The thing with the NFL Draft is that everyone gets so excited about the first-round picks. But often times, it’s the later picks that turn out to be the best surprises. So, who are some underrated draft picks and gems in the 2024 NFL Draft?

Examples of Previous Underrated Draft Picks

Underrated draft picks are very common. Just look at Tom Brady as an example. The soon-to-be star quarterback was the 199th overall pick and picked in the sixth round of the draft. We all know how his story ended. Another one is Jalen Hurts of the Philadelphia Eagles. The Philadelphia Eagles selected Hurts 53rd overall in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft, so far from their early pick. The list goes on and on. But, just know that many times, it’s the later draft picks that mature over the years and somehow become superstars.

2024 NFL Draft: Underrated Draft Picks

CBS Sports has a new story out featuring some underrated draft picks. Going through their list, I agree with several of them.

For one, Cedric Gray, LB, of North Carolina is a gem. He’s a strong linebacker and notched 365 tackles over his last three seasons at North Carolina. “As an athletic player with a strong football IQ, he’s got the makings of a potential longtime NFL player,” CBS Sports states. “Gray was a receiver and basketball player in high school who was merely considered an ‘athlete’ by 247Sports in the Class of 2020. He was also a team captain in both high school and in college. With off-the-charts intangibles and solid physical tools, the smart money is on Gray figuring it out and shining as a mid-to-late round pick.”

Another one is the elusive Beanie Bishop Jr., a cornerback from West Virginia. He’ll be 25 by the end of the season, which is considered “old” in the draft. But, CBS Sports notes that, “after earning honorable mention All-American honors from CBS Sports with four interceptions and a whopping 20 deflections in 2023, he’s absolutely worth a late-round pick.” I totally agree. Give this guy a chance, teams. also has a story up with some underrated draft picks. Jeffri Chadiha picks Brian Thomas Jr., a wide receiver from LSU. You can really never have too many good wide receivers, even though there are already good ones in this year’s draft class. “More people would be talking about Thomas if this draft wasn’t loaded with wide receivers,” states. “It’s true that he’s not on the same level as Marvin Harrison, Rome Odunze or Malik Nabers, his teammate at LSU. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t have star potential.”

Chad Reuter of goes with Jermaine Burton, a wide receiver from Alabama. “Burton went a bit under the radar despite leading Alabama in receiving yards (898) and touchdowns (eight) because the Crimson Tide ranked just 68th in the FBS in passing offense,” he writes. “He was not credited with a drop, per PFF, maturing as a reliable short and intermediate route-runner to complement the speed he’s shown since his days at Georgia.” He also says that “Burton will be an Amon-Ra St. Brown-type bargain if available in the third or fourth round.” That says a lot, since St. Brown is one of the best bargains the Detroit Lions have ever received in a late-draft pick. Check out some major quarterbacks in the draft this season, too.