Getty Images

For the past couple of months, I've been hunkered down in my office, iPad in hand, watching hundreds of 2024 NFL Draft prospects. Now that the vast majority of the evaluations are finalized, and the draft is less than a month away, it's time to reveal my Top 50 Big Board. 

Writer's Note: My Big Boards always take position value into consideration. In my Scouting Gradebook I use what I call "Position Addition" (PA) a scale of grade boosts for positions that correspond with how valuable I deem the position to be, and I start with running backs getting no PA. On the other end of the spectrum, quarterbacks get the biggest PA added to their raw grade. 

For more draft coverage, you can hear in-depth analysis twice a week on "With the First Pick" -- our year-round NFL Draft podcast with NFL Draft analyst Ryan Wilson and former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. You can find "With the First Pick" wherever you get your podcasts: Apple PodcastsSpotifyYouTube, etc. Listen below!

Let's take a look. 

1. Caleb Williams, QB, USC

Williams is a blast of a prospect. Supreme arm talent, spatial awareness that's seemingly spawned from a computer algorithm, pinpoint accuracy, plus athlete -- he fits the mold of a modern franchise quarterback. I do worry about his push on the field to do Patrick Mahomes-esque things too frequently. That's it. 

2. Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

I've very much been contemplating giving Maye the top spot -- that's how close these grades are -- but this year, I'm sticking with what my scouting formula spit out after I entered grades in the individual stat categories at the quarterback spot for Maye and Williams. I love Maye's aggression as a thrower and how he can generate out-of-nowhere big plays in dire situations, and his pure physical talent as a thrower and runner. 

3. Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

Nabers hasn't run as many routes as Harrison Jr., and that's funny because he was so athletic and so damn explosive in the SEC, he didn't need to. Nabers is an elite prospect in every sense of the phrase, and he's on another planet regarding yards after the catch. Immediate WR1 with All-Pro upside. 

4. Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Daniels fits today's model of what teams envision when they think "franchise quarterback." He's a loose, dynamic athlete. The pocket-passing ascension was clear on film, and there's not a quarterback in this class with better downfield touch than Daniels, although throwing to Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr. likely helped the cause deep. I'm only ever-so-slightly concerned about his propensity to take sacks and big hits in the open field. 

5. Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

Harrison Jr. is ready to go for six grabs, 125 yards, and a score in his NFL debut. Large, squeaky-clean route runner, who plays like there's football-attracting magnets in his gloves down the field. His catch radius is smaller than expected for his size, and he isn't a spectacular talent after the catch. Beyond those flaws, Harrison Jr. is an elite-caliber receiver prospect with an incredibly high floor. 

6. Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

Turner didn't do it for me -- until this past college football season. The lights came on for the former No. 1 edge-rusher recruit in the country. Speed-to-power conversion was suddenly a part of his game, the bend and burst... all elite, and some pass-rush moves found their way into the arsenal. His combine was borderline epic. I'm only mildly concerned it took until his final season at Alabama for said lights to be flipped on. 

7. Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

Mitchell did everything imaginable to earn this high ranking. A whopping 45 pass breakups and six interceptions in his final three seasons at Toledo, sticky man-to-man coverage, routine plays on the football in zone, on film it was all there. Then at the combine, Mitchell was one of the larger cornerbacks in the class and ran 4.33 with a 38-inch vertical. Premier cornerback prospect from the MAC. Love it. 

8. Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State

I do not understand the idea that Fashanu is not OT1 in this class. Heck, he would've been a first-round pick in 2023, came back to State College, and rocked in his true junior season for the Nittany Lions. After allowing seven pressures as a sophomore, Fashanu allowed 10 in 2023 on nearly 100 more pass-blocking snaps. He has a clear-cut franchise left tackle build right now, glides around the field, is plenty powerful, and rarely plays with a panicked nature. Plug-and-play and watch him grow into an All-Pro. 

9. Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

One of the younger prospects in this class, Arnold was ubiquitous for the Crimson Tide in 2023. He moves like a charged up nickel cornerback but thrived on the perimeter. Man or zone. Didn't matter. He's one of the surest tacklers at cornerback in this class too. The 4.51 in the 40 scares me a little. The film reassured me Arnold will be just fine carrying verticals deep. 

10. Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

One of the first things I wrote about Fuaga in my scouting report on him was "gave me Penei Sewell vibes." What I mean there is, his size, suddenness, and sheer power in an under control manner was Sewellian at right tackle. Of course, that's not normal. Fuaga can get out over his skates at times, but the length, movement skills, and mass cannot be taught. He was a rock in pass pro for the Beavers and has All-Pro potential paving running lanes. 

