Monday Morning Draft – Week 3

Daniel Jones

Race for the No. 1 Pick of the 2024 NFL Draft:

Chicago Bears:

Chicago had the No. 1-overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft prior to trading down with the Panthers. As part of that trade, the Bears have Carolina’s first-rounder in the 2024 NFL Draft, so the Bears could have two avenues by which they might obtain the top pick for the second straight year. The Bears and Panthers are off to 0-3 starts, and both teams look terrible.

Denver Broncos:

This Sunday was a humiliating loss for Denver, as the Dolphins scored a shocking 70 points. The Broncos have a very difficult schedule in the loaded AFC, and if Russell Wilson does not get turned around, Denver could be in the hunt for the No. 1 pick of the 2024 NFL Draft. Denver lost a close game to the Raiders and then blew a huge lead to Washington. It could be a long year for the Broncos after losing some winnable games in the opening two contests.

Arizona Cardinals:

The Cardinals and Texans each won their first game of the season in Week 3, so Arizona has fallen behind the Bears and Broncos for the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. However, thanks to a terrible trade by the Texans, the Cardinals have two routes to landing the No. 1-overall pick of the 2024 NFL Draft. Arizona still could get the No. 1 pick from its win-loss record, but the franchise also could get it with Houston’s first-round pick, as that club is also one of the worst teams in the league.

Top General Manager Candidates:

  • Detroit Lions director of scouting development Mike Martin
  • Atlanta Falcons vice president of player personnel Kyle Smith
  • Indianapolis Colts chief personnel executive Morocco Brown
  • Buffalo Bills director of player personnel Terrance Gray
  • Tennessee Titans director of pro scouting Brian Gardner
  • Philadelphia Eagles director of scouting Brandon Hunt
  • Miami Dolphins assistant general manager Marvin Allen
  • Washington director of pro scouting Eric Stokes
  • Miami Hurricanes general manager Alonzo Highsmith

Top Head Coach Candidates:

  • Super Bowl winning head coach Jon Gruden
  • Detroit Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson
  • Seattle Seahawks quarterbacks coach Greg Olson
  • Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris
  • Washington Commanders offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy
  • Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn
  • Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Vance Joseph
  • Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Gus Bradley
  • Green Bay Packers special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia
  • USC head coach Lincoln Riley

Let’s Play Matchmaker:

This section will look at some of the top talent in college football and match those prospects up with teams that have a dire need at the position.

Houston Texans: Jeremiah Trotter Jr., LB, Clemson

The Texans pulled off a shocking road win in Jacksonville, with C.J. Stroud throwing two touchdowns and leading a big-point explosion for them. The Jaguars scored 17 points in the second half by attacking the middle of the Houston defense with Evan Engram and Travis Etienne. The Texans have a number of holes on their defense, and among them is linebacker, where they could use a rock in the middle to help with running backs or receiving tight ends.

Trotter (6-0, 230) has 23 tackles, one sack and a forced fumble so far this year. He had a superb 2022 season, making a lot of plays for the Clemson defense. On the year, Trotter recorded 92 tackles, 13.5 tackles for a loss, 6.5 sacks, six passes broken up, one forced fumble and one interception returned for a touchdown. It was only Trotter’s first season as a starter, so he could be even better now that he has some experience. His father, Jeremiah Trotter Sr., played 12 seasons in the NFL and was a four-time Pro Bowler whose best seasons came with Philadelphia and Washington. In the early rounds of the 2024 NFL Draft, Trotter would make sense as an upgrade for Houston.

Miami Dolphins: Cedric Gray, LB, North Carolina

The Dolphins have been one of the best teams in the NFL this seasonm and they gave emphatic proof of that with a 70-point explosion on the Broncos. Miami’s dominant offense produced 10 touchdowns, with four of them coming from Devon Achane. The Dolphins were led in tackles by safety Jevon Holland, and they could help their defense by adding some linebacker talent in the 2024 NFL Draft.

In 2023, Gray has 34 tackles and 1.5 sacks. He was one of the best linebackers in college football in 2022 and super productive for the Tar Heels. Gray recorded 144 tackles, three forced fumbles, two interceptions, six passes broken up and one sack that season. In 2021, he totaled 99 tackles, 2.5 sacks, two interceptions, one forced fumble and three pass breakups. The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder has a good build with instincts. He would be a nice fit in the Miami defense.

Green Bay Packers: Caelen Carson, CB, Wake Forest

The Packers pulled off a huge fourth-quarter comeback to get a win over the Saints, but if Derek Carr had not left the game with an injury, the outcome could easily have been different. Green Bay’s secondary struggled with Chris Olave, and if Carr had remained in the game, Olave would have had an even bigger afternoon. While Jaire Alexander is a very good player, the Packers could use another corner to pair with him.

