2024 NFL Mock Draft: Four QBs go in the top 10, with USC's Caleb Williams leading the way

2RN5JY7 Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams walks off the field during the second half of an NCAA college football game against San Jose State in Los Angeles, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

• Four QBs come off the board early: Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, Bo Nix and Michael Penix Jr. are the top signal-caller prospects.

• Cardinals rebuild their roster with elite QB-WR pairing: The elite Caleb Williams could be throwing passes to generational receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. in 2024.

• Florida State's Jared Verse is the first defender drafted: The Los Angeles Rams scoop up the athletic edge rusher at No. 6 in this mock.

Estimated Reading Time: 10 minutes


With the 2023 college football season already underway and the NFL campaign set to kick off in a few days, what better time to release our first 2024 mock draft of the season? It’s shaping up to be a very talented class at the top, headlined by quarterbacks Caleb Williams and Drake Maye. But there are numerous premium position players around them in this mock — and plenty more who could soon find their names in Round 1. 

Note: The draft order is from PFF’s Mock Draft Simulator, which is based on preseason Super Bowl odds.


1. ARIZONA CARDINALS: QB CALEB WILLIAMS, USC

The reigning Heisman Trophy winner is the favorite to win the award again and to be the upcoming No. 1 overall pick. Through two games, he’s right on track to do that, earning an 86.5 passing grade with five big-time throws. If the Cardinals end up with the top pick, I don’t see them choosing Kyler Murray over Williams.


2. ARIZONA CARDINALS (VIA HOU): WR MARVIN HARRISON JR., OHIO STATE

Harrison’s lackluster 52.8 receiving grade in Week 1 was mostly due to the fact Ohio State's passing offense struggled to catch fire with Kyle McCord making his debut as a starting quarterback. Harrison remains one of the best offensive players in the country and could be a WR1 in the NFL tomorrow.


3. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: OT OLU FASHANU, PENN STATE

Fashanu could have been a first-round pick if he had declared for last year’s draft. He has the talent to become a top-five pick in this upcoming draft, earning an 87.1 pass-blocking grade in his 2023 debut against West Virginia. 


4. TENNESSEE TITANS: OT JOE ALT, NOTRE DAME

Through two games, the massive 6-foot-8, 320-pound Alt has earned an 87.1 pass-blocking grade on true pass-blocking snaps with no sacks and no pressure allowed. He will be in the conversation with Fashanu for OT1 in the class.


5. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: QB DRAKE MAYE, NORTH CAROLINA

Maye’s arm talent is to be marveled at. He makes some of the most difficult throws in the game look easy. He opened up his 2023 season with an 86.5 passing grade, two big-time throws (one turnover-worthy play) and an impressive 90.0% adjusted completion percentage against South Carolina. 


6. LOS ANGELES RAMS: EDGE JARED VERSE, FLORIDA STATE

Verse could have been a first-round pick had he declared last year — and he probably would have gone in the top 10. That range still rings true for him now. Against LSU in Week 1, he generated four pressures and a 16.7% pass-rush win percentage on 30 pass-rush snaps. 


7. LAS VEGAS RAIDERS: QB BO NIX, OREGON

Nix’s career at Auburn nearly erased him from all legitimate NFL draft conversations. But last season, he really turned things around and showed an ability to be a future NFL starter. His first week of this season was an easy one, as he earned a 74.7 passing grade with an 86.4% adjusted completion percentage against Portland. How he fares against tougher competition will tell us whether he can be a first-round quarterback. 


8. CHICAGO BEARS: EDGE LAIATU LATU, UCLA

Latu put on a masterclass in his 2023 debut, earning a 94.2 pass-rush grade with three sacks, 10 pressures and a 32.2% pass-rush win percentage. The 6-foot-5, 265-pound edge rusher showed off his top-10 talent with excellent hand usage and an extensive pass-rush profile.


9. WASHINGTON COMMANDERS: TE BROCK BOWERS, GEORGIA

Talent-wise, Bowers could go even higher than this. But it’s always tough for a tight end to be picked above quarterbacks, pass rushers and offensive tackles in a loaded class. Regardless, he shouldn’t make it out of the top 10, as he has earned elite receiving grades through his freshman and sophomore seasons. 


