2024 NFL Mock Draft: QBs, WRs dominate early in loaded class

Who will go early on NFL Draft day?
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The 2024 NFL Draft is officially upon us, as teams across the NFL will try to identify players that can either turn around a lackluster franchise like the Chicago Bears or supplement a ready-made contender like the Baltimore Ravens as they try to unseat the Kansas City Chiefs as champions.

Teams in need of a wide receiver, offensive tackle, and cornerback are in luck, as this draft class is packed to the gills with tons of players that can emerge as immediate impact players. The trenches are a particularly fertile spot on defense, as many of the best defensive players in this class are pass rushers.

On a night that is sure to be filled with surprises, league-shattering moves, and decisions that will ultimately decide who ends up hoisting the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the season, let's take a look at what could go down on this faithful night in Detroit.

2024 NFL Mock Draft: QBs, WRs dominate early

Round 1

Williams 1. Caleb Williams. 57. . QB. Caleb Williams. 1. USC. . player

This has been in the works for months, as it seems like a formality that Williams will head to Chicago and become the Bears' next franchise quarterback. While there are some concerns about his ability to get the ball out quickly and pocket presence, Williams has a supreme combination of arm talent and playmaking off-script.

Williams' arm talent will be in the top half of the league as soon as he arrives, and he blends it with exceptional accuracy and a beautiful deep ball. Williams has all the tools needed to not only become a standout quarterback in this league, but to rewrite all of the Bears' passing records while he's at it.

2. . LSU. QB. player. 58. . Jayden Daniels. Jayden Daniels. Daniels 2

Daniels had a solid time at Arizona State, but nothing that would suggest this skinny run-first quarterback would be a Top 3 pick. After transferring to LSU, Daniels proved that not only is he the finest athlete at the quarterback position in his class, but he has sensational deep accuracy and a penchant for making big plays happen regularly.

The Commanders will be chucking it under new OC Kliff Kingsbury, and Daniels' ceiling as a runner and thrower makes him the option with the most potential for greatness in DC. Washington's new-look offense needs a player with Daniels' talent to truly click.

player. . Drake Maye. . North Carolina. Drake Maye. 47. Maye 3. QB. 3

The Patriots have all but come out and said they are going to take a quarterback who will try to improve upon where Mac Jones struggled, and Maye's talent makes him more than worthy of this pick. Pro Bowls regularly in New England could be his ceiling, provided his coaching staff builds the offense around what he does best.

Maye has a bazooka of an arm, tremendous mobility for a player his size, and terrific playmaking out of the structure. The Patriots could luck into a player many consider to be the best prospect in this class, which is exactly what new OC Alex Van Pelt wants to see in his next golden goose.

2024 NFL Mock Draft: Marvin Harrison Jr. could be a star immediately

WR. Marvin Harrison Jr.. 32. . . Ohio State. 4. Harrison 4. Marvin Harrison Jr.. player

The Cardinals might be fielding trade offers, but they would be foolish if they passed on what many consider to be the greatest wide receiver prospect in the last decade. Harrison's flaws are nitpicky, as he has the size, route-running, and big play potential to be a regular 1,000-yard receiver in the pros instantly.

Arizona is committing to Kyler Murray, but their receiver room is being led by Michael Wilson and Greg Dortch right now. Harrison would be the top dog immediately, and his speed paired with Murray's explosive arm could be the connection that gets the Cardinals back in the postseason hunt after a few years in the mud.

player. WR. LSU. Malik Nabers. . . Nabers 5. 5. 13. Malik Nabers

Jim Harbaugh has completely remade Los Angeles' receiving room, letting Mike Williams and Keenan Allen go. Even though Greg Roman wants to run the ball more, it would be a crime to let Justin Herbert go into the year handicapped by yet another terrible supporting cast at the wide receiver spot.

The Chargers need someone with Nabers' speed, as he is a prototypical deep threat who can burn future NFL athletes in teh SEC with ease. A sharp route-runner with great hands and playmaking as a runner, Nabers would enter the league as the No. 1 receiver for one of the league's best quarterbacks. Can it get better than that for a rookie?

WR. 6. Washington. Rome Odunze. Rome Odunze. player. 31. . Odunze 6.

