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2024 NFL Draft: Bucky Brooks' pick-by-pick analysis for Round 1

Round 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft is in the books. Below is Bucky Brooks' analysis for every player drafted in Round 1.

NOTE: Only trades agreed to after Day 1 began are reflected below.

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

This could be a franchise-changing moment for the Bears. Williams was this class' presumptive QB1 dating back to the beginning of this process. The USC product has the arm, football IQ, creativity, moxie and clutch playmaking ability that every coach wants at the game’s most important position. Chicago believes he is the transcendent player who can guide this team to success and championship contention. 

It’s rare to find a quarterback prospect with A+ arm talent and rushing ability. Daniels was surrounded by talented playmakers at LSU, but I’d argue he was the biggest playmaker on that offense. He is the prototypical, new-school quarterback as a dynamic athlete who is a refined pocket passer with the touch, accuracy and timing to consistently drop passes in the bucket on deep throws.

Drake Maye
North Carolina · QB

Maye has prototypical dimensions and an exceptional arm. The comparisons made between Maye and Buffalo’s Josh Allen are real when it comes to his size, arm strength and leadership skills. Maye lacks the experience of other QBs in this draft, but if he can iron out some of his inconsistencies, he can be a superstar for the Patriots. 

Marvin Harrison Jr.
Ohio State · WR

This match makes a ton of sense with Harrison Jr. resembling longtime Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Harrison has the ball skills, body control and route-running ability to be Kyler Murray’s WR1. The son of Hall of Fame receiver Marvin Harrison, the Ohio State product is a true pro’s pro who knows what to expect at the next level. 

Joe Alt
Notre Dame · OT

Head coach Jim Harbaugh is set on building an offensive bully and that starts with the offensive line. Alt comes in as a polished tackle who’ll step in and immediately boost the unit and protect Justin Herbert.

Malik Nabers

Nabers possesses the competitive fire and instincts teams look for in an elite receiver. The LSU wideout is a big-time playmaker who can make the game easier for Daniel Jones with his route-running and yards-after-the-catch ability, turning short passes into big gains for Big Blue.

JC Latham
Alabama · OT

General manager Ran Carthon is putting his stamp on the team with this pick. Taking Latham tells me the Titans want to continue playing bully ball and dominate at the point of attack despite surrounding their young quarterback with pass-catching talent in free agency. The 6-foot-6, 342-pound tackle can overwhelm and overpower opponents on the edges, which should excite second-year quarterback Will Levis

Michael Penix Jr.
Washington · QB

I’m not sure anyone expected Atlanta, which signed Kirk Cousins to a four-year, $180 million deal in March, to take a quarterback in the top 10, but here we are. Penix is a big-time playmaker who is the top deep-ball passer in this class. He has surgical precision and throws with good anticipation from the pocket.

Rome Odunze
Washington · WR

Odunze is a physical playmaker with positional flexibility who’ll elevate the Bears offense from the jump. A contested-catch wizard, Odunze has the luxury of being an apprentice under veteran Keenan Allen before taking over as the team’s WR1. 

Minnesota Vikings
(from NYJ)
J.J. McCarthy
Michigan · QB

The Vikings move up one spot to find their future at the quarterback position. McCarthy is a winner (SEE: 27-1 record as a starter at Michigan) and big-time playmaker with arm talent and athleticism. Head coach Kevin O’Connell routinely sets his quarterbacks up for success and it should be no different with McCarthy. 

New York Jets
(from MIN)
Olumuyiwa Fashanu
Penn State · OT

Though he enters the NFL as a work in progress, Fashanu is a long, athletic offensive tackle with a lot of upside. The good thing here is the Jets don’t need him to start from Day 1, so the Penn State product can learn behind established veterans Tyron Smith and Morgan Moses

Bo Nix
Oregon · QB

Nix is an experienced playmaker with the arm talent and athleticism to execute Sean Payton’s offense in Denver. He fits the Drew Brees-like prototype, getting the ball to his playmakers and accurately delivering passes at the short and intermediate levels.  

Brock Bowers
Georgia · TE

This is the Raiders willing to adjust the offense to take the best player available. Bowers is a spectacular player who can line up anywhere along the formation as a tight end. There aren’t many holes in his game -- which should urge new OC Luke Getsy to get creative and get Bowers and Michael Mayer on the field together.

Taliese Fuaga
Oregon State · OT

The Saints fill their tackle need with a feisty and powerful brawler who can make an immediate impact along the offensive line. Fuaga's presence will help the unit become more physical, which will only benefit quarterback Derek Carr and the run game.

Laiatu Latu
UCLA · Edge

The run on offensive players stops here with the Colts finding an explosive defender in Latu. It's not always about being the biggest and fastest player when it comes to pass rushers, as the UCLA product has mastered the artistry of getting to the quarterback with his first-step quickness and bag of pass-rush moves. His relentless motor should make him a handful for Indy’s opponents.

