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2024 NFL Draft: Six logical first-round trades teams should make to benefit all parties involved

Minnesota and Houston set the 2024 NFL Draft's Round 1 trade machine in motion two weeks ago: The Vikings acquired a first-round pick (No. 23 overall) and a seventh-rounder (No. 232) from the Texans in exchange for second- (No. 42) and sixth-round (No. 188) picks this year and a 2025 second-round selection. Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah presumably executed the deal to give his team options in finding a quarterback to complete with veteran pickup Sam Darnold, who came aboard after Kirk Cousins relocated to Atlanta in free agency.

The first of six possible first-round trades listed below, however, shows there is no guarantee those two first-round picks will be enough for the Vikings to move up for one of the top four signal-callers in this class. The deals I have conjured up in this piece make sense for both teams, with one franchise landing its top remaining prospect while the other adds multiple pieces to its depth chart.

The trade terms below are based on traditional charts that assign numerical values to each draft pick based on historical data. Trade compensation will vary, however, based on the competition for a pick (which drives the price up) and a team's willingness to take less than predicted to move down in exchange for extra selections.

So, without further ado, here are six trades involving Round 1 selections that I could see happening between now and the end of Day 1 of the 2024 draft in Detroit on April 25.

Broncos receive:

  • No. 4 overall pick (Round 1)
  • No. 104 (Round 4)

Cardinals receive:

  • No. 12 overall pick (Round 1) 
  • No. 145 overall (Round 5, from NYJ)
  • 2025 first-round choice  
  • 2025 second-round choice

Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort recently said phone calls for the draft’s No. 4 overall pick are “starting to pick up.” Minnesota's trade for an additional first-rounder makes the Vikings potential players in this pursuit, but Denver might be willing to outbid them, given the Broncos' huge quarterback need following the release of Russell Wilson.

The Broncos traded this year’s second-round pick to the Saints as part of the deal to acquire head coach Sean Payton, who stated at this week’s Annual League Meeting that he thought it was a "realistic" option for the team to move up for a quarterback in this draft. Houston sent Arizona a similar package for the third overall pick last year, allowing the Texans to draft eventual Defensive Rookie of the Year Will Anderson Jr. That deal also could portend that Ossenfort might be more interested in robust future draft capital than Minnesota's extra first-rounder this year. Denver may also request a swap of Day 3 picks to lessen the blow of losing two premium selections in 2025.

Cardinals receive:

  • No. 8 overall (Round 1)

Falcons receive:

  • No. 12 overall (Round 1, from DEN)
  • No. 71 overall (Round 3, from TEN)

The Falcons are in an excellent position to gain additional mid-round currency. They can move down a few spots and still select one of the top dozen players in the class. A top-notch edge rusher (Dallas Turner or Jared Verse) or cornerback (Terrion Arnold or Quinyon Mitchell), both primary roster needs for Atlanta, should be available at No. 12.

If the Cardinals accept Denver's (or Minnesota's) offer for the fourth overall selection, look for them to move back up -- as they did last year, when they traded down from No. 3 to No. 12 before jumping back up to No. 6 for offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. NFL Network Insider Mike Garafolo reported last year that QB Kyler Murray let Cardinals brass know he liked Johnson. I suspect he would be thrilled to see an elite receiver prospect like Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze on the practice field this summer.

Eagles receive:

  • No. 11 overall pick (Round 1)

Vikings receive:

  • No. 22 overall pick (Round 1)
  • No. 50 overall (Round 2, from NO)

Eagles general manager Howie Roseman has traded up in the first round in four of the last five years. Another Thursday night swap could secure the services of a top cornerback (Terrion Arnold or Quinyon Mitchell) or wideout Xavier Worthy, the new NFL Scouting Combine 40-yard dash record-holder. Mitchell might be the top candidate, given his combination of size (6-foot 1/8, 195 pounds) and speed (4.33-second 40-yard dash) and the fact that Philadelphia gave up the second-most passing touchdowns (35) in the NFL last season.

