LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 18: Caleb Williams #13 of the USC Trojans reacts during the first half of a game against the UCLA Bruins at United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 18, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Ryan Kang/Getty Images

2024 NFL Mock Draft: Biggest Needs, Best Fits After Wild Card Weekend

NFL Super Wild Card Weekend is in the rearview, with six more teams turning their focus to the NFL Draft, and how to take the next step in 2024.

Each week through the end of the season, FanBuzz Senior NFL Reporter Matt Lombardo and Editorial Director Tyler Brooke take a deep dive into the biggest needs of each team, and the top prospect to fill them. With the top-22 selections now set, here's a look at how each of those teams' biggest needs and ideal selection.

No. 1: Chicago Bears (via Carolina Panthers) (2-15)

Positions of Need (Matt Lombardo): OL, WR, EDGE, LB, QB. The Bears fired offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, which could telegraph wholesale changes to the offense this offseason. However, after Justin Fields completed 61 percent of his passes for 1,361 yards with five touchdowns to three interceptions with 420 rushing yards and three more scores over the final seven weeks of the season, seeming to finally find his footing as an NFL starter, general manager Ryan Poles is presented with an incredible quandary. Poles must decide whether to move forward with Fields, pairing him with generational Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., or move off Fields and hit the reset button with a top quarterback such as Caleb Williams or Drake Maye.

Best Fit (Tyler Brooke): Caleb Williams, QB, USC

There is simply too much pressure on Ryan Poles to keep his job, and drafting his own quarterback will give him at least a couple more years to try and turn Chicago back into an NFC North contender. Caleb Williams is an off-script playmaker capable of making highlight throws from all kinds of arm angles, but his weaknesses are very similar to the ones that Fields has in terms of holding onto the ball too long. Still, resetting the rookie QB contract clock might be too tempting to pass up on for the Bears.

No. 2: Washington Commanders (4-13)

Positions of Need (Lombardo): QB, EDGE, CB, WR. Sam Howell regressed dramatically over the second half of the season, and with a new regime in place, new general manager Adam Peters is going to potentially have his pick of the top quarterbacks in this year's class. Peters is also going to need to rebuild the front-seven, after his predecessor Martin Mayhew traded away both Chase Young and Montez Sweat at the trade deadline. Few teams have more holes than the Commanders, but there isn't a franchise better positioned for a rapid turnaround given the amount of draft capital and cap space at their disposal this offseason.

Best Fit (Brooke): Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

The Commanders went from thinking Sam Howell was the guy to having an opportunity to immediately replace him with the No. 2 overall pick. I think the Commanders are a sleeper team to trade back if they truly believe in Howell, but there's a case that Maye is a better pro prospect than Williams, and that will be too hard to pass on for Washington under a new regime.

No. 3: New England Patriots (4-13)

Positions of Need (Lombardo): QB, WR, iOL, OT, CB. The Patriots are as well positioned as they have ever been to finally mine a franchise quarterback, as the Jerod Mayo era dawns in Foxboro. Meanwhile, in Bill Belichick's final years in New England, the Patriots fell woefully behind their division rivals in terms of offensive firepower. Landing a franchise quarterback will only be the beginning of a full overhaul of the Patriots' offense.

Best Fit (Brooke): Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

No one has any idea what the Patriots are going to look like without Bill Belichick, and the team could very well try to reach for a quarterback if they don't move up. However, if the next Patriots general manager wants to stay true to the big board, then Ohio State's Marvin Harrison Jr. is the best player available here. An unbelievable acrobat with superior size and athleticism, Harrison will be a top-tier wideout for years to come.

No. 4: Arizona Cardinals (4-13)

Positions of Need (Lombardo): WR, iOL, EDGE, CB. Jonathan Gannon's defense picked up steam as the season went along, and the Cardinals were a far more competitive team with Kyler Murray in the lineup than they were without him. Whether it's being in prime position to pair Marvin Harrison Jr. opposite Hollywood Brown, or adding Malik Nabers, the Cardinals would be wise to get Murray a field stretcher.