While the Giants wouldn't be faulted for ending the Daniel Jones era by drafting a quarterback, bringing in a super safe receiver like Odunze might appeal more to Brian Daboll and New York than taking the fourth-best quarterback in this class. Odunze may have the best hands and ball skills of any player in this class.

Odunze has tremendous mobility and short-area quickness for a player his size, which should help him come right in and immediately become an intermediate route threat in the pros. If you are an offensive coach and you struggle to find a way to get Odunze the ball down the field, that's on you. His floor is incredibly high.

Joe Alt. 35. Notre Dame. 7. Alt 7. OT. Joe Alt. player. .

Seemingly every year, a reliable offensive lineman destined for Pro Bowls is selected high in the draft and instantly becomes a quality starter. This year, Alt takes that title. Tennessee made plenty of promising offseason additions (Calvin Ridley, Tony Pollard, Lloyd Cushenberry III), but the line is still a question mark.

The 6-8 Alt is a mountainous, poweerful athlete who can bend speed rushers in half due to his string upper body and go toe-to-toe with stronger athletes as a run-blocker thanks to terrific technique and a mean streak when he's on the field. Alt giving up a pressure was as rare on tape as a Bigfoot sighting, and the Titans will benefit from that dominant final season in college.

Turner 8. Alabama. 8. player. EDGE. 44. . . Dallas Turner. Dallas Turner

Signing Kirk Cousins took care of Atlanta's big quarterback question mark, freeing up Terry Fontenot to use this pick on the best player available. Turner is the best defensive player in this class, as his 4.46 speed gives him such rare explosion that even pro tackles will find it tough to block him.

While he might need to add on a few pounds in the pros, Turner's get-off and surprisingly deep bag of pass rush tools will help the Falcons find a spot for him in their defensive line rotation. Once he becomes a better run defender, Turner will set himself up for a future as the centerpiece of the Falcons' front seven.

Jared Verse. 57. . EDGE. 9. player. Verse 9. . Florida State. Jared Verse

Chicago seems to have nailed it with the Montez Sweat trade, but they need to add one more star on the defensive line before calling it a day at building that area of the team. Verse has premium explosion and power at the position, and his tremendous game vs. Florida might be the most dominant showing for any defensive prospect in this class.

The Bears can throw Verse right into the fire alongside Sweat, as his speed off the edge will be a problem for pro tackles. With how Matt Eberflus actually had the Chicago defense playing well at the end of last season, Verse could be the missing ingredient that turns them into a worthwhile playoff contender.

player. 30. TE. Bowers 10. . Brock Bowers. Brock Bowers. 10. . Georgia

The Jets managed to plug their two biggest holes with veteran additions, as the signings of Tyron Smith and Mike Williams helped answer questions at offensive tackle and wide receiver, respectively. If they want to take the best player available, Bowers brings wide receiver athleticism and route-running in a tight end frame.

New York has Tyler Conklin, but Bowers could be used as a bigger slot weapon due to his tremendous pass-catching skills. While not an amazing blocker, the former top recruit helped pave the way for multiple 1,000-yard rushers at Georgia. Going to Aaron Rodgers could help Bowers supercharge his pro career by heading to a high-octane attack.

JJ McCarthy. player. 60. McCarthy 11. Michigan. . JJ McCarthy. 11. . QB

The Vikings could trade up for a quarterback, but there's a chance that a prospect could fall into their laps. McCarthy didn't blow the doors off with his stats in college, and his smaller frame could be a concern, but when Jim Harbaugh did let him rip it down the field, he showcased sensational accuracy on the move and raw arm talent.

Minnesota has a very quarterback-friendly offense, and McCarthy will be able to lean on one of the best 1-2 punches in the game in wide receivers Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison. Giving McCarthy a good environment to develop will be key to getting the most out of him, and the Vikings can provide that.

. . Bo Nix. player. 45. QB. Oregon. Nix 12. Bo Nix. 12

Nix is a bit of a reach, but the Broncos put themselves in a position to draft the best quarterback who is available when they pick. Nix doesn't have a howitzer, but his surgeon-sharp precision on shorter routes will be of interest to a coach like Sean Payton who wants his quarterback to be ultra-efficient from the pocket.

Denver has Payton's offense installed, and Courtland Sutton is a solid wide receiver to integrate a rookie like Nix into the professional game. The inconsistent player from Auburn is much different from the prospect Denver is drafting, as Nix is a playmaker with great accuracy to all levels of the field who could evolve into a franchise quarterback.

