2024 NFL Mock Draft: Ideal selections for the entire first round

On April 27th, the NFL draft will start in Detroit, Michigan, home of the Detroit Lions, who was "America's Team" during their playoff run which ended in bitter fashion in the NFC Championship game. In the first round of this year's draft, 32 college stars will hear their name called and become the rookie class of the 2024-2025 NFL. This article details who each team should pick, if they pick in their original draft position. While there are certainly going to be trades made, (and you can read my AFC East preview article to see what some of those could be); this mock draft plays the draft order straight up.

2024 NFL Draft - Starts April 27th, in Detroit, Michigan
2024 NFL Draft - Starts April 27th, in Detroit, Michigan / Perry Knotts/GettyImages
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Pick 1 - Chicago Bears via Carolina Panthers - Caleb Williams - QB - USC

The Carolina Panthers start the 2024 offseason off with another loss as they watch the Chicago Bears select Heisman Trophy winner and consensus "big board" number one, Caleb Williams. This pick is Chicago's due to Carolina's trade for Bryce Young. Drafting Williams allows GM Ryan Poles to reset the rookie wage scale with a new signal caller and acquire additional draft capital by trading Justin Fields. Williams has shown the type of talent that succeeds in the modern NFL and the Bears may finally have their first great QB if he develops accordingly.

Pick 2 - Washington Commanders - Drake Maye - QB - North Carolina

The Washington Commanders have been the embodiment of "the only constant is change" over the last few years. With a new team name, a new owner, a new GM, and a new coach; the team now needs a new franchise quarterback. More pocket passer than scrambling playmaker, Drake Maye has the prototypical quarterback size at 6'4" 230 pounds and has the most NFL-ready arm in the draft. While he isn't Josh Allen of Buffalo, he is mobile enough to make plays with his legs. Washington could shake things up here with a trade or drafting Marvin Harrison Jr., but all parties involved need to get the franchise quarterback of the future if they are going to be in the nation's capital in 2025.

Pick 3 - New England Patriots - Jayden Daniels - Quarterback - LSU

The Patriots are in a full rebuild under new head coach, Jerod Mayo and de facto general manager, director of scouting, Elliot Wolf. Yes, Marvin Harrison Jr. is a generational wide receiver, but Mac Jones, or a veteran retread does not move the Patriots forward; a franchise quarterback does. Jayden Daniels fits the mold of the modern-day NFL quarterback. Look for the Heisman Trophy winner to be the pick to lead the Patriots in the post-Tom Brady era.

Pick 4 - Arizona Cardinals - Marvin Harrison - Wide Receiver - Ohio State

Marvin Harrison Jr. will make remind NFL fans of a hall-of-fame wide receiver as he excels in the NFL: Larry Fitzgerald. With a similar size and skill set, and as a member of the Arizona Cardinals, Harrison Jr. will be the elite offensive weapon to help Kyler Murray continue his development as a franchise quarterback. The 2023 Fred Biletnikoff Award winner and Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year is the best offensive skill, and most NFL-ready, player in the draft.