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2024 NFL Draft order: Shake-up in top five; Vikings, Bengals biggest climbers

This is a look at the first-round order for the 2024 NFL Draft heading into Week 17 of the 2023 NFL season, along with the top five needs for each team. The order is determined by record, using strength of schedule as the first tiebreaker (click here to see a full list of the draft-order tiebreakers). Keep in mind -- teams that would make the playoffs if the season ended today are marked as PL (short for playoffs) in the order below. The draft order for playoff teams is determined by the results of postseason play.

Arrows reflect movement from last week's order.

Chicago Bears


Panthers' record: 2-13 (.520 strength of schedule)

Panthers' Week 17 opponent: at Jaguars

Bears' biggest needs: IOL, WR, TE, Edge, QB

In the first half against the Cardinals, Cole Kmet showed what a major receiving threat he's become, hauling in four catches for 107 yards before exiting with a knee injury. Robert Tonyan and Marcedes Lewis, who both had one catch in Kmet's stead, have not made significant impacts this season and are set to become free agents. Even if Kmet's injury is not serious, the Bears need to find a second option at the position in the middle of the draft.

See the bottom of this article for analysis of the Panthers' needs.

Arizona Cardinals
3-12 · (.551 strength of schedule)

Biggest needs: CB, WR, DT, IOL, TE

Week 17 opponent: at Eagles

The Cardinals' receiver group seems in line for a major makeover this offseason. Marquise Brown will be a free agent in the spring, Rondale Moore is entering a contract year and likely needs to step up his game significantly to earn an extension, and rookie Michael Wilson, who showed promise during the first half of the season, has zero catches (on seven targets) over his last two games. Finding a true No. 1 receiver early in the draft is a primary need.

Washington Commanders
4-11 · .493

Biggest needs: Edge, QB, OT, LB, WR

Week 17 opponent: vs. 49ers

Starting tackles Charles Leno Jr. and Andrew Wylie are under contract through at least 2024, but Leno will turn 33 next season and Wylie turns 30 in August, so don't be surprised if the team selects a new tackle in the first two rounds. There is potential for the current uncertainty under center to extend into the offseason; adding an elite tackle, as well as some interior line help, would help ensure better play by whomever is leading Washington's attack next season.

New England Patriots
4-11 · .524

Biggest needs: QB, TE, OT, CB, RB

Week 17 opponent: at Bills

With wins in two of their last three games, the Patriots might have taken themselves out of the running for one of the top quarterback prospects in the draft. On Sunday night, Bailey Zappe bounced back from a fumble on the game's opening play to beat Denver on the road with an efficient performance. But even with a strong close to the season, he's certainly not a lock to be the team's starter in 2024. In addition to Zappe, Patriots brass will have to decide where Mac Jones fits in to the franchise's long-term plan. A decision on whether to exercise Jones' fifth-year option is due in May, and given how this season has unfolded, it appears unlikely the team will pick it up. So expect New England to be looking for another signal-caller early in April's draft. 

New York Giants
5-10 · .498

Biggest needs: RB, IOL, DT, WR, OT

Week 17 opponent: vs. Rams

Even if the Giants re-sign Saquon Barkley, their running game won't improve if they don't boost the interior of the offensive line. John Michael Schmitz will be the team's center in 2024, but finding another guard to start with the injured Joshua Ezeudu or another veteran next fall will be a crucial piece to setting up a rebound season.

Los Angeles Chargers
5-10 · .524

Biggest needs: CB, RB, OT, DT, QB

Week 17 opponent: at Broncos

The Chargers have given up over 100 yards rushing in each of their last seven games, relinquishing 200 against Detroit in Week 10 and 197 against Baltimore in Week 12. Defensive tackles Austin Johnson and Nick Williams are headed for free agency; whoever takes over for the fired Brandon Staley as head coach will certainly look to a strong rookie class to rebuild the defensive front.

Tennessee Titans
5-10 · .524

Biggest needs: OT, CB, WR, Edge, RB

Week 17 opponent: at Texans

Derrick Henry was candid about his future with the Titans after the team was eliminated from playoff contention, saying he "had that feeling" his time with the club was coming to a close. Third-round pick Tyjae Spears is a nice dual-threat back, but adding a second option in the top half of the draft seems likely if Henry does, in fact, sign elsewhere as a free agent.

