The 2024 NFL Draft might be a ways away, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t too early for a mock draft. This mock only covers the first round, but is packed with the latest in trades that have taken place. However, I won’t be making any trades myself in this one.
1. Atlanta Falcons
I have the Atlanta Falcons with the first pick in this 2024 NFL Mock Draft. The Falcons selected Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder in the third round of the 2022 NFL Draft. He didn’t start until late in the season last year, and looked okay. However, let’s assume that things don’t go as well for him in 2023. You have Kyle Pitts and Drake London on offense, but I’m not sold on that being enough for Desmond Ridder to win games consistently.
Caleb Williams has been one of the best quarterbacks in college football since his debut in 2021. He’s shown off elite traits at Oklahoma, as well as USC. there’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll be the top quarterback in the NFL Draft. If the Atlanta Falcons are indeed in the quarterback market in the 2024 NFL Draft, Williams is the right pick in my opinion.
2. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals have cleaned house and appear to be in full rebuild mode, or, at the very least, could be heading in that direction by the 2024 NFL Draft. If Arizona trades DeAndre Hopkins this offseason, they’ll have to find a premier receiver to lead this offense.
Marvin Harrison Jr is my top receiver in this class. When compared to the 2023 NFL Draft class, I don’t think it’s even close. If there’s a team in this 2024 NFL Mock Draft with a need at the outside receiver position, I don’t feel like they can go wrong with Harrison Jr.
3. Chicago Bears
The Chicago bears traded out of the first overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, which means that they’ll have an additional pick in this 2024 NFL Mock Draft.
It’s rare to find a franchise DT, DE, or OLB in the NFL Draft. It’s even more uncommon to find a prospect that’s all three. JT Tuimoloau has played at an elite level, going all the way back to his high school days.
The Chicago Bears might be able to find a top-level edge rusher in the 2023 NFL Draft, but with them picking ninth overall, I find it unlikely that they’ll grab someone as impactful.
4. Las Vegas Raiders
There are plenty of needs on this team, some of which should be addressed in the 2023 NFL Draft. However, looking ahead on this roster, and both of their starting cornerbacks are set to hit free agency after this season. It’s not a pressing need for them right now, but can get to that point rather quickly.
Kool-Aid McKinstry is the top cornerback on my 2024 NFL Draft Big Board. He does such a good job of staying close to receivers in tight coverage and making an impact at the catch point. More importantly, he’s an immediate upgrade for Las Vegas.
5. Houston Texans
The Houston Texans could pass on drafting a quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft. That sounded very impossible just a few short months ago. However, as bonkers of an idea as it might be, let’s assume that it happens.
Drake Maye is entering his second season as the starter for the North Carolina Tar Heels. He hasn’t had the same level of talent as his predecessor Sam Howell, however, he’s been able to put up better numbers than Howell. I’d like to see him improve upon his ability to process inside the pocket, but the Texans are getting an immediate upgrade at quarterback. And depending on how you want to look at it, he’s an upgrade over the 2023 class, too.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It’s a long road ahead for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and I don’t see an end coming to it anytime soon. The franchise currently has Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask on the roster at the quarterback position. I believe that the Bucs can win with Baker Mayfield, but I’m not sure if he’s a long-term solution. However, I think it can give them some flexibility to address that position at a later point.
Devin White has reportedly asked for a trade from the Buccaneers. Both he and Lavonte David are in the final year of their contracts. Whether or not Tampa Bay trades Devin White, it still remains clear that they must address this position at some point. Jeremiah Trotter Jr is my top linebacker in the 2024 NFL Draft class. He’s smart and intuitive, and if the Bucs can’t bring White or David back in 2024, Trotter Jr is a very solid building piece for the future.
7. Washington Commanders
The Commanders are going to have some interesting decisions to make next offseason. Outside of Chase Young’s club option, which they’re almost certain to exercise, there are several key free agents. Montez sweat, Efe Obada, and Abdullah Anderson are all key defensive ends with expiring contracts. OLB David Mayo is also an unrestricted free agent next offseason.
Jared Verse is capable of playing the defensive end, as well as the outside linebacker position in the NFL. Given that the Commanders are likely to have openings at both positions, I think this is a really solid fit for both sides. Furthermore, he can take some pressure off of Chase Young.
