2-Round NFL Mock Draft: Jayden Daniels a Jet and Jeremiah Trotter Jr. Follows Father’s Footsteps

    As we inch closer to the big day, NFL mock drafts become predictive. But with five months left to go, it's time to flex what we think should happen.

    The 2024 NFL Draft remains far away. A lot of different things will happen to change what predictions look like. And while the draft order and team needs will also change before April, our personal opinions on these players won’t change much in that time. That means right now what “we” would do has the least variance.

    2-Round 2024 NFL Mock Draft | Round 1

    The draft order was set by the ENTIRELY FREE PFN Mock Draft Simulator. It is a “what we would do” mock draft, meaning it’s time to plant a few flags.

    1) Chicago Bears: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

    We went into detail during the PFN Scouting Podcast about exactly why Drake Maye is the top QB in the NFL Draft. Maye and Caleb Williams are uniquely talented, but the strides Maye has made this season come in contrast to the pitfalls we’ve seen from Williams, and there shouldn’t be much difference in the way we view each player’s ceilings, given how physically gifted Maye is.

    2) New York Giants: Caleb Williams, QB, USC

    If Maye is the first off the board, this should be the second selection. Although Marvin Harrison Jr. is arguably the cleanest prospect of our generation, the quarterback position is paramount.

    Maybe New York would like to trade this pick and ride with Daniel Jones for a while, but they’d only be delaying the inevitable. In the NFL, you’re either winning with an elite passer or a QB on a rookie contract surrounded by an unbelievably talented roster. The Giants have neither.

    3) New England Patriots: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

    The Patriots are famously pathetic at evaluating wide receivers, but even they can’t screw this one up. Harrison might be the most talented prospect we’ve seen in a generation that includes Myles Garrett. He possesses no weaknesses in his game.

    New England doesn’t have adequate quarterback play to facilitate his greatness, but we might be able to fix that later on in a talented QB class.

    4) Arizona Cardinals: Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State

    D.J. Humphries has performed admirably for the Cardinals over the years, but there’s a saying that we often don’t do a good job abiding by.

    MORE: 2024 NFL Draft Big Board

    “Never let a good player get in the way of drafting a great player.”

    Olu Fashanu is a great prospect, and he will be an incredible upgrade to the Cardinals’ offense. Fashanu struggled a bit late in the Ohio State game, particularly against J.T. Tuimolau’s power. But aside from that instance, Fashnu has been as close to perfect as a college player as it gets.

    5) Chicago Bears: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

    Braxton Jones has grossly overperformed relative to the expectations around a fifth-round pick. Jones is a good player, but Joe Alt, much like Fashanu, is a great player. Choosing between the two feels like a coin flip at this point in the process. They’re both unbelievable talents at premium positions deserving of top-five selections.

    The 6’8″, 320-pound blocker is an outrageous athlete for the position, which shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering he played as a tight end in high school.

    6) Green Bay Packers: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

    He’s as cool as a cucumber from out of the refrigerator. Kool-Aid McKinstry is one of the most relaxed cornerbacks we’ve seen since Patrick Surtain. Although McKinstry isn’t the whole athletic package and a legacy the way Surtain was, they play a similar style.

    McKinstry is one of the most intelligent zone defenders of our time. He has a Master’s degree in Nick Saban’s defense, meaning he won’t have any kind of learning curve at the next level.

    7) Los Angeles Rams: Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

    Dallas Turner is an interesting evaluation, as is the rest of this pass-rushing class. The Alabama EDGE has a ways to go from a plan and execution perspective as a pass rusher, and he could stand to play with a more consistent power element.

    But despite being a relatively moldable ball of clay, he hasn’t slacked out on production the way other pass rushers have done at the college level. He’s already winning as he learns, and he provides athletic upside in coverage to go along with a “pants-on-fire” mentality to the game.

    8) Tennessee Titans: JC Latham, OT, Alabama

    The Alabama offensive line has struggled in 2023, but that has not been JC Latham’s fault. The massive right tackle will provide a much-needed upgrade to the Titans’ right side. Although he’ll enter a similar situation to the one he left if they don’t improve left tackle, center, and right guard, Tennessee shouldn’t have to worry too much about Latham.

    There is no more significant need on this roster than the offensive line, and unfortunately for them, the top two blindside blockers are already off the board. But that’s okay because Latham is a top talent as well.

