NFL Analysis


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2024 NFL Draft: Ranking 9 Biggest Steals From This Year's Class

Terrion Arnold speaks at the podium in front of a Detroit Lions background
Lions first-round NFL draft pick Terrion Arnold speaks at the introductory press conference at Detroit Lions headquarters and training facility in Allen Park. (Junfu Han-USA TODAY NETWORK)

There are always a handful of prospects each year who fall for whatever reason.

But value can be found in all seven rounds — as was the case at the 2024 NFL Draft. Here are the nine biggest steals from a wild draft.

Biggest Steals of the NFL Draft

9. Jaylen Wright, RB, Miami Dolphins (120th)

Including Jaylen Wright on this list is complicated because the Miami Dolphins traded a 2025 third-round pick for this selection. However, Wright is a big value at pick No. 120, and he is a perfect scheme fit for Miami. The Dolphins love running backs with speed, and Raheem Mostert and De'Von Achane haven't proven to be the most durable running backs.

Wright ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash at 210 pounds at the NFL Combine and was the most explosive back in college football last season. Over his collegiate career at Tennessee, he averaged a whopping 6.2 yards per carry and 7.4 during his final season in the SEC. He needs to improve his contact balance and his vision is spotty, but he is a dynamic running back who is heading to a team that prioritizes speed over everything.

It's noteworthy that Wright was No. 73 on the consensus board and the No. 3 ranked running back. He went off the board nearly 50 picks later and was the fifth back drafted. The Dolphins gave up a lot to get him, but he is still a good value considering how far he fell this year.

8. Brock Bowers, TE, Las Vegas Raiders (13th)

Did the Las Vegas Raiders have a need at tight end? Nope. They traded up for Michael Mayer just a year ago, but that didn’t change their thought process during this year’s draft. Brock Bowers was easily the best player on the board when the Raiders were on the clock at pick No. 13. Bowers was No. 7 on the consensus board and the fifth-highest non-quarterback.

Bowers is a dynamic weapon who can be used in the slot and in the backfield. We’ve really never seen a tight end with this type of production coming out of college (2,731 total yards from scrimmage with 31 touchdowns), and his ability to play all over the field makes him a fit in any offense.

It remains to be seen how he’ll fit in with Mayer, but this a massive steal for Las Vegas picking in the middle of Round 1. Good job by the Raiders to stick at No. 13 and take the best player available.

7. Kinglsey Suamataia, OT, Kansas City Chiefs (63rd)

There were several teams considering selecting Kingsley Suamataia at the back end of Round 1, including the Kansas City Chiefs. That would have been rich, but he is a major value at the end of Round 2. Suamataia has experience playing both left and right tackle and has started 23 total games over the past two seasons.

He is a massive tackle with impressive athleticism and power, but he needs to clean up his footwork and play more snaps. Don’t be surprised if he is the Day 1 starter at right tackle for the Chiefs in 2024. Suamataia is a former five-star recruit whose best football is still ahead of him.

Washington State safety Jaden Hicks motions toward fans after scoring a touchdown
Washington State Cougars defensive back Jaden Hicks (25) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Stanford Cardinal during the second quarter at Stanford Stadium. (Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports)

6. Jaden Hicks, S, Kansas City Chiefs (133rd)

The Chiefs crushed the 2024 NFL Draft. They managed to add a dynamic weapon in Xavier Worthy and a starting left tackle in Suamataia. But on Day 3, they made their best value pick, grabbing Washington State safety Jaden Hicks.

For many people, Hicks was the No. 1 safety in the class because he can play in any defense and has the range to be a free safety. He finished as the No. 67 player on the consensus board but was selected at the bottom of Round 4. He also tested as an 89th percentile athlete (according to RAS), which will undoubtedly help a defense that relies on size and athleticism.

Even if he just turns into a No. 3 safety and a core special teamer, this is a huge value for Kansas City. Hicks should have no problem finding the field as a rookie for the Chiefs in big nickel packages.

