The Viking Voice

North Shore Middle School's Student-Run Newspaper

The Viking Voice

The Viking Voice

The NFL Draft Gems
The NFL Draft Gems
May 27, 2024
Tigers World 5
Tiger's World 5
May 6, 2024

The NFL Draft Gems

The players that will surprise us from the 2024 NFL Draft

2024 NFL Draft order for all seven rounds

In this article I will be talking to you guys about which players I think are going to be great players for years to come, and which ones will struggle, for at least this season.

Ladd McConkey, Los Angelas Chargers, Wide Reciever, 2nd Round, 34th Overall

Ladd McConkey - Los Angeles Chargers Wide Receiver - ESPN

The Georgia standout will be going onto a Chargers team who has a great history of players that can catch the pigskin like Antonio Gates and Lance Alworth. The Chargers now however, have just lost both of their best recievers by releasing Mike Williams, letting tight end Gerald Everett walk in free agency and trading Keenan Allen, one of the Chargers best recievers in history, away to the Chicago Bears. The remaining recievers on the Chargers team are last year’s first round pick, Quientin Johnston, the former Tennesee Volunteer Joshua Palmer and veteran DJ Chark. Johnston is notorious for dropping the ball in key moments, and Joshua Palmer, while having a decent 2022 season has been a WR3 at best. Those two, combined with Chark, have only combined for 1537 yards last season. Now introducing Ladd McConkey. McConkey is 5’11, 185lbs and a key piece in the Georgia Bulldogs team. He is a quick Reciever with incredible route-running abilities. He makes any defender fall to their knees after he jukes them out. He uses his speed and route running to get open space between him and the defensive back with a quick juke or his patented stutter step. In 2022, McConkey had 762 receiving yards, as well as 134 rushing yards. He had two touchdowns on the ground and 7 touchdowns in the air, which was tied for receiving touchdowns on his team with first round draft pick, Brock Bowers. (Quick fact, He’s probably going to be a good FLEX option for anyone that drafts him in their fantasy football league, so pick him up while you can!)

Quinyon Mitchell, Philidelphia Eagles, Cornerback, 1st Round, 22nd Overall

Quinyon Mitchell - Football - University of Toledo Athletics

Mitchell had the best combine out of any cornerback in the draft. Mitchell has great play recognition and can make quick reads. Now combine him with incredible speed, you have a player that can virtually pick off any football that is thrown his way. Last season he had 41 total tackles, only one interception, but 18 passes defended, which was the most of any Toledo Rockets player. The second closest player to that 18 was fellow Cornerback, RJ Delancy III, who only had 10. The 6’0, 185 Lbs cornerback can climb the ladder as well, making amazing leaps into the air and rising above his rival receivers to catch the ball, making opposing quarterbacks feel sorry for throwing his way and making their Offensive Coordnaters have fits before playing him. With his speed, he can also control vast zones of space, being an incredible ball hawk. This guy can also play safety, since he has that wide zone he can cover. With the Eagles addition of Cooper DeJean in the second round, they will have the best secondary in the NFC East this year. I predict that Mitchell will be the CB3 for the season, because the Eagles have a solid, but aging Conerback Room. James Bradberry and Darius Slay Jr. are both 30 and 33 respectively and are in the twighlight of their careers. In a season or two, Mitchell should become at least the CB2 of the team, with Dejean following in his footsteps.

Trey Benson, Arizona Cardinals, Runningback, 3rd Round, 66th Overall

Florida State running back Trey Benson to play another season for Seminoles - Tomahawk Nation

One thing is clear, Trey Benson needs to be ranked higher. There is this problem in the NFL where teams are now using their quarterbacks more than ever, which is making teams pay QB’s high amounts of money, and forcing them to release and not even sign the best running backs in the league. This is also affecting them in the draft. this year, the highest drafted running back was Jonathon Brooks. A player, so good, that I almost made this Trey Benson section about him. The point is, running backs are being undervalued more than ever, and Benson is on of the reasons why. In 2022, the Seminole ran, only a first down short of getting the elusive, 1000 yard rushing season. In 2023, while getting further away from 1000 yards, he had his second over 900 yard season. He also had a combined 23 touchdowns and 6 YPG in both those seasons. Benson loves the inside run and can easily find lanes to go through in, while also being great at the outside run, where he beats players in footraces. And if you do end up catching up to him, you will likely be getting stiff-armed in the face and sent to the ground. Benson seems to be a blend of the speed of an elusive back while also having the strength of power back. This guy can truly do it all and will probably be challenging Jonathon Brooks in rushing yards for rookies this season. Benson will not be the starter, like most of the guys on this list, but will become a soon to be impact for the Cardinals. Last year, James Connor, the Cards workhorse, rushed for his own 1000 yard season, now picture two elite runningbacks, both of them being capable of rushing for 1000 yards each. The Cardinals will be happy to have this guy on their team, and will be happily rewarded.

Ricky Pearsall, San Francisco 49ers, Wide Reciever, 1st Round, 27th Overall

Ricky Pearsall - Football - Florida Gators

Pearsall combines Ladd McConkey’s speed and route running with 33rd overall pick, with the best hands in the league. Pearsall is a playmaking reciever that uses every ounce of talent he has in order to make catches. He can make one handed grabs as easily as two-handed snags. He is best making, medium to long range catches. Last season, he had an unthinkable 965 recieving yards, about 15 YPG and 4 touchdowns. Pearsall is a guy that if you give him time, he will develop into one of the leagues best playmaking receivers. Unfortunately, he will be starting behind Deebo Samuel Sr. and Brandon Aiyuk, two of the best recievers the league has to offer. While he will be stuck behind them, I expect him to slot into WR3 and get plenty of reps and who knows, he might overtake Samuel and slot in at WR2. He also can be a very efficient runner too. He has explosive legs, so when he gets that ball, he gets rolling. He is incredible in the slot as he uses that same speed he has when he rushes, to beat defenders, making this kid unguardable. Pearsall is incredibly undervauled and honestly should be ranked among the likes of Rome Adunze and Malik Nabers. This is a guy where I could see even our New York Giants taking him if we had a later pick or if he was ranked even higher. I see almost no negatives and in my opinion, is the biggest gem in this years NFL draft.


Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Marcus Fortugno, Sports Editor
Marcus Fortugno is an 11-year-old boy who enjoys video games, go-karting, writing, reading, football, hanging out with friends, drawing his future racecar, and most of all, watching his favorite sport, NASCAR

Comments (0)

All The Viking Voice Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *