Skip to main content

2024 NFL mock draft: Projecting Drake Maye, J.J. McCarthy, and Michael Penix Jr.’s NFL landing spots

2024 NFL mock draft

While a few more players are added to rosters each day, NFL free agency is mostly over, and team needs have changed dramatically ahead of the 2024 NFL Draft. How have recent NFL trades like Stefon Diggs and other signings impacted the first round of Sportsnaut’s latest 2024 NFL mock draft?

Let’s dive into our latest 2024 NFL mock draft as we turn the calendar to the second week of April.

Related: Best NFL players of all time

NFL mock draft 2024: Round 1 predictions

1. Chicago Bears: Caleb Williams, QB, USC

2024 NFL mock draft
Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The least surprising pick of Bears mock drafts, Caleb Williams is locked in as the No. 1 pick. After rebuilding the roster with talented receivers and a developing offensive line, now the USC QB can get Chicago’s offense firing on all cylinders. Like Justin Fields, Williams can escape defenders in the pocket, but unlike his predecessor, the No. 1 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft projects to be a lot more successful through the air in the Windy City.

Related: 2024 Chicago Bears mock draft

2. Washington Commanders: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Jayden Daniels
Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

If the Washington Commanders want to aim for the stars, Jayden Daniels is the pick here. While Maye’s arm is enticing, taking a chance on a dual-threat weapon who can put the team on his back like the Heisman winner did at LSU is worth the risk. If he pans out, Daniels not only can be a star, he can be a superstar capable of elevating a team into becoming an annual contender.

Related: 2024 Washington Commanders mock draft

3. New England Patriots: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

NCAA Football: Duke at North Carolina
Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Teams may be trying to tempt the Patriots into trading down by offering future first-round picks, and an argument could be made that the Patriots are better off building their roster before adding a quarterback. Yet, no one can guarantee another Drake Maye-level talent will be available in 2025 or ’26. Maye has the arm strength that will be able to cut through the challenging climate at Gillette Stadium or on the road in the AFC East, and he’ll be much better at evading the rush than Mac Jones was.

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

marvin harrison jr.
Credit: Brooke LaValley / USA TODAY NETWORK

Trading down could be an option, but IF the Cardinals are serious about seeing what Kyler Murray is made of, they’ll stand pat and take the best player available, possibly in the entire draft class in Marvin Harrison Jr. Sure, they can trade down and still get ‘a receiver,’ but none of them are seen as a sure thing like MHJ. Adding Harrison gives the Cardinals’ offense a chance to compete right away.

Related: 2024 Arizona Cardinals mock draft

5. Minnesota Vikings*: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy
Credit: Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

TRADE: Minnesota Vikings trade 11 and 23 to Los Angeles Chargers for 5th pick, 69th pick

If the Vikings can trade up to secure their franchise QB of the future without having to cough up a future first round pick, that’s already a win. Now the question becomes whether J.J. McCarthy can develop into a Pro Bowl-caliber player in Kevin O’Connell’s system alongside Justin Jefferson. He certainly has the traits, so if his efficiency and decision-making translate to the next level, McCarthy could be just what the Vikings need to return to the playoffs, eventually.

Related: Patriots Demanding King’s Ransom from Vikings for No. 3 Pick

Related: 2024 Minnesota Vikings Mock Draft – 3.0 w/Two First-Round Picks

Related: Think The Los Angeles Chargers Will Definitely Draft A WR With Pick 5? Think Again.

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

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

Some have called Malik Nabers the best overall prospect in the draft class. If he falls to No. 6, the Giants should set a new record for the quickest selection in NFL Draft history. Now that Saquon Barkley is gone, the Giants’ need to find a playmaker on offense is arguably greater than ever. Nabers can fill those cleats as long as they shore up protection issues up front. A human joystick, Nabers can win in a multitude of ways.

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

Related: New York Giants should look to this star tandem to fix Brian Daboll’s offense in 2024

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

joe alt
Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Signing Calvin Ridley was huge for the Titans, allowing them to select the best player available at No. 7. In this case, it’s left tackle Joe Alt over an edge rusher. Now that Tennessee feels better about their receiving corps, it’s time to see what Will Levis can do with solid protection and Alt checks all the boxes as a lineman with All-Pro potential.

Related: Tennessee Titans mock draft 2024

8. Atlanta Falcons: Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Dallas Turner (15) celebrates after a sack in the second quarter against the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons could add another cornerback, even another wide receiver could be fun, but the most glaring hole is at edge rusher. Dallas Turner could fix that in a hurry. Falcons fans haven’t forgotten about the impact John Abraham made as a pass-rushing specialist, and Turner has the potential to be even better, thanks to his freakish athleticism.

