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2024 NFL Mock Draft: Matthew Jones’s Picks & Predictions (5.0)

2024 NFL Mock Draft: Matthew Jones’s Picks & Predictions (5.0)

Now that most major free agents have found new landing spots for the 2024 season, and with the NFL Draft just over a month away, it’s a good time to see how the flurry of signings may have affected the outcome.

Read on to see where I’m currently projecting some of the top prospects to end up in my latest 2024 NFL Mock Draft!

2024 NFL Draft Guide

2024 NFL Mock Draft: Matthew Jones (March 20)

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

With Justin Fields officially out of the picture, the Bears are primed to draft one of the most creative quarterback prospects in recent memory. They’ll drop him into a roster that’s well-equipped with offensive weapons, having signed D’Andre Swift and traded for Keenan Allen. Over a month out, this looks like a near-certainty to happen.

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

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

I don’t strongly prefer Jayden Daniels over Drake Maye here, as I think both passers are good fits in Kliff Kingsbury’s Air Raid-influenced offense. It seems like momentum is building around Daniels, so for now, I won’t overthink it. Either way, the Commanders will almost certainly take one of those two players here.

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

Everything the Patriots have done this offseason seems designed to draft a quarterback here, so I’d be surprised if they ended up trading out of this pick. Marvin Harrison Jr. seems less and less likely as the offseason continues. I believe Maye has a higher bust rate than many, but obviously, the upside is there.

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

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

Some have this pegged as a pick a team like the Vikings could trade up for, but I’m not projecting trades here. Besides, Harrison Jr. seems like the perfect weapon for a Cardinals offense, which is light on skill-position talent, especially with Marquise Brown leaving for Kansas City. I’m not yet buying the “Malik Nabers over Harrison Jr.” hype.

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

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

I’ve gone with an offensive tackle here in previous mock drafts, but now that the Chargers have traded Allen and cut Mike Williams, a receiver seems much more feasible. Los Angeles has a legitimate left tackle in Rashawn Slater, and in terms of positional value, a dynamic receiver is probably more coveted than a right tackle.

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6. New York Giants: Rome Odunze (WR – Washington)

Could this pick be J.J. McCarthy? Sure, especially given the rumors that the Giants are essentially done with Daniel Jones. There’s a reason we’re hearing so many “Daniel Jones to the Vikings” rumors, and this could be that reason. But given their financial commitments to Jones for at least this year, I’ll stick with Rome Odunze for now.

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7. Tennessee Titans: Joe Alt (OT – Notre Dame)

This seems like one of the most likely picks in the draft, especially now that the Chargers are in need of receiver help. Joe Alt is a plug-and-play starter who can pair with left guard Peter Skoronski to form an elite duo on that side of the line. I love the match between need and fit here, with Alt being a great match for the team’s identity.

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

8. Atlanta Falcons: Dallas Turner (DE – Alabama)

Having signed Kirk Cousins and added some weapons for him in Darnell Mooney and Rondale Moore, this looks likely to be a defender. Last year, Calais Campbell and Bud Dupree tied for the team lead in sacks with 6.5, and neither is currently on the roster. With his incredible NFL Combine, Dallas Turner is a solid candidate to be the top defender picked.

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

2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Guide

9. Chicago Bears: Jared Verse (DE – Florida State)

Bears fans have been vocal about their desire for Odunze here, and that’d be a likely pick if, say, the Giants were to take McCarthy. If he’s not available, this is a tough call. I went with Jared Verse, as he seems to fit the big-bodied, strong prototype Chicago has tended to target. He’d fit in nicely on the line opposite Montez Sweat.

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

10. New York Jets: Brock Bowers (TE – Georgia)

This pick previously looked like a lock to be an offensive tackle, but now that the Jets have added Tyron Smith and Moses Morgan to play the two tackle spots and signed John Simpson to play left guard, there isn’t really room on the line. Given Aaron Rodgers‘ age, they should probably take someone who helps them win now.

