Unveiling the Ideal 2024 NFL Mock Draft Picks: One Analyst’s Dream Selections

Mock drafts go through an evolution for each draft class. The first one serves as an informational tool to introduce the best prospects heading into the college football season. As the year goes on, mock drafts become a little bit more finetuned and once the college season nears conclusion, the blue chip players and highly-demanded quarterbacks fall into place. By the time April comes around each year, every analyst wants to predict as much as the first round as possible.

Yet so often, besides big boards, what we would do gets lost in the shuffle.

This is my one crack at that method.

I used a combination of my rankings, team needs, schemes and fits to come to these conclusions below. These are the picks I would make if I were in the GM chair for each team’s first selection.

RELATED: Connor Rogers’ NFL Draft Big Board

1. Chicago Bears

Caleb Williams, QB, USC

Williams is the best quarterback in the draft, a full field reader with a lively arm and escapability. GM Ryan Poles has done a tremendous job this offseason beefing up the offense that the young signal caller will take over.

2. Washington Commanders

Drake Maye, QB, UNC

One of the toughest decisions in the draft, but I’m going with the upside of the big-bodied passer in Maye. He throws to the middle of the field very well and if you go back to his 2022 tape, he’s way more athletic than given credit for.

3. New England Patriots

Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

Yes, the Patriots need a quarterback of the future, but I see a gap from Maye to the next tier of Michael Penix Jr. and Jayden Daniels. Harrison Jr. is an excellent prospect who makes the Patriots offense better in the short and long term. Plus, if they are bad again, they will have a rookie quarterback from the 2025 draft walk into a way better situation.

4. Arizona Cardinals

Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

Nabers becomes the D.J. Moore of Arizona’s offense. His explosiveness with and without the ball will give Kyler Murray a dynamic threat who can line up everywhere.

RELATED: Top 30 WR draft rankings and NFL player comps

5. Los Angeles Chargers

Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

I would’ve loved it if one of the top two receivers make it to this spot, but Joe Alt is far from a bad consolation prize. The bigger decision here is if the Chargers are comfortable moving him to the right side, but I think he would be fine with his athleticism. This is how Harbaugh wants to build the identity of his team and with his track record, the GM should trust him.

6. New York Giants

Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

Nabers or Harrison Jr. are my dream picks here, but I see Bowers as the third best offensive weapon in this draft. The Giants should operate with the thought that Darren Waller is not much of a factor in their future and Bowers would line up everywhere in Brian Daboll’s offense.

7. Tennessee Titans

Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State

The buzz around Fashanu has seemingly died, but I will gladly stand on the table for him as a top 10 pick in this scenario. He’s a really gifted pass protector and will plug in at left tackle next to Peter Skoronski.

8. Atlanta Falcons

Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State

If I’m the Falcons, I’m answering every call I get about trading this selection. They need a top defender, but they can get that even if they move back. Verse is my top-ranked pass rusher; I love his heavyweight fighter hands that he throws at tackles.

RELATED: Rogers’ NFL Draft EDGE rankings

9. Chicago Bears

Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

I see a lot of Keenan Allen in Odunze’s game and in this situation he gets to play with him for at last a year. The Bears rolling out 11 personnel of Allen, Odunze and D.J. Moore seems unfair.

10. New York Jets

Troy Fautanu, OL, Washington

The Jets see the top three receivers and Bowers come off the board in front of them in this scenario, but land one of the most versatile offensive linemen in the draft. Fautanu can push to start at left guard and fill in at tackle if one of the veterans gets banged up. I think he’s a top 10 player in this class.

11. Minnesota Vikings

Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington

Penix sees the field extremely well pre- and post-snap, while showing off a howitzer of an arm. His pocket passing ability would transition nicely to Kevin O’Connell’s offense, challenging all areas of the field with Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison.

12. Denver Broncos

Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

There’s an argument to be had that J.J. McCarthy’s skill set fits better here, but I like the floor of Jayden Daniels better. He’s a snappy touch thrower with true playmaking ability on the ground.

RELATED: Rogers’ NFL Draft QB rankings

13. Las Vegas Raiders

Taliese Fuaga, OL, Oregon State

Even with Josh Jacobs off to Green Bay, it feels like the Raiders will be a run heavy, smash mouth football team. Fuaga is the poster prospect for that and seamlessly plugs into the right side of their offensive line.

14. New Orleans Saints

Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

You can argue the Saints need help at both tackle spots right now. Mims played right tackle for Georgia, but he also practiced on the left side too. He’s nearly impossible to get around or through with his size and length in pass protection.

15. Indianapolis Colts

Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

DeJean in Gus Bradley’s defense is a dream landing spot. His instincts, ball skills, tackling and punt return ability will make him an impact player.

16. Seattle Seahawks

JC Latham, OL, Alabama

I have concerns about Latham’s pass protection on an island at tackle right away, but in this scenario he is a plug-and-play guard for Seattle. His grip strength and lower body power is a weapon in the run game.

