February 7, 2024


It’s that time again, where I look over the prospective draft prospects, draft order and needs and compile my first mock draft that will be completely obliterated come the first trade on Draft Day.

The reason being? I don’t factor in trades in the first mock draft because there’s no way you can do that. We have no idea, from the outside, what’s being discussed in the vape-pen smoke-filled backrooms of the NFL heading into April’s NFL Draft. We can speculate, sure. We can guess. But, here’s the thing, we’re always wrong. I defy you to show me the mock draft put out in February of any year with trades that matches what actually happens in April of that same year. Defy, I say!

So, in spite of the fact that there will be multiple trades in the actual draft, the “no trades” rule remains in my first mock draft. I will absolutely factor in trades in the future, as there are probably two more mocks coming at you post combine and pro days. It’s just the way it works. And there’s no way the Bears aren’t making a monster trade, either to send Justin Fields to another team, or trade the No. 1 overall pick for a ridiculous price.

But we have no clue what that will entail, so we have to use the info we have for our first mock draft of the upcoming 2024-25 NFL season.

1. CHICAGO BEARS (from the Carolina Panthers) — Caleb Williams, QB, USC

2023: (6-1, 218 pounds) 68.6 completion percentage, 3,633 yards, 30 touchdowns, five interceptions, 142 rushing yards, 11 rushing touchdowns

Odds to be the first overall pick: -650

While Williams might have been unable to match his Heisman Trophy-winning 2022 campaign, he did nothing to hurt his stock heading into this year’s draft. Last year Williams posted a 66.6 completion percentage, 4,537yards, 42 touchdowns, five interceptions, 382 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns. Considering Justin Fields has proven he’s an NFL quarterback, the Bears are open for business, to trade Fields as I mentioned earlier or trade this pick for the cliché king’s ransom. I say they keep the selection, ship Fields for picks, players or both, and roll with Williams. You can’t pass up a prospect like this and the Bears, thanks to trading away the No. 1 pick a year ago, got VERY lucky to be in the position to draft there again thanks to the hapless Carolina Panthers.


2023: (6-3, 185 pounds) 72.2 completion percentage, 3,812 yards, 40 touchdowns, four interceptions, 1,134 rushing yards, 10 rushing touchdowns

Odds to be the first overall pick: +1000

It’s my first break from probably every other mock draft you’ve seen, but there’s just no way Daniels doesn’t blow past Maye once the NFL Combine and Pro Days happen. Daniels is our reigning Heisman Trophy winner and easily the second-best physical prospect at QB in this draft. Back in the preseason, he probably wasn’t in the first round of any drafts. Now, you won’t see one with him going any lower than three.

3. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS — Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

2023: (6-5, 220 pounds) 63.3 completion percentage, 3,608 yards, 24 touchdowns, nine interceptions, 449 rushing yards, nine rushing touchdowns

Odds to be the first overall pick: +400

Hyping up Daniels doesn’t mean I’m down on Maye. And, frankly as a known Patriots hater, it breaks my heart to put him there. The wild card for New England, in taking a quarterback, is Russell Wilson and Kirk Cousins. Does new head coach Jarod Mayo and whoever Robert Kraft decides to tab at general manager in between trips to the local truck stop masseuse, want to do a complete rebuild or do they want to try to become a contender in what has turned into an ultra-competitive AFC East? They have the fourth most salary cap room in the league heading into the 2024-25 season. I’m slotting Maye in New England until I hear something different.

4. ARIZONA CARDINALS — Marvin Harrison, Jr., WR, Ohio State

2023: (6-3, 202 pounds) 67 catches, 1,211 yards, 14 touchdowns, 26 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown

Odds to be the first overall pick: +950

First non-QB drafted: -550

The Cardinals got the end of season performance they needed from Kyler Murray to stay out of the quarterback business and find themselves in the perfect spot to add the best wide receiver in this draft class (unless there’s another Puka Nacua hiding in the later rounds). This is a no-brainer pick and the only way Arizona doesn’t make it is if one of the teams earlier, say the Pats, decides to take Harrison, Jr. after signing Cousins or Wilson in free agency.

5. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS — Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

2023: (6-1, 180 pounds)32 tackles, two for a loss, seven passes defended

First non-QB drafted: +3300

Considering the record that landed them the No. 5 pick in the draft, the Chargers don’t have a lot of holes. They could go edge rusher here, especially if they let Khalil Mack walk, but I’m slotting in McKinstry, who seems to be the consensus top rated corner at the moment.

6. NEW YORK GIANTS — Dallas Turner, Edge, Alabama

2023: (6-4, 245 pounds) 53 tackles, 14.5 tackles for a loss, 10 sacks, one pass defense, two forced fumbles

First non-QB drafted: +1600

The Giants’ biggest need might be at quarterback. They’re probably stuck with Daniel Jones for at least another season, so they might as well add a pass rusher to take some of the pressure off Kayvon Thibodeaux.

7. TENNESSEE TITANS — Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State

2023: (6-6, 317 pounds) PFF Grade: 78.8

Odds to be the first overall pick: +10000

First non-QB drafted: +600

The Titans are pretty much starting from scratch and will likely move on from Derrick Henry at running back. He’ll probably join Ryan Tannehill and DeAndre Hopkins as a free agents in the offseason. There are no running backs that I feel are a danger to sneak into the first round this season and definitely not this early. Plus, they took Tyjae Spears last year and he played very well coming out of the bullpen for Henry. Because of this youth movement, Tennessee would be smart to lock down their left tackle and Fushanu is the highest rated OT in the draft.

8. ATLANTA FALCONS — Chop Robinson, Edge, Penn State

2023: (6-3, 240 pounds) 15 tackles, 7.5 for a loss, four sacks

You hate to draft for need this high, but luckily for the Falcons, Robinson is considered to be one of the better pass rushers. It feels like Atlanta has been vainly searching for someone to sack the quarterback for a decade. I don’t like his stats, especially against the competition he faced, but Robinson’s ranked high. Their top pass rusher last season was 108-year NFL veteran Calais Campbell with 6.5 QB takedowns on the season. I’m pretty sure the NFL is going to crack down on Campbell taking the field using a mobility walker.

9. CHICAGO BEARS — Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

2023: (6-3, 200 pounds) 92 catches, 1.640 yards, 13 touchdowns, 37 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown

Seeing as how I have a moratorium on draft trades, this could turn out to be the second of three first round selections for Chicago. As it is, they add another passing weapon to maximize Caleb Williams and keep the pressure off DJ Moore.

10. NEW YORK JETS — Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

2023: (6-7, 322 pounds), PFF Grade: 90.7

First non-QB drafted: +1200

Considering Aaron Rodgers is coming off a season ending injury and playing with an ivermectin weakened body powered by ayahuasca, it’d be a good idea for the Jets to invest in protecting him so he can throw the ball to their receivers while simultaneously tossing out unfounded conspiracy theories.

11. MINNESOTA VIKINGS — Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

2023: (6-4, 230 pounds), 56 catches, 714 yards, six touchdowns, 28 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown

There’s a chance Bowers will go earlier than this, but the teams picking ahead of the Vikings all have bigger holes to fill. The Vikings could look at defense, especially if Danielle Hunter leaves in free agency, but Kevin O’Connell needs to keep the offense cooking, especially if he’s breaking in a new quarterback and the team doesn’t re-sign Kurt Cousins.

12. DENVER BRONCOS — Laiatu Latu, Edge, UCLA

2023: (6-4, 265 pounds) 49 tackles, 21.5 tackles for a loss, 13 sacks, two interceptions, two passes defended, two forced fumbles

Considering the Broncos have traded away all their pass rushers over the last few seasons, it might be smart to start adding some back. Latu should more than fit the bill.

13. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS — Byron Murphy II, DL, Texas

2023: (6-1, 297 pounds) 29 tackles, 8.5 for a loss, five sacks

The Raiders actually hired a head coach in Antonio Pierce their players don’t hate. They have holes at key positions all over, but the interior defensive line needs to be addressed.

14. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS — Jared Verse, Edge, Florida State

2023: (6-4, 26o pounds) 41 tackles, 12.5 for a loss, nine sacks, three passes defended, one forced fumble

First non-QB drafted: +900

Much to my surprise, Dennis Allen kept his head coaching job. With this selection, he’ll actually get to add a pass rushing weapon to try to keep it.

15. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS — Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

2023: (6-2, 175 pounds) 29 tackles, one for a loss, one sack, two interceptions, one defensive touchdown, six passes defended, one forced fumble

The Colts nearly snuck into the playoffs but fell in the season finale against the Houston Texans. They’ll have Anthony Richardson back next season and he already has some solid weapons on offense. It’s time to start working on the defense, beginning with the secondary.

16. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS — JC Latham, OT, Alabama

2023: (6-6, 360 pounds) PFF Grade: 81.9

Mike McDonald might want to (or be ordered to) blow the whole thing up in Seattle, as it seems they’ve topped out with the current roster. Either way, they need offensive line help, especially if they continue to lean into the running game and Geno Smith.

17. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS — Jer’Zhan Newton, DL, Illinois

2023: (6-2, 280 pounds) 52 tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss, 7.5 sacks, two passes defended, one fumble recovery, one forced fumble

With Trevor Lawrence’s giant contract looming, the Jaguars are likely letting “the other” Josh Allen go in free agency. Newton doesn’t replace him, but he can plug the middle and help free up 2022 No. 1 overall Travon Walker, who broke out last season with 52 tackles and 10 sacks.


2023: (6-1, 188 pounds) 89 catches, 1.569 yards, 14 touchdowns

Like the Jaguars, the Bengals have to think about the future and that future includes a massive contract for Ja’Marr Chase. That means Cincy might not be able to afford to keep Tee Higgins. Nabers not only fits their offense, he’s another LSU product with a ton of production who played with a Heisman Trophy winner. That sounds familiar to me.

19. LOS ANGELES RAMS — Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

2023: (6-6, 334) PFF: 88.2

The Rams, in one offseason, “remodeled” their team as promised, putting together a solid offensive line and offensive attack. Now it’s time to improve on it with a tackle that could lock that spot down for the next decade and a half. That is, of course, if they don’t trade out of this pick, which absolutely could happen. I could be talked into a cornerback here, though.

20. PITTSBURGH STEELERS — Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

2023: (6-1, 203 pounds) 41 tackles, two for a loss, two interceptions, five passes defended

The Steelers added Joey Porter, Jr. in the second-round last year. There’s no reason not to get him a partner at corner with DeJean, who would be an immediate upgrade over Levi Wallace and a132 year-old Patrick Peterson.

21. MIAMI DOLPHINS — Kalen King, CB, Penn State

2023: (5-11, 187 pounds) 29 tackles, 1.5 for a loss, two passes defended

Injuries limited Jalen Ramsey and Xavien Howard from playing full seasons in 2023. Howard is entering his ninth season in the league. It would be smart to pick his replacement while he can still learn from the two vets.

22. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES — Bralen Trice, Edge, Washington

2023: (6-4, 260 pounds) 49 tackles, 11.5 for a loss, seven sacks, two passes defended, one forced fumble

The Eagles had a complete meltdown to end the season and it probably didn’t help that their starting edge rushers (Brandon Graham and Josh Sweat) had a combined 9.5 sacks. They must address that problem here. To put that sack output into perspective, Rams third round pick Kobe Turner had 9.5 sacks as a rookie interior defensive lineman.

23. HOUSTON TEXANS (from the Cleveland Browns) — Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

2023: (6-0, 197 pounds) 41 tackles, two for a loss, one interception, 18 passes defended

Thanks to nailing their head coach hire (DeMeco Ryans) and first round picks last season (CJ Stroud and Will Anderson), the Texans are years ahead of where they should be. Now it’s just about adding pieces and Mitchell can slot in as a starter opposite Derek Stingley, Jr., their star 2022 first round pick.

24. DALLAS COWBOYS — Kamari Lassiter, CB, Georgia

2023: (6-0, 180) 37 tackles, 3.5 for a loss, 0.5 sacks, eight passes defended

We’re running on corners and, while it might seem as if the Cowboys are loaded there, Stephon Gilmore is a free agent and won’t be back. They’ll get Trevon Diggs back and DaRon Bland was a real find this past season, but they’re going to need three corners and some insurance if Diggs or Bland can’t be re-signed when their contracts are up.

