Draft season kicks into excessive gear this week on the NFL Scouting Mix in Indianapolis as teams will put prospects underneath a microscope throughout non-public interviews, information conferences and exercises at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Quarterbacks all the time dominate conversations on the mix, and this 12 months might be no completely different with USC’s Caleb Williams, North Carolina’s Drake Maye and LSU’s Jayden Daniels anticipated to be among the many first handful of picks come April. However a stellar huge receiver group, headlined by Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr., LSU’s Malik Nabers and Washington’s Rome Odunze, can even draw loads of curiosity this week.

Past the draft prospects, new head coaches, led by the Chargers’ Jim Harbaugh, and GMs, together with the Commanders’ Adam Peters, might be in the highlight. And the futures of quarterbacks Kirk Cousins, Russell Wilson and Justin Fields might be sizzling matters.

We requested The Athletic’s staff of beat and nationwide writers to fill us in on who or what they’ll be watching or listening for because the NFL world descends upon Indianapolis.


Caleb Williams, Justin Fields and different prime tales to observe on the NFL mix

How large of a precedence is an improve at huge receiver?

The Cardinals need assistance there. That’s not a query. However they’ve a number of wants, and two of the most important are on the offensive and defensive strains. Like lots of his friends, basic supervisor Monti Ossenfort believes the quickest solution to construct is thru the trenches. The favored idea is that if huge receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. is there, you’re taking him. However what if he’s not? Does Arizona choose Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze, additionally thought-about elite receivers? Or do they go a distinct route and look to select up a receiver in later rounds? Ossenfort, who traded again from No. 3 final 12 months, received’t reply these questions, in fact, however he would possibly make clear how he views Arizona’s roster priorities. — Doug Haller

How does Tier 2 of the quarterback class shake out?

The Falcons don’t have a shot at Caleb Williams or Drake Maye choosing at No. 8, and buying and selling as much as No. 1 or No. 2 in this draft class doesn’t appear reasonable for anybody. Meaning if Atlanta goes to depend on the draft to seek out its subsequent quarterback, it’s going to must resolve who it likes from a gaggle that features LSU’s Jayden Daniels, Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy and perhaps even Oregon’s Bo Nix. Not solely that, the Falcons have to determine the place they’re going to want to select to get the participant they need. McCarthy and Nix virtually actually might be obtainable at eight, however getting Daniels would possibly require a commerce as much as as excessive as No. 3. — Josh Kendall



How NFL teams can navigate intangibles of QB analysis, beginning with Bears at No. 1

Which brokers is basic supervisor Eric DeCosta assembly with?

The Ravens are choosing thirtieth. They’ve myriad wants, notably on the offensive line and at working again and edge rusher. Nevertheless, they’ll keep at 30 and choose the most effective participant obtainable or they’ll commerce again to accrue extra picks. What they do in the draft isn’t attractive, nevertheless it’s who they’re. It’s additionally why there might be no place focus on the mix. What might be extra notable is whether or not DeCosta can achieve any traction in re-signing his personal free brokers. The Ravens have almost two dozen, together with standouts Justin Madubuike and Patrick Queen. With a good salary-cap scenario, DeCosta might want to get artistic to maintain the core of a 13-4 staff collectively for one other run. — Jeff Zrebiec

How will the Payments navigate their at the moment nonexistent cap house?

The Payments have their work lower out for them this offseason. The staff is in a projected $41 million gap for 2024 cap house, with solely 53 gamers on their roster and a number of holes in addition. The staff might want to make some troublesome choices. Whom would possibly they lower to make room? Which contracts will they restructure? Which gamers will they prolong? How a lot do they wish to negatively affect their 2025 cap sheet with a few of their restructurings? Normal supervisor Brandon Beane hasn’t needed to do something fairly like this since his early years because the staff’s GM. — Joe Buscaglia



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The staff’s new coach and basic supervisor

I’m in listening to what Dave Canales and Dan Morgan say at their first mix as the highest of the Panthers’ soccer meals chain. The 2 spoke in largely basic phrases at their introductory information convention, the place Morgan stated the staff wants extra “dogs.” You might need heard: The Panthers don’t have a first-round choose. However this is a vital offseason for a staff that should get quarterback Bryce Younger offensive line assist and extra weapons whereas determining the way to deal with a pair of key free brokers in edge rusher Brian Burns and linebacker Frankie Luvu. — Joseph Particular person

Shedeur Sanders and Caleb Williams

All eyes on the mix might be on Caleb Williams, proper, the presumptive No. 1 choose in the draft this week on the mix. (John Leyba / USA At the moment)

How will Caleb Williams deal with the limelight?

A very powerful parts of the mix for the presumptive No. 1 choose will happen behind the scenes throughout his conversations with teams, beginning with the Bears. Most questions on Williams have extra to do with what he’s like off the sphere, and whereas he’s skilled extra fame than most faculty soccer gamers, he hasn’t skilled something just like the media onslaught that might be ready for him Friday morning in Indianapolis. The Bears, and different teams, will seemingly be aware of how he does in that surroundings. — Kevin Fishbain

The defensive deal with class

The Bengals have to assault wants at inside line of defense aggressively, so how the measurables (and interviews) shake out will go an extended solution to deciding if Byron Murphy of Texas and Jer’Zhan Newton of Illinois might join at No. 18 or if a transfer up or down the board shakes them out of mid-first vary. Will any new candidates enter the equation for Day 2 with a powerful mix? The Bengals have to plot the draft path at DT and in the event that they don’t see sufficient choices, they may shift to a free-agent-laden method. — Paul Dehner Jr.



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The huge receivers

The Browns are targeted on profitable in 2024, so the “good” stuff on the mix will contain Browns GM Andrew Berry speaking potential trades together with his friends and probably bumping into brokers of upcoming free brokers. None of that might be for public consumption. However the Browns have to improve their receiving corps — now and into the longer term — so it’s truthful to assume they’ll concentrate on their evaluations of this 12 months’s huge receiver class. The Browns don’t choose till No. 54 of the second spherical, in order that they’ll have to find out what number of huge receivers might be lengthy gone, which of them they could like in the second or third rounds and the way these receivers would possibly match into their ever-evolving offense. — Zac Jackson

What is the most recent with Dak Prescott’s contract?

There are many areas to deal with in free company and the draft, from offensive line to linebacker and defensive deal with. However Prescott’s contract is the No. 1 subject as a result of it impacts every part else. The Cowboys have given no indication that they’re contemplating a right away future with out Prescott, who’s getting into the ultimate season of his present deal. The most definitely state of affairs is that he indicators a brand new contract subsequent month. If the Cowboys depart his deal as is, he’d depend just below $60 million in opposition to their 2024 cap, making it troublesome to do something to enhance the roster outdoors of the draft. If Dallas is actually “all in,” like Jerry Jones stated on the Senior Bowl, they want to determine Prescott’s future to allow them to start bettering the remainder of the roster. — Jon Machota

Russell Wilson watch

Sean Payton stated after the season {that a} determination on the way forward for the 35-year-old Wilson wouldn’t be “a long, drawn-out process.” A couple of weeks later, on the Tremendous Bowl, Payton stated the choice would come “sooner rather than later.” The Broncos seem prepared to maneuver on from Wilson, whose $37 million in 2025 wage turns into assured if he’s nonetheless on the roster on March 17, however there was no motion but publicly. I’m to see whether or not the actions on the mix reveal something about what the Broncos will do with Wilson after two underwhelming seasons in Denver and what mild might be shed on their quarterback plan to observe. — Nick Kosmider



