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2024 NFL Draft Winners and Losers: Eagles, Steelers Stand Out; why did the raiders pass on QB?

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The 2024 NFL Draft is officially in the books after three days of intrigue and plenty of action.

Teams will replenish their rosters with undrafted free-agent signings in the coming days. But the puzzles are largely put together. The experimentation will begin in a few weeks when mini-camps and off-season workouts begin. And some questions will remain unanswered until training camp and the preseason.

But for now, we'll evaluate which teams helped themselves the most after the draft and which teams fell short in their quest to position themselves in contention.

Winners

Philadelphia Eagles

General manager Howie Roseman continued his trade-and-dealing on Saturday, when he completed five more trades and finished with a career-high nine during draft week. The Eagles got some luck, when cornerback Quinyon Mitchell fell to them in Round 1. Then Roseman pulled off a trade that allowed the Eagles to get another cornerback, Cooper DeJean, in Round 2. From there, Roseman and company continued to improve performance. depth to their roster, while also stockpiling picks for 2025. For now, the Eagles have nine picks in next year's draft. That gives Philadelphia a cushion in case the NFL's investigation into possible Saquon Barkley tampering reveals some wrongdoing and the Eagles get a pick or two.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers overhauled their quarterback group this offseason by acquiring Russell Wilson and Justin Fields and entered the draft with a mission to get stronger in the trenches. Mission accomplished. Tackle Troy Fautanu, center Zach Frazier and guard Mason McCormick were three of their first five picks. The Steelers also added toughness to the defense by selecting linebacker Payton Wilson and defensive tackle Logan Lee.

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Washington commanders

The moment certainly didn't seem too big for Adam Peters, Commanders' new general manager. Not only did he select Jayden Daniels as the team's franchise quarterback, but he also added playmakers on offense and defense. Peters used his eight picks after Daniels to plug holes along the defensive front, in the secondary, at tight end and on the interior of the offensive line.

Los Angeles Chargers

Jim Harbaugh and the Chargers came into the draft with numerous holes to fill as they innovated. In response, they provided a sounding board with big, tough, physical building blocks in offensive tackle Joe Alt, linebacker Junior Colson and defensive tackle Justin Eboigbe. The Chargers also added intriguing offensive prospects with running back Kimani Vidal and wide receiver Brenden Rice (Jerry's son), who could be sleepers.

Kansas City Chiefs

The rich get richer. Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes have another speedy wide receiver after the first round draft pick of Xavier Worthy from Texas. Then they got a steal with BYU tackle Kingsley Suamataia in the second round before adding two more offensive linemen to boost their depth. Tight end Jared Wiley (fourth round) is another intriguing pick who could contribute now before taking on a bigger role once Travis Kelce starts to decline.

Michigan Glutton

No fewer than 13 players from the national champion heard their names called this weekend. That tops all schools (Texas followed with 11 players drafted). Quarterback JJ McCarthy led the way, going 10th overall to the Minnesota Vikings, and lap after lap the Wolverines were ripped away. Four others signed as undrafted free agents immediately afterward. Harbaugh was even reunited with two of his former players: Colson and wide receiver Cornelius Johnson.

Losers

Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons came under heavy scrutiny after their selection of quarterback Michael Penix Jr. at No. 8, just weeks after Kirk gave Cousins ​​a guaranteed $100 million. Yes, as the Green Bay Packers have shown, it's wise to draft a quarterback before you need him. But the Falcons aren't close enough to compete for luxury picks like these. They really need second-round pick Ruke Orhorhoro and third-round outside linebacker Bralen Trice to shine as rookies and help soften the blow of passing on an immediate-impact talent in the top 10.

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Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys have made additions that will help improve the quality and depth of their offensive line. But it's hard to look at this week's selections and feel like Dallas has gained ground on the rival Eagles. The Cowboys come with a glaring hole in depth. They needed a good running back and went the entire draft without selecting one even though there were plenty of opportunities.

Miami Dolphins

Despite forfeiting their third-round pick due to impermissible contact with Tom Brady and Sean Payton's agent, the Dolphins still completed the draft with seven picks. Yet they didn't seem to hit any major stars. Edge rusher Chop Robinson has upside, but he needs time to develop. That includes second-round offensive tackle Patrick Paul. A team that needed to close the gap between itself and the Buffalo Bills needed more slam-dunk selections.

Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders needed to come away from the draft with a long-term answer at quarterback. They failed to make a trade to move up in the first round, then passed on the opportunity to draft passers in the second, third and fourth rounds. Spencer Rattler stayed on the board until the New Orleans Saints took him in the fifth round, and some scouts believe he has the potential to develop into a starter.

The Raiders clearly disagreed, so Aidan O'Connell and Gardner Minshew will fight this thing out. First-round pick Brock Bowers is a promising addition to the offense. The Raiders appeared to improve on defense with the additions of cornerback Decamerion Richardson, linebacker Tommy Eichenberg, safety Trey Taylor and cornerback MJ Devonshire on Saturday. But it's troubling to enter another season without a franchise quarterback in a division with Mahomes and Justin Herbert.

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(Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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