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DraftNerds: Bobby Bishop’s 2024 1st Round Mock Draft 1.0

Bobby Bishop (@imbobbybish) took an early look at the 2024 NFL Draft. Take a look at the landing spots to see where some of your 2024 first round picks (that you have been hoarding) could be playing next year.

Based on the current draft order on November 8th, 2023, I set out to predict what every team would do in the 2024 NFL Draft. Obviously, many things will change between now and then, but it’s always fun to look ahead. Here is my mock draft 1.0.

1. Arizona Cardinals – Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

Marvin Harrison Jr. is a complete wide receiver prospect. He has size, speed, catch radius, and route running ability—all at an elite level. If the Arizona Cardinals are committed to Kyler Murray long-term, they can invest in him by getting the best receiver prospects in recent memory. Many analysts throw around the term generational, but Marvin Harrison Jr. deserves it. He’s the best receiver prospect since Calvin Johnson and will push to be the #1 pick.

2. Chicago Bears (via Carolina Panthers) – Caleb Williams, QB, USC

I constantly hear that Caleb Williams is a generational QB. He’s not generational, but he is still an elite prospect. I believe in Justin Fields’ future as a starter in the NFL, but you take Williams in this scenario and trade away Fields. Caleb Williams is as close to a sure thing in the NFL as you can get at the quarterback position. His ability to improvise when a pocket breaks down reminds many scouts of Patrick Mahomes. I have no doubts that he will be a top-10 QB in the NFL for the next decade plus.

3. Chicago Bears – Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State

The Bears elect to protect their new franchise quarterback. After watching Justin Fields run for his life, the Bears don’t want to make the same mistake with Caleb Williams. They need to invest in a left tackle to anchor the line opposite of Darnell Wright. Olu Fashanu is the best left tackle in this class. Fashanu has the prototypical size and strength to play his premium position at a high level.

4. New York Giants – Drake Maye, QB, UNC

Nobody with a brain (besides the Giants front office) thought the Daniel Jones extension was a good idea. Even pre-injury, Daniel Jones was not playing at a high level. The Giants have other needs, including a glaring need at wide receiver, but when you are in the position to draft a franchise QB (and you don’t have one), you take the QB. At 6’4”, Drake Maye has the desired size for the position. He has showcased excellent arm talent at UNC. I doubt Drake Maye falls any farther than 4th overall. There is a situation where Maye comes in and learns from Daniel Jones for a year. Jones can help teach the offense to Maye while he develops. Jones could also be showcasing his health for a potential trade. The Giants have an out in 2025 if nobody will trade for a healthy Daniel Jones.

5. New England Patriots – Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

I thought long and hard about a QB here for the Patriots, but I think Bill Belichick gives Mac Jones one final chance in 2024 with better weapons. A stud tight end could help Mac Jones out. Hunter Henry, Mike Gesicki, and Pharoah Brown are free agents in 2024, leaving the Patriots with zero tight ends. The Patriots run a lot of 12 personnel with two tight ends on the field at the same time. Clearly, the Patriots need to invest in the tight end position this offseason, and Brock Bowers would immediately become the best Patriots tight end since Rob Gronkowski. He is an elite tight end prospect with a ridiculous amount of speed for his size. This seems high for a tight end, but when has Bill Belichick followed consensus?

6. Los Angeles Rams – Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

Dallas Turner is an edge rusher at Alabama who has excelled at pass rushing. Many analysts consider him the best edge rusher in the draft. He has stepped into Will Anderson’s shoes and has been a pleasant surprise. Turner has been productive with seven sacks on the year so far. He is hyper-athletic and will test really well at the combine. I expect Turner to be a top 10 pick this year. He will immediately become the Rams best edge rusher and fit their 3-4 system as an OLB perfectly.

7. Green Bay Packers – Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

The Packers are another team that could explore taking a quarterback in this draft. Jordan Love hasn’t shown enough to prove he’s their long-term franchise quarterback; however, I think they may give him one more year. Instead of picking up Love’s 5th year option, the Packers extended Love for another season. If they give Love the reigns in 2024, they need to support him in every way possible, including protecting him. In my eyes, Joe Alt is the second-best tackle in the 2024 class. A tight end converted to a tackle, Joe Alt is a massive individual at 6’8” and 322 pounds. He moves really well for his size and plays a premium position. Joe Alt will be a top-10 pick in 2024, whether for the Packers or someone else.

