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Every NFL offseason, mock drafts captivate fans eager for the next crop of high-profile rookies to find their new homes. But so often the exercise overlooks the fact that free agency comes first -- and often ends up reshaping certain draft priorities.

So what if we applied the mock draft format to free agency? Below, we've done just that, imagining where some of the best available veterans might end up if teams were allowed to "sign" them in a designated order.

Rather than list teams in reverse order of last season's records, we've created the draft order based on projected 2024 salary cap space, so the teams with the most money to spend get the better pick of this year's top free agents.

We've included all unrestricted free agents in the exercise except for the following players, who are widely expected to either re-sign with their current teams or receive a franchise tag:

Now, without further ado, the 2024 NFL free agency mock draft:

1. Commanders: DE Brian Burns

A reunion with Kirk Cousins would be intriguing, but presuming they address quarterback in the actual draft, the Dan Quinn-led Commanders instead look to replenish their stripped-down pass rush with the best edge presence available.

2. Titans: WR Tee Higgins

A match made in heaven, Higgins gives the Titans the No. 1-caliber wideout they've lacked since A.J. Brown's exit. Plus, the move reunites Higgins with his former Bengals offensive coordinator in new head coach Brian Callahan.

Update: Higgins received the Bengals' franchise tag on Feb. 26. Barring the team rescinding the tag or Higgins forcing a trade via holdout, the wideout is now poised to remain with Cincinnati through 2024.

3. Bears: WR Mike Evans

QB will be addressed one way or another, likely at the top of the real draft. Regardless, Evans finally gives them a formidable 1-2 punch out wide, pairing Evans' big-bodied dominance with D.J. Moore's electricity.

4. Patriots: QB Kirk Cousins

Hold onto your hats. While drafting a QB feels more likely (and smarter), who's to say Jerod Mayo, Robert Kraft and Co. wouldn't prefer a more proven technician, if given the chance to "burn some cash" on Cousins? In reality, of course, Cousins might be hesitant to join such a rebuilding organization, but New England's still got a historic reputation and reliable defense.

5. Bengals: OT Trent Brown

A year after paying Orlando Brown Jr. to protect Joe Burrow's blind side, the Bengals shore up the other bookend spot with free agency's top right tackle. You can never do too much to help your QB's front.

6. Colts: CB L'Jarius Sneed

With Chris Jones set to cost the Chiefs a pretty penny, Sneed figures to sneak onto the market. The Colts, meanwhile, are eager to inject some proven playmaking into their secondary, making him their No. 1 cover man.

7. Texans: WR Marquise Brown

"Hollywood" has struggled to stay on the field in recent years, but he's got elite downfield ability, and the Texans should be all over additional weapons for young QB C.J. Stroud. It's not hard to envision them connecting.

8. Lions: DE Danielle Hunter

Aidan Hutchinson headlines Detroit's front four, but the Lions need more off the edge coming off their playoff run. So they rob their division-rival Vikings for Hunter, one of the most physically imposing pass rushers in the game.

9. Cardinals: WR Calvin Ridley

Even if Marquise Brown had returned, they would've needed to prioritize more weaponry for Kyler Murray. While Ridley is already approaching 30 coming off an uneven 2023, he remains a slippery big-play threat.

10. Buccaneers: QB Baker Mayfield

If ain't broke, don't fix it. Kirk Cousins would've been a spicy consideration here had he slid, but Mayfield settled in as a playoff-caliber starter in his 2023 resurgence. He stays put, giving Tampa Bay short-term peace of mind at QB.

11. Raiders: CB Kendall Fuller

Antonio Pierce needs help at every level of the defense now that he's running the show. Fuller provides it on the back end, instantly becoming Vegas' top corner after steady stints in Washington and Kansas City.

12. Panthers: OLB Bryce Huff

With Brian Burns cashing in elsewhere (see above), the Panthers quickly address their gaping hole at edge rusher by betting on the ascending Huff, who shined in limited snaps for Robert Saleh's stingy Jets defense.

13. Rams: OLB Za'Darius Smith

At 31, Smith isn't necessarily the ideal free agent target for the youth movement they began in 2023, but the Rams also badly need edge-rushing help, and he's a plug-and-play starter who could help them return to the playoffs.

14. Falcons: OLB Leonard Floyd

Perpetually in need of pass-rushing reinforcements, the Falcons reunite Floyd, an annually underrated sack artist, with old Rams defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, who's now running the show in Atlanta.

