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2024 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

The first mock draft of the year includes a trade up into the top three and five quarterbacks going in the first half of Round 1.


1. CHI (via CAR): Caleb Williams, QB, USC

I don’t buy talk of Drake Maye being a possibility over Williams, and the former Heisman winner resets the contract clock for the Bears at quarterback. The question will be whether another team will send Chicago a Godfather offer for the chance to take Williams.


2. LV (mock trade w/ WAS): Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

There is a ton of smoke around Daniels to Las Vegas—including permanent head coach Antonio Pierce liking an X post about him donning the Silver and Black. If you didn’t know, Daniels mentioned Pierce in his Heisman speech last month after Pierce was a coach for him at Arizona State.


3. NE: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

The Patriots need to hit on draft picks if they are going to return to being a consistent championship contender in the post-Belichick era, and Marvin Harrison Jr. might be tough to pass up. That said, enough people are high on Maye that he will likely be going in the top three, and New England sounds ready to build up much of the roster via free agency.


4. ARI: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

Arizona being competitive down the stretch and still drafting Harrison Jr. is the best-case scenario for the franchise, and he is fully expected to elevate an offense similar to other top wideouts like Ja’Marr Chase in recent years. If quarterbacks don’t go 1-2-3, though, the Cardinals might decide to trade down—perhaps with the Raiders for Jayden Daniels.


5. LAC: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

The Chargers are a franchise that I would anticipate wanting to trade back, but teams finding no suitors has seemed to be a theme in recent drafts. Assuming they stay put, Bowers is a weapon at tight end, and Travis Kelce has ripped the hearts out of Los Angeles enough times that they will want an elite option at the position for themselves.


6. NYG: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

This is another spot where I would at least consider a quarterback if they are the top-ranked prospect, but Nabers is well worth selecting to be the long-term No. 1 wide receiver in New York—and Daniel Jones is still a franchise signal-caller in my opinion. Overall, general manager Joe Schoen needs to nail the 2024 NFL Draft to avoid another disappointing season.


7. TEN: Olumuyima Fashanu, OT, Penn State

I worry about the Titans being in a similar spot to the Commanders last year by rolling with Will Levis rather than finding at upgrade at quarterback, but adding Fashanu would give them a franchise left tackle. Whether or not 2023 first-rounder Peter Skoronski kicks to the blindside will provide more clarity here as the draft nears.


8. ATL: Laiatu Latu, OLB, UCLA

In this scenario, I’m assuming the Falcons will hire Bill Belichick and roll with a veteran option under center, in which case Latu would be a home-run pick as a top-five prospect with shades of T.J. Watt in his game. The concern for Latu is medical history, but Belichick would get good intel from UCLA head coach Chip Kelly.


9. CHI: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

I could see Chicago going with an edge defender here, but Darnell Mooney is a free agent, and there is a clear lack of options behind DJ Moore. Odunze would be a bigger complement to Moore and provide maximum firepower for Caleb Williams.


10. NYJ: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

Fixing the offensive line needs to be the priority for the Jets this offseason, and Alt would slide in as a towering presence at left tackle… or perhaps at right tackle if New York brings another friend of Aaron Rodgers over with David Bakhtiari potentially available.


11. MIN: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

The Vikings might feel they are fine at cornerback with Byron Murphy Jr. and Mekhi Blackmon, and Andrew Booth Jr. could maybe put everything together in Year 3. However, the aggressive scheme makes having strong options on the backend key, and Arnold would immediately be their top corner.


12. DEN: Bo Nix, QB, Oregon

It sounds like the bridge isn’t completely burned between Sean Payton and Russell Wilson, but Denver’s head coach will be taking a quarterback if he believes one is worth selecting—and Nix undoubtedly is. During his time at Oregon, Nix showed an ability to play within structure at a high level (which Payton wants), but his playmaking ability and mobility shouldn’t go overlooked.


13. WAS (mock trade w/ LV): Dallas Turner, DE, Alabama

The thinking for Washington trading back is that Josh Harris wants to have a long-term perspective for the franchise’s path to competitiveness, and they could get plenty of draft ammunition by moving down. If so, Turner would be a tremendous building block to start with as general manager Adam Peters builds through the trenches like they did in San Francisco.


14. NO: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

The NFL future of former All-Pro right tackle Ryan Ramczyk is up in the air due to a knee defect, and Mims has big-time upside if durability issues of his own don’t keep him off the field. Trevor Penning—drafted No. 18 overall in 2022—was benched at left tackle this season, but him refocusing this offseason could create a monster, road-grading duo on the offensive line.


15. IND: Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State

Indianapolis has often preferred bigger wideouts under general manager Chris Ballard, and they also prefer younger players with athletic upside. Coleman easily hits the criteria for all three boxes, and I believe he should go high despite many questioning his outlook at a first-round prospect.


16. SEA: Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington 

Geno Smith is still under contract for two more seasons, and Penix might be viewed as an odd understudy because he’s an older prospect with plenty of college experience. Still, it’s easy to see the fit with Seattle and their playmakers, Penix could sit for at least one season while adjusting to the speed of defenses at the next level.


