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Mel Kiper Jr. has Seahawks taking QB J.J. McCarthy in his first 2024 NFL mock draft

We take a look at the first edition of Mel Kiper’s 2024 NFL Mock Draft.

ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

When you think of NFL Draft analysis, you think of Mel Kiper Jr. and probably his hair. Kiper has been at ESPN doing draft coverage since 1984. He’s not always right, but he sure can talk. And much of the countries understanding of the first couple rounds of the draft will be based on how he presents the draft to viewers.

We still have three months until the draft, but the Senior Bowl is going on as we speak and plenty of tape grinding by draftniks everywhere will help bring draft prospects to our computers and televisions who we will be watching in the NFL for years to come.

This is Kiper’s first mock of the year, so a lot will move these players around over the next three months.

What will the Bears do with Justin Fields?

The Bears have hired former Seahawks OC Shane Waldron as their OC, which really doesn’t point to what their plans are for QB Justin Fields. Kiper believes the Bears should trade Fields and draft Caleb Williams No. 1 overall. He has the Bears trading their 2021 first round pick for more draft capital as they build around the USC signal caller on his rookie contract.

Quarterbacks

Like others, Kiper has Williams, Jayden Daniels and Drake Maye all going in the first three picks, with Daniels to the Commanders and Maye to the Patriots. Those two have been mocked to both teams, but the group has remained consistent.

The only other QB Kiper has going in the first round is Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy. He has him going 16th overall to the Seahawks. The Seahawks have yet to hire a head coach and their plans at quarterback aren’t exactly clear. Geno Smith has played well, but they probably need to upgrade at some point and a new coach could start that process in the draft.

McCarthy will be a polarizing QB, with many not believing he is worthy of a first round pick. Kiper’s angle is that he can make all the throws, but wasn’t asked to do much in Michigan due to their dominant run game.

What positions taken in the first round?

OT — 8
WR — 7
CB — 6
QB — 4
EDGE — 4
DT — 1
TE — 1
G — 1

Final thoughts

Once again we get a mock with a bunch of offensive tackles going in the first round and that’s very good for the NFL. According to Kiper, that would be the most since 2008. The NFL never has enough top end offensive tackles, so the more the merrier.

This league has also completely bought in to rookie wide receivers. We saw old school Andy Reid slow roll Rashee Rice a little this season, but even he knew he had to start getting him more looks. It wasn’t long ago that a rookie wide receiver becoming your No. 1 receiver was not something that happened, but it’s become much more common. Just this season we saw Rice, Zay Flowers, Puka Nacua, Tank Dell, and Jayden Reed help their teams get into the playoffs in their rookie campaigns. It makes sense that Kiper has seven receivers going off the board this year.