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NFL draft highlights: Caleb Williams goes No. 1 to Bears; Offensive picks dominate first round

Six quarterbacks were taken in the first 12 selections, the most in history.
Image: Caleb Williams and Roger Goodell
Caleb Williams celebrates with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after he was chosen by the Chicago Bears with the No. 1 overall draft pick on Thursday.Jeff Roberson / AP

The Chicago Bears selected Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams with the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft Thursday in Detroit. He was followed by the Washington Commanders’ selection of LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels and the New England Patriots’ choice of North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye. 

Six quarterbacks — Williams, Daniels, Maye, J.J. McCarthy, Michael Penix Jr. and Bo Nix — were taken in the first 12 picks. In total, 23 offensive players heard their names called, the most in NFL draft history. 

Williams, the consensus top prospect, threw for 3,633 yards, 30 touchdowns and five interceptions last season. He won the Heisman Trophy as the best player in college football the previous season after he took the Trojans from a four-win team to an 11-win team. Williams threw for 4,075 yards, 37 touchdowns and only four interceptions over 13 games in 2022.

The Bears were able to select Williams thanks to a major trade ahead of the 2023 draft. Chicago — which owned the No. 1 pick at the time — sent it to the Carolina Panthers in return for receiver DJ Moore, 2023 first- and second-round picks, a 2024 first-round pick and a 2025 second-round pick. That 2024 first-round pick would later become the No. 1 pick in the 2024 draft. 

Williams joins a retooled Chicago team that traded for six-time Pro Bowl receiver Keenan Allen and signed running back D’Andre Swift this offseason. The Bears also have rising stars in Moore and tight end Cole Kmet.

The Commanders selected LSU star Daniels at No. 2. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound quarterback won the 2023 Heisman Trophy after one of the most electrifying seasons in college football history. He threw for 3,812 yards, 40 touchdowns and only four interceptions while adding 1,134 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. 

Maye was selected No. 3 by the Patriots. At 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, he boasts the prototypical size for the position and has drawn comparisons to Los Angeles Chargers signal-caller Justin Herbert. Maye — the 2022 ACC Rookie of the Year and ACC Player of the Year as a sophomore — threw for 3,608 yards, 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions last season in his junior year. 

The biggest shock came at No. 8, when Michael Penix Jr. was selected by the Atlanta Falcons. Not only was that higher than most had expected the Washington quarterback to be taken, it also came from a team that signed veteran signal-caller Kirk Cousins to a four-year, $180 million contract with $100 million guaranteed this offseason. 

“It was a big surprise. We had no idea this was coming,” Cousins’ agent, Mike McCartney, said in a text to the NFL Network. “The truth is the whole league had no idea this was coming. We got no heads up. Kirk got a call from the Falcons when they were on the clock. That was the first we heard. It never came up in any conversation.”

Florio: Caleb Williams and Rome Odunze put Bears offense in great position

NBC News

Mike Florio breaks down how the addition of wide receiver Rome Odunze on top of QB Caleb Williams will transform Chicago's offense.

Xavier Legette heading to Carolina

The quick South Carolina receiver had 71 receptions for 1,255 yards and seven touchdowns last season. He will be a major boost for Bryce Young, who had few weapons to throw to in his rookie season.

Ricky Pearsall goes to 49ers at No. 31

The former Arizona State and Florida receiver is a speedster, running a 4.2 40-yard dash. What could this mean for Deebo Samuel or Brandon Aiyuk?

Clemson's Nate Wiggins has major upside in Baltimore

Connor Rogers, NBC Sports

Few corners move or run like Wiggins can. The No. 30 pick needs to fill out his frame, but keep in mind he won’t turn 21 until the end of his first NFL training camp.

Cowboys select OT Tyler Guyton at No. 29

Connor Rogers, NBC Sports

Guyton is built like a small forward and moves like a tight end. He started only one year (at right tackle) for Oklahoma, and his hand placement needs work, but he’s the type of athlete and has the body type you bet on at the position.

Chiefs add speedy receiver at No. 28

Xavier Worthy of Texas, who ran the fastest 40-yard dash in NFL combine history, is headed to Kansas City.

Berry: McCarthy makes for an interesting rookie in fantasy leagues

Matthew Berry, NBC Sports

NBC Sports analyst Matthew Berry breaks down why J.J. McCarthy could find fantasy relevance in his first season with many weapons in Minnesota.

