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2024 NFL Draft: Report Card Grades For Every Round 1 Trade

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The 2024 NFL Draft is finally here. And while we theoretically have known for months where every team will pick, draft day trades will shake up things considerably.

As those trades happen, we will grade all the moves from one of the NFL's biggest days.

Here we go!

2024 NFL Draft Day 1 Trade Grades

Custom jersey swap image of Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy in a Vikings jersey

Minnesota Moves Up to Pick McCarthy

Vikings Get: No. 10, No. 203
Jets Get: No. 11, No. 129, No. 157

After the departure of their six-year starter, Kirk Cousins, to the Atlanta Falcons in free agency, the Minnesota Vikings were looking to draft their next potential franchise quarterback. When they acquired a second first-round pick (No. 23 overall) from the Houston Texans, many assumed they would package No. 11 and No. 23 to move into the top five.

J.J. McCarthy was considered a prime target.

For the Vikings to only have to move up one spot to draft an elite prospect and keep their other No. 1 pick is a huge win for the team. Minnesota can now fortify its cornerback or edge rusher position later in the first round. 

There had to be high anxiety as the Vikings waited through the first nine picks before landing a national champion quarterback who went 27-1 as the starter for Michigan over the past two seasons.

The Wolverines were primarily a running team under Jim Harbaugh. Still, McCarthy showed he has a strong enough arm, great accuracy — he completed 72 percent of his passes last season — and excellent running ability. He made clutch plays for his team when required. He enters a great situation with a quarterback-friendly coach, Kevin O'Connell (a former NFL quarterback), and outstanding skill players such as Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison and T.J. Hockenson. McCarthy also has two top offensive tackles, Christian Darrisaw and Brian O'Neill, to protect him. 

The Vikings have Sam Darnold as a potential bridge starter, but McCarthy will take over at some point. He certainly could win the job in training camp if he develops quickly under the tutelage of O'Connell and Vikings QB coach Josh McCown, another former NFL quarterback. The Vikings also gain the important salary cap benefit of having a first-round quarterback under a rookie contract.

The New York Jets picked up a fourth-round pick and swapped a sixth for a fifth in an easy call. They knew the Vikings were not picking an offensive tackle, which was the Jets' most significant need. Olu Fashanu is one of the top-rated tackles in the draft and has the strength and athleticism to develop into a long-term, Pro Bowl-caliber starter at the critical left tackle spot to protect Aaron Rodgers and be a run-blocking force.

Vikings Grade: A
Jets Grade: A

Dallas Turner, in a suit, holds up a Minnesota Vikings jersey with his last name on it on the stage of the draft
Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Dallas Turner poses after being selected by the Minnesota Vikings as the No. 17 pick in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft at Campus Martius Park and Hart Plaza. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)


Vikings Get: No. 17
Jaguars Get: No. 23, No. 167, 2025 third-round pick and 2025 fourth-round pick

The Vikings made another potential coup by moving up six spots in the first round to select one of the best edge rushers in the draft. Dallas Turner needs to get stronger, but he has big upside as an explosive pass rusher with great athleticism who can effectively drop into coverage in Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores' aggressive scheme.

Minnesota paid a significant price in 2025 draft capital to trade up for Turner, but the team had two fifth-round picks this year, and it will be worth it if he develops into a player with double-digit sacks in the NFL.

Turner was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year when he was at Alabama and was a team captain. He had 10 sacks, 14.5 tackles for loss and 53 tackles last season. He helps fill a big need for the Vikings, who lost Pro Bowl OLB Danielle Hunter and another starting outside linebacker in D.J. Wonnum in free agency. Turner joins free agent signees Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel as new edge rusher/outside linebackers for Minnesota. 

The Jacksonville Jaguars were able to gain three picks — including a 2025 third-rounder — and still landed a top wide receiver they were hoping for in LSU's Brian Thomas Jr. who had 17 touchdowns last season. The Jaguars lost Calvin Ridley in free agency, and Thomas will bring great size and speed as an explosive playmaker who has room to grow as a route runner. 

Jacksonville also had a big need at corner and could've drafted Terrion Arnold, who went one pick later to the Detroit Lions. Still, Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence will be happy to have another quality target in Thomas. 


Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Terrion Arnold
Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Terrion Arnold poses after being selected by the Detroit Lions as the No. 24 pick of the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft at Campus Martius Park and Hart Plaza. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Detroit Trades up for Top Corner

Lions Get: No. 24, 2025 Seventh-Round Pick
Cowboys Get: No. 29, No. 73

The Detroit Lions thrilled the locals at draft central in Detroit, trading up five spots to take an excellent cornerback prospect, Terrion Arnold. He should step into a starting role after Cam Sutton was recently released. 

Arnold had five interceptions and 12 passes defensed last season for Alabama. He plays a physical game and brings 4.3-second 40-yard speed as a potential shutdown corner who is elite in man coverage. 

The Dallas Cowboys gained a third-round pick in the deal and picked Tyler Guyton at No. 29. He’s a huge (6-foot-7, 322-pound), athletic offensive tackle with great length and movement skill. He’s a work in progress, but he’s the kind of powerful tackle Dallas wants as the Cowboys seek to replace longtime Pro Bowler Tyron Smith.

Lions Grade: A
Cowboys Grade: B+

Xavier Worthy, in a black uniform and neon orange shoes, runs at the NFL Combine
Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy (WO40) ran an official time of 4.21 seconds to set a Combine record during the 2024 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Kansas City Trades Up for Speedy WR

Chiefs Get: No. 28, No. 133, No. 248
Bills Get: No. 32, No. 95, No. 221

The back-to-back Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs upgraded their wide receiver corps by drafting speedster Xavier Worthy after previously signing Marquise Brown in free agency. 

Worthy brings the Tyreek Hill–type speed the Chiefs have been seeking since trading him to the Miami Dolphins in 2022 — Worthy ran a blazing 4.21-second 40-yard dash at the combine. He was highly productive at Texas with 2,755 receiving yards and 26 touchdowns over three seasons, but he needs to bulk up from 172 pounds while not losing speed.

This was a somewhat puzzling move by the Buffalo Bills, who could’ve drafted Worthy or another wide receiver after trading Stefon Diggs and losing another starter (Gabe Davis) in free agency. 

Buffalo then traded the No. 32 pick to the Carolina Panthers for pick No. 33 — meaning the Bills dropped out of the first round. Salary cap issues are obviously part of the motivation for these moves, but dropping four spots in this deal with the Chiefs for a swap of a fourth-round pick for a third-round pick is not a good enough return. 

We’ll see who the Bills pick at No. 33 after they made that one-spot drop for a move up from the sixth to the fifth round. That will save some more cap room, but Buffalo loses the value of the fifth-year option with a second-rounder instead of a first-rounder. 

Chiefs Grade: A-
Bills Grade: D