The 2024 NFL draft order is starting to take shape as we hit Thanksgiving. There will be seven more weeks before we know exactly what the top 10 will look like and how the teams will stack up, but we at least have a decent idea right now of which teams will be in the mix. After all, six still have three or fewer wins through Week 11 of the 2023 NFL season and might have an eye to the future. Luckily, this draft class is loaded with upper-tier talent, including a few quarterbacks who should come off the board very, very quickly.
With all that in mind, we decided to take a quick spin through the top 10. NFL draft analysts Matt Miller, Jordan Reid and Field Yates debated which prospects make sense for each team projected to have an early selection. Which teams need quarterbacks? Who could get an elite receiver? And which franchises will look closely at the defensive prospects? Reid, Miller and Yates discussed each franchise’s options and needs before arriving at a consensus pick in each spot. Finally, they wrapped it all up by each naming a team to watch from the list of franchises outside the top 10.
Note: For the draft order, we used the ESPN Football Power Index’s projections (FPI) through Week 10 — not Week 11. That puts the Bears (via the Panthers) on the clock to get us started.
Jump to a pick:
CHI (via CAR) | NYG | ARI | NE | CHI
WSH | TEN | GB | LV | NYJ
Wild cards to watch
Yates: We might look back at Chicago’s decision to trade down with Carolina in March as one of the most impactful of recent years. Not only did the Bears bring in extra picks and a WR1 in DJ Moore, they also landed this projected No. 1 pick in 2024 — a massive coup. And while quarterback Justin Fields has had moments of promise, our FPI projects the Bears’ own pick to be No. 5 overall. If that happens, it’s unlikely Fields showed dramatic improvement over the rest of the season, meaning a reset at quarterback is probably in play.
Miller: Yup, if the Bears don’t turn things around, Fields is likely gone, and the front office will look to reset the quarterback clock. Let’s remember that general manager Ryan Poles didn’t draft Fields and must make a decision after this season on the quarterback’s fifth-year option. To date, Fields hasn’t shown enough to be paid like a top-tier quarterback, and the opportunity to draft a younger player with more promise (who also happens to be much cheaper) is super intriguing.
And we haven’t even gotten to USC’s Caleb Williams yet, widely seen not only as the No. 1 prospect in this class and also a generational prospect. He’s a franchise-changer. Look at what C.J. Stroud has done in his first season in Houston; Williams can be that and more for the Bears.
Reid: If Fields does play well over the Bears’ final six games — he looked good on Sunday against the Lions — but the team continues to lose, it makes for an even more interesting decision for Poles. He has to weigh all of his options. But how can you pass up Williams?
Yes, he still has to clean up some bad habits in the pocket, but his improvisational skill and arm talent are outstanding. And his mobility and playmaking could mask a lot of the Bears’ deficiencies elsewhere. Williams ranks second in the nation in passing (3,633 yards) and has thrown 30 touchdown passes — including an FBS-leading 11 from outside the pocket.
Yates: The Bears should be able to recoup a little bit of draft capital for Fields, too. While his inconsistency as a thrower is part of why they are in this spot, his mobility and flashes will have some allure to other teams, whether it be as a starter or backup. He would cost a team about $3.2 million for 2024, a totally reasonable cost.
Miller: And there would be a market for him. Just look at how many teams outside the top two picks have a need at the position and won’t be able to fill it with a premium player. I love the Falcons for him if they’re not in play to draft one of the top QBs. Fields is from Georgia and originally played for the in-state Bulldogs. And if Arthur Smith is back as coach, Fields fits the RPO-heavy offense Smith was running as the offensive coordinator in Tennessee and earlier last season with Marcus Mariota. Tampa Bay, Las Vegas, Minnesota and maybe even Pittsburgh could theoretically get involved if Fields were to become available.
Reid: I think we’re all in agreement here. Williams is special and has the talent to eventually change the trajectory of a franchise. And while Chicago moved back this past spring when it had the No. 1 pick, there just isn’t a scenario where any trade offer would make me trade back this time.
