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2024 NFL mock draft: Falcons find QB, Round 1 projections after NFL Combine

2024 NFL mock draft
Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Now that the NFL Scouting Combine is over, stocks are rising and falling ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft. Which players catapulted into the first round of Sportsnaut’s latest 2024 NFL mock draft? There’s only one way to find out.

Let’s dive into our latest 2024 NFL mock draft after the NFL Combine.

Related: Best NFL players of all time

NFL mock draft 2024: Round 1 predictions

1. Chicago Bears: Caleb Williams, QB, USC

caleb williams
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Given a second chance to pick the top-ranked quarterback on their board for the second year in a row, this time, the Chicago Bears don’t flinch. Caleb Williams is the best NFL prospect not named Marvin Harrison Jr., and his arrival resets Chicago’s competitive timeline while keeping costs down for the next few years. If he’s the real deal, expect the Bears to compete for the NFC North division crown in the near future.

Related: Dan Orlovsky proposes wild Chicago Bears alternative to drafting Caleb Williams involving other QB prospect

2. Washington Commanders: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

drake maye
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Sam Howell led a more inspired effort, but his ceiling is nowhere near what Drake Maye’s is. While he’s not the dual-threat QB many teams and fans covet, Maye has drawn comparisons to Justin Herbert. Being paired with Terry McLaurin, Maye should have an easier transition than his fellow rookie quarterbacks and it could lead to a sharp turnaround in Washington.

3. New England Patriots: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

jayden daniels
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While trading down for a massive bounty is enticing, the New England Patriots’ biggest need is at quarterback, and there happens to be a Heisman winner available. One of the biggest issues holding the Patriots’ offense back has been a lack of mobility at QB and a lack of overall talent. Jayden Daniels solves both issues and could instantly transform this offense.

Related: ‘The Office’ cast still has a fantasy football league 19 years later

4. Arizona Cardinals: Marvin Harrison Jr, WR, Ohio State

marvin harrison jr.
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The Arizona Cardinals land in the perfect place considering their greatest need is supplying Kyler Murray with more talent. Marvin Harrison Jr. is the most sure thing in this draft class. Add him and pencil him in as the early 2024 Offensive Rookie of the Year winner because he’ll have no trouble topping 1,000 yards as a rookie.

5. Atlanta Falcons*: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

j.j. mccarthy
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

TRADE: Atlanta Falcons trade eighth overall pick, No. 43, No. 79, 2025 third to Los Angeles Chargers for fifth pick

Feeling like their offense is set, aside from one major missing piece, the Atlanta Falcons could get aggressive on draft day. Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy showed he can be a winner, now can he take the next step as a playmaker when surrounded with Drake London, Kyle Pitts, and Bijan Robinson?

Related: Atlanta Falcons chasing after NFL’s ‘most valuable player’ on the market

6. New York Giants: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

NCAA Football: Georgia St. at Louisiana State
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Some New York Giants may want a quarterback, but they already have one. What Daniel Jones really needs is a wide receiver capable of taking pressure off him to make the perfect play. Malik Nabers has the type of game-breaking speed to turn a below-average offense into a good one, even in his first season.

See where Daniel Jones lands in Sportsnaut’s NFL QB Rankings

7. Tennessee Titans: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

joe alt
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It’s pretty rare to have the seventh pick and end up with the best offensive line prospect in the draft, but that’s what the Tennessee Titans are getting with Joe Alt. Peter Skoronski can continue learning how to play left guard, but adding an elite talent like Alt could suddenly turn things around in Tennessee.

Related: Tennessee Titans mock draft 2024

8. Los Angeles Chargers*: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

brock bowers
Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

TRADE: Los Angeles Chargers trade fifth overall pick to Atlanta Falcons for eighth pick, No. 43, No. 79, and 2025 third-round pick

When Jim Harbaugh was at Michigan, he likely heard all about how Brock Bowers was one of the best players in college football. Well, Harbaugh got the last laugh by showing the Wolverines were the best team in the nation, but now the Chargers coach can add an elite talent for Justin Herbert without taking snaps away from Quentin Johnston. Brock Bowers can do it all, and the Chargers can add more receivers later, thanks to a very deep class of pass-catchers.

Related: Latest Chargers Buzz and Combine Takeaways

9. Chicago Bears: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

rome odunze
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Now that the Bears believe they have their franchise quarterback, it’s time to ensure he has plenty of talent to thrive. Similar to what the Bengals did after adding Joe Burrow by getting Ja’Marr Chase, the Bears could complement D.J. Moore with a big, playmaking receiver like Rome Odunze. With that duo, there are no excuses for a litany of early growing pains for this offense next season.

Related: 2024 NFL Draft order, picks by team

10. New York Jets: Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State

olumuyiwa fashanu
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After seeing Aaron Rodgers suffer a season-ending injury just four snaps into the season, the New York Jets will prioritize reinforcing the offensive line to ensure a freak incident doesn’t occur again. Mekhi Becton never developed into the franchise left tackle they hoped for, but Olu Fashanu can be a bookend for a decade-plus.

