2024 NFL Draft

Biggest Winners and Losers from the 2024 NFL Draft

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Now that it’s over it’s time to assess the 2024 NFL Draft winners and losers. There is no more prognosticating or worrying about NFL Draft eligibility rules. It’s time to provide an in-depth NFL Draft analysis by looking at what teams are better off coming out of the draft and what teams missed an opportunity to improve their roster.

What Teams Won and Lost the 2024 NFL Draft

Admittedly, it’ll be a few years until we know the worst picks in the 2024 NFL Draft and whether any of these players end up among the biggest draft busts of all time. But after watching how things unfolded in Detroit over the course of three days, we feel confident distinguishing the 2024 NFL Draft winners and losers.

Winner: Arizona Cardinals

With the most overall selections, including seven of the first 90 picks, it would be weird if the Cardinals weren’t big winners. By getting Marvin Harrison Jr. fourth overall, they made one of the best picks in the draft, as they got arguably the best player available after the quarterback-needy teams made their selections.

Arizona then improved defensively with pass rusher Darius Robinson and cornerback Max Melton. In the Third Round, the Cardinals added running back Trey Benson and tight end Tip Reiman, as well as Isaiah Adams, who wasn’t the only offensive linemen they added. In the later rounds, the Cardinals continued to add depth to their secondary and at the line of scrimmage, adding talent and competition at several positions.

Loser: Atlanta Falcons

You have a great offensive line, young skill players, and a veteran quarterback that you just signed to a big contract, what do you do? The answer is not to spend the no. 8 overall pick on a quarterback. The Falcons are the embodiment of a win-now team and had no business taking Michael Penix Jr. with a top-10 selection.


For all we know, Penix will end up having a great career. But it made no sense for a team in Atlanta’s position to draft him, knowing that he’ll be a backup for at least two or three years.

The Falcons could have found a player who would have helped them to win in 2024 and 2025 rather than drafting for the long term. To their credit, the Falcons picked up some good defensive players later in the draft. But using the no. 8 pick on Penix was one of the most foolish decisions in draft history.

Winner: Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles absolutely crushed it on the first two days of the draft. They needed help at cornerback and picked up both Quinyon Mitchell and Cooper DeJean. Getting DeJean with the no. 40 pick was huge for Philly.

Both corners received first-round grades and have a chance to contribute significantly right away. Drafting Jeremiah Trotter Jr., whose father spent most of his NFL career with the Eagles, was an excellent choice as well. Also, don’t sleep on adding wide receiver Ainias Smith and running back Will Shipley to the mix either.

Loser: New England Patriots

With eight total selections, the Patriots used two on quarterbacks. That’s where New England’s problems begin. Drafting Drake Maye was the easy choice, but not necessarily the right choice.


The Patriots could have put an end to a generation of missing on offensive playmakers in the draft by taking Marvin Harrison Jr. and waiting on a quarterback. Rather than also draft Joe Milton in the Sixth Round, why not take Harrison and use a pick in the middle rounds on a quarterback? While the Pats also added two wide receivers and two offensive linemen, they didn’t get obvious difference-makers at either position.

Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh didn’t have an overwhelming number of picks, but the Steelers clearly had a plan. True to their longtime identity, they got better at the line of scrimmage, getting a topflight offensive tackle with Troy Fautanu and arguably the best center in the draft with Zach Frazier.

Linebacker Payton Wilson, a Third Round pick, was also one of the best players at his position. Don’t forget about some of the depth additions on Day 3 or wide receiver Roman Wilson.

Loser: Buffalo Bills

Buffalo began the draft with a questionable trade that allowed the Chiefs to draft a wide receiver, which is also one of their biggest needs. To be fair, the Bills eventually got Keon Coleman, who figures to be a useful part of their offense right away.

However, the Bills had 10 selections and only used one on a wide receiver, which feels like an oversight. Adding safety Cole Bishop and defensive tackle DeWayne Carter to the defense were good moves. But the Bills needed to take a chance on more receivers during the late rounds.

Winner: Detroit Lions

First of all, the city of Detroit put on an amazing draft for everyone. Second, Dan Campbell used a limited number of picks to add players that fit his style perfectly. Specifically, the Lions used their first two picks on cornerbacks Terrion Arnold and Ennis Rakestraw Jr.

That will help to improve an area of weakness on the Detroit defense. The Lions also got some hard-nosed players at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, which was good use of limited resources.

Loser: Denver Broncos

With so much attention on Atlanta’s poor decision-making with Penix, not enough people mentioned how the Broncos reached for Bo Nix. It was far from certain that Nix was even a first-round pick, much less warranting the no. 12 overall selection.

Clearly, Sean Payton sees a lot of Drew Brees when he watches Nix. But Payton’s entire future is now tied to Nix. It’s also worth questioning whether the Broncos needed to use a couple of late-round picks on offensive skill players given their limited draft capital.

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