2024 NFL mock drafts: Four first-round QBs in USA Today's latest projections

2. Washington Commanders – Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina
2. Washington Commanders – Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

The NFL Scouting Combine this week in Indianapolis is key for 300-plus college players looking to be selected this April in the 2024 NFL Draft. This week gives teams across the league a chance to interview prospects, have their own medical teams take a look at the player, and get measurements on potential draftees.

Some of the biggest names in the 2024 NFL Draft are skipping the combine process. Quarterbacks Caleb Williams of USC and Jayden Daniels of LSU as well as wide receivers Marvin Harrison Jr. (Ohio State) and Malik Nabers (LSU) will not be participating.

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These players are at the top of most mock drafts, including the latest from USA Today. Here's how the latest mock drafts from USA Today's Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz and Nate Davis look as the top talents meet with teams in Indianapolis this week:

1. Chicago Bears (from Carolina Panthers)

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Caleb Williams, QB, USC

Davis: Caleb Williams, QB, USC

Three different mock drafts, the same result. The 2022 Heisman Trophy winner is arguably the top talent in the draft. He won't be throwing at the Scouting Combine this weekend but, with the years of tape on him from his time in Southern California, he doesn't need it to still be the top pick come April. Rumors continue to swirl about a potential Justin Fields trade as the draft gets closer.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "Asked on 'The St. Brown Brothers' podcast about the rumors of a possible trade involving him, Justin Fields said, 'I'm tired of hearing the talk. I just want it to be over.' Maybe the end is near, as it would certainly make sense for the Bears and a potential trade partner to have a clear picture of their assets before free agency begins in a couple of weeks. Until then, Williams has to remain the front-runner for this slot given the change he could bring to a franchise that has been desperate for this kind of difference-maker."

Davis: "Though moving the selection would doubtless return greater value, Williams’ ability as a passer seems too tantalizing – and it’s not like he can’t make plays with this, legs, especially in the red zone... The hiring of OC Shane Waldron, who’s largely coached pocket passers with the Rams and Seahawks in recent years, also seems like a signal Chicago is about to make a change."

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2. Washington Commanders

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

Davis: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Another quarterback at No. 2 overall to Washington but some difference on which one. There's Maye, long considered the 1B to Williams' 1A in this draft class, and Daniels, the late riser who enjoyed a stellar 2023 season en route to the Heisman Trophy. Maye will not be throwing at the combine either but will be in Indianapolis for physicals and interviews.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "Kliff Kingsbury said in his introductory news conference when asked about what he would look for in a quarterback: "When money's on the table, you gotta be able to make some plays with your feet, move around enough to escape a bad play." Both Maye and LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels fit that bill, and Washington's decision here could shape the rest of the draft. For now, it's too hard to envision this new regime passing up a rocket-armed playmaker like Maye given the group's focus on building for the long haul."

Davis: "Though moving the selection would doubtless return greater value, Williams’ ability as a passer seems too tantalizing – and it’s not like he can’t make plays with this, legs, especially in the red zone... The hiring of OC Shane Waldron, who’s largely coached pocket passers with the Rams and Seahawks in recent years, also seems like a signal Chicago is about to make a change."

3. New England Patriots

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Davis: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

Maye and Daniels switch at No. 3 for USA Today's draft experts, making it three quarterbacks in the first three picks for the first time since the 2021 NFL Draft.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "Jerod Mayo's team is certainly one to watch in the coming weeks after the first-year coach declared the franchise was "ready to burn some cash" in free agency. What New England likely can't count on, however, is finding a quick-fix solution at quarterback on the open market. Daniels is the kind of electric playmaker this group so sorely needs, and he would help restore the excitement that went missing in the latter Bill Belichick years."

Davis: "New England should move on from a quarterback taken in Round 1 just three years ago – and it appears like a much more clear-cut decision, even if the deck definitely seemed stacked against Mac Jones at times. Maye’s passing production dipped from 2022 to 2023, but his size (6-4, 229), arm and mobility are doubtless going to draw (unfair) comparisons to Josh Allen."

