Dalton Miller’s 2024 NFL Mock Draft: 5 QBs Selected in Top 20 Include J.J. McCarthy in Minneapolis and Bo Nix in Denver

The 2024 NFL Mock Draft season is upon us, and there are a million permutations to play with before the predictive mock drafts arrive in April.

The NFL season ended for another six teams and fan bases during the Wild Card round of the playoffs. That means it is officially mock draft season for fans. Although the season ended in disappointment, nothing is disappointing about the lead-up to the NFL Draft.

1-Round NFL Mock Draft

1) Chicago Bears (From CAR): Caleb Williams, QB, USC

In this simulation, the Chicago Bears have proactively moved Justin Fields to the Atlanta Falcons in a hilarious twist of an ironic knife. The team wanted a fresh start with a quarterback on a rookie deal rather than building a young roster around Fields with the draft capital they acquired through last year’s trade with the Carolina Panthers.

Bears fans will have similar frustrations with Caleb Williams as they did Fields. Like Fields, Williams holds onto the ball for an excruciating amount of time. However, his playmaking ability often makes up for his propensity to forgo the first read for downfield attempts.

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

At this point, nobody should be questioning what direction Washington should or will take in the NFL Draft. They need a quarterback. As entertaining as Sam Howell was, he didn’t show enough to secure the title of franchise QB.

Drake Maye has the size and athletic ability of a premiere blue-chip quarterback prospect. However, the UNC offense also required him to operate quickly because if he did not, he wouldn’t have survived behind the Tar Heels’ offensive line.

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

The top two passers are gone, and the New England Patriots weren’t in love with Jayden Daniels in this hypothetical. Marvin Harrison Jr. is the best player in the draft and one of the most universally talented prospects of the current generation.

The former Buckeyes WR has no weakness. Heading into 2023, the one critique could have been that his post-catch ability was a bit underwhelming. But the 6’4″, 210-pound receiver quelled those concerns this season, making him a complete player.

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

Joe Alt was magnificent this season and could very well be a serious contender here. The two top tackles will likely switch places in mock drafts throughout the offseason, but it’s Olu Fashanu who gets the nod at this spot today.

D.J. Humphries’ injury makes an OT selection here a high priority. Arizona could have used this opportunity to upgrade the position even if he had remained healthy. Now, it seems like a foregone conclusion that they’ll replace him, given the timing of his knee injury and his age.

And lucky enough for them, this WR class is talented enough to provide value with their second first-round pick.

5) Los Angeles Chargers: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

It’s never too early to right a wrong.

Rome Odunze did nothing but impress as the weeks and months of the 2023 college football season passed. He entered the season competing for top-five status among the draftable wide receivers and ended by competing to be WR2. He’s a player who, under normal class circumstances, could have been the WR1.

Although his downfield antics are famous because of Washington’s offense, Odunze is a true three-level threat. He has no business being as smooth as he is at his size, and although he runs a reported 40-time in the 4.3 range, his speed doesn’t instantly burst off the tape, which makes him even more dangerous than if it were obvious.

6) Las Vegas Raiders (From NYG): Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Trade: Las Vegas sends pick Nos. 13 and 44 and a 2024 second-round pick; New York sends pick No. 6

Jayden Daniels isn’t the first LSU QB transfer to see a meteoric rise in draft stock. Like Joe Burrow before him, Daniels had a great season in his first year with the Tigers before exploding in his final season.

Unlike Burrow, Daniels is a ridiculous threat on the ground. Hell instantly become one of the most dynamic rushers in the NFL. But Daniels’ deep ball accuracy and touch are what make him such a dangerous weapon. He is a true dropback passer who happens to have outrageous athleticism.

However, he must learn to take fewer unnecessary hits. Josh Allen struggles to survive that playing style, and he has close to 40 more pounds on his frame.

7) Tennessee Titans: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

Joe Alt‘s technical ability given his positional age is wild. The former tight end obviously has the sort of ridiculous athleticism that makes a great tackle prospect into an elite one, but the technical side of his game is impressive.

