NFL Analysis


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2024 NFL Mock Draft: Former Executives Predict This Year's First Round

The 2024 NFL Draft is just a few days away. The draft is always unpredictable but who better to get the opinion of than two people who went through the process themselves? 

The picks in this mock were made by former NFL executives Rick Spielman and Mike Tannenbaum. The former front office members switched off making each pick, starting with Spielman at No. 1.


1. Chicago Bears

Caleb Williams, QB, USC

Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 214 pounds
Class: Junior

Spielman: Caleb Williams is the most unique playmaker to come out in the draft in a while. I think that with what the Chicago Bears built this offseason (trading for Keenan Allen, and signing D’Andre Swift) they're built to give him the best chance to have success. 

The biggest thing they can’t do is what Carolina did with Bryce Young. They fed him the offense all at once, instead of what Houston did — giving C.J. Stroud the offense in pieces. If the Bears can handle Williams the right way, he’s a unique talent. 

2. Washington Commanders

Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 210 pounds
Class: Senior

Tannenbaum: The Washington Commanders take Jayden Daniels over Drake Maye — narrowly. Daniels was the best player in college football last season. What I like about Daniels is his completion percentage increased from 60 as a freshman to 72. That improvement shows great football character. 

He needs to learn to protect himself because he’s built very slightly. That would be the only concern. But he’s a dynamic runner and has dynamic arm talent. This pick makes Terry McLaurin a whole heck of a lot better. 

Trade Alert

Vikings Receive: No. 3 

Patriots Receive: No. 11, No. 23, 2025 1st

3. Minnesota Vikings (Via NE)

Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 223 pounds
Class: R. Sophomore

Spielman: The Minnesota Vikings get aggressive and trade up for Drake Maye. Josh McCown (Minnesota’s QB coach) worked with Maye in high school. I know he didn't play as well last year as he did the year before, but I think he's a unique talent with a size, underrated athlete.

He can make all the NFL throws, and I think getting into that offense with Kevin O’Connell and McCown would be a great fit for Maye.

4. Arizona Cardinals

Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 209 pounds
Class: Junior

Tannenbaum: I’m gonna stay with the chalk pick and take Marvin Harrison Jr. Look, the Arizona Cardinals are just desperate for multiple receivers, and they'll get the best one. He reminds me of Larry Fitzgerald because he has a huge catching radius. But I like the way he gets in and out of breaks. 

One of the reasons he didn’t have a super year this year is obviously because of the quarterback play. I think it's a pretty easy pick to have Harrison be the best receiver in the draft.

5. Los Angeles Chargers

Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

Height: 6-foot
Weight: 200 pounds
Class: Junior

Spielman: I couldn’t find a trade partner for this pick since Minnesota moved all the way up to No. 3. We were hoping they’d trade with us.

Instead, I’ll stay pat and take Malik Nabers. The Los Angeles Chargers cut Mike Williams and traded Keenan Allen, so they have no receivers in that room. Getting a playmaker for Justin Herbert makes sense. Some teams I’ve heard from even have Nabers a notch above Harrison Jr. There are a lot of mixed reviews out there.

6. New York Giants

J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 219 pounds
Class: Junior

Tannenbaum: This is easy. It’s J.J. McCarthy

Daniel Jones only has one more year of guaranteed money. McCarthy was 27-1 as a starter, threw 49 touchdowns, is durable and is a great leader. He played great against Alabama and Washington when he had to. 

McCarthy played great against Illinois in a tough game, too. Jones is a talented player but has had trouble staying healthy and protecting the ball. In this scenario, the New York Giants should be doing backflips because they got the quarterback, and they didn't have to give up anything.

7. Tennessee Titans

Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

Height: 6-foot-9
Weight: 321 pounds
Class: Junior

Spielman: This is a no-brainer. The Tennessee Titans are taking OT Joe Alt

He has the height and length and plays with grit and toughness. I was surprised at how good of a run blocker he was. He does have some negatives, though. He has to anchor better and better pass protect vs. power rushers. But he's a plug-and-play Day 1 starter. There’s future Pro Bowl potential in his game.

8. Atlanta Falcons

Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 247 pounds
Class: Junior

Tannenbaum: For the Atlanta Falcons, it’s easy to make Dallas Turner the first defender off the board. He’s a really good athlete but probably not the natural pass rusher that Will Anderson was. I like the fact that you could actually drop in coverage a little bit.

Atlanta has really struggled to rush the passer. I think when they got Kirk Cousins, this was a little bit of a two-for-the-price-of-one, knowing they didn't have to get the quarterback. They got the safest pass rusher, not the one with the most upside. But I would say in my mind, he's the safest pass rusher in the draft. 