2024 NFL Draft consensus Huge Board: Who’s rising, falling forward of the mix?

The cornerback class

This can be a actually intriguing group of corners, with greater than a handful of prospects wanting like first-rounders. The Lions clearly might use some younger expertise on the place, whether or not it’s at No. 29 on the primary evening or on Day 2 with three picks — Nos. 61, 73 and 92. I’m curious to see which corners separate themselves in Indianapolis. Testing is clearly a part of the equation, however defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn believes it’s a must to be wired a sure solution to excel on the place. Listening to from corners on the podium might assist us get a greater understanding of prospects the Lions would possibly like. — Colton Pouncy

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Packers quarterback Jordan Love exceeded expectations in his first 12 months as a starter and now’s in line for a contract extension. (Patrick McDermott / Getty Photos)

Jordan Love extension talks

I’m going to be parked subsequent to the second-floor Starbucks on the JW Marriott for 96 consecutive hours, ready for a glimpse of Packers basic supervisor Brian Gutekunst and super-agent David Mulugheta speaking with one another. I’d even take only a look in one another’s course. Then, I’ll know precisely how a lot the Packers are paying Love. Gutekunst can’t signal his franchise quarterback till Could 3 as a result of that’s 12 months after Love’s final extension, however he and Mulugheta will certainly meet in Indianapolis to trade contract numbers. — Matt Schneidman

Nick Caserio’s plan to construct on final season

This was imagined to be a gradual and probably painful construct as Caserio and new coach DeMeco Ryans started laying the muse final season after the GM spent the 2 earlier years dismantling and setting the desk for a real rebuild. However Caserio struck gold together with his hiring of Ryans and draft alternatives each in 2022 and 2023 and Houston got here out of nowhere to win its first division title in 4 years. Now Caserio should additional fortify the roster, giving C.J. Stroud further assist by means of constant weapons and extra impactful defensive playmakers. With ample cap house and eight draft picks, the Texans have assets to construct with a mix of free-agent expertise and younger prospects. Caserio and Ryans certainly won’t give away any state secrets and techniques subsequent week, however they need to make clear a few of their highest priorities. — Mike Jones

Who will catch the attention of Colts WRs coach Reggie Wayne?

Past the first-round prospects Indianapolis will take into account with the No. 15 choose, this 12 months’s draft class is meant to be loaded with huge receiver expertise. Final 12 months, Wayne stated he was very impressed with Josh Downs’ route working and sure-handedness through the mix, regardless of Downs being undersized popping out of North Carolina. Wayne relayed that message to GM Chris Ballard, Downs was drafted in the third spherical and had a standout rookie season. I’ll use my binoculars to maintain a detailed eye on Wayne’s interactions throughout mix drills, whereas additionally asking a number of receivers in the event that they’ve met with him and heard any suggestions. — James Boyd



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How they deal with the tough Calvin Ridley scenario

By all accounts, the Jaguars need Ridley again after the 29-year-old receiver had 76 catches for 1,016 yards and eight touchdowns in his first season in Jacksonville. Nevertheless, Ridley’s contract expired and his scenario is fascinating to contemplate. If the Jaguars re-sign Ridley earlier than free company begins, it qualifies as an extension and they’d owe Atlanta a second-round choose in the 2024 draft as per the phrases of their commerce. Nevertheless, if Ridley will get to free company however nonetheless returns to the Jaguars, the brand new deal wouldn’t be thought-about an extension — relatively a free-agent contract — and the Jaguars would solely must ship Atlanta their third-round choose. Permitting Ridley to get to the open market is dangerous, but when the Jaguars play their playing cards proper, they may deliver again Trevor Lawrence’s prime weapon with out shedding a top-50 choose. — Jim Ayello

Tier 2 of the receiver and tight finish prospects

A significant query for subsequent season is whether or not Chiefs coach Andy Reid and basic supervisor Brett Veach can return the staff’s offense to its earlier potent type. One of many quickest methods to try this is to pick the most effective pass-catching prospects obtainable late in the primary and second rounds. Travis Kelce might be 35 subsequent season, so including one other tight finish must be excessive on the Chiefs’ precedence listing. As for the receivers, the Chiefs ought to have loads of choices, contemplating the depth of this 12 months’s class. Reid and Veach will use the mix to start out figuring out which receiver might most excel enjoying alongside Patrick Mahomes. — Nate Taylor