    9) Atlanta Falcons: Chop Robinson, EDGE, Penn State

    Any pass rusher in this class that goes in the top-10 picks will feel like a bit of a reach. It’s an offensively-dominated NFL Draft class, but outside of the quarterback position, the Falcons don’t need anything on offense.

    A trade-down could be the ideal scenario for them here. But Chop Robinson has the best first step in this class and has gotten better as he goes in 2023.

    10) Washington Commanders: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

    Logan Thomas isn’t a bad football player, but Brock Bowers is a special player. The Georgia tight end is so gifted that he should be featured in the Commanders offense before too long, despite sharing the field with Terry McLaurin, Curtis Samuel, and Jahan Dotson (who will figure it out.)

    He’s so athletically gifted that he commands carries out of the backfield, and there is a legitimate gravity to him as a route runner. His presence demands the ball, and if Harrison didn’t exist, he’d be considered the top skill-position player in the class.

    11) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

    We’re all still waiting to see J.J. McCarthy operating in a negative game script. The lanky passer has an absolute howitzer, and he’s more than explosive enough to drop a gear and scramble for yards with his legs.

    But Michigan has played under complete control in 2023. We need Ohio State to get an early lead so we can see McCarthy performing under a spot of pressure.

    That said, re-signing Baker Mayfield to a one or two-year deal while developing McCarthy could be a win-win for Tampa Bay.

    12) New York Jets: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

    Jayden Daniels is an NFL starter. He hasn’t made the same unbelievable leap that made Joe Burrow the first-overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, but he’s made incredible strides during his two seasons as the Tigers’ starter.

    He’s been electric since his true freshman season at Arizona State, but he’s turned into a professional passer. He doesn’t have a massive arm, but it’s malleable, which allows him to make impressive throws on the run. And while we’re on that subject, he is one of the most dangerous players in college football with the ball in his hands.

    But as a quarterback, it’s his confidence and ability from within the pocket that makes him a starter. He’s turned into a quick decision-maker, and his accuracy at all three levels remains impressive even in the face of pressure.

    And he’s tough as nails… to a fault. The 205-pound passer plays a similar style to Josh Allen as a runner but with possibly even more theatrics. He’ll need to take a proverbial “chill pill” at the next level to avoid taking unnecessary hits.

    13) Denver Broncos: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

    Daniels’ teammate finds a home with the Denver Broncos. In a vacuum, the discussion between Keon Coleman and Malik Nabers for WR2 is pretty tight. Some may even prefer Rome Odunze, although the pecking order feels pretty clear for yours truly.

    However, selecting a receiver in this class feels more like choosing what archetype you need more than anything else. Jerry Jeudy has one more year on his deal and has been used as trade bait for a long time now. Nabers could be an inexpensive replacement option, and Denver could even look to move Jeudy on draft day.

    14) Los Angeles Chargers: Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State

    Mike Williams is also entering the final year of his deal, and the big receiver struggles with staying on the field to begin with. Keon Coleman might not be a universal fit in the NFL, but he’s a perfect match for Justin Herbert, who has been a professional leverage thrower since Day 1.

    Even if Coleman struggles a bit with separation at the next level, he’s such a valuable weapon in the red zone, and he’s so proficient in contested situations that he makes perfect sense for the Chargers offense as a complement to the ageless Keenan Allen.

    15) Indianapolis Colts: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

    All three of these wide receivers went to the right places. Rome Odunze is a 6’2″, 215-pound long-strider who can immediately be the kind of alpha a Shane Steichen offense operates best with. Michael Pittman Jr. is a good player, but they need a three-level target hog to pair with Alec Pierce as the downfield threat and Josh Downs as the shifty chain-mover (that’s not giving Downs enough credit.)

    Odunze might not play exactly to the 4.3x speed he’ll likely run at the NFL Combine, but he plays with outstanding control, awareness, and technical ability as a route runner.

    16) Las Vegas Raiders: Jer’Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois

    Some guys just happen to be ball players, and Jer’Zhan Newton is one of those guys. With the league becoming more multiple on the defensive front, hitting the 300-pound threshold is becoming less important, but having length will always be prized. Newton doesn’t have either, but his playmaking ability and impressive first step make up for his genetics.

    The Las Vegas interior has been a weak point for a long time now. Getting some help alongside Maxx Crosby could only make him more productive, which is terrifying to think about.

