Ranking the Best and Worst Classes of the 2024 NFL Draft

With all seven rounds and 257 picks in the books, let's take a look at which teams succeeded the most and which teams made too many head-scratching decisions.
Apr 25, 2024; Detroit, MI, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. poses after being drafted by the Cardinals.
Apr 25, 2024; Detroit, MI, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. poses after being drafted by the Cardinals. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There are a few different ways to describe the process of grading the 2024 NFL draft in its immediate aftermath.

It’s fun. It’s likely inaccurate. It’s also the best we can do with the information at hand, and so we forge ahead knowing that the opinions we have at present could very well change drastically by this time next year.

This year, the same patterns continued as we’ve seen in previous years. The franchises who didn’t panic and who understand their ethos well … did well. And those with needs and not enough patience flailed around, hoping reaches don’t turn into misses as the years go on.

So who did the best, and who failed to achieve their objectives? We made snap decisions on the five best and worst classes of the 2024 draft.

Five Best

5. Baltimore Ravens

What else is new? The Ravens are one of the best organizations in the NFL for a reason, and much of it is understanding their philosophy more than any other team. 

In the draft, Baltimore started by nabbing a lanky, physical corner in Nate Wiggins and then found value in tackle Roger Rosengarten, edge rusher Adisa Isaac and corner TJ Tampa. It’s another nice haul for general manager Eric DeCosta.

4. Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals had to nail this draft with a dozen picks, and on first glance, they did the job. 

Offensively, Arizona added receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., running back Trey Benson, guard Isaiah Adams and tight end Tip Reiman over the first three rounds. Defensively, edge rusher Darius Robinson and versatile corner Max Melton were the headliners. The Cards aren’t contenders yet, but if this class works out, they’ll be climbing out of the cellar. 

3. Philadelphia Eagles

Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Quinyon Mitchell
The Eagles had a major need at cornerback and filled it with Mitchell in the first round. / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Howie Roseman. The Eagles were strongly rumored to be attempting to trade up in the first round, likely in hopes of nabbing one of the top corners. Instead, Philadelphia sat there at No. 22 and still took the first cornerback off the board in Quinyon Mitchell.

In the second round, Philadelphia got tremendous value in Iowa corner Cooper DeJean, a player most believed to be a first-round pick. This is why Philadelphia is always a threat in the NFC.

2. Los Angeles Chargers

This was the first draft for new general manager Joe Hortiz and coach Jim Harbaugh, and they handled it well. After sticking at No. 5, the Chargers selected a bookend tackle in Joe Alt, pairing him with Rashawn Slater.

Then, the second round saw a trade-up to land slot receiver Ladd McConkey, before Harbaugh got his man in Michigan linebacker Junior Colson in the third. In the latter rounds, Los Angeles found a pair of great values in corner Cam Hart and receiver Brenden Rice, son of Jerry.

1. Pittsburgh Steelers

Nobody had a better three days in Detroit. The Steelers did a terrific job bolstering their offensive line, selecting tackle Troy Fautanu, center Zach Frazier and guard Mason McCormick.

As importantly, GM Omar Khan found tremendous value in the third round with receiver Roman Wilson and linebacker Payton Wilson, the latter who some saw as a top-30 talent in this draft.

Five Worst

5. Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos quarterback Bo Nix
Nix tossed 45 touchdowns against three interceptions during the 2023 season. / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

This is mostly about Bo Nix. It’s nothing personal against Nix, who thrived at Oregon last season with 45 touchdown passes against three interceptions. It’s about his age (24), inaccuracy at Auburn (59.4%) and his lack of elite athleticism. 

If the Broncos are right and Nix turns into a legitimate franchise quarterback, I’ll eat crow. But if he struggles to beat out the duo of Zach Wilson and Jarrett Stidham, or looks in over his head come autumn, this class is a tough sell.

4. Cleveland Browns

The Browns were once again without a first-round pick due to the Deshaun Watson trade, leading them to go bargain hunting on Days 2 and 3.

The results were uneven at best. Cleveland took a local boom-or-bust pick in Ohio State’s Michael Hall Jr. with its second-round pick, taking a gamble on a defensive end high on potential but low on production. The Browns also bet on guard Zak Zinter from Michigan in the third round, who’s coming off two broken bones in his leg but has significant upside. 

3. Tennessee Titans 

Tennessee made the right selection in the first round with tackle JC Latham out of Alabama, but after that, the class leaves more questions than answers.

GM Ran Carthon took a trio of linebackers while also selecting defensive tackle T’Vondre Sweat in the second round despite recently being arrested on suspicion of DWI. That red flag, along with Sweat not being very productive across five seasons at Texas, makes that a reach.

2. Buffalo Bills

The Bills amassed a treasure trove of picks, but failed to make a huge impact with them.

Buffalo traded out of the first round before selecting receiver Keon Coleman, a big-bodied prospect who struggled to separate against collegiate corners. Then the Bills failed to take another wideout, instead investing in a backup running back (Kentucky’s Ray Davis) in the fourth and using a seventh-round pick on former rugby player-turned-offensive lineman Travis Clayton. The selections of DeWayne Carter and Cole Bishop were solid, but Buffalo should have been more aggressive with its choices.

1. Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Penix Jr.
The Falcons selected Penix with the No. 8 pick when they had myriad needs along the defensive line. / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

This was an easy pick. Yes, Michael Penix Jr. has great arm talent, but he’s 24 years old. And, apparently, the Falcons are fine if he doesn’t become their starting quarterback until he’s eligible for an AARP card.

Sometimes, there’s no reason to overthink things. Penix is a fine prospect, but a 24-year-old quarterback with two torn ACLs is concerning enough. To take him, despite myriad needs, at No. 8 is jarring. To do it when you’ve just signed Kirk Cousins to a four-year deal? Bonkers.

Nick Selbe


Nick Selbe is a programming editor who also provides MLB and college sports coverage for Sports Illustrated. Nick, who has written about the MLB postseason and All-Star Game for SI, previously worked for MLB Advanced Media, Yahoo Sports and Bleacher Report. He graduated from USC in 2014.