Believe it or not, the NFL preseason is officially upon us. Last week, we saw the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns kick off the season with the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio. Now, the rest of the league will begin their journey with week 1 of the preseason starting on Thursday.
It’s a special time of year when all the teams and fanbases are filled with hope and excitement. In reality, quite a few teams are in for a long season full of frustration and despair. Thankfully, for a few of these teams, a bright future is not far behind as the 2024 NFL Draft is shaping up to be one of the all-time best. This upcoming draft is loaded with generational talent at defensive tackle, offensive tackle, tight end, and wide receiver, but nothing as impressive as this upcoming quarterback group.
Led by the reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams of USC, the QB group is drawing comparisons to the historic 1983 draft. Williams, the likely #1 overall pick, has been frequently seen as the second coming of Pat Mahomes. Nipping at his heels is the Tar Heel himself, Drake Maye. Doing more with less than any QB in the country, Maye looks like a blend of Justin Herbert and Josh Allen. Drake Maye is more likely to go #1 in the draft, then fall to #3.
With two QBs that are considered in the same tier as Trevor Lawrence and Andrew Luck coming out of college, we will hear more noise than ever about teams positioning themselves for 2024. With that in mind, here are seven teams that could be in the hunt for the top pick, whether they want to admit it or not.
Which 7 NFL teams could “tank” for the 2024 NFL Draft?
The “Intentional” Losers
It’s pretty simple here, these are the teams that would love to win, but they’ve already got their sites set on the 2024 NFL Draft.
The Cardinals, with Kyler Murray recovering from his ACL tear, are widely regarded as the worst team in the league. Other than Budda Baker (who doesn’t want to be there), their roster is a wasteland and they are in a division that has three teams that all have playoff aspirations. If Kyler Murray doesn’t play, this team will likely lose 14-15 games.
With Arizona also owning the Houston Texans’ first-round pick in the 2024 NFL draft, there’s a pretty good chance the Cardinals may have two top picks and could be looking at the awkward scenario of drafting Caleb Williams/Drake Maye, just a year after giving Kyler Murray a 5 year $230 million dollar extension.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
If the Cardinals aren’t the least talented roster in the league, the Buccaneers are not far behind. After three seasons with the GOAT Tom Brady running the show in Tampa Bay, the rebuild appears to have arrived. Gone is not only Tom Brady but so many key figures from their roster that brought the franchise two division titles and their second Super Bowl championship. Now, it is up to Baker Mayfield (or Kyle Trask?) to help hold off this impending doom.
While Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, and Todd Bowles may not be thinking about the season being over before it already starts, it’s hard not to see this team picking very early in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Yes, Sam Howell looked pretty good in his limited action last year. Yes, the Commanders hired Eric Bieniemy away from Kansas City to rebuild the offense. Yes, Ron Rivera and DC are saying all the right things, but let’s not kid ourselves, this team is a prime candidate for the 2023 tank plan. With Dan Snyder’s reign of terror finally over, new owner Josh Harris will be looking to make a splash to help revive a once proud franchise. You don’t spend $6 billion dollars to go between 7-10 and 9-8, you pay that price because you want to win and be profitable.
Caleb Williams is the perfect fit to bring DC football back to its glory days. The star QB is a native of the D.C. area and seems like the perfect match for Bieniemy. With the NFC East looking like one of the toughest divisions in football, don’t be surprised if we see the Commanders (for now) “earning” the first pick in the NFL draft.