Comparing 2024 NFL Draft prospects to things that have nothing to do with football

Let’s be honest: NFL Draft comparisons and the immediate reaction to them stink. They often do nothing to benefit the player, and are usually received as outlooks for a prospect’s career (wrong) instead of playstyle and how they win (right). Even then, some of the comparisons also are very bad. Caleb Williams isn’t Patrick Mahomes, Jayden Daniels isn’t Lamar Jackson, and Rome Odunze isn’t Deebo Samuel.

HOWEVER, I’m back this year with more NFL Draft prospect comparisons that you don’t think make sense, until you sit down and realize that they actually do. Let’s compare some of this year’s NFL Draft prospects to people and things from across the vast diaspora of the internet, and have fun with this!

Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State: Mewtwo, Pokemon

Marvin Harrison Jr. was built in a lab to be an alpha dog X receiver. The subtle physicality at the line of scrimmage, the grace and body control on the sideline, and the route running that isn’t like someone who is 6’4, Harrison Jr. is a true blend of what wide receivers need to survive on the outside. Mewtwo was literally created in a lab by Team Rocket, but has the cells of other humans inside of it, creating the ultimate Pokemon hybrid. Both can win in multiple ways, but what stands out is the overall grace and smoothness of their movements. The best make it look easy, and Harrison Jr. makes playing receiver look easy, like Mewtwo.

Caleb Williams, QB, USC: Naruto Uzumaki, Naruto

Caleb Williams has been raked over the coals over this draft process, but make no mistake about it: with the right people surrounding him, he can be one of the best QBs in the NFL. What stands out about Williams is his creation ability. He plays the game in Minecraft creative mode, causally pulling out Netherite swords at his whim. However, with that insane power, he will turn down extremely easy passes, holding onto the ball and getting himself into trouble. Being able to create is awesome, but sometimes he screws up and creates a TNT block and half his building is destroyed.

I compared him to Naruto, but specifically Naruto during the original anime, pre-Shippuden or Boruto. This is because you could see the potential, the Nine Tails power flowing out of Uzumaki, but he needs major refinement in order to realize the dream of becoming Hokage. Luckily, Naruto had Kakashi and Jiraiya in his corner to help him develop over the course of the manga and help to rein in some of that recklessness. Williams needs his Jiraiya to help him fine tune some of the smaller aspects of playing QB. It’s not that he can’t do it, he just hasn’t chosen to. That’ll change in the NFL.

Drake Maye, QB, UNC: Megumi Fushiguro, Jujutsu Kaisen

My QB1 thus far in the NFL Draft cycle, Maye is a cyborg at the QB spot who doesn’t seem like the one to make reckless decisions with his arm and body. However, with the arm talent and aggresiion, plus the ability to be a legit threat on the ground with his legs, Maye can get himself into trouble by being reckless with the ball downfield. The offense didn’t help him at all at UNC, but Maye also played a part in that. However, when he’s on, Maye is a threat at all three levels of the field, dicing opponents underneath and layering throws with touch and ball placement that keep his receiver safe while giving him a chance to make the catch.

Fushiguro is one of the better side characters in modern shonen anime that are more calculated than the main character, but have shown that they will put their body and lives on the line, making rash decisions in order to win a fight (see: Mahoraga vs. Sukuna, JJK Shibuya arc). Megumi also has the talented bloodlines like Maye, and is carving out his own legacy as a sorcerer. Maye needs to rein in that aggression a teensy bit, but whoever gets Maye is getting a great QB.

Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State: Stone Cold Steve Austin

Walk in. Raise hell. Leave.

That’s been the Jared Verse MO since transferring to Florida State. Verse is a powerful EDGE defender with heavy hands and has some of the best speed-to-power generation of any prospect in this year’s class. Verse is also a good run defender, being able to set the edge and play the backside of run schemes. While I think he might be a bit scheme limited (hand-down EDGE), he’s my EDGE1 and his ability to consistently generate pressure using power and subtle hand usage makes him a premier EDGE prospect.

We know what Stone Cold is gonna do when that glass shatters. You know the jorts, the black boots. He’s going to come in and open a can of whoop ass. The motor is always piss hot, and there’s nobody else you want by your side in a brawl. Verse and Stone Cold probably will never win any awards for how smooth it looks, but they’re gonna win folks over with their power and motor.

