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2024 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

The 2024 NFL Draft cycle has been one of the busiest yet. We have a top tier class coming out this offseason, with loaded shortlists at the wide receiver, offensive line, and quarterback positions. We also have a deep cornerback class, especially at the nickel position.


As of writing, I have scouted a whopping 175 players, watching a minimum of 4-5 games per player depending on what film is available. To put this in perspective, I normally scout just about 100 players per draft cycle period. I now have a new goal to hit 250 come draft time, and I'm making this the standard for every year moving forward.


With the combine out of the way and free agency around the bend, let's dive into my first mock draft of the 2024 season!


Photo: Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

 

#1 Chicago Bears (via CAR) - Caleb Williams, Quarterback, USC


The Justin Fields era is officially over in Chicago. I wanted him to succeed, but Caleb is the future. He has unreal arm talent, and not just from a strength perspective - he can throw off-platform, on an angle, and still be accurate from the pocket - all rare traits for a 22 year old QB to have. Add in his athleticism, composure in a murky pocket, processing, and route progression, he's the best QB to come out of college since Andrew Luck. He did play hero ball quite a bit his final season, and he will rely too much on his arm talent, but those are fixable. Throw away the "maturity" concerns; kid's competitive and is a certified baller.


Pro Comp: Alien


#2 Washington Commanders - Drake Maye, Quarterback, North Carolina


Enter QB2 in this class to hopefully revitalize Washington's franchise. Make no mistake, Maye is the best improviser in this class, even more so than Caleb, and he can make some big boy throws. He has solid processing and can play through pressure. There are some concerns, especially with his play-by-play accuracy. I saw a good chunk of throws get away from him that were open, and it was mainly due to poor throwing mechanics when under pressure. He'll be under pressure still if the Commanders don't improve the OL, and he'll be in a sink or swim scenario from his first snap in DC.


Pro Comp: Jordan Love


#3 New York Giants (via NE) - JJ McCarthy, Quarterback, Michigan


Trade alert!! The Giants trade up with the Patriots to snag JJ McCarthy. I know some Giants fans (looking at you, Will) will be mad reading this, but hear me out: JJ McCarthy is the 3rd best QB in this class, and arguably, the most pro-ready. He does a great job recognizing blitzes and making adjustments at the line of scrimmage, getting through his progression quickly and ripping passes on time, and he knows when to tuck and run or throw while on the move. His arm strength is questionable, and his mechanics on deep passes show it, but landing in Daboll's system should help him play to his strengths.


Pro Comp: A more athletic Brock Purdy


#4 Arizona Cardinals - Marvin Harrison Jr, Wide Receiver, Ohio State


There's no debate here; the Cardinals get the best receiver in this class and the best receiver prospect since Julio Jones. He can win routes on all three levels with his elite route running, has great body control on contested catches and inaccurate throws, and his tracking is outstanding. He does need to get a bit better in the YAC department, as well as improve his route spacing in the red zone, but he has all of the tools to be the best receiver in the NFL within the next five seasons.


Pro Comp: AJ Green


#5 Las Vegas Raiders (via LAC) - Jayden Daniels, Quarterback, LSU


Trade alert!! With an uber-athletic QB still on the board, the Raiders trade up, reducing any chance for the Broncos to get a hand on Jayden. The latest Heisman winner has some solid traits, mainly his athleticism and having an absolute cannon for an arm. He also isn't afraid to stand in the pocket and take a hit, which some QBs in this class struggle to do. Past that, there are a lot question marks still around him. It took him until his 5th college season, where he was paired with two top-5 receivers in this class - and one of the best offensive lines in college football, to have a great season. Pair that with holding onto the ball for too long, taking unnecessary hits in space, and not reading the entire field, there's a lot left to be desired despite the immense production.


Pro Comp: Justin Fields


#6 Chicago Bears (via NE via NYG) - Malik Nabers, Wide Receiver, LSU


Trade alert!! Our third trade in the first six picks has the Bears moving back up to take the consensus 2nd-best receiver in this class. Nabers is an absolute burner, winning on hard breaking routes and deep shots due to his quick acceleration and great top end speed. I think he was used incorrectly at LSU, and that is why I'm not as high on him as others. I don't doubt he can run a full route tree, but we didn't see much of it, and usually that spells to be a negative rather than a positive. Regardless, he's an unreal athlete with fantastic YAC ability.


