Joe Broback’s 2024 NFL Mock Draft: Michael Penix Jr., Rome Odunze Headline First Round Despite National Championship Game Loss

Washington may have lost the biggest game of the college football season, but their roster dominates the first round of this 2024 NFL Mock Draft.

With the college football season officially in the books with Michigan’s 34-13 win over Washington, it’s time for another 2024 NFL Mock Draft. The Huskies may have lost the title game, but their roster could still dominate the first round of the NFL Draft.

2024 NFL Mock Draft

1) Chicago Bears: Caleb Williams, QB, USC

At a certain point, a team gets sick of waiting for a guy to develop, and there’s a good chance the Bears are that team with Justin Fields. As he nears the end of his rookie contract, Chicago may decide to move on with a younger player.

Caleb Williams brings a lot of what Fields does to the offense, but he’s younger and better. The magical plays he created at USC show his ability to improvise, but he also has the tools to be a great passer in the NFL. Williams made several tight-window throws that teams will love, and Chicago’s fanbase gets new life in this 2024 NFL Mock Draft.

2) Washington Commanders: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

Washington’s new regime will look at every position to decide how to proceed. Sam Howell threw 21 touchdowns and 21 interceptions this year. He showed plenty of upside, but there’s work to do. The Commanders also draft his heir in college to take over for him in the NFL.

Many believe that Drake Maye is a better prospect than Caleb Williams, but it will ultimately come down to what teams think. If they view Maye as a better fit, then he’ll go above Williams. His arm talent cannot be denied, and he’s an underrated runner that helps him pick up yards and get out of collapsing pockets.

3) New England Patriots: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

While the debate about who is QB3 rages on, the Patriots take their guy in this 2024 NFL Mock Draft. Jayden Daniels’ ability to hit his open receivers deep downfield was the biggest change we saw in the 2023 season. It helped him win the Heisman and put him in the first-round conversation.

Daniels gives the Patriots a strong passer who’s also athletic and able to escape pressure. If New England’s offense needs time to get things sorted out, Daniels’ legs will come into play plenty.

4) Arizona Cardinals: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

Arizona sticks with Kyler Murray and gives him a big-time weapon to hit downfield. Marvin Harrison Jr. spent most of the season giving Kyle McCord a reliable target, and he’s hoping that the NFL gives him more support.

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The Cardinals have a few nice pieces at receiver but lack a true WR1. Harrison can do everything they ask, and Arizona’s offense gets a boost with his arrival. Murray thrived when DeAndre Hopkins was on the roster, but he hasn’t been the same since Hopkins departed. With Harrison, he could rediscover that version of himself.

5) Los Angeles Chargers: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

Expect Los Angeles to address the secondary one way or another this offseason. Whether through free agency or with the draft, the Chargers must improve defensively against the pass.

Kool-Aid McKinstry gives them a high-level competitor who’s already performed at a high level in a professional type of organization at Alabama. The spotlight never seems too big for him, and he plays the game extremely relaxed. With the pressure to improve on that side of the ball, McKinstry’s the perfect pick for a unit looking to get better quickly.

6) New York Giants: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

New York could trade up from here to try and get a quarterback, but they choose to sit tight in this 2024 NFL Mock Draft. With the top three quarterbacks off the board, the Giants look elsewhere.

Joe Alt brings a huge presence to New York. The 6’8″ tackle from Notre Dame proved to be an elite pass protector and appears to be improving as a run blocker. Even if the Giants stick with their options at quarterback, they’ll have a tackle to help give that guy time to make plays.

7) Tennessee Titans: Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State

Tennessee needs help up front, and Olu Fashanu can help immediately. While he’s still developing as a player, the tools he possesses make him an extremely intriguing prospect.

The Nittany Lions star prospect faced several future pros over the last couple of years, so he should know what to expect at the next level.

8) Atlanta Falcons: Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

The evaluation of the quarterback position in the draft will be an interesting storyline. Atlanta needs a quarterback, but are they willing to give up picks (and potentially players) to move into the top three? In this 2024 NFL Mock Draft, they don’t. However, they still get a player that will greatly impact the defense.

Dallas Turner wasted little time transitioning from college football star to potential pro when he announced his intention to enter the draft after the Rose Bowl. His power and relentless motor make him a fun player to watch on the edge, and he will give the Falcons an instant impact player.

9) Chicago Bears: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

With the Bears selecting a quarterback earlier in this 2024 NFL Mock Draft, they now look to keep Caleb Williams upright. Taliese Fuaga could sneak into the top 10 thanks to his play in 2023, and he’ll be a solid anchor for the Bears offensive line.

