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Peter Schrager 2024 NFL mock draft 1.0: Giants leap up for J.J. McCarthy; Vikings stick and pick CB, QB

We're officially single-digit days away from the 2024 NFL Draft (April 25-27 in Detroit). Time to take my first crack at mocking the first round.

REMINDER: As always, this isn't what I would do -- it's what I'm hearing from my sources around the league.

Chicago Bears
(via CAR)
Caleb Williams
USC · QB · Junior

As I've reported, the Bears had a great meeting with Caleb at the NFL Scouting Combine, followed by a pair of enjoyable dinners in Los Angeles (before USC's pro day) and Chicago (before the quarterback's visit to Halas Hall). The team is all in. And so, from what I'm told, is Williams.

Jayden Daniels
LSU · QB · Senior

After skipping measurements in Indianapolis, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner pleasantly surprised many folks at LSU's pro day by weighing in at a pretty robust 210 pounds. As of today, I think Daniels is the pick at No. 2.

Drake Maye
North Carolina · QB · Sophomore (RS)

Despite lots of smoke that New England could trade down, I believe this new Patriots regime will be comfortable with either Jayden Daniels or Maye. Pats brass took Maye out for steaks the night before his Foxborough visit earlier this month, and those guys loved the Charlotte native. That said, they also loved their top-30 visit with Daniels. I think they're fine with whichever one falls to them. New England also wined and dined QB J.J. McCarthy on Monday night, but I still see this selection being Daniels or Maye.

J.J. McCarthy
Michigan · QB · Junior


New York moves up two spots -- tossing Arizona this year's third-round pick (No. 70 overall) and next year's second-rounder -- to land McCarthy. This is merely a mock draft, but I could see this deal coming to fruition. Joe Schoen didn't draft Daniel Jones, J.J. checks a lot of boxes, and Big Blue can get out of Jones' contract after this upcoming season. I assume that this projection could make headlines in New York. That's fine. I know the Giants have been going through all of the quarterback prospects diligently, as they should be.

Marvin Harrison Jr.
Ohio State · WR · Junior

Some teams like Malik Nabers more than Harrison. Others may like Rome Odunze. But I think Harrison's ultimately the first receiver taken, and he would be a perfect match with both Justin Herbert and Jim Harbaugh.

Rome Odunze
Washington · WR · Senior


The Cardinals trade back two spots, yet still scoop up a No. 1 wideout for Kyler Murray. Odunze's a tough, smart player -- the perfect kind of building block for this franchise in this moment.

Joe Alt
Notre Dame · OT · Junior

Standing nearly 6-foot-9 with nimble feet, the Notre Dame star is the son of former Pro Bowl OT John Alt. Getting a towering protector for Will Levis' blind side would be yet another chef's kiss on what has been an incredible offseason for Tennessee.

Dallas Turner
Alabama · Edge · Junior

With a top-10 pick in each of the past three drafts, the Falcons have gone tight end, wide receiver, running back. Thus, I can't see them targeting WR Malik Nabers this time around, as tempting as that might be. Instead, Atlanta fills a long-standing need on the edge with the explosive pass rusher out of Alabama.

Malik Nabers
LSU · WR · Junior


Indianapolis sends Chicago a future second-round pick in order to move up six slots and pounce on Nabers, the star receiver out of LSU. In an AFC South that saw the Jaguars, Texans and Titans all aggressively attack free agency, Colts GM Chris Ballard shows he has some tricks up his sleeve, too.

Brock Bowers
Georgia · TE · Junior

This is a special prospect. In fact, I've been told by multiple general managers that I'm not high enough on Bowers and that his ability after the catch sets him apart from just about every tight end prospect since Kyle Pitts. Excellent player, a winner and another weapon for Aaron Rodgers to exploit -- this pairing does indeed make a ton of sense.

Terrion Arnold
Alabama · CB · Sophomore (RS)

The Vikings stay put to take a top corner and great all-around prospect. Arnold arrived in Tuscaloosa as a five-star safety, then played inside and outside corner under Nick Saban. He flourished and was the Alabama defense's field general last season. Great juice and a leader. Sam Darnold will be the Vikings' Day 1 starter in this scenario, but that doesn't mean Minnesota's done with the quarterback room ...

Laiatu Latu
UCLA · Edge · Senior

Viewed by many as the best pure pass rusher in the draft, Latu absolutely could end up in Denver if the board falls this way. The Broncos would, of course, love to move up and get a top-four quarterback, but I just don't think they have the ammunition. They'd have to really love Bo Nix or Michael Penix Jr. to take either at No. 12 overall. (Like really, REALLY love.) So Latu's the prediction here.

Olumuyiwa Fashanu
Penn State · OT · Junior (RS)

The Raiders need to build up the offense in this draft. Continuing to fortify the O-line makes a lot of sense. Tom Telesco hit on most of his first-round picks as general manager of the Chargers; now he's looking to do the same with the rival Raiders. Fashanu might have the highest upside of all these tackle prospects.

Taliese Fuaga
Oregon State · OT · Senior

Fuaga is a tackle, but could play anywhere on the offensive line if needed. This one might be met with shrugs in New Orleans, but I can see this as a franchise-cornerstone selection by the Saints' brass. The Oregon State product has a mean streak and a motor that doesn't quit.

JC Latham
Alabama · OT · Junior


After piling up more draft capital by trading back, the Bears still land a stud offensive tackle. Latham could be the second OT taken on draft night -- some teams like him that much. If the board falls this way, Chicago adds a big, pedigreed bookend who can join last year's first-round tackle, Darnell Wright, in protecting the new franchise quarterback, Caleb Williams.

