2024 NFL Mock Draft With Updates From Adam Schefter

Apr 12th 2024

Hayden Winks

I think we're about to get into peak lying season and the biggest free agency moves are all wrapped up, so I wanted to get one more mock draft out now. Here's what I think what will happen in a few weeks with Grinding The Mocks being a helping hand along the way.

1. Bears - QB1 Caleb Williams

2. Commanders - QB2 Jayden Daniels

He's the current favorite in the markets, partially driven by Schefters double, triple, and quadruple down on Washington "leaning" towards the LSU product. While I don't have Daniels as my QB2 (or 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. At the same time, Kliff Kingsbury has ties to Drake Maye through Air Raid OC Phil Longo who coached at North Carolina when Maye led college football in Total EPA. This isn't a done deal yet, but I'll stick with Schefter and the markets for now. Daniels is -165 to be the 2nd overall pick.

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 don't 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. That is still a rare event. It's just as rare for a QB needy team to pass on a QB prospect this high up. Maye is -110 to be the 3rd overall pick.

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. Harrison is -175 to be the 4th overall pick right now with JJ McCarthy at +175.

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 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 (arguably at an even bigger position of need). Nabers can be the explosive slot next to outside WRs Josh Palmer and Quentin Johnston. To me, ot makes more sense to just take Nabers than to move Alt from left to right tackle, especially with current RT Trey Pipkins starting the entire 2023 season at the spot. One more thing... former Charger Gabe Nabers was Justin Herbert's roommate. Gabe's nephew is none other than Mr. Malik Nabers. Love a #BrisketBoysNarrative dot connection. Nabers is +220 to be the 5th overall pick.

6. Giants - WR3 Rome Odunze

While some speculate the Giants are interested in QBs, I don't buy that they'd draft the QB4 over one of the consensus top-3 WRs right now. The front office and coaching staff have red hot seats if they can't compete in 2024, and they've already made some level of an insurance play on Daniel Jones' ACL recovery by signing Drew Lock to a $5M guaranteed deal. Schefter agreed here. What this team needs regardless of who is quarterbacking short- or long-term is an X receiver like Odunze, who is 8th in projected draft capital. He'd provide the size and reliable hands that vertical Z Jalin Hyatt and petite slot Wan'Dale Robinson don't have. Odunze is a potential difference maker if he hits his ceiling. At the very worst, he ties the entire WR depth chart together. Odunze is +250 to be the 6th overall pick with an over/under at 8.5.

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. His relative inexperience and elite traits are a perfect pair to be coached up by Bill Callahan.

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

8th overall for 11th overall, 108th overall, and 129th overall. That's exactly 406 points in trade value being swapped according to the trade chart NFL teams still use in negotiations.

I'm one of the very few who have McCarthy inside my top-3 QBs, but there's usually a gap between them 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 +1300 to be the 8th overall pick. I like that one. Going over 5.5 comes at +140 odds, too.

9. Bears - OL2 Olu Fashanu

With only 4 draft picks this year, Chicago is a trade down candidate. If they stay put with blue chips available, they are in the need of an OT1, WR3, and EDGE2. That's at least the order coach Matt Eberflus listed during his latest interview. 2022 5th-round LT Braxton Jones has been a clutch find and mid-to-low-end starter, but 5th round is typically not the draft capital of an irreplaceable player. Fashanu is a divisive prospect who has size, athleticism, and age on his side even though he had a relatively down 2023 season. If Fashanu needs some time to develop, then Jones could hold the fort down. I hope they keep surrounding Caleb Williams with offensive firepower because last year's defense was already plenty good enough following the Montez Sweat trade. Finally, to tie this pick together, consider Fashanu was Caleb's left tackle back in high school. Fashanu is +1200 to be the 9th overall pick.

10. Jets - TE1 Brock Bowers

It's not a coincidence that Bowers is both 10th overall in consensus rankings and 10th overall in projected draft capital. It's hard to find a perfect landing spot because of positional value tiebreakers, but the Jets just feel like the team that'd role the dice on a high bust rate position and Bowers is a slam dunk fit. Tyler Conklin can do the dirty work in 2-TE sets, while Bowers becomes another easy button in the flats and up the seam. He's more Dalton Kincaid than Kyle Pitts stylistically, and I think Bowers' decision to skip athletic testing points to just that. It wouldn't surprise me if Bowers gets drafted after this spot. He's +130 to be the 10th overall pick. That's pretty rich for a pick this far down the board.

