Josiah Caswell’s 2024 NFL Mock Draft: Drake Maye Goes to Bears, Jackson Powers-Johnson in Miami, and Adonai Mitchell to the Chiefs

The offseason is underway and so is draft season. In the latest 2024 NFL Mock Draft, some teams surprise with their picks; others make the safe pick.

The offseason continues, and the NFL Scouting Combine is just around the corner. Additionally, NFL free agency is getting closer and closer by the day, which will affect the 2024 NFL Draft. This new 2024 NFL Mock Draft features what I would do and factors in each team’s pending free agents, major needs, and best player available.

2024 NFL Mock Draft

1) Chicago Bears (From CAR): Drake Maye, QB, UNC

A change-up from most mocks, I have the Bears starting fresh at quarterback with the best one available on my board, Drake Maye. They could likely take Caleb Williams too, and that would be perfectly fine as the two hold similar grades on my board.

I think things could still work out with Justin Fields, but starting fresh gives the Bears a lengthened rookie contract window and gives them a chance to trade Fields and build around Maye.

2) Washington Commanders: Caleb Williams, QB, USC

I think the Commanders walk away from this draft with one of the top two quarterbacks. Who they get just depends on what the Bears do. In this case, I have Williams falling to No. 2, resulting in the Commanders rushing to the podium with their selection.

Williams’ 2023 season didn’t go how many expected, but he’s still a special talent and a special player. The drafting of Williams would be a fantastic start to the Dan Quinn era in Washington.

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

While many people have the Patriots taking a quarterback, I don’t. Beyond the top two on the board, I don’t think there’s another quarterback in this class worthy of a top-five selection. Additionally, the Patriots aren’t going to compete in 2024 and have a longer path to success, so they might as well take the best player in the draft.

Marvin Harrison Jr., as mentioned, is the best player and wide receiver in the draft. He will immediately be the top target for whoever is playing quarterback for the Patriots.

4) Arizona Cardinals: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

In 2024, the Cardinals will have Kyler Murray back healthy and ready to go. To help him, I have the team taking the second-best receiver in the class, Rome Odunze. He is one of the best receivers at the catch point, creates good separation, and is great after the catch.

MORE: NFL Draft Order

While he isn’t Harrison, he isn’t much worse and is in no way a consolation prize. In a majority of drafts, Odunze would have a strong case for being the top receiver.

5) Los Angeles Chargers: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

Similar to Harrison, Brock Bowers is just one of the best players in the class overall. At the tight end position, he is one of the best we’ve ever seen as a prospect, alongside Atlanta Falcons tight end Kyle Pitts.

There isn’t really anything Bowers can’t do, and he will plug right into Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman’s offense on Day 1 as a top target for Justin Herbert.

6) New York Giants: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

Similar to Harrison and Odunze, Malik Nabers is another wide receiver who would compete for the top receiver spot in his class in most years.

At LSU, he put up electric numbers and has some of the best speed and explosiveness in the class. In my opinion, he’s the best yards-after-the-catch receiver in the draft, better than both Odunze and Harrison.

The Giants have a plethora of offensive needs, but their wide receiving core is one of the worst in the NFL, and Nabers will help any quarterback they put back there.

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

He could go even higher, but in this scenario, Joe Alt falls to the Titans who desperately need offensive line help. Alt will slot in at left tackle right next to Peter Skoronski, who the Titans took in the first round last year.

At just 20 years old, Alt is 6’8″, 322 pounds, and one of the best run blockers in the class. He still has a lot of room to grow in pass protection, but the ceiling is there as a top tackle in the NFL.

8) Atlanta Falcons: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

You read that right. J.J. McCarthy is the third-best quarterback in the draft on my board, and I think his ceiling is incredibly high. Michigan didn’t rely on him much, but they also didn’t help him out much in a run-heavy scheme. When they needed him, though, he delivered.

The Falcons need a quarterback if they want to take full advantage of their weapons, and McCarthy has the ceiling and floor to be what they need. He can zip the ball to any level of the field and can also take it himself in designed or non-designed runs if necessary.

