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2024 NFL Mock Draft: Russell Brown’s First-Round Picks & Predictions (3.0)

2024 NFL Mock Draft: Russell Brown’s First-Round Picks & Predictions (3.0)

It’s good to be back with my mock draft 3.0 for the 2024 NFL Draft. I’ve included some mock draft trades in this one and we’ll go over scenarios that potentially could happen in the coming weeks. For more NFL Draft content, drop me a follow on X @RussNFLDraft.

2024 NFL Draft Guide

2024 NFL Mock Draft: First-Round Picks & Predictions (3.0)

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

With Justin Fields traded to the Steelers, we have a clear picture the Bears will select a quarterback with the first overall pick. At this point, it would be surprising if they didn’t pick Caleb Williams. He has elite arm talent, can make any throw on the field and has the mobility needed to create plays with his feet.

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

I’ve been on the Jayden Daniels to the Commanders train for a while now and I’m sticking with it. Daniels has great mobility and the arm really jumps out of his hand to throw it deep downfield. There are times his ball placement suffers from him rushing through his progressions but it could improve in the NFL. With the Commanders having an established group of receivers, Daniels should excel as a passer and be used as a weapon on the ground for Washington.

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

Not much changes for me on picks 1-2-3. I could see the Patriots loving Williams or Daniels. If both quarterbacks are gone, I could easily see them trying to trade down to a team such as the Giants. In a scenario like that, the Patriots could move back and solve their left tackle issue with Joe Alt and the Giants could potentially solve their quarterback issue. For now, I’ll keep this the same as in my mock 2.0 because the Patriots desperately need a quarterback. Head coach Jerod Mayo has made it a point to tell the media they need a quarterback and they’re looking for the right guy. Drake Maye could be that guy due to his mobility, toughness and ability to fit throws in tight windows while on the run.

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

Could the Cardinals really move this pick? Having three picks in the first round after a trade down with the Vikings is tempting but I’d be somewhat surprised if the Cardinals moved out of this spot. Especially with Marvin Harrison Jr. staring them in the face. The Cardinals lost Marquise Brown to the Chiefs this offseason and they’re in desperate need of a true No. 1 receiver for Kyler Murray. Harrison Jr. is incredibly fluid for a player his size and can run anywhere on the field. He faces a ton of double coverage and is still able to come away with the football. This one is a no-brainer.

5. Minnesota Vikings (Mock Trade with LAC): J.J. McCarthy (QB – Michigan) 

Before the combine, I had heard the Vikings had interest in J.J. McCarthy and it would be best to start “connecting those dots.” With Kirk Cousins out of the picture, the Vikings added Sam Darnold. However, with the Vikings adding the 23rd overall pick, it’s clear they’re trying to get into position for a quarterback. By drafting McCarthy, they get a quarterback prospect who comes from a pro-style offense at Michigan and takes what’s given to him from defenses. Add in the fact he’s a winner and gets to come in and work with receivers such as Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison, I think that bodes well for his success. 

Mock Trade Details: 

  • MIN Receives: 2024 1st-Round Pick (5th Overall)
  • LAC Receives: 2024 1st-Round Picks (11th and 23rd Overall) and 2025 1st-Round Pick

6. New York Giants: Malik Nabers (WR – LSU)

It wouldn’t surprise me if the Giants moved up to take a quarterback. I know they’ve been doing their due diligence on the position. For now, I’ll have them stay put to grab a pass-catcher for Daniel Jones and their offense. Malik Nabers is like the energizer bunny with how he was used on pre-snap motions in the LSU offense and can generate yards after the catch consistently. Additionally, he’s got the speed and explosiveness needed to threaten defenses vertically.

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

I could see a scenario where the Patriots or the Giants select Joe Alt, but I’ll keep him placed here for the time being. The Titans get a franchise left tackle in Alt to help rejuvenate a growing offense now led by quarterback Will Levis. With Alt, he’s got great length and is about as steady of a player as you’ll find. Flexible for a player his size, he can get out in space or consistently protect the edge.

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

The Falcons have their quarterback in Kirk Cousins. On paper, the Falcons’ offense is much improved but their defense could still use some work. One area they need improvement is in pass-rushing. The consensus top-three pass-rushers are Dallas Turner, Jared Verse and Laiatu Latu. They’re graded very close on my board but Turner gets the edge as the best defensive player in the draft. Turner has an explosive first step and great length for the position. He would be able to play in a two- or three-point stance consistently in the Falcons’ defense.

9. Chicago Bears: Rome Odunze (WR – Washington)

This could be a trade-down spot for any team interested in moving up for a pass-catcher, offensive tackle or quarterback. To save myself the headache of predicting the trade, the Bears stay put and play it smart by adding Rome Odunze. Despite adding Keenan Allen with D.J. Moore, the Bears add a playmaker with this pick. Odunze could end up a top-two or top-three player from this draft class. He makes great adjustments on the football and can run every route possible. Getting him to Chicago would make life easier for Caleb Williams.

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

The Jets trade out of this spot or pivot to taking an offensive tackle. However, don’t be surprised if they were the team that lands on Georgia tight end Brock Bowers. He’s a versatile chess piece for an offense due to his athletic ability and run-after-the-catch skills. He’ll align anywhere and make things happen for a quarterback. I love the way he adjusts to the football. Aaron Rodgers would welcome this type of pass-catcher.

11. Los Angeles Chargers (Mock Trade with MIN): Taliese Fuaga (OT – Oregon State)

The Chargers may have hit the lotto this offseason. They’re in prime trade-down territory and should gain two or three additional first-round picks by doing so. Meanwhile, they added Jim Harbaugh, which should only help quarterback Justin Herbert. Also aiding Herbert would be getting him help up front in the form of Taliese Fuaga. He’s a nasty run blocker with a fluid lower half and his hands hit hard. He’d be plug-and-play at right tackle for the Chargers and is a perfect fit with their new identity of running the football. 

Mock Trade Details: 

  • MIN Receives: 2024 1st-Round Pick (5th Overall)
  • LAC Receives: 2024 1st-Round Picks (11th and 23rd Overall) and 2025 1st-Round Pick

2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Guide

12. Denver Broncos: Bo Nix (QB – Oregon)

There are plenty of wild cards in this draft but the Denver Broncos are one of the biggest. They didn’t add a veteran quarterback and released the one they had (Russell Wilson). With that, they’re certainly in the market for a quarterback. Are Bo Nix or Michael Penix Jr. too risky of reaches in this spot? For most teams, yes. Keep in mind, though, the Broncos don’t have a second-round pick this year. They need a QB so they stand pat and take Nix in this spot. He’s the most experienced quarterback prospect in the draft this year (61 games), so what you see with him is what you get. However, he could improve some under Sean Payton. That’s important as he gets antsy when faced with pressure, becoming indecisive on his first read.

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

When looking at the Raiders’ roster, the structure of the offense is somewhat odd. They lack offensive line depth and need another pass-catcher. It’s also unclear what’s going to happen at quarterback. In this spot, I could see a pass-catcher such as Brian Thomas Jr. or Adonai Mitchell, but I could also see them load up on defense and add a cornerback such as Terrion Arnold. The offense needs work, though, starting on the offensive line. With Jermaine Eluemunor gone to the Giants, there’s a need for a right tackle. Latham appears to be a plug-and-play tackle. He’s got tremendous grip strength and plays with power all the time. I could see Antonio Pierce falling in love with his game.

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

The Saints’ offensive line right now has a ton of question marks. Right tackle Ryan Ramczyk is recovering from a knee injury and the recovery is taking longer than expected. There have been a lot of inconsistencies in Trevor Penning’s game. They look to make it right by selecting Olu Fashanu, who very well could fall into their laps. Fashanu appears to be a plug-and-play left tackle with a strong anchor and great length for the position. His 2023 tape isn’t as good as 2022 but he’s a fine prospect that will present challenges for pass-rushers.

