Way Too Early 2024 Mock Draft

1. Cardinals- Caleb Williams, QB, USC

I'm not the first person to predict the Cardinals to be the worst team in football next year, and I'm certainly not going to be the last. Keep in mind that even with Murray healthy for most of the season, this team still only managed 4 games last year. Considering that they're now breaking in a new defensive coach (who typically don't do as well as their offensive counterparts in their first year), lost their best pass-rusher to retirement and their CB1 in Free Agency, and have a starting QB recovering from a terrible injury with no timeline for his return, all while having to play in the toughest division in football, and this seems like a recipe for disaster. I will concede that the Cardinals had a surprisingly solid draft, but most of their picks aren't in a position to help them win on Day 1. Unfortunately for Murray, if the Cardinals were to finish with the #1 pick in this draft, they would have no choice but take the generational talent in Williams and trade Murray to the highest bidder.

2. Buccaneers- Drake Maye, QB, UNC

The only other team that I think would have the best chance of challenging the Cardinals for the #1 pick would be the Bucs. Even putting aside my personal bias against them, the Bucs are simply not built to win games next year. Unlike the Saints, their front office accepted that they simply have to bite the bullet with their terrible cap situation, which is why they couldn't re-sign most of their Free Agents, and didn't really make any moves to help their team. Considering this team barely managed 8 wins with Brady, and is now transitioning to either Trask or Mayfield, I think it's safe to say that they're in for a long year ahead of them. Unfortunately for us, if the Bucs can learn from our mistakes and tank correctly, they should be able to replace Brady with the 2nd best QB in this class.

3. Colts- Marvin Harrison Jr, WR, Ohio State

Personally, I think the Colts had a great offseason by hiring arguably the best coaching candidate available, drafting the highest upside QB in the class, and by getting steals in every round of the draft. With that being said, we have to keep in mind that this is a team that only managed 4 wins last year, and lost their starting center, both starting CBs, and their best edge-rusher in Free Agency. Also, even though Richardson is obviously a huge upgrade over their previous QBs, rumor has it that they want to start him Week 1, which means they're going to have to deal with a lot of growing pains. While he may be fun to watch in Year 1, I just don't think he's developed enough for them to get many early wins with. But, lucky for them, they wouldn't complain with having a pick this high if it meant landing not only a generational talent at WR, but also a legacy pick as cool as this one.

4. Cardinals- Jared Verse, Edge, Florida State

This is the pick that the Texans sent to the Cardinals as part of their trade-up for Anderson. The Texans should see some improvement this year due to the additions of franchise players in Stroud and Anderson, as well as a respected new HC in Ryans, but their ceiling is capped due to the overall lack of talent on their team.

The Cardinals' GM seemed to love moving up and down in the draft last year, so I could see him doing so again here. But, it's not everyday that you end up with two top 5 picks, so it would make more sense for them to get the best pass-rusher in the class here to replace the recently retired Watt.

5. Commanders- Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State

The Commanders have some solid talent on their team, but unfortunately for them they have a very difficult strength of schedule, and didn't have the best draft at filling their needs, so I could see some regression. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see Rivera fired by midseason due to new ownership being unhappy with his results, which would also let them see how Bienemy does as a HC. But, if that were to happen, the team would most likely tank as a result. In this scenario, obviously none of the QBs on their roster got the job done, but unfortunately for them the top 2 have already been taken, and as of now no one else is worth a pick this high. So, instead of reaching here, it would make sense for them to get the best OT in this class to protect whoever their future franchise QB ends up being.

6. (Trade from Raiders to Rams)- Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

The Raiders have several needs to fill, and supposedly they were close to trading down with the Lions in this past draft, so I could see them looking to move down here after the top 5 players are already off the board.

This would be the first time that the Rams have picked in the 1st round since 2016, and coincidentally that was the year they traded up for Goff, which means they have traded their 1st round pick in 6 straight years. So, assuming their GM thinks they can still be a contender with the aging Stafford, I wouldn't be surprised to see them continue that tradition by trading up for the next best OT to help fix their weakest position group.

7. Bears- Dallas Turner, Edge, Alabama

The Bears should see a lot of improvement after our trade helped them fill most of their needs, but unfortunately for them they're still a bit weak in the trenches, which I could see holding them back. So, considering their sack leader last year was a CB, and they didn't do anything of note to change that in the offseason, it would make sense for them to get the next best edge-rusher in the class here.

8. Titans- Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

Considering that Tannehill isn't getting any younger, and the offense around him is still in shambles, I think the Titans could regress a bit next year. Bowers would be the perfect fit for them here, since he can fill the TE1 void they've had ever since Smith left in Free Agency, all while having the receiving skills of a WR1.

9. (Trade from Rams to Raiders)- Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

The Raiders had a solid draft and Free Agency, but can anyone really say they filled their most important needs? Wilson was a good pick for them, but they already had solid edge-rushers in Crosby and Jones, and it remains to be seen whether Wilson can stay healthy. Meyer was a great pick for them, but they made TE a need after trading away Waller. Jimmy G should be a good fit in McDaniel's offense, but there's no way he stays healthy, and no one would argue that he's an upgrade over Carr. So, overall, the Raiders didn't really do much to move the needle this offseason, and considering they have one of the toughest strengths of schedule in the NFL, I could see them failing to improve from last year. With that being said, it would make sense for them to finally address their biggest need by getting the best CB in the class here to help them defend against the likes of Mahomes and Herbert.

10. Falcons- J.T. Tuimoloau, Edge, Ohio State

The Falcons had a solid offseason, and no longer have Marcus Mariota as their starting QB, so they should expect some improvement next year. However, Ridder isn't that much of an improvement, and their defense still sucks, so I could still see them finishing with an early pick. Also, supposedly the Falcons had a deal in place to trade for Murray before the draft, so I could see them trading a 2nd round pick and change for him after the Cardinals take Williams. That would then open it up for them to use this pick on the next best pass-rusher here.

11. (Trade from Broncos to Texans)- Emeka Egbuka, WR, Ohio State

The Broncos don't have a 2nd round pick from the Payton trade, and have a decent amount of needs to fill, so I could see them trading down here.

The Texans have traded up in the 1st round in the past two drafts, so I could see them doing so again to try and build a true contender around Stroud. With this pick, it would make sense to get him a new weapon by pairing him with his former teammate.

12. Packers- JC Latharm, OT, Alabama

The Packers should expect a lot of regression when transitioning from Rodgers to Love, but they have enough talent on the team to keep them from completely bottoming out. Even though the Packers are set at OT for this upcoming season, it's important to note that their LT could be a cap casualty due to his age and expensive contract, while their RT will be a Free Agent. Assuming they aren't able to keep both due to their rough cap situation, it would make sense for them to get the next best OT here to help protect Love.

13. Bears- Michael Hall Jr, DT, Ohio State

This is one of the picks that we sent to the Bears as part of the trade-up for Young. While I do think we will improve this year, expecting to be a playoff contender is a bit much in Year 1.

Even though the Bears found some solid DTs in the draft, none of them are the game-wrecking disrupter that their HC had in Indianapolis with Buckner. So, after passing on Carter in last year's draft, it would make sense to not make the same mistake and take the best DT in the class here.

14. (Trade from Texans to Broncos)- Maason Smith, DT, LSU

This is one of the picks that the Browns sent to the Texans for Watson, and that I'm predicting the Texans to trade to the Broncos.

The Broncos should improve with Payton as their HC, but I wouldn't have high expectations for them with Wilson still as their QB. With this pick, it would make sense for them to get the next best DT to help replace the loss of Dre'Mont Jones.

15. Patriots- Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas

Even though the Patriots had a solid offseason, it would be tough for them to make the playoffs with Mac Jones as their QB while having to play the toughest strength of schedule in the league. With this pick, it would make sense for them to get Jones a true WR1 so he hopefully develops into their franchise QB.

16. Seahawks- Michael Penix Jr, QB, Washington

The Seahawks could definitely make the playoffs again after a solid offseason, but they seem to miss out every other year, so I could see that trend continuing next year. While they have other needs that they could fill here, their front office has clearly shown that they do not care what anyone else thinks about who they should draft or what positions they should prioritize, as evidenced by the fact that they used early round picks on a CB and RB when they already had Pro-Bowl talent at both. So, I could see them ignoring conventional wisdom here by using a pick this late in the 1st on a QB to replace the aging Geno. Penix would be a good fit for them, since he has mobility and arm talent similar to the QB prospect they loved the most last year in Richardson, and it doesn't hurt that he's a hometown talent.

17. Ravens- Denzel Burke, CB, Ohio State

It seems like no matter how many talented DBs the Ravens have on their roster, they are somehow always in need of more CB help, so getting the next best one here makes sense for them.

18. Packers- Andrew Mukuba, S, Clemson

This is one of the picks that the Jets sent to the Packers as part of the Rodgers trade. Well, it's technically a conditional 2nd round pick that turns into a 1st rounder if Rodgers plays 65% of their offensive snaps, which seems likely if you ask me. While the Jets should be much improved due to their upgrade at QB, I have them just missing the playoffs because of their failure to significantly improve their O-line in the draft.

