NFL News & Analysis

Best player fits at every position from the 2024 NFL Draft

2JW5RP7 Oregon Ducks quarterback Bo Nix (10) during the NCAA College Football Chick-fil-A Kickoff game between the Oregon Ducks and the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday September 3, 2022 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. Jacob Kupferman/CSM/Sipa USA(Credit Image: © Jacob Kupferman/Cal Sport Media/Sipa USA)

  • Why I am excited about the Bo Nix-Sean Payton connection: Nix's ability to throw in rhythm should enable him to thrive in Denver.
  • New York Giants add an explosive passing weapon – and I’m not talking about Malik Nabers: Johnson is a vertical and seam threat who could be a big addition to the Giants’ offense in terms of added explosiveness.
  • DeMeco Ryans could make Calen Bullock the steal of the draft: Bullock is one of the best coverage safeties from the last few years. His speed, range and ball skills as a single-high free safety are very impactful, as evidenced by his 10 interceptions over the last three seasons.

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes


As we continue to recap some of our favorite picks from the 2024 NFL Draft, we wanted to step away from the team-by-team analysis and get into some our favorite picks. These are the players we are most excited about from each position. 


Quarterback: Bo Nix, Denver Broncos 

Yes, I am excited about Bo Nix – is it just me? So be it. What Nix did well at Oregon lines up with Sean Payton's strength: He designs an offense that gets the ball out on time and in rhythm. Nix was one of the top quarterbacks in the FBS when it came to taking care of the football. He recorded a 0.8% turnover-worthy play percentage, the best in the country. He was also ranked in the 100th percentile at avoiding negatives this past season, posting 8.4% negative play grade rate. If Payton can instill NFL confidence in Nix, we could see a well-oiled machine of an offense in the second half of the season.  

Running Back: Jonathon Brooks, Carolina Panthers

It may have shocked some people when the Panthers traded up for a running back in the second round, but it really shouldn’t have. Brooks was the best running back in the country this past season before tearing his ACL. Carolina's emphasis all offseason was to get legitimate offensive talent around quarterback Bryce Young to adequately answer if he is the team's franchise quarterback. Many thought that receiver additions was the way to accomplish that, but at his peak, Brooks can be a valuable piece

Wide Receiver: Adonai Mitchell, Indianapolis Colts 

Mitchell's landing with the Colts at No. 52 could go down as the steal of the draft. Indianapolis already has a true “X” receiver in Michael Pittman Jr. and a reliable slot receiver in Josh Downs. The Colts were missing a vertical threat as the final puzzle piece of their 11 personnel (three wide receivers) sets. They filled it with a 6-foot-2, 205-pound receiver who runs a 4.34-second 40-yard dash and jumps out of the gym with much better route running than most players his size.  

Yeah, consider me excited about that.  

Tight End: Theo Johnson, New York Giants 

Darren Waller still hasn’t decided if he is going to retire or come back for another year, but even with Waller, I am excited to see how the Giants utilize fourth-round rookie tight end Theo Johnson. The 6-foot-6, 260-pound tight end ranked in the 90th percentile in basically every category – 40-yard dash, 10-yard split, vertical jump and broad jump. He is a very impressive athlete for his size and position. Even if Waller is still in the picture, Johnson is a vertical and seam threat who could be a big addition to the Giants’ offense in terms of added explosiveness. Even if his workload is limited, his handful of catches could be very impactful because of that mismatch potential. 

Offensive Tackle: Taliese Fuaga, New Orleans Saints 

I am excited to watch Fuaga for a few reasons. The first is that he was a top-15 prospect whose punishing play style was always entertaining. I am curious to see how well his strength-based approach to pass blocking holds up at the NFL level. The next is that reports say he is getting work as a left tackle to start his time in New Orleans, which would be new for him, as he played exclusively at right tackle in college. It makes sense why the Saints would want to try this, as they have Ryan Ramczyk on the right side – though that might not be for long, as it has been reported he doesn’t have much cartilage left in his knee. That whole situation is worth monitoring. 

