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  • Writer's pictureNate (@WeKnowFantasy)

Nate's NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (2024)

  1. Chicago Bears via Carolina Panthers - Caleb Williams, QB, USC - There are many scenarios where the Bears could move this selection for a boat-load of current and future draft capital but to me, you go ahead and take Caleb Williams. Williams is one of those ‘generational’ talents that simply can’t be passed on. Now’s not the time to get cute for the Chicago Bears as they look to climb into relevancy. As I see it, there are just a handful of quarterbacks in the NFL that can win a Superbowl. Justin Fields is not one of them. If making the playoffs is the only goal, sticking with Fields and moving this selection for draft capital makes sense. If the goal is to win the Superbowl, the Bears must take Williams.

2. Washington Commanders - Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina - As must speculation remains around who will be taking Williams first overall, baring it be the Washington Commanders, Maye will be selected by Washington with the second overall pick. If you were to build an NFL quarterback in a lab, you’d end up with Maye. He has all of the measurements you want. Maye is also fantastic while on the move. May that be evading the pass rusher to buy time to throw the football or eat yards up with his legs. Either way, he can get it done. He’s best described as a ‘mobile pocket passer.’ The Commanders are in a good position to get a pretty good quarterback to finally move past the Dan Snyder era.

3. New England Patriots - Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU - The Patriots and newly appointed Head Coach Jerod Mayo are in a unique situation. Mayo is taking over for one of the greatest NFL head coaches of all time as he and his team look to move the Patriots back into contention. We do know one thing, that can’t be done with Mac Jones at quarterback. Rumors suggest the Patriots are in love with Maye, but who isn't? Instead, they’ll opt for their third choice at quarterback in Daniels. I’m not the biggest Daniels’ fan, but what he did in college can’t be ignored. He just put together one of the best statistical collegiate seasons of all time during his Heisman campaign in 2023. Daniels is far from a polished option as he struggles with his throwing motion and going through his full progression while in the pocket. There’s no denying what he can do with his legs however. It’s time the Patriots reset the clock and get their quarterback of the future.

4. Arizona Cardinals - Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State - The Cardinals will be ecstatic if a run of quarterbacks eats up the first three picks in this year’s draft. That leaves them with another ‘generational’ talent in Marvin Harrison Jr. Harrison Jr. has totaled 28 touchdowns over his last two seasons in college, doing so oftentimes seeing press coverage and double teams. He’s drawing comparisons to the likes of Larry Fitzgerald and Justin Jefferson at this point. He’s an elite athlete with super soft hands. What is best about Harrison Jr. is his technique. His footwork is unmatched along with his elite route running and hand usage. There’s no doubt that he’s going to be an elite receiver at the next level and both the Cardinals and Kyler Murray are in desperate need.

5. Los Angeles Chargers - Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame - The Chargers could very well go in multiple directions with this selection but securing the best tackle prospect we’ve seen over the past few years would be a must. Alt is a monster of a man at 6-foot-8 and 315 pounds. Like how I talked about Maye being the perfect build of an NFL quarterback, Alt too is the ideal build of an NFL left tackle. Alt comes with a rare blend of size and athleticism. With the injury history of Justin Herbert, the Chargers need to invest in keeping him upright.

6. New York Giants - Malik Nabers, WR, LSU - The Giants are in need of a quarterback, there’s no question about that. But at this point of the draft, they’ll opt to fill an equally as large hole with receiver. Nabers is an elite athlete that comes with 4.4 40-yard speed. He’s as explosive as they come and was the lead receiver for Jayden Daniels during his Heisman campaign. Not only is he an elite athlete, he too has exceptional ball skills. He combines awareness and precise timing while tracking the ball in the air. If it wasn’t for Harrison Jr., Nabers would be the cream of the crop when it comes to receivers in this class.

7. Tennessee Titans - Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State - The Titans’ quarterback room may have suffered the most injuries of any in the NFL over the last two seasons. With a top seven pick, they should look to improve their offensive line to help keep their signal callers up right. If the Titans are to move forward with Will Levis as their quarterback, this too is a must. Levis lacks a good pocket presence and oftentimes takes unneeded hits. Fuaga may also be the best run-blocking tackle prospect in this draft and we know how important the running game is for the Titans. Fuaga also has all the measurements needed to be a tackle at the next level.

8. Atlanta Falcons - J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan - The Falcons seem to be one of the ideal landing spots for one of the veteran quarterbacks on the market but if they are to not land one of them, they could select the draft’s biggest riser in McCarthy. There are many questions around McCarthy but one thing that cannot be denied is his arm talent. He has the ability to push the football through tight windows. McCarthy also has an excellent pocket presence and has the footwork needed to move around to evade the pass rush and buy himself time to throw the football. What McCarthy lacks is consistency from a week-to-week basis.

9. Chicago Bears - Rome Odunze, WR, Washington - The Bears used their first of two top ten selections to select Caleb Williams first overall in this mock draft. We’ve seen the uproar Williams has caused before stepping foot in the NFL. The Bears will need to work hard to keep Williams happy and giving him another weapon in the top ten of this draft would do just that. What’s best about Odunze is the confidence he has in his abilities. He has the ability to use the confidence to attack the ball in the air. He too has fantastic body control and is already an advanced route-runner. Pairing him with D.J. Moore should be enough to put a smile on Williams’ face.

10. New York Jets - Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State - The Jets’ biggest task this offseason is to better protect Aaron Rodgers. The Jets used a league high 13-different linemen last season. Being unable to consistently roll out the same lineup is a death sentence for any NFL quarterback, let alone a 40-year-old fresh off a major leg injury. Fashanu did not allow a single sack during 697 snaps durings his college career. I’d say that’s pretty good. He’s not the best when it comes to run blocking but right now, that’s not the Jets’ concern. The 6’6”, 317 pounder would be a perfect plug-and-play right tackle in New York.

11. Minnesota Vikings - Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama - The biggest question mark in Minnesota is what are they going to do with Kirk Cousins. I’m one to believe he’ll be back in purple and gold next season which would allow the Vikings to fill the need of pass rusher via the draft. Danielle Hunter is a free agent and the Vikings would love to have him back but with all the focus going towards Cousins and the quarterback situation, Hunter may be on the way out. In that case, the Vikings would look via the draft for his replacement and they’d be able to grab the draft’s best edge rusher in Dallas Turner. Even if the Vikings retain Hunter, getting him a running mate should be a top the Vikings' draft list.

12. Denver Broncos - Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA - The Broncos are another team that seems ideal for a veteran quarterback to come into. In that case, opting for an edge presence would be ideal. The Broncos were a below-average team in terms of quarterback pressure rate, sack rate and sacks last season. Latu has the ideal build of an NFL pass rusher and pairs that with the required length and athleticism. He has an impressive burst off the line and then uses his elite athleticism to get past the opposing blocks. The Broncos definitely need to bolster their pass rushing attack this off-season.

13. Las Vegas Raiders - JC Latham, OT, Alabama - Currently three-fifths of the Raiders’ starting offensive line are unrestricted free agents in center (Andre James,) right guard (Greg Van Roten) and right tackle (Jermaine Eluemunor.) There isn’t a world where they can return all three of them so looking to the draft for help makes sense. Latham has the ability to play both guard and tackle at the NFL level which is perfect for a team looking to fill multiple positions. Latham allowed just three sacks in 970 collegiate snaps while playing in the SEC. That is what we call impressive. Latham also played every snap at right tackle for Alabama over the last two seasons.

14. New Orleans Saints - Troy Fautanu, OT, Washington - The Saints missed on last year’s first round selection in Trevor Penning. On top of that, starting left tackle Andrus Peat is now a free agent. Now, they’ll look to try their hand again at an offensive tackle via the draft this year as the Saints are one of those teams that annually flirt with the salary cap. Fautanu exhibits excellent mobility while executing effortless pulls and climbs. He comes with heavy hands that are used to deliver jarring and impactful blows.

