The 18 best late-round steals in the 2024 NFL Draft, including picks by the Lions, Chargers and Eagles

As is the case every year, the 2024 NFL Draft saw some prospects get selected much later than they should have. That set up a lot of teams to score some absolute steals on Day 3 in Rounds 4-7.

Plenty will be made of the biggest early-round reaches over the next few days, but success in the NFL is often defined by the diamonds in the rough found outside the first round.

Based largely on Sporting News’ final big board rankings of the draft’s top 257 players, here’s looking at the best of those standout fallers who could provide their new teams some great return on late-round investments.

MORE NFL DRAFT: Winners & losers | Picks tracker

NFL Draft 2024: The best late-round steals 

Troy Franklin 042624

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Round 4

Denver Broncos: Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon (No. 102 overall)

The Broncos pair Franklin with his college QB, Bo Nix, and fill a need for a big-time big-play threat. Franklin’s speed in stretching the field and quickness after the catch can help this stagnant offense immediately. He can be Denver’sNo. 1 soon with Courtland Sutton’s future cloudy and Jerry Jeudy gone.

MORE: Bo Nix-Troy Franklin college stats together

Arizona Cardinals: Dadrion Taylor-Demerson, S, Texas Tech (No. 104 overall)

The Cardinals have Jalen Thompson and Budda Baker, but they can turn the page from either or both soon. Jonathan Gannon gets a versatile, prolific playmaker he can put anywhere for immediate results in coverage.

Minnesota Vikings: Khyree Jackson, CB, Oregon (No. 108 overall)

Jackson is a big corner with some high upside in coverage. If he can keep working on his technique, he will thrive for Brian Flores making plays on the ball behind the Vikings’ revamped pass rush.

New England Patriots: Javon Baker, WR, UCF (No. 110 overall)

After some massive reaches on the offensive line, the Patriots got more good receiving value after taking Washington’s Ja’Lynn Polk earlier. Baker can be a very reliable slot for Drake Maye with his hands and routes.

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Baltimore Ravens: T.J. Tampa, CB, Iowa State (No. 130 overall)

The Ravens “let the draft come to them” in every round, grabbing players who had no business falling to them. They needed to address secondary multiple times, and Tampa is the ideal follow-up to first-rounder Nate Wiggins as a big cover corner who uses all of his frame well downfield.

Kansas City Chiefs: Jaden Hicks, S, Washington State (No. 133 overall)

The Chiefs needed to boost the middle of their secondary and tapped well into Hicks’ upfield reliability as a run supporter and blitzer. He also has a high ceiling as a big, rangy cover man for the position.

Round 5

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Buffalo Bills: Sedrick Van Pran-Granger, C, Georgia (No. 141 overall)

The Bills moved on from Mitch Morse in the offseason. They waited to take a potential replacement and got great value with Van Pran-Granger, an experienced athletic run blocker who can end up being a key pass-protecting snapper and leader.

Chicago Bears: Austin Booker, EDGE, Kansas (No. 144 overall)

The Bears saw him as enough of a great value to trade back into the draft. Booker has an interesting blend of speed, quickness, and stoutness to complement Montez Sweat well.

Denver Broncos: Kris Abrams-Draine, CB, Missouri (No. 145 overall)

Regardless of what happens in the near future with Patrick Surtain II, the Broncos made a shrewd pick to upgrade coverage. Abrams-Draine is a fluid, agile corner who can make a lot of impact plays on the ball. He just needs to learn to be more consistent.

New Orleans Saints: Spencer Rattler, QB, South Carolina (No. 150 overall)

The Saints upgrade their top developmental option behind Derek Carr, as Rattler offers a lot more than 2023 fourth-rounder Jake Haener. Rattler’s strong arm and experience are promising assets for the new offense under Klint Kubiak. Rattler should be in line to make some starts as a rookie.

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Philadelphia Eagles: Jeremiah Trotter Jr, LB, Clemson (No. 155 overall)

The Eagles got star linebacker play from his namesake father after taking Jeremiah Trotter Sr. in the third round of the 1998 draft. Trotter Jr. has some similar skills to fly around upfield, especially in run support and blitzing.

MORE: Eagles share touching father-son photo after Trotter pick

Buffalo Bills: Javon Solomon, EDGE, Troy (No. 168 overall)

The Bills landed Sean McDermott’s type of pass rusher with Solomon’s experience, quickness, and versatility in getting to the quarterback. It’s important for them to have that kind of depth in their rotational pass rush.

Round 6

Johnny Wilson

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Philadelphia Eagles: Johnny Wilson, WR, Florida State (No. 185 overall)

The Eagles jumped on a TE-hybrid who probably fell because many teams didn’t know how to deploy him as a big, dangerous downfield receiver at 6-6, 231 pounds. Wilson could be a near-future replacement for Dallas Goedert.

Seattle Seahawks: D.J. James, CB, Auburn (No. 192 overall)

The Seahawks like speedy, aggressive, and instinctive corners, and James checks all the boxes there. This is a good upside depth addition for new defensive-minded coach Mike Macdonald.

Detroit Lions: Christian Mahogany, G, Boston College (No. 210 overall)

The Lions needed some depth after losing Jonah Jackson in free agency and replacing him with 34-year-old Kevin Zeitler next to Graham Glasgow and Frank Ragnow. Mahogany has the athleticism to help them attack better in run blocking and also boost their pass protection with a little development.

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Round 7

Brenden Rice, USC

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Los Angeles Chargers: Brenden Rice, WR, USC (No. 225 overall)

The Chargers had to address wide receiver twice and were more calculated in attacking the depth of the class. After getting Ladd McConkey to be their new Keenan Allen for Justin Herbert, Rice has real upside and pedigree. Jerry’s son can be a fine size-speed replacement for Mike Williams in the red zone. He should put in the work to get to that point, too.

Cleveland Browns: Myles Harden, CB, South Dakota (No. 227 overall)

The Browns refrained from trading Greg Newsome, but they still needed some cornerback depth. Harden can make a lot of plays for them as an aggressive, situational cover man.

Green Bay Packers: Michael Pratt, QB, Tulane (No. 245 overall)

Pratt lasted too late on the board as the No. 8 QB. He’s a good developmental pocket passer for Green Bay’s system, and there’s room for a young backup to emerge behind Jordan Love.

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