An analysis of what teams acquired as opposed to what they needed. Dang, Howie Roseman is the dawg!

So, spoiler alert: yes, the Philadelphia Eagles will climb the rankings. Let’s get to it!

NFL 2024 Defensive Risers After the Draft

🏈Arizona Cardinals

Cardinals 2023 Stats: 25th in total yards allowed per game (355.7), 31st in points allowed per game (26.8), 32nd rushing yards allowed per game (143.2), 12th in passing yards allowed per game(212.5).

2024 Cardinals Defensive Draft Picks

  • Round 1, P27 (from Houston), EDGE, Darius Robinson, Missouri
  • Round 2, P43 (from Atlanta), CB, Max Melton, Rutgers
  • Round 3, P90 (from Houston), CB, Elijah Jones, Boston College
  • Round 4, P104, S, Dadrion Taylor-Demerson, Texas Tech
  • Round 5, P138, EDGE, Xavier Thomas, Clemson
  • Round 7, P226 (from New York Giants), DB, Jaden Davis, Miami

Okay, so it may be slightly skewed when you have seven picks in the first 100. You should have a great Draft day! And the Cardinals did not disappoint on both sides of the ball.

We think we know that the Cardinals’ defense just got more athletic and versatile. Robinson is an inside/outside pass-rush threat. That versatility will come in handy in Arizona.

Taylor-Demerson has quickness and tackling proficiency as a slot defender, and Melton and Jones are athletic corners.

Last season, Robinson had 8.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss as he moved from the interior defensive line to outside. Second-rounder Melton’s career stats at Rutgers include eight interceptions, 22 pass breakups, four blocked punts, four fumble recoveries, 114 tackles, and nine tackles for loss. Jones played six seasons in college. Last season, he had five interceptions and nine pass breakups.

The Cardinals were balanced with their massive haul. They picked six players on the offensive side of the ball and six on the defense.

Hopefully, this balanced approach manifest itself on the field.


🏈Detroit Lions

Lions 2023 Stats: 23rd in total yards allowed per game (348.0), 25th in points allowed per game (24.3),  2nd in rushing yards allowed per game (91.1), 31st in passing yards allowed per game (257.0).

2024 Lions Defensive Draft Picks

  • Round 1, P24, CB, Terrion Arnold, Alabama
  • Round 2, P61, CB, Ennis Rakestraw, Missouri
  • Round 4, P132, RB/S, Sione Vaki, Utah
  • Round 6, P189, DT, Mekhi Wingo, LSU

Detroit hosted the Draft and broke the record for the number of people who attended the Draft. But that has literally nothing to do with them hitting their greatest hits in the draft.

We think we know that the Lions’ 27th-ranked pass defense, which allowed 257.0 passing yards per game, just got better. The Lions doubled down with the back-to-back selections of Arnold and Rakestraw.

Arnold led the SEC in interceptions (five) and passes defended (17) last season. Rakestraw played nine games last season. He had 10 run stops and 21 tackles. A three-year starter from Missouri, his strength is in press-man coverage.


🏈Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles 2023 Stats: 26th in total yards allowed per game (360.0), 30th in points allowed per game (25.6), 11th in rushing yards allowed per game (104.3), 30th in passing yards allowed per game (255.7).

2024 Eagles Defensive Draft Picks

  • Round 1, P22, CB, Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo
  • Round 2, P40 (from Washington via Chicago), CB, Cooper DeJean, Iowa
  • Round 3, 94 (from San Francisco), EDGE, Jalyx Hunt, Houston Christian
  • Round 5, P155 (from LAR via Pittsburgh), LB, Jeremiah Trotter Jr., Clemson


When you get elite players in positions of need repeatedly, and at least two of your picks are deemed “massive steals,” you are, by definition, killing it. And well, that’s what the Eagles did in the NFL 2024 Draft.

We think we know that the Eagles have a new defensive coordinator, Vic Fangio, whose trademark prevents the “big plays” by maximizing a two-high safety scheme. He has arguably the best defensive back in the draft, Mitchell, and the most versatile back in the draft, DeJean.

And then, in the third round, they acquire Hunt, who, according to Pro Football Focus, posted a 25.3% pressure rate on third downs last season. That was the second-best of any pass rusher that attended the 2024 NFL Combine this season.

The Eagles addressed their needs in the first three rounds and then added the sweet spot with the drafting of Trotter, Jr.


Post-Draft Defensive Rankings

Download Table as CSV
Note: Filters and sorting in the table below apply to the output

# Name Team
Baltimore Ravens BAL
Cleveland Browns CLE
New York Jets NYJ
Kansas City Chiefs KC
San Francisco SF
Dallas Cowboys DAL
Houston Texans HOU
Green Bay Packers GBP
Las Vegas Raiders LVR
Pittsburgh Steelers PIT
Detroit Lions DET
New England Patriots NE
Jacksonville Jaguars JAX
Atlanta Falcons ATL
Philadelphia Eagles PHI
Minnesota Vikings MIN
Tampa Bay Buccaneers TB
Indianapolis Colts IND
Miami Dolphins MIA
Chicago Bears CHI
Buffalo Bills BUF
Tennessee Titans TEN
Los Angeles Rams LAR
Seattle Seahawks SEA
Arizona Cardinals ARI
New York Giants NYG
New Orleans Saints NOS
Carolina Panthers CAR
Cincinnati Bengals CIN
Los Angeles Chargers LAC
Denver Broncos DEN
Washington Commanders WAS


Now, the fun really begins. Stay with Razzball.com for all your fantasy needs. Follow me on Twitter @gladysLtyler for the redraft conversations.