BearsHQ's NFL First-Round Mock Draft 1.0
Williams will likely be the 1st pick of the draft (Kirby Lee - USA Today Sports)

BearsHQ's NFL First-Round Mock Draft 1.0

by - Correspondent -

It is officially mock draft season, so it is time for ChicagoBearsHQ’s first-ever mock draft. Since this is the first mock draft for the 2024 NFL Draft, this is going to assume there are no trades since trades are completely unpredictable at this time of year; it is something that everyone will have more of a sense of when it gets closer to the draft.

So, without trades, this is our mock draft:

1. Chicago Bears (from Carolina Panthers) - Caleb Williams, Quarterback (USC)

Again, this is without trades. But, if Chicago were to keep the No. 1 overall pick, in all likelihood that would mean they are using the pick on Williams. The 2022 Heisman winner had a stellar collegiate career with 93 touchdowns and just 14 interceptions over his three-year career. His accuracy is high, arm strength elite and his lower interception rate is a nice sight for Bears fans wanting Williams as their new starting quarterback. Williams is not a strong runner, which may hurt his chances with Chicago given their last two first-round quarterbacks in Mitch Trubisky and Justin Fields have been good runners with Fields being one of the best in the league.

Personally, I would be surprised if Chicago did not trade the No. 1 pick. They can get a lot of draft capital trading down just one spot and if they decide to keep Fields, there is no way they keep the No. 1 pick as well.

2. Washington Commanders - Jayden Daniels, Quarterback (LSU)

The Commanders are desperately in need of a quarterback. With Jayden Daniels and Drake Maye from North Carolina to choose from, Washington goes for the smaller but more elite passer in Daniels who is coming off of his 2023 Heisman campaign. He is also probably the best running quarterback in the draft, coming off of 1,134 rushing yards this past season.

3. New England Patriots - Drake Maye, Quarterback (UNC)

With both Williams and Daniels off the board, the Patriots take the next-best quarterback in Maye. He is a strong presence in the pocket at 6 foot 5, 220 pounds. Maye had a strong season in 2022, finishing No. 10 in the Heisman Voting. His team was not as good in 2023, but he still put up strong numbers.

4. Arizona Cardinals - Marvin Harrison Jr., Wide Receiver (Ohio State)

Arizona is sticking with Kyler Murray as their quarterback, and as such, they need to get him the perfect weapon. Marvin Harrison Jr is undoubtedly the best receiver in the draft and one of the receiver's best prospects in at least 10 years. After another monster season with over 1,200 receiving yards and 29 touchdowns over the past two seasons, Harrison Jr is a no-brainer for the Cardinals.

5. Los Angeles Chargers - Taliese Fuaga, Offensive Lineman (Oregon State)

While this is generally a lot higher than Fuaga is going in other mock drafts, Fuaga is the top right tackle available in the draft while Joe Alt from Notre Dame and Olumuyima Fashanu from Penn State are both left tackles. The Chargers have a solid left tackle in Rashawn Slater but really need to address their right tackle position. Fuaga provides an answer for them.

6. New York Giants - Rome Odunze, Wide Receiver (Washington)

New York is desperately in need of a wide receiver. While they would potentially be tempted to take a quarterback here, they are stuck with Daniel Jones for 2024. So, they might as well try to build around him and develop their struggling receiving core for the next quarterback that comes in.

7. Tennessee Titans - Joe Alt, Offensive Lineman (Notre Dame)

With Tennessee getting a stroke of luck that Los Angeles needed a right tackle, it leaves Joe Alt available for them at No. 7. Coming out of the offensive line powerhouse of Notre Dame is the best offensive lineman available in the draft and will be an essential piece for the Titans if they want to get back in contention for the division.

8. Atlanta Falcons - Malik Nabers, Wide Receiver (LSU)

I make this pick assuming the Falcons address their quarterback situation before the draft. If they do not, then this pick would more likely be quarterback J.J. McCarthy from Michigan; but, there are better options available through free agency or trade (such as Justin Fields). So, they bolster their offense with an elite receiver to pair with Drake London.

