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2024 NFL Mock Draft: Erickson’s First-Round Picks & Predictions (2.0)

2024 NFL Mock Draft: Erickson’s First-Round Picks & Predictions (2.0)

The moment has arrived: My 2024 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 is officially here, and the excitement is through the roof in my first post-combine mock draft.

As we dive deep into the pre-draft frenzy, I felt compelled to share my second mock draft predictions directly after the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine as we see performances in Indianapolis influence players’ draft stock. The combine is notorious for sending prospects soaring or tumbling on draft boards, and we can anticipate a flurry of draft trades in its aftermath (Justin Fields is on the move folks).

Lucas Oil Stadium is set to be the epicenter of networking for the league’s top decision-makers and coaching staff. The madness is just getting started.

Sit back and enjoy!

2024 NFL Draft Guide

2024 NFL Mock Draft

Please note that this mock draft reflects my predictions of the draft outcomes, rather than my personal choices for each team. Because who cares “what I would do” as we want to project what happens to take advantage in our fantasy football leagues and NFL Draft Betting Props.

1) Chicago Bears: Caleb Williams (QB – USC)

Currently listed at -1100 odds to be the No. 1 overall pick, USC’s Caleb Williams looks like the next coming of Patrick Mahomes. Reminder that Bears GM, Ryan Poles, was the Chiefs former director of college scouting when KC drafted Mahomes in 2017.

The off-script playmaking ability is so apparent with the USC product, and that makes him deadly when paired with his elite production from a clean pocket. This past season, Williams posted PFF’s highest grade operating from a clean pocket.

If the Bears stay at No.1, they will draft Williams and trade Justin Fields. Chicago has already scheduled an extremely early top-30 visit with Williams, thus revealing their strong intentions for late April.

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for Caleb Williams partner-arrow

2) Washington Commanders: Jayden Daniels (QB – LSU)

Across the majority of sportsbooks, the odds have closed drastically between Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels as the QB2 and the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. Maye is still the slight favorite (-125), but the odds have moved since my Mock Draft 1.0 (previously at -190).

Remains to be seen which of the two QBs the Commanders prefer – they are going QB regardless – and it’s plausible they don’t even know how they are going to select at this point in the process. Initially, I saw no reason to change my stance on Maye at No. 2 overall.

A lot will be made about this potential rookie QB’s fit in new OC Kliff Kingsbury’s offense, but new GM Adam Peters will likely also have a large input on the future franchise QB. He’s referenced that his new home in Washington is eerily similar to his situation when he first landed in SF back in 2017 – citing the team needs to build through the draft. Trading “down” is still a possibility in my estimation.

All in all, Peters saw the disaster that was Trey Lance during his tenure in SF. He also benefitted greatly from the Brock Purdy selection, claiming that the tape and how well Purdy played the QB position pointed them in drafting the QB.

And although Lance’s rushing ability makes more sense in comparison to Daniels, I think Maye has more of the boom-or-bust profile that Peters would rather avoid. Injuries withstanding, Daniels offers more of an under-the-radar game manager with strong fundamentals, accuracy and decision-making. Maye has the arm and a size that offers ceilings like Josh Allen and Justin Herbert. But that is accompanied by inconsistent play at times, like from what we saw from him in 2022 versus 2023.

The other thing that is overlooked about Daniels – is his experience. 5 seasons of college ball. 55 games. Purdy played 48 games at Iowa State. 2023 Heisman Trophy Winner, Jayden Daniels is the selection at No. 2. With his ability to add value as a rusher and experience with five years under his belt, he can thrive in a familiar Kingsbury system with underrated weapons already entrenched at the skill positions. In 55 games in college, Daniels rushed for over 3,300 yards – 60 rushing yards per game. Last year’s third quarterback selected, Anthony Richardson, also averaged 60 rushing yards per game in the college ranks.

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for Jayden Daniels partner-arrow

3) New England Patriots: Drake Maye (QB – North Carolina)

The Patriots have seen firsthand what a Josh Allen-esque QB can do to defenses when he reaches his final form.  When you get the opportunity to pick a franchise QB with a super-high ceiling, you take it.

They select UNC’s Drake Maye. The former Tar Heel tied a bow on his collegiate career with 62 passing TDs and 16 interceptions. Even after taking a slight step backward in 2023 compared to his elite sophomore campaign, Maye shouldn’t wait very long to hear his name called with scouts comparing his outlook to franchise QBs like Justin Herbert and Josh Allen.

