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Nerdy Birds: Recapping the 2024 Draft Class

Highlights, stat lines and more. 

16x9 (53)

Day 1

Round 1 | No. 8 Overall | QB Michael Penix Jr.

Atlanta selected Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. in the first round (eighth overall) of the 2024 NFL Draft. Penix played in 49 games (45 starts), completing 1,067-of-1,685 pass attempts (63.3%) for 13,741 yards, 96 touchdowns and 34 interceptions with a 146.6 passer rating for the Washington Huskies (2022-23) and Indiana Hoosiers (2018-21).


The 6-foot-3, 213-pound quarterback earned the Maxwell Award, annually given to the nation's most outstanding player after competing 363-of-555 pass attempts (65.4%) for 4,903 yards, 36 touchdowns and 11 interceptions for a 157.1 passer rating in 2023.

Penix finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting and was named to the All-Pac 12 second team after setting program records in passing yards and passing yards per game for the second consecutive season. He led the program to its first CFP national championship game appearance after a 37-31 semi-final victory over Texas in the Sugar Bowl.

The Tampa, Florida, native led the nation with 357 passing yards per game and finished second in total passing yards with 4,641 yards in 2022. He became only the second Husky in program history to throw for more than 4,000 yards. Penix finished 2022, completing 362-of-554 pass attempts (65.3 percent) for 4,641 yards, 31 touchdowns and eight interceptions for a 151.3 passer rating.

Washington would finish the season with the No. 1 total offense in the FBS. After his first season at Washington, Penix was named the Associated Press Comeback Player of the Year.

Scouting Reports

"Penix is a tall, left-handed thrower with an affinity for effortlessly whipping high-velocity lasers downfield. He has a quick release, and the ball jumps off his hand; he has no problem hitting deep outs or downfield bombs. He can vary the speed, trajectory, and touch of his throws, and he boasts an impressive collection of "downfield handoffs," when the ball seems to float gently into his receiver's hands. He brings an aggressive, attacking mentality to the position and shows a willingness to throw the ball into tight windows to give his guys a chance to make plays—while he simultaneously does an excellent job of taking care of the football."

- Danny Kelly | The Ringer

"Very accurate deep ball … aggressive passer with a live arm to sling throws vertically and horizontally … can drive the football without stepping into throws … throws with terrific pacing on posts and deep over routes … understands how to find the vulnerable matchups, and small windows don't deter him … veteran awareness and has a good feel where the blitz is coming from … nice job throwing on the move (boots, sprint-outs, etc.) … owns an NFL frame, large hands and pocket stature … enough mobility to scramble for the sticks when he has a chance … steady heartbeat in late-game situations … developed into one of the most respected leaders on the team and often at the center of the huddle rallying his teammates … his injury history helped forge his resilient mentality, and he has the wiring to focus amid adversity..."

- Dane Brugler | The Athletic


Day 2

Round 2 | No. 35 Overall | DT Ruke Orhorhoro

The Falcons selected Clemson defensive lineman Ruke Orhorhoro in the second round (35th overall) of the 2024 NFL Draft. The Falcons acquired the 35th and 186th overall picks from the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for the 43rd and 79th overall picks in the 2024 NFL Draft.

"This is going to be fun. Ruke is a guy that I think everybody is in love with his measurables — he's big, he's athletic, he's got great length, he can really run," said Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney. "He's got position diversity and can play multiple spots on the defensive line. He's a high-character guy. He's a graduate. The thing that everybody likes about Ruke is that he's not quite a blank canvas but he still very much has his best football in front of him."

Orhorhoro (Oh-row-row-row) spent five seasons (2019-23) at Clemson (S.C.) University where he recorded 97 tackles, 25.5 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, nine passes defensed and two fumble recoveries in 53 games (30 starts) for the Tigers.

The 6-foot-4, 294-pound defensive lineman tallied 22 tackles, eight tackles for loss, a career-high five sacks and one pass defensed in 12 games in 2023, earning third-team All-ACC honors. Orhorhoro notched three tackles for loss and a sack against North Carolina State becoming the first Clemson interior defensive lineman to record three tackles for loss in a game since Grady Jarrett in 2014.

Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Orhorhoro moved to the United States when he was nine and attended River Rouge (Mich.) High School. A two-time ACC Honor Roll selection, Orhorhoro earned a bachelor's degree in sociology and a master's degree in athletic leadership at Clemson.


