8 NFL Draft 2024 rumors including Patriots, Dolphins, Chiefs, Malik Nabers, and more

If you think we have reached the “quiet before the storm” part of NFL Draft season, think again.

Monday brought news that the New York Jets were trading Zach Wilson, and reports that the NFL was set to levy penalties against the Philadelphia Eagles and Atlanta Falcons for tampering with Saquon Barkley and Kirk Cousins, with the Atlanta penalty reportedly “severe.”

What will Tuesday bring? One can only imagine. Until then, however, let’s take another spin around the NFL rumor carousel.

Does the Zach Wilson trade change anything?

On Monday news broke that the New York Jets were moving on from former third-overall pick Zach Wilson, sending him to the Denver Broncos as part of a late-round pick swap. In the deal, as reported by Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, New York gets a sixth-round pick (No. 203), while Denver will receive a seventh-round pick (No. 256) in return along with Wilson.

Might this in any way impact their plans in the first round?

The Broncos have been linked with a number of different quarterbacks throughout the draft process, and currently Denver has Jarrett Stidham, Ben DiNucci, and now Wilson in their quarterback room.

According to NFL insider Dianna Russini of The Athletic, the team is still exploring all options.

“Expect the Broncos to continue working behind the scenes to see if they have enough to move up in the draft for a QB, otherwise all other options are on the table,” Russini wrote. “I was told this front office is exploring it all.”

From where we sit, the Wilson trade should in no way impact Denver’s plans early in the draft. If Sean Payton and company were looking to be aggressive in the first round in terms of adding a quarterback before the Wilson trade, this news should not move them off that position.

Chiefs “eager” to trade up in the first round

Since taking over as the general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs, Brett Veach has never picked higher than 20th in the first round. This year, as the defending Super Bowl Champions, Veach and the Chiefs are slated to be on the clock with the final pick of the first round.

But could Veach swing a trade to finally make a pick in the teens? That scenario could be on the table.

In the team’s pre-draft press conference late last week, Veach outlined that a move up could be in the works. “I can envision myself [trading up into the teens], but you’ve got to get the owner’s approval on that,” Veach said during his pre-draft news conference. “We have a pretty good plan this upcoming week, but every situation is unique. I certainly could see something like that, but a lot of things have to fall in place.”

The team has two glaring needs, both of which are on the offensive side of the football. Kansas City has a question at left tackle, and could certainly benefit from adding another receiver, particularly with Rashee Rice facing legal trouble and a potential suspension from the league.

Early last week, head coach Andy Reid addressed those two positions when speaking with the media.

“Those are two positions that we are looking at,” Reid said last week regarding tackle and receiver. “You’re sitting at pick 32, so it’s tough to tell you what’s going to take place there. It’s a great thing, on one hand, to be 32nd because [you’re the Super Bowl Champions], but that’s a long wait, and you better really stay true to the board, what’s there and take the best player you possibly can at that spot.”

“If it is a corner, an O-lineman or a receiver, we’re probably going to give up the opportunity to draft that other position later in the draft,” Veach said. “Is one guy that you have a first-round grade on better than two guys that you maybe have a second- or third-round grade on? That’s where it comes down to just the value of that guy that falls.

“Hopefully, we can find a trading partner.”

There was also news out of Kansas City on Monday night, as Reid is reportedly set to sign a long-term contract that will keep him with the team through 2029:

What is Chicago thinking … at No. 9?

A huge question as the 2024 NFL Draft looms?

What are the Chicago Bears thinking … at No. 9?

Quarterback is the position the world believes the Bears will address with the first-overall selection, but what is general manager Ryan Poles thinking when Chicago is on the clock again just eight picks later?

Would the GM add another weapon for their new quarterback, or potentially look to add a few more picks as part of a trade out of that spot? After all, Chicago enters draft week with just four picks at their disposal, and as things stand now after making a pick at No. 9 they would not be on the clock again until the third round.

In his Monday column kicking off draft week, Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated indicated that word around the league is building that Poles will be looking to move down. “Other teams have gotten the sense that Chicago will try to move down given their dearth of picks…” Breer wrote.

However, if the Bears cannot find a dance partner, they certainly have some options if they stay and make a pick. “If the Bears stick, a couple of friends of GM Ryan Poles said they think he’ll be looking to add talent around Williams,” wrote Breer. “So if one of the top three receivers slide to Chicago, DJ Moore and Keenan Allen could get a running mate. If not? Maybe an offensive lineman or Texas 3-technique Byron Murphy II.”

Could we see six QBs in the first round?

The legendary 1983 NFL Draft saw six quarterbacks — John Elway, Todd Blackledge, Jim Kelly, Tony Eason, Ken O’Brien, and Dan Marino — drafted in the first round.

Could this year’s draft match that number?

Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network believes so. Speaking with Dan Patrick on “The Dan Patrick Show,” the NFL insider outlined how it simply comes down to supply and demand.

“Right now sitting here I would say 6 QBs go in Round 1… You have more teams right now that need QBs than there are QBs to be taken,” said Pelissero in part.

You can see the full clip here:

The idea of six quarterbacks in the first round seems to be in line with consensus at the moment. According to NFL Mock Draft Database six passers — Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels, J.J. McCarthy, Bo Nix, and Michael Penix Jr. — are inside the top 32 on the “Consensus Big Board,” with Penix at No. 31 and Nix at No. 32.

According to consensus mocks, the most popular spot for Nix is at No. 12 to the Denver Broncos, and for Penix it is No. 23 to the Minnesota Vikings.

