2024 NFL Draft Rankings: Quarterbacks

The Chicago Bears fan base is ready for the 2024 NFL draft. After another losing season, the Bears need to turn around this franchise this year because jobs depend on it. The Bears only have four draft picks as things stand and they need to make the most of them. I’ll guide you through the NFL draft for Bears Insider this year, giving you my rankings and scouting profiles for the top players in the 2024 draft. I’ll start with the quarterbacks.

The quarterback position is arguably the most critical position on any football team. Yet the last time the Bears had an all-pro quarterback was when Johnny Lujack won it in 1950. To make it even more painful, the last time the Bears had a hall-of-fame quarterback on their roster was George Blanda in 1958. The Bears have had terrible luck drafting quarterbacks for quite some time, and continue their woes after trading 2021 first-round draft pick, Justin Fields. The Bears didn’t extend Mitchell Trubisky, David Fales, Nathan Enderle, Dan LeFevour, Kyle Orton, or Craig Krenzel and that means that no quarterback drafted in the last 20 years earned a second contract from Chicago. After Fields’ departure, it’s a foregone conclusion the Bears will be drafting a signal caller. The Bears and general manager Ryan Poles must get the quarterback position right in this year’s draft.

Chicago’s roster currently holds only two quarterbacks, Tyson Bagent and Brett Rypien. After being named QB2 last year, Bagent started four games for Chicago in 2023 and led the team to two victories. In his five appearances, Bagent accumulated 859 yards, three touchdowns, and threw six picks. Poles signed Rypien to a one-year deal, but I expect him to be a practice squad/emergency quarterback. Rypien made two appearances for the Rams, losing in his only start and never throwing a touchdown pass. Drafting a quarterback makes sense for the Bears, and as much as I like Bagent, the lack of talent at the position ensures it.


1. Caleb Williams USC 6’1″ 215lbs

Caleb Williams is number one for many analysts for plenty of reasons. Williams has the elite arm talent you want and can make any throw. He’s a solid decision-maker with only 14 interceptions in three years at Oklahoma and USC. Williams reads defenses well enough and can move through his reads quickly, but he did have moments of getting stuck on the first read. A depleted offensive line caused some chaos in 2023, leading to some trust issues and leaving the pocket too early at times, but Williams is elusive in the pocket and can take off for a chunk of yards. There will be questions about the level of competition he was up against because he didn’t face the NCAA’s best defenses often. Williams might not have had a lot of opportunities to show out against the best, but throwing for over 10,000 yards is impressive regardless.

2. Jayden Daniels LSU 6’4″ 210lbs

Jayden Daniels is the closest prospect to Lamar Jackson that I’ve seen, but Daniels is a more refined passer than Jackson was coming out of college. He has an explosive burst and can get elusive like Jackson, but he goes through progressions quickly, throws accurately, and has smooth footwork with a balanced base already. Daniels has enough velocity and power in his arm despite still developing his throwing motion. He doesn’t have his legs involved in his throwing yet, and will get more consistent as a passer when his footwork gets better. Daniels’ vision is great too, but he needs to keep his eyes downfield after he escapes the pocket. The Arizona State transfer needs to protect himself and the ball better, too. He should slide more when scrambling, and Daniels needs to lessen his questionable decisions under pressure. He’s a very close number-two prospect for me.

3. Drake Maye UNC 6’4″ 230lbs

Drake Maye is a complete prospect. He has arm talent, reads defenses well, and goes through his progressions quickly. He understands zone defense well and finds holes consistently. Maye is one of the most comfortable prospects in the pocket. He manipulates a defense using his eyes, a pump fake or escapes the pocket. Maye has a big, sturdy frame but can still run well at an above-average speed. He will need to be protected well at the next level because his nine interceptions in 2023 mainly resulted under pressure. I want more variety in his throws. He has a flat arch and can lack touch too often. When the game is on the line, I’m unsure if he can get his eyes off the big play and stop telegraphing it.

