2024 NFL draft intel: News, nuggets and what all 32 teams need

ByNFL Nation reporters ESPN logo
Wednesday, December 13, 2023

There are four weeks left in the 2023 NFL season,and while some teams are thinking about making the playoffs, others are looking ahead to the 2024 NFL draft. Let's turn our attention there for an early look at how all 32 teams are set up.

The ESPN Football Power Index (FPI) projects theChicago Bears and New England Patriots to pick 1-2 in April. The Bears' pick is courtesy of their trade with the Carolina Panthers prior to the 2023 draft and is one of two top-10 picks Chicago is projected to have in April. The Arizona Cardinals are also going to have two first-round picks, while the Panthers and Cleveland Brownsare out of the first round.

We asked our NFL Nation reporters for insight into every team's draft plans. What position(s) should each team focus on as a result of the season? Which teams will be in the market for a quarterback in a 2024 class with both star power and depth?

There is still a lot of time between now and when Round 1 begins on April 25 in Detroit, but let's start the draft conversation with the AFC East.

Jump to a team:




NE | NO | NYG | NYJ | PHI | PIT | SF



Buffalo Bills

Projected first-round pick: No. 23

This could be a significant draft for the Bills, who expect to get a third-round compensatory pick for losing linebacker Tremaine Edmunds in free agency. They should have plenty of picks to work with -- they have three additional Day 3 selections because of trades -- which is important considering several veterans are set to become free agents, in addition to other tough decisions that come with having an aging roster. This will be a big offseason for the Bills to construct a roster to remain in contention, and a significant part of that will come from the talent the team can add.-- Alaina Getzenberg

Miami Dolphins

Projected first-round pick: No. 27

No, your eyes do not deceive you -- the Dolphins own a first-round pick for the first time since 2021. The direction in which they go ultimately will be determined by their free agent class, but they have needs at safety, linebacker and interior offensive line. Miami needs to hit on its premium picks, considering quarterbackTua Tagovailoa's rapidly approaching megadeal will likely inspire some tough financial decisions.-- Marcel Louis-Jacques

New England Patriots

Projected first-round pick: No. 2

There's a decision due this offseason on quarterbackMac Jones' fifth-year option for 2025. The Patriots will likely decline it, which would mean they're back in the first-round quarterback conversation. It doesn't necessarily lock in that they'll take a passer from what's considered a talented class. Their needs are plentiful, with offensive line and wide receiver atop the list. There is also a rather large question of whether the Bill Belichick regime will be making the picks, so there's plenty to sort out between now and then.-- Mike Reiss

New York Jets

Projected first-round picks: No. 8

The Jets' top needs are at offensive tackle and wide receiver, and there should be some talented prospects from which to choose. The team's biggest question is at quarterback. New York will have a healthy Aaron Rodgers in 2024, but will that preclude it from taking a signal-caller if it has a shot at one of the top prospects? That would contradict the organization's win-now philosophy, but it also has to keep an eye on the future. Rodgers is 40, and there's no guarantee he will play beyond 2024. -- Rich Cimini


Baltimore Ravens

Projected first-round pick: No. 31

The Ravens' seven-year streak of not drafting an offensive tackle or guard in the first two rounds could come to an end. Both starting offensive tackles -- Ronnie Stanley and Morgan Moses -- are showing signs of wearing down. Both starting guards -- Kevin Zeitler and John Simpson -- are free agents at the end of the season. Baltimore needs to protect its investment in quarterback Lamar Jackson, who received a five-year, $260 million contract a year ago.-- Jamison Hensley

Cincinnati Bengals

Projected first-round pick: No. 20

The Bengals' draft could hinge on what happens with wide receiverTee Higgins. In the final year of his rookie deal, Higgins' production has fallen short of his first three seasons. He has just 32 catches and two touchdowns in nine games. Cincinnati will need to decide if he's worth a franchise tag or a long-term deal, or it could look at drafting a replacement to pair with Ja'Marr Chase, who could get a massive contract extension in the offseason.-- Ben Baby

Cleveland Browns

Projected first-round pick: None

This is the last year the Browns will be without their first-round pick as part of the trade for quarterback Deshaun Watson in 2022. What Cleveland really needs are more playmakers at running back and receiver for Watson, who, coming off season-ending shoulder surgery, will be entering a critical third season in his record $230 million contract. The Browns could also use more depth up front defensively but otherwise are set on that side of the ball.-- Jake Trotter

