The 2024 NFL Draft has long held the predominant narrative regarding the quarterback class. There's a non-zero chance that the first three picks from the Chicago Bears, Washington Commanders and New England Patriots take USC's Caleb Williams, North Carolina's Drake Maye, and LSU's Jayden Daniels off the board in some order.
However, the proverbial second tier of the 2024 draft quarterback class has been the topic of much discussion. What happens with an all-upside prospect like J.J. McCarthy? Where will Michael Penix Jr. and Bo Nix, two older prospects with big college stats, come off of the board? Could a sleeper like Spencer Rattler make a big rise up in the drafts?
According to some insiders, we could hear more of those names called in the first round than initially expected, in large part due to looking ahead to the 2025 NFL Draft.
ESPN college football insider Pete Thamel ($) reported coming out of the Senior Bowl that a potentially much weaker 2025 quarterback class in the draft could force teams to potentially pull off a surprise and take a QB in the mid-to-late first round of the 2024 draft.
"Could that have an impact on executives' thinking this year? If a solid quarterback is available in the mid-to-late parts of Round 1, could he get picked partially because there might not be a comparable quarterback in a comparable spot next year?"
So which teams could now surprise us all by drafting a quarterback in the mid-to-late first round range of the 2024 NFL Draft? These four teams all have reason to potentially make that call.
NFL Rumors: 4 surprise teams that could draft a QB in 2024 first round
4. New York Giants
To some degree, the New York Giants aren't much of a surprise to take a quarterback in the first round. What we saw from Daniel Jones prior to his injury in 2023 was evidence of a long-term concern, and for as fun as it was, Tommy DeVito isn't the answer either. So if any of the top three QBs in Williams, Maye or Daniels were to fall to the G-Men with the No. 6 pick, they'd surely jump at the opportunity.
That, however, seems highly unlikely. Even if one of the teams picking in the Top 3 were to balk on quarterback, the Giants would face a bevy of aggressive QB-needy teams looking to trade with the Ariona Cardinals at No. 4 or the Los Angeles Chargers at No. 5 to get ahead of New York.
But what if the Giants showed a bit of aggression of their own, particularly at the end of the first round?
New York holds the No. 39 overall pick in the draft. If one of Penix, Nix, McCarthy or even Rattler were to still be available after about the 25th overall pick, the Giants could heavily consider trading back into the first round to grab a quarterback and secure the possibility for a fifth-year option.
The big key would be how desperate the Giants are to address the position this offseason, or if they'd be content in waiting to see how the chips fall in 2025. However, if the reporting is to be believed, you have to consider New York in the mix.