8. Indianapolis Colts
We could very well see a new general manager in Indianapolis by the time the Colts are on the clock, which would obviously change things here. However, let’s take a look at basic needs for Indianapolis in the 2024 NFL Draft.
They’re likely to select a quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft, so we can likely take that off the board. The offensive line has been troublesome for them as of late, so that’s a direction that they could go in. However, the defensive line isn’t much better. Taven Bryan is set to become a free agent, as is starting nose tackle Grover Stewart. I think Tyler Davis can fit into either of those two positions, and do so at a high level of play.
9. Green Bay Packers
It seems like a certainty at this point that the Packers are fully committed to starting Jordan Love at quarterback for the foreseeable future. They’ll need to find some additional weapons to surround him with, although I think they can do so in free agency, as well as the 2023 NFL Draft.
What can’t be overlooked, however, is the secondary for Green Bay. Specifically, both safety positions. They’re currently set to lose most of that position group to unrestricted free agency next offseason, I’m sure that they’ll be in a position to re-sign some of those players to new contracts, but not all of them.
Andrew Mukuba is a ‘do-it-all’ defensive back that can contribute at any position in the secondary. It may not be the sexiest move that they can make next offseason, but it could be the most impactful.
10. Chicago Bears (Via Carolina Panthers)
The Chicago bears made the right decision to trade out of the first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. As a result of that move, I think they’ll end up with an additional top ten pick by way of the Panthers. With them taking JT Tuimoloau with the third pick, I think it’s safe to say that this could be a pick for the offensive side of the ball.
Emeka Egbuka is a versatile wide receiver that’s played both the inside, as well as the outside receiver positions for the Ohio State Buckeyes. With Claypool, Pettis, and St. Brown all on track to become free agents next offseason, I have the Bears going for the best available wide receiver in this 2024 NFL Mock Draft.
11. Los Angeles Rams
The Los Angeles Rams haven’t had a pick in the first round of the NFL Draft since they selected Jared Goff in 2016. While it’s possible that they could move this pick, I find it highly unlikely. It’s an aging roster that has relied heavily on veteran players to get them across the finish line.
If the Rams do, in fact, hold onto their 2024 NFL Draft first round pick, I think they could go with an edge rusher. While it remains unclear how much Aaron Donald has left in the tank, as well as a few other defensive tackle shitting free agency, I don’t know if it’s a pressing need for them. With that being said, finding a capable pass rusher that can make an impact on the field should be a priority for them.
12. Detroit Lions
With the recent news that multiple Lions players have been suspended and released, I almost feel like it’s a certainty that the organization has to find an impact player at the receiver position in the 2023 NFL Draft. There aren’t many that I’d consider drafting, but with two first round picks in 2023, they have the ammunition to target the one that they like. Couple that with several of them hitting free agency in 2024, and I don’t feel like they can wait until the 2024 offseason to address needs at receiver.
Therefore, I have Detroit addressing needs in their secondary. Emmanuel Moseley is entering the final year of his contract. Unless the two sides can hammer out a new deal, Detroit really doesn’t have a backup plan in place. Denzel Burke not only addresses the need, but fits the defense really well, too.
13. Denver Broncos
The Broncos fell far short of expectations last season following a trade for Seahawks QB Russell Wilson. I believe that they’re likely to address the edge position in the 2023 NFL Draft, or shortly thereafter. More importantly, I don’t think it’s a need that’ll be addressed in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Instead, I have them selecting an inside linebacker. Josey Jewell is working on an expiring contract, and the Broncos have little in place in terms of a contingency plan. Tommy Eichenberg is someone that can come in and make an immediate impact for Denver.
14. Tennessee Titans
There have been rumors that the Tennessee Titans could trade up in the 2023 NFL Draft to select a franchise quarterback. However, I’m not really sure if they’ll be able to make it happen. Furthermore, moving up from the 11th position is going to take a lot of draft capital to do so.
Instead, I think it’s much more likely that they address the need in the 2024 NFL Draft. I’m not a huge fan of Michael Penix Jr, and I’m terribly concerned by his injury history. However, he’s an athletic quarterback that has buildable traits that NFL scouts will fall in love with.
