The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


Benji’s 2024 Mock Draft 2.0 (with trades)

Three Teams Move Up for quarterbacks
Carson Gates
Benji’s NFL mock draft 2.0.

Disclaimer: all picks were made on Friday, March 29 before 12 p.m.

We are just a month away from the 2024 NFL Draft, and some teams are starting to make their intentions known. With that being said, the draft is so hard to predict, especially when trades are involved. In my second mock draft, I will be exploring some new—and realistic—scenarios we may see on April 25.

This mock draft will, of course, contain trades, including multiple teams moving up to try and secure themselves a franchise quarterback. 

 1. Chicago Bears select Caleb Williams, Quarterback, USC

Caleb Williams will be the number one overall pick. As difficult as it is to accurately say what will happen in the draft, this is the pick you can pen in now. Williams has been viewed as a generational talent for the past two years, and the Bears have quite blatantly shown it will be drafting a quarterback with this pick it acquired last year from the Carolina Panthers in its trade for Bryce Young. The opportunity to pick first doesn’t often present itself to a seven-win team, Chicago will not pass on the opportunity to take Caleb Williams here at one.

2. Washington Commanders select Drake Maye, Quarterback, UNC

Just as Williams remains the first pick, Maye will continue to remain the second pick. As I stated in my first mock draft, Drake Maye would have been the number one overall pick in most drafts that don’t include Caleb Williams. Reports have been made that Washington might be interested in Jayden Daniels, but I don’t believe it. Commanders’ general manager Adam Peters was a part of the San Francisco 49ers staff that had people convinced the team would take Mac Jones at number three instead of Trey Lance back in 2021. I’ll believe it when I see it; Drake Maye goes to the Commanders at two here, just like he will on draft night.

3. TRADE: Las Vegas Raiders (via New England Patriots) select Jayden Daniels, Quarterback, LSU

Like I said last mock draft, moving up for a quarterback costs a lot so I have the Raiders sending no. 13, a 2025 first, a 2026 first, and no. 148 in exchange for no. 3 and no. 103 from New England.

The first big change I have in this mock draft is the Raiders moving up to select Jayden Daniels with the third pick. New head coach Antonio Pierce has a connection to Daniels from when they were both at Arizona State, Daniels as quarterback and Pierce as assistant coach. Las Vegas has been reported as a team that will look to be aggressive in a trade-up for a quarterback, and while New England needs a QB. Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo has stated the team is not locked into sticking and picking with the third pick. Jayden Daniels becomes a Raider and is reunited with Antonio Pierce. 

4. TRADE: Minnesota Vikings (via Arizona Cardinals) select J.J. McCarthy, Quarterback, Michigan

The Vikings will use the pick it acquired from the Houston Texans and send the Cardinals no. 11, no. 23 and a 2026 second in exchange for no. 4 and maybe a late-round pick next year from Arizona.

Back-to-back trades in the top five, and four quarterbacks with the first four picks. Both of these things occurring would make this draft an instant classic due to the absurdness happening in the first few picks. The Vikings have all but confirmed its plans to trade up for a quarterback, and this may be the last opportunity to get one of the top prospects. While some people view McCarthy as a tier below the quarterbacks I have going above him, I do believe he has the traits to become a solid starter. Going to a team with a great receiving corps in Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison and TJ Hockenson is a great situation to be drafted into, and I believe the Vikings will have faith that McCarthy can fill the role that Kirk Cousins provided.

5. Los Angeles Chargers select Marvin Harrison Jr, Wide Receiver, Ohio State

I think the Chargers could not be more pleased with how the board has fallen so far. The Chargers have traded Keenan Allen and released Mike Williams, leaving it with a bottom-tier receiving corps. While the Jim Harbaugh/Greg Roman system tends to heavily favor the tight end position, I highly doubt the team would pass on the opportunity to add the best receiver in the draft in Marvin Harrison Jr. 

6. New York Giants select Malik Nabers, Wide Receiver, LSU

Malik Nabers is such a great player who will be an instant number-one in most offenses in the league. The Giants desperately need a wide receiver and Nabers will be a dominant option for Daniel Jones next season. 