4. Arizona Cardinals

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

Davis: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

4. Arizona Cardinals – Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State
4. Arizona Cardinals – Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

Harrison Jr. is a rare talent at the wide receiver position. He's the son of a Hall of Famer, a Biletnikoff Award winner, and a two-time All-American. Some draft experts consider him the best player overall at any position in this draft class and rightfully goes right after the trio of quarterbacks in these mock drafts.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "Even if Harrison doesn't make it to this spot, the Cardinals look to be in a fine spot to aid Kyler Murray by equipping him with a top-tier target. There's no debate to be had, though, if the two-time unanimous All-American has yet to have his name called. He's both a potentially transformational figure for a franchise and a prospect who, save for a few surprising drops last season, has presented few problem areas in his game."

Davis: "Harrison might be the best product issuing from what seems like a Buckeyes receiving assembly line. And, even if speedster Marquise Brown re-signs in Arizona, it likely wouldn’t take Harrison long to emerge as QB Kyler Murray’s No. 1 target, something he didn’t really have from the wideout position following the departure of DeAndre Hopkins."

5. Los Angeles Chargers

Middlehurst-Schwartz 2.0: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

Davis: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

Finally, some differences in position and player on the board in the first round. The 6-foot-3, 215-lb. Odunze shined in his final season at Washington with his route-running, contested catch ability, and field speed. In a draft without Harrison Jr., he'd have a great argument for being the top wideout off the board. Bowers has long been considered one of the best tight end prospects of the last decade. He may struggle in some blocking situations but his speed, route running, and hands make him more of an offensive weapon than a typical tight end prospect.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "This certainly seems like the ceiling for a player who some have speculated could slide into the teens amid his recovery from TightRope surgery. But Bowers, maybe even more so than the electric receivers likely to be available here, sizes up as the kind of target Jim Harbaugh and offensive coordinator Greg Roman could be drawn to, with the dynamic run-after-catch threat possibly making Vernon Davis-like contributions for Justin Herbert and the Chargers' offense."

Davis: "Quentin Johnston, a first-rounder last year, obviously has potential but also comes off an awfully quiet rookie season. Enter Odunze, who has similar size (6-3, 215) to Johnston but far more production in his final college season (92 catches, for 1,640 yards, 13 TDs). Probably not an easier way to replicate the formula of giving Herbert twin tower wideouts … but at a fraction of the cost."

6. New York Giants

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

Davis: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

Consensus again at No. 6 with New York adding the dynamic Nabers in both mock drafts. He enjoyed a stellar final season with Daniels and provides the Giants with an explosive playmaker with incredible yards-after-the-catch ability. He's right with Odunze as the second-best wideout in the draft and would've likely been the top receiver prospect in the last two NFL Drafts.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "Interesting calculation for general manager Joe Schoen here in considering whether to reshuffle his offensive line or recalibrate his receiving corps. Beyond positional questions, though, there should be little doubt about what Nabers can bring to the Giants' offense, as his arrival could unlock the big-play threat that has long been lacking during the Daniel Jones era."

Davis: "Daniels’ primary target the past two seasons in Baton Rouge, Nabers really blossomed during a 2023 All-American campaign when he caught 89 balls for 1,569 yards and 14 TDs. He’d slot in nicely to a Giants offense that hasn’t had a legitimate No. 1 target since fellow former Bayou Bengal Odell Beckham Jr. was traded following the 2018 season."

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7. Tennessee Titans

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

Davis: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

Alt's one of the best tackle prospects in recent memory. He's rated better than the top tackles drafted in the last two years. Both USA Today draft experts figure he'll be a longtime starter in Nashville to protect second-year quarterback Will Levis.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "It's hard to shake what a perfect fit this would be if it comes to fruition. Alt's instinctive style of play should give him a relatively high floor as a prospect, and he's exactly the kind of building block that first-year coach Brian Callahan needs in place for this offense."

Davis: "GM Ran Carthon took an offensive lineman (Peter Skoronski) last year during his first draft. It would be perfectly logical to replicate that move for a team still trying to fill Taylor Lewan’s void – and after a season when rookie QB Will Levis endured his fair share of abuse."

8. Atlanta Falcons

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

Davis: Dallas Turner, OLB, Alabama

Both draft experts like Atlanta to take the first defensive player in Round 1, with different players from the same SEC title-winning program. Arnold entered the 2023 season considered the second-best cornerback on his own team but shined to the tune of 17 passes defensed and five interceptions. Turner, considered the top pass rusher in the draft, will likely test very well at the Scouting Combine. He's very athletic and led the SEC in sacks in 2023.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "Arnold exhibits the rare ability to thrive against an array of receivers in almost any kind of coverage. He would give Atlanta one of the league's best cornerback collections alongside A.J. Terrell and underrated 2023 pick Clark Phillips III, who could slide into the slot."

