2024 NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Three Trades inside the Top 10

Apr 25, 2024, 8:00 AM | Updated: 1:24 pm

Drake Maye #10 of the North Carolina Tar Heels passes the ball during the second quarter against th...

CLEMSON, SOUTH CAROLINA - NOVEMBER 18: Drake Maye #10 of the North Carolina Tar Heels passes the ball during the second quarter against the Clemson Tigers at Memorial Stadium on November 18, 2023 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images)

(Photo by Isaiah Vazquez/Getty Images)

At long last it’s finally here: Draft Day!

The 2024 NFL Draft will kick off from Detroit, MI tonight, April 25th, with draft hopefuls realizing their dreams of playing in the NFL.

But before the clock officially starts with the Chicago Bears, time to predict where the best prospects will go. So without further ado, here is Sactown Sports’ final NFL Mock Draft of the 2024 offseason.

1. QB Caleb Williams – Chicago Bears via Carolina Panthers 

College: USC

Still the same as a week ago (months even): Caleb Williams to the Windy City.

The 2022 Hesiman Trophy winner may be the best quarterback prospect in quite some times, seen as a true franchise-changing talent. And thanks to last year’s trade with the Carolina Panthers, the Bears get to add him to their roster, alongside their own ninth overall pick.

Sometimes, luck is all you need to turn around your franchise. Let’s see if Williams is ready to take Chicago out of the dumps of the NFL in Year 1.

2. QB Jayden Daniels – Washington Commanders 

College: LSU

The chose between Daniels and Drake Maye will be debated up until Roger Goodell is on stage with the pick. But in the end, the new-look Commanders go with the more polished Jayden Daniels for their future.

The reigning Hesiman Trophy winner had one of the best collegiate seasons in recent memory. He finished with 3,812 passing yards and 40 touchdowns. Daniels’ has been on fire since he joined the SEC however, combining for 6,725 yards and 57 scores in two years.

His improvement in accuracy across the five years in college (particularly the last two with LSU) are what make him such an intriguing prospect. In top of that, he’s an great athlete, able to extend plays with his legs.

New Commanders’ general manager Adam Peters will appreciate all of those qualities. While he was with the 49ers and Kyle Shanahan, SF was rumored to be in on Justin Fields.

This could be seen as a similar situation. Except, Peters is calling the shots now.

The 24-year-old dual-threat QB heads to The Capitol.

3. [TRADE] QB Drake Maye – Minnesota Vikings via New England Patriots

College: North Carolina

Here we go!

The Vikings make a move for their QB of the future, trading picks No.11, 23, 108, plus first and third-rounders in 2025 and a 2026 second, for the third overall pick and No.68. It’s a risky move but one where both sides feel stronger going forward.

Maye, 21, is a young, athletic QB who has all the traits to be a franchise player. His physical stature (6’5″, 220 pounds) coupled with his athleticism makes him most team’s ideal epitome for the position.

Yes, he’s a little green with inconsistency (sub-65% completion last season), but he wasn’t in the best situation at North Carolina. Being in a structured environment with established pieces should help Maye find his footing.

Kevin O’Connell gets his young gunslinger to jump-start the rebuild in the new era of Vikings football.

Meanwhile, new-look New England stockpiles picks for later (perhaps another trade?)

4. WR Marvin Harrison Jr. – Arizona Cardinals 

College: Ohio State 

AZ waits out the QB carousel, takes a few calls, but ultimately elects to stay put and draft the first wideout of the 2024 class. And they get the best one at that.

Harrison has been ready-made for the NFL for two years now, dominating college football along the way. He has all the tools to be a Pro Bowl WR from Day 1. Length, size, speed, hands, demeanor; It’s all there for the son of a hall of famer. And that’s something Herbert will be most excited about moving forward.

After last season’s wheeling and dealing video of GM Monti Ossenfort hit social media, many expected him to do the same this year. He didn’t get a deal he liked more than drafting a potential All-Pro however, and that’s why MHJ goes to The Valley of the Sun.

5. [TRADE] QB J.J. McCarthy – New England Patriots via Los Angeles Chargers

College: Michigan

Patriots GM Eliot Wolf gets creative, trading out and then back into the first round only two picks later to take their QB.

