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Gaffney's 2024 NFL Mock Draft 4.0

Welp, we've made it to draft week. To remove all the fluff, let's get right into my fourth and final mock draft ahead of Thursday night's opening 32 selections.


- Only one round now instead of three.

- Picks now primarily based on how I think things go as opposed to what I'd do.

- All Trade Values will be marked in parentheses. (Using the Rich Hill Model).

Pre Draft Trade

Vikings Receive: Pick 8, 109, and 197 (441)

Falcons Receive: Picks 11 and 129 (376)

(Expected Trade so the Falcons can avoid tampering penalties down the road)

2024 NFL (Mock 4.0) Draft Round 1

Pick 1) Chicago Bears (via Carolina Panthers) - Caleb Williams, QB (USC)

I've said everything I can possibly say about Williams by this point. The only thing left is that the Bears should be stripped of this pick if they go even 30 seconds into the 10-minute clock. ESPN and the NFL Network needing to get advertising money is them problem, not mine, and we all know what Chicago is doing by now.

Pick 2) Washington Commanders - Jayden Daniels, QB (LSU)

Despite not being a fan of a TopGolf night out with the boys (allegedly), I'd be stunned if Daniels isn't in the Washington burgundy and gold come this season. It seems like his frustration with that whole deal was a little overblown, and I think his scheme fit with Kliff Kingsbury is too good to pass up. Also, for whatever it's worth, I think the idea of the Raiders being his preferred landing spot has legs.

Pick 3) New England Patriots - Drake Maye, QB (UNC)

Even as they're doing their due diligence looking at potential trade-down options, with team president Jonathan Kraft involved (not a fan!!!), I think the right call for the Patriots is to go quarterback here, specifically Drake Maye. The only situation where I'd entertain a trade-down is if Minnesota is willing to go beyond either the Trey Lance or Bryce Young packages, and even then...Nevertheless, one of this game's most respected insiders this offseason, one @PrettyRickey213 (this is not a joke or satire), says that they prefer Maye over McCarthy, and he expects the Patriots to stick at No. 3.

Pick 4) Arizona Cardinals - Marvin Harrison Jr., WR (Ohio State)

The Cardinals are the only non-Chicago Bears team to visit with MHJ, and unless they get a trade-down offer, that should be the move for Arizona. However, if they do decide to back out of this pack, don't rule out a trade back up the board like they did last year.

Pick 5) Los Angeles Chargers - Rome Odunze, WR (Washington)

The more I've thought about this, the more I believe that Odunze would be the play for the Chargers over Malik Nabers. LA categorically needs an outside X-receiver above all else, and in any other draft, Odunze would be the best guy, period. Assuming he can better translate his natural explosiveness to the line of scrimmage, the Chargers would be getting a perennial Pro Bowler.


Raiders Receive: Picks 6 and 166 (455)

Giants Receive: Picks 13, 44, and 148 (483)

Pick 6) Las Vegas Raiders (via New York Giants) - Joe Alt, OT (Notre Dame)

This would take the Raiders out of the running for a quarterback no matter what, but if they can't get Daniels, I like the idea of building the roster and attacking a quarterback next year. Adding a guy like Alt would be well worth the jump up and sacrifice of a second-round pick. He's my OT3, but he's a bonafide top-10 talent with elite upside; it's straightforward to see why he's many people's No. 1. Now, if they want to give up future assets to get a guy like Michael Penix, I wouldn't be against that.

Pick 7) Tennessee Titans - Olu Fashanu, OT (Penn State)

From the consensus No. 1 tackle to my No. 1 tackle, this would still be an excellent get for the Titans, even though I'm positive they desperately want Alt. Fashanu is still only 21 years old, is already an elite pass protector, and perhaps has even more upside than Alt, as crazy as that sounds. Again, this is no consolation prize.

Pick 8) Minnesota Vikings (via Atlanta Falcons) - J.J. McCarthy, QB (Michigan)

There's no guarantee McCarthy will fall to eight if the Broncos are in on him, but this would be the ideal scenario for the Vkngs: getting your guy without having to move up when you're already at an asset deficit. By all accounts, this would be a reach, but it's understandable if nothing else. McCarthy's long-term outlook is a bit better than you'd expect; I don't think he's a year-one starter.

Pick 9) Chicago Bears - Malk Nabers, WR (LSU)

Nabers being on the board at nine would change my stance that the Bears should trade out of this pick. Giving Caleb Williams a trio of DJ Moore, Keenan Allen, and Nabers before he ever takes a snap in a meaningful NFL game would be one hell of a power play by Ryan Poles. The drops are somewhat concerning, but you can't teach Nabers' game speed and inside-outside versatility.

Pick 10) New York Jets - Taliese Fuaga, OT (Oregon St.)

I'd really like Fuaga's fit in New York, given his ability to stick at tackle or kick inside at guard, and he would likely be just as good. As far as 2024 goes, the Oregon State product would hypothetically compete for the starting left guard or right tackle gigs, and I wouldn't be surprised one bit if he were to beat out Morgan Mosses for that right tackle gig. Fuaga is as legit as any player in this draft; don't be fooled by his size profile.