Although the consensus landing spot for McCarthy is No. 11 to Minnesota, so consensus might not hold …

Jonathan Kraft “heavily involved” with New England’s decision at No. 3

Rumors continue to fly about what the New England Patriots are going to do at No. 3.

That decision might, according to reports, be influenced by the thinking of Jonathan Kraft.

According to a report from Dianna Russini of The Athletic Kraft, the Team President and the son of Owner Robert Kraft, will be “heavily involved” in the decision making:

As for what the Patriots would do in that spot — or how they might move out of it — all remains to be seen. New England previously indicated that they would be comfortable sitting at the No. 3 spot and taking a quarterback, and the team has been linked with passers including Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye, J.J. McCarthy, and even recently Michael Penix Jr.

Writing in Sportskeeda Tony Pauline had this to say about what the word out of Foxborough is: “In Indianapolis [during the Scouting Combine], the believe was that if the Patriots could not select Daniels, they would trade deep into Round 1 and select Michael Penix Jr. As of last week, the believe in the league is that, should the Patriots make a trade with a team such as the Vikings or Broncos, they would lean towards selecting Penix in the middle of Round 1.

“My opinion? Another team will have to overpay for the Patriots to move out of the third pick and pass on a quarterback, which is the owner’s desire.”

Which leads us back to the nugget about Kraft. Does ownership New England want to trade out of the third-overall selection? And if so, will that clash with a desire in Foxborough to find the quarterback of the future?

Or is the team hoping to thread the needle on Thursday night, by both trading down and still finding a quarterback, accumulating additional draft capital along the way?

Miami looking to add even more speed … and a Tyreek Hill off-ramp?

Between Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, the Miami Dolphins offense certainly had some speed a season ago.

Is the organization looking to get even faster this week?

One of the many interesting tidbits from Albert Breer’s Monday column included this on the Dolphins:

“Miami has more holes than most folks realize. The off-loading of Jerome Baker and Xavien Howard—combined with the departures of Christian Wilkins and Andrew Van Ginkel—have left the Dolphins with a lot of work to do under new defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver. And while they’ve made it work on the offensive line, left tackle Terron Armstead is aging and has been hurt, and they could use help elsewhere up front, too. So with all of that established, one name I’ve heard circled for Miami from other teams is Texas WR Xavier Worthy, who would add even more speed to the offense, and perhaps give the team an off-ramp with Tyreek Hill over the next year or two.”

A three-WR set with Worthy, Waddle, and Hill would pose some problems for defenses for as long as the Dolphins could keep them together.

Malik Nabers WR1?

Bruce Feldman published the annual “NFL Draft Confidential” piece at The Athletic on Tuesday, and as the veteran scribe notes at the outset he planned on leading with the quarterbacks until something fascinating happened.

A bevy of NFL coaches making the case for Malik Nabers as WR1.

“He’s as fast as the person chasing him. He’s gonna run away from whoever. If Deion was chasing him, he’d go 4.21 or whatever. He’s the best WR prospect since Chase and on tape, I think he’s even more impressive. This dude is different,” said one NFL WR coach to Feldman.

“It’s Nabers and then there’s a gap,” said one long-time NFL assistant who has been an offensive coordinator. “He is the best wide receiver in the draft in a couple of years, maybe more. He is Tyreek Hill combined with both of those San Francisco guys [Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk]. He is so explosive. He has a second gear. He can stop on a dime. He breaks tackles. You can’t jam him because he’s just too quick and if you miss at all, he’s gonna outrun you. He’s really competitive but he can be a pain in the ass.

“He’ll be the guy who’ll have something to say to the coordinator coming off the field. He’s got that edge to him where he doesn’t know when to let up. He doesn’t know that those guys are on his side.”

There is still a lot of praise for Marvin Harrison Jr. from these coaches, but they have Nabers ahead of him.

Feldman’s piece is fascinating, as the discussion goes beyond the wide receivers to the quarterbacks, offensive tackles, and more. It is certainly worth checking out.

Drake Maye “Plan A” for the Giants, with Rome Odunze “Plan B?”

The Giants, along with perhaps the New England Patriots, remain one of the tougher teams to predict inside the top ten. Will New York be aggressive and trade up for a quarterback, as many have predicted? Will they stay pat and draft a QB who falls to them, or a wide receiver? Or could they even trade back in the first round if a QB falls to them that they do not have rated as high on their board?

Our friends at Big Blue View did a great job culling together all the latest Giants rumors, which may boil down to that above statement: Drake Maye as “Plan A,” and Washington WR Rome Odunze as their “Plan B.”

That was the case made by Albert Breer:

“What you need to know: They’ve done all the work on the quarterbacks. They traveled to Chapel Hill to work out Maye, went to Ann Arbor to work out McCarthy and traveled to Seattle to work out Penix. They also had groups at the pro days, and did 30 visits with each. The quarterback I’ve heard them connected to most (by far) is Maye. If they can’t get in position to get Maye, I could see the Giants standing pat and taking a receiver. I’d say this spot is the floor for Harrison. If he’s not there, would the Giants take Washington’s Rome Odunze over LSU’s Malik Nabers? Given that Nabers has a bit of a reputation for being difficult to deal with/coach, and the Giants’ own experience with another LSU receiver that had been like that, I could see it, with Odunze being about as clean character-wise as any prospect in the draft.”

Perhaps an interesting case given the WR discussion in Feldman’s piece, but that is the beauty of draft week.

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