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2024 Senior Bowl Preview: Quarterbacks

It’s officially Reese’s Senior Bowl week, which, as its website describes, “is the ultimate bridge between college and pro football” featuring “a mixture of college standouts and potential prospects that project best to the NFL with a particular interest in those that are rated above the 5th round.” The college all-star game will hold practices from Tuesday to Thursday in Mobile, Alabama, with the actual game taking place on Saturday. This is the first time in the event’s history that underclassmen will participate.

The Patriots have had a strong connection to the Senior Bowl, with Keion White, Marte Mapu, Jake Andrews, Chad Ryland, and Bryce Baringer all being alumni who were eventually selected by New England last spring. Top draft picks Kyle Dugger, Mac Jones, and Cole Strange were also participants leading up to their respective drafts. Last season, now-defensive coordinator DeMarcus Covington served as defensive coordinator for the American team. This season, wide receivers coach Troy Brown will be the American team’s offensive coordinator, affording the Patriots another up-close look at prospects.

The Patriots are rebuilding after a 4-13 season, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. New head coach Jerod Mayo’s vision for the team is still unknown, and he has yet to hire an offensive coordinator or solidify his staff. But with Director of Player Personnel Matt Groh and Director of Scouting Eliot Wolf assisting in personnel matters, it’s likely the Senior Bowl will remain a strong pipeline for New England.

Leading up to the game, I’ll be previewing each player scheduled to participate this week at the top positions of need for the Patriots. With the Patriots likely headed towards a quarterback reset this offseason, here’s a preview of each signal-caller set to appear in Mobile.

NOTABLE ALUMNI:

  • Kenny Pickett, Steelers
  • Justin Herbert, Chargers
  • Jordan Love, Packers
  • Jalen Hurts, Eagles
  • Josh Allen, Bills
  • Dak Prescott, Cowboys

PROSPECTS

Bo Nix, Oregon – Height: 6’2″, Weight: 217 lbs

Background

  • Born: February 25, 2000 (23)
  • Class: Senior
  • 4-star recruit in Auburn’s 2019 class, per 247Sports
    • Dropped to 3-star recruit as a transfer
  • Transferred from Auburn to Oregon in 2022

Accolades

  • William V. Campbell Trophy (2023)
  • Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year (2023)
  • First-Team All-Pac-12 (2023)
  • SEC Freshman of the Year (2019)
  • Team Captain (2020)
  • Highest single-season completion percentage in NCAA history (77.45, 2023)
  • Most career starts for a QB in NCAA history (61, 2023)

Scout’s Take

“Nix will ultimately be a dice roll on traits. His athleticism and arm talent can be game-changing if honed correctly. With that said, it’s a little worrisome that Nix is still unrefined in some areas as an older prospect with a ton of games under his belt. Nix would fit best in a spread-oriented offense that emphasizes RPOs, the quarterback run game, and vertical passing.” – Derrik Klassen, Bleacher Report

Carter Bradley, South Alabama – Height: 6’3″, Weight: 215 lbs

Background

  • Class: Senior
  • 3-star recruit in Toledo’s 2018 class, per 247Sports
  • Transferred from Toledo to South Alabama in 2022

Accolades

  • Second-Team All-Sun Belt (2022)

Scout’s Take

“Though Bradley doesn’t bring much in the way of functional athleticism and creation value, he’s a quality pocket operator with great navigation skills, poise, and discretion as a decision-maker, and he has enough arm elasticity to adjust his release point and attune to throwing windows.” – Ian Cummings, Pro Football Network

Joe Milton III, Tennessee – Height: 6’5″, Weight: 235 lbs

Background

  • Born: March 6, 2000 (23)
  • Class: Redshirt senior
  • 3-star recruit in Michigan’s 2018 class, per 247Sports
  • Transferred from Michigan to Tennessee in 2021

Accolades

  • 2022 Capital One Orange Bowl MVP

Scout’s Take

“Milton must become more confident in what he’s seeing pre- and post-snap so he’s not putting the ball at risk by waiting to throw a pass to the sideline from the opposite hash after a receiver is already coming out of his break on a curl.

