Friday, February 23, 2024

2024 NFL Mock Draft post-Super Bowl edition: Steelers, Raiders target QBs as five go in Round 1

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USC

• Jr

• 6’1″

/ 215 lbs

Projected Team

Chicago

PROSPECT RNK

2nd

POSITION RNK

1st

Caleb Williams is the best QB in this class, but the Bears have to decide if, like a year ago, they want to trade down and stockpile picks, or stay put, which also means moving on from Justin Fields.

LSU

• Sr

• 6’4″

/ 210 lbs

Projected Team

Washington

PROSPECT RNK

8th

POSITION RNK

3rd

No player did more for their draft stock in the fall than Jayden Daniels, who went from possible Day 3 pick to first-round prospect. He reminds me of Lamar Jackson, and it’s not crazy to think that, five years from now, we’ll look back and say that Daniels was the best player in this class.

North Carolina

• Soph

• 6’4″

/ 230 lbs

Projected Team

New England

PROSPECT RNK

6th

POSITION RNK

2nd

The Patriots cannot come out of this draft without a quarterback. Drake Maye could push Caleb Williams for QB1, depending on the team — and Jayden Daniels could be in the QB2 conversation, too. This QB class is deep at the top, so different teams will have different favorites.

Ohio State

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 205 lbs

Projected Team

Arizona

PROSPECT RNK

1st

POSITION RNK

1st

Best-case scenario for the Cardinals, who get Kyler Murray the best wideout in the class.

Penn State

• Jr

• 6’6″

/ 317 lbs

The Chargers continue to bolster the offensive line — they’ve drafted a tackle and a guard in the first round in two of the last three years — even with a playmaker like Brock Bowers still on the board.

LSU

• Jr

• 6’0″

/ 200 lbs

Projected Team

N.Y. Giants

PROSPECT RNK

10th

POSITION RNK

3rd

Offensive line could be a consideration here, but the Giants opt for Nabers, a big-play receiver who is a threat to take it to the house every time he touches the ball.

Notre Dame

• Jr

• 6’7″

/ 322 lbs

Projected Team

Tennessee

PROSPECT RNK

5th

POSITION RNK

2nd

The Titans go offensive line in Round 1 for the second straight year; they already have their young QB in Will Levis, and now they’ll go about protecting him.

Alabama

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 252 lbs

Projected Team

Atlanta

PROSPECT RNK

9th

POSITION RNK

1st

The Falcons could be in the QB business, but if there isn’t a prospect who impresses them this early in the process, pass-rusher is likely priority No. 1. And Turner, who is coming off a great 2023 season for Alabama, will likely be a top-10 pick.

Washington

• Jr

• 6’3″

/ 215 lbs

Projected Team

Chicago

PROSPECT RNK

7th

POSITION RNK

2nd

The Bears stay put at No. 1 and get a QB. Then, eight picks later, they get their QB a big-play weapon in Rome Odunze.

Oregon State

• Jr

• 6’6″

/ 334 lbs

Projected Team

N.Y. Jets

PROSPECT RNK

13th

POSITION RNK

4th

Fuaga is coming off a great season, coupled that with a great Senior Bowl week, and now goes from possible late first-rounder to one of the first offensive linemen off the board.

Toledo

• Jr

• 6’0″

/ 196 lbs

Projected Team

Minnesota

PROSPECT RNK

20th

POSITION RNK

2nd

Mitchell is long, fluid and was a pass-breakup machine at Toledo. And that’s exactly who he was at the Senior Bowl — to the point that he’ll be in the CB1 conversation.

Florida State

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 260 lbs

Projected Team

Denver

PROSPECT RNK

15th

POSITION RNK

3rd

QB is a huge need here, but Sean Payton doesn’t have a history of rolling the dice with rookie QBs. Instead, the Broncos bolster the pass rush with Jared Verse.

Michigan

• Jr

• 6’3″

/ 202 lbs

Projected Team

Las Vegas

PROSPECT RNK

32nd

POSITION RNK

5th

McCarthy did what he was asked at Michigan. He’s not my QB4 based on the 2023 season, but all he does is win and his teammates love him. He has a big arm, is a great athlete, and the Raiders need a QB.

Georgia

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 240 lbs

Projected Team

New Orleans

PROSPECT RNK

4th

POSITION RNK

1st

The Saints could go wide receiver here, too, but Brock Bowers feels like stealing at No. 14; I’ll repeat what I wrote back on Dec. 4, in one of my previous mock drafts: “In the last 20 years, 19 tight ends have gone in the first round. Five of those were selected in the top 10 (Eric Ebron, 10th overall in 2014; TJ Hockenson, 8th overall in 2019; Kellen Winslow II and Vernon Davis, 6th overall in 2004 and 2006; and Kyle Pitts, 4th overall in 2021). The other 14 were drafted between No. 19 and No. 32. I mention this because I think Brock Bowers is special. In fact, he’s the No. 5 player on my big board. And maybe he’s different; he’ll be the tight end worth taking in the top 10.” For now, though, I have him going in the middle of the round to New Orleans.

Alabama

• Soph

• 6’0″

/ 196 lbs

Projected Team

Indianapolis

PROSPECT RNK

16th

POSITION RNK

1st

Arnold got some buzz in the fall, but it wasn’t clear he would leave Alabama early. Now that he has, he’ll be in the mix for CB1, alongside the aforementioned Quinyon Mitchell.