Pro Comp: Calvin Ridley


#7 Tennessee Titans - Joe Alt, Tackle, Notre Dame


Two straight drafts where the Tians take an offensive lineman. Alt is clearly the most freakish tackle to come out of college in a long time. He stands at nearly 6'9" and weighs over 320 pounds, and he glides along the turf when pass blocking. He's definitely more of a finesse blocker, as he won't stop a rusher straight up or drive a defender off the line of scrimmage, but that's not a bad thing. He uses his length to out-leverage defenders, and that showed as he allowed only two pressures in 2023. He's the top tackle in this class for a reason.


Pro Comp: Kolton Miller


#8 Atlanta Falcons - Dallas Turner, Edge, Alabama


Atlanta gets a stud athlete in Dallas Turner to help beef up the defensive front. His lower half power is just absurd, as he often drove tackles back onto their heels in pass rush. His pursuit is great as well, and even though he wouldn't hand swipe often, it was effective nearly every time he used it. On the down side, his pass rush pool is pretty lacking outside of bull rushing, and he doesn't really run fit all that well.

It seemed like he was relying a ton on his strength and athleticism rather than trusting his technique. If he gets coached up right, then he'll be the best edge from this class.


Pro Comp: Baron Browning


#9 New England Patriots (via CHI) - Brock Bowers, Tight End, Georgia


After a double trade-back, the Pats get one of the best players in the draft in Brock Bowers. He does everything you want from a tight end and more. He has top-notch YAC ability between breaking tackles and hitting a crease with minimal wasted movement, has great hands and runs clean routes, and he blocks well when he's on. He will whiff here and there, but when he gets his hands on you, you're going into the ground. Arguably the best tight end prospect ever, New England lands a stud.


Pro Comp: George Kittle


Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images


#10 New York Jets - Olu Fashanu, Tackle, Penn State


With an OL that can't stay healthy, the Jets try to beef it up some more with Olu. He has an incredibly strong upper body, allowing him to latch onto bigger defenders and overpower them. He's an exceptional run blocker and a good pass protector as well. His feet are constantly mirroring the opposing rusher, and he has great eyes to see stunts and blitzes. He does stop his feet on contact more than you'd like, and he doesn't get as deep as he needs to in pass protection, but those are correctable traits.


Pro Comp: Andrus Peat


#11 Minnesota Vikings - Jared Verse, Edge, Florida State


Minnesota enters the offseason with varying needs, but all signs point to them taking Jared here. Verse is easily one of the strongest defenders in this class; his bull rush is nasty, as he put multiple tackles on their backs, and his swim move is just as effective. He has violent hands, and he'll usually win a rep if he has an aggressive hand strike in the run game. I will say he looked out of shape for a good chunk of his final year, his get-off isn't the best and he wasn't as assertive against the run as I would've liked. If he plays as explosive as he did at the combine, I think I can put those reservations to rest.


Pro Comp: Kayvon Thibodeaux


#12 Jacksonville Jaguars (via DEN) - Rome Odunze, Wide Receiver, Washington


Trade alert!! The Jags move up as Rome somehow falls in this mock. Odunze would be WR1 in almost any other class. He's a true X-receiver, he has some of the best "late hands" in this class, can run the entire route tree, has good YAC ability, and he actually blocks in the run game - which is a underrated trait for a receiver. He can Moss a defender one play, then take a 5 yard slant to the house on the next. I do think his deep ball tracking (outside of back-shoulder fades) could stand to improve, and he struggles on routes that break back to the QB, but he's a complete receiver outside of that.


Pro Comp: Davante Adams


#13 Los Angeles Chargers (via LV) - Taliese Fuaga, Tackle, Oregon State


The Chargers nab the most aggressive offensive lineman in this class after trading back with the Raiders. Taliese does everything at a high level, he has rapid footwork, can block out in space and inside the tackle box, and he is a great pass protector. He was susceptible to inside pass rush moves due to how quick he got to his spot in pass pro, and he struggled against bigger linemen when run blocking, but his athleticism makes up for what he lacks in strength. He locked up some top edge rushers in this class, and is more than worthy of a top 15 pick.