15. New England Patriots
I really haven’t been able to figure out what the Patriots are doing at the wide receiver position. This offseason, they signed JuJu Smith-Schuster to a three-year contract. Despite the moves they’ve made at the position, they still don’t have a wide receiver that opponents have to game plan for.
With that in mind, I have the Patriots going after Xavier Worthy from Texas. He possesses excellent speed and quickness, as well as a natural ability to separate form the defender. DeVante Parker and Kendrick Bourne are set to become unrestricted free agents in 2024, which really puts New England in a position to draft a wide receiver in the 2024 NFL Draft.
16. Baltimore Ravens
I’m not be as against first-round running backs as other draft analysts, especially when it makes sense. Gus Edwards and JK Dobbins are unrestricted free agents in 2024. The Ravens could opt to address the position with a later pick in the NFL Draft, or even free agency, but what’s the fun in that?
In all seriousness, if Baltimore can find a top-tier running back that can open up the offense, it shouldn’t matter where they draft him.
17. Houston Texans (Via Cleveland Browns)
Earlier in this 2024 NFL Mock Draft, I had the Houston Texans draft Drake Maye, their quarterback of the future. With this pick, I have them beefing up their interior offensive line. As things stand, IOL Shaq Mason will be a free agent, as will Tytus Howard.
Connor Colby is my top interior offensive linemen in this draft class. The Texans just made Laremy Tunsil the highest paid offensive tackle, so I don’t think there’s any reason for them to worry about the tackle spot. Rather, shoring up the offensive line from the inside out.
18. Minnesota Vikings
Much like several teams in this mock draft, the Vikings have a decision to make with the quarterback position. Kirk Cousins is entering the final year of his contract, one that has held Minnesota hostage for quite some time. With a new regime in the front office, it’s unlikely that they re-sign Cousins to another extension.
If the Vikings are able to move up in the 2023 NFL Draft for a quarterback, then it’s highly unlikely that they’ll keep this pick. However, let’s assume that they don’t do that.
At this point in the 2024 NFL Draft process, I don’t see a franchise quarterback outside of the top three prospects. It’s possible, and highly likely, that we’ll see some prospects move up into this range, or one of the top three could fall. However, I don’t see it at this time. Therefore, I have the Vikings drafted for need with a DE/OLB edge rusher in Dallas Turner.
19. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars placed the franchise tag on TE Evan Engram this offseason, keeping him in Jacksonville for at least another season. It’s certainly possible that they could workout a long-term deal to keep him in place for the foreseeable future. However, with a prospect like Brock Bowers on the board, you have to wonder if Jacksonville would be intrigued by that.
20. Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers are already pretty thin at defensive tackle, but with Austin Johnson’s contract expiring next offseason, it could put the Chargers in a tough spot. By addressing that need with a first round prospect, they can really do a lot to solidify their defensive line.
21. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers have several key players in the secondary set to become unrestricted free agents next offseason. While it’s likely that they’ll be able to bring back some of them, I also think it’s quite possible that they’ll also need to find answers in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Calen Bullock has played several positions for the Trojans, such as safety, nickelback, and cornerback. Even if the Steelers don’t key in on Bullock, they should really look for a Swiss Army Knife type of player for their secondary.
22. Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks were able to grab Noah Fant out of the Russell Wilson trade with Denver. As has been much of the discussion in this early 2024 NFL Mock Draft, we’re talking expiring contracts. Noah Fant has a year left on his rookie deal. We really have no idea what he’ll do, but let’s just assume that he could test the free agency waters a bit.
Ja’Tavion Sanders is very solid as a run blocker. I still want to see him mature as a vertical pass catcher, but I think he has traits that NFL coaches and scouts will fall in love with.
23. Green Bay Packers (Via New York Jets)
I have the Green Bay Packers listed here based on the belief that Aaron Rodgers will play 65% of his snaps, as per the conditions of his trade.
LT David Bakhtiari is 31 years old, and with his contract ending following the 2024 season, you have to wonder if he’ll want to remain in Green Bay. The Packers are likely to exercise the club option on Jordan Love’s contract, keeping him in Green Bay through the 2024 season. Given that, if the Packers are in for a rebuild, you have to wonder is their star left tackle is willing to go along for the ride. If not, they have a heck of an opportunity to find a replacement with this pick.
