Michigan will soon be the nerve center of the NFL.

The 2024 NFL Draft kicks off from Downtown Detroit Thursday, April 25. 

The draft will be broadcast live from the Monroe Street Midway near Campus Martius Park.

A number of major tv networks will cover this three-day pigskin party. Among them are ABC, ESPN, and the NFL Network.

Hart Plaza hosts an array of activities dubbed the NFL Draft Experience. 


An Autograph Stage will feature current and former NFL stars signing for fans.

There’s also a chance to get your picture taken with Lombardi Trophy.

The Corner Ballpark (formerly Tiger Stadium) in Corktown holds NFL FLAG football clinics and drills for the kids. 

Plus the NFL Draft Concert Series spotlights local artists on the Draft Theater Stage, from Thursday through Saturday night.

This couldn’t come at a better time for the home team. The Lions are coming off their best season since 1991.

Detroit (12-5) won the NFC North division and made a memorable playoff run.

Five Lions starters scored AP All-Pro awards in recognition of their efforts. 

Wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown and right tackle Penei Sewell both garnered first team honors.

Center Frank Ragnow, rookie tight end Sam LaPorta and special teams star Jalen-Reeves Maybin earned second team bids.

Beyond that, defensive end Aidan Hutchinson and rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs joined them on the 2023 NFC Pro Bowl squad.

Fair to say GM Brad Holmes has done a stellar job building the roster. Now Detroit has a huge opportunity to build on their success in the draft.

What are the most pressing needs? When do they pick? Who might be available?

Detroit starts with a late (No. 29) first-round pick. The defensive secondary should be their first order of business.

Several high profile cornerback prospects have already made visits to the Motor City. 

They include Iowa’s Cooper DeJean, Alabama’s Kool-Aid McKinstry and Ennis Rakestraw Jr. of Missouri. Holmes said last month

"Look, when it comes to cornerbacks, you can never have enough of those guys, which I can say that with a lot of different positions. I don’t think we’ve ever went through a draft where we didn’t draft one, at least. Whether it’s a corner or a nickel, but I’ve always thought it’s good business to at least acquire one. But, again, you can never have enough of them."

Their next pick comes near the end of round two. At No. 61 overall, the club could choose a dynamic defensive end to pair with Hutchinson.

Penn State DL Demeioun “Chop” Robinson fits the bill.

Other possibilities being bandied about: Ex-Western Michigan Bronco Braden Fiske of Florida State and Michigan native Darius Robinson of Mizzou.

On the flip side, a No. 2 wide receiver would help take some pressure off St. Brown.

Ja’Lynn Polk of Washington and Troy Franklin of Oregon are names to keep an eye on.

Anderson Economic Group estimates that the draft’s financial impact will exceed $160 million, and the City of Detroit will receive approximately $100 million in revenue.

More than 400,000 visitors are anticipated to be in town for the festivities.

Although entry is free, attendees must download the NFL One Pass app and register to get in. Those without a smartphone can register on-site.

Even if you can’t get in, you can still be part of the action.

‘Draft Day in the D’ watch parties will be held outside the staging area at Paradise Park, Beacon Park, Harmonie Park and Grand Circus Park.

Greektown will host a block party and Eastern Market will have tailgating parties.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told earlier this year:

"Our draft [here] will probably reach 60 or 70 million people over the three days. This is [going to be] where everyone's going to see the people and the places that make this community special. And that to me is the beauty of it. And so, to me, my encouragement to all of the leadership and the people who are organizing this — and there are so many that do an extraordinary job — is to do it your way. And I'm sure it will be a great success if you do.”

Screenshot 2024 04 11 at 13 41 25 Photo by Jason Hutchison on Unsplash

That’s a great testament to the city. And a massive win for the state of Michigan.