Pittsburgh Steelers

Projected first-round pick: No. 16

Even with a deep and talented quarterback class, the Steelers are unlikely to move on from Kenny Pickett this offseason. There are still plenty of holes to fill across the roster, but they should prioritize cornerback and inside linebacker. General manager Omar Khan selected cornerbackJoey Porter Jr. in his first draft, but the Steelers now need a top-tier mate to pair with him. And while they hit on all three inside linebacker free agency signings, injuries decimated the group, and reinforcements will be needed. Center could be another first-round option.-- Brooke Pryor


Houston Texans

Projected first-round pick:No. 24 (via Cleveland)

The Texans have the Browns' first-round pick due to trading up with the Cardinals to draft edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. this past April. While they have surpassed expectations this season -- they're 7-6 -- there are holes in the trenches, specifically at left guard and in the defensive front seven. But with the Browns' pick looking like it will be in the 20s, Houston might need to pick the best available player instead of filling a specific need. Drafting for need is tougher when a team can't get one of the elite prospects in the top half of Round 1.--DJ Bien-Aime

Indianapolis Colts

Projected first-round pick: No. 18

The Coltsaddressed their longtime quarterback need, and that opens up the draft board in a significant way. They like their offensive playmakers, though adding a receiver couldn't hurt. Their secondary is young, but showing some promise late in the season. With the lack of urgent needs, this draft is the perfect scenario for general manager Chris Ballard, who loves trading out of the first round to acquire additional picks.--Stephen Holder

Jacksonville Jaguars

Projected first-round pick: No. 25

For a team on track to win its division, the Jaguars have a lot of areas that need to be addressed if they're going to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender. It starts with the interior of the offensive line (mainly at guard), but adding a big-bodied receiver, finding another pass-rusher and/or cornerback and getting better on the defensive line are also spots to watch. Most of Jacksonville's impact players were signed in free agency in recent years. It's time to find some more in the draft.-- Michael DiRocco

Tennessee Titans

Projected first-round pick: No. 9

Only four starters have come from the last three Titans' draft classes, but general manager Ran Carthon's debut 2023 class has seen several contributors, particularly on offense. That includesWill Levis, who might be the team's quarterback of the future. Now, Carthon has to find more impactful players for a roster that desperately needs game-changing talent. The roster also needs to add quality depth players on both sides of the football. The Titans could be in transition, with perennial Pro Bowl running back Derrick Henry potentially hitting the market as a free agent. -- Turron Davenport


Denver Broncos

Projected first-round pick:No. 19

The Broncos will be asked about what they are going to do at quarterback -- both in the short- and long-term -- as soon as the season ends. Russell Wilson has 23 touchdown passes in 13 games and has played better than last season, but until coach Sean Payton says the Broncos are committed to Wilson, questions will persist. Wilson's contract carries enormous dead money charges in 2024 and 2025, and early indications are the two quarterbacks who could provide an immediate impact (USC'sCaleb Williams and North Carolina'sDrake Maye) will be gone long before the Broncos pick.-- Jeff Legwold

Kansas City Chiefs

Projected first-round pick: No. 28

The Chiefs picked a wide receiver in the second round in each of the past two drafts, but they might have to try again next year given the problems finding consistent productionthis season. Rashee Rice is their only wideout whose season, at least so far, can't be classified as a disappointment. He has 59 catches for 663 yards and six scores. Depending on what happens in free agency, the Chiefs would also need to look at replenishing their defensive line, where Chris Jones, Mike Danna, Derrick Nnadi and Tershawn Wharton are prospective free agents.-- Adam Teicher

Las Vegas Raiders

Projected first-round pick: No. 6

Any questions as to whether Aidan O'Connell is the Raiders' future at quarterback were likely answered in Sunday's 3-0 loss to the Vikings, and not in a good way for the rookie, who has started six games. Veteran Jimmy Garoppolo and his $72.75 million free agent contract are probably not the answer, either.