17. JAX: Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

The top of the cornerback class will have varied opinions, and the versatility of DeJean could make him the choice for Jacksonville with an ability to play the slot to begin his career. When fully healthy in 2022, DeJean had five interceptions and three pick-sixes.


18. CIN: JC Latham, OT, Alabama

Jonah Williams settled in nicely at right tackle and could be extended, but if not, Latham is an extremely powerful replacement to pair with Orlando Brown Jr. As shown this year, Cincinnati having balance can take the pressure off the passing attack, and Latham can be a dominant run blocker.


19. LAR: Jared Verse, OLB, Florida State

The Rams should be very encouraged about contributions from rookies Kobie Turner and Byron Young with a combined 17.0 sacks in 2023, and adding another young pass rusher in Verse could help them close games. Over the past two seasons, Verse totaled 29.5 tackles for loss and 18.0 sacks in 25 games.


20. PIT: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

Pittsburgh got perhaps the steal of the draft in 2023 with Joey Porter Jr.—who we ranked as our No. 6 overall prospect—falling to Round 2, and I love the idea of pairing him with another young cornerback in Wiggins. The former Clemson standout also has size at six-foot-two, but he’s a different style cover man than Porter.


21. MIA: Troy Fautanu, G, Washington

I thought about putting Georgia wideout Ladd McConkey here with an ability to work all over the field on an offense with Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle demanding attention, but Fautanu could be an option at guard or tackle for Miami. The possible retirement of left tackle Terron Armstead is a storyline to watch.


22. PHI: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

We’ll have to see what the Eagles do at defensive coordinator, but McKinstry fits the mold of prospects they have liked in recent years with proven play in the SEC and a bigger frame on the perimeter. In general, it seems almost every position other than quarterback could be on the table for an aging roster, though.


23. HOU (via CLE): Kamren Kitchens, S, Miami

A long-term safety duo of Kitchens and Jalen Pitre would be exciting on the backend of DeMeco Ryans’ defense, and Houston has powerhouse potential if the right buttons are pushed. At Miami, Kitchens showed playmaking ability and toughness that should make him a favorite of coaches.


24. DAL: Kingsley Suamataia, OT, BYU

It’s possible Dallas is able to re-sign Tyron Smith, and Tyler Smith is an option to take over at left tackle in 2024 or 2025. Still, Dallas values play in the trenches as much as anyone, and Suamataia is a top-20 prospect for us that could be Smith’s successor on the blindside.


25. GB: Graham Barton, C, Duke

I don’t know where Barton would play for the Packers, but I do know they would value his versatility—as he can thrive at all five positions for a young offensive line that has done quite a bit of shuffling in recent years. Barton began his career at center due to injury issues for Duke before kicking out to left tackle.


26. TB: Chop Robinson, OLB, Penn State

Robinson has a well-rounded game with signs of polish as a pass rusher, and Tampa Bay could view him as a long-term 1B-type option alongside YaYa Diaby. It also helps that Robinson is one of the youngest players in the draft having just turned 21 at the start of January.


27. ARI (via HOU): Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

Kelvin Beachum is still under contract for 2024, but I thought the plan would be for Paris Johnson Jr. to eventually slide over to left tackle—which opens the door for a long-term answer at right tackle. Fuaga was a bully for Oregon State and fits the mentality Jonathan Gannon wants in Arizona.


28. BUF: Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU

Josh Allen needs more help, and Thomas could fill the role Gabe Davis had with perhaps a bit more reliability and consistency on the outside. In a breakout season last year, Thomas caught 68 passes for 1,177 yards (17.3 average) and 17 touchdowns for the Tigers.


29. KC: Ladd McConkey, WR, Georgia

McConkey was mentioned earlier, and the thinking is the same in Kansas City with him being a legitimate three-level weapon—including an ability to uncover for Patrick Mahomes underneath. The only concern I have with McConkey is how often he was banged up at Georgia.


30. DET: Ennis Rakestraw Jr., CB, Missouri

The connection for Rakestraw to Detroit is easy to make, as he’s sort of in the mold of Devon Witherspoon—who the Lions seemed to be targeting last April—as a physical tackler with cover talent. If there is a hole for Detroit’s roster, it’s at cornerback.


31. BAL: Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon

Franklin exploded as a big-play weapon for Bo Nix and the Ducks in 2023, and Baltimore would be in a great spot in terms of their future supporting cast by throwing him in alongside Zay Flowers, Mark Andrews, and Isaiah Likely. The other side of the ball could also be a priority, especially if defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald gets a head coaching job.


32. SF: T.J. Tampa, CB, Iowa State

Tampa is a long, imposing cornerback that can frustrate opponents outside the numbers, and he’s very fluid for his size. The scheme fit with the 49ers could allow Tampa to sneak into Round 1, and he’s someone I would anticipate generating more buzz as the process moves along.