[ad_1]

The bulk of NFL free agency has come and gone, which means it’s time for another mock draft.

In my first mock draft, six quarterbacks went in the first round. The moves, or in one case, a non-move, have only led me to believe that there should still be six quarterbacks taken in the first round, tying the record for the most in a draft.

Some other teams look primed to land elite prospects as a result of a quarterback-heavy first round, while another team could be a major beneficiary of the Minnesota Vikings‘ recent trade to get a second first-round pick.

Without further ado, here is my second mock draft of the spring. 

2024 NFL Draft prospect rankings | Top 10 QB prospects | Top 10 RB prospects | Top 10 WR prospects | Top 10 TE prospects | Top 10 OT prospects | Top 10 IOL prospects | Joel Klatt’s first mock draft

1. Chicago Bears (from Carolina Panthers) — QB Caleb Williams, USC
The Bears traded away Justin Fields over the weekend, sending him to the Steelers. The move makes it even more clear that the Bears are taking Williams with the No. 1 overall pick, all but solidifying it. Williams is a generational player, a view I’ve maintained since the start of the season and through the draft process. As I laid out in my quarterback rankings, he excels in my big five categories, which is rare.

2. Washington Commanders — QB Drake Maye, UNC
I know there have been some people taking some shots at Maye in recent weeks as we dive further into the film. It might not be the cleanest film out there, but if you watch him and you can’t see the top-end potential, you’re biased and crazy. Outside of Williams, Maye has the highest potential in the draft, and I don’t have any questions about that. Maye’s a bona fide No. 1 pick in almost every other year. 

Caleb Williams & Drake Maye in Joel Klatt’s 2024 mock draft 2.0

3. New England Patriots — QB Jayden Daniels, LSU
With Williams and Maye off the board, this should be an easy pick for the Patriots. The Patriots already traded away Mac Jones while their quarterback room only has Jacoby Brissett and Bailey Zappe. That’s not going to cut it. Of all teams, they should know you need to elevate at that position in order to win. Nobody wins the Super Bowl with average quarterback play. I can’t wait to see what Daniels does at the next level.

4. Arizona Cardinals — WR Marvin Harrison, Ohio State
The Cardinals could be a trade partner for the Vikings, but they don’t need to make that trade. Another generational player in this draft falls in their lap, which is why I find this draft so intriguing. Harrison is one of the best players I’ve covered in the college game. He made plays that other players can’t dream of making. Admittedly, his matchup against Michigan provided possibly his worst film of the season. But he’s still the best receiver in the draft and Kyler Murray needs a weapon. 

5. Minnesota Vikings (trade with Chargers) — QB JJ McCarthy, Michigan
There’s some speculation that the Vikings are going to trade into the top three after their move to get a second first-round pick. But all three of those teams need a starting quarterback, and with how far back the Vikings’ original pick is, you might not be guaranteed to get the fourth quarterback in this draft.

So, this is the spot the Vikings trade up to. The Chargers seem to be rebuilding somewhat, and while they need receivers, we know Jim Harbaugh wins in a specific way, which isn’t wide receiver-centric.

McCarthy’s getting a lot of buzz, and he should. He’s really talented, but didn’t get to show it much at Michigan. He’s as talented as any quarterback in the draft outside of Williams and Maye. He might need some time, but McCarthy just got better and better at Michigan.

6. New York Giants — WR Rome Odunze, Washington
After losing Saquon Barkley, the Giants need some semblance of offensive firepower. Daniel Jones probably isn’t an elite playmaker at this point, so you’ve got to give him someone who can be. Odunze checks that box.

7. Tennessee Titans — OT Joe Alt, Notre Dame
I struggled with this one, but they’ve got a hole at left tackle after releasing Andre Dillard. Alt is my No. 1 offensive lineman in this draft. 

8. Atlanta Falcons — Edge rusher Dallas Turner, Alabama
The Falcons made the biggest splash in free agency, signing Kirk Cousins. Now, they can focus on their defense, as they’re pretty set on the offensive side of the ball. The fact that they can get the best defensive player in the draft with the eighth pick is a huge win for the Falcons. Turner is that guy for me. He showed he’s an elite athlete at the combine, backing up his production at Alabama.

