Top 10 Players Who Could Be Traded During the 2024 NFL Draft Include Brandon Aiyuk, Tee Higgins, and Others

Which veteran players might be traded during the 2024 NFL Draft? Breaking down 10 trade candidates, including Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, and Tee Higgins.

Which players could be traded during the 2024 NFL Draft? Recent history suggests at least a few veterans might be moved once the three-day event begins on April 25.

Last year’s veteran trade market was relatively quiet. The Philadelphia Eagles picked up RB D’Andre Swift from the Detroit Lions, while the New Orleans Saints shipped TE Adam Trautman to the Denver Broncos in a late-round pick swap.

But the 2022 NFL Draft provided real fireworks. The Eagles were active again, acquiring WR A.J. Brown from the Tennessee Titans for first- and third-round choices. The Arizona Cardinals got in on the wideout party too, landing Hollywood Brown and a third from the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for a first-rounder.

Who will be on the block in 2024? Let’s run through the top 10 draft-day trade candidates.

2024 NFL Draft Trade Candidates

QB Zach Wilson | New York Jets

The Jets have permitted Zach Wilson to seek a trade and received offers for the former No. 2 overall pick, but none have been enticing enough for Gang Green to pull the trigger.

It’s hardly surprising that the NFL isn’t all that interested in acquiring Wilson. Among the 29 quarterbacks who’ve attempted at least 900 passes since 2021, Wilson ranks dead last in adjusted net yards per attempt (4.29) and EPA + CPOE composite (-0.010).

He’s also due $5.4532 million in guaranteed salary, which no other club is rushing to absorb. The Jets might have to attach a draft pick in a Wilson trade to convince a rival team to add him and his contract.

WRs Brandon Aiyuk or Deebo Samuel | San Francisco 49ers

While Brandon Aiyuk has been an oft-mentioned trade candidate, the 49ers might be better off extending him and trading fellow WR Deebo Samuel.

Aiyuk will probably require something close to $30 million annually on his next contract, but he’s worth the money. He finished No. 1 in ESPN’s receiver tracking metrics in 2023, mainly due to his NFL-best 97 “Catch” rating. Aiyuk also ranked first in receiving DVOA, which measures per-play value over a league-average receiver, and ranked sixth in yards per route run (2.65).

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Samuel, a 2021 All-Pro, is no slouch. He ranked No. 1 in yards after the catch above expectation per reception in three of the last four seasons and finished fifth in receiving DVOA and 13th in yards per route run in 2023.

However, the 28-year-old Samuel is two years and two months older than Aiyuk, and his physical style of play inherently makes him more of an injury risk. Samuel has never completed a full slate of games in his five-year career. The 49ers should think about getting out a year too early instead of waiting until it’s too late.

WR Tee Higgins | Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals used the franchise tag to retain Tee Higgins for $21.816 million this offseason and could theoretically tag him again in 2025. But Joe Burrow’s cap charge will hit $46 million in 2025 and keep increasing, while Cincinnati has to plan for an eventual Ja’Marr Chase extension.

Although Higgins makes sense on the Bengals’ roster as they gun for a Super Bowl, trading him could be best for the club’s long-term vision, especially if de facto GM Duke Tobin believes he can find a WR2 replacement in a deep 2024 WR draft class.

Cincinnati hasn’t made any headway with Higgins on a long-term deal, but the Bengals didn’t sign any receivers in free agency and don’t have a readymade WR2 replacement on their roster.

While that could change if it lands a pass catcher early in the upcoming draft, Cincinnati would need to be blown away by an offer to consider trading Higgins at this point. On Sunday, Higgins said he anticipates — and is “looking forward to” — playing for the Bengals in 2024, potentially putting any trade speculation to rest.

WR Treylon Burks | Tennessee Titans

The 2024 NFL Draft features a laundry list of talented WRs, but any team that doesn’t pick up a rookie pass catcher could be interested in the Titans’ Treylon Burks. The former first-round pick might be expendable now that Tennessee boasts fellow WRs Calvin Ridley and DeAndre Hopkins. Burks could be a goner if the Titans add another pass catcher on Day 2.

His size-speed combination made him the 18th pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, but Burks hasn’t been able to stay healthy. While multiple concussions and knee injuries have hindered his early NFL career, Burks could still have fans around the league.

OT Trevor Penning | New Orleans Saints

Trevor Penning’s NFL career hasn’t exactly gone according to plan. The former first-round pick missed half of his 2022 rookie season with a torn foot ligament and was then benched six games into his sophomore campaign after consistently struggling in pass protection.

New Orleans appears ready to find a new left tackle with the 14th pick in the upcoming draft. Could they trade Penning for pennies on the dollar? Maybe, but Saints right tackle Ryan Ramczyk’s ongoing knee issues might force the club to hold onto Penning for depth.

OT Trey Pipkins III | Los Angeles Chargers

Offensive line was always a priority for Jim Harbaugh during his stint as the 49ers’ head coach, and the first-year Los Angeles Chargers HC has already suggested that OL will be a focus for his new team.

The Bolts should have a shot at the draft’s top offensive tackles, regardless of whether they stay at pick No. 5 or slightly trade back. If the Chargers walk away with Joe Alt, Olu Fashanu, or Taliese Fuaga to play right tackle opposite Rashawn Slater, they could move on from Trey Pipkins III, who made 31 RT starts over the past two seasons.

Pipkins isn’t a world-beater, but teams are always searching for competent offensive tackle help. While L.A. could hold onto him for depth, Pipkins is due just $13 million in base salary over the next two years and could be exchanged for a late-round pick.

G Trey Smith | Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs will be gunning for their third straight Super Bowl next season, so they might not be willing to move a key contributor like right guard Trey Smith. But Kansas City won’t be able to pay everyone and could think about getting something for Smith rather than letting him walk next offseason.

Left guard Joe Thuney and right tackle Jawaan Taylor are already among the league’s highest-paid linemen, while center Creed Humphrey will likely join them soon. Smith could be the odd man out. The Chiefs might receive a compensatory pick for Smith in 2025, but only if they mostly sit out the 2024 free agent market.

DT D.J. Jones | Denver Broncos

The Broncos are entering a rebuilding phase while they process Russell Wilson’s dead money in 2024. Holding onto a 29-year-old defensive tackle like D.J. Jones — especially as he enters his contract year — might not make sense for Denver at this point in its competitive cycle.

Jones is a solid run defender who can line up as a 3-technique or a nose tackle while offering a little bit of pass-rush juice. That might not be worth $10 million (his 2024 salary), but the Broncos could get a draft pick in return if they eat part of Jones’ salary.

CB Greg Newsome II | Cleveland Browns

Greg Newsome II has been mentioned in trade rumors in the past, while pre-free agency reporting indicated the Browns were open to trading one of their cornerbacks. Cleveland plans to exercise Newsome’s fifth-year option for 2025 but could still move the slot CB while retaining perimeter starters Denzel Ward and Martin Emerson Jr.

KEEP READING: Dallas Robinson’s 3-Round 2024 NFL Mock Draft

Trading Newsome might become a more realistic possibility for the Browns depending on how their draft shakes out. If Cleveland — which won’t make a selection until pick No. 54 — can find a rookie slot alternative, it could be willing to send Newsome to a CB-needy team.

Miss football? The 2024 NFL Draft is almost here. Pro Football Network has you covered with everything from team draft needs to the Top 100 prospects available. Plus, fire up PFN’s all-new Mock Draft Simulator to put yourself in the general manager’s seat and make all the calls — lone wolf or with your friends!

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