Two-Round 2024 NFL Mock Draft: Commanders select J.J. McCarthy, Vikings secure two QBs

2TB24DA INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 02: Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) warms up on the field before the Big 10 Championship game between the Michigan Wolverines and Iowa Hawkeyes on December 2, 2023, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, IN. (Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

• The rumors prove true as the Commanders select Michigan's J.J. McCarthy: Washington confirms talk of the NFL liking McCarthy more than than public by selecting the Wolverines signal-caller at No. 2.

• The Vikings double-dip at quarterback: Minnesota drafts a falling Drake Maye in Round 1 before selecting Michael Penix Jr. early in Round 2 after a few trades.

• Draft and trade for yourself: Try PFF's Mock Draft Simulator — trade picks and players and mock for your favorite NFL team.

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The 2024 NFL Draft is right around the corner, and now that the SEO keywords are out of the way, it’s time to break cover on the first Sam Monson Mock Draft of the year.

The full rationale behind this mock will be available for audio or video consumption on the PFF NFL Podcast on YouTube or wherever you get your podcasts, but for a surface-level summation, you can read about it right here.

Any mock draft needs to establish ground rules. Is this a predictive mock? Based on insider information? What the author would do themselves if they were installed as the general manager of all 32 teams?

Those options will produce wildly different outcomes.

This mock is a mixture of each approach. It is largely informed by my own evaluation of draft prospects (some consensus first-rounders fall out of the first round largely because I am lower on them), but there are instances where I defer to how I think teams would behave based on the rest of the mock to that point.

Effectively, this approach allows me to do whatever I want to come up with the most interesting scenarios.


1. Chicago Bears: QB Caleb Williams, USC

The surest pick in the draft. Caleb Williams is by far the top quarterback prospect with a range of NFL outcomes that includes “special.” He’s the no-brainer selection with the top pick.

2. Washington Commanders: QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan

From the very outset of the draft process, there has been talk that the NFL likes J.J. McCarthy more than the public or the media. In a year where all of the prospects outside of Williams have their concerns, I’ll buy that smoke and say Washington grabs the guy with NFL tape.

3. Denver Broncos: QB Jayden Daniels, LSU

Projected Trade: Broncos receive Pick No. 3; Patriots receive Pick Nos. 12, 76 and a 2025 first-round pick

I’m not sure there’s a more quarterback-desperate team than Denver. Head coach Sean Payton has staked his reputation on unceremoniously moving on from Russell Wilson, and he needs his guy to make that work. All of the focus is on Minnesota, but I’m predicting that Denver will be the aggressive team in the trade market.

4. Arizona Cardinals: WR Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State

Absent a trade partner, the Cardinals draft the best player on the board, wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., who also fills a need. The son of the former Colts great, Harrison has everything needed to be an elite NFL player.

5. Los Angeles Chargers: T Joe Alt, Notre Dame

This year’s Chargers decision is similar to Cincinnati’s when they were deciding between Ja’Marr Chase and Penei Sewell. Los Angeles can’t go wrong with either pick, but Jim Harbaugh is an offensive line guy, and Joe Alt is exactly the kind of cornerstone he wants to build around at right tackle opposite Rashawn Slater.

6. New York Giants: WR Malik Nabers, LSU

The Giants are a real wild card at the top of the draft. Not conclusively out of the quarterback market, they could also draft a receiver or an offensive lineman. Here, they grab Malik Nabers to finally give them an elite No. 1 receiver.

7. Tennessee Titans: T Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State

The Titans have to go offensive line, and with Joe Alt off the board, they simply move on to OT2 in their rankings, which, in this case, is Taliese Fuaga. A monster run blocker, Fuaga would be a perfect project for new Titans offensive line coach Bill Callahan.

8. Atlanta Falcons: EDGE Jared Verse, Florida State

Dallas Turner is the consensus top edge on many draft boards, but I’m not entirely sure why. His athleticism is top-notch, but his overall production has been a step below that of Laiatu Latu and Jared Verse. Latu may scare teams away due to his injury history, but Verse may be the safest compromise of the trio.

9. Minnesota Vikings: QB Drake Maye, North Carolina

Projected Trade: Vikings receive Pick No. 9; Bears receive Picks Nos. 11 and 108

There were reports that Drake Maye is the quarterback the Minnesota Vikings covet, and that lines up nicely for them if he starts to slide as more and more concerns crop up with his game. In this scenario, Minnesota jumps up only two spots to ensure they get their guy and ward off teams behind them looking to jump in front.

