2024 NFL Mock Draft: Way too early edition

2024 Mock Draft: What will Bears do with 2 picks in Rd 1 originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

What an amazing and entertaining 2023 NFL Draft was.

There were several surprise trades, most notably, the Texans maneuvering to secure the third-overall spot, right after they selected a quarterback (C.J. Stroud) with the second-overall pick.

A couple of highly touted prospects (QB - Will Levis and CB - Joey Porter Jr.) fell completely out of the first round, and were eventually chosen in the second round two. We also saw the Jalen Carter conundrum finally conclude with him joining an already stacked NFC Champion, Philadelphia "Bulldogs"....er, I meant Eagles.

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Yes, it was an exciting and fulfilling draft, so of course we'll launch our "way too soon mock draft" for the 2024 season. There are some household names on this list and a bevy of talented, yet, unknown athletes waiting to take their turn in next year's prospect showcase. I invite you to get a head start by reading through theses 32 names of future first rounders, to see which athlete fits your wishes best.

NOTE: For the draft order, we used tankathon.com's projected draft order.

1. Cardinals: Caleb Williams, QB, USC

Ever since Williams entered mid-game versus Texas in the 117th Red River Rivalry contest, he's become one of the nation's top quarterbacks. Last season at USC, Williams became the Trojans' 7th Heisman Trophy winner (Reggie Bush's award was vacated) and looks on target to become the first pick in next year's NFL draft.


2. Cardinals (via HOU): Marvin Harrison, Jr., WR, Ohio State

Marquise Brown is an unrestricted free agent and long-time superstar wideout; while DeAndre Hopkins, is aging pass catcher who will be a free agent during the 2025 off-season. It's possible the Cardinals retool with Harrison, a playmaker who tallied 1200 plus yards and 14 touchdowns last season for the Buckeyes.

3. Buccaneers: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

Maye burst onto the collegiate scene last season, registering 4,321 passing yards, at a 66 percent completion rate with 38 throwing scores to just seven interceptions. The Bucs may be in need of a franchise quarterback and Maye could be the next face of the organization.


4. Rams: Olu Fashanu, OL, Penn State

Quick feet with excellent balance and a strong anchor, Fashanu is an aggressive run blocker who can effectively block while on the move. Fashanu is an agile six-foot-six, 321 pound athlete who's frame is as NFL ready as is his talent.

5. Colts: Kool-aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

McKinstry led the SEC in passes defended last season (15) and looks to repeat as one of the country's most promising pass defenders. A well-proportioned athlete, McKinstry is poised to become the first defensive back selected in the draft.

6. Commanders: Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State

A former member of the University of Albany Great Danes football team, Verse transferred to Florida State and tallied 17 tackles for loss and nine sacks, earning First-Team All-ACC honors.


7. Falcons: Emeka Egbuka, WR, Ohio State

Egbuka was an extremely productive receiver last season, compiling over 1100 yards and 10 receiving scores.

8. Packers: Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

Turner is a consistent edge rusher having totaled 18 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks in just 24 games played.

9. Titans: Johnny Wilson, WR, Florida State

It would be extremely difficult for the Titans to ignore throwing passes to a six-foot-seven, 235 pound wideout with a 18.7 yards per catch average.

10. Bears (via CAR): J.T. Tuimoloau, EDGE, Ohio State

Standing six-foot-four and 277 pounds, Tuimoloau may just be the needed edge rusher the Bears were unable to draft in 2023.


11. Raiders: Maason Smith, DL, LSU

Smith is an instinctive interior defensive lineman with alignment versatility and the tactical leverage skills to compete at the next level.

12. Bears: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

If Chicago moves on from unrestricted free agent receivers, Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool, focusing on Husky wideout Odunze (75 receptions / 1145 yards / 7 touchdowns) may be the answer.

13. Broncos: Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington

Nine time Pro-Bowler, Russell Wilson is the Broncos' present, but NFL prospect Penix Jr. has all the tools to be Denver's future. Last season he passed for over 4,000 yards, completing 65 percent of his passes with 31 touchdowns thrown.


14. Patriots: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

You can bet that head coach Bill Belichick would love to have a dominate pass catching tight end, and Brock Bowers is an athletic playmaker (119 receptions / 20 touchdowns) with pro ambitions.

