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Pigskin’s 2024 Draft Diary Day One

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Sorry I cannot be with you Draftniks live and in person this year, but duty calls with a medical issue in my family right now. But if Brian has time I am hoping this Draft Diary can be published before Friday night picking starts.

Pigskin’s 2024 Draft Diary Day One


I was amazed at how predictably the opening of Round One went Thursday night. The first 4 Picks were pretty much a slam dunk, and without any wheeling and dealing around for Pick positioning. And then it got a bit funky, IMO, when J.C. LATHAM went at Pick 7 to the Titans. Then it got even crazier when the FALCONS, who spent a ton to sign VFA Kirk Cousins decided they should take Michael Penix/QB at Pick 8.

And I think it is safe to say that a large portion of the NFL world was bemused and to some extreme shocked at the selection. The most surprised person might have been Cousins’ agent. I think quite wisely Cousins has not made any public comment on the “futures” Pick, and absence of help for this season with a draftee at another position. 


Then the trades began and QB Panic fever broke out. One trade later, and as of Pick 12, 50% (6 of 12) of Picks were QBs who had been snapped up in the feeding frenzy. It should also be noted that there was not a defender taken until Latu, with a 9.33 (out of 10)  RAS score, which was music to the ears of Colts’ GM Chris Ballard, who strongly subscribes to the RAS athleticism concept when drafting. RAS King, Kent Lee Platte, must have had a grin on his face with that selection.


The BEARS seemingly signaled their belief that sometimes less is more when it comes to Draft Picks. With only 4 Picks in this Draft, there had been speculation that Pick 9, might bring them at least another 2 or 3 Picks later on. They passed on any offers they might have gotten and selected WR ROME ODUNZE as another weapon for Pick One QB/Williams to throw to. Count me in as one of many Draftniks who considered ROME as one of the 3 elite wideouts at the top of Draft Class WR ranking lists. 

Then the patience wires burned up and at Picks 10 & 12, QBs McCARTHY & NIX were taken and all of the 6 top QBs were off the Board, so to speak. The selection of JJ was the first Pick trade of the night, which ended with 4 trades by closing time in Detroit.


To my surprise the Packers selected JORDAN MORGAN/OT at Pick 25, allowing IOL GRAHAM BARTON to be chosen by Tampa Bay one Pick later.  The PACK has some OL retooling to do in this Draft having let go both RUNYAN & BAKHTIARI this off-season. I would expect another one or two offensive linemen to be among the Packers’ remaining 10 Picks in this Draft. I’d guess one tonight and one on Saturday.

Speaking of OL Draftees… Round One was jammed full with 9 of them last night. The Wideout group was featured brightly with 7 1/2 of them taken in Round One. The 1/2 is Brock Bowers, who although listed as a TE is really a multiple position Receiver with WR/TE/H-B/FB being among the positions his many talents seem possibly suited to. The RAIDERS who Picked him at 13 are surely expecting him to be a versatile offensive weapon for them. 


I chose to watch the ABC presentation of coverage, consisting of RECE DAVIS, DESMOND HOWARD, KIRK HERBSTREIT, and the debut of NICK SABAN. I truly wanted to see how Saban would fit in & what he might contribute. He almost took over the show with some insights & opinions. Some specific points I found interesting…

He compared MARVIN HARRISON JR to LARRY FITZGERALD, which I loved ’cause that was my comp all season.

As they commented on not having a Defensive player picked until Pick 15, he chimed in “And everyone asks me why I retired”. The whole panel broke out with laughter since he was primarily considered a defensive “beautiful mind” while coaching.

Saban was pretty firm in letting everyone know that he thinks AMARIUS MIMS Pick 18 by the Bengals is super risky with 7 college starts and lots of injuries to boot. He prefers GUYTON, who went to the Cowboys at 29 despite not having much more starting experience than MIMS.

Saban also chided college players who can’t/won’t play hurt, noting that just about everyone in the NFL is hurt before mid-season at the pro level. Given his reputation for pushing his players to “rehab” quickly this came as no surprise, tho I disagree with him on this topic.

I was convinced that he had spent some serious time watching prospect game tape prepping for last night’s appearance. And I was impressed overall. I would rank him at an 8 of 10, for his first major assignment for ABC/ESPN. 


Here’s a quick look at the prospects I rank highest for Rounds 2 & 3 tonight:

#22  Cooper DeJean/DB

#25  Jer’zahn Newton/DT

#26  Edgerrin Cooper/lB

#30  Adonai Mitchell/WR

#31   Jackson Powers-Johnson/OC

#32    Ladd McConkey/WR

#34   Jalen Wright/RB

#35   Kool-Aid McKinstry/CB/RS

#36  Braden Fiske/DT

#39    Ennis Rakestraw/CB

#40   Cole Bishop/S

#42    Chris Braswell/E/OB

#43    Trey Benson/RB

#44   Jonathan Brooks/RB

#46    Payton Wilson/LB

#47    Roger Rosengarten/OT

#49   Roman Wilson/WR

#50   Cooper Beebe/IOL

#51  Kris Jenkins/DT

#52   Zach Frazier/OC

#53  Malachi Corley/WR

#54   Troy Franklin/WR

#55  Jaden Hicks/S

Watch the trade wires late this afternoon, in case we get the usual trade-ups after teams have gone over their diminished Draft Value Boards after Round 1. I usually wait to print out my Draft Tracker sheets until a half-hour before the start of Round 2 picking. Expect more Pick trading tonight than last.


Pigskin Paul 

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