Davis: "Quarterback is the glaring issue for new HC Raheem Morris and this team to solve. For now, let’s assume that doesn’t mean settling for the fourth passer off the board in April. And it’s not like this defense doesn’t need attention given its struggles to generate pressure in recent seasons and pending exits of leading sack men Calais Campbell and Bud Dupree."

9. Chicago Bears

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

Davis: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

Another difference at No. 9, Odunze falls perfectly to the Bears in one mock draft to give Williams a great target. On defense, Wiggins has a slight frame (185 pounds at 6 feet, 2 inches tall) but is very athletic and allowed just one catch of 20-plus yards in 2023.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "Much as coach Matt Eberflus might like to use the second of his two top-10 selections to bolster his still-sagging pass rush, this shouldn't be a difficult decision if Odunze is available. The 6-3, 215-pound target is the perfect complement to DJ Moore, and his knack for coming down with difficult catches will be a boon to whoever is behind center for Chicago in 2024 and beyond."

Davis: "Chicago could go in any number of directions with its second pick depending on how the board falls, including perhaps a receiver or lineman who could directly benefit Caleb Williams. However the Bears could also use help at corner – perhaps especially so if negotiations with unsigned Jaylon Johnson go sideways."

10. New York Jets

Georgia Bulldogs' Brock Bowers (19) is by far the best tight end in the 2024 NFL Draft and has the chance to be a difference-maker immediately.
Georgia Bulldogs' Brock Bowers (19) is by far the best tight end in the 2024 NFL Draft and has the chance to be a difference-maker immediately.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State

Davis: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

Both mock drafts help the Jets' offense but in different ways. Fashanu's pedigree as a standout pass protector will be a welcome sight for quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Bowers, meanwhile, could quickly become a favorite target and arguably the best tight end he's ever played with.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "For a win-now team, Gang Green faces rampant uncertainty in its all-important protection plan for Aaron Rodgers. If the Jets can't haul in an established veteran to safeguard Rodgers' blind side, their best option is likely Fashanu, a fleet-footed protector whose feel for the game is still coming together."

Davis: "Legitimate case they should take the best available left tackle to safeguard QB Aaron Rodgers’ back (and Achilles). But legitimate case they should get AR8 one of the draft’s premier weapons with the game-breaking, two-time All-America and two-time Mackey Award winner."

11. Minnesota Vikings

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Dallas Turner, OLB, Alabama

Davis: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

Another offense-defense split for an NFC North franchise. Turner's skills in run defense and athleticism in pass rushing could help Minnesota if free agent Danielle Hunter signs elsewhere. McCarthy, meanwhile, has less college tape than any of the other top quarterback prospects but, at age 21, could develop well thanks to his arm talent and athleticism.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "Table the quarterback question until Kirk Cousins' future is settled in free agency. For now, reloading the pass rush for Brian Flores has to be a priority, and the explosive and quick-closing Turner could feast in this system."

Davis: "Will the Vikes re-sign Kirk Cousins, 35? Even if they do, wouldn’t it be wise to take a page from the division rival Pack’s playbook and get his successor into the building? McCarthy won big in college (27-1 record) while developing into an accurate passer who rarely mad bad decisions, all traits that will make NFL evaluators take notice."

12. Denver Broncos

Middlehurst-Schwartz: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

Davis: Bo Nix, QB, Oregon

Quarterbacks go to Denver in both mock drafts. McCarthy falls to No. 12 overall for one mock draft; the other sees the FBS' most accurate passer of 2023 round out the first dozen picks of the

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "Will any college passer truly satisfy Sean Payton? Spoiled by his longtime partnership with Drew Brees – and perhaps still smarting from the Saints narrowly missing out on Patrick Mahomes – the Broncos coach has lofty standards for his signal-callers. But like most of his peers, he might not be able to ride things out until the perfect solution comes along. McCarthy is likely far more of a project than Payton would prefer, but his efficiency in both embracing checkdowns and operating out of structure should help buy him time in his development."

Davis: "Nix appears to have significantly more upside than journeyman placeholder Jarrett Stidham, not to mention the accuracy – nearly 75% in two seasons with the Ducks – Broncos coach Sean Payton values, plus having a nose for the goal line (38 rushing TDs in five college seasons)."