    17) Buffalo Bills: Cooper DeJean, DB, Iowa

    Cooper DeJean is a stud who could very well go higher than this in April. He possesses prototypical size and is a physical defensive back boasting outrageous athleticism. He also provides upside as a return man because of his outstanding vision and creativity with the ball in his hands.

    DeJean has primarily played cornerback for the Hawkeyes, and he’s proven to be a great coverage player. But he might be special as a safety. The Bills are in a unique position where they need immediate high-end help at cornerback while also having two safeties over 30. DeJean provides them freedom of operation unless he proves to be an elite outside cornerback, which would mean he’s not moving from that spot.

    DeJean is also an excellent, physical run defender, which only helps those projecting him to safety. A broken bone in his leg ended his college season, but as long as the fracture isn’t severe, that shouldn’t provide any long-term complications.

    18) Cincinnati Bengals: Nate Wiggins: CB, Clemson

    The Bengals have long stood on the concept of drafting ahead for positions of need, but they’ve fallen behind at cornerback and defensive tackle. Nate Wiggins won’t receive the same grace period Dax Hill and others have gotten. He’ll start immediately unless Cincinnati somehow finds the money or a short-term extension with Chidobe Awuzie.

    MORE: 2024 NFL Draft Prospect Watchlist

    They need defensive tackle help as well. DJ Reader will be a free agent this offseason, and B.J. Hill is entering the final year of his extension in 2024. But only Newton is worthy of this draft capital on the defensive interior.

    19) New Orleans Saints: Landon Jackson, EDGE, Arkansas

    Aside from this being the quintessential New Orleans Saints draft pick, it’s also an awesome fit. Landon Jackson is a massive, bendy, and athletic pass rusher for Arkansas who burst onto the scene this season as a Junior.

    The 6’7″, 280-pound EDGE will play defensive end for the Saints, who are one of the few teams still using a more traditional four-down look with big defensive linemen across the board. However, at 280 pounds, Jackson is athletic enough to survive in space when dropping back into coverage. He has heavy hands, but it is his explosiveness and flexibility that stands out most at his size.

    20) Arizona Cardinals: Princely Umanmielen, EDGE, Florida

    One of the most curious happenings in the 2024 NFL Draft class is the continued lack of excitement surrounding Florida pass rusher Princely Umanmielen. He has an outstanding first step, good length, incredible bend, and has shown quantifiable improvements as a pass rusher. And despite being a 240-pound, stand-up edge rusher, he’s always been a stout run defender.

    There are ascending players in every class, and it feels like Umanmielen is just scratching the surface of his potential as a pass rusher.

    21) Minnesota Vikings: Denzel Burke, CB, Ohio State

    Denzel Burke needed a healthy season to make up for his injury-riddled down year as a sophomore. He’s done that and more to put him back in the Round 1 discussion. He possesses good size, length, and athleticism, but it is his zone coverage awareness and fluidity that make him a great fit in Minnesota.

    22) Dallas Cowboys: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

    Speaking of great fits, Terrion Arnold is an outstanding fit with the Dallas Cowboys. Although Alabama plays a lot of zone leverage matching coverages, that’s not too far of a departure from the Cowboy’s high dose of Cover 1, with cornerbacks playing well off the line of scrimmage.

    Arnold needed to display growth and confidence as a sophomore, and he’s gone on to shatter expectations. Although he’s only a redshirt sophomore, he’s already proven worthy of Day 1 consideration.

    23) Pittsburgh Steelers: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

    On that same subject, Taliese Fuaga has thrust himself deep into the Day 1 discussion with his play in 2023. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him battle with Latham as the first right tackle selected in April — he’s been that good.

    For the Steelers specifically, this would mean that Broderick Jones slides back over to the left side, the position he played in college. The selection makes it so, for the first time in years, Pittsburgh doesn’t have to worry about their offensive tackles getting the quarterback killed on every dropback.

    24) Houston Texans: Emeka Egbuka, WR, Ohio State

    Reuniting teammates is always fun. Reuniting Emeka Egbuka with C.J. Stroud is a trip. Noah Brown is producing unlike anything we’ve seen from him throughout his NFL career, but there’s no indication that is a sustainable model yet. Pairing Egbuka with Tank Dell and Nico Collins makes for a legitimately dangerous trio. The move also adds depth to an already healthy unit in that regard.

