Marvin Harrison Jr., Joe Alt among 2024 NFL draft prospects with football family ties

A draft class featuring the offspring of notable former NFL players is not unusual.

The 2024 draft class, however, is an exception.

This year's group of prospects features two who have fathers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (and a third who could be a first-ballot selection once eligible). In all, eight prospects have fathers who were selected to at least one Pro Bowl (with the eight combining for an astonishing 39 Pro Bowl nods). That's some incredible NFL pedigree about to enter the league.

With that in mind, here's a breakdown of 2024 NFL draft prospects who had fathers play in the NFL, as well as those who had (or currently have) brothers and other relations in the league:

Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

  • Famous father: Marvin Harrison

  • Where might he get drafted? Top 10 as likely first wide receiver selected

Living up to the expectations set by a Pro Football Hall of Fame father who played the same position won't be easy, but Marvin Harrison Jr. possesses next-level route running, body control and ball skills that will make him the envy of any team selecting at the top of the first round that does not have an immediate need for a quarterback. His father was a first-round selection (No. 19 overall) in the 1996 draft and went on to play 13 NFL seasons. He was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, three-time first-team All-Pro, voted to the NFL's All-2000s team and was a member of the Indianapolis Colts' Super Bowl XLI-winning team.

Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

  • Famous father: John Alt

  • Where might he get drafted? Top 10 as likely first offensive tackle selected

In what is a strong 2024 draft class for offensive tackles, Alt is the clear top-rated prospect at the position. Alt stands at 6-foot-9 and 321 pounds, and possess athleticism to add to that immense size. His father, John Alt, was a 6-foot-8 behemoth who played 13 seasons in the NFL, all with the Kansas City Chiefs. He was a first-round selection (No. 21 overall) in the 1984 NFL draft and a two-time Pro Bowl selection.

Kris Jenkins, DT, Michigan

  • Famous father: Kris Jenkins

  • Where might he get drafted? Likely second-day pick

Jenkins could be the second former Michigan Wolverines player off the board during this year's draft, following quarterback J.J. McCarthy. In addition to his skills, Jenkins brings the pedigree of being the son of a four-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle. Jenkins the elder was a second-round pick in the 2001 NFL draft by the Carolina Panthers and went on to play 10 NFL seasons.

Brenden Rice, WR, USC

  • Famous father: Jerry Rice

  • Where might he get drafted? Possible mid-round selection who could hear his name called on Day 2

Think Marvin Harrison Jr. faces pressure to live up to his Hall of Fame father? Brenden Rice is the son of the wide receiver G.O.A.T. who is arguably the best NFL player of all time, Jerry Rice. The football family ties for Brenden Rice run deep. His half-brother, Jerry Rice Jr., was a wide receiver who played at UCLA and UNLV. His brother, Qualen Cunningham, was a defensive end at Texas A&M; and his stepfather, Rick Cunningham, was an offensive lineman who played eight seasons in the NFL.

Jerry Rice meets up with his son, USC wide receiver Brenden Rice, on the field during the 2024 NFL scouting combine.
Jerry Rice meets up with his son, USC wide receiver Brenden Rice, on the field during the 2024 NFL scouting combine.

Jonah Elliss, DE, Utah

  • Famous father: Luther Elliss

  • Where might he get drafted? Possible mid-round selection who could hear his name called on Day 2

Jonah Elliss is in a family full of football players. His brothers Christian Elliss and Noah Elliss each have been on NFL rosters. Christian plays for the New England Patriots, while Noah has been on the Philadelphia Eagles' practice squad. Their father, Luther Elliss, was a standout defensive lineman in the NFL. A first-round pick (No. 20 overall) by the Detroit Lions in the 1995 NFL draft, Luther Elliss played 10 seasons in the NFL and earned two Pro Bowl selections. Jonah Elliss brings a high-energy game that likely has NFL teams intrigued by his pro possibilities.

Luke McCaffrey, WR, Rice

  • Famous father: Ed McCaffrey

  • Where might he get drafted? Possible mid-round selection

Here's another family full of football players. Brothers Christian and Max McCaffrey each have NFL experience, with Christian among the most electric players currently in the league. Their father, Ed McCaffrey, was a third-round selection by the New York Giants in the 1991 NFL draft. He played mostly as a reserve (he did win a Super Bowl ring with the 49ers in 1994) before catching on with the Denver Broncos, posting three 1,000-yard seasons, earning a Pro Bowl nod and winning two Super Bowls. Luke McCaffrey projects as a possible slot receiver in the NFL.

Jeremiah Trotter Jr., LB, Clemson

  • Famous father: Jeremiah Trotter

  • Where might he get drafted? Possible mid-round selection

Jeremiah Trotter, a Philadelphia Eagles icon nicknamed the "Axe Man," played 11 seasons in the NFL after being a third-round pick in the 1998 NFL draft and earned four Pro Bowl selections. Jeremiah Trotter Jr. was a first-team All-ACC selection, a finalist for the Butkus Award (presented to college football's best linebacker) and the sort of tackling machine that NFL teams crave for their rosters.