Related: 7-round Atlanta Falcons mock draft

Related: 2024 NFL Draft order, picks by team

9. Las Vegas Raiders*: Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington

Washington Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr
Credit: Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

TRADE: Las Vegas Raiders trade 13, 77, and 148th picks to Chicago Bears for 9th pick, 2025 6th-round pick

Jumping ahead of the Broncos to secure their developmental QB is worth losing a third-round pick and change for the Raiders. While Gardner Minshew and Aidan O’Connell can be competent quarterbacks, Michael Penix Jr. has the arm talent to be a great one.

Related: Las Vegas Raiders mock draft 2024: Building the team and finding a QB

10. New York Jets: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

Brock Bowers
Credit: Joshua L. Jones / USA TODAY NETWORK

There were thoughts of snagging Rome Odunze here, but since Garrett Wilson is already a No. 1 wideout, the thought of adding an elite tight end was too good to pass up. Nathaniel Hackett can not only weaponize Brock Bowers as an in-line tight end, but he can be effective all over the field with Aaron Rodgers delivering the ball with pinpoint accuracy.

2024 NFL mock draft: Chargers, Broncos, and Bears reload

11. Los Angeles Chargers*: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

TRADE: Los Angeles Chargers trade 5th and 69th picks to Minnesota Vikings for 11th and 23rd pick

Moving down, picking up an extra first-round selection, and still ending up with a playmaking receiver? This feels like robbery for the Chargers. If the 6-foot-3 Rome Odunze can continue even a fraction of the production we saw in college catching passes from Michael Penix Jr, then the Chargers will have a steal here.

12. Denver Broncos: Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

With the top quarterbacks off the board, the Broncos might have to aggressively target Bo Nix early in the second round. Yet, drafting the best player available in Laiatu Latu nets the Broncos a much-needed pass-rusher who brings versatility and quickness off the edge.

13. Chicago Bears*: Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State

TRADE: Chicago Bears trade 9th pick and 2025 6th-round pick to Las Vegas Raiders for 13, 77, and 148th pick

While the Bears are securing their franchise quarterback, they have just three more selections after No. 1, so we traded down a bit after the top pass-rusher went off the board at No. 8. Landing Jared Verse, plus picks, is a great consolation prize. He’s athletic like Montez Sweat, and he also backs up his quickness with more power than linemen can handle.

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

Versatility is the name of the game, especially along the offensive line, where the New Orleans Saints have battled inconsistency for several seasons. Taliese Fuaga checks multiple boxes in that he plays with a mean streak, bringing physicality to the trenches while being able to play tackle or guard.

Related: Updated 2024 NFL power rankings

15. Indianapolis Colts: Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

The Colts reportedly flirted with the idea of trading for L’Jarius Sneed, only to see him land with an AFC South division rival. JuJu Brents has potential, but the Colts are still looking for their shutdown cornerback who can match up with the biggest and fastest receivers in the NFL. Cooper DeJean can handle safety or corner duties, and his advanced ball skills will work wonders for this Colts secondary.

Related: Indianapolis Colts mock draft 2024: Providing support for Anthony Richardson

16. Seattle Seahawks: Byron Murphy II, DL, Texas

Reinforcing the offensive line is an area that must be addressed, but we couldn’t ignore drafting the best interior defender in the 2024 NFL Draft class in Byron Murphy II. Already a pass-rushing menace thanks to his elite athleticism and strength, Murphy is a three-down standout at the next level.

Related: NFL defense rankings 2024

17. Jacksonville Jaguars: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

The Jaguars need to keep pace with all the talented quarterbacks in the AFC, and while Trevor Lawrence may be in for a bounce-back season, the defense needs to hold up their end of the bargain too. Injecting more talent to the secondary with one of the fastest cornerbacks in the NFL Draft in Quinyon Mitchell is a surefire way to provide a boost.

Related: 10 worst moves in NFL free agency 2024, including Las Vegas Raiders’ overpay

18. Cincinnati Bengals: Troy Fautanu, OL, Washington

Teams with the most consistent offenses are typically strong in the trenches. Joe Burrow helps mask these weaknesses in Cincinnati, but Zack Moss may need some help from Troy Fautanu to open up holes in the run game. Capable of playing guard or tackle, Fautanu can crack the Bengals’ starting five next season.

Related: 2024 Super Bowl odds

19. Los Angeles Rams: JC Latham, OL, Alabama

He may be 36, but Matthew Stafford still has one of the best arms in the NFL. But he’s not getting any younger, and the Rams also have to establish the running game too. Signing Jonah Jackson and Kevin Dotson should open up holes for Kyren Williams, but more competition is needed at tackle. JC Latham played right tackle in college, and maybe that’s his best long-term fit in the NFL after Rob Havenstein moves on, but Latham also wants to compete at left tackle, and he might have the coordination to do it.

Related: Los Angeles Rams mock draft 2024

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State

Fixing a scoring attack that ranked 28th in the NFL continues here by adding another offensive tackle to keep Russell Wilson upright. While Broderick Jones may be better overpowering defenders as a run blocker, Olu Fashanu is the better pass protector who’s likely more suited to play left tackle in Pittsburgh.

