2024 NFL draft prospect: Tulane QB Michael Pratt
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This series will be your guide to the 2024 draft class. From scouting reports to mock drafts and exploring different scenarios, we will be covering the NFL draft and the future of the Minnesota Vikings from all angles.
We are getting a head start this year by looking at the talent projected to be available in the upcoming 2024 NFL draft. Why start in the summer? It’s a good way to see how the players grow from year-to-year and we will be looking at players from a Vikings perspective.
Right now, the Vikings will have seven draft picks in the 2024 NFL draft.
4th round (via Lions)
5th round (via Chiefs)
5th round (via Browns)
Year Entering: 4-year Junior
247Sports Recruiting Rank: Three-star (84.17 rating)
Passing: 63.6% completion, 3,009 yards, 27 touchdowns, 5 interceptions
Rushing: 129 attempts, 478 yards, 10 touchdowns
Did not play football until the 9th grade (homeschooled).
Wears No. 7 in honor of high school teammate Bryce Gowdy, who passed away during his senior year.
Started nine games as a true freshman (2022).
Led Tulane to AAC Championship and Cotton Bowl victory in 2022.
Games watched: 2022 UCF, 2022 Cincinnati, 2022 USC
What does he do well?
Pratt is a gamer. When Tulane needed plays late in the game, Pratt found another level and was able to lead his team to late-game wins.
Against USC in the Cotton Bowl, Pratt delivered a perfect strike on a post route against cover 3, which led to the game-winning touchdown.
Pratt has a quick release that allows him to get the ball out incredibly quickly and avoid pressure. Pratt’s release and consistent accuracy make him valuable in the short game, where he can get the ball out to his receivers to make plays after the catch.
Mentally, Pratt seems to understand how to attack coverages, even if it’s inconsistent. Against Cincinnati, Pratt attacked the man coverage with the Yankee concept, where he connected with the deep wide receiver for a huge gain.
Where does he need improvement?
Tulane offensive coordinator Slade Nagle ran an offense that was, to put it in one word, simplified. Pratt’s reads were mostly half-field or two-man progressions, putting less stress on the quarterback.
As a result, Pratt struggled when plays broke down. There were times Pratt missed open receivers out of structure, leaving yards on the field.
Pratt’s biggest concern on the field is the lack of diversity in his throws. Like a reliable reliever in baseball, Pratt has one primary pitch — his fastball — and struggles to throw with touch before reaching the endzone. While his fastball helps him thread the ball into tight windows, it also leads to dropped passes from his receivers.
While Pratt doesn’t have a weak arm, his 2022 film doesn’t showcase a lot of deep throws. When he is throwing deep, Pratt has adequate arm strength that mostly comes from his upper body, meaning his mechanics will likely need some touching up in the NFL.
How does he fit with the Vikings?
Tulane limited Michael Pratt’s progressions, but that’s not necessarily a knock for Kevin O’Connell’s offense.
O’Connell simplified the reads for Kirk Cousins last season, and it’s quickly become a staple for Kyle Shanahan-adjacent offenses. As a result, Pratt would fit seamlessly in O’Connell’s scheme from a mental standpoint.
Unfortunately, Pratt likely won’t be ready to start initially, meaning the Vikings will have to find a bridge quarterback to hold it down.
Where does he project to go?
Although Michael Pratt likely could have moved up to the Power 5 ranks, he stayed at Tulane to defend their American Athletic Conference Title.
As a result, Pratt will play weaker opponents than other 2023 quarterbacks. However, he will get an out-of-conference game against Ole Miss, which is a game people should circle on their calendars.
Implying he chooses to enter the NFL Draft, Pratt is likely a Day 2 selection. With so much uncertainty in the quarterback rankings after Caleb Williams and Drake Maye, though, Pratt could become a first-round pick with a strong season.
Projection: Day 2
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