Top 30 Visits and the NFL Draft – What Does it Mean for Fantasy Football?

by Aditya Fuldeore · NFL Draft

The pre-draft process brings a lot of attention to incoming rookies. They are poked, prodded, and run through the grinder in the Senior Bowl, NFL Combine, visits, and more. Throughout this process, NFL teams are given top 30 Visits. Teams can bring in up to 30 players for these visits in order to get familiar with them. The visits can include interviews and physicals to help teams build out a profile on the player.

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Top 30 Visit Hit Rates

Fantasy managers may find it beneficial to keep an eye out for which teams top offensive skill players visit. In the 2024 NFL Draft top-ten selections, all but one offensive skill player had a top 30 visit with the team that selected them. The outlier was QB J.J. McCarthy who went No. 10 to the Vikings and did meet with them at the NFL Combine.

In 2023, Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, and Anthony Richardson were the only top-10 skill players with a top 30 visit to their selecting team. Through the first three rounds of the 2023 and 2024 drafts, 17 out of 64 selected skill players had a top 30 visit with their team. Many cases come from earlier in the NFL Draft as teams desire to meet top prospects on their board. Top guys who aren’t consensus No. 1 at their positions may get more visits. This includes wide receivers Malik Nabers and Rome Odunze who had seven and four top 30 visits, respectively.

Top 30 Visit Trends

The utilization of top 30 visits varies by team. Some use as many visits as possible, while others use the NFL Combine and personal workouts more. For example, the Rams seldom use their top 30 visits, especially after possessing a limited number of top picks in recent history. Many other teams, especially those with high picks (Texans, Vikings, Broncos), will utilize as many visits as they can fit. The Cowboys generally don’t have as many high picks but use many visits anyways to conduct their due diligence. The Panthers have picked three of their non-first rounders from the last two drafts out of their top 30 visits (Jonathan Mingo, Jonathon Brooks, Ja’Tavion Sanders).

Quarterbacks in particular are a position to eye for top 30 visits. Five quarterbacks went to teams they had top 30 visits with each of the last two drafts. This adds up to 10 of 24 quarterbacks picked from 2023-2024 going to teams they had a top 30 visit with. QB-needy teams will meet with many quarterbacks as there is high demand and low supply in the quarterback pool. Most early picks (Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Caleb Williams) will have met with their drafting team. Later picks, like Jordan Travis and Joe Milton in 2024, can also be picked by a team they had a top 30 visit with. Teams have more information on these later round guys if they host them for a visit. That familiarity can lead to a selection.

Teams also pick guys they are familiar with from outside the quarterback spot. For 2024, this included the Ravens’ Rasheen Ali, the Chargers’ Brenden Rice, and the Bengals’ Erick All, amongst others. The Packers’ Dontayvion Wicks is the best recent example of a late round, top 30 visit guy working out immediately for a team. He averaged 2.06 (No. 18) Fantasy Points per Target while putting up 581 receiving yards in Green Bay’s young offense.

What Does This Mean?

Every year, teams are in different places. They tackle the NFL Draft from a rebuilding or contending stance, investing in positions of need depending on volume of picks. A team needing to invest largely in a certain position may bring in several top 30 visits from that position group. For example, the Panthers brought in four quarterbacks before selecting Bryce Young last year. The Giants and Raiders each brought in five quarterbacks before the 2024 NFL Draft. Though neither team selected one, both are in precarious spots at the quarterback position and their large amount of quarterback visits indicate this. They did not have top-five picks to go after a franchise quarterback, and have quarterbacks who can start, but not guys who can push them into contention.

Ultimately, top 30 visits can be useful predictors of where a team is going in a NFL Draft. Teams get a better look at the players they host and those with more picks may host more players. Each team uses the visits differently, and they can vary based on management, team direction, and need at the time. Quarterbacks and top offensive skill players are in higher demand and thus have a higher correlation between the team that selects them and a top 30 visit with that team.

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