Lack of Defensive Players Drafted Early in First Round Had NFL Fans Perplexed

New York Giants rookie wide receiver Malik Nabers at the 2024 NFL draft
New York Giants rookie wide receiver Malik Nabers at the 2024 NFL draft / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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History was made at the 2024 NFL draft, as not a single defensive player was taken off the board throughout the first 14 picks.

With six quarterbacks going among the first 12 picks, defensive players were pushed to the wayside as teams grabbed the top available wide receivers and offensive linemen early in the draft.

In previous years, the deepest into the draft the first defensive player had ever been selected was in 2021 when the Carolina Panthers picked Jaycee Horn at No. 8. That record was shattered in '24.

The first defender selected Thursday in Detroit was UCLA EDGE rusher Laiatu Latu, who was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts at No. 15.

The NFL world was left scratching their heads with the abundance of offensive players being selected before even one defender heard their name called.


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Karl Rasmussen

KARL RASMUSSEN

Karl Rasmussen is a writer on Sports Illustrated’s Breaking & Trending News Team. A University of Oregon alum, his work has appeared on 12up and ClutchPoints. He’s a loyal Tottenham, Jets, Yankees and Ducks fan.