2024 NFL Draft Day 2 Preview

Cooper DeJean
By Walt – @walterfootball
April 26, 2024

2024 NFL Draft Day 2 Preview – Ten Observations:

1. First of all, congratulations are in order for Charlie Campbell. He hit 10 of his first 12 picks in his mock draft, but the big thing was his excellent information that allowed us to place a big wager on Laiatu Latu to be the first defensive player chosen at 2/1 odds. Latu was also recommended as the No. 8 overall pick, but Arthur Blank ruined that with his stupidity. I’ll have more on that later.

2. I wrote this last year, but it’s amazing to me that contrary to Charlie, who is the best NFL Draft reporter in the business, there are so many terrible draft reporters out there. All we heard all week was that the Giants were going to trade up to No. 3, or that the Patriots were going to move down. No one gets everything correct, but it seems like some draft reporters get everything wrong.

Speaking of draft reporters, I am very curious about how Pretty Rickey fared. The Giants hat-wearing dog took Twitter by storm, but how did he do after a very successful run in free agency? Is he close to Charlie level with his draft reporting, or was he completely unreliable as far as the draft is concerned? Here are the reports I have from him:

“Jayden Daniels is a 100-percent lock at two.”
“The Patriots are now expected to draft J.J. McCarthy or trade down.”
“The Broncos love J.J. McCarthy, and are real players to trade up for him.”
“The Chiefs are expected to draft a left tackle in the first round.”

He was correct about the Redskins’ pick of Daniels … but that’s about it. The Patriots drafted Drake Maye, the Broncos had a chance to move up for McCarthy but didn’t do it, and the Chiefs traded up for a receiver, bypassing some tackles.

While 25-percent accuracy is nothing to be proud of, it still puts Pretty Rickey ahead of some draft reporters, namely Matt Miller.

3. This is the fourth consecutive year in which bad reporting has failed to have a hyped quarterback drafted highly. In 2021, Mac Jones was discussed as an option at No. 3 to the 49ers, yet he fell to the Patriots at No. 16. The following year, Kenny Pickett and Malik Willis received first-round consideration, but only Pickett went on opening night, and he fell to the late teens. Last year, all the talk was that Will Levis would be chosen fourth overall, but he ended up falling to the second round.

Things were not different this year. J.J. McCarthy was the hyped quarterback. There were murmurs that the new Redskins owner preferred him over Jayden Daniels. And it seemed like half of the networks were pushing him as New England’s target. Instead, McCarthy wasn’t even the fourth quarterback chosen, as he was selected after Michael Penix Jr., who was never discussed as a top-10 possibility.

Keep this in mind next year. There are some top quarterbacks emerging in our 2025 NFL Mock Draft, but if Joe Schmoe comes along and is discussed as a top-five possibility because the coaching staff called 30 consecutive runs in victories, know that you shouldn’t believe that he’ll be chosen early.

4. OK, let’s get to Penix. Wow. When I first heard the news, I thought Ian Rapoport was on crack. But I had never seen such sincerity in his voice. I can usually tell when NFL reporters are BSing something, but when Rapoport spoke, I believed him so much that I hedged the Latu No. 8 overall bet with Penix being chosen at that pick. I got 28/1 odds on BetUS. I mentioned it in the Live Draft Blog, so I hope you guys got in on it as well. Unfortunately, I was limited and wasn’t able to place wagers at DraftKings or FanDuel because the state of Pennsylvania sucks, and governor Josh Shapiro belongs in Gitmo along with the Rachel Levine abomination guy his predecessor Tom Wolf once employed.

Sorry, I got off topic. Yes, Penix. I believe this to be true: The coaches and general managers wanted Latu, but Arthur Blank overrode everyone because he wanted a “succession plan,” whatever the hell that is. And if you don’t think that’s possible, all I need to do is point to the Panthers last year when David “Axe” Tepper thought he knew more than his coaching staff and front office when he went against their wishes and selected Bryce Young over the preferred option, C.J. Stroud.

