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J.J. McCarthy | 2024 NFL Mock Draft With Trades 3.0: First-Round Picks & Predictions

Hoov’s 2024 NFL Mock Draft 3.0: First-Round Picks & Predictions

by Hoov

The In-Between Media (IBT) team has left no stone unturned in our quest to provide you with the most interesting stories and exclusive insights surrounding the highly anticipated 2024 NFL Draft. After extensive research and countless mock drafts analyzed, our trusted NFL analyst Hoov reveals his final picks and predictions that are sure to blow you away.

Don’t miss out on this final opportunity to plug into the NFL Draft and potentially even beat the books with your knowledge! Follow along with @hoovtube to become a part of the action.

2024 NFL Mock Draft 3.0: First-Round Picks & Predictions

2024 NFL Mock Draft With Trades: First-Round Picks & Predictions

1. Chicago Bears (via Panthers): Caleb Williams (QB, USC)

Since Hoov’s Mock Draft 2.0 was released, Chicago has undergone significant changes, as Justin Fields is no longer a part of the team. With Fields gone, the team can now focus on a new future with Caleb Williams as their quarterback. This move is expected to breathe new life into the fan base that has been craving success for a long time.

Williams is undoubtedly the most talented quarterback in this draft class, a statement that carries extra weight considering the high level of talent in this year’s quarterback class. By selecting Williams, the Bears can delay their quarterback payments for a few seasons while still having a player who possesses the same, if not more, upside as Fields did in the position. Overall, this was the best decision for Chicago, and this selection is all but locked in.

2. Washington Commanders: Jayden Daniels (QB, LSU)

The task of predicting the draft picks is never easy, and that starts with pick 1.02. The process of predicting this pick requires a more detailed analysis of the team’s recent moves and their future goals. After careful consideration, it has become clear that the best choice for the Washington franchise would be to draft Jayden Daniels.

Daniels is undoubtedly one of the most talented quarterbacks in this draft class. He proved his worth by leading LSU’s offense to victory in a Heisman Trophy-winning season. Daniels’ success was not just due to his natural talent but also his excellent decision-making abilities and unmatched rushing skills. Despite being surrounded by potential first-round playmakers like Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr., Daniels’ exceptional talent cannot be ignored.

If Washington is planning to draft a quarterback before fixing their offensive line, they need someone who can move and evade pressure, and Daniels fits the bill perfectly. With his mobility and dynamic playing style, he has the potential to take the team to new heights. Therefore, it is a no-brainer that Daniels is the perfect choice for the Washington franchise in this draft.

3. New England Patriots: J.J. McCarthy (QB, Michigan)

While some may think this is just clickbait, I’ve been an advocate for McCarthy to surpass Drake Maye in the quarterback rankings since December. Amidst the endless stories that try to mislead you, one early draft process report stood out:  The Patriots were hoping Daniels would fall to them at 1.03 around the time when the rumors spread of New England potentially trading down with Minnesota. To me, that indicated the Patriots were not as interested in Maye as other teams have been.

When I evaluate Maye and McCarthy on an NFL level, I see Maye as Baker Mayfield and McCarthy as Brock Purdy. Considering what the Patriots are potentially trying to achieve with their talent, I think they’ll choose the game manager who can win now over the big-arm QB who needs further development.

4. Minnesota Vikings (via Cardinals): Drake Maye (QB, North Carolina)

I have always been puzzled by the fact that the Vikings and their fans believed that Sam Darnold was the right choice to lead their team or help develop their next quarterback. It never made sense to me why a player who struggled in a quarterback-friendly system and famously “saw ghosts” could become a starting quarterback in the league once again in 2024.

Initially, I thought that the Vikings might trade for Kyler Murray. However, if Maye falls to the fourth quarterback selected in the draft, the Vikings would be able to use their multiple first-round picks to trade up and select a quarterback. I don’t know if this would be possible if McCarthy is still available at the fourth pick. The good news for Vikings fans is that QB Coach Josh McCown gets “his guy.”

Trade Package:

Minnesota Vikings:

  • 2024 First-Round Pick (1.04) via Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals:

  • 2024 First-Round Pick (1.11) via Minnesota Vikings
  • 2024 First-Round Pick (1.23) via Minnesota Vikings
  • 2025 Third-Round Pick via Minnesota Vikings

5. Chicago Bears (via Chargers): Marvin Harrison Jr. (WR, Ohio State)

“If four quarterbacks go in the first four picks, that’s not the fifth pick anymore; that’s like the No.1 pick in the draft for teams that have a great quarterback already,” Jim Harbaugh, Los Angeles Chargers Head Coach, said.

