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Best fits for NFL Rookie of the Year candidates


One week. Can you feel it in the air? the 2024 NFL Draft It is right around the corner, filling NFL fans with hope and the idea that their team is on the verge of selecting the cornerstone of the franchise.

This is a strong draft class at the top, with a few players who can make immediate impacts and potentially take home the hardware after the season. Here are some team/player matchups that could stretch the potential of some talented rookies this season.

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 20: USC quarterback Caleb Williams at Pro Day at USC on Wednesday, March 20, 2024. (Photo by David Crane/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 20: USC quarterback Caleb Williams at Pro Day at USC on Wednesday, March 20, 2024. (Photo by David Crane/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images)

Chicago Bears — Caleb Williams, QB, USC

Williams has found himself in a situation that most No. 1 picks only dream of.

In a normal year, the worst team in the league has the first pick for a myriad of reasons, most of which are being a poorly built team that doesn’t have the talent or identity to pull off wins. That’s not the case for the Bears, who have a solid foundation and appear poised to take the next step toward becoming a playoff team.

Williams will enter an offense that has some investments along the offensive line, including a top-10 selection last year Darnell Wrighttwo Pro Bowl wide receivers, a durable tight end Cole Kmit And the veteran runs with Dandre Swift. Such a blessing! Most quarterbacks who go No. 1 overall have to play at a disadvantage with no hope of breaking through for a year or two. Barring health, Williams will play with a defense that has the potential to be a top-10 unit in 2024.

It’s a very rookie-friendly situation, who will undoubtedly need time to get used to playing in the NFL. However, Williams has the talent and situation around him where he will be able to make a huge impact in year one. He will likely be a favorite for Rookie of the Year after the draft, and for good reason.

Arizona Cardinals — Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

If Harrison can play with a quarterback who has had success in the NFL, he has the talent to have a monster rookie season. it is good. In the class that excels Malik Nabars And Roma Udonzi, Harrison is largely viewed as the undisputed top wide receiver in the draft. Harrison has basically made it through the draft process outside of interviews and scouting pool weigh-ins and no one expects him to fall on the draft board.

Harrison put it with Kyler Murray It’s something Cardinals fans should immediately get excited about — and they need to, too. Marquis Brown It’s out to the bosses, Rondell Moore He is with the Falcons and the best player on their roster is probably a second-year wide receiver Michael Wilsonwho has promise, but doesn’t appear to be as dominant as Harrison.

It seems like the only thing that could prevent the Cardinals from landing Harrison is a team that trades for him New Britain To snatch him from their grasp. Hopefully the Cardinals can get Harrison because with a true starting quarterback, he can have a rookie season that everyone will remember for years to come.

OXFORD, MISSISSIPPI - SEPTEMBER 30: Wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. #11 of the LSU Tigers catches a pass for a touchdown in front of cornerback Deantre Prince #7 of the Mississippi Rebels during the first half of a play at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on September 30, 2023 in Oxford, Mississippi.  (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)OXFORD, MISSISSIPPI - SEPTEMBER 30: Wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. #11 of the LSU Tigers catches a pass for a touchdown in front of cornerback Deantre Prince #7 of the Mississippi Rebels during the first half of a play at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on September 30, 2023 in Oxford, Mississippi.  (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)
Brian Thomas Jr.’s skills would fit in well as well Josh AllenNo. 1 wide receiver in Buffalo. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)

Buffalo Bills — Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU

Buffalo has a huge need at wide receiver, but the Bills are not selected until the later parts of the first round. The 28th pick is a long way from getting someone like Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, or Roma Udonze, but may be Be a place where they can get a potential client like Thomas.

Just like Nabers, Thomas is a huge threat and can do massive damage on the field. Thomas scored 17 touchdowns on just 68 receptions in 2023, while averaging nearly 18 yards per reception. Now you’re 6-foot-3, 4.33 quick, and 38.5 inches tall? This is a profile that exudes high NFL potential.

This also seems to be the type of receiver that Josh Allen will have great success with. If it could be a better version of Gaby Davis For the Bills (in a world where he’s drafted by Buffalo, of course), he could be a monster as a rookie from a production standpoint while he gets used to the finer points of being an NFL receiver. A true big-play threat, Allen would allow Buffalo to maintain a credible passing game while reshaping its roster. If it works out well enough, Thomas could get some Rookie of the Year votes.

This may be the scenario Bowers is dreaming of as things stand – assuming Aaron Rodgers He could get close to being an MVP-level quarterback again. The Jets already have a budding star wideout Garrett WilsonNo. 2 is broadly strong Mike Williams And a star runs back with him Press Hall. The dynamic tight end could take this offense to the next level in a season in which they try to win a Super Bowl.

Bowers has done everything for the Bulldogs offense. From traditional tight end duties, to playing in the slot, to outside wide receiver, to running the ball, Georgia trusted him with everything. Throwing him into what looks like a very talented Jets offense could be the secret sauce New York needs to make its first playoff run since 2011.

Mitchell checks many boxes for a smaller school. The cornerback’s outstanding on-ball production, strong performance in the Senior Bowl and elite athleticism at the NFL Scouting Combine should allay any concerns talent evaluators have about his ability to translate to the next level. The realistic landing spot for Mitchell where he could make an impact at the Rookie of the Year level is with the Raiders, given the Great free agent addition they made this offseason.

It will be difficult to find many duos along the defensive line that can cause disruption on the way Christian Wilkins And Max Crosby It is expected to do. They have a potential three-headed monster up front Terry Wilson He could take those next steps toward stardom in his second season. This is a cornerback’s dream – a plethora of pass rushers who can cause quarterbacks to make errant throws. Mitchell already has the ability to make plays on the ball, but handling this defensive line could make him a real weapon who could get into the Rookie of the Year race on defense.



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