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Pigskin’s 2024 NFL Mock Draft 5.0 (1 Round)

2024 NFL Mock Draft

It is my time in the rotation for another 2024 NFL Mock Draft. My fifth in this cycle.

Let’s jump right into this with the notation that we don’t do trades in these scenarios. But I will have a bit of a disclaimer,/explainer at the end of the picking.

Pigskin’s 2024 NFL Mock Draft 5.0 (1 Round)

Pick 1      BEARS      CALEB WILLIAMS      QB     Southern Cal    6’1/220    

Selecting this guy based on his tools is the easy part, but dealing with his demands & personality quirks may be a challenge. Hope the BEARS are ready for this adventure. Talent and ego abound in this selection.

Pick 2     COMMANDERS      DRAKE MAYE     QB     UNC. 6’4/230    

There is something strange about drafting MAYE to take the job away from the guy he took over for at UNC in Sam Howell. He has the mobility to survive behind an adequate OL, and the receivers in DC are top-notch. 

Pick 3     PATRIOTS      JAYDEN DANIELS      QB       LSU      6’3/205    

His time at LSU turned a skinny athlete, into a serious pro QB prospect. He has some Lamar athleticism and is more advanced as a passer than JACKSON was when drafted. He surprised many in 2023. 

Pick 4    CARDINALS    MARVIN HARRISON Jr.     WR   Ohio State      6’4/205    

I am a strong believer in the “genes” connection, but he’s not Randy Moss. However, he might fill the cleats of a recently departed LARRY FITZGERALD. Could be a star in the making right away.

Pick 5       CHARGERS      MALIK NABERS    WR     LSU      6’0/200      

The combo of ALLEN/WILLIAMS  is old, fragile & too expensive for a team way over the Cap. NABERS will give them what they were hoping for when they drafted JOHNSTON too early last year. It’s a tough act to follow but I see some JEFFERSON in his tool chest of traits.

PICK 6    GIANTS      ROME ODUNZE    WR    Washington   6’3/215    

Being locked into one of the league’s “most insane” QB contracts with a guy named Jones, complicates their draft strategy. This is step 2 in revamping their mediocre WR group, after starting with. JALIN HYATT last year.  

Pick 7     TITANS     JOE ALT     OT     Notre Dame     6’8/315    

Add ALT and a solid VFA, which they have enough Cap Space for, and their OL may be able to keep LEVIS on the field. Like SKORONSKI last year he comes from a genetic NFL  pedigree. The roster rebuild begins right here. BTW, the TITANS are just behind the Commanders in Cap space to spend. 

Pick 8      FALCONS     J.J. McCarthy QB     Michigan  6’3/195    

He has lots of above-average tools after being a systems manager at Michigan with their talent overload. And the Offense is pretty well stocked at the skill positions in Atlanta. (I’d advise them to pursue FIELDS, but no Pick trades here.)

Pick 9     BEARS    DALLAS TURNER     OB/ER    Alabama  6’4/240    

More explosive than WILL ANDERSON, and a stronger athlete. They will try to make him the next Micah Parsons in the League. He’s probably not that good, but better than what they currently have. Nice help for SWEAT.

Pick 10     JETS        TALIESE FUAGA    OT     Oregon State    6’5/330    

If you saw him at the Senior Bowl venue, then you realize that he’s more pro-ready than guys like MIMS & FASHANU. And given AARON RODGERS age the JETS need immediate help in the OL. It’s plug-and-play time for this young man.

Pick  11   VIKINGS     LAIATU LATU    DE/ER    UCLA     6’5/262    

Assuming his Combine medical was positive this is the guy to replace DANIELLE HUNTER if they lose him in VFA. Help from an edge guy like LATU might even keep HUNTER in Minnesota if they are willing to pay him.

Pick 12    BRONCOS     JOHNNY NEWTON        DT      Illinois    6’2/295    

With McCarthy already taken, they turn their eyes to improving a mediocre, aging DL group with a solid player who can provide pocket pressure on the interior. I just hope that GM PATON is still the top voice in their Draft room, not HC Payton. 

Pick 13      RAIDERS     DARIUS ROBINSON   DL    Missouri    6’5/285    

A marvelous athlete and a versatile chess piece for their defensive front. Should make MAXX CROSBY even more productive. A scary thought for the rest of the AFC West. This guy rocked things in Mobile.

Pick 14   SAINTS    BROCK BOWERS     TE    Georgia     6’3/240    

When your team ends the year with a top TE tandem of GRAHAM/MOREAU you need help there. Bowers is a “move” TE who catches well and is exceptional in gaining yards after the catch. Big smile on Derek Carr‘s face when he hears about this Pick.

Pick 15     COLTS     AMARIUS MIMS    OT    Georgia   6’7/330    

Maybe a bit soon for him based on his based on his limited starter experience in college, but conversely, he is an absolute athletic freak. And GM BALLARD is one of the strongest proponents of RAS scores among NFL GMs. MIMS may struggle at first, but he’ll catch on quickly.

Pick 16   SEAHAWKS        BYRON MURPHY    DT    Texas     6’1/305    

One of the fastest-rising players on Draft Boards in the last 3 months.Very gifted athletically, and should fit in nicely on a talent-starved DL interior. With him on board, VFA WILLIAMS could be expendable.

Pick 17    JAGUARS      QUINYON MITCHELL    CB    Toledo    6’0/195    

Another big riser, from the MAC, who was arguably the top performer all week in Mobile during Senior Bowl week. Looks like a sure thing at CB, but could also fit well at S. Not their biggest need, but perhaps the biggest talent left on their Board.

Pick 18   BENGALS    JACKSON POWERS-JOHNSON   OC    Oregon    6’3/330    

Massive mauler, who surprises with his pulling ability. Had a monster 2023 season with the Ducks. With NEWTON & BOWERS gone this guy is too good to pass up.

Pick 19    RAMS     TERRION ARNOLD    CB     Alabama   6’0/190    

Say what? The RAMS have a 1st Round Pick this year? Yessir, they do. And tho I am not sure they won’t trade it between now and the end of April. I think they use it on a stellar replacement for Jalen Ramsey.

Pick 20    STEELERS       BRIAN THOMAS  WR   LSU   6’3/205      

Several of the guys they might have wanted are gone, like McCarthy or Mitchell, but they are thin at WR and whoever their 2024 starting QB is he needs receiving help. Thomas was a huge red zone weapon and offered a large target radius.

Pick 21     DOLPHINS     OLU FASHANU   OT     Penn State   6’6/320    

The Dolphins have eschewed the Draft in recent years and they are paying for that with a “thin” depth chart. Time to make some smart Picks to bolster their roster. FASHANU is not likely to be a Game One starter, but a starter he will be shortly. Should be too good to pass on.

Pick 22    EAGLES     NATE WIGGINS    CB    Clemson   6’2/185    

The Eagles Defense fell apart late last season. And a position group that let them down with a lack of athleticism & speed was their secondary, especially on the Corners. WIGGINS is fast and smooth. He represents a clear upgrade.

Pick 23   TEXANS    J.C. LATHAM   OT   Alabama    6’6/330    

With Rookies STROUD & ANDERSON leading the way this team made a huge leap in Wins last season. How about adding a massive guy, who is often referred to as the strongest player in this draft? Bookends named TUNSIL & LATHAM should be well received by QB STROUD.

Pick 24      COWBOYS      TYLER GUYTON   OT    Oklahoma   6’7/330    

The Cowboys have a surprising number of holes to fill, with many of them on Defense. But their OL is aging and lacks quality depth. I have no idea why they gave STEELE/RT a big contract last year. Guyton is raw as hell, but also hugely talented. They’d better get a solid, strong RB in Round 2.

Pick 25    PACKERS      COOPER DeJEAN     CB/RS     Iowa    6’1/205    

A huge groan went up around the league when DeJean was injured last Fall. Assuming he is cleared at the Combine medical he is too athletic and football smart not to go here. And the Packers have never been averse to drafting Iowa players. The Packers’ secondary has multiple issues to fix. The guy should fix at least some of those.

Pick 26   BUCCANEERS    JARED VERSE   ER    Florida State   6’4/260    

The BUCS recently waived SHAQ BARRETT. So here is their answer to who replaces him and his edge rush ability. VERSE has speed, bend, and surprising power, and should fill the bill.

Pick 27   CARDINALS     ENNIS RAKESTRAW   CB   Missouri  6’0/190    

A speedy, aggressive defender who should see mediate action for them. They purged their secondary a bit last season and needed this. But do NOT consider it a panic to fill a need. He is the real deal and a “hot” prospect right now.

Pick 28     BILLS   CHRIS BRASWELL    OB/ER   Alabama   6’3/255    

I know it sounds like a reach, but VON MILLER needs to be replaced and BRASWELL might be just the guy to do so. He is a more well-rounded athlete than his college teammate TURNER who went earlier. I don’t know how they get out from under MILLER’s contract, but it’s part of the answer for the team with the highest “over the cap” number in the League.

Pick 29     LIONS   TROY FAUTANU    OL    Washington   6’4/320    

It will be tough for GM Brad Holmes and staff to duplicate the success of last year’s Draft, but this would be a quality start for a team with both their starting OG needing to be re-signed. FAUTANU played both OT/OG for the Huskies so his versatility should serve him well even if he doesn’t earn a starting job right away.

Pick 30    RAVENS     BRAELON ALLEN   RB  Wisconsin  6’2/240      

Yeah, I know… don’t take a RB in Round One. But take a look at the Ravens roster at that  RB position right now and they have more questions than answers. Gus Edwards is a VFA and DOBBINS & MITCHELL(R) were both on IR at the end of the season. They need a young, pounding runner!

Pick 31    49’ers   GRAHAM BARTON  OL    Duke   6’5/310    

The ‘NINERS  are thin along their OL and TRENT WILLIAMS cannot play forever. Barton is talented and positionally versatile. If he does not start somewhere along that OL immediately he can certainly backup anywhere needed. 

Pick 32    CHIEFS      JAVON FOSTER  OT   Missouri  6’6/310  

Let’s go right down the highway from K.C. and take a big, solid guy who might help fix the team’s continuing  OT issues. They don’t seem to have the cash needed under the Cap to buy another vet big guy right now. 

EXPLANATION

When this Mock turns into reality at the end of April I expect that the real Draft might look quite different than this effort. And the biggest reason for that, IMO, is that I fully expect a half dozen or so trades involving 1st Round Picks to transpire. QB will drive some of the trades as will the potential trade of JUSTIN FIELDS/QB once DA BEARS snatch up Caleb Williams with Pick 1.

And as we have seen in NFL Drafts once the trading starts it will drive more and more teams to make trades of their own. In more ways than one, the NFL is indeed a copycat League.

Please note that I am finishing this up before the Combine has concluded. So I am making these projections pre-combine, so to speak. After the Combine concludes and all the numbers are compiled there will no doubt be some shuffling of prospect rankings. 

Cheers

Pigskin Paul 

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