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This year, we saw six quarterbacks go in the first round for just the second time in the past 40 years. It was also the first time ever that six went in the top-half of the draft.

But this year's class wasn't filled with elite, near-flawless quarterbacks. Caleb Williams certainly screams "future NFL star" and Jayden Daniels had a historic season at LSU reminiscent of Joe Burrow, but even those two have deficiencies that need to be addressed.

Each of these six quarterbacks have different offenses, schemes and supporting casts they'll need to either adapt to immediately or grow with over the early part of their career.

In my estimation, team landing spot is likely between 25-30% of the reason a young quarterback will be successful in the NFL, with arm talent, accuracy, football IQ and demeanor making up the rest. And each one of these six quarterbacks enters a very different path towards their NFL future.

Caleb Williams (Bears)

Even more than some of the other quarterbacks below, the Bears offense will fully focus on what Caleb Williams wants and needs to do to be successful.

New Chicago offensive coordinator Shane Waldron has utilized motion and formation shifts often during his time in Seattle, forcing defenses to adjust off their initial pre-snap cues. He does a great job of keeping defenses a little unsure of their responsibilities pre-snap while also allowing for isolation opportunities for his best playmakers.

In Chicago, Williams' ability to improvise and confidence working out of the pocket downfield will be his calling card, but Waldron and Williams developing trust in one another early on can allow for Williams to stay in the pocket, leverage the motion and shifts to get playmakers like DJ Moore, Keenan Allen and Rome Odunze in 1-on-1 situations, and make big plays easier for Williams than they were at USC in 2023.

Jayden Daniels (Commanders)

Jayden Daniels
WAS • QB • #5
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Kliff Kingsbury will be able to leverage his experience with Caleb Williams at USC in 2023, along with his coaching of the Arizona Cardinals' mobile quarterback, Kyler Murray, to help shape the identity of the Commanders offense with Jayden Daniels, his QB1 during the 2024 draft cycle, at the helm.

Kingsbury will utilize the running game in Washington, likely more gap scheme, which is a great fit for Brian Robinson Jr. as the team's lead back. Still, the offense will be largely, if not entirely, out of shotgun, utilize RPOs and ask Daniels to finish consistently on short- and mid-range throws, something he was dominant at at LSU.

The real exciting piece to this pairing will be once Daniels feels comfortable with Kingsbury and the bevy of vertical receivers he has in Washington. Kingsbury wasn't consistently able to get the in-pocket vertical game going consistently enough in Arizona, and if Kingsbury can build on his experience there and maximize the tremendous deep ball Daniels developed in 2023, this offense can quickly become one of the best three-level passing attacks in the NFL.

Drake Maye (Patriots)

Even though Alex Van Pelt didn't officially call plays for the Browns a season ago, he played a major role in play design and offensive strategy for their offense a year ago. And in New England, he'll have a chance to really build up his offensive philosophy with Drake Maye and Jacoby Brissett, as well as their bevy of receivers.

Van Pelt has valued a play-action heavy offense for his quarterbacks, giving them windows and relying on timing throws to be successful. That wasn't always Maye's strength in college, but it's an area he's improved over his college career, and Maye will have plenty of time to learn and develop behind Brissett, whose high football IQ, outstanding patience and confidence, and placement on timing throws make him an ideal fit.

And when Van Pelt and the Browns offense were really working at their best, the offense got its quarterback on bootlegs and rollouts, and generally set them up to be dual-threat passers with vertical potential. That's the future where Maye, with outstanding deep-ball potential and clear running upside, can thrive in time.

Michael Penix Jr., Falcons

It may be a couple of years before we see Michael Penix Jr. on the field for the Falcons (assuming Kirk Cousins doesn't have any setbacks with his injury), but the long-term offensive vision by Zac Robinson has to keep Penix's strengths in mind.

Thankfully, Penix and Cousins share similarities. For one, they can be highly accurate on the perimeter and downfield when they're set in the pocket. They both have a natural feel for timing and perimeter routes and, when in-sync with their receivers, can produce vertically at a very high rate. Robinson wants to run more up-tempo and keep the offense moving, with likely a lot of 11 personnel and utilizing the speed threats they added this offseason (Darnell Mooney and Rondale Moore) horizontally as much as vertically. Penix will benefit from sitting and watching behind Cousins, but he'll likely be able to adapt and fit in quickly with Robinson's offense being similar to what he ran at Washington.

J.J. McCarthy, Vikings

Kevin O'Connell, the play-caller in Minnesota as well as the head coach, loves to attack the middle of the field from the pocket using timing and differing route concepts, as well as a heavy dose of play action.

Minnesota attacked the middle of the field as much as any team during O'Connell's tenure, and J.J. McCarthy operated at his best at Michigan when targeting interior breaking routes from the pocket and off play-action. The Vikings ran the most play action of any team in the NFL in 2023, and McCarthy completed more than 75% of his throws between the hashes at Michigan in 2023.

While it'll be Sam Darnold's team to start the year, and ideally for the Vikings it's Darnold the entire season -- as it'd mean the season has been a success -- whenever McCarthy gets to play, he walks into the best offensive setup any rookie quarterback has this year.

Bo Nix, Broncos

Bo Nix
DEN • QB • #10
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Many people, including those a part of the Broncos organization, have already started to make comparisons for Bo Nix to Sean Payton's last premier quarterback, Drew Brees. And that comparison is likely the hope when Denver took him 12th overall.

Nix thrives in how Sean Payton wants his quarterbacks to thrive: accuracy between 5-15 yards, a smart timing and patient pocket passer, a quarterback who can be efficient and not turn the ball over, and someone with a high football IQ to grow and eventually take over the offense as a game manager with high-end ball placement.

How Payton can maximize Nix's ability in an offense that, based off last year, has playmakers but lacks cohesion, will be the challenge. Nix, the presumptive starter for Denver in a little over three months from now, will have to quickly get adjusted, confident and in command on the Payton offense to make up for his lack of experience and lack of elite traits to start his career.