A helmet with the 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit logo. [Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports]

LSU QB Would Be His Pick, ESPN NFL Analyst Edwards Says

The Major League Baseball season hasn’t reached the second week of play yet, but the NFL continues to draw headlines.

The 2024 draft kicks off April 25. Speculation heated up about who picks quarterbacks Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels, Caleb Williams and others. Former Eagles’ defensive back, NFL coach and current ESPN analyst Herm Edwards joined SportScene with Steve Russell to discuss the quarterback class, the importance of the combine and how the media has changed the NFL.

The quarterback dilemma

Chicago. North Carolina. New England. All three have the top three draft picks and all want a quarterback. There’s no strong agreement, but Daniels, Maye and Williams are expected to be drafted before any other players.

Daniels, in his season with LSU, had a completion percentage of 72.2%. He had 40 touchdowns and four interceptions. Daniels has improved his skills from the year before, which can be promising to teams that want a quarterback who can run and throw.

Maye, in his season with North Carolina, had a completion percentage of 63.3%. He had 24 touchdowns, but he threw nine interceptions. However, in 2022, he had a better season with 38 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

Williams, the former USC quarterback, had his best season in collegiate football. He had a 68.6% completion rate with 30 touchdown. He had the least amount of interceptions out of the three with five.

However, Edwards said that if he was still in the league, he’d take Daniels:

The combine: does it matter?

The combine that happened in February brought fans some of the fastest sprints seen. But there are countless factors that can decide a player’s performance: sleep, food, travel and more. Coaches rarely decide on drafting the player solely on that performance. They look at tapes and previous games as well as cognitive tests. However, at times, Edward said, coaches hope players don’t have great combines:

The media’s impact on NFL decisions

With social media, new outlets compete with legacy outlets. The 24-hour sport networks like ESPN feature talk shows with time that needs to be filled. Because the amount of information that is publicly available increased, the knowledge of fans increased too.

News articles have popped up featuring mock drafts. Fans call into radio shows to discuss the picks they want to see. This pressure builds on teams to choose fan-favorite rather than a player they feel might have the edge.

Edwards talked about this concept:

A similar problem has risen with coaching. When people like Bill Belichick becomes available, fans expect their teams to scoop him up.  Edwards said teams sometimes choose hot candidates to appease fans:

About Liana Handler

Liana Handler is a sophmore at the University of Florida, studying sports journalism.

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