    25) Miami Dolphins: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

    If not for a midseason injury, Amarius Mims might be in the same conversation as Fuaga and Latham, if not even higher. The flashes we received from Mims in 2022 were impressive, and the short time he saw the field in 2023 was equally so. He’s an incredibly impressive athlete with outrageous size who also happens to be technically sound, especially considering his inexperience.

    26) Seattle Seahawks: Cooper Beebe, OG, Kansas State

    Cooper Beebe looks like he eats tree bark for sustenance, and that is exactly the kind of player you want protecting and clearing holes on the offensive interior. The Seahawks have struggled with their offensive line for years now, and Beebe could be the next step in mitigating those issues for Seattle.

    27) Jacksonville Jaguars: Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

    The Jacksonville Jaguars have some nice weapons on the outside. Evan Engram is a versatile receiving threat at “tight end.” Christian Kirk is a good slot target, and Calvin Ridley is a great route runner, although he’s underproduced relative to expectations in 2023. They need a ball-winner on the outside.

    Adonai Mitchell is what Jacksonville needs. He possesses an outstanding skill set on the outside, boasting great height, length, and leaping ability. He’s a strong finisher in contested situations, which is exactly what they’re missing. But Mitchell is also a speed demon with great contact balance and fluidity. He hasn’t taken over in Texas as the top target, but he entered a situation with Xavier Worthy already being an established receiver with great gravitation pull for the football.

    28) San Francisco 49ers: Kingsley Suamataia, OT, BYU

    The 49ers need to start planning for the eventual Trent Williams retirement, but their more immediate need comes at right tackle. Kingsley Suamataia seemed destined for first-round draft capital entering the season. He’s an absolute freak athlete for the position, and he was unbelievably effective on the right side of the BYU OL a season ago.

    MORE: CFB Week 12 — Ladd McConkey and Matt Goncalves Headline Underrated 2024 NFL Draft Prospects

    Things haven’t been the same in his adjustment over to the left side. He’s struggled with pass rushers on that side, which isn’t necessarily surprising, given the fact that transitioning sides on the offensive line isn’t as easy as Tristan Wirfs makes it look. But he produced first-round tape on the right side, and that’s where he goes for San Francisco.

    29) Baltimore Ravens: Kalen King, CB, Penn State

    Kalen King has had an up-and-down season for Penn State, but what many people likely remember is his matchup against Harrison. We shouldn’t worry too much about losing to arguably the best draft prospect of our generation, but the way he lost could be something to watch.

    King’s feisty attitude will fit in perfectly with the culture in Baltimore, and his quick trigger will be a nice match in Mike Macdonald’s defense if he has not accepted a head coaching job in the offseason.

    30) Detroit Lions: Andrew Mukuba, S, Clemson

    Andrew Mukuba will be an excellent modern safety. He is far from the prototypical size we think of for the position, but his foot speed and coverage chops make him a good option for immediate snaps in the slot at the next level. However, he has plenty of experience on the back end as well, making him a diverse coverage player in Aaron Glenn’s defense.

    It’s also worth mentioning that C.J. Gardner-Johnson was on a one-year deal, and Tracy Walker’s contract expires after 2024.

    31) Kansas City Chiefs: Xavier Legette, WR, South Carolina

    Is this a bit early for Xavier Legette? Not if I’m the one making the decisions — Which is the case here. Kansas City quite clearly needs help on the outside. Although they remain a successful offense overall, they’re not as explosive as they were with Tyreek Hill still in the lineup.

    Legette might look like a tight end on the field, but he is one of the fastest players on any field he’s playing on, if not the fastest. He accomplishes that at a listed 6’3″, 230 pounds. But he’s no land yacht, either. He’s an impressive route runner for his size, and he’s an outrageous finisher who can high-point passes better than anyone in the class who isn’t related to an NFL great.

    32) Philadelphia Eagles: Jeremiah Trotter Jr., LB, Clemson

    Like father, like son. The Eagles would never do this, and that’s understandable. They don’t care about linebackers. They’ll throw inexpensive name after inexpensive name at the problem until they find an inexpensive solution. It’s worked for them, largely because their defensive front is so impressive.

