Mucky Tundra
a month ago

APC’s contributors pick their favorite prospects in this year’s draft class.

At long last, the NFL draft  is just one week away. The cold doldrums of the post-free agency period will give way to a spring and summer full of hope. More than the warm feeling of a better tomorrow, however, we look forward to the sheer joy of ridiculing rivals before a single snap is played. Overzealous GMs will reach for the stars based on nothing other than “dat boi fast.” Others with shaky job security will trade their life away for a quarterback just… because. Because, well, that’s their guy.

Analysts, fans, and front offices all have those special few prospects for whom they slam the table. Whether highly rated blue chippers or under-the-radar sleepers, these are the guys you’d give anything to have on your team. Despite the immense risk of loving a prospect just a little bit (or a lotta bit) more than others, the brave APC crew has selected a few of their “My Guys” for the 2024 NFL Draft. Read on to find out who made the cut this draft season.


Cooper Dejean - DB- Iowa

2023: First-team AP All-American; 41 total tackles, 2 TFL, 2 INTs, 5 PBUs.

Cooper DeJean is a CB prospect in the 2024 draft class. He scored a 9.85 #RAS  out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 39 out of 2473 CB from 1987 to 2024.

Official times put DeJean as the top #RAS  CB for 2024. 
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 15, 2024 

It’s more than a bit cliche to pick out the Iowa defensive back at this point, but he is an extremely well-rounded prospect with more than enough athleticism to carry his skillset. There are few weaknesses in his game, highlighted by the fact that Dane Brugler’s write-up of him had one of the shortest weaknesses sections I have ever seen. While he absolutely could play corner, if he were drafted by Green Bay, the expectation is he would pair with new signing Xavier McKinney at safety, though moving him to the slot or boundary corner at some point would always be a possibility. His tackling ability and solid size would allow him to play in the box, while his high-end athleticism and great ball skills would fit well in the post safety role as well. This type of versatility with both he and McKinney would allow Green Bay great flexibility in responding to motion from opponents, allowing them to rotate the safeties rather than having guys chase across the formation.

Christian Haynes - IOL - UConn

2023: Third-team AP All-American.

Christian Haynes is a OG prospect in the 2024 draft class. He scored an unofficial 9.31 #RAS  out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 101 out of 1445 OG from 1987 to 2024.

Splits projected 
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 4, 2024 

Haynes would be an atypical Packers  pick, as he didn’t play tackle or center in college, though he was snapping some during the post-season all-star circuit. If that experiment goes well, there may be a fit here. Haynes plays like a football psycho, through the whistle, and despite his shorter stature, has plenty of arm length. He just plays like one of those guys you really want in your trenches. There’s also upside here as Haynes was playing at a truly dismal program.

Tyrone Tracy - RB - Purdue

2023: Second-team All-Big Ten; 113 carries, 716 yards, 8 TDs; 19 receptions, 132 yards.

Tyrone Tracy Jr. is a RB prospect in the 2024 draft class. He scored an unofficial 9.64 #RAS  out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 64 out of 1745 RB from 1987 to 2024.

Splits projected 
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 2, 2024 

A converted wide receiver, Tracy is still incredibly raw and basically useless in pass protection at this point, but he has a legitimate frame and there may be some improvement there. No power five running back in this class averaged more yards after contact than Tracy this year at 4.44. He also had a fantastic combine, and is expected to be available on day three.

Justis Mosqueda

JC Latham - OL - Alabama

2023: Second-team AP All-American.

For the life of me, I can’t figure out why Latham isn’t being considered one of the top tackle prospects in the class, up with the likes of Notre Dame ’s Joe Alt and Penn State’s Olu Fashanu. Yes, he plays right tackle, but Alabama’s running game was virtually unstoppable when they made a change at right guard mid-season and were able to just run right at will against SEC competition. On top of just the run game benefits, Latham moves extremely well in the pass-blocking game for an offensive lineman of his size. Plus, he’s a former Wisconsin prep! He’s one of the few players I wouldn’t mind the team moving up from 25 overall to go select in this class.

Mekhi Wingo - DL - LSU

2023: 25 total tackles, 5 TFL, 4.5 sacks in 8 games

Mekhi Wingo is a DT prospect in the 2024 draft class. He scored an unofficial 7.98 #RAS  out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 328 out of 1620 DT from 1987 to 2024.

Splits projected 
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 1, 2024 

Not only is Wingo LSU ’s best defensive tackle, performing better over the last few years than Maason Smith — who is expected to go off the board before Wingo — but he is one of the more underrated prospects in the whole draft. To me, he’s a second-round pick that you might be able to get in either the fourth or fifth round. Yes, he had a regular season-ending surgery in October, but he was able to suit up for LSU’s bowl game against Wisconsin at the end of the year — showing that he had recovered from the setback. Wingo also wore #18 at LSU, which is equal to wearing a captain’s patch for the program. The Packers don’t really need another three-technique body, but the defensive tackle who ran a 4.85-second 40-yard dash, posted quality production and was a leader for the Tigers’ program does check all of the boxes if they want to go down that road.

