2024 NFL Draft: Live Fantasy Tracker (Round 1)

Apr 25, 2024
2024 NFL Draft: Live Fantasy Tracker (Round 1)

The 2024 NFL Draft begins at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 25rd with the first round. The second and third rounds will be held on Friday (beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET), while the remainder of the draft will finish up on Saturday (12 p.m. ET).

Throughout the first round, I'll be updating this page with player evaluation from the Rookie Draft Profiles produced by our partners over at Dynasty League Football. I'll also add evaluation from Matt Harmon (for receivers) and Derrick Klassen (for quarterbacks) from Matt's great site, Reception Perception. Finally, I'll add my own fantasy spin based on the player's opportunity, draft capital, landing spot, and athletic comparable (from Player Profiler or Mockdraftable).

Be sure to check out my recap of the second and third rounds.

1.01 - Bears - QB Caleb Williams, USC

DLF Dynasty Profile: Williams was solid last year at USC with 3,633 passing yards, 30 touchdowns, and five interceptions, adding another 136 yards and a whopping 11 touchdowns on the ground. However, this was down from his dominant 4,537/42/5 year in 2023 (where he also added ten rushing scores). Williams' talent is undeniable and he clearly looks like an elite-level prospect. However, he may not be a transcendent-level game-changer. The biggest concern is actually the potential landing spot in Chicago. The Bears are rebuilding and this is a franchise that traditionally fails to produce elite-level play at quarterback and much of that honestly has to do with the weather they deal with each season. He’s still at the top of most lists but the price is going to be high based on perceived potential and that’s going to be baked into his off-season value. Still, Williams is likely the 1.01 in superflex drafts and a fringe first-rounder in conventional dynasty formats.

Klassen: “Williams is a pretty clean and stellar prospect all around. It would be nice if his overall adjusted accuracy were closer to elite than it is but the finer parts of his accuracy profile pass the sniff test. Even Williams’ worst area, the intermediate middle, is easily explainable because of his height. Expecting Williams to be the next Mahomes is deeply unfair and most likely unrealistic but he can absolutely be the next Kyler Murray with upside for more. The frame, escapability and arm talent are all similar to the Arizona signal caller but I believe Williams is entering the league with better pocket discipline than Murray had.”

Athletic Comparable: Aaron Rodgers

Opportunity: A+

Paulsen's Fantasy Impact: Williams will start immediately and enjoy a receiving corps that features (at least) D.J. Moore, Keenan Allen, Cole Kmet, and D'Andre Swift. Pending good health, having Moore/Allen as his top two options gives Williams a leg up on most rookie quarterbacks. Klassen says the Mahomes comparisons are a stretch, but names Kyler Murray as a reasonable comp. Williams isn't likely to run as much as Murray, however. My rookie quarterback model estimates 13.6 yards per game when it uses Williams' final season numbers, but when his 2022 college stats are plugged in, the model returns 19.3 rush yards per game. Obviously, the more rush yards the better for his fantasy floor, but fantasy managers shouldn't expect Murray-type numbers from Williams. The quarterback position is fairly deep heading into 2024, but if Williams acclimates quickly, it wouldn't be shocking if he posted top-12 numbers.

Pick by Pick Analysis From Our Partner

John Paulsen's analysis continues after the video.

1.02 - Commanders - QB Jayden Daniels, LSU

DLF Dynasty Profile: Much like Anthony Richardson last year, Daniels has a ridiculously high ceiling and a crazy low floor. The numbers are ridiculous–Daniels threw for 3,812 yards with 40 touchdowns and just four interceptions, adding 1,134 rushing yards and ten more scores on the ground last year. Oh yeah, and that was in the SEC. However, there are still questions about him as a prospect. Some still believe he’s a better runner than thrower and was also blessed with weapons like Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr.who clearly made his life a whole lot easier. We’ve also seen players from the SEC who put up insane numbers and see limited success in the NFL. He’s a massive boom-or-bust prospect but he's likely going to be cheaper than Caleb Williams. He could be a total disaster or end up being a true difference-maker in dynasty leagues. No guts, no glory.