Our pick for the Bears: Caleb Williams, QB, USC
Reid: I’d argue the Giants also have to go quarterback if they are picking here. I know they just paid Daniel Jones in March, but being able to land one of the draft’s top two passers changes things. I love the mobility and accuracy of North Carolina’s Drake Maye, and we see him manipulate coverages and attack all three levels of the field every Saturday. His pocket patience continues to improve, too. Maye processes quickly and understands where the weak points are in defenses. I think he could thrive with coach Brian Daboll. The Giants’ offensive line is still a work in progress, but Maye is poised under center and could be a star in the NFL.
Miller: There’s a very good chance Maye would have been my QB1 for 2023 based on his arm strength, mobility and ball placement. He’s Justin Herbert to me. Maye has thrown for 3,354 yards with 22 touchdown passes and 7 interceptions this season, and he has rushed for another eight scores.
Yates: Yeah, there’s so much to like about his game. He’s no consolation prize for the team that misses out on Williams; he’s an excellent prospect. Now, drafting Maye of course means New York would be moving on from Jones, a task much easier said than done. Jones is due $35.5 million fully guaranteed in 2024, a massive price tag for a player coming off a poor season and a torn ACL. But when you have the opportunity to reset the quarterback clock with a franchise-altering talent, you swallow the sunk costs and move on.
Miller: Exactly. The best thing any franchise can do when it makes a mistake — especially at quarterback — is admit it early and move on before it’s too late. That’s where the Giants are with Jones. I know they just signed him to a four-year deal, but his injury history and uneven play (Jones is 27th in QBR at 39.2) suggest it’s already time for a change.
Reid: If they do move on from Jones, I don’t see any way they could keep him around as a backup. GM Joe Schoen just has to get what he can for Jones, even if it takes a Brock Osweiler-type trade where New York has to attach a conditional pick.
Drake Maye drops a dime to J.J. Jones for a TD
Drake Maye finds J.J. Jones down the right side of the field for a 33-yard touchdown.
Yates: The best bet for finding a trade partner might be letting the QB carousel spin through free agency and surveying what’s left. Any teams out there that struck out on a veteran quarterback but aren’t in position to draft someone impactful? The Giants could then agree to eat a chunk of Jones’ base salary to make a trade more palatable for an acquiring team. And Jones has no guaranteed money beyond 2024, so any new team would have zero negative cap ramifications if it does not work out.
Miller: OK, I think we all like Maye here, even if we aren’t the ones making the tough decisions. One more thought before we move on: Some might wonder whether New York would try to move down to pick up assets and just keep Jones. Look, I am always going to advocate for trading back, but in this case, the Giants have to stay in the top three. I see three blue-chip players at positions of need for the Giants — Williams, Maye and Ohio State receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. New York has to land one of them.
Our pick for the Giants: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina
Yates: I’d like the Cardinals to call the fastest player on their roster (maybe Marquise Brown if he gets re-signed) and ask him to sprint the card in for Harrison in April. Beyond filling a need, we’re talking about a rare prospect. Harrison has a 6-foot-4 frame, runs buttery smooth routes and displays stick ’em hands. There are no holes in his game, and no player has a clearer chance of developing into a Pro Bowler in this class than him.
Reid: I can’t say enough positive things about Harrison. He’s a big receiver … but has the movement skills of a small wideout. His ability to sink his hips and redirect allows him to run every branch in the route tree, and he can make catches outside his frame with ease. And despite mediocre quarterback play and the fact that everyone in the stadium knows he’s getting the ball, Harrison just keeps producing. He has 1,093 yards, and his 13 TD catches are tied for second in the country. Simply put, Harrison is special and one of the best receiver prospects that we have seen this century. I would be shocked if he isn’t the first non-QB selected.
Miller: Harrison is definitely the pick. We’re talking about an all-world receiver prospect with the traits to be great at the next level. I see a smoother version of A.J. Green.
Reid: The only thing that might throw a wrench in this is if Colorado quarterback Shedeur Sanders were to declare for the draft. We know Williams and Maye are the top two passers, but QB3 gets interesting. Sanders plays behind one of college football’s worst offensive lines but shows the poise and accuracy to get the ball out on time and on target. I don’t know if he’ll be in the class — he might opt to return to play another season with his dad at Colorado — but it definitely is something to consider.