11. Falcons - EDGE1 Dallas Turner

8th overall for 11th overall, 108th overall, and 129th overall. That's exactly 406 points in trade value being swapped according to the trade chart NFL teams still use in negotiations.

The Falcons were 32nd in ESPN's Pass Rush Win Rate. When will the madness end? I'm tempted by Laiatu Latu's elite production, but I can't tell if new Falcons DC Jimmy Lake (who coached Latu at Washington) would be more or less willing to make the case for Latu given his medical "retirement" in 2021. For now, I'll stick with consensus rankings where Turner sits at 8th overall. That said, I'm sure most rankers are hedging their rankings with Latu by slightly lowering him. All it takes is one team to feel good about him for that to look silly. Turner is far more straight forward given his pedigree and athletic traits.

12. Packers - OL3 Troy Fautanu

12th overall for 25th overall, 41st overall, and 91st overall.

The Broncos don't have a 2nd-rounder with a ton of holes to fill, including at QB. There doesn't seem to be any pressure to stick and pick the next tier of QB (particularly Bo Nix) this high in the draft, so trading down makes a lot of sense for Denver. Meanwhile, Green Bay has two 2s and two 3s to work with. Fautanu is both athletic and versatile, traits the Packers typically love for their offensive line. The Washington product can compete at left tackle or at one of the guard spots.

13. Raiders - CB1 Quinyon Mitchell

Daniel Jeremiah said he'd be surprised if Mitchell wasn't the first corner off the board after destroying on tape, at the Senior Bowl practices, at the NFL Combine, and in interviews. Mitchell's projected draft capital is at 14th overall right now. He'd be the Raiders biggest addition to the secondary since they've hired DC Patrick Graham and defensive-minded HC Antonio Pierce showed up.

14. Saints - OL4 Taliese Fuaga

The Saints have 99 problems, and OL is at least a couple of them. 2022 1st-round LT Trevor Penning has busted so far, and Pro Bowl RT Ryan Ramczyk's knee injury is scary enough for retirement rumors. Fuaga played right tackle at Oregon State and has the length to stay there, but he also has the skills to play guard if necessary. His potential versatility allows the Saints to see how Penning and Ramczyk work out this summer. There's a chance Fuaga would compete with left guard James Hurst, who is only playing on a $3M contract.

15. Colts - WR4 Brian Thomas Jr.

I found it notable that Indy met with Malik Nabers for an official visit despite having almost no chance of getting him, even in a trade up. Maybe they wanted as much exposure to what Brian Thomas Jr. (his LSU teammate) brings to the table. Thomas has the size (6'3"/209) and speed (4.34 forty) to be a dangerous pairing for Anthony Richardson's arm and scrambling. He'd slide right into the Alec Pierce role, while Michael Pittman and Josh Downs handle all things underneath. Remember, the Colts were 3rd in offensive plays per minute, so they need playmaker depth. I think Thomas has the traits to be a DK Metcalf or Terry McLaurin type of WR1. His draft pick over/under is at 16.5.

16. Seahawks - DT1 Byron Murphy

The Seahawks were 30th in rushing EPA and 31st in passing EPA allowed last year, which explains why HC Mike MacDonald was brought in. MacDonald's history with the Ravens' scheme suggests play-making defensive tackle is a major priority. Think Caleis Campbell or Justin Madubuike, who Murphy compares closely to. Murphy is the 17th overall prospect in consensus rankings with a 16.5 over/under and had an official visit with the Seahawks in mid April. If we're following the free agency dollars, we should believe DTs are going high. In fact, the top 11 DTs make more than the highest-paid CB right now.

17. Jaguars - CB2 Terrion Arnold

Early declares out of Alabama's secondary almost always go really high. The only difference here is Arnold's 4.50 forty time. That could be the difference between being CB1 and CB2. He'd slide into the Jaguars' starting lineup immediately because Arnold has inside and outside versatility. If he can't beat out Ronald Darby directly, Arnold could be a slot corner. His lack of elite speed wouldn't be as big of a deal there anyways and his instincts/physicality would shine.