Luckily for them, the Chargers want to play musical chairs early in the draft.

Chargers GM Joe Hortiz gets picks 11 and 23, plus the 2025 first and third-rounders from Minnesota, to move back six spots.

And with that trade, the Patriots take J.J. McCarthy.

McCarthy’s numbers aren’t eye-popping by any means (less than 3,000 yards passing every year), but his accuracy and overall feel of the game propels him into a top-five selection. Additionally, the draft process went smoothly for him, showing out on his Pro Day last month.

Being under the tutelage of Jim Harbaugh, and winning a national championship, makes him a pro-ready gunslinger who can compete for the starting job on Day 1.

It’s a big, risky swing move for New England, but one that nets them additional draft compensation later, and the QB right now.

6. WR Malik Nabers – New York Giants 

College: Louisiana State 

New York needs a star wide receiver more than a QB at the moment, and that’s where they go with the sixth pick.

Nabers is a burner, possessing elite speed (4.35 40-yard-dash) that New York hasn’t had in quite some time. He’s more than just speed though, equipped with elite hands and an ability to go get the football with physicality. In some cases, he’s the No.1 WR in the 2024 NFL draft class.

The Giants made calls to try and trade up for one of the three QBs. Ultimately, they stand pat, rebuild the roster in other ways, and let Daniel Jones play through his deal. Coming off a disappointing injury-ridden season, Jones is playing for his next deal in 2024. Adding Nabers can only help him reach that.

7. OT Joe Alt – Tennesse Titans 

College: Norte Dame

The Titans may be a team on the rise, but in order to do that, they need some protection.

Insert Joe Alt.

The Notre Dame alum is a plug-and-play left tackle at the NFL level and should be considered that if Tennessee does indeed select him. He has all the makings of being an All-Pro down the line, and the perfect Taylor Lewan replacement for the Titans. 2024 should be about protecting Will Levis and surrounding him with talent.

GM Ran Carthon has done a good job in doing that so far; The Alt addition only solidifies that.

8. EDGE Dallas Turner – Atlanta Falcons

College: Alabama

It’s crazy to say this but: The Falcons are potentially back in the NFC South. Adding Dallas Turner could be the final puzzle piece for a run next season.

Just like Will Anderson a year ago, Turner is the ready-made defensive end prospect from Alabama that Atlanta is clamoring over. He racked up 22.5 sacks, 32.5 tackles for loss and 120 total tackles in three years of college ball.  He also had two forced fumbles and one pass break-up.

Simply put: Turner is ready to wreck shop as soon as he puts pen to paper on an NFL contract.

Adding him to Grady Jarrett and David Onyemata gives ATL real firepower on the DL, and they’ll need that to make a run in the NFC. New QB Kirk Cousins gives the Falcons a shot offensively, and new coach Raheem Morris will be tasked with turning the defense into a machine.

Dallas Turner can be a catalyst for that over the next five to ten years.

9. [TRADE] WR Rome Odunze – Los Angeles Chargers via Chicago Bears

College: Washington

How ’bout one more trade in the top 10?!?

Hortiz and LA are delighted that one of the wideouts dropped within their reach and go get him. To do it, Chicago gets No.11 this year, No. 110 (Chicago’s own pick), and the third-round pick from Minnesota next year.

Adding Rome Odunze to a WR room that just lost Keenan Allen and Mike Williams seems like a solid plan. He compliments his QB, Justin Herbert, quite well, being the physical big-body wideout that can go make a contested catch. And just like Nabers, Odunze is seen by many as the best WR in the class.

The Chargers have needs in other positions as well, but jump on the opportunity to take a blue-chip talent at WR. Keeping the 23rd overall pick will be the sticking point for Hortiz, one he won’t budge from unless he has to.

In this scenario, he doesn’t. Jim Harbaugh is already on board with what’s happening on draft night.

10. TE Brock Bowers – New York Jets

College: Georgia

Maybe the swing pick of the first round outside of the QBs, the Jets have a tough decision ahead. But in the end, it’s about adding ready-now weapons for Aaron Rodgers. That’s Brock Bowers to a tee.