Offensive Guard: Christian Haynes, Seattle Seahawks

Christian Haynes is scheduled to start at guard for the Seahawks, and I believe he will be up to the task. He started at right guard for four years with the Huskies, so he has plenty of experience. Over the last three seasons, his overall blocking grade was above 73.0, and over the past two years, it was above 80.0. He could be one of the most underappreciated picks in this draft – a guy who went under the radar amongst other big names who became a valuable starter early.  

Center: Cooper Beebe, Dallas Cowboys 

Beebe is an exciting player to watch because, quite frankly, I wasn’t as high on him as I know a lot of other analysts were. Now, I still had him in the top 100 on my big board, and he ended up being drafted at No. 73 in the third round, but for the Cowboys, he is an intriguing player because they are planning to play him at center. Beebe boasts a ton of versatility, as he logged snaps at left tackle, left guard, right tackle and right guard. The only position he didn’t play was center, but his measurables suggested center might be a good spot for him (shorter arms). We’ll see if he can win that job at some point this season. 

Defensive Tackle: Braden Fiske, Los Angeles Rams

I am very excited to watch Fiske this season. He was excellent during his time at Western Michigan, racking up 89 total pressures in his final two years there. However, he was winning mainly off athleticism and looked out of control at times. At Florida State in 2023, it took him about half a season to get warmed up to ACC play, but once he did, he was very impactful. The Rams traded a 2025 second-round pick and a 2024 fifth-rounder to move just 13 spots to draft Fiske, which means they have high hopes for him. He wins with incredible quickness, and we certainly know the Rams are a team that prioritizes winning with quickness at that spot.  

Edge Rusher: Jonah Elliss, Denver Broncos 

Elliss was one of my favorite edge rushers to watch this past season. He’s undersized at 6-foot-2 and 248 pounds, but he is so smart in his pass-rush approach. He earned a 90.1 pass-rush grade with an 18.9% pass-rush win percentage last year. He was a player teams should have coveted if they missed out on Laiatu Latu in the first round because they both win with such great hand usage and a deep understanding of pass rush moves. He could see some good time as a rotational rusher in 2024. 

Off-Ball Linebacker: Payton Wilson, Pittsburgh Steelers

Though he is an older prospect, it’s hard to criticize what Wilson had done in his final year of college ball. He won both the Butkus and Bednarik awards as the best linebacker and best overall defensive player in college football last season. He also had an eye-popping 4.43-second 40-yard dash at the combine. The reasons he fell to No. 98 in the third round were likely based on health concerns, as he has undergone several significant surgeries already. Nonetheless, he has a chance to be a starting linebacker for the Steelers this upcoming season. If he’s anything like we saw in 2024, he can be an impactful player for Pittsburgh in Year 1. 

Cornerback: Terrion Arnold, Detroit Lions  

How can you not be excited about Terrion Arnold? He had a breakout season in 2023 as the cornerback opposite Kool-Aid McKinstry – who teams did not really want to throw to. Arnold saw 83 targets his way but came away with 14 forced incompletions, five interceptions and allowed a sub-50% completion rate. He has a chance to start right away for the Lions, who desperately need better play from their outside corners if they want to get over the hump and into the Super Bowl this upcoming season. 

Safety: Calen Bullock, Houston Texans 

Bullock is one of the best coverage safeties from the last few years. His speed, range and ball skills as a single-high free safety are very impactful, as evidenced by his 10 interceptions over the last three seasons. His abilities allow defensives to get more aggressive up front knowing they have Bullock’s range behind them. Now, the trade-off is that he's only 188 pounds (second percentile for safeties in the NFL) and has a tackling problem (49.0 and 55.1 run-defense grades in each of the last two seasons). Nonetheless, I trust DeMeco Ryans when it comes to evaluating defensive talent. I don’t think he would draft Bullock if he didn’t see that impact and that potential. 

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