Yates: Shouldn’t a quarterback be discussed on principle? Kyler Murray wasn’t picked by Arizona’s current front office, and the Cards would be looking at an early pick here. Sure. But we’re also not yet sold on a quarterback meriting the No. 3 overall pick, especially if Sanders returns to school. Plus, Murray has shown signs of being able to lead a winning team. Remember the Cardinals starting 7-0 in 2021?
Marvin Harrison Jr. makes history in 3-TD game against Michigan State
Marvin Harrison Jr. becomes first Ohio State player to have multiple 1,000 receiving yard seasons after his performance against Michigan State.
Miller: What it all boils down to for me is the expense of trading Murray to take QB3 versus keeping Murray and drafting the best wide receiver prospect most of us have ever seen. Trading Murray would cost the Cardinals $46.2 million against the cap in 2024. We have seen teams take massive cap hits to move on from quarterbacks in the past, but Murray’s play is still promising enough that Arizona can avoid that cap charge. The Cards don’t need to eat that money just to bring in Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy or LSU’s Jayden Daniels. Instead, they can build around Murray with an elite receiver — something he had for a brief time with DeAndre Hopkins, which happens to be when Murray looked his best.
Our pick for the Cardinals: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State
Miller: The Patriots have the worst roster in the NFL, in my opinion. Every position is a position of need after years of poor drafting and poor roster management. And no matter who is running the show here in the spring, the Patriots must attack the class with a “best player available” mentality to bring up the overall talent on the team. All options should be on the table.
Yates: Quarterback is of course going to be right in the mix after two years of regression from Mac Jones after a promising 2021 rookie season. But we can only work with what we’ve seen so far, and to reiterate, there is no obvious QB3 candidate who merits a top-five selection at the moment besides Sanders, who doesn’t feel likely to declare. Maybe that changes over the pre-draft process, but quarterback isn’t the play right now at No. 4.
Miller: I like to think about how teams can stack picks. No, the Patriots shouldn’t reach on a quarterback here. But what if they go best player available at No. 4 and then capitalize on the second tier of QBs with either a trade into late Round 1 or the team’s early Round 2 selection? I’d rather have the best left tackle or pass-rusher in the class plus Oregon’s Bo Nix than reach for a quarterback here and settle for what might be the No. 7 tackle in Round 2.
Reid: One thing we know about Bill Belichick is he loves 12 personnel and getting two tight ends on the field. So we need to at least talk about Georgia’s Brock Bowers, a special tight end who adds an explosive dimension to the passing game. He can play next to a tackle, in the slot or lined up out wide. His after-the-catch ability is one of his best attributes, as 428 of his 661 receiving yards this season have come after the ball is in his possession.
The Pats have struggled to draft reliable offensive playmakers in the early rounds, and a strong argument could be made Rob Gronkowski is their most recent success (2010). But the positional value is also fair to question for New England, and as we’ve seen with Atlanta’s Kyle Pitts, it takes a little longer for tight ends to become accustomed to the NFL.
Miller: Yeah, I love Bowers and have him ranked No. 4 overall. But I have someone ranked higher still out there, and he fills a bigger need for New England. The best remaining prospect on my board is Penn State’s Olumuyiwa Fashanu. The 20-year-old junior left tackle has outstanding tape. He’s a devastating run blocker and has allowed one sack and 2.2% pressure on 323 pass blocks this season. The Patriots’ offensive line has been a mess for a while, and Fashanu would immediately fix the left side.
Yates: Plenty has gone wrong this season for the Patriots, but it has been jarring to see how helpless some plays have looked simply because the defense swarms the quarterback the moment the ball is snapped. They must get younger and better at offensive tackle, period. And while the quarterback question must still be answered, Fashanu would be a huge step toward fixing the offensive line. He’s dropping to No. 4 in this exercise, but in a different draft class, it’s easy to imagine him being one of the top two picks.
Reid: I’m in agreement with you guys. Fashanu has franchise left tackle written all over him. His balance and awareness as a pass protector are easily the best in this class. He has also shown more physicality in the run game, and I thought his performance against Michigan was exceptional. With Trent Brown and Mike Onwenu scheduled to become free agents, there’s a hole. Fashanu is a no-brainer.
