NFL: Detroit Back in Spotlight for 2024 NFL Draft

darren cooper
Darren Cooper
NFL Sports News


  • Downtown Detroit will host the 2024 NFL Draft, with the first round scheduled for Thursday, April 25 starting at 8 p.m.
  • The Lions will pick 29th in the first round looking to add to a team that reached the NFC Championship game last season.
  • With the No. 1 pick, the Chicago Bears are expected to take former Heisman Trophy winner quarterback Caleb Williams out of USC.

Detroit doesn’t need the attention, but it’s getting it anyway.

On the heels of a historic season by the Lions, Downtown Detroit is hosting the 2024 NFL Draft next week, which will draw fans from around the globe. The NFL Draft is one day of the year, that no matter how badly your team finished (Carolina Panthers) you can feel good about the upcoming season.

Sports betting in Michigan has exploded in recent years in relation to the NFL Draft. BetMGM Sportsbook has markets on who will be the first pick through the tenth, plus which team will draft which college star. DraftKings Sportsbook has over/under on the draft position on players, plus what position each team will draft first.

What Do the Oddsmakers Say? 

One of the biggest stories in the lead-up to the 2024 Draft has been former Michigan star quarterback J.J. McCarthy. Originally seen as a mid-to-later round pick, McCarthy’s name is now be floated around as a top 10 pick, with the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings in position to grab him.

DraftKings has the over/under spot on McCarthy at 5.5. BetMGM has the Vikings +115 to draft McCarthy.

As far as the Lions, both sportsbooks believe they will go with a cornerback with their first choice at No. 29. BetMGM then has defensive line/edge rusher and offensive lineman at +300. DraftKings has offensive line as the Lions second choice at +275.

Lions Need to Add Bite 

Thanks to an incredible NFL Draft in 2023 that produced rookie stars Jahmyr Gibbs and Sam LaPorta, the Lions are suddenly blessed with one of the youngest, most talented teams in the NFL.

A Super Bowl window opens when a team has talented young players on rookie contracts, because it gives the team the flexibility to add talent through free agency.

Unless the Lions decide to make a trade - unlikely - they’ll be content to take the best player available at 29. They could add depth to the offensive line, try to find another pass rusher or cover corner, but there’s no one glaring need. The Lions signed veteran defensive tackle DJ Reader in free agency and made a trade for Carlton Davis III to fill those needs. It’s a masterclass of roster building by GM Brad Holmes. Of course, drafts like the one the Lions had last year don’t happen very often.

Biggest Draft Questions 

The Bears have the No. 1 pick, thanks to a ridiculous trade made by the Panthers. They signaled their move by trading former starting QB Justin Fields to the Steelers for a sixth-round pick that could become a fourth rounder depending on Fields’ playing time.

So the Bears are going QB, and most likely with Williams out of USC. It’s a QB heavy draft with LSU’s Jayden Daniels and North Carolina’s Drake Maye expected to go next to the Commanders and Patriots, in some order.

The biggest intrigue is whether any QB-desperate teams will try to trade into the top 3 (Vikings? Broncos? Raiders?). It’s also a strong draft for wide receivers led by Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr. and Washington’s Rome Odunze. Neither of them will be around when its time for the Lions to pick.

Born and raised in Louisiana, Darren Cooper has a fond appreciation for bayous, Mardi Gras beads and the sports betting industry. Darren has worked for multiple print and online publications since 1998, primarily as a sports columnist in the Northeast. He’s covered a Super Bowl (it was a blowout), the World Series (same) and the NBA Draft (man, those guys are tall). For the last few years he’s dug deep into the sports gambling industry as it exploded across America, learning how the legal sausage is made and how while all the sportsbooks look the same, they all have different identities and styles. He’s learned to always bet within his means -- and take the under. When not in front of his computer creating, Darren spends time with his three boys. He runs, reads and is always looking for the next big thing to write about.