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NFL Draft 2024: Bold Predictions And Fearless Forecasts

Brian Thomas Jr. - Fantasy Football Rankings, Draft Sleepers, NFL Injury News

NFL Mock Drafts are always fun to read and certainly give us a good skeletal view of what to expect during the actual selection process. But the sharpest analysis of even the top experts on the game are never fully on point, as the NFL Draft always excites and surprises us with its unique twists. Stunning developments are possible every year.

It’s a more daring endeavor to attempt to forecast what may be the more unlikely developments in the earliest part of the draft. In this feature, I venture to predict which teams may actually go against the pre-draft groupthink or make eyebrow-raising selections that can confound their fans and/or pivot away from what seems to be most sensible.

These predictions range from the truly bold to simply just interesting types of moves and picks that will deviate from the projected flow during the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft.  The team pick and trade forecasts contained in this feature focus on key offensive moves and players and include a notable veteran being dealt to a team in the top 5.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers won two writing awards and received 12 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. A big congrats to our very own Byron Lindeque (Golf) and Jordan McAbee (NASCAR) for both winning Writer Of The Year awards! Be sure to follow RotoBaller's analysis and advice all year long, and win more. Win More With RotoBaller!

 

NFL Draft 2024: Bold Predictions And Valiant Moves

 

The Patriots Trade Back From No. 3

New England will have the quarterback it desperately needs readily available when the third pick comes around, but the Patriots can start to fill more of their multiple needs by trading with the Vikings, who have two first-round picks at the 11th and 23rd spots. The Pats could elect to possibly pass on Drake Maye and address the QB position later in the first round. They might opt for Michael Penix Jr. or Bo Nix while also taking care of glaring concerns at wide receiver and a need at offensive tackle.

 

Tee Higgins Is Traded to The Chargers

Higgins is a true candidate to be dealt on draft night, and the Bengals and the Chargers would help the other side in this scenario. Los Angeles gets an established playmaker to replace Keenan Allen rather than taking a rookie while also landing Cincinnati’s first-rounder. The Chargers can still bolster their offensive line at the No. 18 spot, and the Bengals will slide in front of the Giants to get Malik Nabers. Los Angeles may continue to consider more pass-catchers after the first round and might opt for a running back in the first four rounds, too.

 

The Jets Trade Out Of The No. 10 Spot

New York might elect to take tight end Brock Bowers at No. 10, or move back a few slots and hope they can still get him. The Jets do not have a second-round pick and may deal down and choose to take an offensive tackle type or even surprise by grabbing one of the deep wide receiver options to form an outstanding crew along with Garrett Wilson and Mike Williams. The former Charger is a notorious injury risk and is on a one-year deal. A very promising trio of WRs could conceivably help Aaron Rodgers in his quest to make a deep playoff run this season.

A QB-needy team might jump into the 10th slot to nab J.J. McCarthy. That could be Minnesota if New England stays put at No. 3. Denver can also move up two spots, or the Raiders may deal up from No. 13. Two to three teams may be in play to spring ahead for a QB target at the end of the top 10.

 

The Colts Add Another Wide Receiver

Those who roster Josh Downs in dynasty leagues won’t like this prediction, and with Michael Pittman Jr. also in the mix, taking a WR doesn’t seem to address a need. But surrounding Anthony Richardson with three key playmakers at the position will only help him more. Maybe the Colts will push BrIan Thomas Jr. up the board higher than most mock drafters expect. Or they could be a candidate to trade back later in the first round to grab him or Adonai Mitchell.

 

Miami Gets a Tight End

The Dolphins did add Jonnu Smith in the offseason, but Miami may be in the market for a third target to complement Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Smith doesn’t figure to consistently challenge defenses as a pass-catcher, although he is capable of making the occasional key play. Miami does not have third or fourth round picks, so trading back at least a few slots in the first round can be an option. Texas’ Ja’Tavion Sanders could be a really good fit after the first round, as he is a work in progress as a blocker, yet he can become an impact factor as another downfield playmaker for Tua Tagovailoa.

 

Dallas Reaches For A Running Back

As of this writing, Rico Dowdle is the No. 1 RB on the Dallas depth chart, and he doesn’t have a clear backup, as Deuce Vaughn is too small to fit the bill. The Cowboys also need offensive line help and can address that area with one of their two initial picks. But I predict that they will take Trey Benson higher than most have him projected to be picked, at 24th overall.

Dallas will then tab a lineman at 56th overall. Benson is a determined banger with some speed. He can add more needed balance to the Cowboys’ offense, even if some fans react with frustration, thinking that the team could have filled the need with a pick after the first round.

 

Baltimore Prioritizes a Wide Receiver

During the postseason, it was once again apparent that the Ravens just didn’t have enough firepower at WR, which has been a consistent problem throughout the Lamar Jackson era. In this draft, Baltimore will finally give their two-time MVP what he has lacked for so long and deserves. Zay Flowers was a good pick last season, but he needs a prominent partner, and Jackson will now have two notable playmakers at WR, as the Ravens don’t want to waste his prime anymore.

To make a true run at an AFC Championship, Jackson requires more potent weaponry. If the Ravens don’t trade up for one of the premier WRs available in the top 10, which is a possibility, I can see them moving up a few slots to get Thomas, Mitchell, or Ladd McConkey. Or they could see if someone such as Troy Franklin slips to No. 30, while other quality options will be available if the Ravens stay put.



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