Cardinals pick Darius Robinson takes stage in hometown Detroit

Although he’s eager to go to Arizona and work with the Cardinals, who selected him at No. 27 overall, for tonight Darius Robinson was before a home crowd.

Robinson, a defensive tackle and edge rusher who played for Missouri, is from Southfield in the Detroit area.

“It means everything,” he said onstage about being selected in a draft where he is from. “I’m thankful for the people in my hometown that believed in me, so I’m glad I’m here.”

“We’re going to celebrate after this, but I’m ready to get to Arizona as soon as possible and get to work,” he said.

Chiefs trade up to No. 28

Kansas City made a move with Buffalo. Full trade details have yet to be announced.

Cardinals take Mizzou defensive lineman Darius Robinson

Robinson had 43 total tackles, 8.5 sacks and 14 tackles for losses last season at Missouri en route to being named first-team All-SEC.

Bucs take Graham Barton at No. 26

Connor Rogers, NBC Sports

Barton’s movement skills and hand usage make him a menace in the zone run game. He can play guard even though he played tackle for Duke the last three seasons.

Lions pick Terrion Arnold to Detroit crowd: 'I'm home!'

Lions pick Terrion Arnold took to the stage in the Motor City and raised his hands before what may be his new hometown crowd.

Arnold, a cornerback who played for Alabama, was selected with the 24th pick after the Lions traded with the Dallas Cowboys to move up.

“I just want to say, Detroit, y’all got a star, man,” Arnold said at the draft held in Detroit. “Hey, I’m home, man! I’m home!”

The crowd roared. Asked by Kaylee Hartung on the NFL Network whether the Lions have announced Super Bowl aspirations and what would he do to help them achieve that, Arnold barely paused.

“You already said it: I’m going to help them win a Super Bowl!” he said.

“Listen to that!” he said as the crowd cheered.

Packers add OT Jordan Morgan at No. 25

Morgan, an OT from Arizona, will be tasked with protecting Jordan Love next season in Green Bay. His one knock is he has shorter hands compared to other top lineman prospects.

Morgan was named AP first-team All-Pac-12 last year.

A little kayfabe in the Jaguars draft room

Tony Khan, the son of Jaguars owner Shahid Khan, was spotted in the team's draft room in a neck brace.

How did he get hurt? Well, it has something to do with his connections to pro wrestling.

Tony Khan is the founder and a co-owner of All Elite Wrestling, a smaller rival to the WWE. He also sometimes appears in shows, as he did last night when he was slammed into the mat.

We don't know whether he was actually hurt or whether the brace was just for show, but Khan appeared to crack a smile when he was shown on camera.

Lions trade up for Alabama's Terrion Arnold

Connor Rogers, NBC Sports

The defensive back played both inside and outside at Alabama and logged over 300 snaps in press coverage (per PFF). He’s still more of an athlete at the position than an anticipator of throws and route combinations, but that shows what kind of ceiling he has. It’s a bonus that he’s an aggressive, above-average tackler for a defensive back.

Eagles pick Quinyon Mitchell praises mom and grandmother

Eagles pick and former Toledo cornerback Quinyon Mitchell praised his college coaches for their support and said looks forward to more coaching from his new team.

But he has credited his mother and his grandmother for a large positive impact on his life.

“Two powerful women showing love, showing tough love and just being there for me,” Mitchell said on the NFL Network after he was selected at No. 22 overall.

“I can’t thank them enough,” he said. “I’m just speechless right now.”

Brian Thomas Jr. heading to Jacksonville at No. 23

Everyone talks about Malik Nabers at LSU, but Thomas was another lethal threat this season for the Tigers. He finished with 1,177 yards and 17 TDs. Unlike Nabers, Thomas has ideal size at 6-foot-4.

Toledo CB Quinyon Mitchell heading to Philadelphia at No. 22

Connor Rogers, NBC Sports

Mitchell's size, speed and length are what defensive coordinators pray for. He’s passed every test of this draft process with flying colors.

Dolphins take Chop Robinson at No. 21

Robinson, an edge rusher from Penn State, had 74 QB pressures and eight sacks on just 397 pass-rushing snaps since 2022, according to PFF.