Klassen: “Daniels’ profile is stellar. The accuracy to all three levels will play right away. Daniels is also a safe decision maker and has fantastic athletic ability both of which should raise his floor as a prospect. My main concerns with Daniels are mostly film-based and relate to his ceiling. Daniels’ pocket management, ability to throw from different platforms and ability to anticipate over the middle of the field all feel lacking compared to the NFL’s best. Maybe I could give a younger player a pass for that, but it’s harder to do so for a five-year starter. Daniels has a lot to like as a passer and as an overall athlete but he’s certainly not on par with the Lamar Jacksons of the world.”

Athletic Comparable: Lamar Jackson

Opportunity: A-

Paulsen's Fantasy Impact: Last year, Derrick Klassen of Reception Perception identified C.J. Stroud as the most accurate passer in last year's draft class. Guess who charted the best this year? That's right, the so-called "running quarterback" Jayden Daniels. Klassen does have some reservations about Daniels' willingness to throw over the middle of the field, but two things are true: 1) Daniels is an accurate passer, and 2) he's going to rack up the rushing yards. Throw Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson into the mix, and this is a recipe for fantasy production.

My rookie quarterback model predicts 43.9 rushing yards per game for Daniels, which is the third-highest expectation in the 97-player sample behind only Lamar Jackson and Cam Newton. Jackson didn't start until Week 11 of his rookie season, but he was the fantasy QB8 the rest of the way. Newton was the QB3 as a rookie. Rounding out the top five in expected rushing yards were Jalen Hurts (QB8 in his first season as the starter) and Vince Young (QB9 as a rookie). See where this is headed?

1.03 - Patriots - QB Drake Maye, North Carolina

DLF Dynasty Profile: While Jayden Daniels may have the highest ceiling in the class, Maye seemingly has the highest floor. The question with him is simple–how much of a difference maker can he really be in terms of fantasy value? Much like Caleb Williams, his 2022 season was better statistically. Maye’s first full season as a starter yielded 4,321 passing yards with 38 touchdowns and seven interceptions while this last season produced just a 3,608/24/9 line. The stats don’t necessarily tell the story with Maye, though. He can make any throw on the football field and many scouts simply deem him as the safest quarterback prospect we’ve seen in some time. He looks like a solid first rounder in Superflex leagues and a second round pick in conventional formats.

Klassen: “The inconsistency is maddening. We know he can make every throw but clunky footwork and a weaker supporting cast in 2023 than in 2022 make watching Maye a roller coaster at times. But at the end of the day what makes him so appealing is that all of the high-end traits are there. Maye brings the frame and all the tools you find in elite quarterbacks. He has the same pocket toughness and unabashed confidence in his arm that those players have as well. You see the flashes of greatness in Maye’s ability to beat the blitz or heave it down the field or spin the ball into tight windows.”

Athletic Comparable: Josh Allen

Opportunity: C

Paulsen's Fantasy Impact: Maye may have long-term upside, but from a redraft standpoint, it will be tough to get excited about his 2024 prospects given the makeup of the Patriots' receiver room. Demario Douglas, Hunter Henry, and Kendrick Bourne are the top returning pass-catchers in New England. He does have some rushing ability--my rookie quarterback model predicts 23.0 rush yards per game. Given the solid depth at the position, Maye will be in the QB3 mix heading into the '24 draft season.

1.04 - Cardinals - WR Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State

DLF Dynasty Profile: Elite ball skills? Check. Elite statistics? Check. Elite measurables? Check. Elite gene pool? Check. Harrison enters the 2024 NFL Draft as the top overall positional prospect and a wide receiver set to make an immediate impact. His 2,474 receiving yards and 28 touchdowns the past two years are impressive but they hardly tell the whole story. Harrison is blessed with great hands, incredible ball skills, and has a frame at 6'4" that's three inches taller than his Hall of Fame father's. Harrison is widely regarded as a "can't miss" prospect in the mold of Ja'Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson, or CeeDee Lamb. If you're looking for a true WR1 for your dynasty team, this is the safest bet we've seen in years. While Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, and Jayden Daniels are all going to be hot commodities in 2QB/Superflex drafts, Harrison is the rare position player who will be in the mix at the top of any draft and the favorite to be the 1.01 in conventional rookie formats.