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13. Las Vegas Raiders

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

Davis: Jared Verse, DE, Florida State

Las Vegas sticks to the trenches in both mock drafts. On offensive line, Fauga's among the top run blockers in this class and can likely play well at either guard or tackle. Verse offers a great mix of speed and power off the edge and can play well in run defense as well.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "While quarterback has to be a consideration for the Silver and Black at some point in the draft, this spot could be a tricky one for finding a passer. Instead, the Raiders can go in a steadier route with Fuaga, who packs a serious punch whenever he gets his hands on opposing linemen."

Davis: "A team now coached by a linebacker can probably expect a little more focus on its defense. Also, imagine how effective Maxx Crosby might be if there was someone offenses had to account for opposite him?"

14. New Orleans Saints

Middlehurst-Schwartz: JC Latham, OT, Alabama

Davis: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

New Orleans drafts a first-round offensive lineman for the second time in three years in both drafts. Latham starred at right tackle for Alabama and played at an elite level in pass protection. He could improve in the run game but offers a baseline level of play worth making him a first-round pick.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "Rather than cast off any number of potential cap casualties, the Saints are once again digging in for another divisional run. With Ryan Ramczyk's availability still in question due to a career-threatening cartilage defect in his knee, Latham allows for New Orleans to plug in a powerful presence at right tackle capable of locking out pass rushers."

Davis: "There used to be fewer higher priorities in the Big Easy than O-line, especially the interior. Massive Fuaga (6-6, 334) could bolster the inside blocking immediately and perhaps shift out to his more familiar right tackle post over time."

15. Indianapolis Colts

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

Davis: Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU

Toledo cornerback Quinyon Mitchell (27) didn't play at a Power 5 program but will likely go in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Toledo cornerback Quinyon Mitchell (27) didn't play at a Power 5 program but will likely go in the first round of the NFL Draft.

Mitchell will likely be the only first-round pick from a non-Power 5 conference in the 2024 NFL Draft. He put on a show at the Senior Bowl and can play well in either man or zone schemes thanks to his size (6 feet, 1 inch tall and 200 pounds) and athleticism. Nabers may have garnered more attention at LSU but Thomas Jr. led the FBS in touchdowns in 2023 with 17. The speedy former basketball star at 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds offers plenty of field-stretching and contested-catch potential.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "Though the combine can't capture the full scope of what Mitchell can offer as hypercompetitive cornerback, the event should showcase his superb athleticism. Maybe the Colts will be so taken with him that they'll look to keep him in Lucas Oil Stadium for the foreseeable future."

Davis: "If a team that historically doesn’t use the franchise tag loses WR Michael Pittman Jr. to free agency, what better way to replace him than with a player who has a similar build (6-4, 200) yet might have superior downfield burst – potentially allowing Thomas to better leverage QB Anthony Richardson’s deep arm."

16. Seattle Seahawks

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Laiatu Latu, DE, UCLA

Davis: Byron Murphy II, DT, Texas

Seattle gets help on the defensive line in both mock drafts. Latu medically retired from football early in his college career but transferred and returned to the field for the Bruins. He probably has the highest floor of any pass rushing prospect in this class thanks to his skilled hands and feet that helped him to a FBS-best 24.6% pass rush win percentage in 2023. Murphy's no slouch at pass rushing, either, with a 19.6% pass-rush win percentage in 2023 to lead all FBS interior defensive linemen.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "Still feels like Seattle could be a candidate to trade back from this slot, particularly in a draft class that's short on top defensive talent. But Mike Macdonald no doubt will want to be able to fully unleash the Seahawks' pass rush without blitzing too frequently, and adding the refined Latu would mark a significant step toward that goal."

Davis: "This team got trucked trying to defend the run last season … and that was despite the trade for pending free agent Leonard Williams that bore little fruit."

17. Jacksonville Jaguars

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU

Davis: Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State

Brian Thomas Jr. (11) led the FBS in touchdown catches in 2023.
Brian Thomas Jr. (11) led the FBS in touchdown catches in 2023.

