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Mock Draft

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Gennaro Filice 2024 NFL mock draft 1.0: Minnesota Vikings trade into top 10 for QB J.J. McCarthy

Publishing a mock draft just days before the NFL Scouting Combine is kind of like buying clothes without trying them on: They seem like a fit, but you're skipping an important step in the process.

Alas, the content machine MUST be fed, so I'm here to supply today's meal.

The following trip down the Round 1 rabbit hole underscores this prospect pool's strongest positions, as 21 of the 32 players listed below play wide receiver, offensive tackle or cornerback. That said, four of the first seven picks man the position that makes the football world go round: quarterback.

Alright, enough preamble: Here's my best guess as to how the 2024 NFL Draft's opening round will transpire, with three trades mixed in for a little extra spice.

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

Yup, just like nearly every other mock drafter in the known universe, I have Williams going No. 1 overall. And yup, I’m also operating under the assumption the Bears will trade Justin Fields and reset the financial clock on the game’s most important -- and expensive -- position.

Drake Maye
North Carolina · QB · Sophomore (RS)

The QB2 question is fertile ground in this pre-draft process, and I expect several twists and turns as the debate rages on over the next two months. In the moment, it feels like Jayden Daniels is gaining steam in some draftnik circles, but I still suspect this is at least partially because the reigning Heisman Trophy winner is the shiny new object to evaluate after his breakthrough season at LSU. Essentially, Maye has become old hat. Which is funny, given that he’s actually two years younger than Daniels.

Jayden Daniels
LSU · QB · Senior

Bill Belichick The Coach and Bill Belichick The GM are gone. With Jerod Mayo taking the HC reins and Eliot Wolf now heading the personnel department, it’s a brand new day in Foxborough. So how about a brand new experience in quarterbacking?

Marvin Harrison Jr.
Ohio State · WR · Junior

If popular opinion ultimately comes to fruition and the first three players off the board are indeed quarterbacks, this could be the easiest pick of the draft. Michael Wilson provided positive returns as a rookie wideout this past season, but Harrison is the kind of extraordinary talent who changes his NFL team’s receiver room overnight.

Brock Bowers
Georgia · TE · Junior

NEWS FLASH: Jim Harbaugh likes tight ends. Frankly, though, Bowers is more accurately described as an offensive weapon, and I envision Justin Herbert taking full advantage of his multi-faceted abilities.

Malik Nabers
LSU · WR · Junior

Ten years ago, the Giants drafted a playmaking receiver out of LSU who checked in right around 6 feet tall and 200 pounds. Asking the eerily similar Nabers to replicate Odell Beckham Jr.’s spectacular burst onto the NFL scene (SEE: 1,300-plus yards and double-digit touchdowns in each of his first three seasons) is a tall order, but the 20-year-old would undoubtedly give Brian Daboll’s passing attack a necessary jolt of electricity.

J.J. McCarthy
Michigan · QB · Junior


Much to the dismay of a large portion of Draft Twitter (sorry, Elon -- Draft X sounds weird), McCarthy appears destined to be a top-10 pick. Skeptics understandably bemoan the relative scarcity of pure pocket passing J.J. put on display in Michigan’s run-first offense, but the 21-year-old did showcase the kind of athleticism that could play quite well in Kevin O’Connell’s play-action/bootleg scheme.

Terrion Arnold
Alabama · CB · Sophomore (RS)

Having originally arrived at Alabama as a five-star safety recruit, Arnold’s still relatively new to the cornerback position, but he checks all of the trait boxes with size, speed, physicality and ball skills. Now he just needs a little polish. Who better to provide that than new Falcons head man Raheem Morris and defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake, two coaches with a wealth of experience developing cover men?

Rome Odunze
Washington · WR · Senior

In the fictional world of this mock draft, QB Caleb Williams joins a Bears team that already has a YAC monster to pepper with easy targets (DJ Moore). But that’s not all! How would the new franchise face like a power forward with polished route-running skills and elite contested-catch ability?

Joe Alt
Notre Dame · OT · Junior

The Aaron Rodgers replacements caught plenty of deserved flak for shoddy quarterback play last season, but to be fair, they weren’t given much of a chance by the porous offensive line. With Rodgers back under center, GM Joe Douglas is thrilled to get his pick of a talented tackle litter here. The towering Alt feels like one of the cleanest prospect evals in this class.