2024 NFL Draft Huge Board: Who’re the highest 100 prospects in this 12 months’s class?

The quarterback prospects

This isn’t a singular reply, nevertheless it’s essentially the most important roster query for the Raiders in their first full season underneath basic supervisor Tom Telesco and head coach Antonio Pierce. Quarterback Aidan O’Connell was stable in 10 begins as a rookie, nevertheless it’s onerous to see the Raiders ending this offseason with out including competitors for the beginning job both by means of the addition of a veteran or a rookie quarterback. Caleb Williams, Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels are extensively thought-about the highest three quarterbacks in this class. The Raiders will do loads of work on them, nevertheless it’ll be troublesome for them to draft any of them contemplating they maintain choose No. 13 in the primary spherical. With that in thoughts, they’ll additionally have to deeply research J.J. McCarthy, Bo Nix, Michael Penix Jr. and the remainder of the category. — Tashan Reed

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The NFL world will watch with curiosity to see how Jim Harbaugh and the cap-strapped Chargers retool their roster this offseason. (Kirby Lee / USA At the moment)

Their salary-cap scenario

The Chargers are successfully $31.7 million over the wage cap as they head into the mix, in accordance with Over the Cap. Essential choices loom, notably relating to receiver Mike Williams, receiver Keenan Allen, edge rusher Joey Bosa and edge rusher Khalil Mack. All 4 veterans have cap hits exceeding $30 million in 2024. How will new head coach Jim Harbaugh and GM Joe Hortiz navigate these veteran contracts — and their cap scenario in basic? Who stays? Who goes? Do they inquire into the commerce market? Do they provide extensions? Will they use void years? I’ll be wanting for solutions to those questions in Indy. — Daniel Popper

Sniffing round an offseason plan

The Rams don’t usually attend the NFL mix (right here is why) apart from their medical employees’s on-site assortment of the all-important medical info on prospects. However Indianapolis continues to be an awesome place to collect knowledge and tidbits from brokers and different league sources about what their offseason plan could possibly be and new developments in contract constructions and team-building. The Rams can have roughly $40 million in workable cap house and a number of wants regardless of a better-than-expected 2023 season. Additionally they have introduced in new assistant coaches — and the mix would be the good surroundings to mine for details about these additions. — Jourdan Rodrigue

Tua Tagovailoa extension talks

It actually looks like a Tagovailoa extension is a foregone conclusion. However what is going to it appear to be and when will it occur? The Dolphins QB enters the 2024 season with a $23.1 million cap cost on the fifth-year choice. The Dolphins then have the franchise tag at their disposal, in order that they don’t must signal him to a long-term deal now and even subsequent offseason. However for a staff that might use some cap aid, decreasing his cap determine with an extension could possibly be interesting. However how a lot is it going to take to retain Tagovailoa? Is he the caliber of quarterback who must be paid in the neighborhood of a Joe Burrow ($55 million AAV)? Would he take much less? These are the franchise-defining inquiries to preserve in thoughts on the mix and past. — Jim Ayello

The place issues stand between the Vikings and Kirk Cousins

This topic will form the way forward for the Vikings group. Maintain Cousins, and Minnesota would seemingly be signaling its perception that it will possibly contend in the brief time period. Transfer on from him, and the Vikings can be indicating that they’d be able to chart a brand new path. Cousins’ contract is ready to void March 12. If that occurs, the Vikings might be on the hook for a hefty $28.5 million dead-cap hit. The one solution to prolong that cash into the longer term is to come back to phrases on an extension with Cousins. The NFL mix stands as a main alternative for in-person discussions on this topic between the staff and Cousins’ representatives. — Alec Lewis



