Super Bowl LVIII is done and so is the 2023 NFL season, which means it's time for mock drafts, scouting reports, and nonstop speculation about the upcoming class of quarterbacks in the 2024 NFL Draft.
The Kansas City Chiefs have the target on their back yet again after a dramatic overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers, giving them three Super Bowl championships in the Patrick Mahomes era. Now the entire league is ready to shift gears and prepare for a pivotal 2024 NFL Draft that will include multiple top-tier quarterbacks and a ton of wide receivers ready to go pro.
With that in mind, let's take a look at the latest first-round projections with this updated 2024 NFL mock draft.
1. Chicago Bears
Caleb Williams, QB, USC
Ryan Poles has a difficult decision to make with the No. 1 pick. Does he stick with Justin Fields, who has the public support of his teammates, or does he roll the dice on Caleb Williams, who may not even want to play in Chicago?
Regardless, the clear-cut favorite to go No. 1 overall all year has been the USC quarterback. The off-script throws, arm talent, athleticism, and general playmaking ability make Williams one of the most exciting draft prospects over the last few years, and the Bears could really benefit from resetting the QB rookie contract timeline around an up-and-coming roster.
2. Washington Commanders
Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina
Sam Howell played admirably for the Commanders this past season, sticking out through the year despite constant punishment inside the pocket. However, new general manager Adam Peters is probably going to want to start his regime with a quarterback that he drafted, especially with the team having an opportunity to take an exceptional talent with the second overall pick in this year's draft.
In most drafts, Drake Maye would be QB1. Along with a pro-style build at 6'4" and 230 pounds, Maybe has very good mobility and elite mental processing, especially for such a young player at the position. His ability to diagnose defenses pre-snap and react post-snap will have him carving up NFL teams quickly once he gets comfortable with whichever offensive system he gets paired with at the next level.
3. New England Patriots
Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU
A lot of changes are happening in New England this offseason. Along with Jerod Mayo replacing Bill Belichick as head coach, the Patriots are expected to hire a new general manager, most likely an external hire. That most likely means a new quarterback as well, with both Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe struggling to earn a long-term look as a starting quarterback.
Daniels may not be the best overall prospect left on the board, but he's certainly the best remaining quarterback in this mock draft. The former Arizona State standout showed drastic development over the past two seasons with LSU, pairing his elite athleticism and play speed with a strong arm and good deep ball placement. There's still plenty of aspects of his game that need more polished, but the overall tools give him the upside to be a thrilling playmaker at the quarterback position.
4. Arizona Cardinals
Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State
Barring any trades, the first four picks of the 2024 NFL Draft should be pretty predictable. The Patriots could be a wild card, but their need at the quarterback position could be too great to consider going in a different direction.
That leaves the Cardinals with arguably the top overall player in this year's draft, taking Ohio State wideout Marvin Harrison Jr.. Coming in a 6'4" and 205 pounds, Harrison is about as complete of a receiver as we've seen in a long time. Along with outrageous body control and contested catch ability, Harrison also has very good play speed and separation skills to make plays by getting open or simply snatching the ball away from defenders. That kind of playmaking ability pairs so well with Kyler Murray, and could jumpstart Arizona's offense in 2024.
5. Los Angeles Chargers
Malik Nabers, WR, LSU
It will be interesting to see how much influence new Chargers head coach Jim Harbaugh has on the team's draft decisions, particularly with the fifth overall pick. He could push the franchise to go after the most competitive and physical prospect the team can find, but the offense desperately needs an explosive playmaker to help stretch the field vertically.
LSU's Malik Nabers is explosiveness personified. His entire identity is firing out of his stance and attacking vertically, constantly keeping defensive backs on their toes. While he may not always look like the most comfortable hands catcher, he consistently comes away with contested catches, and is such an urgent wide receiver that he can be a dangerous playmaker to take things some pressure off of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.
6. New York Giants
Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame
The Giants are straight-up starving for offensive weapons at receiver, but at the same time there needs to be an added emphasis on protecting the quarterback after a disastrous season for New York's field generals. Evan Neal had a particularly disappointing season, and didn't do himself any favors by calling out the fanbase.
