top of page

2024 NFL Draft Analysis: Record 6 QBs Picked in Top 12 - First Round Grades & Insights

Day one of the 2024 NFL Draft provided us with a lot of drama. A record number of QBs were drafted in the top ten picks, with five and six total in the first 12 picks. A total of nine offensive linemen, all of whom are considered tackles at the college level, some will make a transition to play interior offensive line. We had three top ten WRs, seven total in the first round. The real surprise was the corners; only three CBs were drafted in the first round, pushing premium talent into day two of the NFL Draft. In fact, the first defender drafted did not happen until pick 15 (Laiatu Latu), and there were zero defenders drafted in the top ten picks. The total number of offensive players drafted in the first round broke a day one record with 23 total. There were five total edge rushers, and one IDL.

  1. OT (Offensive Tackle) - 8

  2. WR (Wide Receiver) - 7

  3. QB (Quarterback) - 6

  4. ED (Edge Rusher) - 6

  5. CB (Cornerback) - 3

  6. IOL (Interior Offensive Lineman) - 1

  7. IDL (Interior Defensive Lineman) - 1

  8. TE (Tight End) - 1

Day one NFL Draft Grades and Analysis - 2024 NFL Draft

How We Grade The NFL Draft

In this analysis, I will grade each team's day-one pick. Most teams earn at least an A unless they reached on a pick, drafted someone who rated low on our draft board, or drafted a player lower on our board when not filling a need. Some teams will make premium picks on day one of the draft, and if that is a highly graded player overall, we give out an A by default. You will earn an A+ if that premium player or needs-based pick is a highly graded prospect.

For example:

Last night, the Chargers drafted an OT when they had a primary need at WR. We still gave them an A+, labeling it a premium pick because the player is highly graded and highly coveted.

The Atlanta Falcons Drafting Michael Penix Jr.

The opposite of this would be the Atlanta Falcons drafting Michael Penix Jr. when they already have Kirk Cousins. The Falcons drafted a premium position, but Penix possesses a high-level starter potential grade. If this were the Las Vegas Raiders, they would have earned an easy A, but Atlanta had more pressing needs, so they get a B+. Still a solid grade overall, and if this were Bo Nix, it would have been a D grade.

Championships are won on days two and three of the NFL Draft.

Championships are not won on day one. Day one sets the stage for day two, where championship teams are built. Grading in the later rounds is more about filling needs and building depth. As we move ahead in the draft, earning a passing grade will become more difficult.

Here is the grade scale I will use for the 2024 NFL Draft. As usual, we will have to circle back in three years to review these grades.

  • A+ Grade: Premium Pick + Need Filled

  • A Grade: Need Filled

  • A- Grade: Slight Reach or Minor Need Filled

  • B+ Grade: Good Pick with Minor Concerns

  • B Grade: Solid Pick with Notable Concerns

  • B- Grade: Reach or Questionable Fit

  • C+ Grade and Below: Significant Reach or Poor Fit

First-Round NFL Draft Team Grades and Analysis

Arizona Cardinals Grade: A- (Premium Pick + Need Filled)

Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison Jr. (No. 4 overall)

  • Pick Summary Harrison Jr. brings elite size and precise route-running to the Cardinals' receiving corps. His ability to make contested catches and his knack for finding the end zone will add a new dimension to Arizona's offense.

Missouri ED Darius Robinson (No. 27)

  • Pick Summary Robinson's versatility allows him to disrupt from both the interior and the edge of the defensive line. His pass-rushing skills combined with his ability to play in multiple defensive fronts make him an ideal fit for the Cardinals' defensive schemes.

Atlanta Falcons Grade: B- (Premium Pick)

USC QB Michael Penix Jr. (No. 8 overall)

  • Pick Summary The Falcons drafting Michael Penix Jr. at 8th overall was a draft day shocker that left many scratching their heads. However, I'm neutral on this pick and believe the risk-reward could be tremendous. Sure, they already have Kirk Cousins, but in two years, they could have a successor ready to take over when Cousins' contract ends.

