The NFL offseason is in full swing, and the NFL Combine is upon us. Obviously, it’s a pivotal week for many of the incoming rookies, with some looking to cement their draft stock and others looking to shoot up draft boards.

 

With that, we have to take a look at the over 300 prospects invited. Over 90 of these prospects are skill-position players and could have a significant effect on the fantasy landscape. I am going to give a few names from each positional group that we should be keeping an eye on at the Combine. 

2024 NFL Scouting Combine Players to Watch

Quarterbacks 

This year's quarterback class is headlined by Caleb Williams, an obvious must-see prospect this year at the combine. But everyone knows that, so I’m not going to go deep on him here. The race for QB2 is alive, and there are three players to watch this week who could make a significant push for the QB2 spot. 

Jayden Daniels, LSU

Jayden Daniels is fresh off a Heisman-winning campaign and has propelled himself into the top five pick range of the Draft. He was second in the SEC with 3,812 passing yards and third with 1,134 rushing yards — Daniels is the first quarterback to top 12,000 passing yards and 3,000 rushing yards in his college career. He is an accurate quarterback with a strong arm and quick release. His best trait may be his rushing ability, though. The Combine will be the perfect place to display his athleticism and accuracy. A good weekend would go a long way to helping him become the second quarterback drafted. 

Drake Maye, UNC Carolina

Drake Maye is a polarizing prospect. He has good size at 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds and displays a strong arm and incredible accuracy. It’s not consistent, though — we see him misfire more than we would like due to misaligned footwork and mechanics. Over his two years starting for the Tar Heels, Maye totaled over 7,900 passing yards and 62 touchdowns through the air and added over 1,100 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground. Being able to showcase an improvement in his consistency and raw traits at the combine will go a long way for Maye's draft stock. 

J.J. McCarthy, Michigan 

J.J. McCarthy Michigan 2024 NFL Draft Combine Players to Watch

J.J. McCarthy has been climbing up draft boards. He is a mobile quarterback who has an extremely accurate arm. He has good size, standing 6-foot-3, 197 pounds, and has produced back-to-back seasons with 22 passing touchdowns and more than 2,700 passing yards. McCarthy was never asked to do much while quarterbacking the Wolverines, so there are understandably questions on whether he can handle a higher passing volume. We will not get this answer at the Combine, but we will get to see him demonstrate his physical tools that are second to none in this class. There is a strong chance we see McCarthy become a favorite of NFL teams and work his way to the top of our fantasy drafts. 

Running Backs

This year's running back class is weaker than many years and lacks a true high-end prospect, leaving it wide open for anyone to take. There are quite a few intriguing Day 2 prospects who could emerge as quality fantasy assets. Let’s take a peek at a few of the 29 invitees who could emerge as one of the top running backs. 

Braelon Allen, Wisconsin 

Braelon Allen is one of the youngest running backs in the 2024 NFL Draft class at 20 years old, but he is built like a giant, standing 6-foot-2, 238 pounds. He is coming off three straight years of over 1,100 scrimmage yards, totaling 3,494 rushing yards in his college career. He also found the end zone 35 times in his Badger career. Allen has an opportunity to showcase his supposed 4.4 speed — which would be crazy for his size — and his pass-catching ability that wasn’t showcased at Wisconsin. If he impresses in the drills, we could see him emerge as a favorite to become the RB1 in the class. 

Blake Corum, Michigan 

If it wasn’t for his lack of size, Blake Corum would likely be the headliner of this class, but standing 5-foot-8 and 210 pounds is less than ideal. Still, Corum managed to produce 61 scrimmage touchdowns in his career, fourth in Big Ten history, and finished top three in the Big Ten in scrimmage yards in both 2022 and 2023. There are some questions about whether his long speed can translate to the NFL, this can be answered at the Combine. We will also get to see him display his elite quickness within the running back drills. If the weigh-in goes well, Corum could leave the Combine as the favorite to be the first running back drafted. 

Bucky Irving, Oregon

Coming off back-to-back seasons of 1,300-plus scrimmage yards, Bucky Irving can cement himself among the top names of this class with a strong Combine. Irving is one of the best dual-threat running backs in the class, catching 95 balls for over 700 yards and 5 scores in his college career. He is an extremely quick mover who has strong contact balance and vision as a runner. Some of this will be on display at the Combine, and he can help show off his strong hands and elite lateral speed. His weigh-in will be very important — he is listed under 200 pounds, but if he can come in close to 200, there is a chance Irving can become a top-three back in this class. 