Pro Comp: Donald Penn


#14 New Orleans Saints - Byron Murphy II, Defensive Tackle, Texas


The Saints continue to build their defensive line, with Byron Murphy being the next piece of the puzzle. He brings great athleticism to the position, and has the strength to back it up. He uses advanced techniques to take on double teams and hold his own, is a decent pass rusher considering how raw he is, and has a devastating rip move in the run and pass game. I do wish he was a bit more aggressive instead of trying to finesse blockers since he has the strength and size; that should be worked out at the next level.


Pro Comp: Prototype John Randle


#15 Indianapolis Colts - Brian Thomas Jr, Wide Receiver, LSU


Thomas rounds out the consensus top-4 receivers in this class by landing in Indy. Anthony Richardson gets a fast, big, and explosive receiver to pair up with Michael Pittman Jr. Brian can win most routes due to his suddenness in his release, and he's a legit home run threat once he has the ball in his hands. His speed is wonderful for his size, and his YAC ability is even better; my only main concern is he didn't run a full route tree at LSU and was the 2nd option to Malik Nabers. Regardless, I think he'll make a major splash in the league.


Pro Comp: Tee Higgins with a sprinkle of Rashee Rice


#16 Seattle Seahawks - Jackson Powers-Johnson, Center, Oregon


JPJ will be a franchise center for the Seahawks. He's your typical corn-fed white boy, he never stops blocking until the whistle blows and he'll bury you in the run game. He has great leverage and hip power to get defenders off balance, and he is solid as a pass protector. He could improve with his overall technique, as he does get overextended when trying to get to defenders more than a gap away from him, and he needs to get better at reading stunts and blitzes. Besides that, he's the top center in the class and one of the best to come out in recent years.


Pro Comp: Diet Jason Kelce


#17 Denver Broncos (via JAX) - Terrion Arnold, Cornerback, Alabama


With the top 4 QBs gone, Denver elects to trade back and grab one of the best corners in this class. Terrion is a physical DB who isn't afraid to trigger downhill and deliver a shot to a receiver. He has great man coverage skills, and can cover receivers from press or off alignments. His hips could be more fluid, it seemed like he struggled on out breaking routes because he couldn't get his hips around in time. I think that'll improve, along with his zone coverage, and the Broncos will have one of the best CB tandems between him and Patrick Surtain II in a few seasons time.


Pro Comp: Denzel Ward


Photo: Butch Dill/USA Today Sports


#18 Cincinnati Bengals - JC Latham, Tackle, Alabama


After ignoring the offensive line in the first round of the past several drafts, Latham is an easy choice for the Bengals here. He's got a great low center of gravity that allows him to stop pass rushers in their tracks and drive defenders off the line of scrimmage. Add that in with his violent hands and overall hand fighting technique, he's a perfect aggressive lineman. With that said, he's in attack mode almost too much. He'll fall flat on his face trying to deliver a hard block, will miss blitzes by trying to lock someone up on the LOS, and he'll lean forward too much. All of these are issues we've seen in prospects before, and he has immense upside.


Pro Comp: Mike Onwenu


#19 Los Angeles Rams - Laiatu Latu, Edge, UCLA


With a need at edge, the Rams lands one of the most complete pass rushers in this class. Laiatu is polished and advanced, as he uses a plethora of moves to win in the passing game. He can swipe, rip, swim, cross chop, and spin off blockers to disrupt the backfield, and he has unreal bend around the edge. To boot, he played all over UCLA's front and was a good run stuffer as well. He does have some balance issues and needs to get better with his counter moves if he gets beat initially, and he has a neck injury history that will need to be monitored. Nevertheless, LA gets a menace with this guy.


Pro Comp: Jaelen Phillips


#20 Arizona Cardinals (via PIT) - Quinyon Mitchell, Cornerback, Toldeo


Trade alert!! The Cardinals trade up to improve their lacking secondary. Quinyon is one of the most intriguing prospects of 2024. He's the best in-phase corner in this class, he rarely allows separation and is constantly working his hips to mirror the receiver. On top of that, he closes space quickly from off coverage, and he can lock down anybody in press. He's got the strength, speed, and ball skills to be a day one starter. His zone coverage needs some work, seemed like he undercut his coverages a good amount, and his tackling is spotty, but that'll get cleaned up in time.