J.J. McCarthy celebrates with Minnesota's 'Skol' clap

Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy is headed to Minnesota, and he's already familiar with the team's unique celebration.

Fautanu is a steal at No. 20 by Steelers

Connor Rogers, NBC Sports

Troy Fautanu is one of the most versatile offensive linemen in the draft. He can push to start at left guard and fill in at tackle if one of the veterans gets banged up. I think he’s a top 10 player in this class.

Jared Verse expected to have immediate impact in L.A.

Connor Rogers, NBC Sports

Verse, the Florida State product taken by the Rams at No. 19, is my top-ranked pass rusher; I love the heavyweight fighter hands that he throws at tackles.

Berry: Malik Nabers will be an ‘explosive threat’ with Giants 

Matthew Berry, NBC Sports

NBC Sports' analyst talks about why the Giants could end up with a game-changing wide receiver in LSU's Nabers.

Vikings pick Dallas Turner says he’s ‘blessed’ after trade and pick

The Minnesota Vikings made a trade to select Alabama linebacker and edge rusher Dallas Turner, leaving him visibly impressed.

“It means a lot,” Turner said on the NFL Network after the Vikings chose him with the 17th pick. Turner met with the Vikings and said he liked the team and its personnel.

“I’m lost for words because I’m a Minnesota Viking,” he said. “I’m just blessed and thankful to be here.”

What Amarius Mims brings to Cincy

Connor Rogers, NBC Sports

Mims, taken No. 18, played right tackle for Georgia, but he also practiced on the left side. He’s nearly impossible to get around or through with his size and length in pass protection.

Trade details for Vikings-Jaguars deal, per ESPN

Vikings get:

2024 1st-round pick (No. 17)

Jaguars get:

2024 1st-round pick (No. 23)

2024 5th-round pick

2025 3rd-round pick

2025 4th-round pick

Vikings make move for Alabama's Dallas Turner

Connor Rogers, NBC Sports

Turner was extremely productive in college just because he's a great athlete with length. If he varies his pass rush plan, look out.

Vikings trade up to No. 17

The Jaguars dealt their pick to Minnesota. It's unclear what the deal was for right now.

Colts pick Laiatu Latu credits ‘power of the mind’ in going from injury to draft

Onstage in Detroit, Indianapolis Colts pick Laiatu Latu took a step back and put his hand to his mouth when he was shown his name on the back of a jersey.

Four years ago, after a neck injury, he was told he might have to medically retire from football.

“I told all the other doctors that told me otherwise that I’ll be at this point in time playing football again,” Latu told Kaylee Hartung on the NFL Network after he was selected with the 15th pick as the first defensive player taken.

“I knew it, I manifested it. The power of the mind is something crazy,” said Latu, a defensive end and edge rusher from UCLA. “And you’ve just got to take it, trust in yourself, trust in the Lord. I mean, he’s got a plan for each and every one of us.”

Byron Murphy a huge get for Seahawks at No. 16

Connor Rogers, NBC Sports

Murphy’s ability to get off the ball and shoot gaps gives interior blockers a lot of trouble.

How Laiatu Latu fits with the Colts

Connor Rogers, NBC Sports

The UCLA product's pass-rushing toolbox is the deepest of the edge rushers in this draft. He’ll go into the NFL with a full arsenal of moves and the ability to counter, which is impressive for a rookie.

Mike Florio breaks down Arizona's selection of Marvin Harrison Jr.

NBC News

Mike Florio, the creator and editor-in-chief of Pro Football Talk, talks about the immediate impact the Cardinals' new receiver could bring.

14 picks in ... zero defensive players

Offense, as expected, is dominating the early part of the draft. But we didn't think it would be this dominant. No players on the defensive side of the board have been taken thus far.

Taliese Fuaga goes to Saints at No. 14

The Oregon State OT becomes the fourth player in program history taken in the first round. He was dominant in run blocking for the Beavers, who averaged 184.5 yards per game on the ground.

Chris Simms breaks down Washington pick Jayden Daniels

NBC News

NBC Sports analyst Chris Simms talks about the questions surrounding Washington's new quarterback and why he could be great.

Raiders take TE Brock Bowers at No. 13

Bowers was the consensus top TE in the draft. He was a three-time All-American at Georgia and has a chance to be special for Las Vegas. He will be a big boost for Aidan O'Connell or Gardner Minshew.

