NFL Draft Rumors: Cowboys’ Pollard replacement, Raiders-Penix trade, Giants QB signal

  • Giants draft visits give a clear picture of the plan at QB
  • Raiders aggressive move for Michael Penix Jr. in play
  • Cowboys projected to draft Tony Pollard's replacement on Day 2
Dallas Cowboys v Los Angeles Chargers
Dallas Cowboys v Los Angeles Chargers / Harry How/GettyImages

The 2024 NFL Draft is now just eight days away when prospects will realize their dreams of playing at the professional level. But even though there's just a hair more than a week until Caleb Williams hears his name called as the No. 1 pick to the Chicago Bears, the fact of the matter is that we still know so little about how the rest of the 2024 NFL Draft will play out. All we can do is glean the most from the latest draft rumors that are out there and move from there. Let's do just that with the buzz around the NFL today.

NFL Draft Rumors: Giants forecasting QB plans with draft visits?

Arguably no team in the 2024 draft sits in a more precarious position than the New York Giants. This is clearly a franchise that would like to find a new plan at quarterback beyond incumbent starter Daniel Jones. Simultaneously, there's a high likelihood, courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings, that they get jumped at the No. 6 pick and the four best quarterbacks are off of the board.

Apparently, Giants general manager Joe Schoen and the brass in the organization are well aware of that too.

Big Blue View's tracker for Giants draft visits recently updated to include reports from NFL Network's Mike Garafolo that New York has had official pre-draft meetings with Oregon QB Bo Nix and South Carolina QB Spencer Rattler. And while they have, of course, met with every other top quarterback besides Caleb Williams, these latest meetings could tell us quite a bit about what the G-Men have planned.

While the franchise has done its due diligence on Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels, J.J. McCarthy and Michael Penix Jr., the first three, as mentioned, are likely to be off the board by the sixth pick. Penix, meanwhile, would be a drastic reach at No. 6 and likely will not fall into the second round.

That's what makes visiting with Nix and Rattler all the more intriguing. Both are projected, as of now, as Day 2 picks. Whether they feel confident they can stick at No. 47 or even moving up earlier in the second round, the Giants could very much be in range to pair a Malik Nabers or whichever player they select at No. 6 with one of these Day 2 quarterbacks. And their draft visits seem to indicate the Giants are exploring that plan of action as well.

NFL Draft Rumors: Raiders projected to trade up for Michael Penix Jr.

Speaking of teams that need a quarterback, the Las Vegas Raiders don't even have a Daniel Jones on their roster. Yes, they signed veteran Gardner Minshew this offseason, but when has he ever been considered anything close to a long-term plan at quarterback? The same could be said of Aidan O'Connell after getting a look at him as a rookie in the 2024 season.

So where do the Raiders turn? That's the million-dollar question at hand in Sin City. Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. appears to be the apple of their eye right now, with Vic Tafur of The Athletic ($) indicating that the organization might be aggressive enough to take him with the No. 13 overall pick. But most prognosticators agree -- Tafur included -- that would be a bit too rich for the Huskies signal-caller.

If that's the case then, how about another trade, one that would vault the Raiders into the back-end of the first round? That's what Dane Brugler of The Athletic ($) projected in his latest full 7-round mock draft. The draft insider projects Vegas to trade No. 44 and 77 to the Detroit Lions to then draft Penix at No. 29 overall.

In reality, that could serve the Raiders best. This isn't a hopeless roster, but it is one that needs help. Foregoing a top-end player at a position of need to reach on Penix would be poor business. Brugler's predictions, however, have Las Vegas selecting Alabama CB Terrion Arnold then still landing Penix. While not having a third-round pick would hurt, getting the quarterback with a fifth-year option and a potential star cornerback could help move Antonio Pierce's team forward substantially.

NFL Draft Rumors: Cowboys predicted to replace Tony Pollard on Day 2

You'd be hard-pressed to find a Dallas Cowboys fan who's happy with what the franchise has done this offseason. The good news for our purposes is that there isn't much to recap because the team hasn't done much.

Dallas has only signed two outside free agents (LB Eric Kendricks, RB Royce Freeman) while bringing back cornerbacks C.J. Goodwin and Jourdan Lewis, running back Rico Dowdle, long snapper Trent Sieg and tackle Chuma Edoga.

That still leaves a ton of questions, though, and the biggest is likely what the team does at running back. There is no way that a logical person -- though it remains to be seen if the Jones family fits into this category -- can go into the season with Dowdle, Freeman and Deuce Vaughn as a potential contender's running back room. As such, the draft has been floated as the likeliest option to find a replacement for Tony Pollard, who departed in free agency after playing 2023 on the franchise tag.

Dane Brugler's latest mock draft for The Athletic ($) goes through all seven rounds worth of predictions and it has the Cowboys finding their replacement for Pollard: Tennessee RB Jaylen Wright. Brugler projects Dallas to select the back in the third round with the 87th overall pick.

Wright is one of the most explosive backs in the class, running a 4.38-second 40 at the NFL Combine with great jumps to his credit as well. He also showcased that on film as the backbone of the Vols offense. He could very much mirror the explosive play of Pollard at his best, but perhaps with more effectiveness than his predecessor in 2023 as Pollard returned from a broken leg.

Obviously, there is no guarantee Wright is there at No. 87, or that he's the Cowboys' top target at the position. But this does give a clearer idea as to the range in which Dallas could look to fill this glaring hole on the offense.