Pro Comp: L'Jarius Sneed


#21 Miami Dolphins - Johnny Newton, Defensive Tackle, Illinois


Where do I even start with this guy? He was noticeably explosive from the first snap I watched to the last. He has awesome get off most of the time, continuously fights off blocks, and is always chasing after plays. High motor, high intensity, high violence. He can stuff the run, win a pass rush, and crush any ball carrier he hits. My only gripe with his game is that he will hop out of his stance from time to time rather than exploding out every rep. He's one of the best 3-tech defenders I've scouted, and will fit in beautifully in Miami.


Pro Comp: Javon Hargrave


#22 Philadelphia Eagles - Nate Wiggins, Cornerback, Clemson


With James Bradberry and Darius Slay aging, Nate Wiggins should slot in well in Fangio's system. Wiggins is, without a doubt, the best man corner in this class. He has the speed and fluid hips to match up against any receiver, and he even traveled with bigger pass catchers despite his small frame. He tackles well, closes space quickly, and has great ball skills. The main concerns will be his size, as he weighed in at less than 180 pounds at the combine, but he should be able to get up to that once the season rolls around. While Wiggins is a stellar man coverage corner on tape, the Eagles will bank on him being able to transition into Fangio's zone-match style defense.


Pro Comp: Donte Jackson


#23 Houston Texans (via CLE) - Kool-Aid McKinstry, Cornerback, Alabama


The Texans will have a big choice about taking a corner or edge rusher at this point in the draft, and I think DeMeco will want to take advantage of Kool-Aid being on the board still. Kool-Aid is good in both man and zone coverage, and knowing when to play the ball or play the receiver. He's also surprisingly solid in run support and as a tackler. I will admit his hips could be better, as he was beat on outbreaking routes a good amount. If he can clean this up, there's no reason why he can't be the top corner from this class.


Pro Comp: Charvarius Ward


#24 Dallas Cowboys - Troy Fautanu, Tackle, Washington


Goodbye Tyron Smith, hello Troy Fautanu. From one franchise left tackle to another, Troy will bring great fundamentals in terms of his footwork to the pass and run games. He's got great athleticism to block on outside plays, and he can compete with most pass rushers as well. With his quickness, however, he does lack some top end strength that you want from a franchise tackle. His hand fighting is inconsistent and he leaves his chest exposed in pass pro, which could be an issue taking on top-end pass rushers. If he can tap into his technique, I think he can improve in those areas and be a solid piece to the Cowboys OL.


Pro Comp: Garrett Bolles


#25 Green Bay Packers - Cooper DeJean, Defensive Back, Iowa


I don't think Cooper will fall this far on draft day, but if he does, Green Bay is a perfect landing spot for him. The Packers have a dire need at safety and nickel, and although I think he'll succeed as an outside defender, NFL teams may want him playing over the top rather than on an island. He's great in zone coverage, mainly with how his eyes trace through his man to the QB. His man coverage is solid as well, which gives him upside as a slot defender when not roaming over the top. He doesn't do anything at a below average level, hell I'd even say he does everything better than average. Just a solid overall defender when it comes to dissecting a play, covering, and tackling.


Pro Comp: Jaylon Johnson


Photo: Grace Smith/The Daily Iowan


#26 Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Chop Robinson, Edge, Penn State


With Mike Evans extended, and Baker Mayfield presumably getting a deal as well, the Bucs add a versatile weapon on the defensive line in Chop Robinson. His get off is insanely fast, as he explodes off the snap, and he bends around the edge better than almost every rusher in this class. He's a beast in the run game as well, knocking linemen back with ease, and takes rushing lanes away. He could improve on fighting off those blocks better and not screaming upfield so much, but it's a fine trade off for what he brings in the pass game.


