Carmelo Hayes is the pick to watch coming out of the WWE Draft

Now that the 2024 Draft is in our rearview, Carmelo Hayes is the pick to watch coming out of the WWE Draft
Carmelo Hayes Jan 2.jpg
Carmelo Hayes Jan 2.jpg /

WWE brought back the WWE Draft and as of earlier this week, the draft picks are finalized. While there wasn't much movement regarding top-level superstars on each brand, there is one name that is a superstar to watch. Yes, I am talking about HIM -- Carmelo Hayes. The former NXT Champion and two-time NXT North American Champion is ready for a fresh start on the main roster.

As a Night 1, first-round draft pick to Friday Night Smackdown, Hayes hasn't wasted any time making his presence felt on Friday nights. The night he was drafted, Hayes challenged the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Cody Rhodes to a match that night. Although he lost, Hayes held his own and earned the respect of both Rhodes and the WWE Universe who didn't buy into his hype.

Although it was bold to challenge the champion, Hayes instantly solidified his name as one of the top on the brand. If that wasn't impressive enough, the following week, Hayes declared himself with Smackdown General Manager Nick Aldis for the King of the Ring Tournament. This occurred before being interrupted by Bobby Lashley, whom many assumed Hayes would align with once he made the main roster. Instead, for now, Hayes is fine by himself. It wasn't a match, but once again WWE showcasing that Hayes is a big deal to those unfamiliar.

As a company, WWE is starving for a fresh crop of stars to compete on the main roster. Much of this stems from a few superstars being on NXT longer than necessary. Hayes could've been drafted last year or called up and nobody would've questioned it. The incorporation of Hayes on Smackdown instantly gives them another title contender for both the Universal title and the United States title. Also, Smackdown needs more heel star power, Hayes instantly fulfills that need.

Now that the King of the Ring Tournament is underway, it will be intriguing to see how far Hayes advances in the Tournament. Gunther likely remains the favorite, but it would be a fantastic way to elevate Hayes even more to add to his already impressive resume. Not to mention, "King Melo" has a nice ring to it. Of course, this is all assuming the winner of the Tournament gets a future title shot. The sky is the limit for Hayes and as we look back at the 2024 WWE Draft, Hayes will be the name to watch.