Frank Gore Jr., RB, Southern Miss

  • Famous father: Frank Gore

  • Where might he get drafted? Late-round selection or priority free agent possibility

Frank Gore played so long he nearly got to be in the league at the same time as his son (something the NBA's LeBron James is aiming to do with his son, Bronny). Gore played 16 seasons in the NFL (2005-2020) after being a third-round pick by the San Francisco 49ers in the 2005 draft, and is third on the league's all-time rushing yardage list behind Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton (and ahead of Barry Sanders, Curtis Martin, LaDainian Tomlinson, Jerome Bettis, Eric Dickerson, Tony Dorsett, Jim Brown … shall we name more Hall of Famers?). Despite questions about his overall speed, Frank Gore Jr. at least will get a training camp look from some NFL team.

Javon Foster, OT, Missouri

  • Famous father: Jerome Foster

  • Where might he get drafted? Possible mid-round selection

Durable player who was a team captain and first-team All-SEC pick in 2023, Javon Foster is the type of prospect who could stick with a 53-player roster going into the 2024 NFL season. His father, Jerome Foster, was a fifth-round pick by the Houston Oilers in the 1983 draft and went on to play five seasons in the NFL as a defensive end.

Jaylen Harrell, DE, Michigan

  • Famous father: James Harrell

  • Where might he get drafted? Possible late-round selection

Jaylen Harrell is one of many Michigan players who could hear their names called during the 2024 NFL draft. An astonishing 18 Wolverines were invited to the NFL scouting combine. Jaylen Harrell, an edge rusher, was among those 18. Father James Harrell played eight seasons in the NFL (1979-1987), mostly with the Detroit Lions and primarily in a reserve role. That seems to be his son's potential NFL role as well.

Drake Nugent, C, Michigan

  • Famous father: Terry Nugent

  • Where might he get drafted? Late-round selection or priority free agent possibility

Drake Nugent played two seasons at Stanford before using the transfer portal to join Michigan, where he was a first-team All-Big Ten selection and finalist for the Rimington Trophy (presented to college football's top center). His father, Terry Nugent, was a quarterback who picked in the sixth round of the 1984 draft by the Cleveland Browns. He appeared in one NFL game, doing so for the Indianapolis Colts during the NFLPA strike of 1987.

Jordan Whittington, WR, Texas

  • Famous father: Arthur Whittington

  • Where might he get drafted? Late-round selection or priority free agent possibility

Not as celebrated as his Longhorns teammates Adonai Mitchell – who is a projected first-round pick – and Xavier Worthy – who ran a record 40-yard dash time at the combine – the 6-foot-1 205-pound Whittington was the thunder to the Mitchell-Worthy lightning. His father, Arthur Whittington, was a running back who was picked in the seventh round of the 1978 draft by the Oakland Raiders, with whom he was a member of the Super Bowl 15-winning team.

Draft prospects with NFL brothers

  • Tommy Eichenberg, LB, Ohio State — Liam Eichenberg, OT, Miami Dolphins

  • Jonah Elliss, DE, Utah — Kaden Elliss, LB, Atlanta Falcons; Christian Elliss, LB, New England Patriots

  • Luke McCaffrey, WR, Rice — Christian McCaffrey, RB, San Francisco 49ers; Max McCaffrey, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars (2017), San Francisco 49ers (2018)

  • Max Melton, CB, Rutgers — Bo Melton, WR, Green Bay Packers

  • Patrick Paul, OT, Houston — Chris Paul, G, Washington Commanders

  • Ainias Smith, WR, Texas A&M — Maurice Smith, S, formerly of Miami Dolphins (2017-18), Washington Commanders (2019)

Draft prospects with other relatives who played in NFL

  • Ryan Cooper Jr., CB, Ohio State — cousin CB Nahshon Wright, three seasons in NFL (2021-23) with Dallas Cowboys

  • Audric Estime, RB, Notre Dame — cousin DE Terrence Fede, four seasons in NFL (2014-17)

  • Joe Milton III, QB, Tennessee — cousin WR Anquan Boldin, 14 seasons in NFL (2003-2016), three-time Pro Bowler

  • Kendall Milton, RB, Georgia — uncle LB Kevin Hardy, nine seasons in NFL (1996-2004), No. 2 overall pick in 1996 draft

  • Jacob Monk, C, Duke — uncle LB Quincy Monk, three seasons in NFL (2002-04)

  • Ruke Orhorhoro, DT, Clemson — cousin CB Michael Ojemudia, three seasons in NFL (2020-22)

  • Josh Proctor, S, Ohio State — uncle Patrick Collins, one season in NFL (1988)

  • Kingsley Suamataia, OT, BYU — cousins OT Penei Sewell, 2021 first-round pick, 2023 first-team All-Pro; LB Noah Sewell, Chicago Bears rookie in 2023

  • Trey Taylor, S, Air Force — cousin Ed Reed, 13 seasons in NFL (2002-2013), five-time first-team All-Pro, Super Bowl winner, Pro Football Hall of Famer

  • Jeremiah Trotter Jr., LB, Clemson — cousin RB Terrance Ganaway, one season in NFL (2012)

  • Nathaniel Watson, LB, Mississippi State — uncle FB Harold Morrow, 10 seasons in NFL (1996-2005)

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NFL draft 2024 includes prospects with notable league family ties