So do the Raiders, for the first time since 2007, and only the fourth time since the 1970 AFL-NFL draft, go all in onCaleb Williams or Drake Maye? What about LSU's Jayden Daniels, who shouted out Raiders interim coach Antonio Pierce during his Heisman Trophy acceptance speech? And who will make that call, since Pierce is an interim coach and Champ Kelly is an interim general manager? In any event, the Raiders are again in search of a franchise quarterback.-- Paul Gutierrez

Los Angeles Chargers

Projected first-round pick: No. 10

The Chargers are projected to be $34.8 million over the salary cap next season, according to ESPN's Roster Management System. This means they will potentially look much different next season, as many of the their expensive contracts will need to be restructured, traded or released. Drafting the best player available -- save for a quarterback -- would make sense, but with a rushing offense and pass defense that are both at the bottom of the league, the team's most significant needs are at defensive back, offensive line and tight end.--Kris Rhim


Dallas Cowboys

Projected first-round pick: No. 30

The Cowboys can look anywhere and everywhere for help in this draft. They will use free agency to fill holes and make sure they can choose the best player available, but offensive line (tackle, center), defensive line, linebacker, cornerback, running back and potentially wideout could be options. The Cowboys have 16 players set to become unrestricted free agents, including tackleTyron Smith, running backTony Pollard, cornerbackStephon Gilmore and defensive endDorance Armstrong. They likely won't be able to keep all of them, so hitting at those spots in the draft becomes a must.-- Todd Archer

New York Giants

Projected first-round pick: No. 5

General manager Joe Schoen said recently the Giants are going to add a quarterback this offseason, via free agency or the draft. He also mentioned studying the first-round quarterbacks from the 2018 draft, which suggests they're going to at least consider that position early in this draft depending on how this season ends. ESPN's Football Power Index gave the Giants a 49.9% chance to land a top-five pick.-- Jordan Raanan

Philadelphia Eagles

Projected first-round pick: No. 29

The Eagles have nine picks, including a pair of second-rounders, to supplement a playoff-caliber roster with a few holes. Secondary is likely to be a focus, with starting corners Darius Slay and James Bradberry both 30-plus years old. The Eagles are usually hesitant to devote significant resources at linebacker but will need to reconsider after being held back by the position this season. Offensive and defensive line is always a safe bet with this front office, especially with some key players in the twilight of their careers.-- Tim McManus

Washington Commanders

Projected first-round pick: No. 4

Washington's direction with its first pick will be determined by how the organization views quarterback Sam Howell. With a regime change likely, it's impossible to know what a new coach or general manager thinks of him. If they like him, they can trade back, add more picks early in the draft and/or in future years (they own five top-100 picks in 2024) and build a quality young roster. But if they're not sold on Howell, then they can try to move up, or possibly select the third-best QB option in the class -- depending on who declares for the draft.-- John Keim


Chicago Bears

Projected first-round picks: Nos. 1 (via Carolina) and 7

The Bears could end up with the No. 1 overall pick in back-to-back years thanks to a trade with Carolina last March. The biggest question is whether they will keep quarterbackJustin Fields and use their draft capital to build around him with another wide receiver and interior O-line help, or if they will draft a QB. The way Fields has played since returning from a thumb injury in Week 11 brings up a real debate about whether Chicago is better off with him on this trajectory -- it has wonfive of its last nine games-- than starting over in 2024. -- Courtney Cronin

Detroit Lions

Projected first-round pick: No. 26

The defense might be keeping the Lions from being true title contenders, so they'll need to address this in the draft starting with the front four. Not only do they need depth defensively, but they also need to surround second-year edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson with more talent to generate more pressure, particularly from the interior. Detroit could also benefit from better pass coverage, so they should identify a lockdown cornerback to upgrade the secondary.-- Eric Woodyard

Green Bay Packers

Projected first-round pick: No. 15

A month ago, it looked like the Packers would be in position to draft another franchise quarterback if they needed one. Now, Jordan Love's play might have convinced them he's the guy. If that's the case, then they best help him. With five picks in the first three rounds (partly thanks to the Aaron Rodgers trade), Green Bay's priority should be a left tackle to replace the ailing David Bakhtiari.-- Rob Demovsky

Minnesota Vikings

Projected first-round pick: No. 22

Nothing about the Vikings' draft plans can be finalized until they decide their priority on the quarterback position. Kirk Cousins' contract will void in March. Joshua Dobbs, after a hot start as the team's emergency starter, has been benched anddoes not appear to be the answer. The Vikings will have to decide if they want either (or both) back in 2024, and then assess whether their ultimate draft position will be good enough to select a quarterback who is good enough to factor as a long-term answer. If not, has rookie Jaren Hall shown enough to be in that conversation?--Kevin Seifert


