Josh Frey’s 2024 NFL Mock Draft (1.0): 4 QBs Get Selected, Vikings Snatch a Pass Rusher
Well, the 2023 NFL season is officially in the books with Super Bowl LVIII taking place this weekend.
As a result, the 2024 NFL offseason is now in full swing, and with that, it’s time for my first 2024 NFL mock draft of the year. In this first rendition, we’re keeping things simple without any trades. As a result, there are four QBs taken, including three in the first three selections, and the Minnesota Vikings snatch a powerful pass rusher with the 11th overall pick.
1. Chicago Bears: QB Caleb Williams
It seems like the Bears are going to try to move off of Justin Fields this offseason and reset the clock at the QB position. If they do that, Caleb Williams is the obvious selection for Chicago as they try to improve their passing offense and keep up with the rest of the NFC North.
2. Washington Commanders: QB Drake Maye
The Commanders shouldn’t go into the 2024 season relying on Sam Howell as their starting QB when this type of talent is on the board. They go ahead and land Drake Maye to take over as their quarterback.
3. New England Patriots: QB Jayden Daniels
It’s a fresh start in New England. Bill Belichick is no longer the head coach, and Jerod Mayo is ringing in a new era of Patriots football. The defense is a very strong unit, but they need a quarterback to lead the way. Jayden Daniels can be that guy.
4. Arizona Cardinals: WR Marvin Harrison Jr.
The Cardinals have committed to Kyler Murray as their QB, but they need to get him more talented pass catchers. They let go of Zach Ertz, and Marquise Brown is set to hit free agency in March. Marvin Harrison Jr. is one of the most talented WR prospects of the past few years, and he should be an immediate star in Arizona’s offense.
5. Los Angeles Chargers: TE Brock Bowers
The Chargers could take a receiver here, but they have a history of loving athletic tight ends. Brock Bowers is one of the best prospects at the position that we’ve ever seen, and if there weren’t so many talented QBs at the top of this draft, he would have the potential to be the highest selected TE in NFL history. Instead, Los Angeles lands him here at No. 5.
6. New York Giants: OT Taliese Fuaga
The Giants have their left tackle spot situated with Andrew Thomas, but they haven’t gotten the same success with Evan Neal over the past two years at right tackle. As a result, they land Taliese Fuaga, who played right tackle throughout his three seasons at Oregon State, and they can play with the idea of kicking Neal inside to guard.
7. Tennessee Titans: OT Joe Alt
Tennessee desperately needs some help at their tackle spots right now. While Dillon Radunz looks like a promising player at the right tackle spot, things have not been nearly as successful on the left side. Joe Alt fills that need creating a young duo on the left side of the o-line alongside Peter Skoronski.
8. Atlanta Falcons: EDGE Dallas Turner
The Falcons could be a team looking to trade up for a QB, but we’re not conducting trades in this first mock. Atlanta loves finding uber-athletic playmakers in the first round, and they land another one for their defense in Dallas Turner.
9. Chicago Bears: WR Malik Nabers
This would be a dream scenario for the Chicago Bears. After landing Caleb Williams with the first pick, they get another great wide receiver to pair with D.J. Moore and Darnell Mooney. Malik Nabers is a very smooth route runner and can beat defenses downfield.
10. New York Jets: OT Olu Fashanu
The New York Jets have major problems at the tackle spots. Mekhi Becton was finally healthy for the 2023 season, but his play took dramatic steps backwards. With the left tackle now set to hit free agency, New York takes a stab at another young tackle prospect in Olu Fashanu.
11. Minnesota Vikings: EDGE Laiatu Latu
There are a multitude of different directions that the Minnesota Vikings could take in the first round when April arrives. For now, we’ll assume that Kirk Cousins is back in a purple jersey for the 2024 season, allowing Minnesota to put their focus on the defensive side of the ball. With that pick, they snatch a very technically sound pass rusher in Laiatu Latu.
12. Denver Broncos: QB J.J. McCarthy
With the Broncos most likely looking to move on from Russell Wilson, the quarterback position will be of the utmost importance for Denver this offseason. Sean Payton gets a young playmaker at the position in J.J. McCarthy.
13. Las Vegas Raiders: CB Quinyon Mitchell
Quinyon Mitchell put together a fantastic week at the Senior Bowl, which should vault him near the top of the board at the CB position. The Raiders need help in their secondary to complement their pass rushing duo of Maxx Crosby and Tyree Wilson, and Mitchell can be that lockdown presence at the cornerback spot.
14. New Orleans Saints: EDGE Jared Verse
The Saints may be in a spot to trade down, but if Jared Verse is available here at 14, they should pounce on this opportunity. New Orleans has loved taking imposing, physical presences off the edge in the past, and they do so again here.
15. Indianapolis Colts: WR Rome Odunze
The Colts could use an influx of young talent at the receiver spot with Michael Pittman and Isaiah McKenzie hitting free agency. Rome Odunze is a less complete prospect than Harrison or Nabers at the top of the class, but he is still a silky smooth route runner who can create plays after the catch. This is a great weapon to pair with Anthony Richardson in 2024.
16. Seattle Seahawks: DT Jer’Zhan Newton
Seattle has done a great job of building their secondary through the draft in recent years, and now it’s time for their attention to turn towards the trenches. An o-lineman certainly could be in play here, but that could be in play for them in the second day as well. What may not be in play is an immediate playmaker at defensive tackle, so they take Jer’Zhan Newton here to provide some pass rushing presence along the interior of their defensive line.
