Post-Combine 2024 NFL Mock Draft: 5 QBs Primed To Go In The Top 12 Picks

Caleb Williams Drake Maye Combine
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Whether you hear it in the singing voice of Phil Collins or Chris Stapleton now that he’s doing “In The Air Tonight” as the Monday Night Football theme, those are the type of vibes I’m getting as mock draft SZN officially gets underway in earnest. The 2024 NFL Draft is perhaps the most exciting one of my lifetime. Loads of exceptional prospects at all the most important positions, and plenty of quarterbacks worthy of going early in the first round.

No need to hang in suspense here… let’s dive into a fresh mock now that the NFL Scouting Combine has wrapped up in Indy.

1. Chicago Bears (via Panthers) — Caleb Williams, QB, USC

Sprint the card in. Don’t overthink it, Chicago. Williams will be a better professional quarterback than Justin Fields. He’ll be cheaper for the next three years. Trade Fields, draft Williams. Contrary to what Merril Hoge says, Williams’ arm talent, accuracy and playmaking ability are indeed special.

2. Washington Commanders — Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

I like doing half-serious ceiling/floor pro player comparisons for top QB prospects. Jayden Daniels’ ceiling feels like 90% of two-time NFL MVP Lamar Jackson. His floor is Skinny Jeans Jalen Hurts, who played in the Super Bowl not too long ago. Even the lower-end outcome makes Daniels worthy of the No. 2 overall pick in my eyes.

3. New England Patriots — Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

I’d prefer a couple other quarterbacks here. However, the Patriots’ rumored plan is to draft a QB early, and let him sit behind a veteran if need be. That’s a great scenario for Maye. Throwing him into the fire as a rookie could be detrimental to his development. With the right progression over time, he has the physical tools to be a high-end starter.

4. Arizona Cardinals — Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

Classic “best player available” selection here for Arizona. In an extraordinary year for wide receiver prospects, Marvin Harrison Jr. is the consensus top guy. That’s saying a lot. Giving Kyler Murray a WR1 like Harrison totally changes the Cardinals’ passing attack. Most of the rest of their draft should focus on protecting Murray and loading up on defense.

5. Los Angeles Chargers — Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

It’d be borderline organizational malpractice if Malik Nabers is on the board and they don’t let Justin Herbert have him. Jim Harbaugh’s perceived inside track of knowing these college players better than most in the NFL since he just coached at Michigan won’t come in real handy here. Nabers is a no-brainer choice who’d have an ideal veteran mentor in Keenan Allen help him work toward his scary potential.

6. New York Giants — Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

This is a prime spot for the Giants to trade back, accumulate more picks, and fortify their roster with another Day 2 pick or two. If they stay put, investing heavily in another QB doesn’t make a lot of sense. They paid Daniel Jones to be their franchise guy at least through the 2024 campaign. Mitchell lit up the Combine and should fill in on any NFL defense as a high-end Week 1 starter. New York could use somebody with Mitchell’s swagger and sticky coverage in its secondary.

7. Tennessee Titans — Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

What a disaster the Titans’ o-line has been in recent years. With an already-reckless, contact-seeking gunslinger in Will Levis under center, Tennessee needs to protect him from himself a little bit. Alt is probably the cleanest tackle in a class full of players with perennial Pro Bowl upside. If I were the rebuilding Titans, I’d give Levis a surefire, quality blindside blocker, and then attack other defensive needs in the next few rounds.

8. Atlanta Falcons — Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington

Given the buzz that the Falcons are interested in a pure pocket passer like Kirk Cousins, Penix makes the most sense for them if they go QB at No. 8. Penix has played a ton of football. His medical red flags aren’t as severe as expected after clean tests at the Combine. He stayed healthy for his last two incredible seasons at Washington. I just think he’d be ready to roll as a rookie and would vault Atlanta right into NFC South contention. He’s probably the best pure pocket thrower in the 2024 class, with far better athleticism than Captain Kirk and a lot more youth on his side.

9. Chicago Bears — Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

Whereas Harrison and Nabers didn’t work out at the Combine, Odunze put on a show — and put in a little extra work once everyone had left. That’s endearing, as is his 75% contested catch rate last season. Odunze was the clear standout among three future NFL wideouts at Washington. If the Bears don’t move out of this pick with somebody possibly moving up for a QB, and Odunze is on the board, they could come away with a passing game trio of Caleb Williams, Rome Odunze and DJ Moore. Sounds appetizing.

10. New York Jets — Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State

Offensive line is far and away the Jets’ biggest need. Fashanu solves Gang Green’s gaping void at left tackle, which would no doubt delight Aaron Rodgers as he makes his return from a ruptured Achilles. GM Joe Douglas has swung and missed a lot in his efforts to shore up New York’s o-line. When it comes to Fashanu, he feels like one of the safest picks in the draft.

