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Winners and losers from 2024 NFL Draft: Eagles, Steelers stand out; why did Raiders pass on QB?

The 2024 NFL Draft is officially in the books after three days of intrigue and plenty of action.

Teams will fill out their rosters with undrafted free agent signings over the next few days. But the puzzles are largely collected. The experiment will begin in a few weeks with the start of minicamps and off-season training. And some questions will remain unanswered until training camp and the preseason.

But for now, we evaluate which teams seem to have helped themselves the most after the draft and which teams have failed to position themselves to compete.

Winners

Philadelphia Eagles

General manager Howie Roseman continued his efforts Saturday, when he made five more trades to finish with a record nine during draft week. The Eagles were lucky, as cornerback Quinyon Mitchell fell to them in the first round. Then, Roseman pulled off a trade that allowed the Eagles to take another cornerback, Cooper DeJean, in the second round. depth to their roster while also stockpiling picks for 2025. As of now, the Eagles have nine picks for next year’s draft. That gives Philadelphia a cushion in case the NFL’s investigation into possible Saquon Barkley tampering reveals wrongdoing and the Eagles are left with a pick or two.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers overhauled their quarterback group this offseason by acquiring Russell Wilson and Justin Fields and entered the draft with a mission to become stronger in the trenches. Mission accomplished. Tackle Troy Fautanu, center Zach Frazier and guard Mason McCormick were three of their first five picks. The Steelers also added toughness on defense by selecting linebacker Payton Wilson and defensive tackle Logan Lee.

GO FURTHER

The Steelers – even Mike Tomlin – are thrilled with their draft class (as they should be)

Washington Commanders

The moment certainly didn’t seem too big for Commanders rookie general manager Adam Peters. Not only did he choose Jayden Daniels as the team’s franchise quarterback, but he also added playmakers on offense and defense. Peters used his eight picks after Daniels to plug holes along the defensive front, in the secondary, at tight end and on the interior of the offensive line.

Los Angeles Chargers

Jim Harbaugh and the Chargers entered the draft with many holes to fill during their reorganization. In response, they provided a toughness backboard with strong, solid physical building blocks: offensive tackle Joe Alt, linebacker Junior Colson and defensive tackle Justin Eboigbe. The Chargers also added intriguing offensive prospects in running back Kimani Vidal and wide receiver Brenden Rice (Jerry’s son), who could be sleepers.

Kansas City Chiefs

The rich get richer. Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes have yet another speedy wide receiver after the first-round pick of Xavier Worthy from Texas. Then they got a steal with BYU tackle Kingsley Suamataia in the second round before adding two more offensive linemen to bolster their depth. Tight end Jared Wiley (fourth round) is another intriguing pick who could contribute now before taking on a larger role once Travis Kelce begins to decline.

Michigan Wolverines

No less than 13 players from the national champions heard their name called this weekend. That leads all schools (Texas follows with 11 players drafted). Quarterback JJ McCarthy led the way, going 10th overall to the Minnesota Vikings, and then round after round the Wolverines were caught. Four others signed immediately afterward as undrafted free agents. Harbaugh even reunited with two of his former players: Colson and receiver Cornelius Johnson.

Losers

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons were heavily scrutinized after selecting quarterback Michael Penix Jr. at No. 8 just weeks after giving Kirk Cousins ​​a $100 million guarantee. Yes, as the Green Bay Packers have shown, it is wise to draft a quarterback before you need one. But the Falcons aren’t close enough to claim luxury picks like this. They really need second-round defensive tackle Ruke Orhorhoro and third-round outside linebacker Bralen Trice to shine as rookies and help soften the blow of passing up an immediate impact talent in the top 10.

go further

GO FURTHER

Which quarterbacks landed in the best place to succeed? Landing Spot Rankings of a Historic Draft Class

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys have made additions that will help improve the quality and depth of their offensive line. But it’s hard to look at this week’s picks and feel like Dallas has gained ground on its rival Eagles. The Cowboys come out of the draft with a glaring hole. They needed a quality running back and went through the entire draft without selecting one, even though there were plenty of opportunities.

Miami Dolphins

Despite losing their third-round pick due to unauthorized contact with Tom Brady and Sean Payton’s agent, the Dolphins still finished the draft with seven picks. However, they didn’t seem to reach any big stars. Edge rusher Chop Robinson has potential, but he will need time to develop. So will second-round offensive tackle Patrick Paul. A team that needed to close the gap between itself and the Buffalo Bills needed more slam-dunk picks.

Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders were expected to leave the draft with a long-term answer at the quarterback position. They failed to complete a trade to advance in the first round, then passed up the opportunity to draft passers in the second, third and fourth rounds. Spencer Rattler remained on the board until the New Orleans Saints took him in the fifth round, and some scouts believe he has the potential to become a starter.

The Raiders obviously didn’t agree, so Aidan O’Connell and Gardner Minshew will face off. First-round tight end Brock Bowers is a promising addition to the offense. The Raiders appeared to improve on defense with Saturday’s additions of cornerback Decamerion Richardson, linebacker Tommy Eichenberg, safety Trey Taylor and cornerback MJ Devonshire. But entering yet another season without a franchise quarterback in a division that includes Mahomes and Justin Herbert is disconcerting.

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(Photo: Grégory Shamus / Getty Images)

News Source : theathletic.com
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