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USATSI

The first problem with mock drafts is that they assume biases by whoever is doing them. 

The second problem with mock drafts is that they don't always take into account how players fit into specific schemes of each team. 

And the third problem with mock drafts is that they almost always ignore teams' upcoming roster and salary cap issues that can be eased, if not outright addressed, via their selections. 

This mock will attempt to not have any of those problems. This mock draft was deeply researched, especially at the top, in an attempt to come up with a realistic version of what will happen in Round 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft

And now, pause. Remind yourself to laugh at that sentence after Thursday night, because it's sure to be wrong wrong wrong. 

I can't pretend to know how every team thinks about every player, but I tried my best to put myself in the shoes of every single decision-maker. I think I have a decent idea of which players fit into each team's schemes, be it blocking or pass coverage or defensive fronts. The one thing I did hustle on was finding the players who were in a contract year and/or can be moved on from by each team with a first-round pick. And, of course, I had the famous NFL Trade Chart (as opposed to the Fantasy Football Trade Chart) to help me understand the values of each mock trade I made, and I made several. 

As per annual custom, I'll drop the Fantasy Football analysis with each offensive skill-position player as if what I mocked is what will happen. Some of these players will be coveted by Fantasy drafters, others won't. And that is going to be the case no matter what goes down in Round 1. 

Enjoy. 

For more draft coverage, you can hear in-depth analysis twice a week on "With the First Pick" -- our year-round NFL Draft podcast with NFL Draft analyst Ryan Wilson and former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. You can find "With the First Pick" wherever you get your podcasts: Apple PodcastsSpotifyYouTube, etc.

Mock Draft
2024 NFL Mock Draft
USC • 6'1" / 215 lbs
Projected Team
Chicago
PROSPECT RNK
1st
POSITION RNK
1st
PAYDS
3633
RUYDS
121
INTS
5
TDS
41
Ever since the Bears acquired Keenan Allen, a reliable mid-range receiver who knows how to get himself open all the time including on scramble drills, I've assumed Williams was the pick. But others knew long before then because of Williams' impressive athletic profile. I think he'll adapt quickly in an offense built for him by new playcaller Shane Waldron. The intrigue and upside of a young, strong-armed mobile QB throwing to a talented receiving corps will push his ADP into the Round 10 range in redraft leagues as a high-end No. 2 QB. He'll be a near-consensus 1.01 in Dynasty rookie SuperFlex drafts and a top-five pick in one-QB versions.
2
LSU • 6'4" / 210 lbs
Projected Team
Washington
PROSPECT RNK
6th
POSITION RNK
3rd
PAYDS
3812
RUYDS
1134
INTS
4
TDS
50
I'm making an educated guess that the Commanders will run a spread offense with more run-game dedication. Kliff Kingsbury insists on a quarterback with mobility. Dan Quinn knows how hard it is to defend dual-threat quarterbacks. Neither have to worry about Daniels' footwork or mechanics or understanding of spread concepts, he's there already. Things like getting through his progressions or protecting himself better on the run or playing from under center can be taught. And if the Commanders are embracing data analytics then they'll see Daniels atop in many categories thanks to the hard work he's put in to improve his game. I know he's older and I know he's lean, but I just don't think they can get away from Daniels' unique athleticism and accurate arm. To that end, he'll probably get picked very shortly after Williams in every single Fantasy format, meaning he's a high-end No. 2 QB in redraft and anywhere from 1.02 to 1.08 in rookie-only Dynasty leagues depending on how many QBs can start.
