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Mock Draft

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Charles Davis 2024 NFL mock draft 1.0: Giants turn to J.J. McCarthy as successor to Daniel Jones

We have another big piece of the draft puzzle to evaluate with the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine in the books, but the start of free agency will soon shake up the outlook again. I'm not including any trade projections in my first mock, although we know teams will make those deals as we get closer to draft day.

I do have five quarterbacks coming off the board in the first round. That might surprise some people, but I won't be shocked if we see six go in Round 1, including Washington's Michael Penix Jr. Get used to it, folks. You might think certain prospects are going higher than they should, but if teams these days have convictions about players, they are aggressive to go get them.

Without further ado, here is my initial forecast for the first 32 picks.

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

Williams has been regarded as the likely No. 1 overall pick in 2024 for a long time. The Bears hit the reset button on offense and go all in with the former Trojans quarterback.

Jayden Daniels
LSU · QB · Senior

We all seem very confident the Commanders will select a quarterback here. New head coach Dan Quinn's defensive background might tilt the pick to Daniels, the best dual-threat QB in the draft. His ability to make plays with his arm and legs drives DCs crazy.

Drake Maye
North Carolina · QB · Sophomore (RS)

Under new management! As Maverick from Top Gun would say, "Don't think, just do." The Pats select their new QB right here.

Marvin Harrison Jr.
Ohio State · WR · Junior

The Cardinals have made it clear that Kyler Murray is their QB. It’s time to get him a true WR1.

Rome Odunze
Washington · WR · Senior

New GM Joe Hortiz could go in many directions with this pick (OT/TE/defense), but the Chargers can't pass on perhaps the best receiver available in Odunze, whose work ethic is beyond outstanding. 

J.J. McCarthy
Michigan · QB · Junior

In a slight surprise, the Giants grab McCarthy to eventually start over again at QB. He might very well sit behind Daniel Jones in 2024 before getting the ball in 2025.

Joe Alt
Notre Dame · OT · Junior

The Titans tried to fill the left tackle spot with Andre Dillard in 2023, but the results were disastrous. Now they grab Alt to pair on the O-line with last year's very talented No. 1 choice, Peter Skoronski. This will help QB Will Levis flourish.

Dallas Turner
Alabama · Edge · Junior

The best edge rusher in the draft, Turner also plays every down as if it's his last. The Falcons have struggled to rush the passer for too many seasons.

Malik Nabers
LSU · WR · Junior

Bears fans are in heaven! GM Ryan Poles delivers Caleb Williams at No. 1 overall and then picks Nabers, who plays with sustained intensity and says he's the best WR in the draft. Bear down!

Taliese Fuaga
Oregon State · OT · Senior

The Jets take another swing at the OT position. Fuaga has the skills to start from Day 1.

Jared Verse
Florida State · Edge · Senior

The Vikings boost the pass rush in hopes of overtaking Detroit and Green Bay in the division.

Bo Nix
Oregon · QB · Senior

This might be a surprise to some at No. 12, but it’s not a surprise that Broncos HC Sean Payton could be interested in a passer whose accuracy in his last two college seasons was reminiscent of Drew Brees.

Terrion Arnold
Alabama · CB · Sophomore (RS)

The best CB on the board heads to Las Vegas -- and he'll get plenty of work right away, seeing how Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert are in the division. Of course, the Raiders might also be interested in moving up for one of the draft’s top QBs.

Olumuyiwa Fashanu
Penn State · OT · Junior (RS)

The Saints need to help Derek Carr. Fashanu, with his nimble feet and power, projects to start immediately at left tackle.

Quinyon Mitchell
Toledo · CB · Senior

After an outstanding career in the MAC, Mitchell hit the national stage at the Senior Bowl and NFL Scouting Combine, and he lived up to the hype. He will fit right into coordinator Gus Bradley's defense.

Byron Murphy II
Texas · DT · Junior

Power, push and effort from the interior is what this young man is all about. New head coach Mike Macdonald will put him right to work as the ‘Hawks begin a new era.

Brian Thomas Jr.
LSU · WR · Junior

When I watch Thomas play, I always come away feeling impressed and believing there's even more there for the NFL to tap into. The Jags give more help to QB Trevor Lawrence.

