Ranking each team's 2024 NFL Draft class: Ranking each team's 2024 NFL Draft class: Bears, Commanders, Steeler



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The 2024 Draft is a wrap. And, like most drafts, it’s really hard not to like what almost all of the teams did. Because as long as those teams filled their biggest needs, and didn’t grossly overreach to do so, it’s difficult — and silly — to announce one group as obvious losers without any of the 257 players drafted having yet stepped foot on a field during an NFL game.

Knowing that, I used three categories to break down the team-by-team drafts: “Drafts I loved,” “Drafts I liked,” and “Drafts that left me wanting more.” Within those categories I also assigned team grades (but no grade was lower than “C” because, again, unless you’re repeatedly selecting long snappers in Rounds 1-7, it’s hard to flunk the draft).

Basically: I would advise you not to get hung up on the labels or grades, but to focus on which picks stood out, which provided the best value, and which were most surprising. Of course, I know many of you reading this won’t do that — you’ll just fire off some angry tweets and how your favorite team has been disrespected — and that’s OK, too.

One more thing: I tweeted this out in case you’re interested, a peek behind the curtain: Here is my final big board, which shows what round I projected each player to go in Rounds 1-4 and where they actually were selected.

OK, let’s get to it.

Drafts I loved

1. Bears: A+

Round 1, pick 1: Caleb Williams, QB, Southern California
Round 1, pick 9: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington
Round 3, pick 11: Kiran Amegadjie, OT, Yale
Round 4, pick 21: Tory Taylor, P, Iowa
Round 5, pick 9: Austin Booker, EDGE, Kansas

Favorite pick: I’m going chalk here because if Caleb Williams turns out to be the answer in Chicago, the Bears are going to be in the playoff conversation for the next decade. And if Williams is, say, 70% of what CJ Stroud was as a rookie, the success is coming next season, which explains why the Bears over-under win total as of this writing is 9.0. And I like the over.

Best value: I graded Austin Booker as a late fourth-rounder and he ended coming off the board nine picks into Round 5, so not great value but the Bears needed an edge rusher to bookend Montez Sweat and Booker, who will need to add pass-rush moves to his arsenal — and he could stand to gain 10-15 pounds — is probably a year away from being a consistent contributor. (We talked to Booker at the combine on With the First Pick, check that out here.

Most surprising pick: Like a lot of folks, I figured the Bears would target an edge rusher with the No. 9 pick, but when Rome Odunze was still sitting there, it made too much sense not to take him. As a playmaker, he made huge strides from 2022 to 2023, is a locker-room culture guy from Day 1, and it’s easy to envision him and Williams tormenting NFC defenses for the foreseeable future.

2. Commanders: A+

Round 1, pick 2: Jayden Daniels, QB, Louisiana State
Round 2, pick 4: Johnny Newton, DL, Illinois
Round 2, pick 18: Mike Sainristil, CB, Michigan
Round 2, pick 21: Ben Sinnott, TE, Kansas State
Round 3, pick 3: Brandon Coleman, OG, TCU
Round 3, pick 36: Luke McCaffrey, WR, Rice
Round 5, pick 4: Jordan Magee, LB, Temple
Round 5, pick 26: Dominique Hampton, S, Washington
Round 7, pick 2: Javontae Jean-Baptiste, EDGE, Notre Dame

Favorite pick: We talked to Ben Sinnott at the combine, a few weeks after a standout performance at the Senior Bowl, and when he was asked in team interviews who he compared himself to, he said Sam LaPorta. And if he truly does want to make teams pay for passing on him, that’s great news for Jayden Daniels.

Best value: Maybe Johnny Newton fell to Round 2 because of a foot injury that sidelined him for much of the pre-draft process but he has first-round tape. And, yes, there’s serious depth along the defensive line, but a) Newton’s ability makes him hard to pass up early in Round 2, and b) Jonathan Allen and Phil Mathis’ contracts are set to expire after the 2025 season.

Most surprising pick: Luke McCaffrey is the easy answer. And while the Commanders took him with names like Troy Franklin, Jha’Quan Jackson and Malik Washington still on the board, McCaffrey is still learning the position. He’s a converted QB who flashed the ability to make contested-catch and run through arm tackles in space, and he’d embrace doing the dirty work on an offense that includes Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson.

3. Steelers: A+

Round 1, pick 20: Troy Fautanu, OT, Washington
Round 2, pick 19: Zach Frazier, OC, West Virginia
Round 3, pick 21: Roman Wilson, WR, Michigan
Round 3, pick 34: Payton Wilson, LB, North Carolina State
Round 4, pick 19: Mason McCormick, OG, South Dakota State
Round 6, pick 2: Logan Lee, DL, Iowa
Round 6, pick 19: Ryan Watts, CB, Texas

Favorite pick: It’s hard not to love Troy Fautanu, in part because of the way he plays, in part because he grew up a huge Troy Polamalu fan. He was a dominant left tackle for the Huskies but he has four (and maybe five) position
versatility along the offensive line.

Best value: If Payton Wilson didn’t have an extensive injury history he’s a likely first-round pick. He patterns his game after Luke Kuechly and Kuechly has described Payton as a longer, faster version of himself. It’s going to be a lot of fun
watching him and Patrick Queen on the field together.

Most surprising pick: The Steelers had to fix the offensive line and they did that with their first two picks, but to circle back in Round 4 and get Mason McCormick, the interior offensive lineman from South Dakota State who dominated the Shrine Bowl, it almost felt like a luxury pick (it wasn’t). New offensive coordinator Arthur Smith is going to run the ball and this draft class will have a lot to do with how successful they are in that endeavor.