Baltimore Ravens Grade: A+ (Premium Pick + Need Filled)

USC CB Nate Wiggins (No. 30 overall)

  • Pick Summary One of the top corners in the NFL Draft falling this far is yet another product of teams drafting QBs in the top ten and valuing the OTs in this class above all else. The Ravens are getting a legit versatile cover corner with length and elite speed.

Carolina Panthers Grade: B+ (Need Filled)

USC WR Xavier Legette (No. 32 overall, via BUF (KC))

  • Pick Summary The Panthers were always pegged as a team that would target a WR with their 33rd overall pick. They traded into the backend of the first round to get their guy—a 6-1, 220 lb receiver who resembles AJ Brown both physically and stylistically. His after-catch ability is what stands out; he's like a RB with the ball in his hands.

Chicago Bears Grade Grade: A+ (Premium Pick + Need Filled)

USC QB Caleb Williams (No. 1 overall, via CAR)

  • Pick Summary The Bears now have a QB with generational potential. Caleb Williams is often compared to Aaron Rodgers; at worst, he should be Kyler Murray. He will be surrounded by elite skill players as a rookie and enters the NFL in what is believed to be one of the best situations you could ask for as a rookie.

USC WR Rome Odunze (No. 9 overall)

  • Pick Summary I had mocked Rome Odunze to this spot and it almost seemed too good to be true when it actually happened. I tweeted out the week before that if this scenario played out, it could be reminiscent of Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams. The Bears absolutely won the offseason. Rome Odunze is my WR2 behind Marvin Harrison Jr.

Cincinnati Bengals Grade: B+ (Need Filled)

Georgia OT Amarius Mims (No. 18 overall)

  • Pick Summary I've been advocating for years to draft a tackle to protect Joe Burrow. While I was partially mistaken in arguing for Penei Sewell over Ja'Marr Chase, the Bengals have done a great job building their offensive line through free agency. Now, they've drafted an offensive tackle who, despite his massive size and immense potential, lacks experience with only 8 starts at Georgia. However, the potential for him to become a legitimate starter for over a decade in the NFL is undeniable.

Dallas Cowboys Grade: B (Need Filled)

Oklahoma OT Tyler Guyton (No. 29 overall, via DET)

  • Pick Summary The Dallas Cowboys, after trading down five spots to the 29th pick, selected the versatile former Sooner, who previously played tight end before transitioning to tackle. Standing at 6'7" and weighing 327 lbs, Guyton is an athletic lineman known for his effective movement at the second level and potential in pass protection. While he needs to improve his strength and leverage, his pass blocking skills are promising due to his impressive size and agility.

Denver Broncos Grade: C+ (Need Filled)

Auburn QB Bo Nix (No. 12 overall)

  • Pick Summary Bo Nix was the last potential QB considered to go in the 1st round, and with the Broncos lacking a 2nd round pick, they had to make a move. Reportedly, the Broncos did their homework on Nix and claim he ranked near the top of their board. I don't fault the Broncos for making this move, but I believe they should have been more aggressive in moving up or taken a risk on trading back to see how it played out.

Detroit Lions Grade: B+ (Need Filled)

Florida State CB Terrion Arnold (No. 24 overall, via DAL)

  • Pick Summary Every mock draft and most analysts believed the Lions would target a cornerback. I was of the same mindset, considering the struggles in their secondary in 2023 and their need for elite talent. Although I wasn't a huge fan of their choice to draft Arnold, who posted lower athleticism scores than Nate Wiggins or Cooper DeJean, he is the safest bet. Arnold compensates for his lack of speed with a strong football IQ, anticipating where the ball is going and arriving on time. While his speed and reactionary quickness have been exposed at times, he is a sure tackler capable of playing both nickel and outside as needed.

Green Bay Packers Grade: B+ (Need Filled)

Arizona OT Jordan Morgan (No. 25 overall)

  • Pick Summary Morgan, a three-year starter who recovered from a torn ACL in 2022, fits well with the Packers as an offensive lineman. With a high athletic score, he can play multiple positions but will likely compete to protect Jordan Love's blindside. At 22, Morgan has significant potential and could be a key player for Green Bay for years.

