Bears, Patriots win Round 1 of the NFL Draft, while Falcons, Broncos are massive losers

Bears, Patriots win Round 1 of the NFL Draft, while Falcons, Broncos are massive losers

If there’s one thing we look back on in 10 years about the 2024 NFL Draft it’s the year when anticipation gave way to desperation. A record number of quarterbacks were taken in the first round, with a total of SIX passers going before the 13th overall pick — and while some of these picks were genuinely good, there were others that were utterly confusing.

Everything begins at the top with the Chicago Bears, who ended up pulling of the coup of the first round. Taking Caleb Williams with the No. 1 overall pick was a known quantity, but managing to land Rome Odunze pushed their haul into the stratosphere — and they didn’t even need to trade up to do it.

It remains to be seen how the Matt Eberflus is able to run this team after stunningly keeping his job through Black Monday, but the future is potentially incredibly bright. Williams gets tools that Justin Fields never had, inheriting a team with three brilliant weapons in D.J. Moore, Keenan Allen, and now Odunze. It also helps tremendously that Odunze and Allen are similarly skilled receivers, which allows for some veteran mentorship down the line.

The only way I could have liked the Bears’ draft even more is if they took the quarterback who went No. 3 overall. New England did exactly what this team needed to do and didn’t overthink the process. Drake Maye was my QB1, and having the guts to ignore the plethora of trade calls and land their guy was absolutely the correct move.

Drafting Maye is extremely dissimilar to when the Pats took Mac Jones. While both quarterbacks represented the best floors in their respective drafts, Jones had zero ceiling. He was absolutely a known quantity, and the hope was that his Alabama best would be NFL enough — yet it wasn’t. Meanwhile Maye’s floor feels like a plus-level Derek Carr, and his ceiling could be a more athletic Justin Herbert.

THIS is how you turn over a new leaf, and I love that the new regime in New England didn’t get too cute dancing around with picks and ending up with a lot of mediocre players. Instead they stuck to their guns and got an incredible one.

Naturally there was a yin and yang to the quarterbacks taken in the first round as well. As good as the picks of Williams and Maye were, the selections of Michael Penix Jr. at No. 8 by the Falcons, and Bo Nix at No. 12 to the Broncos were a mixture of bizarre and complete desperation.

Atlanta taking Penix is one of the most nonsensical picks in recent memory. It’s not that he’s a bad player at all — if you took him in the late teens, and, oh I don’t know … DIDN’T JUST SIGN A QUARTERBACK TO A 4-YEAR, $180M CONTRACT.

So, congrats to the Falcons for having a quarterback who will be 27-years-old and on the tail-end of his rookie contract before he ever sees the field. Just excellent work.

Then there’s the Broncos, who became the team to overdraft Bo Nix to hilarious levels. We always knew a Nix overdraft was in the cards, but we thought it would come in the 20s — not at No. 12. Denver has so many holes all over their roster, yet decided to take a 24-year-old, noodle-armed QB. Make no mistake: There are some decent traits here, but this really feels like forcing a square peg into a round hole and hoping it works. If the best you can manage for justifying the pick (as was done on ESPN) is comparing Nix to Drew Brees — who he’s absolutely NOTHING like, then we have some problems.

Time will tell, but taking Nix at No. 12 feels like the second biggest mistake of the first round (after drafting Michael Penix for no reason).

Minnesota masters draft night movement — WINNERS

Vikings’ GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah played the draft board like a piano on Thursday night. It’s impossible to overstate just how many landmines he had to dodge in order to land a QB, get a pass rusher, and manage to do both of those things without needing to give up massive draft capital.

We entered the day thinking it might take both of Minnesota’s 1st and more to get J.J. McCarthy at No. 5. Instead they got him at No. 10, and didn’t give up much. That would have been a big enough win, but then pulling off another low-cost trade to Dallas Turner pushed this over the edge.

Absolutely brilliant work that solidifies the future in Minnesota.

Do the Raiders know they have needs? — LOSERS

I really, REALLY like Brock Bowers. The issue is that Las Vegas just took Michael Mayer at tight end a year ago, and now they have another TE. Bowers is a special talent to be sure, but this was a huge luxury pick for a team that didn’t have the freedom to indulge.

The Raiders needed defensive help. They needed line help. They needed secondary help. Everything was available, and they took a TE.

It’s hard to see how this team got any better as a result.


This was a really big draft for offensive linemen. We knew this was going to be a great class, and teams added a lot of size in protection. A total of nine offensive linemen were taken in the first round, which represents a seismic shift in how football is being approached in the NFL.

The era of big boy football is back and it’s about to be thriving.

Rapid fire


  • Eagles: Getting Quinyon Mitchell is yet another “how did they manage to get him?” pick that benefitted from overreach.
  • Lions: Terrion Arnold was incredible value and worth the small trade up. Brilliant work.
  • Ravens: Nate Wiggins is such a perfect fit for Baltimore and it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch.


  • Bills: Trading back and helping other teams over your own is bad. Helping the Chiefs and giving them a fair trade is mystifying.
  • 49ers: Ricky Pearsall was a head scratcher with the other WRs available. He’ll slot in fine with the talent they have, but he can’t replace Brandon Aiyuk or Deebo Samuel if either is traded.

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