Thomas Jr. goes to a different AFC South team for Middlehurst-Schwartz and offers a potential No. 1 option in the passing game. Fashanu falls in Davis' draft to immediately become one of the best pass protectors franchise quarterback Trevor Lawrence has had in Jacksonville.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "Though Trent Baalke said Jacksonville is "going to work toward" re-signing Calvin Ridley, that's hardly an ironclad guarantee for the receiver's return given the lucrative market that could await him in free agency. Should Ridley bolt, the Jaguars might want to try to move on with Thomas, who could form an electric connection with Trevor Lawrence given his deep speed."

Davis: "Getting the All-America blocker here would be a bargain. It would also be an upgrade given the penal cost-to-reliability ratio the Jags have endured with incumbent LT Cam Robinson."

18. Cincinnati Bengals

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma

Davis: Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon

Cincinnati addresses offense in both mock drafts here. Guyton's rising up many draft boards thanks to a standout performance at the Senior Bowl. His quick feet and length at 6 feet, 7 inches tall offer a great base to develop his raw skills in pass protection and run blocking. Franklin could close the gap to the other receivers with a strong week at the Scouting Combine. He's a deep threat but listed as low as 178 pounds and could struggle against physical cornerbacks in the NFL.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "With Tee Higgins seemingly back for at least one more go-around with Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase, the Bengals' next order of business on offense should be addressing a potential forthcoming void at right tackle. Entrusting Guyton as a Day 1 starter could be dicey, but his high-end traits might prove too alluring to pass up."

Davis: "He’s got size (6-3, 190) and elite speed, attributes that could nicely complement Cincy WR Ja’Marr Chase … especially given Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd are headed for the open market."

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19. Los Angeles Rams

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

Davis: Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

A pair of athletic defensive backs head to Los Angeles in these mock drafts. Wiggins' speed and length could help the Rams cover some of the faster wideouts in the NFC West. DeJean is recovering from a leg injury and won't participate in the Scouting Combine but is a high-level athlete who could excel at cornerback or safety thanks to his experience and tackling prowess.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "When it comes to pure coverage ability, few can match what the 6-2, 185-pound Wiggins can offer. Though he's still a work in progress when it comes to being a physical presence in the run game and at the catch point, he's the kind of prospect the cornerback-needy Rams should covet."

Davis: "Look who’s scheduled to make their first Round 1 selection since selecting QB Jared Goff atop the 2016 draft. When you’re not particularly good at defending the pass or pilfering them, opting for a talented corner seems like a the right way to end this drought."

20. Pittsburgh Steelers

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Jackson Powers-Johnson, C/G, Oregon

Davis: JC Latham, OT, Alabama

USA Today's mock draft experts like Pittsburgh to address the offensive line but at different positions. Powers-Johnson is a rare athlete in the interior offensive line positions and is likely a first-round pick thanks to his performance at the Senior Bowl. Davis' mock draft sees Latham fall and bookend one side of the line.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "With a rugged disposition that helps mask his pedestrian athleticism, Powers-Johnson is the picture of a Steelers draft pick. He also seems like a reasonable target for a franchise that is trying to adjust its offense while still resisting a dramatic rethinking of its approach."

Davis: "A recently neglected line would have a nice pair of long-term bookends by coupling Latham with last year’s first-rounder, Broderick Jones."

21. Miami Dolphins

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Troy Fautanu, OL, Washington

Davis: Laiatu Latu, DE, UCLA

Like fellow Pac-12 offensive lineman Fauga, Fautanu can be a starter at tackle or guard at the NFL level. He won the 2023 Morris Trophy - given to the best offensive or defensive lineman in the Pac-12 - up against multiple first-round talents. Latu falls to Miami in Davis' mock draft to bolster the Dolphins' pass rush.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "Cornerback Xavien Howard and edge rusher Emmanuel Ogbah are already being sent packing, per reports, and offensive guard Robert Hunt looks like a strong candidate to head elsewhere in free agency amid Miami's cap crunch. Fautanu could be this year's version of Peter Skoronski: a college left tackle whose frame and nastiness point him to a spot in the first round as a guard."

Davis: "No team is ever satisfied with its supply of pass rushers, especially one that lost Bradley Chubb and Jaelan Phillips to major late-season leg injuries."

22. Philadelphia Eagles

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

Davis: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

Philadelphia's defense finished the 2023 regular season 31st in passing yards allowed per game. In both mock drafts, that unit gets some help with the versatile DeJean and the productive standout Arnold.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "Even with Vic Fangio taking over the controls to the defense, Philadelphia shouldn't stand pat on its personnel. Reinvigorating an aging secondary with a dynamic and versatile playmaker like DeJean could do the unit a lot of good in both the short and long term."

