Biggest Question Facing Every NFL Team After 2024 OTAs (2024)

Biggest Question Facing Every NFL Team After 2024 OTAs

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    Biggest Question Facing Every NFL Team After 2024 OTAs (1)

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    Like a little kid (and some adults) staring at a calendar and waiting for the holidays to come, we've passed another checkpoint in the offseason with OTAs wrapping up around the NFL this week to creep closer to the start of the regular season.

    The presents are right in front of us and beginning to pile up, but we have to stay patient and can't open them just yet.

    In the meantime, teams around the league still have plenty of questions to answer between now and September. So, let's dive into those division by division and see what each squad has to figure out with mandatory minicamp and training camp around the corner.

AFC East

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    Biggest Question Facing Every NFL Team After 2024 OTAs (2)

    Aaron RodgersLuke Hales/Getty Images

    Buffalo Bills: Who's the No. 1 receiver?

    After trading Stefon Diggs, the Bills and Josh Allen need a go-to target out wide. The hope is that Keon Coleman fills that role, but counting on a second-round rookie leads to plenty of questions about how that will play out.

    The good news is Coleman seems to have made a strong impression on his new quarterback, per Alec White of the team's website.

    "He loves football. I think that's the first and foremost thing that you learn about him. He loves this game, loves the nuances of it, and that's fun to be around," Allen said. "He can move and he can jump. He's 6-4. I thought he ran some routes pretty well."

    Miami Dolphins: When will Bradley Chubb and Jaelan Phillips be ready?

    Chubb and Phillips proved to be a strong pass-rush duo last year in Miami, combining for 17.5 sacks. However, both are coming off significant leg injuries and weren't able to participate in OTAs.

    Getting those two back on the field will be paramount for the Dolphins defense, but when that happens is still a question mark and doesn't appear to be imminent, according to All Dolphins' Alain Poupart.

    "Coming back from their 2023 injuries, Bradley Chubb and Jaelan Phillips aren't likely to get much work at all in the lead-up to the start of the regular season—and certainly not this spring," Poupart wrote. "So [rookies Chop] Robinson and [Mohamed] Kamara will get opportunities to show they're picking up what's being taught."

    New England Patriots: When will Drake Maye be ready to start?

    With Jacoby Brissett in the building, the Patriots don't need to rush Maye onto the field, especially since the team is rebuilding and has several other question marks on the roster. However, the No. 3 overall pick is the future of the franchise, so the inquiry above will loom over New England until he's behind center.

    Maye did get some snaps with the first team during Patriots OTAs; however, that didn't appear to go well, per the Boston Herald's Andrew Callahan.

    "The rookie didn't exactly run with his new opportunity, though, tossing a couple interceptions in full-team periods," Callahan wrote. "Maye overthrew an open JuJu Smith-Schuster over the deep middle for his first pick, then fired wide on a checkdown he hurried and veteran safety Kyle Dugger dove left to snatch before it could hit the ground."

    New York Jets: Is Aaron Rodgers still Aaron Rodgers?

    To say Rodgers' debut season in New York was anticlimactic would be an understatement, seeing as it only lasted four plays. Now that he's a 40-year-old coming off a torn Achilles, it's fair to wonder if the four-time MVP can be the same player he was in Green Bay. The reviews from OTAs do sound positive, though, as SNY's Connor Hughes noted.

    "[Rodgers] completed 13 of 17 passes with two touchdowns [on June 4]," Hughes explained. "He was 6-for-7 with a touchdown in 7-on-7 drills and 7-of-10 with the other score in the 11-on-11 periods. The two touchdowns were things of beauty.

    "The first was a no-look to Garrett Wilson from 40-plus out. Not only was Rodgers looking left, but his entire body positioned that way. He then pivoted and launched one down the seam and right to Wilson. It was an absurd throw."

NFC East

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    Biggest Question Facing Every NFL Team After 2024 OTAs (3)

    Daniel JonesLuke Hales/Getty Images

    Dallas Cowboys: Are the rookie offensive linemen ready to start?

