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Eric Edholm 2024 NFL mock draft 3.0: Six QBs; three trades; Eagles move up for CB

This is my last crack at projecting the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft, and I want to get it as (close to) right as possible.

The problem? There's a giant game of quarterback musical chairs that's set to unfold, and at least one team is going to be left without a place to sit -- or at least one of the fancy chairs.

I've typically resisted projecting trades in my final mock, knowing a lot of it was unlikely to ever come to fruition, but I am forgoing tradition and just throwing it all out there. In this version, I have three first-round trades projected because, well, all three just make sense to me, and there might even be a little smoke behind those fires.

So, let's have at it one final time. This first round has a chance to be a whole lot of fun.

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

Nothing has changed on this front. If the Bears are indeed rejecting every overture for the pick, it only reinforces the belief that Williams is the future of the franchise. 

Jayden Daniels
LSU · QB · Senior

I got a little cute in my last mock draft, trying to jump the snap count by bumping J.J. McCarthy up to the No. 2 slot as a way to get ahead of the curve. I sensed he was going to rise to this general area eventually. But it feels like Daniels is the Commanders’ man. His age and experience make sense for a team with Marcus Mariota as the presumed other starting option.

Drake Maye
North Carolina · QB · Sophomore (RS)

Some of the negativity hurled toward Maye in the pre-draft process has felt like overkill to me. The Patriots can take their time grooming him, but it might not be long before Maye could unseat Jacoby Brissett once we get a feel for what this Patriots offense has to work with. 

J.J. McCarthy
Michigan · QB · Junior


After Joshua Dobbs was traded from Arizona to Minnesota last season, the Cards and Vikes swap again in this mock projection. Arizona can't turn down two firsts this year (plus, a 2025 middle-round pick sweetener), even with some enticing receivers on the board. The Vikings make the bold move up and would provide McCarthy with a very QB-friendly landing spot.

Marvin Harrison Jr.
Ohio State · WR · Junior

I feel like I keep hearing people say Jim Harbaugh is going to build the team "his way" and would never take a receiver this high. I get it, but I also don't really know what other direction they'd head in other than trading down or taking Joe Alt and possibly moving Rashawn Slater to right tackle. Or Harrison can just be a big-play, play-action target for Justin Herbert. That works, too.

Malik Nabers
LSU · WR · Junior

The Giants’ QB interest feels real, and they'd have the shortest trip up to pick one if they want. It likely depends on how big their offer is and how much they appreciate Drake Maye, who has been talking to Eli Manning and Daniel Jones, interestingly, during the pre-draft journey. But if a QB isn’t in the cards in Round 1, they could take arguably the most explosive playmaking receiver in the draft in Nabers.

Joe Alt
Notre Dame · OT · Junior

Every year, there’s a pick that just feels almost too easy to slot, and this year, it’s Alt to Tennessee. Now, that’s no guarantee it’ll happen -- and I’d be curious to see what might go down if Alt is off the board by this point. If he is there, Alt is an easy plug-and-play choice at left tackle, giving the Titans a highly promising duo along with Peter Skoronski on that left side.

Byron Murphy II
Texas · DT · Junior

Raheem Morris saw firsthand what pairing Kobie Turner with Aaron Donald did for the Rams last year, and he could find a similar pairing in Murphy and Grady Jarrett. It's not the edge rusher everyone seems to want for Atlanta, but Murphy is a viable pressure source who can line up in multiple techniques. This might feel early to some, but I think he’s a star in the making.

Brock Bowers
Georgia · TE · Junior


If the Bears could get more Day 2 ammunition, I think they'd strongly consider moving down here. For the Colts, it would be a rare move up, but if GM Chris Ballard wants Bowers, he might have to get aggressive to move in front of the Jets. Bowers would be an excellent security blanket for Anthony Richardson and could become Dallas Clark 2.0.

Rome Odunze
Washington · WR · Senior

It might be too tough for general manager Joe Douglas to pass on Odunze, even with Mike Williams on board and O-line worries still not completely addressed, in my opinion. The Jets likely can't count on Williams to stay healthy for a full season, and Odunze might be the perfect bookend to Garrett Wilson in time.