RELATED: Rogers’ NFL Draft OL rankings

17. Jacksonville Jaguars

Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

The size, speed and length of a cornerback duo of Mitchell and Tyson Campbell is what defensive coordinators pray for. He’s passed every test of this draft process with flying colors.

18. Cincinnati Bengals

Jer’Zhan Newton, DL, Illinois

This is a tough situation with the top right tackles off the board, but Newton is one of the best defenders in the draft. I like his overall burst, pursuit speed and ability to stack and shed.

19. Los Angeles Rams

Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

Turner was extremely productive in college just from being a great athlete with length. If he varies his pass rush plan, look out. It’s fun picturing his versatility in a defensive front with Kobie Turner, Byron Young and Michael Hoecht.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers

Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU

It will be fascinating to see how the Steelers handle their needs at wide receiver, center and cornerback because I love the depth of all three groups. In this spot I can’t pass on Thomas, there simply aren’t many 6-foot-3, 209-pound receivers as explosive as him.

RELATED: Teams most likely to move up in NFL draft

21. Miami Dolphins

Graham Barton, OL, Duke

This is one of my favorite fits in the draft. Barton’s movement skills and hand usage make him a menace in the zone run game. He’d slide in at guard on Miami’s offensive line, despite playing tackle for Duke the last three seasons.

22. Philadelphia Eagles

Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

There is risk here in taking Wiggins over both Alabama cornerbacks (Terrion Arnold and Kool-Aid McKinstry), but neither of those players move or run like Wiggins can. He needs to fill out his frame, but keep in mind he won’t turn 21 until the end of his first NFL training camp.

23. Minnesota Vikings

Byron Murphy, DL, Texas

Brian Flores was able to scheme pressure in 2023, but with a front that has Murphy, Jonathan Greenard and Andrew Van Ginkel life will be much easier. Murphy’s ability to get off the ball and shoot gaps gives interior blockers a lot of trouble.

24. Dallas Cowboys

Jackson Powers-Johnson, IOL, Oregon

While he was only a one-year starter, Powers-Johnson has some of the best tape in the draft. He rarely ever gets beat in pass protection and although he carries a lot of mass for the position, he moves well. It’s fun watching him wipe out defenders in the screen game.

25. Green Bay Packers

Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

Arnold played both inside and outside during his time at Alabama and logged over 300 snaps in press coverage (Per PFF). He’s still more of an athlete at the position rather than an anticipator of throws and route combinations, but that shows what kind of ceiling he has. It’s an added bonus that he’s an aggressive, above average tackler for a defensive back.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

Latu’s pass-rushing tool box is the deepest of the edge rushers in this draft. He’ll come into the NFL with a full arsenal of moves and the ability to counter, which is impressive for a rookie.

27. Arizona Cardinals

Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

McKinstry is an extremely competitive press corner who uses his long arms to make plays at the catch point. Jonathan Gannon’s secondary would look much more well rounded with the addition of a plug-and-play cover corner like McKinstry.

RELATED: Rogers’ NFL Draft CB rankings

28. Buffalo Bills

Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon

Franklin is a true perimeter threat with a great first step to explode into his routes. With Josh Allen’s limitless arm, a field stretcher like Franklin will really open up this offense.

29. Detroit Lions

Chop Robinson, EDGE, Penn State

Aidan Hutchinson is on his way to stardom and the Lions took a flyer on Marcus Davenport, but they shouldn’t stop there. Robinson is as explosive as they come, but he needs development to find consistency. This defense can ease him in, allowing him to pin his ears back on passing downs to wreak havoc.

30. Baltimore Ravens

Ja’Lynn Polk, WR, Washington

Polk’s energetic, fearless style of play fits the identity of the Ravens perfectly. He’ll go over the middle of the field and make tough grabs with tremendous concentration. Plus, I think he’s the best run-blocking receiver in the draft.

31. San Francisco 49ers

Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma

Guyton is built like a small forward and moves like a tight end. He only started one year (at right tackle) for Oklahoma and his hand placement needs work, but he’s the type of athlete and body type you bet on at the position.

32. Kansas City Chiefs

Ricky Pearsall, WR, Florida

Pearsall is an excellent separator with reliable hands who can play inside and outside. He would quickly establish himself as a go-to target for Patrick Mahomes.

33. Carolina Panthers

Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

Mitchell hits cruise control on too many routes and while run blocking, but his natural movement skills and red zone presence is exactly what the Panthers need on the outside. While I have Georgia’s Ladd McConkey ranked higher, they have Diontae Johnson handling what would be his role.

42. Houston Texans

Mike Sainristil, CB, Michigan

Sainristil is my top slot cornerback in this draft, but I think the former wide receiver also offers outside versatility. Between him and Derek Stingley, DeMeco Ryans’ defense would have two ballhawks.

54. Cleveland Browns

Junior Colson, LB, Michigan

Colson creates chaos in the middle of the field with explosive run stops and sideline-to-sideline range. The Browns have a lot of talent up front, but his skill set fits perfectly in the middle.

2024-04-17 17:30:33
#NFL #Mock #Draft #Rogers #Penix #Daniels #McCarthy


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