CB. . Alabama. Arnold 13. Terrion Arnold. player. . Terrion Arnold. 13. 28

The Raiders will eschew a franchise quarterback here, as they could still use one more standout defensive back to help Antonio Pierce build what he envisions to be an elite defense. Arnold is a dynamic athlete with picture-perfect man-coverage skills, and he pairs it with an exceptional understanding of the game.

Arnold is as well-rounded a prospect as there is at his position, as most of his flaws are nitpicks. Las Vegas has spent a ton of money on their defensive line by extending Maxx Crosby and paying an obscene amount of money for Christian Wilkins, and Arnold may end up being a cornerstone for their defense.

Fashanu 14. OT. Olu Fashanu. 14. player. . . Penn State. Olu Fashanu. 15

New Orleans once again had to subtract from the roster, as their perilous salary cap situation has the Saints needing to take the best player available. With the offensive line starting to wither away and Trevor Penning looking like a complete bust, Fashanu could be a more pro-ready pass protector with a history of wiping out Big Ten pass rushers.

Fashanu might have small hands, and his last season at Penn State wasn't as good as the prior one, but the former Nittany Lion is clearly the most pro-ready offensive tackle in this class not named Joe Alt. Fashanu's fantastic mobility and technical refinement make him an obvious choice for a lineman-needy team.

CB. Mitchell 15. . . player. Toledo. Quinyon Mitchell. Quinyon Mitchell. 15. 46

Indianapolis needs more secondary help, but Chris Ballard's recent drafting shows that he isn't going to use any of his top picks on a defensive back unless they are a top-shelf athlete. Luckily, Mitchell's supreme speed and change of direction skills will make him, Kenny Moore, and JuJu Brents a top-flight cornerback trio.

The Colts will also be enticed by Mitchell's textbook man coverage skills. When he needed to cover ground in zone, he did a quality job. Getting Anthony Richardson a weapon could be enticing, but Mitchell's picture-perfect cornerback play gives him Pro Bowl potential when he enters the league.

16. Latu 16. . UCLA. Laiatu Latu. . 36. EDGE. Laiatu Latu. player

If Latu gets a clean bill of health, there's a good chance he ends up being picked in the Top 10. With Seattle head coach Mike Macondald likely in need of more pass rushing talent to build the same defense that made him such a desired coordinator, Latu could be in his crosshairs for his first pick as Seahawks coach.

Latu has 4.6 speed and the widest array of pass rush moves of any standout end in this class. At 265 pounds, Latu emerged as a reliable run defender in a traditional 4-3 end role or a 3-4 rush linebacker designation. No matter how Macdonald used him, Latu will find ways to get to the quarterback.

Thomas 17. . . WR. player. LSU. Brian Thomas Jr.. 17. 52. Brian Thomas Jr.

The Jaguars need some defensive back depth, but the mismanagement of the Calvin Ridley situation leaves in need of a No. 1 receiver for Trevor Lawrence despite the addition of Gabe Davis. Thomas is running away with the WR4 role, as the 6-3, 210-pound receiver ran a blazing 4.33 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.

Thomas' great hands, straight-line speed, and ball-tracking skills downfield will give the Jacksonville offense an element of verticality they lacked at times last year. While he benefitted from Nabers and Daniels in the same offense, Thomas' raw skills will be very attractive for Lawrence and Doug Pederson to work with.

. 18. Fuaga 18. Taliese Fuaga. player. 56. Taliese Fuaga. . OT. Oregon State

Even with the Bengals signing Trent Brown, they need a better long-term solution at right tackle. Fuaga could slip due to his generally rigid technique and the fact he has been an exclusive right tackle in college, but Cincinnati might be too seduced by his freakish raw strength and pulverizing second-level blocking.

Fuaga plays with a mean streak, which helped him become the best offensive lineman in the Pac-12 last year. His physical gifts will make him an above-average run-blocker and solid pass-protector as a rookie, and the Bengals could land a 10-year starter that keeps Burrow upright if he develops properly.

. Illinois. DT. Johnny Newton. Johnny Newton. 19. Newton 19. . 51. player

The Rams picked a good time to use a first-round pick for the first time in eight years, as the retirement of Aaron Donald took the lone star off one of the league's more unknown defenses. In need of a defensive tackle who can get to the quarterback, Newton would provide that and much more as a rookie.