11. Minnesota Vikings — Cooper DeJean, DB, Iowa

Upon diving deeper into Minnesota’s cap situation, I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t keep Kirk Cousins for another couple of years. They don’t have many free agents this offseason who they must keep. Extensions will eventually come for Justin Jefferson and left tackle Christian Darrisaw, but beyond them, the Vikings can get by until their cap really opens up in 2026. By then, it’ll likely be time to move on from Cousins. In the meantime, why not draft a versatile, savvy defensive back like Cooper DeJean? He seems like a dream fit for Brian Flores’ complex scheme.

12. Denver Broncos — JJ McCarthy, QB, Michigan

If it comes down to McCarthy or Bo Nix, I could see Sean Payton going either way in the post-Russell Wilson era. McCarthy just seems to have the edge in arm talent and upside, given that he ran a pro-style offense at Michigan but wasn’t asked to carry the team. It’s like the Wolverines were keeping the reins on him. A coach like Payton — who likes to center his offense around the running game anyway — could be the key to unlocking McCarthy’s larger arsenal. What the Broncos have to ask themselves before taking a plunge at QB is, do they think whomever it is can hang with the likes of Patrick Mahomes and Justin Herbert in the AFC West for four games per year?

13. Las Vegas Raiders — Byron Murphy II, DL, Texas

Could the Raiders reach for Bo Nix here? It’s definitely in play. Personally, I’d ring up the Bengals, try to acquire Jake Browning and use a precious asset at No. 13 to build the trenches. PFF gave Murphy a 92.0 true pass set pass rush grade. Antonio Pierce is a defensive-minded head coach who wants to beat the snot out of the rest of the division. Plugging in Murphy up front next to Maxx Crosby would go a long way to help that cause.

14. New Orleans Saints — Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU

No matter what Thomas does, he seems to somehow get overlooked. Whether it was a freakish 40-yard dash for his size that got lost amid Xavier Worthy’s record-setting 4.21-second 40, or playing in college with Jayden Daniels and Malik Nabers, Thomas doesn’t get enough shine. Somebody is going to get a fantastic receiver at some point in the first round. In this instance, it’s New Orleans, who needs to finally let go of Michael Thomas (no relation) and find a viable pass-catcher to pair with the dynamic Chris Olave.

15. Indianapolis Colts — Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

There’s no telling where Bowers might go. Tight ends who get drafted too early tend not to fare very well. With the matchup problems he presents as a pass-catcher, Bowers may very well go closer to the top five. For purposes of this exercise, he’s heading to Indianapolis, as the Colts stack weapons around their dynamic young QB Anthony Richardson.

16. Seattle Seahawks — Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon

Few teams have a more self-evident need on their interior offensive line than the Seahawks. It’d be ideal for Geno Smith to not have the inside of the pocket collapse on him in 2024. Powers-Johnson is almost certainly going to be a frequent Pro Bowler. Dude is straight-up nasty. Ridiculous athleticism at his size. Seattle is probably all over this guy since he didn’t play college ball too far away.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars — Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

Mitchell tipped the scales heavier than I expected at the Combine, and showed off his elite speed at that size. There are so many good wide receivers in this draft that they’re legitimately starting to bleed together for me. The epitome of an embarrassment of riches. Anyway, the Jags and Trevor Lawrence could use a field-stretching deep threat like Mitchell who can also take it to the house on any given play.

18. Cincinnati Bengals — Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

Right tackle should be the position Cincinnati targets here. Jonah Williams is a free agent, and there’s little need to fork over a bunch of cash for him. The Bengals generally have an unathletic offensive line relative to the rest of the NFL, especially when you factor in RAS score/athletic testing. Fuaga is a welcome change-up in that respect, but don’t get it twisted: He’s not some finesse athlete at the tackle spot.

19. Los Angeles Rams — Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

Byron Young had a solid rookie campaign for the Rams. Other than that, they don’t have many dudes on the edge. Dallas Turner is emphatically a dude. Were I LA, I’d address the dire needs in the secondary in later rounds. Turner had 14.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks in 2023 for Alabama. He’d be a great pick in the short term, as well as in the longer view, since the Rams’ pass rush eventually has to prepare for life after Aaron Donald. Another plus: Turner’s skill set isn’t limited to harassing the opposing QB. Look how fluid he is in space below. Think about the exotic looks and simulated pressures LA could dial up with Turner in the lineup.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers — Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

Sure seems like the Steelers are committed to Kenny Pickett leading their offense, for better or worse. That being the case, what a freaking secondary they could have by teaming up a fleet-footed man coverage specialist like Wiggins with another young stud corner in Joey Porter Jr. and an elite safety in Minkah Fitzpatrick. Good luck throwing on that Pittsburgh defensive backfield, especially with TJ Watt and Alex Highsmith rushing the passer.

