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2024 NFL Draft Winners and Losers

Dan Kornhauser breaks down his 2024 NFL Draft winners and losers!
Publish Date: 04/30/2024
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster
April 22, 2010: The NFL Shield during the 75th NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York.

We’ve spent months pouring over tons of data, stats, and analysis in preparation for this past weekend. Now that the 2024 NFL Draft is officially in the books, let’s take a look at some of the teams that worked the Draft board like pros, and other teams that might want a redo.

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Winner: Detroit Lions

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RoundPickPlayer NamePositionSchool
124Terrion ArnoldCBAlabama
261Ennis Rakestraw Jr.CBMissouri
4126Giovanni ManuOTBritish Columbia
4132Sione VakiS/RBUtah
6189Mekhi WingoDLLSU
6210Christian MahoganyOGBoston College

I love what the Lions did over the weekend. Cornerback Terrion Arnold was an absolute steal at 24th overall, and he should immediately be the starter opposite Carlton Davis. Ennis Rakestraw Jr. was one of my favorite players in this class, and he should have gotten drafted well before the 61st pick. Both players will play a ton in a rebuilt secondary.

Sione Vaki played runningback and safety in college, but will likely see more time on offense and on special teams as a rookie. Defensive tackle Mekhi Wingo was another steal in the sixth round, and he should have a key role off the bench in year one. Guard Christian Mahogany is a powerful run blocker who can provide needed depth inside. He was another player who went much later than anticipated.

My only real complaint was the front office trading away picks in next year’s Draft moving up the board. The Lions traded next year’s third round pick to move up for Giovanni Manuย in the fourth round. Manu is a long-term project at tackle, and was a late riser up Draft boards; spending essentially two useful picks on a dart throw is questionable at this point, however. Detroit then traded a 2025 fourth round pick so they could select Vaki.

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Loser: Atlanta Falcons

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RndPickPlayer NamePositionSchool
18Michael Penix Jr.QBWashington
235Ruke OrhorhoroDLClemson
374Bralen TriceEDGEWashington
4109Brandon DorlusDLOregon
5143J.D. BertrandLBNotre Dame
6186Jase McClellanRBAlabama
6187Casey WashingtonWRIllinois
6197Zion LogueDLGeorgia

I don’t hate Atlanta’s class, but it was rather underwhelming overall. The big one, of course, was the selection of Michael Penix Jr. with the eighth pick. While Penix Jr. is a quality prospect, having just given Kirk Cousins a $180 million contract made this pick a curious one. Maybe he takes over in a few years and becomes the franchise quarterback Atlanta envisions, but it is a hard pill to swallow after the Cousins signing and if you’re trying to win now.

The Falcons then traded a third round pick to move up in the second round and select defensive tackle Ruke Orhorhoro. Orhorhoro’s production was limited in college, but he exhibited elite athleticism. I’m not a fan of trading a third rounder to move up for him, however. Bralen Triceย is the opposite of Orhorhoro; Trice had excellent college production, but lacks explosiveness and is undersized. Brandon Dorlus is a bit of a tweener, but adds depth at multiple spots on the defensive line. All three should see plenty of playing time up front as rookies, but why not take a cornerback at some point?

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Winner: Baltimore Ravens

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RndPickPlayer NamePositionSchool
130Nate WigginsCBClemson
262Roger RosengartenOTWashington
393Adisa IsaacEDGEPenn State
4113Devontez WalkerWRNorth Carolina
4130T.J. TampaCBIowa State
5165Rasheen AliRBMarshall
6218Devin LearyQBKentucky
7228Nick SamacOCMichigan State
7250Sanoussi KaneSPurdue

Baltimore didn’t have a ton of holes on the roster, but the front office did an amazing job during the Draft. Cornerback Nate Wiggins falling to 30th overall was typical Ravens Draft luck. There were some character concerns and tackling issues that pushed him down the board, but Wiggins should be starting opposite Marlon Humphrey. Offensive tackle Roger Rosengarten is a good athlete, and will factor immediately into the competition at right tackle.

Edge rusher Adisa Isaac and cornerback T.J. Tampa bring quality depth to their respective positions, and both should have gotten drafted a lot earlier than they did. Wide receiver Devontez Walker was a great pick in the fourth round, and he should factor in immediately as a down field threat in the passing game. Runningback Rasheen Ali has been recovering from an injury, but his tape shows an explosive home run threat who should be a solid rotational back.

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Loser: Cleveland Browns

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RndPickPlayer NamePositionSchool
254Michael Hall Jr.DLOhio State
385Zak ZinterOGMichigan
5156Jamari ThrashWRLouisville
6206Nathaniel WatsonLBMississippi State
7227Myles HardenCBSouth Dakota
7243Jowon BriggsDLCincinnati

Cleveland’s Draft class isn’t awful, it just lacks excitement and immediate impact. Defensive lineman Michael Hall Jr. fitsย  as a rotational inside rusher, but he can’t be depended on in a three down role right away. Guard Zak Zinter is coming off a serious leg injury, but there is some starting potential there when he is fully healthy. Wide receiver Jamari Thrash will fight for the WR4 spot, but he fell down the board due to issues with drops. None will be playing heavy minutes pending something unforeseen, and it might be a couple of years before the Browns see any real payoff from this class.

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Winner: New York Giants

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RoundPickPlayer NamePositionSchool
16Malik NabersWRLSU
247Tyler NubinSMinnesota
370Andru PhillipsCBKentucky
4107Theo JohnsonTEPenn State
5166Tyrone Tracy Jr.RBPurdue
6183Darius MuasauLBUCLA

If you can come away with three potential rookie starters in your first three picks, you’re doing something right. Wide receiver Malik Nabers was the right choice at sixth overall, and gives the Giants the game breaking number one receiver they’ve been missing since Odell Beckham Jr. left town.

Safety Tyler Nubin and cornerback Andru Phillips were excellent picks, and both are slated to fill key roles in the secondary. Tight end Theo Johnson and runningback Tyrone Tracy Jr. may not be immediate contributors, but both are elite athletes with the opportunity to pick up playing time as the season goes on.

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Loser: Tennessee Titans

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RoundPickPlayer NamePositionSchool
17J.C. LathamOTAlabama
238T’Vondre SweatDLTexas
4106Cedric GrayLBNorth Carolina
5146Jarvis Brownlee Jr.CBLouisville
6182Jha’Quan JacksonWRTulane
7242James WilliamsSMiami (FL)
7252Jaylen HarrellEDGEMichigan

Tennessee needed a starting left tackle, and went with offensive tackle J.C. Latham. Latham has elite length and size, and will be given a shot to start at left tackle, but he was a right tackle in college. Many thought he would be a right tackle in the pros, or possibly even move to guard. Having maybe the best offensive line coach in the NFL will help the transition.

Girthy defensive tackle T’Vondre Sweat went a bit earlier than expected. I had Sweat as a top 60 prospect for most of the pre-Draft process, but his recent arrest for a DWI highlighted his off-the-field concerns. 38th overall seems a bit high for a nose tackle who lacks explosiveness and has battled weight/conditioning issues.

Linebacker Cedric Gray and cornerback Jarvis Brownlee Jr. should be in line for major roles sooner than later. Gray will battle Jack Gibbens for a starting spot, while Brownlee Jr. will provide depth as the likely fourth/backup nickel corner. The Titans are in a similar boat as the Browns – I don’t hate their Draft class, but it leaves something to be desired. Individually, I like the prospects they selected. They should have at least a couple of immediate contributors, but this feels like a boom or bust group.

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