    Amid other offseason issues coming out of Dallas, it's kind of been buried that the Cowboys lost two starting offensive linemen in left tackle Tyron Smith and center Tyler Biadasz during free agency. Rookies Tyler Guyton and Cooper Beebe are expected to replace them, but will the first-year pros be able to hit the ground running?

    If not, that will significantly impact the league's No. 1 offense in points per game last season more than the running back situation or Dak Prescott's and CeeDee Lamb's contract extensions, which are dominating the headlines.

    New York Giants: Which version of Daniel Jones shows up in 2024?

    It seems like the Darren Waller situation will be coming to an end soon, as reports are that he's planning to retire, shifting Giants fans' attention to the team's quarterback. In 2022, it seemed as if Jones had turned a corner and was becoming a formidable starting quarterback.

    However, after a bad season that ended abruptly with a torn ACL, questions have resurfaced about the signal-caller in New York. The good news is he was on the field during OTAs and had a strong performance on June 4, according to John Schmeelk of the Giants' website.

    "The offense hit its stride on Tuesday, starting with the 7-on-7 session early in practice," Schmeelk noted. "... Later in the period, Daniel Jones proceeded to rattle off four straight completions.

    "The exclamation point was a deep ball to Isaiah Hodgins that traveled more than 40 yards in the air and hit him in stride heading towards the sideline. Jones continues to progress in his rehab from ACL surgery and looks up to speed whenever he gets the chance to throw the football."

    Philadelphia Eagles: What's going to happen with James Bradberry?

    The writing was on the wall for Bradberry after the Eagles used their first two picks of the draft on cornerbacks Quinyon Mitchell and Cooper DeJean, meaning the nine-year pro wasn't going to be a starting cornerback in Philadelphia anymore. Head coach Nick Sirianni confirmed that Tuesday, stating the veteran will work at safety, via NBC Sports.

    However, the defense also has C.J. Gardner-Johnson and Reed Blankenship on the back end and Bradberry's contract becomes expendable now that June 1 has passed, per Over The Cap. With a decreased role on the team, it wouldn't be surprising if the soon-to-be 31-year-old asks for a trade or to be released this summer.

    Washington Commanders: Can Jayden Daniels hit the ground running?

    While most people might not be expecting much from the Commanders this year, the front office brought in several veterans in free agency to suggest the organization feels the team is ready to compete for a playoff spot this fall. But the biggest factor in that equation is if the rookie quarterback is ready to go.

    The good news is head coach Dan Quinn seems to be impressed with the work Daniels has put in.

    "I think the situation work, we've been working really hard on, and so, some of the timing and mechanics are different from college in a two-minute setting than it is in the NFL," Quinn told reporters.

    "So to see, every day, him going through those mechanics out of two minute ... at the end of the half working down in a clock situation, where it's still moving on the first down and that type of urgency. Seeing him being comfortable in that environment, I would say that's one example of many that shows the work that he's put in."

AFC North

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    Biggest Question Facing Every NFL Team After 2024 OTAs (4)

    Tee HigginsJoe Sargent/Getty Images

    Baltimore Ravens: Can Roger Rosengarten immediately replace Morgan Moses?

    Moses had been a quality starting right tackle in Baltimore over the last two years, but he returned to the Jets in free agency, so the Ravens used a second-round pick on Roger Rosengarten to replace the veteran in the starting lineup.

    However, B/R offensive line scout Brandon Thorn noted that the Washington product needs some fine-tuning before he can be ready for action in the NFL. That leads to some questions about how the team's offense will perform to begin the campaign.

    Cincinnati Bengals: How will the Tee Higgins saga end?

    Higgins is seeking a new contract and thus, has been the center of a lot of trade discussions lately. He also wasn't present at the team's voluntary OTAs and hasn't signed the franchise tag yet, according to Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk.

    The latter is significant as it means the Bengals can't fine the wideout for missing mandatory minicamp or training camp since he isn't under contract. So, will the notoriously frugal organization pay Higgins, trade him, or force him to play on the one-year tender and continue to drag this situation along?

    Cleveland Browns: Will Deshaun Watson live up to expectations?