9. Bears — OT, Olu Fashanu, Penn State
I loved what the Bears have done in the first week of free agency, adding Keenan Allen and D’Andre Swift to DJ Moore, Cole Kmet and Darnell Wright to build their offensive foundation. The Bears could trade out of this pick, but why not solidify the other tackle spot? Fashanu’s a helluva player and he’s just getting better. He’s got All-Pro written all over him. You’d also reunite Fashanu with Williams as the two played in high school together. 

10. New York Jets — WR Malik Nabers, LSU
The Jets have to be sitting here saying, “Please let Nabers be there for us at No. 10.” They signed Tyron Smith to protect Aaron Rodgers, so they don’t have to go offensive line. This would be an absolute home run for the Jets. Outside of Garrett Wilson, the Jets really don’t have a scary skill-position player. They might have one of the best offenses in the league if this happened.

11. Los Angeles Chargers — TE Brock Bowers, Georgia
This is what I love about a possible trade back for the Chargers. They can still get a player who fits Harbaugh to a tee and they don’t need to overdraft to do it. I actually had Bowers going to the Chargers with the fifth pick in my first mock draft. Now, they get Bowers at better value and add a second first-round pick.

12. Denver Broncos — QB Bo Nix, Oregon
I thought of having the Broncos trade up because they obviously need a quarterback. But they don’t really have the ammunition. Still, they need a quarterback and Nix is a great fit for Sean Payton. He’s cerebral, accurate and perfectly suited to run Payton’s offense. I’ve been in that offense, he wants five free releases and Drew Brees 2.0. Nix may or may not be that, but he can be the point guard for Payton who gets the ball out on time.

Brock Bowers & Bo Nix in Joel Klatt’s 2024 mock draft 2.0

13. Las Vegas Raiders — OT Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State
With five quarterbacks already off the board, I’m not sure if the Raiders should reach for the sixth one here. But they don’t really seem to have a direction at the moment. So, let’s just give them an offensive lineman. Do any of us know what the Raiders are doing? What’s their identity? Who knows?

14. New Orleans Saints — Edge rusher Jared Verse, Florida State
We’ll start seeing some defensive players come off the board in the middle of the first round. With the heavy emphasis on offense early on, these teams can get defensive players who might have top-10 picks in other years. Verse is one of those players. He was highly productive at FSU.

15. Indianapolis Colts — CB Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo
The Colts were able to keep Michael Pittman Jr. this offseason, so the focus should be on defense. Particularly, they should look at corner, and Mitchell has made himself the top corner during the draft process. His testing has backed up his film.

16. Seattle Seahawks — DT Byron Murphy, Texas
Mike Macdonald, who I got to know well when he was Michigan’s defensive coordinator, has a simple philosophy, and his first order of business is to build a run wall. You do that by getting multiple defensive tackles. Murphy fits really well here.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars — CB Terrion Arnold, Alabama
The Jaguars were active in free agency, but they could still use some help in the secondary. He might slide a little bit because of his 4.5-second 40-yard dash at the combine, but his play speaks for itself. He was the most productive player in Alabama’s secondary.

18. Cincinnati Bengals — WR Brian Thomas Jr., LSU
Tee Higgins‘ trade request should be on the Bengals’ mind when they make their first-round pick. He’s going to move because they still have to sign Ja’Marr Chase. So trade Higgins and possibly grab another first-round pick after selecting his replacement. Thomas is an elite player, so this should be a no-brainer for Cincinnati. 

19. Los Angeles Rams — OT Amarius Mims, Georgia
The Rams have a huge hole at defensive tackle with Aaron Donald’s retirement, but it’s probably a little early to grab one. Mims is huge (6-foot-8, 340 pounds) and he almost ran a sub-5-second 40-yard dash.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers — OT JC Latham, Alabama
The Steelers have Russell Wilson and Justin Fields in the fold, getting both of them for relatively nothing. But they’ve got to protect them. I think they can move last year’s first-round pick, Broderick Jones, to left tackle and put Latham at right tackle.

