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Mink's Mock Draft 1.0

A detail view of the NFL Draft 2024 logo on Radio Row for Super Bowl 58, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2022, in Las Vegas.
A detail view of the NFL Draft 2024 logo on Radio Row for Super Bowl 58, Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2022, in Las Vegas.

Believe it or not, this is my first mock draft – ever.

I've long predicted the Ravens' picks alongside Garrett Downing with mixed results. Why not try to figure out the whole league?

The 2024 NFL Draft is less than a month away and the Ravens' pre-draft press conference is on deck tomorrow.

Here's my first stab at the first round:

  1. Chicago Bears – QB Caleb Williams, USC

Just turn the card in now and save us all time.

  1. Washington Commanders – QB Drake Maye, North Carolina

This is the first big question of the draft. Is it Maye or Jayden Daniels? Based on the quarterbacks they have had in the past, my gut tells me new General Manager Adam Peters and new Head Coach Dan Quinn will give the nod to Maye.

  1. New England Patriots – QB Jayden Daniels, LSU

The Patriots need a quarterback and the Heisman Trophy winner is the obvious selection. There was smoke about New England being interested in Lamar Jackson last offseason. They certainly regret not picking him in 2018 (he went one pick earlier). New England signed Malik Cunningham as an undrafted free agent last year. Bill Belichick is no longer calling the shots there, but New England has shown a penchant for mobile quarterbacks.

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

The Cardinals could trade back but Harrison is too good to pass up. They lost Marquise "Hollywood" Brown in free agency. They replace him with the top wideout in the draft.

  1. Minnesota Vikings (TRADE with Chargers) – QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan

There's surely going to be more than one Day 1 trade, but this is the one I feel most confident in predicting. The Vikings have to get a quarterback and have already put the gears in motion to move up with previous trades. New Chargers general manager and former Raven Joe Hortiz is no stranger to adding more picks.

  1. New York Giants – WR Malik Nabers, LSU

The Giants could be in the quarterback market, but with the top four gone, they opt to give Daniel Jones (and maybe his successor) a premier wide receiver who some argue could be the best of the bunch.

  1. Tennessee Titans – OT Joe Alt, Notre Dame

The Titans' offensive line has been ranked among the worst in the league for years and they need to protect Will Levis better to see if he's "the guy." Alt is as steady as they come in this loaded offensive tackle class.

  1. Atlanta Falcons – EDGE Dallas Turner, Alabama

The Falcons were last in the league in pass rush win rate last season. The first defender off the board, Turner, would change that.

  1. Chicago Bears – WR Rome Odunze, Washington

This is a trickier one to predict, and the Bears already got receiver help in trading for Keenan Allen. But they can get another premier target for their new quarterback.

  1. New York Jets – TE Brock Bowers, Georgia

The Jets would probably love for Odunze to fall to them. I could see them moving up, perhaps flipping picks or jumping ahead of the Bears, to get him. But getting another dynamic and versatile weapon for Aaron Rodgers in Bowers wouldn't be bad either.

  1. Los Angeles Chargers (via Vikings) – OT JC Latham, Alabama

The Chargers are getting medieval with their rushing attack, bringing in some former Ravens for Greg Roman's offense. Of all the offensive tackles in this class, Latham is perhaps the strongest and best at run blocking.

  1. Indianapolis Colts (TRADE with Broncos) – CB Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo

Indianapolis gravitates towards gritty cornerbacks who make plays on the ball and Mitchell, from nearby Ohio, fits the bill. Plus, the Raiders are looking for a corner, so Indy may want to leapfrog them. The Broncos could take Mitchell but sell the pick to the Colts, while adding some draft capital, to move back a few spots and still take the quarterback they need.

  1. Las Vegas Raiders – OT Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State

The Raiders love big, powerful blockers and Fuaga is just that. They lost right tackle (and former Raven) Jeremaine Eluemunor in free agency. Fuaga would be a Day 1 replacement. Also in the market for a quarterback, the Raiders could consider Michael Penix Jr., or a trade back with teams looking to get in on the offensive tackle run.

  1. New Orleans Saints – OT Olu Fashanu, Penn State

A premier athlete and pass protector, Fashanu continues the run on offensive tackles. The Saints had to shuffle at left tackle due to former first-round pick Trevor Penning's struggles. Fashanu should have no trouble stepping into that spot.

  1. Denver Broncos (via Colts) – QB Bo Nix, Oregon

The Broncos need a quarterback and don't have a second-round pick to trade if they wanted to move up later. Thus, a move back makes sense from a value standpoint, unless the Broncos are nervous the Raiders could take their guy.

  1. Seattle Seahawks – G/T Troy Fautanu, Washington

Mike Macdonald doesn't get a shiny new defender after taking over as head coach? The Seahawks lost both starting guards in free agency and Fautanu could step in there or play tackle.

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars – CB Terrion Arnold, Alabama

The Jaguars need cornerback help and Arnold's slower-than-expected 40-yard dash time could push the talented Alabama cover corner down some boards.

  1. Cincinnati Bengals – WR Brian Thomas Jr., LSU

It looks like Tee Higgins isn't going anywhere this offseason, but it might be just a matter of time. Plus, Tyler Boyd is still a free agent. The Bengals aren't ready to give up having a dynamic wide receiver trio for Joe Burrow and could give him another LSU product opposite Ja'Marr Chase.

  1. Los Angeles Rams – EDGE Jared Verse, Florida State

With the retirement of Aaron Donald, the Rams need to get after the quarterback. Instead of the defensive lineman, they take a souped-up edge rusher with great tools and productivity.

  1. Pittsburgh Steelers – OL Graham Barton, Duke

The Steelers could be in the receiver market, but the Bengals took the logical option so they opt to keep building up in the trenches. They took Georgia tackle Broderick Jones in the first round last year and could double dip with Amarius Mims this year, but Barton comes with less risk. Highly athletic and versatile, he's their version of Tyler Linderbaum.

  1. Miami Dolphins – DT Byron Murphy II, Texas

With Christian Wilkins leaving in free agency, the Dolphins grab the top defensive lineman in the draft to replace him.

  1. Philadelphia Eagles – CB Nate Wiggins, Clemson

Is there a Georgia defender who could fit here? No? Instead, the speed-rich Eagles defense adds another burner on the outside, where it needs help.

  1. Los Angeles Chargers (via Vikings) – CB Cooper DeJean, Iowa

Hortiz saw the difference Kyle Hamilton made in the Ravens defense. He grabs a versatile and toolsy defensive back who Jim Harbaugh is also familiar with from the Big 10.

  1. Dallas Cowboys – OT Tyler Guyton, Oklahoma

The Cowboys need their replacement for Tyron Smith at left tackle and they have two top options in Guyton and Mims to choose from. Guyton, who hails from just a couple hours south of Dallas, is a towering, athletic option who has the edge in playing experience.

  1. Green Bay Packers – OL Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon

From green to green, Powers-Johnson would secure the middle of the Packers offensive line either at guard or center.

  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – EDGE Chop Robinson, Penn State

Robinson or Latu? Robinson didn't have as much college production but doesn't come with the medical red flags.

  1. Arizona Cardinals – EDGE Laiatu Latu, UCLA

Latu's talent and production are too good for the Cardinals to pass up. With Harrison and Latu, they get two of college football's premier players from last year in the first round.

  1. Buffalo Bills – WR Adonai Mitchell, Texas

The Bills are desperate for receiver help, particularly after trading Stefon Diggs. Mitchell threatens all areas of the field.

  1. Detroit Lions – DT JerZhan Newton, Illinois

Detroit landed D.J. Reader as a run stuffer and could build a destructive defensive line with Newton, who is more of an undersized but quick pass rusher.

  1. Baltimore Ravens – OT Amarius Mims, Georgia

It seems players fall to the Ravens every year and it happens again. Mims' lack of college experience (just eight starts in three years) could scare off some teams, but Ravens Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken is well aware of his talent from coaching him in college. Mims is massive and could step in at right tackle immediately before potentially moving to left tackle down the road.

  1. San Francisco 49ers – WR Ladd McConkey, Georgia

The 49ers offense gets another speedy, dynamic target who can give defenses headaches. Plus, they keep one away from the Chiefs.

  1. Kansas City Chiefs – CB Ennis Rackestraw Jr., Missouri

After the departure of top cornerback L'Jarius Snead means the Chiefs are on the lookout for secondary help. Speedster Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy will be tempting even after picking up "Hollywood" Brown.

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