National Football League
Jayden Daniels moves up, Bo Nix goes 12th in Colin Cowherd's NFL mock draft
National Football League

Jayden Daniels moves up, Bo Nix goes 12th in Colin Cowherd's NFL mock draft

Updated Apr. 19, 2024 9:29 a.m. ET

The 2024 NFL Draft is less than a week away, and Colin Cowherd of "The Herd" is revisiting his mock draft predictions for the first 12 picks.

With new coaches in place and the free-agency period completed, Cowherd has narrowed down how he thinks next Thursday's draft will shake out based on his viewpoint and insight from NFL sources.

Here are Cowherd's picks with his full thoughts — plus odds from FanDuel Sportsbook — starting with the Chicago Bears at No. 1.

1. Chicago Bears (from Carolina Panthers) — QB Caleb Williams, USC
Odds to go No. 1: -20000


Cowherd's thoughts: "The only thing you need to know about this kid is 120 touchdowns and 14 picks in three years. He's a machine. He is the closest thing to [Patrick] Mahomes. There's nothing I don't like about him. He can sometimes lean into the spectacular. I don't care. [The] Bears could use some spectacular." 

2. Washington CommandersQB Jayden Daniels, LSU
Odds to go No. 2: -110

Cowherd's thoughts: "I think he works with Kliff Kingsbury. It's a shaky O-line [and] shaky run game. He is an electric runner and a beautiful downfield thrower. Here's the other advantage: Drake Maye played in a lousy conference [whereas] this kid played in the SEC, and he is the only SEC quarterback to have 40-plus touchdown passes and 10-plus rushing TDs in a season. Cam Newton played in this conference … Joe BurrowMatthew Stafford … the Mannings. This kid is a unique talent. I think he's going to crush it here. I worry about [him being] a little spindly. [I] wish he was bigger, but [there are] no perfect players."

3. New England PatriotsQB Drake Maye, UNC
Odds to go No. 3: +125

Cowherd's thoughts: "It's not going to be pretty. He'll probably sit until Thanksgiving behind Jacoby Brissett. But they had the worst scoring offense in the league. Do you want to go 3-13 [or] 3-14? I'd get Drake Maye there. Next year's not a good quarterback draft. Also, he led the ACC in passing in back-to-back years. I think you've got to get him in-house. You can get receivers [in the] second, third, fourth [rounds] … but there's not going to be Drake Maye in the second, third … or perhaps next year. … Inconsistency bothers me, but he does look like Justin Herbert. He's a big, strong kid that moves." 

4. Arizona Cardinals — WR Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State
Odds to go No. 4: -230

Cowherd's thoughts: "They've got a great quarterback, a running back [and] tight end I like. This would be the best receiver since DeAndre Hopkins. … He's the best college receiver I've ever seen. I think he'll be a star — Rookie of the Year candidate. He's not as fast as Randy Moss. Again, there are no perfect players in the league. … Ohio State was going to beat Georgia … he got hurt … wasn't the same team, and they had C.J. Stroud. Ohio State has all five-star receivers, and he stands out above all of them." 

5. Minnesota Vikings (trade with Los Angeles Chargers) — QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan
Odds to go No. 5: +450

Cowherd's thoughts: "[McCarthy] is moving into a furnished apartment. He doesn't have to play. He can sit behind Sam Darnold. They have the … best young left tackle, best receiver in football, top-five running back, great No. 2 receiver, top-five or six or seven tight end and a good O-line. I don't think J.J. McCarthy has a big-time arm … [or] a big-time NFL body. Does Kirk Cousins? … Remember, because you get rid of Cousins' salary you can add pieces. So you're going to get basically, I think, a Kirk Cousins-level prospect … without the salary. You can win a lot of games in this league doing that." 

