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2024 NFL Mock Draft: Cardinals select Marvin Harrison Jr.; Malik Nabers and Keon Coleman land in top 10

In my first two mocks of the season, I found a way to shoehorn six quarterbacks into the first round of the NFL Draft.

The famed quarterback class of 1983 produced six first-rounders, featuring John Elway, Jim Kelly and Dan Marino.

More recently, we had five signal-callers selected in the first round in 2018, including Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson.

Don’t get me wrong, the demand is certainly there for a half dozen quarterbacks to be selected in prime-time come April, but as of now, I only see three locks at the position: Caleb Williams, Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels.

The other three prospects will have to navigate the draft process, and heavy scrutiny that comes with it.

Bo Nix underwhelmed with Auburn in the SEC, before reaching his potential at Oregon.

Michael Penix Jr. suffered a plethora of injuries at Indiana before transferring to Washington and leading the Huskies to the College Football Playoff.

JJ McCarthy has operated in a run-heavy offense, and hasn’t had to shoulder the type of responsibility the other QB prospects have to this point.

I’m excluding those three passers from this week’s update, but it isn’t an indictment of their abilities or me lowering their draft stock. It’s simply early in the process, and a good time to tinker.

MOCK PREAMBLE

This is an attempt at figuring out the best players available in this season’s draft class, and which teams they’d match up well with considering the current draft order courtesy of NFL.com. The closer we get to draft day, the more I’ll attempt to match what teams will actually do with their draft picks as opposed to what I believe they should do.

Last season, I was the third-most accurate NFL draft prognosticator in print, according to The Huddle Report. I’m tied for first overall (out of 172) over the past five years.

The draft has become the Super Bowl of the NFL’s second season — the NFL doesn’t have an off-season — and a mock version of said draft is meant to educate, perhaps even entertain. At very least, it helps you pass the time.

Follow me on X (formerly known as Twitter) @UTEddieBrown so we can continue the conversation.

Here’s an updated version of my 2024 NFL Mock Draft:

First round

1. Chicago from Carolina (2-12) — Caleb Williams, QB, USC, Jr.

Bears general manager Ryan Poles could continue to build around Justin Fields by drafting Marvin Harrison Jr. (a generational talent) or trading this pick for a king’s ransom. But if there’s a new coaching staff in Chicago, conventional wisdom suggests they’ll want their own franchise quarterback. Williams is special off-platform and will likely become Trojans coach Lincoln Riley’s third quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy and go first overall, joining Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield. Top needs: WR, Edge, OL

2. New England (3-11) — Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina, So.

The post-Tom Brady era hasn’t been kind to the Patriots or Bill Belichick. This could be the first time Belichick drafts inside the Top-5 as a head coach, assuming he doesn’t decide to call it quits. Maye’s prototypical size (6-foot-4, 230 pounds), elite arm talent and ability as a runner will cause some to question whether Williams is really the top QB in this draft class. Spoiler alert: Williams is the top QB in this draft class, but I like Maye a lot too. Top needs: QB, OL, TE

3. Arizona(3-11) — Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio St., Jr.

Would GM Monti Ossenfort move on from Kyler Murray and trade up with the Bears or Patriots to select Williams or Maye? Perhaps, but I’m thinking the Cardinals are still committed to Murray, and Ossenfort wouldn’t complain if he were able to fill one of his roster’s biggest needs with the top overall prospect in the draft. If we were to “Weird Science” a wide receiver, the computer would almost certainly produce Harrison. The consensus All-American is a route tactician who features prototypical size (6-foot-4, 205 pounds), strong hands and athleticism with Hall of Fame NFL lineage (he’s the son of Colts legend Marvin Harrison). The last receiver to be drafted inside the Top-3 was Calvin Johnson in 2007. Top needs: WR, CB, G

4. Washington (4-10)— Joe Alt, T, Notre Dame, Jr.

There will likely be a front office and coaching change after this season, so Sam Howell may not be locked in as the franchise QB going forward, but the Commanders haven’t had a left tackle to build around since Trent Williams. The massive Irish tackle (6-8, 315) continues piling up All-American honors after another successful season in South Bend and is one of two blue chip tackle prospects in this class. Top needs: Edge, OL, DB

