2024 NFL Mock Draft: Post-Super Bowl edition
Draft season is officially here.
The conclusion of the 2023 campaign turns our focus to offseason festivities, highlighted by an incredibly intriguing class of incoming rookies. And while we're still in the early stages of the pre-draft process, it's never too early for a mock draft.
Here's our first of many looks at how the first round could shake out this year.
Caleb Williams, QB, USC
Justin Fields made some major strides toward the end of this past season. He'd absolutely be returning as the starter if Chicago didn't own Carolina's pick from last year's Bryce Young trade. But that's not the world we're living in. Resetting with a supremely talented passer on a rookie contract is an absolute no-brainer. Williams has superstar potential at the next level.
Drake Maye, QB, UNC
Some would argue there isn't much space between Williams and Maye in the battle for QB1. Kliff Kingsbury's overall record as a head coach might not blow you away, but the new offensive coordinator has an excellent track record in quarterback development. He could have another elite talent to work with in Maye - a young passer with an outstanding skill set that could thrive at the professional level.
Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State
The Patriots passing up a quarterback might seem odd. But are they really going to settle for whoever falls to them at No. 3? That's no sure thing with a potential generational receiver like Harrison on the board.
Malik Nabers, WR, LSU
Nabers projects as the next LSU star to dominate the NFL with game-breaking potential on every snap. The nation's second-leading receiver averaged an outrageous 17 yards per catch last season and caught 14 balls for touchdowns. He's exactly the type of explosive talent out wide that the Cardinals lacked last season.
Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame
Jim Harbaugh is going to want to play his brand of offense with the Chargers. Doing so will, first and foremost, require some reinforcements up front. Alt working opposite Rashawn Slater would give Los Angeles an outstanding young duo of bookend tackles.
Rome Odunze, WR, Washington
In most drafts, Odunze would be the first wideout selected. While he's third in this year's version, one could argue he's as talented as the first two. The Washington star carried the nation's top passing attack by leading the country in receiving yards and catching 13 touchdowns. He thrives in contested-catch situations - something that'll be very appealing to Daniel Jones.
Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia
Taking a tight end this early is typically a controversial move. That shouldn't be the case with Bowers. The do-it-all playmaker has the skill set to be the centerpiece of Tennessee's offense for the next decade.
Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU
The Falcons know Desmond Ridder isn't the quarterback of the future and grab the Heisman winner Daniels out of LSU. He's one of the best dual-threat options we've ever seen - throwing for over 3,800 yards and rushing for over 1,100 last year. Adding Daniels to an offense with Kyle Pitts, Drake London, and Bijan Robinson will bring some excitement back to Atlanta.
Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama
Turning a pair of top-10 picks into a quarterback of the future and a dynamic edge rusher would be a heck of a haul for the Bears. Turner could pair with Montez Sweat in helping Chicago's resurgent defense take another major step forward.
Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State
The Jets add Fuaga to give Aaron Rodgers more protection up front coming off an Achilles injury. The Oregon State standout dominated opponents in the Pac-12 last year and will provide a huge boost in the rushing attack as well as pass protection.
Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State
Keep an eye on the Vikings as a team that could look to make a massive move up for a quarterback. If no such opportunity presents itself, Verse would be a great fallback option. Minnesota could have a pressing need on the edge with Danielle Hunter heading for free agency.
J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan
McCarthy wasn't asked to do nearly as much in college as the three quarterbacks already taken, but the Michigan star rose to the occasion whenever he was needed in the Wolverines' title-winning campaign. McCarthy showed flashes of a wide-ranging skill set in college with plenty of pop in his arm to compete at the professional level. He finished his career with Michigan 27-1 as a starting quarterback. That combo of talent and intangibles will be exactly what Sean Payton is looking for in his quarterback.
Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama
The Raiders are another team that could go all-in to trade up for a quarterback - especially if there's an opportunity to reunite Jayden Daniels with Antonio Pierce. There are plenty of options if that doesn't work out, though. Arnold would give an ascending Las Vegas defense a potential No. 1 corner.
Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State
Fashanu was the top tackle on most analysts' draft boards heading into the college season, but he didn't dominate in the same fashion he showed in 2022. Nevertheless, the Penn State star has the size and athleticism to be a standout performer in the professional ranks.
Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo
The Colts have a massive need at cornerback. And as an organization that loves its athletes, we're betting that Mitchell is going to end up near the top of their draft board. The Toledo product is an outstanding cover man who could tear up the combine at the end of the month.
Byron Murphy, DL, Texas
Murphy may not have the ideal size for an interior lineman, but the Texas star is an absolute menace at both rushing the passer and stopping the run. He's the type of versatile lineman that new head coach Mike Macdonald will target for his defense.
Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson
The Jaguars have a lot more holes to fill than we expected this time last year. Those efforts could start in the trenches on either side of the ball, but the value in adding a top corner makes plenty of sense here, too. Wiggins and Tyson Campbell could be a strong duo to build around on the back end.
JC Latham, OT, Alabama
It seems like offensive line is an annual need for the Bengals, and this year's prospect to boost that unit is Latham out of Alabama. At 6-foot-6, 360 pounds, Latham is one of the most physically intimidating players in the draft and should fit well in the rugged AFC North.
Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA
Tradition suggests there could be some movement here, but Les Snead and Sean McVay might have a newfound affinity for draft picks after the success of last year's rookie class. Addressing a high-value position of need with Latu would be a nice way to use their first Day 1 selection since 2016.
Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon
The Steelers could go for Bo Nix or Michael Penix here, but neither is a sure thing at quarterback. Instead, Pittsburgh shores up the offensive line with one of the best center prospects in recent years. Powers-Johnson is an exceptional athlete at the position and will be a standout Day 1 starter for Pittsburgh.
Troy Fautanu, OT, Washington
The Dolphins' offense has to get better up front if it's going to make the most of its supremely talented playmakers. Fautanu was the best player in a dominant front five that helped Washington reach the national title game.
Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa
It's no secret the Eagles desperately need defensive back help, and DeJean is the type of athlete who could instantly make an impact for Philadelphia. The versatile Iowa star can play all over the secondary and also be a dangerous weapon in the return game.
Chop Robinson, EDGE, Penn State
Robinson should be a consensus first-rounder after he puts on a show at the combine in a few weeks. An explosive edge rusher opposite Will Anderson Jr., the 2023 Defensive Rookie of the Year, would give the Texans a scary defensive front.
Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia
It'll be tempting for Jerry Jones to take receiver Brian Thomas Jr. here, but the Cowboys address the offensive line with the 6-foot-7, 340-pound standout from Georgia. Adding Mims to a unit that features 22-year-old Tyler Smith will give Dallas a pair of excellent young tackles.
Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma
Finding a long-term replacement for David Bakhtiari should be Green Bay's No. 1 priority heading into the offseason. While Guyton may need some time to develop, his physical skills give him as much upside as any tackle in this draft.
Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU
With Mike Evans entering free agency, the Bucs address the receiving core with the electric Thomas out of LSU. Thomas is a threat all over the field but especially shines in the red zone, leading the nation with 17 touchdown grabs last year.
Bralen Trice, EDGE, Washington
The Cardinals need a major infusion of defensive talent if they're going to get the most out of Jonathan Gannon's system. Trice is a powerful edge defender who should be an every-down contributor from Day 1.
Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Coleman brings arguably the biggest catch radius in the draft with him to Buffalo. The Florida State standout has numerous jaw-dropping highlights and will instantly take over for pending free agent Gabe Davis.
Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama
The Lions are only a few pieces away from being a Super Bowl team. Several of those pieces will have to be in the defensive backfield, so McKinstry feels like the perfect pick here.
Jer'Zhan Newton, DL, Illinois
Like Murphy earlier in the draft, Newton is another defensive tackle that might not feature ideal length but has exceptional production on tape. If there's any team that can maximize his potential on the interior, it's the Ravens.
Ennis Rakestraw Jr., CB, Missouri
Rakestraw is as tough as they come at corner and will fit in well with the 49ers' scheme. San Francisco may have other needs, but Rakestraw represents the best available talent toward the end of the opening round.
Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon
The Chiefs can't go into next season without making some major investments at wide receiver. With an impressive combination of size and speed, Franklin could provide the vertical playmaking ability that Marquez Valdes-Scantling was supposed to bring to this offense.