9) Chicago Bears: Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

With the Bears getting their quarterback earlier, now they’re going to look to fix the defensive side of the ball. While they do have Montez Sweat, they need additional pass-rush help alongside him. Laiatu Latu is the best edge player in the draft and can make plays in both the run and pass game with his incredible bend and pass-rushing bag.

The only major points of concern with Latu are his medicals, once medically retiring before returning and transferring to UCLA. If you can get past those concerns, there’s a lot to love about what he can add to a defense.

10) New York Jets: Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State

Finally, Olu Fashanu’s fall ends with the Jets. Fashanu is essentially the opposite of Alt, but he also makes a fair claim for the top offensive tackle spot in this year’s draft. He is already a top-tier pass blocker but has room for improvement when it comes to moving people in the run game.

The Jets are going to see Aaron Rodgers return to the lineup, and if they want to keep him healthy this go around, they’ll need to improve their offensive line immediately.

11) Minnesota Vikings: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

One player I’m super high on in this class is Nate Wiggins, who ranks as the top corner in the class. He’s a bit frail but plays tough through the catch point, is sticky in coverage, and doesn’t play small when it comes to tackling.

The Vikings need help in the defensive backfield, and Wiggins can improve things on Day 1 as one of the team’s outside corners alongside Byron Murphy Jr.

12) Denver Broncos: Johnny Newton, DT, Illinois

Another player I’m really high on is ‘Johnny’ Newton. He’s the best inside defensive lineman in the draft and offers both run support but also explosive pass-rush ability from the interior. He is a bit undersized, but he doesn’t play like it.

MORE: 2024 NFL Draft Big Board

The Broncos could already use help in the interior of their defensive line, but starter Jonathan Harris is set to be a free agent as well. Newton would slot in as a Day 1 starter and have an immediate impact.

13) Las Vegas Raiders: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

Taliese Fuaga is an interesting player to me. I think he has All-Pro potential at guard but also Pro-Bowl potential at right tackle. What position he will play will depend on where he goes, but Fuaga will start somewhere on the offensive line and maul in the run game right away.

The Raiders could use offensive line help in general, whether it be at guard or tackle, but Fuaga would likely start at right tackle in Las Vegas.

14) New Orleans Saints: JC Latham, OT, Alabama

Similar to many other teams, the Saints need help on the offensive line. Whether Ryan Ramczyk retires or the team starts Andrus Peat, they need a new offensive tackle.

JC Latham is one of the strongest tackles I’ve seen in the draft in a long time, and he would immediately be able to start and handle the power of NFL pass rushers. On an Alabama offensive line that struggled mightily at times, Latham held his own and is a safe bet at the next level.

15) Indianapolis Colts: Cooper DeJean, DB, Iowa

The Colts need help anywhere in the defensive backfield, whether it be at cornerback or safety. Cooper DeJean is the best of both worlds, as he can play literally anywhere you want. He can play outside, in the nickel, or as a safety. He can even return kicks at a high level.

The Colts’ current starting outside corners are a combination of Dallis Flowers, JuJu Brents, and Jaylon Jones with Kenny Moore II being an impending free agent at the nickel. Additionally, Colts’ defensive coordinator Gus Bradley runs a heavy Cover 3 scheme, which is DeJean’s ideal fit at outside corner.

16) Seattle Seahawks: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

The Jayden Daniels fall ends at No. 16. While many are high on him as a top-five quarterback, I am not. However, Daniels is still an electric, big-play threat quarterback. Over a lengthy college career, Daniels saw consistent improvement all the way into his Heisman-winning season in 2023.

The Seahawks have Geno Smith under contract still, but at 33 years old, Smith and Seattle could move on after this season. Additionally, the Seahawks could just trade Smith if they feel good enough about Daniels come Week 1.

17) Jacksonville Jaguars: Byron Murphy II, DT, Texas

The Jaguars have a plethora of needs, mostly on the inside of both lines. In this mock, they look to improve the inside of their defensive line first. While they signed DaVon Hamilton, Roy Robertson-Harris, and Foley Fatukasi all to decently sized deals, they didn’t get the production they needed or expected.

