NFL Analysis


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2024 NFL Draft: Fact or Fiction on Draft, Trade Rumors

New England Patriots head coach Jarod Mayo talks to media during the NFL annual league meetings at the JW Marriott. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

It's one week before the 2024 NFL Draft. This is the time of year when everyone in the league claims they're hearing this and that, but no one really knows who's telling the truth. 

Let's look at some of the recent information circulating and dissect whether there's any truth.

Fact or Fiction on 2024 Draft, Trade Rumors

Chatter: Patriots Keeping No. 3 Pick no matter what

It's not a "no matter what," but I think the New England Patriots will end up sticking.

Teams have called and will continue to call the Patriots. Their de facto general manager, Elliot Wolf, has been listening and willing to engage. It will take a godsend offer to make it happen, but unlike the Bears and Commanders at No. 1 and 2, the Patriots continue to listen.

Chatter: Teams have Nabers Higher than Harrison

Yes, there are teams around the league with Malik Nabers rated higher than fellow receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. However, this hasn't changed in the past few weeks or months because Nabers did something during his predraft process, and Harrison took a different approach and hasn't done much on-field work.

Every year, I'm reminded that no games have been played in the last few months. Some teams have had Nabers higher than Harrison since the end of the college football season.

One executive noted that this draft reminds him of the 2011 NFL Draft when there were debates about whether A.J. Green or Julio Jones was the top guy. "Ultimately, it's a 1A/1B type of situation," the executive said.

The intriguing element that hasn't been talked about nationally is if a team is looking to trade up for one of these receivers. Could there be a team that executes a Jones-style trade as the Falcons did in 2011?

I wouldn't rule it out.

Chatter: Commanders are locked in on Daniels

During the last several weeks, the prevailing belief has been that the Washington Commanders coaching staff is settled on Jayden Daniels as its pick at No. 2 overall.

Unlike Chicago, which only brought in Caleb Williams for a top-30 visit, Washington has conducted extensive evaluations on all the quarterbacks and has involved various voices in the decision-making process.

That includes several members of ownership and former NBA executive Bob Myers. The belief remains that Daniels is the most likely choice.

Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon and general manager Monti Ossenfort prepare for a press conference.
Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon and general manager Monti Ossenfort prepare for a press conference.

Chatter: Cardinals Want to trade out

If New England opts to select a quarterback at No. 3, the Arizona Cardinals would be open to trading down. However, they are unlikely to drop out of the top 10 unless they receive a comparable offer to what they got last year when they moved from No. 3 to No. 12 with Houston.

Arizona is not moving down just to add more assets. It already holds an extra first-round pick in this draft, and the Cardinals' likely plan is to select the top receiver on their board if they remain at No. 4. 

Chatter: Nix Could Go in Round 1

Never say never, but league sources have not given me the impression that QB Bo Nix will be a first-round pick.

However, one executive not in the quarterback market noted that the lack of much media push for Nix is usually a good sign for a player. At this time of year, if a national reporter pushes a player, it usually originates from the player's camp trying to create more buzz. For whatever it's worth, Nix has not had much of that.

The executives I've spoken to believe he should be available on Day 2.

Chatter: Penix Could Go in Round 1

Unlike Nix, Michael Penix Jr. has some media push, and most believe that's coming from his camp.

Some coaches around the league love Penix simply because of some of his strengths, including his deep ball and mental toughness, which are usually the things that quarterbacks have the most difficulty with. They believe they could work with Penix to fix his weaknesses.

His medical history (two torn ACLs and a dislocated shoulder) is a different story. Each team will have to determine how it feels about the injuries. It's not hard to envision a scenario where a coach pounds the table for Penix in the first round, and that's how he gets in.

Giants QB Daniel Jones stands on the sidelines in a windbreaker
New York Giants injured quarterback Daniel Jones (8) watches warmups before a game against the Los Angeles Rams at MetLife Stadium. Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Chatter: Giants will Take a QB at No. 6 or Trade up

There has been talk about this since Daniel Jones tore his ACL last season, and it was clear the New York Giants would have a top pick. Yes, the organization has done extensive work on all the top quarterbacks in the draft. However, I have not gotten the indication they'd pull the trigger on taking one at No. 6.

There are rumblings in league circles that if Drake Maye fell, he could intrigue them the most. Otherwise, they likely will take a different position, whether a receiver or an offensive lineman. There is a good chance the Giants will explore taking a quarterback in this draft, but it could be in the second round.

Chatter: 49ers Are Looking to trade WR Aiyuk

I would not say the San Francisco 49ers want to move Brandon Aiyuk, but the draft will be a critical pressure point in this saga. Aiyuk wants a top-market receiver contract, and the 49ers are nowhere close to that right now.

San Francisco experienced a similar situation with Deebo Samuel before the 2022 NFL Draft when the Jets made an offer that included the No. 10 overall pick. San Francisco declined and remained confident it would figure it out, which it did a few months later with a significant contract extension.

The 49ers could be in that position again, as teams will make offers next week. San Francisco will have to decide if it should take a pick (or picks) in this year's draft or if it is confident it can figure this out in the coming months without it blowing up.

If the 49ers still have Aiyuk on the roster after Friday, that should signal they are confident they'll bridge the gap.

Rams GM Les Snead celebrates at the Super Bowl LVI victory parade.
Los Angeles Rams general manager Les Snead speaks during Super Bowl LVI championship rally at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Chatter: Rams Could Be a Sneaky Quarterback Team

The Los Angeles Rams tried to secure a potential heir apparent for Matthew Stafford in last year's draft when they selected Stetson Bennett in the fourth round, but that has not gone as smoothly as hoped.

Stafford, entering his 16th season, has no guaranteed money left on his contract after this season. Teams believe the Rams could be in the quarterback market because Sean McVay has committed to staying with the organization for the long term after considering a move to television in previous offseasons.

McVay's long-run commitment and the building of a new nucleus of young talent means finding the next quarterback could be on their minds.