning rating final twelve months), Rome Odunze and some competent tight ends. The Bears would possibly per chance well per chance additionally bear an elite defense, and Chicago is an atmosphere that’s produced zero 4,000-yard passers in franchise historical past, however there’s far extra in Williams’ opt than in opposition to. A division also that includes the Vikings, Lions and Packers must peaceable consequence in a bunch of high-scoring games.

Williams is the pinnacle obtain in Superflex Dynasty drafts and must be regarded as at minimum a high-12 delusion QB as a rookie.

Jayden Daniels, Washington Commanders

*Deep breath* Daniels will turn 24 years veteran at some level of his rookie season, didn’t salvage away till his sixth season in college (when he had two WRs who went high-25 within the NFL Draft), has a foul stress/sack rate and scrambles a ton whereas weighing 210 kilos on a 6-foot-4 body and playing cherish Johnny Knoxville. There’s a apt likelihood Washington within the raze regrets taking Daniels over Drake Maye, however he’s in a position to being a high-15 delusion QB as a rookie (if he can preserve healthy). Daniels has no questions surrounding his dashing ability, as he’s the glorious scrambler to ever enter the NFL. Daniels averaged extra than 60 dashing yards with 34 touchdowns at some level of his collegiate occupation, and he’ll salvage pleasure from alpha WR Terry McLaurin (who continues to bear his delusion rate puny by shaky QB play).

Daniels is the unsightly No. 2 rookie QB given his running (and Maye’s touchdown divulge) and desires to be drafted as a borderline high-15 delusion QB.

Drake Maye, Recent England Patriots

Maye is a 5-huge name recruit who owns the glorious colossal-time throw rate over the final two QB lessons, and he can bustle, so he has prolonged-term delusion upside. Maye had a rough supporting solid when compared to the different QB potentialities entering the draft, and he’ll proceed to fight uphill in Recent England. The Patriots addressed huge receiver with 2d- and fourth-round picks, however this remains a cosmopolitan atmosphere for Maye to be delusion-relevant beginning air of Superflex leagues as a rookie. He would possibly per chance well per chance additionally simply even sit leisurely Jacoby Brissett to begin the twelve months.

Maye has prolonged-term delusion rate, however he would’ve been noteworthy extra enthralling in 2024 if he landed in Minnesota.

J.J. McCarthy, Minnesota Vikings

McCarthy enters the league pretty unknown having never thrown 325 passes in a season, however an absence of college volume isn’t necessarily a red flag. McCarthy benefitted from consistently leading whereas playing at Michigan, and he’ll enter the NFL in a unprejudiced correct delusion impart as correctly. Justin Jefferson is probably going the glorious huge receiver within the league, whereas Year 2 Jordan Addison and (finally) T.J. Hockenson are solid secondary alternate choices. The Vikings play indoors, and Kevin O’Connell’s offense allowed Gash Mullens to moderate 370 passing yards (9.8 YPA!) with six touchdown passes over three starts final season. Sam Darnold would possibly per chance well per chance additionally beginning the twelve months as Minnesota’s starter, however McCarthy is the favourite to speedily raise over after the team traded up for him.

The Vikings bear a high circulation rate and desires to be among the leaders in attempts but again, so McCarthy (with the wait on of Jefferson) would possibly per chance well per chance additionally provide Kirk Cousins-sort delusion rate as a rookie.

Michael Penix Jr., Atlanta Falcons

Penix suffered four season-ending injuries in college and is older than Trey Lance, so it shocked everyone when the Falcons drafted him with the eighth obtain after signing Kirk Cousins to a pricey contract. Whereas the project deserves questioning, worse choices had been made than loading up at a truly mighty divulge (by far) within the sport (Cousins will rapidly turn 36 and is coming off a torn Achilles).

Whether or no longer or no longer the draft obtain became ludicrous, the Penix selection became tall files for the delusion values of Drake London, Kyle Pitts and Darnell Mooney. No purpose competition joined Atlanta till leisurely within the draft, whereas Penix offers depth at quarterback must peaceable something occur to Cousins, so the shock first-rounder became doubly helpful for Falcons circulation-catchers.

London is the No. 7 WR on my board entering 2024.

Bo Nix, Denver Broncos

Nix had high accuracy marks attributable to throwing cease to the line of scrimmage, and he’s customarily considered as a colossal stretch as a high-12 obtain within the NFL Draft. But he’s loved by Sean Payton, who helped a reputedly washed Russell Wilson change into a high-15 delusion QB (per sport) final twelve months (high-10 in delusion capabilities per dropback). Quiet, Nix is no longer going to be delusion-relevant beginning air of Superflex leagues, even when his draft capital makes him the favourite to begin straight.


