NFL News & Analysis

One major 2024 NFL Draft takeaway for all 32 NFL teams

2TBFG67 Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young (9) calls the play in the huddle during an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Peter Joneleit)

• Bryce Young is suddenly surrounded by talent: The Panthers rebuilt their interior offensive line in free agency and now added multiple weapons in the draft who should immediately contribute.

• The Rams are attacking Aaron Donald's retirement with vigor: Four of Los Angeles' first six draft picks were defensive linemen, and they come in all shapes and sizes.

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An electric 2024 NFL draft season is finally over, and every team comes away with a clearer picture of where they stand with their roster and as a franchise.

We’ll break down one significant takeaway for every team, some who made franchise-altering moves and others who continue to improve on the margins.


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: They have a quietly dynamic offense

Kyler Murray is well over a year removed from a torn ACL and is now surrounded by a very talented cache of skill players. Joining a group that already includes James Conner, Trey McBride, Michael Wilson and Greg Dortch are Marvin Harrison Jr. and Trey Benson.

Harrison is one of the best wide receiver prospects of the past decade. He led the FBS with a 92.3 receiving grade and has no major flaws in his game. He is the best receiver Arizona has had since prime Larry Fitzgerald.

Benson also arrives as a great complement to Conner in the backfield. His breakaway speed and tackle-breaking ability make him another dynamic threat for a team that quietly led the NFL in rushing grade last season. Though the Cardinals added some pieces defensively, they are still a work in progress on that side of the ball. The continued health of Kyler Murray and the additions of Harrison and Benson will give their offense a chance to compete.

Click here to see Marvin Harrison Jr.s 2024 NFL Draft profile.

Atlanta Falcons: They took a gamble, but they are set at quarterback for the foreseeable future

For years to come, there will be a debate about whether the Falcons should’ve taken Rome Odunze or a defensive player over Michael Penix Jr. This isn’t an indictment of Penix’s ability — he ranked sixth in the FBS in passing grade over the past two years — as much as it is a questioning of Atlanta’s process after signing Kirk Cousins.

The Falcons, though, have unquestionably the league’s most improved quarterback room in 2024. If Cousins’ Achilles injury is a problem moving forward, Penix will be good insurance in the short term. It seems likely now that Cousins won’t be in Atlanta for more than two seasons. With Penix in the fold, Atlanta knows who its quarterbacks will be for at least the next four years.

That security is seen as an asset for a team that had no sustainable succession plan after Matt Ryan’s departure.

Baltimore Ravens: Cornerback is now one of the strengths of the team

Baltimore’s cornerback room last season consisted of a mix of stable, if unspectacular, veterans, many who battled injuries throughout the year. Only one, Ronald Darby, earned a 70.0-plus overall grade, and only Brandon Stephens played at least 600 snaps during the team’s 19 games. The Ravens added two incredibly talented cornerbacks in the draft who could raise the production ceiling of that group.

Clemson’s Nate Wiggins brings incredible speed and length and posted an excellent 83.5 single-coverage grade in 2023. If he adds a few pounds to his frame, he could be the best cornerback in this year’s class.

Baltimore also got a fourth-round steal in Iowa State’s T.J. Tampa, who ranked 51st overall on the PFF big board. At 6-foot-1 and 189 pounds, Tampa brings a physical presence to the table and allowed just 9.6 yards per reception last season, the third-best mark in the Big 12. Baltimore’s pass defense just got a lot better with the addition of Wiggins, Tampa and edge rusher Adisa Isaac.

Buffalo Bills: Balance will be the key to Buffalo’s offense

After trading Stefon Diggs, the Bills don’t have one individual player, outside of quarterback Josh Allen, who can take games over. What they have done with the additions of Keon Coleman and Ray Davis is give Allen a deep group of viable options to work with.

Coleman joins a wide receiver group that includes Khalil Shakir and Curtis Samuel. He adds an element of size and contested catch ability to a team that made just 29 contested catches during the 2023 regular season. Allen and offensive coordinator Joe Brady proved down the stretch last year that they could succeed by more evenly distributing targets throughout the offense.

