What to Expect From the 2024 NFL Draft

April 24, 2024

The NFL Draft will take place April 25-27, 2024 in Detroit.  It will be broadcast by ESPN, ABC and the NFL Network, among others.  And it is expected to draw big numbers:  the Draft has averaged more than 12 million viewers over the past seven years.

The NFL is riding a wave of seemingly endless momentum as it descends upon Detroit – home to one of the league’s best resurgence stories in recent memory.

Coming out of Super Bowl 58, the most-watched U.S. broadcast since the Apollo 11 moon landing (with a hat tip to Taylor Swift), the NFL is staking out even more ground, announcing the league will play two games on Christmas Day in 2024. Not only does that mean the NFL will play games on a Wednesday for the first time ever, it’s also a shot across the bow at the NBA, which has traditionally owned Christmas Day broadcasts.

If that wasn’t enough, the league also announced a historic 13.6% increase to the salary cap. With all this attention, the NFL’s 32 clubs will select the next class of rookies April 25-27.

Potential (and Exciting) Storylines

If last year’s Draft was defined by quarterback intrigue at the top between Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud, this year’s Draft figures to magnify that intrigue with at least five quarterbacks expected to be selected in the first round – along with plenty of maneuvering, misdirection and stratagem. 

We’ve already seen the Minnesota Vikings make an early trade with the Houston Texans to improve their first-round position, with many surmising the move is not the last one they’ll make in pursuit of the club’s next franchise quarterback. 

For all intents and purposes, the #1 overall selection seems to be set:  no NFL observers expect the club holding that selection, the Chicago Bears, to look in any other direction than USC’s Caleb Williams, a quarterback prospect many are comparing to Patrick Mahomes with regard to his potential. 

The drama will really begin with the second overall pick, currently held by the Washington Commanders, a club with new life after an ownership change, and a club that is also searching for its next franchise quarterback after trading Sam Howell during the offseason. 

LSU’s Jayden Daniels, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, UNC’s Drake Maye, and Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. all figure to be in the mix in the Draft’s first round. Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy has also recently surged up Draft boards, following praise from new Chargers head coach Jim Harbaugh, who coached McCarthy at Michigan.  But the Chargers don’t need a quarterback, and considering they hold the #5 overall pick – with quarterback-needy teams both in front of and behind them – it’s fair to wonder if Coach Harbaugh is playing chess while others play checkers. 

Other quarterbacks in the Draft include Oregon’s Bo Nix, South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler and Florida State’s Jordan Travis. 

Outside of the quarterback position, the 2024 NFL Draft is loaded with prospects at other key skill and non-skill positions, including wide receiver (Marvin Harrison, Jr. Malik Nabers, Rome Odunze), offensive line (Joe Alt, Olu Fashanu, Troy Fatanu), defensive line (Byron Murphy, Jer’Zhan Newton, T’Vondre Sweat) and edge rushers (Jared Verse, Dallas Turner, Laiatu Latu).

Commercial Appeal

The players with the highest commercial appeal going into the draft are:

None higher than Caleb Williams:  2022 Heisman winner and odds-on favorite to be the #1 overall selection 

Others to watch:

Jayden Daniels:  2023 Heisman winner who bring elite athleticism and exciting play on the field

Drake Maye:  A projected top-5 pick, Maye is expected to dominate through agility and arm strength in the upcoming season 

Marvin Harrison, Jr.: The son of NFL great Marvin Harrison, MHJ is looking to continue his dominance as arguably the top wide receiver prospect in the draft 

Joe Alt: The top offensive tackle in the draft is seen as a fix to any offensive line in need of improvement throughout the league

Jared Verse:  The 2023 Second-Team All American will bring explosiveness to any defensive line in the NFL

Rome Odunze:  The First-Team All American has made headlines in college for his positioning and route running 

Terrion Arnold:  Arnold has become a desirable cornerback prospect for any team due to his aggression on the field and high football IQ

Nate Wiggins:  Wiggins’ quick decisiveness across the ball has him rising up Draft boards as a top cornerback prospect 

Byron Murphy:  Murphy stands out due to his innate ability to take on double teams from the line making him a promising pick in the Draft

Chop Robinson:  Drawing comparisons to the likes of Micah Parsons, a quick edge rusher who maximizes his strength on blockers making him one of the most desirable defensive end prospects

Kool Aid McKinstry: McKinstry has been lauded for his patience and maturity for his age, while also projecting a high IQ for the game

Brock Bowers:  Seen by many as the top TE in the draft, Bowers biggest strength is his elusiveness, often tripping up defenders from the snap

Authors: Will Ober, Ryan Harle, Sam Ybarra, and Alex Hanono, all from TMA’s Sports, Celebrity & Influencer team.