Wednesday, May 22, 2024

2024 NFL Draft rumors: Quarterbacks, cornerbacks and trades dominate possibilities

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NFL draft week is here. All 32 teams have prepared for months to get to this point, and rumors are rampant ahead of the start of the 2024 NFL Draft on Thursday night.

As in most years, many of the rumors swirling are related to the quarterbacks available in this class. This year’s rumors are especially prevalent given the volume of teams in need of a new signal-caller heading into the 2024 season.

At the same time, the teams picking high in the draft without a need at quarterback hold much of the power in the first round. Could they be looking to trade back and recoup future picks? How much would it cost a prospective trade partner?

Here are the latest NFL draft rumors from around the web as draft week begins.

NFL MOCK DRAFT: Six QBs make first-round cut as trade possibilities remain

2024 NFL Draft rumors: Chargers seeking “attractive” offer for No. 5 pick

With three quarterback-needy teams at the top of the draft, it’s the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Chargers with picks No. 4 and 5, respectively, that could determine where the last remaining “big four” quarterback ends up. Neither team needs a quarterback, making them attractive trade down candidates.

Three of Southern California’s Caleb Williams, LSU’s Jayden Daniels, North Carolina’s Drake Maye and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy likely will be off the board by the fourth pick. That leaves one top choice left for the several quarterback-needy teams picking later in the draft order, giving the Cardinals and Chargers the power to receive a nice haul for their top picks.

Chargers general manager Joe Hortiz says the team won’t be making it easy on teams trying to trade up.

“They have to make it attractive for us to move away from those players,” Hortiz said, according to reporting from ESPN. “The whole, ‘It’s a fair trade, it’s a wash’ – I don’t think that’s a trade that we’re interested in.”

Los Angeles needs to add a top receiver in the 2024 draft after trading their top pass-catcher, Keenan Allen, to the Chicago Bears and releasing their No. 2 option, Mike Williams, to free up cap space. Holding onto the No. 5 pick could allow them to take one of the two most elite pass-catching prospects from recent classes: Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr. or LSU’s Malik Nabers.

“We believe we have the first pick of the draft. I know there’s going to be four picks that go before us, but we believe that,” Hortiz said. “We know it’s the fifth pick and people are going to be trading on that scope, but it’s got to be a good value for us.”

2024 NFL Draft rumors: Patriots may follow Cardinals’ 2023 trading strategy

Last year, the Cardinals traded down from the No. 3 overall pick before trading back up to the No. 6 pick to land offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr.

According to multiple reports, the New England Patriots are looking to trade back from the No. 3 overall pick.

Notably, Patriots owner Robert Kraft told reporters at the NFL owners meeting in March that “one way or another, I’d like to see us get a top-rate, young quarterback,” according to ESPN.

New England’s roster is one in need of multiple upgrades at multiple positions. The Patriots may be looking to add later draft picks with a trade back to build up the rest of the roster before trading up again – much like Arizona last year – to get their young quarterback of the future.

2024 NFL Draft rumors: Could Rams take their QB of the future?

The Los Angeles Rams have a first-round pick for the first time since 2016, when they selected quarterback Jared Goff with the No. 1 overall pick. With their current, 36-year-old quarterback – Matt Stafford, for whom the team traded Goff – on a contract out of guaranteed money after this season, could the Rams draft their quarterback of the future this year? If so, who might they draft?

When Rams general manager Les Snead was a graduate assistant at Auburn, Oregon quarterback Bo Nix’s father, Patrick, was the quarterback.

Snead and Nix have a connection, and the Rams may have a soon-to-be-pressing need at quarterback. It’s possible Snead makes the most of his Nix family ties to improve the future outlook under center for Los Angeles.

2024 NFL Draft rumors: Two cornerbacks marked as top-16 picks

Three premium positions – quarterback, wide receiver and offensive tackle – are getting tons of attention for the sheer amount of talent at each spot in this year’s draft class. Another premium position, cornerback, features some excellent talent in this class as well.

According to reporting from NFL Network, Toledo cornerback Quinyon Mitchell and Alabama cornerback Terrion Arnold have done enough to cement themselves as worthy picks in the top half of the first round. Ian Rapoport said the run on cornerbacks in this year’s draft could even start as early as the No. 8 overall pick.

Mitchell has skyrocketed up draft boards during the pre-draft process this year thanks to an excellent Senior Bowl performance and impressive numbers at the NFL Scouting Combine. Arnold is coming off of an excellent collegiate swan song that featured five interceptions and 12 passes defensed.

2024: NFL Draft rumors: Seven quarterbacks projected for first two days

NFL Network compiled a rankings list of the top 20 quarterbacks in this year’s draft class, including which rounds they may be drafted, using perspectives from NFL executives, scouts and coaches.

Seven of the 20 prospects were projected to be off the board by the fourth round and start of day three of the draft.

Williams, Daniels, Maye and McCarthy led the way as true first-round prospects. Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. and Oregon’s Nix were possible first- or second-round picks. South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler rounded out the top seven as a possible second- or third-round selection.

An anonymous executive told NFL Network, “This is a really weird draft, because there’s six or seven (QBs) I think can start in the NFL. They’re all different. They’re all good dudes. They’re all smart enough. It’s going to be really fun to look back in five years at this class and see how it went.”

It bears mentioning that the NFL draft record for quarterbacks taken in the first round is six, which happened in the 1983 NFL Draft. No draft before or since has featured such a high volume of first-round quarterbacks selected.

(The six first-round quarterbacks in 1983 were John Elway – Broncos; Todd Blackledge – Chiefs; Jim Kelly – Bills; Tony Eason – Patriots; Ken O’Brien – Jets; and Dan Marino – Dolphins.)

2024 NFL Draft: How to watch on cable TV and streaming

  • When: April 25-27, 2024
  • Where: Campus Martius Park and Hart Plaza, Detroit, Michigan
  • Cable: ESPN; ABC; NFL Network
  • Streaming: NFL+; ESPN+; Hulu+ Live TV; fuboTV

HOW TO WATCH: Catch all seven rounds of the 2024 NFL Draft with a fuboTV subscription

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