Zach Edey certainly has detractors when it comes to his stock to become an NBA regular. However, one analyst believes he is among the best overall prospects available in the 2024 NBA Draft.

ESPN’s Kevin Pelton recently released his stats-based projections for the prospects available in this year’s draft while pointing out his projections are not a guess at when players will be selected. Instead, Pelton’s projections attempt to translate performances at the DI college level and other top professional leagues while adjusting for a players age and position to project a value over the next 5 seasons.

Kentucky guard Reed Sheppard, a lethal 3-point threat, checks in at No. 1 overall on Pelton’s projections. Meanwhile, Zach Edey checks in at No. 4 overall with a 16th overall ranking in ESPN’s top 100 prospects and a No. 3 rating based on his stats at Purdue.

Other notable players on Pelton’s list include Duke’s Kyle Filipowski (No. 17), Kentucky’s Justin Edwards (27), Indiana’s Kel’el Ware (29) and Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht (35). Pelton included Bronny James’ ranking for discussion, and he checks in at 45 overall.

Here’s what Pelton said about Edey’s ranking:

Edey’s projection slipped a bit because of his move from No. 14 to No. 16 in the top 100, as well as a tweak to my projections to utilize players’ NCAA assist rates via Edey was assisted on 71% of his made field goals, second highest of any prospect ranked in ESPN’s top 80. Edey still projects as a strong offensive player in the NBA thanks to his high efficiency on a massive projected 26% usage rate. The questions are more about the defensive end, where just three draft picks in my database have a lower steal projection than Edey: Alex Len, Doug McDermott and Nick Richards.

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Analyzing Zach Edey’s projection

Anyone detracting from Edey’s NBA profile has to look outside of his stats at Purdue. No one can poke holes in his pure production with the Boilermakers with Edey producing one of the most dominant 2-year stretches in recent history.

After sweeping the Player of the Year awards for the 2022-23 season, Edey was even better this past season. He improved his scoring to 25.2 points per game while shooting 62% from the floor and over 71% from the free-throw line. Edey’s 2.2 blocks per game as a senior were also a career-high to go with 2 assists per game.

Edey is also the rare 7-foot-4 specimen with elite conditioning. He averaged right at 32 minutes per game across his final 2 seasons, showing an ability to play both ends of the floor and stay on the court for the majority of games throughout the NCAA Tournament.

The main questions about Edey’s profile to this point have been his agility and shooting touch due to the playing style he was used to under Matt Painter at Purdue. Edey did his best to calm those questions with a solid performance in testing and on-court drills at the NBA Draft Combine, but it remains to be seen how teams view him for the next level.

Those questions are about to be answered, but at least one system believes Edey is right on track to be among the top prospects in this draft class.