Harmon: “Everything about Harrison is just a clean, smooth evaluation. He’s great at every part of playing the position while being asked to do plenty of actual NFL receiver work at the college level. In that way, his profile is quite similar to Ja’Marr Chase’s coming of LSU, except Harrison was even better against zone coverage.”

Athletic Comparable: A.J. Green

Opportunity: A+

Paulsen's Fantasy Impact: With Marquise Brown and Rondale Moore gone, the Cardinals have the fifth-most vacated targets (217) and Harrison will soak up most of them. He's landing in a fantastic situation from an opportunity and quarterback standpoint and will immediately be in the fantasy WR2 mix with upside from there.

1.06 - Giants - WR Malik Nabers, LSU

DLF Dynasty Profile: This draft is stacked with great wide receiver prospects and Nabers is right towards the top. He's been a steady improver in each of his years at LSU and capped it off this season with 89 catches for 1,569 yards and 14 touchdowns in the always-tough SEC. He has fantastic acceleration, strength, and explosiveness combined with solid route-running and after-the-catch ability. He needs to work on his consistency and has slightly struggled in the past with press coverage but those concerns seem to be relatively minor. Nabers is a possible top-ten pick in the NFL Draft and is in the mix with Rome Odunze to be taken as the second positional player off the board behind Marvin Harrison Jr. With the price tag it would take to get Harrison, Nabers may end up actually becoming a better value at the top of a rookie draft.

Harmon:Malik Nabers is an awesome prospect who shows all the potential in the world to develop into a high-quality, multi-alignment wide receiver in the NFL. His game perfectly maps to today’s YAC-heavy NFL offensive meta and a bevy of teams will chase the explosive play potential. Overall, he’s a Tier 1 receiver prospect for me who, if gets better at playing through contact and tightens up the route running just a bit, will easily ascend to superstar status in the league.”

Athletic Comparable: Ja’Marr Chase

Opportunity: B

Paulsen's Fantasy Impact: From a targets standpoint, Nabers should see all that he can handle, and he has the talent to produce. The problem is the quarterback situation, which currently features Daniel Jones, who is recovering from an ACL tear, and Drew Lock, who is on his third team in four seasons. As the top target in a suspect passing attack, Nabers will be in the WR3/WR4 mix this summer.

1.08 - Falcons - QB Michael Penix, Washington

DLF Dynasty Profile: On one hand, Penix has some impressive skills, his elite speed at the position, and most notably his ability to flick his wrist and seemingly throw a ball across an entire football field. He has great anticipation, can easily read defenses and should have the ability to fit into just about any offense. However, there are serious (and legitimate) concerns about his health. After all, he missed time with two different torn ACLs and is seemingly nicked up all the time. Still, this is a player who threw for almost 10,000 yards and 67 touchdowns over the past two seasons and that just can’t be ignored. Penix is in the “boom or bust” category but also needs to land on a team with an established offensive line that can protect him.

Klassen: “Vertical passers are by far the coolest quarterbacks in any era. Penix fits into that bucket in the ideal world where everything works out for him. There’s so much about Penix’s profile that gives me pause, though. Penix is an old prospect with a checkered injury history. His accuracy is spotty and he doesn’t have the tools to be an out-of-the-pocket playmaker at the next level. There’s almost no way to paint his charting profile in a positive light.”

Athletic Comparable: Hendon Hooker

Opportunity: D-

Paulsen's Fantasy Impact: I'm not sure what the Falcons are thinking with this pick given they have Kirk Cousins locked up for several years. Aren't there other holes on the roster? Nevertheless, it's safe to say that Penix is going to sit for a while so from a redraft standpoint, he won't have much short-term value.

1.09 - Bears - WR Rome Odunze, Washington

DLF Dynasty Profile: Odunze returned to the University of Washington off a 75/1,145/7 season that would have likely made him a selection in the top three rounds last season. It turned out to be a great move as he shattered all expectations en route to a 92/1,640/13 season that featured a trip to the National Championship game. At 6'3" and 215 pounds, Odunze has a fantastic size/strength/speed ratio and plays the game with an easiness the NFL Scouts will drool over. While there are some questions about his long speed or overall explosiveness, Odunze is NFL-ready and should be a top-ten selection in the upcoming NFL Draft. While Marvin Harrison Jr. should go ahead of him in rookie drafts, he's right in the mix with Malik Nabers to be the second position player taken.

