Chris McGlynn: Comparing My Way-Too-Early Mock Draft to the 2024 NFL Draft

Minnesota traded up to draft Dallas Turner at No. 17.
Minnesota traded up to draft Dallas Turner at No. 17. / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
3 of 3

25. Way-too-early pick: Baltimore Ravens - Michael Hall Jr., DL, Ohio State
Actual draft pick: Green Bay Packers - Jordan Morgan, OT, Arizona
It is funny now to look back and think the Ravens had a pressing need at defensive tackle. Justin Madubuike had a breakout year with 13 sacks that resulted in All-Pro honors, a Pro Bowl spot and a massive contract extension. Hall wouldn't have been the pick anyway. He is a great interior pass rusher, but is undersized and struggles to win consistently at the point of attack. He landed with Cleveland in the second round. Regarding the pick that did happen, Morgan looked much sharper in his second year removed from a torn ACL suffered in 2021. There are some concerns about his length when it comes to his ability to play tackle in the NFL, but the Packers have never shied away from moving college tackles into interior offensive line spots.

26. Way-too-early pick: Dallas Cowboys - TreVeyon Henderson, RB, Ohio State
Actual draft pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Graham Barton, OL, Duke
Projecting an Ohio State running back to the Cowboys isn't the worst thing I could have done. Dallas still desperately needs running back help after passing on the position entirely. Henderson returned to Columbus for another year after an inconsistent season and will compete for touches in a backfield that now features Ole Miss transfer Quinshon Judkins. Barton is another college offensive tackle whose future lies on the interior of the offensive line at the NFL level. He was on the radar, but had a great pre-draft process to push him into the first round.

27. Way-too-early pick: Green Bay Packers via New York Jets - Andrew Mukuba, S, Clemson
Actual draft pick: Arizona Cardinals - Darius Robinson, DL, Missouri
Mukuba had a lot of traction heading into the season, but injuries led him to return to school and transfer to his hometown team in Austin. The Packers had a clear need at safety as well, signing Xavier McKinney to a big deal this offseason. As a Jets fan, just a quick moment to savor when the Jets were thought to be Super Bowl contenders with Aaron Rodgers, which is why this pick was projected to belong to the Packers. For Robinson, this was a surprising rise for a player with very little production or fanfare heading into the season. He broke out with 8.5 sacks and then had a phenomenal week at the Senior Bowl. This was still a bit early for my liking, but he has the versatility and power to hang around the league for a long time.

28. Way-too-early pick: Cincinnati Bengals - Calen Bullock, S, USC
Actual draft pick: Kansas City Chiefs via Buffalo Bills - Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas
Bullock is a ball-hawking safety with excellent ball production from his time at USC. However, one of the biggest issues for him, and most of the USC defense, was his inability to tackle. A big part of that is that at 188 pounds, he is in the second percentile for weight at the safety position. He wound up landing with Houston in the third round as a result. Meanwhile, the Chiefs traded up with the Bills again to land a speedster at wide receiver. More on Worthy in just a second.

29. Way-too-early pick: Buffalo Bills - Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas
Actual draft pick: Dallas Cowboys via Detroit Lions - Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma
Oh how close this was to actually happening. Worthy was on the board for the Bills at 28 and they needed a receiver in a bad way. Instead, Buffalo traded down and Worthy is now the newest weapon for Patrick Mahomes. The Texas star has a very slight frame but broke the 40-yard dash record at the combine this year. He will change how teams have to defend Kansas City. His draft stock clearly did not shift a whole lot from where he was initially projected to where he landed. The same cannot be said for Guyton. He was not really in the conversation heading into the 2023 season, but he has exciting intangibles despite his lack of experience. In a couple years, he could look like a steal at this spot.

30. Way-too-early pick: San Francisco 49ers - Akheem Mesidor, DL, Miami
Actual draft pick: Baltimore Ravens - Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson
Mesidor remains a prospect I will be watching closely for the 2025 draft. He had a great first season with Miami in 2022 after transferring from West Virginia. Unfortunately, he suffered a season-ending injury just three games into the 2023 season. I did not have Wiggins in my way-too-early mock, and in retrospect, I probably should have. He was the Clemson defender I overlooked. He has great speed, impressive effort, and top-tier ball skills. He lasted to the end of the round because of his slight frame and questionable tackling in space. I have no doubt Baltimore will find a way to get the most out of him.

31. Way-too-early pick: Philadelphia Eagles - Kingsley Suamataia, OT, BYU
Actual draft pick: San Francisco 49ers - Ricky Pearsall, WR, Florida
Philly picked much earlier than this on draft day as their Super Bowl hangover finally hit in the second half of the season. I was high on Suamataia heading into the season, but he still has a bit of a way to go from a development standpoint to make it to be a starter. He landed with the Chiefs in the second round. The 49ers got back to the Super Bowl but fell short and John Lynch decided he wanted more firepower on offense. Whether this means Brandon Aiyuk or Deebo Samuel is on the way out or not, Pearsall should have a role in this offense early. He is a reliable playmaker with inside-outside versatility.

32. Way-too-early pick: Kansas City Chiefs - Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon
Actual draft pick: Carolina Panthers via Buffalo Bills & Kansas City Chiefs - Xavier Legette, WR, South Carolina
The Chiefs did wind up selecting a wide receiver in the first round, just not Franklin. It was a bit of a shock to see Franklin slide as far as he did. He was not a first-round talent as I had initially thought, but I figured he would go mid-to-late second-round, not in the early fourth. He was very productive at Oregon, but a slight frame and small hands likely pushed him down draft boards. That being said, I like his landing spot with his college quarterback in Denver. On the other hand, Leggette was on no one's radar heading into the season. In his first four seasons at South Carolina, he was largely a special teamer with 423 career receiving yards. He exploded with 1,255 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. He is a hometown kid with a chance to play a major role in his first season. He should be one of Bryce Young's top targets this year.