5. New York Giants (5-9) — Malik Nabers, WR, LSU, Jr.

The G-Men will definitely be in the quarterback discussion leading up to the draft, but if they decide to give Daniel Jones another shot, they’ll need to find him a true No. 1 receiver. Nabers’ body control and route-running are top-notch, plus he’s elite after the catch and a terror in the open field. Top needs: DL, RB, WR

6. Chicago (5-9) — Keon Coleman, WR, Florida St., Jr.

Regardless who the Bears have under center, they’ll need to find him another dynamic receiver to pair with DJ Moore. Coleman, a Biletnikoff Award semifinalist, features a combination of size (6-4, 215), strength and speed uncommon in receivers. Top needs: WR, Edge, OL

7. Los Angeles Chargers (5-9) — Olu Fashanu, T, Penn St., Jr.

Building an elite offensive line to protect franchise QB Justin Herbert has to be the new GM’s top priority. Fashanu would’ve likely ended up in the first-round discussion had he declared last season. There’s still room for growth in the run game, but he’s already an elite pass-protector and could easily go in the Top-5. Top needs: CB, RB, T

8. Tennessee (5-8) — JC Latham, T, Alabama, Jr.

It looks like Will Levis will be the starting QB in 2024 for the Titans, so GM Ran Carthon’s next assignment is upgrading Levis’ protection. Latham is a super-sized tackle (6-6, 360) with elite strength and movement skills. Top needs: WR, CB, OL

9. New York Jets (5-8) — Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia, Jr.

Protecting a 40-year-old Aaron Rodgers has to be the highest priority for GM Joe Douglas, but the top tackles are off the board in this scenario. So why not upgrade his weaponry? Bowers is a top-five talent, but the draft order doesn’t work in his favor. He’s the most heralded prospect at the position since Kyle Pitts in 2021. The two-time Mackey Award winner has produced 175 receptions for 2,538 yards and 26 TDs in three seasons for the two-time champion Bulldogs. Pitts had 100 receptions for 1,492 yards and 18 TDs in three seasons at Florida. Top needs: OL, WR, S

10. Atlanta (6-8) — Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU, Sr.

Desmond Ridder was just benched for the second time this season. I’m not sure how coach Arthur Smith will under-utilize Daniels’ talents, but if there’s anyone who can figure it out, it’s Smith — I’m clearly a frustrated fantasy manager who invested heavily in Bijan Robinson and Kyle Pitts the last two seasons. Daniels had a historic season in Baton Rouge, breaking Joe Burrow’s NCAA passing efficiency record with a rating of 208 as a senior. The 2023 Heisman Trophy winner also produced 3,812 passing yards, 40 passing touchdowns and only four interceptions. He added 1,134 rushing yards and 10 scores on the ground for good measure. Daniels is opting out of the ReliaQuest Bowl against Wisconsin. Top needs: QB, WR, Edge

11. Las Vegas (6-8) — Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama, Jr.

This is another spot where a new coaching staff likely means a new QB, but the top-three prospects are off the board. McKinstry was first-team All-SEC as a true sophomore. He features prototypical size (6-1, 194) with speed and brings physicality in coverage and against the run. He’s also proven to be a dynamic punt-returner. Top needs: QB, CB, RB

12. Green Bay (6-8) — Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson, Jr.

The Packers dealt Rasul Douglas to Buffalo at the trade deadline and former first-rounders Jaire Alexander and Eric Stokes have both been plagued by injury issues. Wiggins might need to add some strength to his frame (6-2, 185), but he already has elite ball skills and athletic abilities. Top needs: DB, OL, RB

13. New Orleans (7-7) — Jared Verse, Edge, Florida St., Jr.

The Saints are another team that wouldn’t surprise me if they targeted a QB, but here we shore up a once elite defense. Like Penn State’s Fashanu, Verse would’ve likely been a first-round pick had he declared after last season. He produced nine sacks after transferring from Albany to Tallahassee for his sophomore season. The AP All-American followed that up with another nine sacks to help the Seminoles finish the regular season undefeated. Top needs: LB, OL, Edge