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for Drake Maye partner-arrow

4) Arizona Cardinals: Malik Nabers (WR – LSU)

The current betting odds have Marvin Harrison Jr. listed between -650 and -700 to be the first non-QB selected in the draft. That sets the stage for him to land in Arizona, as Kyler Murray‘s new No. 1 WR and replacement for 2024 free agent Marquise Brown. Harrison’s junior year further solidified his status as a premier talent, earning him a Heisman Trophy finalist nod; a rare feat for a wide receiver. He concluded the season with 67 receptions for 1,211 yards and 14 touchdowns, also contributing a rushing touchdown, underscoring his versatility and playmaking ability. That awarded him not only a 44% dominator rating (second-best mark in the class) but the 2023 Fred Biletnikoff Award bestowed to the best WR in college football.

The Cardinals’ odds are listed at -235 for them to select the talented Buckeyes WR. However, from a betting perspective, the value is all about Malik Nabers being the first non-QB selected. Lance Zierlein had Nabers over Harrison in his last mock. Just one team picking inside the top-5 needs to be convinced he’s the better WR to draft over Marvin Harrison Jr.

If there’s any GM that could go off script it would be Ossenfort given his roots stem from New England – notorious for making the “wrong” WR selections. N’Keal Harry is the most recent one that comes to mind. Ossenfort was also part of the Titan’s draft plans to select Treylon Burks in 2022.

Also, Adam Schefter said on his recent podcast, that he heard from multiple trusted sources at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine, that Nabers and not Harrison Jr. would be the 1st WR drafted come April. Nabers is listed at +850 to be the 1st WR selected in the draft per FanDuel Sportsbook, while Harrison is listed at -1200.

During my introductory rookie WR research to put together my Top Dynasty Rookie Wide Receivers (2024 Fantasy Football), my closest comparison to Malik Nabers was Stefon Diggs.

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for Malik Nabers partner-arrow

5) Los Angeles Chargers: Marvin Harrison Jr. (WR – Ohio State)

It’s a brand-new era in LA. New head coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Joe Hortiz (from Baltimore) are IN, as the decision-makers when it comes to personnel and shaping the roster heading into 2024. And as much as it pains Harbaugh to select an Ohio State Buckeye with his Michigan bloodlines, the talent is undeniable for a roster that needs WR juice.

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for Marvin Harrison Jr. partner-arrow

6) New York Giants: Joe Alt (OT – Notre Dame)

Evan Neal was horrible in 2023, grading out as PFF’s 3rd-worst tackle in 7 games played. Two years in, and the former 7th overall selection in the 2022 draft has been a colossal bust. The Giants offensive line was horrible overall in 2023, with the league’s second-worst pass-blocking grade. So yet again, OL is at the top of the board for the Giants. Both of their starting guards from last season are also FAs. Mark Glowinski has already been released with him previously scheduled to hit FA in 2025.

New York gets back to the basics with an offensive tackle, Joe Alt. Alt was PFF’s second-highest graded pass blocker in 2023 (91.2). He also tested like a true ANIMAL at the NFL Combine.

Per Sports Info Solutions, Alt also posted the second-lowest blown block percentage (1%) among his classmates in 2023. New York is +500 to draft an OL first, which are much longer odds than WR (-155) and QB (+300). Alt is listed on FanDuel Sportsbook as the favorite to be the first OL selected in the 2024 NFL Draft at -190.

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for Joe Alt partner-arrow

7) Tennessee Titans: Rome Odunze (WR – Washington)

The Titans have expressed faith that Will Levis can be their future franchise QB. They brought in an offensive-minded head coach Brian Callahan, to aid in the development of their second-year QB in the post-Mike Vrabel era. OL seems like the obvious choice here, but I am going to head in a different direction. They selected an OL in the top-10 last season and finished close to average in adjusted line yards. Although they were a bottom-10 graded pass-blocking unit. However, their 31st-ranked adjusted sack rate can be attributed to their QBs’ propensity to take sacks – 22% sack-to-pressure rate ranked 12th last season. With Brian’s father Bill Callahan joining as the OL coach, there’s credence to believing that he can “coach up” the existing OL pieces, while also adding a more favorable offensive scheme to get the ball out of Levis’s hands quicker.

It’s a classic scenario that Callahan saw firsthand when the Bengals selected Ja’Marr Chase over Peni Sewell back in 2021.

The new head coach also had some interesting comments about OL vs WR in an offseason interview.

“I tend to lean to the position that can score touchdowns because if you play the quarterback position well and if you are playing it right, you can negate some of the issues you have in pass protection.”

The ownership in Tennessee is kicking itself for trading A.J. Brown a few years back, and they finally get a legitimate No. 1 WR to fill the void alongside DeAndre Hopkins in his later years.

Washington’s Rome Odunze‘s four-year career with the Huskies has been marked by consistent improvement, with his junior year in 2022 marking his status as one of college football’s best WRs: accumulating 75 catches for 1,145 yards, averaging 15.3 yards per reception, with 7 TDs.

The 2023 season saw further improvement, with the 6-foot-3 and 215-pound WR amassing 81 catches for 1,428 yards and 13 TDs, leading to a spot on the AP first-team among other awards en route to a career-high 33% dominator rating.

And that was accomplished with him battling through a reported broken rib and punctured lung in late September. Odunze’s 42% deep route percentage ranked third-highest in the class, and that big-play ability will gel well with his cannon-armed second-year QB in the Music City. The Titans are listed at +105 to select a WR with their first pick per FanDuel Sportsbook.

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for Rome Odunze partner-arrow

8) Atlanta Falcons:  Terrion Arnold (CB – Alabama)

Cornerbacks A.J. Terrell and Mike Hughes will hit FA in 2025. With Jeff Okudah and Tre Flowers also free agents, cornerback is another area that Atlanta may need to improve. Especially because the coverage unit ranked in the bottom-10 last season, compared to the run-stuffing defense that ranked second in PFF’s run-defense grading.

They address the weakness by drafting Alabama’s Terrion Arnold. He was named All-American in 2023, alongside teammate Kool-Aid McKinstry. Arnold finished the 2023 season as PFF’s 4th-highest graded CB in the class, with the No. 1 grade as a run defender (90.6). Arnold also finished 3rd in the nation in pass breakups (13) and interceptions (5). DraftKings Sportsbook has Arnold listed with the shortest odds among CBs to be the first non-QB selected (+5000). Arnold and Quinyon Mitchell are duking it out for CB1 alpha status. Per FanDuel Sportsbook, Arnold is listed at +750 to be the first defensive player drafted. Only Mitchell has shorter odds among CBs (+430).

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for Terrion Arnold partner-arrow

9) Chicago Bears: Jared Verse (EDGE – Florida State)

The Bears finished with the second-fewest sacks and PFF’s 32nd-ranked pass rush grade. Pass rush is what they need defensively, with their franchise QB already selected. Jared Verse posted the 4th-most pressures in the nation on true pass sets in 2023, with 11 sacks. Came up huge versus Louisville with 10 total pressures and two sacks in his last game as a Seminole. Verse currently owns the 3rd-shortest odds to be the first non-QB/defensive player selected in the NFL Draft (+3000) behind Dallas Turner and Laiatu Latu.

Per Sports Info Solutions, Verse finished 3rd in pressure rate over expectation in 2023 (11.4%).

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for Jared Verse partner-arrow

10) New York Jets: Taliese Fuaga (OT – Oregon State)

Two words. Offensive line. Whoever the top tackle remaining on the NFL Draft Board will inevitably be the Jets selection at No. 10 after they missed out on the top tier in last year’s class thanks to Bill Belichick. Unless they add during the free agency period, which is also a strong possibility if they are looking for a more immediate band-aid fix, as Aaron Rodgers isn’t getting any younger.

Rumor has it that GM Joe Douglas already has an affinity for the Oregon State tackle. This lines up with Douglas’ recent tendencies to draft players from Power Five schools. Taliese Fuaga was PFF’s second-highest graded tackle in 2023 lining up as the team’s starting right tackle the past two seasons. Per Sports Info Solutions, Fuaga posted the No. 1 positive run-behind block percentage last season (55%).

He also tested well at the NFL Combine. 5.13 40-yard dash, 32” vertical jump (89th percentile) and 111” broad jump (87th percentile) at 6-foot-6 and 334 pounds.

And just how bad was the Jets’ O-Line last season? Alijah Vera-Tucker posted the highest PFF blocking grade in five games played. AVT is also entering the last year of his rookie deal (5th-year option withstanding).

Tackle Mekhi Becton (who is a free agent) was their highest-graded pass-blocker (60.7). Ranked outside the top 60 tackles. Essentially the worst starting-caliber tackle in the NFL last season.

OG Laken Tomlinson is an FA at the end of the season. Center Connor McGovern is also a free agent, but the Jets should be glad to move on. He was PFF’s 34th-graded center…out of 37 qualifiers. Expect 2023 second-rounder Joe Tippmann to be the starting center in 2024.

Per DraftKings Sportsbook, the Jets’ betting odds to go OL with their first selection are listed at -225, followed by WR and DL/EDGE.

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for Taliese Fuaga partner-arrow

11) Minnesota Vikings: Laiatu Latu (EDGE – UCLA)

The Vikings generated PFF’s second-worst pass-rush grade in 2023 despite blitzing at the highest rate in the NFL (51.5%). Simply put, Brian Flores’ scheme is trying to make up for the lack of sheer talent across the barren defensive line. They need to address the glaring issue by investing in a premier pass rusher.

Harrison Phillips and Dean Lowy are 2025 free agents, to make matters worse, given the four other 2024 free agents they have on the DL. FA D.J. Wonnum played over 800 snaps on the Vikings’ DL last season.

As I have learned studying the tendencies from Kwesi Adofo-Mensah’s drafts as GM include his willingness to have no fear of targeting players that come with injury red flags at a suppressed price. He also apparently loves PFF, so it is something to keep in the back of your mind as we link certain players to the Vikings in both free agency and the NFL Draft. He also knows the value of quantity over quality when it comes to the NFL Draft, which I envision him taking advantage of with only two picks inside the top 100 selections.

Laiatu Latu has size at 6-foot-5 and 265 pounds similar to Marcus Davenport (6-foot-6, 265 pounds), who Minnesota signed in FA last offseason to fill their pass-rush devoid. Latu led the nation in pass rush win rate (40%) on true pass sets in 2023 as PFF’s highest-graded pass-rusher. He comes with some scary injury red flags stemming from a neck injury in 2020 that almost ended his football career.

Per Sports Info Solutions, Latu finished first in the class in pressure rate over expectation (17.2%), true pressure rate (30%) and tackles for loss per game (2.2).

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for Laiatu Latu partner-arrow

12) Denver Broncos: J.J. McCarthy (QB – Michigan)

Russell Wilson is gone in Denver, slating the team to select its next signal caller of the future with the 12th overall pick. This team is tied to Sean Payton, and he will undoubtedly have the final say when it comes to selecting his future QB over GM George Paton.

Payton elects to select Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy. The super-accurate QB posted the third-highest adjusted completion percentage in the nation (80%) in 2023.

McCarthy’s throw air time below an expectation also ranked first in the class (-0.13). This is determined by throw distance and the quarterback’s footwork when throwing. Per Sports Info Solutions a lower number is better, because in that case throws of the same distance are taking less time to get to the target.

The former Wolverine’s odds to be selected by the Broncos are listed at +350 by DraftKings Sportsbook. The longest odds are listed at +500 on BetMGM as of this writing.

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for J.J. McCarthy partner-arrow

13) Las Vegas Raiders: JC Latham (OT – Alabama)

The Raiders OL could look very different in 2024 – which should not be overlooked. The entire ride side of the OL is hitting FA, along with center Andre James.

Thayer Munford can probably kick over to one of the starting roles, but that won’t fill all the holes blocking upfront. LV is 30th in OL spending.

New GM Tom Telesco, has drafted eight offensive linemen in the top three rounds — the most of any position during his tenure in LA. Insert Alabama tackle JC Latham, who can slide seamlessly into the starting RT spot. Latham took a slight step back in 2023, as he was PFF’s second-highest graded pass-blocker in 2022. But that Crimson Tide pedigree suggests he comes with a high floor.

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for JC Latham partner-arrow

14) New Orleans Saints: Olumuyiwa Fashanu (OT – Penn State)

The Saints have had a bottom-10 PFF pass-blocking grade in back-to-back seasons. Trevor Penning has been a colossal bust as a former 2021 first-round pick. Andrus Peat, Cameron Erving and James Hurst are all slated to hit free agency. New Orleans gets back to the basics with offensive tackle Olumuyiwa Fashanu. Fashanu earned the 4th-highest PFF pass-blocking grade in the class in 2023.

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for Olumuyiwa Fashanu partner-arrow

15) Indianapolis Colts: Brock Bowers (TE – Georgia)

There’s no better tight end prospect than Brock Bowers in this class. Or perhaps ever as Bowers is regarded as the greatest college football tight end of all time.

The former Bulldog tight end broke out immediately in 2021, posting a 28% dominator rating in his first season as a true freshman with 13 TDs and 882 receiving yards. He has the second-shortest odds of being drafted by the Colts (+475 DraftKings Sportsbook).

As of this writing, the Colts have zero difference-makers at tight end on their current roster. The lack of high-tier tight-end talent was so apparent last year when they would split snaps between three and even four tight ends at times. Mo Alie-Cox can be cut for a zero dead cap hit with a potential “out” in the final year of his 2024 contract.

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for Brock Bowers partner-arrow

16) Seattle Seahawks: Dallas Turner (EDGE – Alabama)

Mike Macdonald is IN as the new head coach for the Seattle Seahawks, and there’s certainly credence to his defensive background influencing the first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Alabama’s Dallas Turner comes NFL-ready from Nick Saban’s defense, which will help him create an instant impact for Seattle’s defensive line.

Turner tested off-the-charts at the NFL Combine with a 4.46-second 40-time, 40.5-inch vertical and 1.54-second 10-yard split at 6-foot-3 and 247 pounds.

Given the performance, I fully understand I might be too low on Turner, given his testing and current odds as the favorite to be the first defensive player drafted at +1600 on ESPN BET. If Turner is gone, I wouldn’t rule Seattle selecting Illinois’ DT Jer’Zhan Newton in this spot either… given the success they saw from drafting Devon Witherspoon from Illinois in last year’s draft.

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for Dallas Turner partner-arrow

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17) Jacksonville Jaguars: Quinyon Mitchell (CB – Toledo)

The Jaguars are in an interesting position here at 17th overall because the odds are in their favor that they can get a solid CB or tackle option to solve their team’s most obvious needs after a disastrous second half of the 2023 season.

Two of the starting CBs – Tyson Campbell and Darious Williams will be FAs at the end of the season. The only CB they are losing this season is Tre Herndon, but he can be easily replaced in-house by Antonio Johnson (2nd-highest graded CB on the Jaguars last season).

But given they went OL in Round 1 last year, they pivot to defense with the freakish Quinyon Mitchell from Toledo, who ran a 4.33 40-yard dash (second-fastest among all CBs) with a 38” vertical (75th percentile) and 122” broad jump (49th percentile).

He has finished as PFF’s highest-graded cornerback in back-to-back seasons. He also has the shortest odd per FanDuel Sportsbook of any CB to be the first defensive player selected in the NFL Draft (+430).

The Jaguars are favorites to take a CB with their first selection (+180 DraftKings Sportsbook) – although it is tied with DL/EDGE. WR is a distant third at +300, but that could change given that WR Calvin Ridley is likely to test free agency.

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for Quinyon Mitchell partner-arrow

18) Cincinnati Bengals:  Amarius Mims (OT – Georgia)

The Bengals will most likely lose RT Jonah Williams in free agency, setting the stage for Cincy to draft his replacement in the 2024 NFL Draft.

The Bengals are listed with +115 odds to draft an OL first per DraftKings Sportsbook, followed by DL/EDGE (+225), and then CB (+450).

Insert Amarius Mims who was Georgia’s starting RT the last two seasons, although he missed time with injuries in 2023. But in the 7 games he did play – he allowed just one pressure. The guy is an absolute mammoth, measuring 6-foot-8 at 340 pounds with 36 1/8-inch arms. And he has supreme athleticism to boot.

Mims ran a blazing 5.07 40-yard dash despite suffering a hamstring injury.

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for Amarius Mims partner-arrow

19) Los Angeles Rams: Cooper DeJean (CB – Iowa)

The Rams got by last season with almost zero investment in their defense. No team has less money invested in their secondary than the Rams. Finishing 21st in pass defense DVOA with a no-name secondary unit is impressive, but there’s obvious room for growth. 32nd in PFF coverage grade. They address the weakness by drafting Cooper DeJean.

DeJean allowed a sub-40 passer rating and zero TDs when targeted last season for the Hawkeyes’ top-tier defense. DeJean is a super versatile player with experience at safety, linebacker, and special teams returner. He was also a three-sport athlete with an extensive track background.

DeJean did not test during the combine as he is recovering from a broken leg.

The Rams are listed with +250 odds to draft an CB first per DraftKings Sportsbook, followed by OL (+275), and then QB/DL/EDGE (+300).

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for Cooper DeJean partner-arrow

20) Pittsburgh Steelers:  Troy Fautanu (OT – Washington)

This pick will likely come down between OL and CB. Same situation as last season. Incumbent left tackle starter Dan Moore Jr. is a 2025 free agent and is coming off a season as PFF’s 6th-lowest graded tackle. They can and should upgrade at LT.

Troy Fautanu played LT at Washington but could likely kick inside to guard with his size at 6-foot-4 and 317 pounds. Finished the 2023 season as PFF’s 5th-highest graded pass-blocker while logging over 1,200 pass-blocking snaps the past two seasons. Over that span, just two sacks were allowed from his blocking. His stock is steadily on the rise after the NFL Scouting Combine, given fthat Fautanu posted an impressive 5.01 40-yard dash (90th percentile), 1.71 10-yard split (86th percentile), 32.5” vertical (91st percentile) and 113” broad jump (92nd percentile).

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for Troy Fautanu partner-arrow

21) Miami Dolphins:  Graham Barton (IOL – Duke)

Miami could go in plenty of different directions with the 21st overall pick, with needs ranging from WR, OL, TE, or EDGE.

But ultimately, I side with their OL as the No. 1 need. They have a boatload of interior guys hitting free agency, and the tackles have been inconsistent. Isaiah Wynn– shocker – is not the long-term answer. Terron Armstead can’t stay healthy for a full season.

Liam Eichenberg was horrible again – PFF’s third-lowest graded center in 2023. Connor Williams is their top guy, but he’s an FA coming off an injury.

Per DraftKings Sportsbook, the Dolphins’ shortest odds are to select an OL with their first selection at +110, followed by DL/EDGE (+240) and CB (+450).

Duke’s Graham Barton has spent the last three seasons at left tackle for the Blue Devils, but he could also kick inside for Miami if he is needed on the offensive interior. Per SIS, Barton finished the 2023 season with the highest positive run-behind block percentage among the OG class.

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for Graham Barton partner-arrow

22) Philadelphia Eagles: Tyler Guyton (OT – Oklahoma)

The Eagles’ defense regressed in a major way in 2023, especially at cornerback, with their veteran starters playing way past their prime. But this team also loves to invest high-end draft picks into their OL. Jason Kelce has retired, but the Eagles were ahead of this when they drafted Cam Jurgens and Tyler Steen in back-to-back drafts.

Landon Dickerson will be entering the last year of his contract. Sua Opeta and Jack Driscoll are already free agents for 2024, testing the depth of the Eagles’ IOL. Lane Johnson isn’t getting any younger at age 34.

They re-invest in the OL with Tyler Guyton. The Oklahoma product posted the second-lowest blown block percentage in the OT class in 2023.

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for Tyler Guyton partner-arrow

23) Houston Texans: Kool-Aid McKinstry (CB – Alabama)

The Texans hold the 23rd pick as part of the trade compensation from the Deshaun Watson trade. Arizona has the Texans’ 2024 first-round pick as part of the trade at the beginning of last year’s draft. Houston has a ton of impending free agents ranging from OT, DT, DE and CB so take this selection with a grain of salt. Their “needs” will change after the free agency frenzy in March.

GM Nick Caserio loves drafting guys from Alabama, so that’s always something to keep in mind. That, and guys that test well in the 3-cone drill.

Early in the process, I do lean toward them going defensively to start and that leads me to CB Kool-Aid McKinstry. Another Alabama product lands in Houston.

McKinstry finished as PFF’s 4th-highest graded CB in the 2024 class in 2023, ahead of teammate Terrion Arnold. He allowed a sub-50% completion rate in coverage (49%) and the highest coverage snaps per target (11.7) – a strong indicator that teams were not throwing his way.

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for Kool-Aid McKinstry partner-arrow

24) Dallas Cowboys: Jordan Morgan (OT – Arizona)

Offensive tackle is a glaring issue for Big D. Tyron Smith is hitting free agency and turning 33 years old. Terence Steele is penciled in as the other starting tackle, but he finished as a bottom-15 pass blocker in 2023. He allowed more QB hits than any other tackle.

In terms of the NFL Draft, what Houston does at pick No. 23 will likely influence the Cowboys’ selection at No. 24. They have overlapping needs across OL, CB and DL – but those could change depending on how the team addresses revamping the roster in free agency. Dallas could also go the “sexy” route and give Dak Prescott another WR weapon. Odds for Dallas to land a WR? +750 on DraftKings Sportsbook. Keep an eye out for one of these Texas WRs staying “in-state.”

But for now, I think they might make a “boring” selection with OT Jordan Morgan, a three-year starter at Arizona State with 2,400 snaps under his belt as a left tackle.

The Cowboys are listed with -110 odds to draft an OL first per ESPN Bet, followed by DL/EDGE (+400), and then CB (+400). If it’s not an OT prospect, I strongly side with it being a CB in most scenarios.

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for Jordan Morgan partner-arrow

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25) Green Bay Packers: Nate Wiggins (CB – Clemson)

I’d envision the Packers either going IOL or CB with the 25th overall pick. The odds are razor-thin between CB (+160) and OL (+175).

Cornerback is a big issue, given that all the ones that played last year besides Jaire Alexander weren’t very good or were injured. Eric Stokes is going on the final year of his rookie deal after missing most of the 2023 season with injuries. Keisean Nixon was last year’s starting slot CB but will be an FA. The two DBs they drafted late last season in Round 7 – Carrington Valentine and Anthony Johnson Jr. – shockingly didn’t pan out.

The Packers select a long-armed cornerback from Clemson, Nate Wiggins. The 6-foot-2 and 185-pound CB allowed a 44.4 passer rating in coverage in 2023. He came in slightly underweight at the combine (173 pounds) but delivered in the 40-yard dash with a 4.29 before exiting with an injury.

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for Nate Wiggins partner-arrow

26) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jackson Powers-Johnson (IOL – Oregon)

On offense, the Buccaneers could not run block for a lick in 2023. They need to get better play from the interior of their offensive line. Last year’s second-rounder Cody Mauch needs to play much better in Year 2. Guard Aaron Stinne is a free agent, and his backup Matt Feiler is as well. To finalize the interior OL rebuild process, they select Jackson Powers-Johnson.

Powers-Johnson finished the year as PFF’s second-highest graded run-blocker and third-highest graded pass-blocker among interior offensive linemen. He should be able to play both center and guard at the NFL level.

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for Jackson Powers-Johnson partner-arrow

27) Arizona Cardinals: Chop Robinson (EDGE – Penn State)

The Cardinals drafted a No. 1 WR with their first pick, and balance out theIR first round with a selection on defense to improve Jonathan Gannon’s squad that ranked 32nd in expected points added in 2023. They need help everywhere defensively. They have to go with a pass-rusher which was part of the nucleus behind the Eagles’ defensive success under Gannon in past years. Chop Robinson finished as PFF’s second-highest graded pass rusher in 2023 (92.3). The 6-foot 254-pounder edge rusher’s got all the intangibles from twitch to explosiveness that will have NFL draft rooms salivating, especially after he blew the doors off the testing at the NFL Scouting Combine.

He ran a 4.48-second 40 (98th percentile), leaped a 34.5-inch vertical (66th percentile) and jumped 128” broad jump (95th percentile). But he was not done. His 10-yard split at 1.54 seconds (98th percentile) was the fastest for any edge rusher over 250 pounds per the 33rd Team.

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for Chop Robinson partner-arrow

28) Buffalo Bills: Brian Thomas Jr. (WR – LSU)

This one is easy. WR. Joe Brady took over as offensive coordinator in the second half of the 2023 season, and his approach with more WRs will be at the forefront with Gabe Davis hitting free agency. LSU’s WR Brian Thomas Jr.

Over 38 games in college, he showcased his ability to be a game-changer, culminating in a junior year where he exploded onto the scene with 68 receptions for 1,177 yards and an FBS-leading 17 touchdowns, averaging an impressive 17.3 yards per catch.

Thomas Jr. tested extremely well at the NFL Scouting Combine, running a 4.33 40-yard dash time (94th percentile) with a 1.5 10-yard split (87th percentile). He also jumped 38.5″ in the vertical (83rd percentile) and 126″ in the broad jump (80th percentile).

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29) Detroit Lions: Ennis Rakestraw Jr. (CB – Missouri)

The Lions’ Achilles heel on defense showed up at the worst time in 2023, with their secondary getting shredded by opposing offenses. Kindle VildorEmmanuel Moseley and Will Harris are all free agents.

Cornerback is a MUST in this spot as they look to align their strong run defense in the backend. Hence, the Lions are listed with +160 odds to draft a CB first per DraftKings Sportsbook, followed by OL (+200), and then DL (+225). Think there’s some value on DL, given the top-tier CBs/OL prospects might run dry toward the end of the first round.

Ennis Rakestraw Jr. has been highlighted by scouts due to his toughness, further cementing his status as the perfect Round 1 pick for head coach Dan Campbell.

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30) Baltimore Ravens: Adonai Mitchell (WR – Texas)

Offensive tackle, interior offensive line, DL, and/or edge are the top needs for the Ravens to get back to the AFC Championship Game in 2024. It’s going to be an uphill battle regardless with so many losses (including their defensive coordinator) on the defensive side of the football.

A wide receiver also makes sense, given the lack of depth behind Zay Flowers with Odell Beckham Jr. hitting free agency. How Baltimore adds to the WR room will be a litmus test about how they feel about Rashod Bateman entering the final year of his rookie contract (5th-year option withstanding).

They’ve got impending FAs across the OL this season (John Simpson, Kevin Zeitler) and next season – Patrick Mekari, Ben Cleveland, and Morgan Moses.

Left tackle Ronnie Stanley is under contract for two more seasons but has gone through ups and downs since his injuries started piling up. If the Ravens see an opportunity to upgrade from Stanley, don’t think they won’t pull the trigger to do so. The front office is not happy they are paying him like a top-5 LT. If they see a future franchise tackle on the draft board, they will pull the trigger.

Hence, the Ravens are listed with +140 odds to draft an OL first per DraftKings Sportsbook, followed by DL/EDGE (+200), and then CB (+400).

But given that all the tackles might be gone and they need a WR – +700 To draft a WR – AD Mitchell is the pick with him cementing his status as a potential first-rounder after an impressive combine.

Mitchell measured at 6-foot-2, 205 pounds and had a big day:

  • 4.34-second 40-yard dash (94th percentile)
  • 1.52-second 10-yard split (76th percentile)
  • 39.5” vertical jump (89th percentile)
  • 136” broad jump (98th percentile)

As a Longhorn, Mitchell posted a breakout season en route to a 32 percent dominator rating with 11 TD scores on 55 receptions. Standing at 6’2″ with a lanky frame at 204 pounds, Mitchell offers an ideal build for an outside receiver. Mitchell reminded me a lot of a lighter Michael Pittman Jr. while watching him on film.

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31) San Francisco 49ers: Byron Murphy II (DT – Texas)

The 49ers have gone defensive with their first selection in five of the last seven drafts.

This year, I’d presume it’s a BPA approach. So we could get yet another first-rounder DL to the 49ers come draft day. There may be a void across the defensive line if the 49ers are unable to retain Randy Gregory, Clein Ferrel, Sebastian Joseph-DayJavon Kinlaw or Chase Young in free agency. Similar to how things were last offseason for this team. Arik Armstead is also in the final year of his deal.

Byron Murphy II finished with the second-highest pass rush win rate (30%) on true pass sets in 2023 as an interior defender. Bowling ball of a man at 6-foot-1 and 297 pounds.

The 49ers’ betting odds of going with the DL/edge position per DraftKings Sportsbook are +250, with OL the only odds that are shorter at +150. Then it’s CB (+350) followed by much longer shots at WR/S (+500, +1600).

On ESPN Bet you can get it +700 to be a WR…which is interesting should they trade Brandon Aiyuk.

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32) Kansas City Chiefs: Xavier Worthy (WR – Texas)

I have to imagine that the KC Chiefs invest heavily in surrounding Patrick Mahomes with more weapons. With Rashee Rice entrenched as the possession receiver, they need to add a speedy ROOKIE WR such as Texas’ Xavier Worthy as another (and reliable) big-play threat to Mahomes’ arsenal.

Justin Watson and Kadarius Toney are free agents. Mecole Hardman and Richie James are free agents this offseason. The team already cut Marquez Valdes-Scantling.

The Chiefs are listed at -110 odds to draft a WR first per DraftKings Sportsbook (even money on ESP Bet) followed by OL (+250), DL/EDGE (+450), and then CB (+750).

Electric performances and a clear demonstration of NFL-level speed and agility marked Worthy’s collegiate career at Texas. He has special teams return ability, to boot, ranking as Pro Football Focus’ (PFF) No.1-graded punt returner in 2023. The next Tank Dell at 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds? Sure looks like it.

Keep in mind Dell was PFF’s No.1-graded punt returner in 2022. When I turned on Worthy’s tape, I immediately thought I was looking at the next version of Marquise Brown.

Except faster. Case in point, at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine, Worthy broke the 40-yard dash time record with a 4.21 time; breaking the record previously held by John Ross. However, it needs to be noted Worthy weighed in at a much smaller 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds at the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine. He will rise in rookie rankings/average draft position (ADP) but be mindful to not chase the steam too much. We already knew this guy was fast.

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Just Missed the Cut

2024 NFL Mock Drafts

Here are a few early predictions for the 2024 NFL Draft. We’ll continue to add our 2024 NFL Mock Drafts leading up to the start of Round 1.

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