Riddick’s preferred players in the NFL draft class, plus sleepers

  • Louis Riddick, NFLApr 15, 2024, 07:00 AM ET Close ESPN NFL Expert 12-year NFL scout and Director of Pro Worker
  • Played in the NFL for six years
  • Finished from University of Pittsburgh

I have actually been seeing a lots of tape on the 2024 NFL draft’s top potential customers to get ready for the 3 days of action, which starts simply over one week from now. A few players truly jumped out in movie research study, so I wished to break down five prospective first-rounders and 5 sleepers I truly like this year. These are guys I ‘d be targeting if I were running an NFL group and players I think have a truly great chance to be stars in the pros.So here are my Day 1 favorites and some players to view on Days 2-3. My 2023 list had C.J. Stroud on it, and I have another quarterback blazing a trail in 2024.

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Players I love|Sleepers to watch

MY FAVORITE DAY 1 POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS Daniels is the very best quarterback in the draft– and that list includes USC’s Caleb Williams. Don’t think me? Let’s start with the numbers. Last season, Daniels was first in the nation in Overall QBR (95.6 ), first in QBR outside the pocket (98.8 ), first in QBR against zone protection(98.3 ), initially in QBR on play-action (93.8), initially in QBR on deep balls (99.7 )and 2nd in QBR while under pressure(78.6). He threw 40 touchdown passes, ran for 10 more scores and had just four interceptions. Which’s just for starters.At 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds, he has actually just begun to become his frame. I see excellent decision-making, arm strength, touch and precision as a passer that will equate to the NFL. And on top of all that, Daniels is the sort of dual-threat runner who can change a game with his top-end speed and elusiveness when he breaks include and enters the open field. He is a student of the game, and I expect him to end up being a dynamic player in today’s NFL.Editor’s Picks 2 Associated Before the 2023 season started, the draft class’s receiver rankings were

essentially Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr. and then everybody else. Now? There are unexpectedly many critics who feel Nabers has passed Harrison as the best WR in the 2024 draft. I will not go that far, however I do love his game. Nabers captured 89 passes for 1,569 backyards and 14 goals last season.He is a do-it-all WR in a running back’s body, having lower-body volatility (42-inch vertical at his pro day ), speed(4.40-second 40-yard dash)and power that resemble former LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase. And Nabers is simply as efficient in winning on short paths out of the slot with his smooth release, contested-catch strength and ability to break deals with as he is when lined up outside and running the deep posts, sails and go paths. At 6-foot and 199 pounds, he can just outrun corners in the deep part of the field and make the big plays that alter games in the blink of an eye. This guy is absolutely dominant in every method you desire an offending deal with to be dominant.

Fuaga has excellent 6-foot-6, 324-pound size, and I see the practical strength and agility/body control to get movement at the point of attack in the run game on the line of scrimmage. And after running a 5.13 in the 40-yard dash, he can likewise get out in area and put linebackers or securities on their backs with his explosive blocking ability.Fuaga can dance with the very best skill pass-rushers and match them step for step as they try to work his edges with their hands and counter moves. And we also see him set an anchor versus power rushers and shut them down in their tracks with his lower-body strength on tape. He enabled just one sack over his 25-start college career. Fuaga will be an All-Pro in an extremely brief time period in the NFL– count on it. Long, high, rangy and competitive

with blazing speed and the ability to match any type of receiver. That summarize Wiggins. I’m not stressed in the least about his weight– he determined 6-foot-1 and 173 pounds at the integrate– as he will grow and stronger, and he is already a pure alpha competitor who will not pull back against any WR nor shy away from contact as a run defender.Wiggins can push, he can play off-coverage, he can play zone or he can lock you down in guy coverage. He has outstanding impulses, and he is actually difficult to handle at the catch point thanks to his physicality. I think he is going to be productive the minute he steps on an NFL field for the first time this fall. Over the past 2 seasons, he has 17 pass breakups and three interceptions. As much as I like Wiggins, Mitchell is the requirement when it pertains to cornerbacks in this draft. He has every single quality you desire, consisting of size (6-foot, 195 pounds), speed (4.33 in the 40-yard dash) and explosive lower-body power (38-inch vertical dive). And according to his coaches, he is a fantastic teammate. In short, you call it, he can do it.Mitchell has

a silky smooth pedal in off-coverage and excellent mirror ability in press. His acceleration allows him to close fast in the short/intermediate pass game, but I also see the long speed and ball abilities to protect the deep part of the field and create turnovers. Mitchell has six career interceptions and 39 pass breakups. Oh, and did I discuss he will set the edge in the run game and not pull back against pulling offensive linemen or running backs in the open field? This boy will be Pro Bowler and/or All-Pro within his first 2 NFL seasons.play 0:44 Quinyon Mitchell’s NFL draft reel Take a look at the highlights from Toledo cornerback Quinyon Mitchell.