As far as this succession plan, when is Penix going to take over, exactly? In year five when he’s 28? It makes no sense. The Falcons are in win-now mode because of Kirk Cousins’ age and contract. The No. 8 pick should have been used to help the Falcons win now. Latu would have been extremely useful in playoff games versus talented quarterbacks like Jalen Hurts, Jared Goff, and “No Cookie” Jordan Love. Instead, the Falcons’ top resource from this draft will be rotting on the bench as some sort of dumb succession plan.

Blank outed himself as a dreadful owner with his shenanigans in this draft. Tepper was known was the worst meddlesome owner, but Blank announced himself to be just as incompetent.

5. The Jets are another team that had a similar blunder in the first round. They’re all-in right now with Aaron Rodgers, so they needed players who could help them win now. They drafted Olu Fashanu, but he is not guaranteed to even be on the field for most of 2024. He’s a great insurance policy for injury, and he could be outstanding in the future, but he may not even be able to help the Jets win Super Bowl LIX. Brock Bowers, on the other hand, would see significant snaps on Day 1, and he would be instrumental to the Jets’ success, given that the team doesn’t have any downfield play-makers aside from Garrett Wilson.

I feel like teams such as the Falcons and Jets need to hire some sort of logician. That person doesn’t even have to maintain complete knowledge of the X’s and O’s, but he’d be able to coax these organization into making smarter, more logically sound decisions.

6. Here’s another lapse in logic from two teams. The Chargers, at No. 5, needed a right tackle, but they drafted a left tackle who has never played right tackle. The Titans, just two picks later, needed a left tackle, but they drafted a right tackle who didn’t play left tackle.

Now, there’s nothing saying that Joe Alt can’t play right tackle, and J.C. Latham can’t play left tackle. Both could have outstanding careers. However, the Chargers and Titans took on added risk unnecessarily. We’ve seen players like Jonah Williams really struggle when moving from left tackle to right tackle, so the transition isn’t guaranteed to work.

Given the positional change downside, the Chargers should have either traded down or drafted Malik Nabers to fill a big need at receiver. The Titans then would have been able to select Alt. If Alt wasn’t available, the Titans then could have moved down or drafted Rome Odunze.

7. There was a disconnect between two other players as well, but this was more on the media. So many mock drafts had Dallas Turner going ahead of Laiatu Latu, but the authors of these mocks didn’t listen to Charlie Campbell, who said that teams medically cleared Latu. Granted, not every team thinks the same way, but Charlie was so confident in this news that he announced that Latu as first defensive player chosen was his favorite draft prop.

So, what’s the disconnect? It’s that Latu, who had medical red tags throughout the pre-draft process, was deemed to be an injury risk by the media, yet Turner was not. However, Turner was the one with the medical question marks! Charlie also reported that multiple teams flagged Turner as a medical problem. Despite this news, and the accompanying over 9.5 draft prop that we won easily, no one talked about Turner possibly sliding because of Latu’s perceived issues.

Turner fell to No. 17, where the Vikings ended his slide. Given that Minnesota surrendered multiple draft resources to move up for Turner, I have to wonder if they even knew about Turner’s medical issues. In making this trade, by the way, the Vikings have just three picks remaining in the 2025 NFL Draft: their first-round pick and two fifth-round choices. Not great, Bob.

8. Speaking of trades, it was shocking to see how few of them there were. Only five were made, and if you exclude deals where teams moved up just one spot, which are very unexciting, there were only three.

In those three deals, the players who were acquired were Turner, Terrion Arnold, and Xavier Worthy. What all three have in common is that they were perceived to be sliding in the draft. Some in the media thought Turner would go top 10, while Arnold was mocked as highly as No. 15. As for Worthy, his projections were all over the place, but I saw mocks with him going as high as No. 15 as well.

I think the lack of falling players is the reason why there weren’t more trades. Had Drake Maye slipped to No. 4, or Marvin Harrison Jr. gotten past the Cardinals (via trade), or Joe Alt or Malik Nabers dropped, I think we would have seen more teams be aggressive. However, a chalky start to the draft prevented that from happening. There was no perceived value in moving up for the most part, so teams didn’t bother to do so.

9. There weren’t many players who fell early, but we saw some talented defensive players plummet. Included in that is the aforementioned Arnold, as well as the other top cornerback, Quinyon Mitchell.