Indianapolis Colts Grade: A (Need Filled)

UCLA ED Laiatu Latu (No. 15 overall)

  • Pick Summary Latu is an incredibly talented edge rusher/OLB with skills reminiscent of an Aidan Hutchinson-style player. The one knock is that he was medically retired at the University of Washington before transferring to UCLA and getting a second opinion on a neck injury. Regardless, in the week leading up to the draft, Latu was widely speculated to be the top defender off the board, and that is indeed what happened.

Jacksonville Jaguars Grade: A (Need Filled)

LSU WR Brian Thomas Jr. (No. 23 overall, via MIN)

  • Pick Summary I mocked this a few weeks ago, and it came to fruition. Brian Thomas Jr. was very productive at LSU, and while some may pigeonhole him as just a big-bodied outside receiver, that's a narrow view. He's a proficient route runner capable of making plays down the field or after the catch. His physicality and skill set suggest a high ceiling.

Kansas City Chiefs Grade: A (Need Filled)

Texas WR Xavier Worthy (No. 28 overall, via BUF)

  • Pick Summary The Bills traded back with the Kansas City Chiefs AGAIN! The last time this occurred, the Chiefs secured Mahomes; this time they moved up to grab the fastest player in NFL Combine history, Xavier Worthy. Worthy isn't just a straight-line, go-route receiver; he's a legitimate route runner who can blow the top off a defense as needed, and he excels at running after the catch in space. He's exactly what you don't want to see paired with Andy Reid's mind and Patrick Mahomes' arm strength.

Las Vegas Raiders Grade: A+ (Premium Pick)

Georgia TE Brock Bowers (No. 13 overall)

  • Pick Summary The Raiders ended up as the odd team out in the draft, missing out on a perceived top QB. I had predicted they would trade up to 8th overall with the Falcons to secure Penix—a move that many laughed at, given my higher estimation of Penix than most. Nonetheless, the Raiders still managed to land a potential generational talent at the tight end position and could be positioning themselves for the 2025 free agent QB class by bolstering their skill players to entice a free agent QB to Las Vegas.

Los Angeles Chargers Grade: A+ (Premium Pick)

Notre Dame OT Joe Alt (No. 5 overall)

  • Pick Summary I heard the collective moans all the way in Ohio when the Chargers picked Joe Alt, but you are getting a legitimate 10-plus-year tackle who can start from day one. He possesses elite length and will be a great bookend on either side of the line as a rookie opposite Rashaan Slater.

Los Angeles Rams Grade: A (Need Filled)

Florida State ED Jared Verse (No. 19 overall)

  • Pick Summary Verse is a versatile defensive end. He can play outside and you can flip him inside as needed. He possesses good speed to power with solid hand usage. He has a lot of experience and will provide an instant impact on defense.

Miami Dolphins Grade: A (Need FIlled)

Penn State ED Chop Robinson (No. 21 overall)

  • Pick Summary Chop Robinson is one of my favorite players in the draft. He checks all the athletic boxes and occasionally popped on tape, but his production at Penn State was inconsistent. Regardless, he possesses the necessary tools, and with the right development, he could become one of the NFL's top edge rushers in the coming years.

Minnesota Vikings Grade: A+ (Premium Pick + Need Filled)

Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy (No. 10 overall, via NYJ)

  • Pick Summary J.J. McCarthy was our QB2 in the 2024 NFL Draft. Drake Maye was a close third due to his high ceiling, but McCarthy’s experience in a pro-style system, where his team actually huddled and sometimes required him to get under center, made him the perfect fit in Minnesota paired with KOC. McCarthy is more than just a winner; he possesses all the necessary tools including mobility, arm talent, and IQ.

Alabama ED Dallas Turner (No. 17 overall, via JAX)

  • Pick Summary Dallas Turner was our highest-graded defender leading up to the 2024 NFL Draft. Although he briefly fell behind Quinyon Mitchell in our rankings, his ceiling remains high, and what the Vikings had to give up to get him is absolutely worth it. More than just a pass rusher, Turner offers a true OLB style of play. He can rush the passer, drop into coverage, and will provide an instant impact in 2024.

New England Patriots Grade: A+ (Premium Pick + Need Filled)

North Carolina QB Drake Maye (No. 3 overall)

  • Pick Summary The Patriots land the big-bodied Drake Maye, who possesses a strong arm and good athleticism. He was productive over the last two years at UNC, but he did not make the year-over-year jump in development that was expected. Regardless, with refined footwork, he has all the tools to become a high-level NFL starter within the next few years.

