National Football League
2024 NFL mock draft: 4 QBs in top 5, 4 receivers in first 10 picks
National Football League

2024 NFL mock draft: 4 QBs in top 5, 4 receivers in first 10 picks

Updated Apr. 23, 2024 11:37 a.m. ET

The 2024 NFL Draft is disproportionately loaded on the offensive side of the ball with quarterbacks, wide receivers and offensive tackles set to dominate Day 1 at a historic rate. 

The projection below includes only one defender among the top 10 selections and just two in the first half of the first round — numbers more lopsided than in any NFL Draft since the league expanded to 32 teams in 2002. 

Many have speculated that such a disparity could spark a virtual feeding frenzy of trades. This class might be loaded with top-end talent, but it lacks the depth of most years, with dozens of draft-worthy prospects opting to return to college football, due to the NIL and transfer policies. I think that could stifle trades, with only the boldest willing to peddle extra picks to move up this year.

With that, here is my final mock of the first round ahead of Thursday's draft.


1) Chicago Bears (from Carolina): Caleb Williams, QB, USC

No surprise at the top with the Bears selecting Williams, the most gifted quarterback of the class. The 2022 Heisman Trophy winner's unique combination of improvisational ability and accuracy to all levels should make the Bears an immediate playoff contender. 

2) Washington Commanders: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina 

With all due respect to the aforementioned Bears and Williams, the drama of this draft appears likely to start with the Commanders' choice between Maye and LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels. While the reigning Heisman Trophy winner certainly would create excitement for a fan base badly in need of it, Maye's size, upside and fit in Kliff Kingsbury's offense make him the more logical choice. 

3) New England Patriots: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

The Patriots would almost surely pounce on Williams or Maye if either were available to them here, but for a franchise seeking a true rebuild, Daniels' dual-threat talents and Heisman pedigree match nicely with new offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt and could be the perfect departure from the stationary pocket passers who typified the previous era. 

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

The Cardinals currently have 11 wide receivers on their roster but only one of them — second-year pro Michael Wilson — is signed through 2025. Further, the club already leads the NFL with seven of the first 104 selections of this draft, making a trade down unlikely. Simply put, Harrison is the No. 1 target Kyler Murray and the Cardinals have been waiting for. 

5) Denver Broncos (from Chargers): J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan 

The first real fireworks of the draft come with a rare intradivision trade, with the Broncos shipping the No. 12 overall selection as well as their first-round pick next year to the Chargers, providing Sean Payton with the perfect quarterback for his offense. 

Is J.J. McCarthy going top five a smoke screen for other NFL teams?

6) New York Giants: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

Like their division rival Commanders with the quarterback position a few picks earlier, the Giants face a fascinating decision with this selection. Both Odunze and LSU's Malik Nabers are future NFL superstars capable of helping head coach Brian Daboll and incumbent starting quarterback Daniel Jones take this offense to another level. Odunze's size, intangibles and ability to win on jump balls would seem to fit slightly better. 

7) Tennessee Titans: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU 

For months, I've projected Notre Dame left tackle Joe Alt to the Titans, and I still feel that is a strong possibility. Nabers is truly dynamic, however, and might remind new Titans head coach Brian Callahan of the decision he helped make in Cincinnati a few years ago involving then-LSU star Ja'Marr Chase versus a similarly gifted offensive tackle in Penei Sewell. With the Titans lacking a third-round selection and possessing just two picks among the first 105 overall, there is a possibility Tennessee trades out of this spot. 

8) Atlanta Falcons: Dallas Turner, Edge, Alabama 

One of the most interesting subplots of the 2024 NFL Draft will be when the first defender comes off the board. Defensive-minded head coach Raheem Morris might push for Turner here given the former Alabama star's upside and the fact that 16-year NFL vet Calais Campbell, who's currently a free agent, led Atlanta last season in sacks (6.5) and QB hits (17).   

9) Chicago Bears: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

If Caleb Williams is really going to take the NFL by storm, he'll need greater protection up front than Chicago provided Justin Fields. Pairing the pro-ready Alt with last year's top pick Darnell Wright would give the Bears the size and physicality up front that they haven't had in decades. 

10) New York Jets: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia 

The acquisitions of veterans Mike Williams (WR), Tyron Smith (OT), Morgan Moses (OT), Haason Reddick (OLB), and Javon Kinlaw (DT), among others, suggest that the Jets are very much building around Aaron Rodgers in win-now mode. Pairing Bowers — the best tight end prospect I've evaluated in nearly 25 years in this business — with Rodgers is a Broadway-caliber finale. 

Is Brock Bowers the right pick for the Jets?

11) Minnesota Vikings: Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington

Like the Jets one pick ahead of them, everything the Vikings have done in the offseason points to them targeting a skill-position star early in this draft, specifically a quarterback to replace Kirk Cousins. Penix is viewed by many in the media as a Day 2 selection, but league sources suggest he will be drafted in the top half of the first round. The southpaw is the most accurate pocket passer in this class and an ideal fit in Kevin O'Connell's aggressive downfield attack. 