Colin's Mock Draft 2.0: Bo Nix to Denver, J.J. McCarthy-Vikings, Rome Odunze to Jets

6. New York Giants — WR Malik Nabers, LSU 
Odds to go No. 6: +150

Cowherd's thoughts: "LSU is a receiver factory. This kid is big-time OBJ explosive. They need a lot of stuff now with Saquon Barkley [gone]. It's going to be bumpy. They're going to be back in the top five or six next year, but this kid is like jump-off-the-TV fast. When you're at LSU, and you're playing against Georgia, Bama and all these SEC schools, and you turn on the TV … and you’re like, ‘Who’s that guy?' … this kid is special. The Giants, I think, were ranked 30th in yards after the catch. So, they get no extra yards. Now, you got rid of your star running back … you need yards after the catch, and that's what he provides." 

7. Tennessee Titans — OT Joe Alt, Notre Dame
Odds to go No. 7: -145

Cowherd's thoughts: "Worst offensive line in the league. I don't know if Will Levis is going to work, but the only chance … is if he's not on his back. I think Joe Alt is a very good prospect. He is no Trent Williams … [or] Jonathan Ogden. He's going to make a couple of Pro Bowls. The people I've talked to in the league think he's the best left tackle in a good class. They don't think he quite has the ceiling of others, but you've got a solid left tackle. If Will Levis is going to work, you've got to give the kid a fair shot. You have to keep him upright."

8. Atlanta Falcons — Edge rusher Dallas Turner, Alabama
Odds to go No. 8: +200

Cowherd's thoughts: "He was the best edge rusher in the SEC, and that's saying something. He was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. … Bama does edge rushers really well. [Nick] Saban loves him. He’s not going to have as glossy numbers as other weaker conferences. You've got NFL offensive tackles in the SEC. He's a really good player. I love Atlanta's direction right now. The other thing they haven't had is a double-digit sack guy since like Vic Beasley. Atlanta doesn't have a ton of names, and I think Atlanta's going to win that division very quickly … and it's going to surprise people." 

9. Chicago Bears — Edge rusher Jared Verse, Florida State
Odds to go No. 9: +430

Cowherd's thoughts: "He had 18 sacks the last couple of years at Florida State. Maybe this is a reach by five or six spots, but … the draft gives you two or three good edge rushers every year, and he's one of them. I don't buy that they need another receiver. They've got Keenan Allen, two good tight ends, nice [running] back D'Andre Swift, [and] DJ Moore. You're not going to get an edge rusher anywhere in the draft, if Dallas Turner is gone, like this kid. Montez SweatJaylon Johnson … now they have somebody to go with him."

10. New York Jets — WR Rome Odunze, Washington
Odds to go No. 10: +850

Cowherd's thoughts: "He's very mature. Ready to play. You get no ego with the kid. He's just a terrific player. I watched him play live. I saw him play 15 times. I just think he's a grownup. Good routes. A little Davante Adams. This kid is all football. No nonsense. Generally speaking, Aaron Rodgers and [Tom] Brady don't love young receivers. But this kid is like an old 23 … he's going to walk in and be … a real pro. And that's what the Jets need."

11. Los Angeles Chargers (trade with Minnesota Vikings) — OT Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State
Odds to be first OL selected: +210

Cowherd's thoughts: "He is the Oregon State right tackle. They have Rashawn Slater at left tackle, [but] he's the best run-blocker in the draft. What does Jim Harbaugh want to create? A more run-dominant Baltimore Raven-like offense to let Herbert throw on play-action. I was told by someone in the NFL, you can almost not find a single play from his college career where [Fuaga] didn't win on run-blocking assignments. He is the best run-blocking tackle probably since maybe Tristan Wirfs. Culture is everything to Harbaugh. This kid is a mauler. They'll have both tackles and Justin Herbert."

12. Denver Broncos — QB Bo Nix, Oregon
DEN odds to draft a quarterback: +190

Cowherd's thoughts: "Bo Nix works for a lot of what they want to do. A lot of underneath stuff. Sixty-one college starts; 22-5 with Oregon. Is he going to move around a lot? No. There are some Drew Brees qualities. Highly productive. Very coachable. Super accurate. [He's] not going to run around … like Brees early in his career, but he can move. He is an excellent decision-maker, who at Oregon mostly stayed on script. … I think what Sean Payton wants to create is a ball-control offense. He souped up the offensive line last year, and he has a running back he likes. I think Bo Nix is a fit." 

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