2024 NFL Mock Draft: Updated Round 1 Projections
The draft order is set. We have a good idea on which underclassmen are entering the class. We have a good idea which general manager and head coaching jobs are open.
So let’s dive into the first true mock draft of the off-season.
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1. Chicago Bears (from Carolina — QB Caleb Williams, USC
We’re still projecting the Bears will trade Justin Fields for a Day 2 selection and select Caleb Williams at No. 1 overall. There are four and a half months before that decision must be made, though. The Bears must do due diligence on Williams, the trade market for Fields, and the trade market for the No. 1 overall selection before making any decisions. Will Williams play in Chicago after rumors of him wanting a certain organizational structure? That’s something the Bears have to figure out before free agency in mid-March. Williams’ NFL Scouting Combine interview with the Bears’ brass will be very interesting.
2. Washington Commanders — QB Jayden Daniels, LSU
The Commanders avoid drafting back-to-back North Carolina quarterbacks and opt for the electric Heisman Trophy winning Jayden Daniels. Is there a scenario where Washington swaps spots with Chicago and brings the hometown Williams back to D.C.? Possibly, but it would be costly and the Bears would have to either stick with Justin Fields or love the QB2 option in this draft.
3. New England Patriots — QB Drake Maye, North Carolina
Maye will be unfairly compared to Mitchell Trubisky and Sam Howell as former Tar Heel quarterbacks in this class, but he is his own unique player and passer. The 6’4”, 240 pounder is mobile, strong-armed and dripping with potential. We don’t know yet who will be running the show in New England, but Maye would be running the offense.
4. Arizona Cardinals — WR Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State
Get used to seeing this predicted pick for Arizona. If three quarterbacks come off the board in the top three, as expected, the Cardinals will smartly grab the best wide receiver prospect in a long time. Adding to the likelihood of this pick is that wide receiver Marquise Brown may price himself out of Arizona in free agency.
5. Los Angeles Chargers — WR Malik Nabers, LSU
The Chargers could very well go offensive tackle here to bolster a bad line, but with Mike Williams a likely cap casualty, Keenan Allen aging, and Quentin Johnston a rookie bust this is a huge need. Nabers is a great YAC receiver and explosive threat in space. Justin Herbert needs help. Nabers provides that.