14. Denver (7-7) — Dallas Turner, Edge, Alabama, Jr.

The Broncos need a bona fide threat on the outside to pair with Zach Allen, who normally wreaks havoc on the interior. Turner was overshadowed by Will Anderson Jr. his previous two seasons at Tuscaloosa — he had 8.5 sacks as a true freshman in 2021 — but he’s capable of being a star in his own right. This season, the AP All-American added some bulk to his frame and displayed more power to go with his already impressive speed-rush capabilities. Top needs: Edge, LB, DB

15. Pittsburgh (7-7) — Cooper DeJean, DB, Iowa, Jr.

Patrick Peterson will be 34 in 2024 and could potentially be a cap casualty after this season. DeJean hasn’t declared for the draft yet, but he can play outside or inside at cornerback, and even safety due to his size (6-1, 207) and speed combo. He’d also be one of this draft’s top playmakers. Top needs: CB, C, LB

16. Seattle(7-7) — Jer’Zhan Newton, DL, Illinois, Jr.

Pairing another versatile, dynamic defensive lineman with Leonard Williams would help the Seahawks lessen the gap with NFC West rival San Francisco. Newton was likely a Day 2 selection had he entered the draft after last season, which motivated him to return to school. He may be undersized (6-2, 295) for some teams, but he’s been a disruptive force the last two seasons against the run and pass. He could easily go in the Top-10 when it’s all said and done. Top needs: LB, DL, IOL

17. Arizona from Houston (8-6) — Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama, So.

The Cardinals landed the best player in this draft (Marvin Harrison Jr.) with their first pick of the first round. Here they can continue to build a young and talented secondary. Based on upside, Arnold could be ranked higher on some draft boards than his Crimson Tide teammate Kool-Aid McKinstry. He’s relatively inexperienced at cornerback — he was a former safety recruit — but he’s been one of the better run defenders at the position and has proven a quick-study in coverage. Top needs: WR,CB, G

18. Buffalo(8-6)— Laiatu Latu, Edge, UCLA, Sr.

AJ Epenesa, Shaq Lawson and Leonard Floyd are all facing free agency after this season, so an influx of talent on the defensive line might be a necessity for the Bills come April. Latu leads college football with 64 QB pressures and features a pro-ready arsenal of pass-rush moves. Medical evaluations of a neck injury the AP All-American suffered during his time with Washington will have a big impact on his draft stock. Top needs: DL, G, WR

19. Minnesota (7-7) — Taliese Fuaga, T, Oregon St., Jr.

I anticipate the Vikings doing their due diligence on this class of quarterbacks (and potentially moving up in the draft) if they’re unable to re-sign Kirk Cousins after this season. Regardless, they’ll need more consistent play up front. Fuaga is a well-rounded mauler at tackle and could be the Beavers’ first offensive lineman ever selected in the first round of the NFL draft. Top needs: QB, Edge, OL

20. Tampa Bay (7-7) — Kamren Kitchens, S, Miami, Jr.

I’m not sure Baker Mayfield has done enough to keep the Buccaneers from targeting a signal-caller in the first round next year, but Antoine Winfield is facing free agency, along with Ryan Neal, so GM Jason Licht will likely have to address the defensive backfield at some point. Kitchens’ one of the most versatile defensive backs in this draft class, and thrives in coverage or as a run defender. Top needs: QB, LB, DB

21. Los Angeles Rams (7-7) — Amarius Mims, T, Georgia, Jr.

The Rams’ offensive line rebounded in a major way this season, but they lack depth at tackle. Mims is still very raw, and has dealt with multiple ankle injuries this season, but he towers (6-7, 340) over most of the competition and he moves easy considering his size. His athletic potential and his 2022 tape will be hard to ignore. Top needs: T, Edge, LB

22. Indianapolis(8-6)— Rome Odunze, WR, Washington, Jr.

Wide receiver would be a top priority in the offseason if the Colts lose Michael Pittman Jr. in free agency. Odunze features elite size (6-3, 215), speed and strength, and will compete to become the second wide receiver drafted in prime-time come April. Top needs: LB, WR, DB