4. Cardinals: A+

Round 1, pick 4: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State
Round 1, pick 27: Darius Robinson, EDGE, Missouri
Round 2, pick 11: Max Melton, CB, Rutgers
Round 3, pick 2: Trey Benson, RB, Florida State
Round 3, pick 7: Isaiah Adams, OG, Illinois
Round 3, pick 19: Tip Reiman, TE, Illinois
Round 3, pick 26: Elijah Jones, CB, Boston College
Round 4, pick 4: Dadrion Taylor-Demerson, S, Texas Tech
Round 5, pick 3: Xavier Thomas, EDGE, Clemson
Round 5, pick 26: Christian Jones, OT, Texas
Round 6, pick 15: Tejhaun Palmer, WR, UAB
Round 7, pick 6: Jaden Davis, CB, Miami

Favorite pick: GM Monti Ossenfort has crushed the draft since arriving in Arizona and this 2024 group is so loaded with talent, I could have four or five names for my favorite pick. I’ll settle on Dadrion Taylor-Demerson, the Shrine Bowl standout from Texas Tech who can play deep safety or in the slot, plays with controlled rage in the run game, and consistently takes good angles in both run support and coverage. I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had found his way into Day 2.

Best value: I thought Texas right tackle Christian Jones was a late-second/early-third talent, so to get him late in Round 5 is great value. Arizona’s No. 6 overall pick last year, Paris Johnson Jr., played right tackle as a rookie but if Jones finds his way into the starting lineup, Johnson Jr. can move to the left side.

Most surprising pick: Tip Reiman was the third TE off the board, behind Brock Bowers and Ben Sinnott. I graded Rieman as a fifth-round pick but even with Ja’Tavion Sanders, Theo Johnson and Jared Wiley on the board, the Cardinals opted for the Illinois tight end, who can run through arm tackles in space, and at 271, has the size to match the want-to as a blocker.

5. Ravens: A

Round 1, pick 30: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson
Round 2, pick 30: Roger Rosengarten, OT, Washington
Round 3, pick 29: Adisa Isaac, EDGE, Penn State
Round 4, pick 13: Devontez Walker, WR, North Carolina
Round 4, pick 29: TJ Tampa, CB, Iowa State
Round 5, pick 29: Rasheen Ali, RB, Marshall
Round 6, pick 39: Devin Leary, QB, Kentucky
Round 7, pick 8: Nick Samac, OC, Michigan State
Round 7, pick 30: Sanoussi Kane, S, Purdue

Favorite pick: The Ravens have a type at edge rusher and Adisa Isaac fits the mold; previously, it was Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo, and Isaac is similarly twitched up with plenty of room to grow.

Best value: I thought TJ Tampa had a chance to go in the first two rounds and lasts until the end of Round 4. My co-host on the “With the First Pick” podcast described Tampa as a poor man’s Joey Porter in that he’s long, can be a little stiff, but is consistently around the ball.

Most surprising pick: Every single selection felt like a Eric DeCosta draft but I’ll go with Roger Rosengarten, who got pinged for essentially two bad reps during the national title game. The rest of his tape was really good, and while I had him graded as a late third-rounder, he fills an obvious need in Baltimore and will have a chance to win the starting job.

6. Chiefs: A

Round 1, pick 28: Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas
Round 2, pick 31: Kingsley Suamataia, OT, BYU
Round 4, pick 30: Jared Wiley, TE, TCU
Round 4, pick 32: Jaden Hicks, S, Washington State
Round 5, pick 24: Hunter Nourzad, OC, Penn State
Round 6, pick 32: Kamal Hadden, CB, Tennessee
Round 7, pick 28: CJ Hanson, OL, Holy Cross

Favorite pick: There was some talk that Kingsley Suamataia would be a first-rounder. I didn’t see it when
I watched him; in fact, I had him graded as a mid-Day 2 pick, he has RT/LT versatility, and it feels like he’ll
be a better pro than college player.

Best value: My colleague Pete Prisco loves him some Jaden Hicks, and remains convinced that he
should’ve been a first-round pick. I also talked to some teams that thought Hicks was more than a box
safety and for the Chiefs to get a player I had as a second-round talent late in the fourth round was too
good to pass up.

Most surprising pick: The Chiefs landing Xavier Worthy isn’t surprising at all. That the Bills would trade
down and let the Chiefs take Worthy was one of the biggest Day 1 surprises outside of what happened in
Atlanta. The Bills and GM Billy Beane still crushed the draft, but I was certainly caught off guard when
this trade was announced.

7. Colts: A

Round 1, pick 15: Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA
Round 2, pick 20: Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas
Round 3, pick 15: Matt Goncalves, OG, Pittsburgh
Round 4, pick 17: Tanor Bortolini, OC, Wisconsin
Round 5, pick 7: Anthony Gould, WR, Oregon State
Round 5, pick 16: Jaylon Carlies, S, Missouri
Round 5, pick 28: Jaylin Simpson, S, Auburn
Round 6, pick 23: Micah Abraham, CB, Marshall
Round 7, pick 14: Jonah Laulu, EDGE, Oklahoma5

Favorite pick: I spent a lot of time over the last few months talking up Anthony Gould, so I obviously like that pick, but I’m going with offensive linemen Matt Goncalves and Tanor Bortolini; both of whom are starter-capable. Goncalves played in just four games because of injury but he was a Day 2 selection all day long based, and Bortolini, who tested through the roof at the combine, also had an impressive Senior Bowl. Protect the franchise QB at all cost and the Colts did it without overdrafting.