It might already be time for the Giants to cut ties with Neal, and replace him with a more suitable right tackle. While Joe Alt played on the left side at Notre Dame, he's an absolute road grader in the run game with strong pass protection ability. A tackle duo of Andrew Thomas and Joe Alt could give the Giants a more stable offensive line that they can work on building around once they decide what the long-term move is with Daniel Jones.
7. Tennessee Titans
Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State
Will Levis showed enough flashes as a rookie that the Tennessee Titans need to start thinking about what the offense needs to keep building around the former second-round pick. Adding another offensive tackle, particularly once that can help in pass protection, should be a top priority for them.
Olu Fashanu could have been a top-tier tackle prospect in last year's draft, but opted to stay for one more year at Penn State. Along with the ideal frame for an NFL tackle at 6'6" and 319 with long arms, Fashanu has very good athletic ability to handle speed rushers and a very strong anchor to stonewall the bull rush. That kind of skill set will allow him to handle different kinds of pass rushers at the NFL level for years to come.
8. Atlanta Falcons
Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama
With Bud Dupree set to hit the open market and Arnold Ebiketie still developing into a complete EDGE, the Falcons would be wise to keep putting assets into their defensive front.
Dallas Turner has the prototypical size/athleticism combination that NFL teams covet at EDGE, and he's consistently bulked up over the last few seasons with Alabama. Along with first-step explosiveness to get around the edge, Turner also has the play strength to attack blockers at the point of attack and wrap up ball carriers while preventing yards after contact. What's even scarier is that it feels like he's just scratching the surface of what he can become as a pass rusher as he continues to develop his hand usage and pass-rush moves.
9. Chicago Bears
Rome Odunze, WR, Washington
The Bears could be thinking offensive line or more help on defense with their second pick in the first round, but with the top two tackles off the board and Rome Odunze still sitting here, it would be way too hard for Poles to pass up on the opportunity to give his new quarterback another exciting weapon.
Rome Odunze's jump-ball ability has been the talk of draft circles throughout the college football season, but it's not the only skill that makes him a legitimate top-10 prospect. The Huskies wideout has legitimate route-running ability for a 6'3" receiver, and his ability to keep churning out yards after the catch with his aggressiveness and contact balance can make him a real weapon in the quick passing game.
A wide receiver duo of D.J. Moore and Odunze would be hard to stop in Chicago.
10. New York Jets
Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State
Aaron Rodgers is expected to return in 2024, and it's no surprise if the New York Jets make it their top priority to protect the 40-year-old quarterback with a revamped offensive line. There are legitimate players like Alijah Vera-Tucker on that line, but there still needs to be more stability up front.
Taliese Fuaga is someone who could come into New York and slot in wherever the Jets need him to play. A fast-rising prospect in this draft class, Fuaga has great movement skills along with the play strength to drive defenders backwards in the run game. He can likely play on the left or side side, depending on what the Jets do with the rest of their offensive line this offseason.
11. Minnesota Vikings
J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan
The Vikings saw just how bad things could get this past season without Kirk Cousins, and with the veteran QB hitting free agency this offseason, the Vikings should take plenty of time studying this year's quarterback class. Sure, there are other pressing needs, but the Vikings can't expect to move forward in the NFC North without a legitimate quarterback prospect to build around.
While J.J. McCarthy doesn't have the arm talent that some of the other quarterbacks in this year's draft have, he does have impressive athletic ability, competitive toughness, pocket presence, and a great feel for attacking the middle of the field. He will be just 21 years old as a rookie, and will have plenty of time to develop into a legitimate starter wherever he ends up in this year's draft.
12. Denver Broncos
Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA
The Broncos could potentially release Russell Wilson this offseason, but doing so will have major implications on the team's cap situation. Until it's clear that the Broncos are moving on from the former star quarterback, this pick should be considered a golden opportunity for Denver to address its brutal pass rush from last season.
Laitau Latu is probably the most dominant EDGE prospect in this year's class, coming in with excellent hand usage and lateral agility to keep offensive linemen constantly guessing with his bag of pass-rush moves. However, a neck injury at Washington that was previously considered career-ending will have teams taking a long look at his medical evaluations this offseason, making Latu's draft stock a true toss-up until late April.
13. Las Vegas Raiders
Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington
Davante Adams needs someone competent to throw him the ball, and that doesn't seem like it'll be Jimmy Garoppolo in 2024. If the Raiders want to keep their superstar wide receiver happy, then drafting a quarterback with significant arm talent that can air it out should be the team's priority.