But no matter what happens this season, barring an unfortunate significant injury, Milton will find himself a home on an NFL team because you cannot teach the physical gifts he possesses.” – Dalton Miller, Pro Football Network

Michael Penix Jr., Washington – Height: 6’3″, Weight: 213 lbs

Background

  • Born: May 8, 2000 (23)
  • Class: Redshirt Senior
  • 3-star recruit in Indiana’s 2018 class, per 247Sports
  • Transferred from Indiana to Washington in 2022

Accolades

  • Maxwell Award (2023)
  • AP Comeback Player of the Year (2022)
  • First-team All-American (2023)
  • 2x second-team All-Pac-12 (2023, 2022)
  • Second-team All-Big Ten (2020)
  • Team Captain (2023, 2022, 2021, 2020)

Scout’s Take

“Penix Jr. is the best pure passing quarterback prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft class. He projects as a high-end starting quarterback in a vertical passing offense. Penix Jr.’s arm talent and football IQ are great and translate well to the league. A strong run game to open play-action deep shots is an ideal situation for Penix Jr. He can be a multi-contract starting quarterback with his arm talent, accuracy, and ball placement from the pocket. I believe Penix Jr. can provide an NFL offense the 2022 version of Geno Smith on a year-to-year basis.” – Damian Parson, The Draft Network

Michael Pratt, Tulane – Height: 6’2″, Weight: 219 lbs

Background

  • Born: September 30, 2001 (22)
  • Class: Redshirt Junior
  • 3-star recruit in Tulane’s 2020 class, per 247Sports

Accolades

  • AAC Offensive Player of the Year (2023)
  • First-Team All-AAC (2023)
  • Second-team All-AAC (2022)

Scout’s Take

“Overall, Pratt is an intriguing signal-caller with the skill set to succeed at the NFL level. He’s a strong athlete with the footwork and processing ability to pump throws all over the field. Offenses that prioritize play-action will value Pratt’s game.” – The Draft Network

“Operationally, Pratt is well-rounded, with a competitive toughness that underlies his game. Suffice it to say, he should be coveted as a high-quality backup in the middle rounds, who could eventually go on to produce as a spot-starter in the right system.” – Ian Cummings, Pro Football Network

Sam Hartman, Notre Dame – Height: 6’1″, Weight: 210 lbs

Background

  • Born: July 29, 1999 (24)
  • Class: Redshirt Senior
  • 3-star recruit in Wake Forest’s 2018 class, per 247Sports
    • Rose to 4-star recruit as a transfer
  • Transferred from Wake Forest to Notre Dame in 2023

Accolades

  • 2021 Gator Bowl co-MVP
  • 2022 Gasparilla Bowl MVP
  • Second-Team All-ACC (2021)
  • Third-Team All-ACC (2022)
  • Brian Piccolo Award (2022)
  • Team Captain (2023, 2020)

Scout’s Take

“Hartman’s age and lack of high-end physical traits will limit his range as a 2024 NFL Draft prospect, and he doesn’t quite have the requisite operational profile to compensate. But in the late Day 3 range, he could field an investment as a passer with long-term quality backup potential.” – Ian Cummings, Pro Football Network

Spencer Rattler, South Carolina – Height: 6’1″, Weight: 217 lbs

Background

  • Born: September 28, 2000 (23)
  • Class: Redshirt Senior
  • 5-star recruit in Oklahoma’s 2019 class, per 247Sports
    • Dropped to 4-star recruit as a transfer
  • Transferred from Oklahoma to South Carolina in 2022

Accolades

  • 2× Big 12 Champion (2020, 2019)
  • 2020 Big 12 Championship MVP
  • First-Team All-Big 12 (2020)
  • Team Captain (2023, 2022)

Scout’s Take

“Rattler projects as a starting NFL quarterback with a good ceiling. With his combined physical tools and mental growth, he can become a top 12-15 quarterback. Unlike a lot of top QBs, Rattler had to uplift and elevate average-at-best talent. He made the best lemonade possible with the lemons he had.” – Damian Parson, The Draft Network

Taylor Kyles

Taylor Kyles is the lead NFL Analyst for CLNS Media covering players, schemes, and tendencies through a New England Patriots-centric lens.

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