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The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


Benji’s 2024 mock draft 3.0 (with trades): final mock before Draft Night

Carson Gates
Benji’s NFL mock draft 3.0.

Today is the day, the NFL draft begins tonight and yet so many questions remain. Who will the second quarterback off the board be? Which teams will prioritize adding offensive playmakers? Who pulls the trigger on making big trades? All will be answered on April 25, but for right now the best we can do is predict, which is exactly what I will be trying to do here. With my first two mock drafts, I focused on different scenarios that could play out while also letting my thoughts and opinions on the players shine through. With this mock draft, my priority will be trying to predict exactly what will happen on draft night. Easier said than done, let’s get started. 


 1. Chicago Bears select Caleb Williams, Quarterback, USC

Not much needs to be said here, this pick has been Caleb Williams throughout the entire process. I would be shocked if someone else hears their name called first on draft night, but that’s what keeps it interesting. Should be a no-brainer for Chicago, Caleb Williams will be a Bear.

2. Washington Commanders select Jayden Daniels, Quarterback, LSU

In my second mock draft, I spent the entire paragraph on the Commanders’ pick talking about how the pick should be and will be Drake Maye. I still strongly believe that Maye should be the second quarterback off the board, but it seems the more time that passes, the more smoke there is around Jayden Daniels going to Washington at no. 2. And usually where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Daniels is a good quarterback prospect, don’t get me wrong. He displays great accuracy and scrambling ability. I just truly believe Drake Maye has the potential to be a generational player with the right team. While I believe it should be Maye, I’m gonna go with my gut and predict that the Commanders select Jayden Daniels with this pick. 

3. New England Patriots select Drake Maye, Quarterback, UNC

If I’m the New England Patriots, I am rushing the card in before I can even listen to trade offers. While the Patriots could trade back and address other needs, they have a vacancy at the quarterback position that free agency acquisition Jacoby Brissett doesn’t quite fill. Drake Maye has so much potential, you can’t pass on him at three if you’re New England. 

4. Arizona Cardinals select Marvin Harrison Jr., Wide Receiver, Ohio State

Arizona will likely have plenty of teams calling them on Thursday, with several trade packages offered for the Cardinals to move down. While I could see a team like the Vikings moving up here, I could also see Arizona loving Harrison Jr. too much to pass on him. Marvin Harrison Jr. is my second-best player in the class after Caleb Williams, and the Cardinals can use a true wide receiver one on their roster. 

5. TRADE: Minnesota Vikings (via Los Angeles Chargers) select J.J. McCarthy, Quarterback, Michigan

Vikings send no. 11, no. 23, and a 2026 second-round pick in exchange for no. 5 from the Chargers.

The Vikings have made their intentions of moving up for a quarterback very clear, and if it doesn’t happen at no. 4 with the Cardinals, it happens here at no. 5 with the Chargers. The Chargers need so much help on their roster, and with the trade they now hold multiple first-round picks to help get it done. Plus, LA’s new head coach Jim Harbaugh was McCarthy’s head coach at Michigan, and would likely make sure McCarthy gets drafted to the best possible position to succeed. With playmakers on offense like Justin Jefferson. Jordan Addison and TJ Hockenson, Minnesota is the best place J.J. McCarthy could go.

6. New York Giants select Rome Odunze, Wide Receiver, Washington

I’ve given the Giants Malik Nabers in the past, and while I wouldn’t argue with you if you told me you thought he was a better player than Odunze, I think Odunze makes sense with this pick for a couple of reasons. First being that with the slight off-the-field character concerns with Malik Nabers (though not concerning enough to drop him out of the top 10), the Giants could look to take the lower maintenance player in Odunze. Additionally, the Giants’ receiver room is filled with smaller body slot receivers, and Odunze offers you size and physicality like no one they have. This is not to say Nabers is small or wouldn’t be way better than whoever the Giants have, but New York could look to add a different type of receiver to their roster with Rome Odunze.

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

It’s been Alt from day one, and it will continue to be Alt as long as he remains on the board. In fact, I could see the Titans potentially trading down if Alt or whoever they view as the best offensive tackle is off the board at this spot.

8. TRADE: New York Jets (via Atlanta Falcons) select Malik Nabers, Wide Receiver, LSU

Atlanta receives no. 10, a third-round pick, and a 2025 fifth-round pick for no. 8.

The Jets will likely be looking to add an offensive playmaker to their roster to make a push at a Super Bowl while they have Aaron Rodgers. Malik Nabers is an incredible player, and with him falling to no. 8, the Jets make the move that could put them in the playoffs.

9. TRADE: Indianapolis Colts (via Chicago Bears) select Brock Bowers, Tight End, Georgia

Chicago gives up pick no. 9 and a 2025 sixth-round pick in exchange for no. 15, a third-round pick and a fifth-round pick from Indianapolis. 