7. Tennessee Titans select Joe Alt, Offensive Tackle, Notre Dame

Joe Alt will provide Tennessee with a much-needed anchor on its offensive line for years to come. Alt used to play tight end, and his explosiveness and athleticism reflects that. Alt joins Tennessee’s 2023 first-round pick Peter Skoronski to provide the Titans with reliable linemen it desperately needs. 

8. TRADE: New York Jets (via Atlanta Falcons) select Rome Odunze, Wide Receiver, Washington

The Jets move up only two spots here, so I imagine the compensation would look like no. 10, a future three and a late-round pick swap for no. 8 from the Falcons. 

 Despite acquiring wide receiver Mike Williams in free agency, I have the Jets adding another playmaker on the offensive side of the ball. In fact, I have them trading up to grab one. In this scenario, the Jets trade up with the Falcons to jump Chicago, who I believe would also be interested in drafting Odunze. Rome Odunze is a fantastic prospect in the draft and will make the New York offensive even more dangerous.

9. Chicago Bears select Lauitu Latu, Edge Rusher, UCLA

Lauitu Latu going at nine is a huge jump from where I had him in my first mock draft, which was at no. 29 to the Lions. I do believe that Latu has such incredible talent and potential. His biggest knock against him is the fact that he has major injury red flags. Despite this, he might be the most polished pass rusher in this draft class, which I think will be incredibly attractive to the Bears here. While he could heavily fall in the draft due to injury, and while I do think Dallas Turner will be the first defensive player off the board, in this mock draft I’m exploring the idea of the Bears drafting him first in the top 10.

10. Atlanta Falcons (via New York Jets) select Dallas Turner, Edge Rusher, Alabama

Dallas Turner going behind Lauitu Latu is not anything against Turner, but rather a nod of the cap toward Latu. Dallas Turner is a fantastic prospect who provides great athleticism at his position. I think the Falcons would select him if the team stuck at number eight, and I believe the Falcons would be thrilled if he fell to it at number 10.

11. Arizona Cardinals (via Minnesota Vikings) select Jared Verse, Edge Rusher, Florida State

With the first of its now three first-round picks (although whether Arizona keeps all three in this mock draft has yet to be seen,) the Cardinals select Jared Verse. The Cardinals are one of these teams who could use so many different things to improve the team. If Arizona sticks and picks at four, it’ll likely go receiver, like Marvin Harrison Jr. The Cardinals could easily go with a receiver with this pick, such as Brian Thomas Jr. This could even be a defensive tackle like Byron Murphy Jr. or an offensive linemen like Olu Fashanu. Arizona needs a lot of help. That being said, with two of the three top edge-rushers going with the previous picks, the Cardinals should have no problem making sure it secures the last top talent in Jared Verse. 

12. TRADE: Miami Dolphins (via Denver Broncos) select Brian Thomas Jr., Wide Receiver, LSU

Miami sends the Broncos no. 21, a 2025 second and a late-round pick swap for no. 12 and a 2025 fourth. 

The Miami Dolphins have a dynamic offense as it is, and in this scenario I have the team jumping its division rival in New England to select the top receiver left on the board. Brian Thomas Jr. will make the Miami offense a serious concern for any opposing team’s defense as he joins receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. I believe in quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, and I think the best move for the Dolphins is to provide him with as many weapons as it can.

13. New England Patriots (via Las Vegas Raiders) select Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Offensive Tackle, Penn State

The Patriots are another team who have so many holes on its roster. With the way the board has fallen, I believe it makes sense for the team to address the offensive line. Fashanu is arguably the best lineman left on the board, and I think the Patriots will start the domino effect as the run on offensive line in the draft begins.

14. New Orleans Saints select Troy Fautanu, Offensive Lineman, Washington

The Saints need offensive line help, and Fautanu offers flexibility to play on the outside or the inside. Reports have been made that several teams already profile Fautanu as a guard, so it will be interesting to see what position he is announced as when his name is called on draft night.

15. TRADE: Cincinnati Bengals (via Indianapolis Colts) select Taliese Fuaga, Offensive Lineman, Oregon State

In this mock draft, I have the Bengals sending Indianapolis no. 18, a third and a sixth in to move up three spots to no. 15. Indianapolis will also include a fourth-round pick to get it done.

The Bengals make a move to both jump Seattle, who will likely draft an offensive lineman, and to block out anyone else trying to trade up to grab one. Fuaga is a great prospect who will help protect Joe Burrow as he returns from injury. 

