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2024 NFL mock draft: Las Vegas Raiders trade up for QB, Round 1 mock before NFL free agency

2024 NFL mock draft
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The 2024 NFL offseason is moving fast with all 32 teams turning their focus to the start of NFL free agency. While big signings and a few trades will impact team needs, we’re conducting one final 2024 NFL mock draft before free agency begins.

Let’s dive into our latest 2024 NFL mock draft ahead of NFL free agency.

Related: 2024 NFL Draft order, picks by team

1. Chicago Bears: Caleb Williams, QB, USC

NFL: Combine
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Caleb Williams is the best player in the 2024 NFL Draft and the easy choice for the Chicago Bears with the first overall pick. Yes, there will be a few down moments with Williams where he can make a bad decision or hang onto the football too long. That’s the price you pay for a generational talent who can carry an offense and make plays that only a handful of quarterbacks on this earth can. Williams is like an Avenger, you accept the cost of a destroyed building because he saves the entire city.

Related: 2024 NFL Draft quarterback rankings

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

NFL: Combine
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North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye didn’t meet expectations in 2023 and there was some disappointment over his limited growth when it comes to decision-making. However, as mentioned by Daniel Jeremiah, some NFL coaches have loved Maye during interviews and have come away with the belief the Tar Heels’ coaching staff and environment was the big problem. Maye still has the physical tools similar to what Justin Herbert did at Oregon, another example of a highly-gifted quarterback who was hurt by his situation. The Washington Commanders have the talent and coaching to unlock Maye’s ceiling as a top-10 quarterback.

Related: 4 Washington Commanders free agent targets 2024

3. Las Vegas Raiders*: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

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  • TRADE: Las Vegas Raiders trade 13th, 44th overall picks and 2025 1st, 3rd round picks to the New England Patriots for 3rd overall pick

A team needs to be in love with Jayden Daniels in order to give up the assets required to move up and take him. By all accounts, the Raiders love Daniels and they are already exploring trade-up options for him. With the Minnesota Vikings and Atlanta Falcons also in the mix for a trade-up, New England can snag a strong return. In this position, Las Vegas lands the face of the franchise it can center its offense around and Daniels will bring even more fans to Allegiant Stadium. Besides, Raider Nation deserves something to get excited about.

Related: Las Vegas Raiders free agent targets 2024

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

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Some consideration is given here to a trade-down for the Arizona Cardinals and there’s an increasing possibility of that happening in the 2024 NFL Draft. However, Marvin Harrison Jr. is a once-in-a-generation talent and quarterback Kyler Murray deserves an offensive weapon that could turn into an All-Pro by 2025. Besides, with another first-round pick later on, Arizona can still address other needs.

Related: Most overrated NFL free agents 2024

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

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  • TRADE: Minnesota Vikings trade 11th, 42nd overall picks and 2025 3rd to the Los Angeles Chargers for the fifth overall pick

If you believe the NFL free agency rumors, there’s a real possibility of Kirk Cousins signing with the Atlanta Falcons. In that scenario, the only real option for the Minnesota Vikings is to go all-in for their quarterback of the future. J.J. McCarthy has some issues, but he can be an excellent fit in Kevin O’Connell’s offense. He won’t have the Cousins-like floor immediately, but the Vikings’ offense could be better off long-term by letting Cousins walk and making McCarthy the quarterback of the future.

Related: NFL clubs believe they must jump this team for J.J. McCarthy

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

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Malik Nabers would be the No. 1 wide receiver prospect in just about any other class. Fortunately for the New York Giants, they land a playmaker who can bring some of the same elements to an offense that Justin Jefferson and Tyreek Hill have for their teams. This does mean sticking with Daniel Jones for another season, but the end result is a standout No. 1 pass-catcher who will be experienced when the Giants find their new starting quarterback in 2025.

Related: NFL QB rankings 2024

7. Tennessee Titans: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

NFL: Combine
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In previous editions of our 2024 NFL mock draft, we’ve frequently given the Tennessee Titans one of the top offensive tackles on the board. However, the argument for holding off on that position and waiting until Round 2 because of offensive line coach Bill Callahan, who does wonders with players, is a strong one. In this spot, Tennessee snags its No. 1 wide receiver in Rome Odunze, who has drawn NFL comparisons to Mike Evans and Larry Fitzgerald. He might not ever reach that lofty ceiling, but he can be a go-to weapon for Will Levis.

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8. Atlanta Falcons: Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

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NFL free agency will certainly have a lot to do with the Atlanta Falcons decide with the eighth overall pick. We’ll buy into the tea leaves pointing Kirk Cousins to Atlanta, which shifts our focus to addressing one of the defensive Falcons’ needs in 2024. Dallas Turner isn’t an elite pass-rushing prospect, but he displayed outstanding athleticism at the NFL Combine and with improved technique, he could become a 10-sack player.

9. Chicago Bears: Byron Murphy, iDL, Chicago Bears

NFL: Combine
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One of the fastest-rising prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft, Texas Longhorns defensive tackle Byron Murphy elevated his stock even further with a great performance at the NFL Combine. You aren’t going to find many defensive tackles who are this explosive and while Murphy doesn’t have prototypical size for the position, he could be an impact disruptor in the middle of the Bears’ defensive line.

