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2024 NFL Mock Draft: Matthew Jones Final Picks & Predictions

2024 NFL Mock Draft: Matthew Jones Final Picks & Predictions

As the NFL Draft rapidly approaches, I’ve put together my final mock for 2024. Read on to see how I think the first round could play out!

2024 NFL Draft Guide

Final NFL 2024 Mock Draft (Matthew Jones)

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

Does anything more need to be said about this one? We’ve known Caleb Williams was going to be the first pick in the draft for some time, arguably even when Justin Fields was still on the team. He should prove to be a major upgrade at quarterback.

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

This isn’t really based on anything concrete, just a general preference for Jayden Daniels as an overall prospect and the feeling that Kliff Kingsbury might see him as a slightly better fit for his offense than Drake Maye.

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

Maye’s a different type of quarterback than the Patriots have had for the past few decades, but I’ll be surprised if New England moves down significantly in the draft. It looks like they’ll just take “their guy” here and build around him.

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

With as much draft capital as they currently have, Arizona should stay at No. 4 and take arguably the best prospect in the entire class. Marvin Harrison Jr. can step in right away and provide the team with a No. 1 receiver. He has size some of their players lack.

5. Minnesota Vikings (from Chargers): J.J. McCarthy (QB – Michigan)

We all know Minnesota wants a quarterback, and it’s possible they’d prefer Maye here, but they’d probably be happy with J.J. McCarthy, too. Personally, I believe the Chargers would be much more willing to move down than the Cardinals.

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

Throughout the mock season, I’ve thought the Giants might prefer a big-bodied receiver like Rome Odunze to complement what’s already on the roster. But it seems like Malik Nabers is getting more hype and does fit the profile the Giants seem to like at the position.

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

Let’s not overthink this:  If Joe Alt is left, it would be shocking for the Titans to go in any other direction. They tried signing Andre Dillard last year but cut him after just one season. This gives second-year passer Will Levis a pro-ready blindside protector.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Byron Murphy II (DL – Texas)

Does this count as the first surprise of the mock? New Falcons defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake has an extensive history with Pete Kwiatkowski dating back 25 years, and Byron Murphy II’s physical profile is highly similar to that of Grady Jarrett.

2024 Dynasty Fantasy Football Guide

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

Wouldn’t this be a fun pairing? For me, the only risk here is that the Bears get sniped, with a team moving up to the eighth overall pick to prevent them from landing Odunze. In that case, they may be forced to take a rusher to play opposite Montez Sweat.

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

I totally buy the Jets loving Taliese Fuaga as a fit, and it makes perfect sense as a long-term move. But this regime is on the hot seat, and they must win now. Brock Bowers gives them a new dimension on offense as they try to support Aaron Rodgers.

11. Los Angeles Chargers (from Vikings): JC Latham (OT – Alabama)

Like I expect many others are thinking, it seems in line with Jim Harbaugh’s preferences to build along the line first. I’ve got Alt as my top tackle, but he hasn’t played on the right. Why not take a king’s ransom to move down for a true right tackle?

12. Denver Broncos: Dallas Turner (DE – Alabama)

I’m not too confident in this pick, given the three young edge rushers Denver got encouraging production out of last season. They need a cornerback more, but I like the connections between Broncos GM George Paton and Dallas Turner.

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

Raiders general manager Tom Telesco usually doesn’t draft cornerbacks high, with Jason Verrett being the only one he’s taken. But Thayer Munford Jr. played well last year, and I think he will get a chance to man the right tackle spot on the team’s line this year.

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

New Orleans drafted Trevor Penning and tried to install him as the team’s left tackle, but it’s been a major disappointment so far. That’s why I think the Saints would jump at the chance to draft a true left tackle like Olu Fashanu rather than flipping someone else.

15. Indianapolis Colts: Brian Thomas Jr. (WR – LSU)

Chris Ballard seems impressed with the receiver class, but I’m not sure he’s aggressive enough to go way up the board for one of the top three. Brian Thomas Jr.’s speed could let him win deep on an island, and his skillset fits well with Anthony Richardson‘s.

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

This might be a bit of a lazy pick, but I’m sticking with it because it represents a perfect match of need and fit. Given Seattle’s decision to hire Ryan Grubb and Scott Huff, Washington’s offensive coordinator and offensive line coach, Troy Fautanu is the pick.

