JUST IN: Is Caleb Williams still the top pick in the 2024 NFL mock draft….

Many people, is the true response to that query. But most people seem to like guessing what the next draft classes will hold! Fortunately for me, I spend my leisure time watching draft tape of college football prospects!

Even though the 2024 NFL Draft is still six months away, there has been enough college football action to identify some of the top prospects in this year’s draft class. Let’s look at my most recent Round 1 mock draft for the 2024 class early.

Note: Tankathon gathered the current order, which dictated the draft order used for this mock draft.

1. Chicago Bears (through Panthers): quarterback Caleb Williams

, USC, QB

In the face of criticism from fans of Justin Fields, Tyson Bagent, or both, the Bears select the 2022 Heisman Trophy winner with the first overall pick. Despite not being the “generational player” that some had predicted he would be going into the season, Williams is still a very talented prospect with excellent arm strength, impressive athleticism, excellent natural accuracy, and the ability to make plays. Despite the recent cold snap, he is the clear favorite to finish first.

LINKED

Profile for the 2024 NFL Draft: Scouting Caleb Williams 2. Las Vegas Raiders (via the Cardinals, anticipated trade): North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye

Here, the Raiders move up to No. 2, bypassing teams like the Titans, Broncos, and Patriots to acquire Maye. They surrender

5. Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State, New York Giants

Given their significant investment in Evan Neal, the Giants might not be inclined to move him inside to guard so soon, but it makes sense if they want to keep a player as talented as Fashanu on the field. The Penn State tackle is an incredible athlete with the length, power, agility, and body control, along with rapidly developing technique, to eventually dominate in the NFL.

6. Alabama’s Dallas Turner, EDGE, and the New England Patriots

Are you saying that Bill Belichick would fall in love with an Alabama defensive player who is as athletic and productive as Turner? Think of me as shocked.

7. Green Bay Packers: Notre Dame’s Joe Alt, OT

Green Bay’s offensive has been diminished by injuries.

10. New Orleans Saints: Penn State, EDGE, Chop Robinson

Cameron Jordan is still with the Saints, and Carl Granderson was signed to a contract extension. But the latter is having a slow start to the season and turns 35 this summer. Finding a replacement for the standout pass-rusher may be necessary, and Robinson—an exceptional athlete with remarkable agility, adaptability, and hustle—might be a good option.

11. Arizona Cardinals: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama (via Raiders, anticipated trade)

The Cardinals pick up a standout prospect at a premium spot despite dropping from the No. 2 spot. McKinstry could be a major disruption as an NFL perimeter cornerback because of his size, agility, speed, and ball skills.

The Chargers deal back six spots, acquiring a second-round pick in the process while still getting the chance to address their defensive line need. Newton is an explosive 3-technique defensive tackle with quick hands, ideal pad level and a red-hot motor who could instantly upgrade Los Angeles’ defensive front.

15. Los Angeles Rams: Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

Off of sheer coaching ability and a dynamic passing attack, the Rams find themselves firmly in the playoff hunt as of this writing. That doesn’t change the fact that their defense desperately needs more building blocks, and DeJean fits that bill. He has the length, ball skills, acceleration and fluidity to step into an NFL starting lineup right away and make a positive impact in coverage.

16. Arizona Cardinals (via Texans): Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State

Trading out of the No. 2 pick sees the Cardinals pass on the chance to draft Marvin Harrison Jr. However, when you consider the massive haul they’d get from a QB-needy team, as well as the chance to still land a physical freak at wide receiver with elite ball skills like Coleman, and I’m sure Arizona would end up feeling good about their decision in this scenario.

17. New York Jets: J.C. Latham, OT, Alabama

Assuming Aaron Rodgers recovers from his injury and serves as the Jets’ starting quarterback in 2024, their top priority should be protecting him. Latham is a dense, powerful offensive tackle with impressive grip strength and quick feet for an offensive tackle who’s listed at 6-foot-6 and 335 pounds.

18. Cincinnati Bengals: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

Both Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd are slated to hit free agency, and the Bengals won’t be able to keep both of them. They’ll bring one of them back (likely Higgins) and could find a great replacement in the 2024 draft. Odunze is a large receiver with a huge catch radius, very good explosiveness off the snap, inside-outside versatility, elite ball-tracking skills and encouraging development as a route runner over the years.

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bralen Trice, EDGE, Washington

The Buccaneers seem to be prioritizing youth along their defensive front, but there’s still work to be done. In this mock draft, they pair the explosive Joe Tryon-Shoyinka with a former Huskies teammate in Trice, whose power and refined hands would make him a nice complement rushing off the edge.

20. Atlanta Falcons: Quinn Ewers, QB, Texas

As sad as it would be from a pure marketing perspective to see the Falcons go with a quarterback other than Shedeur Sanders, Ewers is the superior prospect at this stage. He has a cannon arm, sound throwing mechanics and a poised, tough demeanor in the pocket. He would be an upgrade at quarterback for Atlanta, who would hope to unlock the full potential of their dangerous young trio of Drake London, Kyle Pitts and Bijan Robinson.

21. Buffalo Bills: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis is a mighty fine wide receiver duo, but if the Bills get a talent like Nabers, who’s an elite deep threat with good hands and tantalizing quickness after the catch, the thought of giving Josh Allen another stud weapon might be too good to pass up.

22. Dallas Cowboys: Emeka Egbuka, WR, Ohio State

Many saw Egbuka as the likely WR2 heading into the 2023 college football season, and while he’s fallen down boards a bit, it’s more so of the other receivers around him rather than bad play. This could make him a steal for a team like the Cowboys, who could use his precise route running ability and top-notch YAC skills to form a potentially elite duo with CeeDee Lamb.

23. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kalen King, CB, Penn State

Pittsburgh already acquired a young stud Penn State cornerback in Joey Porter Jr. in the 2023 draft. Why not follow up with his former running mate in King, whose athleticism and finesse-first style of play made him and JPJ arguably the most feared cornerback duo in college football in 2022?

24. Houston Texans (via Browns): Leonard Taylor III, DL, Miami (FL)

There’s a good chance the Texans add a weapon or lineman to help C.J. Stroud here, but Taylor fits that perfect blend of need and value that could be too good to pass up. His athleticism off the snap and his hand activity, pad level and alignment versatility could see him high in demand with NFL teams next April.

25. Seattle Seahawks: Maason Smith, DL, LSU

The Seahawks take the gamble on Smith’s tools with this pick. His production hasn’t quite been up to par since recovering from a torn ACL, but his length, athleticism, natural strength and ability to stack and shed give him top-notch upside as either a 5-tech or a 3-tech defensive lineman in the pros.

26. San Francisco 49ers: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

Get to know Fuaga if you haven’t heard his name yet. He’s a rapid riser with tremendous size, a strong anchor, very good athleticism and nice hand placement at the point of attack. The 49ers would be a great spot for him to slide into his natural right tackle position and thrive in one of the best offenses in the game.

27. Jacksonville Jaguars: Graham Barton, OG, Duke

Though he’s a left tackle at Duke, I like Barton a lot better as a guard or even center in the NFL. He’s a nasty blocker with good bend in his lower half, nice awareness as a zone blocker and the consistent strike placement that allows him to thrive in all the fundamentals. He’d be far from the sexiest pick for the Jaguars, but he’s arguably one they really need along their offensive line right now.

28. Baltimore Ravens: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

Baltimore has a great defense as it is, but if you add a lengthy cornerback with dazzling ball skills and hip fluidity like Wiggins to the mix? That unit becomes even more difficult to score points against.

29. Detroit Lions: Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas

Amon-Ra St. Brown and Sam LaPorta have proven to be two extremely talented young weapons, but one can’t help but feel like the Lions are missing one more star in the passing game. That would be Worthy, a lanky weapon with elite track speed who can stretch the field at a high level and create separation with his combination of pure burst and a high route-running IQ.

30. Miami Dolphins: Jordan Morgan, OT, Arizona

Austin Jackson isn’t it at right tackle, and Terron Armstead has dealt with numerous injuries over the years. A gifted offensive tackle like Morgan, whose length, mobility in pass protection and powerful hands give him absurd amounts of untapped potential, could be a strong investment for the Dolphins and their otherwise loaded offense.

31. Kansas City Chiefs: Kamren Kinchens, S, Miami (FL)

Kinchens is my top safety in the 2024 draft, as his range in coverage, processing skills on the back-end and ability to attack the ball at an extremely high level have him look the part of a future impact starter. Why not just add him onto an already loaded Chiefs roster?

32. Philadelphia Eagles: Denzel Burke, CB, Ohio State

Similar to the Chiefs, it’s tough to pinpoint too many major needs on the Eagles’ roster. It wouldn’t hurt them to continue to invest in young cornerbacks, though, and Burke’s competitive and physical style of play along the boundary could make him a great long-term play for Philadelphia to close out Round 1.

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