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2024 NFL Draft NFC Team Grades

Yesterday, we broke down the 2024 drafts of the 16 AFC teams, and today, we do the same for the NFC. Between the two conferences, this is the one that I think had the outright best (really four of the five best) drafts in the entire league but also had the worst as well. Let's find out who.

Arizona Cardinals: A+

Favorite Selection: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR (Ohio State) at 4th Overall

Least Favorite Selection: N/A

Omar Khan, who we talked about in the AFC grading, is a guy who deserves his flowers, but Cardinals' GM Monti Ossenfort is in the same boat. Outside of the Rondale Moore-Desmond Ridder swap, I've liked almost every move he's made since arriving out west, and this draft was no different. Getting a generational talent like MHJ in Arizona is no small thing, and is a franchise changer in every which way. I also loved the selections of Darius Robinson, Trey Benson (my No. 1 running back prospect), and Christian Jones, whom they got much later than I had anticipated going. That Cards roster isn't all the way there yet, but you can see the vision as the foundation continues settling in.

Atlanta Falcons: F

Favorite Selection: Brandon Dorlus, IDL (Oregon) at 109th Overall

Least Favorite Selection: (The Process of Selecting) Michael Penix Jr, QB (Washington) at 8th Overall

As the Falcons shocked the sports world on Thursday night, I was more than agreeable to the Michael Penix Jr. selection. I was a massive fan of his body of work this year at Washington, and he has some elite traits to be a solid NFL quarterback. Then Falcons GM Terry Fontenot got on a stage in Atlanta and said many things that I was not a fan of. Here are some direct quotes regarding the pick or Penix's timeline to become the starter.

“We’re thinking more long-term with [Penix]. Still very, very excited about Kirk – that has not changed. This is a pick thinking about the future.”
"If [Penix] sits for four or five years, that's a great problem to have because we're doing so well at that position,"

I could not believe those were real quotes, on top of both him and Raheem Morris talking about how they didn't think they'd be in a position to pick a quarterback this high again, which led them to do this.

I have many problems with this pick, none of which relate to Michael Penix as a player. No. 1) Do they know that if Penix sits four or five years, that will put him on track to be a full-time starter at 27 or 28? No. 2) If you're in win-now mode, why wouldn't you attack your most significant need (pass rush) with every single available option open to you at pick eight? No. 3) Why not just take J.J. McCarthy if you wanted a guy to sit on the bench for no less than two seasons? It's just a terrible process and justification of process all around. I also thought Ruke Ohorhoho was a big reach, but Penix is obviously the headline grabber here.

On a final note, and I cannot stress this enough, Falcons fans were BEGGING Bill Belichick not to come in because he would disrupt the front office structure Atlanta already had in place. Then they went out and had a franchise-altering draft for all the wrong reasons. And that's not even getting to the fact that Kirk Cousins was none the wiser going into Thursday. Respectfully, this is how historical loser franchises stay loser franchises. I am not saying the Falcons will crater because of this, but they are the Falcons, so anything is possible.

Carolina Panthers: B-

Favorite Selection: Ja'Tavion Sanders, TE (Texas) at 101st Overall

Least Favorite Selection: Jaden Crumdey, IDL (Mississippi St.) at 200th Overall

I loved to see the emphasis on instantly getting some elite skill position guys right away by the Panthers, and they got a pair of really good ones out of Texas, Ja'Tavion Sanders and Jonathon Brooks. Xavier Leggette almost blew up the Panther's spot by saying the Panthers were going to take him at 33, which was half right because they got into the first round to get the fifth-year option for him with that pick. After addressing the offensive line in free agency, I had zero issues with this draft approach. The two Longhorns should become instant impact guys for Bryce Young and new head coach Dave Canales.

Chicago Bears: A+

Favorite Selection: Rome Odunze, WR (Washington) at 9th Overall

Least Favorite Selection: N/A

Even if you disregard the Caleb Williams pick, which literally anyone could've/would've made, I thought Ryan Poles and the Bears smoked this draft and have themselves a legit football team now. I had a feeling that if one of the three receivers fell to nine, they would've been all but assured to be a Bear, and to my surprise, it was Rome Odunze rather than Malik Nabers. Kiran Amegadjie and Austin Booker were unbelievable value gets, and if you don't bow at the altar of Tory Taylor, you will...eventually.

Dallas Cowboys: C-

Favorite Selection: Cooper Bebee, IOL (Kansas St.) at 73rd Overall

Least Favorite Selection: Marist Liufau, LB (Notre Dame) at 87th Overall

For better or for worse, no one is doing it like Jerry Jones in the year 2024. He allowed his team's former defensive coordinator to take half of the Dallas defense with him, has yet to re-sign his best corner, putting them in a position where his top two options are gamblers who aren't stuck in coverage for long stretches, and had holes all over the offensive line. Granted, he drafted a pair of good ones in Tyler Guyton and Cooper Bebee, but not the draft or offseason in what might be the most pivotal season in franchise history with what's looming on the other side, I'll tell you that much.

Detroit Lions: A

Favorite Selection: Terrion Arnold, CB (Alabama) at 24th Overall

Least Favorite Selection: N/A

The Lions knew the assignment and went after cornerback instantly, not once but twice. Coming home with Terrion Arnold and Ennis Rakestraw Jr. to pair with Carlton Davis and then Brian Branch out in the slot was an excellent set of moves by Brad Holmes and co. I also thought getting Mekhi Wingo and Christian Mahogoney with their final two picks was an outright coup. Not quite to the level of an A+ draft, but certainly not far off in my estimation.