  Mock Trade from New England Patriots
3
North Carolina • 6'4" / 230 lbs
Projected Team
Minnesota
PROSPECT RNK
5th
POSITION RNK
2nd
PAYDS
3608
RUYDS
449
INTS
9
TDS
33
(Vikings give up 11, 23 and a 2025 first-round pick to the Patriots for 3). The Patriots follow through on Eliot Wolf's proclamation that "the more picks we have the better," and the Vikings pay the exceptionally heavy price to get their guy. Maye's tight with Minnesota QB coach Josh McCown and will become tight with head coach Kevin O'Connell, who desperately needs a big-armed passer to feed his playmaking trio of pass-catchers. Maye is arguably best in his class at making anticipatory throws, and has the cannon to hit passes near and over 50 Air Yards. There are some things he will have to improve upon including his footwork and reading defenses, but his upside is extremely high. It'll take an offer this big for the Patriots to move down -- and then possibly move back up. Landing in Minnesota would shrink the distance between him and the first two QBs in drafts considerably; he'd go right after Daniels in rookie-only Superflex/two-QB leagues and within three picks of Daniels in one-QB formats. And in redraft it wouldn't be a surprise to see Maye get taken BEFORE Daniels, but the two will probably get snagged within 10 picks of each other regardless of format.
4
Ohio State • 6'4" / 205 lbs
Projected Team
Arizona
PROSPECT RNK
2nd
POSITION RNK
1st
REC
67
REYDS
1211
YDS/REC
18.1
TDS
15
The Cardinals offense wound up being pretty good last season despite playing half the year without Kyler Murray. Now fully healed from his torn ACL and with a better offensive line than he had two years ago, Murray should be in position to play his best ball. Adding the most NFL-ready receiver in the draft will go a long way. Harrison is so polished, so smooth, so agile and so ready to be a target hog in Arizona's West Coast-style offense. I do think if Denver offered two firsts and Patrick Surtain that the Cardinals would bite, but that seems like too much. Harrison will immediately list as a No. 2 Fantasy WR worthy of a top-30 pick in PPR and top-40 in non-PPR in one-QB redraft. In non-SuperFlex rookie-only leagues he's the likely consensus 1.01, and he is still a contender to be atop rookie drafts in SuperFlex but he could "fall" as far as third overall.
  Mock Trade from Los Angeles Chargers
5
Michigan • 6'3" / 202 lbs
Projected Team
New England
PROSPECT RNK
20th
POSITION RNK
4th
PAYDS
2991
RUYDS
202
INTS
4
TDS
25
(Patriots give up 11, 34, 68 and a second-round pick in 2025 to the Chargers for 5). In this mock deal, the Chargers make sure McCarthy doesn't fall into the Broncos hands and still get a nice package of picks -- and the Patriots still have a first-rounder to use later on (and a first-rounder next year). Win-win for everyone but Denver. The Patriots have massive needs but the only players they've had multiple in-person interactions with, per reports, are quarterbacks. A hunch: McCarthy satisfies the Pats' desire for a strong-armed quarterback who can work in their West Coast offense better than Maye does, so they get the guy they wanted all along. Fantasy owners probably won't get excited about McCarthy in redraft formats (a mid-rounder in SuperFlex), nor will they aim high for him in rookie-only leagues (early second-rounder in rookie-only one-QB; top-10 in Superflex/two-QB).
6
LSU • 6'0" / 200 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Giants
PROSPECT RNK
3rd
POSITION RNK
2nd
REC
89
REYDS
1569
YDS/REC
17.6
TDS
14
Nabers can stress defenses and be the go-to receiver in an offense that hasn't had a go-to receiver in a while. Between his arrival and massive reinforcements along the offensive line, they just might have what it takes to unlock SOME of Daniel Jones' potential. And if Jones fails, at least the ownership has a stud wideout ready for whoever their next quarterback is. Nabers has best-in-class acceleration and physicality to be very productive, even if the quarterback isn't very good. In this situation, Nabers would get snagged in seasonal redraft Fantasy leagues as a No. 3 receiver around 75th overall. In non-SuperFlex rookie-only leagues he's the likely consensus 1.02 behind Harrison and would get attention as soon as fourth overall in rookie-only SuperFlex drafts.