12) Los Angeles Chargers (from Denver): JC Latham, OT, Alabama 

It is the world's worst-kept secret that the Chargers need help at wide receiver after moving on from longtime standouts Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, but taking a pass-catcher early just doesn't seem to fit Jim Harbaugh's style. The 6-foot-6, 342-pound Latham, on the other hand, is arguably the most physically dominant player in this draft. 

13) Las Vegas Raiders: Troy Fautanu, OL, Washington 

Like the Chargers one pick ahead, I expect that AFC West opponents are going to take advantage of this year's top-heavy offensive class to try to keep the two-time reigning champion Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes on the sideline as much as possible. Fautanu, a Las Vegas native, possesses the girth and power to be an ideal fit inside at guard, but he also has the agility and arm length to remain outside at offensive tackle if needed. 

14) New Orleans Saints: Taliese Fuaga, OL, Oregon State

The early run on offensive linemen continues with Fuaga, who might just be the best run blocker of this class. Powerful and cat-quick, he dominated at right tackle the past two seasons in Corvallis and was the most impressive blocker at this year's Senior Bowl. With the Saints concerned about Ryan Ramczyk's health, Fuaga would make a lot of sense. 

15) Indianapolis Colts: Cooper DeJean, DB, Iowa

There are always a few surprises on draft day, and if DeJean were to be the first defensive back off the board this year, that would qualify as a mild upset — at least from a media perspective. Of course, general manager Chris Ballard pulled off a similar shocker at No. 4 overall last year with the selection of quarterback Anthony Richardson. In reality, DeJean is highly regarded by NFL teams, offering a rare combination of size, agility, steady open-field tackling and ball-hawking skills to project as a future Pro Bowler. 

[READ MORE: 2024 NFL Draft: Why Iowa's Cooper DeJean could lead a renaissance at CB]

16) Buffalo Bills (from Seattle): Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU 

No one knows better than Bills general manager Brandon Beane that his club is lacking playmakers after trading Stefon Diggs and watching Gabe Davis leave via free agency. Recognizing that the club must surround Josh Allen with more talent, the Bills package their top two picks this year (Nos. 28 and 60 overall) in a massive leap up the board to land Thomas, a 6-foot-3, 209-pound speedster who led college football with 17 touchdown receptions in 2023. 

Should the Bills be concerned without a top receiver?

17) Jacksonville Jaguars: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo 

After falling just short of the playoffs last season, the Jaguars will be looking to address specific needs. One clear concern is a secondary that allowed 27 touchdowns (only six NFL teams surrendered more).

18) Cincinnati Bengals: Jer'Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois

The Bengals allowed 17 rushing touchdowns last season, and while their pass rush was very good, it was also pretty one-dimensional with star Trey Hendrickson registering 17.5 of the club's 44 sacks. Newton, the reigning Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year, wins with a similar combination of burst, active hands and motor that helped longtime Bengals star Geno Atkins earn eight Pro Bowl nods. 

19) Los Angeles Rams: Byron Murphy II, DT, Texas

Speaking of dominant defensive tackles, let's state the obvious: No one defender is going to replace future first-ballot Hall of Famer Aaron Donald. That said, Murphy's initial quickness and power make him an intriguing successor. Murphy only emerged as a full-time starter this past season and scouts are enamored with his upside. 

20) Pittsburgh Steelers: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

The Steelers might have reshuffled the deck at quarterback with Justin Fields and Russell Wilson, but a decades-long commitment to the trenches isn't likely to end during one of the great offensive line classes in league history. Pittsburgh could love the idea of reuniting the massive Mims with his former Georgia teammate Broderick Jones, who flashed enough as a rookie starter at right tackle a year ago that some believe his long-term future will be on the left side. 

21) Miami Dolphins: Jared Verse, Edge, Florida State

The Dolphins finished third in the NFL in sacks last season, but with Christian Wilkins hitting it big with the Raiders in free agency, reinforcements up front are needed. With the top defensive tackles off the board, the Dolphins change their tune slightly with Verse, the most well-rounded defensive end in the draft. 

Can the Dolphins get over the hump?

22) Philadelphia Eagles: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama 

At first glance, the Eagles would appear to be as loaded at cornerback as any team in the NFL, boasting two quality starters in Darius Slay and James Bradberry and plenty of depth behind them. Nevertheless, Philadelphia allowed 35 passing touchdowns in 2023 (second-most in the NFL to Washington's 39) with just nine interceptions. With Slay and Bradberry both due millions and on the wrong side of 30 years old, GM Howie Roseman would love to see Arnold — the top corner on some boards — still available. 

23) Minnesota Vikings (from Cleveland through Houston): Laiatu Latu, Edge, UCLA

The Vikings spent big on free agent Jonathan Greenard, but the conversion to a 3-4 scheme won't work without more help. Latu starred in this scheme at UCLA and is the most polished edge rusher in this class, only lasting this long due to medical concerns. 