Byron Murphy II is the best pass-rushing defensive tackle in the class and will immediately give the Jaguars an interior presence that can help edge rushers Josh Allen — if he returns — and Travon Walker. Additionally, Murphy can anchor down and support in the run game despite being of a smaller size for his position at 6’1″ and 308 pounds.

18) Cincinnati Bengals: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

The Bengals have multiple paths they could choose here, but I have them going with a corner. While they have Cam Taylor-Britt, Mike Hilton is aging and Chidobe Awuzie is an impending free agent. Kool-Aid McKinstry is one of the best man-to-man corners in the class and is sticky in coverage, despite a lower number of statistical production.

The Bengals could also pursue wide receiver under the scenario that both Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd hit free agency, but it’s likely the team franchise tags or re-signs Higgins.

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

Dallas Turner is another player who could go much higher, but in this mock draft, he goes to Los Angeles, where he will start on Day 1. The Rams have found late-round gems in Byron Young and Kobie Turner, but they still need another pass rusher.

Turner has the highest upside of any EDGE in the class when it comes to his all-around skillset and physical traits. He has incredible burst, bend, agility, and power. He isn’t quite Will Anderson Jr. just yet, but he could be even better one day.

20) Pittsburgh Steelers: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

The Steelers need help all over their offensive line, but they get lucky as Amarius Mims falls into their lap as the best remaining offensive tackle on the board. Although he suffered a handful of injuries during his time at Georgia, Mims was one of the better tackles in college football and can succeed at both pass blocking and run blocking.

MORE: 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Reports

In this scenario, getting drafted by the Steelers pairs Mims up with Broderick Jones, who was also drafted in the first round out of Georgia by the Steelers in 2022. It would put Jones at right tackle and Mims at left tackle, unless the team wants to flip Jones back to left tackle like he was in college.

21) Miami Dolphins: Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon

The first center off the board is Jackson Powers-Johnson out of Oregon. Despite being a very big, powerful center at 6’3″ and 334 pounds, he can still move and get out to the second level on blocks too. He’s arguably the best center prospect since Tyler Linderbaum and can play both guard and center.

Overall, there aren’t many negatives to his game. Connor Williams, the Dolphins’ starting center, tore his ACL later in 2023 and is an impending free agent. Powers-Johnson would immediately start in the middle and could be an improvement as well.

22) Philadelphia Eagles: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

The Eagles took off to a quick start in 2023 but quickly fizzled off. A big reason for that was their defensive struggles, specifically in the defensive backfield at corner. The team has an aging Darius Slay who’s playing well but saw James Bradberry regress significantly.

Quinyon Mitchell is a plug-and-play guy who can succeed in either a man or a zone scheme. He has blazing speed and dominated his competition at Toledo. Additionally, he proved himself against tougher competition at the Senior Bowl, showing no weaknesses.

23) Houston Texans (From CLE): Chop Robinson, EDGE, Penn State

The best pure pass rusher in the 2024 NFL Draft is Chop Robinson. The Texans have Anderson under contract for a long time, but his counterpart Jonathan Greenard is an impending free agent. Additionally, even if Greenard is retained, the team still needs an impactful third edge rusher.

Robinson has growth to make when it comes to his run defense, but his burst, bend, and pass rush repertoire is unmatched and will give him the ability to immediately rush the opposing team’s quarterbacks at a high level.

24) Dallas Cowboys: Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma

The Cowboys have a pretty well-built roster, but there’s still room for improvement in the trenches. While most of the Cowboys’ offensive line is bolstered, right tackle Terence Steele underwhelmed in 2023, allowing eight sacks with seven penalties. Tyler Guyton, who’s spent his college career as a right tackle, could come in and compete with or replace him quickly.

Guyton is raw in his technique and hand usage but has incredible size (6’7″, 328 pounds) and athleticism that gives him some of the best upside in the class. He will likely struggle in Year 1, but with the proper development, he could have a long career as a quality tackle.

25) Green Bay Packers: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

The last of the top-tier corners in the class goes at No. 25. Terrion Arnold could very well be the first off the board, but in this case, he goes to the Packers. There have been trade rumors about Jaire Alexander, and Eric Stokes has been up and down due to injuries, so drafting a highly touted corner could be a smart avenue for the Packers.