    But Jeremiah Trotter Jr. is a legacy, and he’s also arguably the best player at his position. Not all organizations care much about getting the best player at their position in the class, and Philadelphia is one of those teams that don’t care about that. But this selection fits a dire need.

    2-Round 2024 NFL Mock Draft | Round 2

    33) Carolina Panthers: Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State

    Jared Verse is a lot like Montez Sweat or Jermaine Johnson. These players are explosive with good length and a decent power element to their game. However, their lack of high-end ankle and hip flexibility keeps them from ascending into the upper echelon of NFL pass rushers.

    Verse has a nice arsenal of rush moves, but in a league that consistently gets the ball out faster, winning up the arc and flattening rushing angles is a critical skill that he physically does not have. He projects as a good but not great NFL player.

    34) New England Patriots: Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington

    Michael Penix Jr. has proven his toughness over the years, but he’s also suffered several season-ending injuries during his time at Indiana. But Penix has also proven that he can generate velocity throwing from within the pocket. He’s also a snappy decision-maker who is accurate to all three levels of the field.

    35) Arizona Cardinals: Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

    We already attacked one side of the defensive line with a long and bendy pass rusher still learning the finer points of being a professional quarterback hunter. Now, let’s attack a different player entirely. Laiatu Latu is what happens when Bradlee Anae is also a great athlete.

    Laiatu is a pass-rushing wizard. He has the best plan in the class, and his production speaks for itself. The only thing holding him back is that he doesn’t profile as an exceptional athlete, whether it be from an explosiveness or flexibility perspective. But he’s so technically gifted that it’s impossible not to love what he brings.

    36) New York Giants: Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU

    The New York Giants built a WR corps of 5’9″ slot types; shockingly, it didn’t work. Brian Thomas Jr. is everything they need in a receiver. He possesses the physical attributes to be a traditional X receiver at the next level, and he has great long speed and a knack for scoring touchdowns in the red zone because of his size advantage, leaping ability, and body control.

    He gets lost in a class of Monstar-type wide receivers, but he is on that roster, too.

    37) Washington Commanders: J.T. Tuimolau, EDGE, Ohio State

    Speaking of Monstars, JT Tuimoloau is built like a refrigerator. This young man is massive, possessing the kind of explosiveness and power to collapse the pocket consistently. His hands need to come along, and he doesn’t possess the natural flexibility to run underneath a table.

    But his combination of size, explosiveness, and power plays incredibly well against the run and would complement a more flexible rusher if Washington can find one they like in free agency.

    38) Los Angeles Rams: Graham Barton, OL, Duke

    The Rams seem to enjoy versatility in their offensive linemen. Graham Barton played center as a freshman and has played left tackle since, but many project him as an interior blocker at the next level. The Rams could use help at multiple spots in the future, and this selection gives them the freedom to play their best five.

    39) Tennessee Titans: Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon

    When thinking about Troy Franklin‘s best fit, the Tennessee Titans are the first name that comes to mind. They’ve already selected an offensive lineman in this simulation, and now they’re getting Will Levis a weapon on the outside. But why is Franklin such a fantastic fit?

    Tennessee wants to live in heavier personnel groupings and run a steady dose of play-action. Troy Franklin will be a menacing matchup on those intermediate crossing routes that the Tennessee offense employs so often. He’s a bit linear as an athlete, but he will outrun cornerbacks trying to chase him from outside leverage. He’s also slippery after the catch, especially for having a somewhat slight frame.

    40) Green Bay Packers: Kamren Kinchens, S, Miami

    The Packers’ young offensive corps makes it tough to see them spending on anything at the skill positions. Kamren Kinchens hasn’t had the cleanest campaign for the Hurricane’s defense, but he remains a highly potent playmaker on the back end.

    41) Washington Commanders: Chris Braswell, EDGE, Alabama

    Chris Braswell has risen draft boards more than most prospects in this draft class. He wasn’t a favorite heading into the season, but he’s stepped up his attack arsenal in 2023, and he’s found some outstanding success with his updated hands usage.

    Although he’s “undersized” for the position and lacks ideal flexibility, he converts speed-to-power at a high rate and plays with the same kind of energy his teammate Turner does.

    42) Atlanta Falcons: Bo Nix, QB, Oregon

    Ryan Tannehill might be the Falcons’ quarterback next season, but whoever ends up under center for them needs to look in the mirror and say, “I just need to be Ryan Tannehill… nothing more.”