15. Indianapolis Colts - Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama - The Colts are facing losing the likes of Michael Pittman Jr. and Grover Stewart via free agency which would create holes to fill but I believe they’ll work it out with those two. Instead, they can look to grab the top corner in this year’s draft in Arnold. Arnold co-led the SEC last year with interceptions (5) and led the entire SEC in targets ending with an incompletion (43.) He also didn’t allow a single touchdown last year on 445 coverage snaps. Doing this in the SEC is rather impressive. He’ll come into a team with a glaring need of a true CB1.

16. Seattle Seahawks - Byron Murphy II, DT, Texas - The Seahawks continue their prolonged rebuild of their defensive front via the draft. Leonard Williams is a free agent and all things suggest he’ll be returning to Seattle but beyond Williams, the Seahawks continue to have a glaring hole in the middle of their defensive front. Murphy comes with elite athletic skills. He has very explosive first-step quickness and constantly disrupts plays at the line of scrimmage. He’s both agile and quick for his 6-foot-1, 308 frame as well.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars - Jer'Zhan Newton, DL, Illinois - The Jaguars had a bottom eight run defense a season ago. With the likes of Josh Allen (who is a free agent pending a new deal or the franchise tag) and Travon Walker on the outside, adding the likes of Jer’Zhan Newton to play inside on the defensive front makes a lot of sense. Newton also adds the ability to play across the defensive front. He’s described as a major disruptor at the line of scrimmage. He utilizes his heavy and impactful hands to a tee. With everything he brings, and the ability to slide into any position on the defensive front would be a welcome addition to the Jaguars.

18. Cincinnati Bengals - Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia - This is one of those picks that I more so selfishly want to see happen more than anything. With Tee Higgins set to hit the open market and in turn, warranting a large contract, the Bengals have a big hole to fill there, but Bowers would be a difference maker on this team. We’ve seen the Bengals mix in Irv Smith Jr. and Drew Sample with some success. Now imagine if that was Bowers. Bowers has a very unique combination of elite athleticism and size. At 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds, he moves like a receiver. He’s also elite with the ball after the catch. These are one of those picks that doesn’t necessarily fill a position of need, but is a difference maker nonetheless.

19. Los Angeles Rams - Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon - There’s nothing flashy about this selection except for an anchor on the Rams’ offensive line for many years to come. Powers-Johnson had one of the best showings at the Senior Bowl that has propelled him up draft boards. He’s the best interior offensive lineman in this entire draft. It just so happens that the Rams currently have holes to fill at both center and right guard. Powers-Johnson can play both at the next level.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers - Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson - I know the Steelers used a second round selection on Joey Porter Jr. a year ago but with Levi Wallace and Chandon Sullivan hitting the open market and Patrick Peterson set to be 34 when the season begins, they need to look to the future. Wiggins is a super long corner at 6-foot-2 and has high-end speed. Him and Joey Porter Jr. on the outside will be a fun duo for many years to come.

21. Miami Dolphins - Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo - The Dolphins recently released Xavien Howard and already have a lot of money tied up in the cornerback position with Jalen Ramsey. This selection will allow them to fill the void of Howard and allow them to save some cap space at the same time. Mitchell comes with elite speed where he’ll test 4.3 in the 40-yard-dash at the NFL combine. Mitchell is extremely good when it comes to reading the field, especially in zone coverage. He’ll be a welcome addition in Miami.

22. Philadelphia Eagles - Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU - Who knows what the Eagles will do with the disgruntled A.J. Brown. In the event the team is to move on from him, Thomas Jr. would be a great addition. Even if the Eagles are to make mends with Brown, they struggled to find a third option outside of him and DeVonta Smith last year. Thomas Jr. is a massive body at 6-foot-4 who used his frame to lead the nation in receiving touchdowns with 17.

