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2024 NFL Mock Draft: The Forward Progress crew predicts the 1st round

Mock Draft

Less than 24 hours out from the start of the 2024 NFL Draft, the Forward Progress gang has banded together to mock the first round.

But first, some ground rules.

We doubled up on this first round mock, with each creator tasked with choosing who their assigned teams will pick, and who they should pick. As a result, we have two separate mocks for you to follow. One maps out the first round as our creators see it playing out, putting themselves in the heads of these GMs and organizations, and the other is how they think it should play out if they were in charge of making the picks. Each of these were treated as independent mocks and had no bearing on one another. As is standard practice, no player can be selected twice in the same mock. And lastly, no trades were allowed.

Mock 1 is who our creators think the pick WILL be.

Mock 2 is who our creators think the pick SHOULD be. 


1 (Mock 1). Caleb Williams, QB, Chicago Bears

1 (Mock 2). Caleb Williams, QB, Chicago Bears

Nothing more needs to be added here.


2 (1). Jayden Daniels, QB, Washington Commanders

2 (2). Drake Maye, QB, Washington Commanders

Ultimately I think the Commanders go with Daniels as I'm just going to trust reports that he has always been their guy after Caleb Williams. I am not a QB evaluator myself but I do believe in the power of the masses and most of the evaluators that I respect have Maye as the substantially better prospect than Daniels. Maye would be my guy at No. 2.

- Rob Pizzola


3 (1). Drake Maye, QB, New England Patriots

3 (2). Jayden Daniels, QB, New England Patriots

Reporting seems to overwhelmingly favor Daniels going No. 2, allowing Maye to fall into New England's lap. 

- Hitman


4 (1). Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Arizona Cardinals

4 (2). Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Arizona Cardinals

Harrison Jr. and Nabers are neck and neck for first WR off the board for most teams but I am going with the highest floor player in this draft with plenty of upside in MHJ. He is Larry Fitz 2.0 for an Arizona team that badly needs outside weapons. A small trade back wouldn't stun me at all with the opportunity to take whomever would be left of the top two WRs, while gaining assets.

- ClevTA


5 (1). Joe Alt, OT, Los Angeles Chargers

5 (2). Malik Nabers, WR, Los Angeles Chargers

I don't believe the Chargers would end up coming to the podium at No. 5 in this scenario. I'm under the impression they covet a trade and would ultimate move this pick in the end to the highest bidder. If they stay put, I'd prefer to see them go WR over Alt, whom would be converted to RT. I'd prefer to see them draft a natural RT later in the draft to go along with Nabers, but am prepared for Harbaugh to draft the best offensive lineman possible.

- Geoff Fienberg


6 (1). Malik Nabers, WR, New York Giants

6 (2). Rome Odunze, WR, New York Giants

Giants are in desperate need for a true No. 1 wideout.

- Clive Bixby


7 (1). Rome Odunze, WR, Tennessee Titans

7 (2). Joe Alt, OT, Tennessee Titans

Alt is the no-brainer pick. If he's gone, I'd go Odunze. Nuk will be 32 this season, Ridley turns 30 in December, and Treylon Burks is a bust. They need more young talent at WR.

- Fabian Sommer


8 (1). Dallas Turner, EDGE, Atlanta Falcons

8 (2). JJ McCarthy, QB, Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons need a quarterback of the future, and while McCarthy isn't (shouldn't) be considered among the top three players at the position in this draft, he's a good draft and develop player with new offensive coordinator Zac Robinson. Turner fits what the Morris defense, which dropped multiple edge players into coverage more than 100 times last year, wants to do at the position. Turner played in coverage 91 times last year, versus Verse (21) and Latu (21). 

- Eric Eager


9 (1). Jared Verse, EDGE, Chicago Bears

9 (2). Dallas Turner, EDGE, Chicago Bears

The Bears could go a number of different ways with Odunze off the board at No. 7, but I think they most likely look to bolster their pass rush with Verse. If Dallas Turner is on the board, it makes a whole lot of sense to grab a 21-year-old premium athlete who has an insanely high ceiling.

- Rob Pizzola


10 (1). Brock Bowers, TE, New York Jets

10 (2). Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, New York Jets

The Jets are ALL IN and while investing in the OL might be the smarter choice, I don't anticipate them taking a player at No. 10 who might sit for half a year or longer. Bowers helps them Week 1 in a season where that staff and front office has to win a playoff game.

- Fabian Sommer


11 (1). JJ McCarthy, QB, Minnesota Vikings

11 (2). Byron Murphy II, DT, Minnesota Vikings

I am not sure the draft will fall this way because the Vikings likely need to trade up for JJ, but for this mock with no trades I will stick him here. While I don't think he has elite upside, he definitely has enough tools and at such a young age could develop into a borderline top 10-12 QB after a few years. With an offense loaded at WR/TE and a really good off head coach in Kevin O'Connell, Minnesota doesn't necessarily need an elite QB. At worst he can bridge to the next star QB that becomes available down the road. If not JJ, then Murphy or the top CB on their board are perfectly good options as this defense can only survive off Flores' smoke and mirrors for so long.

- ClevTA


12 (1). Terrion Arnold, CB, Denver Broncos

12 (2). Brock Bowers, TE, Denver Broncos

Denver is so short on talent, I'd prefer them to take best player available in the draft. They probably go OL or CB. 

- Hitman


13 (1). Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Las Vegas Raiders

13 (2). Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Las Vegas Raiders

I really struggled to figure out what the Raiders would do here and if the draft played out this way, I would say it's a toss-up between Quinyon Mitchell and one of the OTs (Fashanu or Fuaga). There are some links with the Raiders and Fuaga because apparently he really impressed the team when they met at the Combine. They also have the option of trading back where they could potentially grab Penix later on. If it were me, I would go with Mitchell because I think his speed makes him such a high upside corner in defending opposing No. 1 wide receivers. I really do think this guy will be an eraser. Ultimately, I think if the Raiders don't trade this pick, they would opt to go offensive line and land Penix later in the draft, but this could theoretically be a dozen different players.

- Rob Pizzola


14 (1). JC Latham, OT, New Orleans Saints

14 (2). JC Latham, OT, New Orleans Saints

The Saints are desperate for more offensive line help, with issues on both sides. The Trevor Penning pick hasn't worked out and Ryan Ramczyk's health remains in question. I could see a scenario where Loomis trades up to get his tackle of choice, but any tackle-needy team should be pleased to land Latham.

- Geoff Fienberg


15 (1). Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Indianapolis Colts

15 (2). Brian Thomas Jr., WR, Indianapolis Colts

Thomas turned 87 targets into 17 touchdowns last year, and Richardson needs another target besides Pittman and Downs. His injury history provides some line value here. Mitchell has been favored to be the first CB off of the board, and goes here to the Colts, who lack high-end players at the position and will need them against the Houstons and Tennessees of the AFC South.

- Eric Eager


16 (1). Cooper DeJean, CB, Seattle Seahawks

16 (2). Laiatu Latu, EDGE, Seattle Seahawks

Latu will be the best edge rusher in Seattle since Bennett/Avril, whereas Cooper DeJean could be Mike McDonald's new Swiss army knife.

- Fabian Sommer


17 (1). Nate Wiggins, CB, Jacksonville Jaguars

17 (2). Nate Wiggins, CB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville is very weak at CB after losing Darious Williams in the offseason from an already weak group last year. They have virtually no real depth outside of 2021 second round pick Tyson Campbell. Baalke has only drafted three CBs in his career as a GM in San Francisco and Jacksonville, but the two with data have posted blazing 40s (4.4 or less). Wiggins is the best CB on the board and lit the combine up with a 4.28 40.

- ClevTA


18 (1). Byron Murphy II, DT, Cincinnati Bengals

18 (2). Terrion Arnold, CB, Cincinnati Bengals

I've bet CB (+800ish) and DL (+300ish) here as two undervalued positions Cincinnati may take. 

- Hitman


19 (1). Brian Thomas Jr., WR, Los Angeles Rams

19 (2). Amarius Mims, OT, Los Angeles Rams

Thomas slipped because of a torn labrum, but the slide might stop at 19. Kupp will enter his 31-year-old season and they need another stud WR for the long term. If the top four WRs are gone, I like Mims to be their new LT.

- Fabian Sommer


20 (1). Taliese Fuaga, OT, Pittsburgh Steelers

20 (2). Taliese Fuaga, OT, Pittsburgh Steelers

Sending a nasty run blocker to Pittsburgh seemed too easy. It's possible they prefer Fautanu here but the OL continues with Pittsburgh Thursday night. 

- Geoff Fienberg


21 (1). Troy Fautanu, OT, Miami Dolphins

21 (2). Jared Verse, EDGE, Miami Dolphins

Miami has a number of options at 21. GM Chris Grier hasn't shied away from taking older players before and I like Fautanu as a fit here to fill some of the void on the Fins' offensive line. If it were me and Verse fell all the way to 21, I'd have to grab him. Miami doesn't need a pass rush specialist but this is strong value for Verse, even though I do have some concerns with his overall game.

- Rob Pizzola


22 (1). Amarius Mims, OT, Philadelphia Eagles

22 (2). Cooper DeJean, CB, Philadelphia Eagles

DeJean's potential versatility in the secondary will help the Eagles, who suffered a lot of depth-related issues in the back seven a season ago, en route to losing their grip on the NFC East after a 10-1 start. Without DeJean on the board, the Eagles have to look at the OL, with the age of Lane Johnson and the retirement of Jason Kelce. No star quarterback is as reliant on his offensive structure more than Jalen Hurts, and the Eagles know this better than anyone.

- Eric Eager


23 (1). Jer'Zhan Newton, DT, Minnesota Vikings

23 (2). Jer'Zhan Newton, DT, Minnesota Vikings

After getting their QB at No. 11 I have MIN taking Newton here. Kwesi values premium positions in the first round and this very much fits the bull given the recent big money signings at the position. Newton is also just 21 years old. The Vikings have nobody inside as Harrison Philips is just a guy and Jerry Tillery is a journeyman first-round bust.

- ClevTA


24 (1). Graham Barton, C, Dallas Cowboys

24 (2). Troy Fautanu, OT, Dallas Cowboys

Although Barton played tackle in college, the Cowboys grab him here to be their center of the future. Barton's greatest attributes align nicely with what the Cowboys look for in offensive linemen and they desperately need to re-build what was once a position of strength. If Fautanu is available here, I'd likely opt for him because of his versatility along the offensive line but any of Fautanu, Barton, or even Guyton would be fine at 24.

- Rob Pizzola


25 (1). Laiatu Latu, EDGE, Green Bay Packers

25 (2). Tyler Guyton, OT, Green Bay Packers

Latu was a no-brainer pick after sliding to No. 25, giving the Packers an edge rotation of Gary, Latu, Van Ness and Smith. Tyler Guyton is a lab-made Green Bay Packer and will start at LT from day one.

- Fabian Sommer


26 (1). Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

26 (2). Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Bucs have put themselves in a position to succeed historically on defense, but have lost Carlton Davis and Sean Murphy-Bunting the last few years, and need to restock in the secondary. They jump Detroit here for Kool-Aid.

- Eric Eager


27 (1). Chop Robinson, EDGE, Arizona Cardinals

27 (2). Chop Robinson, EDGE, Arizona Cardinals

I am torn because the interior of their OL is a mess and they have only two on the entire roster under contract in 2025 - tackles Paris Johnson and Jonah Williams. JPJ or Tyler Guyton are very possibly the pick here but I am going with Chop to improve a weak pass rush. He fits Gannon's mold of OLB, similar to Reddick when he was in Philly. I also think the drop off in EDGE from pick 27 to 35 is large and  the depth in this OL class will give them maybe the same player at pick 35. If JPJ is there at 35 they'll turn that card in really quick, whereas I don't think Chop makes it to 35.

- ClevTA


28 (1). Troy Franklin, WR, Buffalo Bills

28 (2). Troy Franklin, WR, Buffalo Bills

Many expect the Bills to go big game hunting up the board to make this WR selection. In this situation the pick could be one of a handful of different WRs, or maybe Buffalo trades back so they could double dip on the day two group. My best guess for this spot is the 6'3 Franklin, whose size and speed will earn Allen's trust and help him become a star.

- Geoff Fienberg


29 (1). Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Detroit Lions

29 (2). Graham Barton, Detroit Lions

I think Detroit probably wants a corner here but Rakestraw would be a bit of a reach at this point. JPJ is a first round talent that is capable of playing guard, a position of need for Detroit at the moment. The Lions have had success over the past several years by prioritizing the offensive line and they could do it again here. I'd prefer Barton slightly to JPJ but either would be a fine option.

- Rob Pizzola


29 (1). Tyler Guyton, OT, Baltimore Ravens

29 (2). Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Baltimore Ravens

Ravens should and will go best available offensive lineman IMO.

- Hitman


31 (1). Darius Robinson, EDGE, San Francisco 49ers

31 (2). Darius Robinson, EDGE, San Francisco 49ers

After the Arik Armstead departure, the 49ers need to beef up their defensive line. Leonard Floyd is 32 and got a 2-year contract. Robinson has some inside/outside flexibility.

- Fabian Sommer


32 (1). Xavier Worthy, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

32 (2). Xavier Worthy, WR, Kansas City Chiefs

With the loss of Marquez Valdes-Scantling, the Chiefs need their token deep threat to take the top off of the defense. With the future of Skyy Moore and Kadarius Toney in question, and Rashee Rice on the verge of a suspension, the Chiefs make WR their first round pick for the first time since Jonathan Baldwin in 2011.

- Eric Eager