Penix took the country by storm the past two seasons at Washington, airing it out with highlight throws and big plays. The left-handed QB has the arm talent and throwing mechanics to rifle the ball into tight windows deep downfield, along with enough athletic ability to extend plays with his legs, even if he's not a consistent rushing threat.
Above all, Penix deserves credit for his competitive toughness to play through injuries and come back from more severe issues. Like Latu, medicals will be huge for Penix, who suffered multiple season-ending injuries while at Indiana. However, his play style while throwing to the likes of Adams, Jakobi Meyers, and Michael Mayer would make the Raiders one of the more exciting teams to watch in 2024.
14. New Orleans Saints
Byron Murphy II, DL, Texas
As a team with significant cap issues and a veteran quarterback they've already committed to, the Saints need to start focusing on finding young, cheap players as inevitable replacements for aging stars like Cameron Jordan.
Byron Murphy has established himself as the best defensive lineman in this draft class, earning Big 12 Defensive Lineman of the Year honors after racking up five sacks for the Longhorns. At 6'1" and 308 pounds, he's a powerful and disruptive defensive lineman with the explosiveness to develop into a legitimate star at the position.
15. Indianapolis Colts
Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia
Brock Bowers is such an elite tight end prospect that it would be a surprise to see him fall this far down in the draft. However, teams may be scared off of overvaluing tight ends in the past like Kyle Pitts, but that wouldn't stop the Colts from sprinting their card in to bring Bowers to Indianapolis.
Bowers is the ultimate chess piece at the tight end position. The 6'4", 240-pound mismatch can be used as a blocker, pass-catcher, or even ball carrier in certain play concepts. That kind of versatility paired with a dual-threat quarterback in Anthony Richardson and an offensive-minded head coach in Shane Steichen could completely open up the playbook for a team hoping to get back into the playoffs next year.
16. Seattle Seahawks
Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State
The Seahawks have a new defensive-minded head coach in Mike MacDonald, along with a need to get putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Loading up on more EDGE players is beneficial for any team, and fortunately for the Seahawks there's still a top prospect at the position still on the board in Florida State's Jared Verse.
A former Albany transfer, Verse took over at Florida State with 18 sacks over the last two seasons. He has a great combination of size and speed at 6'4" and 260 pounds, along with the explosiveness and play strength to dominate blockers at the point of attack, whether he's handling the run or rushing the passer. While he needs to reel things in at times and be a bit more disciplined with his responsibilities, he's a surefire first-round talent that could be an impact player in Seattle.
17. Jacksonville Jaguars
Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama
There are so many talented cornerbacks in this year's draft class that it may cause NFL teams to be more patient when looking at the position, but the Jaguars have such a pressing need that they may not want to wait until the later rounds, especially if they have their choice of any DB on the board.
Terrion Arnold may not be the biggest or most athletic cornerback on the board (he's still up there), but he might be the most competitive. He consistently plays with intensity and urgency, and has the instincts to snuff out misdirection and trick plays and avoid getting caught out of position. While he can get caught being a bit too grabby on deep downfield shots, there's so many positives to his game that he should be the first cornerback taken on draft night.
18. Cincinnati Bengals
Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU
The potential departures of Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd could make things a lot more difficult for Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase in the passing game. However, the Bengals could quickly reload on offense and open things up for the rest of the team with a prospect like Brian Thomas Jr. out of LSU.
Thomas is the ultimate height/weight/speed deep threat, much like a Christian Watson or DK Metcalf. While those may not be perfect comparisons, the 6'4", 205-pound wideout is explosive out of the gate and loves to take the top off of opposing defenses. That, combined with his jump ball ability, would make him an ideal fit with Burrow in Cincinnati.
19. Los Angeles Rams
JC Latham, OT, Alabama
The Los Angeles Rams keep finding thrilling wide receivers for their offense, but the team can only go so far without having to address its offensive line. The Rams have multiple interior offensive linemen hitting free agency, but they also have a massive need at either tackle spot.