    After decades of torture, the Browns finally have a roster that's ready to compete for a Super Bowl. However, the team has a major question mark at the most important position on the field, seeing as Watson hasn't lived up to the massive contract he signed after getting traded to the club two years ago.

    Additionally, the 28-year-old is recovering from a shoulder injury that kept him to six games last fall and has limited his participation in OTAs, per team staff writer Kelsey Russo.

    "As Watson works through his own return from injury, he went through the mental reps of each drill alongside [Dorian] Thompson-Robinson during Wednesday's (June 5) practice," Russo wrote.

    "He took mental reps of throwing to the wide receivers and tight ends. He also went through a set of offensive drills where they drilled a play and Watson took the mental rep of the pass. Watson rotated the days in which he threw throughout OTAs as part of his rehab plan. Wednesday was not a scheduled throwing day for Watson."

    Pittsburgh Steelers: Who's the starting quarterback?

    Any time there is a quarterback competition, that's going to be the biggest question looming around a team leading into the regular season. The assumption is that Russell Wilson will win the job in training camp, but fellow offseason addition Justin Fields isn't going down without a fight.

    "I'm definitely competing," Fields said, per Brooke Pryor of ESPN. "I think [Wilson] knows that we're competing against each other every day. Him being out there for me, that helps me.

    "I definitely don't have the mindset of me just sitting all year. I'm coming in every day giving it all I got and pushing him to be his best, and he's pushing me to be my best each and every day."

NFC North

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    Biggest Question Facing Every NFL Team After 2024 OTAs (5)

    J.J. McCarthyAdam Bettcher/Getty Images

    Chicago Bears: Will the front office add another edge-rusher?

    This has been a busy offseason for the Bears as GM Ryan Poles has done a good job of rebuilding the roster to make a playoff push this fall. However, the team could use another pass-rusher on the other side of Montez Sweat to help round out the defense.

    At this stage in the game, pickings are slim, but we recently suggested Chicago could make a play for Matthew Judon, whose 66.5 career sacks would be a welcomed sight in the Windy City if the New England Patriots are willing to be a trade partner.

    Detroit Lions: Can Terrion Arnold live up to expectations in year one?

    Granted, this is a fair question with any first-round pick, but cornerback was one of the Lions' few weaknesses last year and Arnold is expected to be a major part of the solution. The good news is he was sharp during OTAs, according to Tim Twentyman of the team's website.

    "Cornerback Terrion Arnold made short work of a situational drill for the offense when he picked off a Jared Goff pass intended for wide receiver Jameson Williams along the left sideline on the first play where the offense was starting at their own 47-yard line in a 14-14 game with one minute and 26 seconds left on the clock," Twentyman wrote last week.

    "Arnold made a great break on a comeback route from Williams and made a terrific catch. Goff made his way over to Arnold on the sideline to congratulate him and give him a high five. Arnold has looked good over the first two open OTA practices."

    Green Bay Packers: What will the starting offensive line look like?

    The Packers have a lot of questions up front, and rumors have swirled this offseason that Zach Tom might move to center while Rasheed Walker and first-round pick Jordan Morgan bookend the unit at tackle. However, The Athletic's Matt Schneidman reported that Morgan was working at left guard with the starters since Elgton Jenkins was absent.

    Schneidman also noted that Tom is still sidelined with a pec injury, so Walker and Andre Dillard have been taking reps at tackle, creating more confusion about Green Bay's offensive line. Additionally, Zach Kruse of Packers Wire wrote that the team believes Morgan can play four positions.

    In other words, the Cheeseheads are very fluid in the trenches.

    Minnesota Vikings: When will J.J. McCarthy be ready to start?

    Now that star wide receiver Justin Jefferson is locked down for the foreseeable future, Vikings fans' attention should turn to when McCarthy will hit the field. While Sam Darnold is expected to be the stop-gap starter to at least begin the season, the rookie is the future of the franchise, so it's paramount that he and Jefferson start building chemistry.

    However, the Michigan product was running with the backups to begin OTAs in Minnesota, per Inside The Vikings' Will Ragatz.

