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Heel Tough Blog: 2024 Pre-Combine Draft Rankings

Thursday will be the kickoff to the on-field portion of the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, as 321 of the top prospects look to improve their draft prospect in front of the front offices of all 32 teams in the league. The defensive line and linebackers will be the first group of prospects that will take the field for drills that will continue through Sunday for the rest of the position groups. As this extremely important week in the NFL Draft process begins, here is a look at where the draft stock of each of the Tar Heels' eleven prospects attempting to make it to the next level stands, including the four that will be in attendance.


QB Drake Maye

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Pro Football Focus: Top 5, No. 2 QB

ESPN: Top 5, No. 2 QB

WalterFootball.com: Top 10, No. 2 QB

Pro Football Network: Top 5, No. 1 QB

Drafttek: Top 5, No. 2 QB

NFL Draft Countdown: Top 5, No. 2 QB

NFL Mock Draft Database: Top 5, No. 2 QB

Maye is still trending behind LSU’s Jayden Daniels in some mock drafts, but it feels as though those that have really made a deep dive on his tape still like as QB2. He announced on Tuesday that he will not throw on in Indianapolis just like the other two top quarterbacks in the class. Even with some of the quarterbacks below him choosing to throw, it is hard to see him falling outside of that QB3 spot. A good week in the team interviews could have him in the conversation to be QB1.


LB Cedric Gray

Grant Halverson- Getty Images

Pro Football Focus: 5th-6th Round, No. 9 LB

ESPN: 3rd Round, No. 4 ILB

WalterFootball.com: 1st-3rd Round, No. 3 ILB

Pro Football Network: 2nd Round, No. 1 LB

Drafttek: 3rd-4th Round, No. 3 ILB

NFL Draft Countdown: 2nd-3rd Round, No. 3 LB

NFL Mock Draft Database: 3rd Round, No. 5 LB

Gray has been trending up in a lot of the recent mock drafts, but hasn’t made nearly as big a jump on the big boards. Even though he has made a huge jump overall on the big boards following his tremendous showing in the Senior Bowl, he has positioned himself firmly in the first tier and has a chance to build on that in Indy. Another good performance at the Combine, a place that should showcase his abilities well, could have him in the conversation to be the first linebacker off the board, likely at the end of the 2nd Round.


WR Tez Walker

Grant Halverson- Getty Images

Pro Football Focus: 2nd-3rd Round, No. 15 WR

ESPN: 2nd Round, No. 10 WR

WalterFootball.com: 2nd-4th Round, No. 13 WR

Pro Football Network: 3rd-4th Round, No. 16 WR

Drafttek: 2nd-3rd Round, No. 10 WR

NFL Draft Countdown: 3rd Round, No. 12 WR

NFL Mock Draft Database: 2nd-3rd Round, No. 12 WR

Walker stock definitely took a blow after a tough week in Mobile earlier this month. Some of the big boards still see him as a potential 2nd round receiver, but many have gone from talking about him as an early Day 2 guy to a late Day 2. Both the interviews and on-field drills will be important for him, especially the receiver drills where he simply has to catch the ball better. A good week in Indy could help him turn his stock back in the right direction or at least prevent him from slipping any further in a loaded wide receiver draft class.


DT Myles Murphy

Grant Halverson- Getty Images

Pro Football Focus: 5th-6th Round, No. 17 IDL

ESPN: Unranked

WalterFootball.com: 6th-Undrafted, No. 23 DT

Pro Football Network: 7th-Undrafted, No. 28 DT

Drafttek: 7th Round-Undrafted, No. 4 NT

NFL Draft Countdown: 6th-7th Round, No. 20 DT

NFL Mock Draft Database: 6th-7th Round, No. 20 DT

Murphy shined in his trip to Las Vegas for the East-West Shrine Game and now gets a chance to build off of that. He already has interest from a host of teams as he told The Draft Network’s Justin Melo on Tuesday and he’ll get a chance to speak with them throughout the week. It’s hard to see him really blowing anyone away in the on-field drills which mean almost nothing for defensive linemen, but if nails some of the interviews, teams could be compelled to take him in the 5th Round to ensure they get him. 


EDGE Amari Gainer

Grant Halverson- Getty Images

Pro Football Focus: Unranked

ESPN: Unranked

Pro Football Network: Unranked

Drafttek: 7th Round-Undrafted, No. 15 ILB

NFL Draft Countdown: Unranked

NFL Mock Draft Database: Undrafted, No. 47 EDGE

Gainer didn’t play a whole lot in his one season in Chapel Hill, but it wasn’t enough to keep him completely off the board. His versatility could certainly be something NFL teams are intrigued by and could land him a job as an undrafted free agent. Even then, it may take a good showing at his pro day for that to happen.


C Corey Gaynor

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Pro Football Focus: Unranked

ESPN: Unranked

Pro Football Network: Unranked

Drafttek: Undrafted, No. 27 C

NFL Draft Countdown: Unranked

NFL Mock Draft Database: Undrafted, No. 63 IOL

As expected, Gaynor is the offensive lineman with the best reputation on the big boards right now, but they still have him on the fringe of being an undrafted. He will need a good showing at his pro day to land on a camp roster, but he has the easiest road to that of the offensive line hopefuls.


OT Spencer Rolland

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Pro Football Focus:  Unranked

ESPN: Unranked

Pro Football Network: Unranked

Drafttek: Unranked

NFL Draft Countdown: Unranked

NFL Mock Draft Database: Unranked

Rolland is one of three offensive line prospects for the team that participated in the Tropical Bowl back in late January and probably is the guy from that trio that has the best chance of landing with the team for camp. He will need a strong performance at his pro day to get there, though, so an alternative league might be his best option.


DT Tomari Fox

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Pro Football Focus: Unranked

ESPN: Unranked

Pro Football Network: Unranked

Drafttek: Unranked

NFL Draft Countdown: Unranked

NFL Mock Draft Database: Unranked

Fox’s versatility was something that we thought might help him, but he has yet to appear on any big board or mock draft. The pro day will be huge for him and if he puts together a strong showing, it might be enough for an NFL team to extend him a camp invite. If not, there is enough talent there that he could at least be a factor in an alternate league.


IOL Ed Montilus

Lee Coleman- Getty Images

Pro Football Focus: Unranked

ESPN: Unranked

Pro Football Network: Unranked

Drafttek: Unranked

NFL Draft Countdown: Unranked

NFL Mock Draft Database: Unranked

Montilus was another guy who was a part of that Tropical Bowl trio that is pursuing a camp invite. Like Rolland, he is a guy who really needs to impress at his pro day to get someone to extend an invite to him. More than likely he will end up in an alternate league to start off his career.


IOL William Barnes

John Byrum- Getty Images

Pro Football Focus: Unranked

ESPN: Unranked

Pro Football Network: Unranked

Drafttek: Unranked

NFL Draft Countdown: Unranked

NFL Mock Draft Database: Unranked

Barnes is the final member of that Tropical Bowl trio and probably has the most to do after being benched multiple times this past season. He will need to blow scouts away at the pro day to get an invite to camp meaning the alternate leagues are probably going to be his best options to keep playing.


LS Drew Little

Joe Robbins- Getty Images

Pro Football Focus: Unranked

ESPN: Unranked

Pro Football Network: Unranked

Drafttek: Unranked

NFL Draft Countdown: Unranked

NFL Mock Draft Database: Unranked

Long snappers are always tough to project since they almost never appear in mock drafts or big boards and the spots in camp are limited for them. Because of that, it’s hard to see Little landing on a team this team because of just how few spots will be open. Landing in an alternate league and impressing might actually be his best path to the NFL.

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