Generally, after the first four weeks of an NFL season, narratives develop regarding which teams are truly contending and which clubs need to reassess their players and coaches.
In the NFC North, the Detroit Lions (3-1) are for real, and the Chicago Bears (0-4) are in real trouble. Apparently, the AFC South is the most intriguing, confusing, and unpredictable division, with every team sharing the same win/loss record (2-2).
Speaking of intrigue, the 2024 draft may see the Bears own the first two selections and possibly not take a quarterback with either pick! Read further to see how unpredictable these upcoming draft prospects may line up for your favorite team.
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NOTE: For the draft order, we used tankathon.com's projected draft order.
1 . Chicago Bears: WR - Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State
Several significant occurrences happened with the Bears last week: Justin Fields produced passing the ball (80 percent completion / 335 passing yards / four touchdown passes), the coaching staff proved to be incapable of winning games, and wideout Chase Claypool most likely wore out his welcome in Chicago. If Fields continues to improve, drafting an unguardable receiver like Harrison could make Chicago a more viable and dangerous offense consistently.
2. Chicago Bears (via Carolina): OT - Olu Fashanu, Penn State
Braxton Jones, the Bears’ 168th selection (5th round) out of Southern Utah, is currently on the injured reserve list. Unfortunately, throughout the three games he’s played, he accounted for 21.4 percent of the offensive line’s penalties. Last season, he finished eighth in the NFL with 12.5 percent of his team’s penalized blocking actions. Fashaun is a dominant offensive tackle whose 92.9 pass-block rating is tops in FBS collegiate play.
3. Las Vegas Raiders: QB - Caleb Williams, USC
Las Vegas sprints to the podium to hand in its draft card if Williams is still there after the first two picks. Williams is an instant upgrade at the quarterback position for the Raiders and provides immediate fiscal flexibility for Las Vegas to improve other areas of need. Currently, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner is completing 74.5 percent of his passes for 1603 yards and 21 touchdowns to one interception.
4. Denver Broncos: QB - Michael Penix Jr., Washington
Although incumbent quarterback Russell Wilson is competing at an above-average level (106.7 quarterback rating), Denver’s enviable fourth overall position may entice the front office to draft for the future. Over the past 18 games, Penix has thrown for 6,640 yards with 47 aerial scores to just 10 interceptions. The six-foot-three, 218-pound signal caller is also completing 11.2 yards per pass attempt.
5. Minnesota Vikings: QB - Drake Maye, North Carolina
After four weeks, Kirk Cousins is still leading the NFL in completed passes(108) and touchdowns thrown (11). Despite his statistical accomplishments, Cousins' tenure as Minnesota’s franchise quarterback has yielded relatively little postseason success. Maye offers youthful promise, greater fiscal maneuverability, better athleticism, plus more overall upside than Cousins, an aging, expensive, unrestricted free agent.
6. New York Jets: OT - Joe Alt, Notre Dame
Alt possesses uncommon athleticism and agility for a man his size (6’8”, 315 lbs). Impressive lateral quickness helps Alt gain leverage at the point of attack, while his balance and grip strength allow him to manipulate pass rushers away from the quarterback. New York should strongly consider selecting Alt as a blindside protector with day-one starting potential.
7. New England Patriots: QB - Bo Nix, Oregon
An inconsistent performer at Auburn, this former Tiger changed his stripes of underperformance once he transferred to Oregon. Perseverance, patience and a humble dedication toward weekly improvements are infused within his Heisman-caliber statistics. To date, Nix is completing an astounding 80 percent of his passes for 1,459 passing yards and 15 touchdown passes to one interception.
8. Cincinnati Bengals: TE - Brock Bowers, Georgia
The Bengals' capacity for weaponizing their skill players would make a possible acquisition of Bowers downright unfair to the rest of the league. A player with explosive playmaking ability, Bowers is athletic enough to run around defenders, speed past them or power through their arm tackles.
9. Arizona Cardinals: CB - Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama
The six-foot-one, 188-pound defensive back is an intelligent pass defender who wins with patient anticipation and quick feet. Mckinstry’s loose hips allow for easy transitions when mirroring pass catchers or squaring himself to break down for open field tackles.