While he's a bit undersized and short in the arms, Newton plays like the Tasmanian Devil, and that furious style of play makes him both a quality pass rusher and a worthwhile run-stuffer. Anyone who saw him demolish the Wisconsin offensive line will tell Los Angeles GM Les Snead to sprint to the podium if Newton is there at 19.

CB. 20. player. 55. Wiggins 20. Clemson. . . Nate Wiggins. Nate Wiggins

If the Steelers don't pick an offensive lineman in the draft for the second year in a row, bringing in a cornerback could be an interesting way for Pittsburgh to add more talent. Wiggins, who ran a sub-4.3 40-yard dash at the Combine, could join a strong secondary that already features Joey Porter Jr. and Minkah Fitzpatrick.

Wiggins has the length and incredibly annoying man coverage demeanor that Pittsburgh will love. The Steelers could pick an offensive lineman later as they keep building a defense that Mike Tomlin, a former defensive backs coach, will have a fun time instructing.

. Troy Fautanu. Fautanu 21. Washington. Troy Fautanu. OT. 21. player. 59.

With Tua Tagovailoa's fragile body always on their mind and the offensive line's constant disarray in recent years, Miami is in a position to take the best offensive lineman available. Drafting an aggressive, versatile player like Fautanu would be ideal for a Dolphins team that could turn him into a starting guard or reliable tackle.

Fautanu's second-level blocking and impressive power could make him a guard that keeps Miami's rushing attack as deadly as possible. With Terron Armstead's injuries starting to make him a major question mark, Fautanu could also end up as a long-term replacement for him at left tackle.

Cooper DeJean. DeJean 22. player. 54. Cooper DeJean. CB. . Iowa. 22.

The Eagles defense was downright putrid at times last year, as the sharp regression of James Bradberry was one of the main reasons the secondary regressed so hard. A long-term No. 1 cornerback is needed,d and DeJean's awesome Pro Day workout only confirms his supreme athletic ability and versatility.

While he did suffer a broken leg at the end of his last season at Iowa, all indications are he will be healthy to start the season. With exceptional technique and a penchant for aggressively jumping balls to intercept passes, DeJean is a safe option who will immediately play a big role on a struggling Philadelphia defense.

. Murphy 23. 23. DT. Texas. Byron Murphy II. player. . Byron Murphy II. 60

The Vikings have their quarterback situation sorted, but they need to figure out what is next for their defensive line. While the signing of Jonathan Greenard at least somewhat mitigated the loss of Danielle Hunter, the interior of that line is in such disarray that a player with Murphy's skillset is needed.

Murphy is quite small for a defensive tackle, but Minnesota will be drawn to his powerful hands, quick first step, and ability to defend the run when called upon. Murphy may need to add some weight before reaching his full potential, but his penetration skills will give him a role during his rookie season.

Alabama. 24. player. Latham 24. OT. JC Latham. . . JC Latham. 123

Dallas didn't make a ton of moves this offseason, which puts their lack of standout offensive line play in focus. The right tackle spot is looking particularly threadbare, which could lead to Latham becoming the mammoth Dak Prescott protector the Cowboys haven't had in some time.

While Latham took it on the chin in a rough game against Michigan, everything else about his profile suggests that he can immediately come into the league and be a powerful run-blocker with the strong lower body needed in pass protection to eventually grow into a starter Dallas can rely on irrespective of what happens at quarterback.

Mims 25. . Georgia. Amarius Mims. 49. OT. Amarius Mims. player. . 25

Mims is the great unknown in this draft. With just eight career starts to his name and a host of injuries hampering him, players like him are often considered radioactive. Green Bay might not be scared of him, as he could be a perfect protector for Jordan Love if he taps into his immense potential.

Mims has the lowest pressure rate allowed of any of the top tackles, and that 6-7 and 340-pound frame will be too tantalizing to pass up. Mims is a surprisingly athletic player for his size, and the Packers have enough structure around him to accentuate his talents without overwhelming him in Year 1.

