NFL Draft Brings Big Show to Downtown Detroit

darren cooper
Darren Cooper
NFL Sports News
The 2024 NFL Draft is in Detroit.


  • For the first time, Detroit is the home of the NFL Draft, which begins Thursday with the first round, followed by Rounds 2 and 3 on Friday and Rounds 4-7 on Saturday afternoon.
  • The Draft Theatre runs from Campus Martius to Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit.
  • The Chicago Bears have the first selection and are expected to take USC quarterback Caleb Williams.

Detroit, are you feeling the draft?

Cool weather will greet NFL fans from around the globe as Detroit rolls out the red carpet for the 2024 NFL Draft.

Betting on the NFL Draft has exploded in recent years at Michigan Sportsbooks. DraftKings Sportsbook has bets available on who will be each pick from No. 1 to No. 10.  BetMGM lets you wager on what player your favorite team (the Lions) will pick, while Caesars lets you wager on each team’s first drafted position and specific college players going Top 10 or Top 5.

The Biggest Draft Questions

It’s not who goes No. 1. It seems to be a lock that the Lions division rival, the Chicago Bears, will take former Heisman Trophy winning QB Caleb Williams out of Southern Cal with the first overall pick.

Then it gets real interesting.

There are three (maybe four) heralded quarterbacks at the top of the draft board. After Williams, there is the smaller, but athletic Jayden Daniels out of LSU, then the most polished, but less athletic Drake Maye from North Carolina. The Redskins and Patriots each have the next two picks and each need a quarterback, but which one?

Michigan quarterback JJ McCarthy is the wildest of wild cards and could also factor in the mix.

It’s only a decision that can set a franchise forward or back a decade. Yeah, no pressure.

All Eyes on Detroit

It will be late Thursday night (barring a trade) when the Lions make their first-round pick. After reaching the NFC Championship Game, the Lions pick 29 th. Still, expect Lion fans to stick around to see who the newest Lion is…and maybe catch a glimpse of the new Lions uniforms.

Detroit doesn’t have a single glaring need after making moves in free agency. Their 2023 draft haul was one of the best of all-time (at least so far) with running back Jahmyr Gibbs and tight end Sam LaPorta.

Offensive linemen are always at a premium, so don’t be surprised if the Lions go that route. Or perhaps a defensive back. There has to be a consideration to try to stop the rising Packers and Jordan Love in the NFC North.

Biggest Draft Traditions and Predictions

Here are some locks to happen during the NFL Draft:

1.       Commissioner Roger Goodell will be booed. Despite transforming the NFL into a global behemoth and billion dollar business, Goodell is still seen as a villain by fans for perceived slights and gets booed. At this point, it’s become funny and Goodell eggs people on.

2.       Quarterbacks will go too high. This always happens.

3.       They will show the Tom Brady draft board and story and point out that he was a sixth-round pick out of Michigan. This is always a thing.

4.       Jet fans will scream after they make their pick. Every fan base gets a close up when it’s their team’s turn, but over the years, no team is more passionate or aggrieved when they make their pick than the Jets.

5.       Someone will make a trade you didn’t expect. Do the Vikings trade into the top 3? Do the Chargers draft every Michigan player now that they’re coached by Jim Harbaugh? Will the Raiders go all in?

There’s nothing like the NFL Draft and Detroit is about to put on a show.

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.