9. Chicago Bears - Olumuyima Fashanu, Offensive Lineman (Penn State)

Chicago addresses a big need with Olumuyima Fashanu at No. 9 overall. He is a strong left tackle whose big stature makes him a good size for an NFL left tackle. However, with his weight on the lighter size, he could also be moved to left guard, which is now open since the Bears released Cody Whitehair. Further, with the need to improve the offensive line no matter who the quarterback is, this is a very logical pick here.

There are some mock drafts that would probably have the Bears choosing a defensive player. However, particularly if Chicago decides to go with Williams at quarterback, protecting his blindside needs to be a bigger priority than choosing anyone on defense.

10. New York Jets - JC Latham, Offensive Tackle (Alabama)

Continuing the trend of offensive linemen going off the board, the Jets address their need for a right tackle with JC Latham, one of the top offensive line prospects in the draft. He is definitely the biggest at 360 pounds, but is also a fast player. For Aaron Rodgers’s sake, they should also acquire a left tackle prior to the draft if they take Lathan.

11. Minnesota Vikings - Dallas Turner, Edge (Alabama)

With the first defensive player taken in the draft, the Minnesota Vikings get edge rusher Dallas Turner to bolster their defensive line. This seems even more likely, with the departure of defensive end Danielle Hunter seeming evident.

12. Denver Broncos - Jared Verse, Edge (Florida State)

Denver has a lot of needs, but an edge rusher is certainly near the top, if not at the top, of their list. With the offensive string in the first 10 picks, the Broncos got lucky that Verse fell to them at No. 12.

13. Las Vegas Raiders - J.J. McCarthy, Quarterback (Michigan)

Aidan O’Connell is not the answer at quarterback for the Las Vegas Raiders, so they go with J.J. McCarthy to be the future of their franchise. Perhaps they can keep O’Connell as a decent backup, but McCarthy becomes the starter right away with Antonio Pierce as the new coach for the Raiders.

14. New Orleans Saints - Jordan Morgan, Offensive Tackle (Arizona)

Trevor Penning has been a disappointment in New Orleans. So to replace him at left tackle, the Saints draft Jordan Morgan. He possesses a lot of rare abilities at the offensive line, such as change of direction ability and lateral burst, giving the Saints what they need.

15. Indianapolis Colts - Nate Wiggins, Cornerback (Clemson)

Indianapolis has two big needs - cornerback and wide receiver. Since wide receivers were picked early in the first and no corners have come off the board, this gives the Colts their choice of what cornerback they want. Wiggins has been a consistent play-maker the past two seasons for the Tigers and brings that to Indianapolis.

16. Seattle Seahawks - Byron Murphy II, Defensive Tackle (Texas)

The Seahawks need help on both sides of the ball. However, with so many offensive players going in the first round and a lack of first-round linebacker talent to choose from, Seattle bolsters their defense with one of the best defensive tackles available.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars - Troy Franklin, Wide Receiver (Oregon)

Jacksonville easily could have won the division, but blew it for themselves in losing their final game of the season. Part of the reason for their up-and-down performance throughout the season was the lack of a consistent playmaker. While there has been a lot of attention given to Brian Thomas Jr from LSU, Franklin has been a bit more consistent in his numbers but really broke out this past season.

18. Cincinnati Bengals - Amarius Mims, Offensive Tackle (Georgia)

With Jonah Williams set to become a free agent, the Bengals will need a right tackle. Following the theme of this draft, they spend their first-round pick on an offensive lineman to protect Joe Burrow and return to the playoffs.

19. Los Angeles Rams - Terrion Arnold, Cornerback (Alabama)

Los Angeles gets lucky and is able to address their top need in a No. 1 cornerback this late in the draft with one of the best cornerbacks available. Arnold has a knack for getting to the ball, coming off a season where he had five interceptions.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers - Bo Nix, Quarterback (Oregon)

This is assuming they do not address their quarterback need in the offseason, perhaps by trading for Justin Fields. If this is not addressed, they are surely going to use their first-round pick on a quarterback. Bo Nix is coming off a strong season and has a lot of promise to become their next franchise quarterback.

