2024 NFL draft questions for teams with top-10 picks

ByNFL Nation reporters ESPN logo
Tuesday, January 23, 2024

The 2023 NFL season is over for 28 teams, and now their sights are set on the offseason. Each team is thinking about free agency in March and planning for the 2024 draft in April.

This draft class again offers plenty of excitement, starting at the top. The Chicago Bears own the No. 1 pick for the second straight year and have another tough decision to make -- trade it and add more capital, or move on from Justin Fieldsand take another quarterback. The Bears also own the No. 9 overall pick. Multiple teams are desperate for a franchise passer in this draft, which will add to the intrigue for the next few months.

Let's focus on the teams set to pick in the top 10. We asked our NFL Nation reporters for those nine teams to answer one big question (two for Chicago) looking ahead at how the franchises they cover could approach their picks. Sure, a few of the teamsdon't yet have head coaches, but we can get an early idea of how each pick could shake out.

What's the latest on the Bears' plans at Nos. 1 and 9? What are the chances the Patriots take a quarterback at No. 3? Are the Falcons thinking quarterback or defender at No. 8? Let's dig in.

Jump to a team:

CHI (No. 1)| WSH | NE | ARI | LAC

NYG | TEN |ATL| CHI (No. 9) | NYJ

1. Chicago Bears(via CAR)

Based on what you know now, are the Bears more likely to draft a QB here and trade Justin Fields or keep Fields and trade the pick?

General manager Ryan Poles said he plans to take his decision on what to do with the first overall pick into April. If a team is willing to send significant capital to Chicago for Fields before then, however, the Bears will have a clear path on what to do in the draft. Last year, the Bears traded the first overall pick in early March and got a huge haul.

This franchise-altering move carries as heavy an on-field impact as it does a financial one. It's hard to tell which way Poles is leaning right now. With new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron hired on Monday, the next step is figuring out whether Fields or another quarterback fits best in Chicago's plans for 2024. -- Courtney Cronin

2. Washington Commanders

What can new GM Adam Peters' history tell us about what the Commanders might do?

Peters was part of a 49ers front office that swung big on Trey Lancein the 2021 draft and missed. It hit on Brock Purdyas the final pick in the 2022 draft, though, which meant the fallout from the Lance selection hasn't been felt as much. Peters was part of Super Bowl-winning organizations in New England and Denver -- with Hall of Fame quarterbacks.His history is perhaps less important than what the Commanders truly need: a quarterback with a high ceiling. It's hard to imagine Peters going anywhere but quarterback with this pick.-- John Keim

3. New England Patriots

Give us percentages on these three outcomes: (1) adding a QB with this pick, (2) adding a QB in the draft beyond No. 3 and (3) adding a QB via free agency or the trade market.

1. 75%. 2. 25%. 3. 99%. My early hunch is the Patriots will have conviction on two of the top quarterbacks in this draft. So, 75% reflects the reality that they don't control what happens at picks Nos. 1 and 2.

As for free agency and the trade market, the Patriots should have learned a lesson from 2023, as it was costly to not acquire a more experienced quarterback. It would be a surprise if they repeat the same error. -- Mike Reiss

4. Arizona Cardinals

What would it take for Arizona to not select a wideout with this pick?

Really, the only way they don't take a receiver here is if Marvin Harrison Jr. (Ohio State) is off the board by time the Cardinals are on the clock. If that were to happen, they would likely trade out and let general manager Monti Ossenfort continue to stockpile picks to move down and draft a player of need where the value lines up with the position. Harrison is the consensus top wideout in this class.-- Josh Weinfuss

5. Los Angeles Chargers

Take out the GM and coaching searches from the discussion: What is the Chargers' No. 1 roster need this offseason?

For now, the Chargers' biggest need is a No. 1 cornerback after they whiffed on J.C. Jacksonin free agency in 2022 and finished 30th in passing yards allowed per game (249.8) this season.

Their needs are difficult to assess, however, because the Chargers might look vastly different in the coming months as a new regime makes decisions on the futures of some of the team's highest-paid players to get under the salary cap. The priority could easily shift to wide receiver or edge rusher depending on what happens.-- Kris Rhim

6. New York Giants

How can the Giants set up Daniel Jones for success with this pick?

It's a loaded wide receiver draft at the top, and the Giants know they need to find a No. 1 option with whom Jones can build a relationship. Harrison, Malik Nabers(LSU) or Rome Odunze(Washington) would all fit the bill.

If for some reason their preferred wideout pick is off the board, they could look to fortify the offensive line to protect Jones. Either way, they would fill a glaring need. -- Jordan Raanan

7. Tennessee Titans

Is this an obvious spot for one of the top offensive tackles in the class, or do the Titans have other huge needs?

If Joe Alt(Notre Dame) or Olumuyiwa Fashanu(Penn State) are available, it's likely the Titans select either of them given how Jaelyn Duncan and Andre Dillard combined to allow 29 sacks at left tackle this past season.

Tennessee also has a shortage of playmaking receivers, as 2022 first-rounder Treylon Burks caught just 16 passes in 11 games in his second season. This draft class has three wideouts talented enough to go in the top 10. Don't be surprised if one of them ends up with the Titans. -- Turron Davenport

8. Atlanta Falcons

Is it safe to assume GM Terry Fontenot will lock in on a defender with this pick?

No, not at all. The biggest need is at quarterback because the team doesn't have a player on the roster the new coach can count on to be the starter. Depending on what happens in free agency -- and who is hired to be the coach -- taking a quarterback at No. 8 would be the sensible option.

If there isn't an enticing quarterback here or the team signs a veteran in free agency, Atlanta probably would then look at an edge rusher or cornerback. At this point, this spot is unpredictable because of all the other unknowns surrounding the organization. -- Michael Rothstein

9. Chicago Bears

What are the Bears' biggest roster holes headed into the offseason?

Chicago's pass rush saw an immediate improvement after the Bears acquiredMontez Sweat from the Commanders at the trade deadline. Now imagine how much better the defensive line would look with a dominant edge rusher playing opposite the Pro Bowl defensive end.

Regardless of who's playing quarterback, the Bears also need to prioritize adding another wide receiver to take the pressure off No. 1 receiverDJ Moore. While Harrison likely will be long gone by this pick, Odunzecould be a perfect fit. -- Cronin

10. New York Jets

With no second-round pick, what does the ideal Jets selection look like here?

They are hurting for short- and long-term help at both tackle positions, so the ideal scenario seemingly would be Alt or Fashanu if one of the offensive tackles happens to slip. Mekhi Becton and Duane Brown are headed to free agency, and Max Mitchell and Carter Warren are better suited to backup roles. So, yes, tackle is the No. 1 need.

If Alt and Fashanu are gone, perhaps they could trade down for a second-tier tackle, recouping a second-round pick in the process. -- Rich Cimini

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