My favorite sleepers outside Round 1

Carter merely never stops. He has the supreme motor. And his ability enables him to move up and down the line of scrimmage, hurrying from the edge or moving within to protective tackle.At 6-foot-2 and

302 pounds(33-inch arms), he has the physical traits, impulses and scheme recognition to be productive at the point of attack on individually or double-team matches. Carter plays with excellent space control and gets off blocks to make plays versus the run. And with a 4.99-second run in the 40, he fasts off the ball in the pass rush. He can run you over with power, work the edge of the center or guard with his abrupt hands and feet and surface with his high-end closing speed.Over the past three seasons, Carter had 80 pressures, 11 sacks, 22 run stops and 19 tackles for loss. He is at his finest as a 3-technique defensive take on in a 4-3 plan, but he will be successful no matter how he is used in the NFL. Carter is just a damn excellent football player.

In order to play championship-caliber defense, you must have off-ball linebackers who can play all 3 downs and identify, run sideline to sideline, leave blocks and deal with in space. NFL groups require playmakers up the middle who can check out patterns and break on the ball in zone, or stick on running backs and/or tight ends successfully in guy protection. And it helps when you have a linebacker who can blitz and hurry the QB with speed and power. Well, Cooper can do all of that and then some.He is the best off-ball linebacker in the class, and it isn’t even a dispute in my eyes. At 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds, Cooper has long 34-inch arms and 4.51 speed, making him the model second-level defender. He filled the stat sheet in 2023 while at Texas A&M, publishing 80 takes on, 8 sacks, 14 deals with for loss and 20 pressures. And I expect him to continue his dominance in 2024 in a key function with an NFL team.What to understand for

the 2024 NFL draft – Mock drafts|DraftCast: Top prospects – Rankings: Kiper|Miller|Reid|Yates – QB Hot Board|Leading qualities|Compensations – Position ranks|Full order | Winning the turnover battle is the No. 1 priority for every protective planner in the NFL, and Kinchens will help you do just that. No safety in this class has better impulses and anticipation as a deep-field player, whether that be as a single safety in the middle of the field or in a split-safety structure. He is regularly a step ahead of the quarterback with his understanding of route concepts and capability to check out the passer’s eyes and shoulder leans. However Kinchens likewise reveals the efficient shift mechanics and closing burst to enter position to make game-changing plays; he came down with 11 interceptions over 2022-23. And on top of the ball skills, the 5-foot-11, 203-pound safety can make the hard open-field

takes on in one-on-one scenarios( 54 last season)and has shown disruptive blitz ability(26 pressures). His 4.65-second 40 time at the integrate wasn’t perfect, but I’m not too worried based upon what I see on tape. Kinchens has the prospective to be a star. After Georgia’s Brock Bowers, I believe All is the second-best tight end in this draft. And had he not been handling back and knee injuries over the previous 2 seasons, I think we ‘d be talking about All as a Day 1 prospect. He can cause issues for NFL defenses with his size( 6-foot-4 and 252 pounds), play speed, obstructing capability, exceptional path running and proven hands. All is extremely explosive both as a blocker at the conventional Y positioning or from the U positioning, however he’s much more than that. All can extend the middle of the field as a receiver, despite whether he is established inside or flexed out as a slot.The statistics will not wow you– he caught 21 passes for 299 backyards and three goals last season– however his tape is great.

And All is incredibly hard after the catch. In reality, 135 of his 299 getting backyards came after the ball remained in his hands. It shouldn’t be too shocking that we have a good tight end coming out of Iowa (though he was a transfer from Michigan ), and I totally expect to see All on the field dominating this fall.

Every year, we see a Day 2/Day 3 choice end up being a really talented NFL running back for an excellent team, and everybody asks where he originated from. Well, Guerendo is going to be that guy in 2024.

At 6-foot, 221 pounds, he has the skills to be a three-down back. And after dominating at the combine with a 4.33-second run in the 40-yard dash and an eye-popping 41.5-inch vertical dive, it’s clear that Guerendo has prototype qualities for the position. He has fun with a low center of gravity, excellent switch abilities, extraordinary acceleration and game-breaking top-end speed. And you can see his standout field vision and instincts on tape.Guerendo kept up much better authority and physicality late in the 2023 season than he performed in the early-going, assisting him finish with 810 rushing yards and 11 goals on the ground. However he can likewise capture the ball out of the backfield, taking 22 passes last season. He still needs to end up being more physical and nastier in pass protection, but if he turns up the dial on his contact explosiveness to selectively penalize linebackers/defensive backs at the second and 3rd levels of the defense, Guerendo will break onto the scene for some group in 2024.

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