2024 NFL mock draft: Commanders, Vikings and Broncos make stunning decisions

Author:
Sportsnaut

We’re finally less than seven days away from the end of all 2024 NFL mock drafts. NFL free agency helped organizations fill their most pressing team needs, and now franchises can focus on the future. But that’s where the 2024 NFL Draft comes in.

With the NFL rumor mill constantly spinning, some recent bits of information have impacted a few key decisions since our past mock draft update last week, and there are more coming before Thursday kicks off too.

Let’s dive into our latest 2024 NFL mock draft as we turn the calendar to the fourth week of April.

Related: Most underrated prospects in 2024 NFL Draft, including Michael Penix Jr.

NFL mock draft 2024: Round 1 predictions

1. Chicago Bears: Caleb Williams, QB, USC

2024 NFL mock draft
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no guessing here. The Chicago Bears land their franchise quarterback. Now they just need to make sure Caleb Williams has all the tools he needs to succeed. Williams’ ability to make magic when plays break down will help hide some of the weaknesses along the offensive line, and if he’s the real deal, the Bears can take a major leap in 2024.

Related: 2024 Chicago Bears mock draft

2. Minnesota Vikings*: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Jayden Daniels
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

TRADE: Minnesota Vikings trade 11th, 23rd picks, 2025 1st-round pick to Washington Commanders for 2nd pick

Recent rumors suggest Jayden Daniels’ camp wasn’t thrilled about being forced to ‘compete’ with his fellow top QB prospects at the Washington Commanders’ workout, and if there’s one team the LSU star likely wants to ‘force’ his way to, it’s the Minnesota Vikings with fellow Tigers alum Justin Jefferson. For the Vikings, giving up a future first is not ideal, but getting a potential superstar who can be just as dangerous with his legs as he is with his arm makes this a risk worth taking.

Related: After Shaky Visit in DC, is Jayden Daniels Trying to Force His Way to Vikings?

3. Washington Commanders*: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

NCAA Football: Duke at North Carolina
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

TRADE: Washington Commanders trade 11th, 23rd, 40th pick + 2025 3rd-round pick to Washington New England Patriots for 3rd pick

It’s a crazy outcome at the top of our 2024 NFL mock draft, with the Commanders sliding down one place to add a future first-round pick to their haul while still landing their franchise quarterback. Drake Maye doesn’t have the same mobility as Daniels, but he has a stronger arm that could play better in the challenging D.C. wind. Maye arrives in Washington with a No. 1 wideout already on hand and another threat in Jahan Dotson; now they just need to fill out the offensive line.

Related: 2024 Washington Commanders mock draft

4. Arizona Cardinals: Marvin Harrison Jr, WR, Ohio State

marvin harrison jr.
Brooke LaValley / USA TODAY NETWORK

Teams may be calling, but with the chance to add the safest prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft class, the Arizona Cardinals can’t afford to pass up on Marvin Harrison Jr. Unless the Cardinals aren’t sold on Kyler Murray, MHJ has to be the pick here. His addition finally gives K1 a top receiving threat capable of making the Cardinals’ offense potent again.

Related: 2024 Arizona Cardinals mock draft

5. Los Angeles Chargers: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

NCAA Football: Georgia St. at Louisiana State
Matthew Dobbins-USA TODAY Sports

It almost seems unfair for the Chargers to land Malik Nabers, who some feel is the best receiver prospect in the 2024 draft class at No. 5. The electric receiver with 4.35 speed can help Chargers fans forget about the loss of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams and the Chargers can still fill out their offensive line later, but they won’t find a receiver as talented as Nabers in the second round.

Related: Los Angeles Chargers Trade 5th Pick for Star Wide Receiver in Latest NFL Mock Draft

6. Denver Broncos*: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy
Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

TRADE: Denver Broncos trade Patrick Surtain II and 12th pick to New York Giants for 6th pick

Rumors point to J.J. McCarthy being the quarterback Sean Payton wants most. If true, don’t be surprised if the Broncos get ultra-aggressive to get him, even if it means parting with their best player. In McCarthy, the Broncos are landing a mobile quarterback who can operate Coach Payton’s offense at a high level thanks to his high IQ and strong leadership skills, but they still need more receivers.