Best Fit (Brooke): Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

With Harrison off the board, the Cardinals can pick their flavor of wide receiver between Nabers and Rome Odunze. While it's a very tight race for the second-best wideout in this year's class, Odunze gets the slight edge for his elite contested-catch ability and dominance picking up extra yards after the catch. Kyler Murray would finally have another "screw it, this guy is down here somewhere" weapon that he's been missing without DeAndre Hopkins.

No. 5: Los Angeles Chargers (5-12)

Positions of Need (Lombardo): WR, RB, TE, DT, S. Everything from the head coach the Chargers hire to how Los Angeles allocates resources needs to be centered around surrounding Justin Herbert with enough playmakers to capitalize on his potential and prop open a potential Super Bowl window. Defensively, the Chargers need a run-stuffer or interior pass-rush presence that would take some pressure off Herbert and the offense.

Best Fit (Brooke): Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

The Chargers are in desperate need of explosiveness offensively, and that's exactly what Malik Nabers can bring. A 6'0", 200-pound speedster with excellent feel for pushing the field vertically, he'd open things up for the rest of the offense underneath, potentially helping Justin Herbert take the next big step in his career in 2024.

No. 6: New York Giants (6-11)

Positions of Need (Lombardo): QB, OT, iOL, CB, EDGE. The 2023 season exposed just how far away the Giants are from competing, and how much work still needs to be one by general manager Joe Schoen. Likewise, New York cannot view Daniel Jones' contract as a hindrance to upgrading the position. The Giants are in the infancy of a rebuild that should be centered around the best quarterback option available. Likewise, the only way the Giants' next franchise quarterback is going to succeed is if the organization finally overcomes its decade-long struggle to build a competent offensive line.

Best Fit (Brooke): Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Brian Daboll's seat might already be heating up, and there could be a real push for the Giants to take a swing on a quarterback. Jayden Daniels has the most unique skillset of any QB in this class, but there are still a lot of questions that need to be answer about him as a NFL-caliber player. That being said, a backfield combination of Daniels and Saquon Barkley would understandably get Giants fans excited for next season.

No. 7: Tennessee Titans (6-11)

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA - NOVEMBER 11: Penn State tackle Olumuyiwa Olu Fashanu (74) pass blocks during the Michigan Wolverines versus Penn State Nittany Lions game on November 11, 2023 at Beaver Stadium in University Park, PA.

Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Positions of Need (Lombardo): OT, iOL, WR, RB, LB. Will Levis showed enough as a rookie that Tennessee can win with him, if the Titans build around him. Given Derrick Henry's likely departure, the Titans would be wise to build the offense around a running back who is more of a threat as a pass-catcher, as well as a runner, and also identifying receivers who can stretch the field to capitalize on Levis' arm-strength and propensity for pushing the ball deep. However, none of those pieces will matter if the Titans don't fortify the offensive line in front of Levis.

Best Fit (Brooke): Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State

The Titans have found their guy at quarterback, but now they need to find a way to keep him healthy. Drafting a long-term starter at offensive tackle would be the perfect start for Tennessee's next GM, and Olu Fashanu is the best pass protector in this class. With great athleticism, length, and a developing anchor, Fashanu could be an instant plug-and-play starter for the Titans.

No. 8: Atlanta Falcons (7-10)

Positions of Need (Lombardo): QB, OT, WR, CB, EDGE. Few coaches misused explosive personnel worse than Arthur Smith, but, that the Falcons got so little out of running back Bijan Robinson, wide receiver Drake Maye, and tight end Kyle Pitts is also an indictment of not investing enough in the quarterback position. Before the Falcons even think about adding a complementary receiver opposite London, Atlanta must add a top quarterback capable of maximizing his electrifying supporting cast, even if that means aggressively trading up to get their top target.

