Exploring QBs expected to go on Day 2 of 2024 NFL Draft

Quarterbacks are the most valuable position in football, making them the most sought-after players in the NFL draft. Teams will trade up to target a guy they believe will lead their franchise for the foreseeable future, often making the first round a predictably chaotic run for quarterbacks.

Yet after the first round, do teams try to go after potential franchise quarterbacks? How often are franchise quarterbacks even found after the first round? There is a middle ground between franchise guy and career backup, and that middle ground often lies within the second and third rounds of the draft.

Day 2 Quarterback History

In the last six drafts, the Day 2 quarterbacks have been:

The most successful recent Day 2 quarterback has been Jalen Hurts. He and Will Levis are the only two out of 12 quarterbacks from Day 2 of the last six drafts currently slated to start in 2024.

Outside of Hurts, this group doesn’t exactly have a winning résumé. Rudolph, Lock, and Ridder have gotten starting opportunities but were closer to backups than franchise starters. Willis and Levis were back-to-back Day 2 picks by a Titans team still trying to solidify the quarterback position. Add in Rudolph, and the Titans currently roster 25% of this group! The rest have barely been impactful, with 93 combined starts outside of Hurts and two guys who have not played in an NFL game.

The track record shows a mix of drafting tendencies and talent evaluation from NFL teams.

Teams tend to take their shots in the first round for a franchise quarterback, also getting a fifth-year option on the players. Otherwise, teams are not spending high draft capital on quarterbacks. They look for backups, depth, and dart throws on Day 3. Teams will fill out their rosters at other positions and take a guy on Day 3 who may start for a bit (Sam Howell), or hit on a late dart throw (Brock Purdy).

With a lower commitment than Day 1 picks, Day 2 guys don’t get as many chances either. They are more expensive than late-rounders to be backups. Ridder was jettisoned by the Falcons after two seasons, the Titans drafted another quarterback in Levis a season after drafting Willis. Matt Corral was picked by the Panthers but is now in the United Football League.

Though recent history has not produced much outside of Jalen Hurts and some brief starters, Day 2 quarterbacks have found success before. Several quarterback prospects in this year’s draft could go on Day 2, where a quality starter can be born.

Note: Information courtesy of and

2024 Quarterback Prospects

Outside of the favorited top four – USC's Caleb Williams, North Carolina's Drake Maye, LSU's Jayden Daniels, and Michigan's J.J. McCarthy – there is a mix of quarterbacks who could go on Day 2. Oregon's Bo Nix and Washington's Michael Penix Jr. are popular candidates to be the fifth and sixth quarterbacks selected, but could slide to the second round if potential suitors, like the Broncos, are not confident enough to take them.

Three to five QBs selected in the first round has become an increasing norm. A team picking outside the first round often does not come away with a franchise quarterback. More often than not, they acquire a guy who gets a few starts, but likely becomes a backup.

Nix and Penix may drop to Day 2 with a lack of interest after the top four. Meanwhile, someone like South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler could go on Day 2 as someone with high-level traits, but who stumbled in execution in college – a guy worth giving a chance to start but with a short leash. Tennessee’s Joe Milton and Tulane's Michael Pratt are other examples of candidates who could sneak into Day 2. While recent history doesn’t tell the best story for guys in this group, there have been quality players. Jalen Hurts and Russell Wilson are the high-end examples, but long-term starters like Derek Carr and Andy Dalton were also drafted on Day 2.

The Bears, Commanders, and Patriots need quarterbacks and have the draft position to pick them. The Vikings are a favorite to trade up for – potentially – J.J. McCarthy. Other teams like the Broncos could look to move up or take a guy like Nix or Penix. Teams with established (but not elite) starters may also take a shot on a Day 2 quarterback to be an able backup and potential spot starter. This could include the Giants, Raiders, Seahawks, and Rams.

Ultimately, your Day 2 quarterbacks are unlikely to be franchise cornerstones. Not too many have been selected, with two per year since 2018. Yet, a quality starter still pops through the mix every so often. Look for Nix, Penix (if either falls out of the first round), Rattler, Milton, and Pratt to be the next candidates.