Broncos pick Bo Nix at No. 12

Bo Nix had a monster career at Oregon and Auburn. Last year he threw for 4,508 yards, 45 TDs and just 3 interceptionss.

It seems to be a bit of a stretch, but the Broncos need a replacement for Russell Wilson.

New attendance record set

Olu Fashanu goes to Jets at No. 11

Fashanu, of Penn State, was one of the top OL prospects in the draft because of his pass blocking ability. He will be huge for veteran QB Aaron Rodgers next season.

Offense rules first 10 picks

Sometimes the best defense is ...

The first 10 picks of this draft have been players on the offensive side of the ball, five of them quarterbacks. Both are firsts for the NFL draft.

Bears pick Odunze sends love to grandfather, thanks for life lessons

Bears pick Rome Odunze thanked his grandfather after the Washington wide receiver was selected with the ninth pick.

Odunze worked on his grandfather’s dairy farm in Utah and has said the experience instilled in him a good work ethic.

“I love you, grandpa. Thank you for all the life lessons, and I hope you enjoyed this moment as much as I did,” Odunze said on the NFL Network.

He joins quarterback Caleb Williams in being picked by the Bears in the first round.

“I’m excited to get there, be a part of the team and go and strive for something special,” Odunze said.

J.J. McCarthy heading to Vikings at No. 10

The Michigan QB was one of the fastest-rising players in the draft. A few months ago he was not expected to be in the first round. Now he's a top 10 pick.

McCarthy led Michigan to the national title, throwing for 2,991 yards, 22 touchdowns and only four picks.

Social media reacts with both shock and delight at Falcons' pick

Atlanta's surprise pick of Michael Penix Jr. has given us some of our first real jokes of the evening.

Some reacted with shock, others with jokes about the team's sizable contract with QB Kirk Cousins, and still others with “Sopranos” memes.

Vikings trade up to No. 10

Minnesota will send No. 11, No. 129 and No. 157 to the Jets for No. 10 and No. 203. J.J. McCarthy heading to the Vikings?

Rome Odunze joining Caleb Williams in Chicago

The Washington WR, at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, has elite size for a receiver. He set a program record with 1,640 receiving yards last season, the most in the country and the third-most ever in the Pac-12.

Titans pick JC Latham says 'a lot excitement' after hoisting up Goodell

“A lot of excitement” was a bit of an understatement by Tennessee Titans pick J.C. Latham after the offensive tackle lifted up NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell while hugging him onstage in Detroit.

“The commissioner just confirmed to me — he is OK after that bear hug,” Kaylee Hartung of the NFL Network broadcast told the 6-foot-6 Latham.

“I had to let him know, man, I had to let him know. A lot of excitement,” Latham said.

SHOCKER. Michael Penix Jr. heading to Falcons

Connor Rogers, NBC Sports

Despite having just signed Kirk Cousins, the Falcons got their QB of the future.

The Washington product sees the field extremely well pre- and post-snap while showing off a howitzer of an arm. His pocket passing ability will transition nicely to the NFL level.

Atlanta signed the veteran Cousins to a four-year, $180 million deal with $100 million guaranteed this offseason.

Interesting draft ahead for Jets

Jets owner Woody Johnson is ready for tonight's draft. The Jets pick No. 10.

Malik Nabers' jacket is lined with memories of journey to draft

LSU wide receiver and now New York Giants draft pick Malik Nabers wasn’t wearing his heart on his sleeve tonight — instead, it was in the lining of his suit jacket.

“It represents my journey when I came to LSU,” he told Kaylee Hartung on the NFL Network broadcast as he showed the lining, which had images of football and other memories.

“I’ve got a lot of memories here. All the memories in here is the reason why I’m here today,” he said.

Nabers was selected with the sixth pick.

“I’m just hoping to be the best teammate I can be, give to the community, hit the ground running and show them what kind of athlete I am,” he said.

JC Latham will be huge in the run game for Titans

Connor Rogers, NBC Sports

I have concerns about Latham’s pass protection, but his grip strength and lower body power are weapons in the run game.

A look inside the Raiders draft room

The Las Vegas Raiders posted a look inside their draft room.

The Raiders have the No. 13 pick in the first round.

