2024 NFL Mock Draft 2.0

Something something, Mock Draft, SEO, blah blah. Here’s some picks.

Oh by the way, I only made this version because I wanted to see what would happen if four quarterbacks went in the first four picks.

Hi Jimmy.

#1 Chicago Bears (F/CAR) – QB Caleb Williams, USC

Thank You, Next

#2 Washington Commanders – QB Jayden Daniels, LSU

I’m entirely basing this on the fact that Adam Schefter sees pretty confident Daniels is the guy at 2.

#3 New England Patriots – QB Drake Maye, UNC

Until the Patriots trade this pick (they won’t), presume the first three picks are going to be three quarterbacks.

Just think of the 2nd and 3rd picks as Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels in some order.

Since I don’t really need to explain the Patriots drafting a quarterback, here’s a tangental rant:

There’s this idea out there that the Vikings are preparing a “Godfather offer” that will vault them into the top three, at either 2 or 3, because they’re enamored with Drake Maye and you might as well order your Drake Maye Vikings jerseys now. While I’m sure they’re *trying* to get into the top three (or two) (them preemptively adding a second first rounder harkens to when Philly and Buffalo each moved up the board somewhat prior to moving up again for Carson Wentz and Josh Allen) it seems to go completely unaddressed that either the Commanders or Patriots will have to be WILLING to trade down. If both these teams believe that Maye and Jayden Daniels are franchise saviors then there simply is nothing the Vikings can possibly offer them to get them to move off the spot.

I remember in 2015 teams kept trying to trade for the second pick and on draft day the report was “The Titans want the earth, the moon, and the stars for the pick making it clear to teams they’re going to just draft Mariota and be done with it.” Sure, Mariota didn’t pan out, but the sentiment is going to remain when talking about a quarterback prospect. Minnesota could make a Godfather Trilogy offer and it might not matter.

Vikings Receive: #4
Cardinals Receive: #11, #23, 2025 1st Rounder

#4 Minnesota Vikings – QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan

Here’s a memory refresher on how the Vikings nearly traded up for Anthony Richardson last season and that trade partner absolutely had to be the Cardinals:

The part of the tweet that is getting chopped off by “Show more” reads “..to tango. Their trade partner thought they were going to be too good, and so they went elsewhere.”

Two important takeaways. First, it probably is the correct interpretation that Minnesota acquired a second first rounder because they’re loading up to go get a quarterback. If they were willing to sell the farm last year when they HAD Kirk Cousins, how desperate do you think they are now?

Second, their almost trade partner last year has to be the Cardinals. The Cardinals had the third pick and the Colts were lurking at four with a known interest in Richardson. If the Vikings wanted to make certain they got their guy, they needed to get all the way up to three after Bryce and Stroud were drafted. Plus, this means Richardson was still available, obviously. There’s no way these conversations were with the Panthers or Texans, or the Colts for that matter. If the Colts pulled the trigger on Richardson at 4 that means he was their dude and they wouldn’t have sold that pick for the world (see above). It literally has to be that this report is talking about the Cardinals.

So here we are, one year later, with the Vikings presumably willing to sell the farm for a rookie quarterback and the Cardinals are as high up the draft as the Vikings (probably) can get. I think the odds these two teams strike a deal this time around are decent. It’s just that quarterbacks have never gone 1, 2, 3, 4 (hey, there’s a first time for everything!) and since Arizona already has a second first it might be impossible to get them to pass on Marvin Harrison Jr., as I had them doing in Mock Draft 1.0.

But lest we forget, the Cardinals DID end up trading their pick last year, falling back to 12 before moving back up to 6. That doesn’t mean it’ll happen again but Ossenfort has demonstrated and willingness and ability to wheel and deal on draft night. If he is one of these GMs that believes there’s not much separation between Harrison and the other two receivers he may just take the mega-package from Minnesota and try to get back up the board later for WR3.

#5 Los Angeles Chargers – WR Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State

Yea I mean, it’s Marvin Harrison Jr. at 5.

#6 New York Giants – WR Malik Nabers, LSU

The only thing I’m going to plug here is that there’s allegedly teams that have Nabers WR1 and I think that is absolutely bonkers. Harrison is the best receiver prospect since Calvin Johnson, so if you think Nabers is better than that you’re essentially calling him Calvin and, like, come on.

Cardinals Receive: #4
Titans Receive: #11, #66 and #71

#7 Arizona Cardinals (F/TEN) – WR Rome Odunze, Washington

As teased, just like in 2023 the Cardinals trade down to accumulate draft compensation only to come back up some and get their guy. Last year after falling from 3 to 12 Arizona went back up to 6, sending 12, 34 and 168 to Detroit for 6 and 81. The outlined trade above may look light at face value but in a similar trade last year the two teams swapped second and third rounders, so Arizona’s two high thirds could get it done.

