Friday, May 24, 2024
spot_img

2024 NFL Draft: Bo Nix, Michael Penix Jr. among the most questionable selections made by each team

The 2024 NFL Draft is entertainment and, while everyone is programmed to rush to judgment, the reality is that the stories of these players will not be written for roughly another three years. However, there were some initial reactions regarding where players were selected, the process by which they were selected, personal philosophies and more. 

Below, we go team-by-team taking a look at the choices that drew raised eyebrows:

AFC

Bengals

TE Erick All, Iowa (Round 4, No. 115 overall)

Cincinnati found really good players throughout the 2024 NFL Draft but they were also not afraid to take chances. First-round pick Amarius Mims could be the best tackle to come out of this draft class but injuries have limited his availability. Wide receiver Jermaine Burton brings his own concerns but All may have been the most questionable. He is no doubt a talented player but has completed just one of his five collegiate seasons unscathed. 

Bills

OT Travis Clayton, England (Round 7, No. 221)

Buffalo is another organization that was able to thread that small-eyed needle of landing need and talent. They have good reason to gamble on the future prospects of a 6-foot-7, 301 pound offensive lineman but Clayton is very much a vision rather than a finished product. The Bills are in a good spot if there first questionable pick did not occur until the seventh round. Those are often throw away picks anyway.

Broncos

QB Bo Nix, Oregon (Round 1, No. 12 overall)

Nix is a leader and a competitor. He dealt with adversity through his collegiate career. However, the No. 12 overall selection is too rich based on the evaluation. He and Michael Penix Jr. were the two biggest outliers on the media’s consensus big board, which has traditionally been a good measuring stick for career success. At the end of the day, I hope the quarterback proves everyone wrong. 

Browns 

OG Zak Zinter, Michigan (Round 3, No. 85 overall)

As captain of the Zinter fan club, it is my responsibility to be accountable. Coming off an injury that limited his 2023 campaign, it was thought that the lineman could have been had on Day 3. If Cleveland had a conviction about the player, then they had to be aggressive with only six draft picks.

Chargers 

CB Tarheeb Still, Maryland (Round 5, No. 137 overall)

It was smart for Los Angeles to double down on cornerback and wide receiver on Day 3. The likelihood of both players working out are small but odds of at least one being a contributor increase with two in the building. Overall, the Chargers did a good job identifying value on their board but Still was a bit too early. 

Chiefs

WR Xavier Worthy, Texas (Round 1, No. 28 overall)

Kansas City did a nice job adding value over the course of those three days. There was little issue with any of their selections but Worthy carries the most risk. The history of NFL Combine speedsters translating to quality professionals is bleak. The Texas product weighed in at just 165 pounds, which is a massive outlier in a league built on size and power. 

Colts

S Jaylon Carlies, Missouri (Round 5, No. 151 overall)

Indianapolis did not exactly collect my favorite players in the draft but it is hard to argue with the range in which they were drafted. Carlies is a unique prospect because of his size and skillset. More than anything, his impact on the NFL will be determined by how the Colts use him in their defense.

Dolphins

S Patrick McMorris, California (Round 6, No. 198 overall)

McMorris is an intelligent player but he lacks the ideal athleticism. Safety is one spot where a prospect can get away with that if they are able to maximize anticipation, paths to the football. I did not have a draftable grade on the Golden Bear but Miami had a solid draft otherwise.

Jaguars

RB Keilan Robinson, Texas (Round 5, No. 167 overall)

The Alabama transfer had a limited role with the Longhorns given the presence of Bijan Robinson and Jonathon Books over the past two years. He brings additional value as a return man with the new kickoff rules but it felt like a reach in the moment.

Jets

QB Jordan Travis, Florida State (Round 5, No. 171 overall)

Coaches and teammates speak glowingly of Travis’ leadership but he is coming off a major injury. If they were looking for a backup quarterback, Tulane’s Michael Pratt would have been my preference. After the way last season ended for the Jets, it could be understood why they may have two or three quarterbacks in the room. 

Patriots

OT Caedan Wallace, Penn State (Round 3, No. 68 overall)

Wallace has his fans in the league but Top-100 overall is a stretch. The options at offensive tackle were dwindling and the Patriots had not yet addressed the position. The Nittany Lions’ selection outwardly appears to be the first reach of the new regime. 