    "McCarthy was primarily working as the QB3 behind veterans Sam Darnold and Nick Mullens," Ragatz wrote. "When the team split up for parts of the day, it was Darnold and Mullens rotating with the starters and McCarthy and Jaren Hall working with the young players and backups.

    "McCarthy had plenty of moments in this practice that reminded you just how much learning and growth is ahead of him. There were several reps where you could see him going through his progressions, hesitating a bit, and then scrambling or throwing to his checkdown option."

AFC South

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    Biggest Question Facing Every NFL Team After 2024 OTAs (6)

    Anthony RichardsonJustin Casterline/Getty Images

    Houston Texans: Who starts at center?

    While the Texans are considered to be a contender to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl this year after C.J. Stroud's strong rookie campaign, the offense has a big question mark at center. Second-year pro Juice Scruggs is the projected starter, but he was limited to nine games last year (including playoffs) due to injury and only took reps at left guard.

    The good news is the 2023 second-round pick made a strong impression on Houston's coaching staff during OTAs, via Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2.

    "Juice is looking great," Texans coach DeMeco Ryans said. "He's been here for most of the offseason. Even before we started our offseason program Juice was here working out with our strength staff. You can see the growth. You can see he's a little stronger, looks better. I'm encouraged where Juice is right now."

    Indianapolis Colts: Will Anthony Richardson have growing pains?

    Despite being viewed as a project coming out of Florida, Richardson earned the Week 1 starting job in Indianapolis last season. However, injuries limited him to four games in 2023, which isn't ideal for a young quarterback who needs experience.

    Luckily, the second-year pro was a full-go in OTAs and looked sharp, according to Horseshoe Huddle's Jake Arthur.

    "Through the two open practices, Richardson was 8-of-11 during the 11-on-11 portions," Arthur wrote last week. "His arm doesn't look like it was hampered by last year's shoulder surgery, as there is plenty of velocity and distance on his passes, although Richardson mentioned he's not quite yet back to where he was before the injury."

    Jacksonville Jaguars: Who steps up at cornerback?

    The Jaguars lost their top corner, Darious Williams, in free agency and only replaced him with Ronald Darby. While Darby has starting experience, he's an NFL journeyman who is on his fifth team in six years. So, will he fill Williams' shoes or will fourth-year pro Tyson Campbell break through and ascend?

    Tennessee Titans: Can the offensive tackles hold up?

    The Titans made a concerted effort to build around QB Will Levis this offseason, adding wide receivers Calvin Ridley and Tyler Boyd and spending a first-round pick on offensive tackle JC Latham. However, who's starting at right tackle is still a question, and Latham will be switching from the right side in college to the left in the NFL.

    That being said, Tennessee does have legendary offensive line coach Bill Callahan to help the unit's development, and the rookie made a strong impression on head coach Brian Callahan during OTAs.

    "[Latham] doesn't carry himself like a rookie...He's very intentional about his work," the younger Callahan said, per A to Z Sports' Travis May. "He works really hard...He understands—which not all rookies understand—that it is a job.

    "And there's an expectation, especially when you're drafted where he was drafted, that you've got to come perform...And he's aware of that...He's got some maturity to him. But he also has a 'youthful wonder' that's kind of fun to be around...There's this kind of enthusiasm that he carries with him around the field that I think is fantastic...He's made of the right stuff."

NFC South

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    Biggest Question Facing Every NFL Team After 2024 OTAs (7)

    Baker MayfieldGregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Atlanta Falcons: Does Arnold Ebiketie take the next step?

    Part of the reason quarterback Michael Penix Jr. was such a controversial pick is because the Falcons could use help at edge-rusher. While Arnold Ebiketie had a strong season last year with six sacks, he's still inexperienced with only seven career starts over the previous two seasons.

    Also, the Falcons need a pass-rusher to step up after losing Calais Campbell and Bud Dupree this offseason, as those two led the team in sacks with 6.5 each. So, a lot is riding on the third-year pro's shoulders.

    Carolina Panthers: Can Bryce Young turn it around?

