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Draft Debate

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2024 NFL Draft: Who is the best non-quarterback in this year's class?

Quarterbacks are the headliners of the 2024 NFL Draft, with players at the game's most important position expected to come off the board early and often when Round 1 gets underway on April 25 in Detroit.

That's not to say there isn't talent at other positions. This class is full of big-name playmakers at wide receiver and has a plethora of Pro Bowl-caliber prospects at other skill positions and on the defensive side of the ball. That said, we ask the question:

Who is the best non-quarterback in this year's draft class?

Jeffri Chadiha

PICK: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

Harrison is easily the surest bet of any player in this class. He’s an elite talent who played at a school that has produced a number of first-round picks at the position he plays. His father was a Hall of Fame receiver for the Colts, so the bloodlines are there as well. In fact, Harrison is so gifted that he decided against working out at the NFL Scouting Combine and his pro day, and he’s still likely to be a top-five pick. Sure, there are other exceptional receivers in this draft, namely Washington’s Rome Odunze and LSU’s Malik Nabers. None of them check as many boxes for potential stardom as Harrison, who might end up being the best overall player in this class.

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Adam Rank

PICK: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

Odunze is the best non-quarterback in this draft. And I’d even go so far as to say he’s the second-best player in the draft (behind USC quarterback Caleb Williams). Rome is a true No. 1 receiver who will go out there and beat his opposition to the football. The type of player who could lead his team in targets. But the funny thing is, he could end up going to a team where he’s not counted on to be the top guy at first, but eventually grows into that spot, like when Justin Jefferson first came into the league. 

Lance Zierlein

PICK: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

This one is tricky in terms of how you categorize it so I will explain. I think the best non-QB right now would be Marvin Harrison Jr. because he's not only highly productive and carrying NFL traits, but he's extremely polished at his position. That said, I have a slightly higher grade on Malik Nabers (at the same position) and I'm projecting him to become the best non-QB to come out of this class. But right now, that distinction belongs to Harrison.

David Carr

PICK: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

There are a lot of top-tier receivers in this class, but Bowers has been on NFL teams’ radars since Georgia's back-to-back national championship seasons (2021-22). He is a fantastic playmaker with the ball in his hands. He’s a tight end who can create space and push the ball down the middle of the field -- like Travis Kelce and George Kittle. That’s a player every quarterback would love to have on his team. 

Eric Edholm

PICK: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

I really think it comes down to one of the receivers -- Harrison or Malik Nabers. And though we’re in an era of shorter receivers thriving as much as they ever have, Harrison’s combination of freaky ball skills, ball control, natural separation ability and length are what give him the slightest nod to me. He can win in the same ways that Justin Jefferson and CeeDee Lamb do in this league, and before long, Harrison might be one of the tougher covers in the NFL.

Chad Reuter

PICK: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

Bowers is my favorite non-quarterback in the draft class. The tight end's potential as a red zone threat, reliable third-down target, weapon deployed down the seam, bull after the catch and solid blocker make him a jack of all trades, master of everything.

Scott Pioli

PICK: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

Harrison’s skill set and pedigree are incredible, as are his size (6-foot-3, 209 pounds) and catch ability. He has good speed, but what differentiates him is his route running. I could go on and on about his talent, but perhaps more important is that the Ohio State receiver understands the nuances of being a professional on and off the field. That approach and his makeup are what will likely keep him at the top of his game for years to come. He is a safe investment with top-end ability.

Marc Ross

PICK: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

The Ohio State receiver is not only the best non-QB, he’s the best player in this class -- period. His game has elements of past NFL greats, including his dad, but his style and talent is uniquely his own. He is in consideration for the best wide receiver prospect I have ever evaluated. 

Maurice Jones-Drew

PICK: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

The Georgia product is everything teams look for in a tight end. The two-time John Mackey Award winner has terrific hands and body control to make him a reliable target, but his after-the-catch ability is what could propel him into being a Pro Bowl-caliber playmaker at the next level. His production as a Bulldog speaks for itself.

Rhett Lewis

PICK: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

Marv is so many of the things we loved about his Hall of Fame father, Marvin Harrison Sr., from the signature smooth route-running ability to the outstanding body control, but in a bigger more physically dominant frame.

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