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Quarterback Jayden Daniels

The simplest method for the Patriots to deal with their points at quarterback is to draft a sign caller — both Daniels or Drake Maye relying on who falls to them at No. 3. With Daniels, there are extra unknowns. The Pats aren’t involved about his top (6-foot-4) or hand dimension (9 5/8 inches), however scouts wish to see him at or above 210 kilos on the mix as a result of there are considerations about his slight body and the large hits he too usually takes. The opposite query for the Patriots is how Daniels will interview and the way he’ll check after they run him by means of performs on the whiteboard. How Daniels (and Maye) do that week will go a great distance in figuring out whether or not the Patriots draft a quarterback or huge receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. with the third choose. — Chad Graff

Offensive tackles and cross catchers

We’ll depart the annual “too far over the salary cap” dialogue for after the mix as a result of the Saints all the time discover a method. And this 12 months it ought to come in mass contract restructurings of a number of veteran gamers. As famous in our NFL reporters’ mock draft not too long ago, the necessity for deal with and/or guard ought to stand excessive on the precedence listing. So that you’d think about gamers like Olu Fashanu (Penn State), JC Latham (Alabama), Taliese Fuaga (Oregon State), Amarius Mims (Georgia) and Tyler Guyton (Oklahoma) are all on the Saints’ radar. The Saints might additionally use one other piece for Derek Carr at huge receiver (LSU’s Brian Thomas, Florida State’s Keon Coleman, Texas’ Adonai Mitchell) so as to add some extra punch with Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed. — Larry Holder

Saquon Barkley watch

There’s rather a lot driving on this subsequent interval of the Giants offseason after an already noisy begin to the enterprise facet of issues with teaching modifications aplenty. However the highlight might be tuned to Barkley’s future on the mix because the entrance workplace and the working again’s representatives are anticipated to fulfill once more. Will they be capable of hammer out a deal? Will he get tagged once more for $12.1 million or will he lastly check the open market and enterprise into the fascinating working again market? We’ll get a clearer image by week’s finish of the place the 2 sides stand. — Charlotte Carroll

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Washington’s Rome Odunze is likely one of the stars of a deep huge receiver class that may draw loads of curiosity in Indianapolis. (Joe Nicholson / USA At the moment)

The cross catchers

The Jets have an apparent want at offensive deal with (and/or at guard, too, relying on some offseason choices), however in addition they desperately need assistance at huge receiver for star Garrett Wilson. Allen Lazard received’t lower it as an choice in 2024. There are some extraordinarily gifted receivers in this class who could possibly be obtainable at No. 10 when the Jets choose — after Marvin Harrison Jr., who will virtually actually be gone — and even when the Jets nonetheless want an offensive lineman, they could be tempted by the likes of Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze — or others later in the draft, when teams have discovered stars in previous years whereas the Jets sat on their palms, like final 12 months. — Zack Rosenblatt

Are they organized?

Fourth-year coach Nick Sirianni overhauled each coordinator positions, and there’s nonetheless not a lot readability about how concerned he might be in working with newly employed offensive coordinator Kellen Moore to construct a much less predictable offensive system that provides a deeply gifted roster with extra solutions this offseason. And what sort of offense is that precisely? A Howie Roseman-led personnel division that is still largely intact should additionally improve a number of defensive positions. How extra favorably positioned will defenders be in a revamped “Fangio System” that may this time be coached by … effectively, Vic Fangio? — Brooks Kubena

If it’s a clear sweep regarding Kenny Pickett

The Steelers interview each single participant they will they usually just about use the mix as an assurance of what they’ve scouted all year long. So there’s not a lot to glean there. The place there could possibly be some clarification, or no less than unity, is what basic supervisor Omar Khan says about Pickett in contrast with what Mike Tomlin stated days after the season and what proprietor Artwork Rooney II stated two weeks later. Each alluded to Pickett being the No. 1 quarterback getting into the season regardless of not regaining his beginning place from Mason Rudolph over the ultimate 4 video games of the season. Will the Steelers triple down on that or stroll it again and hammer residence that Pickett received’t be getting into the offseason because the clear-cut QB1 and both a re-signing of Rudolph or an out of doors free agent — or a possible commerce — will present reputable competitors? — Mark Kaboly

