Who will be the first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft? The end of the Super Bowl means all 32 teams turn their focus to the offseason, namely the NFL Draft. With a talented class of prospects, NFL Draft rumors are already flying. We’ll keep you updated throughout the offseason with the latest 2024 NFL Draft rumors.
There is plenty of misinformation this time of year. Clubs will intentionally leak information suggesting they are interested in certain prospects, while others will anonymously leak reports of certain top players falling down the board or having key concerns. Here, we’ll sort through it all and try and determine news versus noise.
Related: 2024 NFL Draft order, picks by team
Let’s dive into the latest NFL Draft rumors ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft.
2024 NFL Draft rumors: Latest buzz from around the league
Unknown NFC team high on J.J. McCarthy
While Jim Harbaugh may feel otherwise, J.J. McCarthy isn’t likely to be a top-three pick. Yet, there’s one NFC team who reportedly views the Michigan product as the second-best QB on their draft board.
The report doesn’t outline which NFC team may view McCarthy so highly, and since the Chargers are in the AFC, this isn’t a case of Harbaugh influencing his own team’s board. However, several QB-needy teams in the NFC are likely scouting prospects closely ahead of the NFL Draft, and it’s become apparent that McCarthy is valued highly in the minds of some.
Athletes First tells clients to boycott S2 testing
A year ago, we heard a lot about NFL Draft prospects undergoing S2 cognitive testing aimed at measuring how well players process information in live action. C.J. Stroud was highly scrutinized for scoring an 18/100. Yet, his successful rookie season may have caused some evaluators to shrug at the importance of S2 testing.
Both Athletes First and Drew Rosenhaus have instructed their clients not to undergo any cognitive testing during the 2024 pre-draft process. Athletes First does not represent any of the top quarterback prospects this year, but they do have several athletes expected to be drafted in the first two days.
Jayden Daniels’ draft climb compared to Joe Burrow
A Heisman winning season from Jayden Daniels undoubtedly improved the LSU QB’s draft stock. Just how much did Daniels do to set himself up for the future?
One NFL insider compared Daniels’ climb to that of Joe Burrow, another former LSU QB. While Burrow became the first overall pick, Daniels wasn’t previously believed to be a first-round pick, and now he’s a prospect many expect will be a top-three pick.
Former NFL head coach gushes about Michael Penix Jr.’s downfield accuracy
Prior to the College Football Playoff National Championship, Michael Penix Jr. was viewed as a potential first-round pick despite a long injury history in college. Then, Penix shrunk in primetime, and his draft stock cratered.
While we’re sure to hear a lot more about Penix over the next few months, there’s one former Super Bowl-winning head coach who is still all-in on the former Washington QB.
Will Caleb Williams play for the Chicago Bears?
Throughout the 2023 college football season, rumors were floating that USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams could either pull an Eli Manning or demand a trade or forego the 2024 NFL Draft entirely if he didn’t like the team with the No. 1 pick. Thanks to the Carolina Panthers, the Chicago Bears hold the first pick.
Related: Caleb Williams scouting report
While Williams does hold some leverage, previous reporting that the Heisman Trophy winner doesn’t want to play in Chicago has already been refuted. Williams wants to play in a city that is passionate about football for a stable organization that offers stability and ensures he has the best chance of being successful. The Bears already have a No. 1 receiver (D.J. Moore) with another top-10 pick (9th overall) and a creative offensive coordinator. While Williams might prefer to return home and play for the Washington Commanders, he isn’t refusing to put on a Bears’ uniform.
Who will the Patriots draft in 2024?
Thanks to a Week 16 victory over the Denver Broncos, the New England Patriots lost out on the second overall pick, sliding to the No. 3 spot in the 2024 NFL Draft. While many are high on the long-term upside of Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels, the win did push New England outside of positioning to draft Williams or North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye.
What makes the Patriots’ situation so interesting is what transpired at the start of the offseason. New England parted ways with head coach and general manager Bill Belichick, replacing him with Jerod Mayo. However, Mayo is only the Patriots’ coach and there is currently no general manager. However, as our story above detailed, there are some recent signs that signal to Eliot Wolf making critical decisions for the Patriots. It is believed that will have a significant impact on which position the Patriots target atop the NFL Draft.
New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos may trade up for QB
Beyond Williams, Maye and Daniels, there is a lot of debate surrounding the quarterback prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft. Some teams have Heisman Trophy runner-up Michael Penix Jr. rated as the fourth-best quarterback, while others prefer Michigans J.J. McCarthy or Oregon’s Bo Nix.
One evident thing is the fact that several NFL teams are keeping very close tabs on the third-tier passers. Th New Orleans Saints, still looking for their future face of the franchise, are already being connected to NFL Draft rumors suggesting a trade-up is possible. Likewise, the Minnesota Vikings interest in top quarterback prospects is well-documented. However, the Denver Broncos are another team to monitor with Sean Payton and George Paton interested in an unheralded Group of Five quarterback.
When will Michael Penix Jr be drafted?
Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. delivered one of the best performances by a passer in College Football Playoff history against the Texas Longhorns. If the Huskies had lost that game, it might’ve allowed the left-handed quarterback to be drafted higher than he will be now.
Facing a Michigan Wolverines defense with NFL-caliber talent and schemes, Penix Jr. struggled and it has carried over into the pre-draft process. Even before the Senior Bowl, the All-American quarterback was reportedly off some teams’ 2024 NFL Draft boards due to medical concerns. By February, lesser-known quarterbacks were passing him as rumors swirled of Penix Jr. plummeting down the draft. After a shaky performance in Senior Bowl practices, a quarterback entering his age-24 season with medical red flags and some concerns over his upside is hurting Penix Jr.
NFL Draft rumors 2024: Chicago Bears’ intentions with No. 1 pick
There is no team or draft pick under a bigger spotlight than the Chicago Bears with the first overall selection. Williams and Maye are both viewed as generational talents and the opportunity to have either player for five seasons of a rookie contract is perfect for roster construction. However, Chicago remains very high on Justin Fields and he’s flashed franchise-caliber traits over the last two seasons. There remains a number of people who believe the Bears should build around Fields and trade the No. 1 pick. On the other hands, others believe the only decision to make is trading Fields. As of now, many around the NFL believe they already know what the Bears are doing with the first pick.
2024 Senior Bowl: Prospects on the rise
While many of the quarterbacks struggled at the Senior Bowl, several premier talents either strengthened their status as likely first-round picks or even pushed themselves into Round 1. For analysts in attendance throughout practices, there were a few common standouts.
Oregon Ducks center Jackson Powers-Johnson not only proved he’s the best interior lineman in the 2024 NFL Draft class, but potentially could be a top-25 pick at a position where that’s very rare. Dane Brugler of The Athletic identified Powers-Johnson as one of the biggest winners from the Senior Bowl. In addition, Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com highlighted Oklahoma Sooners offensive tackle Tyler Guyton and Tulane cornerback Quinyon Mitchell as two players who potentially cemented their status as first-round picks.