Chicago Bears
6-9 · .467

Week 17 opponent: vs. Falcons

See Pick No. 1 for analysis of the Bears' needs.

New York Jets
6-9 · .520

Biggest needs: OT, QB, DT, S, WR

Week 17 opponent: at Browns

Receivers Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb were brought in by the Jets to play with their old Green Bay teammate, Aaron Rodgers. But with the future Hall of Famer out of action this season, the contributions of Lazard and Cobb have been minimal. The team tried dealing for veterans at the trade deadline, so I would expect both a veteran signing and rookie selection to bolster the Garrett Wilson-led receiver group.

Atlanta Falcons
7-8 · .418

Biggest needs: QB, WR, Edge, CB, DT

Week 17 opponent: at Bears

Atlanta needed more receivers to run with Drake London heading into last year's draft but did not select any pass catchers. Trading for impending free agent Van Jefferson has not had a major impact, and the veteran receivers backing up London (Mack Hollins, Scotty Miller and KhaDarel Hodge) are all heading to free agency. No matter who the team's quarterback may be in 2024, he'll need more reliable targets to effectively move the offense.

New Orleans Saints
7-8 · .427

Biggest needs: OT, OG, CB, DT, LB

Week 17 opponent: at Buccaneers

New Orleans selected Byran Bresee at the end of the first round last April but needs to add more depth on the interior D-line. Veterans Khalen Saunders and Nathan Shepherd are under contract for 2024, but either or both could be released to alleviate the team's salary-cap stress.

Green Bay Packers
7-8 · .480

Biggest needs: OT, S, IOL, CB, RB

Week 17 opponent: at Vikings

The Packers' interior offensive line has underperformed this season, and it's not clear whether past picks Josh Myers (2021 second-rounder), Royce Newman (2021 fourth-rounder) and Sean Rhyan (2022 third-rounder) are going to be the answer next year. Starting right guard Jon Runyan is also set for free agency, so a talent infusion at this part of the roster should be forthcoming.

Las Vegas Raiders
7-8 · .484

Biggest needs: IOL, OT, CB, DT, RB

Week 17 opponent: at Colts

Josh Jacobs has not been as productive this season as he was in 2022, and he missed the Raiders’ Christmas Day win over the Chiefs, but he could still receive solid offers as a free agent after the season. Zamir White ran for 145 yards Monday, but at some point in the draft, Las Vegas will likely look for a second rusher to make a strong one-two punch in the backfield.

Minnesota Vikings
7-8 · .498

Biggest needs: QB, Edge, OG, LB, DT

Week 17 opponent: vs. Packers

Linebacker Jordan Hicks sat out a few weeks after developing compartment syndrome on a bruised shin but played well in his return Sunday. He's set to hit the free agent market in March, however, as is Troy Dye. Undrafted rookie Ivan Pace Jr. has done well in Hicks' absence, but the team must find an additional second-level defender in case former third-round pick Brian Asamoah can't take the next step.

Denver Broncos
7-8 · .502

Biggest needs: DT, TE, S, CB, Edge

Week 17 opponent: vs. Chargers

The Broncos tightened up their run defense against the Patriots, giving up just 59 yards on the ground Sunday night, but there are still questions about the team's defensive line next year. D.J. Jones carries a significant salary (set to count for nearly $13 million against the cap) for a team currently over the 2024 projected cap amount, and he hasn’t been a difference-maker up front. Jonathan Harris and Mike Purcell are headed for free agency, too, so some changes around Zach Allen could be coming next season.

Arizona Cardinals


Texans' record: 8-7 (.476)

Texans' Week 17 opponent: vs. Titans

See Pick No. 2 for analysis of the Cardinals' needs and the playoff teams section of this article for analysis of the Texans' needs.

Pittsburgh Steelers
8-7 · .520

Biggest needs: CB, OT, IOL, DT, LB

Week 17 opponent: at Seahawks

Injuries have decimated the Steelers' linebacker corps this season, with another blow dealt Saturday via Elandon Roberts' pec injury in the win over Cincinnati. Kwon Alexander (Achilles) and Cole Holcomb (knee) were already injured, so the previously retired Myles Jack stepped up with six tackles -- including a sack. Alexander is in line to be a free agent, and Holcomb’s knee will take time to rehab, so the Steelers must seek depth in the middle of their defense.

