Winners and losers of 2024 NFL Draft: Eagles, Steelers stand out; Why did the Raiders pass on the QB?

The 2024 NFL Draft is officially in the books after three days of intrigue and plenty of excitement.

Teams will supplement their rosters with undrafted free agent signings over the next few days. But the puzzles are pretty much put together. The experience will begin in a few weeks when minicamps and offseason practices begin. Some questions will remain unanswered until training camp and the start of the season.

But for now, we're evaluating which teams appear to have helped themselves the most going into the draft and which teams have fallen short in their quest to put themselves in contention.

Winners

Philadelphia Eagles

General manager Howie Roseman continued his moves and dealings on Saturday, when he made five more trades to finish with a record nine during draft week. The Eagles had some good luck, falling to cornerback Quinion Mitchell in the first round. Roseman then made a trade that saw the Eagles take another cornerback, Cooper Dejean, in the second round. From there, Roseman and company continued to improve their roster depth while also stockpiling picks for 2025. Right now, the Eagles have nine picks in next year's draft. This gives Philadelphia a cushion in case the NFL's investigation into potential tampering with Saquon Barkley uncovers any wrongdoing and the Eagles are docked a pick or two.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers overhauled their quarterback group this offseason by acquiring Russell Wilson and Justin Fields and entered the draft with a mission to become stronger in the trenches. mission accomplished. Tackle Troy Votano, center Zach Frazier and guard Mason McCormick were three of their first five picks. The Steelers also added toughness on defense by selecting linebacker Payton Wilson and defensive tackle Logan Lee.

Washington leaders

The moment certainly didn't seem too big for rookie general manager Adam Peters. Not only did they draft Jayden Daniels as the team's starting quarterback, but they also added playmakers on offense and defense. Peters used his eight picks after Daniels to fill holes along the defensive front, in the secondary, at tight end and on the interior of the offensive line.

Los Angeles Chargers

Jim Harbaugh and the Chargers entered the draft with several holes to fill as they renovated. In response, they provided a sounding board that included big, strong physical building blocks in offensive tackle Joe Alt, linebacker Junior Colson and defensive tackle Justin Ebuegbe. The Chargers also added interesting offensive prospects in running back Kimani Vidal and wide receiver Brenden Rice (son of Jerry), who could be sleepers.

Kansas City Chiefs

The rich are getting richer. Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes have another speedy wide receiver after first-round pick Xavier Worthy from the Texans. They then got a steal with BYU's tackle Kingsley Suamataia in the second round before adding two more offensive linemen to bolster their depth. Tight end Jared Wiley (fourth round) is another interesting pick who could contribute now before taking on a larger role once Travis Kelce starts to step back.

Michigan Wolverines

A whopping 13 national champion players heard their names called this weekend. This leads all schools (followed by Texas with 11 players). Quarterback JJ McCarthy led the way, going 10th overall for the Minnesota Vikings, and then round by round, the Wolverines were getting ripped off. four They were signed immediately afterward as undrafted free agents. Harbaugh even reunited with two of his former players: Colson and wide receiver Cornelius Johnson.

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Losers

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons were heavily scrutinized after selecting quarterback Michael Penix Jr. eighth overall just weeks after giving Kirk Cousins ​​$100 million guaranteed. Yes, as the Green Bay Packers have shown, it's wise to draft a quarterback before you need one. But the Falcons aren't close enough to compete for luxury picks like this. They really need second-round defensive tackle Ruke Orhorhoro and third-round outside linebacker Bralen Trice to shine as starters to help soften the blow of passing up an immediate impact talent in the top 10.

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Go deeper

Which quarterback landed in the best place to succeed? Landing spot rankings for the historic draft class

Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys have made additions that will help improve the quality and depth of their offensive line. But it's hard to look at this week's picks and feel like Dallas made gains over the rival Eagles. The Cowboys exit the draft with a glaring hole. They needed quality at running back and went the entire draft without selecting a single one, despite having plenty of opportunities.

Miami Dolphins

Despite losing their third-round pick due to impermissible contact with Tom Brady and Sean Payton's agent, the Dolphins finished the draft with seven picks. However, it seems they haven't bumped into any big stars. Edge rusher Chop Robinson has upside, but will need time to develop. So does second-round offensive tackle Patrick Ball. A team that needs to close the gap on the Buffalo Bills needs more solid selections.

las vegas raiders

The Raiders needed to leave the draft with a long-term answer at quarterback. They couldn't make a trade to advance in the first round, then missed out on drafting passers-by in the second, third and fourth rounds. Spencer Rattler remained on the board until the New Orleans Saints took him in the fifth round, and some scouts believe he has the potential to develop into a starter.

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The Raiders obviously didn't agree, so Aidan O'Connell and Gardner Minshew will get over that. First-round tight end Brock Bowers is a promising addition to the offense. The Raiders appear to be improving on defense thanks to Saturday's additions of cornerback Decamerion Richardson, linebacker Tommy Eichenberg, safety Tre Taylor and cornerback MJ Devonshire. But going into another season without a starting quarterback in a division that includes Mahomes and Justin Herbert is concerning.

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