Green Bay Packers: B-

Favorite Selection: Edgerrin Cooper, LB (Texas A&M) at 45th Overall

Least Favorite Selection: Jordan Morgan, OT (Arizona) at 25th Overall

Outside of going Jordan Morgan over Tyler Guyton and going Marshawn Llyod over grabbing a Jeff Hafley BC guy in cornerback Elijah Jones, The Packers made out pretty well. Edgerrin Cooper should be a heat-seeking missile for them on day one next to Quay Walker, and surprisingly, one of their better picks was their last one, Penn State corner Kalen King. He was a consensus first-rounder last fall but saw his stock freefall since then. He's not a big corner by any means, but he has a lot of high-leverage snaps playing in the Big10; I could see him working out. Also liked the dart board throw on Tulane quarterback Michael Pratt, they needed a new body in that QB room anyway.

Los Angeles Rams: B+

Favorite Selection: Jared Verse, EDGE (Florida St.) at 19th Overall

Least Favorite Selection: Braden Fiske, IDL (Florida St.) at 39th Overall

Braden Fiske is probably the only thing holding this from being a flat A. I felt like his athletic testing didn't hold up when you watched him, but the Rams made a ton of good picks otherwise. Namely Jared Verse, my No. 1 edge rusher, Miami safety Kam Kinchens, and Michigan running back Blake Corum.

Minnesota Vikings: A-

Favorite Selection: Dallas Turner, EDGE (Alabama) at 17th Overall

Least Favorite Selection: (Trading up one spot for) J.J. McCarthy, QB (Michigan) at 10th Overall

We'll probably never know if anyone else was close to leaping the Vikes for McCarthy, but the ole Chicago Bears classic of trading up one spot for your QB isn't the best situation, but I get it. Granted, I do get trading up for Dallas Turner, and now, you have Dallas Turner, Jon Greenard, and Andrew Van Ginkel to play with off the edge. Also, giving Brian Flores a 6'4" corner to work with, in the form of Khyree Jackson, was a great move. Not a ton of picks, but they made the most of it.

New Orleans Saints: B+

Favorite Selection: Taliese Fuaga, OT (Oregon St.) at 14th Overall

Least Favorite Selection: Josiah Ezirim, OT (Eastern Kentucky) at 239th Overall

Taking a break from violating and desecrating our beloved salary cap, Micky Loomis quietly put together a very strong draft where, after a couple of grand slam picks in Taliese Fuaga and Kool-Aid McKinstry, made some solid down-the-order picks like IDL Khristian Boyd out of Northern Iowa. Same case with Pitt wideout Bub Means.

New York Giants: A-

Favorite Selection: Malik Nabers, WR (LSU) at 6th Overall

Least Favorite Selection: Tyrone Trace Jr., RB (Purdue) at 166th Overall

The Giants did an excellent job working themselves out of a jam with only six picks. Even if they didn't get a quarterback, you still have Drew Lock as a short term insurance policy for Daniel Jones, Nabers and Theo Johnson should be year one contributors, and Andru Phillips, I believe, has some legit upside at cornerback. This was a draft Joe Schoen had to nail, and for the most part, he did just that.

Philadelphia Eagles: A+

Favorite Selection: Cooper DeJean, CB (Iowa) at 40th Overall

Least Favorite Selection: N/A

Howie Roseman has done it again and didn't even need to take a single player from Georgia. I was a big fan of loading up on defense right away with Quinyon Mitchell, Cooper DeJean, and friend of the TDT program Jaylx Hunt of Houston Christian Fame, then I think Will Shipely will be an excellent compliemntary option for Saquon Barkley. Circling back to the first two, they desperately needed to address their corner situation, and they arguably got the two best in this draft, depending on who you talk to (my No. 3 and 2, respectively). The Trotter Jr. pick was super cool as well.

San Francisco 49ers: C+

Favorite Selection: Dominick Puni, IOL (Kansas) at 6th Overall

Least Favorite Selection: Ricky Pearsall, WR (Florida) at 31st Overall

I would've preferred the 9ers go in a different direction at receiver (if they didn't like AD Mitchell, I think Ja'Lynn Polk or Ladd McConkey would've been great pickups) and perhaps put a bigger emphasis on the offensive line. Still, there were undoubtedly worse drafts over the weekend.

Seattle Seahawks: B

Favorite Selection: Byron Murphy, IDL (Texas) at 16th Overall

Least Favorite Selection: Tyrice Knight, LB (UTEP) at 118th Overall

There is not a ton to write home about outside of the top two picks, but giving Mike MacDonald Byron Murphy to pair up with Leonard Williams inside, and then Boye Mafe and Uchenna Nwosu off the edge, is a horrifying prospect. I also liked where they got UConn guard Christian Haynes.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: B+

Favorite Selection: Chris Braswell, EDGE (Alabama) at 6th Overall

Least Favorite Selection: Devin Culp, TE (Washington) at 246th Overall

It's another B-range draft, in which I do not have many complaints about. Graham Barton, Chris Braswell, Tykee Smith, Jalen McMillan, and Bucky Irving to open things up was pretty good for my money.

Washington Commanders: A+

Favorite Selection: Johnny Newton, IDL (Illinois) at 36th Overall

Least Favorite Selection: N/A

And funny enough, my top team in the NFL Draft is the last team listed. Jayden Daniels, Johnny Newton, and Mike Sainristril inside the top 50 is highway robbery; three players that I had graded 29th or better. I also liked the Ben Sinnott and Luke McCaffery picks a good deal, but I don't think a team opened this draft with a better opening three picks. It was an unbelievably good start for Adam Peters in his first year running the Washington Commanders.

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