Atlanta Falcons

Projected first-round pick: No. 11

This will all start at quarterback for the Falcons, and that might be dictated by how the season finishes. If Atlanta makes the playoffs and Desmond Ridder shows improvement, it could keep moving forward with him -- and would likely not be in position to draft one of the top prospects, anyway. The Falcons could turn their attention to cornerback, offensive line or defensive line. But missing the playoffs makes the quarterback question the biggest offseason issue by far.-- Michael Rothstein

Carolina Panthers

Projected first-round pick:None

If any team needed the top pick, it's the Panthers, but their first-rounder is headed to Chicago as compensation for acquiring the top 2023 pick to get quarterbackBryce Young in April. There are so many needs for Carolina, starting with a No. 1 receiver and help on an offensive line that has surrendered 48 sacks so far. Whichever way the new staff goes, finding help for Young has to be the priority..-- David Newton

New Orleans Saints

Projected first-round pick: No. 12

The Saints have struck out with first-round picks on both sides of the line: Defensive endMarcus Davenport (2018) left in free agency, edge rusherPayton Turner (2021) has three career sacks and offensive tackleTrevor Penning (2022) was benched this season. They have one of the worst pass rushes in the league this season, and Cameron Jordan (two sacks) will be 35 next year. With quarterback Derek Carr signed through the 2026 season and the Saints struggling in the trenches, they might need to start rebuilding their offensive and defensive lines. --Katherine Terrell

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Projected first-round pick: No. 13

The quarterback situation needs to be watched most closely as Baker Mayfield is on a one-year deal, but how the Bucs do over the next four games impacts that considerably. For example, if the season ended Sunday and they had won the NFC South, they'd have dropped from 10th to 19th in draft order, which would take them out of range for the top quarterbacks.-- Jenna Laine


Arizona Cardinals

Projected first-round picks: Nos. 3 and 21 (via Houston)

To trade or not to trade, that is the question the Cardinals will face with their first of two first-round picks, especially if it's in the top five. With how well Kyler Murray has been playing, the conversation about drafting a quarterback has quieted, but Arizona is in a position to rebuild its entire roster with 10 picks in the 2024 draft.

If top wide receiverMarvin Harrison Jr.(Ohio State)is available with their first pick, the Cardinals could pair him with Murray and never look back, or trade down for a haul of picks as well as a prime player. If they keep their top pick, expect it to be an impact player while the second pick will likely fill a need, such as an offensive lineman or another receiver. They also have Houston's top pick from the trade up last April.-- Josh Weinfuss

Los Angeles Rams

Projected first-round pick: No. 17

For the first time since 2016, the Rams have a pick in the first round. A month ago, it looked like that pick was trending toward the top 10, but Los Angeles is now closer to a playoff spot than a high selection. The Rams have several spots they could target, but after moving on from several veterans on the defensive side of the ball during the offseason, it could make sense for them to go for the best defensive player available in April.--Sarah Barshop

San Francisco 49ers

Projected first-round pick: No. 32

For the first time since 2021, the 49ers are slated to pick in the first round. The picks spent to move up for quarterbackTrey Lance have been used, and the return to the first round comes at an important time. San Francisco has a loaded roster, but it's become increasingly top-heavy and could use an infusion of young talent with its expected 11 selections. This will be a pivotal draft for the Niners -- not only because they will have needs on the offensive line, defensive line, secondary and receiver but because they're going to have more tough decisions on high-priced players coming and need to keep planning for the future.-- Nick Wagoner

Seattle Seahawks

Projected first-round pick: No. 14

The book is closed on the Russell Wilson trade, which means the Seahawks won't be flush with early-round draft capital like they were in each of the past two drafts. They have an extra third-round pick, but they don't own a second-rounder after giving it up in the Leonard Williams trade -- and they won't be picking in the top 10 for a third straight year, barring a collapse over the final month. That means it could be easier said than done to replace quarterback Geno Smith this offseason if they were so inclined based on his inconsistent play and the flexibility they have to get out of his contract.-- Brady Henderson

Related Video