7
Notre Dame • 6'8" / 322 lbs
Projected Team
Tennessee
PROSPECT RNK
7th
POSITION RNK
2nd
It's almost TOO obvious that the Titans would take Alt. He's one of the very best prospects in this draft class and he fills a major need for them. The left side of their O-line with him and Skoronski will be really tough to beat. That's good for the run game but especially good as far as giving QB Will Levis time to process coverage and make a throw. Levis was pressured on nearly 45% of his dropbacks last year with a 40.6% completion rate on those plays (36.4% on third downs!).
8
Alabama • 6'4" / 242 lbs
Projected Team
Atlanta
PROSPECT RNK
10th
POSITION RNK
1st
Another pick where talent meets need in the Venn diagram. The Falcons top sack-getters last year were Calais Campbell and Bud Dupree, each with 6.5. That's a low number to begin with, but neither one is on the team as of this writing. Turner makes sense, especially considering how aggressive the Atlanta front figures to be with Raheem Morris and defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake managing the unit. Not only is he a healthier body than Laiatu Latu, but he's about two years younger as well.
  Mock Trade from Chicago Bears
9
Washington • 6'3" / 215 lbs
Projected Team
Jacksonville
PROSPECT RNK
9th
POSITION RNK
3rd
REC
92
REYDS
1640
YDS/REC
17.8
TDS
15
(Jaguars give up 17, 48 and a 2025 2nd round pick to the Bears for 9.) The Bears get extra picks that they say they didn't need (but do), and the Jaguars pay a steeper-than-normal price to take advantage of one of the top three receivers "falling" to ninth overall. Everyone knows they need the receiving help after losing Calvin Ridley to a cash rampage in free agency. Odunze is a rangy wideout with great quickness and speed to go with an all-out mentality when it comes to catching passes. It seems likely he'll morph into Trevor Lawrence's top target in short order, making him Fantasy dynamite in all types of drafts. He'd be a top-three pick in rookie-only Dynasty drafts and a top-six pick in SuperFlex rookie-only formats, and in 2024 redrafts he should be expected to get nabbed as a No. 3 receiver with a top-70 pick.
10
Alabama • 6'6" / 360 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Jets
PROSPECT RNK
19th
POSITION RNK
5th
The Jets might want to move down but they can't risk missing out on a tackle who fits them really well both short-term and long-term. Latham shined as a super-strong blocker with good agility and experience in multiple blocking schemes. His biggest problem might have been drawing too many penalties, which suggests he can quickly improve with good coaching. And the Jets could use him at right tackle or guard immediately with eventual plans to play him at left tackle, which is where he was in high school (he played right tackle at Alabama). Both veteran additions the Jets made this offseason are over 30 years old and in contract years, so it might not take too long for Latham to man the blindside.
  Mock Trade from New England Patriots
11
Georgia • 6'4" / 240 lbs
Projected Team
L.A. Chargers
PROSPECT RNK
14th
POSITION RNK
1st
REC
56
REYDS
714
YDS/REC
12.8
TDS
7
After reeling in a haul from New England (who got the haul from Minnesota) earlier in this mock, the Chargers take the best-available prospect remaining knowing that they have two early second-round picks to help add talent elsewhere. Bowers is a unicorn with excellent receiving skills, agility and quickness for a guy his size. In this landing spot he'd be in line to potentially finish first on the team in targets, whereas on other rosters he might finish second. And here's a fun fact: Bowers was heavily recruited by Michigan out of high school and even visited Ann Arbor. Jim Harbaugh gets his chance to work with Bowers and make him a dominant part of their passing game. You should expect Bowers to be a top-10 Fantasy tight end at minimum no matter who takes him, but with the Chargers he might elevate to sixth or seventh at the position in redraft, hyping him into a top-80 pick. He'll also be very popular in Dynasty leagues, going as high as third overall in one-QB rookie-only drafts and sixth overall in SuperFlex/two-QB formats.