The offensive linemen

Three of the highest middle prospects — Oregon’s Jackson Powers-Johnson, Duke’s Graham Barton and West Virginia’s Zach Frazier — ought to all have multi-positional functionality in the NFL. That could possibly be tantalizing to the 49ers, whose largest weak point to repair lies in the offensive line. Multiple spot was an issue this previous season. Basically everybody however left deal with Trent Williams endured important struggles at one level or one other. So maybe the 49ers, who don’t choose till No. 31, might be wanting for an adaptable inside lineman who can instantly fortify their particularly problematic proper guard place earlier than probably turning into the long-term resolution at middle. The 49ers merely want extra high quality choices up entrance. Think about the enhance that might give QB Brock Purdy. — David Lombardi



Inspecting the 49ers’ salary-cap outlook and the way it applies to Brandon Aiyuk’s future

John Schneider flying solo

This might be Seattle’s first mix with GM Schneider main soccer operations, so his messaging from the rostrum might be fascinating to investigate. Whereas Schneider has lengthy figured prominently into key choices, coach Pete Carroll set the imaginative and prescient for the franchise beforehand. Schneider is doing extra of that now. We received’t hear from new coach Mike Macdonald at all on the mix; he and his employees are anticipated to stay behind to put in their schemes. That can put further consideration on Schneider. — Mike Sando

How they method the quarterback place

The Bucs wish to re-sign Baker Mayfield, whose contract is up. Mayfield has stated he desires to stay in Tampa. However he additionally informed ESPN he desires market worth. That in all probability means a deal just like the one Geno Smith not too long ago signed with Seattle — $75 million over three years. Whether or not the Bucs wish to pay that’s the subject. A franchise tag is an choice however not ultimate with security Antoine Winfield Jr. and huge receiver Mike Evans additionally on expiring contracts. Will probably be fascinating to listen to what GM Jason Licht says in regards to the quarterback place, together with the prospects in the draft. — Dan Pompei

Three tackles and two receivers

The free-agency image suggests the Titans can get assist at cornerback and inside offensive line earlier than the draft however will seemingly must focus their first two picks on their two largest wants. The absence of a third-round choose will increase the urgency. Second-year quarterback Will Levis wants a long-term receiver to develop with and a left deal with to guard him. The board may go out for the Titans to decide on between Joe Alt and Olu Fashanu as a foundational deal with — however what about Taliese Fuaga? Does he proceed his momentum in Indy? Might the Titans transfer down, get him and be pleased with it? The board may additionally let Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze slide to No. 7. Would Brian Callahan choose a playmaker over a blocker because the Bengals did when he was there they usually took Ja’Marr Chase over Penei Sewell in 2021? — Joe Rexrode

The quarterbacks

It’s no secret that the holders of the No. 2 choose are anticipated to pick a quarterback from the highest group. The trick right here is the brand new braintrust of GM Adam Peters, head coach Dan Quinn, offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury and the scouting division holdovers are largely new to one another. Have they got Caleb Williams, Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels graded in the identical vary? If Williams is a lower above, is the hole thought-about sufficient to supply the Bears a Godfather commerce for the primary choose? Has Daniels’ dual-threat shine caught as much as Maye or do they like the UNC quarterback’s prototypical dimension? We received’t discover out the employees’s hopes and goals, however that is the place the detective work begins by inspecting the trio on our personal. — Ben Standig



Commanders at 2 seemingly means figuring out if Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels is their man

(Prime pictures of J.J. McCarthy, Saquon Barkley and Malik Nabers: Gregory Shamus, Getty Photos; Jim McIsaac, Getty Photos; Matthew Hinton / USA At the moment)