2024 NFL mock draft: Vikings, Broncos, Raiders add key pieces

11. Minnesota Vikings: Byron Murphy II, DT, Texas

A lot of thought has to be given to selecting an edge rusher, but we’ll assume the Vikings can work something out with one or two of their pending free agents between Danielle Hunter, Marcus Davenport, and D.J. Wonnum. The Vikings don’t have a bigger need than replenishing the talent in the defensive trenches. With impressive size and near-freakish speed for a DT, Murphy could be a difference-maker in Brian Flores’ defense but it’s possible they’d be able to trade down a bit and still get their guy.

Related: 3 Running Backs the Vikings Should Target After Releasing Alexander Mattison

12. Denver Broncos: Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

Since there isn’t a QB worthy of this selection available in our 2024 NFL mock draft, the Broncos focus on the best player available, which still fills one of their biggest needs. Dallas Turner has been compared to reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year Will Anderson, thanks to an extremely productive career at Alabama. After dominating at the combine, chances are Turner will be the first edge rusher off the board.

Related: NFL Combine Day 2 winners and losers from defensive backs/tight end drills, including Nate Wiggins

13. Las Vegas Raiders: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

The Las Vegas Raiders won’t be able to get a future franchise quarterback at 13, and trading up could be too costly. But that doesn’t mean Antonio Pierce’s team can’t still add a difference-maker. As a 6-foot-1 cornerback with 4.3 speed, Nate Wiggins has everything NFL scouts drool over and his presence would be welcome in a division that faces Patrick Mahomes twice a year.

14. New Orleans Saints: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

The New Orleans Saints can’t get their offense off the ground. Changing quarterbacks didn’t solve the issue, and they’re loaded at the skill positions, which means it’s time to address a lackluster offensive line that hasn’t held up their end of the bargain. Ryan Ramczyk’s playing future is uncertain, James Hurst is set for free agency, and Trevor Penning hasn’t lived up to his draft status as a former first-round pick. Instead of hoping they’ll round into form, the Saints must take action by adding a player like Taliese Fuaga, who never allowed a sack in college.

Related: 2024 NFL Combine Day 4 winners and losers from offensive linemen drills, including Joe Alt and Amarius Mims

15. Indianapolis Colts: Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

Consideration could be given to adding another receiver, but the Colts learned they can find depth later in the draft after adding Alec Pierce and Josh Downs. A bigger priority might be on addressing a defense that has allowed the fifth-most points in the NFL across the past two seasons. Cooper DeJean was a big reason why Iowa had a shutdown defense, and now he’ll look to do the same for the Colts in the pros.

Related: NFL free agency predictions 2024

16. Seattle Seahawks: Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon

Adding a pass rusher like Chop Robinson is very tempting, but the Seahawks might be counting on continued improvement from Boye Mafe and Derick Hall to solve this need. Another glaring issue is the interior offensive line, and after Seattle’s scoring attack took a step back in 2023, it’s time to address this area heading into 2024. Jackson Powers-Johnson is a bit of a late riser in the NFL Draft process, but scouts are high on him thanks to being excellent in pass protection.

Related: NFL defense rankings 2024

17. Jacksonville Jaguars: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

The Jaguars need more production out of their pass-rushing group, but with Travon Walker and Josh Allen on board, they expect that improvement to come from within. Another way they can improve their pressure rate is by becoming more consistent in coverage, and that’s where Terrion Arnold can help. Arnold can play inside in the nickel or outside on the boundary, and with his impressive ball skills, he’ll be a day-one starter.

Related: 2024 NFL Combine’s biggest losers, including Blake Corum

18. Cincinnati Bengals: JC Latham, OT, Alabama

When you have Joe Burrow, there is no bigger priority than making sure he stays healthy. The Bengals have all the weapons in the world, but until they provide better protection, they won’t be able to maintain their success from year to year. JC Latham can play guard or tackle, but either way, he’ll help this Bengals team right away.

Related: Super Bowl odds: Every team’s championship futures for 2024 NFL season

19. Los Angeles Rams: Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

Aaron Donald and Kobie Turner wreak havoc along the interior. Imagine if the Rams had someone blowing up plays off the edge too? Who would you double? Laiatu Latu hopes to become part of the problem for opponents in L.A. and after racking up 27 sacks the past two seasons, there’s a good chance he’d make an instant impact in the pros too.

Related: Los Angeles Rams mock draft 2024

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU

Even though they added Broderick Jones and Joey Porter Jr. last offseason, both positions could be considered again here. However, if the Steelers want to build a kickass offense, they’ll need more offensive weapons. At 4-foot-3, Brian Thomas Jr. has the size to take over a game, and his speed matches the eye test too.

