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2024 NFL mock draft: Falcons trade up for QB, J.J. McCarthy lands in top-15

2024 NFL mock draft, 2024 NFL Draft
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 NFL season is over with Super Bowl LVIII putting the finishing touches on everything. With the season behind us, it’s time for a new 2024 NFL mock draft to forecast how the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft could unfold.

Let’s dive into our first 2024 NFL mock draft after the Super Bowl.

2024 NFL Draft mock: Round 1 predictions

1. Chicago Bears: Caleb Williams, QB, USC

NCAA Football: Southern California at Oregon
Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears kick off our 2024 NFL mock draft by taking the best player in the 2024 NFL Draft. Caleb Williams is closer to Kyler Murray than Patrick Mahomes, but the Heisman Trophy winner is absolutely a special talent. In Shane Waldron’s offense with the weapons Chicago can put around Williams, he’s the clear choice with the first pick and can easily become the face of the Bears’ franchise.

Related: Chicago Bears mock draft 2024

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

NCAA Football: North Carolina at Clemson
Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

It isn’t Caleb Williams, but the Washington Commanders can still land a franchise-caliber quarterback in Drake Maye. He doesn’t have Williams’ athleticism and Maye had some bad habits last season, but his physical tools are off the charts and he does offer the prototypical size you want from a quarterback, unlike Williams. He might not be Kliff Kingsbury’s guy yet, but Washington’s play-caller will warm up quickly to Maye.

Related: Washington Commanders mock drat 2024

3. Atlanta Falcons*: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

NCAA Football: ReliaQuest Bowl-Wisconsin at Louisiana State
Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
  • TRADE: Atlanta Falcons trade, 8th, 43rd overall picks and 2025 1st to New England Patriots for 3rd pick

With the Minnesota Vikings and Las Vegas Raiders also in the mix to trade up in the 2024 NFL Draft for a quarterback, the Atlanta Falcons will need to be aggressive. This might feel like an overpay to jump up to No. 3, but Falcons owner Arthur Blank wants a true QB1 and Jayden Daniels can be that guy. He’s far less refined as a passer than Maye and Daniels, but offensive coordinator Zac Robinson can maximize Daniels’ skills.

Related: Grading NFL coaching hires 2024

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

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch
Barbara J. Perenic/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

If Marvin Harrison Jr. is on the board for the Arizona Cardinals, it’s a safe bet they will take him. The Ohio State star can be a Pro Bowl wide receiver immediately in Arizona, uplifting the Cardinals’ offense and making life a lot easier for Kyler Murray. That is the Cardinals’ goal and it’s why they’ll waste little time getting this pick in.

5. Los Angeles Chargers: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

NCAA Football: Pittsburgh at Notre Dame
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Harbaugh makes teams physical and that starts at the line of scrimmage. Brock Bowers merits some consideration, but the most important thing for the Los Angeles Chargers is protecting Justin Herbert and becoming a more physical, punishing football team. Having Joe Alt and Rashawn Slater on the offensive line accomplishes that for Los Angeles.

Related: Revisiting NFL Draft classes for Jim Harbaugh, Joe Hortiz

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

NCAA Football: Georgia St. at Louisiana State
Matthew Dobbins-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Giants are running it back with Daniel Jones in 2024. With a general manager, head coach and quarterback seemingly all on the hot seat next season, New York needs to put Jones and Daboll in the best position to be evaluated. Malik Nabers can immediately be a No. 1 wide receiver, providing the kind of pass-catching help that Jones has never had in his NFL career.

Related: New York Giants could make bold move in 2024 NFL Draft

7. Tennessee Titans: Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State

Syndication: York Daily Record
Dan Rainville / USA TODAY NETWORK

Viewed as the best offensive tackle in the 2024 NFL Draft before the season, Penn State lineman Olu Fashanu was a bit of a disappointment in 2023. That might actually work in the Tennessee Titans’ favor, allowing an outstanding talent to fall to them. What would be especially exciting is the thought of pairing Fashanu with Bill Callahan, one of the best offensive line coaches in the modern era.

Related: Tennessee Titans mock draft 2024

8. New England Patriots*: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Washington at Michigan
Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

This wouldn’t necessarily be the dream scenario for the New England Patriots in our 2024 NFL mock draft, with a preference for taking one of the top offensive tackles (Joe Alt or Olu Fashanu). With both options off the board, New England brings in a bonafide No. 1 wide receiver in Rome Odunze. Whether the Patriots trade for a quarterback like Justin Fields or add a veteran in free agency, Eliot Wolf has to build a foundation before he finds his franchise signal-caller.

Related: 2024 NFL power rankings

9. Chicago Bears: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl-Alabama at Michigan
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

With the long-term uncertainty at cornerback brought on by Jaylon Johnson’s contract demands, the Chicago Bears have to think about their future on defense. Terrion Arnold has elevated himself, earning the designation as the best cornerback prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft. If Johnson sticks around, Chicago’s cornerback duo will spearhead a top-10 defense in 2024.

