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Will 2024 NFL Draft be historical family affair?

There are likely to be 257 families celebrating over the next three days -- from the 2024 NFL Draft's No. 1 overall selection on Thursday evening all the way to the annual "Mr. Irrelevant" pick on Saturday afternoon.

There could potentially be a record-setting amount of families toasting a familiar feeling, as well.

The NFL Common Draft era record for the most players selected in a single draft whose fathers played in the league is 11, set in 2020, according to NFL Research.

The standard for most players selected in a draft whose fathers were former Pro Bowlers is four, which was set in 2011, per NFL Research.

With an abundance of NFL prospects with familiar surnames likely to hear their names repeated in the 2024 NFL Draft, some new standards could be set.

The most prominent of the bunch is Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., son of Hall of Famer Marvin Harrison. The younger Harrison is likely to go in the top five.

Thereafter, Notre Dame offensive lineman Joe Alt -- son of former Pro Bowl OL John Alt; Southern Miss' Frank Gore Jr., son of Frank Gore -- the NFL's No. 3 all-time rusher; USC wide receiver Brenden Rice, the son of Hall of Fame legend Jerry Rice; and Michigan defensive lineman Kris Jenkins, the son of multi-time All-Pro defensive tackle Kris Jenkins, will be worth monitoring all the way through the third and final day of the draft on Saturday.

Notable prospects with NFL fathers

Table inside Article
Prospect NFL father
RB Frank Gore Jr., Southern Miss RB Frank Gore*
WR Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison*
WR Luke McCaffrey, Rice WR Ed McCaffrey*
WR Terique Owens, Missouri State WR Terrell Owens*
WR Brenden Rice, USC WR Jerry Rice*
WR Jordan Whittington, Texas RB Arthur Whittington
OL Joe Alt, Notre Dame OT John Alt*
OL Javon Foster, Missouri DL Jerome Foster
OL Drake Nugent, Michigan QB Terry Nugent
DL Jonah Elliss, Utah DL Luther Elliss*
DL Jaylen Harrell, Michigan LB James Harrell
DL Kris Jenkins, Michigan DT Kris Jenkins*
LB Jeremiah Trotter Jr., Clemson LB Jeremiah Trotter*

*Denotes making at least one Pro Bowl

The family ties aren't just of the father-son variety, either. There are some such as Rice wide receiver Luke McCaffrey, who's the younger brother of 49ers standout Christian McCaffrey. Of course, he's also the son of longtime NFL wide receiver Ed McCaffrey.

San Francisco has more than its share of bloodlines running through the draft, with the aforementioned Rice, McCaffrey and Terique Owens, a Missouri State product who's the son of Hall of Famer Terrell Owens.

Niners general manager John Lynch is a believer that NFL talent can be found in the genes.

"I believe in bloodlines," Lynch said Monday, via team transcript. "I really do. I mean, I think there's evidence that you should. Then you have to step away from that and you have to evaluate it. And that's sometimes difficult to do and that's why a lot of different eyes, a lot of different perspectives.

"These guys, there's some inherent pressure on who their dad is, but there's also some good genes and I think that matters. And so, it's exciting that you have all these great, I mean, we're talking Hall of Fame players and great players and brothers of players and it's really fun. T.O. was out here at the local pro day and his son Terique performed really well and that was pretty cool. I saw him running at me and I played against T.O. a lot and there was something in that stride that was very familiar. It was something about the gait. And it's crazy how those things translate. Is that just gene pool? Is that modeling the way they watch their dad run? It's interesting to me but it's a fun element to this year's draft that I think is going to be interesting to watch to see how it unfolds."

Notable prospects with NFL siblings

Table inside Article
Prospect NFL brother
WR Luke McCaffrey, Rice RB Christian McCaffrey
WR Ainias Smith, Texas A&M DB Maurice Smith
OL Patrick Paul, Houston OL Chris Paul
DL Jonah Elliss, Utah LB Kaden Elliss
LB Tommy Eichenberg, Ohio State OL Liam Eichenberg
DB Max Melton, Rutgers WR Bo Melton

Like Luke McCaffrey and Brenden Rice, Clemson linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. has more than one NFL familial tie, as his father was a Pro Bowl linebacker and his cousin Terrance Ganaway was also an NFL player.

The elder Trotter was a Pro Bowler for the Eagles, and Philadelphia general manager Howie Roseman, like Lynch, isn't opposed to seeing familiar names on jerseys.

"I'm biased towards our hometown players. I'm biased towards the people who have legacy with this franchise," Roseman said, via the team website, on April 16. "So, I think that's hard, and I think that's why, you know, when Coach talked about getting a lot of the information and trying to get myself out of that moment, and you know, just trying to make the best decision for the Philadelphia Eagles and not make it an emotional decision."

Notable prospects with NFL relatives

Table inside Article
Prospect NFL relation
QB Joe Milton III, Tennessee WR Anquan Boldin (cousin)
RB Audric Estime, Notre Dame DL Terrence Fede (cousin)
RB Kendall Milton, Georgia LB Kevin Hardy (uncle)
WR Brenden Rice, USC OT Rick Cunningham (stepfather)
OL Jacob Monk, Duke LB Quincy Monk (uncle)
OL Kingsley Suamataia, BYU OT Penei Sewell (cousin)
DL Ruke Orhorhoro, Clemson CB Michael Ojemudia (cousin)
LB Jeremiah Trotter, Jr., Clemson RB Terrance Ganaway (cousin)
LB Nathaniel Watson, Miss. St. FB Harold Morrow (uncle)
DB Ryan Cooper Jr., Oregon State CB Nahshon Wright (cousin)
DB Josh Proctor, Ohio State RB Patrick Collins (uncle)

The 2024 NFL Draft kicks off Thursday night in Detroit with Round 1 and continues Friday (Rounds 2-3) and Saturday (Rounds 4-7).

Each day could well have plenty of reminders of the NFL's past glory as the future stars of the league take their spots.

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