We’re reaching the end of the college football season, and with that comes the beginning of NFL Draft season. Many big names have cemented their status at the top, while new names have made their way into first round conversations. There’s some discussion about who’s going to go first overall, with the Carolina Panthers currently slated to give that pick to the Chicago Bears. Well, the answer we have might surprise you, but you have to check out the mock to find out!
With the Bears and Cardinals sitting at the top of the draft, the thoughts of picking a QB are very enticing. The Bears are in a really interesting spot. Quarterback Justin Fields has been up and down, but has put together really good stretches of play as the season wraps around the end. If the Bears believe in Fields enough to roll with him as their starter in 2024, then the surefire pick here is wideout Marvin Harrison Jr. It’s been a long time since a receiver has gone first overall in the NFL Draft (Keyshawn Johnson was the last one in 1996) but Harrison can change that. His body control, athleticism and natural route running make him a potentially dominant outside receiver, and give Fields another receiving weapon to throw to.
Then, with their own pick, I gave the Bears tackle Joe Alt from Notre Dame. Starting left tackle Braxton Jones has been fine, but probably is best as a swing tackle. The Bears want to be physical up front, and win running the ball vertically at opponents. Alt is a massive boost in the run game, and gives Fields a surefire backside pass protector.
The Arizona Cardinals could also pick a QB, but with quarterback Kyler Murray coming back and playing well, rumors from ESPN’s Dan Graziano report that Murray hasn’t been ruled out as the future of the Cardinals at the QB spot. With many holes still to fill on the roster, it might be worth it for the Cardinals to stick with Murray (who is, in fact, very good) and begin to revamp the roster around him. In this mock, Arizona takes LT Olu Fashanu with the second overall pick. Current LT DJ Humphries is fine, but there’s a potential out in his salary at the end of this season and the Cardinals can stand to get better at this spot. Fashanu is one of the most polished pass protectors to enter the NFL in a while, and with he and 2023 first round pick Paris Johnson Jr holding down the two tackle spots, head coach Jonathan Gannon can begin building what he saw in Philadelphia with two bookend tackles.
I also wouldn’t rule out this spot for a trade up. Teams like Las Vegas coming up to pick their potential QB of the future, then Arizona takes a wideout. With their second pick, the Cardinals take corner Kamari Lassiter from Georgia. Lassiter has been a fast riser this draft cycle, with his speed and physical play through the catch point standing out. The Cardinals need more talent in that secondary room, and Lassiter would help them out a lot in that spot.
Jayden Daniels and Carson Beck, welcome to the first round of the NFL Draft! Both QBs come from different spots but could end up hearing their name called on Day 1 of the NFL Draft. Daniels is a senior from LSU who has finally put it all together in his final year of school. He’s a legitimate home run threat as a runner, and with the deep ball accuracy trending up, he’s a big play waiting to happen. He goes 14th overall to the Las Vegas Raiders in this mock. The Raiders need more juice, and a QB willing to stretch the field with his arm and legs. Daniels can do just that.
Beck is a first year starter at the powerhouse known as the University of Georgia, but he’s really come on as of late. He’s at his best attacking the middle of the field in the intermediate areas, but has flashes of arm velocity throwing downfield. Play action is where he operates at his finest, and while he has some inconsistencies in standard dropbacks, his developmental ticker is pointing up. He goes to Seattle in this mock, who addressed one of their major needs at defensive tackle in trading for Leonard Williams. Assuming the Seahawks extend Williams to keep him in that defense, finding their potential QB of the future could be in play here. I love Geno Smith, but he’ll be 34 in 2024 and the Seahawks have a potential out in his contract.
The way I see this playing out is one of two ways: Beck gets drafted and can sit behind Smith while the Seahawks make another playoff run, or Smith gets released after this year with Seattle and Beck starts and learns through the fire. Either way it goes, Seattle is in a prime spot to pick up their QB of the future, especially with most of their franchise cornerstones still young and other positional needs being stronger on Day Two.
The firing of Bills offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey was done to mask many problems with the Bills, especially in terms of talent acquisition. The Bills have consistently tried to get players that do multiple things like a second wide receiver, without actually getting a good option as a second wide receiver. Gabe Davis is much better when he’s a specialist in a diminished role, as is Khalil Shakir and Deonte Harty.
With head coach Sean McDermott and GM Brandon Beane’s seats getting warmer, the Bills take wide receiver Rome Odunze in this mock. Odunze has fantastic body control and nuanced route running ability, and would be a great fit next to Stefon Diggs to give quarterback Josh Allen another target he can trust at wide receiver. I thought about giving them another corner, but with the amount of injuries that have taken a toll on their defensive depth and the overall talent of this receiver class, I believe Buffalo should scoop a wideout up when they have the chance.2023-11-20T12:30:37Z dg43tfdfdgfd