25. GREEN BAY PACKERS — Kamren Kitchens, Safety, Miami

2023: (5-11, 202 pounds) 59 tackles, 2.5 for a loss, one sack, five interceptions, defensive touchdown, five passes defended, one fumble recovery, one forced fumble

The Packers are in much better shape than we suspected when the season began, and picking here, they’re in best player available territory. Safety does look like the biggest need, so they might as well take the top ranked center fielder in the draft.

26. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS — Leonard Taylor III, DL, Miami

2023: (6-3, 305 pounds) 19 tackles, 3.5 for a loss, one sack

Like the Packers, the Buccaneers solved a lot of problems last season right under our noses. I have no doubt the Bucs will sign Baker Mayfield long term, so it’s time for Todd Bowles to boost up the defense that’s supposed to be his specialty.

27. ARIZONA CARDINALS (from the Houston Texans) — Ennis Rakestraw, Jr., CB, Missouri

2023: (6-0, 170 pounds) 35 tackles, 1.5 for a loss, four passes defended, one forced fumble

I’m sure this pick isn’t nearly as high as they expected it to be and, frankly, they’d probably rather have Will Anderson than Rakestraw, but there’s no question they need to take a defensive player in the same division with the Rams and San Francisco 49ers.

28. BUFFALO BILLS — Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State

2023: (6-4, 210 pounds) 50 catches, 658 yards, 11 touchdowns

Since their AFC Divisional Round loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Bills have made it clear they want to add another playmaking wide receiver opposite Stefon Diggs. Coleman fits that bill and will provide a huge target, especially in the red zone, to take the pressure off Josh Allen.

29. DETROIT LIONS — Jeremiah Trotter, Jr., LB, Clemson

2023: (6-1, 210 pounds) 88 tackles, 15 for a loss, 5.5 sacks, two interceptions, one defensive touchdown, two forced fumbles

The Lions are in the rare position to draft the best player available and not strictly on need. Alex Anzalone is a decent middle linebacker, but there’s no reason not to upgrade there and think about the future.

30. BALTIMORE RAVENS — Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

2023: (6-4, 190 pounds) 55 catches, 845 yards, 11 touchdowns

The Ravens faceplanted on a year where they should have lifted a Vince Lombardi Trophy at the end of it. They can’t squander the chance to try to make the most of picking two spots earlier than they should have by taking Mitchell to continue building a young passing attack with Zay Flowers and Mark Andrews. Plus, Mitchell adds size in the red zone that the Ravens’ receiving corps has been lacking for a long time.

31. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS — Brian Thomas, Jr., WR, LSU

2023: (6-1, 160 pounds) 68 catches, 1,177 yards, 17 touchdowns

Hey. Wide receivers were a big problem for the Chiefs this season and could have, but didn’t, cost them a shot at a third Super Bowl title. There’s just no way they won’t take the best wideout on their board with this pick unless someone shocking falls to them.

32. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS — Calen Bullock, Safety, USC

2023: (6-3, 180 pounds) 63 tackles, two interceptions, one defensive touchdown, seven passes defended

If there is a weak link on the 49ers’ defense, and there aren’t many, it’s at safety. The Niners have consistent issues keeping guys healthy at that spot and Ji’Ayire Brown has been no exception. No reason to skip taking some insurance picking this late.


33. CAROLINA PANTHERS — Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas

2023: (6-1, 160 pounds) 75 catches, 1,014 yards, five touchdowns

The Panthers, thanks to David Tepper, have so much work to do this offseason and luckily that moron has plenty of money to spend. Because he’s going to need to spend it. With the first pick of the second round, it’s time to address the wide receiver absence that their trade with the Chicago Bears caused last season, this time getting Worthy from Texas.

55. CLEVELAND BROWNS — Sedrick Van Pran, OL, Georgia

2023: (6-4, 310 pounds) PFF:

If any team wasted more draft capital with nothing (so far) in return than the Panthers, it’s the Browns, who won’t make a selection until deep in the second round. They’re loaded so there aren’t a ton of needs. They might as well boost up that offensive line to protect whatever quarterback they must field once Deshaun Watson gets hurt again.

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