Best value: From December until the final pick in the first round, I was convinced that AD Mitchell would
be among the first 32 names off the board. He slipped to the 20th pick in Round 2, the Colts pounced,
and Anthony Richardson has another weapon. Why did Mitchell fall? There was a report about some off-
field concerns, and Colts GM Chris Ballard spoke in no uncertain terms about it all after Mitchell was selected.

Most surprising pick: I had spoken to several teams that had cleared Laitu Latu medically and
considered him a top-15 pick. So, in that sense, it’s not surprising that Latu went … 15th overall. What was surprising was that not only was he the first edge rusher taken, he was the first defensive player taken. But there is no more technically sound pass rusher than Latu and if he is healthy, watch out. (We talked to Latu at the combine and good luck finding someone who loves football more than this man).

8. Seahawks: A

Round 1, pick 16: Byron Murphy II, DL, Texas
Round 3, pick 17: Christian Haynes, OG, Connecticut
Round 4, pick 18: Tyrice Knight, LB, Texas-El Paso
Round 4, pick 21: AJ Barner, TE, Michigan
Round 5, pick 1: Nehemiah Pritchett, CB, Auburn
Round 6, pick 3: Sataoa Laumea, OG, Utah
Round 6, pick 16: DJ James, CB, Auburn
Round 6, pick 28: Michael Jerrell, OT, Findlay

Favorite pick: Here’s all you need to know about Christian Haynes:

And Haynes will have a chance to win the starting job in Seattle and the O-line will be better for it.

Best value: I thought both DJ James and Nehemiah Pritchett had a chance to be late Day 2 guys, but
both lasted until the middle of Day 3. James ran a 4.42 but weighs only 172 pounds. And Pritchett, who plays
primarily outside, ran a 4.36 but will need to improve his play strength.

Most surprising pick: I thought Byron Murphy II had a real chance to be the top defensive player
selected and not at No. 16 but as early as No. 8. But the run on offensive players was a recurring theme
through pick No. 14 and the Colts took Laitu Latu at No. 15, paving the way for the Seahawks to land
arguably the most disruptive player in this class.

9. Rams: A

Round 1, pick 19: Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State
Round 2, pick 7: Braden Fiske, DL, Florida State
Round 3, pick 20: Blake Corum, RB, Michigan
Round 3, pick 35: Kamren Kinchens, S, Miami
Round 6, pick 20: Tyler Davis, DL, Clemson
Round 6, pick 30: Joshua Karty, K, Stanford
Round 6, pick 34: Jordan Whittington, WR, Texas
Round 6, pick 38: Beaux Limmer, OG, Arkansas
Round 7, pick 34: KT Leveston, OT, Kansas State

Favorite pick: Good luck not loving everything about Braden Fiske. The Western Michigan transfer was dominant for the Seminoles, where he lined up alongside Jared Verse (the Rams first-round pick), and now he’ll join a young defensive line that includes Kobie Turner and Byron Young from the 2023 draft class.

Best value: I thought Beaux Limmer had a chance to go early on Day 3 so for the Rams to get him at the end of Round 6 is great value; he has played center and both guard positions in college and fits what Sean McVay likes to do with the power run game.

Most surprising pick: Kam Kinchens was getting Top 50 buzz before the 2023 season and his flashes on tape confirmed as much. But then he ran 4.65 at the combine and his stock took a hit. But the Rams have proven that 40-times aren’t the be-all, end-all — Puka Nacua ran in the 4.5s a year ago but he played fast. Kinchens plays fast and I love that L.A. didn’t get a slow 40 time affect their decision to take him on Day 2.

10. Bills: A-

Round 2, pick 1: Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State
Round 2, pick 28: Cole Bishop, S, Utah
Round 3, pick 31: DeWayne Carter, DL, Duke
Round 4, pick 27: Ray Davis, RB, Kentucky
Round 5, pick 6: Sedrick Van Pran-Granger, OC, Georgia
Round 5, pick 25: Edefuan Ulofoshio, LB, Washington
Round 5, pick 32: Javon Solomon, ED,
Round 6, pick 26: Tylan Grable,OT, Central Florida
Round 6, pick 40: Daequan Hardy, CB, Penn State
Round 7, pick 1: Travis Clayton,OL, England

Favorite pick: We didn’t hear much Edefuan Ulofoshio buzz from the media during the pre-draft process but I graded him as an early fourth-rounder and not only did the Bills get him Round 5, they’re getting a linebacker with 4.5 speed who has a nose for the football, takes good angles, is a wrap-up tackler, and shows the ability to cover in space.

Best value: Like Ulofoshio, I thought Daequan Hardy had a chance to go in the fourth round; instead, he was on the board at the end of Round 6, presumably because he’s only 5-foot-9, 179 lbs. But he also ran a 4.39 40 at the combine, has return ability, and plays way bigger than his size.

Most surprising pick: I admit it, I didn’t understand what the Bills were doing when they traded down, and allowed the Chiefs to move up for Xavier Worthy. But they still landed Keon Coleman, who feels like an upgrade over Gabe Davis, and added some much-need draft picks too. Coleman only ran a 4.61 at the combine, but his play speed is legit.

