4 picks in the 2024 NFL Draft that will get GMs fired

It may not end up being so, but these are the type of draft picks that get general managers fired.
Terry Fontenot, Atlanta Falcons
Terry Fontenot, Atlanta Falcons / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

The NFL Draft should be a good time, not a sad time. Unfortunately, for somebody to have a good draft, that probably means somebody had a bad draft. The crazy part is only time will tell if what we think is good is great, or what we think is bad is terrible, or somewhere in between. All I know is that I am in the interesting business, and over the last few days, I have some thoughts about a few picks...

Of the two NFL general managers with the hottest seats entering the draft, one has cooled off considerably, while another has been cranked up a few more degrees. I will let you read between the lines with that. Or don't. Just wait a few seconds, and surely you'll find out. This all comes down to this fantastic exercise I am going to do today, which is to say these four picks could get their GMs fired.

While the Zach Wilson draft pick hasn't gotten Joe Douglas fired yet by the New York Jets, the Clelin Ferrell draft pick got Mike Mayock on the first plane out of town a few years running the Las Vegas Raiders. Although I would say the Jets and Raiders came out of Thursday night with good picks (Olu Fashanu and Brock Bowers, respectively), not every NFL can say the same. This is going to be fun!

Without further ado, here are four decisions made in and around Thursday that may cost GMs jobs.

4. John Lynch taking Ricky Pearsall No. 31 for 49ers was incredibly strange

Are we sure that John Lynch is a good general manager? While I would lean towards that probably being more true than not, he once again made a head-scratching decision with a first-round pick by reaching on Ricky Pearsall out of Florida at No. 31 overall on Thursday. The next three picks after him were all wide receivers, all of whom I had higher on my theoretical draft board over the ASU transfer.

Hitting on No. 31 is not easy, but Lynch hasn't even really shown an ability to hit on No. 3. While I would say that he has hit on Nick Bosa and Brandon Aiyuk in the first round, Lynch failed miserably with Solomon Thomas, Javon Kinlaw and Trey Lance. The median first-round pick under his time running the 49ers' front office was Mike McGlinchey, who had NFL pedigree, but is already on another team...

I have no problem with the San Francisco 49ers taking a wide receiver at No. 31, but to pass on Xavier Legette, Keon Coleman and Ladd McConkey in succession in favor of Pearsall was odd to say the least. Was this down to appease Aiyuk, to replace him or to alienate Deebo Samuel? This pick was confusing. I might have taken Ja'Lynn Polk over Pearsall, who went a few picks later to New England.

The 49ers keep coming up short of winning a Super Bowl. Maybe Lynch's draft whiffs are a problem?

3. Bills GM Brandon Beane moving back twice for Keon Coleman at No. 33 was odd

I am kind of starting to wonder if the Buffalo Bills need to hit the reset button as a franchise. Oh, it wouldn't be a complete and total rebuild. Josh Allen is worthy of building another contending team around. But what I keep going back to is Sean McDermott's shortcomings in the postseason, as well as Brandon Beane's utter stupidity to do business with the Kansas City Chiefs on draft night again.

So the Bills traded their No. 1 wide receiver in Stefon Diggs to the Houston Texans. They also let their No. 2 walk to the Jacksonville Jaguars in his free agency in Gabe Davis. Knowing they were probably going to wide receiver at No. 28, they traded back to No. 32 with Kansas City, who took speedster Xavier Worthy. Not to be outdone, the Bills traded back again in a deal with Carolina to get to No. 33.

The Bills infamously traded the No. 10 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft to Kansas City. While they still got Tre'Davious White, Kansas City got Patrick Mahomes. White isn't on the Bills anymore. Keon Coleman is a fine pick, but I think choosing to do business with the Chiefs in the draft again shows us all that Beane may not have learned his lesson. This is a team Buffalo needs to beat to win the AFC, folks!

For now, Beane has put too much stock in Coleman having to be everything in this receiving corps.

2. George Paton pretty much sealed his fate with Broncos reaching on Bo Nix at No. 12

To be fair, he might already be cooked. We are not talking about Frank Reich levels of being cooked here, but George Paton is probably going to be an NFL general manager for the last time ever this season. Over the last several years, the Denver Broncos have been pretty much a clown show. Ownership, coaches and quarterbacks have all changed, but the one constant has been Paton.

Truth be told, the No. 12 overall pick to reach on Bo Nix out of Oregon was probably move of Sean Payton's idea, but Paton still did it. Not only that, but he gave up more draft capital to move up to get Nix's Oregon teammate Troy Franklin in the fourth round. I may like Franklin a bit, but this comes across as Paton, the Broncos, or whomever pushed the button, doubling-down on a bad decision.

In a quarterback room that featured Jarrett Stidham and Ben DiNucci to start, one that saw Paton trade for Zach Wilson and then reach on Nix, the best quarterback in that room right now may still be Stidham. Denver, Paton and Payton have hitched their wagon to Nix. Hopefully, it works out for them. If it doesn't, Denver may do something dumb like passing on Carson Beck or Quinn Ewers next year.

Ask yourself this: How much better off are the Broncos when compared to the Carolina Panthers?

1. Terry Fontenot may be run out of Atlanta for taking Michael Penix Jr. No. 8

I am going to be as fair as possible here. While I might be an Atlanta Falcons fan, it is hard to justify what Terry Fontenot did at No. 8 in taking Michael Penix Jr. out of Washington. I will say this ad nauseam if I have to. I love the player and am happy to have him in Atlanta, but why did Fontenot reach on him at No. 8? Either he thinks he is Brian Gutekunst, does trust Kirk Cousin's leg or is a Saints spy.

I understand that teams like Las Vegas, New Orleans and Seattle could have drafted Penix in the teens, but why give Cousins all that money if you were going to draft a soon-to-be, 24-year-old, left-handed quarterback who has torn his knee before? This isn't what the Green Bay Packers did by drafting Jordan Love to spite-motivate Aaron Rodgers. This is how Fontenot ultimately loses his job.

The weird part in this is he might actually be right to take Penix, we just don't know it yet. All three of his previous first-round picks were met with mixed reviews. So far, I would say Kyle Pitts, Drake London and Bijan Robinson have all been hits, some more than others. Penix could be one too, but Atlanta's time to contend is now, and they needed to get more value with the No. 8 overall pick here.

For what it is worth, Fontenot did address the defensive line with a slew of picks in day two and three.

Next. Grading every first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Grading every first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. dark