8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State

The Buccaneers could select a QB here, but I don’t think they will. Baker Mayfield has flashed enough to justify holding onto him, and they have other needs. Wide receiver will be a need in 2024. Mike Evans is a free agent, and I doubt the Bucs hold onto him. When replacing one of the most consistent big-bodied wide receivers of the last decade, the Buccaneers could swing for the fences with Keon Coleman. Former basketball player with Michigan State, this ridiculously athletic wide receiver can win a jump ball against anybody. He is fast and will test super well at the combine. Coleman would become Baker Mayfield’s new best friend.

9. Denver Broncos – Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State

The second defensive player comes off the board, and we have back-to-back Seminoles. Jared Verse has excellent size and speed for the position and has also received high character praise. The struggling Broncos defense needs a high-energy leader to set the tone on the field, in the weight room, and in the locker room. Verse could be that guy as the Broncos begin to rebuild their defense.

10. Tennessee Titans – Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

I thought about a quarterback here, but I’m not sold on a QB3 in this draft. Will Levis has shown flashes over the last few weeks, so I think the Titans could roll with him for a year and see what happens. Whether or not Deandre Hopkins is still on their roster next year, I think the Titans could target receiver in the 2024 draft. Treylon Burks has not been consistent despite occasionally showing promise. Malik Nabers could finish as WR2 when all is said and done. He runs his routes with incredible suddenness and burst. He is an elite playmaker after the catch. The Titans would love to add him to their wide receiver room.

11. Atlanta Falcons – Emeka Egbuka, WR, Ohio State

The Falcons need a quarterback badly, but I feel it won’t be a rookie in 2024. Whether it’s Justin Fields, Kyler Murray, or even Ryan Tannehill, I think the Falcons will try to bring in a veteran QB and try to win the NFC South in 2024. That is much harder to do with a rookie quarterback taking the reigns. The Falcons have shown a willingness to invest in weapons, adding Pitts, London, and Robinson in the last three drafts. Outside of Drake London, the Falcons wide receiver room is lacking. Emeka Egbuka could be their guy. When I evaluate wide receivers, I regard separation ability as the most important skill for a receiver, and Egbuka has that in abundance. He consistently gets open on short and intermediate routes. Emeka Egbuka is going to be a PPR nightmare. I don’t know who will end up as the QB for the Falcons, but I do know that Egbuka would make his life easier. 

12. Washington Commanders – JC Latham, OT, Alabama

With the Commanders trading away Sweat and Young, I heavily considered an edge rusher here, but I went with the best player available (which also happens to be a need). Is Sam Howell the long-term answer in Washington? Maybe not, but there is no way of knowing unless he has a few seconds to see the field each play. The Commanders need to completely rebuild their offensive line, and that begins with snagging JC Latham. He could easily end up as a top-ten pick. Latham won the right tackle role at Alabama his sophomore year and hasn’t looked back. He is a massive specimen at 6’6” and 360 lbs. Latham would immediately start at right tackle for the Commanders and instantly become their best offensive lineman.

13. Indianapolis Colts – Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

The Colts have their franchise QB in Anthony Richardson, but now is the time to build around him. Pittman is a free agent, but even if you extend him, adding the cherry on top of this wide receiver room could still be nice. Odunze, Pittman, and Downs would become one of the best wide receiver trios in the league. Odunze has the size and speed to hold his own as a number 1 receiver in the NFL. Upgrading from Alec Pierce to Odunze could do wonders for Anthony Richardson’s development.

14. Las Vegas Raiders – Michael Penix Jr, QB, Washington

I couldn’t justify letting Penix fall any further. While Penix still has room to grow, he has shown enough flashes with his arm talent to justify being a first-round pick. If Penix Jr. can limit turnovers and showcase improved decision-making throughout the rest of the season, he could potentially be drafted even higher than this. The Raiders have some flexibility to allow Penix to learn the system without throwing him into the fire. Jimmy Garoppolo’s contract is very cuttable after the 2024 season, allowing him to be the perfect bridge quarterback.

15. Arizona Cardinals (via Houston Texans) – Laitu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

Latu is a tough player to evaluate. He has the talent, athleticism, and production to be a top-10 pick. However, a neck injury already forced him to medically retire once. If all of his combine medical testing comes back clean, Latu will easily be a first round pick. If not, he could be the steal of the draft in the later rounds. With the pick that the Texans traded away for Will Anderson, the Cardinals draft the highest-upside edge rusher available.

