A sign posted on the side of a building hangs as work continues on the setup for the upcoming NFL Draft near Campus Martius on Tuesday, April 16, 2024, in downtown Detroit. Syndication: Ryan Garza (Detroit Free Press).

NFL Draft Less than a Week Away

The 89th draft for the National Football League will take place Thursday in Detroit, Michigan. The next class of NFL elite talent will be picked over the course of three days.

Quarterback Class

This years quarterback class has multiple standouts, and it starts with the projected overall No. 1 pick Caleb Williams out of University of Southern California. Williams was the Heisman Trophy winner in 2022. Next in the 2024 class is Drake Maye from the University of North Carolina. Maye has a phenomenal arm that easily projects him to go in the top 10. Jayden Daniels out of LSU and J.J. McCarthy out of Michigan are also in this class and projected to be picked in the first round.

Team Needs

The Chicago Bears have the No. 1 overall pick via the Carolina Panthers. The Bears are in need of a quarterback after trading Justin Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Barring a major surprise, Williams should land in Chicago.

The Washington Commanders have the second pick and are in desperate need of a quarterback. If Williams goes No. 1, the Commanders still have a full class of talent to pick from.

The New England Patriots are also in need of a quarterback with Mac Jones heading south to Jacksonville.  For the first time in 24 years, the Patriots are not being led in the draft room or on the field by Bill Belichick. This makes for a significant draft in New England franchise history. The talent selected will shape head coach Jerod Mayo‘s new era with the team. Whether they prioritize more picks and trade down or keep their No. 3 spot and select a high-ranked prospect is still unknown.

The Arizona Cardinals are in need of a wide receiver, which puts them in excellent position to draft Marvin Harrison Jr. out of Ohio State. Harrison Jr. comes from an NFL family, but has stepped out of his father’s shadow and paved his own path with excellent performances during his time as a Buckeye.

The Los Angeles Chargers have pick No. 5 and are also in need of a receiver. If the Cardinals take Harrison Jr., it’s possible the Chargers leap on Malik Nabers from LSU or even Rome Odunze from Washington.

Former Gators

Former Florida wide receiver Ricky Pearsall had a strong showing at the NFL Combine this year and is the top Gators’ top talent in this year’s prospective draft class. Pearsall finished his final season with the Gators recording 65 catches and 965 yards with six total touchdowns. Pearsall’s Next Gen Stats Score is a 78 giving him a prospect grade of 6.32, indicating he will most likely develop into a plus starter. NFL Analyst Lance Zierlein predicts Pearsall will go in the second round with his overall score.

Up Next

With trades still to be made and last minute on-the-clock decisions, the 2024 NFL Draft is highly anticipated. The first round of the draft will begin Thursday at 8 p.m. and continue through April 27.

About TaylorAnn Eidam

TaylorAnn Eidam is a second-year sports management major with an interest in sports communication and digital marketing.

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