11. Chop Robinson, EDGE, Penn State
12. Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU
13. Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State
14. Byron Murphy II, DL, Texas
15. Rome Odunze, WR, Washington
16. Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA
17. Kris Abrams-Draine, CB, Missouri

18. Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia
19. Ladd McConkey, WR, Georgia

20. Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

I have been perplexed the entire draft process with Robinson. To me, he's an elite prospect. Many others don't see him that way. Sure, he could add more moves to the pass-rush arsenal. But that's the case with the vast majority of defensive line prospects. He is a rocket around the corner, flattens better than anyone in the class and was highly productive in back-to-back seasons at Penn State. He and Verse actually have the same grade in my scouting gradebook, but based mostly on feeling and somewhat because of Robinson being the younger prospect, he gets the nod as the higher-rated player. 

At No. 17 you'll notice Abrams-Draine here and not many other places. He too is another prospect who, to me, is significantly underrated. Every time I watched a Missouri game, he made plays in coverage, as tackler, on the boundary, in the slot, as a blitzer. Didn't matter. He's a defensive back I'd really want on my team. Rock-solid football player. 

I love McConkey's game and his combine set him into this lofty range on my board. The sharp route-running ability is there. As is the downfield speed, and he's a blast after the catch. Outside of his short arms and small hands -- although drops weren't a problem -- McConkey feels like a future No. 1 wide receiver. 

As for Alt, I'm lower on him than just about everyone, and here's why. The size, length, and athleticism jump off the film. I just didn't see clean blocking throughout. A lot of defenders slipping off him, which led to him flipping into panic/recovery mode right away. A great prospect? Absolutely. A transcendent, generational type at offensive tackle? Not yet. He has room for improvement and has to get stronger. 

21. JJ McCarthy, QB, Michigan
22. JC Latham, OT, Alabama
23. Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama
24. Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia
25. Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa
26. Jackson Powers-Johnson, OL, Oregon
27. Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson
28. Johnny Newton, DL, Illinois
29. Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas
30. Ruke Orhorhoro, DL, Clemson
31. Darius Robinson, EDGE, Missouri
32. Bo Nix, QB, Oregon

McCarthy can be a fantastic pro quarterback. I really believe that. I can't label him an elite prospect right now, although I loved how in some of the biggest moments in his long and storied Michigan career, he made the key play out of nowhere, or connected on a challenging throw. 

After the many household names, we get to Orhorhoro from Clemson. This is a big, long, explosive, and powerful interior rusher. Now, his hands have to get more active -- won't be able to win with bull rush after bull rush in the NFL -- but he's absolutely an elite defensive line prospect from a traits perspective alone, and it's not like he was lost at Clemson. Very productive in this time there. 

As for Nix, I'm lower on him than most because when watching him I saw less accuracy than his completion percentage would suggest and not enough wow throws outside of the super-gimmicky scheme at Oregon. I do commend him for the development he made going from Auburn to Oregon. In an ideal scenario -- like the one he had with the Ducks -- he can be a plus starter. I'm not confident in him as the reason an NFL team wins games on a consistent basis. 

33. Michael Penix, QB, Washington
34. Chris Braswell, EDGE, Alabama
35. Javon Baker, WR, UCF
36. Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas
37. Elijah Jones, CB, Boston College

Everyone here has the exact same grade in my gradebook -- this happens sometimes. And for as much as I've baked the quantitative element to scouting into my process, I've realized everything doesn't have to be based strictly on numbers, so this group was ordered by feel. 

Regarding accuracy, I felt very similarly disappointed with Penix as I did with Nix. While neither are horribly inaccurate, I don't think they're as sharp pinpointing the football to all levels as they're made out to be. Of course with Penix you get less athleticism but a low sack rate and a howitzer for an arm. He's another extremely situation-dependent quarterback prospect in this class. 

Braswell and Baker are two of my favorite prospects in this class and should probably be picked somewhere on Day 2. My story with Braswell is a classic one. I'm evaluating Dallas Turner early on and kept noticing No. 41 at the quarterback. He's lengthy, Alabama-strong at the point of attack and bends around the corner with good regularity. Productivity popped in 2023 when he moved into a featured role on the edge of the Crimson Tide defensive line. 

