0

SB Nation NFL mock draft 2024: All of the first-round picks in one place

Share

ad_1]

Our baby’s all grown up. Welcome to our 18th annual SB Nation NFL community mock draft.

Each year, we turn to the experts — our writers — on every team’s draft needs to deliver you a projection of what the first round could look like. This year, it’s no surprise that the first two picks off the board are quarterbacks, with Windy City Gridiron snagging Caleb Williams for the Bears with the No. 1 overall pick and the Commanders (courtesy of Hogs Haven) added UNC’s Drake Maye at No. 2.

We’ll be updating this post with the rest of the picks as they’re published, so stay tuned. Below are the results of the 2024 SB Nation NFL mock draft with insight on the “why” behind each pick from our team community writers.

No. 1 – Chicago Bears: Caleb Williams, QB, USC

Williams will be stepping into an unprecedented situation in Chicago. Usually, the first overall draft pick is going to the worst team in football, but the Bears went 7-10 last season after an 0-4 start. Chicago’s defense is primed to take another step after a strong second half, but it’s the offense Williams will slide into that makes this opportunity so unique.

At receiver, DJ Moore gives Williams an electric playmaker at the Z, and six-time Pro Bowler Keenan Allen has been one of the most reliable pass catchers in the game for a decade. Tight end Cole Kmet has averaged 61 receptions per year over the last three seasons, and Gerald Everett’s versatility at the other tight end spot will create mismatches. D’Andre Swift is a reliable pass catcher out of the backfield, and he’s coming off a 1,000-yard rushing season. – Lester Wiltfong, Windy City Gridiron

No. 2 – Washington Commanders: Drake Maye, QB, UNC

Drake Maye started for the last two seasons at North Carolina and showed all the tools necessary to be a successful NFL QB. He has the size, arm talent, and ability to make all the throws. Maye’s first season as a starter put him into the conversation for the top QBs, and despite a “slump” last season, he remained the No. 2 QB despite Jayden Daniels’s Heisman Trophy-winning season.

Maye has a lot of things to clean up in his game, starting with his footwork. The Washington Commanders new offense is led by former Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury, and has several assistants who will work with Maye as he cleans up his game to play at the next level. Maye is a big, mobile passer who has a higher ceiling than other QBs in this draft. – Scott Jennings, Hogs Haven

No. 3 – New England Patriots: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Daniels’ super power is his legs, as he’s an electric ball carrier who will be one of the fastest quarterbacks in football due to his blazing straight-line speed. In his two years in the SEC, Daniels complied over 2,000 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns on the ground. His ability to create big plays as an athlete will be a nightmare for opposing defenses to defend.

It’s important to note that Daniels isn’t just a runner, however, as he’s improved as a passer throughout his college career. He has clean mechanics that feature a very consistent throwing motion and upper body. Daniels can layer throws all over the field and is extremely accurate (78.7% adjusted completion rate at LSU) all while supporting a measly 1.1 turnover worthy play rate the past two seasons.

Daniels has above-average arm strength, but makes up for any limitations with his plus ball placement. He is perhaps the best deep ball thrower in this class as the slot fade is the best throw in his bag. – Brian Hines, Pats Pulpit

No. 4 – Minnesota Vikings (via Arizona Cardinals): JJ McCarthy, QB, Michigan

At just 21 years old, younger than prospects like Jayden Daniels, Bo Nix, and Michael Penix, McCarthy still has plenty of room to grow. He’s already quite mechanically sound and has displayed significantly above-average arm talent as well. He’s also a plus athlete and can be a threat to make plays on the move, whether it’s on designed runs or getting outside of the pocket in the passing game.

One of the criticisms of McCarthy is that he was surrounded by an incredible amount of talent at Michigan and that could potentially make him look better than he actually is. Sure, Michigan is an NFL talent factory at this point, but that shouldn’t take away from what McCarthy has done. And, if we want to go down that road, given the level of talent he’d be surrounded by in Minnesota. . .the league’s best wide receiver, a dynamic No. 2 wideout, one of the best tight ends in the NFL, a new leader in the run game, and a pair of outstanding bookend tackles. . .his talent could be maximized in relatively short order. – Christopher Gates, Daily Norseman

No. 5 – Arizona Cardinals (via Chargers): Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

The Arizona Cardinals need an alpha in the wide receiver room and Harrison projects as one of the best wide receiver prospects in the last couple years. My buddy Matt Harmon who runs Reception Perception came out with his final grades and Marvin Harrison Jr. is his highest-graded receiver between 2021 and this season. – Seth Cox, Revenge of the Birds

No. 6 – New York Giants: WR Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

At 6-foot-3, 212 pounds with strong hands, the ability to win at all three levels, good enough route running ability and contested catch ability that turns 50-50 balls into 80-20 balls in his favor, Odunze is a different player than anyone in that group.

If you use the ‘Basketball Theory’ of building a wide receiver room with varying skill sets, Odunze would bring things to the Giants they don’t already have. Especially if tight end Darren Waller retires.

Odunze is a better athlete than many think, having run a 4.45 40-yard dash and compiled the second-highest Relative Athletic Score (RAS) of any receiver tested at the NFL Scouting Combine. – Ed Valentine, Big Blue View

No. 7 – Tennessee Titans: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

This pick will be a bit of a controversial one because Joe Alt was on the board, and the Titans’ biggest need entering the offseason and still in April is a left tackle. I could have simply taken Alt and had the left tackle position locked down for the next decade, but I chose Nabers.

So why would a team that has desperately needed a left tackle for the last two years pass on the best one in the draft to take a receiver? For me it came down to a few things:

The first is the dropoff from Nabers to the receiver the Titans would have the chance to take in the second round is way bigger than the dropoff from Alt to the tackle they can get in the second round. Nabers has the ceiling of being one of the best receivers in the NFL. He’s a dynamic playmaker on the outside. Brian Callahan is going to value that more than the coaches the Titans have had in the past. – Jimmy Morris, Music City Miracles

No. 8 – Los Angeles Rams: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

To trade up into the top 10 at No. 8 I gave up 19th overall, a 2025 first-round pick, and the 83rd overall pick in the third round. Keeping this year’s second-round pick was important, which is why I opted for the 2025 first-round pick instead. The Rams could still move back in the second round and pick up an extra late third or a fourth-round pick to make up for the loss of pick 83.

This move allows the Rams to continue adding to this year’s roster and add pieces for the future which is important for their current team-build. It’s a somewhat hefty price, but we won’t be talking about what it took to get Joe Alt when he’s an All-Pro-caliber left tackle for 15 years. There are a few blue-chip caliber players in this draft class and Alt is one of them. – Blaine Grisak, Turf Show Times

No. 9 – Las Vegas Raiders (via Bears): Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington

While the hope is the Silver and Black will trade up into the top three picks to, presumptively, target Jayden Daniels, the Bears, Washington Commanders and New England Patriots weren’t budging. That meant Caleb Williams, Drake Maye and Daniels were selected first, second and third overall. Then, the Minnesota Vikings parlayed their two first-round picks into a trade with the Arizona Cardinals to take J.J. McCarthy off the board.

With four quarterbacks taken in the first four picks and the quarterback-needy Denver Broncos sitting one spot ahead of the Raiders, panic started to set in, so a move had to be made. Chicago was willing to move out of No. 9 and all it took was a third-round pick for Las Vegas to secure its quarterback of the future.

Using the NFL draft pick trade value chart, this was a pretty even deal as the Raiders only overspent by five points. A small premium to pay for the most important position on the field. – Matt Holder, Silver & Black Pride

No. 10 – New York Jets: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Washington

Fuaga is not a pick purely for the future. He will get a chance to compete with Morgan Moses for the starting right tackle job right off the bat. During Moses’ first stint with the Jets, he began the season as the primary backup tackle, only sliding into the starting lineup after a Mekhi Becton injury.

Either way, Fuaga gives the Jets tackle depth in the short run. That is important with a pair of starters in their mid 30s. It is doubly important with a starting left tackle in Smith who hasn’t played a season without missing at least three games since 2015. The phrase “win now” is practically a cliché around the Aaron Rodgers-led Jets at this point. Fuaga gives the Jets one of the rarest benefits an NFL team can have, offensive line depth. The Jets are no longer one injury on the infamous turf at MetLife Stadium away from starting the likes of Carter Warren or Max Mitchell on Aaron Rodgers’ blindside.

Of course you don’t pick a player in the top 10 only for depth. Fuaga gives the Jets a long-term building block for the offensive line. Some think he might eventually move inside to guard, but no matter where he ends up he should be a valuable part of the trenches for a long time. – John Butchko, Gang Green Nation

No. 11 – Los Angeles Chargers: J.C. Latham, OT, Alabama

Latham has as high a ceiling as any offensive tackle prospect in the class – and may have the highest floor! He stands nearly 6’6 and weighs 342 pounds, while boasting a wingspan in the 82nd percentile for offensive tackles, and 11-inch hands that register in the 95th percentile, according to Mockdraftable.com. And DraftKings Sportsbook’s odds suggest an offensive lineman will be the first position targeted by the Chargers on draft night.

With all that size, Latham controls defensive lineman in the run game, and locks up pass rushers attempting to go through him. The power is combined with smooth, quick feet, and all that came together in a very impressive way for the recently turned 21-year-old. He only started at right tackle at Alabama, but his skill set suggests he could protect the blind side if needed.

For the Chargers, that won’t matter: He’ll fit right in as the immediate starting right tackle, manning the edges of the pocket with left tackle Rashawn Slater. – Ron Kopp Jr., Bolts From the Blue

No. 12 – Denver Broncos: Bo Nix, QB, Oregon

Bo Nix gives the Broncos a quarterback who fits into Sean Payton’s offense very well. He is a quick rhythm passer who has had success in the short passing game, throwing screens, quick passes to the backs, and so on — all things Payton loves to do in his offense. His processing ability, which is something Payton covets from his quarterbacks, has also been praised by evaluators. While Nix may not be the most highly touted prospect, he may just be the best fit for the Broncos at quarterback in this draft.

This may not be the most popular pick, but with the way the board fell in front of me, it was the move the Broncos had to make. Trying to trade up and compete with the Vikings for Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy was unsuccessful and then the Raiders traded up to ninth overall to select Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr., which was a surprise. I would have liked to trade back, but with Nix being the quarterback I wanted to get if I could not trade up, I pulled the trigger at 12th overall. – Scotty Payne, Mile High Report

No. 13 – Chicago Bears (via Raiders): Dallas Turner, LB, Alabama

The Bears value high-character prospects, and Turner was a team captain and a finalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which honors college football’s best in character and performance and is an acronym for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community, and Tenacity.

Some scouts feel his best fit is as a 3-4 outside linebacker, but his pass-rush ability translates into any scheme. At 6’3, 247 pounds, with 34 3/8’’ arm length, he’s plenty big enough to play in the Bears 40 front, but it’s the athletic measurables that would have head coach Matt Eberflus excited. His 4.46 40 was the fastest of any edge player. His 1.54 10-yard split was tied for best. His 40.5’’ vertical jump was the highest of any edge, and his 10’ 7’’ broad jump was tied for the second-longest. – Lester Wiltfong Jr., Windy City Gridiron

No. 14 – New Orleans Saints: Troy Fautanu, OT, Washington

The 6’4, 317-pound lineman is a versatile player who can play at both tackle and guard and on either side of the line. He is a big, physical guy who can move well. At the 2024 NFL combine, Fautanu ran an official 5.01-second 40-yard dash.

In light of the recent news regarding Ryan Ramczyk’s knee injury not progressing as expected, the Saints are in need of someone at tackle on an offensive line that currently consists of Ramczyk, Trevor Penning, Landon Young, and Olisaemeka Udoh.

One of their biggest priorities this year should be keeping Derek Carr healthy. In 2023, Carr was sacked 31 times, leading to multiple injuries throughout the season. I think Fauteau could be a Day 1 starter that could add help cure some of the issues that have plagued the offensive line and run game the past few years, especially with the changes that will be coming from new offensive coordinator Klint Kubiak. – Tina Howell, Canal Street Chronicles

No. 15 – Indianapolis Colts: Brock Bowers, TE, UGA

Regarding Bowers, the 6’3, 243-pound junior tight end caught 56 receptions for 714 receiving yards (12.8 yards-per-reception average) and six touchdown receptions during 10 starts in 2023—earning unanimous All-American First-Team honors and the John Mackey Award, presented to college football’s most outstanding tight end (the latter for a consecutive season).

He’s been highly regarded as the latest modern-day Swiss Army knife ‘move’ tight end with his ability to line up in-line, in the slot, and even occasionally outside. Quite frankly, Bowers is a ‘yards-after-catch’ receiving machine with his ability to be featured in the slot, on tight end screens, and in the flats. He also can separate down the seam with explosive playmaking vertically.

He would add so many new wrinkles to Colts head coach Shane Steichen’s offense, notably in the RPO game too, and is considered one of the best tight end prospects to come out in recent memory. – Luke Schultheis, Stampede Blue

No. 16 – Seattle Seahawks: Jer’Zhan “Johnny” Newton, DT, Illinois

Having Newton, Jones, Williams, Reed, and Hankins should provide the Seahawks with much better interior depth than we’ve seen in years past. Jones spent the back-end of last season on the edge after Uchenna Nwosu’s injury, and perhaps the Seahawks could keep him there primarily and kick him inside when necessary… or they could trade him post-June 1 and save $11.5 million in cap space.