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

11. Minnesota Vikings: J.J. McCarthy (QB – Michigan)

It’s hard to imagine the Vikings not coming out of the first couple of rounds without a quarterback to replace Cousins, even after signing Sam Darnold. They might have to get ahead of the Giants for McCarthy or at least prevent the Broncos from getting ahead of them. I’m not projecting trades, so they land him here.

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

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

Broncos cornerback Patrick Surtain II is one of the best players in the league, so maybe Denver would draw from the same well to upgrade their other corner spot. Players like Damarri Mathis and Riley Moss are projected to compete there, but I don’t think either has shown enough yet to prevent Denver from targeting a premium position.

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

13. Las Vegas Raiders: Taliese Fuaga (OT – Oregon State)

Now that Jermaine Eluemunor is on his way to the Giants, I feel more confident in identifying right tackle as a need here. Fortunately for the Raiders, the Jets doubled down on offensive tackle signings, potentially clearing a path for Taliese Fuaga to slide to Las Vegas. He’s a big, nasty player who’d fit well in coordinator Luke Getsy’s offense.

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

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

We know the Saints love drafting in the trenches, and they could use help at left tackle and defensive tackle. Byron Murphy II is an option, but I think finding a blindside protector is more important. New coordinator Klint Kubiak is expected to bring in a zone blocking scheme, which Olu Fashanu’s athleticism makes him a good fit for.

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

15. Indianapolis Colts: Cooper DeJean (CB – Iowa)

With reports that the Colts are pursuing L’Jarius Sneed, this pick could quickly be thrown into question. However, with needs at both cornerback and safety, a versatile player like Cooper DeJean could work. He’s a big, physical player, which Chris Ballard seems to like at corner, and his zone chops should work in Gus Bradley’s defense.

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16. Seattle Seahawks: Troy Fautanu (OT – Washington)

Incoming offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb spent the past two seasons coordinating the Huskies’ offense, so you have to imagine he’ll be pounding the table for some of his players from the program. Enter Troy Fautanu, whose length could allow him to play tackle but would likely be stepping in at left guard for the Seahawks.

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

17. Jacksonville Jaguars: Brian Thomas Jr. (WR – LSU)

Despite signing Gabe Davis, the Jaguars could use another receiver, as Calvin Ridley is gone, and Brian Thomas Jr. fits Trent Baalke’s freaky preferences. I’m fading defensive tackle after the signing of Arik Armstead, but corner is still in play, as Ronald Darby‘s deal was modest. They could also maybe look for a left tackle if they want to dump Cam Robinson.

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for Brian Thomas Jr. partner-arrow

18. Cincinnati Bengals: JC Latham (OT – Alabama)

Originally, I was going to project JC Latham as a big-bodied right tackle to replace departing Tide blocker Jonah Williams at right tackle. However, the team signed Trent Brown recently. Still, Cincinnati doesn’t have many needs on the roster, and I could imagine them drafting a lineman like Latham, who can spend 2024 at guard.

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

19. Los Angeles Rams: Laiatu Latu (DE – UCLA)

The Rams got back on track offensively last season, so I’m expecting this to be a defensive pick. The value on that side of the ball is good here, so maybe they’d opt for a sophisticated technician off the edge. Although the Rams brought in Darious Williams on a three-year deal, they could also still use another cornerback on Day 2 or Day 3.

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

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Amarius Mims (OT – Georgia)

Dionte Johnson for Donte Jackson – one of the most confusingly-named trades of all time – landed the Steelers a fast, athletic option opposite Joey Porter Jr. So, maybe they’ll look elsewhere at pick No. 20. Upgrading the offensive line looks like a good idea; I have them swinging for the fences on a big man from Georgia for the second straight year.

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

21. Miami Dolphins: Byron Murphy II (DL – Texas)

Bringing in players like Shaq Barrett and Kendall Fuller helped the Dolphins shore up a few positions defensively, but losing Christian Wilkins hurts. Here, they’re drafting another strong, high-motor tackle that many think could go much higher than this. If Murphy II doesn’t make it, they could also consider looking at offensive line help.