16. New York Jets – JJ McCarthy, QB, Michigan

The Jets have a quarterback problem. Even if Aaron Rodgers rushes back from his Achilles tear without further damage, will the Jets feel good about him next year? What about beyond that? Investing in JJ McCarthy would be smart for the New York Jets long-term. He has the most upside of the remaining quarterbacks. McCarthy is a very capable QB with a great arm and decision-making ability. McCarthy has showcased excellent accuracy this season, which, in my opinion, is the most valuable trait in a QB prospect. He’s only 20 years old and could be the future for the Jets.

17. Los Angeles Chargers – Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

The Chargers have their franchise quarterback in Justin Herbert. Now, they need to protect him. Slater has the left tackle role on lock, but Amarius Mims would be a plug-and-play right tackle. Mims and Slater would combine as one of the best young tackle duos in the league, and they could lengthen Justin Herbert’s already promising career. Amarius Mims is currently dealing with an ankle injury but is well on his way to being a first-round pick. This pick is an investment in Justin Herbert’s health by drafting a premium position.

18. Buffalo Bills – Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

The Bills select the best cornerback in the draft, who just so happens to have the best nickname. I don’t love this cornerback class, but McKinstry is the best of the bunch. His most elite skill is on special teams as a returner, a role I doubt he will retain in the pros as a starting cornerback. He plays a very physical brand of football as a somewhat handsy defender and a willing tackler. If he can stay consistent throughout the rest of the season, he could end up as a top-10 pick. This spot is the floor for Kool-Aid and a steal in the mid-first.

19. New Orleans Saints – Chop Robinson, EDGE, Penn State

The Saints need to replace the aging Cameron Jordan, an all-time great for this franchise. Chop Robinson has shown flashes of elite athleticism. He’s explosive off the ball and is very talented at pressuring opposing QBs. The former Maryland transfer has adjusted well to joining Penn State’s defense and has become one of their leaders. Chop is currently dealing with a short-term injury, but it won’t affect his draft stock. This pick would be a perfect fit.

20. Minnesota Vikings – Quinn Ewers, QB, Texas

Ewers had an impressive start to the 2023 season, including torching Alabama to the tune of 349 yards passing and 3 touchdowns. It was clear that he put in work in the offseason and was in better shape this season. Since then, Ewers has shown inconsistency with his accuracy and decision-making. He is currently out with an AC Sprain. This injury should not affect his draft stock, and he will likely play football here in the next few weeks. The Vikings are in an interesting situation. Kirk Cousins was playing some of the best football of his life before his Achilles tear. Should they go ahead and invest in the QB of their future? Cousins could potentially rush his rehab to try to be back next season, but at 35 years old, the Vikings might want to go ahead and begin to groom his replacement. Ewers has a lot of potential, but sitting for a year and learning the system wouldn’t be the worst idea.

21. Dallas Cowboys – Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

Adonai Mitchell made the brilliant decision to transfer from Georgia to Texas, which has paid off in a big way. He only had 38 receptions in two years at Georgia. At Texas, Mitchell has emerged as a first-round receiver with elite size for the position. He can separate and has great hands. Mitchell is more of a possession receiver and is not elite after the catch, but he would instantly be the Cowboys’ second-best receiver.

22. Pittsburgh Steelers – Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

There are a few options for the second-best cornerback in the draft. This is still up for debate, but I’m going with Nate Wiggins from Clemson. There have been some concerns for Wiggins this year (lower leg injury vs Florida State, didn’t start against Notre Dame due to missed tutoring sessions), but I still think he has the most upside of the remaining cornerback class. He has good size for the position at 6’2”. His hips are very fluid. He’s dropped some in rankings due to an underwhelming season, but scouts can’t let one season get in the way of a player’s upside.

23. Houston Texans (via Cleveland Browns) – J.T. Tuimoloau, EDGE, Ohio State

Despite adding Will Anderson, the Texans are in the bottom third of the league at rushing the passer, with just 17 team sacks on the season. Jonathan Greenard is a free agent and is a replaceable player. Tuimoloau has been an elite edge rusher since high school when he was the number one player in the nation. He hasn’t been as dominant in college but has shown flashes. Sometimes, at the college level, talent doesn’t always equal production. With just four sacks on the season, Tuimoloau still showcases extreme upside with his athleticism at 270 lbs. J.T. Tuimoloau has a chance to become a better pro than a college player, and playing the opposite of a stud like Will Anderson could help that.