21. Miami Dolphins — QB Michael Penix Jr., Washington
I had the Dolphins making this pick in my first mock draft. At the time of this mock draft, they haven’t given Tua Tagovailoa a contract extension. That’s very telling to me. I don’t think Tagovailoa is the right fit for Mike McDaniel’s offense. They need a quarterback who throws on time with great leverage and accuracy down the field. Penix hits those marks. I want to see Penix throw passes to Tyreek Hill. If you paired those two together, the Dolphins would get better.

22. Philadelphia Eagles — OL Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon
The Eagles have to do something in the interior offensive line following Jason Kelce’s retirement. Powers-Johnson is a good fit here. They could go corner, but they need to replace the heartbeat of the line.

23. Los Angeles Chargers (from Minnesota Vikings via Houston Texans and Cleveland Browns) — OT Tyler Guyton, Oklahoma
The Chargers can double down on what Harbaugh wants to do in the first round, adding an offensive lineman. Why would he want to change? His philosophy to build along the offensive line has worked everywhere he’s been. If they came out of this draft with Bowers and a starting right tackle, everyone would praise their draft.

24. Dallas Cowboys — OL Troy Fautanu, Washington
With Tyron Smith gone, the Cowboys need to solidify the left side of the offensive line. By drafting Fautanu, they can play Tyler Smith at left tackle or left guard and have the Washington product play the other spot.

25. Green Bay Packers — CB Nate Wiggins, Clemson
If the Bengals are trading Higgins, I believe the Packers could trade this pick for him. It’d make a lot of sense to pair him with Jordan Love and that young Packers team. But I didn’t pull that trigger here, just planting the seed. Wiggins was fast at the combine. The Packers always make sound decisions and drafting Wiggins seems like a move up their wheelhouse.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — CB Ennis Rakestraw Jr., Missouri
The Buccaneers need some help in the secondary after trading Carlton Davis. Rakestraw could be that guy for them. Even then, they need some help with their pass defense as they were 29th in passing yards allowed last year.

27. Cardinals (from Texans) — Edge rusher Chop Robinson, Penn State
The Cardinals could come out of this draft with a generational receiver and a dynamic edge rusher? Sign me up! Robinson is really, really good. His production numbers don’t match up with the testing numbers, but I think it’ll show up. Not many guys will be able to block his speed rush.

Troy Franklin & Chop Robinson in Joel Klatt’s 2024 mock draft 2.0

28. Buffalo Bills — CB Cooper Dejean, Iowa
The Bills lost a couple of key players in their secondary due to their cap situation. I like Dejean’s game. He’s versatile and a ballhawk, a true Swiss army knife kind of player. That would benefit a changing secondary in Buffalo. 

29. Detroit Lions — CB Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama
The Lions’ defense was a problem for them last year. They already brought in Davis and can keep improving. I’ve liked McKinstry’s game for a long time.

30. Baltimore Ravens — WR Keon Coleman, Florida State
We know great defense won’t be enough, even if you play well against Patrick Mahomes. The type of players who succeed the best with Lamar Jackson are receivers who can win 50/50 balls. Coleman fits that mold. 

31. San Francisco 49ers — DT Jer’Zhan Newton, Illinois
This is a good spot for Newton after the Niners released Arik Armstead to start the offseason. Newton is a disruptive interior defensive lineman who many people might not know about. But he always stood out on film.

32. Kansas City Chiefs — WR Troy Franklin, Oregon
I wanted to go Xavier Worthy here, but signing Marquise Brown probably eliminates that. Still, the Chiefs need another receiver and I really grew to love Franklin over the course of last season. I thought he was the second- or third-best receiver in the nation for most of the year. If you give Mahomes a strong, sure-handed receiver who runs really strong routes, you can replicate what you previously had on offense.

Joel Klatt is FOX Sports’ lead college football game analyst and the host of the podcast “The Joel Klatt Show.” Follow him on X/Twitter at @joelklatt and subscribe to the “Joel Klatt Show” on YouTube.

 


Get more from National Football League Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more




[ad_2]

Source link