21. Miami Dolphins - Laiatu Latu, Edge (UCLA)

The Dolphins need to bolster their defense. With Latu, who is coming off a season where he had 13 sacks, two interceptions and two forced fumbles, they get exactly what they are looking for.

22. Philadelphia Eagles - Quinyon Mitchell, Cornerback (Toledo)

After the Philadelphia Eagles’ historic collapse this season, they need to address the defense right away starting with the secondary. He possesses good speed and strong instincts, something Philadelphia clearly lacked in the playoffs, making him a solid addition.

23. Houston Texans (from Cleveland Browns) - Brian Thomas Jr, wide receiver (LSU)

The reigning AFC South champions add another receiver to make their wide receiver group with quarterback CJ Stroud even more dangerous and give them a great shot at making the playoffs once again.

24. Dallas Cowboys - Troy Fautanu, Offensive Tackle (Washington)

With Tyron Smith’s history of injuries and all of the costly players the Cowboys have on their roster, the team has decided not to keep Smith. So, they could replace him with left tackle Troy Fautanu who should be blocking Dak Prescott’s blindside for the foreseeable future.

25. Green Bay Packers - Cooper DeJean, Cornerback (Iowa)

Green Bay certainly has other needs with safety, running back, and an offensive tackle. However, safety and running back can be addressed in later rounds; there are not as many quality offensive tackles left. So, the Packers go with the best player on the board for their needs.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Brock Bowers, Tight End (Georgia)

Tampa Bay may have been able to get to the playoffs, but their defense still needs a lot of work. Nevertheless, sometimes you just need to take the best player on the board, particularly with Bowers sliding so far in the first. His blocking and pass-catching ability will add to Tampa Bay’s already strong offense.

27. Arizona Cardinals (from Houston Texans) - Kool-Aid McKinstry, Cornerback (Alabama)

After using their first pick on Marvin Harrison Jr, they address their other high-priority need for a cornerback. McKinstry has consistently been a solid player for Alabama, displaying an elite ability to read zone coverage and read quarterbacks in general.

28. Buffalo Bills - Chop Robinson, Edge (Penn State)

Chop Robinson is on the smaller side for edge rushers, but his elite speed and lateral ability make up for that. His explosiveness and intense power also would serve to provide the Bills an advantage defensively next season.

29. Detroit Lions - Darius Robinson, Edge (Missouri)

San Francisco’s comeback in the NFC Championship showed the weakness that still haunts Detroit - their defense. Pairing Darius Robinson with Aidan Hutchinson would help the Lions get a lot more pressure in the backfield next season.

30. Baltimore Ravens - Adonai Mitchell, Wide Receiver (Texas)

Zay Flowers really helped to boost the Ravens offense last season, but they still need someone as a solid No. 2 receiver. Mitchell had his best season last year in his first season with Texas, recording 11 touchdowns. That is the kind of player the Ravens need to boost their offense to the next level and get to the Super Bowl.

31. San Francisco 49ers - Tyler Guyton, Offensive Tackle (Oklahoma)

Offensive line is still a pressing need for the 49ers, particularly at right tackle. Guyton has a strong build at 6 foot 7, 328 pounds, but still has great explosiveness off the line of scrimmage, particularly in the run-blocking game. San Francisco relies on their run game with Christian McCaffrey, so a run-blocking offensive lineman would be right up their alley.

32. Kansas City Chiefs - Devontez Walker, Wide Receiver (UNC)

Even the Super Bowl-winning Chiefs have some improving to do. They have never quite replaced Tyreek Hill with tight end Travis Kelce, essentially turning into the No. 1 receiver for the team. Rashee Rice has been solid, but Kansas City is still missing something. Walker could help with that problem.

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