2024 NFL Mock Draft: First Round

NFL Draft 2024 logo | Photo by Perry Knotts/Getty Images

The 2024 NFL Draft begins Thursday night in Detroit and runs through the weekend.

How could the first round play out? Travis Tyler and Justin DeSales have you covered with the first-ever first-round mock draft from The Dallas Express, using the draft simulator from the Pro Football Network.

1. Chicago Bears (from Carolina Panthers): Caleb Williams, QB, USC 
JD: He is the clear number one choice here, with the potential to immediately make an impact in that room. He can do basically anything you ask of him on the field.

2. Washington Commanders: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU
TT: There’s a case to be made for Drake Maye here, but at the end of the day, the Commanders opt for the Heisman Trophy winner, who has more upside due to his running ability. Regardless, Washington absolutely needs to take a quarterback after the new front office decided to move on from Sam Howell.

3. New England Patriots: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina
JD: He’s got a cannon of an arm and the ability to create something from nothing. Combine that with the Patriots’ desperate need for a quarterback, and he’s the perfect fit.

4. Arizona Cardinals: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State
TT: The Cardinals badly need a true No.1 receiver, and Harrison Jr. fits the bill. He has the NFL bloodlines and was easily the best receiver in college football during his time at Ohio State. He should be able to step in immediately to give Kyler Murray and company a legitimate threat on the outside.

5. Los Angeles Chargers:  Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame
JD: Malik Nabors was the other option, but everyone knows [Jim] Harbaugh’s looking to build from the trenches out. Alt’s going to be the perfect fit, and with as deep of a receiver class as it is, they could easily get someone at 37[th overall].

6. New York Giants: Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State
TT: Malik Nabers could also be an option here, but the Giants’ offensive line has been such a mess for most of the last decade that I’m taking a swing at another offensive tackle, and Fashanu is the best remaining on the board.

7. Tennessee Titans: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU
JD: The offensive line is a mess, but having a receiver who some people thought was receiver No.1 fall to seven for them is too much to pass on, and they’d have to reach pretty heavily on the offensive line at seven.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama
TT: Atlanta gets a sorely-needed pass-rusher to help its defense. Turner is on the lighter side for a defensive end, but he has an innate ability to get after the quarterback and completely disrupt the passing game.

9. Chicago Bears: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington
JD: He will fill an immediate need for them and create arguably the best wide receiver room in the league with Keenan Allen. [Allen] is going to be great this year, but in all likelihood, he’s not going to be on the team next year. It’ll give Rome a chance to immediately step in and make an impact next year and this year.

10. New York Jets: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia
TT: The Jets desperately need playmakers for their offense, and with no receivers on the board that make sense with this pick, they take Bowers. He’s a rare breed of tight end that can hold his own in the passing game and as a blocker, but his unique playmaking ability down the field is what teams are drawn to.

11. Minnesota Vikings: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan
JD:  For a team that was thinking about trading up and getting him, to have him fall to 11, assuming there are no trades, would be pretty much a dream scenario for them.

12. Denver Broncos: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama
TT: I think Denver would trade out of this spot if the board fell this way, but there is a need at the corner spot opposite Pat Surtain II, and Arnold is the best player available on the draft board at this point.

13. Las Vegas Raiders: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State
JD: They probably trade out, too, but instead, we’re going to build up that line and pick Fuaga. He’s going to have an immediate impact and is pretty much a day-one starter if you believe in him. With a quarterback like Aidan O’Connell, if they don’t pick someone up later, they will need to be able to protect him, keep him upright, and give him as much time as possible.

14. New Orleans Saints: Troy Fautanu, OT, Washington
TT: This may be a little earlier than expected for Fautanu, but he seems to be rising on draft boards. While listed as a tackle, he has experience playing all five spots along the offensive line, which can significantly help the Saints.

15. Indianapolis Colts: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo
JD: He’s going to be a day-one impact player, one of the most athletic players in the draft, and he showed how great he could be during the Senior Bowl. He’s going to go into a defense that already created a ton of points, and he’s going to go out there and be able to create turnovers that will lead to [more] points to really help that offense.

16. Seattle Seahawks: Byron Murphy II, DT, Texas
TT: One of the most significant holes in the Seattle defense is along the interior of the defensive line. You could argue that Murphy II is the best defensive tackle prospect in this class, and the value at this point in the draft perfectly matches what Seattle needs.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars: Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA
JD: He’ll immediately come in with Josh Allen, and they can create a lot of turnovers and busted plays. For a player who had top-10 potential going into the draft, getting someone who fell as much as he did at 17 feels like a steal for the Jags.

18. Cincinnati Bengals: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia
TT: The Bengals still need to add to their offensive line despite using several draft picks and resources on the unit. Mims is the best available at this point and can help them protect Joe Burrow, who suffered yet another significant injury this past season. It’s all about protecting your assets, and Burrow, as the franchise quarterback, is their most important.

19. Los Angeles Rams: Johnny Newton, DT, Illinois
JD: Aaron Donald’s retirement creates an immediate need, and he’s going to come in and provide an interior day-one impact. He’s a little small, but he’s got the bend and ability to create havoc on that d-line. He’ll probably be a day-one starter.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: JC Latham, OT, Alabama
TT: There seems to be a run on linemen here. With the future of its quarterback situation so uncertain (We have no idea how Russell Wilson’s change of scenery will pan out, and they just declined Justin Field’s fifth-year option), the Steelers must add protection around whoever ends up manning that spot for the next few years.

21. Miami Dolphins Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State
JD: He’s another one that could have gone [in] probably about the 10 to 12 [range]. They’ve lost some guys on defense, and with a team like they are [on offense], they don’t necessarily need more weapons. Going o-line would have been great, but having a chance to impact the D-line at the level that he can is too tough to pass up on a 21.

22. Philadelphia Eagles: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson
TT: Philly has been building its secondary and has some good players back there, but teams can still attack its defense through the air. While Wiggins suffered a groin injury at the NFL Combine, he is possibly the most-gifted corner in this class when healthy and has drawn comparisons to Seattle’s Devon Witherspoon. Plus, Darius Slay isn’t getting any younger.

23. Minnesota Vikings (from Cleveland Browns via Houston Texans): Cooper DeJean, CB/S, Iowa
JD: He can switch between a whole bunch of different positions. He’s kind of a bit of a chess piece. Last year, he was measured as one of the most athletic players in college football and one of the most athletic prospects [in the draft]. He’s too tough to pass up for someone who can switch between the nickel and the safety at 23.

24. Dallas Cowboys: Jackson Powers-Johnson, OC, Oregon
TT: Jerry could try for another shiny new toy here, but the real concentration should be on solidifying an offensive line that was once one of Dallas’ best strengths. Travis Frederick at center was a big part of that, and they have never really replaced him. Powers-Johnson is the best center in this draft, plus he has the ability to play guard if needed.

25. Green Bay Packers: Graham Barton, OC, Duke
JD: The Packers desperately need depth at center, and with Josh Myers on a basically one-year deal, they have a chance to grab a guy who can arguably play all five positions at the NFL level. He fits all of the Packers’ thresholds and could be a starter by Week 3 or 4 if he outplays Myers and makes an impact.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama
TT: I’m between Chop Robinson and McKinstry for this one, but I’ll go with McKinstry since the Bucs traded starting corner Carlton Davis to Detroit a few weeks ago. He’s an All-American with a knack for breaking up passes, which would help the Tampa defense tremendously.

27. Arizona Cardinals (from Houston Texans): Chop Robinson, EDGE, Penn State
JD: Brian Thomas Jr. was enticing, but after getting the best receiver in the draft, there’s no need to double up this early, and they have a desperate need on their line for some athleticism.

28. Buffalo Bills: Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU
TT: Trading Stefon Diggs to Houston and Gabe Davis’s departure left gaping holes in the Bills’ receiving corps. Not only is Thomas Jr. an athletic freak with incredible size for the position, but he is also the best player remaining on the board.

29. Detroit Lions: Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas
JD: He’s an athletic freak. He destroyed records and has a chance to be the clear No.2 behind Amon-Ra [St. Brown] after losing a couple of guys in the offseason.

30. Baltimore Ravens: Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas
TT: The Ravens have been constantly searching for receivers to step up, and Worthy’s game fits their offense. Not only is he the prototypical, smaller playmaking receiver that the team seems to covet, but just imagine an offense that matches his speed with Lamar Jackson. It’s already a nightmare for opposing defenses, and that would make it even worse.

31. San Franciso 49ers: T.J. Tampa, CB,  Iowa State
JD: If [Brandon] Aiyuk stays, there’s no need to take a receiver. I thought about Tyler Guyton, but he’s so inexperienced, and the Niners are in win-now mode, so getting someone who can go [out there] and have the potential to shut down parts of the field immediately would be huge.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma
TT: I feel like I should take a receiver here, but the board doesn’t quite match up. I’ll settle with Guyton, the best o-lineman left, who has plenty of potential at 6-foot-8 if he can stay healthy.

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