Related: 10 most underrated free agent signings, including Russell Wilson

2024 NFL Draft projections: Dolphins, Eagles, and Cowboys add key pieces

21. Miami Dolphins: Jer’Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois

Addressing the offensive line was given heavy consideration, but the loss of Christian Wilkins leaves a sizable talent void along the defensive trenches in Miami. Jer’Zhan ‘Johnny’ Newton may not provide the same immediate production Wilkins brought to the Dolphins, but the pass-rush tools are there to develop into a Pro Bowl-caliber player.

22. Philadelphia Eagles: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

While the Eagles have some developmental cornerback prospects in Eli Ricks and Kelee Ringo, Clemson’s Nate Wiggins has superstar potential. Six-foot-1 cornerbacks who run a 4.28 40-yard dash don’t grow on trees and Howie Roseman can afford to take a few risks in Philadelphia. Wiggins is well worth the gamble.

Related: Philadelphia Eagles mock draft 2024

23. Los Angeles Chargers*: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

TRADE: Los Angeles Chargers trade 5th and 69th picks to Minnesota Vikings for 11th and 23rd pick

Chargers fans should be over the moon if they can land Rome Odunze and Amarius Mims in the first round, addressing their starting receiver and right tackle needs. Mims plays with a level of physicality that we know would put a big smile on Jim Harbaugh’s face, and his 6-foot-7 frame will definitely play at the next level.

Related: Los Angeles Chargers Coach Jim Harbaugh Has Eye-Opening Quote About New Job

24. Dallas Cowboys: Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon

We know Jerry Jones understands the value of being strong in the trenches, and the Dallas Cowboys have lost multiple starters this offseason. Jackson Powers-Johnson can fill the starting center void in Dallas, and he could even slide over to guard if necessary. A strong player who dominates as a run blocker, JPJ has the potential to be elite.

25. Green Bay Packers: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

Overlooking offensive line needs isn’t easy, but we couldn’t pass on Terrion Arnold at this point in the NFL Draft for the Packers. Jaire Alexander has had some odd moments in Green Bay and there’s not much proven depth behind him. Meanwhile, Arnold has CB1 potential as an extremely athletic corner who can play man and zone coverage with ease.

Related: 2024 Green Bay Packers mock draft

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Graham Barton, OL, Duke

Now that the Bucs are committed to Baker Mayfield, it’s time to get the NFL’s worst rushing offense up to speed too. Graham Barton can do his part by opening up rushing lanes along the interior, and he has the athleticism to get to the next level too.

27. Arizona Cardinals: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

The Cardinals could use more pass-rushing help, but they also need a lockdown cornerback, and Kool-Aid McKinstry has the potential to be special. He has impressive size (6-foot-1) and length and has displayed an advanced understanding of defensive schemes. McKinstry can be left on an island and still get the job done.

28. Buffalo Bills: Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU

Replacing Stefon Diggs won’t be easy in Buffalo, but getting arguably the freakiest receiver prospect in the NFL Draft class should entice the Bills. At 6-foot-3, with a 4.33 40 time, Brian Thomas Jr. has superstar potential. If he can get a bit more polished as a route-runner and pass-catcher, Josh Allen may have a new best friend.

Related: NFL playoff predictions

29. Detroit Lions: Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

The Lions have put themselves in a good position where there isn’t a massive need that needs to be addressed, aside from maybe cornerback here. Yet, in a receiver-rich draft class, adding more weapons for Jared Goff to tinker with feels like a win. Adonai Mitchell has size (6-foot-2) and speed (4.34 40 time), and is excellent at creating separation. It’s hard to believe, but he could take this offense to another level.

Related: Top NFL free agents in 2024

30. Baltimore Ravens: Jordan Morgan, OL, Arizona

After losing two guards and a tackle, the Ravens have some reinforcing to do along the offensive line. Jordan Morgan has the experience and athleticism to play tackle, but he could be even better at guard. Either way, Morgan’s flexibility makes him an ideal fit for a Balitmore team that will be forced to play their best five linemen.

Related: NFL MVP odds 

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

Preparing for the inevitable retirement of Trent Williams is a must for the San Francisco 49ers, and getting more competition at right tackle wouldn’t hurt either. Tyler Guyton can compete right away on the right, and getting to learn from a legend like Williams may even help this rare athlete protect Brock Purdy’s blindside when necessary.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas

Getting a franchise left tackle would be ideal, but the Chiefs keep winning Super Bowls, so here we are at 32 again. Yet, adding the fastest player in the NFL Draft in Xavier Worthy probably gets Andy Reid giddy, knowing the magic Patrick Mahomes once created with Tyreek Hill. Worthy may not grab a starting spot right away, but we wouldn’t rule out his ability to make an immediate impact once the Chiefs see just how fast he is.

Related: 2024 Super Bowl odds

Mentioned in this article:

More About: