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2024 NFL Mock Draft 4.1: Post-Free Agency Frenzy, The Latest Projections, Caleb Williams to The Bears, Vikings & Raiders Trade Up For A QB

In past mock drafts, the Chicago Bears were the centerpiece, but now the Minnesota Vikings appear to be a team willing to go all in on a QB. The specific QB depends on the source – is it J.J. McCarthy or Drake Maye? Now that the Bears have made their intentions clear by trading away Justin Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers, we can move on and try to figure out which QBs after Caleb Williams will be drafted in the top 5 and what other teams might be willing to pay to move up.

Mock Draft 4.1, Caleb Williams

I believe the Minnesota Vikings want to trade up as high as possible to draft Drake Maye or J.J. McCarthy. The relationship with Josh McCown, who was Maye's high school football coach, seems to be valid. I also believe the Vikings like J.J. McCarthy a lot and are willing to make a move to pick 3 or 4 to ensure they can secure at least one of the two.

Two other notable teams that need a QB and might have to part with a lot of draft capital to move up are the Denver Broncos and the Las Vegas Raiders. In past mock drafts, I have had the Raiders or the Broncos selecting Michael Penix Jr. I still believe Penix is a first-rounder due to talent and not just need. I have only recently started drafting 5 QBs in the first round, but the Broncos not making a move in free agency to get a QB after parting with Russell Wilson could drive Bo Nix's draft stock much higher than his round-two grade.

In this mock draft, two teams make a significant move to procure a QB; one top 5 team moves back and still gets a QB, while another team reaches for a QB way too early because they really do not have many options.

Here is a position count for the latest mock draft, 4.1.

  • Quarterbacks (QBs): Caleb Williams, JJ McCarthy, Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels, Michael Penix Jr., Bo Nix = 6

  • Wide Receivers (WRs): Marvin Harrison Jr., Rome Odunze, Malik Nabers, AD Mitchell, Ladd McConkey, Brian Thomas Jr. = 6

  • Offensive Tackles (OTs): Joe Alt, Taliese Fuaga, Troy Fautanu, JC Latham, Olu Fashanu, Amarius Mims, Graham Barton, Tyler Guyton = 8

  • Cornerbacks (CBs): Quinyon Mitchell, Cooper DeJean, Nate Wiggins, Terrion Arnold, Kool-Aid McKinstry = 5

  • Interior Defensive Linemen (IDLs): Byron Murphy II = 1

  • Edge Rushers (EDGE): Jared Verse, Dallas Turner, Chop Robinson, Laiatu Latu = 4

  • Tight Ends (TEs): Brock Bowers = 1

  • Interior Offensive Linemen (IOLs): Jackson Powers-Johnson = 1

Mock Draft 4.1

(1). Chicago Bears

Pick: Caleb Williams, QB, USC

Team Needs: QB, WR, DL

Summary: The Bears finally traded Justin Fields, sending him to the Steelers for a 6th-round pick. Now the Bears can move in a new direction by drafting the potential generational talent, Caleb Williams.

(2). Washington Commanders

Pick: JJ McCarthy, QB, Michigan

Team Needs: QB, TE, OL, ED, DB

Summary: The Commanders do not mess around with the direction of their franchise. They go with the talented Michigan QB, the proven winner and leader.

(3). Minnesota Vikings (via NE)

Pick: Drake Maye, QB UNC

Team Needs: QB, TE, G, C, DI, DB

Summary: The Vikings send 2024 picks 11 and 23 overall, along with their 2025 first-rounder, to the Patriots to move into the top 3. They select the best available QB on their board.

(4). Arizona Cardinals

Pick: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

Team Needs: WR, G, C, DL, CB

Summary: The Cardinals stay at pick 4 even though they could have moved back. They opt to draft the generational WR from Ohio State.

(5). Los Angeles Chargers

Pick: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

Team Needs: RB, WR, TE, DI, LB, CB

Summary: Many people believed that Jim Harbaugh would go after Bock Bowers in a Greg Roman offense, but after trading away Keenan Allen to the Bears, the Chargers need at least one elite WR to play in their heavy 12 personnel sets. The Chargers could also opt to draft offensive tackle Joe Alt. Other options include trading back with a QB-needy team.

(6). Las Vegas Raiders (via NYG)

Pick: Jayden Daniels, QB LSU

Team Needs: QB, RB, OL, DI, LB, CB

Summary: The Raiders had no choice but to make a move toward their future. So they traded their 13th and 44th overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft with an additional 2025 3rd-round pick to move up to 6th overall. They make this move to draft Jayden Daniels, who could still be available at picks 8-10 at this point, barring a trade-up by Denver.

(7). Tennessee Titans

Pick: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

Team Needs: WR, OL, ED, DB Summary: This has always been Joe Alt. The best available tackle makes the most sense, but they can also go after an elite WR if one falls.

(8). Atlanta Falcons

Pick: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

Team Needs: DL, CB, ED

Summary: The top corner or best available edge rusher in the draft class is the best route.

(9). Chicago Bears

Pick: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

Team Needs: QB, WR, DL

Summary: In this spot, I am Pairing Fuaga with Darnell Wright on the right side of the OL for a year before transitioning to a full-time tackle role.

(10). New York Jets

Pick: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

Team Needs: WR, T, DI, S

Summary: It's either Nabers or Odunze that falls, but will either one fall this far? If they do, the Jets positioned themselves via free agency to make a decision like this. I can see Brock Bowers being available.

(11). New England Patriots

Pick: Michael Penix Jr. QB, Washington

Team Needs: QB, WR, T, ED

In a calculated move, the Patriots traded back, and they are now in a position to take a quarterback who was once believed to be one of the top ten prospects. Penix might have fallen on draft boards, but the need for QB in this draft pushes guys higher than they would be otherwise.

(12). Denver Broncos

Pick: Bo Nix, QB, Oregon

Team Needs: QB, WR, C, ED, CB

Summary: The Broncos only have one pick in the top 100 and still need a QB. They can trade back and wait to see if they can procure Bo Nix or stay put and overdraft Nix. If they stay, we have options; they can draft a versatile OL, the Versatile Jared Verse is available, and several high-level corners.

(13). New York Giants (via LV)

Pick: Byron Murphy II, IDL, Texas

Team Needs: QB, WR, OL, DI, LB, CB

Summary: The Giant's decision to trade back with the Raiders allows them to build the trenches; whether on the offensive or defensive side, they need as much help as possible.

(14). New Orleans Saints

Pick: Troy Fautanu, OT, Washington

Team Needs: QB, WR, T, DL

Summary: The Saints are interesting, they have several needs, but the offensive line continues to be the one spot I have targeted Saints mocks.

(15). Indianapolis Colts

Pick: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

Team Needs: WR, CB

Summary: I find it hard to believe Bowers drops this far, but if he does, what a perfect match.

(16). Seattle Seahawks

Pick: Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

Team Needs: G, C, ED, LB, S

Summary: The Seahawks need a safety, so why not grab a player that has positional versatility and add him to a Mike Macdonald scheme that loves this style of high IQ player with elite athleticism?

(17). Jacksonville Jaguars

Pick: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

Team Needs: G, C, ED, DB

Summary: If it is not OL or an elite WR, the Jags must sure up their secondary.

(18). Cincinnati Bengals

Pick: JC Latham, OT, Alabama

Needs: TE, T, DI

Summary: I draft a tackle for the Bengals every year. I think this is the year they finally take one early. In this case, you can get a player with plug-and-play potential at right tackle as a rookie.

(19). Los Angeles Rams

Pick: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

Team Needs: QB, T, DL, LB, CB

Summary: The Rams can go a lot of ways. With the retirement of Aaron Donald, they need depth on the defensive line, but they can hold for that. They have solid draft capital, so in this circumstance, we draft the best available corner that fits.

(20). Pittsburgh Steelers

Pick: Jackson Powers-Johnson, IOL, Oregon

Team Needs: QB, WR, T, C, CB

Summary: I do not like to draft centers or interior offensive line this early, but Powers-Johnson is elite.

(21). Miami Dolphins

Pick: Jared Verse, Edge, Florida State

Team Needs: TE, OL, DI

Summary: You cannot pass on a plug-and-play pass rusher at this point.

(22). Philadelphia Eagles

Pick: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

Team Needs: WR, LB, DB

Summary: The Eagles need some depth and talent at the corner position, and Kool-Aid can provide an immediate impact as a rookie.

(23). New England Patriots (via MIN)

Pick: AD Mitchell, WR, Texas

Team Needs: QB, WR, T, ED

Summary: After trading back from the 3rd overall pick with the Vikings, the Patriots can pair one of the top WRs in the draft class with Michael Penix Jr.

(24). Dallas Cowboys

Pick: Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State

Team Needs: RB, WR, T, C, DI, LB, CB

Summary: It is time to rebuild the trenches; the Cowboys are in a perfect spot to get the best available tackle. Fashanu is an absolute freak with insane potential.

(25). Green Bay Packers

Pick: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

Team Needs: OL, DI, S, CB

Summary: The Packers need to start rebuilding parts of their offensive line after the departure of David Bakhtiari.

(26). Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Pick: Ladd McConkey, WR, Georgia

Team Needs: RB, TE, G, C, ED, LB, CB

Summary: Ladd McConkey feels like a perfect match with Baker Mayfield, and the Bucs need to add talented youth to the WR position.

(27). Arizona Cardinals

Pick: Graham Barton, OT, Duke

Team Needs: WR, G, C, DL, CB

Summary: The Cardinals can go many different ways here but must build the offensive line. Barton provides positional versatility. He can play anywhere on the line, center, guard, tackle.

(28). Buffalo Bills

Pick: Dallas Turner, Edge, Alabama

Team Needs: WR, T, DI, LB, DB

Summary: Turner falling this far and landing in Buffalo to eventually replace Von Miller would be a perfect scenario.

(29). Detroit Lions

Pick: Chop Robinson, Edge, Penn State

Team Needs: G, C, ED, CB

Summary: Pairing this type of high-ceiling talent opposite of Aidan Hutchinson would be incredible.

(30). Baltimore Ravens

Pick: Brian Thomas Jr. WR, LSU

Team Needs: WR, OL, ED, CB

Summary: It is never a surprise when a player of this caliber falls this far and right into the Raven's lap. Brian Thomas Jr. is considered one of the top wide receivers in the class.

(31). San Francisco 49ers

Pick: Laiatu Latu, Edge, UCLA

Team Needs: OL, CB, DL, IOL

Summary: Latu is considered a top 20 talent. Falling this far is a steal.

(32). Kansas City Chiefs

Pick: Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma

Team Needs: WR, T, DL

Summary: The Chiefs get a really good tackle prospect with positional versatility.

Teams Without a 1st Round Pick

(33). Carolina Panthers

Pick: Zach Frazier, C, West Virginia

Team Needs: WR, TE, C, DL, LB, CB

(42). Houston Texans 

Pick: Roman Wilson, WR, Michigan

Team Needs: WR, DI, LB, CB

(54). Cleveland Browns

Pick: Braden Fiske, IDL, Florida State

Team Needs: DI, LB, Edge


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