Reed is in the final year of his contract and while I could see him being a surprise cap cut in preseason, he outperformed his deal last year and may stick to his NT role this season. Hankins would be the bigger body as a run-stuffing NT.

Having Newton and Williams together could wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks, and Newton could be the long-term star the Seahawks have been looking for at interior defensive line. – Mookie Alexander, Field Gulls

No. 17 – Jacksonville Jaguars: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

The Crimson Tide product spent three seasons at Alabama. After redshirting his first season, Arnold earned Freshman All-SEC honors in 2022 with 1 interception, 9 pass deflections, 45 tackles and 1 tackle for loss in 11 games/7 starts.

Arnold then led the SEC with 5 interceptions and 17 pass deflections along with 63 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and 1 forced fumble to receive First-Team All-SEC and First-Team All-American recognition in 2023.

The 21-year-old prospect leads all corners in his draft class with a Production Score of 90, per Next Gen Stats, though his 70 Athleticism Score ranks 18th. Arnold’s 4.5-second 40-yard dash was the 19th-best time out of 25 corners who ran at the Combine. – Gus Logue, Big Cat Country

No. 18 – Cincinnati Bengals: Byron Murphy II, DT, Texas

Ever since Geno Atkins was cut, the Bengals have struggled to bring interior pressure. They added D.J. Reader, B.J. Hill, and Larry Ogunjobi in free agency or via trade, and drafted Zach Carter, who has completely failed to live up to his draft billing. This offseason they signed Sheldon Rankins, who is a solid pass rusher, but long-term they need a player who can finally step in and fill the void left by Geno Atkins. It is lofty expectations for anyone, and he may never reach the height of Atkins, but the hope is that Murphy can be a similar type of player and bring the interior pass rush the Bengals have needed for so long. – Patrick Carlisle, Cincy Jungle

No. 19 – Atlanta Falcons: Laiatu Latu, DL, UCLA

On Latu, I think he’s absolutely the best pass rusher in this draft class right now. Could Turner and Verse surpass him, eventually? Possibly. But after a trade down like this, there’s no reason to pass on Latu’s obvious talent. Here’s how I described him in a previous mock draft:

Latu is one of the most technically polished pass rushers I’ve ever seen coming out of college. He’s got a dizzying array of moves and knows when and how to use them. While he’s got a good frame at 6’5, 267, he does lack ideal length with less than 33” arms. However, Latu’s biggest questions were his medicals and his overall athleticism. He answered both thoroughly at the Combine (and his Pro Day), with positive reports on his health and an impressive 9.41 RAS. Latu is the most pro-ready pass rusher in the class and should be expected to make an immediate impact on passing downs, which fits well with Atlanta’s win-now mindset after the Kirk Cousins signing. – Kevin Knight, The Falcoholic

No. 20 – Pittsburgh Steelers select Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State

Measuring in at 6’6” and 312 pounds at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine, Fashanu did plenty to showcase he’s got plenty of athleticism to match the tape, boasting a 5.11-second 40-yard dash (79th percentile for OT), a 32” vert (88th) and 109” broad jump (79th). With that athleticism comes plenty of explosion on tape, with plenty of power and a quickness out of his stance that has made him one of the most effective pass blockers in the NCAA. Per PFF, Fashanu didn’t allow a single sack throughout his collegiate career, earning an 89.2 pass-blocking grade over the past two seasons which ranked second among all tackles.

Where Fashanu will need to grow at the next level (and quickly, considering Arthur Smith’s run-heavy scheme) is in his ability as a run blocker. As NFL draft analyst Dane Brugler notes in his annual draft guide, The Beast, “[Fashanu] shows much better balance in reverse rather than moving forward.” However, there’s no question that the physical power is there to improve in this regard. – Kate Magdziuk, Behind the Steel Curtain

No. 21 – Miami Dolphins select Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State

Miami enters the preseason training program with question marks at their outside linebacker positions. Starters Jaelan Phillips and Bradley Chubb are both working their way back from major injuries sustained last season. Linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel left in free agency and the team released linebacker Emmanuel Ogbah. Even with the addition of Shaq Barrett in free agency, Miami has to find pass rushers who can start the season if Phillips or Chubb cannot and who can serve as rotational players once both starters are healthy. Verse immediately fills that role.