17. Jacksonville Jaguars: CB Terrion Arnold
The Jaguars have a decent number of bodies in their secondary, but that could very easily change in 2025 with a number of players slated to hit free agency. Regardless, Jacksonville struggled in pass coverage throughout the 2023 season, so a versatile player like Terrion Arnold would be a great fit for the Jaguars.
18. Cincinnati Bengals: OT JC Latham
Wide receiver could become a need for Cincinnati, but they still have the opportunity to franchise tag Tee Higgins while hoping for further growth from Andrei Iosivas in 2024. They do need to find a right tackle to play opposite Orlando Brown, though, and JC Latham is precisely that type of plug-and-play prospect at 6’6″ and 335 pounds.
19. Los Angeles Rams: CB Nate Wiggins
Cobie Durant is the only cornerback currently under contract with the Rams who started games during the 2023 season. Los Angeles needs to fill holes in their secondary for 2024, and Nate Wiggins is a very physical corner who blankets receivers with his 6’2″ frame.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: CB Cooper DeJean
Pittsburgh nailed the selection of Joey Porter in the second round last season, and they continue to build up their secondary here. Cooper DeJean is a terrific prospect at the cornerback spot with elite size and length who can play either in the slot or on the boundary.
21. Miami Dolphins: C Jackson Powers-Johnson
Offensive tackle could be a question as Terron Armstead gets older, but the Dolphins desperately need help on the interior of their offensive line. Jackson Powers-Johnson can be a foundation for newfound success in that area by taking over the center position.
22. Philadelphia Eagles: CB Kool-Aid McKinstry
The Eagles saw drastic decline on the defensive side of the ball down the stretch of the 2023 season, and age at the cornerback position is becoming a concern. Philadelphia has typically targeted Georgia defenders, but this time around, they take an Alabama defensive back in Kool-Aid McKinstry who is capable of playing all over the field.
23. Houston Texans: WR Brian Thomas
The Texans might sprint this pick to the podium. Brian Thomas has been an elite deep threat in the LSU offense and has the size to overpower opposing cornerbacks in the short and intermediate portions of the field. Pairing Thomas with Nico Collins and Tank Dell gives the Texans a fantastic young trio of receivers for C.J. Stroud.
24. Dallas Cowboys: OT Tyler Guyton
Tyron Smith was able to remain healthy for most of the 2023 season, but his injury history should be cause for concern at 33 years old. As a result, Dallas takes a shot on Tyler Guyton to become his potential replacement.
25. Green Bay Packers: OT Amarius Mims
Health is never a certainty with All-Pro tackle David Bakhtiari anymore, and at the very least, the Packers could use a more solid option at the right tackle position as well. Amarius Mims did not get a ton of playing time at Georgia (only eight career starts), but when he was on the field, he was an overpowering presence with a rare combination of size, strength, and athletic ability.
26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: WR Keon Coleman
Tampa Bay may be running it back with Baker Mayfield at the QB spot, but they might be in need of new receiving talent around him if they are to continue to find success in 2024. Mike Evans is entering free agency, and unless the Buccaneers want to throw a large contract at the 30-year-old receiver, Keon Coleman could serve as a solid replacement option.
27. Arizona Cardinals: EDGE Bralen Trice
After landing a fantastic wide receiver in Harrison, the Cardinals turn their attention to the defense with their second selection. J.J. Watt retired following the 2022 season, and they never found a great replacement for him off the edge. Bralen Trice totaled 80 pressures this past season and should be able to help revitalize Arizona’s pass rush.
28. Buffalo Bills: DT Byron Murphy
The Buffalo Bills will have to completely rebuild their defensive line this offseason, especially considering Von Miller’s age and lack of health over the past couple seasons. Buffalo lands a powerful pass rushing presence at the defensive tackle spot in Byron Murphy to place next to Ed Oliver.
29. Detroit Lions: CB Ennis Rakestraw
The Lions have nailed draft picks in recent years, but they could certainly use more help in their secondary if they want to replicate the type of success that they found in 2023. Ennis Rakestraw has played a huge role in Missouri’s rise as a collegiate program over the past couple years, and his physical playstyle in coverage will fit right into Detroit’s locker room.
30. Baltimore Ravens: WR Adonai Mitchell
The Ravens got a solid season out of Odell Beckham Jr., but they need to continue surrounding Lamar Jackson with young receiving talent. Adonai Mitchell had a fantastic season after transferring to Texas from Georgia, and his versatility to play all over the field would be a benefit to Baltimore.
31. San Francisco 49ers: OT Troy Fautanu
The 49ers have questions on the offensive line this offseason. Their right tackle spot is an obvious need, but left tackle could become one as well depending on what happens with Trent Williams. Troy Fautanu is a smaller player at the tackle position, but his elite athleticism and power in the trenches should make up for that lack of overall size.
32. Kansas City Chiefs: WR Troy Franklin
Once again, Patrick Mahomes was able to make a less than average receiving group work just enough in order to win a Super Bowl. However, receiver should be near the top of Kansas City’s priorities this offseason. Troy Franklin is a burner with sure hands who will allow Mahomes to stretch the field in 2024.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.