2024 NFL draft winners, losers: Players impacted by rookie picks

The decisions every team makes during the NFL draft have an obvious impact on their rosters. They also affect the players who were already a part of the organization. While veteran players might not be grinding college tape or mock drafts in the weeks before the big event, anyone who doesn't have a guaranteed path to a starting job is at least paying some attention to what happens when their team goes on the podium. New additions to the roster are competition, and the majority of the league's players are one training camp battle away from potentially being released.

Of course, as we saw in one conspicuous case during the top 10 picks, players who are guaranteed nine figures and promised a starting role can't even be sure they won't be blindsided by a move their team makes. You can probably guess where that player stands in this look at veteran players who were affected by what happened during the draft. I'll be sorting 16 of them into winners and losers by virtue of what the draft did to their chances of making an impact in 2024.

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Why is this column coming out now as opposed to in the days after the draft? There's a secondary element that comes in the first few days post-draft that impacts team-building. We see teams that missed out on players at a given position take the plunge and immediately land a free agent who otherwise wouldn't have been on their roster, while teams that filled a hole or landed a player they weren't expecting to add act accordingly by cutting a veteran or two. I wanted to let that dust settle before evaluating what the draft-day moves meant for league veterans, both on and off rosters.

Let's start with a player who has unexpected competition for his role before ever taking a snap in his new uniform:

Jump to a section:
Brandon Aiyuk | Rashod Bateman
Kirk Cousins | Ezekiel Elliott
Tytus Howard | Braxton Jones | Daniel Jones
Ernest Jones | Zay Jones | Gardner Minshew
Jaelan Phillips | Aaron Rodgers | Rasheed Walker
Jaylen Warren | Jaylen Watson | Jameson Williams

Loser: Kirk Cousins, QB, Falcons