2024 NFL Mock Draft: Connor Allen's 2.0

Mar 26, 2024
2024 NFL Mock Draft: Connor Allen's 2.0

With free agency largely behind us it’s time for another mock draft. I spend a lot of time researching for bets on the NFL Draft and my focus for these mock drafts is trying to craft the most accurate mock draft.

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To be transparent, I value information significantly more than my own player takes and analysis. I watch tape of top prospects to understand how they play and their fit within teams but at the end of the day, I don’t work for an NFL team and am not in each team’s front office. When penciling in picks for mock drafts I try and put myself as a fly on the wall in the Draft Room and imagine what each GM is most likely to do, not what I would do. With team needs and information starting to become more clear, the top part of the draft especially is starting to come into focus.

2024 NFL Mock Draft

This 2024 NFL mock draft features one trade that has a few picks changing. Let's dive in:

1. Chicago Bears - Caleb Williams (QB, USC)

If there were any doubts before there should be none now. The Bears traded away Justin Fields and are giving Caleb Williams the playbook along with keys to the facility this week.

His arm talent, accuracy, ability to extend plays, and mobility make him the closest thing to Patrick Mahomes we have seen. My only question is whether or not Caleb can consistently play quickly within structure, and I think the Bears' hiring of OC Shane Waldron is a slam-dunk in helping smooth that transition.

2. Washington Commanders - Jayden Daniels (QB, LSU)

I had Drake Maye in my first mock here but now lean more toward Jayden Daniels. There has been a pretty steady drumbeat that a lot of executives and teams prefer Daniels. The Commanders also traded away former UNC QB Sam Howell and replaced him with Marcus Mariota. I’m not convinced it's entirely a signal they are drafting a much more similar QB to Mariota in Daniels, but it’s also probably not nothing. Adam Peters comes from San Francisco where they have historically done a great job keeping their lips tightly sealed. We didn’t know about Trey Lance until 24 hours before despite their trade well in advance. I would anticipate a similar lack of information here. The good news is I don’t think their decision impacts the draft as much as it would in previous years.

3. New England Patriots - Drake Maye (QB, UNC)

The Patriots have already been relatively vocal about wanting to take a quarterback. New HC Jerod Mayo essentially said they are going to take the best player at the most important position. Owner Robert Kraft said recently they are open to doing whatever but “one way or another I’d like to see us get a top-rate, young quarterback.”

From everything I have heard, the Patriots are going to stand pat and take whichever quarterback falls to them among Jayden Daniels or Drake Maye. There has been plenty of recent steam on J.J. McCarthy and while I fully buy him going in the top-5, it would be a mild surprise to see him go second or third.

4. Minnesota Vikings (Trade) - J.J. McCarthy (QB, Michigan)

The Cardinals recently said they are open for business with trading the 4th overall pick. The Vikings recently acquired another first-round pick and league-wide speculation suggests they will be trading up to either pick 4 or 5. With the Cardinals announcing they are open to trading I think we see the Vikings trade away pick 11, 23, and a high pick in 2025 to make this jump.

All signs point to them loving J.J. McCarthy but if Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels fell here I’m sure they would swoop them up. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this trade happen within the next two weeks since other teams like the Raiders, Broncos, and Giants are rumored to be trying their best to trade up for a quarterback. If I had to guess, there is likely a bidding war for this pick going on behind the scenes right now.

5. Los Angeles Chargers - Marvin Harrison Jr. (WR, Ohio State)

I really debated on putting Nabers here instead of Marvin Harrison Jr with the reports that plenty of teams prefer him. The more I dug in, the more I think the Chargers will be in on Marvin Harrison Jr.

MHJ and Jim Harbaugh have numerous connections dating back to Harrison’s father. Harbaugh played with Marvin Harrison senior on the Colts for two years. Harbaugh and the Chargers DC Jesse Minter coached against Marvin Harrison Jr at Michigan. They got a front-row seat to watch his dominance as MHJ’s two games against Michigan resulted in games of 7-120-1 and 5-118-1. After the game, Harbaugh mentioned that Michigan doubled him as much as possible but knew they “weren’t going to be able to stop him.”

Michigan’s DC at the time and now current DC of the Chargers Jesse Minter expanded and said that a big part of their game plan was to slow him down because he’s “probably one of the best college receivers in the last 15-20 years, one of the best NFL draft prospects at that position in a long time.”

Minter and Harbaugh likely aren’t calling all the shots in terms of decision-making but I imagine their opinions are being heard.

6. New York Giants - Malik Nabers (WR, LSU)

Some teams prefer Nabers to Marvin Harrison Jr which isn't even a knock on MHJ as much as a compliment for Nabers. He can absolutely fly and is coming off a 1500-yard season at LSU.

The closer we get to the draft the more convinced I am that the reports that the rumor about the Giants' desire to draft a rookie QB in the first round is a smoke screen. Forcing the Vikings to trade ahead of them bumps one of Nabers or Marvin Harrison Jr down. Not to mention when talking to free agents like Drew Lock and Russell Wilson, they all mentioned that Daniel Jones is still their starter. That doesn’t sound like a team that’s fully done with a player like it was reported at the combine.

7. Tennessee Titans - Joe Alt (OT, Notre Dame)

The Titans could go EDGE here with Ran Carthon’s history of focusing on building the whole house out of pass-rushers but after releasing LT Andre Dillard they need a replacement badly. I’m not as confident as current betting odds suggest for Alt to be the pick here (+100) and it could easily be a different left tackle here. For now, Alt is my best guess.

8. Atlanta Falcons - Dallas Turner (EDGE, Alabama)

With the Falcons adding Kirk Cousins, Darnell Mooney, and Rondale Moore, they turn their focus to the other side of the ball. Quinyon Mitchell is likely also in play with HC Raheem Morris saying recently that the Falcons need to add help at corner and pass-rusher. Turner has the upside to be an immediate contributor for a Falcons team that desperately needs difference-makers on the defensive side of the ball.

9. Chicago Bears - Rome Odunze (WR, Washington)

The Bears would be pairing their new QB, Caleb Williams, with Odunze here. Adding Odunze to a pass-catching group that already includes D.J. Moore, Keenan Allen, and Cole Kmet would instantly change the Bears passing game. Odunze could go a bit higher than this but neither the Titans or Falcons are likely in play for a wideout. Either way, I think the Bears are likely taking a wide receiver or pass-rusher here.

10. New York Jets - Brock Bowers (TE, Georgia)

With the Jets adding a ton of offensive linemen in Free Agency they need to go all-in with players that can make an instant impact for Aaron Rodgers. Brian Thomas Jr. could also be in play here to pair with Garrett Wilson but they already added Mike Williams. The narrative that rookie tight ends can't produce immediately has been debunked in recent years and specifically last year by Sam Laporta who racked up 889 yards and 10 touchdowns on 86 receptions.

Bowers is an amazing talent at tight end and racked up 942 yards in 2022. He suffered what was expected to be a season-ending injury in 2023, but he returned anyway. His testing will be interesting to see. This is toward the back end of his range.

11. Arizona Cardinals (Trade)- Brian Thomas Jr. (WR, LSU)

This is the first of two picks in 2024 acquired by the Cardinals in the trade with the Vikings. Instead of nabbing Marvin Harrison Jr, they wind up with Brian Thomas Jr. a physical specimen who produced alongside Malik Nabers. With Marquise Brown moving on the Cardinals need pass-catchers badly so Thomas would be a great start.

12. Denver Broncos - Jared Verse (EDGE, Florida State)

The Broncos are likely in play to trade up for a quarterback but they don’t have a ton of ammunition without a second-round pick or additional first like the Vikings. They would have to trade their first-rounder this year and next year to even contend to move into striking distance for a QB. If they aren’t able to, there are rumors of them drafting Bo Nix here. I can’t quite get there so I’ll have them standing pat and taking a potentially dominant pass-rusher in Verse.

13. Las Vegas Raiders - Taliese Fuaga (OT, Oregon State)

The Raiders need help in a lot of spots, including OL and cornerback. They could opt to take Arnold but I think Fuaga makes a lot of sense.

GM Tom Telesco was with the Raiders previously and the last six years has been focusing on drafting athletic players. Six-of-seven draft picks have an RAS (relative athletic score) of 9.3 or higher with Quentin Johnston being the only non-qualifier at 8.69. Fuaga has a 9.44 RAS and is rumored to be a top-3 OL in the class according to NFL teams.

14. New Orleans Saints - Olumuyiwa Fashanu (OT, Penn State)

The Saints need help badly on the offensive line, especially with the latest reports that LT Ryan Ramczyk has a degenerative knee and may not be healthy again. They continue to bulk up their offensive line here with Fashanu. Loomis also only drafts athletes early. He hasn’t drafted a single player below an RAS of 8.6 and only one player below a 9. Fashanu is another great athlete with a 9.49 RAS.

15. Indianapolis Colts - Quinyon Mitchell (CB, Toledo)

This is probably Mitchell’s floor after annihilating the NFL Scouting Combine. He could go as high as 8 to Atlanta. Chris Ballard has taken four players in the first round of his career. Those players have an RAS of 10, 9.67, and 9.34. Mitchell’s RAS is 9.75.

16. Seattle Seahawks - J.C Latham (OT, Alabama)

The Seahawks need help on the OL. They could opt to pick Powers-Johnson, Mims, or Fautanu but Latham can play on both the left and right side. Latham is 6’6 and 330 pounds and a multi-year starter at Alabama.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars - Terrion Arnold (CB, Alabama)

The Jags have been vocal about wanting to add cornerback talent in the draft so Arnold would be an absolute steal here for the Jaguars. They need to add good players to their defense, especially in the secondary. Arnold is routinely mocked in the early teens so this is a bit of a slide.

18. Cincinnati Bengals - Troy Fautanu (OT, Washington)

The Bengals signed Trent Brown to play tackle but still have holes on the interior. Fautanu can play interior or on the outside and the Bengals could value that versatility as they look to patch up their OL. Joe Goodberry, Bengals writer/insider also said to write the Bengals taking an OL “in blood” for what that’s worth. His track record has been pretty strong in past years.

