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 5 - Los Angeles Chargers - Joe Alt - Offensive Tackle - Notre Dame

Jim Harbaugh's return to the NFL will be judged first by his ability to draft an offensive tackle that can keep Justin Herbert upright and healthy for the 2024 NFL season. He'll accomplish that feat by drafting Joe Alt. Alt was the best lineman, and a unanimous first-team All-American, for a Notre Dame team that averaged 39.1 points per game. Olu Fashanu of Penn State is considered a “can’t miss” franchise tackle but Alt is equally, if not more, physically gifted and is more proven in terms of production.

Pick 6 - New York Giants - Malik Nabers - Wide Receiver - LSU

The Giants' wide receiver room was among the worst in the NFL in 2023. That will change in 2024 with the drafting of Malik Nabers. Nabers is not only an elite offensive weapon but will also raise the level of play of New York's quarterback, Daniel Wilson, and gives head coach Brian Daboll the type of weapon he had in Buffalo with Stefon Diggs during his time as offensive coordinator. Nabers' has the potential to join Justin Jefferson and Ja'Marr Chase, as the next great LSU WR to excel in the NFL.

Pick 7 - Tennessee Titans - Olu Fashanu - Offensive Tackle - Penn State

Titan's GM Ran Carthon won his power struggle with ex-head coach Mike Vrabel. If he wants to keep his job, he'll need to find the Titan's quarterback of the future. Equally important will be protecting said quarterback. Olu Fashanu accomplishes the latter goal while Tennessee sorts out whether Will Levis is the guy or not. The Rimington-Pace Award winner and consensus All-American took a slight step back in 2023 but has ideal size (6'6", 320) and the most impressive physical skills of any tackle in the draft.

Pick 8 - Atlanta Falcons - Dallas Turner - Edge - Alabama

To succeed in the NFL, you need a quarterback and you need to rush the quarterback. The Falcons are expected to address the former in free agency or trade. The latter can be solved, partially, by the addition of Dallas Turner who at 6' 4" and 252 pounds is the most athletic pass-rusher in the draft. He will easily be the sack leader on the Falcons, who had no player with more than six sacks in 2023. Turner compares favorably to Defensive Rookie of the Year, Will Anderson Jr.