The 2023 National Football League season will not even kick off for months, and we are just one month out from the 2023 NFL Draft.
But people have already started looking ahead to 2024: in fact, that has been happening for years, because the player at the top of the board right now has the opportunity to change the game.
USC quarterback Caleb Williams, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, is set to go into this campaign with heavy scrutiny. Scouts, fans, and executives are going to dissect every pass he makes for the Trojans, with the NFL looming in 2024.
In this press release from Vegas Insiders, the odds for all of the top players ahead of the 2024 draft are looked at to be the potential number one pick. But at this point, it is Williams, then Maye, then everyone else.
Caleb Williams, QB, Southern Cal (1-5)—Williams, 6-1, 220, would have to suffer a serious injury or have a terrible season to not be the No. 1 pick. Even if a team that doesn’t need a QB gets the pick, they would likely trade it to a team that does. Scouts are already making comparisons (perhaps unfair) to Patrick Mahomes.
“There is very little doubt that Williams is going to be the first pick next season,” a Vegas Insider spokesperson said. “Whether it is via a trade, or some team struggling mightily in 2023 that picks up the number one pick, it is going to be Williams. He is odds on to be a back to back Heisman Trophy winner: we have him as the clear favorite to win the award again in 2023. If USC can go out and get into the playoff, or even win the national championship, it will just show that he could be a generational quarterback, and maybe the next hope to challenge Patrick Mahomes as the best QB in the league.”
Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina (4-1)— If for some reason Williams doesn’t go No. 1, Maye, 6-4, 220, is the guy. He has a great arm to go with good decision making. He’s been likened to the Chargers Justin Herbert.
“Maye is big, talented, and a winner,” the spokesperson said. “He is agile, and that is where the league is going right now. He is not going to be a consolation prize: there are going to be some scouts that think maybe is 1B to Williams’ 1A.”
Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State (16-1)— It’s not often a wide receiver is the first overall pick of the draft — only Irving Fryar (1984, New England) and Keyshawn Johnson (1996, New York Jets) have been No. 1 in the modern draft era. Harrison, the son of the former Colts star, may be as good as his father and is much bigger at 6-3, 220. Last fall as a sophomore he caught 77 passes for 1,263 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Harrison might be the best player in the draft.
Joe Alt, Tackle, Notre Dame (25-1)— Another son of a former NFL star, Alt’s father John was a first-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in 1984 and went onto have a Pro Bowl career with the Chiefs. Joe Alt, 6-7, 315, will be a junior for the Fighting Irish next year and is considered the best OL in the country. Some scouts think if he was eligible for the 2023 draft he would have been the first offensive lineman selected.
Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama (25-1)— Nicknamed by his grandmother shortly after he was born, McKinstry turned that into a NIL deal with Kool-Aid. The cornerback may have been the best in the country a year ago and should only get better. He was also the second best punt returner in the nation with a 15.8 yard average.