The best tight end in college, Bowers is seen in the mold of George Kittle. The do-it-all player posted excellent stats at Georgia (2,538 receiving yards and 26 TDs in three years) while also being an every-down contributor one way or another. New York can use more of those players, providing a safety net for Rodgers.

Bowers immediately becomes the starter at the position, adding to a pass-catching group that makes any QB happy. Additionally, the Jets added a plethora of offensive linemen in free agency, suggesting that they prefer veterans to protect Rodgers.

They can still address long-term needs later, but for now, Bowers is the best player available for NYJ.

11. [TRADE] EDGE Laiatu Latu – Chicago Bears via Los Angeles Chargers

College: UCLA

The Bears traded back slightly to address more needs in the draft in the later rounds. But with the first pick, they need a pass rusher.

Laiatu Latu may be a surprise pick here, but not to those who have watched his rise up draft boards this spring. The Sacramento native possesses elite speed (4.64 40-time), size and production to make him a very viable pick for Chicago. He can play inside and out but is elite at getting after the quarterback.

GM Ryan Poles keeps chipping away at the rebuild for the Bears, now adding a freak athlete on defense after adding his QB of the future earlier.

Windy City Stand Up!!!

12. EDGE Jared Verse – Denver Broncos 

College: Florida State

With the four best QB prospects off the board, Denver goes in another direction by adding a pass rusher.

Jared Verse also has the makings of an elite DE, both in traits and in production. He produced plenty at Florida State, with 18 sacks, 29.5 TFLs and 89 total tackles in two seasons. The Florida State alum can play across the line, but is best when going after the QB.

Sean Payton needs more of those more than he needs a QB at this rate. They could address that problem later in the draft as well.

13. QB Michael Penix Jr. – Las Vegas Raiders 

College: Washington

The Raiders can go in a lot of directions here. However, Antonio Pierce should be thinking QB here and that means Michael Penix in this scenario.

Penix has the skillset and resume to be a starting QB in the NFL. Yes, his mechanics are a little funky. And yes, he has a lengthy injury. However, his pros should outweigh the cons. Those include finishing second in Heisman Trophy voting and making the National Championship last season.

The 23-year-old QB feels like a Raider, and more importantly, an Antonio Pierce guy.

14. OT Taliese Fuaga – New Orleans Saints 

College: Oregon State

The Saints have the weapons and roster to win the NFC South, they just have to keep Derek Carr upright.

That’s why Taliese Fuaga is the pick here, a plug-and-play tackle from the jump. And that’s what matters right now for New Orleans.

15. CB Terrion Arnold – Indianapolis Colts

College: Alabama

The first cornerback comes off the board and heads to Indy.

Terrion Arnold is seen as the presumptive best prospect for the position, possessing the size and speed to become a franchise player in a few years. The Alabama product posted 20 pass breakups, 108 total tackles and six INTs in two seasons. He stepped up greatly when fellow CB Kool-Aid McKinstry was struggling with inconsistency.

There are a lot of options in the secondary, but pairing a true CB1 with the best slot corner (Kenny Moore III) should work nicely for the Colts.

16. OT JC Latham – Seattle Seahawks 

College: Alabama

This is pretty simple actually: Protect Geno Smith (or Sam Howell) at all costs.

Alabama’s JC Latham does that, both in the pass and run game. At the very least, he’s the Seahawks’ next right tackle for years to come. Hopefully, he can play across the board in a pinch.

17. CB Quinyon Mitchell – Jacksonville Jaguars 

College: Toledo

Jacksonville has a lot of options here, with the offensive line being a priority as well. However, they need a new shutdown corner.

In comes Quinyon Mitchell.

The Toledo product quickly rose up draft boards this cycle, largely due to the body of work in the MAC conference.

Mitchell racked up 45 pass break-ups in college, doing so in his last three seasons. He also had 123 total tackles and six INTs. His combine metrics were exceptional as well, posting a 4.33 40-time.

It may take a little time to adjust to the NFL stage, but Mitchell can be a set-it-and-forget-it player down the line for the Jags.

18. OT Olumuyiwa Fashanu – Cincinnati Bengals  

College: Penn State

Change out Smith for Burrow and it’s basically the same thing for the Bengals.