I don’t have nearly as many sources around the NFL as Charlie does, but I do have a few. I asked a personnel man in an NFC front office which player he was most surprised to see drop, and he said Arnold. “We couldn’t believe he fell that far,” he texted me Friday morning. This source said his team discussed moving up for Arnold, but was beaten to the punch by the Lions.

10. I was asked by multiple people in the draft grades video we did last night (please give us a follow)…

…if we would have any draft props for today. I asked Charlie to check around, so I’m not sure if we will, but we will try! The one thing I would recommend is if you can find a prop for the Cardinals drafting Johnny Newton or Jackson Powers-Johnson, I would bet it. Unfortunately, I’m in the crummy state of Pennsylvania, which doesn’t allow personal freedoms. But Charlie and I will keep you updated on any potential props!

Fantasy Football Perspective:

For a fantasy football perspective, there were 14 players chosen in the first round, compared to 10 last year and seven the draft before that. Here they are, ordered by dynasty value:

1. Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Cardinals
2. Malik Nabers, WR, Giants
3. Caleb Williams, QB, Bears
4. Jayden Daniels, QB, Redskins
5. Brock Bowers, TE, Raiders
6. Rome Odunze, WR, Bears
7. Xavier Worthy, WR, Chiefs
8. Drake Maye, QB, Patriots
9. Brian Thomas Jr., WR, Jaguars
10. Ricky Pearsall, WR, 49ers
11. Xavier Legette, WR, Panthers
12. J.J. McCarthy, QB, Vikings
13. Bo Nix, QB, Broncos
14. Michael Penix Jr., QB, Falcons

Harrison and Nabers are the obvious choices to be atop the list. Williams versus Daniels was more interesting, but I gave the nod to Williams because of his amazing supporting cast.

Speaking of Williams’ supporting cast, Odunze is low because there are so many talented receivers on the Bears. He could really take off when Keenan Allen leaves/retires, but Odunze may not be very productive to begin his career.

I like Penix as a player, but he’s at the bottom because he may not play for several years. Nice pick, Arthur!

I’ll have updated 2024 Fantasy Football Rankings following the NFL Draft.

Best Players Available for Day 2:

My top-30 available players for the second round (with links to their scouting reports):

1. Johnny Newton, DT, Illinois
2. Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon
3. Cooper DeJean, CB/S, Iowa
4. Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama
5. Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

6. Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State
7. Braden Fiske, DT, Florida State
8. Kingsley Suamataia, OT, BYU
9. Kris Jenkins, DT, Michigan
10. Kamari Lassiter, CB, Georgia

11. Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon
12. Patrick Paul, OT, Houston
13. Ennis Rakestraw, CB, Missouri
14. Junior Colson, LB, Michigan
15. Ladd McConkey, WR, Georgia

16. Tyler Nubin, S, Minnesota
17. Cam Hart, CB, Notre Dame
18. Cooper Beebe, G, Kansas State
19. T’Vondre Sweat, DT, Texas
20. Malachi Corley, WR, Western Kentucky

21. Zach Frazier, C, West Virginia
22. Javon Bullard, CB/S, Georgia
23. Chris Braswell, OLB, Alabama
24. Edgerrin Cooper, LB, Texas A&M
25. Cole Bishop, S, Utah

26. Payton Wilson, LB, N.C. State
27. Marshawn Kneeland, DE, Western Michigan
28. Ruke Orhorhoro, DT, Clemson
29. Trey Benson, RB, Florida State
30. Jonathon Brooks, RB, Texas

2024 NFL Draft Mailbag:

From Quacky

How do you like the Chargers to take Corum? Reuniting with Harbaugh angle?

–> It makes sense. The Chargers need a running bck, and Corum played for Jim Harbaugh at Michigan. However, a college coach turned pro won’t always select his former players. Pete Carroll famously drafted Earl Thomas over Taylor Mays. Then again, Steve Spurrier had Danny Wuerffel and Shane Matthews as his quarterbacks in Washington, so it really depends on the coach. In other words, I think the Chargers will draft a running back, but it doesn’t have to be Corum.