Byron Murphy II
Texas · DT

Murphy is ultra-explosive, has great hand skills and the energy to create havoc and disruptive plays. New head coach Mike Macdonald will create one-on-one opportunities for Murphy with the rest of the D-line benefitting from his presence.

Minnesota Vikings
(from JAC)
Dallas Turner
Alabama · Edge

Turner played in a high-leverage scheme under Nick Saban, so he should fit well into Brian Flores’ unit in Minnesota. Adding an athletic freak like Turner with great first-step quickness, bend and burst is huge for a defense that’s always challenging the IQ of opposing QBs.

Amarius Mims
Georgia · OT

Mims is a mountain of a man (6-foot-8, 340 pounds) who has a lot of talent. He’s a long, rangy blocker who can dominate at the point of attack and gets the opportunity to learn behind right tackle Trent Brown. I like that the Bengals are re-establishing the physicality and toughness up front. 

Jared Verse
Florida State · Edge

This is a great value pick for Los Angeles as Verse is a bully off the edge who uses a Khalil Mack-playing style to get to the quarterback. Verse, who had 18 sacks over his two seasons at Florida State, is explosive, dynamic and a perfect fit in the Rams’ scheme.

Troy Fautanu
Washington · OT

Fautanu is an ultra-versatile, plug-and-play option at multiple spots along the Steelers front. With new offensive coordinator Arthur Smith committed to running the ball, Fautanu fits right in as an imposing blocker who can help pave the way for Najee Harris.

Chop Robinson
Penn State · Edge

I see Miami using Robinson as a rotational player early on. An A+ athlete, Robinson is a developmental prospect with first-step quickness and explosiveness but needs more consistency. 

Quinyon Mitchell
Toledo · CB

Terrific in all phases of the pre-draft process, Mitchell is a perfect fit for a Vic Fangio defense that uses a ton of man-to-man on the outside. He has all the traits to be a CB1 at the next level, giving Philadelphia exactly what they desire from a technical perspective at the position.

Jacksonville Jaguars
(from CLE through HOU, MIN)
Brian Thomas Jr.

After the departure of Calvin Ridley in free agency, the Jaguars were determined to find a physical, fast receiver who could give them a vertical element in the pass game. They found it in Thomas, a stud who found the end zone 17 times last season for LSU. This is a big addition for Trevor Lawrence and Co.

Detroit Lions
(from DAL)
Terrion Arnold
Alabama · CB

This is a perfect fit for Detroit, as Arnold is a clean playmaker and technician who checks off all the boxes. The Lions are upping the ante on the back end when it comes to football IQ by adding another Nick Saban defender one year after drafting Brian Branch.

Jordan Morgan
Arizona · OT

This pick reflects the sheer depth of this offensive tackle class. Morgan is an experienced player who will help protect Jordan Love and allow him to flourish in the pocket.

The Buccaneers fortify the offensive line with an experienced player who offers position flexibility. His elite presence on the interior should help elevate the run game and keep Baker Mayfield upright. 

Arizona Cardinals
(from HOU)
Darius Robinson
Missouri · DE

Robinson is a solid base end who excels against the run. He will be more of a complement than the tone-setter off the edges, but he brings a lot to the table with his high motor and pass-rush ability.

Kansas City Chiefs
(from BUF)
Xavier Worthy
Texas · WR

Yes, the Chiefs are back-to-back Super Bowl champions, but they haven’t been the same since Tyreek Hill departed for Miami. Kansas City once again will have that vertical element in its offense, as Worthy's elite speed will create opportunities for other pass catchers underneath, including more easy layups for Travis Kelce.

Dallas Cowboys
(from DET)
Tyler Guyton
Oklahoma · OT

The Cowboys bolster their offensive line with a player with the versatility to play either tackle position thanks to his athleticism. Guyton's elite traits could make him the next great Dallas O-lineman.

Nate Wiggins
Clemson · CB

Wiggins is smooth in and out of his breaks thanks to his speed and athleticism, and he can blanket receivers on the perimeter. Baltimore loves defensive players with physicality and toughness – both of which I need to see more of from the Clemson cornerback.

Ricky Pearsall
Florida · WR

I love Pearsall’s game. He’s a route-runner extraordinaire who has mastered the art of separating over the middle of the field. The Florida prospect is a big-time playmaker and possesses the run-after-the-catch ability that the 49ers love.

Carolina Panthers
(from KC through BUF)
Xavier Legette
South Carolina · WR

Legette, who had a terrific final season at South Carolina, is physical and a big-time vertical threat. This addition should be a big part of Bryce Young’s development in Year 2.

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