Drafts I liked

11. Buccaneers: A

Round 1, pick 26: Graham Barton, OC, Duke
Round 2, pick 25: Chris Braswell, EDGE, Alabama
Round 3, pick 25: Tykee Smith, S, Georgia
Round 3, pick 28: Jalen McMillan, WR, Washington
Round 4, pick 24: Bucky Irving, RB, Oregon
Round 6, pick 41: Elijah Klein, OL, UTEP
Round 7, pick 26: Devin Culp, TE, Washington

Favorite pick: The talk throughout the draft process was about Dallas Turner but Chris Braswell consistently flashed some juice throughout the 2023 season. I thought he might go a little higher but he certainly feels like a Todd Bowles pick.

Best value: He battled injuries for much of the season, but Jalen McMillan is a long strider who can stack defensive backs, has contested-catch ability, and is a willing blocker.

Most surprising pick: Graham Barton was a first-round pick all day long but I was surprised the Cowboys traded out of the 24th pick, passing on Barton in the process, and having him fall into the Bucs’ lap. With Ryan Jensen’s retirement, Barton feels like a Day 1 starter on the inside.

12. Vikings: A

Round 1, pick 10: JJ McCarthy, QB, Michigan
Round 1, pick 17: Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama
Round 4, pick 8: Khyree Jackson, CB, Oregon
Round 6, pick 1: Walter Rouse, OT, Oklahoma
Round 6, pick 25: Will Reichard, K, Alabama
Round 7, pick 10: Michael Jurgens, OL, Wake Forest
Round 7, pick 11: Levi Drake Rodriguez, DL, Texas A&M

Favorite pick: It’s incredibly hard not to love J.J. McCarthy when you talk to him, and there are few better landing spots for a young QB than the Vikings and Kevin O’Connell. Plus, the team only had to trade up one spot to get him.

Best value: Walter Rouse, the Stanford transfer had a solid 2023 season for the Sooners and I had him as
an early Day 3 pick. That didn’t hear his name called until two rounds later is great value for Minnesota.

Most surprising pick: It was no surprise that the Vikings took Dallas Turner, who very easily could’ve been EDGE1 in this
class, it’s that it cost so much to get him when they moved up from No. 23 to No. 17 — specifically, picks No. 23 and No. 167 in the ’24 draft, but also a third- and fourth-rounder in next year’s draft. If it works out like, say, it did for the Texans a year ago when they traded up for Will Anderson Jr., then no one will care. If the Vikings don’t have a big season, they’ll head into the ’25 draft with no second-, third- or fourth-round selections (though they will get a third-round compensatory pick for Kirk Cousins).

13. Saints: A

Round 1, pick 14: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State
Round 2, pick 9: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama
Round 5, pick 15: Spencer Rattler, QB, South Carolina
Round 5, pick 34: Bub Means, WR, Pittsburgh
Round 5, pick 39: Jaylan Ford, LB, Texas
Round 6, pick 23: Khristian Boyd, DL, Northern Iowa
Round 7, pick 19: Josiah Ezirim, OL, Eastern Kentucky

Favorite pick: The Saints needed to upgrade the offensive line and that they didn’t have to trade up to get
one of the best players in this class is a win-win. Taliese Fuaga was dominant during the season, dominant at the Senior Bowl, and feels like a Day 1 starter. 

Best value: I had Spencer Rattler as a third-round prospect and, of course, he lasted until Round 5. The Saints now have five QBs on the roster so it’ll be interesting to see how they sort this out, good luck finding a tougher player in this draft class.

Most surprising pick: Kool-Aid McKinstry entered last fall as CB1 but was outplayed by teammate Terrion Arnold. He suffered a foot injury that kept him from competing at the combine but later ran a 4.47 40 at his pro day, which I thought was enough to propel him into the first round. To get him nine picks into Round 2 is great value for New Orleans.

14. Packers: A

Round 1, pick 25: Jordan Morgan, OG, Arizona
Round 2, pick 13: Edgerrin Cooper, LB, Texas A&M
Round 2, pick 26: Javon Bullard, S, Georgia
Round 3, pick 24: MarShawn Lloyd, RB, Southern California
Round 3, pick 27: Ty’Ron Hopper, LB, Missouri
Round 4, pick 11: Evan Williams, S, Oregon
Round 5, pick 27: Jacob Monk, OG, Duke
Round 5, pick 33: Kitan Oladapo, S, Oregon State
Round 6, pick 24: Travis Glover, OT, Georgia State
Round 7, pick 25: Michael Pratt, QB, Tulane
Round 7, pick 35: Kalen King, CB, Penn State

Favorite pick: Man, the Packers killed this draft. I’m going with Javon Bullard as my favorite pick, but it just as easily could’ve been Ty’Ron Hopper or Evan Williams. Bullard might be an undersized slot but he plays bigger, stronger and faster than he measured.

Best value: Kitan Oladapo is a heat-seeking missile coming downhill, and as long as the play is in front of
him, he’s making a play on the ball.

Most surprising pick: I’m not surprised the Packers took a QB but I am surprised Michael Pratt lasted until the end of the seventh round. I thought he’d be off the board early on Day 3, especially after a strong week at the Senior Bowl.

15. Dolphins: A-

Round 1, pick 21: Chop Robinson, EDGE, Penn State
Round 2, pick 23: Patrick Paul, OT, Houston
Round 4, pick 20: Jaylen Wright, RB, Tennessee
Round 5, pick 23: Mohamed Kamara, EDGE, Colorado State
Round 6, pick 8: Malik Washington, WR, Virginia
Round 6, pick 22: Patrick McMorris, S, California
Round 7, pick 21: Tahj Washington, WR, Southern California

Favorite pick: It’s impossible not to love the Jaylen Wright selection because few things are more enjoyable than watching this Dolphins offense when it’s hitting on all cylinders.

