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2024 NFL Mock Draft 5.0: Broncos trade up for QB, Bowers slides, Bills take surprise WR in Rogers’ final mock

Maye, McCarthy big question marks entering draft
Chris Simms and Connor Rogers discuss the debate between Drake Maye and J.J. McCarthy toward the top of the NFL draft.

The final countdown is on. Months of scouting, hundreds of mock drafts, and various big boards all leading up to the main event that will be the 2024 NFL Draft. It can be dangerous buying into all the rumors during the final week (hello, Will Levis), but it’s time to decipher what’s real and what’s smoke.

Here is my final mock draft for this class where I attempt to predict all 32 selections in Round 1.

1. Chicago Bears (Via Carolina Panthers)

Caleb Williams, QB, Bears

The equivalent of a “free space” in bingo, this one is a lock. Williams should be the favorite for offensive rookie of the year as he takes over what is expected to be an exciting offense.

2. Washington Commanders

Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

It’s clear Daniels prefers other destinations, but I don’t think that will be enough to stop this from happening. The Commanders have recently started over everywhere from ownership, to the front office, to a new coaching staff, now they get what they hope is their quarterback of the future.

3. New England Patriots

Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

There are rumblings New England would love to get more draft capital through a trade, but it’s obvious ownership wants a quarterback out of this draft. I think they play it safe and stay put, taking Drake Maye to sit and develop behind Jacoby Brissett.

Most likely landing spot for Maye
The Giants reportedly explore trading up from No. 6, possibly for Drake Maye, which leads Mike Florio and Chris Simms to question if the QB is worth trading up for.

4. Arizona Cardinals

Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

The most likely trade scenario for the Cardinals would be a small flip to the Giants, which hold the No. 6 overall pick. Trading with New York would allow them to still get a high octane wide receiver (Harrison Jr. or Malik Nabers), but in this mock they just keep it simple and take who I think is the best player in this draft.

RELATED: Is Marvin Harrison Jr. the next A.J. Green?

5. Los Angeles Chargers

JC Latham, OL, Alabama

I don’t think there is a “consensus” No. 1 tackle across NFL front offices compared to how the media views Joe Alt. This makes Latham in play for the Chargers at No. 5, where he plugs in at right tackle and fits the mauling style Jim Harbaugh and Joe Hortiz crave.

6. New York Giants

Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

I’m completely buying that the Giants would make a move for Drake Maye, but the noise around J.J. McCarthy feels manufactured to me. Assuming they can’t go up and get Maye, Nabers is a massive boost to this offense and a long-term, explosive No. 1 wide receiver.

7. Tennessee Titans

Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

The Titans will certainly take calls and I could see them trading back if an offer blows them away, but in this situation they solve a massive hole at left tackle with one of the best players in the draft.

8. Denver Broncos (via trade with Falcons)

J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

The Broncos avoid paying an absurdly high cost of getting into a top five pick and still get what they believe can be their franchise quarterback of the future.

McCarthy the 'quintessential piece' of NFL draft
Jay Croucher and Drew Dinsick discuss J.J. McCarthy as an important player to monitor entering the NFL draft and the "puzzle solving" that comes to betting the draft.

9. Chicago Bears

Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

There is late buzz on the Bears looking to add defense, but they already have a strong unit on that side of the ball. Loading up for the short and long term to aid the success of their new quarterback makes sense. Good luck stopping three wide receiver sets of Odunze, D.J. Moore and Keenan Allen.

Most likely landing spot for Odunze
After Caleb Williams and Rome Odunze shared a flight to Detroit, Mike Florio and Chris Simms map out Odunze's chances of landing in Chicago at No. 9 or if the Bears should consider a trade.

10. New York Jets

Taliese Fuaga, OL, Oregon State

There are so many different directions the Jets could go here, including trading up for a playmaker, trading down and recouping a Day 2 selection or even drafting Georgia TE Brock Bowers. Yet, I’m buying in that they prioritize capitalizing on a great offensive line class. Fuaga would compete to be a day one starter as he is arguably the best run blocker in the draft.

11. Minnesota Vikings

Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington

The Vikings are consistently connected to Maye and McCarthy because they acquired an extra first-round pick, but I don’t believe they feel that they have to move up. It has surprised me how overlooked the fit of Penix Jr. in this offense is.

RELATED: Connor Rogers’ “If I were GM” Mock Draft

12. Atlanta Falcons (via trade with Broncos)

Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

The Falcons get extra capital and still land the player of their choice on defense. Turner’s athleticism would allow Raheem Morris to use him in a lot of different ways.

13. Las Vegas Raiders

Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

The Raiders are absolutely in on this quarterback class, but they probably need to move from this selection if they want one of the top five. Mitchell is an excellent cover corner with the desired play strength and speed for success.

14. New Orleans Saints

Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State

From a position group perspective, the Saints are one of the easiest teams to figure out: they need a tackle. The real question is who makes it to No. 14 and which do they prefer? I see this debate coming down to Fashanu vs. Georgia’s Amarius Mims.

15. Indianapolis Colts

Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

Bowers is one of the hardest players to predict in any mock draft because he is a top five-ish talent. There is so much buzz around him and the Jets that there’s a chance a team leapfrog’s them in fear of missing out. In this scenario, he goes to his floor spot in the Colts.

RELATED: Best landing spots for Brock Bowers debated

16. Seattle Seahawks

Troy Fautanu, OL, Washington

Fautanu can truly play any spot on the offensive line at a high level. The best part is that Seahawks offensive coordinator knows that because he coached Fautanu at Washington the last two years.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars

Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

The Jaguars seem likely to take a cornerback, leaving many to wonder if another corner-needy team (like the Eagles) jumps over them. I think there’s good depth in this group and Arnold is a pretty easy fit with this secondary.

18. Cincinnati Bengals

Byron Murphy, DL, Texas

Murphy has a lowkey chance to be the first defensive player taken, but the run on offense pushes him to the Bengals here.

19. Los Angeles Rams

Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU

The Rams’ duo of Puka Nacua and Cooper Kupp can carve teams up in the intermediate area of the field, now throw in a true alien deep threat in Brian Thomas Jr.

Simms' WR draft rankings: No. 2 Brian Thomas Jr.
Chris Simms explains to Ahmed Fareed why Brian Thomas Jr. comes in at No. 2 in Tier One “Explosive WR1” of his 2024 NFL Draft rankings.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers

Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

The Steelers have other needs at center and wide receiver, but it’s hard not to be confident they can address those quite well on Day 2. In this scenario they have their tackle duo for the long-term in the Georgia tandem of Mims and Broderick Jones. Every coach and scout I’ve talked to loves the makeup of Mims and what he will eventually develop into.

21. Miami Dolphins

Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State

This has been a really popular landing spot for Duke offensive lineman Graham Barton, but the value of Verse outside of the top 20 is tremendous. With both Jaelen Phillips and Bradley Chubb coming off of significant season-ending injuries, there’s a clear fit here.

RELATED: Connor Rogers’ NFL Draft EDGE rankings

22. Philadelphia Eagles

Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

If the Eagles aren’t comfortable with the trio of Wiggins, Cooper DeJean and Kool-Aid McKinstry in this range, I think they will get aggressive for Quinyon Mitchell or Terrion Arnold. Wiggins needs to get stronger, but not a lot of corners have the movement skills he possesses to cover on an island.

23. Minnesota Vikings (via Houston Texas)

Jer’Zhan Newton, DL, Illinois

The Vikings walk out of the draft with a potential franchise quarterback and a player I think is one of the best defenders in the entire class. That’s an impressive haul considering they didn’t even need to move from either slot.

24. Dallas Cowboys

Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma

The Cowboys are potentially in no man’s land for their need at tackle. Guyton has all of the traits of a starter, but he might need some time to develop (he was a one-year starter for Oklahoma at right tackle). For a win-now team, it’s a fascinating scenario.

25. Green Bay Packers

Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

DeJean can handle so many different roles in the secondary and has the athletic profile the Packers crave.

Simms' safety draft rankings: No. 1 Cooper DeJean
Chris Simms breaks down the film of Cooper DeJean and why he's considering him not just a safety (instead of a cornerback), but the top safety in the 2024 NFL Draft class.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

Without his medical past, Latu easily goes in the top 15 picks. He still has a shot to do that, but here he has a mini fall to a team that needs a pro-ready pass rush.

Simms' EDGE draft rankings: No. 2 Laiatu Latu
Chris Simms breaks down why he likes the instinctive quality of Laiatu Latu's game off the edge and explains how he views the impact of Latu's medical track record.

27. Arizona Cardinals

Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

The Cardinals continue their high floor trend in Round 1 with McKinstry, a no doubt starter on the outside at corner. He doesn’t have the pure speed or ball skills of the top guys, but he’s highly competitive and sticky underneath.

28. Buffalo Bills

Xavier Legette, WR, South Carolina

This one might surprise some people, but Legette is getting legit Round 1 buzz. The Bills will most likely debate between him, Adonai Mitchell and possibly even Xavier Worthy. While Legette doesn’t have the speed and upside the other two possess, he plays a more consistent game.

RELATED: Connor Rogers’ NFL Draft Big Board: Top 301

29. Detroit Lions

Chop Robinson, EDGE, Penn State

Robinson is raw but his pure explosiveness to pin his ears back and fire off the ball could work in Detroit across from Aidan Hutchinson.

30. Baltimore Ravens

Graham Barton, OL, Duke

The Ravens lost both of their starting guards in free agency, but they always seem to have a plan on how to turn over talent in the trenches. Barton, like Fautanu, has position versatility and premium athleticism to plug right in.

31. San Francisco 49ers

Mike Sainristil, CB, Michigan

Another surprise pick! Sainristil’s ability to create takeaways and impact the game from the slot is highly coveted by NFL teams. With the offensive line run going in front of San Francisco in this scenario, the 49ers beef up their secondary instead.

Top five Big Ten underrated football players
In this Big Ten film breakdown, Connor Rogers and Noah Eagle discuss the conference's most underrated players, including Mike Sainristil, Cade Stover, Adisa Isaac, Jeshaun Jones and Tyrone Tracy.

32. Kansas City Chiefs

Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

Mitchell’s inconsistencies on tape can be frustrating, but if a team is going to unlock the best version of him it’s the Chiefs. At a minimum, he’s a dynamic red zone threat from day one.