Raiders

OT Delmar Glaze, Maryland (Round 3, No. 77 overall)

If you are reading this as a Raiders fan, you were probably expecting first-round selection Brock Bowers to be the choice. Bowers is a good player and there is no problem with the value, even if they did have bigger needs on the roster. Michael Mayer and Bowers can be used in two tight end sets. It is not as though Las Vegas is flush with skill talent so there is opportunity for both to thrive. Bowers can be split out as a wide receiver rather than simply being used as a traditional inline tight end. 

Glaze came off the board earlier than anticipated. Although, it was a position of need for the franchise. 

Ravens

C Nick Samac, Michigan State (Round 7, No. 228 overall)

Baltimore does a great job taking advantage of the board as it falls to them rather than forcing a square peg in a round hole. All of their picks were in the range of expectation but Samac is unique. Tyler Linderbaum is the unchallenged starter and it is tough to justify taking a center-specific prospect as depth on the 53-man roster so they must envision him being able to play guard as well. 

Steelers

DT Logan Lee, Iowa (Round 6, No. 178 overall)

Pittsburgh leaned into its physical identity with the selections of offensive linemen Troy Fautanu, Mason McCormick and Zach Frazier. They do a good job incorporating hybrid defensive linemen capable of fulfilling multiple roles but Lee lacks the physicality that I have come to associate with the Steelers front. 

Texans

EDGE Solomon Byrd, USC (Round 7, No. 238 overall)

There was little wrong with Houston’s draft. Georgia cornerback Kamari Lassiter looked like the No. 42 player overall on tape but his 40-yard dash time was concerning. Offensive tackle Blake Fisher has great upside. Ohio State tight end Cade Stover is a perfect fit for what they try to do in that offense. Oregon hybrid defender Jamal Hill is stepping into a defensive system that was able to maximize Talanoa Hufanga’s talent. It is a stretch to take issue with any of their seventh round selections, but Byrd did not finish the season as strong as it began. 

Titans

DT T’Vondre Sweat, Texas (Round 2, No. 38 overall)

Sweat was arrested in the weeks leading up to the draft and the prevailing thought around the league is that he would drop down the board. Instead, he was taken at the height of his draft range prior to the arrest. Sweat is a nose tackle and those players do not often find their way into the first round.

NFC

49ers

CB Renardo Green, Florida State (Round 2, No. 64 overall) 

There was some late buzz that Green could get into the second round but that is not where I had him valued. San Francisco did well over the course of those three days adding quality players. The roles for Arizona wide receiver Jacob Cowing and Florida State linebacker Tatum Bethune are well defined. It was a solid class overall. The 49ers have done well identifying cornerback contributors so perhaps this looks like a great decision in a few years.

Bears

P Tory Taylor, Iowa (Round 4, No. 122 overall)

More often than not, it seems that drafted specialists do not pan out. Outside of the elite, those have been volatile positions in the NFL. Chicago only had five picks so there was not a lot from which to choose, but Taylor was the only contender. Everything else the Bears did was stellar.

Buccaneers

TE Devin Culp, Washington (Round 7, No. 246 overall)

Tampa Bay’s draft class was a solid double into the gap. Washington wide receiver Jalen McMillan is one of my favorites in the class and UTEP offensive guard Elijah Klein is going to destroy defenders in the run game. He is similar to Will Hernandez coming out of UTEP in that regard. Culp is a player who, at best, will be a role player for that franchise; that is what teams hope to find in the seventh round though. 

Cardinals

CB Max Melton, Rutgers (Round 2, No. 43 overall)

The position that most drastically differed from my personal rankings was cornerback and Melton was an example of that truth. He went one pick after Georgia cornerback Kamari Lassiter, who is a much cleaner prospect. Melton, the younger brother of Packers wide receiver Bo Melton, is incredibly athletic but still growing as a player.

Commanders

WR Luke McCaffrey, Rice (Round 3, No. 100 overall)

Going against the McCaffrey family has historically been a losing proposition, but he was taken earlier than expected. He is an accountable prospect but does not move the needle significantly in the grand scheme of things. 