  Mock Trade from Denver Broncos
12
UCLA • 6'5" / 267 lbs
Projected Team
Arizona
PROSPECT RNK
16th
POSITION RNK
3rd
(Cardinals give up 27 and 35 to the Broncos for 12 and 145.) Denver has a lot of needs and not a lot of picks. They start solving that with the off-ramp to late Round 1. Arizona has a lot of draft capital and can afford to jump up and swipe Latu, who has an injury concern but took a visit with them after the Combine, hinting that he's not flagged on their board for it. And Arizona needs the pass rush help after no one had more than six sacks last year. Dennis Gardeck is in a contract year as will Zaven Collins if the Cardinals don't pick up his fifth-year option. He's the perfect edge rusher for Jonathan Gannon's defense.
13
Alabama • 6'0" / 196 lbs
Projected Team
Las Vegas
PROSPECT RNK
13th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Twice per year the Raiders face Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and ... uh, someone else. They need somebody to help cover the downfield threats from both teams. Jack Jones and Nate Hobbs already do a nice job, but Hobbs is in a contract year and Jones could draw a massive extension within the next 12 months. Arnold gives the Raiders some excellent leverage against one or both of them not being on the team by 2026, while creating a terrific coverage trio in the meantime. Arnold is also an accomplished man-coverage CB, something Quinyon Mitchell isn't as polished at yet. That gives Arnold the edge here.
14
Penn State • 6'6" / 317 lbs
Projected Team
New Orleans
PROSPECT RNK
4th
POSITION RNK
1st
New Orleans needs immediate help at both tackle spots but Fashanu can be viewed as a long-term solution on the left side. A two-year starter, Fashanu does well against the pass rush thanks to his nimble feet and massive strength. How well? He allowed zero sacks in his college career and just 10 pressures in 2023! Fashanu has the potential to be a building block that really makes the whole Saints offense better.
15
Toledo • 6'0" / 196 lbs
Projected Team
Indianapolis
PROSPECT RNK
8th
POSITION RNK
1st
Mitchell is such a good fit for the Colts because he's fast, he's savvy in coverage and he should seamlessly fit into their zone-heavy scheme from the jump. They need him badly after allowing a completion rate of at least 60% in all but two games last season. He also might be underrated as a tackler, though his play strength could be improved.
16
Washington • 6'4" / 317 lbs
Projected Team
Seattle
PROSPECT RNK
23rd
POSITION RNK
1st
New Seahawks offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb coached Fautanu at Washington since 2022 and knows his game. Fautanu would then seemingly be an easy fit into Seattle's offense, which naturally figures to be physical and work off of zone-run concepts. But he doesn't have to play left tackle right away like he did for the Huskies -- he's equally suited to play guard or center thanks to his unique agility given his size. There should be an impact felt here in the Seattle run game right away.
  Mock Trade from Chicago Bears
17
Texas • 6'1" / 308 lbs
Projected Team
L.A. Rams
PROSPECT RNK
15th
POSITION RNK
1st
(Rams give up 19 and 99 to the Bears for 17.) It's become cliche for Murphy to get mocked to the Rams, but he's pretty much exactly what they look for from a defensive tackle: Big, strong and faster than a guy his size is supposed to be. Furthermore, there aren't really a lot of nose-tackle types who can be impactful from this class, so getting him before another team can figures to be a priority for them.
18
Illinois • 6'2" / 295 lbs
Projected Team
Cincinnati
PROSPECT RNK
26th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Cincinnati could use an injection of youth up front, particularly with B.J. Hill in a contract year and Sheldon Rankins potentially on a one-year trial stay. Newton is best in a 4-3 front because he's a little undersized but he can really hunt quarterbacks and stop running backs behind the line. That's a must for Cincinnati if they're going to remain competitive in the AFC chase.
