Five Predictions for the First Round of the 2024 NFL Draft

The 2024 NFL Draft is here, folks.

The first round of the draft gets started tonight at 7 PM Central, and before the action gets rolling, here are five predictions for the first 32 picks of this year’s event.

Vikings Trade Up

2024 NFL Draft
Dec 10, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah reacts during the game against the Minnesota Vikings at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The stars are aligning for the Minnesota Vikings to go get their QB of the future. While Kwesi Adofo-Mensah certainly will try to ensure that a trade up the board doesn’t hamstring Minnesota’s future, now seems like the best time to go get a quarterback.

They have one of the best situations for a young QB between their receiver talent, offensive line, and head coach Kevin O’Connell. It may not result in sending the farm to go get Drake Maye at No. 3, but the Vikings will make some sort of trade up to snatch their QB.

Six Quarterbacks Get Selected

Oct 7, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) throws against the Arizona Wildcats during the first half at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Plenty of NFL teams need QB help, and there is plenty of QB talent to go around in this draft class. Even if some of these teams have other prospects ranked a bit higher, the value of a young quarterback will be enticing to a number of teams. As a result, I believe six quarterbacks will be selected on Thursday night:

  • Caleb Williams to the Chicago Bears
  • Jayden Daniels to the Washington Commanders
  • Drake Maye to the New England Patriots
  • J.J. McCarthy to the Minnesota Vikings
  • Bo Nix to the Denver Broncos
  • Michael Penix to the Las Vegas Raiders

Double-Digit Offensive Linemen

Oct 28, 2023; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive lineman Joe Alt (76) leaves the field following the game against the Pittsburgh Panthers at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

This offensive line class is absolutely loaded with talent at the top. At least one or two of Joe Alt, Olu Fashanu, Taliese Fuaga, and JC Latham could land within the top 10 picks on Thursday night. Further down the board, names like Troy Fautanu, Tyler Guyton, Amarius Mims, and Jordan Morgan could very feasibly become first-round picks.

Then, the interior group features names like Graham Barton and Jackson Powers-Johnson along with West Virginia center Zach Frazier. There are a lot of teams in the NFL that could use offensive line help right now, and they will fly off the board in the first round.

Bills Trade Up for Receiver

Oct 21, 2023; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. (11) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against Army Black Knights defensive back Cameron Jones (10) during the first quarter at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Hinton-USA TODAY Sports

The Buffalo Bills lost Gabe Davis in free agency, and then they proceeded to trade away Stefon Diggs this spring as well. They need help at wide receiver more than most teams. Perhaps they could wait and hope for a top prospect to fall to them at No. 28, but I don’t think they take that chance. Brian Thomas Jr. might be their best bet in the middle of the first round, and they will pull off a trade to get up there and take him.

A Team not Currently in R1 Trades Up

Oct 15, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young (9) attempts a pass against the Miami Dophins during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

As of now, there are three teams that do not hold first-round picks in tonight’s draft: the Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, and Houston Texans. Houston gave up their first-round pick in a move with the Vikings, but they have not been shy about trading up in the past.

Meanwhile, Carolina sits with the 33rd overall pick (the first selection of the second round), and they could be another team looking to trade up if a receiver begins falling down the board. Regardless, one of these teams will move up into the first round in order to grab the fifth year of team control for a prospect.


Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.

Share: