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There is a time and place for individual player analysis throughout the offseason, but I genuinely believe it should take a backseat in mock drafts since a majority of the league’s decision-makers typically forego any studious methods for hand-shaking, hearsay, and archaic jargon—”We’re not selling jeans here,” Billy Beane once reminded a room full of MLB scouts.

The following is my first attempt at connecting the dots in the first round. My final mock draft for grading (I’m single, ladies) will be available next week.


1. Bears – USC QB Caleb Williams

This pick has been official since Williams emerged from the womb. Ignore any ‘hero ball’ libel as Williams was forced to compensate for Lincoln Riley‘s inept defense, laying down for the nation’s fifth-most yards per play (7.1).

Could be: Literally no one else


2. Commanders – North Carolina QB Drake Maye

LSU QB Jayden Daniels may very well be the pick here but, in regards to ongoing reporting: We arguably have not learned anything new about this selection in over a month. Rather than being viewed as even, however, the market—you know, the same one that had Will Levis favored to land in Houston at this time last year—has steadily (inexplicably?) sided with Daniels over Maye. This card is far from turned in, which continues to leave the latter open for tasty bets at plus odds.

Could be: LSU QB Jayden Daniels


3. Patriots – LSU QB Jayden Daniels

Whether it’s on the ground or through the air, Daniels immediately elevates a Patriots offense bereft of playmaking after the team registered points on a league-worst 15.6% of their drives—the lowly Panthers, for example, scored on 20.3% of their possessions.

Could be: North Carolina QB Drake Maye


4. Cardinals – Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison Jr.

Jostling around for more picks with Paris Johnson Jr. still on the board is one thing. Moving back with MHJ available (and No. 27 already in hand) is an entirely different universe. The Cardinals are in dire need of an alpha across from 2023 third-rounder Michael Wilson.

Could be: A trade for Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy


5. Vikings [TRADE WITH CHARGERS] – Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy

I typically avoid mocking trades, but the Vikings did not acquire a second first-rounder only to sit back and responsibly add players to their defense. With Sam Darnold‘s contract expiring next year, Minnesota will inevitably be aggressive in leapfrogging the Giants for their signal-caller of the future. Chargers HC Jim Harbaugh and OC Greg Roman will have their pick of the litter in the trenches later on.

Could be: Notre Dame OT Joe Alt, Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison Jr.


6. Giants – LSU WR Malik Nabers

The Giants have undoubtedly researched this class of quarterbacks extensively. And if one of the Big Four were to fall, perhaps HC Brian Daboll would rush to the podium. Unfortunately, New York lacks the firepower that Minnesota can offer, eventually settling for Nabers’ 98th-percentile athleticism as a consolation.

Could be: Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy, Washington WR Rome Odunze


7. Titans – Notre Dame OT Joe Alt

Universally considered the top tackle on the board, Alt would immediately step in for Andre Dillard (Packers) from Week 1. Only the Bears (45.7%) and Giants (43.1%) permitted pressure at a higher rate than Tennessee (42.6%) last year.

Could be: Washington WR Rome Odunze, Penn State OT Olu Fashanu


8. Falcons – Washington WR Rome Odunze

Not only did Odunze lead the nation in receptions 20 yards deep (23) in his final year with the Huskies, but his eventual home is crucial to pinpoint since the next eight dominos fall differently in each scenario. Whether the Falcons stay put and add to OC Zac Robinson‘s three-wide blueprint—Darnell Mooney logged a career-high 65% of his snaps from the slot in 2023, creating room for Odunze along the boundary—is admittedly up for debate. (First-year HC Raheem Morris morphed a ragtag on-paper bunch in Los Angeles into a respectable unit that permitted the 11th-fewest yards per play last year. Why not piece one together again?) I truly believe this pick is wide open despite the public’s consensus of Alabama EDGE Dallas Turner.

Could be: UCLA EDGE Laiatu Latu, Texas DT Byron Murphy, Alabama CB Terrion Arnold, Alabama EDGE Dallas Turner


9. Bears – Florida State EDGE Jared Verse

There is no doubt in my mind that Odunze would be the pick here if he were on the board. Unfortunately for Chicago, the rest of the league is aware of that, too. Adding a specimen counterpunch across from Montez Sweat is HC Matt Eberflus‘ fallback plan.

Could be: Washington WR Rome Odunze


10. Jets – Washington T/G Troy Fautanu

The Jets hypothetically shored up their O-Line through free agency but remain a house of cards littered with one-year deals; John Simpson can be cut to save $2.8 million in 2025, RT Morgan Moses is a pending unrestricted free agent, and veteran LT Tyron Smith last played a full season in 2015. Fautanu, the Huskies’ starting LT the past two years, additionally logged 99 snaps (4.6%) at LG since 2021 and offers traits to line up anywhere on the line.

Could be: Georgia TE Brock Bowers


11. Chargers [TRADE WITH VIKINGS] – Oregon State OT Taliese Fuaga

A 6-foot-6, 324-pound ass-kicker who solely played right tackle with the Beavers, Fuaga logically fits on the other side of LT Rashawn Slater (and embodies Harbaugh’s move-the-pile mentality).

Could be: Penn State OT Olu Fashanu


12. Broncos – UCLA EDGE Laiatu Latu

With only one more pick (No. 76 overall) in the next two rounds, HC Sean Payton may feel compelled to force Oregon QB Bo Nix‘s name on this card; Broncos +110 to land him, removing him from being their first choice, is the best way to play it. Latu, however, is the priority after notching the Ted Hendricks and Lombardi Awards for the nation’s best end and defensive lineman. The 23-year-old mentioned that teams had not asked him about his medicals after he was forced to retire with a neck injury in 2021.

Could be: Oregon QB Bo Nix


13. Raiders – Alabama CB Terrion Arnold

The Raiders are currently without a viable body across from CB Jack Jones and nickelback Nate Hobbs. Enter Arnold, who only played inside (on top of his primary duties along the boundary) in his final year because he was asked to shadow the SEC’s best into the slot. Unlike the Broncos, Al Davis‘ Raiders have the capital to move back into Night 1 for a QB of their choice.

Could be: Washington QB Michael Penix, Toledo CB Quinyon Mitchell


14. Saints – Penn State OT Olu Fashanu

Ryan Ramczyk‘s post-op setback coupled with Trevor Penning‘s inability to play professional football leaves the Saints with no choice but to add to their line. Fashanu dominated LT at the collegiate level (after blocking for Caleb Williams at that very position in high school), permitting zero sacks across 733 career pass-blocking snaps, per Dane Brugler’s The Beast.

Could be: Alabama OT J.C. Latham, Oregon State OT Taliese Fuaga


15. Colts – Georgia TE Brock Bowers

GM Chris Ballard has infamously leaned on athletic testing as a threshold in the past, most recently selecting nine (out of 12) players with an RAS of 9.00 or higher (and the lowest being 8.48). Bowers did not test at any point during the pre-draft process but recorded a 36-inch vertical—fourth best at his position over the last two years—and 122-inch broad jump ahead of his final season with the Bulldogs. He would have reportedly run a 4.5 40 (at 6-foot-3, 243 pounds) had he participated.

Could be: Toledo CB Quinyon Mitchell, Iowa DB Cooper DeJean


16. Seahawks – Duke G/C Graham Barton

With Charles Cross and Abe Lucas manning the edges, interior offensive line remains Seattle’s biggest weakness. Barton lined up exclusively at left tackle for the Blue Devils the last three years but notably earned freshman All-America honors as the team’s starting center in 2020.

Could be: Washington T/G Troy Fautanu


17. Jaguars – Alabama CB Kool-Aid McKinstry

McKinstry underwent foot surgery in March, but GM Trent Baalke‘s infamous draft-and-stash strategy knows no bounds.

Could be: Alabama CB Terrion Arnold, LSU WR Brian Thomas Jr., Iowa DB Cooper DeJean


18. Bengals – Alabama OT J.C. Latham

With negligent depth protecting Joe Burrow, I don’t believe 31-year-old Trent Brown‘s presence takes Cincinnati out of the race up front. The team could also opt to replace D.J. Reader in the middle.

Could be: Georgia OT Amarius Mims, Oklahoma OT Tyler Guyton, Texas DT Byron Murphy


19. Rams – Texas DT Byron Murphy

The Rams eye the lowest hanging fruit in replacing Aaron Donald. NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah recently labeled Murphy as a “sneaky top-10 pick”.

Could be: Literally anyone else


20. Steelers – Georgia OT Amarius Mims

2023 first-round RT Broderick Jones and Mims (6-foot-8, 340 pounds), the most physically gifted offensive tackle in this class, combine to road grate opposing front-sevens in OC Arthur Smith‘s run-happy scheme.

Could be: Alabama OT J.C. Latham, Oklahoma OT Tyler Guyton 


21. Dolphins – Illinois DT Jer’Zhan ‘Johnny’ Newton

Whether it’s a cornerback to replace Xavien Howard, an interior lineman to fill the shoes of Christian Wilkins, or someone to keep Tua Tagovailoa upright in place of Robert Hunt, Miami will undoubtedly sit back and address a need when called on.

Could be: Duke G/C Graham Barton, Alabama EDGE Dallas Turner, Missouri DL Darius Robinson, Texas WR Xavier Worthy


22. Eagles – Oklahoma OT Tyler Guyton

GM Howie Roseman has long understood the importance of elite offensive line play and depth, beating the market to the punch. With only 15 career starts, Guyton (6-foot-7, 327 pounds) can be groomed to play left or right tackle.

