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2024 NFL mock draft: Vikings trade up to No. 3, Patriots get QB, Round 1 projections before NFL Combine

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The 2024 NFL Draft is just around the corner and the NFL Combine has the biggest influence on where some of the top prospects will fall. Ahead of the week-long event, we’re diving into our latest 2024 NFL mock draft before the scouting combine.

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

Related: NFL Combine 2024 Guide, schedule, TV info and more

NFL mock draft 2024: Round 1 predictions

1. Chicago Bears: Caleb Williams, QB, USC

NCAA Football: Southern California at Oregon
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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
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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. Minnesota Vikings*: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Syndication: The Record
  • TRADE: New England Patriots trade 3rd overall pick to Atlanta Falcons for 11th overall, 42nd overall, 2025 1st and 3rd

The Minnesota Vikings finally take the plunge, sacrificing long-term draft capital to acquire their quarterback of the future. By making a move this big, Minnesota closes the door on re-signing Kirk Cousins and that likely lands him with the Atlanta Falcons. However, Kevin O’Connell lands the reigning Heisman Trophy winner to shape his offense around one of the best deep passers in the 2024 NFL Draft class to pair with Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison.

Related: Top 2024 NFL Draft QB wants to play for Minnesota Vikings

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

Syndication: The Columbus Dispatch
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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
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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
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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
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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. Atlanta Falcons: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Washington at Michigan
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As previously mentioned in our 2024 NFL mock draft, Minnesota trading up for Daniels perfectly positions the Atlanta Falcons to sign Kirk Cousins. With quarterback solved, Atlanta provides Cousins and offensive coordinator Zac Robinson with a 1B wide receiver to pair with Drake London. A passing attack with London, Rome Odunze and Kyle Pitts paired with Bijan Robinson carrying the rushing attack could result in one of the best NFL offenses in 2024.

Related: 2024 NFL Draft order, picks by team

9. Chicago Bears: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl-Alabama at Michigan
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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 power rankings

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

NCAA Football: SEC Football Championship-Georgia at Alabama
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Taliese Fuaga might be the preferred long-term option for the New York Jets, but Aaron Rodgers does have plenty of power over decisions. Assuming David Bakhtiari is released by the Green Bay Packers, he’ll likely be the Jets’ left tackle in 2024. That will allow general manager Joe Douglas to take the best player available with Brock Bowers offering a George Kittle-lite impact on the Jets’ offense next season.

2024 NFL mock draft: Patriots snag QB via trade

11. New England Patriots*: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

  • TRADE: New England Patriots trade 42nd overall pick (via MIN) to the Chicago Bears for Justin Fields

After trading down from the 3rd overall pick, the New England Patriots flip the second-round selection to Minnesota to acquire quarterback Justin Fields. This solves the Patriots’ quarterback problem for the next two seasons without costing them significant financial or draft capital long-term. Next, Eliot Wolf starts building this team from the trenches with offensive tackle Taliese Fuaga. There’s a chance Fuaga could play left tackle at the next level, if not, he’ll be outstanding on the right side.

Related: New England Patriots insider hints at massive spending in 2024

12. Denver Broncos: J.J. McCarthy

J.J. McCarthy is a distinct tier below the other top quarterback prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft, but he is going to blow teams away in interviews at the NFL Combine. McCarthy is also an above-average athlete with the mental makeup and physical tools to be a high-end starter in Sean Payton’s system. While threw will be growing pains, Payton is the perfect coach to mask those and highlight McCarthy’s strengths.

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

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

With the top quarterbacks off the board, the Las Vegas Raiders turn their focus to the next need. Nate Wiggins isn’t a flawless prospect, but he boasts all the cover skills to be a No. 1 coverage weapon in his prime. Put him opposite of Jack Jones with Maxx Crosby rushing the quarterback and Las Vegas could have a sneaky-good defense for the next two-plus years.

Related: 5 cornerbacks for Las Vegas Raiders to focus on at NFL Combine

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: Brian Thomas Jr, WR, LSU

The Indianapolis Colts won’t let Michael Pittman Jr. leave, but they are going to need a lot more than him to support quarterback Anthony Richardson. While Brian Thomas was overshadowed at LSU by Malik Nabers, Thomas was still one of the best wide receivers in college football. A Thomas-Pittman combo is the perfect pairing to help Richardson thrive as a passer.

Related: NFL free agency predictions 2024

16. Seattle Seahawks: Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

First-year head coach Mike Macdonald loved using an array of pass rushers to create one of the best defenses in football with the Baltimore Ravens. He’s got his work cut out for him in his new stop, but Dallas Turner is the best edge rusher in the 2024 NFL Draft. With the young talent the Seattle Seahawks already have on that side of the ball, this unit could really put things together in the second-half of the 2024 season and that would just be a glimpse of what’s to come in the future.

