Week 12 saw some big NFL Draft winners and losers. The New York Giants beat the New England Patriots, giving the Patriots an easier track to the quarterback of their choice. The loss pushed the Giants further away from an eventual Daniel Jones replacement.
There is little consensus at some of the premier positions in this class, so it will be interesting to see how things change depending on schemes, coaching, projected 2024 rosters and slight changes in draft order from week to week.
Latest 2024 NFL Mock Draft
Caleb Williams, QB, USC
There are likely only two options for the Chicago Bears with the No. 1 overall pick. Select their quarterback of the future — ending the Justin Fields era — or trade the pick to add to the team around Fields. The former is more appealing because Chicago's offense seems relatively capped with Fields running it. Caleb Williams has had an up-and-down season for USC, but there’s no denying his talent and ceiling from inside and outside the pocket.
Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State
Kyler Murray is auditioning for the remainder of the season, so a quarterback can and should be in play here. With this mock operating without trades, taking the best offensive player available at a position of need is the best option for the Arizona Cardinals in the short and long term. That's because Murray is playing relatively well, and his large contract ties him to the Cardinals for the foreseeable future.
Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina
If you were unsure if Mac Jones' time with the New England Patriots was already over, Sunday’s loss to the New York Giants all but confirmed it. The QB1 battle is unresolved and likely won’t be any time soon. With either Williams or Drake Maye, the Patriots' offense finally will get an athletic quarterback who can operate off-script when needed.
Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State
After drafting their quarterback of the future, solidifying his protection with Olu Fashanu would be a home run first round for the Chicago Bears. Fashanu and 2023 first-round pick Darnell Wright would give the Bears two cornerstone tackles to protect their long-term investment.
Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia
The Washington Commanders desperately need defensive help, but they should have plenty of money to spend in free agency. They possess the second most cap space in the 2024 offseason as of today. Brock Bowers would add a dynamic element to the Washington offense that it lacks. If Washington is going to stick with Sam Howell at quarterback, it needs to upgrade its weaponry.
Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU
LSU QB Jayden Daniels has stormed into the top-10 conversation with a Heisman-worthy performance in 2023. Showing the ability to win with his arm and his legs, Daniels has been one of college football's most exciting quarterbacks and someone the New York Giants should consider. Daniels does not have the track record that Caleb Williams or Drake Maye has, so he likely won’t be considered ahead of them, but he has been more impressive than either of them in 2023.
Malik Nabers, WR, LSU
It’s still to be determined if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can mend their relationship with Mike Evans this offseason, but even if he returns, wide receiver is one of their biggest needs with Evans and Chris Godwin aging. Malik Nabers is a true WR1 who should not get lost in Marvin Harrison Jr.'s shadow.
Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame
Whether Aaron Rodgers returns in 2024 is to be determined, but building up the offensive line for the few years he has left is near the top of the list for the New York Jets' needs. Joe Alt is a squeaky-clean left tackle prospect and would instantly upgrade a unit that has struggled mightily the past few years.
Jer'Zhan Newton, IDL, Illinois
It’s no secret what positions the Los Angeles Chargers need in 2024. Jer’Zhan Newton is the best interior defensive lineman in this class by far and has the argument for being one of the best defensive players regardless of position. Newton would instantly improve the Chargers' interior pass rush and is a quality run defender as well.
Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama
The Tennessee Titans' secondary has been an issue for most of the season and ranks 32nd in dropback EPA. Kool-Aid McKinstry would be a huge addition to a defense that desperately needs play-makers in the secondary. McKinstry is not known for taking the football away, but his sticky cover skills, size and athleticism offer premium value.
Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington
A weekly occurrence in these mock drafts is the Las Vegas Raiders picking a quarterback. Michael Penix is closing out his Heisman-worthy season as one of college football's best quarterbacks. Penix still needs to fine-tune his ball placement, anticipation and timing, but he has plenty of arm talent and athleticism to lead the Las Vegas Raiders into a new era.
Laiatu Latu, Edge, UCLA
The New Orleans Saints' dominant defense has taken a step back in 2023, but it still has plenty of pieces to build on in 2024. Adding the talent of Laiatu Latu would instantly upgrade a pass rush that has struggled in 2023.
Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia
David Bakhtiari has played in only 13 games in the past three years and it sounds like both parties are ready to move on. Amarius Mims has played in limited games in 2023 due to injury, but when on the field he’s been dominant for the Bulldogs. Mims is a high-ceiling LT prospect who has the size, length and athleticism to develop into a dynamic blind-side protector for Jordan Love and a Green Bay Packers offense that is coming off its best game in 2023.
Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson
The Los Angeles Rams need to find a replacement for Jalen Ramsey, and Nate Wiggins is the man for the job. Wiggins, my current CB1, has all the makings to be a premier corner in the NFL and he’s put that on display often in 2023. Matthew Stafford is back healthy and playing well, so building up the defense should be the Rams' priority unless a premier skill player falls to them.
J. C. Latham, OT, Alabama
QB Joe Burrow is sidelined because of an injury for the remainder of the season, so keeping him upright going forward has to be the Cincinnati Bengals' main focus. J.C. Latham is the best right tackle prospect in this draft and will instantly improve a Bengals offensive line that continues to have its fair share of struggles.
Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State
We have all seen enough. Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills need help on offense. Keon Coleman is the perfect player to pair with WR Stefon Diggs and TE Dalton Kincaid. Coleman’s size and catch radius make him extremely reliable and would give Allen another receiving threat to help take pressure off of Diggs.