Harmon: “I don’t often like to compare prospects to one of the top wideouts to play the game in recent seasons, but I’m breaking the rule for Rome Odunze: He reminds me of Davante Adams. Odunze is a complete player who has no weaknesses in his game. He’s a high-end separator who consistently breaks the first tackle and is a menace in tight coverage. He can win from any alignment but brings every skill you want from a 28 to 30% target share X-receiver.”

Athletic Comparable: Justin Jefferson

Opportunity: B-

Paulsen's Fantasy Impact: Caleb Williams is set up for immediate success and now has one of the best receiving corps in the league with D.J. Moore, Keenan Allen, and Rome Odunze. As for Odunze, targets are going to be at a premium until either Moore or Allen move on, so he is unlikely to make the same immediate impact as, say, Marvin Harrison Jr. He'll be in the WR3/WR4 mix as the likely third option when Moore and Allen are healthy.

1.10 - Vikings - QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan

DLF Dynasty Profile: Much like Drake Maye, McCarthy seems like a high-floor, low-ceiling type of prospect. His 44:9 touchdown-to-interception ratio at Michigan over the past two years is crazy impressive and while he doesn’t offer elite-level upside as a runner, he would be a player who should be able to start on an NFL team sooner than most. The potential of Maye is higher than that of McCarthy but situation is going to be important. McCarthy isn’t considered to be a top-ten talent but he could still be drafted that highly. Falling in the draft and landing on a better team could actually be ideal for McCarthy. If he was to end up on a team like the Rams, Steelers, Bucs, Saints or Seahawks, his rookie draft stock would rise into round two.

Klassen: “The flashes of high-end throws from the pocket, the creativity on the run, the toughness under duress — everything with McCarthy is about harnessing bits and pieces of greatness into a more consistent product. My issue with that line of thinking is that McCarthy is simply not talented enough to warrant it. If we’re talking freaks of nature like Josh Allen and Anthony Richardson, sure, go for it. But for a player like McCarthy, who has a skinny frame and B- tools, it’s far less likely the payoff is worth the investment, especially if his draft price climbs into the top 10.”

Athletic Comparable: Alex Smith

Opportunity: A

Paulsen's Fantasy Impact: Klassen isn't sold on McCarthy's tools, but there's no doubt that he has landed in a great spot. Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, T.J. Hockenson, and <sniff, sniff> Aaron Jones form a potent receiving corps, so he's immediately set up for success. My rookie quarterback model predicts 14.2 rushing yards per game, so he has a bit of juice in his legs. He could be in the QB2 mix in superflex formats.

1.12 - Broncos - QB Bo Nix, Oregon

DLF Dynasty Profile: If you’re looking for solid passing numbers at a power-five school as the winning metric, you can stop here. Nix moved from Auburn to Oregon two years ago and put up some insane numbers in Eugene. His 74 touchdowns and ten interceptions came as he threw for nearly 8,000 yards the past two seasons. This year was especially crazy as he posted 45 touchdowns and just three interceptions, forcing some NFL scouts stop and re-evaluate him. Though he still needs to refine his footwork and do a better job of throwing receivers open, Nix should be NFL-ready and a solid addition to an NFL team. Much like JJ McCarthy, he could be a great addition to a contending-level team and while we may have to wait a bit to see him play, it could be well worth the investment. Nix looks like a solid pick in the middle rounds in any rookie format.

Klassen: “A lot of Nix’s worst moments and habits on film crop up when he’s under duress. Nix has a tendency to fall away from throws or speed himself up into scatterbrained decisions. That could be glossed over for a younger player with better tools and potential, but that’s just not the prospect Nix is. It’s a lot more likely he is who he is in that aspect of his game. Seeing a Pro Bowl quarterback in Box Nix takes a lot of squinting. It’s in there somewhere but it’s hard to see. A lot of things would need to go right. Nix is more likely a capable backup with moments of quality starting play.”