Cincinnati Bengals
8-7 · .556

Biggest needs: OT, WR, DT, TE, CB

Week 17 opponent: at Chiefs

DJ Turner had a rough outing against Pittsburgh's Georgie Pickens but will join Cam Taylor-Britt to start at cornerback for Cincinnati in 2024. Taylor-Britt's recent injury shows the need for depth at the position, however, especially with Chidobe Awuzie set to become a free agent in March and excellent nickel back Mike Hilton heading into a contract year. 

Indianapolis Colts
8-7 · .480

Biggest needs: DT, WR, Edge, CB, LB

Week 17 opponent: vs. Raiders

Kenny Moore II should garner interest as a free agent as one of the top slot corners in the league, though he gave up his fourth touchdown in three weeks in the loss in Atlanta, per Pro Football Focus. Indianapolis might stick with JuJu Brents, Jaylon Jones and Darrell Baker Jr. (also set to become a free agent) outside in 2024 and will search out another slot defender in the middle of the draft if it’s unable to keep Moore in town.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
8-7 · .507

Biggest needs: QB, WR, IOL, LB, S

Week 17 opponent: vs. Saints

NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday that Baker Mayfield and the Buccaneers have mutual interest in his return for 2024. But will he receive an acceptable extension offer before he becomes a free agent? If not, will other suitors have more interest in Mayfield's services after recent road wins against Green Bay and Jacksonville? I'll list quarterback as the team's top question mark in 2024 until those queries have been answered.

Los Angeles Rams
8-7 · .524

Biggest needs: CB, OT, LB, S, Edge

Week 17 opponent: at Giants

Alaric Jackson has improved at left tackle over the course of the season, but look for the Rams to bring in competition at that spot in the top half of the draft. Matthew Stafford's health is too important to the success of the team not to have the best possible player protecting his blind side.

Seattle Seahawks
8-7 · .529

Biggest needs: LB, OG, S, DT, Edge

Week 17 opponent: vs. Steelers

Seattle's linebacker group will look completely different in 2024 unless John Schneider and Pete Carroll re-sign free agents Jordyn Brooks, Devin Bush and/or Bobby Wagner. The 33-year-old Wagner has played well in his return to Seattle, so he could be brought back, but youth must be served with at least one pick in the middle rounds of the draft.

Jacksonville Jaguars
8-7 · .560

Biggest needs: Edge, OG, DT, WR, OT

Week 17 opponent: vs. Panthers

Josh Allen will be one of the top free agents on the market if the Jaguars don’t extend his contract or use the franchise tag. The fifth-year option of 2020 first-round pick K'Lavon Chaisson was not exercised, and Dawuane Smoot is also a free agent. Even if the team tags Allen, it will need to grab another pass rusher in the top half of the draft to rotate in with him and 2022 No. 1 overall pick Travon Walker.

Buffalo Bills
9-6 · .484

Biggest needs: DT, S, Edge, WR, CB

Week 17 opponent: at Bills

Buffalo general manager Brandon Beane signed Ed Oliver to a mega-extension last summer and now must find others to suit up next to the star pass rusher. Beane added 35-year-old Linval Joseph in November to bolster the group, with DaQuan Jones sidelined, but he needs to bring in young talent for 2024, with Jones, Poona Ford, Jordan Phillips (who is also on injured reserve) and Tim Settle all set to become free agents. 

Kansas City Chiefs
9-6 · .502

Biggest needs: DT, OT, WR, CB, LB

Week 17 opponent: vs. Bengals

Second-round pick Rashee Rice has become Patrick Mahomes' top target not named Travis Kelce, but the rest of the receiving corps has been less than stellar. The issues of Marques Valdes-Scantling and Kadarius Toney have been well-documented, and Mecole Hardman missed significant time with a thumb injury after being brought back to Kansas City from the Jets. Look for the team to seek another potential playmaker to pair with Rice and 2022 second-round pick Skyy Moore in the future.