10. ATLANTA FALCONS: QB MICHAEL PENIX JR., WASHINGTON

If Penix can stay healthy, he can be a first-round pick. He reminded us of that in his 2023 debut, earning an 86.3 passing grade with three big-time throws, just one turnover-worthy play and a 78.4% adjusted completion percentage. He has one of the strongest arms in the country, and he’s pairing that with experience and nuance at the position.


11. GREEN BAY PACKERS: CB KOOL-AID McKINSTRY, ALABAMA

McKinstry made a lot of plays on the ball last season, forcing 18 incompletions. He’s also very comfortable and confident in press-man coverage as a shutdown cornerback. To open the 2023 season, he allowed just one catch for four yards on 33 coverage snaps.


12. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: WR MALIK NABERS, LSU

Nabers has the talent to be one of the most natural receivers in college football this season. His first game of 2023 against Florida State wasn’t his best, as he earned just a 67.1 receiving grade. But he placed above the 70th percentile in separation percentage all throughout last season. He’s still a dynamic playmaker and a natural catcher. 


13. MINNESOTA VIKINGS: CB KALEN KING, PENN STATE

King was one of the most impressive players in the country last season, especially among cornerbacks. He earned a 93.7 coverage grade in single coverage assignments, which is an almost unheard-of elite grade. At 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, he has lockdown ability.


14. CHICAGO BEARS: DI LEONARD TAYLOR III, MIAMI (FL.)

Taylor earned an 85.5 pass-rush grade last season with 26 total pressures and a 16.4% pass-rush win rate. He’s one of the fastest, most violent interior defenders you’ll watch this season. He’s not quite on Jalen Carter’s level (who is?), but the 6-foot-3, 305-pound junior should be poised for another standout season. 


15. DENVER BRONCOS: LB BARRETT CARTER, CLEMSON

People may look at a projected first-round linebacker from Clemson and get flashbacks of past failed draft picks. But Carter really does seem to be a different type of athlete at linebacker coming from that program. He has legit sideline-to-sideline speed but doesn’t shy away from the physical requirements of playing the position between the tackles. 


16. HOUSTON TEXANS (VIA CLE): WR KEON COLEMAN, FLORIDA STATE

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Coleman put on quite the show in his first game with the Seminoles against LSU. He hauled in three touchdowns and both of his contested catches for 115 receiving yards. He is a true “go up and get it” stud who has all the talent to be a first-round wide receiver. 


17. PITTSBURGH STEELERS: CB/S COOPER DeJEAN, IOWA

Simply put, DeJean is one of the best football players in the country, regardless of position. He plays outside cornerback right now, but he could even play some slot corner or safety at the next level — he is that naturally talented. He hauled in five interceptions and forced six incompletions a season ago. He’s a do-it-all defensive back destined for the first round. 


18. NEW YORK GIANTS: WR EMEKA EGBUKA, OHIO STATE

Egbuka’s Week 1 stats and grades won’t wow you — his offense is acclimating to a new quarterback this season — but  he recorded over 1,100 receiving yards with 28 explosive plays in 2022. He has the talent and speed to be a separation artist at the NFL level on the outside or in the slot. 


19. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: EDGE CHOP ROBINSON, PENN STATE

No offensive tackle in college football wants Robinson lined up in front of them. He has elite burst, which generates a ton of force and strength when he attacks off the edge. He earned an incredible 92.5 pass-rush grade in 2022,  with a 22.6% pass-rush win percentage and 53 total pressures. 


20. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS: DI JER’ZHAN NEWTON, ILLINOIS

Newton is a master of his craft. He earned an elite 91.9 run-defense grade and an 84.7 pass-rush grade in 2022. His first step is very quick, and he combines it with fast and violent hands, allowing him to shoot gaps and stay unblocked to make plays in the backfield. Given how quickly and consistently he creates disruption, he should be considered in the first round. 


21. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: OT GRAHAM BARTON, DUKE

Some teams might view Barton as more of an interior offensive lineman due to his lack of length (6-foot-4 ½). Regardless of where he ends up, he’s just a damn good offensive lineman. He earned an 88.2 overall grade in 2022 with an 86.9 run-blocking grade and 85.1 pass-blocking grade, all as a left tackle. He has some of the best grip strength I've ever seen. 


22. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS: DI KRIS JENKINS JR., MICHIGAN

Last season, Jenkins developed into quite the run-stopping machine — just like his dad. He’s one of the strongest players in the country, as evidenced by an 83.0 run-defense grade in 2022. He is still developing his pass-rush profile, but his floor is so high because of how he can control the line of scrimmage. 


23. MIAMI DOLPHINS: OT JC LATHAM, ALABAMA

Latham produced some up-and-down tape in 2022, but when it's good, there are very few 6-foot-6, 360-pound offensive tackles who can match his balance and light footwork. He showed signs of inexperience as a first-year starter last season, especially against the more seasoned pass-rushers. But his athletic ceiling is so high.


24. DETROIT LIONS: EDGE BRALEN TRICE, WASHINGTON

Trice was basically unblockable in the Pac-12 last year. He earned a 91.3 pass-rush grade with an incredible 25.4% pass-rush win percentage and 73 total pressures. He plays with a motor running at 100% at all times with a deadly speed-to-power combination.


25. BALTIMORE RAVENS: OT AMARIUS MIMS, GEORGIA

Mims hasn’t even started for a full season of college football yet. The former five-star played sparingly in 2022, including two starts in both College Football Playoff games. He moves incredibly well for a player who is 6-foot-7, 330 pounds. In his two starts, he allowed just two pressures on 56 pass-blocking snaps. 


26. GREEN BAY PACKERS: OT JORDAN MORGAN, ARIZONA

Morgan looked like a starting-caliber NFL offensive tackle last season before tearing his ACL in November, ultimately earning an 82.6 pass-blocking grade. He recovered quickly enough to start the Wildcats’ season opener in 2023. We’re just hoping for a fully healthy season from him. 


27. DALLAS COWBOYS: S KAMREN KINCHENS, MIAMI (FL.)

Kinchens brings really nice all-around ability to the back end of the Hurricanes defense. He has incredible range in coverage, which led to six interceptions in 2022. Kinchens is also versatile, as he played 393 snaps as a free safety and 169 as a box defender He earned an elite 90.6 coverage grade in 2022 and is one of the top defensive backs in the upcoming class. 


28. BUFFALO BILLS: EDGE DALLAS TURNER, ALABAMA

Turner has some of the best first-step explosiveness in the upcoming edge-rush class. A season ago, he was fast but too light, and he lost a lot of the physical battles against offensive tackles. He looked bigger and stronger in Alabama’s 2023 season opener, which was a good sign. He also recorded four pressures and a 15.4% pass-rush win percentage.


29. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: S TYLER NUBIN, MINNESOTA

One of the first thoughts that came to mind watching Nubin’s 2022 tape was, “How did this guy not declare for the draft last season?”

The tape was already good enough, but it now looks even better to start 2023. He snagged four interceptions in 2022 due to how well he anticipates all over the field, and he kicked off his 2023 campaign with two in the season opener. His awareness and football IQ are worthy of a first-round selection.


30. CINCINNATI BENGALS: TE JA’TAVION SANDERS, TEXAS

The former five-star tight end doesn’t stuff the stat sheet due to how many mouths to feed there are in Texas’ passing offense. But he is a true all-around talent, not only as a receiver but as a blocker, too. He recorded a 53.3% contested catch percentage with 16 explosive plays last season.


31. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: DI MAASON SMITH, LSU

Oh, nothing … just the Eagles taking advantage of selecting another crazy talented defensive prospect in a mock draft.

The 6-foot-6, 315-pound Smith has played only one season of college football — his true freshman year. Last season, the former five-star was supposed to be a significant breakout candidate, but he tore his ACL early in his first game. He also missed their opener this year due to suspension. That said, he has first-round talent. 


32. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: WR ADONAI MITCHELL, TEXAS

Mitchell hasn’t played a ton of football over the last year, but he has scored a touchdown in each of the last six games he has started. Mitchell being a first-rounder is admittedly a projection, but I love the footwork and quickness he shows out of his release and when changing direction in his routes. Combine that with his 6-foot-4 stature, and I think the first round can be realistic.

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