Pick 11) Atlanta Falcons (via Minnesota Vikings) - Dallas Turner, EDGE (Alabama)

Things work out well for Atlanta here; they essentially get away scot-free tampering with Krk Cousins, and if you read the tea leaves, they get a guy in Dallas Turner they are head over heels for. He lacks some power/play strength, but his burst off the line and bend are out-of-this-world good. He'd be the perfect addition to a team that's had a ton of trouble getting after opposing quarterbacks over the last few seasons.


Rams Receive: Pick 12 and a 2025 fourth-round pick (360)

Broncos Receive: Picks 19, 83, 154 and a 2025 third-round pick (393)

Pick 12) Los Angeles Rams (via Denver Broncos) - Brock Bowers, TE (Georgia)

Something tells me the Broncos may trade down and regroup if they miss out on J.J., and if that's the case, The Rams should be all in to move up and get Brock Bowers, who I doubt will make it past the Saints or Colts, even the Jets could take him. The Georgia product is my No. 2 outright player in this draft and reminds me a ton of Aaron Hernandez (STRICTLY A FOOTBALL COMP. I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH) regarding his usability and ability as a pass catcher. Put a guy like that with Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua and watch the magic happen.

Pick 13) New York Giants (via Las Vegas Raiders) - Brian Thomas Jr., WR (LSU)

And just like that, the board falls excellent for the Giants, who get themselves a potential superstar in Brian Thomas Jr. He's my WR5, but it seems some teams are lower on Texas' Adonai Mitchell as we get closer to Thursday. But Thomas would still be an excellent pick. You don't find guys his size who are that fast and that good as a red zone threat. Brian Daboll would have a field day scheming things up for him.

Pick 14) New Orleans Saints - Troy Fautanu, OT (Washington)

If the Saints trade out of this pick, that won't stun me, given they don't have a third or fourth-rounder this year. However, they need a contingency plan on the offensive line with Ryan Ramczyk's health in question. Fautanu has positional versatility, much like Fuaga, and although there are rumors he's flagged for a knee issue, I was a massive fan of his tape. It's a no-brainer pick here for New Orleans.

Pick 15) Indianapolis Colts - Cooper DeJean, CB (Iowa)

I know a fair amount of Packer fan friends who believe it's destiny for Cooper DeJean to end up in Green Bay, but my retort for some time is that he won't make it past 15. As a primary zone corner, he makes all the sense in the world for a team employing Gus Bradley, and his size profile isn't far off of Quinyon Mitchell. Should they take the Toldeo prospect, that would also be a fine pick, but this is an excellent spot for Indy to grab a corner, no matter what.


Vikings Receive: Pick 16 (305)

Seahawks Receive: Picks 23, 108, 157, and a 2025 third-round pick (318)

Pick 16) Minnesota Vikings (via Seattle Seahawks) - Terrion Arnold, CB (Alabama)

And here's the Vikings trade-up, just not the one you probably expected. I love what they did addressing most of their defensive needs, but they still need a boundary corner, and I believe Arnold is perfect for what Brian Flores wants to do. He's scheme versatile, really good up on the line of scrimmage, and has elite instincts and ball skills. The consensus on Arnold is all over the place, but call me a fan.


Cowboys Receive: Pick 17 (296)

Jaguars Receive: Picks 24, 87, and a 2025 third-round pick (309)

Pick 17) Dallas Cowboys (via Jacksonville Jaguars) - Jackson Powers-Johnson, IOL (Oregon)

Trading up a few picks in front of the Pittsburgh Steelers is the Cowboys' best chance of getting Jackson Powers-Johnson. Given their OL situation, they could hypothetically kick T.J. Bass in from guard, but JPJ is a guy worth trading up for. They cannot leave the weekend without making multiple OL picks.

Pick 18) Cincinnati Bengals - Byron Murphy II, IDL (Texas)

Losing D.J. Reader absolutely stings, but replacing him with Byron Murphy would be highway robbery for the Cincinnati Bengals, who, for my money, is arguably the best defender in this draft. Especially nowadays, you can be an undersized interior defender and thrive in the NFL. Just look at Caljah Kancey with the Buccaneers last year. He was a huge contributor in their two playoff bouts.

Pick 19) Denver Broncos (via Los Angeles Rams) - Michael Penix Jr., QB (Washington)

On a week where the Broncos unveiled what might be the worst primary set of uniforms in the NFL and dealt for Zach Wilson less than six hours apart, this would be another quarterback reach that I'd completely understand. Penix's injury history and age are concerns. Still, I would be lying to you if I said I wasn't super impressed with his game, watching him throughout 2023. He's tough as nails, has great touch as a passer, and works excellent in the pocket. He feels like a good guy for what Sean Payton wants to run.


Buccaneers Receive: Pick 20 (269)

Steelers Receive: Picks 26, 125, and a 2025 third-round pick (309)

Pick 20) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (via Pittsburgh Steelers) - Jared Verse, EDGE (Florida St.)