7. Tennessee Titans: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

joe alt
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

This feels like the ‘easiest’ pick to project in the first round of the NFL Draft in 2024. The Tennessee Titans are all in on Will Levis, getting him a pair of veteran receivers who have shown the ability to produce at a high level, but the offensive line is still in shambles. Pairing up with Peter Skoronski, Alt can quickly patch up the left side of the line in Tennessee.

Related: Tennessee Titans mock draft 2024

8. Atlanta Falcons: Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Dallas Turner (15) celebrates after a sack in the second quarter against the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard to envision the Atlanta Falcons ignoring their defense after largely focusing on filling their offensive needs in free agency. Getting the top edge rusher in the draft class at No. 8 is a big win for a Falcons defense that tied for having the 11th-fewest sacks in the NFL and has lost their top-two sack producers from 2023. Dallas Turner has double-digit sack potential, even as a rookie and could help make Atlanta’s defense respectable in 2024.

Related: 7-round Atlanta Falcons mock draft

9. Chicago Bears: Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

Laiatu Latu
Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Consideration was given to selecting a receiver or an offensive lineman, but building the trenches is just as important for a Bears team that ranked 32nd and 20th in points allowed over the past two seasons. Laiatu Latu is a great fit being that he can play multiple positions along the defensive front, even occasionally dropping back in coverage to mix things up. Yet, he’s also an elite pass-rusher capable of becoming a game-wrecker at the next level.

10. New York Jets: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

Brock Bowers
Credit: Joshua L. Jones / USA TODAY NETWORK

Consideration was given to selecting Rome Odunze here, but we feel like Brock Bowers is the better prospect, and he arguably fills a bigger need for the New York Jets. Tyler Conklin is serviceable, but he’ll never be a Pro Bowl player like Bowers. The best part is the two tight ends can work together since Bowers can line up at multiple positions in this offense, where the Jets will surely take advantage of his incredible YAC ability.

2024 NFL mock draft: Patriots still get QB, Chargers add weapon WR

11. New England Patriots*: Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington

TRADE: New England Patriots trade third pick to Washington Commanders for 11th, 23rd, 40th pick + 2025 3rd-round pick

It’s a bit of a surprise for the Patriots, but here they land arguably the best arm in the 2024 NFL Draft class while also getting a chance to get a receiver at 23, plus adding more depth in the future. Michael Penix Jr. has already shown how productive he can be with his arm. If the Patriots can build the proper foundation around him while helping the Washington QB refine his timing, footwork, and accuracy, New England could end up with the best prospect in the class.

Related: New England Patriots mock draft 2024: Building a foundation for the future

12. New York Giants*: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

TRADE: New York Giants trade 6th pick to Denver Broncos for Patrick Surtain II and 12th pick

Since quarterback isn’t an actual need for the New York Giants, they have the flexibility to move down and pick up more assets to rebuild Brian Daboll’s roster. Here, Daniel Jones gets the first No. 1 wideout he’s ever had, and if the offensive line is fixed (a big if), then Odunze will become the first 1,000-yard receiver the Giants have had since Odell Beckham Jr. accomplished the feat in 2018.

See where Daniel Jones lands in Sportsnaut’s NFL QB Rankings

13. Las Vegas Raiders: Taliese Fuaga, OL, Oregon State

There are officially no quarterbacks left who are worth spending a first-round pick on, so the Las Vegas Raiders will have to circle back to someone like Bo Nix later. But reinforcing the offensive line is still a must to help set up their future QB for success. Taliese Fuaga can handle guard or tackle, and with his mean streak, he’ll have no trouble earning a starting role for Antonio Pierce’s team as a rookie.