Minnesota or Denver, whichever team does not work out a deal with the Cardinals, must decide whether it views the fifth quarterback in the class as worthy of a top-12 pick. If not, Vikings GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah can follow through with this deal, using either the Eagles’ No. 22 pick or the Vikings' own selection at No. 23 on a QB (Bo Nix or Michael Penix Jr.) and the other first on an edge rusher (Laiatu Latu), cornerback (Nate Wiggins), offensive lineman (Graham Barton) or defensive lineman (Braden Fiske, Byron Murphy II or Jer'Zahn Newton). It can then fill another need with the acquired second-round selection.

If Minnesota were to stay put and select a signal-caller at No. 11, look for Roseman to compete with the Chiefs for the 16th and 19th draft slots mentioned in the next trade rundown.

Chiefs receive:

  • No. 16 overall pick (Round 1)

Seahawks receive:

  • No. 32 overall (Round 1)
  • No. 64 overall (Round 2)
  • 2025 third-round choice

The Chiefs’ Brett Veach has surely contacted members of his general manager cohort like the Seahawks' John Schneider (who holds the No. 16 overall pick) and Rams’ Les Snead (No. 19) about potential trades. The target in this hypothetical would be the speedy Worthy. Signing veteran Marquise Brown to a one-year deal helps the cause, but Veach and head coach Andy Reid will be looking for another speed demon after seeing how injuries and inconsistent play at receiver affected the offense this past season.


Schneider might welcome this deal because he traded his second-round pick to the Giants for defensive lineman Leonard Williams last fall. Even after moving down 16 slots, Schneider could still find a new starting offensive lineman (Cooper Beebe or Jackson Powers-Johnson), defensive lineman (Braden Fiske or Jer'Zahn Newton) or linebacker (Edgerrin Cooper, Trevin Wallace or Payton Wilson) late in the first. Schneider may have interest in the 2025 third-round pick Kansas City received from Tennessee in the L’Jarius Sneed trade, having already dealt next year's fifth-rounder in the Williams trade.

Packers receive:

  • No. 21 overall (Round 1)
  • No. 158 overall (Round 5)

Dolphins receive:

  • No. 25 overall (Round 1)
  • No. 91 overall (Round 3, from BUF)

The Packers' loss in the NFC Divisional Round was cushioned by what seems to a bright future with quarterback Jordan Love (assuming they extend his contract past 2024). In past years, general manager Brian Gutekunst has been willing to move up for a player he feels can push the team to the next level (SEE: Jaire Alexander, Darnell Savage and Love), and positions of need (OL, DT and LB) are also on the radar of teams picking directly ahead of the Pack.


Green Bay has two third-round picks after trading cornerback Rasul Douglas and a fifth-rounder to Buffalo at the October deadline last season. Miami, on the other hand, lost its third as part of the penalty levied by the league last year for tampering. The Dolphins could make use of that selection and still find value at No. 25 in an offensive lineman like Graham Barton, Cooper Beebe, Troy Fautanu or Patrick Paul, a defensive lineman like Braden Fiske or Jer'Zahn Newton, a tight end like Ja'Tavion Sanders or Ben Sinnott, or a defensive back like Max Melton or Nate Wiggins.

49ers receive: 

  • No. 26 overall (Round 1)

Buccaneers receive: 

  • No. 31 overall (Round 1)
  • No. 124 overall (Round 4, from DAL)
  • No. 132 overall (Round 4, compensatory selection)

After giving up 333 passing yards to Patrick Mahomes in Super Bowl LVIII, the 49ers may move up in the first round to bolster their secondary with an athletic corner like Nate Wiggins or Max Melton. General manager John Lynch could also look for an offensive lineman (Cooper Beebe, Troy Fautanu, Amarius Mims, Patrick Paul) to lead the rushing attack that averaged just 3.5 yards on 31 carries in that loss.

The Buccaneers do not have any selections between their fourth-rounder (No. 125 overall) and sixth-round compensatory pick (No. 220), so moving down five spots to add a pair of Day 3 selections seems prudent. They could still find a top interior offensive lineman (Graham Barton, Beebe, Jackson Powers-Johnson), linebacker (Edgerrin Cooper or Payton Wilson) or defensive back (Melton, Javon Bullard or Cooper DeJean) with the 31st pick.

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