10. New York Giants: DL - Jer’Zhan Newton, Illinois
Newton displays some alignment versatility but is better suited as a 3-technique defensive lineman whose quickness and leveraged strength win consistently at the point of attack. An indefatigable defender, Newton’s relentlessness on the field should translate well at the NFL level.
11. Green Bay Packers: OT - J.C. Latham, Alabama
As talented and effective as David Bakhtiari is, the two-time All-Pro (left tackle) has missed 25 regular-season games since tearing his ACL in 2020. Latham is a limber 326-pound pass protector whose knee-bending flexibility allows him to stay leveraged behind his pad level.
12. New Orleans Saints: WR - Emeka Egbuka, Ohio State
If Egbuka is available for the Saints, they should pounce on the opportunity to draft and pair him with fellow Buckeye alum Chris Olave. Over the past several years, under the tutelage of former Buckeyes’ wide receiver coach Brian Hartline, Ohio State wideouts have excelled in the pros. Egbuka may have the most untapped potential of them all.
13. Arizona Cardinals (via Houston): Edge - Dallas Turner, Alabama
Turner is a quick-twitch athlete with excellent length and bendability off the edge when rushing the passer. He is decidedly more explosive from a two-point stance, but his athleticism allows for some schemed alignment versatility.
14. Los Angeles Chargers: CB - Kalen King, Penn State
Los Angeles’ skill and depth in its secondary, especially the cornerback position, needs immediate improvement to seriously compete against the elite receiving talent in the AFC. King is an experienced cornerback with 24 recorded pass breakups in just 27 games played.
15. Houston Texans [via - Cleveland]: DL - Leonard Taylor III, Miami (FL)
Head coach DeMeco Ryans is a former inside linebacker (Texans) and coached within a 49ers system that believed in rotational depth along its defensive front line. Taylor is a disruptive, thick-bodied interior defender with good initial burst off the snap of the ball. His ability to shed blocks and penetrate behind the offensive line is evident by his 20 tackles for loss over the course of 22 collegiate games.
16. Washington Commanders: Edge - J.T. Tuimoloau, Ohio State
Of the 21 unrestricted free agents on Washington’s roster, six of them are defensive ends. Chase Young, the 2020 Defensive Rookie of the Year, had his fifth-year option declined by the Commanders. Should Washington take Tuimoloau, they would be admitting they like pass rushers from Ohio State, just not the one currently on its roster - the aforementioned Chase Young.
17. Jacksonville Jaguars: DB - Cooper DeJean, Iowa
Entering week five of the NFL season, Jacksonville has surrendered six passing scores while allowing 238.3 yards through the air per week. Targeting an alignment versatile defensive back like DeJean may create favorable matchup scenarios for Jacksonville’s secondary unit. Over his last 18 games played, DeJean intercepted six passes, having returned three of them for touchdowns.
18. Los Angeles Rams: Edge - Laiatu Latu, UCLA
Scouts won’t have to travel very far to observe and assess the explosive playmaking of Latu, an impressive pass rusher whose first step instigates disruptive results. The Rams are tied for fourth worst in the league at generating sacks (7). Latu is averaging a sack per contest with seven and a half tackles for loss in just four games.
19. Atlanta Falcons: WR - Malik Nabers, LSU
The Falcons may be one receiver away from being as explosive an offensive unit as there is in the entire NFL. Nabers is a tactical route-runner who unfailingly catches passes away from his body with confident hands. Potentially incorporating him into an offense with weapons like Bijan Robinson, Kyle Pitts and Drake London could have Atlanta fly closer to another Super Bowl appearance.
20. Indianapolis Colts: Edge - Demeioun “Chop” Robinson, Penn State
“Chop” Robinson is a scheme versatile edge rushing talent who showcases an above-average ability to drop effectively into coverage areas. His lateral quickness and loose hips facilitate him staying square and balanced when defending in space. Robinson is a three-down defender with uncommon alignment versatility that should keep him on the field a majority of the time.
21. Pittsburgh Steelers: CB - Denzel Burke, Ohio State
Burke is an ideal press-cover corner with excellent change of direction and field awareness. His ability to anticipate plus click-and-close when breaking in on a pass is NFL caliber. Pittsburgh needs some youthful talent in its secondary and Burke exhibits day one starting pedigree.