Trade Alert

Saints Receive: No. 9 

Bears Receive: No. 14, No. 45


Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State

Height: 6-foot-6
Weight: 312 pounds
Class: R. Junior

Spielman: I've dealt with New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis. When he calls, he wants to move up to get this guy. 

Normally, this trade would cost a third-round pick, but New Orleans doesn't have a third or fourth-rounder this year. They do have a second-rounder, but it's rich. Mickey could take that second round to move up or give up a second-rounder in 2025. 

Either way, they're going to come up. They need a left tackle — badly. Trevor Penning hasn't panned out to what they thought he would be. So they come up and get Olu Fashanu

10. New York Jets

JC Latham, OT, Alabama

Height: 6-foot-6
Weight: 342 pounds
Class: Junior

Tannenbaum: I had to decide between Brock Bowers and JC Latham, but I’m going with Latham. Bowers is tempting, but Morgan Moses and Tyron Smith have long injury histories. 

Latham is big, strong and powerful. I just don't think you can go wrong with a good, young, healthy, big, athletic tackle. That's why I'm narrowly taking Latham instead of Bowers.  

Trade Alert

Colts Receive: No. 11 

Patriots Receive: No. 15, No. 82

11. Indianapolis Colts (Via NE)

Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 243 pounds
Class: Junior

Spielman: The Indianapolis Colts come up and get Brock Bowers, who is probably one of the most unique playmakers at tight end to come out in a while. You can create mismatches; he's a big play threat down the field. 

He’s not overly strong as a blocker, but he sticks his nose in there, and he’s very functional. The Colts add another playmaker for Anthony Richardson.

12. Denver Broncos

Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

Height: 6-foot
Weight: 195 pounds
Class: Senior

Tannenbaum: This is a tough one for the Denver Broncos. I think it’s too early for a quarterback, so I’m going to take Quinyon Mitchell from Toledo. 

I thought he had a great offseason. He has man-to-man ability on the outside, had a great senior Bowl week and ran sub-4.40 seconds at the combine. To me, he checks all the boxes for a big position of need. 

13. Las Vegas Raiders

Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington

Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 216 pounds
Class: Senior

Spielman: I considered Taliese Fuaga for the Las Vegas Raiders, but I’m going to take Michael Penix Jr. here. They have Gardner Minshew and Aidan O’Connell, but they need a quarterback of the future. 

Penix Jr. doesn’t have to start right away with Minshew as the stop-gap guy. I think they’ll have an open competition. Penix really rose through this pre-draft process. Everybody talked about the arm talent. I know he's thrown to NFL-caliber receivers and that he struggles at times with pressure in his face. We saw that in the Michigan game. 

But he ended up running faster than everybody thought he would at his pro day. He also went down and competed well at the Senior Bowl.

14. Chicago Bears (Via NO)

Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 212 pounds
Class: Senior

Tannenbaum: It works out big time for the Bears, as they get Rome Odunze. I’m surprised he’s even available here. 

He’s big, strong, productive and has great body control. I had compared him to Terrell Owens. Also, Odunze actually led the country with 17.8 yards per catch.

To me, Allen is a year-to-year guy, so having Odunze and Moore long-term really works out great. Getting Odunze and an extra choice with Caleb Williams is just great business for the Bears.

15. New England Patriots (Via IND)

Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

Oregon State Beavers offensive lineman Taliese Fuaga (75) blocks Stanford Cardinal linebacker Levani Damuni (3) during a game at Stanford Stadium. (Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports)

Height: 6-foot-6
Weight: 340 pounds
Class: Senior

Spielman: I’m gonna go with Taliese Fuaga from Oregon State for the New England Patriots. They desperately need offensive linemen. 

Fuaga is a physical right tackle. He plays with the demeanor you want and will be a tone-setter for them upfront. I think he struggles at times, especially with inside moves and pass protection. There’s some projection in that regard, but I think he comes in as the Day 1 starting right tackle for New England. 

16. Seattle Seahawks

Troy Fautanu, OL, Washingon

Washington Huskies offensive lineman Troy Fautanu (55) blocks for tight end Devin Culp (83) against the Michigan Wolverines during the 2024 College Football Playoff national championship game at NRG Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 317 pounds
Class: Senior

Tannenbaum: I’ll take Troy Fautanu from Washington for the Seattle Seahawks

They've addressed the offensive line in the past with Abraham Lucas and Charles Cross. Fautanu played left tackle, but I think putting him inside will solidify the guard position. He’s 6-foot-4, 317 pounds, and only allowed two sacks last season. 

He would have the same offensive coordinator as last year, and he’s a perfect fit for what they need.