15. Indianapolis Colts: Quinyon Mitchell (CB – Toledo) 

Since the Senior Bowl, this has been one of my favorite player-to-team fits. Quinyon Mitchell has some of the best click-close abilities in the class. He baits quarterbacks into thinking there are passing windows and quickly shuts them. Add in his ball skills (45 pass breakups and six interceptions) and there’s so much to be desired with his skill set. With this pick, the Colts add a talented playmaker on the back end of their defense to help shut down the AFC quarterbacks (C.J. Stroud, Trevor Lawrence and Will Levis) in the AFC South.

16. Philadelphia Eagles (Mock Trade with Seattle): Brian Thomas Jr. (WR – LSU) 

Certainly, there’s a chance we see a run on receivers at the top of the draft and then some drop off but I could see a team trade up for one. In this scenario, that team is the Philadelphia Eagles. They’ve lost some key players on the defensive and offensive lines this offseason but you could make a case the Eagles need another pass-catcher. The additions of DeVante Parker and Parris Campbell don’t move the needle but the addition of Brian Thomas Jr. would. He’s a long-limbed receiver who excelled at basketball before focusing on football. He’s best suited out of the slot where he wins consistently on fade routes. Pairing him with DeVonta Smith, A.J. Brown, Dallas Goedert and Saquon Barkley should do wonders for Jalen Hurts and an Eagles offense that ran out of gas last season. 

Mock Trade Details: 

  • PHI Receives: 2024 1st-Round Pick (16th Overall) and 2024 4th-Round Pick (102nd Overall)
  • SEA Receives: 2024 1st-Round Pick (22nd Overall) and 2024 2nd-Round Pick (53rd Overall) 

17. Jacksonville Jaguars: Terrion Arnold (CB – Alabama) 

New Jaguars defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen wants his defense to be “aggressive and to attack.” With the additions made on offense, it feels like the Jaguars will focus on defense with their first pick of the 2024 NFL Draft. There’s no defensive player more aggressive than Terrion Arnold. Fortunately, he’s available, and the Jaguars sprint to the podium to add him to a secondary that brought in Ronald Darby and Darnell Savage. Arnold is a physical press-man corner who plays physical and loves contact. He needs to improve his lower body technique but there’s much to be desired with his skill set to develop into a No. 1 cornerback.

18. Cincinnati Bengals: Troy Fautanu (OT – Washington) 

Going into the offseason, many evaluators believed Troy Fautanu was best suited to play guard. We’ll need to see how it plays out but he can certainly play tackle at the next level. He’s athletic enough to play right or left tackle. With 34 ½” arms, he should be just fine. He finishes blocks in pass pro with a devastating snatch-trap technique. He has the foot speed needed to mirror and match pass-rushers. With Trent Brown on a one-year deal, there’s still plenty of uncertainty around the right tackle spot in Cincinnati but Fautanu gives the Bengals a much-needed plan.

19. Los Angeles Rams: Jared Verse (EDGE – Florida State) 

It feels criminal to have Jared Verse fall this far but some talent is bound to slip. Verse plays with a great blend of power and speed. He has shown he can be an effective bend-and-chase player against the run. Drafting Verse doesn’t fully make up for Aaron Donald’s retirement but it helps ease the pain. Verse paired with Byron Young and Kobie Turner would be a fun pass-rushing trio in the NFL.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jackson Powers-Johnson (iOL – Oregon)

All signs have pointed to the Steelers being heavily interested in adding an interior offensive lineman this offseason. So far, they’ve struck out with free-agent signings. The Steelers should emphasize finding one in the draft. There’s no better way than adding the best one in the draft in Jackson Powers-Johnson. He can be a plug-and-play guard or center for the Steelers. At 328 pounds, he’s stout against the run and the pass. Teams will have to find ways to get around him because going through him is very unlikely with how well and consistently he anchors against the opposition. Add in what he can do in space and it matches what offensive coordinator Arthur Smith wants to do on offense.