24) Dallas Cowboys: Zach Frazier, C, West Virginia 

The Cowboys can only hope the actual draft follows this projection as the club has just one center — former practice squad member Brock Hoffman — currently on their roster. That is a real problem given the stellar defensive tackles of the NFC East. The 6-foot-3, 315-pound Frazier is the most proven and powerful of this year's center class. 

25) Green Bay Packers: Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State

Like the Cowboys, the Packers need to reinforce their offensive line given that the club appears to be moving on from longtime starting left tackle David Bakhtiari. Fashanu has the size and grace to warrant a selection much earlier than this, but he isn't as powerful as some of his classmates and could slip slightly as a result. At this point in the draft, however, he could prove to be a steal. 

26) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson 

Tight against the cap, the Bucs traded quality starting cornerback Carlton Davis last month. General manager Jason Licht might have done so in part because he recognized the likelihood of finding a suitable replacement with this pick. Wiggins is an exceptional cover corner who could slip slightly further than he should on draft day as scouts overthink his slim frame (6-foot-1, 173 pounds). 

27) Arizona Cardinals (from Houston): Chop Robinson, Edge, Penn State

The Cardinals registered just 30 sacks a season ago (only the Panthers and Bears had fewer), a statistic that must annoy defensive-minded head coach Jonathan Gannon. Robinson never dominated at the college level, but he possesses rare traits, including the best first step of any edge rusher in this class.  

28) Seattle Seahawks (from Buffalo): Kris Jenkins, DT, Michigan 

Seattle needs help on both sides of the line of scrimmage, and given that the club currently has the longest wait between its first (No. 16) and second selections (No. 81), no one should be surprised if GM John Schneider opts to trade down to acquire more picks. Improving the offensive line remains an obvious concern, but the Seahawks hired Mike Macdonald to turn around a once-proud defense that finished 31st in the NFL in both rushing yards and touchdowns allowed last season. The son of a four-time Pro Bowler, Jenkins emerged as a starter at Michigan two years ago when Macdonald was the Wolverines' defensive coordinator. 

29) Detroit Lions: Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State

The Lions are coming off their first division crown in 30 seasons, which they earned by playing with the same aggressive mentality that their general manager Brad Holmes showed with several bold picks in the 2023 NFL Draft. Detroit already boasts a dynamic receiving corps, but adding Coleman's size and physicality could make it the league's best, while also providing the club with some flexibility with star Amon Ra-St. Brown as he enters the final year of his rookie contract. 

Lions' keys to consistent success: less aggressiveness, work smarter

30) Baltimore Ravens: Darius Robinson, DL, Missouri

The Ravens boasted arguably the most physical defense in the NFL a year ago, but given that the club is replacing several key players and its defensive coordinator, reinforcements will be a priority. Robinson looks and plays like a Raven, boasting a rare package of size, physicality and positional versatility. 

31) San Francisco 49ers: Graham Barton, OL, Duke 

Given the contract squabbles with wideout Brandon Aiyuk, it would be easy to project a sudden and pro-ready pass-catcher (like Georgia's Ladd McConkey?) in this space. But at their core, the 49ers remain a run-first unit. With depth concerns along the interior, Barton's versatility, agility and physicality would seem like a perfect fit for Kyle Shanahan's offense.  

32) Kansas City Chiefs: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama  

The Chiefs surprised many with their trade of star cornerback L'Jarius Sneed, but tough decisions come annually for a cap-tight club competing for the title every year. With several quality starting-caliber corners expected to come off the board before the end of the first round, GM Brett Veach gambles (and wins) on a good one falling to him. 

Teams without first round picks: 

33) Carolina Panthers: Jackson Powers-Johnson, OL, Oregon

The Panthers invested millions in free agency at guard to bulk up the interior, in the hopes of building a reliable pocket to aid Bryce Young's development. New general manager Dan Morgan spent several years in Seattle and might look to the Pacific Northwest for Powers-Johnson, the perfect centerpiece for his O-line rebuild. 

[READ MORE: Meet the most interesting player in the 2024 NFL Draft]

42) Houston Texans (from Minnesota): Ruke Orhorhoro, DT, Clemson 

Houston caught a lot of its opponents off guard last year with its suddenly dynamic offense. Its 2024 foes will surely counter by attacking a Texans run defense that allowed 19 touchdowns in 2023 (tied for fifth-most in the NFL). Enter Orhorhoro, who is powerful and surprisingly agile, while offering a nice combination of pro-readiness and untapped potential. 

54) Cleveland Browns: Junior Colson, ILB, Michigan

Like the Texans, the Browns were gashed in the red zone by opposing running games, surrendering 18 touchdowns in 2023. The powerfully built Colson would erase any long-term concerns the club might have at inside linebacker.

Rob Rang is an NFL Draft analyst for FOX Sports. He has been covering the NFL Draft for more than 20 years, with work at FOX, Sports Illustrated,, USA Today, Yahoo, and, among others. He also works as a scout with the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League. Follow him on Twitter @RobRang.

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