Athletic Comparable: Derek Carr

Opportunity: B-

Paulsen's Fantasy Impact: The Broncos traded Jerry Jeudy away, so the Broncos' receiving room is a little thin after Courtland Sutton. Nix will have to beat out Zach Wilson and Jarrett Stidham to win the job, and if he does, he'll be in the QB3 mix in superflex formats.

1.13 - Raiders - TE Brock Bowers, Georgia

DLF Dynasty Profile: Few tight ends have ever come into the league with as much hype as Bowers. At 6'4' and 240 pounds, he's a beast to defend. Add in the fact he can run, catch, separate, and win any 50/50 ball and you have a prospect who NFL Scouts are drooling over. With comparisons to Travis Kelce, TJ Hockenson, and other elite tight ends being thrown around with relative ease, it's easy to get excited about Bowers. The question is going to be just how much to invest. With the recent failures of top tight ends like Eric Ebron and Kyle Pitts (to a lesser extent), dynasty managers may be hesitant to take a tight end early in the first round of a rookie draft. However, that's what it's going to take to get the elite Georgia prospect If you hit on it, you have your tight end for the next ten seasons. If you don't, you've wasted a pick on a player who just isn't a difference-maker at a position very tough to predict. Feel lucky?

Athletic Comparable: Travis Kelce

Opportunity: B

Paulsen's Fantasy Impact: This is not a particularly good landing spot for Bowers given the Raiders' suspect quarterback situation and the presence of Michael Mayer, though Bowers should be able to beat out Mayer for the starting job. He's very talented, so if Vegas can garner decent quarterback play, he should be in the TE2 mix.

1.23 - Jaguars - WR Brian Thomas, LSU

DLF Dynasty Profile: Thomas teamed up with Jayden Daniels at LSU last season to create one of the nation's greatest quarterback and receiver duos. On the year, he posted a line of 68 catches for 1,177 yards playing against the nation's best in the SEC. Even better, he led all of college football with a whopping 17 receiving touchdowns. After a top-five performance at the NFL Draft Scouting Combine, Thomas has solidified his spot as one of the elite options in this year's draft. A true burner with documented 4.33 speed, he could be a bit of a "one trick pony." However, if he can refine his skills, he could be a Pro Bowl-level player in the NFL. At this point, he looks like a sure-fire first-rounder in rookie drafts.

Harmon:Brian Thomas Jr. has earned his standing as the first name mentioned after the Big-Three in the 2024 NFL Draft wide receiver class. In my view, he is the much more actualized version of prospects within this archetype that have come out recently in Quentin Johnston and Christian Watson. He is a dangerous downfield weapon who can make plays in the open field but he laps the field with those two guys in terms of his route running, albeit on a small handful of patterns.”

Athletic Comparable: Christian Watson

Opportunity: B+

Paulsen's Fantasy Impact: With Calvin Ridley moving on to Tennessee, the Jaguars shored up their receiving room by signing Gabe Davis. Now the rookie Thomas joins Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, and Davis to provide a potent receiving corps for Trevor Lawrence. Given his deep-ball skill, Thomas's arrival would seem to impact Jones and Davis more than Kirk. Talent-wise, Thomas could be a top-two target, but usage will be an issue since the Jaguars are deep at receiver and have a good pass-catching tight end in Evan Engram.

1.28 - Chiefs - WR Xavier Worthy, Texas

DLF Dynasty Profile: Worthy was being pushed by a lot of receivers in the pre-draft process (including his own teammate in Adonai Mitchell). However, a record-breaking combine and a season featuring a 75/1,014/5 line have him squarely where he should be–a first-round rookie wide receiver with massive upside. Worthy broke the combine record with an unbelievable 4.21 40-yard dash and that's going to be the area of focus for most when they evaluate him. However, he looks like a player who has a lot more to give than just top-end speed. If he can refine his route running and become a complete player, he's going to be a dynasty staple for a long time–perfect for a late first-rounder in a rookie draft.

