NFL Draft News & Analysis

2024 NFL Draft: 10 significant questions heading into the draft

2T0W13F ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 07: Georgia Bulldogs Tight End Brock Bowers (19) attempts to catch a pass during the college football game between the Kentucky Wildcats and Georgia Bulldogs on October 07, 2023, at Sanford Stadium in Athens, GA. (Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

• What does the early run on quarterbacks look like? We could see four signal-callers drafted within the first four picks of the 2024 NFL Draft, which would be an NFL record.

• An interesting running back situation continues to evolve: Several NFL teams doled out contracts to running backs in free agency amid a perceived weak draft class at the position. Which running back will come off the board first?

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Four PFF analysts — Trevor Sikkema, Sam Monson, Steve Palazzolo and Gordon McGuiness — took on the task of asking, and potentially answering, 10 of the 2024 NFL Draft's biggest questions.

Trevor Sikkema

Will the draft make history with four QBs in the first four picks?

Some mock drafts are predicting the 2024 NFL Draft will start with four quarterbacks, a first in NFL history. It’s almost hard to believe that the draft has never kicked off with four signal-callers, as that is the most important position — and has been for decades. But 2024 is a unique time in that there is more pressure and more power in the hands of young quarterbacks than ever, and it’s a sign that this class has plenty of passers worth believing in.

Click here to see Jayden Daniels' 2024 NFL Draft profile.

How desperate are the Buffalo Bills?

The Bills traded and lost wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis, respectively, this offseason, and several veterans departed on both sides of the ball. The team seems to be at a tipping point. Are the Bills truly going to try to keep their foot on the gas and trade up from No. 28 somewhere into the top 15, or even top 10, for a blue-chip prospect in a talented draft class? Or are they turning the page from their previous winning window and letting the draft come to them, not giving up extra draft capital and instead forming a new identity and new roster core this offseason?

What are the New York Jets up to?

What does “all-in” look like for the Jets in the 2024 NFL Draft a year after Aaron Rodgers was lost for the season, knowing he doesn’t have too many years left in the tank? The team did a good job of bringing in veterans along the offensive line, but have they done enough? Do they believe in the durability of their current veteran group enough to take the chance on a playmaking wide receiver or even Brock Bowers in the first round, or do they make a run at one of the very talented offensive linemen at the top of the draft?

The playmaker might be better for New York in the short term, but how often will they have the chance to pick an offensive lineman with top-caliber potential like this year? How will they balance the long-term versus short-term returns?

Who will be the first defensive player off the board — and when?

This isn’t the deepest or most lauded defensive class, and because of that, you’ll likely see most, if not all, of the first 10 draft picks target offensive players. That begs the question: Who is the first defensive player off the board, and when will they be selected?

The candidates are any of the pass rushers, Dallas Turner, Laiatu Latu and Jared Verse, with Turner being the favorite after an incredible athletic showing at the NFL scouting combine. Then there are the cornerbacks. Terrion Arnold and Quinyon Mitchell both have a lot of momentum on their side to be the first cornerback taken.

The Falcons at No. 8, the Vikings at No. 11, the Broncos at No. 12, the Raiders at No. 13 and the Colts at No. 15 all could use top defensive talent. But is there a consensus feeling among the group to trade back if they are going for a defensive player? Will we see multiple moves of that nature?

Sam Monson

When will the first running back come off the board?

There will be no running backs selected in Round 1. There is talk we may not see any taken in Round 2. This class has been discussed as featuring an extremely poor running back group. The money thrown at veterans in free agency could well be seen as an indication that the NFL agrees and knows what is coming in the draft.

But I think this class is far stronger than people are giving it credit for, and the fact that the best players at the position could be available in the middle rounds will prove to be incredible value for the teams that do snag an impact playmaker with those selections.

Is Keon Coleman actually any good?

One of the most difficult evaluations in this draft, Florida State receiver Keon Coleman has a troubling statistical profile and is in the 1st percentile when it comes to separating against man coverage, but he has some elite plays on his tape and several evaluators — including former All-Pro receivers — keep finding themselves coming back to him as a player they want on their team.

How the NFL feels about Coleman will be interesting to monitor on draft day. In an incredibly strong receiver class, do Coleman’s red flags as a prospect cause him to fall, or will there be a team that finds itself unable to turn down his enticing ability? Coleman is one of the most interesting players in this draft because he is at the center of some of the widest variance in opinion when it comes to projecting what he can accomplish in the NFL.

Steve Palazzolo

What will the Denver Broncos do about their quarterback situation?

Of all the quarterback-needy teams, the Broncos are in the worst position to make a move at quarterback due to not having a second-round pick. They’re already sitting on a massive dead cap hit following the release of Russell Wilson, and Sean Payton heads into his second year as head coach with Jarrett Stidham sitting atop the depth chart.

The intrigue here centers on Payton and how patient he can be to find his quarterback of the future, or if the Broncos are forced to give up future draft capital to move up to take one of the top three to four quarterbacks on the board. It’s a similar situation to the Carolina Panthers heading into the 2022 draft, as they had No. 6 overall and then no picks until Round 4 in a weak quarterback draft. The Panthers passed on a signal-caller until trading up in Round 3 to take Matt Corral. Will the Broncos draft their favorite quarterback at No. 12, trade up into the top 10 or wait until the middle rounds to settle for the next wave of quarterbacks in this draft?

Does Brock Bowers get drafted in the top 10?

For the second time in four years, the draft appears to have one of the best tight end prospects of all time. In 2021, the Atlanta Falcons made Kyle Pitts the No. 4 overall pick, and while Pitts is a fantastic player, it’s difficult to match his production with the value expected from that draft slot. Will this force teams to shy away from Georgia’s Brock Bowers, who, like Pitts, has a unique skill set?

Pitts flashed outside wide receiver skills and a long, mismatch-creating frame. Bowers has slot receiver skills, as a route runner and after the catch. When ranking the top 10 players in the draft, most analysts have Bowers clearly in that group, but will the NFL see it the same way and draft a tight end amid a class filled with strong options at high-value positions like wide receiver, offensive tackle and edge rusher?

Gordon McGuinness

Will Drake Maye really slide?

What started as a discussion about the Washington Commanders taking LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels over North Carolina’s Drake Maye with the second overall pick has now developed into the potential for Maye to slide toward the backend of the top 10.

I would take Maye over Daniels, but I can see the logic in prioritizing Daniels. However, I absolutely cannot buy Drake Maye sliding outside the top three. He was second in this draft class with 35 big-time throws and made a turnover-worthy play on just 1.9% of his dropbacks in 2023. That’s not a quarterback teams should let fall on draft night.

How many wide receivers will go in Round 1?

Seven of the top 32 players on the final PFF big board, and 20 of the top 90, are wide receivers. While it’s obvious that Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr., LSU’s Malik Nabers and Washington’s Rome Odunze will all be drafted earlier, Nabers’ LSU teammate Brian Thomas Jr. is the only other likely first-round selection. By the end of the first round, it’s fair to question what the drop-off in talent is between the remaining receivers and those available at the end of Round 2, especially with the lack of depth at other positions.

To put it another way, if a team needed a cornerback and wide receiver in this draft class, would they rather come away with Alabama cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry in Round 1 and Washington wide receiver Ja'Lynn Polk in Round 2 or Georgia wide receiver Ladd McConkey in Round 1 and Kentucky CB Andru Phillips in Round 2?

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