19. Los Angeles Rams - Byron Murphy (DL, Texas)

The Rams' defense truly had one of the worst “on-paper” units heading into the season littered with mid-round picks all getting their first lick at professional ball. They greatly outperformed expectations with minimal talent outside of Aaron Donald, and he has since retired. This makes a ton of sense given their gaps and Murphy's draft stock continues to rise throughout the process.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers - Graham Barton (IOL, Duke)

The Steelers are very likely to pick an offensive lineman here with a focus on the interior. With Arthur Smith at OC and trading away Diontae Johnson, their run-first approach will be extremely clear. Adding some bulk upfront makes a ton of sense.

21. Miami Dolphins - Jackson Powers-Johnson (C, Oregon)

The Dolphins' offense was among the best in the league without a good offensive line. If the Dolphins can find a way to consistently buy Tua Tagovailoa time they will be in a much better position to continue expanding their offense through the running game and increase their passing-game repertoire.

22. Philadelphia Eagles - Nate Wiggins (CB, Clemson)

Eagles DC Sean Desai was fired mid-season, and their secondary was routinely burned by wideouts all year. Their 2022 dominance was mostly schedule-related, as they smothered JV quarterbacks. Adding a player like Wiggins would be a quick improvement.

23. Arizona Cardinals (Trade) - Adonai Mitchell (WR, Texas)

This is the Cardinals' second pick acquired in their trade down with the Vikings. They would instantly transform their receiving corps with Brian Thomas Jr.and now Mitchell. He absolutely flew at the combine with a 4.34 40-yard dash. His RAS score is 9.98 and is all but locked into the first round.

24. Dallas Cowboys - Amarius Mims (OT, Georgia)

The Cowboys have Tyron Smith at LT, but Mims can play right tackle as well which is where the Cowboys’ OL was weakest. Current RT Terrence Steele graded out as the 70th (of 81) best tackles in the league.

25. Green Bay Packers - Cooper DeJean (CB, Iowa)

The Packers' defense continues to look good on paper and then underperform. Jaire Alexander has played well, but the Packers haven’t been able to find another corner to pair with him in base packages.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Chop Robinson (EDGE, Penn State)

The Bucs could go in a variety of directions here but created pressures at the 8th-lowest rate last season. Chop ranks as one of the best pass-rushers in this class and could go much, much higher than this if a team in the teens likes him over some of the corners or offensive linemen.

27. Arizona Cardinals - Tyler Guyton (OT, Oklahoma)

The Cardinals continue to add on the offensive side here after adding Brian Thomas Jr.and Adonai Mitchell earlier. They could opt for a defensive player after drafting two other offensive players first but with defensive HC Jonathan Gannon making something out of very little in 2023 they may not view that as a need.

28. Buffalo Bills - Xavier Worthy (WR, Texas)

With Gabe Davis out the Bills need a wideout capable of taking the lid off defenses. Worthy broke the record for a 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine and has unbelievable speed. Khalil Shakir and Dalton Kincaid both stepped up last year, but they still need an outside wideout capable of stretching defenses.

29. Detroit Lions - Laiatu Latu (DL/EDGE, UCLA)

Latu is a polarizing prospect after medically retiring at one point in his college career. If he didn’t, he would be going much higher than this because he is an absolute stud. He racked up 23 sacks in his final two seasons at UCLA and moves differently for a player his size. The Lions added DJ Reader to an already strong line but Latu is versatile and would add even more juice on the edge. If the Lions believe that Latu can hold up medically he would be an absolute steal here.

30. Baltimore Ravens - Kool-Aid McKinstry (CB, Georgia)

Like Latu, Kool-Aid is talented but has some questionable medicals. He recently ran a sub 4.5 40-yard dash at his Pro Day despite having a Jones fracture that he is undergoing surgery for shortly. He should be ready for the upcoming season and the Ravens are known for ignoring minor red flags and just taking the best players.

31. San Francisco 49ers - Jordan Morgan (OT, Arizona)

I’m not going to say that the script is out on how to beat Brock Purdy and the 49ers offense, but the Chiefs dared the 49ers to throw by playing a ton of man, cover-0, and blitzing a lot. Purdy couldn’t hang under the pressure consistently, and part of that was due to the offensive line. I'm not taking anything away from Steve Spagnuolo’s defensive game plan, but the Niners' offensive line was not as dominant as they had been in previous years. Outside of Trent Williams, this Niners OL could use upgrades.

32. Kansas City Chiefs - Kingsley Suamataia (OT, BYU)

In this scenario, the Chiefs miss out on the top group of wideouts. There have been rumors they are focusing more on the offensive line anyway after adding WR Marquise Brown in free agency.

Honorable mentions: Jer’Zhan Newton (DL, Illinois), Troy Franklin (WR, Oregon), Keon Coleman (WR, Florida State), Darius Robinson (EDGE, Missouri), Ladd McConkey (WR, Georgia), Bo Nix (QB, Oregon), Ennis Rakestraw (CB, Missouri).

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