Also of note is the selection of Kentucky’s Ray Davis, which should help keep James Cook fresh for an entire season. Davis posted a 91.4 rushing grade in 2023 despite the Wildcats’ struggles to block in front of him. He also flashed ability in the passing game throughout his college career and should contribute immediately to a backfield that will continue to emphasize the run game.

Carolina Panthers: Bryce Young is suddenly surrounded by talent

Perhaps no player in the NFL has benefited more from his team’s offseason than Bryce Young. His new head coach, Dave Canales, spearheaded Baker Mayfield’s incredible turnaround in Tampa Bay. The Panthers rebuilt the interior offensive line in free agency and now added multiple weapons in the draft who should immediately contribute.

They got things started by trading into the first round to acquire South Carolina’s Xavier Legette, who adds terrific size and speed that was previously missing from the Panthers’ offense. Next came the top running back on PFF’s big board, Jonathon Brooks. He was likely on his way to winning the Doak Walker Award before suffering a torn ACL. Lastly, they added Brooks’ teammate Ja’Tavion Sanders to lead off Day 3. Sanders could start immediately at tight end.

Carolina acquired four legitimate weapons, the above rookies plus Diontae Johnson, and greatly improved the league’s second-worst interior offensive line. If Dave Canales can unlock Bryce Young like he did with Baker Mayfield, the Panthers could surprise many prognosticators who still think they are the worst team in the league.

Chicago Bears: On paper, they have the most talented offense in team history

The hype around Caleb Williams in Chicago is completely justified when one considers the franchise has still never had a 4,000-yard passer in its long history. Williams, the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner, is the most talented quarterback in Bears history. His improvisational skills are already elite. He just needs to make safer decisions with the football when under pressure.

Chicago made the correct decision in selecting wide receiver Rome Odunze at No. 9 overall. Odunze finished 2023 with an 89.5 receiving grade and led the nation with more than 1,600 receiving yards. He joins D.J. Moore and Keenan Allen to form a potentially elite trio of weapons. With two starting-caliber tight ends in tow, as well as three productive running backs, the Bears will have postseason expectations for Williams and company despite his rookie status.

Cincinnati Bengals: Swinging for the fences

Three years from now, we could look at the Bengals' 2024 draft class as one of the league’s best. They added several talented players at positions of need, including offensive tackle Amarius Mims and wide receiver Jermaine Burton.

Mims is a productive, freakish athlete at 6-foot-8 and 340 pounds. However, he battled injuries at Georgia and played just over 800 snaps across three seasons. He may be the biggest boom-or-bust pick of the entire first round.

Cincinnati also took a chance on Alabama’s Jermaine Burton, who was rumored to have character concerns and never eclipsed 60 targets during his four college seasons. He could be a solid third option for Joe Burrow. Burton was incredibly efficient when targeted, averaging a fantastic 20.5 yards per reception in 2023. If they succeed, Mims and Burton could catapult the Bengals back into Super Bowl contention.

Cleveland Browns: Added depth at positions of need

The Browns didn’t have many early picks this year due to the Deshaun Watson trade, so they had to efficiently target positions of need. For the most part, the theme was depth-building at key spots.

College rivals Michael Hall Jr. and Zak Zinter stand out as trench depth on defense and offense, respectively. Hall was quietly one of the better interior pass rushers in this draft. He finished second in the nation in pass-rush win rate, behind Byron Murphy II, in 2023. Zinter is a gritty run blocker who fits Cleveland’s gap-heavy scheme well.

Among other depth selections were wide receiver Jamari Thrash and linebacker Nathaniel Watson. Cleveland’s draft didn’t have the flashy name recognition of many other classes, but the team well to add productive players where needed.

Dallas Cowboys: Filling in the trenches

Dallas had eight selections in the 2024 NFL Draft, and five of them were linemen. Such is life when two starting offensive linemen and multiple defensive linemen leave in free agency.

On the offensive side, tackle Tyler Guyton and guard Cooper Beebe are the marquee names to watch. Guyton, a former defensive end, is a terrific athlete but a bit of a project after posting a 59.0 true pass-blocking grade this past season. Beebe, the third-rounder out of Kansas State, led all FBS guards with his 91.8 pass-blocking grade over the past two years. Both should be expected to start this year in Dallas, with their alignment being the only real question.

Defensively, Western Michigan’s Marshawn Kneeland is the player to watch from Dallas’ draft class. The Cowboys' recent weakness in big games was run defense. Kneeland is coming off a season where he finished 10th in the nation in PFF run-defense grade (83.4). Dallas entered the 2024 NFL Draft aiming to improve in the trenches. It appears the team has done so.

Click here to see Cooper Beebe's 2024 NFL Draft profile.

Denver Broncos: From Eugene to Denver, Sean Payton forges his path to offensive success

The Broncos added talented players on both sides of the ball, including running back Audric Estime, edge rusher Jonah Elliss and cornerback Kris Abrams-Draine. The story, however, is the new pair of Oregon Ducks who are expected to jumpstart the offense.

Head coach Sean Payton believes he’s found his franchise quarterback in Bo Nix, who finished 2023 with an FBS-leading 92.7 passing grade and 85.5% adjusted completion rate. He’s efficient and rarely makes mistakes. The question moving forward will be whether Denver’s offense can be explosive. Luckily, they added Nix’s most explosive teammate during the draft, as well.

Wide receiver Troy Franklin, who ranked 29th in PFF's big board, was an absolute steal in the fourth round. While he’s a bit thin, he has blazing long speed and finished 2023 with an elite 3.32 yards per route run mark. His chemistry with Nix should be an immediate asset, and his speed should complement Courtland Sutton.

Detroit Lions: They’ve completed the overhaul of their biggest weakness, the secondary

Detroit ranked 30th in the NFL in coverage grade last season. They would have likely made the Super Bowl otherwise. So, the Lions started the offseason by adding veterans Carlton Davis and Amik Robertson, and they’ve now acquired two excellent rookies who make their cornerback unit incredibly viable.

Alabama’s Terrion Arnold adds a feisty presence to the secondary. Surely, head coach Dan Campbell loves Arnold's competitiveness after seeing him finish 2023 with five interceptions, 13 pass breakups and a 90.6 run-defense grade. Arnold’s ability to play inside or outside could play a pivotal role if the team is trying to use Brian Branch in a more traditional safety role.

Detroit selected another outstanding SEC cornerback in Missouri’s Ennis Rakestraw Jr. Rakestraw also finished with an excellent run-defense grade last season (89.0). He is one of the best zone cornerbacks in this draft class and missed only three tackles last season. The Lions fixed their biggest flaw and now seem poised for a Super Bowl run in 2024.

Green Bay Packers: Talent infused in the middle of their defense

With all due respect to Green Bay’s offensive selections, including Jordan Morgan and Marshawn Lloyd, the story of the Packers’ offseason is the new talent in the middle of their defense. Their biggest free-agent acquisition, free safety Xavier McKinney, is a perfect fit for Jeff Hafley’s defense. They continued to target players in the draft who can help them at safety and linebacker.

The Packers selected Georgia’s Javon Bullard, Oregon’s Evan Williams and Oregon State’s Kitan Oladapo in the draft — all safeties. They are very versatile players who provide an infusion of talent, especially in the slot and the box. They should all contribute on special teams, as well, giving the Packers one of the deeper safety units in the NFL.

Linebacker was also a position of need after the team lost De’Vondre Campbell in free agency. Texas A&M’s Edgerrin Cooper should be expected to start after posting an FBS-leading 90.8 overall grade in 2023. Third-round linebacker Ty’Ron Hopper profiles as a good backup who showed solid blitzing ability throughout his college career.

Houston Texans: Added depth to a team with plenty of star talent

The Texans arguably have been the story of the NFL offseason. Their splurge in free agency and trade for Stefon Diggs will have many picking them to compete for an AFC championship, if not more. They used the 2024 NFL Draft to add pieces to the thinnest parts of their roster.

Offensive players like tackle Blake Fisher, tight end Cade Stover and running back Jawhar Jordan likely won’t start, but they are all high-floor pieces who can contribute in some form this season. Stover seems likely to find a role as the backup to Dalton Schultz.

The same motif applies on defense with secondary additions like cornerback Kamari Lassiter and safety Calen Bullock. Lassiter may start across from Derek Stingley Jr., and even if he doesn’t, he will certainly see playing time. Bullock was arguably the best single-high safety in this year’s class. He just struggles with tackling. Also, keep an eye on seventh-rounder Marcus Harris, who led all SEC defensive tackles in PFF run-defense grade (87.4) in 2023.

Indianapolis Colts: Value at the top of the draft

The Colts came into the 2024 draft needing top-tier talent at wide receiver, cornerback and edge defender. While they waited until Day 3 to select coverage help, they did bring in premier players at the other two spots.

Their first-round pick, UCLA edge Laiatu Latu, was rightfully the first defensive player off the board. He was college football’s best defender over the past two seasons and finished 2023 with a 96.3 overall grade that is unmatched in PFF college history.

In the second round, Indianapolis may have gotten a steal in Texas wide receiver Adonai Mitchell. He ranked fourth among wide receivers on PFF’s big board yet was the 11th player selected at the position. He has massive potential as a savvy route runner with excellent size. The Colts got it right by drafting talented players at premium positions.

Jacksonville Jaguars: LSU Tigers steal the show

Jacksonville made headlines by drafting three LSU players among their first five selections, two of which may come with heavy scrutiny.

Wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. is a reasonable selection and will start immediately after the release of Zay Jones. Thomas, who posted a 99.9 deep receiving grade in 2023, gives Trevor Lawrence another explosive vertical threat to work with alongside Gabe Davis.

The more polarizing selections came later in defensive tackles Maason Smith and Jordan Jefferson. Smith, a former top recruit, never quite lived up to his potential in Baton Rouge. He finished 2023 with a 65.3 overall grade, but the Jaguars still felt he was worthy of a second-round selection. Jefferson, the 214th-ranked player on the PFF big board, was selected in Round 4 after posting a 62.6 pass-rush grade during his college career.

Kansas City Chiefs: Brett Veach got everything he wanted

Dynasties are created because a great team continues to draft well with less-than-ideal resources. Chiefs general manager Brett Veach has become the master of resourcefulness.

Kansas City's offense needed a vertical receiver? They traded up to select Xavier Worthy, the fastest player in NFL scouting combine history. They needed a pass-protecting left tackle? They traded up again for BYU’s Kingsley Suamataia.

Then there is, of course, the longstanding tradition of Kansas City selecting late-round defensive backs and turning them into major contributors. L’Jarius Sneed, Joshua Williams, Jaylen Watson and Chamarri Conner are past names that stand out. This year, the players to watch are safety Jaden Hicks and cornerback Kamal Hadden. The Chiefs continue to quietly nail the draft process every year.

Las Vegas Raiders: They didn’t get a quarterback, but they added offensive cornerstones

When all was said and done, the Raiders were the team left out of the quarterback carousel in the first round of the draft. They responded by selecting the class' premier tight end in the class and arguably the best offensive lineman in the class with their next two picks.

Either Gardner Minshew or Aidan O’Connell is going to love throwing to former Georgia Bulldog Brock Bowers. The two-time John Mackey Award winner is one of the greatest college tight ends of all time. His ability after the catch is reminiscent of George Kittle. He could immediately pair with Michael Mayer to form one of the NFL’s premier tight end duos.

Las Vegas also needed help on the offensive line. Second-round pick Jackson Powers-Johnson should start immediately at right guard. He was college football’s best center last season, but he also brings ample guard experience and is an excellent pass protector no matter where he plays. The Raiders will find a franchise quarterback sometime in the future, but they did an excellent job adding talent elsewhere early in this year’s draft.

Click here to see Jackson Powers-Johnson's 2024 NFL Draft profile.

Los Angeles Chargers: This is certainly Jim Harbaugh’s team

The Chargers’ draft class had Jim Harbaugh’s fingerprints all over it. They selected tackle Joe Alt fifth overall, creating a potentially lethal pairing with Rashawn Slater. Among the other picks were a physical run stopper, a hard-charging running back, a supersized cornerback and, of course, two Michigan alums.

Of particular interest will be the three wide receivers they selected. Second-rounder Ladd McConkey figures to start immediately. His route running and versatility will be immediately useful in the team’s thin receiver room. Seventh-rounders Cornelius Johnson and Brenden Rice should compete for roster spots, as well. Johnson, whom Harbaugh coached at Michigan, brings good size and speed. Rice, son of Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, doesn’t have plus traits but is a savvy route runner with a knack for creating separation.

Make no mistake, Jim Harbaugh is building the Chargers in the same image as he’s built all his teams.

Los Angeles Rams: Aaron Donald is gone, but there are plenty of defensive linemen to work with

The Rams have decided to try to replace Aaron Donald’s production with an assembly line of defensive linemen. Four of their first six draft picks were defensive linemen, and they come in all shapes and sizes.

First-rounder Jared Verse has the potential to be the best defensive player in this class. Verse posted a 91.8 pass-rush grade during his two years at Florida State, the ninth-best mark in the nation. His Florida State teammate, Braden Fiske, brings athleticism on the interior.

Late-round picks Brennan Jackson and Tyler Davis add a physical presence to the unit, as well. Both players are incredibly strong and should help the Rams stay near the top of the league in run defense. There are a ton of pieces up front for new defensive coordinator Chris Shula to work with.

Miami Dolphins: Speed, speed, and more speed

As if the Dolphins needed any more speed on offense, they added playmakers on Day 3 of the draft like Jaylen Wright and Malik Washington to fortify the arsenal. Wright joins Raheem Mostert and De’Von Achane to form perhaps the fastest backfield in football history. Washington, who finished second in the nation in receiving grade last season, is an absolute steal in the sixth round and went to a perfect situation in Miami.

The Dolphins also have arguably the most loaded edge group in the NFL. They already possessed excellent veterans in Bradley Chubb, Jaelan Phillips and Shaquil Barrett. Joining them is Chop Robinson, a freak athlete himself, and Mohamed Kamara, a former linebacker, to form a deep unit that could terrorize opposing passers.

The Dolphins may still have some weaknesses at some interior spots, but they are loaded with athletes on both sides of the ball.

Minnesota Vikings: They got their quarterback and still made two first-round picks

Despite speculation that the Vikings could trade into the top five to select a quarterback, they came away with J.J. McCarthy while trading up just one spot in the process. The fact that they got their quarterback and were still able to select Dallas Turner in the first round should be considered a win.

There’s been plenty of conversation about the Bears’ supporting cast around Caleb Williams, but McCarthy may be walking into a better situation. He joins an offense with Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, T.J. Hockenson, Aaron Jones and a terrific tackle duo. McCarthy’s adjustment to the NFL should be a lot easier with those stars around him and Kevin O’Connell calling plays.

Defensively, the Vikings have emphasized improvement to their front seven this offseason. They continued to do so by trading up to select Dallas Turner at No. 17 overall. Turner is the premier speed rusher in this class. He’s an incredible athlete who can also drop into coverage. He is exactly what Brian Flores looks for in his outside linebackers and joins Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel to form a formidable edge group.

New England Patriots: Drake Maye and his rookie weapons are the foundation of the offense

New England needed to add a franchise quarterback and young athletes to their offense to compete in the AFC East. They added just that, starting with North Carolina’s Drake Maye, who led the FBS with 80 big-time throws over the past two years. Whether Maye starts on day one or sits behind Jacoby Brissett in the short term, the Patriots found their franchise quarterback.

Surrounding Maye will be rookie wide receivers Ja’Lynn Polk and Javon Baker. Polk is a reliable deep threat with some of the best hands in the class. Baker is an ultra-competitive player who finds separation downfield despite a lack of elite speed. Both should compete for early playing time. Keep an eye out, as well, for seventh-round tight end Jaheim Bell. He is a bit undersized but is a versatile weapon who can make people miss in space. He could compete for designed touches with his athletic play style.

New Orleans Saints: Where do their top picks fit in?

New Orleans made just two selections in the first four rounds of the draft. Oregon State right tackle Taliese Fuaga helps their offensive line in some fashion, especially if Ryan Ramczyk is unable to overcome nagging knee injuries. If Ramczyk does play in 2024, it brings into question where Fuaga will play on the line. He played all of his 1,564 college snaps at left tackle.

The Saints also traded up in the second round to select Alabama cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry. McKinstry is a great talent and value with the 41st overall pick, so it is curious why New Orleans selected him when the team's outside cornerbacks ranked third in coverage grade last season. The Saints struggled to cover in the slot last season, so it’s fair to wonder if that pick could’ve been someone like Mike Sainristil.

New York Giants: A ton of rookie contributions are on the way at the skill positions

The Giants spent free agency improving in the trenches and then used all of their draft capital at skill positions.

Offensively, Malik Nabers, the FBS leader in receiving grade in 2023, will immediately step in as their top threat. Fourth-rounder Theo Johnson is a size-speed weapon at tight end who was underutilized at Penn State. If Darren Waller retires this offseason, Johnson could push for the starting job with a good training camp showing. Former Purdue running back Tyrone Tracy Jr. could also compete for touches in a running back room that is thin behind Devin Singletary.

New York’s top defensive picks, Tyler Nubin and Andru Phillips, could both start immediately. Nubin, especially, fills a massive void left at safety after the departure of Xavier McKinney. The Giants needed a haul of potential starters in this draft, and they very well may have gotten it.

New York Jets: Everything falls on Aaron Rodgers’ shoulders now

The Jets entered the offseason needing to overhaul their offensive line and add weapons to complement Garrett Wilson. Mission accomplished. Several offensive line additions in free agency give them a potentially solid starting five up front. Mike Williams is a contested catch receiver, which the team lacked last season. Their draft haul is a continuation of this process.

First-rounder Olu Fashanu is their future left tackle — and possibly the best pure pass protector in this year’s class. New York then traded up in the third round to select Western Kentucky’s Malachi Corley, who is an unpolished route runner but a monster with the ball in his hands. Corley should help an offense that ranked dead last in slot receiving grade last season.

Add in the running backs they selected later, Braelon Allen and Isaiah Davis, and the final remaining variable is Aaron Rodgers and his recovering Achilles. If Rodgers can function at all like he always has, the Jets are an extremely talented and dangerous team.

Philadelphia Eagles: Howie Roseman does it again

Eagles general manager Howie Roseman is rightly regarded as the best drafter in the league. His team finished 28th in the NFL in coverage grade in 2023, and he responded by selecting the top two cornerbacks on PFF’s big board, Quinyon Mitchell and Cooper DeJean.

There are draft steals every year, but Philadelphia selecting Mitchell and DeJean is highway robbery. Mitchell led the FBS in overall grade in each of the past two seasons, and DeJean is one of the cleanest projections in the class with his plus athleticism and clean technique. These two players put the Eagles back in Super Bowl contention.

As if that weren’t enough, the Eagles also landed Ainias Smith, Johnny Wilson and Jeremiah Trotter Jr. far later than many expected. They had another terrific draft and continue to show why they are annual contenders.

Pittsburgh Steelers: A terrific draft class headlined by the offensive line

Regardless of who will be playing quarterback for them in 2024, the Steelers will not see offensive improvement unless they fix their offensive line. Selecting offensive linemen with three of their first five draft picks should go a long way toward accomplishing that goal.