Trade AlerT

Jaguars Receive: No. 19, 99

Rams Receive: No. 17

17. Los Angeles Rams (VIA JAX)

Byron Murphy, IDL, Texas

Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 297 pounds
Class: Junior

Spielman: The Los Angeles Rams come up and get IDL Byron Murphy II from Texas. You can't replace Aaron Donald, but I know the Cincinnati Bengals are a threat because they need a defensive tackle.

I think Murphy is a unique playmaker at the position, played both nose and under. He'll be under at the next level. Excellent first step quickness. Surprisingly strong at the point vs. the run. He's just tapping his potential as an in-line pass rusher.

He's not Donald, but he's as close as you can get in this year's draft. And I have to come up and get that defensive tackle.

18. Cincinnati Bengals

Jer'Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois

Height: 6-foot-2

Weight: 304 pounds

Class: Senior

Tannenbaum: With the Rams taking Murphy, the Cincinnati Bengals draft Jer'Zhan Newton. He’s coming off of foot surgery, but he was very productive in college. He had 43 pressures and 7.5 sacks. 

Newton is a little undersized for my taste, but I like his play temperament and production. And it’s a desperate position of need. He will come in and play right away for the Bengals, who really struggled against the run.

19. Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR)

Jared Verse, Edge, Florida State

Florida State Seminoles defensive lineman Jared Verse (5) during warmups against the Louisville Cardinals at Bank of America Stadium. (Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports)

Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 254 pounds
Class: Senior

Spielman: This is another no-brainer. I’d grab Jared Verse for the Jacksonville Jaguars

They need another pass rusher, even though they just extended Josh Allen. The Jaguars signed Arik Armstead, but he's an inside guy. Travon Walker hasn't developed yet as an edge rusher, and you can never have enough edge rushers. 

I’d be jumping up and down because Verse is still there, which I would have never guessed in a million years. He’s very strong at the point of attack vs. the run. He has an excellent speed-to-power move and plays with his hair on fire.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers

Graham Barton, OL, Duke

Duke offensive lineman Graham Barton
Duke Blue Devils offensive lineman Graham Barton (62) before a game at Kenan Memorial Stadium. (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)

Height: 6-foot-5
Weight: 313 pounds
Class: Senior

Tannenbaum: I’ll go with Graham Barton, who had an impressive workout recently after recovering from a shoulder injury. 

He played left tackle at Duke, but he has some positional versatility. He could play center for the Pittsburgh Steelers, who lost Mason Cole. Barton is tough and smart; he plays like a Steeler. This is an easy pick for them.

21. Miami Dolphins

Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon

Jackson Powers-Johnson crouches over the ball
Oregon Ducks offensive lineman Jackson Powers-Johnson (58) signals against the Washington State Cougars in the fourth quarter at Autzen Stadium. (Craig Strobeck-USA TODAY Sports)

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 328 pounds

Class: Junior

Spielman: This is another easy pick with the Miami Dolphins taking Jackson Powers-Johnson from Oregon. 

They don’t have a long-term center right now, and they need to secure that offensive line. I think this guy, even though he's a one-year starting center, has played guard. He’s a plug-and-play Day 1 starter for Miami. 

He has excellent power strike at the point of attack in the run game. He's probably one of the few centers that can move off nose tackles, and he’s stout in pass protection. This guy has the potential to be a Pro Bowl player. 

22. Philadelphia Eagles

Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

Height: 6-foot
Weight: 189 pounds
Class: R. Sophomore

Tannenbaum: I’m shocked Terrion Arnold is here for the Philadelphia Eagles

He’s a good corner who can play outside man-to-man and a little bit of the slot. He played faster than his time speed. The Eagles have two cornerbacks over 30 years old, so Arnold should come in and play right away. 

23. New England Patriots (Via MIN)

Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU

Height: 6-feet-3
Weight: 209 pounds
Class: Junior

Spielman: I’m gonna go with Brian Thomas Jr. The Patriots need another vertical threat (they need everything, really), but Thomas Jr. has explosive playmaker written all over him. 

He will be an instant downfield vertical threat. Thomas Jr. improved his route running as the season went along, too. He’s always been an excellent athlete with the ball in his hands after the catch. The LSU product should be a redzone threat as well. 

The Patriots need a quarterback, but we think they can get Bo Nix at No. 34. 

24. Dallas Cowboys

Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

Amarius Mims in his blocking stance
Georgia Bulldogs offensive lineman Amarius Mims (65) and offensive lineman Tate Ratledge (69) against the TCU Horned Frogs during the CFP national championship game at SoFi Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)

Height: 6-foot-8
Weight: 340 pounds
Class: Junior

Tannenbaum: The Dallas Cowboys take Amarius Mims from Georgia with this pick. 