    Last fall, Young struggled and the team's supporting cast took the majority of the heat. While the criticism of his teammates was justified, the quarterback wasn't absolved from blame, and the front office has made several additions offensively to improve the situation around him.

    Now, it's time for the 2023 No. 1 overall pick to hold up his end of the bargain and show some growth in year two. To provide some optimism, Young has made a strong impression on one of his new teammates during OTAs.

    "He's a great quarterback,'' Panthers wide receiver Diontae Johnson said, per ESPN's David Newton. "Accurate. Smart. He knows how to get his guys in position. Whenever we're out there, you can always count on him to get us in the right spot and make sure everybody knows what they're doing.''

    New Orleans Saints: How does Taliese Fuaga hold up in pass protection?

    The Saints used their first-round pick on Fuaga to replace Trevor Penning at left tackle, as Penning struggled to keep the quarterback clean. However, the Oregon State product projected better as a guard, per B/R's offensive line scout Brandon Thorn, due to his issues in pass protection.

    So, the question persists if Derek Carr's blind side will be adequately protected. Carr has notoriously struggled under pressure during his career. The good news is the former Beaver looked sharp in OTAs, according to WWL's Mike Detillier.

    "When I watched Fuaga's footwork and his body balance, just because I had not seen it on that left side," Detillier said. "He looked very comfortable there that, you know, his body movement skills, his lower body adjustments. We'll see with the pads on and how all that kind of works out."

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Has Baker Mayfield officially turned the corner?

    Mayfield was one of the best stories in the NFL last season as he revived his career in Tampa Bay. However, the seven-year veteran has gone through waves throughout his career, struggling with consistency from season to season, and he will be without ex-offensive coordinator Dave Canales this fall.

    Specifically, one area of improvement for the quarterback this season is pushing the ball down the field, which appears to continue to be an issue during OTAs, per BucsGameday's River Wells.

    "Mayfield missed two of what one would call a "deep" ball," Wells wrote on Tuesday. "One intended for Trey Palmer toward the right side of the field on 11v11s, and one intended for Mike Evans on the left side of the field."

AFC West

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    Biggest Question Facing Every NFL Team After 2024 OTAs (8)

    Bo NixMatthew Stockman/Getty Images

    Denver Broncos: How quickly can Bo Nix catch on?

    After Russell Wilson didn't work out, Broncos coach Sean Payton hand-picked his next quarterback and has been singing Nix's praises since the draft. "I would say mentally, [Nix] wants to know as much and as fast as he can," Payton replied when asked about the similarities between the Broncos' quarterback and Drew Brees.

    "He's the son of a coach. Drew wasn't necessarily the son of a coach, but this group of quarterbacks in general are kind of like gym rats. ... He locates the ball well and he's accurate, and I think Drew was."

    While comparisons to a future Hall of Famer is good to hear, the former Duck needs to hit the ground running during the regular season for the Broncos to be competitive in the AFC West.

    Kansas City Chiefs: Who starts at left tackle?

    Offensive tackle was one of the Chiefs' biggest issues last year, and while Jawaan Taylor returns on the right side, the team has a competition at left tackle after letting Donovan Smith walk in free agency. Second-year pro Wayna Morris is the favorite to win the job, but Morris struggled in limited action last year, and rookie Kingsley Suamataia is a project.

    During OTAs, offensive line coach Andy Heck was transparent about the competition and threw a few other names into the mix, per Arrowhead Report's Jordan Foote.

    "I feel very good about the talent we have here on this team on the roster now to create some good competition there," Heck said. "You have guys who have played in games like Wanya and Lucas Niang. [Chukwuebuka Godrick] is an exciting developmental guy, and he's been doing very well this spring, so we wanted to give him a look out there.

    "That'll be a work in progress, we're going to give a lot of guys some looks there, Kingsley certainly, Ethan Driskell one of our young guys. I feel good about the tackle depth that we have here to create some good competition."

    Las Vegas Raiders: Who is the starting quarterback?

    As mentioned with the Steelers, anytime there is a quarterback competition, that's the biggest question a team is facing since it's the most important position on the field. Aidan O'Connell and Gardner Minshew will continue to duke it out throughout the summer, but neither seemed to pull away from the other during OTAs.

