NFL Draft Day 1 Wishlist

Well, it’s happened. We’ve hit the worst time of year for fantasy football and NFL enthusiasts: the doldrums of the offseason between the Combine and the NFL Draft. 

It’s a time filled with insane conjecture, ridiculous player and front-office theories and all-around terrible takes. Luckily, we don’t do that here. There will be no hot takes or wild conspiracy theories. Instead, here are three things I want to see happen – and you might too – on Day 1 of the NFL Draft.

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J.J. McCarthy Falls to the Vikings

If you believe some of the draft pundits out there, Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy is a guaranteed top-five pick on Day 1 of the NFL Draft. However, if you remember, when McCarthy declared for the draft back in February, there was almost no buzz about it. Many analysts were far from impressed, with concerns about how he was used at Michigan – namely, his lack of passing attempts in Jim Harbaugh’s run-forward offense. 

The conversation shifted, however, when Harbaugh publicly praised McCarthy in an interview shortly after taking the Los Angeles Chargers’ head coaching job. And the more we have all reviewed the film on McCarthy, the more we get it. Sure, you would have liked to see him throw the ball more. Hopefully, we’ll get to see him air it out more at the professional level. And what better place to air it out than a Minnesota offense with Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, Aaron Jones and T.J. Hockenson (eventually)? 

If you believe the chatter leading up to Day 1, McCarthy is unlikely to fall to pick No. 11. The Vikings would need to trade up inside the top five picks, which isn’t out of the question but feels unlikely. 

If you like fun football and want to see McCarthy unlocked, root for the unlikely. 

Elite WRs Marked “Safe” From The New England Patriots

If you like fun football, you’ll also want to root for this one. 

Can you imagine Malik Nabers, Marvin Harrison or Rome Odunze lining up in red, silver and blue in 2024? I can, and it’s a nightmare. 

But what if they draft a QB, you say? Well, you see, that’s the problem. At pick No. 3, the Patriots will have their choice of one of Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye, or J.J. McCarthy. When their next pick, number 34, comes around, should they go WR at Round 3, none of those prospects will still be on the board. Instead, Patriots fans, you might get lucky and see Bo Nix slip out of the first round, but otherwise, I hope you like Michael Penix.

New England should be in rebuild mode and draft a quarterback on Day 1. Of course, just because we—and pretty much everyone who pays attention to football—know this doesn’t mean head coach Jerod Mayo and company know it. Even the best front offices can get distracted by shiny objects like an elite receiver. If New England snags Nabers, Odunze or Harrison, you can kiss their 2024 fantasy value goodbye. 

Stefon Who?

Since WR Stefon Diggs was abruptly traded to the Houston Texans a few weeks back, Bills fans have been in a state of mild panic. This makes sense, given that the team is now without a clear WR1, with fellow WR Gabe Davis having departed in free agency. However, do you think Buffalo will go into the 2024 season without adding an elite receiving talent?

Of course not. 

The only question is which avenue the team will explore. Cincinnati WR Tee Higgins is on the trading block, and having a veteran presence step in is undoubtedly an attractive option. However, why buy used when you could get a brand-new, faster version in Texas WR Xavier Worthy?

If you were one of the other teams in the AFC East, this would be the last thing you would want to happen. However, if you’re a Bills fan, a Josh Allen manager in dynasty fantasy football, or just an overall football fan, you should be rooting for this to happen. 

Worthy is an electric, speedy receiver with good hands and dynamic play-making ability. This isn’t to say that Diggs or Higgins aren’t these things because both have these qualities, as displayed by their success over their respective NFL careers.

That said, Worthy will turn 21 on Day 3 of the draft and has the talent to make Bills’ fans forget Diggs existed.      

Thanks for reading my NFL Draft Day Impact article! I’ll be back in a few weeks with more reactions, insights and advice right here on Razzball! Make sure to follow me on X (formerly Twitter) @JenPolvogt.