Since I’m assuming I don’t need to explain the Cardinals drafting Odunze I’ll talk to why the Titans took this deal instead of locking up Joe Alt. Tennessee is not Joe Alt away from contention and needs to fill out the roster. They need offensive tackle help but as many as 5 tackles could go in the first 15 picks, so falling down the board doesn’t risk the Titans getting help at the position. Tennessee also doesn’t pick between 38 and 106 so adding 66 and 71 allows them to continue bringing in young talent.

#8 Atlanta Falcons – Edge Dallas Turner, Alabama

Obviously Atlanta expects Cousins to take London, Pitts, and Bijan and turn this into a top tier offense. However, I’d just take Odunze in this situation. Anyway, the Falcons do need pass rush juice and Turner is the best rusher in the draft.

Bengals Receive: #9
Bears Receive: #18, #49, #149

#9 Cincinnati Bengals (F/CHI) – TE Brock Bowers, Georgia

If the top three receivers are off the board I’d expect Ryan Poles to try and move down. The challenge, as always, is finding someone to come up, but Chicago only has four picks in this draft and they don’t pick again after this until 75.

Enter Cincinnati. The Bengals have 10 picks and Super Bowl aspirations so we can confidently conclude 10 rookies will not be making their roster. A team that should be picking anywhere from 25-32, Cincinnati may see this as their last opportunity for awhile to be within striking distance of a true blue chip prospect. Adding Bowers is the best way for them to leave the draft having increased their chances at winning the Super Bowl this season. The cherry on top is on The Athletic’s podcast last week they identified the Bengals as one of the handful of teams that actually have the creativity to properly maximize Bowers.

#10 New York Jets – OT Joe Alt, Notre Dame

Honestly, if all three receivers are off the board (likely) I think Douglas is going to try to move down. The Jets don’t have a second this year, they signed two offensive tackles in free agency (even if they’re temporary solutions), and they could take Bowers but do we think Hackett is the dude to unlock him? And Rodgers notoriously hates rookies and just throwing to tight ends in general. They could still stick and pick Bowers, but I’m just saying.

This is a long-term/insurance policy play, and it is wise and prudent. On the other hand, it’s hard to rationalize a team that is all in on winning the Super Bowl in 2024 using the 10th pick on a bench player. Maybe Alt just beats out Moses for the starting job at right tackle. Or maybe the Jets just cut Moses (they basically gave up a 6th round and fell back 22 spots in the 4th in the trade) seeing as how there’s no dead money left on his deal and they’d save $5.5 million in doing so.

#11 Tennessee Titans (F/ARI/MIN) – OT Olu Fashanu, Penn State

So here you have it, the Titans add two third rounders and still get a left tackle. It’s not Joe Alt, but they did it.

Dolphins Receive: #12
Broncos Receive: #21, #55, 2025 3rd
#12 Miami Dolphins (F/DEN) – OL Troy Fautanu, Washington

I really think the Broncos are going to look to bail out of 12. They don’t have a second rounder and 12 is too high for QB5. Granted, they could go full YOLO and shoot their shot on Nix or Penix, but it’s wiser to just move down, add some picks, and take one of them later.

This also just seems like a Grier move, aka doing something stupid. Miami knows the financial clock is ticking on Tua and they need to win during his rookie contract. The Dolphins lost some offensive lineman in free agency and Fautanu provides positional flexibility so that Miami can just put their five best linemen out on the field.

#13 Las Vegas Raiders – CB Terrion Arnold, Alabama

How on earth did Tom Telesco immediately get another general manager job? Lunacy.

Anyway, Telesco hasn’t shied from taking smaller corners before, drafting Jason Verrett in the first round of 2014 and Asante Samuel Jr. in the second round of 2021. Arnold isn’t tiny or anything at 5’11” 189lbs but he’s also not hulking. Alas, he may be the best run defending corner in the draft and he’s not afraid to be physical. I’d imagine Antonio Pierce is going to appreciate that.

#14 New Orleans Saints – Edge Jared Verse, Florida State

The Saints signed Chase Young but he’s spent most of his career injured and already has a neck thing and Cam Jordan can’t play forever. The Saints are in win-now mode (obviously) and Verse can contribute from day one.

#15 Indianapolis Colts – CB Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo

Chris Ballard is going to draft athletes and Quinyon Mitchell turned in an elite RAS at the combine. Unless the Colts end up pulling off this trade for Sneed, corner should be a primary target at 15.