10) New York Jets: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

Garrett Wilson recently voiced his frustrations over this past season, and he’s not wrong. A year with plenty of promise ended in a dud, but there’s reason to be excited about the Jets in 2024. Aaron Rodgers’ return injects life into the offense, and this 2024 NFL Mock Draft adds to that excitement.

Rome Odunze didn’t have the best statistical game Monday night in the national championship, but it wasn’t from a lack of being open. Odunze and Michigan corner Will Johnson battled from start to finish, and Odunze won the majority of the battles. If the Jets want to know what he can do against good competition when he’s not getting the ball, they should watch that game.

11) Minnesota Vikings: Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington

Yes, Michael Penix Jr. had the worst game of his season at the worst time, but that doesn’t take away from his body of work. Minnesota might move up in the draft to get a quarterback, but they could also sit tight if Penix is still around with this pick.

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The southpaw was a huge reason why Washington made it to the national championship game, but the season didn’t end how he wanted. Still, Minnesota is getting a big arm and a player who can elude pressure well. Even if Minnesota’s offensive line doesn’t show much improvement, Penix gives them more mobility than they’ve had in recent years.

12) Denver Broncos: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

Denver’s quarterback situation remains a topic of conversation, but protecting their passers must also be addressed. The Broncos line struggled to protect Russell Wilson towards the end of the year, and the franchise addresses that concern here.

Amarius Mims, when healthy, has an extremely high ceiling. He was Georgia’s best offensive lineman this year, and the Bulldogs missed him when he was injured. If he can stay healthy at the next level, he’ll be a huge addition for Denver here.

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

While the Raiders can’t do anything about their quarterback situation in this 2024 NFL Mock Draft, they can still add top talent. Jer’Zhan Newton brings a bowling ball of a player to the interior of the Las Vegas defense.

He saw time at tackle and end at Illinois, giving him a unique arsenal of power and finesse. He can’t solve the Raiders quarterback situation, but he gives opposing teams something to worry about besides Maxx Crosby.

14) New Orleans Saints: Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State

Cameron Jordan gave the Saints a solid career, but it’s time to pass the torch. In his place will be a player who brings a veteran mindset and a great skillset to the New Orleans defensive line.

Jared Verse, at his peak, is a bully who has his way with opposing tackles. The former Albany transfer bet on himself at Florida State, and now he’s a potential first-round pick. He brings good size to the Saints in this 2024 NFL Mock Draft, and he is also a great leader who should fit well in the locker room immediately.

15) Indianapolis Colts: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

Terrion Arnold took his game to another level this year. After being a relatively unknown prospect heading into 2023, he’s pushing for the top spot for his position in this year’s class. The Colts have several needs here, and stopping the pass is one of them.

Arnolnd’s a competitive player who’s aggressive when the ball’s in the air. While there are a few things to fine-tune in his game, his foundation should get him by for now. If he can put it all together, watch out.

16) Seattle Seahawks: Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

Seattle did well getting after the quarterback at times this year, but they’re looking to add a young player on the edge to bolster the front seven. Laiatu Latu came on strong towards the end of the year for UCLA, and his long frame paired with a solid arsenal of pass-rush moves make him a solid addition.

17) Jacksonville Jaguars: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

Trevor Lawrence will be a great quarterback in this league, and the Jaguars can ensure that by giving him the appropriate weapons to utilize downfield. Calvin Ridley provides a great option for Lawrence, but it never hurts to have another potential star.

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Malik Nabers saw his draft stock rise this year, but it wasn’t because he did much differently. In 2022, he was getting open plenty, but Jayden Daniels couldn’t hit him downfield. A much more confident LSU quarterback allowed Nabers to get the ball more, and the explosive plays followed.

18) Cincinnati Bengals: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

Cincinnati needs another threat in the passing attack next year, whether that’s a wide receiver or a tight end. If they choose free agency, they’ll have to pay a good chunk of money.

They can also go through the draft and get a guy like Brock Bowers to accomplish the same goal without breaking the bank.

19) Green Bay Packers: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

Imagine how good the Packers’ defense will be if they can get another competitive corner who can play at a high level. Nate Wiggins has all the tools to be that guy for Green Bay.

He’s an athletic corner contributing to Clemson’s secondary since he arrived on campus. He’s a competitor who refuses to quit, which will help him win over his new squad.

20) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Chop Robinson, EDGE, Penn State

Chop Robinson’s an interesting prospect. He’s still learning his position and how to use his frame in certain situations, but the upside he shows will make him an elite player at the next level.

He might be the most explosive player at his position, and his long arms make him a nightmare to block in pass protection. Just ask Michigan what he can do to disrupt a game plan. Robinson was a huge reason Michigan stopped throwing the ball against Penn State this year, and that’s the kind of impact he could have at the next level.

