2024 NFL Combine takeaways: Grades for top QB prospects, plus winners and losers from on-field workouts



The NFL Combine is over for quarterbacks. The perceived top three prospects — USC’s Caleb Williams, North Carolina’s Drake Maye and LSU’s Jayden Daniels — did not throw or do athletic testing, which opened the door for others, such as Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy, to move up the board. 

Here are some of the winners and losers among quarterbacks from the on-field drills in Indianapolis, starting with a look at the prospects in the top 

Caleb Williams (USC)

Jayden Daniels (LSU)

4.39 seconds

33.5 inches

10-feet-2

1.52

Drake Maye (North Carolina)

32

9-feet-9

J.J. McCarthy (Michigan)

4.55

29.5

9-feet-7

1.54

Michael Penix Jr. (Washington)

4.53

35.5

1.58

Grading the top QB prospects

Caleb Williams, USC: N/A

Williams was asked some difficult questions over the course of the week, but he handled all of them with grace. He showed a bit of his personality, jumping in the media scrum of his teammate, wide receiver Brenden Rice. Williams did not take part in athletic testing or on-field drills. 

Jayden Daniels, LSU: N/A

Daniels was a rare prospect in the sense that he did not do measurements at the NFL Combine. He also did not take part in athletic testing or on-field drills. His LSU Pro Day will be the first live exposure key NFL decision-makers have of him and his teammate, wide receiver Malik Nabers. 

Drake Maye, North Carolina: N/A

Maye did not take part in any athletic testing or on-field drills. He is opting to wait and perform at his Pro Day later this month. 

J.J. McCarthy, Michigan: B+

There were some outbreaking routes to the left that McCarthy sailed, but he was impressive otherwise. He got his footwork down and was ripping some balls over the middle. McCarthy registered the second-highest velocity on the day, and that showed on deep balls. 

Michael Penix Jr., Washington: B+

Penix was on target for most of the night. He had one errant throw but refused to leave the throwing line and corrected himself on the following throw. Penix has good arm strength and was able to push it downfield as well as anyone. 

Other winners

Devin Leary, Kentucky 

Leary threw with timing and touch on Saturday. His senior season at Kentucky may not have gone as hoped, but Leary was able to re-establish some positive momentum in Indianapolis. He was accurate to all three levels and had the third-highest velocity throw among the first group of quarterbacks.

Kedon Slovis, BYU

Slovis’ collegiate career began at USC and then he transferred out to Pittsburgh. His day began with a 4.55-second 40-yard dash. He struggled to find consistency in college, but threw with touch and accuracy in Indianapolis. He got the ball up and down on deep throws. 

Sam Hartman’s hair

The Notre Dame quarterback was a part of the festivities this week in Indianapolis, but it is possible no one would be able to pick him out of a lineup because of the attention drawn by his silky flow. Few are blessed to be involved in a slow-motion video from the NFL Combine, but Hartman’s hair is one of those lucky few.

Other losers

Bo Nix, Oregon

It was not a bad day for Nix, but he did not gain ground on McCarthy or Penix in my opinion. On the in-breaking routes to start the day, it took him some time to get back in his ground. As the day progressed, he really settled in to show the solid level of play that has come to be expected of Nix. 

Michael Pratt, Tulane

I was one of the first to drive the Pratt bandwagon this year. His decision-making can be a roller coaster ride but it looked as though he had the athletic potential to be a starter in the NFL. He was inconsistent with his accuracy Saturday. On the go-routes, he was off the mark on the first one and then over-corrected on the second by throwing it flat. 

The 2024 NFL Draft will take place from April 25-27 in Detroit. More draft coverage can be found at CBSSports.com, including the weekly updated draft order, mock drafts and a regularly available look at the eligible prospects





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