NFL draft analysts are starting to put out their first mock drafts of the draft season and that means it’s time to start mapping out the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft. This season is full of strong offensive players at quarterback, offensive line and wide receiver. That should get fans excited about picking in the first round.
NFL Network’s draft guru, Daniel Jeremiah, has his first mock draft of the year and we’ll take a look at how he sees the first round playing out. He makes a point of saying his mock draft isn’t the same as his rankings of the players. He takes into account what he is hearing around the leagues as to what teams are looking for in the draft this season.
Jeremiah, like most, know that quarterback trumps all positions and that teams will do about anything to land one they think can turn their team around. He has four total going in the first round, and at the first three picks. You know who those quarterbacks are by now, Caleb Williams, Drake Maye and Jayden Daniels.
The biggest question in the draft will be answered first, as the Bears are essentially deciding between Caleb Williams or Justin Fields. Jeremiah believes the Bears will select Williams, meaning Fields is likely to be traded away.
That means the Commanders, who pick second, will get to decide between Maye and the Heisman Trophy winner Daniels. This mock, and many up to this point, have Maye as that second pick, giving Daniels to the Patriots at No. 3.
And the No. 4 quarterback? That distinction goes to Bo Nix out of Oregon. Jeremiah has him going to the Saints as Derek Carr’s soon-to-be replacement.
What positions taken in the first round?
OT — 8
WR — 6
CB — 6
QB — 4
EDGE — 4
DT — 2
TE — 1
IOL — 1
There are 20 offensive player and 12 defensive players going in the first round here. If your team is looking for help protecting their quarterback, you probably have a good shot at a top-tier player this season.
Wide receivers are going to be hotly debated, just as they are every year. But, this group of incoming rookies will be highly touted and making the wrong choice could show up quickly on the field, as rookies receivers have been integral parts of offenses and their playoff chances of late.
Jeremiah has Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison Jr. going off the board first to the Arizona Cardinals at pick No. 4. This will be the pick you see for the Cardinals barring a trade in 99% of the mock drafts that will come out.
After that, we see Rome Odunze go to the Chargers at 5th overall, then Malik Nabers to the Giants at 6th. There is then a pretty significant fall for the next WR, LSU’s Brian Thomas Jr. to the Dolphins at pick 21. The Chiefs get into the wide receiver game next at pick 29 (their actual draft spot is still up in the air) with North Carolina’s Devontez Walker, and then to cap it off, the Ravens take Oregon’s Troy Franklin with the final pick in the draft.
Last year we saw the consensus on wide receiver evaluations not hold during the draft and we can expect that again with a wide variety of first round possibilities at the position.
It’s still a long way to the draft, but I doubt we see too many draftniks mock the Top 4 picks differently from what Jeremiah has here. Daniels to the Commanders and Maye to the Patriots is probably the spot for a little wiggle room there. Rumors and reports may move that thinking around at some point, but I have a feeling that come draft day, that’s how things will fall.