Tennessee needs a left tackle more than a fish needs water. They whiffed on Andre Dillard in free agency worse than I did trying to hit Mark Hendrickson’s curveball. Adding Alt to Peter Skoronski on the left side means that the Titans don’t really have to worry much about that side for the next decade.

8) Atlanta Falcons: Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

Dallas Turner is not the same kind of blue-chip pass rusher we’ve become accustomed to seeing during the NFL Draft cycle. However, Turner possesses the sort of burst, bend, and hands to become a top-tier rusher at the NFL level.

Turner’s athleticism is obvious every time he is forced to drop back into coverage. His athletic fluidity as a reactive athlete translates to his disruption as a run defender and his potential as a pass rusher. Although his plan isn’t perfected, he improved this season and has all the necessary tools.

9) Chicago Bears: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

Pairing Malik Nabers with DJ Moore feels like it is approaching 49ers-levels of post-catch ability. Moore’s antics are well known back to his days at Maryland. Despite being under 200 pounds, the physicality Nabers displays might be his most obvious characteristic.

MORE: 2024 NFL Draft Big Board

That means a whole lot, because Nabers is also a gifted route runner with adequate size who can absolutely scoot down the field. Like Odunze, in most classes, he would compete for WR1 honors. Being the third receiver off the board feels borderline disrespectful.

10) New York Jets: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

Speaking of borderline disrespectful, Brock Bowers is likely a top-five prospect in the class. His outrageous blend of fluidity, agility, explosiveness, and size make him the most well-rounded TE prospect in a very long time.

Kyle Pitts was an entirely different animal. He was effectively a 6’6, 250-pound WR with arms longer than Inspector Gadget. Bowers is a legitimate TE prospect who can survive and even thrive in line, although using him in that capacity would limit his potential.

Hand him the ball in the backfield. Utilize him in the screen game. Run him up the seam and let him run option routes on third down. He’s a special talent who is only “falling” to 10 because of the position he plays.

11) Minnesota Vikings: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

Is J.J. McCarthy ready for the big stage in 2024? No he is not. Could he be ready to start in 2025 after sitting behind Kirk Cousins returning on a one or two-year deal? Maybe. Could he be ready after two seasons like Jordan Love? He certainly could. 

Young passers aren’t often afforded the opportunity to grow in the shadows like a mushroom. However, we’ve seen it work quite a few times at this point.

12) Denver Broncos: Bo Nix, QB, Oregon

This pick will change throughout the process, but for some reason, the fingers continuously want to click on Bo Nix‘s name when drafting for the Broncos on PFN’s ENTIRELY FREE MOCK DRAFT SIMULATOR.

How Bo Nix operated the Oregon offense is exactly the kind of operational capacity that Sean Payton wants… nay… needs under center, or else he goes insane on the sideline. But Nix can also create at a high level, and he possesses the arm talent to become a high-end starter at the next level.

13) New York Giants (From LV): Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

The Giants continue to look at value with their first-round selection in mock drafts. The wide receiver position is oozing with talent, but it remains easier for New York to find talent at wide receiver later in the NFL Draft than at tackle.

They absolutely need to address the position and not continue to bash their head into a brick wall with Evan Neal. Maybe the young blocker will make a miraculous recovery, but counting on it would be entirely foolish. Instead, the Giants opt for Taliese Fuaga at the 13th pick.

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

The New Orleans Saints are a lot like that quirky kid from your high school. They continuously make out-of-the-ordinary decisions, and there seem to be only two possible outcomes: they either end up with a misdemeanor or two or they graduate magna cum laude. There is no in-between.

Jared Verse is a good football player, but he likely does not possess the high-end athleticism necessary to ever become a consistently productive pass rusher. However, he fits a lot of the Saints parameters for the position. He’s got great length and insanely strong hands at the point of attack.

15) Indianapolis Colts: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

The technical turnaround Terrion Arnold made as a redshirt sophomore was nothing short of outrageous. The phenomenal athlete who, like his Alabama CB-mate Kool-Aid McKinstry, was almost a two-sport athlete for the Crimson Tide.