Penn State’s Fashanu was projected to be the first OT taken a few months back, but an average combine made him take a bit of a dip this cycle. Cincinnati is fine with that, however, snagging a premium OL at a position of need to keep Burrow intact.

19. DL Byron Murphy II – Los Angeles Rams

College: Texas

Now the first interior defensive lineman comes off the board.

Byron Murphy is exactly what the Rams need: A run-stopping mauler who can make plays in and out of the backfield. The Texas alum had a big combine after rock-solid production in college.

Adding him to a defensive front that just lost Aaron Donald seems like a shrewd move for the Rams’ front office.

20. OL Troy Fautanu – Pittsburgh Steelers

College: Washington

The Steelers need offensive linemen almost as much as wideouts. However, the former is harder to find later on so they go OL here.

Fautanu is another standout OL, both due to production and traits that translate to the next level. On top of that, he’s versatile, able to play inside at guard as well.

For those reasons, he doesn’t make it past 20th overall. The Steelers are thrilled to add another quality OL with versatility.

21. DT Jer’Zhan “Johnny” Newton – Miami Dolphins 

College: Illinois

Miami suffered a mass exodus of talent this offseason, none bigger than DT Christian Wilkins. Which is why they have to add a Day 1 starter like Johnny Newton.

The Illinois product is a wrecking ball, racking up 187 total tackles and 18 sacks in four seasons. If not for injury, his play alone probably makes him the first interior DT off the board.

But alas, a Jones fracture in his foot hindered his ability to build this draft cycle. The Dolphins reload with a quality defensive piece.

22. CB Nate Wiggins – Philadelphia Eagles

College: Clemson

The Eagles have a few holes to fill this offseason, especially at center now that Jason Kelce has retired. However, they should address the secondary and bring in a CB under the age of 30.

Nate Wiggins may be more of a project in Year 1, but he has the tools to be starting CB for years. His numbers at Clemson were good (21 PBUs, 60 total tackles, three picks) in two and and half seasons. However, he did suffer an injury that kept him out the last two games of his collegiate career.

The combine redeemed him though, posting a killer 4.28 40-time. He has the body type to be a stud outside corner, but he’ll need to bulk up before he takes a real leap (173 lbs).

Even still, Philly shouldn’t hesitate too much with this pick. That is if GM Howie Roseman doesn’t trade up first.

23. [TRADE] OT Amarius Mims – Los Angeles Chargers via New England Patriots

College: Georgia

Keeping the 23rd overall pick was vital for LA. Why? Because they need a stud offensive lineman. The Giant, Amarius Mims, will do.

The Georgia product is staggering in size (6’7″, 330 lbs), but also fluid and quick in his movement. He posted a 5.07 40-time, with a 1.78 10-yard split. At that size, that’s absurd. He’s an excellent run blocker and a growing pass protector, making him the perfect guy to keep Justin Herbert clean long-term.

The Chargers were the big movers of the draft, adding a starting wideout, and now a starting OT in Amarius Mims. Jim Harbaugh is shaking Joe Hortiz out of excitement right now.

24. OL Graham Barton – Dallas Cowboys 

College: BYU

The Cowboys need to get younger on the offensive line. The departure of Tyron Smith only solidifies more of a need there.

BYU’s Graham Barton can be a Swiss Army knife as a rookie but will be mainly used as a guard throughout his career. He played 35 games in college so he’s battle-tested to a degree. That will help his initial fit with Dallas, looking to bolster a line that has historically been elite.

There are other options at this spot, but Dallas needs a plug-and-play guard for the long haul.

25. OT Tyler Guyton – Green Bay Packers 

College: Oklahoma

Now that David Bakhtiari is no longer in Green Bay, the Packers need a replacement. How ’bout the immovable object that is Tyler Guyton?

The Oklahoma product has every intangible to be elite, he just needs time to adjust to the NFL level. Learning the ropes in Green Bay is ideal for the All-American, especially if he doesn’t have to start right away. Additionally, protecting Jordan Love should be a priority for the Packers.

Green Bay could be looking at a run in 2024, with Guyton being a catalyst to increased production.