He’s almost 6-foot-8, 340 pounds but didn’t play as much as the other tackles, only making six starts last season. However, he didn’t give up any sacks, and we know Dallas likes bigger tackles. The Cowboys can put him at guard and slide Tyler Smith to tackle. 

25. Green Bay Packers

Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

Iowa Hawkeyes defensive back Cooper DeJean (3) reacts after the Hawkeyes score on a safety against the South Dakota State Jackrabbits during the third quarter at Kinnick Stadium. (Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports)

Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 203 pounds
Class: Junior

Spielman: The Green Bay Packers take Cooper DeJean because they might project him as a nickel or safety. General manager Brian Gutekunst has talked about wanting a young safety next to Xavier McKinney this offseason. 

He will also help them as a punt returner. But he can play multiple positions in that back end, and they continue to need to build their back end.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

Height: 6-foot-5
Weight: 259 pounds
Class: Senior

Tannenbaum: I wanted to take Iowa State’s T.J. Tampa, but I’m going with Laiatu Latu out of UCLA instead. 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers need help with their pass rush after losing Shaq Barrett in free agency. If he's healthy, Latu is arguably the best pass rusher in the draft. Todd Bowles would love to have him.

This is all about the medical (he medically retired at the University of Washington). Latu has great use of his hands, and I loved watching him play because he’s such a natural pass rusher. 

27. Arizona Cardinals

Chop Robinson, EDGE, Penn State

Height: 6-foot-3
Weight: 254 pounds
Class: Junior

Spielman: I’m going with Chop Robinson because I think he fits Jonathan Gannon’s defense. 

Robinson has, maybe, the draft’s quickest first step. He struggles some with the run, but I think he will start out as a designated pass rusher. He doesn't have the stats, but he's very disruptive. 

Gannon had a similar guy when he was in Philadelphia — Haason Reddick — who had a pretty good season. So I think he gets a pass rusher he desperately needs out in Arizona. 

28. Buffalo Bills

Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 205 pounds
Class: Junior

Tannenbaum: The Buffalo Bills go with Adonai Mitchell out of Texas. I’m taking him over Xavier Worthy just because of the size. 

They're gonna have to do more than this to replace Stefon Diggs, but they desperately need a receiver. The board sort of works out that way for them.

29. Detroit Lions

Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

Height: 6-foot
Weight: 199 pounds
Class: Junior

Spielman: I was hoping one of the interior offensive linemen would fall here, but they didn’t. So, I’m going with Kool-Aid McKinstry for the Detroit Lions. Cameron Sutton is dealing with a domestic violence case, so the Lions desperately need a cornerback. 

McKinstry was a solid three-year starter. Any corner coming out of Nick Saban's defense is usually pro-ready. And I think this guy ran fast, even though he had a broken toe when he ran. He can help fill a huge need in Detroit's secondary.

30. Baltimore Ravens

Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma

Tyler Guyton blocks
Oklahoma Sooners offensive lineman Tyler Guyton (60) at the line of scrimmage against the Kansas Jayhawks during the game at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Height: 6-foot-8
Weight: 322 pounds
Class: R. Junior

Tannenbaum: The Baltimore Ravens lost a bunch of offensive linemen in free agency, so they’re taking Tyler Guyton from Oklahoma. 

He’s smooth and played on the right side of the Sooners’ line, protecting left-handed QB Dillon Gabriel’s blindside. Guyton allowed zero sacks last season, but you’d like to see him play a little stronger.

31. San Francisco 49ers

Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins
Clemson Tigers cornerback Nate Wiggins (2) smiles after breaking up a pass to South Carolina wide receiver Nyck Harbor (8) during a game at Williams-Brice Stadium. (Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports)

Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 173 pounds
Class: Junior

Spielman: Nate Wiggins is a press-man cornerback who can play zone, but I think he’s best in press. He’s skinny (173 pounds) and needs to add a lot more strength. He’s willing to play in run support, but he’ll need to add strength. 

This would fill a huge need for the San Francisco 49ers on the outside.

32. Kansas City Chiefs

Ladd McConkey, WR, Georgia

Height: 6-foot
Weight: 186 pounds
Class: Junior

Tannenbaum: I’m going with Ladd McConkey for the Kansas City Chiefs, as they’re dealing with Rashee Rice’s situation. I love McConkey even though he didn’t have the production this past year. 

He only played nine games because of injuries, but he ran really well (4.39). I thought he was uncoverable at the Senior Bowl. McConkey is tough, smart and dependable. Even though the Chiefs got Hollywood Brown, I think they need another receiver.