Yeah, there was no shot Jared Verse was going to fall any lower than this. The Bucs get themselves a true power-rushing monster to go with YaYa Diaby. Trading up for him in this spot is tremendous value; grouping him, Diaby, and Tyron would be a fun trio to play around with.

Pick 21) Miami Dolphins - Johnny Newton, IDL (Illinois)

It's a dream scenario for the Dolphins after losing Christian Wilkngs to the Raiders. Newton is an instant plug-and-play guy on the interior and has day-one pass-rush upside, and they'll need a ton of that with their injuries and free agency losses off the edge.

Pick 22) Philadelphia Eagles - Quinyon Mitchell, CB (Toledo)

Philly can't go to this season with the corner room they have, and they desperately need an injection of youth. Mitchell's knack for the ball and all-around great athletic profile make him a fit anywhere in the NFL, and the chance to learn from Darus Slay and James Braderry would be invaluable.

Pick 23) Seattle Seahawks (via No Less Than Five Teams at This Point) - Graham Barton, IOL (Duke)

Trading down seven spots and getting a guy who makes all the sense in the world for what you need is almost unheard of, but here we are. Barton could line just about anywhere Seattle would need him to, but he'd most likely be in the best spot for all involved parties: center. Not a bad consolaton for losing out on JPJ.

Pick 24) Jacksonville Jaguars (via Dallas Cowboys) - Laiatu Latu, EDGE (UCLA)

Had the Jags not hired a DC who runs the most man-to-man in the NFL, this pick probably would've been Kool-Aid McKinstry. Instead, they go with Latu, who I imagine will fall somewhat because of his up-in-the-air medicals, but this late in the first round, I'd love to see the Jags take a swing on him. That would also open the door for Travon Walker to become a primary interior guy, which I think has some real potential.

Pick 25) Green Bay Packers - Amarius Mims, OT (Georgia)

It's hard to miss a guy like Mims, and with both tackle spots for the Packers potentially up for grabs, taking a guy who is a bit raw but with crazy upside is far from a bad call. Regardless of what side of the line he ends up on, I like his fit in Green Bay. He also fits the RAS quota the Packers are looking for, which is a big plus.

Pick 26) Pittsburgh Steelers (via Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - Tyler Guyton, OT (Oklahoma)

I'm a little higher on Guyton than most despite a subpar 2023, but I like his fit in Pittsburgh. You don't find guys with his size profile often, and I'd trust Pittsburgh developing him from a long-term point of view. Putting him out on his natural right side would allow Broderick Jones to stick on the left, and from there, the only real hole on that offensive line becomes the center.

Pick 27) Arizona Cardinals (via Houston Texans) - Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB (Alabama)

If the Cardinals go into Friday morning with MHJ and Kool-Aid Mckinstry (Real name Ga'Quincy, which might be better somehow), build the Monti Ossenfort statue henceforth. Assuming they stick with heavy-zone gameplans, Kool-Aid has the chance to be a DROY sleeper. He has unbelievable instincts that should translate right away.

Pick 28) Buffalo Bills - Ladd McConkey, WR (Georgia)

Passing up on A.D. Mitchell has some potential to backfire here, but McConkey is as reliable as possible with great hands and route-running ability. That feels like enough of a worthy trade-off to wait for a true X guy, for now, at the very least. The Georgia product would be a perfect target for Josh Allen.


Commanders Receive: Pick 29 (202)

Lions Receive: Picks 36 and 78 (225)

Pick 29) Washington Commanders (via Detroit Lions) - J.C Latham, OT (Alabama)

The Commanders hopping the line to get their next bookend tackle in Latham wouldn't shock me one bit. Latham isn't super agile, and he might struggle vs. speed right out of the gate,

but his power is immense despite having an elite-size profile. For that alone, you should hear his name called on Thursday.

Pick 30) Baltimore Ravens - Kingsley Suamataia, OT (Duke)

Another classic "How did the Ravens get this guy" pick. Suamataia while not measuring in a little shorter than expected, Suamataia has a ton of functional strength and would fit like a glove at right tackle opposite Ronnie Stanley.

Pick 31) San Francisco 49ers - Edgerrin Cooper, LB (Texas A&M)

I saw Brett Kollmann mention this exact situation being a possibility, and having thought about it, I think they would do it. Dre Greenlaw may not play this entire year, and De'Vondre Campbell is 30 and not a sure thing anymore. Cooper is a legit, do-it-all linebacker who can do enough to fill that void left by Greenlaw and potentially be his successor.

Pick 32) Kansas City Chiefs - Patrick Paul, OT (U. of Houston)

With some solid receiver talent still available at the end of round one, Kansas City may try to fill their left tackle hole first and take their chances for day two. Paul is a monster of a man at 6'7" and 331 lbs, and he plays exactly like you would expect him to. Put him on either side of the line, and he'd be an excellent addition on the outside of what's a superb interior front.

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