The Bears only have four total picks in this draft. It’s no secret they could be looking to trade down and acquire more picks to help round out their roster. It’s also no secret that the Colts seem to love Brock Bowers. While it’s rare to see a tight end go so high in the draft, Bowers offers great versatility at the position. 

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

At the end of the day, it seems like Dallas Turner will end up being the first defensive player off the board. Atlanta desperately needs help on their defensive line, and Turner offers plenty of it. In this scenario, the Falcons manage to acquire extra picks by trading down, just to select the player they likely would have taken at no. 8.

11. Los Angeles Chargers (via Minnesota Vikings) select Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Offensive Tackle, Penn State

Jim Harbaugh has always built his offenses through the run game, so it only makes sense that he prioritizes adding young talent to his offensive line. The team is committed to Justin Herbert as their quarterback, and giving your franchise player protection is never a bad idea.

12. Denver Broncos select Bo Nix, Quarterback, Oregon

Do I believe that taking Bo Nix in the top 12 is a pretty decent-sized reach? Yes. However, the Broncos have a miserable quarterback room, and the addition of Zach Wilson via trade with the Jets does not change your game plan of taking a quarterback. I think in a perfect world, the Broncos would be able to trade back or select Nix in the second round. However, in order to trade back, another team needs to be willing to trade up. And the Broncos don’t have a second-round pick. Therefore, if they can’t get it done, Denver bites the bullet and selects their quarterback of the future. I’d like to clarify that I don’t believe Bo Nix is a bad player at all, in fact I think he could fit into Sean Payton’s system very well, I just don’t know if I would want to spend a top pick on him. Crazier things have happened though.

13. Las Vegas Raiders select Taliese Fuaga, Offensive Tackle, Oregon State

Raiders are another team that could look to select a quarterback. However, I believe they could address the need with their second-round pick if they are unable to trade up for Jayden Daniels. Offensive line is a huge need for the Raiders, and Fuaga can be a player you build your line around for years to come.

14. New Orleans Saints select Amarius Mims, Offensive Tackle, Georgia

Mims could make a strong argument for being the best offensive lineman in the entire draft class. That being said, he has such a small sample size from only starting eight games in college. The Saints would be taking a chance on Mims here, but if it pays off they made a great decision. 

15. Chicago Bears (via Indianapolis Colts) select Laiatu Latu, Edge Rusher, UCLA

Reports have been made that the Bears could look to select an offensive playmaker to help support Caleb Williams alongside DJ Moore and Keenan Allen. I’m a massive Brian Thomas Jr. fan, and while a receiver could still be in play here, I think if Chicago is unable to select one of the top three guys, it makes a lot of sense to address the defensive side of the ball. Laiatu Latu is such a great player, with his biggest setback being prior injury concerns. However, if he avoids those problems in the league, Chicago could end up leaving this draft with who could potentially be the best offensive and best defensive player in the class. 

16. TRADE: Philadelphia Eagles (via Seattle Seahawks) select Quinyon Mitchell, Cornerback, Toledo

Eagles receive no. 16 and a fourth-round pick in exchange for no. 22 and a second-round pick. 

The Eagles could use help in their secondary, and we all know by now that Eagles General Manager Howie Roseman has no issue being aggressive in the draft. While he does typically like to target offensive and defensive linemen, I don’t think precedent prevents them from selecting arguably the best defensive back on the board. For fans who see that Mitchell went to Toledo and immediately write him off as a small school player, let’s not forget how Cincinnati’s Sauce Gardner went on to be one of the best cornerbacks in the league with the Jets. 

17.  Jacksonville Jaguars select Terrion Arnold, Cornerback, Alabama

I don’t believe the Jaguars would mind missing out on Mitchell as long as Terrion Arnold is still on the board. As another team that has been desperately seeking help in their secondary since the departure of Jalen Ramsey, the Jaguars might have found exactly what they are looking for with Arnold.

18. Cincinnati Bengals select Byron Murphy II, Defensive Tackle, Texas

Byron Murphy was so good at Texas, and the Bengals could use his talent on their own defensive line. I could also see this pick being an offensive lineman or Brian Thomas Jr. if he is still on the board, but if you are a Bengals fan you should be celebrating at the sound of Byron Murphy’s name on draft night.

19. Los Angeles Rams select Jared Verse, Edge Rusher, Florida State

The Rams have continued to be one of, if not the hardest team to mock in the first round. This pick could truly be any number of positions, including offensive tackle, defensive tackle, cornerback, defensive end or even a quarterback if the right one fell in their lap. At the end of the day, I decided on Jared Verse. He is one of the guys that I’ve been super high on for the entire draft cycle, and I believe he has the potential to be a day-one difference-maker. 

20. TRADE: Buffalo Bills (via Pittsburgh Steelers) select Brian Thomas Jr., Wide Receiver, LSU

Buffalo receives no. 20, Pittsburgh receives no. 28, a fourth-round pick, a fifth-round pick, and a 2025 fourth-round pick. 

