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2024 NFL Mock Draft: Kent Weyrauch’s Picks (1.0)

2024 NFL Mock Draft: Kent Weyrauch’s Picks (1.0)

Welcome to my first mock draft for the 2024 NFL Draft cycle! I’ve already begun researching by using the betting trends from the 2023 NFL Draft and kicked off my prop betting card for the 2024 NFL Draft season. Now I finally get to put the proverbial pen to paper and make critical selections for all 32 NFL teams. To kick things off, no trades in this mock. This lets us gauge player values. Let’s get to it!

Kent Weyrauch has been in the top 10% of experts for the FantasyPros Mock Draft Accuracy Contest over the last three years.

2024 NFL Draft Guide

2024 NFL Mock Draft (Round 1)

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

If you forced me to guess right now, I would wager that the Chicago Bears trade Justin Fields and draft Caleb Williams first overall. This is hardly set in stone, as just last year we saw a major move by the Carolina Panthers to acquire the first overall pick. At this time, I don’t believe any other quarterback is likely to dethrone Williams as the top prospect.

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

This is uncommon but not unreasonable. I could see the Washington Commanders opting into the dual-threat ability Jayden Daniels offers. Last year for LSU, Daniels boasted 40 passing touchdowns and the second-highest passing grade (92.0) among all Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) passers with at least 300 dropbacks, per Pro Football Focus (PFF). On top of that, he rushed for 1,134 yards and 10 touchdowns.

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3. New England Patriots: J.J. McCarthy (QB – MICH)

Nothing related to the NFL Draft can be considered a hot take — the entire draft embodies itself as a hot take. However, having J.J. McCarthy at third overall is currently a hot take… for now.

Tell ’em, Thor:

The bottom line on McCarthy is that he performed when called upon. And while that wasn’t often under Jim Harbaugh’s run-first offense, he was still arguably the best third-down quarterback in the country this season.

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4. Arizona Cardinals: Marvin Harrison Jr. (WR – OSU)

Slam dunk selection here for the Arizona Cardinals. There has been some chatter about the tiering of the top three wideouts this season. Even beyond name recognition, though, Marvin Harrison Jr. stands alone on his merits shown on the gridiron. His resume of over 2,400 receiving yards and 29 total touchdowns in his last two seasons speaks for itself.

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5. Los Angeles Chargers: Malik Nabers (WR – LSU)

That being said… Malik Nabers is still very, very good. His 93.1 receiving grade topped all FBS receivers with 50+ targets. His route running is extremely crisp and his explosion out of breaks creates targetable separation. His lack of participation in the NFL Combine is disappointing, but nothing that will slow down his draft stock. The Chargers should be ecstatic to expand the receiving coffers.

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6. New York Giants: Drake Maye (QB – UNC)

The New York Giants would run to the podium to turn this card in. Drake Maye strikes me as a milquetoast prospect overall, despite his prototypical quarterbacking size. Even so, he would offer more reliable passing to the Giants than Daniel Jones has provided.

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7. Tennessee Titans: Joe Alt (OT – ND)

Offensive tackles always tend to sneak up higher by draft night as the league highly respects elite offensive line play. Joe Alt is widely considered the top OT in this class, even if others had impressive combine performances. The Tennessee Titans are still reconstructing their offensive line and Joe Alt would immediately slot in at left tackle to replace the failed experiment of Andre Dillard.

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8. Atlanta Falcons: Rome Odunze (WR – UW)

As stated earlier, this class has no lack of talent in the wide receiver department. Rome Odunze heads to the Atlanta Falcons to fill out what could be argued as one of the top skill-position groups in the league. If the Falcons sign Kirk Cousins in free agency, this offense would have immense upside.

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9. Chicago Bears: Dallas Turner (EDGE – ALA)

Finally! At ninth overall, the first defender comes off the board. Dallas Turner is an explosive athlete with impressive bend technique and a growing toolkit of pass-rush moves. His ceiling is second to none in this EDGE rusher class.