21. Miami Dolphins: Byron Murphy (iDL – Texas) 

Losing Christian Wilkins wouldn’t be easy for any team. The Dolphins are doing their best by adding Neville Gallimore and Benito Jones. However, neither player can be viewed as a starter, so the Dolphins look to fill the void by selecting Byron Murphy. Murphy has an explosive first step and works his hands quickly. His lateral movement and quickness for the position are impressive. He becomes a plug-and-play starter for a Dolphins defense desperately needing help in the middle of their defense.

22. Seattle Seahawks (Mock Trade with Philadelphia): Graham Barton (iOL – Duke)

I’m sure folks won’t be happy about the trade compensation but it’s pretty close in total points on the trade value chart (50 points shy of even). That said, the Seahawks need help on the interior part of their offensive line. With Powers-Johnson off the board, they go with the next best option in Duke’s Graham Barton. He’s able to play tackle but seems likely to play on the interior in the NFL. He’s about as consistent as any player in the class and flashes the ability to finish blocks in the run game. If healthy, he can be a plug-and-play type of player for just about any team in the first round. 

Mock Trade Details: 

  • PHI Receives: 2024 1st-Round Pick (16th Overall) and 2024 4th-Round Pick (102nd Overall)
  • SEA Receives: 2024 1st-Round Pick (22nd Overall) and 2024 2nd-Round Pick (53rd Overall) 

23. Los Angeles Chargers (Mock Trade with MIN): Adonai Mitchell (WR – Texas) 

Trading down with Minnesota gives the Chargers two picks in the first round. If they make that trade, it’s easy to see them selecting a wide receiver with either the 11th or 23rd pick of the draft. Especially after the organization moved on from veteran receivers Mike Williams and Keenan Allen. By grabbing Adonai Mitchell, the Chargers would give Justin Herbert another pass-catcher. Mitchell has a very similar athletic profile to current Chargers WR Quentin Johnston but he plays the game much differently. He’s far more fluid as a route runner, which should help create separation more consistently than Johnston.

Mock Trade Details: 

  • MIN Receives: 2024 1st-Round Pick (5th Overall)
  • LAC Receives: 2024 1st-Round Picks (11th and 23rd Overall) and 2025 1st-Round Pick

24. Dallas Cowboys: Amarius Mims (OT – Georgia) 

With the Cowboys losing Tyron Smith and Tyler Biadasz, they need to upgrade their offensive line. As the run of interior offensive lineman happened right before the 24th pick, the Cowboys pivot to a starting caliber right tackle in Amarius Mims. His athletic profile is different from most offensive tackles due to his 6-foot-7 and 340-pound frame with 36 ⅛” arms. Despite only having seven career starts, there are a lot of positives on tape. He displays powerful hands and there appears to be no issues with him getting out in space (despite his massive frame). Mims would provide the Cowboys an upgrade over Terrence Steele at right tackle.

25. Green Bay Packers: Laiatu Latu (EDGE – UCLA) 

Could the Packers finally draft an offensive lineman in the first round? Protecting Jordan Love and making sure Josh Jacobs is productive will be important for the Packers. Just not in this spot. Having a pass-rusher like Laiatu Latu land in their lap is too good to pass up. The Packers need to ensure they continue to find ways to pressure established/soon-to-be-established NFC North quarterbacks. The best pure pass-rusher in the draft, Latu wins in a variety of ways. He flashes quick hands and can dig deep into his bag with cross-chop and spin moves to bring down quarterbacks. His alignment versatility will allow the Packers to get creative with Latu, Rashan Gary, Lukas Van Ness and others in this defense. 

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Nate Wiggins (CB – Clemson) 

By trading away Carlton Davis, it’s evident the Buccaneers need to find a way to bring in a talented defensive back. Particularly at cornerback. In this spot, there’s nobody better than Nate Wiggins. He’s a fluid athlete with oily hips and the speed needed to run vertically with receivers. He’s a long-limbed defender who excels in press-man but he’s shown he can play off-man and in zone coverage. His effort in pursuit is outstanding on some plays and it should make a difference in games.