23. Houston Texans via Cleveland Browns - Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa - DeJean is one of the premier corner prospects in this draft. At Iowa, he played all over the Hawkeye secondary. From inside and outside corner to both safety positions. He didn’t allow a touchdown on 374 coverage snaps last year as well. To show the level of athlete DeJean is, he also led the Big Ten in punt return yards last year. For a young exciting football team such as the Texans, I absolutely love this fit.

24. Dallas Cowboys - Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia - Tyron Smith is a free agent and the Cowboys may be forced to move on from the long standing tackle in exchange for Mims via the draft. Mims is an explosive high-energy athlete that comes with elite mass and length. He displays impressive lateral movements as well. He has the size needed to play tackle at the next level at 6-foot-7 and 340 pounds as well.

25. Green Bay Packers - Tyler Nubin, S, Minnesota - This young Packers’ team impressed everyone with a trashing of the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL Playoff Wildcard round but fell short to the San Francisco 49ers in the Divisional Round. In that game, it was obvious that the secondary, especially the safeties, were not up to par. Luckily for the Packers, they’ll be able to get the draft’s best in Nubin. Nubin possesses great closing speed that comes along with his physical play style. He too has shown to be an elite processor of the game.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Graham Barton, G, Duke - Barton played left tackle for the Blue Devils in college but will likely move to guard at the next level. He has a very strong base and violent hands. He’s unrelenting with his blocking. This is a roster that could use help at various positions but shoring up their offensive line should be their top priority.

27. Arizona Cardinals via Houston Texans - Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State - The Cardinals used the first of two first round selections on the offensive side of the ball and now look to add a piece to their defense. Verse is arguably the best in this class when it comes to bull-rushing opposing offensive tackles into their quarterbacks. He is also competent against the run. He’s simply one of those guys that disrupts plays every time he’s on the field.

28. Buffalo Bills - Darius Robinson, DL/EDGE, Missouri - The Bills may have multiple positions on the defensive line to fill if free agency doesn’t go their way but if that is to be the case, grabbing someone like Robinson who can play both on the interior and on the edge would be a plus. The Bills already have Ed Oliver on the inside but pairing someone like Robinson with him would help establish the line of scrimmage in their favor.

29. Detroit Lions - Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama - There is no doubt that the weakest part of this Lions’ roster is their secondary. McKinstry comes with exceptional awareness in zone coverage to pair along with his impressive length on his 6-foot-1 frame. He too has impressive ball skills, particularly when facing the quarterback. He’d be a welcome addition in Detroit.

30. Baltimore Ravens - Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas - What the Ravens have failed to do in the past is provide Lamar Jackson with a quality supporting cast. They’ve invested early and often at the wide receiver position but outside of last year’s selection in Zay Flowers, not much has hit. Mitchell led the Big 12 in receiving touchdowns a season ago with 11. He’s very good in both the red zone and on deep balls. He is one of those receivers that seems to show up when the pressure is on the most as well. At 6-foot-4, he would be the ideal running mate for Flowers.

31. San Francisco 49ers - Jordan Morgan, OT, Arizona - Chris Jones had his way with the 49ers’ offensive front in the Superbowl. The 49ers will need to shore up their offensive front in the offseason. What’s appealing about Morgan is that he is able to play both the tackle and guard positions. He was exclusively a tackle at Arizona but has the ability to move inside. He’d be what the 49ers’ need for 2024.

32. Kansas City Chiefs - Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon - Like the Ravens, the Chiefs’ receiving corp has been a revolving door. They tried their luck in the draft but outside of maybe Rashee Rice, they haven’t found much success. With Travis Kelce declining as well, they need to get Mahomes another weapon. Franklin is a big body at 6-foot-3 and has 4.35 40 yard speed. Also, for someone of his size, he’s a very good route runner as well.

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