Highlights in positional rankings update

October 3, 2023

For the record, the GBN positional rankings for the upcoming draft have been updated as per the drop-down menu above. Again, we point out that these rankings are meant to reflect as best as we can, not necessarily our own grades for the different players, but where we hear that NFL teams have them ranked. And it is interesting that there have been some rather significant changes at certain positions, while several others the situation, as best we can tell, is rather static. Here is a quick summary of the positions experiencing the most fluidity.

  • Quarterback: On the one hand, it certainly appears that 2024 still looks to be very much the ‘Year of the QB’, at least when it comes to the upcoming draft. And USC’s Caleb Williams is still very much the consensus favorite to be the first player selected next April with North Carolina’s Drake Maye not that far behind. After that, though, it gets very interesting with very little consensus at this time as to the actual order of the next dozen or so QBs, although it does appear that Quinn Ewers of Texas may have re-emerged as the #3 guy on the list, but that’s hardly a majority opinion. Indeed, we’ve heard the case made for Shedeur Sanders of Colorado, who has continued to play at a high level despite the team’s losses in the last two games, Washington’s Michael Penix, who leads the country with almost 400 passing yards per game, Michigan’s ultra-efficient JJ McCarthy, Riley Leonard of Duke, Bo Nix of Oregon, Cameron Ward of Washington State, Miami’s Tyler Van Dyke and Spencer Rattler of South Carolina to be included in the mid-to-late first round discussion by one team or another, with Tulane’s Michael something of a dark-horse wild-card. Read more
  • Wide receiver: There is something of a similar story at WR where Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison remains – by far – the #1 prospect at the position, as well as the top non-QB prospect for the upcoming draft. After that, though, its something of a free-for-all among the next half dozen or so receivers, although one of the senses we get is that a goodly number of teams have Florida State’s Keon Coleman as the #2 receiver on their board. However, we haven’t seen it yet, so we’re hedging a bit on that one, especially with other top receivers out there who have been much more productive to date including LSU speedster Malik Nabers, Washington’s Rome Odunze, Harrison’s OSU teammate Emeka Egbuka and Xavier Worthy of Texas. And, again, folks looking for a top-end sleeper at WR might want to take a long look at Oregon’s Troy Franklin.
  • Offensive tackle: There’s no real change at the top of the position where Penn State’s Olu Fashanu and John Alt of Notre Dame are still the top two guys at the position, although it does appear as if Fashanu may have put a little distance between himself and Alt. At the same time, though, a number of other OTs have made big moves through the first month of the schedule including JC Latham of Alabama, who now appears to be getting some top ten interest of his own, along with Arizona’s Jordan Morgan and Paul Patrick of Houston.
  • Defensive tackle: The top names pretty much remain the same at DT, although it appears as if Jer’Zhan Newton, who is not all that big, but very quick, may have emerged as the leading candidate at the position with at least some top 10 potential.
  • Cornerback: It certainly appears that Alabama’s Kool-Aid McKinstry and Penn State’s Kalen King are 1-2 at the position, but the hot corner these days in Cooper DeJean of Iowa, while Clemson’s Nate Wiggins and Josh Newton of TCU also appear to have moved up into the late first-round range.
  • Safety: F/SS appears to be one of the more fluid positions in this year’s draft class with Miami’s Kamren Kinchens, Tyler Nubin of Minnesota and Utah’s Cole Bishop up, while USC’s Calen Bullock down a bit, although he still figures to be among the top 4-5 candidates at the position; Bullock remains a true ballhawker at the position, but he’s just not that physical.