  Mock Trade from Los Angeles Rams
19
Penn State • 6'3" / 254 lbs
Projected Team
Chicago
PROSPECT RNK
22nd
POSITION RNK
4th
Chicago moves down twice and still gets a big-time pass rusher who fits Matt Eberflus' defense well. The Bears' pass rush was ugly at this time last year, but Robinson is a good addition to a defense that started to turn things around once Montez Sweat got there. This duo has the potential to turn the Bears defense into a top-10 unit thanks to their pass rush. Robinson's got an outstanding first step that gives him an edge in attacking the quarterback, a byproduct of his outstanding athleticism. He's got a good array of moves to get moving and could still improve, and he's younger than Jared Verse by a couple of seasons. There's some concern about him not being strong enough but it could be addressed and become less of a liability. The comparisons to Micah Parsons are a bit much, but he can play.
20
Iowa • 6'1" / 207 lbs
Projected Team
Pittsburgh
PROSPECT RNK
25th
POSITION RNK
4th
I know there's talk about Brian Thomas Jr. landing here, but this guy screams Steeler. He's good-sized, tough, physical, versatile and has just enough speed to be dangerous. He can even contribute on special teams. It's sort of reminiscent of when Pittsburgh acquired Minkah Fitzpatrick, who is a versatile defensive back. That paid off for Pittsburgh and this should too.
21
Oregon State • 6'6" / 324 lbs
Projected Team
Miami
PROSPECT RNK
12th
POSITION RNK
3rd
Miami has some massive long-term offensive line issues. You might already know that Terron Armstead is battling to keep playing year after year, but their guard spots are not only a little suspect but all three guys who could man the two spots are in contract years. Fuaga was a right tackle by trade at Oregon State but scouts view him as a potential guard at the NFL level. He's got plenty of experience working in a zone-blocking scheme and figures to learn his way around the offensive line before eventually settling at tackle sometime down the line.
22
Clemson • 6'2" / 185 lbs
Projected Team
Philadelphia
PROSPECT RNK
21st
POSITION RNK
3rd
Wiggins fits the Eagles in so many ways: For starters, he's an excellent zone corner who has the speed and burst to latch on to open WRs. He competes for the ball with his tall frame and long arms and does a good job diagnosing routes. All of that is perfect for what Vic Fangio wants from his corners. There's also the need the Eagles have for a long-term solution at cornerback with Darius Slay and James Bradberry both at least 31 years old. Wiggins' only drawback is that he's lean, but we've seen the Eagles trust lean players before with some good results.
  Mock Trade from Minnesota Vikings
23
Florida State • 6'4" / 260 lbs
Projected Team
New England
PROSPECT RNK
11th
POSITION RNK
2nd
New England needs to infuse its pass rush and Verse is among the last best options. Verse fits nicely in the Patriots' defensive front thanks to his size and burst off the snap, giving himself a step toward the quarterback almost every time. It's not great that he's an older prospect but the Patriots can't worry about that. Both Matt Judon and Josh Uche are in contract years -- Verse would figure to be the future in Foxboro.
24
Oklahoma • 6'7" / 328 lbs
Projected Team
Dallas
PROSPECT RNK
36th
POSITION RNK
7th
The Cowboys O-line hasn't looked this bad on paper in maybe a decade. It's been such a staple of their offense that they can't let it fall apart. Guyton is a little inexperienced but the dude is huge and plays balanced with well-trained feet. He should fit right into Dallas' O-line at right tackle thanks to his familiarity with inside zone-run blocking.
25
Missouri • 6'5" / 296 lbs
Projected Team
Green Bay
PROSPECT RNK
28th
POSITION RNK
5th
The Packers have the luxury of not having a major need to fill. It just so happens that Robinson has the chops to work as a 4-3 defensive end, and the team is transitioning to a 4-3 front. It doesn't mean their pass rushers from last year are going to stink, either, but Preston Smith is getting older and could be a cap casualty in a year. Robinson gives the Packers some long-term hope for a dominant pass rush, especially in a division that added two fresh young quarterbacks in the draft.