Could be: Iowa DB Cooper DeJean, Clemson CB Nate Wiggins, Toledo CB Quinyon Mitchell, Georgia OT Amarius Mims


23. Chargers [TRADE WITH VIKINGS] – LSU WR Brian Thomas Jr.

Los Angeles’ wide receivers under contract: Joshua Palmer, Quentin Johnston, Derius Davis, and Simi Fehoko.

Could be: Texas WR Adonai Mitchell, Iowa DB Cooper DeJean, Alabama CB Kool-Aid McKinstry 


24. Cowboys – Texas A&M LB Edgerrin Cooper

It’s logical to think Dallas drafts an anchor left tackle to keep Tyler Smith on the interior. The issue is that logic does not apply to the Cowboys. De facto GM Jerry Jones most recently saw Markquese Bell, a converted safety, log 52 snaps at LB as the Packers rushed for 144 yards and three scores on national television. That’s top of mind in the war room.

Could be: Oklahoma OT Tyler Guyton


25. Packers – Iowa DB Cooper DeJean

Fully recovered from his broken leg suffered in November, DeJean blazed a 4.42 40-yard dash and posted a 38 1/2-inch vertical at his Pro Day. His unofficial 98th-percentile athleticism is similar to Jaire Alexander‘s (95th percentile) and Eric Stokes‘ (93rd percentile)—GM Brian Gutekunst‘s only first-round corners.

Could be: Georgia OT Amarius Mims, Oregon C/G Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oklahoma OT Tyler Guyton


26. Bucs – Oregon C/G Jackson Powers-Johnson

The Bucs are tasked with immediately replacing two formidable starters in C Ryan Jensen (retired) and CB Carlton Davis (Lions). The Rimington Trophy winner for the nation’s top center, JPJ additionally logged 430 snaps at RT and 64 at RG over the last three years.

Could be: Penn State EDGE Chop Robinson, Alabama EDGE Dallas Turner, Toledo CB Quinyon Mitchell, Clemson CB Nate Wiggins, West Virginia G/C Zach Frazier


27. Cardinals – Alabama EDGE Dallas Turner

With a plethora of needs in both trenches, GM Monti Ossenfort has the luxury of taking the best available player.

Could be: Penn State EDGE Chop Robinson, Toledo CB Quinyon Mitchell 


28. Bills – Texas WR Adonai Mitchell

It’s no secret Joe Brady‘s offense is getting an impact piece on Night 1. And much like how the organization leaped a handful of interested parties for Dalton Kincaid, the team may make a move up the board for LSU WR Brian Thomas Jr. If they stand pat, however, Mitchell is the pick.

Could be: LSU WR Brian Thomas Jr., Texas WR Xavier Worthy


29. Lions – Toledo CB Quinyon Mitchell

GM Brad Holmes missed out on Devon Witherspoon at No. 6 last year but responds here. Carlton Davis, acquired in exchange for a third-round pick, has one year left on his deal.

Could be: Oregon C/G Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oklahoma OT Tyler Guyton, Clemson CB Nate Wiggins, West Virginia G/C Zach Frazier


30. Ravens – Penn State EDGE Chop Robinson

In need of a pass rush behind All-Pro Justin Madubuike following the departure of Jadeveon Clowney to Carolina, Baltimore may feel their interior offensive line takes precedence.

Could be: Arizona OT Jordan Morgan, Oregon C/G Jackson Powers-Johnson, Alabama EDGE Dallas Turner, Clemson CB Nate Wiggins


31. 49ers – Missouri DL Darius Robinson

Depth is pressing in San Francisco after Chase Young, Javon Kinlaw, Randy Gregory, and Clelin Ferrell all exited stage left. Powerful yet smaller (285 pounds) in stature, Robinson can line up both over and inside opposing tackles.

Could be: Arizona OT Jordan Morgan, Oklahoma OT Tyler Guyton, Penn State EDGE Chop Robinson


32. Chiefs – Texas WR Xavier Worthy

Kansas City can theoretically ease any cap restraint Patrick Mahomes‘ contract creates by being ahead of the market at other (lucrative) positions. For what it’s worth (probably nothing), Mahomes texted 20-year-old Worthy following his record-breaking 4.21 40 at Indy’s NFL Combine.

Could be: Georgia WR Ladd McConkey, Texas WR Adonai Mitchell, Oklahoma OT Tyler Guyton, Arizona OT Jordan Morgan, Toledo CB Quinyon Mitchell, Clemson CB Nate Wiggins


Missed the cut: Oregon QB Bo Nix, Clemson CB Nate Wiggins, Arizona OT Jordan Morgan, Georgia WR Ladd McConkey, Washington QB Michael Penix, Washington EDGE Bralen Trice, West Virginia G/C Zach Frazier, Florida State WR Keon Coleman, Oregon WR Troy Franklin, Missouri CB Ennis Rakestraw Jr., Washington WR Ja’Lynn Polk