2024 NFL Draft Order: Updated Selection List After Wild Card Weekend
Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekX.com LogoFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 16, 2024

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 24: The NFL Draft 2024 logo is pictured on the exterior of Ford Field before a college football game between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Michigan State Spartans on November 24, 2023 at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Joseph Weiser/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Joseph Weiser/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Nobody likes to be eliminated from the playoffs, but there is a silver lining for most of the six losers of the NFL’s Wild Card Weekend.

All of them except the Cleveland Browns—who owe their first-round pick to the same Houston Texans team that eliminated them—now have a better draft position as they turn their attention to the upcoming offseason.

The teams in the playoffs are theoretically just a piece or two away from making a deeper run as well, making their draft choices all the more important.

With that in mind, here is a look at the updated order of the draft following the results of the first round of the playoffs.

  1. Chicago Bears (from Carolina Panthers)
  2. Washington Commanders
  3. New England Patriots
  4. Arizona Cardinals
  5. Los Angeles Chargers
  6. New York Giants
  7. Tennessee Titans
  8. Atlanta Falcons
  9. Chicago Bears
  10. New York Jets
  11. Minnesota Vikings
  12. Denver Broncos
  13. Las Vegas Raiders
  14. New Orleans Saints
  15. Indianapolis Colts
  16. Seattle Seahawks
  17. Jacksonville Jaguars
  18. Cincinnati Bengals
  19. Los Angeles Rams
  20. Pittsburgh Steelers
  21. Miami Dolphins
  22. Philadelphia Eagles 
  23. Houston Texans (from Cleveland Browns) 
  24. Dallas Cowboys
  25. Green Bay Packers
  26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  27. Arizona Cardinals (from Houston Texans)
  28. Kansas City Chiefs
  29. Buffalo Bills
  30. Detroit Lions
  31. San Francisco 49ers
  32. Baltimore Ravens

Much of the intrigue for this year’s draft may come before it arrives.

After all, the Chicago Bears find themselves in quite the unique situation. They were 7-10 this season and showed genuine strides as the year progressed by winning five of their last eight games. Quarterback Justin Fields also took some strides as a passer and would typically be entering a make-or-break fourth season with his franchise since his 2025 fifth-year option is looming.

However, Chicago also has the No. 1 overall pick thanks to a trade it made with the Carolina Panthers ahead of last year’s draft.

That means the front office has to decide between multiple options. It could draft a quarterback such as USC’s Caleb Williams to both restart the clock on a rookie signal-caller’s deal and potentially find its franchise cornerstone for the next decade.

Or it could stay the course with Fields and use that No. 1 pick as an asset to add much-needed pieces in other areas. The Bears traded last year’s No. 1 pick for star wide receiver DJ Moore and significant draft capital, including the pick that became this year’s top selection.

If multiple teams see Williams as a generational type player, Chicago could get even more back in return for the No. 1 pick than the package of Moore, two first-rounders and two second-rounders it got from the Panthers last year.

That would, in turn, allow the front office to address multiple areas of need for a team that wasn’t eliminated from playoff contention until Week 17 of the 2023 season.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported on Saturday’s SportsCenter that the Bears are still very much weighing their options:

“I’m told the Bears are in the early stages of the draft evaluation of all the top players, regardless of position, including the top quarterbacks. They’ll do character studies, deep film works spanning over years, including on that player there Caleb Williams, who most around the league believe feel is the No. 1 talent at the quarterback position. If the Bears are going to go that route, it would likely be Williams. But they still have Justin Fields and I’m told that he’s made the decision very difficult by the way he’s played, particularly down the stretch. So, they have options. They’re not down the road as far as what decision they’ve made. I have talked to some people in and around the program who believe they will eventually land on a Caleb Williams or a quarterback at No. 1, but still has to be sorted out.”

Chicago’s decision will set the tone for the rest of the draft, as the Washington Commanders and New England Patriots could be in the market for franchise quarterbacks with the Nos. 2 and 3 picks.

For now, it all starts with the Bears. But that could change by draft day if they decide to make a blockbuster deal for the second year in a row.

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