15. Vikings: DL Leonard Williams

Brian Flores got the most out of the Vikings defense in 2023, but he could use more strength in the trenches. Williams gives them just that, offering positional versatility to help the entire front improve against both the run and pass.

16. Eagles: OLB Andrew Van Ginkel

A younger defensive starter would fit their M.O., but with Haason Reddick's future in the air, the Eagles instead opt to bolster the pass rush, giving new coordinator Vic Fangio one of his high-effort standouts from the Dolphins.

17. Giants: WR Gabe Davis

The Giants can't afford to let any of their QBs take snaps behind their current O-line again. But they also desperately need more juice out wide. Davis is mercurial but explosive, offering ridiculous speed on the perimeter.

18. Chiefs: OT Tyron Smith

The Chiefs took a one-year flyer on Donovan Smith at left tackle in 2023, and it worked just well enough. Smith is far more talented, even with an injury history, and makes sense as another stopgap blind-side protector for Patrick Mahomes.

19. Jaguars: OG Kevin Dotson

Jacksonville needs to tighten the screws across its O-line if it wants Trevor Lawrence to settle in for an improved Year 4. Dotson, meanwhile, really took it up a notch for the Rams in 2023, making him a top-tier upgrade on the interior.

20. Ravens: CB Stephon Gilmore

Patrick Queen is on the board here, but having already paid big bucks to Roquan Smith, Baltimore instead looks for a more affordable defensive upgrade, adding the seasoned Gilmore opposite Marlon Humphrey in the secondary.

21. Jets: OL Connor Williams

Aaron Rodgers could use another weapon out wide, but there's nothing the Jets need more than help up front. Williams can play both guard and center, and this move also weakens a key divisional rival in the Dolphins.

22. Packers: S Kamren Curl

Green Bay has a clear need at safety, and new DC Jeff Hafley has a background prioritizing the defensive backfield. Curl, meanwhile, was rarely flashy but often steady in Washington, promising more stability in Lambeau.

23. Seahawks: LB Patrick Queen

Now under the direction of Mike Macdonald, the Seahawks reunite the old Ravens DC with one of his top players from 2023. Queen can step into the heart of Seattle's defense, replacing Bobby Wagner with sideline-to-sideline tenacity.

24. 49ers: OG Robert Hunt

Barring a trade of Deebo Samuel or Brandon Aiyuk, the 49ers don't have a ton of pressing needs across the board. But Hunt offers improved competition and depth along the interior, which is critical to Kyle Shanahan's well-oiled offensive machine.

25. Steelers: LB Frankie Luvu

A QB like Ryan Tannehill would make sense here, but the Steelers have been swinging at linebackers for years. Luvu finally gives them a fast, physical, ascending playmaker whose blitzing skills should pair nicely with those of T.J. Watt.

26. Browns: DT D.J. Reader

Cleveland struck gold by adding Dalvin Tomlinson in 2023. Now they double down on the trench building by poaching Reader from the rival Bengals, banking on the former gap-plugger staying healthy enough to keep Cleveland's "D" dominant.

27. Cowboys: OL Andre James

Tackle is arguably a bigger need than guard/center, considering Tyron Smith's uncertain future, but James has played all over the line during his career. Keeping Dak Prescott's front intact should be a top priority in Dallas.

28. Broncos: OLB Jonathan Greenard

Greenard has been effective when healthy in Houston, and the Broncos badly need some help off the edge after purging Frank Clark and Randy Gregory from their roster in 2023. He could be a potential steal of the free agent class.

29. Chargers: RB Saquon Barkley

The first running back off the board, Barkley lacks the steadiness of Derrick Henry or the intradivisional reputation of Josh Jacobs. But his unteachable talents should be appealing to Jim Harbaugh as the latter tries to surround Justin Herbert with playmakers.

30. Bills: CB Steven Nelson

Knocking on the door of a deep playoff run every year, the Bills really just need some stability at corner, and Nelson has provided just that in stops with the Chiefs, Steelers, Eagles and Texans. He's a low-risk, high-reward addition.

31. Dolphins: OL Lloyd Cushenberry

If we're expecting both Connor Williams and Robert Hunt to walk (see above), then Miami should be all in on any OL help it can get for Tua Tagovailoa. And Cushenberry graded out well at the heart of Denver's line in 2023.

32. Saints: DE Jadeveon Clowney

The Saints refuse to rebuild, and Dennis Allen is back atop the staff, signaling another defensively minded march toward the wild-card round. Clowney fits in perfectly as a mercenary to aid the aging pass rush opposite Cameron Jordan.