As opposed to teammate McKinstry’s lock-down ability with less production, Arnold bolsters significant production and is always making a play on the football. While also having top-tier athleticism, he had five interceptions and 12 pass deflections in 2023.

26) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Zach Frazier, C, West Virginia

The first surprise player of the draft comes late, as the Buccaneers look to improve their interior offensive line with a brand-new center. Long-time starter Ryan Jensen officially announced his retirement earlier this month following a plethora of injuries. Now, the Buccaneers will fill the hole with the second-best center in the draft.

Zach Frazier isn’t as big as Powers-Johnson, but he has just as much ability on the move, is good in pass protection, and should significantly improve the Buccaneers’ run blocking. The main knock with Frazier is that he suffered a lower leg injury in West Virginia’s season finale and has been recovering ever since.

27) Arizona Cardinals (From HOU): Jared Verse, EDGE, FSU

Jared Verse is another guy who could go much higher, but there’s no way he could sneak out of the first round. He has incredible power and hand usage but isn’t the most bendy or athletic rusher. He will immediately plug in and improve a team’s defensive line, but his upside is limited in comparison to the guys who went ahead of him.

The Cardinals’ defense, which finished with the third-fewest sacks in the NFL in 2023 (33), will immediately feel the presence of Verse’s pass-rush ability. Additionally, he is a plus player in the run game thanks to his power and savviness.

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

There was a gap between the third and fourth receiver off the board, but Brian Thomas Jr. is no slouch. At just 21 years old, Thomas had a breakout season in 2023, catching 68 passes for 1,177 yards and a whopping 17 touchdowns. Thomas’ production is impressive, but he also has incredible size, weight, and speed at 6’4″ and 205 pounds.

The Bills are set to lose Gabe Davis to free agency and need to find a second outside receiver to pair alongside Stefon Diggs. Thomas could serve as both a red-zone threat and a deep threat for Josh Allen to target when defenses focus on Diggs.

29) Detroit Lions: Kamari Lassiter, CB, Georgia

If they don’t trade up for a corner, the Lions are probably upset that Arnold went to the Packers at 25. However, Kamari Lassiter is still a really good player, and the Lions desperately need help in their cornerback room as it plagued them late in the year and in the playoffs.

Lassiter is a bit light with his 6’0″ and 180-pound frame, but he plays bigger than he is and brings his physicality into both the passing game and running game. He’s good in a man-to-man scheme and improved his technique and ball skills in 2023.

30) Baltimore Ravens: Graham Barton, G, Duke

The Ravens have one of the better rosters in the NFL, but a major spot for improvement is the offensive line. Guard Kevin Zeitler is an impending free agent, and the Ravens have also seen struggles out of left tackle Ronnie Stanley following some injuries. Graham Barton is a guy who can play tackle, guard, or center depending on what you need.

While the Ravens don’t need a center, Barton will likely project to guard for the team in this scenario and would replace Zeitler, barring a re-signing.

31) San Francisco 49ers: Darius Robinson, EDGE, Missouri

Darius Robinson has been one of the biggest draft risers so far in the process, especially thanks to his performance at the Senior Bowl. Robinson would give the 49ers another chess piece on the defensive line, being able to play inside or outside depending on the need or formation.

The 49ers have Nick Bosa under contract for a long time, but Chase Young is set to be a free agent, leaving an opening for Robinson to earn quick playtime. The team will also see Randy Gregory, Clelin Ferrell, Javon Kinlaw, and Sebastian Joseph-Day all hit free agency as well.

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

Everyone heard the complaints all year: The Chiefs need help at wide receiver. Aside from Rashee Rice, who developed very nicely in 2023, the Chiefs don’t have any building blocks out wide. Luckily for them, Adonai Mitchell fell right into their laps.

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While Rice is a top-tier yards-after-the-catch receiver, Mitchell will be the Chiefs’ X-receiver who can secure jump balls and just win downfield at 6’4″ and 196 pounds. The main weakness for Mitchell is his yards-after-the-catch creation, but that issue is limited by the presence of Rice on the roster.

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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