I understand that many want the Los Angeles Chargers to make a flashy move by drafting the best wide receiver in this class, which would greatly benefit Justin Herbert‘s fantasy value. However, I don’t believe this is in line with the Chargers’ overall approach.

Chargers fans already regret the team not targeting Dalton Kincaid instead of Quentin Johnston in last year’s draft. Given Jim Harbaugh‘s preference for a run-first offense, I don’t see the team selecting another wide receiver in the first round this year. On the other hand, the Chicago Bears are keen to invest heavily in Williams, and providing him with a generational prospect like Marvin Harrison Jr. to develop alongside and throw to would be a dream come true.

Trade Package:

Chicago Bears:

  • 2024 First-Round Pick (1.05) via Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Chargers:

  • 2024 First-Round Pick (1.09) via Chicago Bears
  • 2025 First-Round Pick via Chicago Bears

6. New York Giants: Malik Nabers (WR, LSU)

I have previously suggested that the Giants should take a wide receiver, and it seems like I’m not the only one who thinks that New York would be an excellent landing spot for Malik Nabers. Due to their recent struggles in acquiring top-notch free-agent wide receivers, the team will have to use some of their high draft capital to invest in the position.

As for whether Daniel Jones is the solution for them at quarterback, I cannot say for certain. On the other hand, there is no doubt that Nabers will be the answer for them at wide receiver. You won’t be able to determine what Daniel Jones is capable of until you pair him with a top-notch receiver like Nabers on one side and a speedy receiver like Jalin Hyatt on the other.

7. Tennessee Titans: Joe Alt (OT, Notre Dame)

Much like their NFL counterparts at 1.01, the Bears, the Tennessee Titans have already made their plans fairly transparent for the upcoming NFL Draft with how the offseason has shaken up. The Titans’ top priorities originally were the offensive line and wide receiver positions.

However, with the team’s recent acquisition of Calvin Ridley this offseason, it appears they are no longer considering Nabers or Rome Odunze and instead will fill the void left by Taylor Lewan at offensive tackle. Truthfully, the Titans are focused on making the right decisions to improve their team and reach new heights with Will Levis in the upcoming season.

8. Arizona Cardinals (via Falcons): Rome Odunze (WR, Washington)

Finding Odunze’s correct landing spot is like finding a needle in a haystack; you’ll probably give up before you start getting to the end of the puzzle. However, it seems highly likely that he has solidified himself as a top-eight prospect in this year’s draft class.

The Falcons have the option of drafting the top EDGE rusher in the class, Dallas Turner, with their 1.08 pick. However, in this scenario, the Cardinals might offer to trade a few picks to Atlanta to move back just three spots. This would put them at risk of missing out on Turner and hoping for Florida State EDGE rusher Jared Verse instead.

In the past, the Cardinals have shown a willingness to move down in the draft to move back up and eventually select their preferred player. For example, they did this last year with OT Paris Johnson Jr. After passing on Marvin Harrison Jr. to surround their quarterback, they add the best route runner in the class in Odunze.

Trade Package:

Arizona Cardinals:

  • 2024 First-Round Pick (1.08) via Atlanta Falcons

Atlanta Falcons:

  • 2024 First-Round Pick (1.11) via Arizona Cardinals
  • 2024 Third-Round Pick (No. 66) via Arizona Cardinals
  • 2025 Third-Round Pick via Arizona Cardinals

9. Los Angeles Chargers (via Bears): Brock Bowers (TE, Georgia)

Currently sitting at +1400 on DraftKings Sportsbook, we’ve got Brock Bowers going ninth overall to the Los Angeles Chargers. Numerous teams are interested in him, so they might need to trade picks to get him. The Chicago Bears could draft him, or the Indianapolis Colts could move up from their current position at No. 15. The New York Jets may also want to secure him by trading up one pick. Regardless of which team he ends up with, Brock Bowers at 1.09 seems like the right choice.

For the Chargers, they need help in multiple areas, so the Bears could use a rebuilding team like Los Angeles to get a generational prospect in Harrison Jr. In return, the Chargers could trade back to 1.09 and Jim Harbaugh could get a strong blocker and phenomenal pass-catcher in Bowers.

10. New York Jets: Taliese Fuaga (OT, Oregon State)

I never expected that Taliese Fuaga would surpass Olumuyiwa Fashanu in my OT rankings. However, Fuaga’s performance during his tenure at Oregon State has earned him the credit. Fuaga is 6-foot-6 and weighs 324 pounds, while Fashanu is 6-foot-6 and weighs 312 pounds. When scouting offensive linemen in the NFL, it’s always advisable to draft the larger prospect if their athleticism is similar. Hopefully, Aaron Rodgers will have a solid offensive line this year with Fuaga’s promising performance that other first-round tackles haven’t shown for the team.

11. Atlanta Falcons (via Cardinals): Dallas Turner (EDGE, Alabama)

The Falcons can benefit from taking a calculated risk in the second part of the original Arizona-Atlanta trade. By moving back to No. 11 and with a little luck, they can still select Turner but pay him a lower price during his rookie contract while receiving additional draft compensation in exchange for trading down.

This move could prove fruitful for the Falcons, particularly since they recently signed Kirk Cousins to a four-year contract after he suffered a season-ending injury. They also have a new head coaching regime in place. Thus, trading back and rebuilding the team according to their vision may not be a bad idea.

12. Denver Broncos: Jared Verse (EDGE, Florida State)

Now, let’s get to the good stuff. Will the Broncos take a chance on quarterbacks Michael Penix Jr. or Bo Nix, or will they prioritize one of their many other team needs? Considering their numerous holes, it seems unlikely that they would reach for a quarterback so early in the NFL Draft.

The team already has to deal with the financial burden of cutting Russell Wilson, so it would be unwise to pass on a top EDGE rusher like Verse for a quarterback prospect who may not be a sure thing. However, the Broncos may trade up later in the draft to select a quarterback. As for Verse, he has great potential to become the next Cameron Jordan under Sean Payton‘s guidance.

13. Las Vegas Raiders: Terrion Arnold (CB, Alabama)

We recently discussed this scenario on the “The In-Between Fantasy Football Podcast.” In my opinion, Terrion Arnold has proven to be the best cornerback in this class and deserves to be the first one selected. While most betting lines currently favor Quinyon Mitchell, reports suggest that many teams are showing more interest in Arnold over Mitchell. If the first-team All-American cornerback ends up in Vegas opposite Jack Jones, it would be a fantastic fit for the Raiders’ plans to turn things around to a winning culture.

14. New Orleans Saints: Olumuyiwa Fashanu (OT, Penn State)

Initially, I believed that this was the perfect place for Fuaga to land. However, as his draft stock has risen significantly leading up to the event, his success could come at the expense of another player. Despite Fashanu’s potential to fall out of the top 10, he could still end up on a team that is in desperate need of an immediate impact player at his position. Although Fashanu may not possess the physical size of Fuaga, his tape speaks volumes about the player he could potentially become.

15. Indianapolis Colts: Quinyon Mitchell (CB, Toledo)

Mitchell has seen an impressive rise in his draft stock this offseason, as he has proven himself to be a first-round prospect out of Toledo. His speed and tape demonstrate that he has the potential to be an impactful defender at the NFL level. However, his lack of experience playing against tough competition at Toledo may make it difficult for him to establish himself as the first cornerback off the board in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Nonetheless, the fact that Mitchell is only being drafted three picks after Arnold, despite lacking that tough competition on his resumé, is a testament to his incredible promise and what he could bring to Indianapolis.

16. Seattle Seahawks: Jackson Powers-Johnson (C, Oregon)

It may surprise many Seahawks or NFL fans, but I believe that selecting a center in the first round could be a great decision to help turn the team’s struggles around. Without trust between the center and quarterback, the turnover rate can skyrocket. Jackson Powers-Johnson has proven himself to be a first-round caliber offensive lineman. Moreover, the lack of centers in this draft class at his level makes him an excellent choice to strengthen Seattle’s offensive line.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars: Nate Wiggins (CB, Clemson)

Jacksonville can make the right move here by targeting their most obvious flaw in the cornerback position. Nate Wiggins, a first-round prospect, is still underrated for his abilities compared to how he is viewed among his peers in the 2024 NFL Draft. By not giving up more picks or compensation and staying put, Jacksonville fixes their defensive secondary by landing a player like Nate Wiggins.

18. Cincinnati Bengals: Amarius Mims (OT, Georgia)

I have analyzed several mock drafts this offseason, and I feel very strongly that there is no better fit for a player and a team than Amarius Mims in Cincinnati. Since the Bengals drafted Joe Burrow, they have struggled to find the right players to protect him. Previous picks have either fallen short of expectations or not prioritized the quarterback’s safety.

As a result, Cincinnati must secure the services of the right lineman to block for their franchise quarterback. Mims’ talent and potential make him the perfect candidate for the job, and the Bengals should take advantage of this opportunity to bolster their offensive line and safeguard their investment in Burrow.

19. Los Angeles Rams: Byron Murphy II (DI, Texas)

I was convinced that Jer’Zhan Newton was the indisputable top defensive tackle in the entire draft class. However, when I saw Byron Murphy II in action, I was blown away. I believe that he could be the perfect fit to fill the gap left by Aaron Donald‘s retirement. While no one player can replace Donald, I do not doubt that Murphy II is a phenomenal alternative to consider.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: JC Latham (OT, Alabama)

If you’re looking to witness a fast 40-yard dash time, keep your eyes glued to the camera when Omar Khan realizes that JC Latham is still available at pick No. 20. It would be highly unlikely for them to take their time and drag out the selection process if so.

Although Latham is a proven asset from Alabama, he hasn’t impressed the audience much like Alt and other players. The Steelers are making some changes this offseason, and one of them is to continue strengthening their offensive line and providing better protection to their starting quarterback this season, whoever that may be.

21. Miami Dolphins: Jer’Zhan Newton (DI, Illinois)

It has been difficult to witness Newton’s decreasing stock in the lead-up to the 2024 NFL Draft, especially since I am a big fan of his game. However, it’s hard to justify him being the first defensive interior player off the board when Murphy II has shown so much promise.

The good news is that Newton can land with a playoff contender in Miami, even though his stock has slipped out of the top 20. The Miami defense has undergone significant changes, with Vic Fangio leaving for Philadelphia. Still, the team’s fans can easily see that the defensive and offensive line is in dire need of reinforcements.

22. Philadelphia Eagles: Troy Fautanu (OT, Washington)

It’s possible some fans might prefer the Eagles to draft Cooper DeJean instead. However, Troy Fautanu is an underrated and promising offensive line prospect who has gone unnoticed by many. He could potentially become one of the best offensive linemen for Philadelphia.

Although Lane Johnson has recently received a hefty paycheck, having a versatile player who could play guard or tackle would be beneficial. Fautanu could be placed as a right guard, or when Johnson retires, he could smoothly transition to the left side.

23. Arizona Cardinals (via Vikings): Cooper DeJean (CB, Iowa)

I’ve been anticipating this pick for a while now. The Cardinals have a few gaps to fill, and they have an array of options to explore in this draft. Most teams with multiple first-round draft picks usually split them between offense and defense. Since they already went for offense by drafting Odunze, they’ll probably lean toward defense with this pick. A top-tier cornerback would be crucial in defending against the many talented wide receivers in the NFC West.

While trading for a veteran cornerback was once an option, this year’s cornerback class is showing enough promise that it makes more sense to invest through the draft rather than in a veteran’s salary. Therefore, picking a promising cornerback would be the best decision for the Cardinals. Alternatively, an edge rusher like Demeioun “Chop” Robinson or Laiatu Latu could also be a great pick. In any case, the Cardinals need to make the most of this pick to strengthen their defense and to win during the upcoming season.

24. Las Vegas Raiders (via Cowboys): Michael Penix Jr. (QB, Washington)

During the offseason, there was a point when I thought Aidan O’Connell could be a better option for the Raiders at quarterback than Penix Jr. However, the former Washington Husky changed my mind after his pro day, where he revealed his remarkable athleticism despite suffering multiple leg injuries during his time at Indiana.

Although “Farva” O’Connell has potential, Penix Jr. has the makings of a star player. He may be slightly older than most franchise quarterbacks in the draft, but age shouldn’t matter when competing with someone like Gardner Minshew. I believe that Penix Jr. has the potential to achieve great success in Las Vegas.

Trade Package:

Las Vegas Raiders:

  • 2024 First-Round Pick (1.24) via New York Jets

Dallas Cowboys:

  • 2024 Second-Round Pick (No. 44) via Las Vegas Raiders
  • 2024 Fifth-Round Pick (No. 148) via Las Vegas Raiders
  • 2025 Third-Round Pick via Las Vegas Raiders

25. Green Bay Packers: Kool-Aid McKinstry (CB, Alabama)

I had originally thought that the Packers would use their draft pick to find an eventual replacement for Jaire Alexander or draft an offensive tackle to replace David Bakhtiari. However, now that the Packers have a new defensive coordinator in Jeff Hafley, they may not need as much new talent since their current players will be utilized more efficiently.

Still, it would be a wise decision for the Packers to add another cornerback to play on the opposite side of Alexander. In case of any injuries to Alexander, having someone capable of stepping up into that role would be helpful.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Laiatu Latu (EDGE, UCLA)

Latu is considered to be one of the top EDGE rushers by some analysts. However, his medical history might cause his draft stock to slightly decrease. Although his previous retirement due to medical reasons could be seen as a “red flag,” I believe that his talent outweighs the risk. If Tampa Bay selects him at 1.26, they could potentially be getting a steal. Tampa Bay desperately needs a young EDGE rusher, and selecting someone who could be a potential top-10 pick in the mid-20s could be a great move. If I were them, I would not hesitate to select the former Bruin.

27. Arizona Cardinals (via Texans): Demeioun “Chop” Robinson (EDGE, Penn State)

As noted, the Arizona Cardinals now have three first-round picks in the draft after trading with Minnesota. With this pick, they have the option to choose between offense or defense since they have already selected players on both sides of the ball.

Arizona could have gone with Latu or Robinson at No. 23, but it would be wise to choose a cornerback there and leave room for one of the top EDGE rushers to fall to them at the 27th pick.

28. Buffalo Bills: Brian Thomas Jr. (WR, LSU)

Brian Thomas Jr. may have been LSU’s WR2 behind Nabers, but that doesn’t mean he’s any less talented. He would have been a top receiver at most schools, but LSU had a particularly competitive receiver room.

With Stefon Diggs traded to Houston and Gabe Davis now in Jacksonville, the Buffalo Bills need to find new playmakers for quarterback Josh Allen. Thomas Jr. could see a significant increase in his fantasy football stock if he joins a team with so many opportunities for targets.

29. Denver Broncos (via Lions): Bo Nix (QB, Oregon)

With the Raiders trading up to draft Penix Jr. at No. 24, it puts immense pressure on the Broncos to make a move and secure “their guy.” To avoid losing their chance, the Broncos must finally make a move before the start of Day 2 of the NFL Draft and acquire their quarterback of the future. As we saw last year with Will Levis, when the second round begins, top picks in the second round become more valuable when first-round caliber quarterbacks fall to Day 2.

At this point in the draft, the Broncos would be one of the few teams still looking for a quarterback, and without a second-round pick in 2024, they might have to offer more compensation than other teams to make this move.

Trade Package:

Denver Broncos:

  • 2024 First-Round Pick (1.29) via Detroit Lions

Detroit Lions:

  • 2024 Third-Round Pick (3.08) via Denver Broncos
  • 2025 Second-Round Pick via Denver Broncos
  • Guard Quinn Meinerz via Denver Broncos

30. Baltimore Ravens: Ladd McConkey (WR, Georgia)

The way that Baltimore has corrected their wrongdoing by not giving Lamar Jackson his contract before they did should be documented. The Ravens hesitated to give Jackson the deal that they did, and he rewarded them by going off for an MVP season.

Baltimore drafted Zay Flowers in the first round last year but couldn’t get over the hump. They have since acquired Derrick Henry to lock down their running back room. They could still add another first-round receiver on top of that and give the 49ers a run for their money by having one of the most talented offenses in the league.

31. San Francisco 49ers: Graham Barton (OL, Duke)

As a 49ers fan, I believe that it would be wise for the team to prioritize selecting an offensive lineman in the upcoming draft. Although some fans may prefer to draft a potential replacement for wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk or a third receiver, the team’s offensive line has been declining since their Super Bowl run in 2019.

Players like Laken Tomlinson, Mike McGlinchey and Alex Mack have left or retired, and the impact on blocking has been noticeable. Therefore, choosing a versatile offensive lineman like Graham Barton, who can play both center and guard positions, could greatly benefit the 49ers’ goal of returning to the Super Bowl.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Adonai Mitchell (WR, Texas)

The Chiefs have been actively scouting this offseason to find more weapons for Patrick Mahomes to throw to. Regardless of what transpires with the Rashee Rice situation, I believe the Chiefs will continue to add playmakers to the team this offseason.

We all know the names of the players who failed to perform at Mahomes’ level, such as Skyy Moore, Kadarius Toney and the recently released Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Allowing Adonai Mitchell to play with someone who can match Patrick Mahomes’ level could be the key to proving doubters wrong.

Check out all of our 2024 NFL Draft content:

Thanks for reading my 2024 NFL Mock Draft 3.0. For more content, find me on Twitter, @hoovtube.

*Featured Photo Credit: Patrick Breen / Arizona Republic – USA TODAY Sports*

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