Our pick for the Patriots: Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State
Yates: We already got the Bears a quarterback in Williams, which means they have the luxury of flexibility here. If they’re enamored with someone, they can submit the card. But this also feels like a potential trade-down spot. The next best player in my eyes is Joe Alt, the hulking Notre Dame left tackle, but Chicago has a promising young player in Braxton Jones already entrenched at that position. And since Poles already has shown the openness to move down, I wouldn’t be shocked if Chicago did it again to quickly fetch back more capital.
Reid: I agree, Field. Poles likes to accumulate picks and move around at the top of the draft, and this scenario would be no different than in the past. If the Bears stay home, though, it likely would be Alt vs. Alabama pass-rusher Dallas Turner, right? And with the solid play of Jones and the use of a top-10 pick on Darnell Wright in April, the Bears would probably stay away from offensive tackle, meaning they could use this pick to continue building up the defense. The Montez Sweat deadline deal helps, but this team still needs pass-rushers. Chicago ranks last in the NFL again with 15 sacks.
Miller: What about my guy Keon Coleman, the Florida State receiver? He’s 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, explosive after the catch and so physical at the catch point that he will be a red zone safety valve wherever he ends up. The Bears have Moore and tight end Cole Kmet, along with a backfield full of potential starters, but Coleman would round out this group and give Williams a true trio of pass-catchers to grow around.
Reid: I don’t know … Turner lined up on the other side from Sweat is very, very enticing. He is still raw, but he generates pressure (15.5% pressure rate, seventh best in the FBS) and produces (seven sacks). He fits the Bears’ timeline, too, as he could grow with a relatively young defense and turn into a key part of the team’s future.
Yates: I’m intrigued by the Coleman idea, but Jordan has a point here. When the Bears made the move for Sweat, part of the calculus was that it would be slim pickings at the top of Round 2 (where the traded pick was) for pass-rushers. Juxtapose that to the wide receivers in this class, and it makes all the sense in the world to take the clearest potential difference-maker at edge rusher in Turner now. A legitimate receiver could still be there when Chicago picks next because of that position’s depth.
Miller: OK, this does make sense. I’d rather Chicago walk away with my top-ranked edge-rusher (position of need) and grab a receiver in Round 3 than get Coleman here and be without a high-end pass-rusher. I’m won over on Turner.
Reid: Wow, this is the easiest draft room to sway. I thought I’d get more pushback on that.
Our pick for the Bears: Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama
Miller: New team owner Josh Harris wants to return the Commanders to the glory days of the 80s and 90s when the Hogs dominated the NFC. The best way to do that is to rebuild a struggling offensive line, especially since quarterback Sam Howell has taken a league-high 51 sacks this season. Alt is too obvious. He’s the son of former NFL guard John Alt and plays with the poise, power and tenacity of an old-school blocker. And he has allowed just one sack all season.
Yates: Alt is a 6-foot-8 left tackle who just doesn’t allow pressure. He might not have the suddenness or foot quickness of Fashanu, but the man is under control on every rep and makes a job of chaos look calm. Incumbent starter Charles Leno Jr. is 32, going into the final year of his deal and has zero guaranteed money leftover in that final year.
Reid: Yeah, coach Ron Rivera is on the hot seat, too, so Washington could have a new front office in place by draft time. Whenever there’s a new front office, premium positions are crucial. This team has to get better up front, as Leno and Andrew Wylie have been woefully inconsistent this season. This one seems like a simple call.
Miller: It’s also important to note that the tackles ranked immediately after Alt — JC Latham (Alabama), Amarius Mims (Georgia) and Tyler Guyton (Oklahoma) — all play the right side, so this is the last chance to get an elite left tackle. I don’t have another left tackle ranked inside my top 25, and that’s where the bigger need is right now.
Reid: That’s what makes this tackle class so interesting. After the top two in Fashanu and Alt, the entire second tier consists only of right tackle prospects. (I’d also put Oregon State’s Taliese Fuaga in that group, Matt.)
Yates: If Turner were still on the board, we might have a larger conversation since the Commanders traded away both Sweat and Chase Young at the deadline. Edge rusher is a massive need, and Turner is terrific. Plus, he goes to Alabama, the Commanders’ front-seven Triple A team. With Turner off the board, though, this is an easy one. Alt is the pick.