Dallas Cowboys
10-5 · .458

Biggest needs: OT, RB, C, DT, CB

Week 17 opponent: vs. Lions

Tyron Smith is still as good as they come at left tackle when healthy, but he missed Sunday's game against Miami with a back injury, meaning it will be eight seasons since the 33-year-old last played more than 13 regular-season games. His age and inability to stay on the field may affect his value as a free agent in March. Right tackle Terence Steele has fought the injury bug this season, as well. Assuming the Cowboys keep Tyler Smith at his best position (left guard), the Cowboys must invest in a young tackle capable of providing depth even if the eight-time Pro Bowler returns.

Houston Texans


Browns' record: 10-5 (.533)

Browns' Week 17 opponent: vs. Jets

Texans' biggest needs: OT, DT, Edge, CB, TE

Maliek Collins has played very well in recent weeks, leading a solid run defense, but defensive tackle is a need for the Texans this offseason, with Sheldon Rankins and Hassan Ridgeway set to be free agents. Claiming Teair Tart off waivers from the Titans was a clue the team is looking for more depth up front. 

See the bottom of this article for analysis of the Browns' needs.

Miami Dolphins
11-4 · .418

Biggest needs: IOL, S, WR, DT, TE

Week 17 opponent: at Ravens

Durham Smythe is a solid pro tight end (five catches for 56 yards in the win over Dallas), and Julian Hill projects as a nice third option at the position, but imagine Miami's offense with a superior athlete inside working off Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. Tua Tagovailoa would love to see that sort of playmaker heading down the seam.

Detroit Lions
11-4 · .467

Biggest needs: WR, OG, CB, Edge, DT

Week 17 opponent: at Cowboys

The Lions have sorely missed James Houston's pass-rushing ability. Three of the team's four sacks in the division-clinching win over the Vikings came from defensive backs. Charles Harris and the Okwara brothers are free agents after the season, so look for GM Brad Holmes to find a mid-round edge defender to bring youthful depth to the position.

Philadelphia Eagles
11-4 · .507

Biggest needs: RB, Edge, WR, LB, CB

Week 17 opponent: vs. Cardinals

D'Andre Swift is running toward his first 1,000-yard season and, unlike other veteran free-agent backs, hasn’t logged a ton of carries in his four seasons. Plus, he’s only 24 years old. If the Eagles can't retain him, they'll look for another true dual-threat weapon during the first two days of the draft.

San Francisco 49ers
11-4 · .520

Biggest needs: OT, IOL, TE, DT, Edge

Week 17 opponent: at Commanders

Impending free agent tight ends Charlie Woerner and Ross Dwelley have played minor roles as receivers in the Niners' offense this season. San Francisco might not use a premium pick on a tight end, given the various offensive weapons already on hand, securing a legitimate pass-catching threat to give George Kittle a breather would be worthwhile.

Baltimore Ravens
12-3 · .529

Biggest needs: DT, OG, RB, CB, WR

Week 17 opponent: vs. Dolphins

The Ravens seem to be snakebitten when it comes to keeping running backs healthy. Undrafted free-agent find Keaton Mitchell is the latest to have knee surgery (replaced by veteran Melvin Gordon III), and former second-round pick J.K. Dobbins is set to enter free agency after missing 42 games in three seasons. Baltimore could re-sign Gus Edwards this offseason but will also probably look for at least a Day 3 value.



Biggest needs: Edge, WR, CB, LB, IOL

Week 17 opponent: at Jaguars

The Panthers had just one sack against Jordan Love and the Packers on Sunday. They also recently released veteran Justin Houston and face an exodus of edge defenders after the season. They might use the franchise tag on Brian Burns, but Marquis Haynes and Yetur Gross-Matos are also going to be free agents. Third-round rookie D.J. Johnson could develop, but even so, teams can't have too many pass rushers.


Biggest needs: DT, LB, Edge, OT, WR

Week 17 opponent: vs. Jets

Browns offensive tackles have had a hard time staying healthy this season; Jack Conklin, Jedrick Wills and Dawand Jones are all on injured reserve. Conklin has now missed most of two of the last three seasons due to injury, while Wills must bounce back during his 2024 contract year. Given the depth of this year's offensive tackle class, I expect Cleveland to thoroughly evaluate Day 2 prospects. 

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