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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NFL Draft, Caleb Williams
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Dakota Zientek's 2024 NFL Mock Draft

1.01, Chicago Bears: Caleb Williams, QB, USC

There’s not much to say. Caleb Williams is set to be the next Bears’ quarterback, and he steps into the best spot a No. 1 QB has been drafted, maybe ever.

1.02, Washington Commanders: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

I’m not buying the smoke. Drake Maye is the second-best quarterback in this class, and there’s not much to debate. The arm talent, size, and athleticism make him the clear choice for Washington.

1.03, New England Patriots: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, OSU

With a roster that resembles swiss cheese, the best course of action is to get the best player in the draft. Maybe NE could trade-out of this pick if they feel comfortable with him dropping, but with ARI behind, the Pats take MHJ.

1.04, Arizona Cardinals: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

Heartbroken to have missed on MHJ, the Cardinals get Kyler Murray much-needed talent with arguably the second-best receiver in the draft.

1.05, Los Angeles Chargers: JC Latham, OT, Alabama

Though possibly an unpopular opinion, Jim Harbaugh hasn’t been one to care much about the outside noise. On the field, JC Latham is the best right tackle in the draft, and he’d pair well with Rashawn Slater, giving the Chargers reliability at both tackle spots for years and years.

1.06, New York Giants: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

This is another team that could trade out depending on what’s available, but with Daniel Jones being paid recently, the Giants decide to get one of the best weapons and roll the dice with DJ at quarterback for another season.

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

With one of the most chalky picks, the Titans get much-needed OT help with one of the best OTs in the draft. Alt gives Will Levis protection, as the Titans continue their rebuild.

1.08, Atlanta Falcons: Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

Another fit that seems like it was made for him, Dallas Turner joins a Falcons defense that desperately needs pass rush. Turner gives that, as the top edge rusher in the class. Raheem Morris gets his freak on defense.

1.09, Chicago Bears: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

With Caleb Williams being drafted No. 1, the Bears build around him, nabbing one of the top receivers in the draft. Keenan Allen is aging, and D.J. Moore can find success anywhere. Odunze adds another reliable pair of hands to an offense centered around Caleb Williams.

1.10, New York Jets: Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State

Aaron Rodgers returns this season after tearing his achilles, making his protection paramount moving forward. Olu Fashanu ranges from OT1-OT3 on most boards, as he is the third tackle taken in the draft thus far.

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

The Vikings are a team that likely tries to move up in the draft to grab a quarterback, as the position is currently fulfilled by Sam Darnold. Minnesota could roll with him (doubtful), but the more likely situation is McCarthy joining the Vikings as their next quarterback.

1.12, Denver Broncos: Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

Latu is an intriguing edge rusher, as he’s likely the most NFL-ready of this class. The major issue in my mind is his injury history. Having a neck fusion in his past makes me not want to touch him, but with the Broncos’ dire lack of pass rush, Laiatu Latu pairs with Sean Payton in Denver.

1.13, Las Vegas Raiders: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

This pick could come to some as a surprise, but I’m not buying the Jayden Daniels hype. Daniels, though smaller, has a similar profile coming out of college as Justin Fields did, and the league has seen what that looks like. His athletic traits, however, get his name called in the top 15, heading to Las Vegas at No. 13.

1.14, New Orleans Saints: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

There’s almost not a bigger need in this draft than the New Orleans’ need for an offensive tackle. Whoever their quarterback is next year will rest assured knowing they’ll be sacked less with the addition of Taliese Fuaga. He’s a mauler, and he’ll fit right in with the Saints.

1.15, Indianapolis Colts: Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

As the first cornerback of the board, Iowa Hawkeyes’ Cooper DeJean lands in Indy, as the Colts need secondary help. DeJean is one of the best athletes in this draft, while also being one of the top defensive backs. He offers flexibility, though, he’s fully capable of being a cornerback.

1.16, Seattle Seahawks: Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State

As a defense in need of production from their defensive front, Jarden Verse enters the draft as one of the top three edge rushers. With each one having a different build, Verse is the build for a team looking for a big, strong athlete with powerful hands and a disruptive demeanor.

1.17, Jacksonville Jaguars: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

Following DeJean a couple of picks before, the Jaguars get in on the cornerback fun, selecting Terrion Arnold out of Alabama. Jacksonville ranked second in the division in points allowed, making defense a point of focus for Jacksonville.

