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Prospects I Love in the 2024 NFL Draft

Prospects I Love

It is February 14th which means it is a day of love. What better way to celebrate than to talk about a handful of prospects I love in the 2024 NFL Draft?

These are necessarily the best prospects in the class. Hell, some may not even get drafted. But these are just players that I have liked as a prospect for a while.

Past examples include former Maryland RB Jake Funk, UCLA QB Josh Rosen, Northern Iowa OT Trevor Penning, and Houston EDGE Payton Turner. Now that I say this out loud I am probably putting a Valentine’s Day curse on these guys.

Oh well…

Prospects I Love in the 2024 NFL Draft

Spencer Rattler, QB, South Carolina

I had to start with a Gamecock right? Spencer Rattler is the most talented quarterback in South Carolina history. Not the best, that is Connor Shaw. But the most talented. A former five-star recruit out of high school, Rattler came into college at Oklahoma with high expectations. Rattler was filmed in the Netflix series “QB1” as a high school senior and looked like a pompous spoiled child. He was later benched for Caleb Williams at Oklahoma.

It has taken several years and multiple collegiate stops but it finally appears that he has matured. Rattler played behind one of the worst Power-5 offensive lines this year. He still managed to have a great season. Rattler took a beating this year but kept on coming. He showed he could stare into the teeth of pressure and make big-time throws. 

Rattler has an NFL arm, moves in the pocket well, and can make plays off-script. I just wish he had better protection while at South Carolina. What could have been?

Ultimately, I think Rattler comes off the board in the third round with a chance to be a solid starter at some point in his NFL career.

Frank Gore Jr., RB, Southern Miss

Frank Gore, Jr. isn’t his dad. Let’s get that out of the way. But as a quasi-Southern Miss fan (my brother is a former player at USM), I have followed Gore his entire career. He peaked after last season and probably should have transferred. But he stuck it out in Hattiesburg, which is a noble thing.

Gore has 4714 career scrimmage yards and has thrown for an additional 378 yards. I was at the 2022 Lending Tree Bowl, where he broke the single bowl game rushing record with 329 yards against Rice.

He finished his career by winning the Shrine Bowl MVP two weeks ago and was invited to the Combine.

I would love to see Gore drafted in the 4th-5th round area but it may come later on day three.

Drake Stoops, WR, Oklahoma

Drake Stoops is just always open. He isn’t going to be fast but should test well in the agility drills at his Pro Day. Notice I said Pro Day because Stoops was not invited to the Combine.

Stoops is a solid route runner with reliable hands. In his first five seasons in Norman, the production wasn’t there. However, this year, Stoops caught 84 balls for 962 yards with ten touchdowns. 

Drake is of course the son of former Oklahoma (current UFL coach) Bob Stoops. 

He played at the Shrine Bowl. I expect him to be selected late on day three.

Jaheim Bell, TE, Florida State

Jaheim Bell is a tight end in name only. He measured in at the Senior Bowl at 6’1″ and 245 pounds. Bell started his career at South Carolina where he showed off his athleticism all over the field. Bell split out wide, played some inline, and famously was a running back for the Gamecocks.

He transferred to Florida State this past season where he was used in similar ways…minus the carries. Bell is going to test well at the Combine. He was the best “tight end” at the Senior Bowl. By a wide margin to be honest. 

Where Jaheim Bell gets drafted is going to depend on whether a team has a plan to utilize his skillset. If they do, I could see him going on day two. If not, the tweener-ness of Bell will cause him to slip into day three. 

Richard Jibunor, LB, Troy

Richard Jibunor should be a day-two draft pick. If we were just basing this on measurements and potential. Jibunor is 6’2″ and 234 pounds with an 82″ wingspan and nearly 34″ arms. 

He has 31.5 career sacks, including 10 this season. Jibunor’s production has gotten better each season. Unfortunately, his tape is inconsistent and ripe with lapses in judgment. 

Jibunor double-dipped on the All-Star circuit, playing at both the Hula Bowl and the Shrine Bowl. He was not invited to the Combine.

I hope Jibunor hears his name called on day three. However, he is likely to be a priority-free agent. 

OTHER WORK ON DRAFT COUNTDOWN

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