NFL Draft News & Analysis

2024 NFL Draft: Grades for all 32 first-round picks

• Atlanta moves up for Michael Penix Jr.Penix had gained more first-round buzz leading up to tonight, but no one thought the Falcons were in the quarterback market after signing Kirk Cousins this offseason.

• The Vikings land J.J. McCarthy after all: With Penix being drafted before McCarthy, Minnesota had to move up only one selection to get their quarterback competition for Sam Darnold. McCarthy has traits to work with and was excellent when Michigan needed him to make a play in third-and-long situations, but he wasn’t asked to carry the offense much at the college level.

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The first round of the 2024 NFL Draft started as many of us predicted: Caleb Williams was selected by the Chicago Bears with the first overall pick, Jayden Daniels landed with the Washington Commanders and Drake Maye was snapped up by the QB-needy New England Patriots.

But that's not to say there were no surprise picks, as the Atlanta Falcons selected Michael Penix Jr. in the top 10, and the Denver Broncos stood pat to select Bo Nix, totaling six passers taken within the first 12 selections. 

Over at PFF's live draft tracker, we analyzed and graded every pick in real-time. Here is a quick recap of our instant-reaction thoughts for all 32 first-round picks.

R1 (1) Chicago Bears (via Carolina Panthers): QB Caleb Williams, USC

Pick Grade: Very Good

This decision came into focus after Chicago traded Justin Fields away earlier in the offseason. It’s the right decision for the Bears. Williams has the kind of unique playmaking ability that every team is looking for at the quarterback position, and he earned 90.0-plus PFF grades in three consecutive years to end his college career.

R1 (2) Washington Commanders: QB Jayden Daniels, LSU

Pick Grade: Average

Daniels is QB3 behind Drake Maye on both the PFF big board and the consensus big board, but the new regime in Washington takes him at No. 2 overall. Daniels does make sense as a theoretical fit in a Kliff Kingsbury spread-to-run offense that will allow Daniels to add on in the run game and get the ball out to players in space.

R1 (3) New England Patriots: QB Drake Maye, North Carolina

Pick Grade: Very Good

New England doesn’t have the ideal supporting cast on offense, but it would be difficult for the Patriots to pass on a quarterback prospect of Maye’s caliber here. The North Carolina product earned an elite PFF grade as a true sophomore in 2022 before following that up with another 90.0-plus grade in 2023. He has high-end arm talent and showed that he is comfortable making NFL throws over the middle of the field.

R1 (4) Arizona Cardinals: WR Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State

Pick Grade: Elite

The Cardinals didn’t receive a trade offer that enticed them to move down for the second straight season. Instead, they get the No. 1 overall prospect on the consensus big board and one of the cleanest projections in the entire draft. Despite dealing with a step down in quarterback play last year, Harrison is one of two wide receivers who generated more than 1.0 PFF Wins Above Average (WAA) over the last two seasons.

R1 (5) Los Angeles Chargers: T Joe Alt, Notre Dame

Pick Grade: Very Good

The Chargers had clear needs at both wide receiver and offensive tackle. They opted to beef up their offensive line, which should help keep franchise cornerstone Justin Herbert upright and spark a run game that has been non-existent in recent years. Alt allowed just 13 pressures across the last two seasons on over 700 pass-blocking snaps.

R1 (6) New York Giants: WR Malik Nabers, LSU

Pick Grade: Very Good

The Giants were linked to several of the quarterbacks in the draft process. Instead of packaging picks to move up or sticking at No. 6 to bring in J.J. McCarthy, they bring an explosive receiver into a receiving corps in need of talent. Nabers recorded 44 receptions of 20-plus yards over his last two seasons, second-most among FBS wide receivers.

