Staff Picks: 2024 First Round NFL Mock Draft from Writers on the Staff

Which writer made YOUR favorite mock draft of the bunch?
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Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register / USA / Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register / USA

Mike Poland's 2024 NFL Mock Draft

1.01, Chicago Bears: Caleb Williams, QB, USC

This is a no brainer and officially the Bears are on the clock to make their first decision, but it’s clear they’ll take the top QB. Williams’ ability to play out of structure and stretch plays will serve him well in his rookie year while the Bears continue to build the offense around Caleb over the next couple of years.

1.02, Washington Commanders: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

One of the big risers in the draft process this year, Daniels is a smart and intelligent player and has incredible presnap command. His ability to be accurate with the ball and mobile to escape pressure and run for first downs is a huge positive for him under Dan Quinn who’s in his first year as head coach.

1.03, New England Patriots: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

It’s a one-two-three at quarterback in this year’s draft so far. New England is desperate for a QB after the failed experiment with Mac Jones. Maye is experienced, a solid leader, and throws a very pretty ball.

1.04, Arizona Cardinals: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, OSU

Really a no-brainer. Arizona needs offensive weapons, Harrison represents the best of the skill position players and on some boards, the number one overall prospect.

1.05, Los Angeles Chargers: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

Another team in need of skill position players and offensive line. Bowers though is a huge target for Justin Herbert and as a move-tight end, the Chargers can utilize Bowers from multiple positions and get the ball out quickly for Herbert. Everyone was in love with Kyle Pitts when he was coming out of Florida, but Bowers’ production overshadows Pitts by a country mile. Huge win for the Chargers with this pick.

1.06, New York Giants: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

Yes offensive line is a need and yes, so is defensive line, they could even get Daniels Jones’ replacement. The Giants can wait till later for all three and staring at Malik Nabers here, who is the biggest rival to MHJ as the best receiver in the draft, this pick could dissuade the Giants front office from pulling the trigger on QB this year. The Giants can regroup with this high-end pick on Day 1 and make a decision on Jones’ fate on Day 2, should they decide to go that way.

1.07, Tennessee Titans: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

For team need, position value and draft value, Joe Alt makes way too much sense for the Titans. An immediate upgrade for the line and what some consider the best offensive player in this year’s draft.

1.08, Atlanta Falcons: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

Easily the star of this year's draft process and has consistently been raising eyebrows from the moment the All-Star games kicked off. Mitchell has all the hallmarks of an elite cornerback and should be CB1 on everyone’s board.

1.09, Chicago Bears: Byron Murphy II, DL, Texas

So they got their leader on offense, now it’s time to fix the defense. Byron Murphy may have questions on length and size, but the guy can be a huge disruptor. A short bowling-ball type defender that is great as a run stopper and a pass rusher who will help get the defense off the field quickly and put Caleb back in play.

1.10, New York Jets: Troy Fautanu, OL, Washington

The Jets need help at offensive line, more specifically at tackle. Fautanu is a mauler that will help keep Aaron Rodgers upright, the team cannot afford another start to the season like last year.

1.11, Minnesota Vikings: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

The Vikings decide to move on without Kirk Cousins and have a number of guys on the roster that are great backup talent players. McCarthy may be rough around the edges, but the leadership and mentality is undeniable and the start of a new era in Minnesota.

1.12, Denver Broncos: Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

The Denver defensive line got old, it needs to restock. Latu is a perfect fit for the team as they build back up and try to reassert its dominance in the AFC West.

1.13, Las Vegas Raiders: Jer’Zahn Newton, DL, Illinois

Jonny Newton is going a little under the radar and is an electrifying defensive talent. No need to get cute here for Las Vegas, grab the blue-collar defensive tackle and build the defense from the front to the back.

1.14, New Orleans Saints: Rome Odunze, WR, Washingon

This is great value for the Saints who have been met with bad luck at the pass catcher position. Odunze could (and should) go higher than mocked here, so this becomes a great grab in New Orleans.