Olumuyiwa Fashanu
Penn State · OT · Junior (RS)


After gaining extra draft currency by trading down, Titans GM Ran Carthon still lands a proverbial dancing bear in pass protection. This left tackle’s run blocking leaves something to be desired, but Mike Vrabel isn’t walking through that door any more. Tennessee’s offense will look completely different under new head coach Brian Callahan. 

Taliese Fuaga
Oregon State · OT · Senior


TACKLE RUN!!! With bookends flying off the board, Cincinnati does the unthinkable. A wild maneuver first conjured up by daring colleague Dan Parr: Trading up in the first round for the first time since 1995. In this space, the Bengals grab one of the hottest prospects in draft punditry, giving Joe Burrow a feisty presence on the front side to complement LT Orlando Brown Jr.

Jared Verse
Florida State · Edge · Senior

I enjoy watching Maxx Crosby’s relentless game-wrecking so much that I’m giving him a rampaging running mate who’s cut from the same cloth. Something tells me Antonio Pierce would be quite happy doubling down on edge brutality.

Dallas Turner
Alabama · Edge · Junior

Cam Jordan reliably carried New Orleans’ pass rush for years, but the soon-to-be 35-year-old just posted his lowest totals in sacks (two) and QB hits (six) since his rookie campaign back in 2011. Turner could test like a freak in Indianapolis and ultimately be long gone by the time the Saints are on the clock in April. But in this exercise, Dennis Allen fills a dire need.

Quinyon Mitchell
Toledo · CB · Senior

Arguably the most impressive player at the Senior Bowl, Mitchell isn’t as long as last year’s second-round selection, JuJu Brents, but he offers ample size to go with explosive speed and supreme ball skills. There is a world where this Toledo prospect is the first cornerback selected.

Houston Texans
(via CLE)
JC Latham
Alabama · OT · Junior


There’s an argument to be made that C.J. Stroud is the most valuable team-building piece this side of Patrick Mahomes. Houston knows this, and inherently trades up for a colossal right tackle to line up across the formation from Pro Bowl LT Laremy Tunsil. Protect the franchise-changing QB at all costs!

Brian Thomas Jr.
LSU · WR · Junior

If Calvin Ridley leaves in free agency, Jacksonville will need to replenish Trevor Lawrence’s weaponry in the passing game. How about a tall touchdown maker (led the nation with 17 TD grabs this past season) with deep speed that purportedly could light the Lucas Oil Stadium track on fire next week.

Laiatu Latu
UCLA · Edge · Senior


Moving down six slots in this simulation, Denver nets additional draft currency that could be used to select a quarterback like Bo Nix or Michael Penix Jr. on Day 2. At No. 18, though, the Broncos pounce on the most technically refined pass rusher in this draft class.

One important note: Latu’s combine medicals will be crucial, as the edge rusher was forced to temporarily retire from the sport in college due to a serious neck issue.

Cooper DeJean
Iowa · CB · Junior

Is he a corner? Is he a nickel? Is he a safety? Um ... yes. Frankly, I believe DeJean has the ability to be a pure CB in the NFL, but as a freak athlete with plus size, elite playmaking skills and versatility, he could also allow the Rams to fully revive the “star” position previously mastered by Jalen Ramsey.

Kool-Aid McKinstry
Alabama · CB · Junior

Pittsburgh successfully shored up one cornerback spot with last year’s selection of Joey Porter Jr. Now it’s time to address the other. With all due respect to future Hall of Famer Patrick Peterson, he’s no longer the same player in his mid-30s and feels like a prime cut candidate

Jackson Powers-Johnson
Oregon · IOL · Junior

While the aerial acrobatics of Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle get much of the attention, Mike McDaniel’s offense is rooted in a potent ground attack. With Connor Williams, Robert Hunt and Isaiah Wynn -- basically the entire starting interior offensive line -- ticketed for free agency, Miami grabs an agile road grader who can thrive in McDaniel’s wide-zone run scheme.

Amarius Mims
Georgia · OT · Junior

Eagles GM Howie Roseman clearly loves drafting two things: 

  1. Offensive linemen.
  2. Georgia Bulldogs.

Two birds/one stone, baby! A rare physical specimen with just eight college starts under his belt, Mims can marinate in Philly before eventually taking over for aging RT Lane Johnson.