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

Had Jacksonville not signed Gabe Davis, Brian Thomas Jr. would make a lot of sense. That feels a bit redundant to me now. Based on Ryan Nielsen’s introductory press conference, it seems like he’ll value aggressiveness and tackling at cornerback.

18. Cincinnati Bengals: Taliese Fuaga (OT – Oregon State)

This is later than I thought Fuaga would go; he could clearly come off the board within the first dozen or so picks. Cincinnati signed Trent Brown, but he’s on a one-year deal and nearing the end of his career. Fuaga could play guard this year, then tackle next.

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

With Aaron Donald having retired, bolstering the defensive front seems almost too obvious, given the types of talents available at this point. Realistically, anyone from Laiatu Latu to Jared Verse or Jer’Zhan Newton would be great, but Latu has the most hype.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Graham Barton (C – Duke)

Realistically, this could also be Amarius Mims, Jackson Powers-Johnson or maybe even a receiver or corner. I just think Graham Barton is the cleanest of the top three linemen and would be a great fit for Arthur Smith’s physical, zone-based blocking scheme.

21. Miami Dolphins: Jackson Powers-Johnson (C – Oregon)

Given Miami’s injuries at the edge rusher spots, I could also imagine a player like Verse being the pick here. But upgrading the line’s interior would be a good idea, too. Powers-Johnson would be a great fit, maybe even after a modest move down.

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

It wouldn’t be like Howie Roseman to take a cornerback in the first, but coverage was an issue last year, and the top tackles left may be too tall to start their career at right guard. Avonte Maddox is weak in the slot, too. I like either Alabama players as a fit here.

23. Indianapolis Colts (from Vikings/Chargers): Cooper DeJean (CB – Iowa)

I spent a lot of time thinking about what Chris Ballard might do. He seems to think the Colts are OK at cornerback, but if there’s one thing we know about Gus Bradley, it’s that he runs a huge amount of Cover-3, making Cooper DeJean a great fit for his scheme.

24. Dallas Cowboys: Tyler Guyton (OT – Oklahoma)

With Tyron Smith headed to the Jets, the Cowboys’ line has holes, and they seem to want to keep Tyler Smith at guard if possible. Tyler Guyton isn’t ready immediately, but he has rare physical and athletic traits that should allow him to flip to the blindside.

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

A cornerback could be a good fit here as well, but reportedly, the Packers view Zach Tom as a future star at center. Given how much they value traits and the tendency they’ve shown to favor Georgia players high, I think Mims would make a ton of sense.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jared Verse (DE – Florida State)

Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht has indicated a willingness to explore trading up into the early 20s. There are other potential fits, but they seem to like bigger, stronger edges like Verse.

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

If someone like McKinstry made it here, he’d be a great fit for Jonathan Gannon’s scheme. Since he’s off the board, I could imagine Arizona upgrading the pass rush, given that they had one of the lowest pressure rates in the league last year.

28. Buffalo Bills: Xavier Worthy (WR – Texas)

I agonized over this pick, because Buffalo could use a big outside receiver to replace Gabe Davis in the offense. Overall, though, Buffalo seems to like players who can create separation with crisp route running and rack up YAC, so I’ll project Worthy instead.

29. Washington Commanders (from Lions): Jordan Morgan  (OT – Arizona)

It seems like the Ravens would probably be interested in acquiring Jordan Morgan, so given Washington’s need for help on the left side of the line and their extensive draft capital, they move up. Several good options are left for Detroit, so they opt to trade out.

30. Baltimore Ravens: Jer’Zhan Newton (DL – Illinois)

Having missed out on Morgan, the Ravens could either take more of a developmental tackle or opt for their traditional BPA approach. I don’t know if this is the perfect fit for Newton, but adding more disruptive defensive linemen is never a bad idea.

31. Las Vegas Raiders (from 49ers): Michael Penix Jr. (QB – Washington)

I’m buying Antonio Pierce being interested in adding Michael Penix Jr., and this would be a relatively modest trade-up. While we don’t know how his medicals looked, what he showed on the field this past season makes him worthy of a first-round pick.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Ladd McConkey (WR – Georgia)

Ladd McConkey seems like he’d be a great fit in Kansas City’s offense, as he has the versatility to line up both inside or outside and create separation with savvy, crisp route-running. He could establish himself as a reliable target for Patrick Mahomes.

More 2024 NFL Mock Drafts

Here are some other 2024 NFL Mock Drafts to take a look ahead of tonight:

Dynasty Trade Values & Advice 2024 Fantasy Football

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