Winners & Losers from the 2024 NFL Draft

Marcus Tsai ’27 in Sports | May 3, 2024

          Going into the 2024 NFL Draft, many teams were looking to either completely rebuild their rosters or fill holes within their already strong teams. Many teams in the draft were able to secure solid players, while others had some confusing draft day decisions. This article will address the headlines of the 2024 NFL Draft and point out the biggest winners and losers of the draft.

          Arizona Cardinals: 

          The Arizona Cardinals went into the draft looking to rebuild after a terrible end of the 2023-24 NFL season, and they hit the jackpot. Armed with 12 picks in the draft, two of which came in the first round, they plugged many holes within their roster. Two especially valuable picks were Wide Receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. and Defensive End Darius Robinson, two players who were highly valued going into draft night. These two, along with an assortment of other players picked to fill positions of need, will bring hope to Cardinals fans and may accelerate the rebuilding process.

          Philadelphia Eagles:

          The Philadelphia Eagles looked promising to start the year, until they hit a difficult stretch at the tail end of their season which culminated with Philadelphia falling to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first round of the playoffs. The Eagles came into the draft looking for pieces to strengthen their secondary, as well as a third-string receiver to pair with superstar A.J. Brown and rising star Devonta Smith. With nine picks in the 2024 draft, they were able to draft two Cornerbacks in the first two rounds whilst also filling in other gaps in their offense and defense. This was a great draft for the Eagles as they look to make a run at the Super Bowl this upcoming season.

          Tennessee Titans:

          Last year, the Titans were not ready to contend for the Super Bowl. Tennessee clearly went into rebuild mode when they decided not to resign their franchise Running Back Derrick Henry. It’s very important for rebuilding teams to hit on their picks, but the Titans failed to do so during this draft. Many expected Tennessee to be one of the first teams to pick an Offensive Lineman, but after the projected best lineman, Joe Alt, was chosen by the Los Angeles Chargers, it seemed that the Titans slightly panicked and chose the next best lineman—JC Latham—when they could have traded down in the draft and still gotten the player they wanted. Some of their other picks were also quite questionable, such as picking T’Vondre Sweat, a player whose on-field performance in college was not the level you would expect from a player drafted in the second round. Titans fans should be worried for this upcoming season, as their front office has not set the team up well for the future.

          Atlanta Falcons:

          The Falcons are the reason everyone is reading this article. Atlanta had the most questionable picks in the draft by far, obtaining quarterback Michael Penix Jr. in the first round after having already signed Kirk Cousins in the offseason to a four-year deal worth 180 million dollars. Penix will turn 24 this May, so this may have been the most head-scratching selection in recent years. Despite this mind-boggling pick, the other selections for the Falcons were not terrible. They were able to fill in much-needed positions on the defense. However, this does not make up for the decision made in the first round.

          Other Headlines

            The top three picks in the draft were all quarterbacks, but the order in which they would be selected was heavily debated up until the Washington Commanders took Jayden Daniels over Drake Maye with the second overall pick. This was not a head-scratching decision per se, but it was a surprising pick nonetheless. Another headline story is how the Kansas City Chiefs look primed to continue dominating the league. The only real flaw in Kansas City’s already Super Bowl-winning roster this past season was the strength of their wide receiver corps, and the Chiefs addressed this need by getting one of the best receivers in the draft in Xavier Worthy. He will be a great addition to their lineup and will definitely keep the Chiefs in contention for the 2024-2025  Super Bowl. 

          In summary:

          The 2024 NFL draft was full of excitement, as many General Managers aimed to set their teams up for the future. There were still, however, many head-scratching picks made by the front offices of certain teams. Nevertheless, with these new picks promising to shape the landscape of the NFL, the 2024-25 season should prove to be an interesting year.