In 2023, Carson has 15 tackles and three passes broken up. The 6-foot, 195-pounder was a solid defensive back for the Demon Deacons in both 2022 and 2021. In 2022, he notched 21 tackles and seven passes defended. He recorded 31 tackles, two interceptions and seven breakups in 2021. Carson has good size, speed, and movement skills. He could be a good option for Green Bay in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

Los Angeles Chargers: Blake Corum, RB, Michigan

Despite a terrible coaching decision by Brandon Staley, the Chargers escaped Minnesota with their first win of the season thanks to an interception by Kenneth Murray. The Chargers got a huge game from their receivers, with Keenan Allen recording 18 receptions for 215 yards while Mike Williams (7-121-1) and Josh Palmer (4-66-1) contributed as well. The Chargers could not run the ball without Austin Ekeler, and given his contract status, it would make sense for them to add some running back talent in the 2024 NFL Draft.

To open 2023, Corum has averaged 6.1 yards per carry for 351 yards and eight touchdowns. He has five receptions for 28 yards as well. The 5-foot-8, 210-pounder was a tough back and point producer for the Wolverines in 2022. On the year, he averaged 5.9 yards per carry for 1,463 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also recorded five receptions for 73 yards.

As a downhill runner, Corum shows good strength to break tackles alongside contact balance and an ability to pick up yards after a hit. He would be a nice fit in the Chargers offense.

Cleveland Browns: Chop Robinson, DE, Penn State

Deshaun Watson and the Browns played some terrible football in a loss to the Steelers last Monday night, but they bounced back on Sunday, cruising over the Titans. Myles Garrett collected 3.5 sacks and overwhelmed the Tennessee offensive line. With their second-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, it would make sense for the Browns to add an edge rusher to pair with Garrett.

Robinson (6-3, 250) plays defensive end for Penn State, but for the NFL, he may have to move to outside linebacker given his size. If Robinson is any smaller than his listed numbers, he definitely will be too small to play end on an every-down basis as a pro.

In 2023, Robinson has seven tackles, one sack, a forced fumble and a pass batted. He recorded 5.5 sacks, 10 tackles for a loss, two passes batted, one forced fumble and 26 tackle in 2022. Playing for Maryland in 2021, he had 19 tackles and two sacks.

Robinson is lightning fast off the edge and is a dangerous quarterback hunter. He would be a good value for the Browns in the second round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

New England Patriots: Emeka Egbuka, WR, Ohio State

New England came away its first win of the season on Sunday despite only scoring 15 points. The output from the Patriots receivers was pathetic, with none of them bringing in five passes or totaling 47 yards through the air. Clearly, the terrible wide receiver evaluations by Bill Belichick are continuing to hamper the New England offense. In the 2024 NFL Draft, the Patriots must get a playmaker.

In 2023, Egbuka has 19 catches for 263 yards and three touchdowns. The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder turned in 74 receptions for 1,151 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2022. He emerged as a potential No. 1 receiver or really good No. 2 wideout. At other schools, Egbuka would have had an even bigger 2022, but he was the No. 2 receiver for Ohio State across from Marvin Harrison Jr.

Egbuka has quality size and some serious speed with the ability to separate and challenge defenses vertically. The Patriots probably won’t be picking high enough for Marvin Harrison Jr., but they could possibly land Egbuka in the 2024 NFL Draft.

San Francisco 49ers: Kingsley Suamataia, OT, BYU

The 49ers took care of business on Thursday night football, with Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel providing lots of yardage for their offense. Over the offseason, the 49ers lost Mike McGlinchey to free agency, and Trent Williams is old. Head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense can put quarterbacks in a precarious position, where San Francisco has had a lot of injuries, and that happened with Shanahan’s quarterbacks when he was an assistant with other teams – see Robert Griffin III, Matt Schaub, etc.. Given all the injuries that have happened at the quarterback position under Shanahan, it would make sense for the 49ers to add some offensive tackle youth to help protect Brock Purdy.

Suamataia was a top recruit who landed at Oregon and redshirted. In 2022, Suamataia transferred to BYU and broke out, including not allowing a sack all season. The 6-foot-6, 325-pounder has shocking speed and athleticism for an edge blocker of his size. He is superb in pass protection while also showing toughness as a run blocker. Suamataia could stand to add some lower body strength, but he has a lot of upside and could be a very good starter at left or right tackle in the NFL. The 49ers would be very fortunate if Suamataia gets to their first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Team Draft Report:

In this section, we take a deeper look at specific teams and where they stand in regards to the 2024 NFL Draft.

