The six college football QBs replacing 2024 first-round draft picks, ranked by best chance of success

A few weeks ago, I locked myself in my film cave and meticulously analyzed every snap of coaches’ film to evaluate the six quarterbacks stepping in to replace the outgoing 2024 first-round picks from the 2024 NFL Draft. Some took a long time (new Oregon QB Dillon Gabriel), while others, thanks to a smaller sample size, were much shorter, though no less interesting (Michigan’s Alex Orji). Those detailed notes were published this week on 247Sports. 

Our projections for these quarterbacks vary widely. Below, we’ve distilled the scouting reports into shorter write-ups, ranking each of the six quarterbacks by likelihood of successfully replacing their first-round predecessor, based not only on the quarterback’s own physical talent but also the supporting cast around them. 

Set up for major success

1. Dillon Gabriel, Oregon

Replacing: Bo Nix (No. 12 overall, Denver Broncos)

Dillon Gabriel, in what feels like his tenth year of college, brings extensive experience and execution of a tempo-based offense to a loaded Oregon team expected to make a deep playoff run (Gabriel has 49 starts, nearly 15,000 passing yards and 125 touchdown passes to his name).

Gabriel had his best season last year in Norman, scoring 12 touchdowns on the ground and making critical plays to move the chains. Gabriel excels in a tempo and RPO-based offense, delivering the ball on time with a live arm that can dissect defenses. He reads defenses well, finds green grass for easy completions, and capitalizes on man-to-man matchups for explosive plays. His ability to extend plays and navigate the pocket, whether with his arm or legs, is a standout trait. Despite occasionally missing crossers and deep throws, Gabriel is poised to be one of the top quarterbacks in the…

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