21) Arizona Cardinals: JC Latham, OT, Alabama

Another 6’6″ and 360-pound lineman is just what Kyler Murray needs. Most of that sentence is serious, though the concerns about his ability to see downfield will arise again with JC Latham joining the roster.

Latham played multiple positions at Alabama, and that versatility makes him an intriguing player at the next level. Teams will undoubtedly monitor the injury he sustained in the Rose Bowl, but it shouldn’t affect his draft stock much.

22) Los Angeles Rams: Kalen King, CB, Penn State

Watching Aaron Donald play football is one of the best things about the NFL, but he can only do so much. Teams send help his way all the time, meaning their quarterback doesn’t have to worry as much. That puts more pressure on the Rams secondary to step up, and they need help in that regard.

Kalen King’s draft stock remains in question. He’s shown the ability to cover big-time targets, but he’s not a unanimous first-round prospect. If he can prove that his upside will show up consistently, teams will line up for his services. Los Angeles needs a corner, and King being on the board here makes it an easy decision.

23) Pittsburgh Steelers: Kingsley Suamataia, OT, BYU

Pittsburgh returns a nice core of skill position players in 2024, but their offensive line needs to be retooled. Kingsley Suamataia gives the Steelers an edge protector and a big frame to make life easy for whoever plays quarterback.

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BYU struggled to move the ball this year, but it wasn’t because of their left tackle. Suamataia didn’t see the spotlight much due to the Cougars’ struggles, but he was one of the few consistent bright spots for his team.

24) Miami Dolphins: Graham Barton, OG, Duke

Everyone knows that the Dolphins are set at the skill positions, but now they add a versatile weapon to their offensive line. Graham Barton will be an underrated tool for this offense, thanks to his ability to play multiple positions. He will likely be an interior blocker but can slide out to tackle if needed.

25) Philadelphia Eagles: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

An aging secondary will need to be addressed sooner rather than later, and the Eagles will get right to it in this 2024 NFL Mock Draft. Quinyon Mitchell was a ball hawk for Toledo for the past two years, and there’s a chance that he could sneak into the first round.

Teams looking for a proven playmaker at the position should have him high on their list, and Philadelphia is one of those teams.

26) Kansas City Chiefs: Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State

It wouldn’t be surprising to see Keon Coleman drop in the draft, but not because he can’t play. He’s an extremely athletic player, but he’s competing with a solid group at receiver along with other first-round prospects.

Kansas City needs to find their go-to wide receiver for the future, and Coleman gives them exactly that with this pick.

27) Houston Texans: Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

Texas nearly found its way into the national championship game this year, but a jump ball to Adonai Mitchell was knocked away at the end. Still, Mitchell proved why he should be a first-round pick.

He’s shown that he can be a menace for opposing secondaries and proven that he can be more than just a side piece in the Longhorns offense.

28) Detroit Lions: Byron Murphy II, DT, Texas

Many expect Byron Murphy II to test well at the combine, and his athleticism will be a big reason he pushed his draft stock into the first round. Detroit’s defense is full of young and energetic talent, so adding Murphy is a great way to add to that group.

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With teams focusing on the edge and Aidan Hutchinson, Murphy should see favorable matchups early in his career.

29) Buffalo Bills: Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU

Buffalo’s offense suddenly found life since former offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey was fired, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have concerns for the future. The passing attack needs a wide receiver heading into next year, and Brian Thomas Jr. gives them help in that position.

He’ll learn from Stefon Diggs, which should only help him develop as a receiver. He took a huge step in 2023, and there’s still room for him to grow even more in 2024.

30) Dallas Cowboys: Jordan Morgan, OT, Arizona

Dallas has done a good job of drafting linemen over the last few years, and they get another good one with an underrated prospect. Arizona had a huge year under Jedd Fisch, and much of that success had to do with Jordan Morgan taking a step. He’ll be joining an experienced group, and that should help accelerate his development, too.

31) San Francisco 49ers: Troy Fautanu, OG, Washington

Washington had a tough time with Michigan’s defensive line on Monday, but they sometimes held their own. Troy Fautanu’s been an anchor up front for the Huskies, and he’d be joining a talented line in San Francisco.

32) Baltimore Ravens: Ja’Lynn Polk, WR, Washington

While most people focused on Rome Odunze, Ja’Lynn Polk challenged him to be Washington’s most productive receiver. He brings a great frame to the NFL, and Baltimore will love how well he complements Zay Flowers. With his big-play abilities, Polk will stretch the field vertically, and Flowers can carve up a defense underneath.

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