With the NFL regular season wrapped up, the order of the first 18 selections in the 2024 NFL draft is all set making it the perfect time for a 2024 NFL mock draft.
There will be all sorts of intriguing questions that will be heavily discussed over the next few months. For the second straight year, it all starts at the top of the draft with the Chicago Bears once again holding the first overall pick.
Many around Chicago are strong believers that Justin Fields is their franchise quarterback, but has Fields proven enough to warrant passing on a quarterback in a loaded draft class? Without further ado let's answer that question!
1. Chicago Bears (via Carolina Panthers): Caleb Williams, QB, USC
Although Justin Fields has had a solid season and deserves a chance to be a starter in this league, he hasn't done enough to warrant passing on a quarterback in a class featuring Caleb Williams and Drake Maye.
Drake Maye will also be in the mix with this selection, however Williams gets the nod in this 2024 NFL mock draft.
Williams has all the tools to develop into one of the best quarterbacks in football. For starters, he has very good accuracy and the arm talent to make throws that most quarterbacks can't make. The thing that elevates his ceiling even higher is his ability to create out of structure. Williams has good elusiveness as a scrambler where he creates plays as a runner or buys time for his receivers to get open downfield.
2. Washington Commanders: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina
After losing eight straight games to finish the season, the Commanders now find themselves with the second overall pick. Things can always change but this selection appears to be fairly simple and that is to draft whichever quarterback isn't chosen at number one between Caleb Williams and Drake Maye.
Maye has a very bright future in the NFL as he checks all of the boxes you want out of a franchise quarterback. He has a good ability to deliver a wide variety of throws with good accuracy as he can make lob passes requiring touch and tight window or across-field throws that require the elite arm strength and velocity that he brings to the table. He also possesses the playmaking ability out of structure that Williams brings to the table that is so coveted in today's NFL.
3. New England Patriots: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU
The Patriots at number three overall is one of the biggest question marks of the NFL Draft. If Williams and Maye come off the board 1-2, the Patriots choice will likely come down to Jayden Daniels and Marvin Harrison Jr. In this 2024 NFL mock draft scenario they select Daniels.
The 2023 Heisman Trophy winner soared up draft boards this season. Daniels' efficiency as a passer was phenomenal this season as he kept the ball out of harms way while also managing a very good big-time throw rate of 8.4%. His abilities as a runner will also be very intriguing for NFL teams looking for their franchise quarterback as it forces defenses to change how you have to defend them.
4. Arizona Cardinals: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State
Marvin Harrison Jr. is regarded by many as one of the best prospects to enter the NFL in recent memory. His combination of size at 6-foot-4, 205 pounds, speed, explosiveness, change of direction, and body control is as elite as it gets and gives him an all-pro level ceiling that he can reach especially with Kyler Murray as his quarterback.
He can separate to all levels of the field as he’s a great route runner who creates separation extremely consistently. His contested catch ability is also elite as he utilizes his size very well and his body control allows him to make ridiculous catches along the sideline.
5. Los Angeles Chargers: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU
After a rough five-win season for the Chargers, they find themselves with a fifth overall pick and a chance to add a premium offensive talent to help out Justin Herbert. The prospect of adding Malik Nabers to this offense has to be very exciting for Chargers fans.
This is a Chargers offense that lacks an explosive weapon and Nabers is someone who could provide that missing element. Nabers is a very good separator who can win downfield consistently and stretch the field. He's also electrifying with the ball in his hands after the catch and adjusts to passes outside of his frame very well.
6. New York Giants: Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State
With how disastrous the Giants offensive line was this season, this feels like a run-the-card situation if Olu Fashanu is on the board. Drafting Fashanu would give them another phenomenal offensive tackle opposite Andrew Thomas and allow them to move Evan Neal to guard.
Fashanu has all the tools to be an elite pass protector at the next level and a franchise left tackle. He’s elite athletically as he has good foot quickness and quickness out of his stance to mirror speed to rushers. He also has the strength and power to set a very steady anchor as he stifles pass rushes when he’s able to get his hands on pass rushers.
7. Tennessee Titans: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame
Offensive line and wide receiver are both needs for the Titans and luckily for them there are many good options at both of those positions in the top ten.
Joe Alt has had a great career at Notre Dame as he's been one of the top offensive tackles in college football in each of the last two seasons. Alt's pass protection ability projects very well to the NFL as utilizes his massive size at 6-foot-8, 322 pounds and good hand usage to keep pass rushers in front of him. He can move defenders very well as a run blocker.
8. Atlanta Falcons: Dallas Turner, Edge, Alabama
Adding a pass rusher like Dallas Turner would be a huge addition to the Falcon's defense as the unit currently lacks a high-end edge rusher. Turner is one of the top edge rushers in this draft class and gets the nod to be the first defensive player off the board in this 2024 NFL mock draft.