24. Cincinnati Bengals – Jer’Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois

The Bengals give up 5 yards per carry, and D.J. Reader is a free agent. They need to invest in the interior of their defensive line, and there is no better way to do that than to draft the best interior defensive lineman in the draft. Jer’Zhan Newton is undersized for his position, but he makes up for it with his agility. He can consistently get into the backfield and disrupt. Newton also can eat double teams, which could open up opportunities for other defensive linemen. Jer’Zhan Newton would be a seamless fit on the Bengals defensive line.

25. Seattle Seahawks – Jaheim Bell, TE, Florida State

Jaheim Bell is elite after the catch for a tight end. The Seahawks have shown a willingness to give weapons to Geno Smith, and Bell would fit a need. With Noah Fant becoming a free agent, the Seahawks have a void of talent at the position. Bell is a versatile weapon, and the Seahawks would want to get the ball in his hands. Bell is undersized for the position and is not the best blocker, but he can certainly fill a role in Seattle as a pass catching tight end.

26. San Francisco 49ers – Cooper DeJuan, CB, Iowa

Cooper DeJuan is an absolute playmaker. While unfortunately unlikely to retain his return specialist duties in the NFL, he still has a chance to make something happen when the ball finds him. He is often in the right place at the right time and is liable to turn any interception into a pick 6.

27. Miami Dolphins – Graham Barton, OT, Duke

There is some concern that Graham Barton might not stick at tackle in the NFL, but he will be a solid starting offensive lineman either way. The Dolphins would be able to find a spot for him on their offensive line. He moves really well for his size. He previously played center before sticking at left tackle for the Blue Devils. Barton’s versatility could be intriguing for the Dolphins, and his athleticism could excite Mike McDaniel.

28. Jacksonville Jaguars – Braelon Trice, EDGE, Washington

Braelon Trice has been a productive edge rusher in his college career, highlighted by 10 sacks in 2022. The Jaguars could use some help rushing the passer, with Travon Walker looking like a bust. Josh Allen has proved himself on the opposite side but hits free agency this year. It’s unclear if the Jaguars will pay up to retain him. Regardless, Trice would fill a void and would get after the quarterback.

29. Detroit Lions – Kalen King, CB, Penn State

Sometimes, things line up a little too perfectly. This would be one of those situations. Born and raised in Detroit, could Kalen King return home to play for his hometown NFL team? The Lions need a cornerback, and King is the best available this late in the first round. While slightly undersized, King plays big. He is very physical and an absolute force when the ball is in the air. He’s solid in zone and man coverage. King showcases athleticism and should test well at the combine. This pick would be a perfect match.

30. Baltimore Ravens – Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas

Could the Ravens draft a wide receiver in the first round for the second straight year? Flowers and Worthy are very different receivers. Flowers is a better route runner and better after the catch. Xavier Worthy is a speed demon deep-threat receiver. Worthy has a nose for the end zone. I would like to see Xavier Worthy add to his thin frame, but his speed will be how he wins in the NFL. Lamar Jackson would love to add Worthy as his newest weapon.

31. Kansas City Chiefs – Xavier Legette, WR, South Carolina

I know what you’re thinking. Eight first-round receivers? Well, believe it. This is a great receiver class, and all eight of these guys are worthy of a first-round pick. Xavier Legette, a high school quarterback, has improved as a receiver each of the last five seasons. In 2023, he has emerged as a stud. He has breakaway speed (I would not be surprised if he runs a 4.3), improved route running ability, and elite run after the catch. He also can jump with anyone and come down with 50/50 balls. Legette (along with Rashee Rice) would begin to build up a fun, young receiving core for the most talented quarterback of all time.

32. Philadelphia Eagles – Kamren Kinchens, S, Miami

I’m not going to lie. The Eagles are a tough team to draft for. With no holes, I’m going with the best player available despite not playing a premium position. Kinchens is the definition of a ballhawk. He plays sideline to sideline and seems to gain speed when the ball is in the air. With 10 interceptions in his college career, Kinchens is a productive safety. The Eagles would love to add another playmaker of his caliber to the back end of their already loaded defense.

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