The College Football regular season has hit the halfway point today, with the Conference Championship games just seven weeks away. I am here to bring you the first iteration of my 2024 NFL Mock Draft Series. As in prior years, the Mock Draft Series will add one round per iteration with Mock 8.0 coming the night before the 2024 NFL Draft, Live from Detroit. This mock is built on research done across media in an attempt to hit on the 31 players that are expected to be drafted in Round 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft. Picks will change, Some players may return to school, and Teams will trade between now and April, but if you were here for My 2023 Mock 1.0, I hit on four team matches, and the no. 1 overall pick, Bryce Young in Mock 1.0 on December 1st, 2022.
Round 1 – (Pick 1-32)
No. 1 – Chicago Bears – Caleb Williams, QB – USC
Considered the “best prospect of the last decade” by so many analysts, scouts, and general managers, Williams won the Heisman in 2022 after a 42 touchdown and 5 interception debut season in Los Angeles. USC has scored more than 40+ points in 16 of 19 starts by Williams.
No. 2 – Chicago Bears – Olu Fashanu, OT – Penn State
The protector, not only have the Bears been void of overall talent during Justin Fields’ tenure, but the offensive line has been in a tumultuous spot, allowing 78 sacks since the beginning of the 2022 NFL season, good for third most during that time frame.
No. 3 – Denver Broncos – Marvin Harrison Jr, WR – Ohio State
The best of the best, Marvin Harrison Jr. has been on everyone’s radar since stepping foot on the field at Ohio State… well, probably since he was seen holding his father, Marvin Harrison’s hand growing up. Harrison Jr. is 6’4” and around 205lbs, projecting to be 4 inches taller and 20lbs heavier than his father, who finished 9th all-time in receiving yards. Jr is his own player, bringing an uncanny catch radius, dominant alpha play style, with strong hands and uber-stringy athleticism that we haven’t seen since the likes of A.J. Green and Julio Jones.
No. 4 – Minnesota Vikings – Drake Maye, QB – North Carolina
Kirk Cousins is an undrafted free agent after the 2023 season, 6 years in Washington, and 6 years in Minnesota, and the Vikings are likely on their last straw with this team build. Moving on to Drake Maye allows them to pay Justin Jefferson, and allocate funds to the defense in 2024. Maye has prototypical NFL size at 6’5 220lbs, he has room to add 10-15lbs during his playing career and align himself in the same conversation as some past top draft picks like Justin Herbert, and Phillip Rivers as far as play style, and arm strength.
No. 5 – New England Patriots – Joe Alt, OT – Notre Dame
Once the Patriots are gifted the opportunity to likely miss out on the Drake Maye / Caleb Williams sweepstakes, finishing with the 5th overall pick. They move on from Mac Jones, by singing Free Agent Kirk Cousins in March and turning the focus to building the offensive line up, with Notre Dame stud and book-end tackle, Joe Alt. This allows New England to move Trent Brown back to Right Tackle and slot Alt in on day one as the Left Tackle, protecting Cousins’ front and backside.
No. 6 – New York Giants – Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB – Alabama
No. 7 – Arizona Cardinals – Dallas Turner, EDGE – Alabama
No. 8 – Green Bay Packers – J.C. Latham, OT – Alabama
No. 9 – Las Vegas Raiders – Bo Nix, QB – Oregon
No. 10 – Arizona Cardinals – Nate Wiggins, CB – Clemson
No. 11 – New York Jets – Graham Barton, OT – Duke
No. 12 – Washington Commanders – Kalen King, CB – Penn State
No. 13 – Tennessee Titans – Emeka Egbuka, WR – Ohio State
No. 14 – Cincinnati Bengals – Brock Bowers, TE – Georgia
An unpopular thought, here – Brock Bowers falling to pick no. 14 overall, a lot of media outlets have Bowers as a lock to be a Top 8 selection. While I agree with the talent, his health and frame will play a role in his draft capital. Dalton Kincaid was looked at in a similar vein as Bowers in 2023, with receiver standalone value, and we have yet to see Kincaid flourish in that role. However, Bowers falling to the Bengals at 14 would have to be an all-time dream for Fantasy Football gamers, with Tee Higgins likely departing in free agency if a deal is not done, Bowers slots into a dynamic offense with an alpha receiver on his outside, something Kyle Pitts fans can only dream of, today.
No. 15 – Los Angeles Rams – Jared Verse, EDGE – Florida State
No. 16 – Los Angeles Chargers – Xavier Worthy, WR – Texas
The Chargers brought in a 3rd-round receiver in Joshua Palmer during the 2021 NFL Draft, in 2023 they added Quentin Johnston in Round 1, both started their careers off slowly. But Palmer has progressed enough to be seen as the next in line behind fellow 3rd-rounder Keenen Allen. Johnston has room to grow, but speed to burn and a role that is similar to Mike Williams. The player the Chargers have always been missing is the smaller, quick, dynamic receiver that can take ANY football the distance, that guy is Xavier Worthy, a player looked at pre-season as the show in WR 2 or 3 in the class. Worthy has checked off the boxes in Austin playing alongside Adonai Mitchell.
No. 17 – Houston Texans – Laiatu Latu, EDGE – UCLA
No. 18 – New Orleans Saints – Cooper DeJean, CB – Iowa
No. 19 – Atlanta Falcons – J.J. McCarthy, QB – Michigan
An under-discussed quarterback in the 2024 class is McCarthy, an efficient winner out of Michigan. McCarthy is Bryce Young, but 6’3 – over each of the last 3 seasons his completion percentage points rose by 7 from 2021 to 2022, and 10 points from 2022 to 2023. And his attempts haven’t gone to the shorter field more, his Yards per attempt jumped from 8.4 in 2022 up to 10.4, including an NFL Passer Rating that has leaped 24 points in 2023 as well, per Pro Football Focus.
No. 20 – Indianapolis Colts – Jer’Zhan Newton, DL – Illinois
No. 21 – Buffalo Bills – Rome Odunze, WR – Washington
No. 22 – Dallas Cowboys – Keon Coleman, WR – Florida State
No. 23 – Baltimore Ravens – Malik Nabers, WR – LSU
In a class full of big-body receivers, Nabers fits the archetype, standing at 6’ 200lbs – a stature that has worked for fellow Tigers, Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson – large shoes to fill. After hitting on Zay Flowers in the 2023 Draft, Ravens GM Eric DeCosta is going to be poised to hit again, to replace Odell Beckham and Rashod Bateman, expect that to be Nabers or Keon Coleman, if they fall.
No. 24 – Seattle Seahawks – Tyler Nubin, S – Minnesota
No. 25 – Pittsburgh Steelers – Amarius Mims, OT – Georgia
No. 26 – Jacksonville Jaguars – Maason Smith, DL – LSU
No. 27 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Adonai Mitchell, WR – Texas
No. 28 – Detroit Lions – Kris Jenkins, DL – Michigan
No. 29 – Miami Dolphins – Leonard Taylor, DL – Miami(FL)
No. 30 – Philadelphia Eagles – Kamren Kinchens, S – Miami(FL)
No. 31 – Kansas City Chiefs – Xavier Legette, WR – South Carolina
Legette has been at South Carolina since 2019, and before the 2023 season he had 423 career receiving yards…over the Gamecock’s first four games in 2023, Legette rattled off 556 yards, breaking Alshon Jeffery’s school record for most receiving yards in the first four games of a season. Legette exploded onto the scene against Mississippi State, taking a shallow crosser 76 yards in the blink of an eye.
No. 32 – San Francisco 49ers – Chop Robinson, EDGE – Penn State