From @Rolfadinho0

You think the Dolphins will try and trade for an extra 2nd round pick to get 2 trench players today?

–> I think the Dolphins will trade down. They don’t have third- or fourth-round picks, so it would make sense for them to collect more assets.

From @snye7869

Should the Pats go WR at 34 and wait until Round 3 for an OT or vice versa? Basically which position has the better depth that they can afford waiting a round?

–> I think there are more quality receivers available than tackles at this point, so I think I would go with an offensive lineman like Patrick Paul or Kingsley Suamataia, then hope a quality receiver falls to me in Round 3. But either strategy isn’t bad as long as New England addresses both positions.

From @RobLaycock2248

With the Cardinals having three 3rd round picks could you see them move back up into the top of the 2nd maybe getting both Kool-Aid and Powers-Johnson

–> Yes, I think the Cardinals could do that. Both players would make sense, as would Johnny Newton or Braden Fiske.

From @HavokC10

Do you think any teams without day 2 picks try to trade up? Who is most likely?

–> It could happen in theory, but the only team I’m seeing with no Day 2 picks is Minnesota, and they don’t have the ammo to move up.

From @Steve2974495768

You think the raiders try and get a QB like rattler, Pratt or go OT/CB

–> This is not based on any sourced information, but I get the sense that the Raiders are content with their quarterback situation, knowing that they can no longer obtain a first-round prospect. They wanted Michael Penix, but stupid Arthur Blank made sure that wouldn’t happen. So, I think they are more likely to draft a tackle or a cornerback.

From @Benji5203

Which day 2-3 OL do you like for my Baltimore Ravens?

–> Getting Patrick Paul would be the best, or maybe Kingsley Suamataia. Cooper Beebe would be fine as well. In Round 3, I like Zak Zinter.

From @guerard_chris

Are teams more concerned with Ladd McConkey’s health than what’s been reported?

–> I have not heard anything about this, but if McConkey falls, that will almost certainly be the reason.

From Jeremy W.

I feel like regardless of how you feel about the Chiefs trading up for Worthy, Buffalo were graded way too easy. They only moved up 40 spots in the middle rounds, and handed their biggest opponents in the AFC (who they already can’t get past) someone who can be Tyreek 2.0. Why isn’t this a Millen for them?

–> Because the Chiefs could have gotten Worthy at 32 anyway, in all likelihood. If the Bills were willing to give up Worthy so thoughtlessly, then they weren’t fans of his. So, in their mind, they gave the Chiefs a weak player and picked up draft capital.

From Jeff Z:

Any round 2/3 bets?

–> I think I’m going to bet Jonathon Brooks to be the first running back chosen, simply because of what Jerry Jones was saying about him. Either the Cowboys draft him, or some team jumps Dallas to acquire him.

From Adam M:

What’s your thoughts on Mitchell to Buffalo? Seems likely but the recent article about his monitoring his diabetes and such seems a little concerning

–> There’s a ton of risk attached with Mitchell because of his off-the-field and Type-1 diabetes issues. However, he’s incredibly talented, so at some point, the reward is worth the risk. It just depends on how comfortable Buffalo is with that risk.

From Ron S.

My browns without a first round pick – I don’t think they lost much ground to their division rivals. I’d feel worse if cinci or ratbirds took a wr or if pittsburgh took a center. Do you agree with my assessment or am I way off base.

–> I think the Bengals helped themselves with Amarius Mims because protecting Joe Burrow is so important. The Ravens’ pick wasn’t earth-shattering, or anything. The Steelers, however, drafted a player who can start at center. Troy Fautanu can be used anywhere up front.

From Kenny

Tell us more about your absurd view that a B+ is a good grade

–> I always thought an “A” was great, and a “B” was good. But going beyond that, I may not be where I am today if I got all A’s in college. My GPA at Penn State was a 3.16 or so because I spent way more time working on my Web site than studying and doing homework. If I spent more time on schoolwork, I wouldn’t have developed WalterFootball.com as much. So, yes, college is mostly a waste of time unless you want to become a doctor or a lawyer. I always felt the main benefit of college was to develop connections via clubs or frats, or even just befriending your professors. Many students don’t take full advantage of that.

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