15. Steelers: Denzel Burke, CB, Ohio State

Burke is a diligent pass defender with 17 passes defended over the past two seasons. His length, size and coverage acumen make him a legit pro prospect.

16. Vikings: Braden Trice, EDGE, Washington

Trice possesses the athletic upside and attitude to ascend into the top 10 of the 2024 draft class. So, if he lasts until the middle of the first round, he'll be a steal for any team that selects him.


17. Texans (via CLE): Michael Hall Jr., DL, Ohio State

The Texans are improving from year to year and acquiring a talent like Hall Jr., who plays with awareness and power from the defensive interior, is the next step up for Houston.

18. Chargers: TreVeyon Henderson, RB, Ohio State

Incumbent starter Austin Ekeler is an unrestricted free agent, so it's likely the Chargers address the running back position in the draft. Henderson possesses similar tools to Ekeler yet at a more reasonable fiscal rate.

19. Saints: J.C. Latham, OL, Alabama

The Saints' offensive line is beginning to age and an emerging talent like Latham offers an avenue to replenish New Orleans protective unit. Anytime a six-foot-six, 326 pound lineman runs a 40-time of 4.8 seconds, he's likely targeted for professional consideration.


20. Giants: Tyleik Williams, DL, Ohio State

Williams competes with quickness, power and leverage exhibiting the all-out motor New York needs to enrich its defensive front.

21. Lions: Cooper DeJean, DB, Iowa

DeJean is a ball-hawking Hawkeye with excellent instincts and the speed to match receivers across the gridiron.

22. Dolphins: Joe Alt, OL, Notre Dame

A bit of a grappler, Alt uses his long arms to move defenders at the point of attack; while utilizing his agility to gain purchase against the second level of defenses.

23. Jaguars: Jack Sawyer, EDGE, Ohio State

A heavily sought after 5-star recruit, Sawyer has improved each season with the Buckeyes. Noted for his toughness and rugged run stopping ability, Sawyer's secret power may actually be his underestimated closing speed (4.6 40-time).


24. Jets: Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas

Speaking of speed, there may be no faster athlete entering next year's draft than Xavier Worthy. His recorded 40-time of 4.29 seconds is frighteningly fast, offering a "threat appeal" teams at the next level salivate over.

25. Seahawks: Bo Nix, QB, Oregon

Nix is an athletic quarterback whose game improved once he transferred from the SEC to the great northwest. Last season he set a personal best in completion percentage (71.9) and touchdowns (29).

26. Ravens: Donovan Jackson, OL, Ohio State

A physical blocker with a mean streak, Jackson loves to punish opponents in a way that's traditionally Ravens-like. Jackson is a mauler whose improving pass blocking mechanics could possibly compliment Baltimore's offensive line.

27. Cowboys: Kingsley Suamataia, OL, BYU

A former Oregon Duck, Suamataia transferred to BYU, allowing zero sacks in the 632 snaps he played in for the Cougars eight win team.

28. Bills: Andrew Mukuba, S, Clemson

Actually, Mukuba's measurables (6-0, 185 lbs / 4.3 40-time) test out as a potential top 10 pick. Oddly safeties tend to be drafted later than sooner in today's NFL. Nevertheless, 101 tackles in just 25 games played has several scouts keeping close eye on him for this upcoming season.

29. 49ers: Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon

The 49ers need a game breaking receiver to take the top off of defenses. Franklin oozes with the type of explosive athleticism San Francisco covets.

30. Bengals: Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

Edge rusher, Trey Henderson is approaching 30 years of age, is an unrestricted free agent making 15 million next season and the Bengals have to pay franchise quarterback, Joe Burrow. Just saying, its looks like the Bengals will entertain drafting a defensive end with quality pass rushing ability.

31. Eagles: Raheim Sanders, RB, Arkansas

The Eagles will have 21 unrestricted free agents entering the 2023 campaign and three of them are running backs. Sanders is a more than capable back with excellent pass catching skills.

32. Chiefs: Ja'Tavion Sanders, TE, Texas

By no means does drafting a tight end send a signal to Chiefs' great and future Hall-of-Famer, Travis Kelce; but, having a cost controlled rookie learn under him would be a prescient consideration.

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