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Ravens Insider: 2024 NFL mock draft (Version 6.0): Connecting the dots for one last first-round projection


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Mock draft season is over.

The real thing begins Thursday night in Detroit, which means it’s time to put the pencils down and give one last prediction.

After sifting through all the information, identifying the best prospects and pondering which teams will be motivated to shake up the board, here’s our best guess at how the first 32 picks will play out:

1. Chicago Bears (via Carolina): Caleb Williams, QB, Southern California

With a talented offense and an ascending defense, Chicago has a chance to be good right away with Williams under center. The question is, how aggressive will the Bears be with only three remaining picks at Nos. 9, 75 and 122?

2. Washington Commanders: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Nobody knows for sure what the Commanders will do, but Daniels has emerged as the betting favorite to be new general manager Adam Peters’ first pick. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner said he’d be “blessed” to go to Washington, which has an abundance of picks in the top 100 to build around its franchise quarterback.

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

The Patriots could look to trade down if they are blown away by an offer, but ownership will likely prefer to stick and pick a quarterback. Maye has the mobility, arm strength and poise to be a star, and he could even sit for a while behind Jacoby Brissett as he works on his technique.

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

The Cardinals have enough draft picks to maneuver up and down the board the way general manager Monti Ossenfort did last year, but sometimes it makes the most sense to stay put. Arizona needs blue-chip talent, and Harrison is the consensus No. 1 player among a database of 96 analysts, according to Arif Hasan of Wide Left.

5. Minnesota Vikings (mock trade via LA Chargers): J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

This is a trade that makes sense for both teams. The Vikings need a quarterback, and new coach Jim Harbaugh and GM Joe Hortiz need more picks to rebuild a depleted roster. McCarthy might not be coach Kevin O’Connell’s preferred prospect, but he’s certainly more exciting than Sam Darnold.

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

My guess is the Giants only want to trade up for a quarterback if it means landing Maye, and he’s gone. So why Odunze over Nabers? While not as explosive, Odunze is a better “X” receiver who can win on the outside and make catches in traffic, which would be a better complement to the shifty and fast receivers the Giants already have.

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

As good as this offensive line class is, this pick should be a no-brainer for the Titans. Alt is a tier above the other pass protectors in this class and should be a cornerstone piece for new coach Brian Callahan and his father, renowned offensive line coach Bill Callahan.

8. New York Jets (mock trade via Atlanta): Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

Can you name any of the Jets’ wide receivers behind Garrett Wilson and Mike Williams? For this all-in strategy to work, quarterback Aaron Rodgers needs more playmakers. Nabers’ speed and explosiveness trump a desire to draft an insurance policy behind 33-year-old tackles Tyron Smith and Morgan Moses.

9. Chicago Bears: Byron Murphy II, DT, Texas

GM Ryan Poles might see the benefit in trading down and acquiring more picks, but there’s also a chance to grab the best defensive player in the draft. Murphy can be the dominant interior penetrator coach Matt Eberflus craves.

10. Atlanta Falcons (mock trade via NY Jets): Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

The Falcons move down a few spots and still get the draft’s top pass rusher. Latu seems to have been given the all-clear after his neck injury in college, giving Atlanta its best edge rusher since John Abraham was in town.

11. Los Angeles Chargers (mock trade via Minnesota): JC Latham, OT/G, Alabama

Harbaugh believes the offensive line is the foundation of his team. With his size and strength, Latham might have the highest ceiling of any blocker in this class and can help establish a road-grading mentality on offense.

12. Los Angeles Rams (mock trade via Denver): Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

The Rams have a first-round pick for the first time since 2016, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to be patient. Moving up to pair the versatile, explosive Bowers with Puka Nacua and Cooper Kupp is a dream scenario for coach Sean McVay as he seeks another Super Bowl run with quarterback Matthew Stafford.

13. Las Vegas Raiders: Taliese Fuaga, OT/G, Oregon State

If the Raiders don’t find a way to trade up for a quarterback, perhaps they’d take one here. But that feels a little rich for Oregon’s Bo Nix or Washington’s Michael Penix Jr., who are outside of the top 30 in the consensus rankings. Las Vegas needs a starting right tackle, and Fuaga can step in immediately.

14. New Orleans Saints: Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State

Offensive line is the most glaring need for New Orleans considering the questionable health of Ryan Ramczyk and the disappointing play of Trevor Penning. Fashanu makes too much sense from both a need and value standpoint.

15. Indianapolis Colts: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

The Colts could be a surprise team that moves up to draft one of the top wide receivers or Bowers, but cornerback is a much more glaring need. Mitchell is a big, fast and aggressive player who fits the mold for traits-minded GM Chris Ballard.

