The 2024 NFL Draft

Written by: Michael Hager | Freelancer

The National Football League’s annual draft was held in Detroit, Michigan, which is home to the Detroit Lions. This year’s draft was in the downtown area at award-winning Campus Martius Park and Hart Plaza. The NFL draft started this year on April 25, 2024, and ended April 28.

The NFL draft is comprised of seven rounds, each consisting of 32 picks. Every NFL team has the opportunity to make a selection in each round. The draft order adds an intriguing layer to the process. 

To maintain competitiveness and provide struggling teams with fresh talent, the NFL allocates the highest draft picks to teams with the poorest records. This means that the unfortunate silver lining of finishing as the worst team in a season is the privilege of acquiring the Number One Overall Draft Pick in the subsequent year. 

Conversely, the reigning Super Bowl champions are relegated to the back of the line and receive the number 32 pick in each round. The remaining teams are positioned based on their regular season records, playoff performance, and, if applicable, other relevant factors. 

The underlying principle is straightforward: by granting the most advantageous picks to struggling teams, the NFL aims to facilitate their improvement and sustain competitiveness across the league.

Nothing is set in stone in the intricate world of NFL draft picks. Teams have the flexibility to trade their picks for other selections, players or a combination of both. 

The complexity of these exchanges is exemplified by a prime example from the 2024 draft. Last year, the Chicago Bears held the coveted Number One Overall Pick in the 2023 Draft. However, they made a strategic move by trading it to the Carolina Panthers before the draft commenced. 

In exchange, they acquired wide receiver DJ Moore and a package of four draft picks spanning multiple drafts. One of these picks included the first-round selection in the 2024 draft. 

The gamble paid off handsomely for the Bears. Despite relinquishing the top pick to the Panthers, who selected quarterback Bryce Young, the Bears secured the Number One Overall Pick in the current draft season, thanks to the Panthers finishing with the league’s worst record in the previous season.

Trading draft picks is a dynamic process. It allows some teams to accumulate multiple picks in a single round, while others may have fewer or none at all due to previous trades. 

Teams strategically weigh the advantages of current and future drafts, searching for bargains in later rounds to maximize their chances of success. While the process may seem complex, adept maneuvering can yield significant rewards in the NFL draft.

For reference, offensive positions include Quarterback, Wide Receiver, Offensive Tackle, Offensive Guard, Tight End and Center. This is the first time in NFL draft history where there were no defensive players selected in the first fourteen picks — additionally, this is the first time all quarterbacks were selected in the first round. 

At the start of the draft, the NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, goes on to the stage and says his famous line, “With the first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft the…” 

With the first pick, the Chicago Bears — from Carolina — selected QB Caleb Williams, from the University of Southern California. This year, the Bears have the first pick and it’s been known by the sports world that Williams would become their first choice. Williams has been projected to be the first pick ever since he declared his entry for the draft at the end of the season. 

For the second pick, the Washington Commanders selected QB Jayden Daniels, from Louisiana State University — LSU. Daniels was a close second behind Williams for the first pick of the draft. The 2024 Heisman winner will likely bring great talent to the Commanders, but only time will tell.

The New England Patriots had the third pick and selected QB Drake Maye, from the University of North Carolina. The Patriots have been searching for their next Tom Brady — Maye has a shot at being just that.

In the fourth pick, the Arizona Cardinals selected WR Marvin, “Maserati Marv,” Harrison Jr, hailing from Ohio State University. The Cardinals got a true number-one receiver to help out Kyler Murry. Harrison was projected as the best receiver in this draft. 

The Los Angeles Chargers, with the fifth pick, selected OT Joe Alt, from the University of Notre Dame. Alt is expected to be a great help to Herbert and the Chargers with the offensive line. 

The sixth pick, the New York Giants, selected WR Malik Nabers, from LSU. Surprising the world, the Giants chose not to draft a QB, instead opting to bring in fresh receiving talent. Naber talks a big game and hopes that he can help QB Daniel Jones turn things around in New York.

The seventh pick, the Tennessee Titans, selected OT JC Latham, from the University of Alabama. The Titans shore up their offensive line to help out their young QB, Will Levis. 

For the eighth pick, the Atlanta Falcons selected QB Michael Penix Jr., from the University of Washington. The Falcons shocked the world by drafting Penix after they signed Kirk Cousins to a huge deal earlier in the year. Kirk Cousins said to the press, “Honestly, that might be worse than 28-3.” 

With the ninth pick, the Chicago Bears selected WR Rome Odunze, from the University of Washington. The Bears get some young help at receiver, hoping to grow with their young offensive players.  

The New York Jets swapped places with the Minnesota Vikings and, with the tenth pick, they selected QB J.J. McCarthy, from The University of Michigan. McCarthy, fresh off a National title, was swooped up by the Vikings, in the hopes that Michigan produced another Brady.

The eleventh pick, the Minnesota Vikings, swapped places with the New York Jets and selected OT Olu Fashanu from Pennsylvania State University. The Jets are hoping that this addition will help QB Aaron Rodgers last more than three and a half minutes on the field. 

The twelfth pick, the Denver Broncos, selected QB Bo Nix, from the University of Oregon. This was also a surprise to fans because, with Nix becoming the last QB in the draft, they seemed to steal it away from their division rival the Las Vegas Raiders.

The Las Vegas Raiders, with the thirteenth pick, selected TE Brock Bowers, from the University of Georgia. The Raiders were stunned that there were no more QBs left on the board at pick thirteen, taking Bowers who should make a big impact with a lackluster receiving core. 

With the fourteenth pick, the New Orleans Saints selected OT Taliese Fuaga, from Oregon State University. Fuanga has the potential to be a great help to the struggling offensive of the Saints. 

Finally, the fifteenth pick, the Indianapolis Colts, selected EDGE, Laiatu Latu, from the University of California Los Angeles. The Colts now have a defensive player off the board, making Latu the best defender in the draft. Time will tell if this proves to be the case. 

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