At 6-foot-4, 242 pounds Turner is on the lighter end for edge rushers, but he's able to hold his own against the run as he plays with good pad level and uses his hands well to get off of blocks. What emphasizes Turner as one of the best defensive players in this class is his pass-rushing. Turner has a good blend of explosiveness and burst to win with quickness and his ability to convert speed to power is very good.
9. Chicago Bears: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington
The Bears drafted Caleb Williams first overall earlier in this 2024 NFL mock draft and they used their other top ten selection to give Williams another pass catcher to pair with DJ Moore.
Odunze is a big-bodied receiver with good play strength and physicality. The biggest selling point to his game is his contested catch ability and catch radius as he understands how to position his body and maintains good concentration to make catches through contact or adjust to passes outside of his frame.
10. New York Jets: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia
The Jets enter this offseason with a need at offensive line, however, in this 2024 NFL mock draft scenario, Brock Bowers falls to them.
Bowers is one of the best tight end prospects in recent memory. His athleticism gives him an all-pro level ceiling as there simply aren't many humans who can move as well as he does at his size. He is a very lethal weapon in the passing game as his separation ability, hands, concentration to make catches through contact, and run-after-catch ability are all very good. Bowers is also very strong as a run blocker.
11. Minnesota Vikings: Jer'Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois
Jer'Zhan Newton is one of the best defensive players in this draft class. He is someone who projects very well as a pass rusher due to his ability to win in a variety of ways. Newton is very technically sound as he has a very deep pass rush repertoire of moves which includes swim, rip, and hand swipes that he utilizes effectively. He also has a good ability to neutralize and get off of blocks in the run game
12. Denver Broncos: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama
The first cornerback off the board is Alabama's Kool-Aid McKinstry who the Broncos take in this 2024 NFL mock draft to pair with another former Crimson Tide corner in Pat Surtain.
McKinstry is a former top recruit from the 2021 class and immediately showed his abilities by starting six games for the Tide as a true freshman before developing into one of the best cornerbacks in college football over the next two seasons. McKinstry is a very reliable player who consistently executes his assignments well in zone coverage avoiding mistakes well. In man coverage, he is also very good as he reacts quickly to wide receivers making breaks when mirroring.
13. Las Vegas Raiders: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson
The Raiders defense played well this season after Antonio Pierce stepped up as the interim head coach, however, the unit still lacks a corner who can be highly trusted in man coverage which is what Nate Wiggins brings.
Wiggins projects very well to excel in man coverage in the NFL which is a coveted ability for corners. His change of direction and ability to read wide receivers' and quickly react to breaks to mirror them is amongst the best in this class and makes one of the first defensive players off the board in this 2024 NFL mock draft.
14. New Orleans Saints: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State
Offensive tackle is a big need for the Saints and luckily for them, this draft class has a lot of good options in the first round. One of those includes Oregon State tackle Taliese Fuaga who has a strong chance to be a top 15 pick come April and goes to the Saints in this 2024 NFL mock draft.
Fuaga is a terrific athlete with very impressive movement skills at his size to mirror edge rushers and make run blocks in space more consistently than most. With his consistency at Oregon State and high-end traits, Fuaga is one of the top tackles in this class and will be highly coveted by NFL teams.
15. Indianapolis Colts: Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa
The Colts are another team that should be in play for a boundary corner in what is a talented class. Cooper DeJean would be a good fit for the Colts' defense as his click-and-close ability bodes well in a zone coverage-heavy defense. He also possesses the athleticism and movement skills to mirror wide receivers in press-man coverage when asked to as well.
16. Seattle Seahawks: Laiatu Latu, Edge, UCLA
On paper the Seahawks have a lot of talent on defense, however, they did not perform like that this season. Adding an edge rusher like Laiatu Latu who is very technically sound and brings a wide variety of pass rush moves to the table would give their edge rush rotation a big boost.
17. Jacksonville Jaguars: JC Latham, OT, Alabama
Protecting Trevor Lawrence by upgrading the offensive line has to be a major priority for the Jaguars this offseason. Drafting JC Latham is a good step in the right direction towards building a better offensive line as he checks all of the physical tool boxes and plays with good hand usage and sets a very strong anchor in pass protection.
18. Cincinnati Bengals: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia
Offensive line has been a major issue for the Bengals since the start of Joe Burrow's career and although they've invested heavily into the offensive line in free agency it's something that always has to be a priority for them.
Amarius Mims is a former highly rated recruit in the 2021 class and it's very apparent why. He has a very high ceiling as his movement skills at 6-foot-7, 340 pounds is too rare for Mims to last much longer than this on draft night in April.