JC Latham primarily played right tackle for the Crimson Tide, but also had some experience at right guard. He's an imposing presence at 6'6" and 335 pounds that is capable of dominating defenders in the run game. While he's not the most athletic tackle in this class, his size and play strength could make him an intriguing piece for Sean McVay to develop as the Rams figure out their long-term succession plan for Matthew Stafford.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson
Joey Porter Jr. took his lumps as a rookie for the Steelers, but still still showed why the Steelers wanted to take him in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft. This year, the Steelers could make a run at help on the offensive line, or they could take a swing on another cornerback with legitimate potential.
Length is the first word to come to mind when looking at Nate Wiggins, who is listed at 6'2" and 185 pounds. That size allows him to blanket receivers on the outside, but he also has the foot speed and explosiveness to stay in phase with speedsters or trigger downhill to attack a ball carrier. While he lacks elite top-end play speed and could benefit by filling out a bit more, his athletic traits, length, and aggressiveness will make him a legitimate cornerback in the coming years.
21. Miami Dolphins
Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon
For all of the speed that the Dolphins have, their offensive line could only keep the pressure off of Tua Tagovailoa for so long. The interior of that offensive line has multiple players entering free agency, so finding a physically tough lineman capable of playing with tempo should be a priority for Miami, and there might be a perfect fit waiting for them in the first round.
Oregon's Jackson Powers-Johnson was one of the big winners at this year's Senior Bowl, and his tape shows the type of center (or interior offensive linemen) the Dolphins could use. Along with solid play strength, the Oregon prospect is excellent at operating in space, whether it's on reach blocks, climbing to the second level, or finding the most dangerous man in the screen game. His movement skills and anchor in pass protection would make him a perfect fit for what Miami needs to keep their high-flying offense going.
22. Philadelphia Eagles
Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo
After the way the Eagles got carved up at the tail end of this past season, Howie Roseman will almost certainly be considering a cornerback in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, and he takes one of the more intriguing ones in this mock.
Toledo's Quinyon Mitchell is quickly becoming a household name after a strong Senior Bowl performance. He leaves the MAC program after racking up six interceptions and 37 pass breakups over the last two seasons, using his 6'0", 196-pound frame to his advantage. His skillset and ability to lock up wide receivers would make him an exciting match for a Philadelphia secondary starving for reinforcements.
23. Houston Texans
Jer'Zhan Newton, DL, Illinois
The Texans dramatically outperformed expectations in 2023 thanks to rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud and first-year head coach DeMeco Ryans. While there are plenty of positions that Houston could address in the first round, Ryans could push for the team to add more disruptive players in the front seven alongside Will Anderson Jr. and Christian Harris.
Jer'Zhan Newton can be a serious problem when he's able to fire off of the snap. His first step is so explosive that he can quickly sneak into the backfield and create all kinds of problems, whether it's stopping the run or rushing the passer. When his pad level is low and he's shooting his hands with extension, he can completely dominate the point of attack, or simply side-step blockers with his lateral agility. That kind of versatility on the interior with Anderson on the edge and Harris cleaning things up could give Houston a terrifying group of defenders up front.
24. Dallas Cowboys
Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma
Despite the early playoff exit, there are few glaring needs on the Cowboys roster. That being said, they could potentially be losing multiple starters on the offensive line to free agency, making that a point of emphasis heading into the offseason.
Tyler Guyton is an early winner in the pre-draft process, climbing into Round 1 consideration. Along with a massive frame at 6'7" and 327 pounds, Guyton has impressive athleticism and play speed to make him a potential long-term option at either tackle spot.
25. Green Bay Packers
Ennis Rakestraw Jr., CB, Missouri
Even assuming that Jaire Alexander is healthy and staying in Green Bay in 2024, the Packers still need more help at cornerback. Eric Stokes has struggled to stay healthy, and while Carrington Valentine showed some flashes as a Day 3 rookie this season, it would take a major leap this offseason for him to establish himself as a full-time starter.
Ennis Rakestraw Jr. has a wiry frame at 6'0" and 188 pounds, but he has the aggressiveness and movement skills to be a legitimate cornerback. Whether it's in man or zone coverage, Rakestraw can stick to receivers and trigger downhill with great aggressiveness. It all depends on what kind of cornerback the Packers are looking for to pair with Alexander, but Rakestraw's college tape shows a player that could slot into the team in a handful of different roles early in his career.