Cowboys

LB Marist Liufau, Notre Dame (Round 3, No. 87 overall)

Dallas has had an underwhelming offseason. They spent the months following free agency trying to convince outsiders that they had confidence in the offensive line constructed in the wake of Tyron Smith and Tyler Biadasz’s departures. No one was buying it and they used two of their first three picks on offensive linemen. Linebacker was a need but Liufau was a reach in the third round.

Eagles

OL Trevor Keegan, Michigan (Round 5, No. 172 overall) 

Philadelphia had a good draft and checked off multiple needs. Keegan was a bit of a surprising choice because there is not a lot of positional versatility there and that is what the Eagles need as they work towards constructing a 53-man roster. He played guard at Michigan and does not have the foot quickness to kick outside. 

Falcons

QB Michael Penix Jr., Washington (Round 1, No. 8 overall)

The explanation for Penix’s inclusion began in the blurb for Bo Nix. The media may have been lower on the Washington signal caller than the league itself. He was a Day 2 candidate in my eyes but even more curious is his selection given the presence of free agent signing Kirk Cousins. Cousins is realistically on a two-year deal. Penix is not a player that needed to sit for year(s) and he would be 26-years-old in his first season as the starter if Cousins does play two years. 

Giants

LB Darius Muasau, UCLA (Round 6, No. 183 overall)

New York did a masterful job adding athleticism and physicality. The defensive back additions are great complements to what they already have on the roster. Wide receiver Malik Nabers and tight end Theo Johnson raise the ceiling of those two respective positions. Linebacker Darius Muasau was the most questionable considering his limitations in coverage. He will play in the box and pack a punch, but is not going to excel playing in space.

Lions

OT Giovanni Manu, British Columbia (Round 4, No. 126 overall)

The selection of cornerback Terrion Arnold was a steal, but the operation went downhill beyond that point. Trading up for Manu was a curious decision because, despite the excitement of his size and athleticism, he is very much a project. The depth and landmarks of Canadian pass sets are different than what he will be asked to do in the NFL. They have to carry him on the active roster even if he is not ready because they have invested so much in him. 

Packers

OT Jordan Morgan, Arizona (Round 1, No. 25 overall)

It sounds as though Rasheed Walker and Morgan will compete for the left tackle spot vacated by veteran David Bahktiari. I have concerns about his viability as an offensive tackle based on the last two years of film but Morgan suffered a torn ACL in November of 2022. Players usually return to form two full years after suffering a torn ACL so Morgan would be at that point this fall. Can he lock down that starting job? 

Panthers

RB Jonathon Brooks, Texas (Round 2, No. 46 overall)

For the second consecutive year, Carolina’s second round pick is the most questionable. The issue is not with Brooks. He graded out as the top running back for me, but my issue was with the process. A team that has several needs used two fifth round picks, plus the investment of a mid-second round pick, to move up six spots for a running back coming off a torn ACL. It was a confusing move.

Rams

RB Blake Corum, Michigan (Round 3, No. 83 overall)

Full disclosure, defensive tackle Kobie Turner was my choice for the last fall. Most of my selections have not yet panned out in the league, but Turner is one on which I missed. Corum was the third running back taken in the draft and there were at least three more well-rounded backs available. Los Angeles already has Kyren Williams so it will be a diminutive unit. 

Saints

None

I took no issue with any of New Orleans’ seven draft choices. They answered needs and found value with the selections of Oregon State offensive tackle Taliese Fuaga and Alabama cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry. The franchise’s next pick was not until No. 150 overall, which was used on South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler.

Seahawks

None

For the second time in three years, I could not find a reason to complain about Seattle’s draft class. The franchise found value at every turn, especially UCONN offensive guard Christian Haynes in the third round and Utah interior offensive lineman Sataoa Laumea in the sixth round. 

Vikings

K Will Reichard, Alabama (Round 6, No. 203 overall)

My opinion on drafting specialists changes almost annually. I understand using a Day 3 selection on a specialist that becomes a starter for the organization considering the best case scenario for essentially every other position is to find a contributing reserve. However, there is no guarantee that specialist becomes the answer for any period of time. The Browns used a fourth round pick on kicker Cade York and his shaken confidence led them to make a change after one season. 

Related articles

Share article

Latest articles

Newsletter

Subscribe to stay updated.