2024 NFL draft order: Top 18 picks set, with Bears at the top

The order for the top 18 picks in the first round of the 2024 NFL draft is set, with the Chicago Bears picking No. 1 and the Washington Commanders picking No. 2. Could both teams move on from their starting quarterbacks? Or could they look to add help for their signal-callers in April’s draft? The Bears have two first-round picks — the second at No. 9 overall — as they look toward an intriguing offseason.

The 2024 NFL draft will take place at Campus Martius Park and Hart Plaza in Detroit. Round 1 will begin on April 25, Rounds 2 and 3 are on April 26, and Rounds 4 through 7 are on April 27. The draft will be broadcast on ESPN, ABC and the ESPN App.

Check out the locked-in order for Nos. 1-18 below, with Nos. 19-32 projected from ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI). Team write-ups from our NFL Nation reporters have been updated from mid-December.

NFL draft coverage:
Miller: 2024 prospects with Round 1 grade
Reid’s QB Hot Board: Ranking top 12
Kiper’s updated Big Board, position rankings

The Bears have the No. 1 pick in back-to-back years thanks to a trade with Carolina from last March. The biggest question is whether they will keep quarterback Justin Fields and use their draft capital to build around him with another wide receiver and interior O-line help, or if they will draft a QB.

The way Fields played since returning from a thumb injury in Week 11 brings up a real debate about whether Chicago is better off with him on this trajectory than starting over in 2024. — Courtney Cronin

Washington’s direction with its first pick will be determined by how the organization views quarterback Sam Howell. With a regime change likely, it’s impossible to know what a new coach or general manager thinks of him. If they like him, they can trade back, add more picks early in the draft and/or in future years (they own five top-100 picks in 2024) and build a quality young roster. But if they’re not sold on Howell, then they can try to move up or select one of the top quarterbacks in the class. — John Keim

There’s a decision due this offseason on quarterback Mac Jones‘ fifth-year option for 2025. The Patriots probably will decline it, which would mean they’re back in the first-round quarterback conversation. It doesn’t necessarily lock in that they’ll take a passer from what is considered a talented class. Their needs are plentiful, with offensive line and wide receiver atop the list. There is also the rather large question of whether the Bill Belichick regime will be making the picks, so there’s plenty to sort out between now and then. — Mike Reiss

To trade or not to trade, that is the question the Cardinals will face with their first of two first-round picks. With Kyler Murray‘s play since returning from a knee injury, the conversation about drafting a quarterback has quieted, but Arizona is in a position to rebuild its entire roster with 10 picks in the 2024 draft.

If top wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. (Ohio State) is available with their first pick, the Cardinals could pair him with Murray and never look back, or trade down for a haul of picks as well as a prime player. If they keep their top pick, expect it to be an impact player, while the second pick will likely fill a need such as an offensive lineman or another receiver. They also have Houston’s top pick from the trade up last April. — Josh Weinfuss

The Chargers are projected to be $34.8 million over the salary cap next season, according to Roster Management System. This means they will potentially look much different next season, as many of their expensive contracts will need to be restructured, traded or released. Drafting the best player available (except at quarterback) would make sense, but with a rushing offense and pass defense that are both at the bottom of the league, the most significant needs are at defensive back, offensive line and tight end. — Kris Rhim

General manager Joe Schoen said recently that the Giants are going to add a quarterback this offseason, via free agency or the draft. He also mentioned studying the first-round quarterbacks from the 2018 draft, which suggests they’re going to at least consider that position early in this draft depending on how this season ends. — Jordan Raanan

Only four starters have come from the past three Titans’ draft classes, but general manager Ran Carthon’s debut 2023 class has seen several contributors, particularly on offense. That includes Will Levis, who might be the team’s quarterback of the future. Now, Carthon has to find more impactful players for a roster that desperately needs game-changing talent. The roster also needs to add quality depth players on both sides of the football. The Titans could be in transition, with perennial Pro Bowl running back Derrick Henry potentially hitting the market as a free agent. — Turron Davenport

This will all start at quarterback for the Falcons, who lost four of five games to end the season. They might not be in a position to draft one of the top prospects. They could instead turn their attention to cornerback, offensive line or defensive line. Missing the playoffs makes the quarterback question the biggest offseason issue by far. — Michael Rothstein

This is the second of the Bears’ two first-round picks, thanks to their trade with the Panthers from last March. Chicago last picked twice in Round 1 in 2003, when it traded down from No. 4 and drafted defensive end Michael Haynes (No. 14) and quarterback Rex Grossman (No. 22). — ESPN staff

The Jets’ top needs are at offensive tackle and wide receiver, and there should be some talented prospects from which to choose. The team’s biggest question is at quarterback. New York will have a healthy Aaron Rodgers in 2024, but will that preclude it from taking a quarterback if it has a shot at one of the top prospects? That would contradict the organization’s win-now philosophy, but it also has to keep an eye on the future. Rodgers is 40, and there’s no guarantee he will play beyond 2024. — Rich Cimini