Scouting Reports

"Athletic big man with long arms and compact bulk to comfortably carry his mass … moves with balance, flexibility and knee bend … quick off the ball to work half-a-man and power through shoulders … tilts the field and creates meaningful push at the point of attack … uses his length to keep blockers off his frame, allowing him to two-gap and track the football … flashes hip strength to maneuver through redirects … finds passing lanes with his hands. He displays intriguing movement skills and force at contact to continue getting better and better. He has NFL starting upside with the scheme-versatility to play multiple positions, both inside and outside."

- Dane Brugler | The Athletic

Ohorhoro is tall with a burly frame, long arms, and a massive powerhouse of a lower body. The former Clemson standout is an excellent athlete on the interior defensive line, running a blazing 4.89 40-yard dash at the combine, jumping 32-inches in the vert and recording a 9-foot-8 broad jump. He brings positional versatility to the trenches and lined up at multiple spots during his college career, and has the body type and demeanor to be both a gap-shooting penetrator or a two-gapping run defender... Ohorhoro is an ascending interior pass rusher with top-tier athleticism, ideal length, and a high motor."

- Danny Kelly | The Ringer


Round 3 | No. 74 Overall | OLB Bralen Trice

Atlanta looked to the Pacific Northwest once again for its third-round pick, taking Washington outside linebacker Bralen Trice with the 74th overall selection.

Trice recorded 101 tackles, 28.5 tackles for loss, 18 sacks, two passes defensed, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble in 40 games over three seasons (2021-23) at the University of Washington. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound outside linebacker earned all-conference honors and was named the team's defensive MVP in each of the past two years.

A team captain in 2023, Trice was named third-team All-America after tallying 49 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, seven sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in 15 games for the Huskies. In 2022, Trice finished with 38 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and a career-high nine sacks.


Scouting Reports

"Trice has a stout, well-built frame and rushes the passer with a quick first step. The former Huskies standout is a versatile defender who is deployed from multiple spots on the line, showing the ability to rush from both two-point and three-point stances... Brice is a technician with his hands and plays with a nonstop motor; he posted incredible pressure numbers over the past two years."

- Danny Kelly | The Ringer

Proportional frame with functional play strength … uses heavy hands to thud at contact and drive blockers backward when his p ad level stays low... … plays with relentless effort and makes more plays than he should, because of his motor … not very vocal but voted a senior captain, and his teammates call him the "Enforcer" and cite his on-field energy as the defense's rallying call … durable and played in every game the last three seasons … led the team in sacks and tackles for loss each of the past two seasons... his athletic urgency and violent play style will help translate his college disruption to the pros. He projects as a scheme -diverse rotational NFL end."

- Dane Brugler | The Athletic


Day 3

Round 4 | No. 109 Overall | DT Brandon Dorlus

With its first pick on day three, Atlanta continued to add to its defensive line selecting Oregon defensive tackle Brandon Dorlus with the 109th overall pick.

Dorlus played five seasons (2019-23) at the University of Oregon where he recorded 106 tackles, 27 tackles for loss, 13 passes defensed, 12 sacks and one fumble recovery in 57 games for the Ducks.

The 6-foot-3, 283-pound defensive tackle led the Ducks with five sacks, while adding 25 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, nine passes defensed and one fumble recovery in 2023. Dorlus earned all-conference honors for a third consecutive season and was named first-team All-Pac 12 for the second time in his career.


Scouting Reports

"Dorlus is tall, with a muscular, rugged frame and long arms. A fifth-year senior, he played all over the line for the Ducks in his career at Oregon, seeing snaps both on the interior and on the edge. Dorlus rushes with a quick first step and excellent lateral agility. He's able to bound rapidly from gap to gap, crossing the faces of opposing linemen and shooting upfield before they can even react. Dorlus is a consistently disruptive, versatile defender who can line up across the defensive line."

- Danny Kelly | The Ringer

"Athletic big man who has worked hard to trim his frame … quick first step and arm-overs can create mismatches inside … flashes the twitch in his lower body to cross the face of blockers when he catches them leaning … can make himself skinny to slice gaps and work half-a-man … closes in a hurry when he has a runway (reached 20.7 mph on the mid-game GPS)... he has the natural power and agility to be a versatile disruptor in an NFL defensive line rotation. He projects best as a base end (in even or odd fronts) who can also reduce inside on subpackages."

