The 2023 NFL regular season officially wrapped up on Sunday with Week 18 action across the league. While the postseason field was finalized, we also now know the first-round draft order for the non-playoff teams in the upcoming 2024 NFL Draft.
Below, I’ll offer my post-Week 18 mock for the 2024 draft.
- Washington Commanders (via Carolina Panthers/Chicago Bears) — Caleb Williams, QB, USC
- Chicago Bears — Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State
- New England Patriots — Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina
- Arizona Cardinals — Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State
- Los Angeles Chargers — Malik Nabers, WR, LSU
- New York Giants — Rome Odunze, WR, Washington
- Tennessee Titans — Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame
- Atlanta Falcons — Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU
- Chicago Bears — Dallas Turner, Edge, Alabama
- New York Jets — JC Latham, OT, Alabama
- Minnesota Vikings — Laiatu Latu, Edge, UCLA
- Denver Broncos — Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia
- Las Vegas Raiders — Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama
- New Orleans Saints — Jared Verse, Edge, Florida State
- Indianapolis Colts — Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State
- Seattle Seahawks — Chop Robinson, DE, Penn State
- Jacksonville Jaguars — Jer’Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois
- Cincinnati Bengals — Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia
Thanks to Carolina’s futility, Chicago already had the No. 1 pick locked up heading into Week 18. Now that the offseason has finally arrived for the Bears, the debate rages on over what they should do with the top pick. Should they move on from Justin Fields and draft USC quarterback Caleb Williams? Or should they use that pick to acquire more draft capital?
I’m in the latter camp. Fields played relatively well following his return from a thumb injury in November and even had the team in playoff contention as late as Week 17. His teammates have publicly rallied around him in recent weeks and so have Bears fans at Soldier Field. Instead of hitting the reset button with a rookie QB, go get him a weapon like Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. They’re playing with house money, so they could just straight up use the No. 1 pick on the son of the Pro Football Hall of Famer. Or they could use interest in Williams to bait another QB-needy team into trading up. What team would that be you may ask?
How about the Washington Commanders, the team that resides in Williams’ hometown of Washington D.C. Change is already in the air in the nation’s capital, starting with Josh Harris being approved as the new owner this past summer. Head coach Ron Rivera is expected to be fired on Monday and general manager Martin Mayhew may be following him out the door as well. A full overhaul of the organization is underway and its main priorities are: 1. improving what has been a lousy product for quite some time and 2. Endearing itself to D.C. after Dan Snyder spent the past two decades burning bridges with that fan base. Drafting the hometown kid accomplishes both and I think the ‘Manders brass will do everything in their power to make that happen.
With the Bears and Commanders swapping spots, the Pats can sit back and take UNC QB at No. 3. Whether or not its Bill Belichick making the pick remains to be seen. Later in the top 10, the Falcons, possibly with a new head coach of their own, decide to get their franchise guy with Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels at No. 8.