1.18, Cincinnati Bengals: Troy Fautanu, OL, Washington

Fautanu will likely kick in to guard at the next level, which is exactly where the Bengals would put him. Joe Burrow’s health is a true concern, making offensive line help a dire need.

1.19, Los Angeles Rams: Los Angeles Rams: Jer’Zahn Newton, DL, Illinois

As the Rams lose one of the best defensive players in NFL history, Jer’Zhan “Johnny” Newton would be a great “next guy in”. It’s tough to say Newton will be the next Aaron Donald, but as my DT1, he has the best chances.

1.20, Pittsburgh Steelers: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

This pick makes too much sense. Amarius Mims would be a great pairing with last year’s first-round pick: Broderick Jones. Jones can move back to his college position of LT, and Mims can step in as RT.

1.21, Miami Dolphins: Graham Barton, OL, Duke

Barton comes into the draft as a tackle, though, his true NFL-fit will likely be in the interior as a center or guard. With the Dolphins’ lack of talent in the middle of the line. Graham Barton fills that hole.

1.22, Philadelphia Eagles: Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas

Outside of the top three receivers, Xavier Worthy is one of my favorites to go in the first round. Along with his historic speed, Worthy is a polished receiver prospect. Some could get caught up in him being just a speed guy, but that’s not the case.

1.23, Minnesota Vikings: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

After selecting their quarterback of the future, the Vikings use their second pick in the first round to draft Nate Wiggins from Clemson. Wiggins is a lanky corner with elite speed, and he’d be an immediate impact in the Vikings secondary.

1.24, Dallas Cowboys: Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon

The Cowboys’ offensive line got depleted this off season, and with Jackson Powers-Johnson entering the draft as the top interior offensive lineman, it’s a no-brainer for Dallas. JPJ can play as guard or center, though his money will likely be made at center.

1.25, Green Bay Packers: Byron Murphy II, DL, Texas

Another year, another defensive lineman for the Packers. Bryon Murphy dropping to 25 would be slightly surprising, but if he does and the Packers stay at this pick, it’d be a good fit. Murphy is an intriguing prospect, however, I’m interested to see how his game translates.

1.26, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

As maybe the best cornerback at Alabama, Kool-Aid McKinstry hears his name called at the tail-end of the first round. McKinstry is about as prototypical as they come, and he’ll fit very well in Todd Bowles’ defense in Tampa Bay.

1.27, Arizona Cardinals: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

Quinyon Mitchell was a hot name around the Senior Bowl, however, after watching more of his tape, he slid down the CB rankings for me. Seeing McKinstry go the pick before would be tough for Arizona, but they get a high-potential corner in Mitchell.

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

After the departure of Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis in the off season, the Buffalo Bills head into the season with Khalil Shakir as their best receiver. While he isn’t a perfect prospect, Brian Thomas Jr. would be a very strong option as Josh Allen’s X receiver of the future.

1.29, Detroit Lions: Mike Sainristil, CB, Michigan

This could be seen as a surprise, but the Lions stay Michigan strong, selecting cornerback Mike Sainristil. As a captain of the National Championship-winning Wolverines, Dan Campbell adds “local” talent to his secondary.

1.30, Baltimore Ravens: Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

Adonai Mitchell is one of the less intriguing prospects in my mind, but it’s not due to the talent Mitchell showcases. Talent-wise, Mitchell is one of the best in the class. But, low-effort plays riddled through his National Championship tape was a red flag as big as the state of Texas. The Ravens don’t care what I think, and they add AD Mitchell to their receiving room.

1.31, San Francisco 49ers: Jordan Morgan, OL, Arizona

Though not as polished as the other tackle prospects in this class, Morgan has the chance to close out the first round and being drafted to the 49ers. As a more raw prospect, Morgan would be able to learn alongside one of the NFL’s best in Trent Williams.

1.32, Kansas City Chiefs: Ladd McConkey, WR, Georgia

Another one of my absolute favorite non-top three receivers is Ladd McConkey. Truly everything on the field feels achievable for him, and he’s a receiver who can line up anywhere. Given how open targets are in KC, McConkey would be a great addition for Mahomes.