Baker ran on the slow side at the combine -- I'm enamored with everything else about his game. Releases off the line, sharp intricate movements to generate separation, rebounding down the field. It's all there. As for Mitchell, he's become the prospect that I don't understand how, with his size and freaky athletic traits, he wasn't more productive in college? The smoothness at which he moves is tantalizing though, without question. Jones is somewhat of a throwback type cornerback who excels in press man, and he tested through the roof in Indianapolis. 

38. Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon
39. Christian Jones, OT, Texas
40. Dwight McGlothern, CB, Arkansas 
41. Jaden Hicks, S, Washington State
42. Roger Rosengarten, OT, Washington
43. Malik Washington, WR, Virginia
44. Sataoa Laumea, OL, Utah
45. Calen Bullock, S, USC

Jones is a long, high-upside offensive tackle who can be as good as he wants to be at the next level. I can't say he's a freak but he handles himself well -- very calm, cool, and collected -- in pass pro and when blocking for the run. There's a mean streak to his game, and, vitally, can recover if initially beaten. High-energy blocker. 

McGlothern started at LSU then became, I think, a star at Arkansas in 2023. He has a unique, spindly-type frame that some teams could view as safety material. He's always around the football, plays with plus instincts and high-end ball skills. 

Rosengarten and Laumea are instant starters who get it done differently. The Washington product is a twitched-up tackle who wants to quick set to get into the edge rusher in a flash and plays with unshakeable balance. After Fuaga, Laumea probably plays with more force at the point of attack than any other perimeter blocker in this class, and he's no slouch athleticism. Oh, and both could play guard in the NFL

Bullock has the best center field range of any safety in the class, and pure free safeties are a rare find today in the era of the split-safety looks. Sure, he's skinny but the hip swivel, ball skills, and speed to the football make him a tremendous coverage safety down the field. 

46. Braden Fiske, DT, Florida State
47. Ainias Smith, WR, Texas A&M
48. Michael Hall, DT, Ohio State
49. Jordan Morgan, OL, Arizona

50. Payton Wilson, LB, NC State

If Fiske was about two years younger -- he'll be 25 in January -- and had longer arms, he'd be a first-round prospect in my gradebook, and he could sneak into the first round of the actual draft. He's right there with Murphy as the most supercharged interior rusher in the class and plays every snap at 100 mph. 

Hicks finishes the draft season as my No. 1 safety. He tested like it, and on the field at Washington State, I saw a super-steady tackler, and matchup capabilities along with natural awareness when the ball was arriving. Hicks can align anywhere pre-snap and be a steady force in the secondary while moonlighting as a linebacker in sub-packages. 

Morgan is one of the best, most versatile blockers in the class with guard girth and tackle feet. Hall is so underrated at an increasingly valuable position. He's a hand-work master with loose hips and plus explosiveness at three technique on the defensive line. I love his game and how it projects to the next level. And Hall's wingspan of over 81 inches sets him apart from most other springy upfield rushers on the inside. Rare length at the position. I will not be surprised if he's eventually the most productive defensive tackle from this class. 

Next 10 prospects: Mason McCormick, OG, South Dakota StateDJ James, CB, Auburn; Bralen Trice, EDGE, Washington; Troy Fautanu, OL, Washington; Christian Haynes, OG, UConn; Ennis Rakestraw, CB, Missouri; Khyree Jackson, CB, Oregon; Kingsley Suamataia, OT, BYU; Tyler Nubin, S, Minnesota; Beaux Limmer, OC, Arkansas

There are some studs in this group -- McCormick is a mauler at guard with elite athletic traits and the length needed to deal with longer interior rushers at the next level. In a loaded class of nickel cornerbacks, James takes top billing. His feet operate in fast forward and he's a dog with fighting the ball in the air. Trice is a gem on film. His combine sunk his stock into the 50s. Fautanu is probably going to go in the first round or early second, and I will understand that, because he's bouncy blocker. Exudes mobility. He does have to come a long way in the strength department to deal with serious NFL rushers. Haynes is the best pure guard -- doesn't have to scoot down from tackle -- in this class, and while Rakestraw was overshadowed by his teammate on film, he's still a darn-good sticky cornerback. 

Jackson has immense traits and found the football frequently in the air at Oregon, Suamataia's 2022 is drastically better than his 2023, yet the movement/power flashes are All-Pro caliber. Nubin feels like someone who can outplay his disappointing pre-draft workout, because he was so productive in all phases for so long at Minnesota. Limmer is a plug-and-play athletic mauler at center. Oh, and South Carolina's Xavier Legette is at No. 62 on my board, for those wondering where he is.