The chance to work out which rookie will have the biggest impact is one of the most thrilling things about the start of a new football season. As we look ahead to the new season, starting with Kansas City playing Baltimore on September 5, some exciting new additions from this year’s draft could take the NFL by storm.


Caleb Williams – The Chicago Bears

The 2024 NFL draft showed a huge bias toward quarterbacks, with six QBs in the first round of picks and five of them among the first ten players chosen. Caleb Williams was the very first of them to get a pro contract, with the Chicago Bears picking him as the first overall rookie to join the NFL.

Caleb was born in Washington, D.C., and played his college years with the Oklahoma Sooners, as well as the USC Trojans. He came to the attention of the public in 2022, when he set a USC record of over 4,500 yards and 52 touchdowns to win the prestigious Heisman Trophy. Caleb reached close to 10,000 yards in his college career.

Bears coach Matt Eberflus spoke to the press before the team’s recent rookie minicamp and stated that Caleb is going to be their starting QB for the new season. He’ll be learning everything he needs to know about their strategies over the summer. No rookie QB has ever reached the Super Bowl as a starter, so the new Bears star needs to make history if Chicago is going to reach Super Bowl LIX in New Orleans.


Jayden Daniels – The Washington Commanders

The new Washington Commanders QB doesn’t appear to be lacking confidence in the build-up to his rookie season. Jayden was in the news recently as he had apparently made a $10,000 bet with fellow newcomer Malik Nabers on who would be the NFL’s top rookie this year. The players decided to call off the bet eventually, after finding out it might have gone against the NFL’s gambling policy.

However, fans can easily bet on who will be the top rookie, with Jayden not far behind Caleb Williams in the current odds. You can also find NFL futures bets on outcomes, such as the winner of the Super Bowl, as well as the NFC Championship and the AFC Championship. The Commanders are currently at long odds to win the NFC but these odds vary as more information becomes known about form, injuries, and new contracts. So, a strong start by the rookie QB could see Washington’s odds improve.

California-born Jayden was a star for the Arizona State Sun Devils and then the LSU Tigers. Described as a dual-threat QB, he was the Heisman Trophy winner in 2023 and the Commanders chose him as the draft’s second overall pick. With over 16,000 offensive yards in college football, he’s the sixth-best QB in FBS records, and no one else has managed 12,000 passing yards and 3,000 rushing yards.


Drake Maye – The New England Patriots

The third pick in the draft was another highly-rated QB. Drake Maye was born in North Carolina and played for the Tar Heels in his home state. There, he set a school record in 2022 thanks to 4,321 passing yards and 38 touchdowns. If you’ve been following the latest sports news and opinions, you might have seen that the New England Patriots selected Drake as the third overall pick.

Some football analysts believe that Drake will take a few games into his rookie season before he stakes a claim as the starting QB, which is likely to make it more difficult for him to make a big enough impression as the potential rookie of the year.


Marvin Harrison Jr.- The Arizona Cardinals

The first non-QB to be chosen in the 2024 draft, Marvin Harrison Jr. is a wide receiver who was a two-time All-American while playing his college football with the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Arizona Cardinals made him the fourth overall pick in the draft.

Born in Philadelphia, Marvin played both basketball and football as a youngster but was soon making waves on the football field once he decided to focus on that sport. He collected the 2023 Fred Biletnikoff Award following an outstanding season where he recorded 14 TDs and 1,211 yards.


Joe Alt – The Los Angeles Chargers

The fifth pick was destined for the Los Angeles Chargers and they chose offensive tackle Joe Alt. This player was born in Minnesota and his college career saw him as a tight end and offensive tackle with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish team. It’s more difficult for players in this position to stand out over a full season but general manager Joe Hortiz pointed out that selecting Joe was part of their plan to get a tough, physical team in place.

Any of these outstanding rookies is capable of winning the Rookie of the Year award, so it could come down to a question of who is quickest to establish himself as a starter in the pro league.