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2024 NFL Draft guide: Quarterbacks headline draft class; what to know about order


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The highly anticipated 2024 NFL Draft kicks off in Detroit Thursday. 

Former USC star Caleb Williams delivered one of the most prolific college football careers in recent memory, and he headlines this year's list of quarterback prospects. 

Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye, J.J. McCarthy, Michael Penix Jr. and Bo Nix are the other highly touted signal-callers in this year's draft class.

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Williams is the overwhelming favorite to become the first player selected Thursday night. For the second year in a row, the Chicago Bears hold the top pick.

The Bears acquired this year's No. 1 overall pick last year when they traded last year's top pick to the Panthers. Carolina used last year's top pick on quarterback Bryce Young. Thursday's draft order: 

Aside from the Bears, the Commanders, Patriots, Vikings and Broncos are other teams who may select a quarterback. If three quarterbacks are off the board after the first three teams make their picks, it would mark the first time since 2021 quarterbacks were the top three selections.

2024 NFL DRAFT BEST BETS AND ODDS

New England traded Mac Jones to the Jacksonville Jaguars in March after a turbulent run over the past two seasons. He is expected to back up star quarterback Trevor Lawrence

The Vikings lost Kirk Cousins in free agency after he signed a four-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons. Minnesota did sign Sam Darnold, who could get another opportunity to be a starting quarterback if the team decides to use him as a bridge in 2024. The Vikings have been linked to multiple trade rumors. If they do end up trading up Thursday, it would likely be for a quarterback.

Washington moved on from last season's primary starter Sam Howell and backup Jacoby Brissett earlier this offseason. The Commanders did sign quarterback Marcus Mariota to a one-year deal in March, although he has mostly been a backup after a disappointing stint with the Titans.

If Williams does go No. 1, all signs point to Washington using the second pick on one of the remaining quarterbacks. But Commanders owner Josh Harris, first-year general manager Adam Peters and head coach Dan Quinn have not shared many clues about their draft plans. 

"We got the No. 2 pick in the draft, right? So, that's obviously a very important pick," Harris said in late March. "And we have many picks in the top 100, and we've done it that way on purpose. So, it's important for us to have a very strong draft for sure."

Quinn suggested the Commanders took a wide-ranging approach in its evaluation process.

"I know quarterback gets a lot of attention, as it should," Quinn said. "It’s a story here and everywhere. But there’s a lot of players (to evaluate) and … a lot of picks for this year’s draft."

Former Ohio State receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. has long been the presumptive top prospect at his position. He headlines a group of highly-touted wide receivers, while Rome Odunze and former LSU star Malik Nabers have also garnered considerable attention. 

Harrison was last season's Biletnikoff Award recipient and finished the 2023 campaign with more than 1,200 receiving yards. His father, Marvin Harrison Sr., is a Pro Football Hall of Famer and was an eight-time All-Pro. The elder Harrison also won a Super Bowl during his standout tenure with the Colts.

The first round begins Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. The second and third rounds take place Friday, and rounds four through seven happen on Saturday.

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