Edefuan Ulofoshio - LB - Washington

2023: Second-team AP All-American; 94 total tackles, 8 TFL, 3 sacks, 1 INT, 1 FF, 3 PBU in 15 games.

Edefuan Ulofoshio is a LB prospect in the 2024 draft class. He scored an unofficial 9.55 #RAS  out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 121 out of 2649 LB from 1987 to 2024.

Spilts projected 
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 1, 2024 

This linebacker class is weak, so there aren’t too many players I’m a big fan of. With that being said, Ulofoshio was one of my favorite watches in this class. The former walk-on from Alaska (Alaska!) ran a 4.56-second 40-yard dash at the combine at 236 pounds to go along with a 39.5” vertical jump. His film is as solid as they come, as it earned him both first-team All-Pac 12 honors and second-team All-American looks. He was also one of the highest-graded coverage linebackers for Pro Football Focus during his college career. He reminds me a lot of Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, who was rumored to be a first-round pick coming out of Notre Dame before eventually being selected 52nd overall by the Cleveland Browns . JOK was able to make the All-Rookie Team immediately in 2021 and was able to reach Pro Bowl  status last season. Meanwhile, Ulofoshio is ranked 134th on the consensus draft board, meaning that you scoop him up at a fraction of JOK’s price back when he was draft-eligible.

Tyler Brooke

Malik Mustapha - S - Wake Forest

2023: 84 total tackles, 5 TFL, 1 INT, 2 PBU, 1 FF in 12 games.

Malik Mustapha is a FS prospect in the 2024 draft class. He scored a 9.38 #RAS  out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 68 out of 1082 FS from 1987 to 2024. 
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 6, 2024 

Nicknamed the “Nigerian Missile”, Mustapha has become my favorite safety prospect, even if he’s not my highest-ranked safety.

Not only is he a hard-hitting safety who fearlessly attacks downhill, but he also tested very well in the pre-draft process. His 9.38 RAS was helped out in a big way by a 41.5-inch vertical jump.

The lack of size is a concern, but I think he has the appropriate motor and aggressive play style to succeed at the NFL level. That intensity reminds me too much of Budda Baker coming out of Washington, who was also dinged for his size.

Ruke Orhorhoro - DL - Clemson

2023: Third-team All-ACC; 25 tackles, 8 TFL, 5 sacks in 12 games.

Ruke Orhorhoro is a DT prospect in the 2024 draft class. He scored an unofficial 9.90 #RAS  out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 17 out of 1620 DT from 1987 to 2024.

Splits projected 
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 1, 2024 

Sometimes a prospect stands out late in the process that you keep thinking about. For me, that’s Ruke Orhorhoro.

The Clemson prospect is a versatile, explosive, powerful defensive lineman. The craziest part about the flashes he shows on film is that he only started playing football as a high school junior.

Despite a lighter frame, Orhorhoro shows off some impressive play strength at the point of attack, playing with leverage and extension. His ability to play all over the line and win his matchup makes him a legitimate top-50 prospect.

Most of Orhohoro’s weaknesses come from hesitancy or technique. As he continues to get more comfortable at the position, I think the upside on this kid could make him a legitimate star at the NFL level.

Paul Noonan

Javon Baker - WR - UCF

2023: First-team All-Big 12; 52 receptions, 1,139 receiving yards, 7 TDs in 13 games.

Javon Baker is a WR prospect in the 2024 draft class. He scored an unofficial 7.93 #RAS  out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 634 out of 3063 WR from 1987 to 2024.

Splits projected 
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 2, 2024 

In any other draft I’d be pushing for Baker as a second round talent. His production in college this season was off the charts good, and his tape is extremely fun.

A collection of truly elite top talent precludes me from calling him the best route runner in the class. His pedestrian RAS also makes him an afterthought among the group of 9+ at the top.

All of that said, I won’t be surprised if Baker winds up being as good as Nabers or Harrison. I won’t be surprised if he’s better. His body control, adjustments to the ball in the air, and post-catch wiggle are all elite, and as we’ve seen from any number of Packer wideouts like Davante Adams, a 9 RAS is hardly a necessity.

Baker is great. He’s generally viewed as a third round talent or later. He’s going to surprise people.

Jon Meerdink

Jaylen Wright - RB - Tennessee

2023: Second-team All-SEC; 1013 rushing yards, 4 touchdowns; 22 receptions, 141 yards in 12 games

Jaylen Wright is a RB prospect in the 2024 draft class. He scored an unofficial 9.82 #RAS  out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 33 out of 1765 RB from 1987 to 2024.