Best Fit (Brooke): Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

There's a sneaking suspicion that the Falcons go after a quarterback this offseason like Justin Fields, and if they pull it off, protecting their next QB will be a top priority. Joe Alt could give Atlanta an upgrade at either tackle spot while also giving them an absolute road-grader to open up the run game for Bijan Robinson.

No. 9: Chicago Bears (7-10)

Positions of Need (Lombardo): OL, WR, EDGE, LB, QB. The Bears have myriad options with their second top-10 pick, but how Poles and Co. handle Fields' future and the No. 1 overall selection will likely dictate the strategy at this spot. Perhaps most appealing — if the possibility presents itself, might be to trade back and accumulate even more draft capital. Similarly, Poles could follow in Nick Caserio's footsteps and use this pick as a trade chip to move up to add a second blue-chip prospect, as the Texans did in 2023 pairing quarterback C.J. Stroud with top edge rusher Will Anderson.

Best Fit (Brooke): Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

With the top two tackles off the board, the Bears would be wise to continue building out their ascending defense. There are several EDGE prospects who could be the first player taken at the position, but Dallas Turner has the measurables and SEC experience to be an immediate contributor alongside Montez Sweat in Chicago.

No. 10: New York Jets (7-10)

Positions of Need (Lombardo): OT, iOL, WR, TE. The Jets are hoping that Aaron Rodgers' 2024 campaign lasts more than four snaps. For GM Joe Douglas and the Jets, the top organizational priority must be building an offense around Rodgers that is a worthy complement to an elite defense that withered on the vine in 2023 because the offense was among the league's most incompetent. Everything starts with keeping Rodgers upright, so expect New York's top picks to be utilized to build out the offensive line, but the Jets also desperately need capable receivers not named Garrett Wilson.

Best Fit (Brooke): Taliese Fuaga, OL, Oregon State

While the Bears might be able to focus on a different position with Alt and Fashanu off the board, the Jets may have no choice but to reach for more offensive line help. Taliese Fuaga has skyrocketed up draft boards, and his frame could make him a more versatile piece that could slot in at tackle or guard depending on how the rest of the Jets offensive line looks in 2024. Regardless, protecting Aaron Rodgers should be their No. 1 priority next season.

No. 11: Minnesota Vikings (7-10)

Positions of Need (Lombardo): QB, TE, CB, DT. The Vikings must figure out what to do with Kirk Cousins this offseason. Similarly, if the Vikings are going to keep pace with the Lions and Packers in the NFC North, and fend off what promises to be an improved Bears roster, fortifying the defense with young talent is a must.

Best Fit (Brooke): Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

The Vikings just spent that past weekend watching two divisional rivals light it up on offense in the playoffs. Even with the quarterback position unclear, taking a top-tier cornerback like Nate Wiggins should be a more pressing priority to contain the likes of Jordan Love, Jared Goff, and potentially Caleb Williams. Wiggins has the size and length to potentially develop into a lockdown corner at the NFL level.

No. 12: Denver Broncos (8-9)

Positions of Need (Lombardo): QB, WR, EDGE, CB. Denver will move off Russell Wilson and into uncertainty at quarterback. However, after the wide receiver corps underachieved in 2023, the entire offensive skill positions might be in need of revamping. Similarly, the Broncos' inability to consistently generate pressure on opposing quarterbacks was a major concern that is only amplified by facing Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert twice each season.

Best Fit (Brooke): Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

The Broncos need to be very careful about finding the right quarterback for Sean Payton, and maybe that happens in free agency instead of the draft. Regardless, the pass rush might have been Denver's biggest weakness this year, and taking an experienced EDGE like Laiatu Latu with his technique and hand usage could give the Broncos someone to start getting after opposing quarterbacks.

No. 13: Las Vegas Raiders (8-9)

Positions of Need (Lombardo): QB, DT, EDGE, OT. It is far past time that the Raiders identify a franchise quarterback of the future to build around. Similarly, on defense, Las Vegas has to find a way to get Maxx Crosby some help. That is, unless Crosby requests a trade this offseason.

