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2024 NFL mock draft: Final projections from top-ranked prognosticator

Julian Catalfo / theScore

theScore's David P. Woods ranks as a top-three most accurate mock drafter over the last five years, according to The Huddle Report. Below, he reveals his final projections for how this year's first round will unfold.

Wilkins mock | Woods mock | Staff mocks

Caleb Williams, QB, USC

The Bears, dating back to their inception in 1920, have never had a great quarterback. They've very rarely had above-average quarterback play. If any team in the NFL is cursed, it's this one. Good luck to you, Caleb Williams.

Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Rumors have swirled about Daniels' apparent distaste for playing in Washington, but the Heisman winner ultimately has zero say in where he'll begin his career.

Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

Robert Kraft is 82 and probably won't favor a multi-year rebuild. And, with Bill Belichick out of the picture and nobody in the organization inheriting the general manager title, there's every reason to believe Kraft is fully running the show. The Pats aren't leaving Round 1 without their future quarterback.

Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

General manager Monti Ossenfort loves wheeling and dealing on draft day, which he showed off a year ago by sending his No. 3 overall pick to the Texans and subsequently making a deal with the Lions to move back into the top 10. But Ossenfort was in a very different position; Kyler Murray was set to miss most of the season due to injury, and expectations were low. It made sense to stockpile picks then. Now, it's time to win. And Ossenfort can't afford to pass up the gift he's handed here: one of the best receiving prospects this century, who just so happens to fill the biggest hole on the Cardinals' roster.

MOCK TRADE: Vikings move up from No. 13 in deal with Chargers

J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

The Vikings didn't acquire an extra first-round selection from the Houston Texans for no reason. They know this is their chance to strike at the top of the draft, so they package No. 11 and No. 23, among other assets, to move up. McCarthy is unproven and a little unpolished, but you don't have to squint much to imagine him blossoming inside Kevin O'Connell's offensive system.

Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

After missing out on a top quarterback, the Giants turn their attention to giving Daniel Jones the best chance to succeed. Malik Nabers, also in consideration here, is rumored to have character concerns that may scare the Giants off. Odunze is a can't-miss on and off the field.

Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

A dream marriage between elite talent and glaring team need. Alongside 2023 first-round pick Peter Skoronski, Alt can help lock down the left side of the Titans' O-line for the next decade.

Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

The Falcons already have the makings of a potent offense after free agency, but they won't let a prospect of Nabers' caliber get past them. He'd be the No. 1 wideout in most draft classes.

Byron Murphy II, DL, Texas

The mounting buzz that suggests Murphy could go off the board as the first defensive player selected is real. Bears GM Ryan Poles can say he got the top player on his board on both sides of the ball.

Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

The Jets project to start 33-year-olds Tyron Smith and Morgan Moses at offensive tackle, but they'll eschew adding youth to their offensive line in favor of gifting Aaron Rodgers a shiny new toy.

JC Latham, OT, Alabama

The Chargers have a screaming need at wide receiver, but it'll have to wait. Jim Harbaugh's teams win and lose in the trenches, and he starts his tenure as head coach by taking an elite tackle prospect to bookend his line with Rashawn Slater.

Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

The Broncos' recent trade for reclamation project Zach Wilson suggests Sean Payton has made peace with the idea that he won't find a franchise quarterback in this draft. The Broncos simply don't have the draft capital to swing a trade up the board.

Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington

Penix is far from a perfect prospect, but a player who can make the sort of splash throws he did in college doesn't fall out of the first round. The age and injury concerns are valid, but Penix proved he has far more athletic upside than many believed by running a sub-4.6-second 40-yard dash at his pro day.

Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State

The Saints have no choice but to replenish the talent on their O-line.

Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

Despite playing at a small school, Mitchell has certainly caught the draft world's attention. The freakishly athletic corner should be the first player at his position to hear his name called on Thursday. Colts GM Chris Ballard loves freak athletes.

Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

This might qualify as a surprise for some, but new Seahawks head coach Mike Macdonald should prioritize finding a positionless player who can have the same sort of impact as Kyle Hamilton did as a rookie in Baltimore.

Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

An easy one for the Jaguars, with an optimal pairing of draft value and a high positional need.

Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA

Are the Bengals more concerned about the potential departure of Tee Higgins ... or Trey Hendrickson?

Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU

Selecting in the first round for the first time since 2016, Sean McVay will almost certainly look to add a new offensive weapon to his arsenal. And it makes sense: Matthew Stafford is near the end of his career, but the Rams' Super Bowl window remains open. Adding Thomas to a receiving corps featuring Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua creates all kinds of exciting possibilities. There's talk that medical concerns will push Thomas down the board, but he shouldn't fall into the 20s.

Graham Barton, OL, Duke

Russell Wilson takes too many sacks. Justin Fields takes way too many sacks. If this new offense is going to work in Pittsburgh, the pass-protector group needs to be improved.

Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State

Defensive tackle Christian Wilkins left in free agency, so the Dolphins replenish their D-line with a player some believe is the top edge rusher in this class.

Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

Fuaga can play right guard as a rookie before sliding over to right tackle as an eventual replacement for Lane Johnson. GM Howie Roseman loves to add heft in Round 1.

MOCK TRADE: Pick received from Vikings in deal for No. 5

Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

The man they call Kool-Aid isn't quite the athlete his teammate Terrion Arnold is, but he has way more swagger.

Jackson Powers-Johnson, OL, Oregon

The Cowboys hit a home run when they selected center Travis Frederick late in the first round in 2013. They take a stab at finding another longtime starter to anchor their offensive line here.

Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma

Guyton fits the profile of the sort of athlete the Packers typically target. He's not the most versatile offensive lineman in this class, but the Packers can shuffle others on the line so Guyton lands at right tackle - his natural spot.

Chop Robinson, EDGE, Penn State

The Bucs' defensive line has received some serious attention in recent years, but it still isn't resulting in consistent top-end production. They go back to the well here.

Jer'Zhan Newton, DL, Illinois

Jonathan Gannon looks to recreate the success of his defenses in Philadelphia by adding an interior disruptor.

Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

Bills GM Brandon Beane said he's confident his team can win without a true No. 1 receiver after the Stefon Diggs trade, and maybe we should believe him. But with a pre-draft receiving corps headlined by Khalil Shakir, Curtis Samuel, and Dalton Kincaid, the Bills have a group of guys who all win in largely the same ways near the line of scrimmage. They have to add some downfield juice.

Darius Robinson, EDGE, Missouri

Robinson is getting very little pre-draft buzz, but he's one of only 13 players accepting invitations to attend Round 1 - a strong indication that NFL decision-makers expect his name to be called on Thursday. The Michigan native just feels like a Lions pick.

Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

Wiggins has the raw skills to be selected earlier, but weight concerns could drop him to the end of the first round. Baltimore is the perfect place for him to grow - as an on-field talent and, potentially, in body mass.

Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas

With Brandon Aiyuk's future in the Bay Area a major question mark, Kyle Shanahan adds a speedster he can deploy in the same ways his former offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel uses Tyreek Hill in Miami.

Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

Protecting Patrick Mahomes is job No. 1, 2, and 3 in Kansas City.

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