10. New York Jets: TE Brock Bowers, Georgia

The Jets are working on the basis that this year is everything for them as Aaron Rodgers returns to the fold. They are looking for Day 1 impact players, and that means Bowers is likely the selection over an offensive lineman or a defender.

11. Chicago Bears: WR Rome Odunze, Washington

Projected Trade: Bears receive Picks Nos. 11 and 108; Vikings receive Pick No. 9

Chicago would have taken Odunze at No. 9 overall had the Vikings not come calling about a trade. Here, they get him two picks later and add extra draft capital from a division rival. Caleb Williams now has an embarrassment of riches to throw to.

12. New England Patriots: T Olu Fashanu, Penn State

Projected Trade: Patriots receive Pick Nos. 12, 76 and a 2025 first-round pick; Broncos receive Pick No. 3

The Patriots trade out of No. 3 because the team needs major work and they aren't in love with the remaining quarterbacks. With the haul they receive, they start the rebuild in the trenches, selecting Olu Fashanu. The Penn State product has the best footwork of any tackle prospect in years and could become a star pass protector.

13. Las Vegas Raiders: CB Terrion Arnold, Alabama

At some point, the value of the top defenders on the board is too good to turn down, and that’s the case for the Raiders at No. 13. They select the top cornerback in the draft in Alabama’s Terrion Arnold. A player with slick man coverage skills, Arnold allowed just a 50.7 passer rating when targeted last season.

14. New Orleans Saints: T Troy Fautanu, Washington

New Orleans' offensive line has needed work for several years now, and the questionable status of right tackle Ryan Ramczyk only presses the need front and center. Troy Fautanu has positional flexibility to be able to address whatever spot the Saints end up seeing as the biggest need, even if it's left tackle.

15. Indianapolis Colts: CB Cooper DeJean, Iowa

Finally medically cleared, Cooper DeJean put together a private workout that confirmed he is a top-tier athlete, which is what the Colts covet above all else. DeJean would help this secondary that is already long on talented, athletic youngsters.

16. Seattle Seahawks: IOL Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon

The Seahawks have a glaring need in the middle of the offensive line, whether at center or guard. Jackson Powers-Johnson could be their long-term starter in the middle, or they could ease him in by playing him at guard initially before moving him to center in the future. Either way, he’s a natural fit here, allowing just three total pressures over the past two years.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars: DI Johnny Newton, Illinois

Locking up Josh Allen was important for the Jaguars, but they still need help up front on the defensive line. They could realistically go with another edge rusher or a different interior defender, but the interior is the bigger need and Newton fits the bill. He recorded a 15.4% pass-rush win rate last season and lined up extensively in NFL alignments.

18. Cincinnati Bengals: DI Byron Murphy II, Texas

With Newton gone one pick before, Cincinnati snags the other top interior pass rusher in this draft in Byron Murphy II from Texas. A pass rusher from the interior (19.6% pass-rush win rate last season), Murphy is also strong enough to line up on the nose and cause problems.

19. Los Angeles Rams: EDGE Laiatu Latu, UCLA

Laiatu Latu is the best edge rusher in this draft, but he’s also coming into the league with a history of neck injuries that caused him to medically retire in the past and may shorten his professional career. For that reason, he slips to No. 19, but this value is too good for the Rams to turn down at this point.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: T Amarius Mims, Georgia

One of the most popular player-team connections in the pre-draft process, Pittsburgh grabs the incredible ball of clay that is Amarius Mims and now has Georgia bookend tackles with his former teammate Broderick Jones on the other side.

21. Miami Dolphins: T Graham Barton, Duke

Graham Barton is projected all over the line at the next level. A left tackle at Duke, most expect him to move inside to guard, or even to center, with some believing he can stay outside. For Miami, he is an immediate starter at guard and should upgrade a line that is still a weakness on paper.

22. Philadelphia Eagles: CB Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo

Many people’s top cornerback in the draft, Toledo’s Quinyon Mitchell has special click-and-close ability in zone coverage and earned 91.5-plus PFF grades in 2022 and 2023. Philadelphia’s cornerbacks are aging fast, and Mitchell would be a much-needed injection of youth.

23. New England Patriots: EDGE Dallas Turner, Alabama

Projected Trade: Patriots receive Pick No. 23; Vikings receive Pick Nos. 34 and 68

Dallas Turner may be a little overhyped in this pre-draft process in my eyes, but he is still a very good prospect with elite athleticism. The Patriots don’t have a screaming need at edge rusher, but at No. 23 overall, Turner’s value and potential are too good to turn down. He earned a 90.7 PFF pass-rushing grade against true pass sets last season.