Our pick for the Commanders: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame
Reid: This is where it gets tough. The Titans have holes everywhere. The offensive line needs multiple starters. They need a tight end. And with DeAndre Hopkins turning 32 at the start of next season, Tennessee probably needs another receiver. GM Ran Carthon could go in several directions with this roster as he builds around quarterback Will Levis.
Yates: I like Coleman or UCLA edge rusher Laiatu Latu here. They’d both immediately fill positions of need. Latu is the most refined, nuanced pass-rusher in the class and having a terrific season (13 sacks and 20.6% pressure rate). Questions will be asked about his age — he’ll be 23 by draft day — and medical outlook, though. He retired from football due to a neck injury while at Washington but has since returned, transferred to UCLA and been spectacular.
I think I would lean Coleman. The Titans have had notable Round 1 whiffs in recent years and Coleman has massive upside and is a safer bet for a team that needs a whole lot.
Miller: Coleman is one of my favorite players in the entire class. He’s my “jump on the table” prospect who I’ll go to bat for every time. He has the ideal size-to-speed ratio and is a powerful runner. Florida State values his ability with the ball in his hands so much that he’s even the team’s punt returner! He has 11 touchdown catches this season and just one dropped pass, so the Titans would be getting a sure-handed, aggressive and fast receiver.
Reid: I love the fit, too. Levis has great arm strength and will take some risks with his throws, but he often struggles with his ball placement. That makes Coleman a great match because he can make catches outside his frame and bail out some off-target passes. He can win in contested situations and is aggressive attacking the ball in the air. Over the past two seasons, Coleman has 12 contested-catch touchdowns, the most in the FBS.
Keon Coleman does it all with 57-yard punt return, TD catch in same drive
Keon Coleman takes the punt return 57 yards, then catches a touchdown pass to increase Florida State’s lead over Miami.
Yates: Truthfully, we could have Coleman to any team, and I’d be able to make a pretty compelling case for why he fits. You’d be hard-pressed to find a player with his combination of size, physicality and fluidity. All those traits are musts for the Tennessee offense, which is desperately short on receiver depth right now. As Jordan mentioned, Hopkins is turning 32 and entering the final year of his deal, and Treylon Burks hasn’t been the WR1 that the Titans had hoped for when they took him in Round 1 in 2022.
Miller: I have Coleman at No. 6 overall on my board, and he would be my WR1 in most classes; this one just happens to also feature Harrison. At worst, he looks like he’ll be a Tee Higgins-type receiver who can be a mismatch over smaller cornerbacks and a dynamic player after the catch. Instead of reaching for a pass-rusher or right tackle, the Titans can make what I consider a safe pick — something needed after the previous front office too often discounted injury and character risks in the first round.
Our pick for the Titans: Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State
Yates: The Packers have some undeniable talent on the roster, but areas that looked like strengths even a season or two ago — offensive line and cornerback — all of a sudden feel more uncertain. And when you have a pick this high and your quarterback is neither a surefire player nor early in his rookie deal, that position has to be on the table, too. Have the Packers seen enough to believe Jordan Love is their future? And if not, is there even a QB worth taking at No. 8? It might be too early to say.
Miller: If I’m in the room when the Packers come on the clock, and LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers is on the board, he’s my pick. But this is Green Bay, and GM Brian Gutekunst would never take a receiver in Round 1. That’s too bad because when Love looks good — and there are flashes, for sure — it’s clear that the Packers lack a true WR1 who forces the hand of a defense. Christian Watson has talent but hasn’t been a go-to target for Love. Nabers, with his awesome after-the-catch ability, is an ideal fit for that offense.
Reid: Yeah, the Packers really stick to their draft philosophies. Every year we want them to draft a receiver in Round 1, and it simply doesn’t happen. It’s also time for them to find an heir apparent to David Bakhtiari at left tackle, as he hasn’t been able to stay healthy, but they also keep relying on developing Day 2 and Day 3 offensive tackles rather than using an early pick on a top-tier talent. They haven’t drafted an offensive tackle in Round 1 since Derek Sherrod in 2011. Twelve of Green Bay’s past 13 first-round picks have been on defense, and it shouldn’t come as a surprise if the team takes that route again.
