Five to Pick Up Before the Draft Five to stash before the draft (2024)

The 2024 NFL Draft is just days away, on Thursday, April 25. Over the next few days, I’ll be looking at moves to consider before the draft. Today, I’m focusing on five players I’d grab heading into the draft. Depending on how everything falls, all of them have the potential to end up being steals.

Jarrett Stidham, Denver Broncos

Five to Pick Up Before the Draft Five to stash before the draft (1)

About: It’s been a wild off-season for the Broncos. The team sent Russell Wilson packing despite having to eat a huge cap hit and having no great replacement options. Then, the Broncos went silent at quarterback during free agency. The team holds the No. 12 overall pick and has been seemingly linked to every rookie quarterback available.

So, why is Stidham on this list? Well, I’m not sold the Broncos hit quarterback in this draft. The team is in the midst of a rebuild. Despite protestations, I don’t think the Broncos will be particularly competitive in 2024. The team projects to have all its picks and a boatload of cash in the next off-season. So, what if the Broncos punted QB for a year to re-group? It’s not out of the realm of possibilities. I’ve even seen mock drafts suggesting the team might pick up a defensive player or a lineman at No. 12.

So, what then happens at quarterback? That leaves Stidham as the guy. It might sound ridiculous, but remember he was the guy Sean Payton signed last off-season and the guy he turned the team over to when the Broncos were not yet out of the playoff race in 2023. He’s practically free (I nabbed him on waivers in three Superflex dynasty leagues) since no one thinks he’ll start. But, you know, he might. While not great, he was QB16 in his two starts in 2023.

Gus Edwards, Los Angeles Chargers

About: The Chargers are in the midst of a makeover with new Head Coach Jim Harbaugh and new Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman. Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley are gone, and Edwards is in for the Chargers. The expectation is a run-heavy scheme, and Edwards is certainly a pounder with experience in Roman’s system.

On the surface, his signing this off-season didn’t move the needle much. It seemed like one piece of a larger puzzle. Perhaps it is. I think the Chargers are prime candidates to take a running back, but it doesn’t mean Edwards will be without value. He’s currently going as RB59, and yet we saw him carry the load in a committee for the Ravens last season, rushing for 810 yards and 13 touchdowns. That led him to an RB25 finish. I still like Edwards as an RB3 and a weekly flex option.

Devin Singletary, New York Giants

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About: The Giants are something of a mess and an enigma. The team lost Saquon Barkley, Darren Waller is seriously mulling retirement, and Daniel Jones doesn’t seem like the long-term answer at quarterback. The Giants need a lot of help in the draft, and it’s impossible to solve all their problems.

One of the few signings this off-season has been Singletary. He isn’t Barkley, but he can be a viable contributor. After taking over as the lead back mid-season for the Texans, Singletary finished as RB9 from Week 10 on. He rushed for 898 yards and four touchdowns. He’s also familiar with Brian Daboll’s offense, having produced well with him in Buffalo. He’s currently going as RB44, but I think he has RB3 value as likely the lead of a committee in the backfield for the Giants.

Michael Wilson, Arizona Cardinals

About: The Cardinals are making over the receiver room. Marquise Brown is now in Kansas City. Rondale Moore was traded to the Atlanta Falcons. And it’s widely expected the Cardinals will pick up a receiver in the draft, possibly at the fourth overall pick.

But right now, Wilson is atop the depth chart. He was taken in the Third Round of the 2023 draft and had some moments for the Cardinals last season. He saw 58 targets, catching 38 passes for 565 yards and three touchdowns. He’s also currently going as WR67 in drafts. Beyond Wilson, there isn’t a lot on the depth chart for the Cardinals. While a top rookie receiver, like Marvin Harrison, Jr., would take over the top spot, and the team has a great tight end in Trey McBride, there’s still room for Wilson to take a year-two leap. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him finish in the WR4 range, giving him value over where he’s been taken in the current market. And if the Cardinals trade back? Who knows where Wilson could land in the receiver pecking order?

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Mike Williams, New York Jets

About: Williams had a rough 2023. He was limited to three games due to injury. Then, this off-season, he was released by the Chargers as part of a cost-saving move. That led to a one-year deal with the New York Jets, who are all in on 2024 with the return of Aaron Rodgers. The Jets need weapons. The signing of Allen Lazard fizzled, leaving them with a thin receiving corps behind star Garrett Wilson. Some suspect they’ll take a receiver high in the 2024 NFL Draft.

But what if they don’t? Williams is a veteran looking to make a splash in 2024 and earn a new contract. He’s currently going as WR54. That makes sense, as he’s struggled to stay on the field, struggled with his catch rate, coming off an injury, and on a one-year contract. But when he gets volume in a good offense, good things can happen. In 2021, Williams saw a career-high 129 targets, turning it into a career year. Both he and teammate Keenan Allen finished as WR1s. I’m not expecting a WR12 finish for Williams in 2024, but if he’s healthy and Rodgers is slinging it, a WR2/3 finish wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility.

Matthew Fox is a die-hard NFL fan and Broncos’ homer. He’s a member of the FSWA. You can find more from him on Twitter @knighthawk7734 or as co-host of the Fantasy Football Roundtable Podcast, a part of the Campus2Canton Network.

Five to Pick Up Before the Draft Five to stash before the draft (2024)
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