Related: 2024 NFL Draft order, picks by team

10. New York Jets: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Stanford
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets could easily double-up on offensive tackles this offseason, taking one with their top pick in the 2024 NFL Draft and potentially adding David Bakhtiari if he becomes available in NFL free agency. Whether Bakhtiari reunites with Rodgers or not, Taliee Fuaga solves one of the biggest problems on the Jets’ roster. Plus, protecting Rodgers will go a long way in keeping the 40-year-old quarterback healthy.

11. Minnesota Vikings: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the Minnesota Vikings are very interested in the 2024 quarterback class and with the troubling reviews on the 2025 QB pool it makes even more sense for Minnesota to target someone in Round 1. Ideally, the Vikings would keep Kirk Cousins for another year and let McCarthy develop behind him before becoming the Vikings’ quarterback in 2025.

Related: J.J. McCarthy could go surprisingly high in 2024 NFL Draft

12. Denver Broncos: Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

While the Denver Broncos’ defense improved after a brutal September, it also didn’t finish the regular season strong. There are needs at every level of this group, but what stands out the most is a front seven that finished with the fourth-lowest pressure rate (18.2 percent) in the NFL. Dallas Turner is arguably a top-10 prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft and he could make an immediate impact as a three-down player in his rookie season.

Related: 5 best Russell Wilson landing spots in 2024

13. Las Vegas Raiders: Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

The top quarterbacks are off the board for the Las Vegas Raiders, forcing them to pivot. While this defense played well in the second half of the season, the numbers were partially a result of a weak schedule against bottom-tier offenses. The secondary in Las Vegas needs a lot of work and whether you view Cooper DeJean as a cornerback or safety, he’s one of the best athletes in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Related: Las Vegas Raiders mock draft 2024

14. New Orleans Saints: JC Latham, OT, Alabama

With the New Orleans Saints committed to Derek Carr, the best path forward to improving this offense is addressing the offensive line. Ryan Ramcyk faces an uncertain future with an injury threatening his career and Trevor Penning has been a massive disappointment through two seasons. Whether he plays right tackle or kicks inside for the 2024 season, JC Latham will improve the Saints’ pass protection and run blocking.

15. Indianapolis Colts: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

During his time with the Philadelphia Eagles, Shane Steichen heavily utilized Dallas Goedert. He doesn’t have a weapon like that right now for quarterback Anthony Richardson. Brock Bowers is arguably a top-10 prospect in 2024 and even if he becomes a slightly lesser version of George Kittle, the value here is outstanding and Bowers would be a go-to option for Richardson while also helping out as a blocker.

Related: Highest-paid NFL players

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

After the performance he put on in the Senior Bowl, Oregon Ducks center Jackson Powers-Johnson cemented his status as a first-round pick. The Seattle Seahawks could trade down, but there are plenty of teams within the top 25 picks who would likely snag Powers-Johnson. Instead, Seattle stands pat and fills the void on its offensive line. The rest of the Seahawks’ draft picks can be devoted to building a defense for Mike Macdonald.

Related: Seattle Seahawks optimistic star player re-signs in 2024

17. Jacksonville Jaguars: Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

Outside of Josh Allen (90 pressures, 17.5 sacks), the Jacksonville Jaguars were awful at bringing down opposing quarterbacks last season. We’re very confident that new Jaguars defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen will help this unit improve, just as he did with the Falcons. However, more juice is needed. Laiatu Latu dominated this past season and after an impressive showing at the Senior Bowl, he should be a top-20 pick.

Related: Jacksonville Jaguars general manager may resign

18. Cincinnati Bengals: Jer’Zhan Newton, iDL, Illinois

We’ve prioritized offensive tackle in our previous 2024 NFL mock draft for the Cincinnati Bengals, but the preferred options are gone in this scenario. So, Cincinnati helps out defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo with some help on the defensive interior. While Jer’Zhan Newton isn’t an elite interior pass rusher or run stuffer, he’s a rare example of a defensive tackle who can play all three downs as a rookie.

Related: Repeat Super Bowl winners

19. Los Angeles Rams: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

Powers-Johnson and Quinyon Mitchell were two of the biggest standouts from the Senior Bowl. The Los Angeles Rams happen to have needs at both positions. Following the departure of defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, Los Angeles will need more talent on the defensive side to make up for the coaching change. Opponents stopped throwing to Quinyon Mitchell in 2023 for good reason, he either erased wide receivers or snagged interceptions the year before. After holding his own against top talent at the Senior Bowl, Mitchell could sneak into the top 20 with the Rams needing a corner.

Related: Los Angeles Rams mock draft 2024

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joey Porter Jr. was outstanding as a rookie, outside of penalties. The issue for Mike Tomlin was that opponents just attacked every other Steelers’ cornerback. Nate Wiggins offers the length and athleticism Pittsburgh will love, plus he can be very physical and hold his own in press coverage. Considering how good Porter Jr. looked with the help of the Steelers coaching staff, we’re fairly confident Wiggins would have a shot to become a high-end No. 2 corner in Pittsburgh.

21. Miami Dolphins: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

Terron Armstead is likely returning for the 2024 season, but there are no long-term assurances at left tackle and he’s a safe bet to miss multiple games next season. While Amarius Mims isn’t the most polished offensive lineman available in this spot, he’s a high-upside pick who could learn for Armstead and be molded into becoming the Dolphins’ left tackle of the future.