    Bo Nix could be more. But has also proved to be a completely different player than he was at Auburn. It took him a long time to realize his potential, but he’s a snappy decision-maker who possesses the arm talent and athleticism to be an NFL starter.

    43) Green Bay Packers: Jordan Morgan, OT, Arizona

    Jordan Morgan would’ve been selected within the top two rounds a season ago had he not suffered a season-ending injury. He’s back in 2023, and he’s playing his best football. The uber-athlete could be a first-round pick in a lighter class, but this draft class is substantially talented, and the Packers get a gift because of it.

    44) New Orleans Saints: Donovan Jackson, OG, Ohio State

    And the Saints threw their laptop out of the window when they saw Morgan come off the board. However, they can still help Derek Carr. Replacing the interior offensive line has been a necessity for this team for a long time, and Donovan Jackson is the first step of that necessary transition.

    45) Los Angeles Chargers: Caelen Carson, CB, Wake Forest

    Caelen Carson is a sharp athlete who competes like crazy, as was evident in his battle against Coleman when the Demon Deacons played the Seminoles. He lost that matchup because Coleman is so physically gifted, but that was simply an example of how impossible it is to play cornerback.

    Carson transitions quickly and plays scrappy in coverage against physical receivers while winning with smooth fluidity in coverage against shifter receivers.

    46) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas

    Mike Evans is in the final year of his deal, and Chris Godwin will be a free agent after 2024. Xavier Worthy can be frustrating at times because of concentration drops, but the slim pass catcher is a whole lot of fun outside of the intermittent concentration drops.

    He possesses easy speed to outpace defensive backs, and his contact balance is unbelievable, particularly at his size. Worthy is creative with the ball in his hands, making him a manufactured touch candidate in addition to his route-running chops at all three levels.

    47) Las Vegas Raiders: Barrett Carter, LB, Clemson

    The Raiders continue the trend of building the spine of their defense. Barrett Carter is undersized by traditional metrics, and he lacks length. But like his current teammate at Clemson, he’s a potent blitzer, and he possesses the range to make plays anywhere on the field.

    48) Buffalo Bills: Troy Fautanu, OL, Washington

    Ian Cummings told me to get an eye on Troy Fautanu earlier in the process, and I’m glad he did. The Huskies left tackle is being projected inside at the next level, but that might not be necessary, depending on where he lands.

    But for the Bills specifically, he could function as a swing tackle as a rookie or fight for a starting role at left guard, relegating Connor McGovern to a backup role with the team.

    49) Indianapolis Colts: Ja’Tavion Sanders, TE, Texas

    Why wouldn’t we try to make the Colts as dangerous as humanly possible? Shane Steichen and a group of explosive weapons is a terrifying proposition for the entire league. Adding Ja’Tavion Sanders to the established unit and Odunze would make for a stable of impressive receiving weapons.

    50) Cincinnati Bengals: Leonard Taylor, DT, Miami

    After a hot start to the season, Leonard Taylor III has slowed down as ACC play has worn on. However, the athletic interior defensive linemen wouldn’t have to start immediately, and he’d have a few impressive interior players to learn from if Reader returns in 2024.

    51) Philadelphia Eagles: Tyler Nubin, S, Minnesota

    Reed Blankenship has been impressive for Philadelphia so far this season, but the Eagles coverage unit needs an injection of talent, particularly over the middle. Vic Fangio-inspired schemes demand good safety play, and Tyler Nubin has been one of the most productive players in college football on the back end.

    52) Houston Texans: Sedrick Van Pran, C, Georgia

    The Texans have roughly one million offensive linemen on injured reserve. But none of them or anyone on the active roster projects as a high-level starter at center. Sedrick Van Pran could have been the first center off the board a year ago if he had declared, but he did not.

    53) Minnesota Vikings: TreVeyon Henderson, RB, Ohio State

    The second round is a great time to take a running back, and getting the very first one off the board with the 53rd pick is a dream. TreVeyon Henderson is the explosive slasher that Minnesota needs in their run game.

    His injury history is relatively concerning, but it’s also the only reason why the speedy back was available this late.

    54) Pittsburgh Steelers: Ladd McConkey, WR, Georgia

    The Pittsburgh Steelers are regarded for their ability to work with developmental wide receivers with… interesting… attitudes. But what would happen if they drafted a ready-made pass catcher who doesn’t seem to have a whiff of attitude and used to be a teammate of George Pickens?