Illinois

• Jr

• 6’2″

/ 295 lbs

Projected Team

Seattle

PROSPECT RNK

17th

POSITION RNK

2nd

Newton played on an Illini defense in 2022 that included No. 5 overall pick Devon Witherspoon and Day 2 selections Quan Martin and Sydney Brown. He had a strong 2023 campaign, and the Seattle defense, especially along the defensive line, is in line for some reinforcements.

UCLA

• Sr

• 6’5″

/ 265 lbs

Projected Team

Jacksonville

PROSPECT RNK

12th

POSITION RNK

2nd

The biggest issues facing Latu will be if he’s cleared medically after a neck injury sidelined his career a few years ago. Because on the field, he was unstoppable during the 2023 season.

Alabama

• Jr

• 6’6″

/ 360 lbs

Projected Team

Cincinnati

PROSPECT RNK

11th

POSITION RNK

3rd

The Bengals have needs at wide receiver, too, but Latham will anchor the right side for the next decade.

Clemson

• Jr

• 6’2″

/ 185 lbs

Projected Team

L.A. Rams

PROSPECT RNK

21st

POSITION RNK

3rd

Nate Wiggins had a solid season for Clemson — he’s long, fast and consistently good in coverage, but he also improved in run support in 2023.

Washington

• Sr

• 6’3″

/ 213 lbs

Projected Team

Pittsburgh

PROSPECT RNK

31st

POSITION RNK

4th

The Steelers hired a new OC in Arthur Smith, which is good news for this offense. Still, if they don’t think Kenny Pickett is the long-term solution, Penix Jr. could (should?) be a consideration here.

Oregon

• Jr

• 6’3″

/ 320 lbs

Projected Team

Miami

PROSPECT RNK

25th

POSITION RNK

1st

Powers-Johnson is the most reliable offensive lineman in this class, and he can play either guard or tackle position in the NFL.

Florida State

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 215 lbs

Projected Team

Philadelphia

PROSPECT RNK

28th

POSITION RNK

5th

Yes, the Eagles have A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith, but there is little depth behind them, and Coleman, who also has return ability, showed his ability to take over games in 2023.

Penn State

• Jr

• 6’3″

/ 254 lbs

Projected Team

Houston

PROSPECT RNK

40th

POSITION RNK

7th

Will Anderson Jr. was dominant as a rookie, and even if the team re-ups Jonathan Greenard, you can never have too many edge rushers. And Chop Robinson played with one of the highest motors in college football.

Iowa

• Jr

• 6’1″

/ 207 lbs

Projected Team

Dallas

PROSPECT RNK

22nd

POSITION RNK

4th

The ball-hawking DeJean can line up just about anywhere (and he’s an asset in the return game, too) and that versatility and rare athleticism are what make him such an enticing prospect.

Alabama

• Jr

• 6’1″

/ 195 lbs

Projected Team

Green Bay

PROSPECT RNK

23rd

POSITION RNK

5th

The Packers have a history of only drafting defensive players in the first round, so I’m not going to break tradition here; Kool-Aid has legit NFL cover skills — the only question will be his deep speed, and that would be the only reason he’d still be available here. Otherwise, there’s a lot to love about his game. Added bonus: he can be an asset in the return game, too.

LSU

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 205 lbs

Projected Team

Tampa Bay

PROSPECT RNK

27th

POSITION RNK

4th

Baker Mayfield had to go to Tampa to rediscover his game, and he’s playing some of the best football of his career. If the Bucs bring him back, they can focus on other parts of the offense, specifically, wide receiver. Brian Thomas flew under the radar for LSU, which is what happens when you play alongside Malik Nabers and Jayden Daniels. But he a legit first-round talent who won consistently on vertical routes and dominated at the catch point.

Missouri

• Sr

• 6’5″

/ 296 lbs

Projected Team

Arizona

PROSPECT RNK

19th

POSITION RNK

3rd

Robinson quietly had a dominant season for the Tigers, and followed that up with a not-so-quiet Senior Bowl week, where he showed he can play both as an edge rusher, or kick inside.

Texas

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 196 lbs

Projected Team

Buffalo

PROSPECT RNK

37th

POSITION RNK

7th

Bills fans desperately want WR help, so who am I to deny them of that? CB could be a consideration here, but Mitchell is the pick. The Texas WR is long and fast, but showed the ability to win on short and intermediate routes, too.

Texas

• Jr

• 6’1″

/ 308 lbs

Projected Team

Detroit

PROSPECT RNK

14th

POSITION RNK

1st

I can’t imagine Murphy lasting this long; it’s just that I couldn’t find a place to slot him above. Either way, the Lions get a steal here with arguably the twitchiest interior defensive linemen in the class.

Georgia

• Jr

• 6’7″

/ 340 lbs

Projected Team

Baltimore

PROSPECT RNK

24th

POSITION RNK

5th

Mims has top-10 potential when he’s healthy, something he struggled with for much of the 2023 season.

Washington

• Jr

• 6’4″

/ 317 lbs

Fautanu, who has excelled at left tackle for Washington this season, could kick inside at the next level.

Oklahoma

• Jr

• 6’7″

/ 328 lbs

Projected Team

Kansas City

PROSPECT RNK

39th

POSITION RNK

7th

Left tackle Donovan Smith is a free agent after the season and right tackle Jawaan Taylor has been inconsistent at times. Rookie Wanya Morris has been capable in spot duty, but NFL teams are intrigued by Tyler Guyton’s size and athleticism.

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