24. Dallas Cowboys: WR AD Mitchell, Texas

Dallas could go in many directions at this spot, but it’s time for the next wide receiver off the board, and Adonai Mitchell from Texas has elite potential. All the focus at the NFL scouting combine was on his teammate breaking the 40-yard dash record, but Mitchell clocking 4.34 at 205 pounds was almost as impressive.

25. Green Bay Packers: CB Nate Wiggins, Clemson

Nate Wiggins has elite speed (4.28-second 40-yard dash) and impressive coverage skills. He got better every year in college and allowed a 44.4 passer rating when targeted last season, giving up just 176 yards all year.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: T JC Latham, Alabama

JC Latham is a tackle prospect to most, but in my eyes, he could kick inside to guard and be an elite people-mover. His footwork may give him trouble at tackle against NFL competition, but he could destroy opponents as a guard. Tampa Bay’s line has needed some repair work, and that continues with Latham at this spot.

27. Arizona Cardinals: IOL Zach Frazier, West Virginia

Having secured an elite wideout earlier in the draft, the Cardinals circle back to the offensive line later in the first round. Zach Frazier isn’t a name seen in the first round too often, but he can bury people in the run game and didn’t allow a sack last season.

28. Buffalo Bills: WR Troy Franklin, Oregon

The Buffalo Bills need wide receivers, badly, after trading away Stefon Diggs. That likely doesn’t end with this selection, but it begins by adding Oregon’s Troy Franklin. A long, speedy deep threat, Franklin won’t replace everything that Buffalo lost with Diggs, but he was phenomenally productive in college and can get off press coverage when he sees it.

29. Detroit Lions: CB Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama

Once seen as the best cornerback in the draft, Kool-Aid McKinstry represents excellent value at this point in the first round. He earned an 88.8 overall PFF grade last season and was targeted only 39 times all year because of what he had already put on tape throughout his college career.

30. Baltimore Ravens: EDGE Chop Robinson, Penn State

Offensive line is absolutely in play for the Ravens at this spot, as are several other positions, but Chop Robinson seems to be getting overlooked by many and he has destructive pass-rush potential at the next level. Robinson posted back-to-back seasons with a 90.0-plus PFF grade and earned a 93.1 grade against true pass sets last season.

31. San Francisco 49ers: CB T.J. Tampa, Iowa State

T.J. Tampa fits the prototype of a 49ers cornerback. He has had consecutive seasons of very impressive play and allowed just 240 yards on 49 targets last season. The team doesn’t necessarily need him to make an immediate impact, but they could certainly use a brighter future at one cornerback spot.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: T Tyler Guyton, Oklahoma

What’s better than one project tackle out of Oklahoma? Two project tackles out of Oklahoma. With Donovan Smith no longer on the roster, Kansas City needs to find a new left tackle. Wanya Morris — a third-round pick in 2023 — will have a shot at the job, but Tyler Guyton would provide insurance and a potential alternative with elite upside. Guyton’s best play is phenomenal, but his consistency isn’t there yet.


33. Carolina Panthers: WR Ladd McConkey, Georgia

The Panthers add speed and route running to a disastrous receiver situation.

34. Minnesota Vikings: QB Michael Penix Jr., Washington

Projected Trade: Vikings receive Pick Nos. 34 and 68; Patriots receive Pick No. 23

General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah has a finance background, which means diversifying and hedging. Minnesota shocks the NFL by selecting quarterbacks in the first and second.

35. Arizona Cardinals: EDGE Chris Braswell, Alabama

Braswell is a power edge who can also generate pressure to add some presence to the Cardinals' defense.

36. Washington Commanders: S Tyler Nubin, Minnesota

The Commanders select the top safety on the board at the top of the second round.

37. Los Angeles Chargers: DI Braden Fiske, Florida State

A monster combine performance from Braden Fiske sees him selected at the top of the second round. He can feature immediately.

38. Tennessee Titans: LB Payton Wilson, NC State

An elite athlete at linebacker, Wilson had elite tape last season but has an extensive injury history.

39. Carolina Panthers: WR Xavier Legette, South Carolina

Carolina takes a leaf out of Green Bay’s playbook last year and doubles up on wide receivers, looking to really fix the issue.

40. Washington Commanders: G Christian Haynes, Connecticut

Christian Haynes destroys people at the line of scrimmage, and Washington needs to repair its offensive line.

41. Green Bay Packers: S Javon Bullard, Georgia

The Packers add a cornerback in Round 1 and come back for a safety in Round 2 to play alongside free-agent addition Xavier McKinney.

42. Houston Texans: CB Mike Sainristil, Michigan

Mike Sainristil is a playmaker from the slot and brings the experience of already playing the position at a high level. He can make an impact right away and fits long term.

43. Atlanta Falcons: CB Ennis Rakestraw Jr., Missouri

Atlanta has a glaring need opposite A.J. Terrell, and Rakestraw has a chance of being the answer.

44. Las Vegas Raiders: QB Bo Nix, Oregon

Patient in Round 1, the Raiders secure Bo Nix as the sixth quarterback off the board.

45. New Orleans Saints: EDGE Darius Robinson, Missouri

A poor combine torpedoed Darius Robinson‘s ascent, but the versatile defensive lineman can make an impact along the Saints’ line.

46. Indianapolis Colts: WR Brian Thomas Jr., LSU

The fourth-best receiver on most boards, Brian Thomas Jr. is a little one-dimensional in my eyes, but this is a fit that could make him look like a star.

47. New York Giants: T Jordan Morgan, Arizona

The Giants still need offensive line help, and Jordan Morgan could provide competition at right tackle right away.

48. Jacksonville Jaguars: CB Kamari Lassiter, Georgia

Ronald Darby is a solid stopgap option at cornerback, but the Jaguars need a long-term solution. Lassiter ran a pedestrian 40-yard dash but was a shutdown player for Georgia last season.

49. Cincinnati Bengals: TE Ja'Tavion Sanders, Texas

Cincinnati has needed an upgrade at tight end for years, and Sanders has playmaking ability at the spot.

50. Philadelphia Eagles: LB Junior Colson, Michigan

Linebacker was a mess for Philadelphia last season. It should be better this year regardless, but Junior Colson will help ensure that.

51. Pittsburgh Steelers: WR Ricky Pearsall, Florida

The owner of one of the best catches in college football history, Ricky Pearsall is also an elite athlete who fits this receiver room well.

52. Los Angeles Rams: T Kingsley Suamataia, BYU

The Rams got incredible play out of their offensive line last season and bolstered it this offseason, but left tackle is still an ongoing concern. Kingsley Suamataia would be an interesting project to fix the spot long term.

53. Philadelphia Eagles: S Jaden Hicks, Washington State

It’s all defense for the Eagles through the first couple of rounds, this time adding a big, strong safety to the mix.

54. Cleveland Browns: DI Kris Jenkins Jr., Michigan

Cleveland overhauled its defensive line a season ago, but the interior could still use an impact player, and Kris Jenkins Jr. could become that guy in a hurry.

55. Miami Dolphins: WR Xavier Worthy, Texas

Already with arguably the fastest player in the NFL and one of the fastest receiver rooms, Miami adds the fastest player in NFL scouting combine history.

56. Dallas Cowboys: RB Jonathon Brooks, Texas

Dallas gets the top back in the draft to fill its need. Brooks is working back from a knee injury but could well be ready to roll at 100% by Week 1.

57. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: EDGE Bralen Trice, Washington

Tampa Bay needs an impact edge rusher from somewhere, and Bralen Trice tallied 80 quarterback pressures last season for Washington.

58. Green Bay Packers: G Cooper Beebe, Kansas State

Beebe, a prototypical guard who played all over the line at Kansas State, provides Green Bay with an immediate starter.

59. Houston Texans: CB Khyree Jackson, Oregon

Houston loaded up on former first-round reclamation projects at cornerback opposite Derek Stingley, but adding a rookie to the mix would make a lot of sense.

60. Buffalo Bills: DI Brandon Dorlus, Oregon

A disruptive presence inside, Brandon Dorlus had impressive college grading and a 10.5% pass-rush win rate last season.

61. Detroit Lions: EDGE Jonah Elliss, Utah

This offseason has been about upgrading the defensive line for the Lions, continuing with Jonah Elliss. He posted a 90.6 PFF pass-rushing grade against true pass sets last season.

62. Baltimore Ravens: G Christian Mahogany, Boston College

Baltimore overhauled its offensive line this offseason, and it still needs work, particularly inside.

63. San Francisco 49ers: T Kiran Amegadjie, Yale

Right tackle was a problem spot for the 49ers last season, even if it rarely cost them in games. Adding options there is a necessity.

64. Kansas City Chiefs: WR Roman Wilson, Michigan

The Chiefs won a Super Bowl last season despite their receiver room. It’s time to make it a strength again.

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