Starting as a redshirt freshman is impressive in its own right at Alabama. But he needed a ton of growth to become the next big thing in crimson. His ascension in 2023 was exactly that. His reactive athleticism is outrageous. He’s patient in press and intelligent in zone.

16) Seattle Seahawks: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

Nate Wiggins is a downhill playmaker in zone coverage and an effortless athlete in man. Wiggins missing some time due to injury and Arnold’s emergence at Alabama could mean that someone gets a great player at an insane value.

But it shouldn’t surprise a soul if Wiggins becomes the first cornerback selected in the NFL Draft.

17) Jacksonville Jaguars: Jer’Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois

Jer’Zhan Newton might be a top-10 talent in the class, but his size and positional fit could mean that a team gets him after a mini-skid on the first night of the draft. The Jaguars front would technically make him a defensive end, but he’d be playing a more interior role in their odd-front defense.

MORE: 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Profiles

His agility and burst make him a menace as a gap penetrator, but he also provides the intelligence and raw power of a high-end run defender.

18) Cincinnati Bengals: JC Latham, OT, Alabama

One Alabama tackle exits while another enters. JC Latham makes way more sense for the Bengals at right tackle than Jonah Williams, considering how Cincinnati has attempted to build an entirely north-south unit that can bully defensive fronts.

19) Los Angeles Rams: Chop Robinson, EDGE, Penn State

Sometimes a pick makes too much sense. Although variety is the spice of life and makes these early mock drafts a bit more entertaining for everyone who isn’t a “mock drafts are only for predicting the future” fun-suckers, Chop Robinson… YOU are a Los Angeles Ram.

The outside linebacker rush type has a blur of a first step, and, although he’s a bit smaller than Turner, Robinson could easily become a team’s favorite pass rusher throughout the process if they’re looking for a legitimate arc threat.

20) Pittsburgh Steelers: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

Speaking of picks that simply make sense.

Amarius Mims gets paired with his former teammate in Pittsburgh, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone to see the Steelers end up with a third Georgia Bulldog on the offensive line. Yes, this is a plea to upgrade center as well.

Slide Broderick Jones back to the left side and get yourself another people-mover on the OL. My colleague, A.J. Schulte, had this to say about Mims upon peeking in on the tape.

21) Miami Dolphins: Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State

Although the Dolphins could easily pluck another left tackle from the basket or even a positionally diverse blocker like Duke’s Graham Barton or Washington’s Troy Fautanu, a bigger target on the outside could work wonders for this offense.

We all love seeing Tyreek Hill elevate over cornerbacks. But he’s 5’9″ on a good day, and Keon Coleman is a certified DAWG in 50/50 situations.

22) Philadelphia Eagles: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

Betting on multiple geriatric cornerbacks heading into the season played a significant role in the Eagles’ defensive downfall. Although knowing who the defensive coordinator is important for understanding which cornerback should be the pick here, Kool-Aid McKinstry is talented enough to be scheme versatile.

He also absolutely thrives as a zone coverage defender. Although Nick Sirianni, or another head coach, could be leary about another Fangio-derived system, that is where McKinstry could excel.

23) Houston Texans (From CLE): Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

This is officially a warning to the NFL not to let this happen. If the league allows DeMeco Ryans to build his version of the 49ers defense, it’s all over. Will Anderson is obviously Batman, but Laitu Latu would beat the living daylights out of Robin.

Laiatu Latu is the pass-rushing savant’s pass rusher. Being a QB hunter is an art that isn’t often replicated at other positions. Latu is an artist in a way that nobody else in this class is.

24) Dallas Cowboys: Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

When the Cowboys call Cooper DeJean, fans will automatically be transported back to a time when Dallas was considering Jalen Ramsey, but to potentially play safety.

DeJean could start at cornerback for them from Day 1 and likely be a phenomenal complement to Trevon Diggs and DaRon Bland. However, he might have All-Pro potential as a safety who can play anywhere on the field, given his size, ability against the run, and awareness with his zone coverage eyes.