Splits projected 
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 2, 2024 

Sometimes we see things only because we’re looking for them, and I think there’s a bit of that to each of my selections here, starting with Jaylen Wright. When I look at the Packers’ running back room, I see a consistent theme right now: big-bodied bruisers. Josh Jacobs, A.J. Dillon, Emanuel Wilson, and Ellis Merriweather (a real, actual person) are all at or above 220 pounds. They all thrive on power more than speed, and that’s fine! But I’m looking for a combo breaker, someone more in the mold of the now-departed Aaron Jones, and I see that in Wright.

At 5-10 and 210 pounds, Wright would at least bring a different body type to the backfield, and his 4.38 40-yard dash wouldn’t go amiss either. It’s true he’s a little underdeveloped as a receiver (just 30 catches in 24 college games), but as a sidekick to Jacobs and Dillon he could offer some things neither of them can.

Johnny Wilson - WR - Florida State

2023: Third-team All-ACC; 41 receptions, 617 yards, 2 TDs.

Johnny Wilson is a WR prospect in the 2024 draft class. He scored an unofficial 9.88 #RAS  out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 39 out of 3090 WR from 1987 to 2024.

Splits projected 
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 3, 2024 

I am a simple man. I like big receivers and fast receivers and big fast receivers. Johnny Wilson pretty much checks those boxes for me. He’s certainly not a blazer, but he moves well enough for a guy who’s 6-foot-6 and 231 pounds. Does he always play up to that size? Does he dominate his competition physically? Well, to that I say “la la la I can’t hear you.” Give LaFleur (or at least give me) another goon for the receiving corps.

Curtis Jacobs - LB - Penn State

2023: 49 total tackles, 9 TFL, 2.5 sacks in 13 games.

Curtis Jacobs is a LB prospect in the 2024 draft class. He scored an unofficial 9.17 #RAS  out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 221 out of 2649 LB from 1987 to 2024.

Splits projected 
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 1, 2024 

Even a casual look at the Packers’ linebacker depth chart suggests the Packers could use some help. De’Vondre Campbell is gone after beginning his departure shortly after the ink was dry on his 2022 contract extension. Isaiah McDuffie is in a contract year. Eric Wilson and Kristian Welch are mostly theoretical as defensive players, spending most of their time doing the bidding of Rich Bisaccia. Quay Walker, in short, could use a running mate, and I will provide him with Penn State’s Curtis Jacobs.

One of the latest products from the hidden factory in central Pennsylvania that manufactures high-test athletes, Jacobs is a solid size/speed combination that should be available on Day 3. If nothing else, he’d be another addition to the pipeline of late-round linebackers the Packers have been able to roll out for special teams roles the last half-decade or so.

Tex Western

Edefuan Ulofoshio - LB - Washington

Justis mentioned him already, but it’s impossible not to root for this guy. He has an amazing story that I detailed at this year’s Combine, having gone through a long road from Alaska to the doorstep of the NFL. He also might be the best coverage linebacker in this year’s draft, and he posted a really good workout at the Combine. Is he a bit on the smaller side? Sure. But there’s something about the walk-on to NFL journey that gives players like Ulofoshio a chip on their shoulder, and combined with some really good athletic abilities, I’m hoping he ends up as a Packer early on day three of the draft.

Max Melton - CB - Rutgers

2023: Honorable Mention All-Big Ten; 32 tackles, 4 TFL with 1 sack, 3 INTs, 6 PBUs, FF in 12 games

Max Melton is a CB prospect in the 2024 draft class. He scored an unofficial 9.65 #RAS  out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 79 out of 2222 CB from 1987 to 2024.

Splits Projected 
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 1, 2024 

Max Melton played with (and practiced against) his brother, Packers wide receiver Bo Melton, for two years at Rutgers . But Max is almost certain to be drafted earlier than Bo did (7th round by Seattle in 2022). He’s a competitive press corner, and he stood out to me consistently as one of the smoother players while I watched cornerback drills at the Combine. I also think he can play both outside and in the slot, and he would make for a great story if he ended up in Green Bay.

Javon Bullard - S - Georgia

2023: Second-team All-SEC; 56 tackles, TFL, 2 INTs, 5 PBUs in 12 games.

Javon Bullard is a FS prospect in the 2024 draft class. He does not qualify for a #RAS  due to a lack of measurements.

Splits projected 
— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 2, 2024 

This year’s safety class is so frustrating that just about any player who looks and tests like an NFL player will get my vote. Near the top of the class, Bullard is one of a very small group who fit that category, running really well at the Combine (4.47 40) and posting a blistering 3.97-second short shuttle. Like Melton, he impressed me in his drills, and he would be a really nice complement to Xavier McKinney as a box/slot player.

That’s it for APC’s 2024 My Guys! Do you agree with the picks? Have your own prospects you’d go to war for? Sound off in the comments below, and keep it locked here all week as we barrel towards next week’s draft.

Continue Reading @ Peter Voight 

Peter Voight wrote:

Honestly I posted this to say that I approve of drafting Mustapha solely so we can have a guy nicknamed the "Nigerian Missile" in our secondary.
“Nah. I like having the island. It’s pretty cool...not too many visitors”
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