Considering the Packers only have one starting safety on their roster, and he's about to become a Free Agent, getting the best safety in the class would be a good move for them here.

19. (Trade from Giants to Dolphins)- Kingsley Suamataia, OT, BYU

The Giants don't have many pressing needs, so I could see them trading down to recoup some of the draft picks that they lost from their trades last year.

The Dolphins have basically become the new Rams at this point, in that they are fully committed to the "fuck them picks" philosophy by trading most of their top picks for star players. So, since there probably won't be an upgrade over Tua available for them via trade, I could see them do the next best thing by trading up for a player to help him succeed. Considering the Dolphins just declined the 5th-year option of their starting RT, which happens to be Tua's blindside, getting the next best OT here makes sense for them.

20. Chargers- Jer'Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois

Run defense has not been a strong suit for the Chargers in recent years, so getting the next best DT here should help with that.

21. Vikings- Quinn Ewers, QB, Texas

The Vikings need a replacement for Cousins sooner rather than later since he is old, has an expensive contract that forces them to always cut starting talent, and simply doesn't get the job done for them. You would think they would trade up for their future franchise QB, but it seems like their GM simply refuses to do anything other than trade down, so at best I could see them staying put here and waiting for the talent to come to them. Ewers isn't exactly a 1st round talent at the moment, but he has arguably the strongest arm in this class, so he would be a good upgrade over Cousins.

22. Steelers- Jeremiah Trotter Jr, LB, Clemson

The Steelers have tried and failed to replace Shazier ever since his injury forced him into retirement, and after letting Bush leave in Free Agency last year, getting the best LB in the class here makes sense for them.

23. Saints- Ja'Tavoin Sanders, TE, Texas

Unless the Saints want to rely on an old, washed gadget player as their TE1 for the foreseeable future, it would be a good idea for them to get the best TE in the class here.

24. Jaguars- Max Melton, CB, Rutgers

Surprisingly the Jaguars didn't do much to help their defense in last year's draft, which will probably lead to them failing against the AFC contenders, so it would be wise for them not to make that mistake twice by getting the next best CB here.

25. (Trade from Dolphins to Giants)- Bralen Trice, Edge, Washington

The Giants have some pretty solid talent on the edge, but one of their best pass-rushers in Williams will become a Free Agent after this year, so perhaps they'll use this pick on his replacement.

26. (Trade from Eagles to 49ers)- Javon Bullard, CB, Georgia

The Eagles' GM is like a kid with ADHD when it comes to the draft, because he simply cannot stay put on draft day. So, after trading up a bunch last year, I could see him recouping some of those picks with a trade down here.

The 49ers have a lacked a true CB1 ever since Sherman retired, so in their first draft with a 1st round pick since the trade-up for Lance, I could see them using one of their many comp picks to trade up for the next best CB.

27. Chiefs- Leonard Taylor III, DT, Miami

The Chiefs have been looking for a partner to Jones on the inside of their D-line for a while now, which explains why their run defense is usually bad, so getting the next best DT here makes sense for them.

28. Lions- Jack Sawyer, Edge, Ohio State

Supposedly the Lions were very intrigued by the top pass-rushers in last year's class, because they really wanted to pair Hutchinson with a formidable partner. However, they ended up not drafting any last year, so getting the next best edge-rusher here would help reform their defense even more.

29. Bills- TreVeyon Henderson, RB, Ohio State

By trading up for a TE in last year's draft, the Bills finally showed that they are committed taking the pressure off of Allen to be their whole source of offense. That's why, even though they have plenty of solid RBs, it would make sense to get the best RB in the class here so they can finally have a true RB1 to be their main rusher instead of Allen.

30. Cowboys- Kalen King, CB, Penn State

Gilmore is going to be a Free Agent after this season, and it's highly unlikely that the Cowboys would re-sign him considering his age, so it would make sense for them to get the next best CB here.

31. (Trade from 49ers to Eagles)- Calen Bullock, S, USC

While the Eagles had an incredible draft overall, they failed to properly replace the loss of CGJ, so it would be a wise move for them to get the next best safety here.

32. (Trade from Bengals to Commanders)- Bo Nix, QB, Oregon

It's highly unlikely that any amazing players would fall this far in the 1st, and since the Bengals just won a Super Bowl in this scenario, they obviously don't have many pressing needs, and can afford to trade down here.

Assuming the Commanders do end up firing Rivera, that would mean that they would be going into the next offseason with a new HC and owner, which seems like the perfect time to pair them with a new QB. So, after using their 1st pick on a franchise LT to protect him, it would make sense for them to trade back into the 1st round to get their franchise QB.

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