Nothing about the Vikings’ draft plans can be finalized until they decide about the quarterback position. Kirk Cousins‘ contract will be void in March. Joshua Dobbs, after a hot start as the team’s emergency starter, has been benched and does not appear to be the answer. The Vikings will have to decide whether they want either (or both) back in 2024 and then assess whether their ultimate draft position will be good enough to select a quarterback who is good enough to factor as a long-term answer. If not, has rookie Jaren Hall shown enough to be in that conversation? — Kevin Seifert

The Broncos are back on the quarterback carousel — again — after coach Sean Payton benched Russell Wilson before the Week 17 game against the Chargers. Jarrett Stidham, who started the last two games, was the 12th quarterback to start a game for the Broncos since the beginning of the 2016 season. The Broncos are poised to walk away from Wilson, including his five-year, $242.6 million deal. Stidham would be the most efficient option given he’s signed for 2024 and Wilson’s contract would put the Broncos in a most uncomfortable salary cap squeeze.

The Broncos have limited draft capital — six picks and only two in the first two days of the draft, with no second-rounder — to make a move. — Jeff Legwold

Raiders interim coach Antonio Pierce, who elevated fourth-round pick Aidan O’Connell over veteran Jimmy Garoppolo in November, acknowledged late in the season he never believed Las Vegas would win a game “because” of the rookie quarterback. Indeed, had the Raiders received any semblance of competent quarterback play against the Vikings (a 3-0 defeat) and in the first half at the Colts, where they lost 23-20, they would have had two more wins. Pierce’s admission lends further credence to the notion that O’Connell is not the future for the franchise. Same with $72.75 million man Garoppolo, a prime cut candidate.

So, for the first time since 2007, and only the fourth time since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, the Raiders could use a first-round pick on a quarterback. A trade up might be necessary to get one of the top passers, but who makes that call, what with Pierce the interim coach and Champ Kelly an interim general manager? Indeed, the Raiders are again in search of a franchise quarterback. — Paul Gutierrez

The Saints have struck out with first-round picks on both sides of the line: Defensive end Marcus Davenport (2018) left in free agency, edge rusher Payton Turner (2021) has three career sacks, and offensive tackle Trevor Penning (2022) was benched this season. They have one of the worst pass rushes in the league, and Cameron Jordan (two sacks) will be 35 next season. With quarterback Derek Carr signed through the 2026 season and the Saints struggling in the trenches, they might need to start rebuilding their offensive and defensive lines. — Katherine Terrell

The Colts addressed their longtime quarterback need last April, and that opens up the draft board in a significant way. They like their offensive playmakers, though adding a receiver couldn’t hurt. Their secondary is young but showing some promise late in the season. With the lack of urgent needs, this draft is the perfect scenario for general manager Chris Ballard, who loves trading out of the first round to acquire additional picks. — Stephen Holder

The book is closed on the Russell Wilson trade, which means the Seahawks won’t be flush with early-round draft capital like they were in each of the past two drafts. They have an extra third-round pick, but they don’t own a second-rounder after giving it up in the Leonard Williams trade — and they won’t be picking in the top 10 for a third straight year, barring a collapse over the final month. That means it could be easier said than done to replace quarterback Geno Smith this offseason if they were so inclined based on his inconsistent play and the flexibility they have to get out of his contract. — Brady Henderson

For a team that started 8-3, the Jaguars have a lot of areas that need to be addressed if they’re going to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender in 2024 and beyond. It starts with the interior of the offensive line (mainly at guard), but adding a big-bodied receiver, finding another pass-rusher and/or cornerback and getting better on the defensive line also are spots to watch. Most of Jacksonville’s impact players were signed in free agency in recent years. It’s time to find some more in the draft. — Michael DiRocco

The Bengals’ draft could hinge on what happens with wide receiver Tee Higgins. In the final year of his rookie deal, Higgins’ production has fallen short of his first three seasons. He had 42 catches and five touchdowns in 12 games. Cincinnati will need to decide if he’s worth a franchise tag or a long-term deal, or it could look at drafting a replacement to pair with Ja’Marr Chase, who could get a massive contract extension in the offseason. — Ben Baby

Projected order for pick Nos. 19-32, via the FPI

19. Green Bay Packers (9-8)
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-8)
21. Los Angeles Rams (10-7)
22. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-7)
23. Arizona Cardinals (via 10-7 HOU)
24. Houston Texans (via 11-6 CLE)
25. Miami Dolphins (projected to finish 11-6)
26. Kansas City Chiefs (11-6)
27. Philadelphia Eagles (11-6)
28. Buffalo Bills (projected to finish 11-6)
29. Detroit Lions (12-5)
30. Dallas Cowboys (12-5)
31. Baltimore Ravens (13-4)
32. San Francisco 49ers (12-5)

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