Related: NFL defense rankings 2024

10. New York Jets: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

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This would be the dream scenario for the New York Jets in the 2024 NFL Draft. All of the top offensive tackles are on the board and Joe Alt is the best of the bunch. While there’s a chance New York addresses left tackle in NFL free agency, landing a blocker of Alt’s caliber could set up the Jets for outstanding pass protection from their blindside protector for a decade-plus.

Related: New York Jets free agent targets 2024

11. Los Angeles Chargers*: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

  • TRADE: Minnesota Vikings trade 11th, 42nd overall picks and 2025 3rd to the Los Angeles Chargers for the fifth overall pick

Consideration is given here to Olu Fashanu, but Oregon State Beavers offensive tackle Taliese Fuaga is already experienced at right tackle. Drafting him of Fashanu eliminates the challenges of a position transition for a first-round pick. Plus, the nastiness Fuaga offers as a run blocker fits what Jim Harbaugh wants at that spot.

Related: Los Angeles Chargers mock draft 2024

12. Denver Broncos: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

  • TRADE: Las Vegas Raiders trade 13th, 44th overall picks and 2025 1st, 3rd round picks to the New England Patriots for 3rd overall pick

Sean Payton needs a quarterback but with J.J. McCarthy off the board, there isn’t one even worth considering here. Instead, the Denver Broncos address one of their other primary needs. Quinyon Mitchell is arguably a top-10 talent in the 2024 NFL Draft and put opposite of Pat Surtain II, the Broncos could have the best cornerback tandem in the NFL by 2026.

13. New England Patriots: Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State

  • TRADE: Las Vegas Raiders trade 13th, 44th overall picks and 2025 1st, 3rd round picks to the New England Patriots for 3rd overall pick

It’s a positive outcome for the New England Patriots in our 2024 NFL mock draft. While a run on offensive tackles takes a few off the board, New England still lands one with sky-high upside. Olu Fashanu didn’t quite live up to the standard last year that he set in 2023, there’s very little doubt he has all the tools to become a quality left tackle in the NFL. Plus, the Patriots need to build a foundation before adding a franchise QB.

Related: New England Patriots scouts ‘not fans’ of polarizing QB prospect

14. New Orleans Saints: Troy Fautanu, OT, Washington

Washington Huskies offensive tackle Troy Fautanu was one of the biggest winners of the 2024 NFL Combine, proving he has more than enough athleticism to stick at offensive tackle. It was really the only unchecked box on his scouting report, now there are a lot more believers he can play left tackle. As for the New Orleans Saints, a team that won’t be able to spend much in NFL free agency for several years gets security at one of the most important positions in football on a rookie contract.

15. Indianapolis Colts: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

Tight end might not be among the most glaring Indianapolis Colts needs in 2024, but sometimes talent and value win out. Brock Bowers has earned stylistic comparisons to George Kittle and that should tell you what type of role he can play in Shane Steichen’s offense. Put Bowers on the field with Michael Pittman Jr. and Jonathan Taylor, that’s the supporting cast that can help Anthony Richardson one day compete for NFL MVP.

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16. Seattle Seahawks: Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State

Mike Macdonald’s defense needs athletes who can create pressure in a myriad of ways. While the Seattle Seahawks have a few quality pass rushers, they need someone who specializes in getting around the edge and terrorizing quarterbacks. Jared Verse would fit that role perfectly and we have complete confidence Macdonald would maximize his ceiling as a pass rusher.

Related: Winners from the 2024 NFL Combine

17. Jacksonville Jaguars: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

The Jacksonville Jaguars started overhauling their secondary before NFL free agency opened, making cornerback an even bigger need. Terrion Arnold might be the best defensive back in the 2024 NFL Draft, offering both playmaking ability and the tools to be every effective at containing No. 1 receivers. Plus, with the looks defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen will dial up for the front seven, that pressure will make life even easier for Arnold in his rookie season.

Related: Fastest players from NFL Combine 2024

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

The Cincinnati Bengals could easily snag an offensive tackle like JC Latham or Amarus Mims in this spot, but defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo also needs help this offseason. Cincinnati can use its cap space on edge rusher and the secondary, leaving defensive tackle for the 18th overall pick with Jer’Zhan Newton providing the interior penetration this front has been missing.

Related: NFL salary cap tracker

19. Los Angeles Rams: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

After re-signing Kevin Dotson, there’s a higher chance of the Los Angeles Rams waiting to draft an offensive tackle until Day 2. However, the draft board leaves a few top-20 talents at offensive tackle on the board in this spot. Amarius Mims isn’t polished, but the combination of elite size and athleticism he brings to the table are like moldable clay that offensive line coaches will fall in love with. Mims can be the Rams’ left tackle of the future and that has been a question mark for years.