Byron Murphy II
Texas · DT · Junior


The Seahawks broke the bank for Dre’Mont Jones last offseason, but the splashy free-agent signing didn’t produce the kind of interior disruption they were hoping for. In the first pick of the Mike Macdonald regime, Seattle nabs an ascending 3-technique whose explosive athleticism and relentless motor more than make up for his substandard height.

Tyler Guyton
Oklahoma · OT · Junior (RS)

Betting on the upside of a developmental offensive lineman named Tyler at No. 24 overall? Worked out pretty well for the Cowboys two years ago, as Tyler Smith just made his first Pro Bowl. Back to the well!

Kingsley Suamataia
BYU · OT · Sophomore (RS)

A five-star recruit out of high school, Suamataia has a lot in common with his cousin, Penei Sewell. No, the BYU product isn't nearly as polished as the former No. 7 overall pick was when he entered the NFL, but he combines an alluring mix of athleticism and violence with documented ability to thrive at left and right tackle. With longtime stalwart David Bakhtiari seemingly on his way out of Green Bay, Suamataia could initially serve as a swing tackle behind Zach Tom and Rasheed Walker before developing into a full-time starter.

Keon Coleman
Florida State · WR · Junior

In a loaded receiver class, this big-bodied, contested-catch wizard has a lot riding on how swiftly he travels 40 yards in Lucas Oil Stadium next week. A time in the 4.4s could make his availability at this draft slot a pipe dream. But in this hypothetical, the Bucs land a similarly skilled replacement for pending free agent Mike Evans.

Arizona Cardinals
(via HOU)
Nate Wiggins
Clemson · CB · Junior

After adding a long, lean, fluid athlete to catch passes at No. 4 overall (Marvin Harrison Jr.), the Cardinals scoop up a long, lean, fluid athlete to defend passes at No. 27. Two major needs filled with two impressive physical specimens.

Adonai Mitchell
Texas · WR · Junior

With Gabe Davis heading into free agency, Buffalo needs to restock Josh Allen’s receiving corps. This above-the-rim scorer would nicely complement route artisan Stefon Diggs and emerging slot weapon Khalil Shakir.

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

Rakestraw is a physical, competitive corner who plays with the kind of edge Dan Campbell adores while excelling in the press-man coverage Aaron Glenn typically prefers. Next week's Indy expedition looms LARGE for this combine participant, both on the field (SEE: 40-yard dash, with questions about his long speed) and off (medicals, with concerns about his injury history).

Darius Robinson
Missouri · DL · Senior

A lengthy power player with “first guy off the bus” physique and inside-outside versatility, Robinson boosted his draft stock with a head-turning week at the Senior Bowl. Given the potential free agency attrition across Baltimore's front seven, newly promoted DC Zach Orr could certainly use this kind of defensive chameleon if he aims to continue Mike Macdonald’s amoeba scheme.

Troy Fautanu
Washington · OT · Senior

It’s a tale of two bookends in San Francisco. At left tackle, Trent Williams is first-team All-Pro. At right tackle, Colton McKivitz is first-team All-WHOA. SEE: Nine sacks (tied for the most among RTs, per PFF) and 47 pressures (fifth) allowed. Some project Fautanu as a guard in the NFL. I’d try him out at right tackle, and if he falters, well, the 49ers need help on the interior O-line, too.

Xavier Worthy
Texas · WR · Junior

If you’re a regular reader of the mock drafts on this website, you might have noticed a trend in this round-ending slot. Daniel Jeremiah just projected Oregon WR Troy Franklin to Kansas City, with that coming on the heels of Dan Parr (North Carolina’s Devontez Walker) and Lance Zierlein (Michigan’s Roman Wilson) sending two other receivers to the Chiefs at Pick No. 32. Oh, and Chad Reuter had K.C. trading up for Florida State WR Keon Coleman.

So, allow me to add a new name to the potpourri of pass catchers. Worthy hasn’t been a mock mainstay to this point. Some are worried about the concentration drops, which may be an understandable concern for the Chiefs in particular, but if he runs as fast as many anticipate in Indianapolis, that could change real quick. And yes, I enjoy giving the best quarterback on the planet a pure field stretcher in the DeSean Jackson mold. He could use it. Warren Sharp can explain why.

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