Local pair among 2024 NFL Draft hopefuls

Apr. 24—Jared Verse and Erick All are among about a dozen players with ties to the area who are looking forward to finding NFL teams this week.

Verse, a Beavercreek native who still claims the Miami Valley as home despite graduating from high school in Pennsylvania, is the top prospect by a long shot.

The 6-foot-4, 254-pound Florida State product who began his college career at Albany is considered to be among the best defensive end prospects in the draft.

He is likely to be the first Miami Valley native taken in the first round since offensive tackle Taylor Decker went to the Lions with the No. 16 pick in 2016.

Erick All, a tight end from Fairfield High School who played collegiately at Michigan and Iowa, is also hoping to be drafted despite injuries ending his last two college seasons.

At 6-4, 252, All has displayed versatility to line up inside, outside or even come out of the backfield, and he was Iowa's leading receiver last season despite playing only seven games.

PFF ranks him the No. 3 tight end in the draft behind Brock Bowers of Georgia and Ja'Tavion Sanders of Texas and one spot ahead of Ohio State grad Cade Stover.

That site is more bullish on him than some, placing him No. 92 on its board and projecting him to be taken No. 118 in a recently published mock draft.

The Athletic ranks All only 197th on its big board but projected him to go to the Bengals with the 194th pick.

Aside from Verse and All, several other players could be drafted or get looks from NFL teams as free agents.

That group includes defensive back J.J. Ross (Lakota West/Western Illinois), offensive lineman Mike Purcell (Centerville/Maryland), defensive lineman Malik Vann (Fairfield/Cincinnati) and Tyler Bentley (Lakota West/Pittsburgh), running back Ra'Veion Hargrove (Trotwood-Madison/Texas A&M-Commerce), offensive lineman Devan Rogers (Trotwood-Madison/Toledo), running back/return man Ryan Montgomery (Franklin/Cincinnati) and receivers Joe Scates (Dunbar/Memphis) and Peyton Brown (Fairfield/Davenport).