26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Troy Fautanu, OL, Washington
Tampa Bay could look a lot different in 2024 with multiple high-profile players hitting free agency. Regardless of who does and doesn't return, continuing to build the offensive line around Tristan Wirfs should be a top priority to keep the offense rolling.
Troy Fautanu played left tackle for the Washington Huskies this year, but at 6'4" and 317 pounds he might be best suited to kick inside at guard. He has excellent movement skills and impressive technique that allows him to latch onto defenders from difficult angles or in space. He showed a good feel for understanding his quarterback's depth in pass protection while staying in front of rushers, and could eventually become a legitimate starting tackle, but kicking him inside to play alongside Wirfs could give Tampa's offensive line a huge boost.
27. Arizona Cardinals
Graham Barton, OL, Duke
After taking an exciting receiver for Murray to throw to, the Cardinals can use their second first-round pick to add some depth and versatility to their offensive line.
Much like Fautanu, Graham Barton played left tackle for the Duke Blue Devils, but has the frame that could make sense for him to kick inside to guard. Even after taking Paris Johnson Jr. last season, the Cardinals need more bodies on the offensive line, and a player like Barton could slot into multiple slots depending on how the rest of the line shakes out this offseason.
28. Buffalo Bills
Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon
Even with Stefon Diggs and the emergence of Khalil Shakir, the Bills are missing a true vertical threat that can open up the rest of the passing game for Josh Allen. Fortunately for Buffalo, they could solve that problem almost instantly by taking Oregon's Troy Franklin.
Along with being a smooth route runner with good instincts, Franklin has very good explosiveness and play speed to attack the entire field. His speed and elusiveness make him dangerous with the ball in his hands, and while he may not thrive in contested-catch situations, he has such a good feel for getting open that he could be a fun weapon for the Bills that can take the top off of defenses.
29. Detroit Lions
Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa
The Lions need to keep loading up on defensive talent if they want to make another run at the Super Bowl, especially with Jordan Love ascending and a likely No. 1 pick at quarterback coming into the NFC North. Adding more help in the secondary would be a huge boost to the defense, particularly if the Lions can get a steal in Iowa defensive back Cooper DeJean.
DeJean could go much earlier than 29th given his versatility and play style. He's a physical cornerback with great size at 6'1" and 207 pounds, attacking as a force player against the run or disrupting receivers in coverage at the catch point. He's the perfect kind of cornerback for what Dan Campbell wants from his players, and could step in and wear several different hats in Detroit's secondary.
30. Baltimore Ravens
Chop Robinson, EDGE, Penn State
The Ravens have multiple defenders hitting free agency this offseason, most notably with two of their key veteran pass rushers in Jadeveon Clowney and Kyle Van Noy. It's unclear if the Ravens will be bringing back either or both of them, but regardless the team will need to find more pass rushers for the 2024 season.
Chop Robinson may not be the most polished player in this class, but his tape shows a powerful, twitched-up EDGE with sky-high upside. The Penn State prospect can dominate the point of attack and fly around blockers as a pass rusher, but needs to keep working on his hand usage and arm extension in order to become a more complete three-down player at the position.
31. San Francisco 49ers
Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama
For all of the positives on the 49ers roster, opposing offenses could still pick on some of the team's cornerbacks, even in the playoffs.
Kool-Aid McKinstry would solve some of those problems. He has a CB1-caliber frame at 6'1" and 195 pounds, along with the athletic ability, play speed, and significant college experience to be a potential Day 1 starter for the defense. McKinstry's biggest problem is that he can get bullied in the run game, and there are plays throughout his film where the effort doesn't look like it's at 100 percent, but his overall talent makes him worthy of a first-round pick.
32. Kansas City Chiefs
Ja'Lynn Polk, WR, Washington
The biggest problem the Chiefs dealt with all season is unreliable catching ability from their wide receivers. Instead of trying to address other needs in the 2024 NFL Draft early on, the Chiefs should take a chance on a wideout that can simply catch everything.
Ja'Lynn Polk broke onto the national stage this year for the Huskies, consistently generating explosive plays with Penix throwing him the ball. He has great hands and body control to come away with catches from all kinds of difficult positions, along with the vision, contact balance, and elusiveness to be a threat after the catch. While he isn't the most explosive wideout off of the snap, his second gear can still make him a solid vertical threat, giving him the versatility to be a serious weapon for a team like Kansas City.
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