Marvin Harrison Jr., Arizona Cardinals

Harrison Jr. set up up such a solid college resume he became ready to opt out of the NFL combine and peaceable be the first WR taken in a particularly solid draft class. Harrison joins a ideal delusion impart in Arizona the place he’ll play indoors and dominate targets in an offense that ranked high-10 in EPA/play and yards per play over the 2d half of of final season. With Marquise Brown gone, 2d-twelve months tight raze Trey McBride is Harrison’s glorious competition for targets, so the rookie must peaceable gaze 150+ unprejudiced correct away. Kyler Murray improved over the 2d half of further removed from knee surgical plan final season, so Harrison’s role up for instantaneous success in a division that must peaceable salvage a good deal of capabilities at some level of 2024.

Harrison goes to rupture the file for earliest rookie receiver drafted this twelve months and is a high-10 WR on my board.

Malik Nabers, Recent York Giants

Nabers recorded even handed likely the most glorious ever yards per team circulation strive marks at some level of an age-20 season final twelve months, as he had an argument to be the pinnacle huge receiver drafted. Nonetheless, it goes to additionally simply (or would possibly per chance well per chance additionally simply no longer) be payment noting that 60% of his yardage final season came from the slot, whereas 9 of his 14 touchdowns had been on slot fades alone. Nabers joins a shaky Giants’ offense with questions at quarterback and offensive line, however he would possibly per chance well per chance additionally gaze 140+ targets unprejudiced correct away with tiny competition on the roster (particularly with Saquon Barkley gone and Darren Waller presumably retiring).

Nabers must be the 2d rookie receiver off the board and drafted as a borderline high-25 delusion WR in 2024.

Rome Odunze, Chicago Bears

Odunze finds himself with identical purpose competition and the same offensive coordinator as Jaxon Smith-Njigba did as a rookie, however that shouldn’t discontinuance you from drafting him. It’s imaginable JSN isn’t apt extra below), whereas Odunze is an elite separator with the handiest contested-purchase rate ever in college. Sharing targets with DJ Moore and Keenan Allen isn’t ideal, however Caleb Williams is customarily a huge name unprejudiced correct away. Allen is 32 years veteran and has missed an moderate of 5.5 games over the final two seasons, and an nervousness would speedily boost Odunze’s rate noteworthy extra. The Bears didn’t exhaust many three-WR units final season, however that must peaceable swap dramatically in what’s optimistically a condensed purpose tree in 2024.

Odunze enters as the No. 3 rookie wideout and desires to be drafted as a high-36 delusion WR.

Smith-Njigba ranked 95th in moderate depth of purpose and had a decrease EPA per route, EPA per purpose and EPA per reception than Quentin Johnston final season. With the motivate of hindsight, it’s imaginable JSN became overhyped (responsible!) attributable to fiddling with CJ Stroud and a file-setting bowl sport that featured no Garrett Wilson or Chris Olave whereas facing a running motivate attempting to play nook.

[2024 Fantasy Draft Rankings: QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/ST | Kickers]

Xavier Mighty, Kansas Metropolis Chiefs

Mighty is clearly though-provoking as the quickest rookie receiver who’s becoming a member of Patrick Mahomes in Kansas Metropolis. He handled incredibly inaccurate QB play in college, the place he earned targets at a noteworthy increased rate than teammate Adonai Mitchell. Mighty is Tank Dell’s weight however three inches taller. With Rashee Rice (who would possibly per chance well per chance additionally peaceable characterize to be a draft-day rate) facing a seemingly suspension, and Marquise Brown in general injured, Mighty must be a delusion incompatibility-maker as a rookie in Kansas Metropolis.

Mighty has an argument to be drafted as the rookie WR4 sooner than Brian Thomas Jr. and Ladd McConkey (who also landed in a unprejudiced correct impart).

Ricky Pearsall, San Francisco 49ers

Pearsall is an elite athlete who suffered via quite quite a bit of QBs and OCs at some level of his collegiate occupation. Slick Rick had even handed likely the most bottom tumble rates in college football and the 2d-best success rate versus man on this draft class, according to Reception Idea. The 49ers lost the Mountainous Bowl in piece thanks to Deebo Samuel’s struggles versus man coverage, however Pearsall is no longer going to change into a starter in San Francisco till 2025 at the earliest. Quiet, there’s delusion upside right here must peaceable Samuel or Brandon Aiyuk suffer an nervousness.

Repeat: Segment 2 will near later this week

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