Davis: "An aging set of corners is just one reason this defense degraded so badly so quickly."

23. Houston Texans (from Cleveland Browns)

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Byron Murphy II, DT, Texas

Davis: Jer'Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois

Both of these mock drafts like the Texans to upgrade the interior defensive line. Murphy'd make the relatively short trip from Austin to Houston to bring his pass-rush pedigree to the Texans. Newton's a top athlete on the interior defensive line and uses strong hands and leverage to affect both the pass and run games. He totaled an FBS interior lineman-best 103 pressures over his final two seasons in Illinois.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "A souped-up front four is the foundation of DeMeco Ryans' defenses, and Houston doesn't have enough juice on the interior. Adding Murphy would resolve that problem, as the undersized but explosive defensive tackle has the tools to be a disruptive presence from the outset."

Davis: "For this defense to truly live up to HC DeMeco Ryans' standards, it needs to bolster its depth along the line."

24. Dallas Cowboys

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

Davis: Jordan Morgan, OT, Arizona

Another offensive line sweep in these mock drafts but with two very different prospects. Mims is raw with just eight starts in college but has a rare combination of feet speed, power, strength, and stability. He could develop into one of the best tackles in the class. Like other Pac-12 tackles on this list, Morgan could slide to guard in the NFL, a fitting move for a team that got All-Pro production at guard from former Notre Dame tackle Zack Martin. Morgan is a standout run blocker but could take some time to develop in pass protection.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "Although Tyron Smith might re-sign with the Cowboys, offensive line will be a focal point for Dallas until a resolution is reached. Though he's light on experience, Mims is an enticing long-term bet. The Cowboys can bring out the best in the rare offensive tackle who has both the frame and athleticism to hold up against the full array of NFL pass rushers."

Davis: "Even if Tyron Smith is re-signed, it likely wouldn’t be for long. One of the final All-Pac-12 performers, Morgan would bring youth to Dallas’ front while giving the team the option of keeping Tyler Smith at guard, where the former college left tackle has performed very well."

25. Green Bay Packers

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Jordan Morgan, OT, Arizona

Davis: Troy Fautanu, OL, Washington

Pac-12 offensive linemen go to Green Bay in both mock drafts. Each prospect offers positional versatility with strength in the running game.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "Brian Gutekunst has yet to take an offensive lineman in Round 1, but the timing seems ripe for such a move given the state of his front and Green Bay's blossoming assortment of young skill-position players. Though Morgan could end up at guard in the NFL, he also checks off a lot of boxes as a promising potential starter at left tackle."

Davis: "An interior upgrade to better set QB Jordan Love’s pocket and/or potentially brittle LT David Bakhtiari’s successor."

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Jared Verse, DE, Florida State

Davis: Ennis Rakestraw Jr., CB, Missouri

Tampa Bay goes defense in both mock drafts but in different areas. Verse has the tools and track record of development to play well in the NFL. Rakestraw Jr. has some medical concerns but is a standout corner in press-man coverage.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "A spot much earlier in the first round is entirely within reach for Verse, one of this class' most stable producers and a pass rusher whose well-rounded game should translate well to the next level. In this scenario, however, the Buccaneers would be overjoyed to scoop him up as they look to upgrade their talent on the edge."

Davis: "Carlton Davis III’s recent play and $14 million salary in 2024 could make him a financial target if the Bucs can slot in a comparable replacement."

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27. Arizona Cardinals (from Houston Texans)

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Darius Robinson, DE, Missouri

Davis: Bralen Trice, DE, Washington

After going with Harrison Jr. at No. 4 in both mock drafts, Arizona addresses the defensive line with their second first-round pick. Robinson's rising up mock drafts following a strong showing at the Senior Bowl displayed his array of pass-rush moves and IQ in addition to his length and athleticism. Trice can't match Robinson's athleticism but his production is impressive. He led the FBS in pressures in both 2022 (70) and 2023 (78).

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "The 6-5, 296-pounder hasn't been a first-round fixture in mock drafts, but expect him to be one moving forward – especially after the combine. A Cardinals defense that had only one player with more than four sacks last season should be happy to take a shot on a player with Robinson's untapped pass-rushing potential."

