2024 NFL Mock Draft: Bengals replace Tee Higgins, Vikings find new QB in post free agency mock

The dust has largely settled on NFL free agency and a lot has changed for the 2024 NFL draft. The Falcons no longer need a quarterback, the Jets rebuilt their offensive line and the Bears have gone all in on Caleb Williams.

We are still early in the process, but I did add two trades to this mock draft.

Giants send 1.06, 4.107 and a 2025 5th to the Chargers for 1.06, and a 2025 7th

Patriots send 2.34 and a 2025 5th to the Bengals for Tee Higgins

Without further ado, let's dive into this post free agency mock.

Odunze had over 2,700 yards and 20 touchdowns in his final two seasons at Washington.
Odunze had over 2,700 yards and 20 touchdowns in his final two seasons at Washington. / Alika Jenner/GettyImages
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1. Chicago Bears via Carolina Panthers - Caleb Williams, QB, USC
Justin Fields is now in Pittsburgh. We have suspected for a while the Bears would use this pick on a quarterback. This move confirms it. Williams is the best option in this class. He has impressive escapability, great arm strength and incredible college production. He would land in a suddenly exciting offense with D.J. Moore, Keenan Allen and D'Andre Swift.

2. Washington Commanders - Drake Maye, QB, UNC
Washington has done a lot in free agency to bolster its offensive line, add to the secondary and rebuild their stable of edge rushers. That paves the way for the Commanders to select the top quarterback available come April 25th. Maye is currently going through what I feel like Caleb Williams went through a few months back. His play has been picked apart so much that we have hit the prospect fatigue phase for him. Maye is a great athlete with a plus arm and prototypical size. He needs to continue to develop at the next level, but as a redshirt sophomore, the belief is that he has barely scratched the surface of what he can be in the NFL.

3. New England Patriots - Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU
It is hard to imagine a rookie quarterback succeeding in New England right now. The team is bereft of reliable playmakers and has question marks along the offensive line. However, Jacoby Brissett gives the Patriots a bridge quarterback and allows them to bring this draft pick along when they are ready. I also added a proven playmaker via a trade later in this mock. Daniels is an explosive runner with tons of starting experience and good ball placement. He will need to improve his comfort throwing over the middle and get comfortable processing at NFL speed, but his rushing ability is special and highlights what he can be with the right coaching at the next level.

4. Arizona Cardinals - Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State
Arizona has to be hoping three quarterbacks come off the board at the top of this draft to give them their choice of the top non-QB. Harrison is the top player on my board. Beyond that, the Cardinals signed Jonah Williams to replace D.J. Humphries and traded away Hollywood Brown, creating an even bigger need for a receiver. Harrison will step in and be a bonafide WR1 for Kyler Murray from day 1.

5. New York Giants via Los Angeles Chargers - J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan
Let's get a little bit wild here. The Giants have rebuilt their defense and they have made meaningful additions on the offensive line. Daniel Jones will go into this season as the starter, but it is hard to feel like he is anything other than a lame duck. New York can move on after the year is over and save a ton of money down the line. That's where McCarthy could be the perfect option. Selecting him allows the Giants to get ahead of the need in 2025, where the QB is not projected to be as strong. It also does not cost them much to move up one spot and take a promising player in McCarthy. He has great arm strength, a beautiful throwing motion and good mobility. If the Giants can find an outside receiver in this class, this team will be poised to compete in the very near future.

6. Los Angeles Chargers via New York Giants - Malik Nabers, WR, LSU
The Chargers grab a little extra draft capital and stay in range to take an elite receiver. Nabers is a field stretcher with incredible open-field speed. His ability to beat corners over the top makes him an incredible pairing for Justin Herbert. Don't get it twisted though, Nabers is a complete receiver. He will be a perennial Pro Bowler with Herbert throwing him the ball. For a team that released Mike Williams and traded Keenan Allen, this would be a huge win.

7. Tennessee Titans - Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame
After the Titans signed Calvin Ridley, it felt like this locked them into taking an offensive tackle. Alt is the top tackle in this class and will immediately upgrade Tennessee's offensive line. He is an excellent run blocker, taking great angles and playing to the whistle. He has his lapses in technique as a pass blocker, but he is long enough and athletic enough to compensate. It is rare to see him get beat clean off the line. Pairing him with Peter Skoronski should solidify the left side of the offensive line for the next decade.

8. Atlanta Falcons - Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama
Atlanta swung big and landed Kirk Cousins. They also signed Darnell Mooney and traded for Rondale Moore to bolster their receiver room. It does not take the Falcons out of the Rome Odunze sweepstakes completely, but it certainly opens things up nicely for them to take the top defensive player on the board. Turner is an explosive talent. He flies off the edge and overwhelms opponents with his athleticism. He is an ascending talent who improved through the course of his true junior season. Atlanta has lacked a pass rush since John Abraham left town. This is a slam dunk pick.

9. Chicago Bears - Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State
The Bears are making sure they don't make the same mistake with Caleb Williams that they did with Justin Fields. They have surrounded him with playmakers and a solid offensive line. That frees them up to continue building this defense. Verse has heavy hands, which allow him to control opposing offensive linemen. He is a really good athlete for his size and brings impressive production from his time at Florida State. Pairing him with Montez Sweat would give Chicago one of the best pass-rushing duos in the league.

10. New York Jets - Rome Odunze, WR, Washington
The Jets rebuilt their offensive line through free agency and a savvy trade. Tyron Smith, John Simpson and Morgan Moses pair with Alijah Vera-Tucker and Joe Tippmann to form a much-improved unit, at least on paper. That means New York can find Aaron Rodgers another weapon across from Garrett Wilson. Odunze would be such a great fit for this offense with his big-play presence and contested catch ability. The Jets might sprint to the podium if he is still on the board. If not, Brock Bowers is an option, as is a trade down.

11. Minnesota Vikings - Byron Murphy II, DL, Texas
Minnesota added a second first-round pick in a deal with the Texans, but there is no guarantee they can move up. If the Patriots hold firm in selecting a quarterback and the Chargers opt for another deal, the Vikings could be left without a trade partner. That allows them to address other needs. Minnesota desperately needs help on the interior of the defensive line. Murphy is a bit undersized but could be a game-wrecker in Brian Flores' system playing a 3-4 defensive end. His ability to shoot the gap and create penetration will be highly at coveted the next level.

12. Denver Broncos - Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama
Denver is a team without a clear path at this point. They could reach for a quarterback here, but this roster is not built to compete, especially with a rookie under center. Finding talent at premium positions as they work on getting out of cap hell is the wise move. Arnold is a fluid mover with good size and solid long speed. He had excellent ball production this season, with five interceptions. Pairing him with another former Alabama corner in Patrick Surtain II would give the Broncos one of the most talented young duos in the entire league.