Audric Estime, Norte Dame 

There is not a ton of chatter about the bulldozer of a runner Audric Estime, who stands an imposing 6-foot-1 and 215 pounds but looks much thicker on tape. His 1,341 rushing yards and 18 scores in 2023 led the Independents. Despite being a ferocious and powerful runner, he is very nimble on his feet and will be able to showcase this in the testing portion of the Combine. With some impressive numbers, I can see Estime rocketing up draft boards and into the hearts of fantasy managers. 

Wide Receiver 

This year's wide receiver class is star-studded, and we could see a record-setting number of receivers selected in the first round. It is headlined by three freak athletes in Rome Odunze, Malik Nabers and Marvin Harrison Jr. After that, we have a really strong second tier that includes Troy Franklin, Keon Coleman, Brian Thomas Jr. and more. I am here to talk about a few of the top names from the 39 wide receivers invited to the combine. 

Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State

Marvin Harrison Jr. Ohio State 2024 NFL Draft Combine Players to Watch

The headliner of this draft class, Marvin Harrison Jr. may have to post an impressive Combine to hold that. He has posted back-to-back seasons of 14 receiving touchdowns and over 1,200 yards. Harrison is a nuanced route runner who is excellent at the catch point. His strength and speed will be on full display at the Combine. A strong testing day from him will cement his top spot among these wide receivers, but there’s a chance a poor showing combined with stronger days from Malik Nabers and/or Rome Odunze could cause Harrison to slide. 

Malik Nabers, LSU

For many people, Malik Nabers is the top receiver in this class. He led the SEC (second in NCAA) with 1,569 receiving yards in 2023. His college profile is impressive, producing 3,003 yards and 21 touchdowns receiving. Nabers’ strongest trait is speed and creating after the catch. Some of this will be displayed at the combine. If he can post strong testing numbers, there could be a chance for him to jump Harrison on some team's boards, and in the process jump to the top of fantasy rookie drafts. 

Troy Franklin, Oregon 

In his three years in Eugene, Troy Franklin became one of the best wide receivers to dawn the yellow and green, producing an impressive 2,483 receiving yards. This past season he was third in the PAC-12 with 1,383 yards but led it with 14 receiving touchdowns, both single-season Ducks records. Franklin is a fluid speedster who stretches the field with ease but is suspect when asked to be a complex route runner — this is an area he can showcase at the Combine. He should post strong testing numbers, but a good showing in the drills will go a long way to him being a Day 1 selection. 

Brian Thomas Jr., LSU

Living in the shadow of Malik Nabers for the past three seasons, Brian Thomas Jr. has put together an impressive resume. He stands a lean 6-foot-5, 198 pounds, and offers plenty of speed and strong hands. He is nuanced in the short areas of the field, which was showcased at LSU, with him leading the SEC and NCAA with 17 receiving touchdowns in 2023. With some strong numbers in the testing portion and displaying strong lateral agility in the drills, we could see him earn Day 1 draft capital and become a staple of the first round of fantasy rookie drafts. 

Tight End 

The 2024 tight end class lacks the depth we had in 2023, but it has a true high-end prospect headlining it in Brock Bowers. Behind him is Ja’Tavion Sanders, who is less polished but has plenty of upside. After that, there is a pretty significant dropoff. 

Brock Bowers, Georgia 

There is little left to be proven for Brock Bowers. He is 6-foot-4, 230 pounds and moves like a gazelle. Bowers has produced three straight seasons of over 700 receiving yards and at least 6 scores. As a freshman, he produced 882 yards and 13 scores. He is an excellent mover with the ball in his hands, which allows him to create significant amounts of yards after the catch. It will be interesting to see his testing numbers and how he does in the drills. I doubt he will improve his draft stock, but he certainly can cement himself as a top-10 pick. 

Ja’Tavion Sanders, Texas 

Despite playing in Texas, Ja’Tavion Sanders is a somewhat forgotten name in this class. He produced 1,295 receiving yards and 7 scores as the third option in the offense. He is 6-foot-4, 246 pounds, and moves with great agility and fluidity. The Combine is the perfect spot for Sanders to post strong testing numbers and look strong in the drills. There is a chance Sanders could leave the Combine as a strong Round 2 candidate and an important fantasy player.