R1 (7) Tennessee Titans: T JC Latham, Alabama

Pick Grade: Good

Few teams had a more glaring need than the Titans did at offensive tackle. With Joe Alt off the board, Tennessee tabbed Latham as the top remaining tackle. The Alabama product is a massive physical presence, weighing in at 343 pounds with 35-plus-inch arms, and he earned an 80.0-plus pass-blocking grade in back-to-back seasons to finish his college career.

R1 (8) Atlanta Falcons: QB Michael Penix Jr., Washington

Pick Grade: Below Average

This is the first shocker of the night. Penix had gained more first-round buzz leading up to tonight, but no one thought the Falcons were in the quarterback market after signing Kirk Cousins this offseason. Penix was the only quarterback in college football who recorded more than 40 big-time throws during the 2023 season. Atlanta clearly values his skill set and will look to develop him behind Cousins.

R1 (9) Chicago Bears: WR Rome Odunze, Washington

Pick Grade: Very Good

The sixth-ranked player on the PFF big board falls to Chicago at the back end of the top 10. Odunze is able to tilt the scales on 50-50 balls and brought in 21 of his 28 contested targets last season. That’s a nice weapon for new quarterback Caleb Williams, who will have one of the better wide receiver trios in the NFL as a rookie — D.J. Moore, Keenan Allen and Odunze.

R1 (10) Minnesota Vikings (via New York Jets): QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan

Pick Grade: Average

With Penix being drafted before McCarthy, Minnesota had to move up only one selection to get their quarterback competition for Sam Darnold. McCarthy has traits to work with and was excellent when Michigan needed him to make a play in third-and-long situations, but he wasn’t asked to carry the offense much at the college level. He does land in one of the league’s better situations for a rookie quarterback, as Minnesota has a solid offensive line and a talented receiving corps.

R1 (11) New York Jets (via Minnesota Vikings): T Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Penn State

Pick Grade: Good

The Jets offensive line has been a weak point for the last few years. Even though they brought in veteran tackles Tyron Smith and Morgan Moses to strengthen it, bringing in talented depth and getting a succession plan in place makes a lot of sense. Fashanu ranked in the 93rd percentile among qualifying college tackles in pass-blocking grade on true pass sets over the last two seasons.

R1 (12) Denver Broncos: QB Bo Nix, Oregon

Pick Grade: Below Average

The run on quarterbacks continues. Denver had one of the worst quarterback rooms in the NFL on paper. It’s not a surprise to see them address the position, though the way they did it — taking the QB6 at 12th overall — is a bit surprising. Nix excelled at getting the ball out quickly and accurately in the Oregon offense over the past two seasons. His 70.0% accurate pass rate since 2022 ranks second among Power Five quarterbacks with at least 250 pass attempts.

R1 (13) Las Vegas Raiders: TE Brock Bowers, Georgia

Pick Grade: Very Good

With the top six quarterbacks off the board, the Raiders go with a “best player available” approach despite taking tight end Michael Mayer in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Bowers is a versatile offensive weapon and should be an immediate impact player thanks to what he can do with the ball in his hands. Bowers’ 689 receiving yards after contact during his college career at Georgia are more than any other tight end since PFF began charting college football in 2014.

R1 (14) New Orleans Saints: T Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State

Pick Grade: Good

New Orleans needed to address the tackle position amid questions surrounding Ryan Ramczyk’s health and a disappointing start to Trevor Penning’s career. There’s a lot to like about Fuaga as a run blocker, coming off an elite 90.9 PFF run-blocking grade for Oregon State in 2023.

R1 (15) Indianapolis Colts: ED Laiatu Latu, UCLA

Pick Grade: Elite

The first defensive player comes off the board. Latu was the most productive pass rusher in college football over the past two seasons at UCLA, leading all qualifiers in PFF pass-rush grade (94.5) and pass-rush win rate (23.1%). If it weren’t for medical red flags, there’s a good chance that Latu would have been viewed as a consensus top-10 prospect in this class.