1.15, Indianapolis Colts: Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

The secondary needs help in Indianapolis and DeJean offers help in more ways than one. If the Colts decide to play him at corner then Cooper has all the talent to be able to play there. If however, they want to move him as a safety, that works too. Versatility is the biggest factor here.

1.16, Seattle Seahawks: Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

A team once known for its defensive talent, is in need of help in Seattle this year. Turner is a fantastic OLB that the Seahawks can build its defense around and work toward greatness again.

1.17, Jacksonville Jaguars: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

Cornerback is a huge hole for Jacksonville. They land a safe and reliable cornerback that has a massive ceiling. The Jags really need a guy that can play on an island on one side and Arnold ticks that box.

1.18, Cincinnati Bengals: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

The Bengals can ill afford to skip offensive line early. A lot of Cincinnati fans are tired of the team leaving Joe Burrow to fend for his life in the backfield but don’t worry, we got your back with this pick.

1.19, Los Angeles Rams: Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State

It’s rare to see the Rams with a first-round pick so they shouldn’t squander this opportunity. Fashanu is another elite offensive tackle the Rams can plug and play immediately and help rebuild the line.

1.20, Pittsburgh Steelers: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

There are a few ways to go for the Steelers early, but finding a solid cornerback is one of the hardest positions to find in the league. Grab the safe defensive back now and work on the rest later.

1.21, Miami Dolphins: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

This is a little risky, but Mims is a huge blocker with elite athletic traits. The Dolphins need line help, but they will need a plan with this pick. High ceiling but low floor.

1.22, Philadelphia Eagles: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

Last year the Eagles really struggled to stop the pass. Getting Kool-Aid here solves a big problem and helps build a secondary that is lacking top-end talent.

1.23, Minnesota Vikings: Jared Verse, EDGE, FSU

Verse helps fill a need and whether they choose to draft him with their first pick and chance pick 23 on a QB could work.

1.24, Dallas Cowboys: Graham Barton, OT, Duke

The Cowboys lose two key figures on the offensive line and the replacement players are all developmental. Barton gives Jerry Jones and the coaches options on how they want to shuffle the line and where they want to start Tyler Smith this year.

1.25, Green Bay Packers: JC Latham, OT, Alabama

How people have their offensive tackles ranked is up for debate. But what isn’t up for debate is whether Latham is a first-round prospect. A massive steal for Green Bay who are in need of an offensive line to help keep Jordan Love viable, who surprised last year.

1.26, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon

JPJ helps fill a big hole for Tampa Bay and among the pure centers in this year’s draft, he is by far the best. He needs some coaching with his snap accuracy and the question of health has cropped up late in the draft process. But he’s still a fantastic center to take this late in the first.

1.27, Arizona Cardinals: Braden Fiske, DL, FSU

Fiske has some questions on length, but if you haven’t had to watch the tape I suggest you try it for a minute. He’s a huge disruptor with a huge ceiling. He’s going under the radar as the first-round talent

1.28, Buffalo Bills: Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU

The Bills need a WR now Stephon Diggs has left. Thomas Jr shows great ball tracking downfield and has electrifying speed. Josh Allen gets a skill player he’s very desperately in need of now.

1.29, Detroit Lions: Chop Robinson, EDGE, Penn State

Marcus Davenport, Julian Okwara and Romeo Okwara have all left the building, so edge is a glaring need for Detroit. They can hold off on cornerback for now since the top talent has come off the board, but Chop Robinson has all the tools to be a Pro Bowl pass rusher within his rookie contract.

1.31, San Francisco 49ers: T.J. Tampa, CB, Iowa State

It’s pretty clear the 49ers need more help in the secondary and waiting later in the draft could do themselves a disservice. Tampa is a fringe Day 1/Day 2 defensive back who can come into San Francisco and start from day one.

1.32, Kansas City Chiefs: Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas

The Chiefs need other options besides throwing it to Kelce on every play. The Chiefs know this and the signing of international Welsh rugby star, Louis Rees Zammit in the IPPP is a testament to that. Why not try and emulate the success of Pat Mahomes to Tyreek Hill once again and draft the fastest pass catcher in this year’s draft?