Davis: "One of the league’s worst defenses would gladly welcome a player who can both generate pressure and set an edge."

28. Buffalo Bills

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State

Davis: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

Coleman's mix of size, athleticism, and strength pairs well with a basketball background to make for acrobatic contested catches. His rare body control and physicality make him a tough matchup for opposing cornerbacks. In Davis' mock draft, one of the top cornerback prospects falls to give Buffalo a great value pick at the back end of the first round.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "Dogged by drops in key spots, cap-strapped Buffalo has to look to the draft if it wants to reshape its receiving corps. More steady than explosive, Coleman could be just what Josh Allen needs."

Davis: "An older secondary is also one likely to be purged during free agency."

29. Detroit Lions

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

Davis: Chop Robinson, DE, Penn State

Both Alabama defenders Dallas Turner (15) and Kool-Aid McKinstry (1) will very likely be first-round picks in April's NFL Draft.
Both Alabama defenders Dallas Turner (15) and Kool-Aid McKinstry (1) will very likely be first-round picks in April's NFL Draft.

Detroit bolsters its defense in both mock drafts here. McKinstry entered the 2023 college football season as the top cornerback prospect. Arnold had a better season but that's mostly because teams didn't target McKinstry. He faced just 39 targets in 2023 and offers length, physicality, and control at the position. Robinson is one of the quickest defensive linemen off the snap that's come out of college in the last few years. He could end up as the top pass-rusher from this draft once he develops his technique.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "Stability in the secondary has long been a stumbling block for the Lions. What better way to address the issue than with one of this class' steadiest and savviest cornerbacks in McKinstry?"

Davis: "Aidan Hutchinson was their only feared pass rusher in 2023. Another All-Big Ten selection could change that ... with a touch of seasoning."

30. Baltimore Ravens

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Graham Barton, G, Duke

Davis: Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State

Barton played all along the offensive line at Duke but spent most of his time at left tackle. He's a standout in the run game with his movement skills but will need to move inside due to his less-than-ideal length. He could play at either guard or center. Coleman' would bring a new skill set to the Ravens' receiving corps with his size, speed, and physicality.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "Though Eric DeCosta hasn't been boxed in by need, Baltimore is facing the potential departures of both its starting offensive guards. Barton, who played left tackle at Duke but likely will end up at either guard or center, is one of the most pro-ready blockers available thanks to his technical refinement."

Davis: "A bigger target – Coleman is roughly 6-4, 215 pounds – could be what Jackson needs entering an offseason when OBJ and Nelson Agholor are out of contract."

31. San Francisco 49ers

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Chop Robinson, DE, Penn State

Davis: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

Both draft experts have the 49ers focusing on the trenches after a run to the Super Bow. For Middlehurst-Schwartz's mock draft, the explosive athlete Robinson joins a group featuring multiple Pro Bowlers and 2022 Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa. For Davis' mock draft, the incredibly athletic but raw Mims falls to give San Francisco an upgrade at the tackle spot.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "Offensive line could be a consideration here, but even in a deep class, the value doesn't measure up after an earlier run on blockers. If San Francisco doesn't hold onto Chase Young, Robinson offers them a high-upside alternative who might flourish under renowned defensive line coach Kris Kocurek."

Davis: "They got by without departed RT Mike McGlinchey in 2023 yet could almost certainly do better."

32. Kansas City Chiefs

Middlehurst-Schwartz: Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

Davis: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB Alabama

The final pick of the first round sees a new name on offense. The 6-foot-4 Mitchell is quick out of his breaks and creates separation easily. He'd be a quick upgrade at receiver for the two-time defending champions. The Chiefs have developed multiple cornerbacks into top producers in recent years (L'Jarius Sneed, Trent McDuffie, Charvarius Ward) and McKinstry could be the next one.

Middlehurst-Schwartz: "The 6-3, 180-pound Franklin is not the surehanded target that one might expect Kansas City to target after a season of errors from its receiving corps. But his deep speed and run-after-catch ability would add vital explosiveness to a passing attack that has grown far too stale."

Davis: "A two-time All-SEC cover guy could be made to order if K.C. can’t afford to re-sign L'Jarius Sneed."

NFLPA team report cards 2024: Chiefs rank 31st as Clark Hunt gets lowest mark among owners

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NFL mock drafts 2024: Predictions for every Round 1 pick