2024 NFL Draft projections: Eagles, Texans, and Cowboys strengthen their defense

21. Miami Dolphins: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

Just because Tua Tagovailoa stayed healthy throughout the 2023 campaign, it doesn’t mean the Miami Dolphins solved their protection issues. All five of their starting linemen missed time last season, and aside from Terron Armstead, there isn’t an elite player left on Miami’s offensive trenches. Amarius Mims may not even be an immediate starter, but the Dolphins could always move Austin Jackson to guard if Mims shows he’s ready to play right away.

22. Philadelphia Eagles: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

Darius Slay and James Bradberry are entrenched as starters and Kelee Ringo is waiting in the wings, but as you know, teams need more than just two competent cornerbacks in the modern era. Quinyon Mitchell was one of the fastest players at the NFL Combine, and he’s been impressing scouts all offseason long. He’d be a great addition to the Eagles’ defense.

Related: Philadelphia Eagles mock draft 2024

23. Houston Texans: Chop Robinson, EDGE, Penn State

Will Anderson solves one side of the Houston Texans’ pass rush, now it’s time to add another freakish talent on the opposite side. Chop Robinson ran a 4.48 40-yard dash, and if that speed translates to the NFL, opposing defenses will have trouble keeping him out of their backfield.

Related: Houston Texans mock draft 2024

24. Dallas Cowboys: Jer’Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois

Micah Parsons doesn’t need much help to generate pressure, but getting another player who can take on double teams for the Dallas Cowboys after Dan Quinn left town would be a wise idea. Jer’Zhan Newton is regarded as one of, if not the best defensive tackle prospect in the class and he’d be a great fit in Dallas too.

25. Green Bay Packers: Troy Fautanu, OT, Washington

If David Bakhtiari really has played his last snap with the Packers, then adding more talent to Green Bay’s trenches is a must. Fautanu could play tackle, or he could look to catch on as an offensive guard too. Either way, reinforcing the trenches for the foreseeable future is never a bad idea now that Jordan Love is entrenched as the face of the franchise.

Related: Green Bay Packers mock draft 2024

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

After losing Sean Murphy-Bunting to free agency last offseason, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ranked 25th in NY/A in pass defense, and they didn’t do much to inject more youth in last year’s draft. Kool-Aid McKinstry has the talent to become a No. 1 cornerback, and if Antoine Winfield Jr. returns, the Bucs could have a much-improved secondary heading into next season.

27. Arizona Cardinals: Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State

Maybe the Arizona Cardinals should have just stood pat and selected Will Anderson, the reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year last season. They didn’t, but getting Jared Verse with the pick they got from the trade with Houston would be a good way to make up for their potential loss. Verse combines freakish talent with plenty of production, having tallied 18 sacks across two seasons. If he can continue growing as a pro, the Cardinals could be getting a Pro Bowl talent here.

28. Buffalo Bills: Tyler Nubin, S, Minnesota

Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer are both over 30 years old, and there’s no telling how many productive seasons the Pro Bowl safety duo has left. Tyler Nubin could be an immediate replacement, if needed. Yet, he could also see the field early on as a third rotational safety for Buffalo’s defense. Either way, he has the type of football IQ that should help him become a playmaker at the next level too.

Related: NFL playoff predictions

29. Detroit Lions: Ennis Rakestraw Jr., CB, Missouri

Last offseason the Detroit Lions added Emmanuel Moseley and Cam Sutton, but these are just short-term fixes. They don’t do anything to solve the Lions’ secondary needs in the future. Ennis Rakestraw Jr. gives Detroit another young foundational piece to build around, joining Brian Branch. Rakestraw is a player coach Dan Campbell will love, as a physical defender who won’t get pushed around even by the biggest opponents.

Related: Top NFL free agents in 2024

30. Baltimore Ravens: Graham Barton, OL, Duke

As long as Lamar Jackson is around, the Baltimore Ravens’ lifeblood revolves around their offense. To continue being a fearful opponent, they’ll need to build one of the best offensive lines in the sport. Graham Barton has the positional versatility to play tackle, guard, or center, and would be a fine addition to any NFL team.

Related: NFL MVP odds 

31. San Francisco 49ers: Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma

Trent Williams seems like he’ll play forever, but the soon-to-be 36-year-old 11-time Pro Bowler’s time will eventually come to an end. It may not be this offseason, but the 49ers don’t want to be in a position where one of their best players leaves without some sort of plan in place to replace him. Tyler Guyton can get on the field as a rookie before eventually serving as the replacement at left tackle in San Francisco.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

A great NFL Combine showing reinforced Adonai Mitchell’s status as a fringe first-round receiver prospect, and the Chiefs would be thrilled to add a player of his skillset to their receiving corps. At 6-foot-2, with 4.3 wheels, Mitchell would be a dangerous playmaker for any team, but especially so with Patrick Mahomes.

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