2024 NFL Draft: News & Rumors for Top NFL Prospects

With so much information going around the league with Pro Days, smokescreens, and general rumors leading up to the 2024 NFL Draft, it is important to stay on top of the latest news for the top college prospects.

This page will be updated through the draft with rumors and reports, so be sure to bookmark it and check back regularly.

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April 24, NFL Draft News & Rumors

Six QBs in Round 1?

On the Rich Eisen Show, Adam Schefter stated he believes six quarterbacks will go in the first round, because there are at least seven teams with a quarterback need.

It’s certainly possible this is true, because there are many teams in need of a quarterback. However, we go through this every year and rarely hit the high end of the first-round quarterback projections.

Mock drafts almost always overestimate the number of quarterbacks going in the first round because it’s easy to pair the quarterback-needy teams with the available quarterback. But in reality, the available quarterbacks and the grades teams have on those quarterbacks often don’t line up.

So while this feels plausible, it’s still unlikely that the remaining team without a quarterback at the end of the first round also has a first-round grade on whoever is left standing (most likely Oregon’s Bo Nix).

Bears not locked in on WR

According to Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz “aren’t married to” a wide receiver with the ninth pick.

This feels like some PR work is being done by Chicago, because they know the fans are excited about adding either Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze, but it’s possible neither is on the board.

It would still be shocking if the Bears passed on any of the top three receivers.

April 23, NFL Draft News & Rumors

Giants moving up for QB?

According to ESPN Jordan Raanan, the Giants are “at least looking to trade up,” potentially for North Carolina’s Drake Maye.

On his podcast, Raanan mentions the Patriots and Cardinals as the potential trade partners.

This rumor makes perfect sense. As we’ve discussed here, the Patriots might be trading back if Jayden Daniels is off the board, which would allow the Giants to move up for Maye.

GM Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll were both in Buffalo when the Bills selected Josh Allen, the player to whom Maye is most frequently compared.

April 21, NFL Draft News & Rumors

Falcons targeting cornerbacks?

The Falcons are widely believed to be targeting Alabama pass-rusher Dallas Turner with the eighth pick. On the betting market, defensive line/EDGE is currently -210 to be the position of the team’s first selection.

However, Atlanta has conducted visits with Alabama cornerbacks Kool-Aid McKinstry and Terrion Arnold as well as Toledo’s Quinyon Mitchell. All three are expected to be gone long before Atlanta is on the clock in the second round.

Individual player visits don’t tell us much, but when a team is spending significant time with a specific position group, it’s a strong indication of interest.

Turner may still be Atlanta’s top target, but if he’s not available, the team appears to be eyeing one of the top cornerbacks.

April 19, NFL Draft News & Rumors

Jayden Daniels drama

So here’s what’s going on with Jayden Daniels and the Commanders:

  • Commanders invited Daniels, Drake Maye, J.J. McCarthy, and Michael Penix Jr. in for a visit together
  • Daniels’ agent liked a tweet criticizing how the Commanders handled the situation
  • Adam Schefter said Daniels was upset and preferred to play elsewhere
  • Daniels’ agent called Schefter’s report “fake news”

So what does this mean?

Probably nothing.

The Commanders meeting with all of those prospects at once is uncommon but not unheard of. Maybe they wanted to gauge how they handle competition and adversity.

If so, Daniels doesn’t come out looking great from the whole situation, but it’s still unlikely to sway Washington’s decision.

As for Schefter’s report that Daniels wants to play somewhere else, we knew that already.

He wants to play for his former coach Antonio Pierce in Las Vegas, which is also a lot closer to his hometown in Southern California. Most players have an opinion on where they want to play.

The only way this might sway Washington is if it was orchestrated with this exact purpose in mind.

The group interview could have been a strategic event if they had some reason to believe Daniels (or another quarterback) was immature and might not handle adversity or competition well. And if that’s the case, Daniels isn’t coming off well.

But if GM Adam Peters has Daniels graded significantly higher than the other quarterback prospects, even that won’t matter.

April 18, NFL Draft News & Rumors

Giants QB situation

According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo the Giants had Oregon’s Bo Nix and South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler in for visits this week, the final week to conduct meetings with prospects.

These late quarterback visits are particularly interesting for the Giants because the team has a significant advantage on landing the fourth quarterback off the board (assuming three quarterbacks go in the top three).

The Cardinals and Chargers, sitting at four and five, are significantly more likely to accept a trade offer from the Giants than the Vikings, Broncos, or Raiders.

