No. 15: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington
It is no secret: I love me some Rome Odunze. The Husky receiver is the prototypical size for a No. 1 option in the NFL. He possesses track star speed, remarkable body control downfield, and some of the best hands in the class. Odunze recently was clocked at a 4.34 40-yard dash at the Washington facility. Buy the hype — he is the real deal.
Don’t Sleep On Emeka Egbuka As WR2 In The 2024 NFL Draft
No. 16: Emeka Egbuka, WR, Ohio State
The “other” Ohio State wideout is no slouch. Emeka Egbuka has frequented the slot during his time in Columbus, but he boasts a picturesque frame for a boundary receiver. Egbuka flexes top-tier concentration, highlighted by his 52.8 percent completion rate on contested catches (via PFF).
He may lack blazing speed, but the ability to change direction is equally important at the position. And the 20-year-old is a star in that regard. Expect Egbuka to hear his name early at the 2024 NFL Draft.
No. 17: Cooper Beebe, OL, Kansas State
The idea that only offensive tackles should go early at the NFL Draft is archaic and shortsighted, to say the least. Sure, in the perfect scenario, your highest-paid players will play the most “premium” positions. But teams are guilty of overthinking this at times. Elite is elite, regardless of where they line up.
Cooper Beebe has teach tape technique during his time with Kansas State. From exquisite hand usage to consistent leverage to a never-ending motor, what is not to like about the Wildcat veteran? He would have been the top-graded guard in the 2023 NFL Draft, and I can’t imagine it will change in 2024.
No. 18: Chop Robinson, EDGE, Penn State
I led the charge for Arnold Ebiketie at the 2022 NFL Draft. He finished as the No. 15 player on my big board before somehow falling to Day 2 of the event. Well, Penn State has another star pass rusher cut from the same cloth — and you guessed it, I am leading the charge yet again.
Chop Robinson possesses a similar build, and like Ebiketie, he has a nose for the football. The Nittany Lion standout put up the second-best pass-rushing grade in 2022 (via PFF). He is twitched up and is almost always the first person off the snap. NFL coaching would benefit Robinson exponentially, as he is on the cusp of putting it all together.
No. 19: Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa
Iowa sent a white cornerback to the NFL in Riley Moss this past draft cycle. They are poised to do it again with Cooper DeJean. The Hawkeye defensive back is 6-foot-1 and 207 pounds with virtually zero flaws on tape. He posted elite PFF grades in run defense, tackling, and coverage in 2022, including five interceptions and 25 stops.
DeJean has a sparkling background in amateur sports. He won a state championship in track, holds several high school records on the football field, and even served as a top player on the basketball and baseball teams. I say all of this because his work ethic is lauded — for good reason. He is a surefire Day 1 talent in the 2024 NFL Draft.
J.T. Tuimoloau Could Be Biggest Wildcard In The 2024 NFL Draft
No. 20: J.T. Tuimoloau, DL, Ohio State
J.T. Tuimoloau has top-pick potential, but the inconsistent performances call into question his motor and effort level. When locked in, few would argue that Tuimoloau isn’t a future NFL star. However, the snaps in which he “takes off” are unacceptable in the eyes of a professional coaching staff.
The good news? Effort is 100 percent controllable. As far as God-given talent goes, the Buckeye defender has traits that cannot be taught. He is built like a brick house and oozes athleticism on the line. If Tuimoloau puts it all together, expect to hear his name early. If it is another year of inconsistency, that could spell doom for his NFL aspirations.
No. 21: Graham Barton, OL, Duke
I struggled to find a spot for Graham Barton on this list. Not because he lacks talent. But because I have no idea which position suits him best. During his time at Duke, Barton initially broke into the Blue Devil lineup as a center in 2020. He moved out to left tackle, a spot he has occupied since.
The worry for Barton sticking at left tackle in the NFL is his wingspan and inability to counter secondary pass-rushing moves at a high level. His initial punch tends to work in college, but he may operate better at guard by limiting the space between him and his assignment. Without any experience at guard, it makes this projection particularly tricky. All I know is that Barton is a stud. I’ll roll the dice in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft.
No. 22: Jeremiah Trotter Jr., LB, Clemson
The son of a former NFL All-Pro, Jeremiah Trotter Jr. isn’t quite as stout as his old man, but don’t let the compact frame fool you; he is a menace to opposing offenses. While Trotter impacts the game in several areas, he offers slightly less versatility than his teammate, Barrett Carter.
Still, Trotter profiles as an immediate starter on Sundays. His instincts are rare, and he sheds blocks effortlessly. The Clemson defender boasts a thicker build than Carter, but both should be quality players at the next level. Ultimately, it boils down to preference.