5. Cooper Beebe, OL, Dallas Cowboys (73rd)

The Dallas Cowboys really wanted to address their offensive line this offseason after losing Tyron Smith and Tyler Biadasz in free agency. Rather than taking Graham Barton at No. 24, the Cowboys traded down to No. 29 and picked up No. 73. At No. 29, the Cowboys selected Tyler Guyton. And then at No. 73, they grabbed versatile offensive lineman Cooper Beebe from Kansas State

Beebe racked up 48 career starts at Kansas State, playing left tackle, right tackle and left guard. He was a three-time first-team All-Big 12 selection and an All-American twice. His short arms (31 ½”) caused him to fall in the draft, but he should be a plug-and-play starter at guard or center for the Cowboys.

Beebe finished as the No. 46 player on the consensus board, and Dallas managed to get him 27 picks later.

4. Zach Frazier, C, Pittsburgh Steelers (51st)

You can make a really good case that Zach Frazier was the best pure center in this class. Frazier started 46 games in the ACC and was a two-time All-ACC first-team selection. He is recovering from a broken leg, but his tape is incredible, and his work ethic is highly regarded. If he had had a full draft process (Senior Bowl, combine), he could have snuck into Round 1, but it didn’t happen as he was rehabbing from the broken leg. Still, that shows just how talented of a player he was coming out of West Virginia.

The Pittsburgh Steelers needed to upgrade at center, and they absolutely did with this selection. It won’t be long before Frazier is a top-10 center in the NFL. And he is a perfect scheme fit with new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith.

Chicago Bears wide receiver Rome Odunze holds up his new jersey on the stage of the draft
Washington Huskies wide receiver Rome Odunze poses after being selected by the Chicago Bears as the No. 8 pick in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft at Campus Martius Park and Hart Plaza. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

3. Rome Odunze, WR, Chicago Bears; Pick No. 9

It's hard to call a player who was picked at No. 9 a steal, but that's exactly what we are doing here with Rome Odunze and the Chicago Bears. Odunze was one of the cleanest prospects in the class — he has outstanding tape, production, size and athleticism. But an insane quarterback run allowed Odunze to fall to the Bears at pick No. 9.

Odunze finished No. 6 on the consensus board and was the fourth-highest-graded non-quarterback. He profiles as a No. 1 receiver and immediately gives Caleb Williams another weapon to throw to during his rookie season. In most drafts, Odunze would be a lock top-five pick and the first receiver off the board. But in this year’s draft, he fell to No. 9 and Chicago reaped the rewards.

2. Terrion Arnold, CB, Detroit Lions; Pick No. 24

All of the top cornerbacks fell in this year’s draft — and the playoff teams drafting at the bottom of Round 1 were rewarded. The Detroit Lions saw Terrion Arnold fall to pick No. 24 and quickly traded up with the Cowboys.

Arnold’s average combine performance likely contributed to this drop, but he is an experienced SEC cornerback with the ability to play outside and in the slot. Arnold started 21 games at Alabama and was an All-American selection twice. He finished as the No. 12 overall player on the consensus board, and Detroit managed to snag him 12 spots after that.

Kudos to the Lions, who addressed their biggest need with a massive value.

1. Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Philadelphia Eagles; Pick No. 22

The biggest need for the Philadelphia Eagles was at cornerback, and they addressed that position with their first two picks. The Eagles got a big value with Cooper DeJean (Iowa) in Round 2, but the better player and pick was Quinyon Mitchell at No. 22.

Mitchell was ranked as the No. 11 player on the consensus board and was the top cornerback prospect in the class. He crushed the pre-draft process, dominating the Senior Bowl practices and then running in the 4.3 seconds at the combine.

Mitchell has all of the tools and traits to be a top cornerback in the NFL, and he'll now play on a defense with a great pass rush.

Well done, Philadelphia. You got yourself a star in Quinyon Mitchell.