Heading into the college football season this fall, USC quarterback Caleb Williams is widely considered to be the likely No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL draft. Williams sits atop most early big boards and already has some fanbases speculating about how their quarterback-needy team can tank for the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.

However, we're still 10 months away from the draft, and a lot can happen between now and then. Someone could easily supplant Williams as the No. 1 overall pick in 2024.

Here, we'll look at five players who have the best chance of accomplishing that feat, make the case as to why and give some cliff notes from their early scouting reports to preview what they have to offer. All five rank in the top seven of Pro Football Focus' draft board.


Drake Maye

  • PFF Big Board rank (overall): 2
  • Positional rank: QB2
  • Case for going No. 1:

This is taking the low-hanging fruit to a certain extent, as Drake Maye is already seen as Williams' biggest competitor. A few people think he could be the draft class' top quarterback.

In other words, this decision could come down to which team holds the first pick and their criteria for the position.

Maye has the prototypical NFL quarterback size at 6'4" and 220 pounds and a stronger arm than the undersized 6'1", 215-pound Williams. If the North Carolina product can put together another season where he racks up over 5,000 total yards and 45 touchdowns, as he did in 2022, buckle up for some debates between these two players during draft season.

Scouting report via The Draft Network:

Drake Maye is a multi-speed pitcher. He is able to alter the pace and tempo of his throws based on the target window. He can make routine NFL throws at all three levels of the field. He has the arm strength to drive passes into tight windows. His work in the quick passing game provides his receiving options the opportunity to gain yards after the catch.