The last day of Senior Bowl practices is in the books, marking a key evaluation period down in the 2024 pre-draft process.
Much still has to take place between now and the 2024 NFL Draft. The Super Bowl, Scouting Combine, Pro Days, player interviews, and medicals are all still in the waiting. The Senior Bowl game itself hasn’t even been played as of this writing. However, a lot of the talk from the week down in Mobile, Alabama always revolves around the practices.
With that in mind, I figured now would be as good a time as any to run an updated first-round mock draft. Most of the draft order is set, save for the last two spots consisting of the two Super Bowl teams. Who doesn’t love a good mock draft?
Here are my latest projections for the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft.
1. Bears (via Panthers): Caleb Williams, QB, USC
The general consensus is that the Bears will select Williams and move on from Justin Fields. Barring any drastic reports coming out between now and the draft, this is the expected path for the No. 1 overall pick.
2. Commanders: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina
The Commanders are the only team without a head coach as of this writing, but whichever coach they hire would be ecstatic to make Maye their franchise quarterback.
3. Patriots: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU
The question the Patriots have to ask themselves isn’t whether or not Mac Jones is the future at quarterback, since it seems like that ship has sailed. Rather, it’s a matter of if theres a QB worth taking third overall. Daniels is coming off a Heisman season and seems like a safe bet to be selected as QB3 in the 2024 draft.
4. Cardinals: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State
This is a dream scenario for the Cardinals, who get a potential superstar for Kyler Murray to throw to. Disregarding the positional value of quarterback, there’s an argument to be made that Harrison is the best player in this draft.
5. Chargers: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU
The Chargers are in cap hell and could save over $20 million by cutting one of Keenan Allen or Mike Williams. Considering Quentin Johnston’s disappointing rookie season, there’s plenty more reason to consider an electric game-changer like Nabers here.
6. Giants: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame
A wide receiver like Rome Odunze could make sense here, but Evan Neal’s struggles at right tackle have crippled the Giants these last two years. Alt is a two-time All-American with stellar physical tools and a high football IQ, so he should translate well to the NFL. This move kicks Neal inside to guard and gives the Giants a potentially dominant tackle duo with Andrew Thomas.
7. Titans: Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State
Simply put, the Titans have so many directions they can go in Round 1 because they have so many needs. Peter Skoronski at left guard is a step in the right direction, but they desperately need a star offensive tackle. Fashanu gives them a player with potential to become that.
8. Falcons: Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama
It seems like it’s become a yearly tradition to mock an edge rusher to the Falcons, and yet they never take one in Round 1. Will that finally change in 2024? An explosive, lengthy defender like Turner could be hard to pass up.
9. Bears: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington
Much like MHJ falling to the Cardinals at No. 4, Odunze being available at No. 9 should be a dream scenario for Chicago. He’s extremely close to being the total package at wide receiver, giving DJ Moore a dominant running mate and Caleb Williams a stud WR to grow alongside.
10. Jets: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State
Jets general manager Joe Douglas reportedly loves Fuaga, who performed well in Senior Bowl practices and dominated in 2023. This move makes all the sense in the world as New York invests in pieces to protect Aaron Rodgers.
11. Vikings: Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State
A quarterback might be in the cards for the Vikings in Round 1, but they might be better off keeping Kirk Cousins for another year and drafting someone in Round 2. In the meantime, a polished and fluid edge rusher like Verse would be a great investment for their defense.
12. Broncos: Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA
A quarterback could be worth considering in Round 1 to replace Russell Wilson, but my gut says the Broncos go elsewhere at the position. If they do, Latu is a pass-rusher with an incredibly deep arsenal and good athletic tools who would boost Denver’s defensive front immediately.
13. Raiders: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo
One of the stars of the Senior Bowl, Mitchell’s tape is phenomenal. He’s physical, athletic, intelligent and attacks the ball well. He has the potential to step in for a cornerback-needy team like the Raiders and instantly be their CB1.
14. Saints: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia
The Saints need another standout pass-catcher to go alongside Chris Olave. Bowers easily has top-10 talent in the 2024 draft (if not top-5) but falls a bit due to positional value. He offers All-Pro upside at the tight end position.
15. Colts: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama
Few players did more to boost their draft stock this year than Arnold. He’s a smart, athletic cornerback who finished the 2023 season with 5 interceptions and 12 pass deflections. The Colts would gladly take someone like that for their secondary.