Related: Las Vegas Raiders mock draft 2024: Building the team and finding a QB

14. New Orleans Saints: JC Latham, OL, Alabama

With so many questions up front, the New Orleans Saints may not feel they have a choice but to add a first-round offensive lineman. Complementary receivers can be found later, but versatile linemen like JC Latham are rare. The Saints are hoping to rely on Trevor Penning and Ryan Ramczyk as their starting tackle duo, but Latham can also play guard until he’s needed to kick outside to tackle. He’d be a great fit in New Orleans.

Related: 2024 NFL Draft order, picks by team

15. Indianapolis Colts: Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

After flirting with L’Jarius Sneed, the Indianapolis Colts showed they are eager to improve at cornerback this offseason. Cooper DeJean can provide an immediate boost to this secondary where he could see time at corner or even safety. Either way, the athletic prospect with elite ball skills will find his way into the starting lineup.

Related: Indianapolis Colts mock draft 2024: Providing support for Anthony Richardson

16. Seattle Seahawks: Byron Murphy II, DL, Texas

Signing Laken Tomlinson lessens the need to add a player like Troy Fautanu here, so we’re focusing on the best player available in Byron Murphy instead. At 6-feet, 300 pounds, Murphy isn’t an intimidating presence by size alone, but neither was Aaron Donald. Still, Murphy has the potential to be an elite pass-rusher and run stuffer who plays all three downs as an impact rookie.

Related: Updated 2024 NFL power rankings

17. Jacksonville Jaguars: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

Adding a receiver or even another offensive lineman was tempting, but the Jacksonville Jaguars can’t afford to keep ignoring their needs in the secondary after ranking in the bottom tier of passing yards and touchdowns allowed. Quinyon Mitchell may have attended a small school, but he’s been a rapid riser in the pre-draft process as more scouts dive into his film where they’re seeing his elite athleticism cause problems for every opponent he faces.

Related: NFL defense rankings 2024

18. Cincinnati Bengals: Troy Fautanu, OL, Washington

With Joe Burrow on board, the Cincinnati Bengals can’t go wrong by addressing their offensive line here at 18 with Troy Fautanu. Capable of playing guard or tackle, Fautanu can compete for an interior starting spot as a rookie and slide to tackle when needed.

Related: 2024-25 Super Bowl odds

19. Los Angeles Rams: Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State

Sean McVay and Matthew Stafford have the offense in good shape, but Aaron Donald’s departure could wreak havoc on the Los Angeles Rams‘ defense. Jared Verse is the exact type of elite athlete who could reach his All-Pro potential with the right amount of coaching. Already packing a powerful punch, if Verse can consistently use his advanced strength and speed to his advantage, the Rams may have a double-digit sack artist here.

Related: Los Angeles Rams mock draft 2024

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State

We could add a receiver, but offensive line is a bigger need for an offense that needs to fix its passing and running game. Olu Fashanu has the footwork to play either left or right side of the line, which could bring out the best in Broderick Jones as they both compete for starting spots in Pittsburgh.

2024 NFL Draft projections: Dolphins, Cowboys strengthen roster

21. Miami Dolphins: Graham Barton, OL, Duke

Adding Graham Barton is an effort to build the Miami Dolphins’ offensive line for the future, ensuring Tua Tagovailoa stays healthy for years to come. There’s uncertainty over where Barton will play at the next level, but since the Dolphins have needs at each position, he can settle in at guard, center, or possibly even stay at tackle if he can prove capable.

Related: 10 most underrated free agent signings, including Russell Wilson

22. Philadelphia Eagles: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

With a need to start planning for a future without either or both Darius Slay and James Bradberry, Eagles GM Howie Roseman does what he’s always done by being one step ahead of Philadelphia’s roster-building process. Terrion Arnold is good enough to see the field right away, where he brings experience playing outside and in the slot, showing excellent speed and coverage ability

Related: Philadelphia Eagles mock draft 2024

23. New England Patriots*: Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU

TRADE: New England Patriots trade third pick to Washington Commanders for 11th, 23rd, 40th pick + 2025 3rd-round pick

Getting a new WR1 plus a future franchise quarterback is a great first day of the 2024 NFL Draft for the Patriots. Brian Thomas Jr. has freakish potential as a 6-foot-3 wideout with incredible 4.33 speed. LSU receivers are just built differently, and if Thomas can repeat even a fraction of the success we’ve seen emerge from the Bayou as of late, the Patriots could have a new No. 1 wideout capable of taking a game over.

