2024 NFL Draft Day 3 Takeaways: College Teammates Reunited, Notable Legacy Picks Stand Out

Franklin racked up 1,381 yards and 14 touchdowns in his final year at Oregon.
Franklin racked up 1,381 yards and 14 touchdowns in his final year at Oregon. / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages
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Texans follow Broncos' lead, reunite C.J. Stroud with a college teammate

The Broncos drafted Bo Nix and Troy Franklin to keep them together in the NFL. The Texans are bringing former Ohio State teammates back together after a year apart. Cade Stover caught 40 passes and five touchdowns from Stroud when they played together with the Buckeyes. Stover was one of my favorite tight ends in this class. He is very fundamentally sound, displaying good contact balance, solid blocking skills, and reliable hands. He will form a fun tandem for Houston along with Dalton Schultz.

Tight ends and running backs in high demand to open Day 3

The first two days of the draft were relatively quiet for tight ends and running backs. That changed quickly in the fourth round. Six tight ends came off the board in the fourth round, starting with Ja'Tavion Sanders and running through Jared Wiley.

It took a little longer for the running backs to start flying off the board, but Jaylen Wright started the flurry at No. 120. Braelon Allen put a bow on the six total running backs selected in the round with the second-to-last pick of the fourth. Only four running backs had come off the board in the first two days of the draft, along with just two tight ends. Clearly, the league values both positions, but didn't believe there were too many instant-impact players worth selecting in the first three rounds.

Oregon takes over Round 4

Troy Franklin's surprise slide ended near the top of the fourth round. Franklin turned out to be the start of a flurry of Ducks coming off the board. Khyree Jackson (more on him in a minute), Brandon Dorlus and Evan Williams followed Franklin off the board within just a few picks. Bucky Irving capped the quack attack as he landed with the 49ers. Dan Lanning should have an easy recruiting pitch for next year.

Ravens finally end TJ Tampa's slide

As I wrote about after the third round, Tampa was one of the top players still on the board heading into Day 3. Most draft analysts had Tampa projected somewhere in the mid-to-late second round. He fell all the way to the end of the fourth round. It is typical of the Ravens to wind up landing a highly-touted player later than they were projected to be drafted. In recent years, Baltimore has landed Kyle Hamilton, Tyler Linderbaum, David Ojobo, Travis Jones, Trenton Simpson and Andrew Vorhees. This defense was in need of some corner depth and they found another long, physical player to develop.

Spencer Rattler falls to fifth round

Perhaps the Saints found their heir apparent to Derek Carr. More likely, Rattler will be a solid backup for the next few years while Carr is still under contract. New Orleans is essentially locked into Carr's deal until 2026. Believe it or not, that's probably a good thing for Rattler. It allows him to sit and learn for a couple years. Rattler has the arm talent to eventually be a starter in the league, but his inconsistency and poor decision making are what pushed him into the fifth round.