Best Fit (Brooke): Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington

Davante Adams is probably getting fed up with the quarterback play in Las Vegas, and the Raiders have some solid weapons for their next QB to throw to. Michael Penix has plenty of red flags from his injury history, but his ability and fearlessness to fling the ball deep could be what's missing from this offense to allow them to start competing again in the AFC West.

No. 14: New Orleans Saints (9-8)

CHAMPAIGN, IL - NOVEMBER 11: Illinois DT Jer'Zhan Newton (4) during a college football game between the Indiana Hoosiers and Illinois Fighting Illini on November 11, 2023 at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, IN.

Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Positions of Need (Lombardo): QB, OT, iOL, EDGE, DT. The Derek Carr experiment proved that the offense has a built in ceiling given his inability to maximize the weapons New Orleans already has in place. Likewise, the offensive line struggled to consistently keep him upright or open running lanes for Alvin Kamara. Improving the offensive line could unlock much of the Saints' explosive potential on offense.

Best Fit (Brooke): Jer'Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois

No matter what the Saints do, they're cap situation is an absolute mess. Instead of trying to take a swing on a player at a flashy position, maybe it would be best for the Saints to take a top defensive lineman like Jer'Zhan Newton and start preparing for some of their defensive mainstays to eventually move on.

No. 15: Indianapolis Colts (9-8)

Positions of Need (Lombardo): WR, TE, EDGE, CB. Anthony Richardson showed plenty of promise before suffering a season-ending injury. However, the Colts desperately need to add some dynamic talent at wide receiver. Likewise, cornerback remains an open concern for Indianapolis.

Best Fit (Brooke): Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

Cornerback should be on the table for the Colts, but pairing Brock Bowers with Shane Steichen and Anthony Richardson is just too tempting to pass up on. Bowers is the most versatile tight end to come out in a while, and his skillset fits so well with Indy's other weapons in Michael Pittman and Josh Downs that the Colts could suddenly have one of the scariest offenses in the league if Richardson is healthy in 2024.

No. 16: Seattle Seahawks (9-8)

Positions of Need (Lombardo): QB, LB, EDGE, S. It will be a new era, without Pete Carroll, in Seattle. The Seahawks' defense made major strides in 2023, but could still need some reinforcements, especially in the front-seven, to complement what became a dominant secondary. The Seahawks must also decide if Geno Smith is adequate at quarterback, which remains a bit of an open question.

Best Fit (Brooke): Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State

If Dan Quinn ends up becoming the next coach in Seattle, the team's first-round pick almost feels like a guaranteed defensive prospect. Jared Verse would give the Seahawks some more help up front to take some of the pressure off of their young but extremely talented secondary. Verse may not have had the flashy year like he had in 2022, but he still showed that he's a legitimate three-down EDGE prospect.

No. 17: Jacksonville Jaguars (9-8)

Positions of Need (Lombardo): OT, iOL, WR, CB, EDGE. Trevor Lawrence took a step back in 2023, but part of those issues can be blamed on taking on more pressure due to a leaky offensive line, and inconsistency at wide receiver. Rookie Parker Washington showed some promise down the stretch, but the Jaguars could benefit offensively from one more weapon alongside Calvin Ridley, Kirk, and Washington. Defensively, the Jaguars' pass-rush also regressed, which becomes a major concern with C.J. Stroud and Anthony Richardson residing in the division.

Best Fit (Brooke): Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

Looking at the rest of the board, the Jaguars may not want to reach for offensive line help, despite their glaring need. A lengthy outside corner like Kool-Aid McKinstry may be more fitting to give Jacksonville's defense another key piece to help against all of the ascending young quarterbacks in the division.

No. 18: Cincinnati Bengals (9-8)

Positions of Need (Lombardo): iOL, WR, TE, CB. Getting Joe Burrow back and fully healthy should position the Bengals to make a legitimate push for the AFC North crown in 2024, but potentially losing Tee Higgins makes upgrading the receiving corps around Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase pivotal to Cincinnati's trajectory. Defensively, the secondary remains a position in need of some attention and resources.