Quinyon Mitchell
Toledo · CB · Senior


After missing out on the top receivers early on, the Cardinals can wait for their next two firsts in the 20s to address that spot. Instead, they nab one of the top two corners -- a huge need spot in Jonathan Gannon's defense. Mitchell's length and athleticism will be a big help against tough NFC West receivers. 

Terrion Arnold
Alabama · CB · Sophomore (RS)


The Eagles have two second-rounders; Denver has zero. A trade here makes sense for both teams if the Eagles are determined to land one of the two top corners. After Mitchell went off the board one pick before, GM Howie Roseman swoops up to nab yet another Alabama player. Some things never change. 

Michael Penix Jr.
Washington · QB · Senior

Can the Raiders be sure Denver (or another team) won't snag Penix before it’s too late? If they're determined to land Penix, this might have to be the play here. Tom Telesco's first pick as Raiders GM is shaping up to be an utterly fascinating one.

Taliese Fuaga
Oregon State · OT · Senior

The Saints are desperate for O-line help, so much so that I keep thinking a trade up might make sense. Fuaga falling into their laps would give them much-needed power and insurance at tackle.

Dallas Turner
Alabama · Edge · Junior


Sliding back six spots and picking up another Day 2 pick here, the Bears would land a player who probably would have been on the table at No. 9. Turner would be a good complement to Montez Sweat and give Chicago a boost to the pass rush, which is one of their bigger defensive questions heading into the draft.

Troy Fautanu
Washington · OT · Senior

I think there's a strong case for Fautanu being the best-case scenario at this pick. He can start out at guard and move to tackle eventually if the Seahawks want. Mike Macdonald will have to wait a bit for defensive help, but he adds a quality blocker. If Michael Penix Jr. was still on the board, I was going to consider him here.

Nate Wiggins
Clemson · CB · Junior

Wiggins doesn't quite have the length or mass the Jags typically want at the position, but he does possess the speed, playmaking ability, effort and upside to make this a smart pick. Jacksonville needs immediate corner help, and the AFC South is suddenly loaded with WR talent. 

JC Latham
Alabama · OT · Junior

This might be the ideal fit for Cincinnati's needs. Latham has youth and size, two things the Bengals typically love, and they can crosstrain him at right tackle and guard if they want. Trent Brown might be the starting tackle right now, but they'll need a fallback plan. 

Laiatu Latu
UCLA · Edge · Senior

There's a chance GM Les Snead messes with us all with this selection -- which is set to be the Rams' first first-rounder since they took Jared Goff first overall in 2016 -- and trades out again. Or maybe Snead moves up. I think everything is on the table here. But Latu also makes sense in this spot. The Rams are seeking rush help, and a Latu-Byron Young pairing would keep NFC West tackles quite occupied for 60 minutes per week.

Tyler Guyton
Oklahoma · OT · Junior (RS)

The Steelers might ultimately be tempted to wait for center help, which is why I passed on Graham Barton and others. It's not clear whether or not they would try Guyton at right tackle, which is where he played the majority of the time in college and where last year's first-rounder, Broderick Jones, spent most of his rookie season. Guyton's Day 1 readiness will be tested as he competes for a starting job in Pittsburgh, but even if he has to spend some time as a backup like Jones did a year ago, he has the rare tools to develop into a star.

Olumuyiwa Fashanu
Penn State · OT · Junior (RS)

This was a shade lower than I imagined Fashanu going, but the Dolphins won't complain. We can assume they'll want to find Terron Armstead's possible replacement. Could Fashanu -- who played left tackle exclusively in college -- kick inside if needed? Maybe. But the talent would be too enticing to pass on here either way, I suspect.

Bo Nix
Oregon · QB · Senior


The public discourse around Nix varies. Some people think he fits nicely in Denver. Others don't think it would work quite as well. Most people seem to think Round 2 is more likely for Nix. That feels right to me, too, but if Penix goes as high as he does in this mock, the Broncos might not want to risk another team swooping in for Nix. They're clearly a tough team to peg right now. But one way or another, the Broncos are getting a quarterback, and I don't foresee them getting too precious about it.