    What if he could be the ideal replacement for Diontae Johnson? Would you believe that player would be available this late? Well, in the 2024 WR class, it is very possible. Ladd McConkey is already a professional WR; he’s just not wearing an NFL uniform yet. He’s detail-oriented, fast, and quick, which makes him one of the most natural separators in the class.

    55) Cleveland Browns: Ruke Orhorhoro, DT, Clemson

    Signing Dalvin Tomlinson and adding Jim Schwartz helped transform the Browns’ defense. Adding a complement to Tomlinson with an alignment-versatile interior defender is a perfect move with their first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

    The near-300-pounder can play anywhere from the A gap to the outside, which allows Schwartz to have all the fun he wants with his resident alien, Myles Garrett.

    56) Dallas Cowboys: Edgerrin Cooper, LB, Texas A&M

    Edgerrin Cooper is another player who exploded onto the scene in 2023. He was such a surprising performer that the awards committee left him off the Butkus Award list, even though he has been the most productive linebacker in the country.

    His length and playmaking prowess make him incredibly fun to watch attacking the line of scrimmage, and that length also makes him a consistent form tackler.

    57) New York Giants: Trey Benson, RB, Florida State

    Jonathan Brooks and Trey Benson were battling for the RB2 tag from yours truly, but it appears Brooks will return to school after suffering a season-ending ACL injury.

    Benson hasn’t been beaten into the ground in college, which is a good thing when thinking about his potential NFL longevity. He’s not an outrageous burner, but he has enough juice to be a big-play threat, and his contact balance is impressive.

    58) Jacksonville Jaguars: Brandon Dorlus, EDGE, Oregon

    Brandon Dorlus is a stocky edge defender with positional versatility, considering his frame. He’s played snaps from the B gap out wide, and he could be a seamless fit as one of the Jaguars defensive ends, helping pave the way for their rushing-focused outside linebackers.

    But Dorlus has made strides as a rusher in 2023. It’s difficult to become proficient at something when you’re constantly asked to change roles, but Dorlus has taken things in stride as an Oregon Duck.

    59) San Francisco 49ers: Kamari Lassiter, CB, Georgia

    Almost every cornerback seems to survive in the San Francisco defense. But adding a legitimate zone-coverage talent to the roster could be transformational for the 49ers defensive unit. The only thing keeping Kamari Lassiter from being a higher pick is that he doesn’t display top-end long speed.

    60) Miami Dolphins: Beau Brade, S, Maryland

    Jevon Holland is an elite coverage safety, and adding a player with Beau Brade’s coverage chops makes the Miami Dolphins’s secondary incredibly dangerous. A healthy Jalen Ramsey, Holland, and Brade could effectively delete the deep thirds with their intelligence and athleticism.

    But Brade can also attack downhill and time pass breakups with ease. His performance against Ohio State, his biggest game of the season, was incredible.

    61) Baltimore Ravens: Maason Smith, DT, LSU

    Maason Smith probably won’t and probably shouldn’t declare. However, if he does, and there is any organization that could get the absolute most out of him, it would be the Baltimore Ravens. The 310-pound defensive tackle has the length, power, and athleticism to legitimately play anywhere along the defensive line.

    There is a long way to go technically for Smith, but the tools are there to be a legitimate difference-maker at the next level.

    62) Detroit Lions: Quinton Mitchell, CB, Toledo

    Cornerbacks who are 6’1″, 200 pounds, and run a 4.3×40 usually don’t last this long on the board. However, they’re usually not playing at Toledo, either.

    Small-school players must test out of the water, and if Mitchell shows explosiveness, agility, and speed at the NFL Combine, it will quell any concerns about the level of competition he played against at Toledo.

    63) Kansas City Chiefs: Tyleik Williams, DT, Ohio State

    The Ohio State Buckeyes have given Tyleik Williams some versatile alignments, and that will be the case in Kansas City as well. He is not and will never be anything close to Chris Jones, but he could be an excellent complement.

    64) Philadelphia Eagles: Josh Newton, CB, TCU

    The Eagles may care more about size with their outside cornerbacks than their slot defenders, but they have a precedent for shorter coverage defenders.

    Josh Newton would be on the shorter side, but he is an excellent coverage defender for the TCU Horned Frogs.

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