23. Cincinnati (8-6) — Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU, Jr.

Both Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd are free agents for the Bengals after this season. Thomas’ physical gifts are off the charts. He’s 6-foot-4 and can hit 22 mph on the GPS. Thomas is a big-bodied vertical threat who has only scratched the surface of his potential. Top needs: WR, OL, DL

24. Jacksonville (8-6) — Chop Robinson, Edge, Penn St., Jr.

The Jaguars could lose Josh Allen in free agency. Robinson’s still developing his technique, but his first-step explosiveness and speed-to-power variation is a rare commodity. Top needs: Edge, OL, WR

25. Kansas City (9-5) — Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas

The Chiefs have one wide receiver on their current roster who doesn’t force Patrick Mahomes to constantly turn water into wine, and that’s Rashee Rice. I don’t believe we’ve seen the best of Worthy during his time in Austin, and his world-class speed will likely be one of the highlights in Indianapolis at the combine next March. Top needs: WR, DT, CB

26. Houston from Cleveland (9-5) — Bralen Trice, Edge, Washington, Jr.

The Texans hit it out of the park by taking CJ Stroud and Will Anderson Jr. in the first round this year. I anticipate head coach DeMeco Ryans will continue to build a defense to pair with Stroud’s fireworks on offense, likely based on the blueprint he learned in San Francisco (all pass rushers, all the time). Trice shares similar physical traits with Cincinnati’s Trey Hendrickson and is relentless against the pass or run. Top needs: OL, DL, CB

27. Miami (10-4)— Tyler Guyton, T, Oklahoma, Jr.

Durability has become a concern for the Dolphins’ O-line, with Terron Armstead, Robert Hunt and Connor Williams all missing time. Guyton has played right tackle for the Sooners, but has the prototypical size and premium athletic traits to switch to the left side in the pros. Top needs: DL, OL, WR

28. Dallas (10-4) — Kalen King, CB, Penn St., Jr.

Both Stephon Gilmore and Jourdan Lewis are facing free agency for the Cowboys, and Trevon Diggs suffered a torn ACL in September. King led all cornerbacks in the country with a 93.3 overall grade and an 18.3 passer rating allowed in single-coverage as a sophomore, according to Pro Football Focus. His elite athleticism should carry him through the draft process despite inconsistent play as a junior for the Nittany Lions. Top needs: T, DB, WR

29. Detroit (10-4) — JT Tuimoloau, Edge, Ohio St., Jr.

The Lions have several defensive linemen who will be entering a contract season in 2024. Tuimoloau, a former five-star recruit, is an all-around defensive end who is more smooth and savvy than explosive, but features the size (6-4, 270) Detroit covets at the position. Top needs: CB, DL, LB

30. Philadelphia (10-4)— Kamari Lassiter, CB, Georgia, Jr.

The Eagles’ secondary has struggled mightily this season. GM Howie Roseman collects former Bulldogs and Lassiter is a two-year starter in the SEC despite being a true junior. He’s 6-foot tall and features enough straight line speed to thrive on the perimeter. Top needs: DT, DB, Edge

31. San Francisco (11-3) — Kingsley Suamataia, T, BYU, So.

One of the few “weaknesses” of the 49ers is at right tackle and guard. Suamataia was a five-star recruit who originally landed with Oregon before transferring to Provo. The 6-foot-6, 325 pound lineman came in at No. 3 on Bruce Feldman’s annual college football “Freaks List” behind only South Carolina wide receiver Nyckoles Harbor — a true freshman this year — at No. 1 and Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. at No. 2. Top needs: OL, DT, CB

32. Baltimore (11-3) — Graham Barton, OL, Duke, Sr.

Starting guards John Simpson and Kevin Zeitler will both be free agents in March. Barton could thrive at both tackle or guard (and possibly center) in the NFL. Some scouts will question his size/length for the tackle position — he’s 6-5, 314 pounds — but 34 of his 39 career starts were at left tackle for the Blue Devils (the other five were at center). He’s a technically sound, sticky blocker with quickness and competitive tendencies that deserves first-round consideration. Top needs: DT, WR, RB

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