25) Green Bay Packers: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

Even though the Packers defense has underperformed for a few years now, it’s hard to find glaring holes at premium positions. Safety and linebacker are a concern, but the value doesn’t really exist at either position in the 2024 NFL Draft in this range.

Quinyon Mitchell might be Jaire Alexander’s eventual replacement. Like Alexander, Mitchell has a knack for the football, and he possesses rare reactive athleticism.

26) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Troy Fautanu, OG, Washington

The Buccaneers offensive line played well in 2023, but their interior could use a spark. Troy Fautanu could play offensive tackle at the NFL level without blinking, but like tackles-turned-guards of the past, his style might make him a legitimate All-Pro on the interior.

27) Arizona Cardinals (From HOU): Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU

The run of 6’3″ wide receivers who all magically run in the 4.4 range is upon us. The Cardinals need a dude who can be a ball hog, and although Brian Thomas Jr. was the second threat at LSU, we’ve seen other second threats at that school go on to become arguably the best receiver in the game.

Thomas is fluid and explosive for his size as a three-level threat, but like Coleman, he is an absolute menace in the red zone.

28) Kansas City Chiefs: Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

Speaking of red zone threats, Adonai Mitchell was a touchdown merchant for the Texas Longhorns this season. Although Xavier Worthy was the top target for the team, Mitchell snatched the touchdowns.

But like Worthy, Mitchell is also an excellent downfield threat. He displays smooth accelerations and uncanny balance to burst past even the most athletic cornerbacks. He’s not a finished product as a route runner, but he flashes legitimately elite ability there.

29) Buffalo Bills: Xavier Legette, WR, South Carolina

Xavier Legette went from a nobody to arguably the most productive receiver in college football to an afterthought in a hurry. But any young man who stands 6’3, 230 pounds and runs like a deer should earn your attention.

Legette’s top speed is a blur, and he’s as physical after the catch as one would come to expect from a bulky Gamecocks wide receiver. It took years to blossom, but Legette would be an excellent Gabe Davis replacement if Buffalo decides not to extend him.

30) Detroit Lions: Kalen King, CB, Penn State

Dan Campbell, meet knee biter. Knee biter, Dan Campbell.

Now that the introductions are done, let’s get into the nitty-gritty. This isn’t an outstanding cornerback class, but injuries and one-year contracts at the position necessitate the potentiality. Kalen King‘s downhill trigger and physicality against the run and screen game more than makeup for his underwhelming size.

Harrison bullied King in their matchup, and the same will likely happen against other physical receivers at the next level. But King won’t have to face a generational prospect weekly, and his route recognition and reactionary athleticism make him a fun fit in this defense.

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

Kingsley Suamataia made Bruce Feldman’s freak list, and the talk was that the BYU tackle was even more athletic than Blake Freeland, who was one of the most athletic tacklers of all time.

But for as athletic as his reputation proceeds, his true nature is as a backyard brawler. That archetype is exactly what Kyle Shanahan likes to see in his offensive tackles. Although Suamataia is still progressing as a pass protector, the 49ers scheme insulates him from some of those issues.

Additionally, the thought of seeing him in space consistently in that run game will send shivers down the spine of defensive backs. They’ll wake up in a cold sweat thinking about Suamataia and Trent Williams.

32) Baltimore Ravens: Jordan Morgan, OT, Arizona

Speaking of freaky athleticism at the tackle position, Jordan Morgan fits that bill. Although Ronnie Stanley is an outstanding player for Baltimore, he hasn’t stayed healthy since ‘Nam and has a big-time out in his contract post-2024.

KEEP READING: Free NFL Mock Draft Simulator With Trades

Morgan was on his way to being a first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft before a knee injury ended his season. But he returned strong on a surprisingly perky Arizona Wildcats team this season.

All the 2024 NFL Draft resources you need — the draft order, the top QBs, the Top 100 prospects, and the full 2024 Big Board — right at your fingertips at Pro Football Network!

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