Related: NFL insider reveals potential cost of a Tua Tagovailoa contract extension

22. Philadelphia Eagles: Brian Thomas Jr, WR, LSU

While there are arguably bigger needs on the defensive side of the ball for the Philadelphia Eagles, Jalen Hurts needs more help. Kellen Moore is a step toward that and fans should expect a more consistent passing attack in 2024 that attacks the intermediate areas of the field. With that said, difficult salary-cap issues cloud DeVonta Smith’s future in Philadelphia and whether he signs an extension or not, the Eagles’ receiving corps needs more help now and in the future.

Related: Philadelphia Eagles mock draft 2024

23. Houston Texans: Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State

The Houston Texans are now in a position as a team where they can take the best player available and just start building one of the best rosters in the NFL. While Jared Verse doesn’t bring much as a run defended, he is outstanding at getting after the quarterback. Pair him with Will ANderson Jr. and DeMeco Ryans’ defense will be firing on all cylinders for the next five years.

Related: Houston Texans mock draft 2024

24. Dallas Cowboys: Byron Murphy II, iDL, Texas

While the Dallas Cowboys have one of the most exciting edge rushes in the NFL, there’s roo to improve on the inside. Keeping Byron Murphy in the state of Texas, Dallas would be landing a defensive tackle who posted a stellar 9.5% run-stop win rate with 36 hurries last season

Related: Houston Texans mock draft 2024

25. Detroit Lions*: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

  • TRADE: Detroit Lions trade 29th, 92nd overall picks and 2025 4th to Green Bay Packers for 25th overall

We’ve seen the Detroit Lions make trades within the division during the NFL Draft before, so there’s no reason to believe Brad Holmes would stay away from a deal with the Green Bay Packers. The best edge rushers are gone at this spot, but Detroit would be smart to jump ahead to avoid the drop-off at cornerback. Kool-Aid McKinstry didn’t play like a top-10 talent this past season at Alabama, but he offers all the tools to become a high-end cornerback with the help of a great coaching staff.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bralen Trice, EDGE, Washington

Once a strength of this Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense, this pass rush has taken multiple steps backward in consecutive seasons. Between aging players and a lack of development, a lot more juice is needed. Bralen Trice (6-foot-4, 275 pounds) will provide Tampa Bay with a physical edge rusher who wins with power and instincts.

Related: NFL execs reveal Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ plans with Baker Mayfield

27. Arizona Cardinals: Ennis Rakestraw Jr, CB, Missouri

After providing some help for Kyler Murray at the start of our 2024 NFL mock draft, the Arizona Cardinals now do the same for Jonathan Gannon. Not only is Ennis Rakestraw Jr. comfortable flying downhill to attack the running back, but his athleticism and instincts also make him dangerous in man coverage.

Related: Best tight ends of all time

28. Buffalo Bills: Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon

Stefon Diggs’ future in Buffalo isn’t promising with it becoming quite evident he likely won’t be kept around past the 2024 season. As for impending free agent Gabe Davis, he never became the No. 2 option the Bills’ offense needed. Troy Franklin can fill that role immediately and potentially take over for Diggs as the No. 1 receiver in 2025.

29. Green Bay Packers*: Troy Fautanu, OL, Washington

While fans might prefer to see the Green Bay Packers move up, trading down with the Detroit Lions provides general manager Brian Gutekunst with extra ammunition to navigate the 2024 NFL Draft. Plus, Troy Fautanu is the best guard in this and he could slot in on the right side, fortifying what could become one of the best offensive lines in the NFL next season.

Related: Green Bay Packers mock draft 2024

30. Baltimore Ravens: Ladd McConkey, WR, Georgia

With Zay Flowers dealing with legal issues, wide receiver suddenly becomes the Baltimore Ravens’ biggest need all over again. While Ladd McConkey isn’t the flashiest wide receiver in the 2024 NFL Draft, he is an excellent athlete and a crisp route-runner. Someone who gets open underneath so Lamar Jackson doesn’t have to sit in the pocket and hang around is what Baltimore needed in the AFC Championship Game.

Related: NFL defense rankings

31. San Francisco 49ers: Jordan Morgan, OT, Arizona

Outside of Trent Williams, the San Francisco 49ers offensive line is a bit of a problem and there are bigger issues on the right side. Whether Jordan Morgan plays guard or tackle, he offers versatility for San Francisco and provides a cheap solution for a team that will need to start operating with a tighter budget as cap hits for the team’s biggest stars begin to explode.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Tyler Guyton, OL, Oklahoma

The depth at wide receiver in the 2024 NFL Draft allows the Kansas City Chiefs to target the position on Day 2. At the end of Round 1, the Chiefs plug one of their holes on the offensive line. Tyler Guyton stood out at the Senior Bowl with his length and athleticism, demonstrating he can potentially be a Week 1 starter at right tackle. Long-term, with the support of Kansas City’s coaching staff, Guyton could become a Pro Bowl left tackle in his prime.

Related: Kansas City Chiefs expected to lose key defender in 2024

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