What Happened in the Draft? NFL Draft 2024 Recap

Photo by Ryan Reinoso from Unsplash

From April 25 to 27, the NFL conducted their yearly draft, in which all 32 teams drafted the top college football players around the nation. In this year’s draft, there were 257 picks and seven rounds, each containing a different amount of picks. For those unfamiliar with the format of the NFL draft, here’s a quick refresher:

  • Each team has one pick in each of the seven rounds of the draft. However, certain teams have compensatory picks spanning from rounds three to seven. This is because certain teams might either lose or gain players during free agency, which explains why the draft went up to 257 picks.
  • The teams that did not make the playoffs are automatically assigned a pick in the 1—20 slots. Typically, the team with the worst record in the previous season is assigned the first overall pick, the runner-up of the Super Bowl is assigned the 31st pick, and the winner is assigned the 32nd pick.
  • The rules for NFL Draft eligibility are slightly different from those of the neighboring NBA. Unlike the NBA, where you have to be at least 19 years of age for eligibility, in the NFL, you must be out of High School for a minimum of three years and play a minimum of three college seasons before declaring.

With us going over the basics of the NFL Draft, here are the four most interesting parts of the draft that I’ve gathered so far:

The top college football quarterback, Caleb Williams, was selected with the first overall pick by the Chicago Bears. This pick comes after the Bears traded their previous starting quarterback, Justin Fields, to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Carolina Panthers would have potentially had the first pick, but, the year before, the Bears got the first overall pick from the Panthers in exchange for wide receiver DJ Moore, several picks from that year’s draft, a first-round choice for this year and a second-round pick for next year. 

UW’s very own Michael Penix Jr. was selected with the 8th overall pick by the Atlanta Falcons. Penix, who led UW to the College Football Playoff National Championship, was ranked in the 10th spot in the ESPN  QBR Rankings. Penix is a great player with a good arm and good field vision, but others have wondered if his game can translate to the NFL level and if his history of injuries will continue. This is a bit of a controversial pick, as the Falcons currently have elite quarterback Kirk Cousins. Others have seen this as a beneficial pick, as Cousins could mentor the young rookie as he begins his NFL Career within the next couple of months.

Our hometown team, the Seattle Seahawks, selected Defensive Tackle Byron Murphy II out of the University of Texas with the 16th pick. Murphy, who was the 2023 Big 12 lineman of the year, is regarded as a defensive powerhouse on the field, although many have wondered if his size and frame could be an issue at his position as he begins his career in the NFL. Many see this as a beneficial pick, as the Seahawks Defensive Line was lacking valuable linemen out of their core. This pick also comes after the step-down of long-time Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and the introduction of former defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald as head coach.

Lastly, the last pick in this draft, aka Mr. Irrelevant, is Safety Jaylen Key out of the University of Alabama, who was selected by the New York Jets. A decent player out on the field, will he beat the Mr. Irrelevant labels like Brock Purdy? Or will he live up to the label? It’ll be interesting to see how this season progresses for the young rookie.

Still interested in the draft? For more information about the NFL Draft and each prospect, consider going to the NFL website.