21. Miami Dolphins — Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

What a heartwarming story Arnold gave us at the Combine when he shouted out his mom. Also just so happens that he’s great at football. We’ve got a bit of a run on cornerbacks here. The Dolphins could opt for an EDGE defender here with Jaelan Phillips and Bradley Chubb recovering from major injuries. However, I like Arnold to step in as a new starter for the recently released Xavien Howard.

22. Philadelphia Eagles — Kamari Lassiter, CB, Georgia

Letting up a 38.5% completion rate in a single season is not too shabby. That’s what Lassiter did this past year. Plus, he logged an elite 6.62-second 3-cone drill at the Combine to drive home how incredible his change of direction is. Eagles corners Darius Slay and James Bradberry are aging fast. There isn’t much depth behind them to speak of. Enter: Kamari Lassiter.

23. Houston Texans (via Browns) — Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State

Three of the Texans’ top four defensive ends are free agents. A year removed from trading up for Will Anderson Jr., Houston could do a lot worse than adding a speed-to-power dynamo like Verse opposite the former Alabama star. Verse plays like a man possessed. Classic relentless motor type who wants to annihilate anyone lined up across from him.

24. Dallas Cowboys — Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

For someone who only took 801 snaps over the last three seasons, Mims is sure getting a lot of first-round buzz. Deservedly so. The young man is a pterodactyl with a wingspan of over seven feet and stands at almost 6-foot-8, with a 340-pound frame. Ran a 5.07 in the 40-yard dash, too. That’ll do! I see Mims’ tools translating to either tackle spot. Oft-injured cornerstone Tyron Smith is hitting free agency. Might be time for the Cowboys to get his long-term replacement.

25. Green Bay Packers — Tyler Nubin, S, Minnesota

Darnell Savage, Rudy Ford and Jonathan Owens are all free agents. I’d say the Packers could use a safety. Why not get the best, purest one in the draft in Nubin? Tell me if this is any good: On the rare occasions quarterbacks dared to throw at him in coverage last season, Nubin gave up only six receptions on 20 targets and made five interceptions. Good for a 39.6 passer rating, which happens to be the same exact passer rating you’d get if a QB threw an incompletion on literally every pass attempt.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Payton Wilson, LB, NC State

Lavonte David just turned 34 and is no longer under contract. Former top-five pick Devin White is on the open market. The Bucs need linebacker help badly. Wilson clears anyone in the 2024 rookie class at the position by a mile, in my opinion. He can cover, rush the passer from the inside, and tackle as well as anyone. Per PFF, Wilson missed only six tackles among the 138 he racked up in 2023. What a dream fit in the heart of Todd Bowles’ defense.

27. Arizona Cardinals (via Texans) — Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

Neck fusion surgery put Latu’s career in jeopardy and led to him transferring from Washington to UCLA. He missed the 2021 season, only to come back with a vengeance for the Bruins with 34 tackles for loss and 23.5 sacks over the last two years. Latu is the ultimate technician when it comes to shedding blocks. Arizona badly needs help on the edge, so a guy like Latu who can step in and start right away would be a great get at No. 27.

28. Buffalo Bills — Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas

Josh Allen throws the ball very, very far. Xavier Worthy is very, very fast. The End.

29. Detroit Lions — Troy Fautanu, OL, Washington

Dan Campbell loves to bite kneecaps off. Not in the literal sense. More in the pulverize-the-opponent-at-the-line-of-scrimmage sense. Fautanu can play really any position up front. Whether he eventually slides in at left tackle for Taylor Decker or not, the Washington standout can easily take over at either guard spot.

30. Baltimore Ravens — Ladd McConkey, WR, Georgia

All the super lazy comparisons made between McConkey and any other white wide receiver were put to bed once he strutted his stuff at the Combine. McConkey has legit freakish physical attributes, with sure hands and outstanding route-running ability to boot. Lamar Jackson would love to have him. Good luck stopping the Ravens’ passing attack if they have elite separators like McConkey and Zay Flowers to complement top-tier tight end Mark Andrews.

31. San Francisco 49ers — JC Latham, OT, Alabama

Kyle Shanahan will be doing cartwheels in the war room if Latham is still on the board at 31. The 49ers could use a mobile mauler like him in their outside zone-centric rushing attack. A tackle tandem of Trent Williams and Latham for the next couple years in the Bay Area? Yes please. Latham to the 49ers would be the steal of all steals in the first round.

32. Kansas City Chiefs — Johnny Newton, DL, Illinois

With uncertainty lingering about Chris Jones’ future despite his personal testimony, the Chiefs would be wise to get an interior defender like Newton. If it comes to pass that Jones stays put, that makes this pick even better. Newton is in the conversation with Byron Murphy as the top defensive tackle. He had 7.5 sacks in 2023, and could easily match that as a rookie with how excellent Kansas City is on the back end in coverage.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock