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Mock Draft

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Eric Edholm 2024 NFL mock draft 1.0: Chargers grab TE Brock Bowers at No. 5; QB J.J. McCarthy to Rams

Here's my first projection of how the entire first round will play out in Detroit when the 2024 NFL Draft begins on April 25.


  1. The order for picks 1-32 is set following the conclusion of Super Bowl LVIII.
  2. Tune in for live coverage of the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine beginning Feb. 29 on NFL Network and NFL+.
Chicago Bears
(via CAR)
Caleb Williams
USC · QB · Junior

At this point, I am assuming the Bears will move on from Justin Fields and select a quarterback in this slot. Williams might not be a can't-miss prospect, but he's better than his 2023 tape might indicate -- and could end up as the best talent this franchise has ever had at the position.

Drake Maye
North Carolina · QB · Sophomore (RS)

Had Sam Howell played cleaner football this past season, perhaps this pick could have been flipped for a haul. But here, Howell must watch his former understudy at UNC essentially replace him. Maye wouldn't need to be rushed into the lineup, but I doubt the Commanders would delay his ascension too long, given his highly appealing toolkit.

Jayden Daniels
LSU · QB · Senior

If there's a lesson I've learned over the years, it's that wherever you have quarterbacks going in your February mock drafts, there's a darned good chance they'll end up going higher than that come April. So let's just skip that step and give the Patriots a style of quarterback they've never really had. I can't wait to see an NFL offense built around Daniels' talents.

Marvin Harrison Jr.
Ohio State · WR · Junior

In Marvin Harrison Sr.'s day, quarterbacks were the 6-foot-4 guys, while receivers often had heights starting with a 5. But it's a new era, and Marvin Harrison Jr. is a different breed from his Hall of Fame father -- a presumably prolific one with Kyler Murray throwing him 50-50 balls. With Trey McBride, Michael Wilson and MHJ, the Cardinals would boast a bevy of fearsome YAC threats with size.

Brock Bowers
Georgia · TE · Junior

Not everyone will agree with a tight end in the top five, even after Kyle Pitts broke that glass ceiling a few years ago and Sam LaPorta just played like one of the five best NFL rookies this season. Bowers -- a California native who grew up a six-hour drive north of Los Angeles in wine country -- could be the perfect weapon for Justin Herbert and Jim Harbaugh, who can use Bowers like he did Vernon Davis in San Francisco.

Malik Nabers
LSU · WR · Junior

I strongly considered Rome Odunze here, but Nabers might have a slightly higher ceiling, giving Brian Daboll a cross between, say, Stefon Diggs and DJ Moore as his top wideout. This offense needs help in a number of areas, but the WR talent might be too rich to pass up at this spot.

Joe Alt
Notre Dame · OT · Junior

The Titans had trouble blocking people in 2023. Alt could be the dominant exterior blocker they've been seeking since injuries undermined Taylor Lewan's career. Tennessee could go in a number of directions here, and I wouldn't rule out a receiver, but Alt landing in Nashville just feels like an early slam dunk.

Dallas Turner
Alabama · Edge · Junior

I'm working under the assumption that the Falcons will pursue a veteran QB and try to add more offensive weapons at some point, but going with a skill-position player for a fourth straight year in Round 1 would feel like overkill. Why not supplement the pass rush instead? Turner would be a very good first pick in Atlanta for Raheem Morris, beefing up a DL unit that's likely to see some personnel turnover this offseason.

Rome Odunze
Washington · WR · Senior

Assuming the Bears trade Justin Fields in this hypothetical, they'll have enough return on that deal to keep adding to the offensive line at some point. But giving Caleb Williams another outside weapon -- and arguably a perfect complement to DJ Moore -- might be too appealing a move to pass up on.

Taliese Fuaga
Oregon State · OT · Senior

The Jets need to add skill-position talent, but the offensive line absolutely must improve in 2024. And this just feels like a prospect general manager Joe Douglas could fall for. Although Fuaga played right tackle almost exclusively for the Beavers, he could be tried at guard if needed.