Best value: The Dolphins needed edge rush depth and they added two of the twitchiest pass rushers in the class in Chop Robinson in Round 1, then Mo Kamara in Round 5. Kamara will be a designated pass rusher early in his career but, man, can he get after it.

Most surprising pick: I love Malik Washington so the only real surprise is that a) he lasted until the sixth
round, and b) the Dolphins took him because he managed a 4.47 40 time. That’s a joke – he’s a terror out of the slot and gives Miami and Tua yet another weapon.

16. Chargers: A-

Round 1, pick 5: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame
Round 2, pick 2: Ladd McConkey, WR, Georgia
Round 3, pick 5: Junior Colson, LB, Michigan
Round 4, pick 5: Justin Eboigbe, DL, Alabama
Round 5, pick 2: Tarheeb Still, CB, Maryland
Round 5, pick 5: Cam Hart, CB, Notre Dame
Round 5, pick 19: Brennan Jackson, EDGE, Washington State
Round 6, pick 5: Kimani Vidal, RB, Troy
Round 7, pick 5: Brenden Rice, WR, Southern California
Round 7, pick 33: Cornelius Johnson, WR, Michigan

Favorite pick: Ladd McConkey is the best route runner in this class and I wonder if the Patriots will wish they hadn’t traded out of this pick.

Best value: I thought Brendan Rice was an early Day 3 talent so to get him in the seventh round is great news for the Chargers and Justin Herbert. He’s a big target with contested-catch ability.

Most surprising pick: There were some rumblings that JC Latham could be the first offensive tackle off the board, and it made sense here (even though I like Olu Fashanu and Joe Alt more). I have no problem with Joe Alt being OT1, I just wonder how difficult it will be to move him from LT to RT at the next level. He’s an insane athlete, so maybe it’s not a huge deal, but it’s something I’ll be monitoring in ’24.

17. Giants: A-

Round 1, pick 6: Malik Nabers, WR, Louisiana State
Round 2, pick 15: Tyler Nubin, S, Minnesota
Round 3, pick 6: Andru Phillips, CB, Kentucky
Round 4, pick 7: Theo Johnson, TE, Penn State
Round 5, pick 30: Tyrone Tracy Jr., RB, Purdue
Round 6, pick 7: Darius Muasau, LB, UCLA

Favorite pick: The Giants reportedly tried to trade up to No. 3 to get Drake Maye. Staying put for Malik Nabers feels like the right move. In part because first-round QBs work out about half the time, in part because Nabers fills a huge need in New York where he could put up OBJ rookie numbers in Year 1.

Best value: Theo Johnson was my TE3 and I thought he could go in Round 2. He’s enormous, ran in the 4.5s and while he didn’t have much production at Penn State, his best football could be ahead of him.

Most surprising pick: Teams were higher on Andru Phillips than I was, and I don’t have any real issue with taking him here, even if I thought he might not go off the board until Round 4. He’s a physical corner who excels in man coverage, though he can get too handsy at times downfield.

18. Lions: A-

Round 1, pick 24: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama
Round 2, pick 29: Ennis Rakestraw Jr., CB, Missouri
Round 4, pick 25: Giovanni Manu, OT, British Columbia
Round 4, pick 31: Sione Vaki, S, Utah
Round 6, pick 13: Mekhi Wingo, DL, Louisiana State
Round 6, pick 31: Christian Mahogany, OG, Boston College

Favorite pick: The Lions had real needs at cornerback and to have Terrion Arnold fall to 24 is a gift from the football gods. He’s one of the most motivated players we’ve ever talked to.

Best value: I loved Ennis Rakestraw Jr. in the first round, but I know teams had concerns about his size,
injury history, and long speed. His physicality reminded me of Devon Witherspoon.

Most surprising pick: The Lions gave up a 2025 third-rounder to get Giovanni Manu in the fourth round. He’s incredibly raw, and will need to redshirt — almost certainly on the active roster — so it’ll be interesting to see how soon he develops in Detroit.

19. Eagles: B+

Round 1, pick 22: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo
Round 2, pick 8: Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa
Round 3, pick 30: Jalyx Hunt, EDGE, Houston Christian
Round 4, pick 26: Will Shipley, RB, Clemson
Round 5, pick 17: Ainias Smith, WR, Texas A&M
Round 5, pick 20: Jeremiah Trotter Jr., LB, Clemson
Round 5, pick 36: Trevor Keegan, OG, Michigan
Round 6, pick 9: Johnny Wilson, WR, Florida State
Round 6, pick 14: Dylan McMahon, OC, NC State

Favorite pick: I love the first two picks because Quinyon Mitchell and Cooper DeJean fill huge needs in the secondary, but I’ll lean to DeJean because a) he’s such great value, b) has position flexibility, and c) offers something in the return game.

Best value: I thought Jeremiah Trotter Jr. would be a late Day 2 pick but the Eagles got him midway through Round 5.

Most surprising pick: Few players tougher than Will Shipley but at Clemson, I thought he was good — not great — in space, and was a good — but not elite — athlete. And any athletic advantages he had at the college level might be neutralized in the NFL. We’ll see, and it’s hard to fault anything Howie Roseman does on draft weekend.