18. Bengals - OL5 JC Latham

I don't think RT Trent Brown's 1-year, $2M guaranteed contract eliminates right tackle as a need despite Brown's household name, and there's a very high chance that Fuaga, Latham, or Amarius Mims are sitting right here. Of the best available tackles, Latham ranks highest at 20th overall. At one point, the Crimson Tide was considered a potential top-10 selection, but he's since opted out of athletic testing at the NFL Combine and his Pro Day.

19. Rams - EDGE2 Jared Verse

Especially with the Aaron Donald retirement, the Rams need pass-rush help. Verse doesn't have the elite bend of the premiere EDGE defenders but can collapse the pocket and eat snaps immediately. The Rams' secondary looks much improved with SS Cam Kurl, CB1 Darious Williams, and CB2 Tre'Davious White being added in free agency. They still could use a nickel corner like Cooper DeJean, but Verse is in a tier above per consensus rankings.

20. Steelers - OL6 Graham Barton

The Duke Blue Devil started at center as a freshman, then primarily played left tackle as an upperclassman. Pittsburgh can upgrade both spots, particularly at center after releasing Mason Cole. Right now, Nate Herbig is the current projected starter and he's a lowly-paid expiring contract who actually played guard last year. Securing the OL is the only way to get the most out of sack artists Russell Wilson and Justin Fields.

21. Ravens - OL7 Amarius Mims

21st overall for 30th overall, 93rd overall, and 130th overall.

The Dolphins don't have a 3rd- or 4th-rounder and did a great job filling holes with little cap space this offseason, so they are a trade down team, especially if these OTs fly off the board as expected. Here, the Ravens trade up for the last remaining top-25 pick at the position. Mims has only played 803 snaps because of his youth and injury history, but he has the traits to be a top-10 player. The Ravens have a history of taking these developmental types in the back half of Round 1, and Mims' odds of going top-20 took a hit after opting out of athletic testing at the Georgia Pro Day. After trading RT Morgan Moses this offseason, Baltimore is in the toughest OL spot in their recent history. I love this fit.

22. Eagles - CB3 Cooper DeJean

Philly's history suggests the trenches early on, but they are so loaded on both lines and have more weaknesses in the secondary. DeJean is a versatile player who played at outside corner at Iowa and could slide into nickel or safety. He's depth behind aging stars Darius Slay (33yo) and James Bradberry (31yo), Avonte Maddox ($1.6M contract) competition in the slot, or competition for either safety spot. His elite athleticism and special teams value have me optimistic for a relatively high draft pick.

23. Vikings - DT2 Johnny Newton

It seems like everyone thinks this pick will be traded. It easily could, but I think the odds are exaggerated based on Schefter's reporting (see pick No. 8 in this mock). If the Vikings don't have to send serious draft capital up for a QB, then they can keep this inherited pick and focus on their sub-par defensive talent. They could use a CB to replace 2022 4th-rounder Akayleb Evans, or they upgrade at DT over Jerry Tillery ($2.7M contract). The latter is an underrated massive need, especially with the interior DL market skyrocketing recently. It's a legit premium position. Newton is shorter than most, but he has legit explosiveness and pass-rush skills (18.0 collegiate sacks). It's time to give DC Brian Flores some help.

24. Cowboys - WR5 Adonai Mitchell

The release of Michael Gallup opens up snaps at X receiver next to CeeDee Lamb and Brandin Cooks, who is entering the final year of his deal. Mitchell isn't without warts statistically and on tape, but his size, speed, and age are hard to find outside of Round 1. Dallas has taken heat for not making a splash move this offseason after Jerry Jones' "all in" comments. This would get the fan base and offense pumped up, and maybe would help Jones decide if Dak Prescott is the long-term answer at QB.

25. Broncos - EDGE3 Laiatu Latu

12th overall for 25th overall, 41st overall, and 91st overall.

After trading down to get more picks for a potential QB, the Broncos still manage to land a high-upside pass rusher. In fact, Latu was the most productive edge in college last year. Without a medical "retirement" (neck) in 2021, Latu is likely a top-12 selection if not higher. It's unclear where Latu is going on draft night at this point.