Jared Verse
Florida State · Edge · Senior

It's no guarantee, of course, but if the Vikings can re-sign Kirk Cousins, addressing the defensive front might be the next order of business. I could see Minnesota adding multiple pieces up front, depending on what happens with another pending free agent in Danielle Hunter. Verse is an athletic tone-setter who would pass the Brian Flores test for toughness and aggression.

Byron Murphy II
Texas · DT · Junior

I know many will pine for a quarterback, but I think the Broncos will be hard-pressed to land a worthy talent at the position in this lofty draft slot. Instead, they could pivot to upgrading the interior D-line with an explosive penetrator such as Murphy, even if this feels a tad high for him.

JC Latham
Alabama · OT · Junior

Tom Telesco used his first pick as Chargers GM to select an Alabama right tackle (D.J. Fluker), and I could see him taking the same approach in his debut draft with the Raiders. Latham can upgrade right tackle, allowing Thayer Munford Jr. to kick inside, even if drafting another 'Bama OT in Round 1 might give Raiders fans bad Alex Leatherwood flashbacks. Las Vegas needs to fortify the QB position, but the team might be able to address it in other ways. Maybe Michael Penix Jr. in Round 2?

Olumuyiwa Fashanu
Penn State · OT · Junior (RS)

One way or another, the Saints need to address the offensive line, even if they've already used ample assets on the position group. Trevor Penning's development has been disappointing, and Ryan Ramczyk's long-term health is a worry. Andrus Peat is also a free agent. Fashanu isn't the top-10 lock some think he is and needs to deal with power better, but he has a high ceiling with rare gifts.

Terrion Arnold
Alabama · CB · Sophomore (RS)

GM Chris Ballard is a patient drafter, often letting the talent come to him and allowing the board speak to who should be picked. Arnold would be a good value here. We haven't seen DB1 come off the board this late since 2019, so the Alabama corner could go higher, but he fits a Colts need and could start Day 1 opposite JuJu Brents.

Troy Fautanu
Washington · OL · Senior

New Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald might want to upgrade his defensive personnel, but the offensive line can't be overlooked. Fautanu was a college left tackle and could play there in the NFL, but he also has excellent potential inside, where the 'Hawks could use the upgrade. And Seattle should be pretty familiar with the University of Washington product's game.

Laiatu Latu
UCLA · Edge · Senior

This pick might not work for the Jaguars if they keep Josh Allen from bolting in free agency, and Latu's arm length isn't exactly what GM Trent Baalke typically seeks in an edge, but finding a pass-rushing partner for Travon Walker will be pretty essential if Allen does ultimately depart Duval. Latu was a highly productive college player with a deep bag of pass-rush tricks.

Tyler Guyton
Oklahoma · OT · Junior (RS)

After watching Senior Bowl practices in Mobile, I'm afraid I might have Guyton too low here. He's not the most experienced tackle in this class, but the Oklahoma product has more upside than a few linemen I have going earlier. Wide receiver could wind up being a need for Cincinnati, especially if Tee Higgins leaves in free agency. But if Jonah Williams departs, OT might be a more pressing need.

J.J. McCarthy
Michigan · QB · Junior

The Rams' first first-round selection since they took Jared Goff at No. 1 overall is another quarterback -- go figure. Matthew Stafford might be approaching the 17th green of his career, and McCarthy needs time to marinate his fascinating toolset. He's a Midwest kid, but McCarthy has displayed some California cool in crunch time -- and he's savvy enough to digest Sean McVay's system.

Quinyon Mitchell
Toledo · CB · Senior

Another Senior Bowl standout who might be too low in this simulation, Mitchell would be an excellent addition to a team that plays a healthy amount of man coverage, which is where the Toledo product could be at his best. With Joey Porter Jr. and Mitchell, the Steelers could combat the excellent receivers of the AFC North more effectively.

Jackson Powers-Johnson
Oregon · IOL · Junior

Mike McDaniel's offense could use an upgrade on the interior offensive line, and I believe Powers-Johnson has the movement skills and acumen to be effective inside at either guard or center. There's not a ton of worry about the hamstring strain that caused JPJ to drop out of the Senior Bowl being a long-term issue.