Giants take LSU WR Malik Nabers at No. 6

Connor Rogers, NBC Sports

Nabers is a different tier of prospect, with explosive acceleration that can beat you before and after the catch. In any normal draft class, he’s the top wide receiver.

Chargers pick Notre Dame OT Joe Alt at No. 5

Connor Rogers, NBC Sports

Alt’s movement for his size is impressive, while he is an extremely disciplined player who can move defenders in the run game.

Bears pick of Caleb Williams is 'a slam dunk'

Matthew Berry, NBC Sports

NBC Sports analyst Matthew Berry's quick reaction to the Bears pick:

Maserati Marv

Drake Maye calls three brothers his best friends

New England Patriots pick Drake Maye reflected on his childhood in a home with four boys, all of whom excelled at college sports, after the quarterback was chosen with the third pick.

"Youngest of four boys, the youngest one had to get beaten up on and then all of the above," he said on the NFL Network after he was being picked. "I just try to keep my head down, keep working ,and it ended up paying off."

"Those are three of my best friends, and I just can’t be thankful enough to be the youngest," Maye said.

Jayden Daniels: ‘I’m here to get to work’

Washington pick Jayden Daniels said he is ready to go for the Commanders after he was selected with the second pick.

"I’m here to get to work," Daniels said on the NFL Network.

"Washington will get everything out of me, as a competitor, as a hard worker," he said. "I can’t wait to meet my new teammates and try to help win some football games."

Cardinals select WR Marvin Harrison Jr. at No. 4

Harrison is the top receiver in the draft. He is the only two-time All-American receiver in Ohio State history, earning unanimous All-America honors in both 2022 and 2023.

Harrison had 1,211 yards and 14 TDs last season.

Patriots pick Drake Maye at No. 3

Connor Rogers, NBC Sports

I love the upside of the big-bodied passer. Maye throws to the middle of the field very well, and if you go back to his 2022 tape, he’s way more athletic than given credit for.

No. 1 pick Williams: 'It’s an honor, and I’m very privileged'

No. 1 pick Caleb Williams said he was honored and privileged to be able to stand on the stage where so many have before after he was selected by the Chicago Bears.

Image: 2024 NFL Draft - Round 1
Caleb Williams poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.Gregory Shamus / Getty Images

"To be able to look at this crowd, dream of these moments, see many, many, many, many before me be in this moment, to have this type of crowd — to be able to be here, it’s an honor, and I’m very privileged," he told Kaylee Hartung on the NFL Network.

What Jayden Daniels brings to Washington

Connor Rogers, NBC Sports

Daniels is an electric runner with a quick release to make touch throws. He drastically improved against pressure in 2023 but needs to stay on that trajectory to live up to this draft position.

Jayden Daniels goes No. 2 to Washington

The Washington Commanders selected LSU star Daniels at No. 2. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound quarterback won the 2023 Heisman Trophy after one of the most electrifying seasons in college football history. He threw for 3,812 yards, 40 touchdowns and only four interceptions while adding 1,134 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. 

Williams joins a team with lots of offensive weapons

Caleb Williams is an envious position for a rookie quarterback, with talent surrounding him on offense.

The Bears traded for six-time Pro Bowl receiver Keenan Allen and signed running back D’Andre Swift in free agency this offseason. He’ll also be able to throw the ball to rising stars in receiver D.J. Moore and tight end Cole Kmet.

Caleb Williams is officially a Bear

Why Caleb Williams went No. 1 to Chicago

Connor Rogers, NBC Sports

Williams is the best quarterback in the draft, a full field reader with a lively arm and escapability. Bears GM Ryan Poles has done a tremendous job this offseason beefing up the offense the young signal caller will take over.

Defensive players expected to wait

Generally speaking, this draft is known for elite offensive prospects. We could see five quarterbacks, six receivers and potentially double-digit offensive linemen picked in the first 32 selections. But let’s not forget about a few defensive studs. 

Pass rushers Dallas Turner (Alabama) and Jared Verse (Florida State) as well as defensive tackle Byron Murphy III (Texas) will all be in the mix to come off the board early. 

Draft officially underway

The Chicago Bears are on the clock. Wonder how much of their 10 minutes they'll actually use before Williams' name is called.

Eminem showing out for Detroit

Eminem opened up the draft with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Which wide receiver will go first? 

