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The NFL's draft order is determined by wins and losses, but it does not necessarily shed light on the future outlook of each organization. Some are better positioned to win now while others are building towards the future. 

It is a purely subjective topic, but here's how I rank the top-10 teams in the 2024 NFL Draft order by outlook over the next three-to-five years:

10. Carolina Panthers 

At the end of the day, the Panthers will go as far as Bryce Young can take them. The first season was a flop, but how much of the blame belongs to the coaching staff for not accentuating his strengths and not surrounding him with skill talent capable of creating for itself? In addition to being without its first-round choice this year, Carolina also gave Chicago a second-round choice in 2025 as a part of the deal to trade up to No. 1 for Young in 2023.

Ownership was a distraction at various points in the season. They also have the 13th-most salary cap space in the NFL, which is obviously better than most teams but still not enough to bridge the talent gap with other top clubs.

9. New York Jets 

As far as short-term considerations, New York would rank high on this list. However, the goal is to look three-to-five years down the road, and the Jets have gone all in with 40-year-old Aaron Rodgers. The Jets are likely picking the highest (No. 10 overall) that they will pick in the first round as long as Rodgers is employed, which makes it difficult to identify a succession plan considering former No. 2 overall selection Zach Wilson has struggled. 

New York ranks in the bottom half of the league in salary cap space, but has several talented young players, including wide receiver Garrett Wilson, cornerback Sauce Gardner, defensive tackle Quinnen Williams and others. As the past few years have shown, it all matters little if a viable starting quarterback is not in place. 

If Rodgers defies the odds and is around for another three years, then New York would be much higher on the list.

8. Atlanta Falcons

The Giants and Falcons are on similar footing; neither has a long-term answer at quarterback, both have additional Day 2 draft choices via trade and both are middling teams in regards to the salary cap (New York No. 16, Atlanta No. 14). Atlanta is currently No. 8 overall in the draft order, two spots behind New York. Its conditional draft choice from Jacksonville only becomes a second-round pick if the Jaguars re-sign wide receiver Calvin Ridley.

The Falcons residency in the NFC South is also appealing. None of the four teams are in a position to exploit the faults of the other three, but the ladder to the top is not nearly as steep as it may be for teams like the Giants or Jets.

7. New York Giants 

Offensive tackle Andrew Thomas is one of the few building blocks on the roster. The play of quarterback Daniel Jones has not inspired a lot of confidence, and his dead cap hit does not become manageable until after the 2024 season. The other top talents include a running back (Saquon Barkley), a tight end (Darren Waller) turning 32 years old at the start of the next campaign and a safety (Xavier McKinney) hitting free agency this offseason.

The Giants do have an additional second-round selection from Seattle in exchange for Leonard Williams. They hold the No. 6 overall selection.

6. New England Patriots 

New England has the No. 3 overall selection in the 2024 NFL Draft as well as the fourth-most salary cap space in the league. If that choice is used on a quarterback, then it alters the outlook of the future drastically. The rest of the situation is essentially irrelevant at this point. In recent days, the Patriots have released some veterans, signaling that the organization is embracing the future. It sounds as though the franchise is ready to move on from former first-round quarterback selection Mac Jones, and little is known about first-year head coach Jerod Mayo. Few coaches from the Bill Belichick tree have found success outside of his shadow.

For more draft coverage, you can hear in-depth analysis twice a week on "With the First Pick" -- our year-round NFL Draft podcast with NFL Draft analyst Ryan Wilson and former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. You can find "With the First Pick" wherever you get your podcasts: Apple PodcastsSpotifyYouTube, etc.

5. Los Angeles Chargers 

Los Angeles' placement is propped up by two names: Justin Herbert and Jim Harbaugh. Herbert is still regarded as one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL despite his inability to get the franchise over the mountain in the postseason. Harbaugh has incited positive change at every stop in his coaching career. The defensive front seven should be a point of emphasis in his first few years at the helm as Harbaugh tries to create a tougher exterior and more physicality from that squad. 

The problem is that the Chargers are roughly $44 million in salary cap debt, according to Spotrac, and they are an organization that has proven unwilling to charge the credit card, so to speak. Los Angeles is likely to dump a few veterans this offseason to become salary cap compliant, and that only digs the hole to contention deeper.

4. Tennessee Titans

The Cardinals and Titans are on similar footing in that neither has a true sense of whether or not their quarterback will be around for the long haul, but there is reason for hope. 

Tennessee has several needs on its roster. It has the No. 7 overall selection, but the feather in its cap is the promise rookie quarterback Will Levis displayed in 2024. The Titans need to invest in the offensive line and identify more contributors in the pass game. The hire of offensive line coach Bill Callahan should bring the most out of the unit. The team has the second-most salary cap space, so there is opportunity to upgrade the talent floor.

3. Arizona Cardinals 

Kyler Murray is hardly the problem in Arizona, but the roster is deficient, particularly on defense. The average fan would have a difficult time naming a few starters on that side of the ball. Quarterback is unlikely to be addressed this offseason, so that allows the Cardinals to funnel resources in a different direction. They have ample assets, including picks Nos. 4 and 27 overall, to acquire new talent. The Cardinals also have additional third-round selections from Tennessee and Houston.

Arizona has the ninth-most salary cap space as well. The team performed above expectation under the direction of first-year head coach Jonathan Gannon.

2. Washington Commanders

First and foremost, the organization's decisions are no longer dictated by owner Dan Snyder following the sale of the franchise to Josh Harris, so that is a net positive. Washington does not have a franchise quarterback, but it can remedy that with the No. 2 overall selection. It also has two additional top-100 draft choices this year after trading pass-rushers Chase Young (49ers) and Montez Sweat (Bears). 

The Commanders also have the league's most salary cap space ($83.5 million), according to Spotrac. Salary cap space is only an advantage when applied by a self-aware organization. For example, a rebuilding team that is multiple years away from contention would not be wise to use significant financial capital on non-essential positions or players who do not offer a significant wins over replacement increase, especially during free agency where teams often get poor value on their investments. One wise use of funds would be surrounding the incoming franchise quarterback with an improved offensive line and skill talent.

1. Chicago Bears

Chicago has the No. 1 overall selection for the second consecutive year, but this time, it is a direct result of last year's trade with Carolina. The Bears could take a potential franchise quarterback at No. 1 overall and trade former first-round pick Justin Fields, or keep Fields and trade out of the pick for a substantial return. The Bears have options this offseason and each brings a return in a potential trade. The acquisition of additional resources allowed them to trade for pass-rusher Montez Sweat at last year's deadline, but they do not have a second-round pick in 2024. The team does have an extra second-round pick in 2025 in the remnants of last year's trade with the Panthers for the rights to Bryce Young. 

General manager Ryan Poles also has the league's third-most salary cap space at his disposal. If the Bears draft a rookie quarterback, then it allows five additional years without the salary of a veteran starting quarterback on their books. 

The 2024 NFL Draft will take place from April 25-27 in Detroit. More draft coverage can be found at, including the weekly updated draft ordermock drafts and a regularly available look at the eligible prospects