2024 NFL Mock Draft - Hayden Winks' Final

Apr 25th 2024

Hayden Winks

My 2024 NFL Draft mock from Monday now sounds like chalk, but I'm eating it. I'm also leaning into my Top 100 Big Board research more than most are, rather than relying on "sources." These picks all make sense based on scheme and their consensus rankings. If you want to follow along live on Thursday, we're on YouTube with Colt McCoy and Jay Gruden!

1. Bears - QB1 Caleb Williams

2. Commanders - QB2 Jayden Daniels

Jayden Daniels can want to play for the Raiders all he wants, but this is the NFL Draft. Not free agency. The Commanders will take their QB2, and all indications point to that being Daniels according to the national sources. Heck, even some betting against Daniels earlier this week have now changed their tune. While I don't have Daniels as my QB2 (or even QB3 at that), I understand why some would believe in him as the 2nd overall pick. His production is rare, and this ownership and front office have a basketball and analytics background that could favor Daniels' stats. If they want to let Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson run go balls and slot fades, then Daniels is a scheme fit.

3. Patriots - QB3 Drake Maye

Despite some mechanical issues and chaotic plays, Maye is still very much worth the risk high up in the draft, especially with Jacoby Brissett available to steer the ship if Maye proves unready for Day 1 action. Maye remains highly graded and above J.J. McCarthy by most analysts, and most insiders do not believe New England is outwardly looking for a trade down. It'd likely take three 1st round picks for the Vikings to trade up from 11th overall, for example, and that is still a rare event. It's just as rare for a QB needy team like the Patriots to pass on a QB prospect this high up. Albert Breer said, "I now feel pretty good that [Drake Maye] will be a New England Patriot."

4. Cardinals - WR1 Marvin Harrison Jr.

While Arizona has proven they can work the phones with trades, they do already have two 1s, an early 2, three 3s, and five Day 3 picks. Do they really need more picks, or do they really need more blue chip talent? As a reminder, their current WR depth chart is headlined by Michael Wilson after the front office didn't participate in Marquise Brown's free agency and traded away Rondale Moore. The Buckeye is everything the Cardinals and Kyler Murray need to compete for a wild card in 2024. Albert Breer said, "Teams that have talked to Arizona GM Monti Ossenfort believe it’ll be pricey to make a deal, which could be a sign he has a guy he likes (Marvin Harrison Jr.?)."

5. Chargers - WR2 Malik Nabers

Jim Harbaugh would love to build a wall around Justin Herbert. He's done just that every step of the way throughout his career, but the Chargers' draft class isn't done after the 5th overall pick. In fact, they have 8 other picks to find competition at center, right guard, and right tackle. With consensus rankings and projected draft capital leaning slightly towards Nabers over OT1 Joe Alt, I'm going with the higher graded prospect at an even bigger position of need. Nabers, who was offered a scholarship by Harbaugh as a high school recruit, can be the explosive slot next to outside WRs Josh Palmer and Quentin Johnston. To me, it makes more sense to just take Nabers than to move Alt from left to right tackle, especially with current starting RT Trey Pipkins starting the entire 2023 season at that spot. If the Chargers go with J.C. Latham (18th in consensus rankings) over Nabers (3rd), then I'll respect it.

One more thing... former Charger Gabe Nabers was Justin Herbert's roommate, and Gabe's nephew is none other than Mr. Malik Nabers. Love a #BrisketBoysNarrative dot connection.

6. Giants - WR3 Rome Odunze

I buy the Giants would trade up for a top-3 QB. I don't buy they'll be able to. I also don't buy them loving JJ McCarthy either. There's a bar this staff needs to clear for them to finally commit to their QB of the future. The consensus seems to be that McCarthy doesn't clear that, at least not when an elite WR prospect is available. Remember, they haven't had a real WR1 since 2018, which has decimated Daniel Jones. On Tuesday, Daniel Jeremiah said, "I don't view them as a JJ McCarthy team." Dane Brugler and Albert Breer agreed. Jordan Raanan separately agreed. And a week prior, Adam Schefter agreed. Instead, they simply let the receiver fall into their laps. Oh, and wouldn't it be easier to pitch potential 2025 free agent Dak Prescott to come to New York if they had a 3-WR set in place? Odunze (X), Jalin Hyatt (Z), and Wan'Dale Robinson (slot) are all young with very little skillset overlap.