For much of the past year, Ohio State receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. has been the presumptive top wideout available. It’s still likely he is the first pass-catcher off the board, but the stock of LSU’s Malik Nabers and Washington’s Rome Odunze has reportedly risen enough this offseason to make it a competition. 

Harrison, the son of longtime Indianapolis Colts star receiver Marvin Harrison, is arguably the greatest receiver in Ohio State history. He won the Biletnikoff Award last season as the most outstanding receiver in college football after he caught 67 passes for 1,211 yards and 14 touchdowns. 

Nabers will look to become the next star receiver from LSU, joining the likes of Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase and Odell Beckham Jr. The 6-foot, 199-pound Nabers catches everything in sight and will provide a team with instant playmaking ability. He hauled in 89 passes for 1,569 yards and 14 scores.

Odunze, at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, has elite size for the position. He set a program record with 1,640 receiving yards last season, the most in the country and the third-most ever in the Pac-12.

Massive crowd gathered at draft

The NFL Network's Rich Eisen said on air that 150,000 fans were gathered in Detroit for tonight's draft.

How much is it worth to players to go in the first round?

Where players get selected in the draft has a big impact on their salaries.

A deal struck in 2011 between the NFL and the players union included a rookie wage scale that dictates how much each player makes. That has meant far less money for younger players.

First-round draft picks are just about locked in to signing four-year contracts, with their value varying depending on where they're taken. Spotrac, a website that tracks sports contracts, projects that the first overall pick this year will have a contract valued at about $38.5 million, with each the pay of pick thereafter steadily declining. The last pick of the first round should get a contract worth about $12.1 million.

The decline continues but flattens, with most later-round picks getting contracts valued around $4.1 million, if they get signed at all.

AJ Brown gets monster extension

In non-NFL draft news, Eagles star receiver A.J. Brown signed a new three-year deal worth $96 million, according to multiple reports. It is the highest of any WR in NFL history.

Brown is under contract through 2029. Last season he caught 106 passes for 1,456 yards and seven TDs.

Bill Belichick at the draft, but not with the Patriots

The former New England Patriots head coach just can't stay away from the draft.

He's there with Pat McAfee's show, helping with some draft projections.

Caleb Williams ‘ready’ to be taken No. 1 in NFL draft and help Bears restore past glory

The USC quarterback is all but guaranteed to go No. 1 overall to the Chicago Bears. While other players will stress about being picked, he knows he’ll wait only a few minutes to hear NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell read his name at the podium.

He’ll then walk onstage, shake hands, take photos and start preparing to become the team’s savior. 

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Bears feel good about ‘just being flexible’ at No. 9

Josh Alper

Bears general manager Ryan Poles knows what the team will do with the first overall pick tonight, but he isn’t going to share the news until the Bears are officially on the clock.

Once the Bears make that pick, Poles will be going right back to work. The Bears also have the ninth overall pick, and Poles won’t be able to settle on a choice until he sees what other teams do between Chicago’s two picks.

Last month, Poles said the team’s personnel staff would split into teams to debate taking an offensive tackle, a wide receiver or an edge rusher. Tuesday, he said that work solidified his belief that “those premium positions are important” to building championship-caliber teams and that he’s comfortable letting things play out because of how those positions match up with the overall draft board.

“The nice thing is from the work that we’ve done I feel pretty good about just being flexible,” Poles said, according to

Quarterback Caleb Williams is expected to be the first overall pick, and any direction the Bears go at No. 9 will give Chicago a double jolt of optimism about what’s to come.

Patriots coach says the Patriots will use their No. 3 pick — and could trade up for another 1st-rounder

With speculation continuing to swirl around what the New England Patriots could do tonight, head coach Jerod Mayo has provided some clarity.

Mayo said at the Patriots draft party that the team will get "a great player at 3" and that it could "sneak back into the first round," according to ESPN reporter Mike Reiss.

Oddsmakers have Williams, Daniels and Maye as heavy 1-2-3 favorites

Vegas has little doubt about who will be picked No. 1, 2 and 3 in tonight’s draft.

Caleb Williams at No. 1, Jayden Daniels at No. 2 and Drake Maye at No. 3 are all at -10000 for their respective predicted positions on single bets, according to BetMGM’s betting line odds.

That means someone would have to bet, and risk, $10,000 just to make $100.