Troy Fautanu
Washington · OL · Senior

The Seahawks stay local and snag the versatile offensive lineman from the University of Washington. Seattle can insert Fautanu wherever needed up front, and the nimble, nasty blocker significantly upgrades the unit on Day 1.

Quinyon Mitchell
Toledo · CB · Senior

At No. 17, the Jaguars are thrilled to nab a cornerback with everything you want at the position: size, speed, playmaking ability ... and irrational confidence. I loved Mitchell saying he's the greatest football player ever to come out of the MAC. Jack Lambert, Randy Moss, Ben Roethlisberger -- watch out!

Byron Murphy II
Texas · DT · Junior

Murphy is the top interior defensive line prospect in this class. He has interviewed well and was a workout warrior in Indy. B.J. Hill and free-agent addition Sheldon Rankins are solid veterans inside. Murphy would fortify the group with his highly disruptive game.

Tyler Guyton
Oklahoma · OT · Junior (RS)

I'll go on record with something of a guarantee here: If the Rams do not trade back, you better believe Sean McVay's first-ever first-round selection will be an offensive player. Los Angeles shored up its interior O-line in free agency. Guyton -- a bit of a project, but someone who can play either tackle spot -- gives Matthew Stafford another promising young guy to protect him in his 16th NFL season.

Brian Thomas Jr.
LSU · WR · Junior

I'm still keeping an eye on Steelers GM Omar Khan to make a splash at wide receiver this offseason. Could that be a trade for Brandon Aiyuk? If not, Thomas is a special talent who helped himself at the combine as much as any player at the position.

Jared Verse
Florida State · Edge · Senior

At this point, Verse could come off the board at various junctures of the top 25, and I wouldn't be surprised. In a relatively down year for D-line prospects, Verse does a lot of things well. Versatile and experienced, he lined up everywhere for the Seminoles as a productive game wrecker. The Dolphins' D lost two big pieces up front in free agency: Christian Wilkins and Andrew Van Ginkel.

Cooper DeJean
Iowa · DB · Junior

DeJean had an outstanding college career and showed out at his private workout. He can play corner or safety and is a special teams Swiss Army Knife. Is 22 too rich? Maybe. But I can see him in an Eagles uniform. 

Minnesota Vikings
(via CLE through HOU)
Bo Nix
Oregon · QB · Senior

Nix could go as high as 11, 12 or 13 ... or completely fall out of the first round. I think 23 to the Vikings -- or another team around here in a trade-up -- makes sense. One thing on Nix: He's as accurate as they come, having just set the FBS record this past season with a completion percentage of 77.45. Smart processor, too. These are things that will be very highly valued by offensive coaches and QB gurus. That's Kevin O'Connell. That's Sean Payton. I could see Nix playing for either of those master tacticians.

Xavier Worthy
Texas · WR · Junior

Officially the fastest man in combine history, Worthy would be a wonderful addition as a deep threat for Dak Prescott. With contract issues looming over Prescott and CeeDee Lamb, the selection of Worthy would show both a commitment to adding pieces on offense without sacrificing major cap space in free agency.

Amarius Mims
Georgia · OT · Junior

A massive offensive tackle at nearly 6-8 and 340 pounds, Mims has tremendous upside despite a lack of experience at Georgia (eight total starts). He's shown enticing flashes in big games. This is a deep wide receiver and O-line draft. The Packers got plenty of production out of their young WRs and TEs last season; they bypass taking a first-round wideout and grab a gifted OT prospect.

Graham Barton
Duke · OL · Senior

Tampa has quietly enjoyed one of the best offseasons in the league, having retained many key assets from last year's Divisional Round squad. Offensive line is still an area of need, though. Barton played tackle and center at Duke; he could do either in the NFL.

Arizona Cardinals
(via HOU)
Darius Robinson
Missouri · DL · Senior

Robinson is one of the biggest risers in this draft class. At this point, I won't be surprised if he ultimately goes in the top 20. Versatile, experienced and high-motored, this Missouri product has a lot of fans in the league. The Cardinals get a wide receiver and a pass rusher in the first round, filling two major needs.

Adonai Mitchell
Texas · WR · Junior

The Bills stay put and still get one of the top wideout prospects in the draft. Big, fast and physical, Mitchell garners plenty of interest in league circles. This is lower than where some other mock drafts have him going, but I could see him lingering in the mid-to-late 20s.

Zach Frazier
West Virginia · IOL · Senior

Frazier is a former state wrestling champion who's nasty, versatile and hungry. This is a Brad Holmes/Dan Campbell prospect if there ever was one, with the West Virginia product oozing bulldog characteristics. If we learned anything from the Jahmyr Gibbs and Jack Campbell picks last year, it's that the Lions draft guys they like, as opposed to dwelling on needs and perceived positional value.

Kool-Aid McKinstry
Alabama · CB · Junior

The Alabama-to-Baltimore pipeline remains strong, even with Ozzie Newsome in an advisory role and Eric DeCosta steering the ship. McKinstry is smooth and fluid, and though he didn't run the fastest 40 in Indy, his play speed wasn't a problem in Tuscaloosa.

Ladd McConkey
Georgia · WR · Junior (RS)

McConkey in the first round? Yes. Above guys like Troy Franklin and Keon Coleman? Perhaps. I've spoken to a lot of people over the past few months, and I'm not sure there is a single prospect who's as universally liked and respected as Ladd. Tough, smart, selfless. San Francisco seems like a perfect home.

Ja'Lynn Polk
Washington · WR · Junior (RS)

Polk is a personal favorite -- and I keep hearing his name from football people I trust. There's uncertainty in the Chiefs' wide receiver room, especially given Rashee Rice's legal issue. Texas Tech product Patrick Mahomes gets a former Red Raider who spent the past three seasons at Washington, making countless big plays throughout the 2023 Huskies' run to the national title game.

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