24. New York Giants
The Giants were a middle of the road team on defense last season. However, outside of Kayvon Thibodeaux and Leonard Williams, I don’t really see anyone on their defensive front that scares me.
With that being said, if I’m the New York Giants, I’m taking the best player available that fits into my front seven. For me, that’s Zion Tupuola-Fetui. He’s great at defending the run, but is very capable against running backs and tight ends out in coverage.
25. Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins have quietly done an outstanding job of building this roster. They’ve added some younger core players, as well as some really talented veterans.
Honestly, I have no idea what they would do in this situation. They don’t have a glaring hole on either side of the ball. More than anything, they just need to get better. They just acquired CB Jalen Ramsey in a trade with the Rams, which I love for them. However, that cap number is pretty high after the 2024 season, as does Xavien Howard’s on the opposite end of that defense.
I don’t think they would consider cutting or moving on from either one, but they could look to add some quality depth in the secondary, by way of Javon Bullard. He’s a versatile defensive back with experience playing all over the field.
26. New Orleans Saints
Cameron Jordan will be 34 years old when he takes the field this season. He has one year left on his three-year contract. The Saints really don’t have a backup plan in place to play opposite of Payton Turner. They could re-sign Cameron Jordan, but I don’t think it’ll be another long-term contract.
Instead, I have them selecting Jack Sawyer in the 2024 NFL Draft. I’m not completely in love with his film, but he would certainly fill a need for them. Even more so, it’s tremendous value for them in this early 2024 NFL Mock Draft.
27. Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys signed LT Tyron Smith to a massive eight-year contract extension in 2014, which runs through the 2023 season. As a result, they really haven’t had to worry about the position. They could opt for another extension, but that cap number would have to be pretty high in my opinion.
Joe Alt isn’t a better alternative, but he would be cheaper. He comes with a four-year deal, and a fifth-year club option. That move gives them some flexibility, as well as stability, to address other needs on this team.
28. Buffalo Bills
The Buffalo Bills are set to lose their core group of defensive tackle starters in Ed Oliver, DaQuan Jones, and Tim Settle to unrestricted free agency after this season. Maybe they can utilize the franchise tag here, but they’re likely going to have to do a hell of a job at negotiating to keep them all in buffalo long-term.
Nazir Stackhouse doesn’t have a lot of momentum behind him at this point in the 2024 NFL Draft process, but he’s a terrific prospect. He might fit as more of a nose tackle in the NFL, but he’s no slouch at defensive tackle either. I really love this fit in our early 2024 NFL Mock Draft.
29. Philadelphia Eagles
The safety position is one that the Philadelphia Eagles could very likely address in the 2023 NFL Draft. They really lack a homerun hitter at both free safety, as well as strong safety.
Therefore, even if they do address the need in the 2023 NFL Draft, I still think they could circle back to do so in 2024. I think Richardson can be a capable nickelback in the NFL, as well as a safety down the road. Given that, I think it’s likely that they could select him here with the intention of playing him as a nickelback until he can further develop.
30. Kansas City Chiefs
Looking at the Chiefs roster, and there are a few glaring holes, most notably at defensive tackle. Chris Jones is set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season. However, I firmly believe that he’ll wind up back in Kansas City when all is said and done.
Therefore, I’m going to send the Chiefs a really solid cornerback in Penn State’s Kalen King. He doesn’t play a ton of press man coverage for the Nittany lions, although i think he’s capable of doing so.
31. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals have a crisis on their hands at the wide receiver position. Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd are both entering the final year of their contract, thrusting both of them into free agency after this season. Cincinnati really doesn’t have a contingency plan in place, although they could address the need in the 2023 NFL Draft.
However, I’m really not in love with the 2023 crop. If they wait a year, as difficult as that might be, they’ll have a much better chance of finding an impact player at wideout.
32. San Francisco 49ers
How do you make a great team even better?
That’s the dilemma that I believe the San Francisco 49ers will have after this upcoming season. I have them winning the Super Bowl over the Cincinnati Bengals.
The 49ers could look to restructure Trent Williams’ contract to free up some cap space. However, he’s going to be 35 this season, so you have to wonder how much he has left in the tank.
Kingsley Suamataia isn’t an ideal replacement from day one, but I think there is a high probability that he can develop into a Pro Bowl caliber type of player in the NFL.