Arizona Cardinals
(via CLE through HOU)
Brian Thomas Jr.
LSU · WR · Junior


If the Cardinals can come away with a starting corner and wide receiver with their first two picks, it would be a home run -- and there's still one more choice to go for them in this mock. I've maintained that Thomas rates closer to the top three receivers than he does the next tier down, and he'd immediately be a top option for Kyler Murray

Amarius Mims
Georgia · OT · Junior

The ultimate boom-bust prospect in Round 1, Mims has special traits and could be an absolute monster in time. But with a mere eight starts under his belt, all at right tackle, Mims also carries some serious risk. The Cowboys are the type of team that trusts its scouting department to find moldable talents that can be developed into starters, and there's an OL vacancy that requires filling.

Cooper DeJean
Iowa · DB · Junior

The Packers got an up-close look at what kind of impact Brian Branch had for the Lions in the NFC North, and I think DeJean can play a similar role for the 2024 Green Bay defense. He's capable of playing safety, nickel or outside corner, all three of which are positions of need for the Packers; DeJean also has special-teams value. I considered both lines of scrimmage here, but DeJean makes sense.

Chop Robinson
Penn State · Edge · Junior

There's some buzz that Robinson could go off the board sooner than this. As for the Bucs, they don't appear to be married to one position, but this pick would check off boxes in terms of both value and need. Adding one more athletic rusher to the mix might really make this pass-rush unit sing in time.

Arizona Cardinals
(via HOU)
Jared Verse
Florida State · Edge · Senior

Arizona keeps playing the hits. If the Cardinals' draft unfolded this way and they somehow snagged Verse this late, it would make for a huge haul in Round 1. Verse might never be a huge sack producer, but he's a tough, tone-setting edge who can help round Arizona's work-in-progress defense into form. 

Adonai Mitchell
Texas · WR · Junior

If the Bills can make a reasonable trade up for Thomas, I think they would try. GM Brandon Beane is nothing if not aggressive when he sees an opportunity arise. But if Buffalo (which currently has no third-round pick) can't get up high enough, taking Mitchell here would be a good consolation. He's a big-play weapon with a knack for clutch performances who might really take off with a big role in the Bills' offense.

Zach Frazier
West Virginia · C · Senior

It was between Frazier and CB Kool-Aid McKinstry for this spot, and it was a close call. But during the Brad Holmes-Dan Campbell era, the Lions have tended to use their first-round picks on their kind of guy, and Frazier just screams Lions. He has the same gritty makeup as injury-prone C Frank Ragnow and can provide Detroit with depth at all three interior spots. 

Graham Barton
Duke · OL · Senior

Barton could be the first center drafted, and there are other teams I could see jumping on him ahead of this spot. But in this scenario, he goes after Frazier and falls to the Ravens, who have center covered (by Tyler Linderbaum) but do have starting jobs open elsewhere on the line. Barton might fit best at guard, though he also has 34 college starts at left tackle, so Baltimore could try him outside, too. Either way, he's a tough, smart and ornery blocker who has the makeup to settle in as a quality pro.

Jer'Zhan Newton
Illinois · DT · Senior

If you're worried Newton's skill set overlaps too much with that of Javon Hargrave, consider that Hargrave is set to hit the salary cap at more than $28 million in the 2025 season -- when he'll be 32 years old. As a relentless scheme-wrecker, Newton would help alleviate the Niners' need for pressure. The DT class drops off noticeably after this. 

Ladd McConkey
Georgia · WR · Junior (RS)

Even with the addition of Hollywood Brown, the Chiefs can use as many reliable, efficient receivers as possible, especially in light of Rashee Rice's off-field issues. They've tried to wedge several uni-taskers into the rotation, so why not take a shot on a versatile, polished, shifty, multi-position receiver who also has strong special-teams value in McConkey?

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