26
Alabama • 6'1" / 195 lbs
Projected Team
Tampa Bay
PROSPECT RNK
29th
POSITION RNK
5th
The Bucs need some serious pass rush help but this is a better value. Jamel Dean is hurt a bunch and the team could move on from him after 2024, and Bryce Hall is in a contract year. There's a path for McKinstry to be the team's top outside cornerback by 2025. He's not a blazer nor did he load up the stat sheet with interceptions but he is a smart player who can disrupt targets and stick to receivers. He hung tough with Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr. when he played against them and can be a factor for the blitz-heavy Bucs too.
  Mock Trade from Arizona Cardinals
27
Washington • 6'2" / 216 lbs
Projected Team
Denver
PROSPECT RNK
30th
POSITION RNK
5th
PAYDS
4903
RUYDS
8
INTS
11
TDS
39
Denver's best possible outcome is realized: Trade down to get an extra pick and get the next-best arm in the draft (who they might have taken at 12th if they hadn't traded down). Penix has a quick-release and a strong arm to attack downfield, but he's also accurate in the short range and did an exceptional job of avoiding sacks while at Washington. His injury-plagued past is exactly that -- in the past. Denver needs someone who can give them a chance to win without being scared of the pass rush or being forced to throw short all the time. Penix, at least for a year, offers them that. He'd only get taken in SuperFlex redraft leagues with a mid-round pick, while in rookie-only drafts he'd be a second-round choice at best in a one-QB format and a mid-to-late first-rounder in SuperFlex/two-QB leagues.
28
LSU • 6'4" / 205 lbs
Projected Team
Buffalo
PROSPECT RNK
17th
POSITION RNK
4th
REC
68
REYDS
1177
YDS/REC
17.3
TDS
17
This is the best possible landing spot for Thomas, who slides a bit in this mock as teams bypassed the receiver to fill other needs. But the Bills have a major need at receiver and can use Thomas as a defense stretching receiver who wins both as a downfield target for Josh Allen and as a guy who gets double coverage to open up other Bills pass-catchers. Thomas still has some work to do as far as route running and technique go, but his height, wingspan, vertical and break-neck speed will make him a popular choice in Buffalo and in Fantasy leagues. In this situation, Thomas would be a top-65 pick as a No. 3 receiver in redraft leagues. In rookie-only drafts he'd be around fifth to 10th in one-QB and mid-to-late in Round 1 in SuperFlex.
29
Western Michigan • 6'3" / 275 lbs
Projected Team
Detroit
PROSPECT RNK
65th
POSITION RNK
6th
The Lions don't have a pressing need at any one spot and can afford to take a chance on a project-type who doesn't have to make an instant impact. Kneeland is a thick, strong defensive end with quickness and strength to his game. The idea is that they can pair him with Aidan Hutchinson for the next five years and deliver a threatening pass rush to the division's younger quarterbacks.
30
Georgia • 6'7" / 340 lbs
Projected Team
Baltimore
PROSPECT RNK
18th
POSITION RNK
4th
Baltimore probably knows Mims isn't ready for full-time duty (he's the giant Georgia lineman who had eight starts in college). However, if he hits the ground running in training camp then he could definitely take the starting right tackle job by Week 1. Don't underestimate that -- Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken coached Mims in 2021-22 and may be able to help him adjust. In time, Mims has the potential to be one of the best tackles in the league; he's just not quite there yet.
31
BYU • 6'6" / 325 lbs
Projected Team
San Francisco
PROSPECT RNK
40th
POSITION RNK
8th
The 49ers have more issues with the future of their salary cap than they do positional needs at the present moment. Suamataia strengthens their O-line with a powerful young player with experience at both tackle spots. He's among the best non-receivers left on the board who the Niners could promote to the starting lineup with a good camp.
32
Houston • 6'7" / 315 lbs
Projected Team
Kansas City
PROSPECT RNK
85th
POSITION RNK
14th
Paul is a plus-sized, experienced left tackle who can compete for the Chiefs' starting job this summer. He's a two-time team captain and a three-time all-conference first-team tackle. And yet he still has work to do to fine-tune his blocking and become an even better blocker. He's a good pick to man the left side of the Chiefs offensive line long-term.