Brian Thomas Jr.
LSU · WR · Junior

The strange vibes around A.J. Brown and the Eagles make me wonder if a first-round receiver might be in play. I think Thomas ultimately could rise above this range of the draft, but it's also a deep WR class at the top, so you never know. And it wouldn't be the first time the Eagles grabbed a free-falling talent at a need position in Round 1.

Houston Texans
(via CLE)
Nate Wiggins
Clemson · CB · Junior

There's a strong case for using this selection to upgrade the talent around C.J. Stroud on offense, but the Texans also have some pressing defensive needs to consider. CB Steven Nelson is a free agent-to-be. Wiggins would give Houston a long, athletically gifted complement to Derek Stingley Jr.

Amarius Mims
Georgia · OT · Junior

Tyron Smith is a pending free agent, potentially opening up a big OL job. The hulking Mims is a tricky evaluation because of a lack of experience and some holes in his game. But as with the Tyler Smith pick a couple years ago, the Cowboys might be willing to gamble on upside and hope that enmeshing Mims with a talented group will give him a strong shot to succeed.

Cooper DeJean
Iowa · DB · Junior

The Packers have needs at corner and safety, and I believe DeJean could end up at either spot in the NFL. New defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley has used a lot of single-high looks, and I can picture a player like the rangy DeJean fitting that role. Plus, Green Bay has enjoyed a long history of drafting successful Hawkeyes, for whatever that's worth.

Keon Coleman
Florida State · WR · Junior

Depending on what happens with pending free agent Mike Evans, the Bucs might need a wide receiver who can complement Chris Godwin. Coleman can't fly, but he has acrobatic receiving skills, can play inside and out and would be a big red-zone target for Baker Mayfield, assuming he's back.

Arizona Cardinals
(via HOU)
Bralen Trice
Washington · Edge · Senior

I could see the Cardinals overlooking some middling athletic testing numbers if Trice doesn't kill it in Indy, given his impressive tape at Washington. It's a thinner draft up top at edge rusher, and Trice is the type of smart, tough finisher who'd be a great building block for Jonathan Gannon's defense.

Troy Franklin
Oregon · WR · Junior

I'm not 100 percent convinced this will be a receiver come April the way some folks are, but one way or another, the Bills must bolster the position -- and the draft would be the most efficient way to do so. The cap is getting awfully tight with Josh Allen's contract taking a big step up this year. Franklin's speed and size would make for a good upgrade over free agent Gabe Davis.

Ennis Rakestraw Jr.
Missouri · CB · Junior (RS)

Detroit was forced to shuffle its secondary this season and needs better coverage options outside. Rakestraw's medical evaluation (torn ACL in 2021, groin surgery in December) could determine whether he cracks Round 1, but his profile fits what the Lions seek. He's tough-minded, a willing tackler and adept in man coverage. Fun fact: GM Brad Holmes' first pro day as an NFL scout was at Mizzou.

Jer'Zhan Newton
Illinois · DT · Senior

The Ravens likely will do everything in their power to bring back free agent-to-be Justin Madubuike, but if they can't (or are forced to franchise tag him), Newton could be an intriguing addition to the defensive line, assuming they view him as a fit with their odd front. He's a skilled rusher whose superpower is his ability to disrupt blocking schemes.

Graham Barton
Duke · IOL · Senior

Barton is another college left tackle whose best pro position might be inside. The 49ers technically have depth needs inside and out on the offensive line, but this Duke product could be a good enough player to start at either guard or center as a rookie. Barton has played center before and might have Pro Bowl potential there.

Darius Robinson
Missouri · Edge · Senior

Yes, the Chiefs have dipped into Mizzou's talent pool in recent years, but this isn't geographical bias. If they're going to let Chris Jones walk, Robinson might be the best replacement in this draft -- and truthfully, he could go higher than this. At a hefty 286 pounds, Robinson would also be a different type of edge than last year's first-rounder, Felix Anudike-Uzomah. And there's enough WR depth in this draft for Kansas City to consider waiting on addressing that need.

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