Related: Los Angeles Rams mock draft 2024

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

There aren’t a ton of compelling options at center in NFL free agency, especially with the money the Pittsburgh Steelers are working with. So, the 20th overall pick is used on the best center in the 2024 NFL Draft. Jackson Powers-Johnson is an immediate plug-and-play starter who will make the Steelers’ offensive line even better. Defensive back and offensive tackle can be addressed on Day 2.

21. Miami Dolphins: JC Latham, OT, Alabama

It starts up front with the Miami Dolphins. Terron Armstead might only play one more season and while Austin Jackson received a three-year extension, he isn’t the most reliable option long-term. JC Latham could immediately become a quality guard on the Dolphins’ offensive line and if things don’t work out with Jackson, Miami would immediately have its replacement ready.

Related: Potential cost of a Tua Tagovailoa contract extension for Miami Dolphins revealed

22. Philadelphia Eagles: Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

With Josh Sweat and Haason Reddick on the trade block, it’s pretty clear what’s going down for the Philadelphia Eagles. Nolan Smith will play a more prominent role in 2024, but general manager Howie Roseman clearly wants one of the top edge rushers from the 2024 NFL Draft. Laiatu Latu has the production, length, athleticism and football IQ that should make him a quality fit in Vic Fangio’s defense.

Related: Josh Sweat trade landing spots

23. Houston Texans: Brian Thomas Jr, WR, LSU

The Houston Texans can spend their money in NFL free agency on the defense, this pick is about providing C.J. Stroud with even more help. While Brian Thomas Jr. certainly isn’t on the same level as Malik Nabers, he has the length and speed to immediately become a No. 2 wide receiver with the versatility to play outside or inside. Plus, if he sharpens up his route-running, he could become the No. 1 wideout in Houston.

Related: Houston Texans expected to be ‘major players’ for star in NFL free agency

24. Dallas Cowboys: Zach Frazier, C, West Virginia

Tyron Smith is already headed out the door and Tyler Biadasz could likely also be departing. While the Dallas Cowboys have plans at offensive tackle, center is a glaring need. Zach Frazier would’ve been viewed as a first-round pick entering the pre-draft process if not for an injury in November. Now healthy, he can be an upgrade for Dallas and quickly develop rapport with Dak Prescott.

25. Green Bay Packers: Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

It’s hard to imagine a better fit for the Green Bay Packers defense. Safety is the biggest need, but defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley also wants more help at cornerback. Cooper DeJean, one of the best athletes in this entire class, could play either position. Plus, he would also serve as the Packers’ punt returner and those ball skills could also be on display if Green Bay decides to stick him at safety.

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26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

Edge rushers with first-round grades are largely off the board, so the Tampa Bay Buccaneers start addressing their secondary. Nate Wiggins was the fastest cornerback at the NFL Combine and he likely would’ve been one of the standouts in drills if not for an injury running the 40-yard dash. Length, athleticism and a big frame are the building blocks for a No. 1 cornerback, Wiggins just needs NFL coaching.

Related: Ranking best NFL QB vacancies in 2024

27. Arizona Cardinals: Graham Barton, OT, Duke

The Arizona Cardinals have needs at both tackle and guard, which are both positions that Graham Barton can play at the next level. In fact, NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah has even suggested Barton might be even better at guard. At the very least, that level of positional flexibility is highly valuable for a young, building NFL team.

Related: Top NFL free agents of 2024

28. Buffalo Bills: Ladd McConkey, WR, Georgia

Stefon Diggs faces an uncertain future with the Buffalo Bills and while he’ll return in 2024, this team must surround Josh Allen with more weapons. Ladd McConkey was one of the best athletes at his position throughout drills at the NFL Combine and he offers some of the best hands in the class. McConkey just needs to get open, which he does well, Allen will find him.

Related: Buffalo Bills coach guarantees Super Bowl win

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

The talent pool at cornerback dried up pretty quickly ahead of NFL free agency and while the Detroit Lions are after one name on the trade market, it now seems more realistic that the void could be filled in Round 1. Kool-Aid McKinstry wasn’t quite as good last year as the NFL hoped, but the tools that led some to believe he could be a top-10 pick are still there and the Lions coaching staff can help him unlock his potential.

Related: NFL power rankings 2024

30. Baltimore Ravens: Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon

With the money being spent on the offensive line and defense this offseason, it makes sense to address wide receiver in the 2024 NFL Draft. While Troy Franklin might not have Xavier Worthy’s speed, he is a better route-runner and offers a more NFL-like frame. Pair him with Zay Flowers and this passing attack is in business.

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

Tyler Guyton is a bit unfinished as an offensive tackle, but that comes from his lack of experience. Still, there’s no denying the physical and athletic traits he displayed both at Oklahoma and during the pre-draft process. He might not start in Week 1 for the San Francisco 49ers, but he would be a long-term upgrade at right tackle.

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

Offensive tackle is obviously a position the Kansas City Chiefs would love to address, but Tyler Guyton just came off the board one pick before this. Instead, Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes get the reliable vertical threat this offense has not had for the past two seasons. It creates the complementary pairing at receiver, with Rashee Rice making plays underneath and Mitchell beating teams deep.

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