NFL Draft News & Analysis

One thing every team must do in the 2024 NFL Draft

2T894HX Clemson, United States. 18th Nov, 2023. November 18, 2023: North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye (10) throws on third down against the Clemson Tigers in the ACC Football matchup at Memorial Stadium in Clemson, SC. (Scott Kinser/CSM/Sipa USA) (Credit Image: © Scott Kinser/Cal Sport Media/Sipa USA) Credit: Sipa US/Alamy Live News

• The Washington Commanders should take Drake Maye: Washington is currently favored to select Jayden Daniels at No. 2, but it should instead take the former North Carolina quarterback.

• The Minnesota Vikings should try to move up to No. 3: Instead of moving up for J.J. McCarthy, Minnesota should try to get up even further for Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels.

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We’ve made it.

The 2024 NFL Draft is one day away. Here’s what every team must do to best position themselves for the future.


ARZ | ATL | BLT | BUF | CAR | CIN | CHI | CLE | DEN | DAL | DET | GB | HOU | IND | JAX | KC | LVR | LAC | LAR | MIA | MIN | NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF | SEA | TB | TEN | WSH

Arizona Cardinals: Ensure you come out of the draft with one of the top three receivers

The Cardinals are in a prime position to address their biggest need: wide receiver. The most likely scenario is that they stick at No. 4 and take a once-in-a-decade type of talent in Marvin Harrison Jr.

If they get offered a king’s ransom from a team looking to move up for a quarterback, they should be willing to move down. If they do, then they should look to trade back up to ensure that they at least pick up Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze. General manager Monti Ossenfort did this just last year when he moved back from No. 3 to No. 12 then back up to No. 6 to take Paris Johnson Jr.

Regardless, the Cardinals need to leave the first round with a bonafide No. 1 receiver in Harrison/Nabers/Odunze.

Atlanta Falcons: Prioritize pass-rush at No. 8… but don’t be closed off to adding one more weapon

It’s no secret that Atlanta has had a serious problem getting after the quarterback. The Falcons have been outside the top 25 of team PFF pass-rushing grade in each of the last three seasons. With the eighth pick, they can add a pass-rusher with a high floor (Laiatu Latu) or chase one with upside (Dallas Turner).

They could also add one more weapon to an already stacked offense if Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze is available. If they do, they’d have easily one of the best offenses on paper in the NFL.

Baltimore Ravens: Attack offensive line early and often

The Ravens lost three starters from last year’s offensive line in right tackle Morgan Moses, left guard John Simpson and right guard Kevin Zeitler. They also didn’t add anything in free agency outside of tackle Josh Jones, who seems more like a depth piece than a projected starter.

Baltimore should prioritize the offensive line early in the draft and could take one at No. 30 overall.

Buffalo Bills: Find at least one starting-caliber wide receiver

Buffalo’s receiving corps is starting to look pretty barren after it traded away Stefon Diggs and let Gabe Davis walk in free agency. The Bills currently don’t roster a receiver who’s hit 900 yards in a single season.

In a loaded wide receiver class, Buffalo should try to find at least one player who’ll start as a rookie. They’ll likely do that with the No. 28 overall pick and take someone like Adonai Mitchell. The Bills could also try to trade up for Brian Thomas Jr.. Double-dipping in this receiver class later in the draft would be a shrewd move as well with Josh Allen needing more talented options to throw to.

Carolina Panthers: Surround Bryce Young with more talent

It definitely wasn’t a pretty rookie season for Bryce Young. The 2023 No. 1 overall pick’s 52.6 passing grade was the second-worst in the league, ahead of only Mac Jones. While Young certainly didn’t look great, a lot of his struggles should be attributed to his supporting cast. The Panthers finished the season with the third-worst receiving grade in the NFL and the sixth-worst pass-blocking grade. 

In order to figure out whether or not Young can be its franchise quarterback, Carolina should prioritize finding some more offensive talent on Day 2 and Day 3.

Chicago Bears: Don’t pass up Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze if they’re there

The Bears have done a masterful job of providing presumptive No. 1 pick Caleb Williams with an excellent situation, much better than most No. 1 overall picks have (see above). They have an excellent receiver duo in D.J. Moore/Keenan Allen, a good tight end in Cole Kmet, a young and talented offensive line, a talented running back unit and an exciting new offensive coordinator in Shane Waldron.

However, the Bears can take it just one step further by adding either Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze with the No. 9 overall pick and give Williams one of the best receiving corps in the league.

Cincinnati Bengals: Don’t pass up Brock Bowers if he’s somehow there

The Bengals are in a good spot in the draft where they don’t need to force any position and can instead let the board fall to them. One player they cannot pass up though is Georgia tight end Brock Bowers, the greatest tight end in college football history.

He might also be the GOAT tight end prospect and would form an incredible trio with Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. He can essentially fill the slot receiver void left by Tyler Boyd. Plus, it’d make the loss of Higgins sting less if he leaves after this upcoming season.

Cleveland Browns: Improve the run-defense

Cleveland had the best defense in the league last year thanks to its dominance on passing plays. The Browns and the 49ers were the only two teams who earned 90-plus pass-rush and coverage grades in 2023.

Defending the run was a different story as Cleveland finished with a bottom-10 run-defense grade for the second-straight season. Adding an interior defensive lineman like T’Vondre Sweat or Kris Jenkins on Day 2 would go a long way in improving that and making this defense nearly impenetrable.

Dallas Cowboys: Find multiple starting-caliber offensive linemen

The Cowboys lost starting left tackle Tyron Smith and center Tyler Biadasz in free agency and didn’t add anyone to replace them. 

Dallas needs to prioritize the offensive line in the draft and should likely do so with the No. 24 overall pick. It could target an offensive tackle (JC Latham or Amarius Mims), a center (Jackson Powers-Johnson) or someone who can play all five positions (Graham Barton). The Cowboys should continue looking to add to the offensive line on Day 2 and Day 3 as well.

Denver Broncos: Don’t leave the first round without a new quarterback

As it stands, the current Broncos’ starting quarterback is Jarrett Stidham. He earned sub-60 PFF grades in both of his starts last season.

The Broncos need to leave Thursday with a new signal-caller and should do so by sticking at No. 12 or even by trading back. There, they can likely either select Michael Penix Jr. or Bo Nix as their next starting quarterback.

Detroit Lions: Let the board fall to them

It may sound obvious, but that’s what you get with one of the most complete rosters in the league. The Lions have done an excellent job this offseason of plugging the few holes they had after making the NFC Championship Game last year. 

They’re in a great spot to just take the best player available in the draft, with an added focus on wide receiver, interior offensive line, edge defender and in the secondary. Detroit could still head into 2024 with this exact roster and be a top team in the NFC.

Green Bay Packers: Spend an early-round pick on an offensive lineman

The Packers released longtime left tackle David Bakhtiari this offseason and starting right guard Jon Runyan departed for the New York Giants. Green Bay heads into the draft looking to replace both, especially Runyan since Rasheed Walker was solid in Bakhtiari’s absence.

Selecting someone like Graham Barton or Jackson Powers-Johnson at No. 25 would make a lot of sense, as would someone like Cooper Beebe on Day 2.

Houston Texans: Focus heavily on defense

Houston’s offense is essentially set after trading for Stefon Diggs and adding Joe Mixon this offseason. Now, it needs to turn its attention to the other side of the ball.

The Texans need to add more to what was a below-average defense last season, specifically at cornerback, interior defensive line and linebacker. If they do that, they might be able to go even further than the divisional round.

Indianapolis Colts: Find a starting outside cornerback

The biggest need on the Colts’ roster is at outside cornerback, with JuJu Brents and Dallis Flowers currently penciled in as the starters. Both have yet to earn 70-plus PFF season grades.

Indianapolis should prioritize one at No. 15 or in the second round if Brock Bowers is still available. With the Colts running zone coverage at the highest rate in the league (76.5% in 2023), someone who thrives with their eyes on the quarterback should be a priority. Players like Cooper DeJean or Quinyon Mitchell make the most sense in the first round while someone like Ennis Rakestraw Jr. would be a good scheme-fit in the second.

Click here to see Quinyon Mitchell's 2024 NFL Draft profile.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Grab a receiver early in the draft

The current starters for the Jaguars at wide receiver are Christian Kirk, Gabe Davis and Zay Jones. All are better suited as complementary options and none strike fear into a team as a No. 1 receiver.

While it seems unlikely that Jacksonville will spend the No. 17 pick on a receiver and instead use it on a cornerback, it should prioritize finding Trevor Lawrence another weapon somewhere on Day 2. Someone like Keon Coleman, Ricky Pearsall or Roman Wilson would be a good pick at No. 48.

Kansas City Chiefs: Spend the first pick on a wide receiver

Even after signing Marquise Brown, the Chiefs should still prioritize wide receiver in the draft with their first selection, especially with Rashee Rice’s legal issues. With the No. 32 pick, the back-to-back champions could select someone like Troy Franklin or Ladd McConkey to round out the room.

Las Vegas Raiders: Don’t trade up for a quarterback

The Raiders have many needs on this roster outside of quarterback, so trading draft capital to move up for a new franchise signal-caller wouldn’t be wise. Instead, Las Vegas can stick at No. 13 and take Michael Penix Jr. or the top cornerback/offensive tackle on its board.

Los Angeles Chargers: Be open to trading down

Jim Harbaugh is currently in the process of molding the Chargers’ roster, saying goodbye to mainstays like Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Austin Ekeler.

Trading the fifth pick to a team looking to move up for J.J. McCarthy would be wise in order to add a couple of premium players on Thursday.

Los Angeles Rams: Target a pass-rusher in the first round

With the retirement of Aaron Donald, the Rams now have a clear need along the interior defensive line. That’s in addition to their existing need at edge defender as Los Angeles had the third-lowest-graded edges in the league last year as a unit.

With the No. 19 pick, the Rams should target players like Jer’Zhan Newton, Laiatu Latu and Byron Murphy II to add some pass-rush juice.

Miami Dolphins: Attack the trenches

The Dolphins should address both the offensive line and defensive line in the 2024 NFL Draft. Christian Wilkins left for the Las Vegas Raiders in free agency, so Miami now has a glaring need along the interior defensive line. Jer’Zhan Newton or Byron Murphy II would be a great fit at No. 21 overall.

The Dolphins could also look to add either an offensive tackle or interior offensive lineman with that pick since they could certainly use an upgrade at guard and left tackle Terron Armstead is consistently banged up at 32 years old. Troy Fautanu, JC Latham, Amarius Mims, Graham Barton or Jackson Powers-Johnson could be where they look in the first round as well.

21. Miami Dolphins: T Amarius Mims, Georgia

Minnesota Vikings: Do your absolute best to get to No. 3

After losing Kirk Cousins in free agency, Minnesota is currently slated to start Sam Darnold at quarterback. When the Vikings traded for the No. 23 pick back in March, that signaled to everyone that they were getting the ammo necessary to move up for a quarterback. 

Many have penciled in the Los Angeles Chargers as their trade partner, but the fifth pick would likely only net them J.J. McCarthy. Instead, the Vikings should try to trade with the New England Patriots for the No. 3 pick and select Drake Maye. He has both a higher floor and ceiling than McCarthy and would likely hit that ceiling in an excellent environment in Minnesota

Head coach Kevin O’Connell already joked that he may have sent a bouquet of flowers to Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft. He should throw in multiple first-rounders as well.

New England Patriots: Spend Day 2 and Day 3 improving the environment for their next quarterback

The Patriots will likely select their quarterback of the future with the No. 3 pick in Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels. Regardless of who they select, New England should spend the rest of the draft surrounding their new signal-caller with as much talent as possible.

The Patriots currently have dire needs both at wide receiver and left tackle. New England should focus on those positions with its remaining seven picks and try to improve what’s currently one of the offensive environments in the league.

New Orleans Saints: Use their first-round pick on an offensive tackle

The Saints have concerns at both tackle spots right now. 2022 first-round pick Trevor Penning struggled in his first season earning real playing time, posting just a 56.1 grade. Ryan Ramczyk has consistently been one of the best right tackles in the league but New Orleans reportedly has real concerns over his availability this season with his knee not responding to surgery as it hoped.

With the No. 14 pick, the Saints should target an offensive tackle like Olu Fashanu or Taliese Fuaga to ease some of their concerns.

New York Giants: Take Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze

There are reports that the Giants are interested in J.J. McCarthy with the No. 6 pick and they can certainly upgrade at quarterback with the Daniel Jones contract looking worse and worse by the day. However, New York should focus on adding a talented pass-catcher with the sixth pick.

The Giants had the worst receiving grade in the league last year and need a true alpha receiver. Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze would immediately be New York’s top weapon the second he walks into the building.

New York Jets: Continue adding weapons for Aaron Rodgers

The team with the second-worst receiving grade last year was the Giants’ next-door neighbor. Unlike the Giants, the Jets are fortunate in that they already have a No. 1 receiver in Garrett Wilson and added Mike Williams in free agency, but they can stand to find a new slot receiver and tight end.

Brock Bowers would fill both those roles and is arguably the greatest tight end prospect ever. Rome Odunze would also be a fantastic selection for New York at No. 10 if he fell there.

Philadelphia Eagles: Get younger at cornerback

With the No. 22 pick in the draft, the Eagles should be looking to add more young talent at cornerback. Darius Slay, James Bradberry and Bradley Roby are all on the wrong side of 30 and Philadelphia finished with the fifth-worst coverage grade in the league last year.

Someone like Kool-Aid McKinstry or Cooper DeJean would go a long way in improving the Eagles’ secondary both in 2024 and in the future.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Surround the new quarterbacks with more talent

The Steelers did a nice job this offseason of adding Russell Wilson and Justin Fields into their quarterback room without giving up too much in draft capital or cap space. Now, Pittsburgh needs to focus on adding more offensive talent for whoever takes over at quarterback.

Finding a starting-caliber offensive tackle and center should be at the forefront of their minds while adding more talent at wide receiver is pivotal too with the departure of Diontae Johnson.

San Francisco 49ers: Improve the offensive line

The 49ers should once again be seen as Super Bowl contenders thanks to one of the most complete rosters in the league. One area San Francisco should address early in the draft is along the offensive line. While they led the league in PFF run-blocking grade last year (83.8), the 49ers were tied for the eighth-worst in PFF pass-blocking grade (57.2). 

At No. 31, San Francisco could look to add a versatile player like Graham Barton, who’ll allow the 49ers to play their five best offensive linemen.

Seattle Seahawks: Find starting-caliber interior offensive linemen

Seattle’s biggest need is arguably along the interior offensive line. None of the Seahawks’ projected three starters earned 55-plus PFF grades in 2023. 

They could look to add a player like Troy Fautanu at No. 16 who can kick inside or wait until Day 2 for someone like Christian Mahogany.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Target an edge defender in the first round

After releasing Shaquil Barrett, the Buccaneers are currently thin at edge defender. The projected starters, Joe Tryon-Shoyinka and YaYa Diaby, each earned sub-65 PFF grades last year. 

Tampa Bay would be wise to add a high-ceiling player like Chop Robinson with the No. 26 pick.

Tennessee Titans: Joe Alt no matter what

The Titans should be crossing their fingers and toes that the former Notre Dame left tackle is available with the seventh pick. Not only is Alt the best tackle prospect since Penei Sewell, he also fits Tennessee’s biggest need as Nicholas Petit-Frere is currently slated to start at left tackle.

Washington Commanders: Take Drake Maye

Betting odds currently indicate that Jayden Daniels is the favorite to be the No. 2 pick in the draft. However, the Commanders should go in a different direction with the second pick.

Drake Maye has considerably more arm talent than Daniels and has earned 90-plus grades in both of his years as a starting quarterback (Daniels took until Year 5 to accomplish that feat). He also elevated a pretty bad supporting cast at North Carolina whereas Daniels played with two first-round receivers (Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr.) and the likely OT1 in 2025 (Will Campbell). Maye’s floor is much higher than what’s being advertised and he can be a Justin Herbert-esque quarterback in this league. The Commanders already passed on Herbert once in 2020, they can’t afford to do it again.

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