Harmon: “There is a lot to like about Worthy’s game. When his fundamentals are tight, he runs great routes and can take full advantage of his speed. There are areas he can build upon to gain access to further upside as a high-volume receiver. For the time being, his speed and spatial awareness can be used in creative ways, likely with pre-snap motion, to put defenses in conflict, open up space, and create back-breaking plays when Worthy gets the ball. However, it would be foolish to ignore some of the clear issues in his film in favor of chasing the elusive dream of speed.”

Athletic Comparable: DeSean Jackson

Opportunity: B+

Paulsen's Fantasy Impact: On the surface, Worthy's targets may be initially blocked by Travis Kelce, Rashee Rice, and Marquise Brown, but Kelce is no spring chicken, Rice is dealing with legal issues, and Brown is on a one-year deal. Not since Tyreek Hill have the Chiefs had a receiver with this kind of speed, and HC Andy Reid will scheme ways to use it from the get-go.

1.31 - 49ers - WR Ricky Pearsall, Florida

DLF Dynasty Profile: Pearsall transferred from Arizona State to Florida in the hopes of developing his game and getting more exposure. It seems to have worked on both fronts as he improved each year, culminating in a 65/965/4 season in 2023. A slot prospect who had surprising good measureables, Pearsall seems like a player who simply gets open. Scouts are also going to love his elusiveness in the open field. While not a truly elite receiver prospect, Pearsall is a pre-draft riser and could be a solid value pick in the third round of rookie drafts.

Harmon: “Pearsall ended up being one of my favorite players to chart in this year’s draft. He’s an excellent route runner with the type of positional versatility that should make him stand out early in his NFL career. Separators like this have a way of clawing their way to high standing in their offense at some point, especially when they’re reliable with rock solid hands. I can very much envision Pearsall getting 120-plus targets in his NFL career at some point and at worst, being a rock solid running mate to a No. 1 wideout in a strong passing game with upside for more growth.”

Athletic Comparable: Emmanuel Sanders

Opportunity: C+

Paulsen's Fantasy Impact: Pearsall's opportunity grade would improve drastically if the 49ers trade Brandon Aiyuk, who seems disgruntled at this point in the offseason. As it stands, he'd be the fourth option in a run-heavy attack and probably wouldn't be much of a fantasy factor in his rookie season. Harmon mentioned that Pearsall was one of his favorite players to chart, so his long-term outlook is bright. If one of Aiyuk or Deebo Samuel move on, Pearsall will be sitting in a good spot.

1.32 - Panthers - WR Xavier Legette, South Carolina

DLF Dynasty Profile: Legette ran a 4.39 40-yard dash, posted 40 inches in the vertical, and recorded a 10-6 in the broad jump at 221 pounds at the NFL Draft Combine, which is more than impressive. He also posted a monster senior season with a 71/1,255/7 line at South Carolina this past year. On the downside, he's a bit of a one-year wonder and it's fair to wonder if he's a late bloomer or possibly a flash in the pan. This receiver class is stacked but Legette could be big-time steal in round two of a rookie draft. He needs to refine his skills but he has the traits NFL teams tend to love. While he's rough around the edges, Legette is more than intriguing and his landing spot is going to be of interest for certain.

Harmon: “Legette has his issues as a technician in routes and with his separation but I am quite a fan of his hands. He possesses a pair of vice grips and can snag passes away from his frame, above the rim and off-target below his chest. This archetype of receiver can be tricky. Suppose a coach wants to use Legette outside because of his physical gifts. In that case, the ceiling for this kind of guy is an Alshon Jeffery-type, a productive contested catch maven who has big seasons but is likely best as a complementary threat. If he lands with a more creative coaching staff with a vision for him beyond the X-receiver downfield combatant, the possibilities open up.”

Athletic Comparable: Robert Meachem

Opportunity: B+

Paulsen's Fantasy Impact: The Panthers traded for Diontae Johnson, so Legette won't have the pressure of being the team's WR1 as a rookie. Adam Thielen, Jonathan Mingo, etc. don't offer insurmountable competition for a player with Legette's speed, production, and first-round draft capital. If Bryce Young and the offense can take a big step forward, and Legette is locked in as the team's WR2, he could make a fantasy impact in year one.

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