Pro Comp: Josh Sweat


#27 Pittsburgh Steelers (via ARZ via HOU) - Graham Barton, Offensive Lineman, Duke


With needs along the entire interior of their OL, Graham fits the bill for the Steelers here. I'll be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of his film where he lined up at tackle, but what he does well there will transition inside nicely. He's got great aggressive with his hands and wanting to overpower whoever he blocks, and he's athletic enough to pull and get out in space. I wish he was more technique driven, as his form gets wonky if a defender gets a step on him, and his gung-ho play style can cause him to miss blocks at times. Moving inside will help his game a good amount, and the Steelers will happily take him here.


Pro Comp: Dalton Risner


#28 Buffalo Bills - Adonai Mtichell, Wide Receiver, Texas


The Bills need a receiver bad with Gabe Davis hitting the market and Stefon Diggs only getting older. AD is a fun prospect, I don't think he was used to the best of his abilities at Texas, as he was targeted mainly on deep and intermediate routes - with Xavier Worthy hogging the majority of the short game. With that said, his short route running is the best part of his game with his quick burst and clean cuts. He can also track a deep ball well and can make strong catches out of rhythm. He didn't run a full route tree often, but I'm confident with his athletic ability that he'll be able to.


Pro Comp: CeeDee Lamb


#29 Carolina Panthers (via DET) - Troy Franklin, Wide Receiver, Oregon


Trade alert!! The Panthers move back up into the first round and get a good receiver for Bryce Young to develop with. Despite how consensus is feeling about him as of late, I'm still pretty high on Troy. I think he does a great job finding open spots in the defense to get the ball in his hands, and he has fantastic change of direction and suddenness to make defenders miss. His deep ball tracking is pretty lackluster, especially with how many opportunities he got on deep passes, and he does tend to round the top of his routes. Despite this, I think he can win from any alignment and on any route, he just needs to clean up his deep game.


Pro Comp: Taller Emmanuel Sanders


#30 Baltimore Ravens - Darius Robinson, Defensive Lineman, Missouri


Baltimore needs a new identity on defense with half of the starters likely leaving in free agency, and Mike MacDonald is moving on to Seattle; that's where Darius comes into play. Despite being used more as a 3/4i tech in college, Darius will thrive both inside and outside with his strength and leverage. He's a dog in the run game and is an efficient pass rusher as well. He uses quick hand swipes and long-arm moves to get off blocks and create separation at a high level. I think he needs a better counter move when he gets beat in pass pro, but he's a great prospect outside of that.


Pro Comp: Cameron Jordan


#31 San Francisco 49ers - Amarius Mims, Tackle, Georgia


Colton McKivitz is not the answer at right tackle, so the 49ers take a shot on Amarius Mims here. There's a lot to love about his game, he's really fluid with his footwork and hand fighting, he can beat any pass rush moves that get thrown his way, and he moves guys out of his gap in the run game. The only issue? Playing time. Due to a mix of various injuries, Mims has played just under 700 snaps over the last two seasons. To put that into context, almost all of the other first round offensive linemen played more snaps than that in this season alone. Add in an injury during the combine, the concerns are high.


Pro Comp: Brian O'Neill


#32 Kansas City Chiefs - Xavier Worthy, Wide Receiver, Texas


Let's have some fun, give KC and Mahomes the fastest receiver in this class. Xavier is more than just a speed guy though, he runs a diverse route tree, can win in the short game just as effectively as he does in the deep game, and he has good YAC ability. He does round off deeper routes that break inside, but that's manageable. He was used more as a utility/gadget player it seemed like, but I think he can be a legit WR2 in the league, maybe even a WR1 at some point.


Pro Comp: DeSean Jackson


Photo: Don Bender / Horns Illustrated

 

Some solid prospects that dropped out of the first round are Ladd McConkey, Tyler Guyton, Kris Jenkins, and Payton Wilson. All four are game wreckers, there are just teams with bigger needs at spots they could've been taken. With them, be on the lookout for Mike Sainristil, Ben Sinnott, and Adisa Isaac. These three are not being talked about nearly enough and will be long time starters in the NFL.


My Free Agency Preview will be up within the next week now that we are past the Franchise Tag Deadline, as well as Draft Prospect Breakdowns that will be replacing the PRR series. It was a fun run, but we're moving on to better things with the prospect breakdowns. Looking forward to providing content for you all offseason!

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