20. Bengals: B+

  • Round 1, pick 18: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia
  • Round 2, pick 17: Kris Jenkins, DL, Michigan
  • Round 3, pick 16: Jermaine Burton, WR, Alabama
  • Round 3, pick 33: McKinnley Jackson, DL, Texas A&M
  • Round 4, pick 15: Erick All, TE, Iowa
  • Round 5, pick 14: Josh Newton, CB, TCU
  • Round 6, pick 18: Tanner McLachlan, TE, Arizona
  • Round 6, pick 35: Cedric Johnson, EDGE, Mississippi
  • Round 7, pick 4: Daijahn Anthony, S, Mississippi
  • Round 7, pick 17: Matt Lee, OL, Miami

Favorite pick: Yes, Amarius Mims made just eight starts in college but if you told me in three years, he was one of the best players from the 2024 class, I would have very little trouble believing you.

Best value: I tweeted this out days before the draft about Tanner McLachlan: 

NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah reported on Saturday that McLachlan had a core muscle injury that likely
affected his draft stock but he’s going to be a perfect fit in Cincinnati with Joe Burrow and Co.

Most surprising pick: Jermaine Burton had top 40 talent but off-field issues saw him fall — and maybe he
falls farther than the middle of Round 3 if not for the Bengals. If he can focus on football, this could be a
great pick.

21. Panthers: B+

  • Round 1, pick 32: Xavier Legette, WR, South Carolina
  • Round 2, pick 14: Jonathon Brooks, RB, Texas
  • Round 3, pick 8: Trevin Wallace, LB, Kentucky
  • Round 4, pick 1: Ja’Tavion Sanders, TE, Texas
  • Round 5, pick 22: Chau Smith-Wade, CB, Washington State
  • Round 6, pick 24: Jaden Crumedy, DL, Mississippi State
  • Round 7, pick 20: Michael Barrett, LB, Michigan

Favorite pick: There was no worse offense at creating separation than the 2023 Panthers. Xavier Legette solves that problem with both size and speed.

Best value: You don’t draft Ja’Tavion Sanders for his blocking, you draft him to stress defenses, both near the line of scrimmage and downfield.

Most surprising pick: This is only mildly surprising, and I love the pick, but Jonathon Brooks is coming off
an ACL injury so I thought he might not be the first RB drafted. That said, like Legette and Sanders, in
Carolina he’ll infuse some juice into a previously juiceless offense.

22. 49ers: B

  • Round 1, pick 31: Ricky Pearsall, WR, Florida
  • Round 2, pick 32: Renardo Green, CB, Florida State
  • Round 3, pick 23: Dominick Puni, OG, Kansas
  • Round 4, pick 23: Malik Mustapha, S, Wake Forest
  • Round 4, pick 28: Isaac Guerendo, RB, Louisville
  • Round 4, pick 34: Jacob Cowing, WR, Arizona
  • Round 6, pick 36: Jarrett Kingston, OL, Southern California
  • Round 7, pick 31: Tatum Bethune, LB, Florida State

Favorite pick: Ricky Pearsall could also quality for “most surprising pick,” but this is San Francisco,
where Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch have a pretty good sense for what makes this team go. Even
though I thought he was a mid-to-late second-rounder, Pearsall is going to excel in this offense.

Best value: It’s interesting, because the 49ers didn’t draft a single player after where I had them
projected (they were the only team to do that) but I thought Dominick Puni would likely be a late third-
round selection. He played tackle at Kansas (his future is most likely inside), is a good athlete who
moves well laterally, and played in a zone scheme that required him to get into space — something he did
consistently and efficiently.

Most surprising pick: I graded Malik Mustapha as a late Day 3 selection but clearly the 49ers felt differently. I will say, Mustapha on tape explodes downhill with his hair on fire but can be out of control at times, and looked a little stiff in his lateral movements. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him have success in San Francisco’s system.

23. Cowboys: B

  • Round 1, pick 29: Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma
  • Round 2, pick 24: Marshawn Kneeland, EDGE, Western Michigan
  • Round 3, pick 9: Cooper Beebe, OG, Kansas State
  • Round 3, pick 23: Marist Liufau, LB, Notre Dame
  • Round 5, pick 38: Caelen Carson, CB, Wake Forest
  • Round 6, pick 37: Ryan Flournoy, WR, Southeast Missouri State
  • Round 7, pick 12: Nathan Thomas, OT, Louisiana
  • Round 7, pick 24: Justin Rogers, DL, Auburn

Favorite pick: It’s hard not to love a player who idolized Troy Polamalu growing up and Marshawn Kneeland is just scratching the surface of what he can become as an edge rusher.

Best value: Justin Rogers has the size and power to play two gaps in the run game and while he doesn’t
offer much as a pass rusher, he’s a run stopper all day long with a surprising first step.

Most surprising pick: Marist Liufau plays at one speed, he’s a good athlete who moves well in space and
he’s a wrap-up tackler. And this is only a mild concern because he went just a few picks before where I
thought he might — but I had higher grades on Payton Wilson (who does have an extensive injury history),
and Ty’Ron Hopper, who were both still on the board.

24. Texans: B

  • Round 2, pick 10: Kamari Lassiter, CB, Georgia
  • Round 2, pick 27: Blake Fisher, OT, Notre Dame
  • Round 3, pick 14: Calen Bullock, S, Southern California
  • Round 4, pick 22: Cade Stover, TE, Ohio State
  • Round 6, pick 12: Jamal Hill, RB, Oregon
  • Round 6, pick 27: Jawhar Jordan, RB, Louisville
  • Round 7, pick 18: Solomon Byrd, EDGE, Southern California
  • Round 7, pick 27: Marcus Harris, DL, Auburn
  • Round 7, pick 29: LaDarius Henderson, OG, Michigan

Favorite pick: Cade Stover moved from the defensive side of the ball and his best football is in front of
him, both as a blocker and a receiver. This is great value.

Best value: I loved Marcus Harris’ tape and thought he had a chance to go 2-3 rounds higher. He had an
average Senior Bowl week, and maybe that affected his draft stock, but this feels like stealing.

Most surprising pick: This is “surprising” in a good way because I was talking about Kamari Lassister as
a first-round pick back in the fall. Then he ran the 4.64 at his pro day. Thing is, he looks bigger and plays
faster than he measured or timed. Credit to the Texans for trusting the tape.

25. Jets: B

  • Round 1, pick 11: Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State
  • Round 3, pick 1: Malachi Corley, WR, Western Kentucky
  • Round 4, pick 33: Braelon Allen, RB, Wisconsin
  • Round 5, pick 35: Jordan Travis, QB, Florida State
  • Round 5, pick 37: Isaiah Davis, RB, South Dakota State
  • Round 5, pick 40: Qwan’tez Stiggers, CB, Toronto Argonauts
  • Round 7, pick 37: Jaylen Key, S, Alabama

Favorite pick: Olu Fashanu went from playing with Caleb Williams in high school to playing with the man Williams patterns his game after: Aaron Rodgers. I love this pick because the Jets were able to bolster the O-line and still get a playmaker at wide receiver (see below).

Best value: Malachi Corley is basically a running back in a wide receiver’s body. He’ll complement Garrett
Wilson and Mike Williams nicely, and he’s basically a souped-up version of the tight end many Jets fans
thought they might end up with at No. 10.

Most surprising pick: I love that GM Joe Douglas added both Braelon Allen and Isaiah Davis to the
running backs room; they bring different styles than Breece Hall and Israel Abanikanda but that’s the
point — make the offense as diverse and hard to defend as possible.

Drafts that left me wanting more

26. Broncos: B-

  • Round 1, pick 12: Bo Nix, QB, Oregon
  • Round 3, pick 12: Jonah Elliss, EDGE, Utah
  • Round 4, pick 2: Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon
  • Round 5, pick 10: Kris Abrams-Draine, CB, Missouri
  • Round 5, pick 12: Audric Estime, RB, Notre Dame
  • Round 7, pick 15: Devaughn Vele, WR, Utah
  • Round 7, pick 36: Nick Gargiulo, OL, South Carolina

Favorite pick: I know he’s 15-20 lbs lighter but this was the first note I made when watching Jonah Ellis at Utah: “He looks like LaMarr Woodley getting off the bus.” He’ll be a designated pass rusher early in his NFL career but he can play both the run and get after the QB, and he does it with a consistently high motor.

Best value: I liked Kris Abrams-Draine as a late Day 2 pick but the Broncos got him nearly three rounds later. He’s undersized (he weighed just 179 at the combine) and while he played primarily outside at Missouri his NFL future will likely be in the slot.

Most surprising pick: The least surprising thing is that Bo Nix is the most surprising pick. Not because
the Broncos drafted him, but that they drafted him 12th overall. I heard Thursday morning before the
draft that it was likely going to happen. I thought of Nix more as a second-rounder but if anyone can get the most out of a young QB it’s Sean Payton.

27. Jaguars: B-

  • Round 1, pick 23: Brian Thomas Jr., WR, Louisiana State
  • Round 2, pick 16: Maason Smith, DL, Louisiana State
  • Round 3, pick 32: Jarrian Jones, CB, Florida State
  • Round 4, pick 14: Javon Foster, OT, Missouri
  • Round 4, pick 16: Jordan Jefferson, DL, Louisiana State
  • Round 5, pick 18: Deantre Prince, CB, Mississippi
  • Round 5, pick 31: Keilan Robinson, RB, Texas
  • Round 6, pick 33: Cam Little, K, Arkansas
  • Round 7, pick 16: Myles Cole, EDGE, Texas Tech

Favorite pick: Brian Thomas Jr. is the best deep threat in the draft class. Every time you turned on the tape it felt like he was running inside fades in the red zone that inevitably ended up as a touchdown.
Best value: Deantre Prince may not be a thumper as a tackler but he has good hands, showed the ability to stay in phase vs. SEC receivers on vertical routes and is consistently in position for PBUs.
Most surprising pick: I get the need at cornerback, but I didn’t love Jarrian Jones in Round 3. He struggled as a tackler in space, and while he ran a 4.38 at the combine, that speed didn’t always show up on tape.

28. Raiders: B-

  • Round 1, pick 13: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia
  • Round 2, pick 12: Jackson Powers-Johnson, OC, Oregon
  • Round 3, pick 13: Delmar Glaze, OT, Maryland
  • Round 4, pick 12: Decamerion Richardson, CB, Mississippi State
  • Round 5, pick 13: Tommy Eichenberg, LB, Ohio State
  • Round 6, pick 29: Dylan Laube, RB, New Hampshire
  • Round 7, pick 3: Trey Taylor, S, Air Force
  • Round 7, pick 9: M.J. Devonshire, CB, Pittsburgh

Favorite pick: For the longest time, it looked like Jackson Powers-Johnson would be a first-round pick. But as I talked to teams late in the process, many didn’t view him that way and he lasted until the 12th pick of Round 2. In Las Vegas, he should be a Day 1 starter.
Best value: Dylan Laube played at New Hampshire but fit right in vs. Power 5 opponents at the Senior Bowl. He’s an undersized running back who is willing to run between the tackles but is at his most effective on the edges, either as a runner or as a receiver (he can line up in the slot if you need him to). Bonus: Laube is a threat as a kick and punt returner, too.
Most surprising pick: Brock Bowers was one of the 10 best players in this draft, I was just surprised that the Raiders took him at No. 13 with so many other needs. That said, new offensive coordinator Luke Getsy runs a good amount of 12 personnel and Bowers and Mayer give the Raiders two of the most athletic TEs in the league.