Packers Receive: #16
Seattle Receive: #25, #58, #169
#16 Green Bay Packers (F/SEA) – OT Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State

The Packers, not too dissimilar from the Bengals, have 11 picks and doubtfully 11 available roster openings. Armed with two seconds and two thirds, it would not surprise me to see Green Bay go up the board to get someone they covet. The Packers may be (rightfully) unwilling to send Jordan Love out there in 2024 with Rasheed Walker slated to be one of their starting offensive tackles. For those worried about Fuaga being a right tackle and Zach Tom playing on the right side for Green Bay, Tom spent his time at Wake Forest playing left tackle so that versatility could allow for the Packers to figure out who will play on which side later.

#17 Jacksonville Jaguars – WR Brian Thomas Jr., LSU

We all know Trent Baalke is going to draft some insane athlete, an injured dude, or someone who is both. With Calvin Ridley gone the Jaguars may think they’re back to being thin at receiver. This may easily be a corner or offensive tackle, but with Brian Thomas blazing a 4.33 with a 1.52 10-split at 209lbs I don’t think Baalke will be able to help himself. And I’m sure Doug won’t be opposed.

#18 Chicago Bears (F/CIN) – Edge Laiatu Latu, UCLA

If none of the big 3 receivers get to Chicago at 9, and they don’t bail out of the pick, the two most common positions projected for them to draft are edge and offensive tackle. After spending the 10th pick on Darnell Wright last year and Braxton Jones having two good seasons under his belt, I’d venture to guess edge would edge out (see what I did there) over offensive tackle.

#19 Los Angeles Rams – OT JC Latham, Alabama

The last of the big 5 tackles in this class and the 12th best player on The Athletic Consensus Board at 19.

#20 Pittsburgh Steelers – DB Cooper DeJean, Iowa

What an easy transition from the aesthetic of the Iowa jersey to that of the Steelers. Anyway, is Cooper an outside corner, a slot corner, a safety? I dunno but he’s a high IQ player that’s stout in run defense and I have a feeling Tomlin will love him.

#21 Denver Broncos (F/MIA) – QB Bo Nix, Oregon

As I said before, Denver might look to move down then take Nix or Penix later and they pull that off here. What TF is the Broncos’ plan at quarterback? I suppose they could punt until 2025 but does Sean Payton really want to do that? Bo Nix doesn’t have the strongest arm in the world but neither did Drew Brees. Bo Nix may be viewed as a system quarterback but he was really, really good at running that system and Payton may think he can system his way to being a contender.

#22 Philadelphia Eagles – CB Nate Wiggins, Clemson

Darius Slay and James Bradberry are both over 30 and coming off down years. Howie invests in the premium positions so here we are.

#23 Arizona Cardinals (F/MIN/HOU/CLE) – OL Graham Barton, Duke

Barton conceivably has five position versatility so he can fit anywhere on the interior.

#24 Dallas Cowboys – OT Amarius Mims, Georgia

I imagine Dallas is going to kick Tyler Smith out to tackle but even still they need someone opposite him (sorry I don’t buy into Terence Steele). Mims is more an athlete than a tackle but Dallas just took a better athlete than tackle in Tyler Smith in 2022 and that worked out so.

#25 Seattle Seahawks (F/GB) – C Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon

So why did Seattle trade down? Well first of all, Pete Carroll may be gone but John Schneider remains. Besides, the Seahawks are light on picks this year – by their stands – and don’t have a second rounder.

Anyway, the interior of this offensive line is a disaster. I’ve heard the league isn’t as high on Powers-Johnson as the media but this is just too good a match.

#26 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – DL Darius Robinson, Missouri

Apparently NFL personnel texted both Mel Kiper and Field Yates after Robinson’s proday and said “yea he’s going first round.” I do and don’t like this scheme fit as Robinson has the size to be an end in a 3-4 but he’s not a true edge for then they trot out their nickel. He’s large enough to squeeze down but the team already has Vea and Kancey. I guess just get good players and figure out the rest later.

#27 Arizona Cardinals (F/HOU) – CB Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama

Kool-Aid ran a 4.47 at his pro-day with a Jones fracture. Insane.

#28 Buffalo Bills – WR Adonai Mitchell, Texas

The Bills certainly seem backed into a corner with this pick.

#29 Detroit Lions – DT Byron Murphy, Texas

This is just insane value.

#30 Baltimore Ravens – Edge Chop Robinson, Penn State

Bringing in edge rushers and developing them is Baltimore’s super power. They just took an unproductive athletic freak out of Penn State Odafe Oweh and they go back to the well.

#31 San Francisco 49ers – OL Jordan Morgan, Arizona

The 9ers could use help at tackle and guard. Morgan played tackle in college but may not have the length to stick there in the pros. Either way, the 9ers are getting a good player.

#32 Kansas City Chiefs – OT Tyler Guyton, Oklahoma

The Chiefs don’t force needs but their tackle situation is dire and Guyton is arguably the best player on the board.

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