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Biggest Wild Cards In Round 1 Of The 2024 NFL Draft

The 2024 NFL Draft is here. This year is stacked with wild cards, but I think these are the biggest wild cards starting with what should be a very entertaining three-day stretch starting tonight.


Washington Commanders

We know that USC quarterback Caleb Williams is going first overall to the Bears, so the draft starts at No. 2 with the Commanders. Jayden Daniels is widely expected to be the selection by Washington. He’s the heavy betting favorite, and nearly all mock drafts have him slotted there. It seems likely to come to be. However, this information has all built based on other people from around the league being highest on Daniels. We still don’t know for sure that Washington and first-year general manager Adam Peters shares that opinion. Personally, I believe it would be J.J. McCarthy (not Drake Maye, who head coach Dan Quinn called “athletic” compared to “gamechanger” for Daniels) if not the Heisman Trophy winner. Regardless, we’ll know more about the other quarterbacks’ landing spots (can the Raiders get Daniels if he drops to No. 4?) based on what the Commanders do.


Minnesota Vikings

Armed with two first-round selections (No. 11 and No. 23), the Vikings have two spots where they could grab a quarterback as things currently stand—with the potential flexibility to move up for their guy if possible. Ultimately, it would be an upset if Minnesota doesn’t come away with a quarterback in the first round, and the question seems to be where it happens—and who the quarterback is. With that…


QB Bo Nix

I can easily envision Oregon quarterback Bo Nix being Kevin O’Connell’s “value” quarterback with the assumption that they cannot move up for Maye (as they have reportedly been attempting to do). However, if they pass on him at No. 11, things could get really intriguing. Many have speculated Sean Payton and the Broncos would be interested in Nix, and the Raiders should be kept in mind as well. But the Rams have also been connected to the dual threat as of late, and there could be other surprise teams like the Seahawks, Dolphins, Giants (getting back into the first), and Cowboys in the mix for Nix as a wild card tonight. I believe both Nix and Michael Penix Jr. (who seems to be getting more love) will both go in Round 1 to make it six quarterbacks in the top 32.


TE Brock Bowers

Trying to find a fit for All-American tight end Brock Bowers is a challenge. He’s a big wild card because he’s presumably rated very highly on teams’ boards, but it almost sounds like teams are more willing to target other positions despite the value an elite tight end can bring to an offensive attack. The former Georgia star can be a lethal target for whichever offense and quarterback land him.


The first/second-round receivers

It seems that Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, Rome Odunze, and Brian Thomas Jr. are all definitely set to be taken tonight, but it can get crazy from there at the receiver position. At least a handful more (most notably Keon Coleman, Xavier Legette, Ladd McConkey, Adonai Mitchell, and Xavier Worthy) could be taken in Round 1, and that range includes elite offenses like the Bills, Chiefs, Cowboys, 49ers, and Eagles. So, there might be some shuffling for teams to get in position for a target they love, including a potential huge jump up the board if someone slips. Overall, there’s a lot of anticipation for where they all might land as hopeful difference-making additions.


49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk

There has been a bunch of smoke surrounding 49ers receiver Brandon Aiyuk, who wants a new contract and is reportedly drawing trade interest from around the league. San Francisco has been adamant that they do not want to trade Aiyuk, but I could see something happening tonight particularly after Lions receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown just got a monstrous four-year, $120 million extension—the type of money Aiyuk might now expect and San Francisco might be unwilling to pay. Could we see the Niners grab another first-round pick by dealing Aiyuk?