2024 NFL Draft Winners and Losers: Day 3

Ja'Tavion Sanders

Day 3 Winners

Los Angeles Chargers

The Chargers did a phenomenal job of drafting on the third day of the 2024 NFL Draft. They started it off with Alabama defensive tackle Justin Eboigbe, who is a big, physical defender with an outstanding motor. He could be a sleeper steal who turns into a solid starter. The Chargers made a number of other excellent picks, including Notre Dame cornerback Cam Hart. He could be a press-man corner and has exceptional size. Hart really played well against Marvin Harrison Jr. in 2023 and demonstrated ability for the next level.

Troy running back Kimani Vidal could be a nice rotational back for the Chargers, and he was impressive at the Senior Bowl. USC wide receiver Brenden Rice also impressed in Mobile. It was shocking that he slide to the seventh round. Rice has good size and speed alongside improving hands. He could be a late-round steal for the Chargers. A few picks later, they added another late-round steal with Michigan wide Cornelius Johnson. He could have gone a round or two higher.

It was the first draft for Los Angeles general manager Joe Hortiz, and he did a phenomenal job of getting good values on Day 3.

Detroit Lions

The Lions only had one selection on the second day of the 2024 NFL Draft, but they came away with four potential sleeper steals on Day 3. They started off with Canadian offensive tackle Giovanni Manu, a massive blocker who has a tremendous skill set. He could be a nice depth backup who develops behind Taylor Decker and Penei Sewell. Manu has a special skill set, and in time, he could end up as the starting right tackle when Sewell moves to the blind side as Decker’s replacement. Later in the fourth-round, backup running back Sione Vaki was another nice pick by the Lions who should give them a physical runner who can spell David Montgomery to keep him fresh.

Detroit then landed two very good college players for the depth of both lines in Round 6. LSU’s Mekhi Wingo showed impressive interior rush ability last year. While Mingo is undersized, he could compete for three-technique snaps and give the Lions an interior designated pass rusher to help keep nose tackle D.J. Reader fresh. Shortly later, Detroit added Boston College guard Christian Mahogany. He was a tough run blocker in college and looked like an early-rounder before dealing with some injuries. Mahogany could be a good backup who possesses upside. The Lions appear to have fixed their cornerback issues in the first two rounds, and they used Day 3 to add some good backups with potential to become more.

Carolina Panthers

New Carolina general manager Dan Morgan had a superb first draft, guiding his team to a number of nice value picks. He did that in impressive fashion on Day 3. I had the Panthers taking Texas tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders in my final mock draft, who they took, and he has starting potential for them. He could be a nice outlet receiver and mismatch weapon for quarterback Bryce Young. In the fifth round, Carolina was able to land a good depth cornerback in Chau Smith-Wade. He has starting nickel potential and at least should be a good backup. Sixth-round defensive tackle Jaden Crumedy is a heavy nose tackle who could contribute in terms of stuffing the run. Morgan had a nice debut draft, and his third-day haul could really help strengthen the franchise’s roster with vastly improved depth.

Buffalo Bills

The Bills had superb third day of the 2024 NFL Draft, coming away with some very good football players. Kentucky running back Ray Davis was viewed as having starting potential by a number of teams. and he was a steal in the fourth round. Davis is a hard-nosed downhill runner who also can serve as a receiver out of the backfield. In the fifth round, Buffalo landed Georgia center Sedrick Van Pran-Granger, who was also viewed as a potential starter by other teams. Van Pran-Granger could be a good backup who grows into a starting role. Another astute pick the Bills made was Troy edge rusher Javon Solomon. While Solomon might be a designated pass rusher only, he could excel in that role thanks to his speed and tenacity off the edge. He has the potential to be a steal of a pick from the fifth round of the 2024 NFL Draft. Buffalo got criticized a lot on the opening night of the draft, but the organization did a nice job of adding to its roster on Days 2 and 3.

Day 3 Losers

Ed. Note: You can’t really blow it on Day 3.


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