7. Titans - OL1 Joe Alt

After releasing Andre Dilliard this offseason, Tennessee's current starter at left tackle is 2022 3rd-rounder Nicholas Petit-Frere, who has 62 career snaps at that spot. It'd be a surprise if the Titans don't address left tackle extremely early after coach Brian Callahan brought his dad (and legendary OL coach) over to the team. Alt's expected draft position is at 6.5, which is a whole lot higher than OT2 Olu Fashanu's 12.7 draft pick. It'd be an upset if Alt isn't the top tackle taken at this point and is -160 to be the 7th overall pick right now. He's my highest graded non-QB in the class.

8. Vikings (via ATL) - QB4 J.J. McCarthy

8th overall for 11th, 108th, and 129th overall.

I'm one of the very few who have McCarthy inside the top-3 overall, but there's usually a gap between the top-3 QBs and McCarthy. This mock draft reflects that. McCarthy would be a fantastic fit for the Vikings because of his ability to throw over the middle and work out of play action. He'd also be able to develop under coach Kevin O'Connell (a former QB), especially if Sam Darnold is leaned on early in 2024. That said, the Vikings may not have to trade all the way up for him. The Broncos don't have a ton of draft capital to work with. The Raiders made a financial commitment to Gardner Minshew and don't pick until 13th. Even if there was a relative bidding war for McCarthy between these teams, it still requires a team to trade down. The top-3 QBs, top-3 WRs, and OT1 Joe Alt seam very well liked. It'd be expensive to move a team off one of them. Furthermore, Schefter continues to note the Vikings were not the initiator when they acquired the 23rd overall pick from the Texans. Instead, Houston called because they needed a 2nd rounder to trade for Stefon Diggs. If the Vikings simply agreed to a fair deal, then it makes them slightly less likely to sell the farm for a big trade up. McCarthy is +1800 to be the 8th overall pick. I like that one. Going over 5.5 comes at +120 odds, too.

9. Colts - TE1 Brock Bowers

9th overall for 15th, 82nd, and 151st overall.

The Bears only have 4 draft picks. If the consensus blue chip prospects are gone like they are here, then they have a huge for sale sign. Indy bringing in Malik Nabers in for an official visit caught my eye because he's out of their range in most cases. Is that simply a sign that they want to surround Anthony Richardson with weapons while on his rookie deal? Maybe! GM Chris Ballard has gone against positional value countless times throughout his career for premier talent, and Bowers is another datapoint in that trend.

10. Jets - OL2 J.C. Latham

Latham was a right tackle at Alabama, but he can be a starting guard in 2024 (where he played as a freshman) and can an insurance option for either of the Jets' old starting tackles. It's the safest option for Aaron Rodgers in 2024, yet doesn't sacrifice their long-term success as Latham easily will slide back out to right tackle after Morgan Moses' one-year deal expires. Latham is ready made with elite size and an almost effortless style because he's so effective in both phases. He is my 9th overall prospect in the class. Jay Glazer reports he's "skyrocketing up boards" which would match my personal tape evaluation of him.

11. Falcons - EDGE1 Dallas Turner

8th overall for 11th, 108th, and 129th overall.

The Falcons were 32nd in ESPN's Pass Rush Win Rate. When will the madness end? I can't tell if new Falcons DC Jimmy Lake (who coached Latu at Washington) is more or less willing to make the case for Latu given his medical "retirement" in 2021, but I do know Latu was by far the most productive edge rusher of 2022 and 2023. Peter Schrager noted he can't find a team that's taken Latu off the board, while Jay Glazer noted that even if the teams who have cleared him may have it in the back of their mind. His range of outcomes feel wide. Just look at the teams who have brought him in for a visit: Bears (#9), Broncos (#12), Cardinals (#27), and Bills (#28). I want to fully trust Clemson Jeff's intel, but with the Falcons expected to field calls, who knows where they'll even be picking. Turner is the safer option, and GM Terry Fontenot has selected young players most often.

12. Bengals - OL3 Taliese Fuaga

12th overall for 18th and 80th overall.

Without a 2nd round pick, the Broncos are a prime trade down candidate, potentially in hopes of landing Bo Nix at a more reasonable price tag. Historically, the Bengals do not trade up, but this feels like an all in season and getting Joe Burrow help at tackle should be a priority. If they want a rookie starter instead of a developmental type, then they may have to slide up. Fuaga was a right tackle in Oregon State's zone-heavy scheme. He can be a stud guard if his fringe arm length can't hold up outside. Don't lock in RT Trent Brown as a starter based on his contract (1-year, $2M).

13. Raiders - CB1 Terrion Arnold

I'm stealing this from Anthony Amico, who noted coach Antonio Pierce called finding a CB1 "a priority" and that Arnold played the 7th-most zone snaps which aligns with the Raiders' zone-heavy scheme. At the Alabama Pro Day, coach Antonio Pierce told Arnold that he "likes him already."

14. Saints - OL4 Olu Fashanu

This feels near his floor. Fashanu plays left tackle, and aside from Joe Alt, I don't see many of these "tackle" prospects actually playing left tackle. The Saints are so desperate here. Swing OT James Hurst retired yesterday. Star RT Ryan Ramszyk is about to retire. And LT Trevor Penning isn't trusted. They need multiple tackles before Week 1 roles around.

15. Bears - DT1 Byron Murphy

9th overall for 15th, 82nd, and 151st overall.

With only 4 draft picks before the trade, Chicago made the conservative decision to slide down the board, yet still be in range for the top defensive line prospects. Murphy is the pass-rushing three tech that coach Matt Eberflus is missing. He tried with 2nd- and 3rd-rounders at this spot last year. They just aren't game changers and can still rotate onto the field even if Murphy is the golden child on the interior.

16. Eagles - CB2 Quinyon Mitchell

16th and 81st overall for 22nd and 50th overall.

Without a 2nd round pick, the Broncos are a prime trade down candidate, potentially in hopes of landing Bo Nix at a more reasonable price tag. Meanwhile, Daniel Jeremiah noted the Eagles are the team to have done the most research on the Alabama corners, which in turn means they are likely to be on Mitchell, too. He's a freak athlete with zone experience. DC Vic Fangio loves that combination.

17. Jaguars - WR4 Brian Thomas Jr.

It's equally likely Jacksonville targets a CB here, but the consensus top-2 CBs are gone here. Luckily, Thomas is a beast and fills another position of need after they lost a bidding war for Calvin Ridley in free agency. Thomas runs the same type of routes as Ridley did in this offense last year, with the potential of becoming a legit top target if he can add branches to his route tree. This would shove Zay Jones to the bench. If Pretty Rickey's reports are right that Jacksonville is on the phones with the Niners for Brandon Aiyuk, then they are looking for Thomas' exact traits.

18. Broncos - EDGE2 Laiatu Latu

12th overall for 18th and 80th overall.

After adding some Day 2 draft capital (potentially for Bo Nix eventually), the Broncos scoop up the potential value of a sliding Latu. Opinions on him are split. I can see him 8th overall. I can see him towards the end of Round 1. The teams who've brought him in for visits, which means he passed the sniff test at the NFL Combine, are the Bears (#9), Broncos (#12), Cardinals (#27), and Bills (#28).

19. Rams - WR5 Xavier Worthy

To quote Peter Schrager, "I'll go on record with something of a guarantee here: If the Rams do not trade back, you better believe Sean McVay's first-ever first-round selection will be an offensive player." That's a very bold statement, but he is tight with this team and they have maximized their defense without much investment into it in recent years. Any of the top-projected skill players are fits, though they just went ahead in this mock. Instead, the Rams get bold and draft the most unique one. Worthy is a pre-snap motion dream in this offense and provides the deep speed they've been searching for in recent drafts (see: TuTu Atwell). I also heard this story that GM Les Snead turned to his wife to during the NFL Combine and said Worthy was the "fastest human I’ve ever evaluated" right before he ran his record-breaking forty.

20. Steelers - OL5 Troy Fautanu

The Washington left tackle had some of the craziest, unorthodox tape you'll see. I'm not sure if his style is best left on an island against NFL competition, but he does have the arm length to stay there if needed. Instead, Fautanu has the tenacity and height of a classic interior linemen. Daniel Jeremiah said there's at least one team that views him as the best center in the draft, something Dane Brugler also alluded to in The Beast. The Steelers are known to leak their draft plans, and they happened to bring in Fautanu for an official visit. They aren't hiding their thirst for a new center by also bringing in Graham Barton and Zach Frazier for visits.

21. Packers - OL6 Amarius Mims

21st overall for 25th and 91st overall.

The Dolphins don't have a 3rd- or 4th-rounder, and the Packers have 5 top-91 picks going into the draft. The Packers love developing super athletic offensive linemen, particuarly those with tackle experience. That's Mims. He'd compete for right tackle duties, potentially kicking RT Zach Tom into the interior. My go to for Packers analysis is Justis Mosqueda who said Mims is the most likely pick.

22. Seahawks - CB3 Cooper DeJean

16th and 81st overall for 22nd and 50th overall.

The Seahawks were 30th in rushing EPA and 31st in passing EPA allowed last year, which explains why HC Mike MacDonald was brought in. His Ravens' defense was really versatile last year because he had the players in the secondary to change up their looks. They have Devon Witherspoon as a lock-down man coverage corner. DeJean is the opposite, a thicc zone corner with the ability to play slot corner or box safety. There are some Kyle Hamilton similarities.

23. Vikings - CB4 Nate Wiggins

He's skinny, but Wiggins had 11 pass deflections in 10 games last year, while playing man coverage on a very high 59% of his snaps. He can absolutely fly (4.28 forty) and his length makes him difficult to beat near the sideline. Vikings DC Brian Flores puts his corners on islands often with his insane blitz rate, and Wiggins has shown he can handle that duty. Minnesota could use a CB to replace 2022 4th-rounder Akayleb Evans.

24. Cowboys - OL7 Graham Barton

The Duke product is a bit of a mystery. He opened his collage career at center (didn't play well there because he's too tall in my opinion), then finished his last three years at left tackle. Barton has a guard's body, however. His athletic traits are worth developing at a new position, or there's a chance he can survive at left tackle. The Cowboys have flexibility because Tyler Smith can play left tackle or left guard.

25. Dolphins - EDGE3 Jared Verse

21st overall for 25th and 91st overall.

Miami slid down to recoup a missing Day 2 selection, yet still get one of the top defensive linemen in the draft. Four months ago, the Dolphins were in much better shape. Then Jaelan Phillips (achilles) and Bradley Chubb (ACL) underwent significant surgeries around the New Years, then Christian Wilkins and Andrew Van Ginkle were lost in free agency.

26. Bucs - OL8 Jackson Powers-Johnson

Tampa Bay has struggled running the ball for years, largely because of their interior line. JPJ is a stud in the ground game with a physical play style (328 pounds), but he can also move in the screen game, which is a great pair with Rachaad White's skillset. They met with him at the NFL Combine and then had him in for an official visit. Despite some having him out of Round 1, the consensus rankings on the Oregon standout are positive (#26). I have him 25th.

27. Cardinals - OL9 Jordan Morgan

He played LT at Arizona two hours south from Phoenix, but Morgan has sub-33-inch arms, often considered a threshold to remain at tackle. The good news is Morgan is a 95th percentile athlete if considered a guard. With guard jumping up in value this free agency, late Round 1 is a prime spot for this interior OL run to start (Barton, Morgan, Jackson Powers-Johnson, etc.). Cardinals OC Drew Petzing comes from the Browns, who made athletic guard play a massive priority, and Morgan has the feet to dance in Arizona's pull-heavy rushing offense (4th most snaps with a pulling OL). Current LG starter Elijah Wilkinson is a 29-year-old playing on a $1.8M, 1-year contract. That's obviously backup value.

28. Bills - EDGE4 Chop Robinson

The Bills have their physical edge rushers, but they want a speed rusher (see: Von Miller). Buffalo can't expect Miller to stay healthy and their offseason moves suggest they want to build for the future. Robinson's lack of production scares me, but if he hits, he'll hit big. He's a freak athlete that can learn pass rush moves from Von as a rookie.

29. Lions - CB5 Kool-Aid McKinstry

Cameron Sutton was arrested and thus released, and current starter Amik Robertson is on a tiny contract without 2025 guarantees. GM Brad Holmes said he's particular about his cornerback play, and I think McKinstry is very polished on tape after playing under defensive backs legend Nick Saban. McKinstry is a fighter, who even completed testing on a broken foot. His medicals will be a part of his evaluation, but the Lions have done their due diligence on him by bringing in him and his Crimson Tide teammate Terrion Arnold for official visits.

30. Ravens - OL10 Tyler Guyton

He has the physical tools to go higher than this, but Guyton is a real project. He started college as a tight end, then had to transfer to Oklahoma to start his career at right tackle. He is light on his feet and strong up top, but Guyton could put on some lower-half weight and work on his technique. The Ravens have been patient with other prospects in this range, and more importantly, they have a massive hole at right tackle after trading Morgan Moses to the Jets.

31. 49ers - DT2 Jer'Zhan Newton

Opinions on Johnny seem to be split. Consensus rankings have him at 22nd overall, but national insiders like Peter Schrager have left him off recent mock drafts entirely. He also officially visited the Giants, who wouldn't take him until Round 2. The 49ers have a spot for him next to Javon Hargrave. He'd compete with Maliek Collins and Jordan Elliott as a 3-tech who can rush the passer.

32. Chiefs - OT11 Patrick Paul

Here's my surprise Round 1 pick after nailing Felix Anudike-Uzomah to the Chiefs in last year's final mock draft... Of course every prospect is overly confident in theirselves, but Paul did say teams have a top-32 grade on him and that he expects to go Round 1. Paul checks a lot of big picture boxes as a high-level tackle. He's 6-foot-7 and 331 pounds with 36 inch arms. He made 44 career starts at Houston and has shown light feet in pass protection. Paul flies at the snap on runs, too. He needs some refinement, but I think he's pretty ready made. With the Chiefs relying on undersized ex-3rd rounder Wanya Morris right now, left tackle is a much bigger need than WR or CB. Everyone agrees Patrick Mahomes deserves to at least be kept upright.

To summarize, I have:

  • 4 QBs with Bo Nix and Michael Penix in the mix.

  • 5 WRs with AD Mitchell, Ladd McConkey, and Keon Coleman in the mix.

  • 1 TE without anyone else in the mix.

  • 11 OLs with Kingsley Suamatia and Zach Frazier in the mix.

  • 6 DLs with Darius Robinson and Braden Fiske in the mix.

  • 0 LBs with Junior Colson and Edgerrin Cooper in the mix.

  • 5 DBs without anyone else in the mix.

  • The biggest fallers were #29 consensus prospect Adonai Mitchell (medicals, character concerns), #31 consensus prospect Ladd McConkey (size, medicals), #32 consensus prospect Darius Robinson (age, tweener size and athleticism), and #34 consensus prospect Michael Penix (age, medicals, scheme fit).

  • The biggest party crashers were #33 consensus prospect Xavier Worthy (unique player), #35 consensus prospect Jordan Morgan (elite guard traits in zone scheme), and #61 consensus prospect Patrick Paul (veteran blindside protector with NFL traits).

Some odds I personally like at first glance, but please price shop and do this for entertainment only:

  • Marvin Harrison Jr. at 4th overall (-225)

  • Malik Nabers at 5th overall (+320)

  • Joe Alt at 7th overall (-160)

  • JJ McCarthy at 8th overall (+1800)

  • J.C. Latham at 10th overall (+1800)

  • Dallas Turner after 9.5 (-160)

  • J.C. Latham before 14.5 (+215)

  • Troy Fautanu after 15.5 (-180)

  • Quinyon Mitchell before Troy Fautanu (-145)

  • Brian Thomas Jr. before 19.5 (+175)

  • Rams first pick as WR (+425)

  • Nate Wiggins before 26.5 (+190)

  • Tyler Guyton after 28.5 (+180)

  • Michael Penix after 32.5 (+240)

  • Bo Nix before Michael Penix (+230)

  • Offensive linemen over 9.5 (-180)

  • Running backs under 0.5 (-1600)

  • Wide receivers under 6.5 (-400)