JC Latham
Alabama · OT · Junior

The Bengals upgraded at left tackle last year via free agency with Orlando Brown Jr. Now they address right tackle through the draft. Many evaluators believe Latham will prove to be the best of a deep bunch of OTs.

Laiatu Latu
UCLA · Edge · Senior

Latu possesses a full pass-rush arsenal. He joins last year's rookie sensations Byron Young and Kobie Turner in chasing QBs on a Rams team that is full of promise.

Amarius Mims
Georgia · OT · Junior

Yes, there is a lack of game experience (just eight starts in college), but the upside is massive. Mims will complete an all-Georgia Bulldog set of bookend tackles with last year's tremendous rookie, Broderick Jones. I expect Steelers brass to consider center Jackson Powers-Johnson here, too.

Brock Bowers
Georgia · TE · Junior

This feels way too low for the best tight end in the draft -- maybe even the best tight end prospect in the last decade -- but HC Mike McDaniel thanks his lucky stars, and immediately injects Bowers into the lineup. The Miami "Track Club" gets another explosive playmaker.

Chop Robinson
Penn State · Edge · Junior

The Eagles value defense, and they might lose key veterans Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox. Robinson blew the NFL Scouting Combine away with his speed and athleticism. I expect Philly to consider OT and CB at this spot, too.

Houston Texans
(via CLE)
Nate Wiggins
Clemson · CB · Junior

The Texans were one of the fun stories of the 2023 season, and they do not want the momentum to fade. Adding one of the top CBs strengthens what HC DeMeco Ryans has in place. Wiggins will eventually start opposite CB Derek Stingley Jr.

Tyler Guyton
Oklahoma · OT · Junior (RS)

It appears stalwart left tackle Tyron Smith will be leaving the team, but here's his replacement. Guyton played right tackle for Oklahoma, but the former H-back has everything needed in movement skills to slide to the left side.

Troy Fautanu
Washington · OT · Senior

A smooth operator who hits moving targets in space. Many see Fautanu as a guard in the NFL, but I would try him at tackle first. I believe he will be just fine at OT as the Packers solidify their O-line in front of QB Jordan Love.

Jackson Powers-Johnson
Oregon · C · Junior

The Rimington Trophy winner (nation's top center) would step right in for the retired Ryan Jensen as the starting pivot.

Arizona Cardinals
(via HOU)
Kool-Aid McKinstry
Alabama · CB · Junior

The more well-known of the Alabama CB prospects (name recognition is REAL), McKinstry has a Jones fracture in his right foot, but is expected to be full go for training camp, per my colleague Ian Rapoport. DC Nick Rallis will have immediate plans for the feisty former Tide star.

Adonai Mitchell
Texas · WR · Junior

The Bills are high-powered on offense, but they might be losing a key target in pending free agent Gabe Davis. Mitchell combines speed and power, which will serve him well in the Western New York weather. Josh Allen will welcome him into the fold with pleasure -- and a few fastballs -- right away.

Zach Frazier
West Virginia · IOL · Senior

A center at WVU, Frazier is stout, strong, smart and can play guard right away in Detroit. He totally fits what the Lions are seeking in their O-linemen and helps their offense stay elite. If the Lions value defense more here, expect them to consider upgrading the secondary.

Darius Robinson
Missouri · DL · Senior

Not sure anyone took better advantage of his final season in college than this versatile defensive lineman, who can provide pressure off the edge or from the interior. The Ravens might also want to help reigning MVP Lamar Jackson with another WR. 

Ennis Rakestraw Jr.
Missouri · CB · Junior (RS)

Stout cover guy who will not shy away from run support. If you are going to play defense for the 49ers, you must be willing to engage, and this talented prospect certainly will. Duke center Graham Barton also feels like a possibility here.

Xavier Worthy
Texas · WR · Junior

You didn't think I would bypass the new NFL Scouting Combine 40-yard dash record-holder, did you? Patrick Mahomes has helped Kansas City win back-to-back Super Bowl titles playing "small ball," but this infusion of speed will have No. 15 looking to throw deep again. Worthy will open up the field more for transcendent TE Travis Kelce, too.

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