With Chop Robinson, edge rusher from Penn State, still available as well, the Dolphins seem to be in a perfect position to fill a need with a top prospect. In this case, best player available and need matched perfectly and the Dolphins land Verse to create a monster of a defense, especially once Chubb and Phillips are back to full speed. – Kevin Nogle, The Phinsider

No. 22 – Philadelphia Eagles: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

Quite simply, Mitchell gets his hands on the football.

He logged five interceptions in 2022 before adding another in 2023. Mitchell also produced 37 passes defensed over the past two years, which is a crazy number.

Some have raised concerns about level of competition since Mitchell played in the MAC. And that might be a legitimate hang up for Howie Roseman. But the Eagles love themselves Senior Bowl standouts and, by all indications, Mitchell shined against college football’s top players in Mobile, Alabama. – Brandon Lee Gowton, Bleeding Green Nation

No. 23: Arizona Cardinals (via Vikings): Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

After moving down from four to 11 and then back up to the fifth pick and taking Marvin Harrison Jr., the Arizona Cardinals are now adding a cornerback to their roster.

With the way the mock fell, Quinyon Mitchell went a pick before, Jared Verse two picks before, so now it became about adding the best player at an impact position for Arizona.

It came down to interior offensive line, cornerback, and edge. My grade on DeJean was incredibly high compared to that of Jackson Powers-Johnson or Graham Barton, so I wanted to make sure I got DeJean before one of those two. – Seth Cox, Revenge of the Birds

No. 24 – Dallas Cowboys: Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon

If the Cowboys are looking to draft the top player at a position group, something they have stated they like to do, then grabbing Powers-Johnson would stay true to that philosophy. Either he or Barton can lay claim to that crown. The last time the Cowboys selected a center in the first round, Travis Frederick, it worked out very well until his unexpected illness and retirement. Powers-Johnson feels like the type of player who could be in Dallas for the next decade if selected. That’s a pretty good pick. – David Halprin, Blogging the Boys

No. 25 – Green Bay Packers: Amarius Mims, OT, University of Georgia

If you’re the Packers, are you in the market for a center — so that you can improve from Josh Myers — or are you in the market for a right tackle — which could help you improve at three positions at once if Tom moves to center and Myers moves to right guard? That moved the needle for me.

So if we’re looking at a right tackle, who is better? Barton or Mims? To me, I think Mims’ upside on the perimeter puts him over the edge, which is why I selected the 6’8”, 340-pound 21-year-old who only started eight games in his college career. Yes, he missed time last year with an ankle injury. I know you hate injuries. Yes, he’s a Georgia Bulldog. I know Bulldogs haven’t really panned out for the Packers lately.

Still, I believe that Mims’ raw athleticism warrants a selection in this range. If not for the question marks, Mims wouldn’t be available here at all. Even in a good tackle class, the only players with as high of an upside as Mims — to me — are Joe Alt (taken eighth in this mock) and JC Latham (taken 11th). – Justis Mosqueda, Acme Packing Company

No. 26 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Graham Barton, OL, Duke

Now, with the addition of Barton, the offensive line gets a huge upgrade both in terms of protection for Baker Mayfield as well as creating running lanes for Rachaad White.

Now, there is the outside possibility the Bucs see Barton as more of a center with his 6’5, 315-pound frame — and if that’s how they view him it would allow Hainsey to return to guard, which is where he excelled while at Notre Dame. Either way, it’s a big-time upgrade for the Bucs along the trenches and should bring an overall boost to the offense now run by Liam Coen.

The Bucs would still need to address the pass rush in some way on Day 2 as they head into NFL Draft weekend with four picks in the top 100. With pass rush, wide receiver, running back, and cornerback still being important needs, they’ll have some decisions to make as to who and what positions they’re going to prioritize. – James Yarcho, Bucs Nation

No. 27 – Arizona Cardinals (via Texans): Chop Robinson, EDGE, Penn State

I almost had Verse or Mitchell, meaning that we needed to grab the best cornerback remaining on our board and took Cooper DeJean.

He’s the Haason Reddick-level athlete off the edge that this defense desperately needs. He is not a finished product by any means, but he is a freak athlete … Robinson actually reminds me a lot of Boye Mafe, the edge defender the Seahawks took two years ago. He has developed into a steady pass rusher, finishing with nine sacks in his second season. – Seth Cox, Revenge of the Birds

Check back each weekday between now and the 2024 NFL Draft for the latest picks in our 2024 SB Nation community mock draft!



#Nation #NFL #mock #draft #firstround #picks #place

Source by [author_name]