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Top 10 NFL Draft Prospects: A Look at the Projected Picks and Potential Trades

North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye throws against Virginia in October. Maye is among the players projected to be selected in the top 10 of the 2024 NFL draft. (Chris Seward / Associated Press)

Many NFL teams are looking for quarterbacks, and there are plenty of enticing prospects out there this season.

This inaugural mock draft contemplates quarterbacks going with the first three picks, and a hypothetical trade that could facilitate that.

One way the draft could unfold:

1. Chicago: QB Caleb WilliamsUSC — The Bears reboot with a new quarterbacka guy who likely would have gone first overall in the past two drafts.

2. Washington: QB Jayden Daniels, Louisiana State — Hard to pass on a quarterback when you need one as badly as the Commanders. Good fit for Cliff Kingsbury’s system.

3. [PROPOSED TRADE] Atlanta, from New England: QB Drake Maye, North Carolina — As in 2021, QBs go 1-2-3. Instead of trading for Justin Fields, Falcons restart the clock with a rookie.

4 . Arizona: WR Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State — If the Cardinals are going to pay Kyler Murray all that money, they need to get him the best weapons around. New age Larry Fitzgerald.

Notre Dame offensive lineman Joe Alt warms up before a game against Clemson in November. (Jacob Kupferman / Associated Press)

5. Chargers: OT Joe Alt, Notre Dame — Alt replaces Trey Pipkins at right tackle and the Chargers have formidable bookends with Rashawn Slater to protect Justin Herbert.

6. New York Giants: WR Rome Odunze, Washington — The Giants don’t have a true No. 1 receiver and they’ve got to stock the shelves for quarterback Daniel Jones.

7. Tennessee: OT Olu Fashanu, Penn State — The Titans tag-teamed at left tackle last season and it basically turned into lousy revolving door. Fashanu and Will Levis, onetime teammates.

8. [PROPOSED TRADE] New England, from Atlanta: T JC Latham, Alabama — Yes, the Patriots could stay put and take a quarterback, but in this scenario they can wait to check that box.

Read more: Rams are set up with money and draft picks, now they can do ‘anything we want’

9. Chicago: WR Malik Nabers, LSU — Good news for Chicago’s rookie quarterback: The Bears pick up a No. 2 receiver to complement DJ Moore.

10. New York Jets: TE Brock Bowers, Georgia — Sure, the Jets could use a protector for Aaron Rodgers. But for coach Robert Saleh, Bowers could be New York’s answer to George Kittle.

11. Minnesota: Edge Dallas Turner, Alabama — For the first time since 2014, when they took UCLA’s Anthony Barr, the Vikings use their top pick to bolster their pass rush.

12. Denver – QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan — So long, Russell Wilson. Sean Payton goes against type and takes a quarterback he can mold from the start.

Toledo defensive back Quinyon Mitchell runs the 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine on Friday. (Michael Conroy / Associated Press)

13. Las Vegas: CB Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo — Raiders have needs at quarterback and defensive tackle, but those can wait a bit. Incidentally, Mitchell ran the 40 in 4.33 seconds.

14. New Orleans: DE Jared Verse, Florida State — Besides Carl Granderson, the Saints are plodding as pass rushers. Verse gives them an injection of speed and intensity.

15. Indianapolis: CB Cooper DeJean, Iowa — DeJean is coming off a leg injury, so he could slide a bit. Super-versatile defensive back who can line up all over.

16. Seattle: DE Laiatu Latu, UCLA — Regardless of whether they retain Leonard Williams, the Seahawks could use help on the defensive front. Latu would provide that.

17. Jacksonville: DT Jer’Zhan Newton, Illinois — The Jaguars got just 3½ sacks from their interior defensive linemen last season. Newton had eight sacks last season on his own.

18. Cincinnati: CB Terrion Arnold, Alabama — His 4.5 time in the 40 didn’t blow away anyone but Arnold is fluid, smart and a good fit for the Bengals.

Read more: With loads of money and draft picks, Rams GM Les Snead says: ‘We like to attack’

19. Rams: C Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon — This might not be a sexy pick — especially since the Rams haven’t drafted in the first round since 2016 — but an important position to lock down.

20. Pittsburgh: OT Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State — Steelers fortify their blocking front and make Fuaga the first Oregon State offensive lineman to go in the opening round.

21. Miami: DT Byron Murphy II, Texas — Free agency figures to deal a blow to the interior of Miami’s defensive line. Murphy starts the rebuild.

22. Philadelphia: CB Nate Wiggins, Clemson — Wiggins ran the 40 in a scorching 4.28 seconds but hobbled off with a hip injury. He should be ready to go for his pro day.

23. Houston: WR Brian Thomas Jr., LSU — The Texans grab a big, sure-handed receiver for C.J. Stroud. The 6-foot-4 Thomas is a smooth route runner with strong hands.

24. Dallas: OT Amarius Mims, Georgia — The Cowboys eventually are going to need to transition from Tyron Smith, so tackle is a glaring position of need.

Miami defensive back Kamren Kinchens runs a drill at the NFL scouting combine on Friday. (Darron Cummings / Associated Press)

25. Green Bay: FS Kamren Kinchens, Miami — The Packers need a tackle to replace David Bakhtiari, either immediately or eventually, but safety is a more pressing need.

26. Tampa Bay: WR Keon Coleman, Florida State — Coleman could be the next Mike Evans for the Buccaneers, and they would happily grab someone like that.

27. Arizona: OT Tyler Guyton, Oklahoma — Another move to bolster Arizona’s offense, already enhanced by the addition of Harrison at wideout.

28. Buffalo: DT Kris Jenkins, Michigan — The Bills need to shore up the interior of their defensive front and Jenkins, a legacy at the position, would be a solid fit.

29. Detroit: CB Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama — The immensely talented McKinstry could slip out of the first round after doctors discovered a fractured bone in his foot.

Read more: New Chargers GM Joe Hortiz says production, not age or money, will decide who goes

30. Baltimore: G Graham Barton, Duke — The Ravens are facing the possible departure of both guards. In this mock, they’re drafting for need.

31. San Francisco: CB Kamari Lassiter, Georgia — The 49ers need an offensive tackle, but the top-tier ones are gone at this point. Help at corner is a need, too.

32. Kansas City: WR Troy Franklin, Oregon — The Chiefs need more weapons for Patrick Mahomes, and Franklin has the speed to beat defenders on the outside.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

2024-03-04 11:00:36
#Sam #Farmers #NFL #mock #draft #Falcons #trade

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