2024 NFL Draft, NFL Draft

Draft Order, Picks, and Needs

Credit: Dean Kindig, BuffaloFAMBase
NFL Draft Order, RD1. Number of Picks Total, Number of Picks RD1-3, and Top 3 Team Needs. CREDIT: Dean Kindig, BuffaloFAMBase

This is the third year I’ve made this little chart, which helps me with my Pick Six mock drafts, my positional Elimination Games, FanSpeak simulations, and my BuffaloFAMBase Big Board rankings.

Three positions will foretell the future of Round 1:

Quarterbacks will occupy the first three picks, and perhaps two more QBs will go off the board in the first 12 picks. Offensive Tackles are a top 3 need of seventeen teams, and that could create a run on the position. Wide Receiver is a top 3 need of 19 teams (21, if you count the Panthers and Browns, who don’t have RD1 picks). Runs at those positions will happen, which will move very good players at other sought-after positions –CB and EDGE, most especially– into the second half of RD1. The Raiders at #13 are the first team that I could see taking a cornerback, with as many as five CBs being taken in the ensuing 9 picks. Falcons and Vikings will be choosing between a QB and an EDGE, while the Seahawks, Bucs, and others will weigh their chances at EDGE versus other prized positions, like CB, WR, and DL.

Notice the lack of LB, TE, IOL, and S in the needs department. Brock Bowers, the draft’s top tight end, is likely a Charger, because the Jets are the only other team even listing the position as a top 3 need. The situation is the same with linebackers. I’m just not seeing the demand for the position in RD1, so pretty good linebackers (OLB Edgerrin Cooper, ILB<->OLB Jeremiah Trotter Jr., and ILB<->OLB Payton Wilson) may have to wait to hear their names called until Day 2. The Steelers, Dolphins, Cowboys and Niners could have their pick of any Guards / Centers. You know that somebody will take the bait with Jackson Powers-Johnson, but others (Cooper Beebe, Zach Frazier, Sedrick Van Pran, Christian Haynes, etc.) will have to wait until RD2-3. Safety is on the radars of Eagles, Packers, and Bills, but you figure the free agents Dugger and Chinn will further reduce the demand in Round 1 for the position, and in a deep safety class, there will be some fine options in RD3 and RD4.

Teams whose picks are highlighted in green have picks to trade up, and picks highlighted in red may be targets for teams wanting to trade with them to acquire more picks. The Bills with 10 picks, for example, might see Dallas at #24 or even Philly at #22 as a leapfrog destination.

Free Agency changes the team needs listed, but the song is the same every year: the valued positions of QB, OT, WR, and to a lesser extent, CB and EDGE, will be messing with your mocks until the real thing happens.

Editor’s babble: Time to get ready for the NFL Combine next week. We are grateful Dean Kindig shares his knowledge with us. You can also find Dean on Twitter @TCBILLS_Astro.

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