26. Buccaneers - EDGE4 Chop Robinson

An elite athlete who needs to be groomed, Robinson would do well to land in Tampa Bay under coach Todd Bowles. He has interior push from DTs Vita Vea and Kalijah Cancey, and he would be in a 3-4 edge rotation with Joe Tryon-Shoyinka and YaYa Diaby. He'd essentially be a replacement for Shaq Barrett, so it's not a surprise that Robinson's first visit at the Combine was with the Bucs.

27. Cardinals - OL8 Jordan Morgan

He played LT at Arizona two hours south from Phoenix, but Morgan has sub-33-inch arms, sometimes 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. Broncos - QB5 Bo Nix

28th overall for 41st overall and 76th overall.

If the Bills aren't in range for Brian Thomas Jr. or AD Mitchell, then it's hard to find another Round 1 WR that fills their need for size and speed on the perimeter. I'm not convinced Xavier Worthy or Ladd McConkey are the type of receiver Buffalo needs right now with Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis out of town. A trade down would put them in a better spot to address the particular spot they need. This dilemma will be one of the biggest stories of Day 1.

Meanwhile, let's use this mock draft as a way to handicap if more than 4 QBs will go Round 1. Since 2000, the QB5 in the draft has been selected 83rd overall on average. Only twice has the QB5 gone in Round 1 (Mac Jones at 15th and Lamar Jackson at 32nd), with Andy Dalton going 35th overall just after Day 1. In other words, the odds are somewhat stacked against Bo Nix and Michael Penix. These two have elite production compared to most late Round 1 or Round 2 prospects, however. Nix's EPA per play is in the 97th percentile for example. He'd be a perfect fit as a distributor in Sean Payton's offense. He's also healthier than Penix. Ultimately, it's probably under 50% that Nix or Penix go Round 1 individually, but their odds put together are probably around 50%. If it does happen, I'm expecting a trade back into Round 1 for them. A top-20 selection for either would be unprecedented. Nix is +125 to be a 1st round pick.

29. Lions - EDGE5 Darius Robinson

Only 13 prospects accepted invites to be at the NFL Draft on Day 1. Robinson was one of them. A bit of a tweener positionally, the Missouri prospect is caught between DT and EDGE, but he has the fire that this Lions organization craves. Even with Aidan Hutchinson, Detroit was 26th in ESPN's Pass Rush Win Rate last year. He'd be the power rusher next to him and DT Aliem McNeil. I don't hate over 6.5 defensive linemen (+250) like I have in this mock.

30. Dolphins - CB4 Nate Wiggins

21st overall for 30th overall, 93rd overall, and 130th overall.

Like mentioned above, Miami secured 3rd- and 4th-rounders with this projected trade, and they might've taken Wiggins at their original pick anyways. They've swapped outside CB Kendall Fuller for Xavien Howard, but Jalen Ramsey can kick inside in some packages to get Wiggins on the field. He's a fantastic man coverage corner in the right matchup and wouldn't have to go up against physical WRs in this defense because the others in the secondary.

31. 49ers - OL10 Tyler Guyton

The Oklahoma right tackle is a work in progress with high-end upside because of his rare size (6'8"/322) and athleticism. He'd compete with RT Colton McKivitz, who re-signed for fringe starter money (2-year, $9M) this offseason. If Guyton is ready earlier than expected, perfect. If not, the 49ers are used to developing their draft picks early on. Heck, there's even a chance Guyton could be the Trent Williams replacement in a few seasons. The over/under for 9.5 offensive linemen is -165 right now. Expect them to fly.

32. Chiefs - CB5 Kool-Aid McKinstry

Star outside CB L'Jadius Sneed was traded for cap purposes, and McKinstry is a direct replacement on the perimeter while Trent McDuffie shreds inside. He was Alabama's outside option while Terrion Arnold would move inside from time-to-time. His physicality and length translates to his tackling ability, which was a massive part of the Chiefs' defensive success last year. McKinstry is 24th overall in consensus rankings. I don't mind the under on 5.5 CBs at -280 after Ennis Rakestraw and Kamari Lassiter had mediocre testing results. The latter are outside the top-38 in expected draft position.

Other prospects in consideration: QB Michael Penix, WR Ladd McConkey, WR Xavier Worthy, WR Troy Franklin, OT Kingsley Suamataia, C Jackson Powers-Johnson, LB Edgerrin Cooper.