R1 (16) Seattle Seahawks: DI Byron Murphy II, Texas

Pick Grade: Very Good

The Seahawks opt to improve a position where they already have some pieces in place with one of the best defensive players in the draft. Since 2021, Murphy’s 12.5% pressure rate ranks third among defensive tackles with at least 500 pass-rushing snaps, trailing only 2023 first-round picks Jalen Carter and Calijah Kancey. A Murphy and Leonard Williams tandem on the interior creates a clear strength for Seattle heading into 2024.

R1 (17) Minnesota Vikings (via Jacksonville Jaguars): ED Dallas Turner, Alabama

Pick Grade: Good

The Vikings draft an explosive pass rusher in Dallas Turner, adding him to a unit that includes free-agent acquisitions Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel. Turner is an incredible athlete who is capable of rushing the passer from a two-point stance and dropping into coverage. He ranked among the top three edges in the SEC in pass-rush grade and pressures in 2023.

R1 (18) Cincinnati Bengals: T Amarius Mims, Georgia

Pick Grade: Good

Cincinnati beefs up its pass protection in front of Joe Burrow by adding the massive Amarius Mims. He’s a fantastic athlete for his size but struggled with injuries at Georgia. Regardless, he allowed just six quarterback pressures across 402 career pass-blocking snaps and should start very soon, as Trent Brown is only a short-term solution at right tackle.

R1 (19) Los Angeles Rams: ED Jared Verse, Florida State

Pick Grade: Very Good

The Rams desperately needed edge help, and they select arguably the best power rusher in the class. Verse burst onto the scene over the past two years at Florida State, ranking second among Power Five edge rushers in pass-rush win rate. The Rams use their highest selection since 2016 to reset their pass rush after Aaron Donald‘s retirement.

R1 (20) Pittsburgh Steelers: T Troy Fautanu, Washington

Pick Grade: Very Good

There have been questions about whether Fautanu will play inside or outside in the NFL, but he may have landed at the most likely spot where he can play left tackle, his natural position. Fautanu ranked 15th on PFF’s final big board and fifth among all FBS tackles this past season in PFF pass-blocking grade (88.2).

R1 (21) Miami Dolphins: ED Chop Robinson, Penn State

Pick Grade: Average

Robinson, ranked 40th on the PFF big board, could be considered a bit of a reach, but his potential is undeniable. He has dimensions of power and speed in his pass-rush arsenal. He also earned a 93.9 pass-rush grade over the past two seasons, which ranks second among FBS edge defenders — behind the Colts’ Laiatu Latu. Miami’s edge group could be a dominant unit if Robinson achieves his potential and Bradley Chubb and Jaelan Phillips recover from their injuries.

R1 (22) Philadelphia Eagles: CB Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo

Pick Grade: Elite

Philadelphia fortifies its 28th-ranked coverage unit with arguably the most talented cornerback in this class. Mitchell led all FBS cornerbacks in PFF overall grade in each of the past two seasons. His outstanding athleticism and ability to make plays in off-coverage make him a perfect fit in Vic Fangio’s defense.

R1 (23) Jacksonville Jaguars (via Minnesota, via Cleveland, via Houston): WR Brian Thomas Jr., LSU

Pick Grade: Good

The Jaguars add another weapon to a wide receiver room that includes Gabe Davis, Christian Kirk and Zay Jones. Thomas’ calling card is his explosive speed and ability to win vertically. He led the nation in 2023 with a 99.9 PFF deep receiving grade and 12 deep receiving touchdowns. He’ll instantly threaten safeties vertically, and if he improves his route running, he has WR1 potential.

R1 (24) Detroit Lions (via Dallas Cowboys): CB Terrion Arnold, Alabama

Pick Grade: Elite

Detroit trades up to acquire the 14th-ranked player on PFF big board in Alabama cornerback Terrion Arnold, who is an alpha presence in the secondary who plays with a fearless mentality. He led all SEC cornerbacks in interceptions and pass breakups in 2023. He also led the conference with a 90.6 PFF run-defense grade. Detroit has officially overhauled their cornerback room with the additions of Arnold, Carlton Davis and Amik Robertson.

R1 (25) Green Bay Packers: T Jordan Morgan, Arizona

Pick Grade: Average

Morgan returned from a torn ACL in 2023 and had an excellent season for a resurgent Arizona squad. There are questions about his play strength and arm length, so he may move inside in the NFL. Those shortcomings weren’t an issue in college, though, as Morgan ranked inside the top seven in overall and pass-blocking grade this past season. Green Bay now has several versatile players on its offensive line and are sure to shuffle them around during the preseason to find the optimal combination.

R1 (26) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: T Graham Barton, Duke

Pick Grade: Good

Tampa Bay is set at tackle with Tristan Wirfs and Luke Goedeke, so Barton is sure to play inside. He has experience at center and enough athleticism to play anywhere up front. Barton earned an 88.7 overall PFF grade across the last two seasons, which stands as the fifth-best among all FBS tackles in that span.

R1 (27) Arizona Cardinals (via Houston): ED Darius Robinson, Missouri

Pick Grade: Below Average

Robinson’s strength is his calling card. He played primarily on the interior before moving to the edge and posting career-highs with an 83.1 overall PFF grade and nine sacks. He was also the only SEC edge player to earn a 76.0-plus grade in run defense and rushing the passer. Arizona desperately needed to get more physical up front. The Cardinals accomplished that, but it’s possible that he would’ve been on the board early in the next round.

R1 (28) Kansas City Chiefs (via Buffalo): WR Xavier Worthy, Texas

Pick Grade: Average

Kansas City trades up to select the fastest player in combine history. Worthy, owner of the 4.21-second 40-yard dash, gives Patrick Mahomes the most explosive outside threat he’s had since the departure of Tyreek Hill. However, Worthy earned PFF receiving grades in the low 70s in each of the last two years, and there are concerns about his 172-pound frame. It’s a gamble by a Chiefs organization looking to make their offense more aggressive.

R1 (29) Dallas Cowboys (via Detroit): T Tyler Guyton, Oklahoma

Pick Grade: Average

Dallas selects the former defensive end Guyton out of Oklahoma to reinforce their offensive line. He’s the 39th-ranked player on the PFF big board and is considered something of a project with outstanding athletic ability. He didn’t allow a sack in 355 pass-blocking reps this season, but he only earned a 59.0 PFF true pass-blocking grade.

R1 (30) Baltimore Ravens: CB Nate Wiggins, Clemson

Pick Grade: Very Good

The Ravens select the lengthy but light Wiggins to play alongside Marlon Humphrey and Kyle Hamilton in their secondary. Wiggins’ closing speed is elite, and he showed good press ability in college despite his frame. He led the ACC with an 89.4 PFF coverage grade over the last two seasons. If he can handle NFL receivers’ play strength, he has immense potential.

R1 (31) San Francisco 49ers: WR Ricky Pearsall, Florida

Pick Grade: Average

The 49ers take Pearsall, a slot receiver from Florida who excelled during the pre-draft process. Pearsall was productive and reliable, and his measurables are up to NFL standards. He only dropped five passes since the beginning of 2020, which is tied for the fewest among Power Five receivers with at least 200 targets in that span. This pick could also add intrigue to trade rumors swirling around Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel.

R1 (32) Carolina Panthers (via Buffalo, via Kansas City): WR Xavier Legette, South Carolina

Pick Grade: Average

Carolina trades into the first round to take South Carolina's Xavier Legette, who broke out in 2023 after several nondescript seasons. Legette impressed all season with his strength and speed in an offense in which he was the only legitimate threat. He consistently won downfield, posting an FBS-leading 97.7 receiving grade on 10-plus-yard throws. The Panthers add their second legitimate weapon at wide receiver to go along with Diontae Johnson.


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