27. Arizona Cardinals (via HOU): Cooper DeJean (CB – Iowa) 

Even though I like the addition of Sean Murphy-Bunting at cornerback, this secondary needs plenty more help. The Cardinals’ defense likes to design various blitzes while keeping two safeties on the field and running different types of zone and man coverages. By adding Cooper DeJean, they get a defender who can blitz out of the slot, play man coverage or drop into zone with quarters coverage or cover 3 responsibilities. In addition, DeJean is a fluid athlete with experience at safety and cornerback. He’s also a very successful special teams returner.

28. Buffalo Bills: Zach Frazier (iOL – West Virginia) 

Could the Bills look at a defensive back or receiver in this spot? They absolutely can and I wouldn’t write off the idea of them selecting Johnny Newton from Illinois. That said, the Bills will value an offensive lineman who can play center now that Mitch Morse is gone. To me, Zach Frazier is an upgrade over Connor McGovern for a variety of reasons. For starters, he’s an incredibly strong run blocker. There are so many instances where he overpowers defenders and drives them to the ground. In addition to that, he picks up blitzes and line stunts well by always keeping his head on a swivel by being athletic enough to move laterally. Add in the fact Frazier is a former high school wrestler — 159-2 in his career with four championship victories. He’s the exact player Sean McDermott wants for his team.

29. Detroit Lions: Johnny Newton (iDL – Illinois)

I know the Lions signed D.J. Reader to a two-year contract and they’ll need to start preparing for an extension with Alim McNeill. However, it doesn’t hurt to add talent to their defensive line. Especially with how the Lions like to rotate players. By adding Newton, the Lions get an explosive pass-rusher who wins with his first-step quickness and he’ll provide alignment versatility. The Lions could look into more five-man fronts by adding Johnny Newton which gives them insurance with Reader having torn quads in consecutive seasons.

30. Baltimore Ravens: Christian Haynes (iOL – UConn) 

The Ravens losing right guard Kevin Zeitler to the Lions is less than ideal for an offense focused on establishing a ground game. Sure, the Ravens have Ben Cleveland waiting in the wings at right guard but the former third-round pick has been hampered by foot and knee injuries in his career. I could see a scenario where the Ravens look to get an immediate starter at right guard to protect Lamar Jackson and help with the run game. Christian Haynes fits exactly that for the Ravens. He can be a plug-and-play starter at the next level and teams will love his aggressive demeanor at the line of scrimmage and in space. He was a 49-game starter at UConn and we’ve seen the Ravens look at former UConn Huskies in the past by drafting Travis Jones at defensive tackle. They could look again here by adding Haynes to their offensive line.

31. San Francisco 49ers: Xavier Worthy (WR – Texas) 

Somewhere in the first round, Xavier Worthy is getting drafted. It could be sooner or it could be right around this range. Either way, teams will jump at the chance of putting his speed to the test against NFL defenses. Certainly, his 165-pound frame will get tested against NFL competition but he plays much bigger than that. Whether in short areas of the field or vertically, Worthy shows tremendous effort. Drops are a concern but he’s a high-effort player who can make big plays when the ball is in his hands. Putting him in an offense with George Kittle, Christian McCaffrey, Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel could help the 49ers finally get over the hurdle and win the Super Bowl.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Kool-Aid McKinstry (CB – Alabama)

The run on the pass-catchers happened so I could see the Chiefs holding off on adding a receiver until day two of the draft. By trading away L’Jarius Sneed, there should be some attention directed towards cornerback. Despite a toe injury that required surgery, Kool-Aid McKinstry should be ready to go by the start of the season. After all, he did run the 40-yard dash at his Pro Day in 4.47 seconds. On the field, the Chiefs will love his physicality and press-man ability on the perimeter. He’s athletic enough to play anywhere but seems destined to be on the outside for an NFL defense. He’ll need to improve on locating the football when it’s in the air. I’d like to see him sink his hips more but this one would be a no-brainer for a Chiefs defense moving on from Sneed. 

More 2024 NFL Mock Drafts

We’ve compiled mock drafts from the top experts based on their history of NFL mock draft accuracy. You can also create a consensus mock draft using any of our experts here. 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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