Ranking NFL rookie quarterback situations from worst to best in 2024

Who is set up for success among 2024 NFL Draft quarterbacks?
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The dust is settling from the 2024 NFL Draft, which means it's time to do some more deep diving into each team's incoming class of players and the situations they're entering. Specifically, with six quarterbacks selected in the first 12 picks overall, the game's most important position will be in focus.

Which rookie quarterbacks have the best situations and which have the worst? Let's have a look at each of the six first-round quarterbacks and rank their situations from worst to best based on coaching, weapons at their disposal, organizational stability, run game, defense, and more.

6. Michael Penix Jr., Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons have thrust Michael Penix Jr. into a very odd situation. Terry Fontenot didn't use any significant draft capital or free agent money on the quarterback position for his first three years on the job, and then in year four decided to splurge.

The decision to draft Penix would be acceptable if it weren't for veteran Kirk Cousins standing in his way. It just makes very little sense that the Falcons would bring in an older quarterback prospect to back up Kirk Cousins, presumably for the next 2-3 years at a minimum.

Maybe Atlanta is having second thoughts about Kirk's recovery from an Achilles injury.

5. Drake Maye, New England Patriots

The New England Patriots are a franchise in transition. If it weren't for the weirdness of the Michael Penix Jr. situation in Atlanta, I don't think you could argue that anyone was going to a worse team than the Patriots right now.

This team lacks offensive weapons, to say the least, and the Patriots are going to be breaking in a new left tackle. Maye could have a tough time adjusting early on based on those two things alone.

4. Jayden Daniels, Washington Commanders

It feels like the Washington Commanders have really just thrown things together this offseason. Hiring Dan Quinn felt very much like a backup plan. I think the Commanders sort of lucked into Adam Peters as a general manager, but everything else just feels as though it was put together because that was the best of what was left.

I like Jayden Daniels as a prospect, but there are reasons to believe he might struggle early on in the NFL due to the fact that he rarely stands and delivers in the face of pressure. He'll have Kliff Kingsbury calling the shots for him in year one, but this Commanders team is rebuilding.

3. Caleb Williams, Chicago Bears

You could argue that no #1 pick at the QB position has ever gone to a better situation than what we're seeing from Caleb Williams in 2024 with the Bears. Chicago has been rebuilding since 2021, and they made some big strides late last season.

Given how strong the Bears could be defensively after the building they did last season on that side of the ball, but the primary reason so many people love this situation Williams is walking into is due to that wide receiver group. Having DJ Moore and Keenan Allen is huge already, but adding Rome Odunze gives Williams an enviable group. Not to mention, he's got Cole Kmet at tight end.

The Bears need their offensive line to continue to progress, and there needs to be no regression defensively for Matt Eberflus's group.

2. Bo Nix, Denver Broncos

People may scoff at this ranking, but it's hard to imagine why. Of the teams that drafted a quarterback this year in the first round, the Broncos were picking lowest (12th overall). Bo Nix is entering a situation that is tailor-made for his skill set. Sean Payton and his coaching staff are a perfect fit for Nix and the Broncos had the NFL's 8th-best offensive line last year in pass block win rate and 3rd in run block win rate.

Analysts may be underwhelmed by the Broncos' overall offensive weaponry but this team is strong on the offensive line, they upgraded the defensive line substantially, and they have good coaching. Nix gets to throw to Courtland Sutton coming off of his best NFL season, his old Oregon teammate Troy Franklin, Marvin Mims entering year two, and veteran Josh Reynolds.

1. JJ McCarthy, Minnesota Vikings

When you talk about situation, the Minnesota Vikings are really neck-and-neck with the Denver Broncos. I am giving the edge to the Vikings' situation because they have Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, and TJ Hockenson. That trio is even better than the one Caleb Williams is inheriting, arguably, and the Vikings are further along on the offensive line than Chicago.

Another huge asset for JJ McCarthy as a rookie? Veteran running back Aaron Jones coming over from the rival Green Bay Packers. Kevin O'Connell and his staff are such a huge asset here for a young quarterback as well.

Although I'm not sure McCarthy is going to automatically have the best season of any rookie quarterback, it's hard to argue against the Vikings as having maybe the best overall situation.