29. Browns: B-

  • Round 2, pick 22: Michael Hall Jr., DL, Ohio State
  • Round 3, pick 22: Zak Zinter, OG, Michigan
  • Round 5, pick 21: Jamari Thrash, WR, Louisville
  • Round 6, pick 28: Nathaniel Watson, LB, Mississippi State
  • Round 7, pick 7: Myles Harden, CB, South Dakota State
  • Round 7, pick 23: Jowon Briggs, DL, Cincinnati

Favorite pick: Michael Hall Jr. is a twitched up defensive lineman who is consistently disruptive. And if he learns to play with lower pad level, good luck stopping him.
Best value: Jowon Briggs plays with a non-stop motor, is stout at the point, moves well laterally and he complements Michael Hall Jr.’s style. 
Most surprising pick: The Browns had just six picks, none in the first round, and I thought they took Zak Zinter a little early but I get it: When he’s healthy, he’s a starter. And taking him in the middle of the third round instead of the fourth is worth it if you love the player.

30. Patriots: B-

  • Round 1, pick 3: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina
  • Round 2, pick 5: Ja’Lynn Polk, WR, Washington
  • Round 3, pick 4: Caedan Wallace, OT, Penn State
  • Round 4, pick 3: Layden Robinson, OG, Texas A&M
  • Round 4, pick 10: Javon Baker, WR, Central Florida
  • Round 6, pick 4: Marcellas Dial, CB, South Carolina
  • Round 6, pick 17: Joe Milton III, QB, Tennessee
  • Round 7, pick 11: Jaheim Bell, TE, Florida State

Favorite pick: I really liked Caeden Wallace’s tape at Penn State and hopefully the plan is to play him at right tackle in New England. Michael Onwenu played there last season, but he prefers guard.
Best value: Had Jaheim Bell played with more consistency at Florida State he may have found his way into Day 2. He’ll be fighting for a roster spot in New England, but he has the athleticism to be a difference-maker as an NFL tight end.
Most surprising pick: I loved Ja’Lynn Polk’s tape at Washington and this is less about him than about the Patriots decision to trade down with Ladd McConkey still on the board. We’ll find out together if it was the right decision.

31. Titans: C+

  • Round 1, pick 7: JC Latham, OT, Alabama
  • Round 2, pick 6: T’Vondre Sweat, DL, Texas
  • Round 4, pick 6: Cedric Gray, LB, North Carolina
  • Round 5, pick 11: Jarvis Brownlee Jr., CB, Louisville
  • Round 6, pick 6: Jha’Quan Jackson, WR, Tulane
  • Round 7, pick 22: James Williams, LB, Miami
  • Round 7, pick 32: Jaylen Harrell, EDGE, Michigan

Favorite pick: JC Latham’s nickname is Trench — that should tell you all you need to know about his mindset. He was a right tackle and right guard at Alabama so I do wonder what the transition to left tackle will be like for him. But the Titans offensive line coach is also Bill Callahan, perhaps the best to ever do it.
Best value: After the success of Tank Dell, and to a lesser extent, Tre Turner last season, I thought we might see smaller receivers go earlier in this draft. Jha’Quan Jackson felt like a perfect candidate — it’s why I pegged him for late Day 2 — but he lasted until the sixth round. He’ll give Will Levis some much needed juice out of the slot.
Most surprising pick: Disregarding the off-field incident several weeks before the draft, T’Vondre Sweat is 360 pounds, and the question is whether he’s a three-down player (and if not, why take him so high). That said, we saw how effective he was at Texas alongside Byron Murphy II and maybe the Titans envision him having similar success next to Jeffery Simmons.

32. Falcons: C

  • Round 1, pick 8: Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington
  • Round 2, pick 3: Ruke Orhorhoro, DL, Clemson
  • Round 3, pick 10: Bralen Trice, EDGE, Washington
  • Round 4, pick 9: Brandon Dorlus, DL, Oregon
  • Round 5, pick 8: JD Bertrand, LB, Notre Dame
  • Round 6, pick 10: Jase McClellan, RB, Alabama
  • Round 6, pick 11: Casey Washington, WR, Illinois
  • Round 6, pick 21: Zion Logue, DL, Georgia

Favorite pick: Bralen Trice didn’t get the pub in the run up to the draft like Dallas Turner, Jared Verse or Laitu Latu, but he can set the edge against the run, is quick off the snap, can win with power as a pass rusher and plays with a relentless motor. I feel like this pick got obscured by the Falcons’ first two selections.
Best value: I liked Brandon Dorlus early in Round 3 and the Falcons were able to get him a round later. He’s powerfully built, uses his hands well to win early in the rep and is something of a tweener in that he can line up at several positions along the offensive line.
Most surprising pick: Michael Penix Jr. was my QB4, ahead of J.J. McCarthy, and I considered him a first-round pick throughout the process. I just didn’t understand why the Falcons took him at No. 8 given that they just signed Kirk Cousins, had needs on defense, and could have positioned themselves as the favorites in the NFC South with a first-round pick with a chance to contribute before the 2026 season.





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