4. Michael Penix Jr. Washington 6’3″ 213lbs

Michael Penix Jr. has an ample amount of talent, but it could come crashing down with another injury. Penix suffered two torn ACLs and two shoulder injuries in four seasons at Indiana before he put together two fantastic and healthy seasons with Washington. Penix has the arm talent and accuracy deep to be a top-tier talent in the NFL. His footwork looks good more often than it doesn’t, and he’s comfortable in the pocket. Penix needs to step through and square up with his target better, but he has the talent to deliver well, regardless. Penix has one speed, but it’s a fastball. He needs to add more touch and loft to handle the NFL-sized corners when pushing downfield. Penix isn’t scary fast, but he can be elusive. Penix is left-handed. That will make it difficult to defend against him, but it could make it equally challenging to protect him.

5. Bo Nix Oregon 6’2″ 217lbs

Bo Nix had the second-best efficiency grade in the NCAA last year and led all of college in passing touchdowns. He has the velocity to fit the ball in tight windows and has good enough. He struggled at Auburn, so the system matters, but he keeps his footwork clean and throws accurately. Nix isn’t an athletic freak like some of these quarterbacks, but he can still run and get a team out of trouble. He will need to get more comfortable in the pocket and step up or to the side to step through his throws when under pressure. Nix’s deep ball has inconsistencies, but it’s good enough. Nix is a high-intelligence player who uses his eyes or pump fakes and manipulates defenses. If he sits behind the right quarterback in the right system, he could have a future as a starter in the NFL.

6. J.J. McCarthy Michigan 6’3″ 203lbs

J.J. McCarthy is a scrappy player. He’s a good runner who fights for every yard and his speed can be dangerous, too. Teams can trust McCarthy to lead his receivers and put the ball where it needs to be in the short-to-intermediate part of the field, but he must work on layering his throws and diversifying loft and touch. McCarthy has one speed on his throws, and they tend to be flatter. Especially off schedule, McCarthy needs to reset his feet and square up more often. He manipulates the pocket to change the launch point and gets an advantage against the defense, but it’s a shame that he loses that advantage with sub-par footwork and throws inaccurately. At Michigan, McCarthy played in a very run-based system limiting what we got to see from him. McCarthy will likely drop as a victim of circumstance rather than a lack of talent.

7. Jordan Travis FSU 6’1″ 212lbs

The way Jordan Travis moves reminds me of Russell Wilson. He’s a hard runner and very elusive inside or outside the pocket. His 49 games of experience have built some good habits. Travis keeps his eyes downfield, always looking for a play to make, and is accurate when moving in or outside the pocket. He doesn’t get stuck on the first read often but is a bit slower through his progressions. Travis is coming off a season-ending leg injury, but my biggest concern is still ball security. He makes too many poor decisions under pressure and will try to force a play. Travis is a tough competitor, though, and he wants to win. If he cleans up his footwork and decision-making, I’d love to see him sit behind Deshaun Watson for a few years, but he has the potential to be a serviceable backup, at the least.

The Rest of my top 20:

8. Spencer Rattler South Carolina 6’1″ 217lbs
9. Taulia Tugovailoa Maryland 5’11” 200lbs
10. Michael Pratt Tulane 6’2″ 200lbs
11. Kedon Slovis BYU 6’3″ 215lbs
12. Joe Milton III Tennessee 6’5″ 244lbs
13. Devin Leary Kentucky 6’1″ 212lbs
14. Brennan Armstrong NC State 6’2″ 215lbs
15. Austin Reed Western Kentucky 6′ 1″ 220lbs
16. Sam Hartman Notre Dame 6’1″ 208lbs
17. Carter Bradley South Alabama 6’3″ 215lbs
18. Kurtis Rourke Ohio 6’3″ 211lbs
19. Tanner Mordecai Wisconsin 6’2″ 211lbs
20. Phil Jurkovec Pitt 6’5″ 226lbs

Whether you believe the Bears should take a quarterback first overall, or if you think they should trade back and get a haul, you have to admit this quarterback class is stacked. The last two Heisman Trophy winners are in this class, and Penix and Nix got second and third this year too. The Bears have a lot of choices, but at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is that they make the right one.

To hear my full analysis and to find out how my rankings have evolved, listen to The Chicago Bears Den Podcast.

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