- Dane Brugler | The Athletic


Round 4 | No. 143 Overall | ILB JD Bertrand

Bertrand played in 50 games (35 starts) over five seasons (2019-23) at Notre Dame and registered 266 tackles (154 solo), 23 tackles for loss, nine passes defensed, six sacks and two forced fumbles for the Fighting Irish.

The Alpharetta, Ga., native led the team in tackles for three-consecutive seasons (2021-23) and was a two-time team captain from 2022-23. Last season, the 6-foot-1, 233-pound linebacker started all 12 games, notching 76 tackles (41 solo), 7.5 tackles for loss, five passes defensed, 2.5 sacks and one forced fumble.

Scouting Reports

"Instinctive and shrewdly positions himself to make plays … quick to read and trigger downhill … throws his pads into lead/pulling blocks to create congestion in the hole … terrific closing burst to the football … accurate strike zone as a tackler to wrap the ball carrier's waist … determined as a blitzer (30 pressures in 2023) … communicates well on and off the field … known for his impeccable football and personal character (literally a former Boy Scout) and was voted a two-time team captain for the Irish. He processes well with the play recognition skills and competitive makeup that will endear him to NFL coaches."

- Dane Brugler | The Athletic

"Team leader with above-average production who carries good lean mass on his frame. Bertrand's stats are appealing, and he plays with a decent nose for the football."

- Lance Zierlein |


Round 6 | No. 186 Overall | RB Jase McClellan

McClellan rushed for 1,981 yards on 255 carries (5.6 avg.) and 18 touchdowns, while adding 40 receptions for 409 yards (10.2 avg.) and six touchdowns in 44 games over four seasons (2020-23) at the University of Alabama. As a senior, the 5-foot-11, 212-pound running back led the Crimson Tide with 890 rushing yards on 180 carries (4.9 avg.) and eight touchdowns in 13 games in 2023.

Scouting Reports

"Steady three-down running back with the size and skill set that should create a roster opportunity for him. McClellan lacks explosiveness but gets it done with above-average vision and know-how. He's quick to process his lane choice and smooth getting from cut to cut. He has good-not-great burst and appears to be better suited for gap and inside-zone runs. He runs with excellent pad level and loose hips, creating impressive contact balance to extend runs through contact. The numbers don't shine in the passing game, but he's very capable of handling all aspects of third-down football. He's an instinctive runner with three-down talent who could end up outplaying his draft slotting on the right team."

- Lance Zierlein |

"Well-distributed muscle tone and no stranger to the weight room … above-average contact balance to bounce off tacklers and produce yardage … runs with lower-body strength to step out of tackle attempts in space or drive through crowded areas … alters his gears to quickly clear lanes with burst or outflank defenders on the outside."

- Dane Brugler | The Athletic


Round 6 | No. 187 Overall | WR Casey Washington

Washington played five seasons (2019-23) at the University of Illinois where he recorded 122 receptions for 1,508 yards (12.4 avg.) and four touchdowns in 55 games (20 starts) for the Fighting Illini.

The Round Rock, Texas native finished ninth in the Big Ten with 49 receptions, while also recording 670 receiving yards and four touchdowns in 2023.

Scouting Reports

"His top selling point is his hand-eye coordination. Overall, Washington is a sleek, speedy athlete with secure hands to be a possession target."

- Dan Brugler | The Athletic

"Washington closed out his college career with a terrific 218-yard performance against Northwestern. Although his production wasn't consistent throughout his time in college, he did show a safe pair of hands, dropping just three of his 83 catchable passes over the past two seasons."

- Pro Football Focus


Round 6 | No. 197 Overall | DT Zion Logue

Logue appeared in 50 games over five seasons (2019-23) at the University of Georgia recording 52 tackles, five tackles for loss, three passes defensed, 1.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery for the Bulldogs.

At 6-foot-6, 314 pounds, Logue finished with career highs for tackles (17), tackles for loss (three) and passes defensed (two) as a senior in 2023.

Scouting Reports

"A three-star recruit, he grew up a Tennessee fan but opted for the stability at Georgia... With his size and length, Logue is a solid run defender who can eat blocks and eventually work off contact using the force in his hands... Overall, Logue offers two-gapping skills and is better than what his stat sheet suggests."

- Dane Brugler | The Athletic

"Zion Logue is a fifth-year senior who didn't become a consistent starter until this past season on Georgia's defensive line... he does have good size and is a solid run defender who could make a roster for a team that needs a two-gapping defensive lineman."

- Bleacher Report

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