Yates: Defensively, the Packers have a sudden cornerback quandary, as Rasul Douglas was traded and Eric Stokes has played just 26 games over the first two-plus seasons of his career. This might be a tad above where we’d project the top cornerback going, though, so that’s probably not the move. Teams can never have enough edge rushers, but with recent investments in Rashan Gary, Lukas Van Ness and Preston Smith, that’s likely off the board, too.
It all leads to a favorite of mine in this class: Illinois defensive tackle Jer’Zhan Newton. While Green Bay did use a first-round pick on Devonte Wyatt and has Kenny Clark as an anchor along the line, Newton is a play-wrecker whose versatility fits with any team.
Miller: Newton is my top defensive tackle in the class and an overall top-10 player. I had the chance to scout him in person against Kansas, and he was unstoppable. The Illinois defense has him moving all around the front, something Green Bay does like in prospects, and he has proven he can have success rushing from the 3-technique, working head-up on offensive tackles or even playing outside the tackle in a 6-technique.
Newton may be a “tweener” at 6-foot-2 and 295 pounds, but there isn’t a better pass-rushing defensive tackle in the class, as he has put up back-to-back seasons with 5.5 sacks. The Packers love versatility up front on both sides of the ball, and Newton would give them a penetrator on the interior who can play multiple alignments.
Reid: There are bigger needs, but yes, Green Bay might opt for the best remaining defensive player — which we can all agree is Newton at this stage. His versatility and explosiveness stand out every week. His relentlessness as pass-rusher and strength as a run-defender make him one of the most NFL-ready prospects in this class, regardless of position. And getting him in the mix with Clark and Wyatt would give the Packers plenty of depth.
Our pick for the Packers: Jer’Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois
Miller: We have to talk about quarterback when discussing the Raiders. Jimmy Garoppolo has dealt with more injuries, and while rookie Aidan O’Connell has shown promise at times, he was a Day 3 pick and would be a surprise long-term starter. Is it too early for Michigan’s McCarthy here? He’s a top-15 prospect in my rankings, and we know teams love to trade up for quarterbacks.
Reid: With both coach Josh McDaniels and GM Dave Ziegler out of the door, there are still questions about the next front office, and that could direct a lot of this. The Garoppolo contract was an obvious mistake, but luckily for the Raiders, he isn’t owed any guaranteed money after 2024. Looking to trade him is an option that Vegas could explore, as some teams could be in the market for a backup or bridge starter. That’d open the door for a QB pick here, as teams routinely reach a little bit to get a Round 1 passer when it’s a big need.
Yates: What about defense? The Raiders have had some gritty defensive performances this season, but an organizational commitment to adding more blue-chippers on that side of the ball is logical, too. The jury is still out on April’s No. 7 overall pick Tyree Wilson — he has struggled so far — but another top pass-rusher or even a cornerback would be a sensible target. Penn State edge rusher Chop Robinson has the most juice off the edge of any rusher in this class, even though he has modest sack production (three in total, two of which came against UMass) and size (he’s listed at 240 pounds).
Miller: Yeah, there are some solid edge rushers still out there in Latu, Robinson and Florida State’s Jared Verse. Cornerback is always a need for the Raiders, though, and I’ll throw out the name Terrion Arnold. The Alabama junior has risen to CB1 on my board thanks to his burst and playmaking ability. He has some raw moments and needs to learn on the job, but he has a ton of upside.
Reid: Amik Robertson, Nate Hobbs and Jakorian Bennett aren’t high-level starting cornerbacks, and Marcus Peters is on a one-year deal on the back end of his career. So I really like the Arnold suggestion, but I prefer Alabama’s other corner. Kool-Aid McKinstry has been inconsistent this season, but the highlight plays are eyebrow-raising.
Yates: It just feels a tad early for a cornerback. I have one more suggestion, flipping back to the offensive side of the ball. What about Latham to help out the offensive line? His strength is … his strength. He could probably bench press a house. We can all agree the Bama right tackle would make sense for the Raiders, right?