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10. New York Jets: Olumuyiwa Fashanu (OT – PSU)

The New York Jets are another team that needs to build up their offensive line — especially if they want to keep Aaron Rodgers happy and healthy.  With Mekhi Becton gone, Fashanu would step in as the starting left tackle. The Jets could then use some combo of Carter Warren, Max Mitchell or a free agent to address the right tackle position.

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11. Minnesota Vikings: Jared Verse (EDGE – FSU)

This is a tricky spot for the Minnesota Vikings. While they’d benefit from defensive talent falling to them at the 11th pick, they would prefer drafting a quarterback. But in a no-trades mock, they will grab Jared Verse here to fill in the massive gap left by Danielle Hunter likely walking away in free agency. Verse was mocked in the first round last year before returning to school where he put together a career-high 11 sacks, per PFF.

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12. Denver Broncos: Terrion Arnold (CB – ALA)

With Russell Wilson officially released, the Broncos would like to mend their quarterback position, but they don’t have much of an opportunity here. Instead, they bolster their secondary with the first corner off the board — Alabama’s Terrion Arnold. He’s one of the best press-man corners in this class and ready to start immediately opposite Patrick Surtain.

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2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Guide

13. Las Vegas Raiders: Quinyon Mitchell (CB – TOL)

The Raiders in turn select another cornerback in Quinyon Mitchell. He was easily one of the biggest winners at the NFL Combine this year thanks to his blazing 4.33 forty time. At Toledo, Mitchell provided versatile utility in coverage where he allowed more than 50 receiving yards just twice last season, per PFF.

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14. New Orleans Saints: Troy Fautanu (OT – UW)

This is higher than most are projecting Troy Fautanu — mostly due to early rumblings of being a guard convert in the NFL. At the combine, his measurements came back better than expected — and while that shouldn’t impact draft stock significantly, I believe it has quelled size criticisms. In the secondary/tertiary tier of offensive tackles in this class, Fautanu is the only pure left tackle. With Ryan Ramczyk on the right side, this fit makes sense.

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15. Indianapolis Colts: Brock Bowers (TE – UGA)

This would be a decent slide for arguably one of the all-time best tight end prospects. This could happen in a no-trade draft environment where he makes it past the Chargers at fifth overall. However, if he were to slide, I could see a team trading to the low teens to secure the Bulldog weapon.

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16. Seattle Seahawks: Byron Murphy II (DT – TEX)

The Seahawks gave up the second-most rushing yards last year. It’s no secret they will be looking to upgrade their defensive line in free agency/NFL Draft. Byron Muphy is a stout run defender who also garnered six sacks last season.

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17. Jacksonville Jaguars: Nate Wiggins (CB – CLEM)

The Jaguars probably need a wide receiver more than any other position. However, they go with a best-player-available selection in Nate Wiggins. At Clemson, Wiggins showed off his elite physical traits and athleticism in coverage. His upside as a cornerback is likely the best in this class if he can hone his tackling skills.

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18. Cincinnati Bengals: Taliese Fuaga (OT – ORST)

Pretty sure the Bengals fans will jump for joy with this selection. With Orlando Brown Jr. taking the left-side responsibilities, Taliese Fuaga would fall into his natural position at right tackle. He didn’t allow a single sack on 734 pass-blocking snaps in his college career at Oregon State, per PFF.

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19. Los Angeles Rams: Cooper DeJean (CB – IOWA)

Cornerback and offensive line are big needs for the Rams this draft cycle. Free agency will likely provide them with some cheaper stopgaps on the line. That frees them up to take Iowa product Cooper DeJean. One of the most natural ballhawks of this class, DeJean boasts fantastic instincts and ball-tracking skills.

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20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jackson Powers-Johnson (C – ORE)

Jackson Powers-Johnson moved around the line in his first two seasons with the Oregon Ducks but ultimately settled — and excelled — at center. In his final year, he allowed just one pressure on 497 pass-blocking snaps. He may need to work on penalty discipline, but Mike Tomlin and the Steelers would be an ideal landing spot to work on that.

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21. Miami Dolphins: Laiatu Latu (EDGE – UCLA)

JC Latham could be in play here but if Laiatu Latu is still on the board at 21, the Dolphins should sprint to the podium. Latu showed up to the NFL Combine at 259 pounds, which is light considering his 6-foot-4.5 frame. Unfortunately, he posted sub-optimal vertical and broad jumps. However, he is technically sound and deploys an elite football IQ in his scheme adjustments.

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22. Philadelphia Eagles: Kool-Aid McKinstry (CB – ALA)

He should go first overall for his name alone. Ga’Quincy “Kool-Aid” McKinstry was so elite at Alabama that opposing offenses targeted him half as often during his junior season on roughly the same amount of coverage snaps. They didn’t even want to try. With Darius Slay and James Bradberry on the wrong side of 30, the Eagles look to bring a new wave of talent for their secondary.

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23. Houston Texans: Johnny Newton (DT – ILL)

On NFL Mock Draft Database, Jer’Zhan “Johnny” Newton’s peak big board rank was ninth back in January. It seems like some prospect fatigue might be setting in but his stock dip certainly wasn’t prevented by the fact he didn’t complete any drills or testing at the combine due to recovering from a foot fracture.

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24. Dallas Cowboys: JC Latham (OT – ALA)

This pairing is less common compared to most mock drafts. However, even though JC Latham played right tackle for Alabama, he has experience playing left tackle in high school. While the Cowboys could select someone like Graham Barton, who played left tackle in college, I think they would prefer the better overall player in Latham.

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25. Green Bay Packers: Amarius Mims (OT – UGA)

The Packers like their physical specimens. Amarius Mims is exactly that. At 6-foot-7.5 and 340 pounds, he powered through a 4.33-second shuttle drill at the NFL Combine. The downside is he lacks the experience other first-round offensive tackles bring to the table. If the Packers keep David Bakhtiari somehow, Mims could develop behind him. Otherwise, Zach Tom could move back to his college position of left tackle, while Mims starts on the right side.

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26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Chop Robinson (EDGE – PSU)

After releasing Shaquil Barrett in a money-smart move, Chop Robinson would improve their pass-rush situation immensely. His 4.47 forty-yard dash had scouts talking at the NFL Combine and his in-game motor is second-to-none. He also possesses the right size to work as a 3-4 outside linebacker.

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27. Arizona Cardinals: Troy Franklin (WR – ORE)

The Cardinals desperately need wide receivers — whether they keep Kyler Murray or swap to a prospect within the next few years. Troy Franklin creates targetable separation with polished routes and adds tons of yards after the catch.

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28. Buffalo Bills: Adonai Mitchell (WR – Texas)

The Bills made a flurry of moves this week to create cap space and gear their roster toward the future. And despite all those cuts, they probably still need a receiver more than anything. Adonai Mitchell was a schemed-up, do-it-all receiver for the Longhorns. His combo of size and speed is unmatched in this receiver class.

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

Despite a lackluster NFL Combine performance, Ennis Rakestraw Jr.’s football IQ, versatility and experience will lock him into first-round selection. The Lions took a chance on a “slow” defensive back last year in Brian Branch, which returned dividends.

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30. Baltimore Ravens: Brian Thomas Jr. (WR – LSU)

Two LSU receivers in the first round. Nabers is an obvious lock to go in the first round but Brian Thomas Jr.’s 17 receiving touchdowns last season opened peoples’ eyes to his receiving prowess. He’s lightning-fast for his size and arguably has the widest catch radius of this entire class.

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31. San Francisco 49ers: Graham Barton (OG – DUKE)

Graham Barton is likely going to be a tackle-to-guard convert in the NFL. His arm length and wingspan came in as bottom-third measurements relative to the other offensive linemen at the NFL Combine. Still, he run blocks with extremely consistent power and hits zone blocks with ease.

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32. Kansas City Chiefs: Xavier Worthy (WR – TEX)

Every NFL Draft first round must have a “fast boi” receiver. Despite winning the Super Bowl, the Chiefs desperately need some receiving talent on this team. Xavier Worthy may be fast but his production is just as impressive. Through three seasons at Texas, he collected 26 receiving touchdowns and averaged 14.0 yards per reception.

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More 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.

Fantasy Football Rankings: Dynasty Trade Value Chart (March 2024 Update)

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