Kalen King, CB, Penn State
Los Angeles Rams QB Matthew Stafford torched the Arizona Cardinals' defense for four touchdown passes in Week 12. Kalen King has had a nice season since having a rough outing against Marvin Harrison Jr. and the Ohio State receivers. King likely would walk in as the Cardinals' best corner because their current starters are well below the league average.
Dallas Turner, Edge, Alabama
Pass rush, pass rush, pass rush. That’s what the Denver Broncos need to add during the offseason. Dallas Turner showed this weekend against Auburn the impact he can make in a game with his ability to wreck multiple offensive plays.
J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan
QB J.J. McCarthy bounced back in a big way against Ohio State in the game of the year, leading Michigan to victory. Meanwhile, Desmond Ridder had another rough performance for the Atlanta Falcons despite getting the win in Week 12. While McCarthy may not be ready to take over in 2024, he could sit behind Ridder for a season or until he’s ready. There’s no denying he McCarthy possesses some of the best natural traits in this draft among quarterbacks.
Rome Odunze, WR, Washington
The Indianapolis Colts have some decent pieces that could position them to compete sooner than expected. Adding Washington WR Rome Odunze to the mix gives a healthy Anthony RIchardson a few legit options if Michael Pittman is re-signed as expected and Josh Downs continues to grow into his role in the Colts' offense.
Bo Nix, QB, Oregon
Oregon QB Bo NIx won’t be for everyone, but he is a nice fit for the Minnesota Vikings and coach Kevin O’Connell. Nix has made drastic improvements in 2023 at Oregon, but he will likely need to be drafted in the right system with the right coordinator to carry over his success to the NFL. Nix won’t be a guy who should be expected to step in and win right away, but he can find some success in O’Connell’s offense.
Jared Verse, Edge, Florida State
The Seattle Seahawks were embarrassed on Thanksgiving against the San Francisco 49ers. They didn't show the ability to stop the run or the pass for most of the game. Florida State DE Jared Verse excels at both and would give Seattle some beef up front to pair with talented pass rusher Boye Mafe.
Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa
Pittsburgh Steelers fans need to get familiar with cornerback names in this draft, and Iowa’s Cooper DeJean is one to circle heavily. DeJean is one of college football's most athletic and versatile defensive backs and would be a huge addition to a Pittsburgh defense that needs help at cornerback.
Emeka Egbuka, WR, Ohio State
C.J. Stroud continues to play well despite limited dynamic weapons on offense. Tank Dell has been a big addition, and the Houston Texans have gotten good results from Nico Collins and Noah Brown. Adding a former teammate of Stroud’s at Ohio State with the amount of talent Emeka Egbuka possesses is too good to pass up this late in the first round.
Graham Barton, OT, Duke
Terron Armstead is in his 11th season and he’s struggled to stay healthy since landing with the Miami Dolphins in 2022. Duke OT Graham Barton has played every snap in his college career at left tackle and would be an excellent understudy to Armstead until he calls it quits or misses time due to injury.
Chop Robinson, Edge, Penn State
The Dallas Cowboys have gotten excellent results from another former Penn State defender, Micah Parsons. Going back to the well for Chop Robinson would add another fast, twitchy and dynamic pass rusher to an already scary unit. The Cowboys have some talented young defensive ends, but adding to the unit with DeMarcus Lawrence aging, Dante Fowler hitting free agency and Dorance Armstrong a potential cap casualty is the only way they can keep this a strength.
Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama
The Detroit Lions should target a receiver or cornerback with their first-round pick, but after their Thanksgiving Day loss to the Green Bay Packers, improving their coverage unit is probably the bigger need. Arnold is not getting the recognition that his Alabama teammate Kool-Aid McKinstry is, but Arnold remains in the first-round discussion and would fit in very nicely in the Lions' defense.
Tyler Nubin, S, Minnesota
Adding playmakers to the secondary is a must for the Jacksonville Jaguars, whether it be at safety or cornerback. Tyler Nubin is the definition of a playmaker and will fit in perfectly in the Jacksonville defense as it continues to build up its defensive core.
Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU
It’s no secret the Kansas City Chiefs will look to add to the wide receiver room and LSU’s Brian Thomas Jr. would make an excellent addition. Thomas adds size and speed, and he gives Patrick Mahomes the true WR1 he’s lacked since Tyreek Hill departed in 2022.
Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State
One of the few holes on the San Francisco 49ers offense heading into 2024 is right tacklen. Oregon State RT Taliese Fuaga plugs the hole immediately and can be an instant upgrade. There’s a handful of “right tackle only” prospects in this class and Fuaga is one of the best.
Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma
When healthy LT Ronnie Stanley is a quality player and a key component to the Baltimore Ravens offensive success, but he’s only played 25 games in the past four years. While Tyler Guyton has spent most of his time on the right side at Oklahoma, he also has 70 snaps at left tackle. The Ravens' offense relies on athleticism and movement to provide pass protection and movement in the running game, and Guyton fits the bill there as a replacement for Morgan Moses at RT and a swing tackle option if Stanley continues to struggle to stay on the field.
Jordan Morgan, OT, Arizona
The Philadelphia Eagles' offense goes as the offensive line goes. That showed against the Bills on Sunday, when things could not get off the ground in the first half because RT Lane Johnson was on the sideline due to an injury. Arizona OT Jordan Morgan has lived on the left side for the Wildcats' offense but is one of the smartest and most technically sound tackles in this class. He would provide Philadelphia with much-needed depth and the ability to keep their offense on track if a tackle missed time because of an injury.