22. Tennessee Titans: DL - Maason Smith, LSU
When completely healthy, there may be no one currently in the college game equally stout against the run and troublesome to passing schemes as Smith. There are times when Smith completely dominates the line of scrimmage with his combination of strength, athleticism, and skill. In addition, his alignment versatility would fit seamlessly into the Titans’ multifaceted defensive
23. Seattle Seahawks: LB - Jeremiah Trotter Jr., Clemson
Venerable linebacking legend for the Seahawks, Bobby Wagner, is an unrestricted free agent who, at 33 years of age, might be a luxury Seattle may no longer be able to afford. Trotter has strong NFL bloodlines (father played for the Eagles) and understands the nuances of his position better than most of his peers.
24. Dallas Cowboys: CB - Nate Wiggins, Clemson
The injury to All-Pro cornerback Trevon Diggs exposed how thin the Cowboys are at the corner position. Wiggins is a lengthy defensive back with solid coverage skills and a knack for breaking up passes. Last season, Wiggins broke up 13 passes and returned an interception 98 yards for a score.
25. Detroit Lions: WR - Rome Odunze, Washington
Detroit hasn’t been able to depend on its 2022 first-round selection, wide receiver Jameson Williams, due to injury and poor off-the-field decision-making (he was suspended for the first six games of 2023). Odunze doesn’t have an injury history, consistently produces (13 total scores in the last 17 games), and may be more reliable than Detroit’s last first-round pick at receiver.
26. Miami Dolphins: S - Tyler Nubin, Minnesota
As long as defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is directing the Dolphins’ defense, his scheme will continue to feature playmaking safeties. Nubin fits that designation to a tee, having secured three interceptions in five games so far this season. Experienced (46 games to date), highly motivated and accountable, Nubin exudes leadership and sound football decisiveness, comporting himself like a coach on the field.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: WR - Keon Coleman, Florida State
The Bucs are mired in salary cap restructuring mode and may not be able to afford perennial 1,000-yard receiver Mike Evans. It’s possible Tampa Bay may choose a more affordable version of a younger Mike Evans-like pass catcher. Currently, Coleman is catching passes at a rate of 15.1 yards per reception while having caught six touchdown passes in just four games.
28. Buffalo Bills: S - Kamren Kinchens, Miami (FL)
Longtime safeties Jordan Poyer and unrestricted free agent Micah Hyde are both 32 years old, and there still exists a triumphant yet uneasy feeling (heart-related issues) regarding Damar Hamlin’s health. Kinchens provides an immediate injection of athleticism and explosive game-breaking coverage skills. His ability to intercept passes and flip field position (averages 18.1 yards on interception returns) makes him a threat across the gridiron.
29. Baltimore Ravens: WR - Troy Franklin, Oregon
Baltimore must continue to draft difference-making receivers in order to evolve from being a one-dimensional elite running team. Franklin accelerates rapidly to top speed to leverage against defenders unaccustomed to how quickly he moves. However, Franklin is more than just a deep threat. He is also a dependable target, averaging approximately five (5.2) receptions a contest.
30. San Francisco 49ers: Edge - Bralen Trice, Washington
San Francisco’s defensive line comprises 17.8 percent (42.3 million dollars) of the team’s cap money. Sooner than later, the 49ers will need to replenish and replace expensive players with younger, more affordable versions. A power pass rusher, Trice attacks with purpose and a variety of counter moves, making him unpredictable and difficult to block.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: OT - Amarius Mims, Georgia
The free agent signing of former Jacksonville offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor may evolve into “buyer’s remorse.” After four regular season games, Taylor leads the NFL in total penalty flags thrown with seven. He alone accounted for 43 percent of the team’s entire penalized play. If Taylor continues to present diminishing returns on the Chiefs’ investment, a young, less costly talent like Mims could be the long-term answer.
32. Philadelphia Eagles: Edge - Jared Verse, Florida State
The first-team All-ACC defender hasn’t produced near the level he did last season (9 sacks / 17 tackles for loss), and his value is beginning to diminish. Ironically, this past draft, the Eagles drafted another player whose stock fell (Jalen Carter) and now he’s an early front-runner for Defensive Rookie of the Year. History has a way of repeating itself, so maybe Verse is destined for Philly.