26. CB Kool-Aid McKinstry – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

College: Alabama

The Buccaneers have lost quality CBs the last few years, now they add one in Kool-Aid McKinstry.

The Alabama product would have been the top secondary member taken in the 2023 NFL Draft, posting 15 PBUs as a sophomore. As a junior, he had more of a down season, dropping to seven PBUs total. McKinstry is still a prototypical player for the position, even if he’s coming off a lower-body injury.

For Tampa, the rookie can slot in to a starting role from Day 1 opposite of Jamel Dean.

27. CB Cooper DeJean – Arizona Cardinals via Houston Texans 

College: Iowa

With the Cardinals’ last pick in the first round, they take the consensus No.1 secondary prospect in Cooper DeJean.

The Iowa product suffers a drop because of functional positioning in the NFL. Teams will be a bit confused about what his ideal role is at first, but Jonathan Gannon loves do-it-all guys like DeJean.

His numbers dipped his last season in college, but he finished with 120 total tackles and seven picks to his name. He’s also coming off an injury, but he proved that’s behind him with a 4.42 40-time at his Pro Day.

Arizona just needs contributors on defense, especially in the secondary. DeJean can be that and more, learning a lot from Budda Baker in the process.

28. WR Brian Thomas Jr. – Buffalo Bills

College: Louisiana State

Trading Stefon Diggs and letting Gabe Davis walk is a clear indicator that Buffalo is looking into wideouts in the draft. And somehow, Brian Thomas Jr. falls to the end of the first round.

Thomas was a stud alongside Nabers at LSU, recording 1177 receiving yards and 17 TDs last season. At 6’5″, he is a force on the outside, able to make contested catches with ease. He also has the speed to run as well, posting a 4.33 40-time.

Buffalo lights up when they see his name still on the board, giving QB Josh Allen a real weapon for the future.

29. EDGE Chop Robinson – Detroit Lions

College: Penn State

The Lions under Dan Campbell have been known to be bold, as is the case here with Chop Robinson.

Robinson wasn’t the most productive at Penn State (11.5 sacks total in three years) but his size and physical attributes make NFL scouts salivate. Posting a 4.48 40-time is unreal for an edge rusher weighing 254 lbs. The athleticism alone resembles that of Micah Parsons, which again, makes sense as to why he gets taken here.

Campbell already has one athletic freak on the edge in Aidan Hutchinson, why not add another?

30. WR Adonai Mitchell – Baltimore Ravens

College: Texas

The Ravens are set in pretty much every position, so why not add some speed and size to the wide receiver room. Hello Adonai Mitchell.

Mitchell’s lone year at Texas propels him into the first round, putting top 834 receiving yards and 11 scores last season. His size and speed only increase his case, getting compared to George Pickens by some analysts.

The Ravens need to give Lamar Jackson more weapons to alleviate his running heroics. Mitchell is a great compliment to what they already have in place.

31. OT Jordan Morgan – San Francisco 49ers 

College: Arizona

If there’s one area the 49ers need to address: It’s the offensive line, especially the right side.

That was the biggest concern for SF prior to last season, and then it reared its’ ugly head in the Super Bowl as Brock Purdy scrambled for his life. 2024 is a time to change that, and Jordan Morgan is the man tasked to do so.

Making his first All-American in 2023, Morgan has blossomed for Arizona the last two years. He’s played 22 games in that timeframe, mainly at tackle. He’s quite versatile as well, able to slide inside to guard when needed. That versatility makes him very intriguing for coach Chris Forester and the 49ers.

As long as he is still on the board at this spot, this feels like the pick for SF (at least conventional).

32. WR Xavier Worthy – Kansas City Chiefs

College: Texas

Giving Patrick Mahomes weapons sounds like a good idea for KC. None are more suited for that situation than Xavier Worthy.

Breaking the combine record with a 4.21 40-time gives him true Tyreek Hill vibes for the Super Bowl champs. Worthy would also serve as the de facto return man moving forward, something Andy Reid wants more consistency from.

This feels like too much of a match made in heaven.

Key offseason dates for the San Francisco 49ers

  • April 25-27 – 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit
  • May 20-21, May 23, May 28-29, May 31–OTAs
  • June 4-6 Mandatory Minicamp

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