Chop Robinson. 26. Robinson 26. Penn State. player. . . EDGE. Chop Robinson. 48

Tampa Bay's defensive front has some enticing talent in the interior thanks to Calijah Kancey and Vita Vea. Due to Randy Gregory's unreliability and Joe Tryon-Shoyinka's stagnation, the Buccaneers could form a deadly edge tandem for the future between YaYa Diaby and the ultra-speedy Robinson.

Robinson's athleticism makes him look like he came from another planet. Even if his lack of amazing size and run defense will make him a bit of a specialist early on, Todd Bowles is creative enough to come up with a plan that gets Robinson in pass-rushing situations as a rookie and gradually expands his game.

CB. Alabama. 32. McKinstry 27. . Kool-Aid McKinstry. . Kool-Aid McKinstry. 27. player

McKinstry needs to show teams that he is both healthy and has enough long speed to last in the pros. If he does, his spectacular tape at Alabama makes him tantalizing enough for a team like Arizona to snag at the end of the first round and install him as the pillar of a new-look defense under Jonathan Gannon.

Gannon is a defensive head coach, but his roster last year was shockingly threadbare on that side of the ball. McKinstry would instantly be the top cornerback on the Cardinals, as a team that will play a lot of Cover 4 and ask a ton from their cornerbacks can build a better secondary on Kool-Aid's back.

WR. Adonai Mitchell. . . Mitchell 28. Adonai Mitchell. 28. player. 16. Texas

One of the few mortal locks in the 2024 NFL Draft is Buffalo spending one of their top picks on a wide receiver who could eventually replace Stefon Diggs. While Mitchell isn't as shifty as Diggs, his top-shelf athletic ability and radiant downfield playmaking will make him a quick study in this offense.

Going to a quarterback with the upside of Josh Allen will help Mitchell make a fairly easy transition to the professional level, even while he struggles with consistently showing the same intensity from snap to snap at the college level. Mitchell has great speed, and Allen's big arm will be enough to get him the ball.

. CB. 29. player. 50. Lassiter 29. Kamari Lassiter. Kamari Lassiter. Georgia.

The Lions still need to add to their secondary, as the recent arrest and subsequent release of free agent bust Cam Sutton has the cornerback room a bit thin once again. Despite tremendous tape and a history of producing as a versatile corner in the SEC, Lassiter remains one of the more underrated players in this class.

Detroit has already made some investments in their secondary, and they've drafted well by adding Brian Branch. Lassiter is a Dan Campbell type of defensive back, as he is a smart player who can hit hard and show a willingness to play aggressively when the ball is in the air.

26. . OT. 30. Guyton 30. player. Tyler Guyton. Tyler Guyton. . Oklahoma

Baltimore has said goodbye to three starters from last year's offensive line via trade or free agency. While they have been publically supportive of former fourth-round pick Daniel Faalele, adding Guyton on the right side could be a worthwhile long-term goal due to his tremendous physical tools.

Guyton's wonderful Senior Bowl helped vault him into the first-round conversation, but the Ravens will likely be more interested in his insane functional power and strong base in pass protection. Be it for the purpose of protecting Lamar Jackson or helping Derrick Henry, Guyton is a worthwhile undertaking for the Ravens.

. 42. C. Oregon. Jackson Powers-Johnson. player. Powers-Johnson 31. . Jackson Powers-Johnson. 31

San Francisco is one of the deepest teams in the league, but their offensive line and secondary are two clear areas of need Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch will try to address in the Draft. Powers-Johnson may be a center-exclusive prospect, but he is the best pass-blocking interior line prospect in this class.

With tremendous mobility for his size and standout blocking at the second level, Powers-Johnson is the rare late first-rounder who could immediately be one of the best at his position in the NFL. Brock Purdy needs solid protection up from, and the 49ers would do well to invest in a player like Powers-Johnson.

32. player. 124. . Texas. . WR. Xavier Worthy. Worthy 32. Xavier Worthy

Kansas City had the worst wide receiver corps in the league last year, as they lacked speed and downfield playmaking. Patrick Mahomes' magic helped them win a championship, but they need to bring in a speed demon like Worthy to pair with Marquise Brown to give their legendary quarterback some extra help.

Worthy is quite bony and gangly at just 165 pounds, but his 4.21 speed is every bit as legit as his 40-yard dash time would indicate. The Chiefs need multiple receivers in this draft, but Worthy gives them someone with true No. 1 potential following the offseason noise surrounding Rashee Rice.