First-rounder Troy Fautanu should start on day one at left tackle after posting the fifth-best pass-blocking grade in the FBS last year. Second-round pick Zach Frazier should start immediately at center. He posted a 77.1 overall grade at West Virginia last season while not allowing a sack. Finally, South Dakota State’s Mason McCormick was selected in the fourth round after dominating at the FCS level this season.

The Steelers' offensive line finished 26th in overall grade in 2023. The unit should be much better than that very soon.

Click here to see Troy Fautanu's 2024 NFL Draft profile.

San Francisco 49ers: They are, for now, loaded with talent at wide receiver

The 49ers surprised many by selecting Florida wide receiver Ricky Pearsall with the 31st overall selection. Pearsall’s presence adds intrigue to the trade rumors surrounding San Francisco, especially since he was also teammates with Brandon Aiyuk during their time at Arizona State. In any case, Pearsall is an ultra-reliable player who Kyle Shanahan will love to scheme open.

Even after adding Pearsall, the 49ers selected another excellent slot receiver in Jacob Cowing, who leads the FBS with 3,263 receiving yards since 2021. He was one of the most productive receivers in this class despite a Tank Dell-esque frame. The 49ers are loaded at wide receiver. It remains to be seen who will be playing in San Francisco in 2024.

Seattle Seahawks: They nailed their first two picks

Seattle desperately needed to improve in the trenches to breed success in head coach Mike McDonald’s first season. They accomplished just that by selecting Texas defensive tackle Byron Murphy II and UConn guard Christian Haynes with their first two picks.

Murphy joins Leonard Williams to form one of the better interior pairings in the league. He led the FBS in pass-rush grade and pass-rush win rate in 2023. He is also an extremely strong player in run support. On the offensive side, Haynes should compete for the starting right guard job. He is a consistent pass protector and arguably the best zone-blocking guard in this year’s class.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Quietly had one of the NFL’s best drafts

The Buccaneers were the lowest-graded team to make the postseason last year, so despite their success, there was plenty of room for improvement heading into the offseason. Top to bottom, they had one of the best drafts in the NFL.

First-round pick Graham Barton is likely to start at center right away. Chris Braswell immediately joins an edge rotation that lacks a true star. Tykee Smith should compete to start at nickel back. Jalen McMillan gives them an excellent slot option. Bucky Irving is the second-best back on their team right now.

Throw in late-round fliers on UTEP guard Elijah Klein, who led all FBS guards in pass-blocking grade in 2023, and Washington tight end Devin Culp, who ran a 4.47-second 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine, and the Buccaneers earn an easy A for their work in this year’s draft.

Tennessee Titans: They emphasized size early and coverage late

The Titans selected two players early who could be the first two off the bus for them on game days. They didn’t get the opportunity to draft Joe Alt, so they went with the massive JC Latham at No. 7 overall. In the second round, they selected 366-pound defensive tackle T’Vondre Sweat to anchor their run defense. The mission was clear early for the Titans: get bigger and more physical.

After that, Tennessee added a few intriguing coverage players in Cedric Gray, Jarvis Brownlee Jr. and James Williams. Gray is an excellent athlete who could specialize in coverage on late downs early in his career. Brownlee is incredibly competitive in coverage and led all FBS cornerbacks in run-defense grade over the past four years. Lastly, Williams has an odd build for a safety but led all Power Five safeties in coverage grade over the past two seasons.

Washington Commanders: Dan Quinn and Adam Peters nailed their first draft together

The Commanders put on a clinic on how to reset a franchise in one offseason. They added several solid veterans in free agency. Much of the suspense entering the draft related to their quarterback situation. LSU’s Jayden Daniels was their choice, with the 2023 Heisman winner having displayed his immense potential by posting a 94.7 overall grade that led all FBS offensive players last year.

Washington also got a second-round steal in defensive tackle Jer'Zhan Newton, PFF’s 11th-ranked player in the draft, as well as slot cornerback Mike Sainristil, tight end Ben Sinnott, tackle Brandon Coleman and wide receiver Luke McCaffrey on Day 2. They continued to bulk up on defense in the late rounds and came away with one of the best draft hauls in the league.


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