Malik Nabers, WR, LSU: Max Verstappen


Nabers is all gas, baby. The junior from LSU is lightning with the ball in his hands, with an effortless second gear and ability to stop and start on a dime shows in his breaks on comebacks and curls. While his route running is still a bit more vibesy than I would like, his electricity with the ball in his hands is a major, major plus in his NFL Draft docket.

Red Bull F1 driver Max Verstappen is very, very, very fast. How fast? Well, Verstappen has five of the fastest single lap records on various F1 tracks around the world, and if he’s not first, he’s in the top three. He’s so fast it’s actually boring to watch him race. If Nabers has the same success Verstappen does, watch out NFL.

Rome Odunze, WR, Washington: Ricardo Kaká, attacking midfielder, Sao Paolo, AC Milan, Real Madrid

Yes, I did say these were comparisons that had nothing to do with football. But how about futbol?

The speed combined with the strength and grace that Rome Odunze play with make him my WR2 in this years’ NFL Draft. He’s a big, strong receiver that can win above the rim, but is also strong after the catch and quick enough to create separation at the first and second level. You might not think he’s fast, but he’s so smooth and graceful that it doesn’t look like he’s moving fast until you turn on the tape and he’s ROLLING past folks. His ceiling is extremely high, but he also is reliable enough to make him a high floor receiver as well.

Kaka is one of the greatest attacking midfielders, and he just glides down the pitch, either zooming past defenders or being physical enough to muscle past bigger center backs. Kaka also had incredible grace, with footwork that amazed and made the game look easy. Kaka and Odunze both have extremely high ceilings, but can also be reliable role players in an offense.

Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia: Ogun Montgomery, Fire Force

Brock Bowers is not of this planet, very simple. Despite being a generous 6’4 and 240 pounds, Bowers is both faster and stronger than what he plays at. He’s a legitimate field stretcher, but he’s a great fit for the modern game because of his ability after the catch. He’s a smaller tight end prospect so don’t expect a lot of in-line blocking, but he’s one of the best tight end prospects I’ve ever seen, and should be a lock for the top ten.

Ogun Montgomery is one of the most fun characters in Fire Force. With his Flamy Ink, he can amplify his strength and physical output to compete with Leonard Burns, the strongest character in the show, despite not being as big as Burns. When he’s able to build up all that firepower, he becomes a terrifying blend of power and speed, the ultimate trump card in a fight. I don’t think Bowers has any ink, but he’s definitely bringing firepower to an NFL offense near you.

T’Vondre Sweat, DT, Texas: Thwomp, Mario Kart

T’Vondre Sweat is a large individual. He’s built like a cul-de-sac and is a built in run defense. His size and power are a terrifying combination up front, commanding double teams and freeing up second level defenders. Sweat also can make plays for himself, using his sheer strength to stop defenders in their tracks. While he’s still growing as a pass rusher, the lateral quickness isn’t there yet—which is expected because he’s 6’4 and near 370 pounds.

We know what Thwomp is. When he starts moving and crashes down, you can automatically assume someone is getting caught in the wake. The Mario Kart strategy is to go around or try and speed through while he’s up in the air, and the same can be said for Sweat. You want to try and get around him with speed, or force him off the field. Either way, Sweat and Thwomp change the strategy, a valuable asset for NFL defenses and Mario Kart track designers.

Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA: Zoro, One Piece

Last year, I called USC WR (and now rising star for the Minnesota Vikings) Jordan Addison a “professional get-opener”. Well, UCLA EDGE Laiatu Latu is a professional QB-getter. Despite not having elite length or strength, Latu is such a refined hand technician that he wins without extreme arm length. While it gets him into trouble against longer tackles, Latu has good closing speed and a wide array of pass rush moves that make him terrifying to gameplan for.

Hailing from the One Piece universe, it’s really hard to win fights without a Devil Fruit power. However, second mate of the Straw Hat Pirates Zoro is one of the strongest characters in the show, without having a Devil Fruit. He uses haki to give more power to his sword attacks, and with his three sword style he has a wide array of attacks that can take down an opponent.

In a way, rushing the passer is like a sword fight. Swipe moves are similar to slashes across the body, and rush discipline is just as important as fight discipline. Latu is a certified pass rusher, and can win immediately in the NFL like that while rounding out his game.

This post was originally published on this site