Insider notes on 2024 NFL Draft build-up: T'Vondre Sweat's stock takes a hit, Raiders decision-makers split over plans for QB

NFL Combine
Insider notes on 2024 NFL Draft build-up: T'Vondre Sweat's stock takes a hit, Raiders decision-makers split over plans for QB

We are less than two-and-a-half weeks away from the NFL Draft, and another top-60 prospect has committed an unforced error. At the same time, a highly rated pass rusher is receiving medical clearance around the league. Here’s the latest on Laiatu Latu, T'Vondre Sweat and the chatter of trades at the top of the draft.

Latest on buzz around Laiatu Latu

One of the more interesting stories during the first round of the NFL Draft is where Laiatu Latu ends up. A dynamic pass rusher, Latu was forced to transfer to UCLA after he was medically retired by the University of Washington over neck injuries.

His game took off with the Bruins, and there’s been no issues with his neck since, though NFL medical clearance is a totally different beast then being medically cleared to play on Saturdays. I’m told that, for the most part, it’s been so far so good for Latu, who has been medically cleared by most teams.

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One of those teams are the Los Angeles Rams, who hold the 19th pick of Round 1. While I’ve had Byron Murphy II mocked to the Rams with that first pick, there’s a good chance the Texas defensive tackle doesn’t make it that far and the Rams turn their attention to Latu.

Where T'Vondre Sweat stands ahead of 2024 NFL Draft

How far does T'Vondre Sweat fall after his DWI arrest over the weekend? Out of Day 2, if my sources are correct. The issues with Sweat are deeper than just one DWI arrest; he’s been known as someone who likes to party too much as well as not taking his conditioning seriously.

While there was no weight posted for Sweat at the Senior Bowl, I’m told that heading into the event he was well over 380 pounds. He later tipped the scales at 366 pounds at the combine. No one questions his talent, yet the commitment to off-the-field conditioning is a major issue, and the DWI confirms fears of Sweat’s tendency to party.

Which teams are eyeing a QB in the 2024 NFL Draft?

While final draft meetings are still taking place around the league, the overall belief is that the teams that hold the initial three picks - the Chicago Bears, Washington Commanders and New England Patriots - will stay in place and take a quarterback. The Arizona Cardinals have been the target for teams that want to trade up, and they are the franchise likely to make a move.

How far the Cardinals trade down is another story altogether. There are reports that the New York Giants would look to move up from the sixth spot, then there’s the Minnesota Vikings with two first-round picks. And as I’ve reported since the Shrine Bowl, Sean Payton desperately wants to trade up and grab a quarterback for the Denver Broncos.

There’s also been talk about the Las Vegas Raiders wanting to move up for a quarterback. The latest coming from Raiders’ draft meetings is that head coach Antonio Pierce wants to trade up for a signal caller, yet general manager Tom Telesco is leaning heavily to sticking with second-year quarterback Aidan O’Connell and free-agent signing Gardner Minshew.

Inside Cardinals' plan for a WR

Which receiver would the Cardinals select if they trade down? Malik Nabers seems like the best fit, but the team did have Rome Odunze in for an official-30 visit earlier this week, and I’m told they came away incredibly impressed.

Staying on the receiver, I’m told Tejhaun Palmer of UAB is building momentum for himself and could end up in the late rounds. Palmer played well during Shrine Bowl practices then timed 4.45 seconds in the 40 at 210 pounds at pro day.

As I reported on March 21, the Jets, Bengals, Broncos and Chargers all spent extensive time with Palmer at pro day. Now I’m told the receiver has almost a half dozen official-30 visits, including an already completed visit with the Jets as well as upcoming trips to see the Broncos, Browns and Patriots.

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