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22. Philadelphia Eagles: Quinyon Mitchell (CB – Toledo)

If I’m the Eagles, I’m not dead set on a corner here, as it’s possible Darius Slay and James Bradberry can recover their 2022 form. Plus, Kelee Ringo is waiting in the wings. Still, given how the board fell, that looks like a good direction to go in value-wise. With a few players carrying similar grades, the specific prospect they target is preference-based.

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

23. Minnesota Vikings: Kool-Aid McKinstry (CB – Alabama)

This pick would almost certainly be included in any trade-up for McCarthy, but if the Vikings stay put, it looks like a good time to target a cornerback. The team doesn’t really have a clear-cut No. 1 corner (Byron Murphy Jr. is the best on the roster), and Kool-Aid McKinstry would be a great fit for Brian Flores’ defense, having played for Nick Saban.

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

24. Dallas Cowboys: Jackson Powers-Johnson (OC – Oregon)

It was a surprise when the Cowboys released Tyler Biadasz, and they might be regretting that decision now that he’s signed with Washington. Luckily for them, Jackson Powers-Johnson is available here, although he’s currently projected to go a bit higher on draft day. This choice looks like a great match between need and value.

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

The Packers have one of the league’s top cornerbacks in Jaire Alexander, but opposite him is 2021 first-round pick Eric Stokes, who hasn’t shown much thus far in his career. Traditionally, the Packers are tools-based drafters who look for elite athletes from major programs. Nate Wiggins fits that bill and is generally considered a strong value here.

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

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jer’Zhan Newton (DL – Illinois)

This is one pick I found quite difficult, but ultimately, I went with Jer’Zhan Newton, as his disruptiveness as a five-tech would fit well on Tampa’s three-man lines next to Vita Vea and Calijah Kancey. Other possibilities include the offensive line, as they’re thin in the middle but drafted Cody Mauch in the second round last year. Or they could go with a cornerback, having traded Carlton Davis.

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for Jer’Zhan Newton partner-arrow

27. Arizona Cardinals: Chop Robinson (DE – Penn State)

There aren’t too many positions I’d rule out for this selection, so it can almost be a true best-player available choice, except you can cross out a quarterback, tackle or safety. I could imagine the team trying to upgrade its defensive front, and Chop Robinson is arguably the top player left at this point, so it seems like a reasonable projection to me.

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

28. Buffalo Bills: Kingsley Suamataia (OL – Brigham Young)

Projecting a receiver here is traditional, but Buffalo signed Curtis Samuel and Mack Hollins. The team also lost Jordan Poyer, while their other starting safety last year, Micah Hyde, is a free agent, so that’s an option. Still, Kingsley Sumataia makes sense, as he could begin at left guard before potentially taking over for Spencer Brown at tackle next year.

Check out our full 2024 NFL Draft Scouting Report for Kingsley Suamataia partner-arrow

29. Detroit Lions: Darius Robinson (DL – Missouri)

Heading into free agency, this seemed like either a defensive lineman or cornerback, but the Lions did a good job of addressing those spots, so they have some flexibility here. Three incoming starters are on one-year deals: guard Kevin Zeitler, defensive end Marcus Davenport and the recently acquired cornerback Davis. Take your pick.

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

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

Receiver narrowly edges out a lineman here. Both of Baltimore’s offensive guards left in free agency, so I think it’s fair to say that they’ll probably view adding talent on the interior as a priority, too. However, based on positional value, it’s probably fair to say that the receiver is more coveted. I’d expect them to prefer a big-bodied option.

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

31. San Francisco 49ers: Graham Barton (OL – Duke)

This is one of the most loaded rosters in all of football, but most would probably agree that the interior of their offensive line is one of San Francisco’s relative weaknesses. Graham Barton has played both tackle and on the interior at Duke and might project best as a guard in the pros. His versatility and experience fit a contender well.

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

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Tyler Guyton (OT – Oklahoma)

Signing Brown reduces the need for a receiver, but they could still take one more here. Moving Sneed would also make cornerback a big need. Ultimately, I went with a high-upside tackle, as 2023 left tackle Donovan Smith is currently a free agent, while Jawaan Taylor will likely be gone if he struggles again in 2024.

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

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.

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