Miller: Interesting. Right tackle is definitely a need and has become a premium position. Latham is the top right tackle in the class and my next-highest tackle overall. He’s NFL-ready coming out of Alabama, and unlike Alex Leatherwood, he has the power and mobility to step into the lineup as a rookie and be a quality contributor. He has allowed two sacks over three seasons, including 23 starts.
Reid: At 6-foot-6 and 355 pounds, Latham is massive. His play strength and anchor make it very difficult for rushers, and there are few reps where he isn’t in control. He’s a people-mover in the run game and clears lanes with ease. His pass protection has continued to improve, and human beings that size aren’t supposed to move as well as Latham does. Putting him opposite Kolton Miller would give the Raiders solid bookends.
Our pick for the Raiders: JC Latham, OT, Alabama
Yates: Let’s start by assuming quarterback Aaron Rodgers will decide to play another season for the Jets. He’ll need protection and pass-catchers. The Jets’ offensive line has been a disaster this season, so I do defer in that direction, but is there an offensive tackle worth taking here? And the Jets have a star wideout in Garrett Wilson, but the drop-off to their WR2 — Allen Lazard — has been jarring.
Miller: There isn’t a left tackle I would sign off on drafting at this spot. When looking at the right tackles, Georgia’s Mims and Oklahoma’s Guyton have awesome potential, but both are raw players who could sit as rookies. That doesn’t help the win-now Jets. I like the idea of adding a first-round pass-catcher for Rodgers, though. The value of Georgia’s Bowers is really solid here based on my board, and LSU’s Nabers is still hanging out there as the top-ranked WR available.
Yates: Tyler Conklin has emerged as perhaps the Jets’ second most reliable pass-catcher over the past three weeks, catching 15 passes over that span. He is a fine veteran presence, and while Bowers would absolutely be an upgrade, there is a clear need for juice outside in this passing game. Nabers can bring that.
Reid: Juice is exactly what Nabers brings, Field. He’s explosive and a crafty route runner. LSU uses him on screens, jet sweeps and reverses, and he places so much stress on defenses because he can turn what’s only supposed to be a small gain into a chunk play.
Nabers leads the FBS with 1,424 receiving yards and 62 first-down catches. That second number shows that his quarterback immediately looks his way in high-pressure situations because of his reliability. His competitiveness, ability to rack up yards after the catch and versatility remind me of DJ Moore.
Miller: I’m a huge Nabers fan, so I’m in on this pick. But for argument’s sake, what about a trade back? The Jets are in a must-win situation over the next year or two, but moving back a few spots to gain extra draft capital next year isn’t a bad thing. Let’s recall that the team doesn’t have a second-round pick thanks to the Rodgers trade, and this isn’t a roster that’s one rookie wide receiver away from winning the AFC.
Malik Nabers makes the grab for 40-yard receiving touchdown
Malik Nabers makes the grab for 40-yard receiving touchdown
Yates: You’ll be hard-pressed to ever convince me not to try to trade back. While the Jets were leapfrogged in 2023 for Broderick Jones, they might be able to move back in 2024 and still not miss out on a credible tackle talent. A slide to, say, No. 15 from No. 10 while adding an extra pick or two would be a home run.
Reid: Nabers is the pick, but I can’t believe Bowers didn’t come off the board in the top 10. It comes back to positional value, and it’s just how the board fell here.
Our pick for the Jets: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU
Which other teams could be wild cards if they landed in the top 10?
Miller: Los Angeles Rams. We might not be far removed from the Rams trading away all their high picks in favor of established stars, but they are expected to have 10 selections in the 2024 draft before even factoring in compensatory picks. That gives GM Les Snead the tools to move up in the first round and add an impact Day 1 starter to a roster that looks better than anyone expected this season.
Reid: Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After a strong start to the season, the Bucs have spiraled. They have an aging roster on both sides of the ball, and quarterback is a huge question mark moving forward. Getting their guy under center should be a priority in the offseason, and it will be a position to watch at the draft. Baker Mayfield will be a free agent and is turning 29.
Yates: New Orleans Saints. GM Mickey Loomis has perhaps the strongest belief of anyone in the league that if you have a guy you want, you do what it takes to get that player. He’s unafraid of the audacious, and trading up classifies as that. Keep an eye on New Orleans.