16. Seahawks: Jer’Zhan Newton, DL, Illinois
It seems likely the Seahawks invest in their defensive line early in the 2024 draft. Newton was a consensus All-American this year and is my top-graded defensive tackle in the class by a longshot.
17. Jaguars: Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU
With Calvin Ridley slated to hit free agency and a lack of a strong WR3 on the Jaguars’ roster, a wide receiver could be in the cards for them in Round 1. Thomas is a big-bodied speedster with reliable hands who could stretch the field for Trevor Lawrence.
18. Bengals: J.C. Latham, OT, Alabama
Death, taxes, the Bengals needing to add an offensive lineman in the offseason. Should they prove to be unable to re-sign Jonah Williams, they’ll be in the market for a new right tackle. Latham is a natural fit there and brings impressive power and a nasty demeanor to the table.
19. Rams: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson
The Rams found two gems for their defensive front in rookies Kobie Turner and Byron Young in 2023. Now that they finally have a first-round pick, a playmaking cornerback like Wiggins would make a lot of sense.
20. Steelers: Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon
Seem early? Don’t be surprised. Powers-Johnson is the top center in the class and is coming off a strong Senior Bowl week. The Steelers have a need at the position, and with JPJ’s size, athleticism and coordination, there’s a very high ceiling for him at the NFL level.
21. Dolphins: Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma
The Dolphins would be another potential landing spot for Powers-Johnson, but they could also be in the market for Terron Armstead’s eventual replacement. Guyton is a lengthy and mobile tackle with some seriously impressive physical attributes.
22. Eagles: Ennis Rakestraw Jr., CB, Missouri
Philadelphia has loaded up their defensive line well over the years. It’s time for them to make an early pick for their secondary, and a scrappy corner who’s physical and intelligent like Rakestraw would be a welcomed addition to the Eagles’ defense.
Should the Texans fail to extend Jonathan Greenard, they could be in the market for another edge rusher to pair with Will Anderson. Luckily for them, Robinson is a freak athlete who would give Houston a terrifying duo off the edge.
24. Cowboys: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia
Mims has an extremely small sample size in college but tremendous physical gifts, making him one of the most enigmatic prospects in this draft. The Cowboys could consider him to replace Tyron Smith, or if they choose to re-sign him, Mims could serve as a developmental piece for the future.
25. Packers: Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa
It feels like the Packers are still one player away from having a sneaky deep cornerback room. DeJean has the length, fluidity and deep speed needed to be the complement to Jaire Alexander that Green Bay hoped Eric Stokes would be.
26. Buccaneers: Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State
If the Buccaneers lose Mike Evans in free agency, they’ll be in the market for a big-bodied boundary wideout. Coleman is hit-or-miss as a route runner but has arguably the best ball skills in the entire draft class.
27. Cardinals (via Texans): Troy Fautanu, G, Washington
With their second pick in Round 1, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Cardinals add another offensive lineman a year after drafting Paris Johnson Jr. Fautanu seems like a better fit at guard in the pros, where his mobility, motor and technical prowess would shine, and his lack of premier size would be masked.
28. Bills: Darius Robinson, DL, Missouri
A massive riser up boards after the Senior Bowl, Robinson had a tremendous 2023 season and has physical tools for days. The Bills have 5 defensive linemen from their rotation slated to hit free agency this year. Luckily for them, Robinson offers plenty of inside-outside versatility and could plug-and-play anywhere along the defensive line.
29. Lions: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama
McKinstry falls a little bit in this mock, but the Lions would be more than happy to take advantage of that. He’s still a very good athlete at cornerback with a high ceiling who would fill one of Detroit’s few weaknesses as they push for the Super Bowl.
30. Ravens: Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon
Zay Flowers looks like a star in the making, but the rest of the Ravens’ wide receiver room is questionable. Franklin has the size, coordination and ball skills to start immediately along the outside for Baltimore.
31. Chiefs: Ladd McConkey, WR, Georgia
This might feel too high for McConkey at first glance, but he feels like someone who will wow right away in the NFL. The Chiefs desperately needed another reliable receiver alongside Rashee Rice, and McConkey brings a blend of toughness, athleticism and route-running savvy to project him as a seamless fit into a starting lineup.
32. 49ers: Jordan Morgan, OT, Arizona
Morgan has guard-tackle versatility, great athletic ability and a powerful punch at the point of attack. No matter where the 49ers play him, they would benefit from adding an offensive lineman of his caliber.
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