New Orleans Saints Grade: A+ (Premium Pick + Need Filled)

Oregon State OT Taliese Fuaga (No. 14 overall)

  • Pick Summary After 6 QBs, 3 WRs, and two other tackles were selected in the top 13 picks, an elite offensive tackle, Taliese Fuaga, fell right into the lap of the New Orleans Saints. Fuaga possesses positional versatility; some believe he projects better as an interior lineman, but he has the skills to play either tackle spot in the NFL. He can be a plug-and-play guy in 2024.

New York Giants Grade: A+ (Premium Pick + Need Filled)

LSU WR Malik Nabers (No. 6 overall)

  • Pick Summary Considered the WR1 on many draft boards, Nabers is an elite after-the-catch savant. He will provide an instant impact as a rookie on an offense in desperate need of playmakers on the outside.

New York Jets Grade: A (Need FIlled)

Penn State OT Olumuyiwa Fashanu (No. 11 overall, via MIN)

  • Pick Summary One of the top tackles in the draft class, Fashanu possesses elite ceiling potential and could ultimately become the best tackle in the draft class. The Jets can sit him for a year or work him into the lineup at some point in 2024. In any other year, Fashanu would be a lock to be drafted in the top 10.

Philadelphia Eagles Grade: A+ (Premium Pick + Need Filled)

Toledo CB Quinyon Mitchell (No. 22 overall)

  • Pick Summary The top cornerback on my board, Mitchell has risen throughout the pre-draft process, beginning with a spectacular showing at the Senior Bowl, followed by an impressive NFL Combine where he posted elite athletic scores. The primary concern was the level of competition he faced while playing at Toledo. However, looking back a few years, Mitchell held his own against Marvin Harrison Jr., who is this year's top wide receiver in the NFL Draft.

Pittsburgh Steelers Grade: A+ (Need Filled)

Duke OT Troy Fautanu (No. 20 overall)

  • Pick Summary Fautanu is a big favorite among the scouting community, offering positional versatility and an ideal fit for what the Steelers aim to accomplish with their run-heavy approach in the gritty AFC North.

San Francisco 49ers Grade: B+ (Premium Pick)

Arizona WR Ricky Pearsall (No. 31 overall)

  • Pick Summary I bought into the idea that the 49ers might draft a WR, and when I started mocking the scenarios, I kept landing on Ladd McConkey. Well, they did take a WR, but instead of McConkey, they grabbed an elite athlete in Ricky Pearsall, who is a good route runner and a player that can track the football at all levels.

Seattle Seahawks Grade: A+ (Premium Pick + Need Filled)

Texas IDL Byron Murphy II (No. 16 overall)

  • Pick Summary Murphy is the top interior defender according to our evaluations in the 2024 NFL Draft class. He can play all over the defensive line, providing interior pass-rushing skills and run-stopping abilities. He will be an instant impact player in 2024.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Grade: A+ (Need Filled)

Duke IOL Graham Barton (No. 26 overall)

  • Pick Summary The Bucs landed a versatile interior offensive lineman in Barton, who is slated to play center in the NFL but spent the majority of his time at Duke playing tackle. This flexibility to play any position on the line adds significant value to Tampa Bay's offensive front.

Tennessee Titans Grade: A (Need Filled)

Alabama OT J.C. Latham (No. 7 overall)

  • Pick Summary The Titans did not get Joe Alt, because Jim Harbaugh robbed them. But they landed one of the top tackles in the draft. Latham is lengthy and powerful. He still needs to refine his game, but he landed in a great spot with an elite offensive line-minded coach in Bill Callahan.

Washington Commanders Grade: A+ (Premium Pick + Need Filled)

USC QB Jayden Daniels (No. 2 overall)

  • Pick Summary This is Washington's highest draft pick for a quarterback since selecting Robert Griffin III second overall in 2012. Like Griffin, Jayden Daniels is a Heisman Trophy winner and poses a dual-threat capability to challenge defenses both through the air and on the ground. Washington also had North Carolina's Drake Maye and Michigan's J.J. McCarthy under consideration.


bottom of page