16. Philadelphia Eagles (mock trade via Seattle): Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

When GM Howie Roseman finds a player he likes, he isn’t afraid to move up to get him. The Eagles’ aging secondary was one of the league’s worst down the stretch last season and could use an infusion of young talent.

17. Green Bay Packers (mock trade via Jacksonville): Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

The Packers need to find a long-term replacement for left tackle David Bakhtiari. There’s a clear tier break after Mims at tackle, which might incentivize Green Bay to trade up and secure a player with rare size and movement skills who can develop into a star.

18. Cincinnati Bengals: Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas

Is this too early for Worthy? Probably. Will a team talk itself into getting the most out of his NFL scouting combine-record 4.21 seconds in the 40-yard dash? Absolutely. The Bengals are an intriguing fit for Worthy alongside stars Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins, the latter of whom might not be in town beyond this season after requesting a trade.

19. Denver Broncos (mock trade via LA Rams): Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

The Broncos still need a quarterback after trading for Zach Wilson, but they don’t take one here. Turner fills a glaring need at pass rusher for a defense that has few building blocks on top of standout cornerback Patrick Surtain II.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Troy Fautanu, OT/G, Washington

The Steelers moved up for offensive tackle Broderick Jones last year, but this time they can stick and pick. Fautanu is athletic, aggressive and has the versatility to play all five spots along the line.

21. Arizona Cardinals (mock trade via Miami): Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State

With a chance to add one of the draft’s premier pass rushers, the Cardinals make a move. Verse, a former unranked recruit and Albany transfer, has the tools to become the team’s best defensive player sooner than later.

22. Seattle Seahawks (mock trade via Philadelphia): Graham Barton, G/C, Duke

As tempting as it might be for new coach Mike Macdonald to build his defense, the Seahawks can’t wait very long to address their offensive line. Barton can slot in at center or guard and has experience at tackle in case of emergency.

23. Los Angeles Chargers (mock trade via Minnesota): Cooper DeJean, CB/S, Iowa

New Chargers defensive coordinator Jesse Minter had a lot of success at Michigan with versatile defensive backs such as Dax Hill and Mike Sainristil. DeJean is an elite athlete who could line up all over the secondary and make plays.

24. Buffalo Bills (mock trade via Dallas): Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU

After losing Gabe Davis and trading Stefon Diggs to the Houston Texans, the Bills see a chance to move up and grab their next impact receiver. Thomas is a dangerous vertical threat who has the traits to develop into a true No. 1.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars (mock trade via Green Bay): Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

It wouldn’t be shocking to see GM Trent Baalke go the other direction and make an aggressive trade up for a cornerback or one of the top wideouts. In this scenario, the Jaguars move down and come away with a prospect who has the size and movement skills to be an All-Pro-caliber receiver with more consistent effort.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Chop Robinson, EDGE, Penn State

Robinson doesn’t have the size or production of a typical first-round pass rusher, but the Gaithersburg native and Maryland transfer has rare athleticism and quickness to consistently beat blockers off the edge.

27. Miami Dolphins (mock trade via Arizona, Houston): Jer’Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois

The Dolphins trade down and still come away with a top prospect at a position of need. Newton is a touch undersized for the position, but he can still shed blocks with the best of ’em and would help fill Christian Wilkins’ big shoes in the middle of the defense.

28. Dallas Cowboys (mock trade via Buffalo): Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma

There’s a lot of pressure on the Cowboys to come away with multiple starters in this draft, and that starts with figuring out the offensive line. Guyton might not be ready to start at left tackle right away, but his size and athleticism are worth betting on.

29. Washington Commanders (mock trade via Detroit): Jordan Morgan, OT/G, Arizona

ESPN analyst Jordan Reid said Washington trading into the first round is the “worst kept secret” in the draft. With several tackle-needy teams ahead of them, the Commanders make a move to secure Morgan, a smooth mover who has the versatility to play guard or tackle.

30. Ravens: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

Maybe it’s unrealistic to expect the Ravens to land a player as highly ranked as McKinstry, but sometimes that’s just how the board falls. With Marlon Humphrey coming off an injury-riddled season and Brandon Stephens entering a contract year, the Ravens need to bolster their depth at cornerback.

31. San Francisco 49ers: Xavier Legette, WR, South Carolina

It would come as a surprise if the 49ers traded Deebo Samuel or Brandon Aiyuk, but neither is signed beyond 2025. Legette is big, fast and explosive with the ball in his hands, and would provide valuable insurance if San Francisco decides to move on from one of its top two receivers.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Kingsley Suamataia, OT, BYU

Entering the draft, the Chiefs’ top option at left tackle is 2023 third-round pick Wanya Morris. Suamataia is far from a finished product, but the former five-star recruit is an explosive athlete with room to grow who can develop into a reliable starter.

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