    "Thus far, O'Connell and Minshew have performed fairly evenly," The Athletic's Tashan Reed wrote on June 4. "The coaching staff won't be making any major decisions after padless, contactless OTA practices, but it's still important that the quarterbacks display a firm grasp of the offense, strong decision-making, leadership and accuracy."

    Los Angeles Chargers: Who will emerge as the No. 1 receiver?

    The Chargers moved on from Keenan Allen and Mike Williams this offseason after those two had served as the team's top two wideouts for several years. That leaves Justin Herbert with Joshua Palmer, Quentin Johnston and Ladd McConkey to throw to, as one of those three is expected to step into the role as Herbert's go-to target.

    Based on The Athletic's Daniel Popper's observations from Tuesday's OTAs session, it seems as if Palmer and McConkey are standing out the most so far, especially the rookie.

    "After two unsuccessful plays, Herbert converted a third-and-long to McConkey, who beat slot corner Ja'Sir Taylor on an out route," Popper noted. "... Herbert then found McConkey for another conversion. This time, McConkey beat Taylor on a slant. The series ended with Herbert finding Palmer on a dig."

NFC West

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    Biggest Question Facing Every NFL Team After 2024 OTAs (9)

    Braden FiskeRic Tapia/Getty Images

    Arizona Cardinals: Will BJ Ojulari emerge in year two?

    The Cardinals have a chance to surprise a lot of people this season but they do have several questions defensively, including who will step up and be the team's top pass-rusher. Ojulari is the most logical answer heading into the fall after having a decent showing with 20 pressures (four sacks) on just 161 opportunities, per Pro Football Focus.

    However, last year's second-round pick needs to prove it in a bigger sample size, especially since he's expected to step up as a starter this fall and Arizona doesn't have many other options behind him.

    Los Angeles Rams: Can the young pass-rushers replace Aaron Donald?

    Filling a future Hall of Famer's shoes isn't a one-man job, which is why GM Les Snead spent his first two draft picks on Florida State defensive linemen Jared Verse and Braden Fiske. Also, the Rams return Defensive Rookie of the Year finalist Kobie Turner, who had nine sacks last year, and fellow second-year veteran Byron Young finished with eight in 2023.

    However, while the Rams have plenty of talent in the trenches, relying on young players to be consistent from season to season can be difficult. So, the team's pass rush still has plenty of question marks.

    San Francisco 49ers: Can Renardo Green hold up as the No. 2 corner?

    San Francisco doesn't have many holes on the roster, especially defensively. Chavarius Ward has proved to be a quality top cornerback, but the team was looking for answers at the other starting spot during the offseason. The hope is Green fills that role, which is a difficult task for a rookie, but he did impress defensive coordinator Nick Sorensen during OTAs.

    "I've been really happy with Renardo," Sorenson said, per A to Z's Nicholas McGee. "The cool thing is he's been doing both nickel and [outside] corner and it's not a lot of time, right? It's a certain amount of practices and [he] hasn't fully been a nickel. So, he's really embraced the challenge of it.

    "... But just with him, it's just the mentality and the competitiveness that I love. We knew the movement skill was there and you see it in man-to-man stuff and he gets those too. But just like he's embraced any challenge and he's kind of attacked it and willingly been like, 'no man, I want more of that.' And that's really been awesome."

    Seattle Seahawks: How will the interior offensive line hold up?

    The Seahawks are replacing all three Week 1 starters on the interior offensive line, which is a daunting task. Obviously, that will have a significant impact on the offense's rushing attack and passing game. During Seattle's OTAs on Monday, new offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb acknowledged to reporters he still has some work to do:

    "We've got a little ways to go there and I just mean more about the reps and opportunity. Some of the guys are still working through things and getting back and so there's been a lot of guys shuffling in and out there, but we've been working through some of that, and I think that they'll continue to grow each week."

    Clearly, the offense has some questions in the trenches.

Biggest Question Facing Every NFL Team After 2024 OTAs (2024)
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