16. Seattle Seahawks select Jackson Powers-Johnson, Offensive Center, Oregon

Seattle has arguably the worst interior offensive line in the league. By drafting Powers-Johnson, you provide yourself with a day-one starter at the center position. Additionally, if the Seahawks like what it sees in former Browns center Nick Harris, it could easily slide Powers-Johnson over to guard.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars select Quinyon Mitchell, Cornerback, Toledo

Quinyon Mitchell is such a dominant athlete, providing more than ideal size and speed, while also being technically sound. The Jaguars could look to find its next Jalen Ramsey, and in this scenario, the team takes the shot on Mitchell. 

18. Indianapolis Colts (via Cincinnati Bengals) select Brock Bowers, Tight End, Georgia

Former top-five pick from 2023 Anthony Richardson will return at the quarterback position for the Colts after suffering a season-ending injury. The Colts could look to provide its franchise QB with a versatile weapon. Bowers can do it all, and I believe Indianapolis would have considered drafting him at 15.

19. Los Angeles Rams select JC Latham, Offensive Tackle, Alabama

The Rams could go any number of directions in this draft, but here I have them rushing the card in to select JC Latham. While there is great depth at offensive line in this draft class, Latham’s elite physicality puts him in the upper echelon of the players that remain. The Rams look to strengthen its offense with this pick as it provides Matthew Stafford more protection on the line.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers select Amarius Mims, Offensive Tackle, Georgia

Offensive line remains one of the biggest needs for the Steelers, as it has been for the past few years. Amarius Mims provides the team with a raw talent. Mims has only started in eight games in his collegiate career but has looked exceptional. If he continues his development, Pittsburgh will have found a steal at no. 20, pairing Mims with his former teammate Broderick Jones, who the Steelers selected in the first round in 2023.

21. Denver Broncos (via Miami Dolphins) select Byron Murphy Jr., Defensive Tackle, Texas

Byron Murphy is such a great player in my opinion. He provides elite pass-rushing ability, and for a team like the Broncos who could use help on the interior of its defensive line, Murphy would fit in perfectly. Murphy is a player the Broncos could have considered drafting at no. 11, and I think the Broncos would be thrilled to have traded back and still got its guy.

22. Philadelphia Eagles select Terrion Arnold, Cornerback, Alabama

Eagles’ corners James Bradberry and Darius Slay are only getting older and have shown some slight signs of regression. Although Eagles’ general manager Howie Roseman typically loves building through the trenches by drafting offensive and defensive linemen with their early picks, I think Terrion Arnold is too good to pass on at this spot, especially at a position of need.

23. TRADE: New England Patriots (via Arizona Cardinals (via Minnesota Vikings)) select Michael Penix Jr., Quarterback, Washington

New England sends no. 34, a fourth-round pick and a 2025 second in exchange for no. 23, which Arizona acquired in the trade the Vikings made for J.J. McCarthy in this draft, and a third-round pick. 

The Patriots move back into the first round to select its quarterback. Michael Penix Jr. seems to be one of the most divisive prospects in this year’s class. Some fans believe he is the best quarterback in the class or at least in the conversation to be a top-three pick. I disagree. Michael Penix Jr. has a long history of injuries, suffering four consecutive season-ending injuries while he was at Indiana. These injuries include two torn ACLs and two shoulder injuries. Penix is also very old for an NFL prospect, as he will be 24 by the time he takes his first NFL snap. For me, all of these things do raise major red flags as to whether or not a team should take a chance on him in the first round. However, Penix seems to have cleared his medical exams at the combine and has just put up a fantastic performance at his Pro-Day at Washington. He plays with great toughness and processing ability and has exceptional arm strength. Despite the concerns, I believe he has the potential to succeed in the league, and in this mock draft, I have the Patriots moving up to draft him, giving them the fifth-year option on his contract.

24. Dallas Cowboys select Graham Barton, Offensive Lineman, Duke

I had this same pick in my last mock draft, and I stand by it. I believe the Cowboys will be looking to take an offensive lineman in the draft, and I also believe it would love it if that offensive lineman happened to be Graham Barton. With Jackson Powers-Johnson off the board, Barton becomes the best interior offensive lineman available and provides great flexibility as to where you play him. I believe the Cowboys could look to move Barton to center, a role which I believe he could play well at the pro level.

25. Green Bay Packers select Cooper DeJean, Defensive Back, Iowa

Cooper DeJean to Green Bay has quickly become one of my favorite player-to-team fits in the entire draft. DeJean offers great versatility in the secondary, while also providing great athleticism. The Packers could use help in its secondary, and I imagine the team would have DeJean move over to safety. I can see him falling out of the first round due to positional value, similar to Brian Branch last year, but I would use a day-one selection on DeJean.

26. TRADE: Kansas City Chiefs (via Tampa Bay Buccaneers) select Adonai Mitchell, Wide Receiver, Texas

The Chiefs send no. 32 and a second-round pick to the Buccaneers in exchange for no. 26 and a third-round pick.

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs just came off their second Super Bowl victory in a row, and they did this without a true great receiver. Rashee Rice is coming off a good rookie year, but recent developments with the law may impact his sophomore season. If the Chiefs can win with subpar talent, imagine what it could do with Adonai Mitchell. Mitchell offers great size and route-running ability and provides a true weapon for Mahomes. 

27. Arizona Cardinals select Jer’Zhan Newton, Defensive Tackle, Illinois

With this pick, the Cardinals continue to add to its defensive line, pairing up Jer’Zhan “Johnny” Newton with Jared Verse whom the team selected earlier. Newton is a slightly undersized defensive tackle but has great pass-rush ability and is solid against the run. I had him falling out of the first round in my mock draft 1.0, so I made sure to show Newton some love here, as he may very well hear his name called on April 25.

28. Buffalo Bills select Ladd McConkey, Wide Receiver, Georgia

Ladd McConkey is one of my favorite players in the entire class. He showcases great speed and has the ability to both line up in the slot and on the outside. He is a polished route runner with great quickness of the line and the ability to find and create space. I think McConkey gets overshadowed a bit at Georgia due to his superstar teammate Brock Bowers, but McConkey is a sneaky athlete who will add immense value to whoever drafts him. 

29. Detroit Lions select Nate Wiggins, Cornerback, Clemson

Cornerback was a need for Detroit already, but due to legal issues that led to the release of Cam Sutton, the Lions now have a hole on its roster. Wiggins is the best corner on the board and offers great length despite concerns about size. He has elite speed, running a sub 4.3 at the Combine, and gives the Lions’ defense a better shot in a division that is now stacked at the receiver position.

30. Baltimore Ravens select Keon Coleman, Wide Receiver, Florida State

Keon Coleman, despite lacking amazing vertical speed, is a fantastic athlete with ideal size and great route running ability. He shows great ability to win the contested catch. Coleman is great with the ball in his hands, even returning kicks for Florida State at times. As an avid Ravens hater, this pick would be a nightmare for me, but it should be a dream for Ravens fans to see Coleman dressed in purple and black next season. 

31. San Francisco 49ers select Kool-Aid McKinstry, Cornerback, Alabama

Looking at the 49ers cornerback room, I can’t say that I love what I see. Taking Kool-Aid McKinstry, who is the best defensive back left on the board at this spot, to pair up with Charvarius Ward is an ideal situation for San Francisco. 

32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (via Kansas City Chiefs) select Chop Robinson, Edge Rusher, Penn State

Robinson is a relatively raw prospect who possesses a great amount of speed and power at the position. He shows great ability to get to the quarterback, and with some time to develop, can establish himself as a solid starter in the league. With the last pick of the first round, I believe the Buccaneers would be happy to take a chance on the upside of a player like Chop Robinson. 

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About the Contributor
Carson Gates
Carson Gates, Editor in Chief
Carson Gates ’25 is a Communications major with a concentration in journalism. Carson is from the Buffalo, New York area, and chose Chatham University for its quiet and homey feel on campus, while also being smack dab in a major city. Carson is the editor-in-chief for the Communqiué, and when he writes, he writes primarily for the sports section but has been known to dabble in other areas as well. While being a writer, Carson is the host for the Communqiué podcast in the quad, the "Quadcast." Carson is also a goalie for Chatham's men's ice hockey team. Carson Gates can be reached best at [email protected] or via Instagram or Twitter @gatesy35.

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