24. Dallas Cowboys: Jackson Powers-Johnson, iOL, Oregon

After leading the NFL in points scored, now the Cowboys need to replace four starters on offense (two OL, 1 RB, 1 WR). Aside from having a top QB-WR playmaking duo, the key to a high-powered scoring attack is building in the trenches. The Cowboys can find their starting center for the next decade with Jackson Powers-Johnson, and he may have enough strength and versatility to compete at guard too.

25. Green Bay Packers: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

Getting a left tackle would be ideal, but getting a potential shutdown cornerback in Nate Wiggins is strong value with the 25th pick too. In addition to his impressive length (6-foot-1) and radical speed (4.28 40 time), Wiggins has strong instincts that could lead to him being a ballhawk at the next level, if teams are willing to test him anyway.

Related: 2024 Green Bay Packers mock draft

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Chop Robinson, EDGE, Penn State

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have three former first-round picks featured on their front seven, but now there’s a significant pass-rushing void after Shaquil Barrett’s departure. What’s needed is an athletic edge rusher like Chop Robinson, who boasts extreme explosiveness and a wicked 4.48 40 time for a 6-foot-3, 254-pound athlete.

27. Arizona Cardinals: Darius Robinson, DL, Missouri

While the Cardinals need plenty of help elsewhere, adding a potential game-wrecking defensive lineman like Darius Robinson could be the most impactful addition available late in the first round. With plenty of playing time available up front in Arizona, Robinson can help on the edge and inside as a down lineman in obvious passing situations where his immense power can quickly disrupt his opponent’s plans.

28. Buffalo Bills: Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

Brandon Beane doesn’t want us to think the Buffalo Bills are reliant on a No. 1 receiver to have a high-powered offense, but we don’t agree. Adonai Mitchell has the gamebreaking potential the Bills receiving corps is currently lacking, and his 4.34 speed will pair nicely with Josh Allen’s cannon arm.

29. Detroit Lions: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

After allowing the 27th-most passing yards last season, the Detroit Lions knew they’d have to overhaul their secondary, and while adding veterans in Carlton Davis and Amik Robertson will provide immediate Band-Aids, they’re not long-term solutions. A smart player who rarely finds himself in a bad position to make a play, Kool-Aid McKinstry has No. 1 cornerback potential.

Related: NFL playoff predictions

30. Baltimore Ravens: Jer’Zhan Newton, DL, Illinois

Adding another offensive lineman and a cornerback are top needs, but Jer’zhan ‘Johnny’ Newton was the best player available in our 2024 NFL mock draft. Unable to show off his skillset at the NFL Combine due to a foot injury, Newton showed his pass-rush ability while winning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. A player who has plus instincts and athleticism, Newton has the potential to be an NFL star.

Related: NFL MVP odds 

31. San Francisco 49ers: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

Colton McKivitz was brought back after grading 47th out of 81 right tackles per Pro Football Focus, but Amarius Mims would be an immediate upgrade for the 49ers. At 6-foot-8, Mims is one of the biggest right tackles in the NFL Draft class. Yet, with his movement skills, Mims might even be able to protect Brock Purdy’s blindside after learning from Trent Williams for a season or two.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma

After watching Jawaan Taylor struggle at right tackle last season, the Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive line has only gotten worse after Donovan Smith’s contract expired. While a reunion is possible, the Chiefs can find a better player through the draft. Tyler Guyton has the feet to play left tackle and should be a high-level pass protector for Patrick Mahomes.

Related: 2024-25 Super Bowl odds

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