In such a trade, Arizona or Los Angeles would still land a top-tier prospect at No. 6 rather than miss out on those types of players by falling outside the top 10.

So if the Giants are spending these final days visiting with quarterbacks likely to come off the board on Day 2, does that tell us something about their plans at No. 6? It might.

The Giants should have a pretty good feel for their chances of landing a quarterback in the top 10.

If they’re spending time with Nix and Rattler, it could mean they don’t feel good about landing someone at six — either because they don’t expect their preferred quarterback to be available, or because they are expecting to get outbid for one of those picks in a trade.

April 15, NFL Draft News & Rumors

Patriots and QB hand size

The Patriots don’t have a general manager, so their draft process is headed up by Eliot Wolf, son of longtime Packers general manager Ron Wolf.

According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the Pats are now operating like the Packers, which “places a greater emphasis on the evaluations of the personnel department.”

So what does this mean for the Patriots pursuit of a quarterback?

Green Bay has always favored quarterbacks with large hands, and this makes sense given the late-season environment in Green Bay.

Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers, and Jordan Love all have hands measured 10 inches or larger. Since the weather is also a factor in New England, Wolf likely shares this view and would prefer a similar quarterback.

Here are their measurements for the quarterback prospects in play at No. 3:

  • Caleb Williams, 9 3/4 inches
  • Jayden Daniels, 9 3/8 inches
  • Drake Maye, 9 1/8 inches
  • J.J. McCarthy, 9 inches

Among quarterbacks drafted in the early rounds by the Packers or other GMs from the Ron Wolf and Ted Thompson tree, Derek Carr (drafted by Reggie McKenzie) is the only one with hands under 9 3/8 inches. And since Carr was drafted to play in Oakland, the odds of weather affecting his play were minimal.

Earlier this offseason, Sportskeeda’s Tony Pauline reported on a rumor that the Patriots would trade down if Daniels is not available.

If that rumor holds, the small hand size of Maye and McCarthy could be a factor in their lack of interest. McCarthy’s hands would be tied for the smallest among current starting quarterbacks.

Jets trading down?

According to ESPN’s Rich Cimini, the Jets want to trade down from the 10th pick and acquire an extra top-100 pick in the process.

The Jets are without a second-round pick due to the Aaron Rodgers trade, so that could be part of their motivation.

It would be a surprising move, however, given the Jets win-now mentality.

The team has a short window with Rodgers at quarterback, so that 10th pick represents a rare opportunity to snag a top-tier prospect with the ability to help the team win now.

Typically, contenders with a small remaining window of opportunity are trying to trade up, not down.

Is Drake Maye worth the risk?

Based on data from Sports Info Solutions, here’s a look at Drake Maye‘s on-target rate rank at various distances downfield when throwing from the pocket with no pressure:

  • 0-9 yds: 92nd out of 123 quarterbacks
  • 10-19 yds: 101st out of 103
  • 20+ yds: 40th out of 78

There’s a storyline out there this offseason that Maye regressed because of offensive line play — which is why it’s important to reiterate these numbers are from a clean pocket.

It’s also important to point out that Maye’s protection actually improved dramatically in 2023.

Check out his pressure rate over his two seasons as a starter:

  • 2022: 37.8%, ranked 133rd out of 143 quarterbacks
  • 2023: 29.5%, ranked 54th out of 147 quarterbacks

And while Maye did lose Josh Downs to the NFL, he gained Devontez Walker.

It’s easy to see the flashes of elite play from Maye and envision him developing into a star at the next level, but the lack of patience in the league also makes that outcome unfortunately rare for talented but raw passers.

The Athletic’s Ben Standig recently shared this quote from an assistant coach in the league:

“I like Maye, but when I see the amount of work it will take to have him reach his potential, we’ll be fired first.”

The coach brings up a good point. It’s really hard to develop quarterbacks when owners have zero patience.

Maye needs to land in a stable environment where he’s allowed to grow, even if means losing a lot of games for a year or two.

April 12, NFL Draft News & Rumors

Laiatu Latu medically cleared

According to Sportskeeda’s Tony Pauline, UCLA pass rusher Laiata Latu has been medically cleared by “most teams.”

Lata suffered a neck injury while at Washington, and team doctors refused to clear him to return.

As a result, he medically retired for some time and missed two seasons before transferring to UCLA, where doctors cleared him to play.

Pauline mentions the Rams as one of the teams who cleared Latu — which is exactly where I had Latu landing in my latest mock draft.

April 11, NFL Draft News & Rumors

Raiders moving up?

ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez has reported Raiders owner Mark Davis has given the team the green light to pursue a trade up in the draft, presumably the draft a quarterback.

Gutierrez suggests a potential trade to number two in an effort to acquire LSU’s Jayden Daniels, who head coach Antonio Pierce helped recruit to Arizona State.

We can say with near certainty Washington won’t make that trade — it would be a horrific look for new ownership to pass up the opportunity to draft a quarterback while falling outside the top-10 in the process.

However, the third pick (Patriots), fourth (Cardinals) and fifth (Chargers) are all potentially available and would allow the Raiders to jump the Giants at number six, who may be in the quarterback market.

The biggest hurdle for Las Vegas is convincing a team near the top of the draft to bypass this year’s top tier of prospects entirely.

Teams with picks near the top of the draft rarely want to fall outside the range they perceive to represent that top tier. Each team will set the cutoff at a different spot, but there certainly aren’t 13 elite prospects available.

April 10, NFL Draft News & Rumors

Michael Penix Jr.’s injury history

Early in the draft process Michael Penix Jr. did not appear in many first-round mock drafts, and a significant factor was his injury history.

Prior to his two seasons at Washington, Penix had four season-ending injuries at Indiana including two ACL injuries.

However, Penix has been appearing in more mock drafts — I have him paired with the Raiders in my latest. It’s not a coincidence this started occurring after the combine when Penix went through the league’s medical checks.

According to The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman, Penix’s “medical evaluations did get a thumbs up.”

April 2, NFL Draft News & Rumors

Vikings riding with Sam Darnold?

According to ESPN’s Kevin Seifert, the Vikings are “preparing for the possibility of riding with offseason free agent addition Sam Darnold in 2024 and then regrouping with either a quarterback drafted with a lower pick or perhaps a look ahead to the 2025 class.”

This quote has prompted some jokes on social media, but it’s nothing more than an obvious statement about the Vikings situation.

The Vikings have no guarantee of landing the quarterback they’re targeting with the 11th pick, especially with others such as the Broncos and Raiders potentially trying to out-bid them in a trade up for a quarterback.

This is a non-story. Move along.

Brock Bowers to the Bengals?

Georgia tight end Brock Bowers has become a trendy selection for the Bengals in recent mock drafts. But is it a realistic pairing?

It would certainly be fun to see Joe Burrow working with Bowers, but he’s probably not an ideal fit for Cincinnati’s offense.

Prior to last year’s draft, Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer shared this quote from Zac Taylor on what the team looks for in a tight end:

“They got to block in the run game. They can’t be a liability in pass protection.”

To be fair, Cincinnati did recently sign Mike Gesicki, who is not known for his blocking either. So perhaps the Bengals have adjusted their stance on what they’re looking for, but go from that quote to carrying Bowers and Gesicki on the roster would a complete 180.

Eagles targeting a cornerback?

According to NFL Mock Draft Database, the three most common mock draft selections for the Eagles are cornerbacks: Alabama’s Kool-Aid McKinstry, Clemson’s Nate Wiggins and Iowa’s Cooper DeJean.

Howie Roseman selecting a cornerback in the first round would require a shift in his team-building philosophy.

Since Roseman regained control of the roster in 2016, he’s selected just one cornerback in the top 75 picks: Sidney Jones in the 2017 second round. Jones started just eight games for Philly and was one of the biggest busts of the Roseman era.

Good GMs like Roseman are always evolving, so perhaps he’ll shift his approach.

However, cornerback has been a perceived need entering the draft the past few seasons, and Roseman continues to target other positions with his early selections.

March 26, NFL Draft News & Rumors

J.J. McCarthy to the Commanders?

According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, “executives for other teams” believe Commanders GM Adam Peters will select Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy with the second overall pick. 

So do we have a new favorite to land at No. 2 overall? Probably not. 

Peters comes from San Francisco, where the 49ers have had success with game-manager-type quarterbacks, and McCarthy fits that mold best among this year’s first-round quarterback prospects. So that’s likely the explanation for the answer Pelissero has heard. 

However, almost every year teams inside the top 10 stray from their typical team-building trends. The reason is pretty simple: the opportunity to land an elite talent at the top of the draft only comes around every so often. 

In fact, we saw Peters and the 49ers buck their quarterback trend inside the top 10 just four years ago when they swung for the fences on Trey Lance’s upside. 

So Peters may like McCarthy enough to draft him under different circumstances, but passing over the ceiling that Jayden Daniels or Drake Maye provides seems unlikely.