Best Fit (Brooke): Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU

If Higgins leaves this offseason, then replacing him with another playmaker alongside Chase should be a huge need. LSU's Brian Thomas Jr. is 6'4" and 205 pounds with the deep threat ability to open up things underneath for Chase and company.

No. 19: Los Angeles Rams (10-7)

Positions of Need (Lombardo): TE, OT, EDGE, LB. Los Angeles overachieved in 2024, thanks in part to Puka Nacua emerging as a revelation at wide receiver, and Kyren Williams outperforming his draft position. If general manager Les Snead can see similar success from the 2024 draft class, the Rams could be on the cusp of closing the gap on the 49ers in the NFC West.

Best Fit (Brooke): Cooper DeJean, DB, Iowa

While this isn't on Lombardo's list of needs, I think DeJean would be an absolute steal here for the Rams. The secondary was a bit disappointing in their wild card loss to the Lions, and DeJean's elite athleticism, plus versatility to play either corner or safety, would make him such a fun chess piece on the Rams defense.

No. 20: Pittsburgh Steelers (10-7)

Positions of Need (Lombardo): QB, WR, OT, LB, CB. The biggest reason to doubt Kenny Pickett is the answer in Pittsburgh is that the Steelers turned to Mason Rudolph in the playoffs, even when the former first-round pick was healthy. Meanwhile, defensively, the Steelers will need to come away from the draft with a dominant cornerback to pair opposite Joey Porter Jr., who already looks like one of the top players at the position in the entire league.

Best Fit (Brooke): J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

There are simply too many questions that need to be answered in Pittsburgh before getting a clear idea of what they want to do in the 2024 NFL Draft. However, it should be time to move on from Pickett and try a new quarterback like McCarthy. The reigning national champion didn't have to throw much at Michigan, but McCarthy's excellent athleticism, solid arm, and great feel for attacking the middle of the field make him a legitimate NFL prospect.

No. 21: Miami Dolphins (11-6)

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01: OL JC Latham (65) of the Alabama Crimson Tide blocks during the Alabama Crimson Tide game versus the Michigan Wolverines CFP Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game on January, 1, 2024, at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, CA.

Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Positions of Need (Lombardo): TE, iOL, LB, DT, S. The Dolphins were one of the most explosive offenses in the entire league, but it didn't matter — especially against fellow teams with a winning record, because Miami did not have nearly enough physicality. In order for Tua Tagovailoa and the offense to take the next step, the Dolphins need to add a security blanket at tight end. Meanwhile, defensively, the Dolphins desperately need to add difference-makers at all three levels.

Best Fit (Brooke): JC Latham, OL, Alabama

The Dolphins need to do everything they can to keep the offense in top gear for 2024. JC Latham may have played right tackle for the Crimson Tide this past season, but his frame and play strength could allow him to kick inside to guard. Regardless, his versatility would give the Dolphins another much-needed option on their offensive line.

No. 22: Philadelphia Eagles (11-6)

Positions of Need (Lombardo): CB, EDGE, S, LB, RB. The Eagles' collapse from 10-1 laid bare the significant holes on a roster many viewed among the league's deepest. For as well as general manager Howie Roseman has done building out two dominant lines, the Eagles seem to have had a blindspot at linebacker and in the secondary. The second half of the 2023 campaign exposed that veteran bandaids at linebacker aren't sufficient to make a Super Bowl push, and the tackling issues at cornerback and safety became Philadelphia's undoing.

Best Fit (Brooke): Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

Philadelphia's secondary looked lifeless on Monday night. Terrion Arnold is anything but lifeless, bringing plenty of energy into his style of play. He's an explosive corner with excellent ball skills and the play strength to be an asset in run support, which is something a lot of Eagles defensive backs didn't look capable of doing against Tampa Bay.

MORE: 2024 NFL Mock Draft: First-Round Projections Heading Into Bowl Season