football Edit

Rivals Rankings Week: Who should be No. 1 in the 2024 Rivals250?

Dylan Raiola
Dylan Raiola

The 2024 Rivals250 was updated in June but a number of important offseason events have taken place since then. As we gear up for another football season, the 2024 Rivals250 is getting a refresh this week.

Five-star Georgia quarterback commit Dylan Raiola has held the top spot for the last year but there are plenty of candidates who could claim the No. 1 ranking in the Rivals250. The national analysts - Clint Cosgrove, Adam Friedman, John Garcia Jr., Adam Gorney and Cole Patterson - give their takes on who they think should be the top prospect in the Rivals250.



Sunday: Who should be No. 1 in the 2024 Rivals250?

Monday: Five-Star Countdown | Meet the new five-stars

Tuesday: Rivals250 released | Who could earn a fifth star | Gorney's thoughts

Wednesday: Offensive position rankings released

Thursday: Defensive position rankings released

Friday: State rankings released


FINAL 2023 TEAM RANKINGS: Comprehensive (overall) ranking | High school/JUCO ranking | Transfer portal ranking

CLASS OF 2024 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2025 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

TRANSFER PORTAL: Latest news | Transfer portal player ranking | Transfer portal team ranking | Transfer Tracker | Message board



COSGROVE'S TAKE: Williams Nwaneri

I have long stated that Nwaneri has generational upside, and while much of that was once a projection, his development probably outpaces what I expected at this point of his career adding an extra level of intrigue. Think Mario Williams or Jason Pierre-Paul in terms of upside and that is the type of ceiling the Lee's Summit (Mo.) North defensive lineman has should he maximize his potential. While Dylan Raiola and Jeremiah Smith are incredible prospects and have made every case for being No. 1 in 2024, I see Nwaneri's chances of being the No. 1 overall pick in the draft a safer bet and that is enough to make him the top player in the 2024 class for me.



We're projecting to the NFL Draft and history pretty much dictates that the top overall player be a quarterback unless there is a truly exceptional alternative. The last non-quarterback ranked atop the Rivals250 was Travis Hunter. There isn't a non-quarterback in this class who has risen to Hunter's level yet. Some might say Jeremiah Smith is right there but having him stay at No. 2 should be the right move for now. Only three other receivers have finished No. 2 or better in the Rivals250 so that should be an indicator of how much we like Smith. For now, he should stay at No. 2 and Raiola at No. 1 heading into their senior seasons.



GARCIA'S TAKE: Jeremiah Smith

It seems like the quarterback pecking order could have some fluidity to it, so going outside of that spot the conversation for the top overall recruit should feel just as wide open. From a premium position standpoint, in what's considered a down year at offensive tackle, the pass rushers like Williams Nwaneri and Colin Simmons take center stage. Each five-star is so productive and borderline dominant, the case feels relatively simple between the two, but the highest floor may still belong to Jeremiah Smith at wide receiver. While the position hasn't been represented atop the NFL Draft since Keyshawn Johnson at No. 1 in 1996, the value (money and otherwise) is skyrocketing with pass catchers in general. Smith is big, physical, polished and proven against the very best prep football has to offer. There's little reason to believe he won't become a dominant Saturday player while others may be more dependent on physical development or even opportunity at a position not as voluminous as wide receiver.



GORNEY'S TAKE: Dylan Raiola

The new Buford, Ga. quarterback did not win the Elite 11 - that was Alabama QB commit Julian Sayin - but Raiola was the best at the all-important pro day portion of that event so I still think he should stay at No. 1.

Raiola has college-ready size and such a great arm where he can unleash it when needed but also knows when to dial it back when needed. Surrounded by elite players this season including five-star Florida State pledge KJ Bolden, Raiola should shine even more this season.

Others will push for the No. 1 spot but NFL Draft history clearly has quarterbacks highest on the board over the last 20-plus years so I’m siding with who we believe to be the best QB in the class.



It’s difficult to bet against a quarterback being the No. 1 player in the country based on NFL Draft trends, but my vote goes to Texas commit Colin Simmons. The five-star defensive end is everything that you could want in a pass rusher, as he set a school record at DFW powerhouse Duncanville with 22.5 sacks last season. He has the length, production, and upside that point to being an early first-round draft selection after his career in Austin concludes. When the lights are the brightest, Simmons shines the most.