Dallas Cowboys:

Dallas is off to a 2-1 start and has shown a defense that is capable of dominating. The Cowboys were dealt a huge blow when they lost No. 1 cornerback Trevon Diggs for the season to a torn ACL suffered in practice before Week 3, but they have plenty of elite talents who will maintain the defense as one of the better units in the league. If Dak Prescott plays well, the Cowboys should definitely return to the playoffs and could be dangerous in January.

Even if Diggs had stayed healthy, the Cowboys could consider adding cornerback talent in the 2024 NFL Draft. Veteran Stephon Gilmore is nearing the final years of his career, so adding a cornerback to go with Diggs would make sense for the organization’s first-round pick. In my latest mock 2024 NFL Draft, I have the Cowboys addressing their defensive backfield with Iowa cornerback/safety Cooper DeJean. He is a dangerous ballhawk who is a gritty defender who stays around the ball. DeJean is a great scheme fit for Dan Quinn, and would give Dallas a versatile chess piece and add depth at a few positions thanks to DeJean’s versatility.

Other options for the Cowboys to consider include Clemson’s Nate Wiggins, Wake Forest’s Caelen Carson, South Carolina’s Marcellas Dial and Georgia’s Kamari Lassiter. Any prospect in that group would make for a nice addition to the Dallas defense.

Offensively, the Cowboys could consider adding more talent at receiver to go with CeeDee Lamb. Late in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, some options they might be able to consider include Ohio State’s Emeka Egbuka, Florida State’s Keon Coleman, Florida State’s Johnny Wilson and LSU’s Malik Nabers. Anyone from that group would be a superb long-term No. 2 receiver for Dallas.

The Cowboys are in a Super Bowl window with their defense playing at a high level. Adding a little more to the roster could put Dallas over the top and provide enough support for Dak Prescott to get the franchise back to the Super Bowl.

New York Giants:

The Giants were a surprise wild-card winner last season under first-year head coach Brian Daboll. While they made some big plays in clutch moments, the Giants also had a lot of breaks go their way in 2022. The NFL has a pattern of things going the other direction a year later, but beyond good breaks, the Giants have struggled for the majority of their three games in 2023. They were shutout in blow-out style by the Cowboys in Week 1, had to pull off a big comeback versus the terrible Cardinals in Week 2, and then were handled by the 49ers in Week 3. The Giants do not look like a playoff team in the early going of of this season. Thus, they are in store facing a critical offseason in which some huge decisions will have to be made.

The Giants needed wide receiver help badly entering the 2023 offseason, but their additions have not had a big impact yet. The first-round wide receivers of the 2023 NFL Draft did not make it to the organization’s pick, and the team could still use help at the position. The Giants probably won’t have a top-five pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, so they will likely miss out on Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr. However, there are a number of other good receiver prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft for the Giants to consider. Ohio State’s Emeka Egbuka could be a speed threat who stretches defenses vertically. The Florida State tandem of Keon Coleman and Johnny Wilson are two big wideouts who provide a size-mismatch problem. LSU’s Malik Nabers is a quick play-maker who is a polished receiver. Any of this options would be an upgrade for the Giants, and finding a true No. 1 receiver has to be the priority for them. In my latest mock 2024 NFL Draft, I have the Giants doing just that by selecting Coleman.

Daniel Jones has had a mixed NFL career, and he has not been impressive at all to open 2023. Given the big contract the Giants gave to Jones, they probably will not be looking to replace him with a first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. However, the 2024 NFL Draft is strong at quarterback, so the Giants could find some competition and another option on Day 2. Some quarterbacks with the potential to be good second-day value picks include Texas’ Quinn Ewers, Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy, LSU’s Jayden Daniels and South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler. The Giants have to consider that they may have made a mistake in signing Jones to that contract, and adding a quarterback for competition on Day 2 of the 2024 NFL Draft would make sense because they might strike gold with a better starter.

Aside from quarterback and receiver, the Giants might want to consider adding a running back early in the 2024 NFL Draft if Saquon Barkley is not re-signed. It also would not hurt to add some talent at linebacker. Per sources, the Giants loved Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell in the 2023 NFL Draft, and he was a top candidate for their first-round pick – along with wide receiver Jordan Addison. Linebacker and running back could be earlier targets if the team were to fix its wide receiver question in free agency.

While the Giants may take a step back this year, if they choose wisely in the 2024 NFL Draft and give Jones a true No. 1 receiver, that could make a big difference for their scoring attack. This is going to be a huge offseason, and general manager Joe Schoen needs to make some astute moves to help improve the playmaking talent on his organization’s roster.