All three prospects are quarterbacks.

Odds on the fourth pick's being wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. are less certain at -450 on MGM's line, meaning $450 would win $100.

Patriots could look to trade down

New England is still looking to find a replacement for legendary quarterback Tom Brady, who left the franchise in 2019. Mac Jones, a first-round pick in 2021, looked promising as a rookie, but his production dropped off over the last two seasons. He was dealt to the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason. 

The Patriots signed Jacoby Brissett, though he’s not expected to be the long-term starter. Will they instead take whoever is left among Daniels, Maye and McCarthy? If not, a trade down with a team such as the New York Giants, the Minnesota Vikings or the Las Vegas Raiders could be in play. All are searching for quarterbacks and would give up a multitude of picks to secure one. 

The Patriots, who finished 4-13 last season and have holes all over the roster, could use those extra picks to expedite a rebuild. 

What will the Commanders do at No. 2?

Like the Bears, the Commanders have been desperate for a franchise quarterback for more than three decades. There was a glimmer of hope with Robert Griffin III, the 2012 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, but multiple injuries over the next seven seasons led to an early exit from the league. Will this finally be Washington’s chance to turn around the franchise?

The Commanders have a new owner in Josh Harris and a new general manager in Adam Peters, and both have been tight-lipped about whom they might select. But all signs point to either LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels or North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye.

The 6-foot-4, 210-pound Daniels won the 2023 Heisman Trophy after one of the most electrifying seasons in college football history. He threw for 3,812 yards, 40 touchdowns and only four interceptions, while also adding 1,134 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground. 

Maye, at 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, boasts the prototypical size for the position and has drawn comparisons to Los Angeles Chargers signal-caller Justin Herbert. After being named 2022 ACC Player and Rookie of the Year as a sophomore, he threw for 3,608 yards, 24 touchdowns and nine interceptions as a junior.

University of Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy, who led the Wolverines to their first national title since 1997, is also reportedly being considered.

How the draft affects your team

Brian Hamilton, NBC Sports

How does your team’s first-round pick affect its odds to win its division or conference or even the Super Bowl next season?

Bet the Edge is your source for the day in sports betting. Get all of Jay Croucher and Drew Dinsick’s insight weekdays at 6 a.m. ET right here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Has the No. 1 overall pick ever been traded?

The No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft has been traded at least 14 times, including twice in 1984.

1967: Colts acquired it from Saints; drafted DT Bubba Smith

1968: Vikings acquired it from Giants; drafted OT Ron Yary

1974: Cowboys acquired it from Oilers; drafted DE Ed Jones

1975: Falcons acquired it from Colts; drafted QB Steve Bartkowski

1978: Oilers acquired it from Bucs; drafted RB Earl Campbell

1984: Patriots acquired it from Bengals (who got it from Bucs); drafted WR Irving Fryar

1990: Colts acquired it from Falcons; drafted QB Jeff George

1991: Cowboys acquired it from Patriots; drafted DT Russell Maryland

1995: Bengals acquired it from Panthers; drafted RB Ki-Jana Carter

1997: Rams acquired it from Jets; drafted OT Orlando Pace

2001: Falcons acquired it from Chargers; drafted QB Michael Vick

2004: Chargers drafted QB Eli Manning and then traded him to the Giants in exchange for the fourth pick, Philip Rivers

2016: Rams acquired it from Titans; drafted QB Jared Goff

2023: Panthers acquired it from Bears; drafted QB Bryce Young

Thousands turn out in Detroit

The Lions' X account offered a look at the many people who have showed up for the draft, which is being held in downtown Detroit.

Projected No. 1 NFL draft pick Caleb Williams: ‘Having people that tell you the truth’ is key

For projected No. 1 NFL draft pick Caleb Williams, a large part of tonight comes down to trust.

“Not having 'yes men' around you, 'yes women' around you, having people that tell you the truth, having people tell you — in your corner that you trust that you’ll listen to,” Williams said on the red carpet in Detroit when he was asked how he keeps a level head.

“I think that’s really big for moments like this,” he said.

The USC quarterback is projected to be the top pick in the draft, and right now the Chicago Bears have that first pick.

Williams also thanked his alma mater. “Shout out to SC, all the love and support that you all have given me,” he told reporters in video captured by Ronnie Martin of NBCU Academy x NFL Experienceship.

