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 9 - Chicago Bears - Rome Odunze - Wide Receiver - Washington

The Bears will already be celebrating the pick of Caleb Williams when Williams can begin celebrating with the addition of Rome Odunze. The Bears will pair the top QB prospect with a 6' 3" wide receiver who led college football in contested catch percentage in 2023. The former Husky, and consensus All-American, is the most complete wide receiver in the draft and will form one-half of what Chicago hopes will be a potent passing attack for half a decade or more.

Pick 10 - New York Jets - Taliese Fuaga - Offensive Tackle - Oregon State

The Jets general manager, Aaron Rodgers, oops, I mean Joe Douglas, has to draft a tackle to protect the most important Achilles tendon in the NFL. The top two tackles in the draft, Olu Fashanu, and Joe Alt, will be gone by pick ten but Taliese Fuaga is no consolation prize. Fuaga is a massive human being at 6'6", and 335 pounds and has unnaturally long arms. While Oregon State ran a run-heavy offense, Fuaga can use those skills to open up lanes for Breece Hall and is also a good pass protector that should help keep Rodgers upright in 2024.

Pick 11 - Minnesota Vikings - Byron Murphy II - Defensive Lineman - Texas

The Vikings will likely have to let Danielle Hunter leave in free agency and defensive coordinator Brian Flores will need help across the defensive front. Byron Murphy II is the best defensive tackle in the draft. Murphy II recorded 5 sacks from the interior defensive line position and at 6' 1" 310 pounds will take up space on the interior against the run. He is an explosive athlete and could provide Aaron Donald or Chris Jones-type help on a defensive line that needs it.

Pick 12 - Denver Broncos - Jared Verse - Edge - Florida State

A lot of focus in the offseason will be on how Sean Payton replaces Russell Wilson at quarterback. But the most impactful move at Denver's position in the draft will be to improve the pass rush with the selection of Jared Verse. The Broncos were third worst in hurry percentage on opposing QBs and recorded a bottom 10, 42 sacks in 2023. Verse is the best pure pass-rusher in the draft and is versatile enough to play the run and adequately cover tight ends and running backs.