Related: NFL defense rankings 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. Carolina Panthers*: Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State

  • TRADE: Carolina Panthers trade edge rusher Brian Burns to the Los Angeles Rams for 19th pick

The Carolina Panthers had a few years to try and extend Brian Burns but efforts went nowhere. While he will be franchise-tagged in 2024, it’s evident a long-term future in Carolina is unlikely. In this deal, the Los Angeles Rams land the Pro Bowl defender they’ve coveted for years, while Carolina fills the void with Jared Verse who is one of the best pure pass rushers in this class and he’ll come with five years of club control.

Related: Los Angeles Rams mock draft 2024

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon

After parting ways with veteran Mason Cole, the Pittsburgh Steelers are now perfectly positioned to land the top center in the 2024 NFL Draft. Jackson Powers-Johnson dominated at the Senior Bowl and would immediately be an upgrade on the interior offensive line for Pittsburgh, shoring up pass protection and helping as a run blocker.

2024 NFL Draft projections: Packers land top DB, Chiefs get WR

21. Green Bay Packers*: Cooper DeJean, DB, Iowa

  • Green Bay Packers trade: 25th overall pick, 204th overall pick to Miami Dolphins for 21st pick

Cooper DeJean won’t participate in athletic drills at the NFL Combine because of a leg injury, but he is one of the freakiest athletes in the 2024 NFL Draft. While some view him as a cornerback at the next level, his instincts, playmaking ability and athleticism could make him the perfect fit at safety for the Green Bay Packers new-look defense.

Related: Green Bay Packers mock draft 2024

22. Philadelphia Eagles: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

While Quinyon Mitchell doesn’t come from a Power 5 school, he has everything you’re looking for in a top-end cornerback. Darius Slay proved Father Time is catching up to him last year and James Bradberry might not have it anymore as a No. 2 cornerback. Mitchell would fit into the Eagles’ secondary nicely and this could be his floor in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Related: Philadelphia Eagles mock draft 2024

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

DeMeco Ryans’ best defenses with the San Francisco 49ers had multiple pass rushers who could create havoc. Will Anderson Jr. can be a perennial Pro Bowl selection, but he needs help. While Chop Robinson didn’t play up to expectations in his final year at Penn State, the 6-foot-3 edge rusher provides the motor, first step and power to complement Anderson Jr. on the opposite side.

Related: Houston Texans mock draft 2024

24. Dallas Cowboys: Byron Murphy II, DL, 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

25. Miami Dolphins*: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

It’s the dream scenario for the Miami Dolphins. They slide down a few spots in the 2024 NFL Draft and still land the offensive tackle they would’ve taken at No. 21 overall. Terron Armstead is returning next 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

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Troy Fautanu, OL, Washington

With the top edge rushers off the board, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pivot to the top guard in the 2024 NFL Draft. While Troy Fautanu played offensive tackle at Washington, he will likely be kicking inside in his first training camp. He’d be a plug-and-play starter, which Tampa Bay needs on a team-friendly deal thanks to the costs of keeping the likes of Baker Mayfield, Mike Evans and Antoine Winfield Jr.

Related: Troubling update on contract talks between Tampa Bay Buccaneers, star player

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

In our last 2024 NFL mock draft, the Detroit Lions had to trade up to get their guy. That’s not necessary this time around. Kool-Aid McKinstry didn’t quite play up to the hype last season at Alabama, but he still held opponents to a 48.7 percent completion rate and 73.1 QB rating (Pro Football Focus). Add him to the Lions’ secondary and it will go a long way in improving this pass defense.

30. Baltimore Ravens: Ladd McConkey, WR, Georgia

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. McConkey will provide much-needed help for this Ravens’ receiving corps.

Related: NFL execs believe Baltimore Ravens could make big splash in NFL free agency

31. San Francisco 49ers: Graham Barton, OL, Duke

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. Graham Barton was a three-year starter at Duke, who could profile as a guard or right tackle at the next level. Both are needs in San Francisco, making him an even better fit for the 49ers’ offensive line.

Related: Blockbuster trade is ‘most likely outcome’ for San Francisco 49ers star

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

It’s a dream scenario for the Kansas City Chiefs to close out our 2024 NFL mock draft. Adonai Mitchell is the consistent deep threat this offense has been missing, offering both the size (6-foot-4) and speed to become a high-end vertical threat. With Mitchell working deep and Rashee Rice operating underneath, Patrick Mahomes will have a lot better options when he drops back in the years to come.

Related: Kansas City Chiefs free agent targets 2024

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