The NFL should expect on Day 1 “that I care,” Williams said. “I care about, you know, my teammates, my guys, the people I go to battle with every Monday, Thursday, Sunday,” he said.

“I think that’s really big. Care goes a long way,” he said.

Jayden Daniels on his pregame meal

Daniels, the LSU QB expected to be a top pick, spoke with Cam Newton and NBC News' Kaylee Hartung about his pregame meal before games.

Daniels says he always has an omelet and two waffles before every game. 

“Cheese, bacon, get your greens in there, onions and throw some hot sauce in."

Caleb Williams shows off suit

Marvin Harrison Jr. asked about following in father's footsteps

"Just work hard each and every day," he told Cam Newton on NFL Network. "Listen to what my dad says, mainly. He can guide me in the right direction. That’s what I’m trying to do."

Caleb Williams has arrived

The USC QB, expected to go No. 1 to the Bears, arrived with a navy blue suit from Chrome Hearts. "One of one," he told NBC News' Kaylee Hartung.

Williams said he has about 45 people in his entourage at the draft.

Marvin Harrison Jr.'s chain 👀

Sad night for Panthers fans

The Carolina Panthers finished last season with a league-worst 2-15 record. Top pick and quarterback Bryce Young struggled mightily as a rookie (though he didn’t have much to work with), and the team has many areas of concern. It should have the No. 1 pick for a chance to turn the franchise around, but alas … it has zero first-round selections. 

Carolina surrendered receiver D.J. Moore, 2023 first- and second-round picks, a 2024 first-round pick and a 2025 second-round pick for the chance to take Young last year. If he doesn’t improve quickly, and that’s a big if, it will go down as one of the worst trades in NFL history. 

Panthers fans can probably just take tonight off.

Where will J.J. McCarthy go?

The Michigan QB led the program to a national title last season. He's one of the fastest-rising prospects in the draft. A few months ago he wasn't expected to be a first-rounder. Now he might go in the top 10 picks.

How is the draft order determined?

Every year, the team that finishes the regular season with the worst record get the No. 1 overall pick, the team with the second-worst record, gets the No. 2 overall pick and so on.

As long as there are no trades (which there usually are), each of the seven rounds starts with the team that finished with the worst record and culminates with the Super Bowl champs.

Who is eligible for the 2024 NFL draft?


“To be eligible for the draft, players must have been out of high school for at least three years and must have used up their college eligibility before the start of the next college football season. Underclassmen and players who have graduated before using all their college eligibility may request the league’s approval to enter the draft early.

Players are draft-eligible only in the year after the end of their college eligibility.

Before the draft, NFL player personnel staff members confirm the eligibility of draft prospects; that means researching the college backgrounds of about 3,000 college players each year.

In betting markets, it's Caleb Williams, then who knows

Caleb Williams is as close to a sure thing as it gets, at least according to betting markets.

Fans can bet on the NFL draft, offering an interesting and sometimes informative window into where players could be headed.

According to our friends at NBC Sports, Williams is a whopping -20000 to go first, meaning you would have to bet $20,000 just to win $100. In the sports betting world, that's about as close as you can get to a guarantee.

After that, things get muddier. LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels is favored to go second to the Washington Commanders (-600), and those odds have only been getting more confident about that pick. After that, the betting market likes UNC quarterback Drake Maye to the New England Patriots (-290).

That said, treat these markets with caution.

How the NFL draft works

Why do the Chicago Bears have the first pick? Why are the Super Bowl champion Chiefs last?

The answer to those questions is the same, sort of. The order of the draft is very simple: reverse order of how the teams performed in the previous season.

But the Bears weren't that bad, right? Well, teams can trade draft picks. Chicago traded its first-round pick last year to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for wide receiver D.J. Moore and a few draft picks.

Carolina's 2024 first-round pick was part of that deal, becoming the No. 1 overall pick after the Panthers finished a league worst 2-15.

All quiet on the trade front, for now...

It's expected to be a busy day for trades of players and draft picks between teams. But for now, nothing big to report.

Keep an eye on the Arizona Cardinals, the Minnesota Vikings, the Cincinnati Bengals and the New England Patriots, the last of which was well-known for trading down in the draft under its former coach Bill Belichick. Will the new regime hold firm with its No. 3 pick?