The Bills recently lost receiver Stefon Diggs in a trade with the Houston Texans. Now, without their star pass catcher, they make a big move to provide Josh Allen with another weapon. Thomas Jr. is an incredibly talented player who led college football in touchdowns last season and could be the missing piece to the Bills offense. 

21. Miami Dolphins select Troy Fautanu, Offensive Tackle, Washington 

The Dolphins probably aren’t happy their division rival took the player they probably would’ve selected just one pick prior, but I don’t think the hard feelings last very long. Fautanu is one of the best offensive line prospects in the class and offers flexibility as to where he plays on the line. The Dolphins could use offensive line help, and Fautanu happens to fall down the board in this scenario.

22. Seattle Seahawks (via Philadelphia Eagles) select Jackson Powers-Johnson, Offensive Center, Oregon 

Like I said in my last mock draft, the Seahawks have a laughable interior offensive line. Powers-Johnson is a day-one solution to help fix that problem. Seattle probably doesn’t hesitate too long on this pick, unless they happen to like Duke’s Graham Barton a bit more.

23. Los Angeles Chargers (via Minnesota Vikings) select Adonai Mitchell, Wide Receiver, Texas

With their second pick in the first round, the Vikings now address the glaring hole on their roster at the wide receiver position. Adonai Mitchell provides them with a dominant wide receiver that Justin Herbert can rely on while last year’s first-round pick Quentin Jonhston hopefully develops. 

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

I believe this is one of four picks I have mocked in all of my drafts (with the other three being Williams to the Bears, Alt to the Titans, and McCarthy to the Vikings), and I continue to think this is the best-case scenario for Dallas. Graham Barton could play in most positions on the offensive line, which provides the Cowboys with flexibility to see which spot they want to upgrade. 

25. Green Bay Packers select JC Latham, Offensive Tackle, Alabama

I almost had the Packers taking Cooper DeJean, however, when I realized that Latham had fallen all the way to no. 25, I realized that he very much felt like a pick the Packers would make. With the way the board falls, Green Bay gets a potential steal in Latham and can look to address their secondary with a later pick.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Chop Robinson, Edge Rusher, Penn State

Tampa Bay is another team that is hard to mock. I could see them selecting an edge rusher, a cornerback, or even an offensive lineman. I think here they go with an edge rusher and take arguably the best one left on the board in Chop Robinson. 

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

Newton is a player that I’ve become a lot higher on than I was at the start of the draft process. He could easily go well before this pick, but great players always fall in the draft. I don’t think Newton will make it past the Cardinals’ pick unless perhaps they select Byron Murphy II with an earlier pick. 

28. Pittsburgh Steelers (via Buffalo Bills) select Cooper DeJean, Defensive Back, Iowa

DeJean is the type of player Steelers fans should love to have on their team. He offers great athleticism and versatility and can be the type of player that makes the players around him better. While Pittsburgh does need offensive line help, I don’t think anyone left is quite worth it, especially when drafting the best player available (BPA) lands you Cooper DeJean.

29. Detroit Lions select Nate Wiggins, Cornerback, Clemson

Wiggins is a great athlete who, while providing great length, is a bit light, which can raise durability concerns. However, the Lions need cornerback help pretty badly, and Wiggins is a first-round caliber player.

30. Baltimore Ravens select Tyler Guyton, Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma

Even just two days before the draft, I’m still not entirely sure what to make of Tyler Guyton. He’s a guy I’m not super high on, yet I can definitely see him making it inside the first round. Guyton is a raw prospect who does have some decent upside, but I don’t know if I love him as a day-one starter. That being said, this mock draft is meant to predict the first round, and the Ravens need offensive line help. Guyton goes at no. 30 to the Baltimore Ravens. 

31. San Francisco 49ers select Ladd McConkey, Wide Receiver, Georgia

Up until the moment I typed out this pick, I had the 49ers selecting Kool-Aid McKinstry. However, just a moment’s hesitation was all it took for me to make a last-minute switch and put McConkey back in the first round. The 49ers do need cornerback help, and it would not at all surprise me to see this pick be McKinstry. However, with Brandon Aiyuk’s future on the team being up in the air, the 49ers could look to add to their already explosive offense with one of my favorite players in the class. 

32. Kansas City Chiefs select Keon Coleman, Wide Receiver, Florida State

The Chiefs desperately need wide receiver help, especially with a suspension looming over last year’s star rookie Rashee Rice’s head. The Chiefs receiver corps currently consists of Marquise Brown, and barring any major breakouts, there’s no one else to write home about. Coleman provides Patrick Mahomes with a big target who has serious star potential in the league. If Kansas City wants to keep the hopes of winning three in a row alive, they need to add a big-time offensive weapon, and I think Keon Coleman can step into that role on day one. 

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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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