NFL Hot Press: 2024 NFL Draft Week Rumors – Tuesday

Brian Thomas Jr.

The 2024 NFL Draft is just two days away! Here are some rumors that I have heard from sources as the draft has neared.

Yesterday, we reported here in the Hot Press how some sources with teams in the top 10 said Minnesota is definitely trading up for a quarterback. Another team that sources say is aggressively trying to figure out a trade-up in the first round is the Buffalo Bills. The Buffalo front office has been calling teams and gauging trades to be prepared to move up on Thursday night. Sources say the Bills are targeting a wide receiver, and the most likely targets are LSU’s Brian Thomas Jr. and Texas’ Xavier Worthy. Both are possibilities for Buffalo, but it sounds like the preference is toward Thomas. After trading veteran Stefon Diggs, it sounds like Buffalo is going to be aggressive about finding Josh Allen’s next No. 1 receiver.

For months now, the consensus has been that the Washington Commanders would take LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels with the second-overall pick of the 2024 NFL Draft. There have been some projections of the Commanders taking North Carolina’s Drake Maye or Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy in the first round, but overall, Daniels has been the most common projection. From speaking to multiple sources with the Commanders, it sounds like the consensus in the building leans toward Daniels but that things are clear not across the board. There have been some Washington evaluators with a preference for McCarthy and some with a preference for Maye.

Interestingly, new general manager Adam Peters has sought a wide range of opinions from within the franchise. There are general managers in the NFL who shut out scouts, but Peters has been interested in hearing the opinion throughout the front office, including from staff members who were there under former head coach Ron Rivera and former general manager Bruce Allen. Peters is the one who will make the final decision on which prospect to take at No. 2 overall, and he has been performing his due diligence by exploring the thoughts and perspectives from staff throughout his organization.

One of the most fascinating picks in the first round will come with the Las Vegas Raiders. They could target a new franchise quarterback like Washington’s Michael Penix Jr, or they might address the offensive line or secondary in the first round. As we reported last week, the Raiders are interested in Penix, but they might target him in a trade up from the second round rather than selecting him at 13th overall. With the 13th pick of the 2024 NFL Draft, Las Vegas could help its offensive line or look to add a potential No. 1 corner. It sounds like that if the Raiders take a cornerback, that player will likely be Toledo’s Quinyon Mitchell. A lot of the Las Vegas staff loves Mitchell and has graded him highly.

However, Las Vegas also is very high on offensive tackles J.C. Latham, Olu Fashanu, Troy Fautanu and Taliese Fuaga. If the Raiders have plans to move up from their second-round pick to land Penix, it could make sense for them to draft a right-tackle upgrade in the first round to protect the blindside of the left-handed Penix. Las Vegas could be a real wild card in the offensive tackle market because there are a lot of teams picking behind them in the top 20 that could also use tackle help. The Raiders have a lot of options to consider, and they could do something completely unexpected. New Raiders general manager Tom Telesco was notorious for not speaking to his scouts with the Chargers, so what Las Vegas is actually going to do could be a secret only known by Telesco, head coach Antonio Pierce, and owner Mark Davis.

Some draft experts have been projecting Washington Huskies offensive tackle Roger Rosengarten to be a late first-round pick on Thursday night. Rosengarten did not look like a first-round talent to this draft analyst, but as I always say, my opinion doesn’t matter; the only opinions that actually matter are those of team evaluators. I surveyed sources from six different teams, and none of them had Rosengarten with a first-round grade.

“A zone team could like him and take him in the back of the second round,” said an NFC director of player personnel. “But he’s not very strong and not concrete in his anchor.”

The lack of strength was brought up by other sources independently. From speaking with team evaluators, it sounds like Rosengarten has a shot at the second round and could end up going in the third frame on Friday night.

Some team sources said they think there could be more trade movement in this year’s draft compared to typical years. They shared they believe this movement could start in the middle of the first round, stretch into late in Round 1, and then continue throughout the second day of the 2024 NFL Draft. The reason for the expected fluidity is teams feeling there is a lack of talent on Day 3 of the draft thanks to the influence of NIL in college football and more players getting paid to stay in school. That has weakened the talent depth of the draft, leaving teams believing that third-day picks have less value. Some sources from playoff teams felt that there is a good chance that the players they would get on Day 3 of the 2024 NFL Draft would have a very hard time making their final 53-man roster, so rather than use the pick on a player who is likely to get cut, they could use the pick to move up in the early rounds. This year’s draft has the potential to be one with a lot of trades, starting on the opening night of the draft.