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 13 - Las Vegas Raiders - JC Latham - Offensive Tackle - Alabama

As the Super Bowl leaves Las Vegas, the Raiders emerge with questions at quarterback and an offensive line in need of upgrades to protect whoever Antonio Pierce settles on at QB. JC Latham is considered by some as the best tackle in the draft and is exceptional at pass protection. The 6' 6" 360 has exceptional movement and he can play either tackle position; giving Pierce and the Raiders increased flexibility across an offensive line in need of improvement.

Pick 14 - New Orleans Saints - Brock Bowers - Tight End - Georgia

Brock Bowers fall down the board is more about the positional value of a Tight End, the needs of teams in the early part of the draft, and the high value of players at positions of "higher value." But the draft's idiosyncrasies are the Saint's gain as they pick a top offensive talent in the draft, Brock Bowers. The only player to win two Mackey Awards as the nation's top TE, and a 3-time consensus All-American, Bowers is the number 5 player in the draft, according to PFF and its top-rated TE ever in many key categories.

Pick 15 - Indianapolis Colts - Quinyon Mitchell - CB - Toledo

The Colts defense was in the middle of the pack against the pass and they don't have a number one CB on the roster. Quinyon Mitchell fixes that problem as one of the most gifted athletes in the draft. Mitchell's production dipped in 2023 as teams declined to challenge the Rocket. Mitchell will likely put up a sub 4.4 40 and was one of the stars at the Senior Bowl against future NFL talent. The Florida native showed high character and loyalty as he finished his career at Toledo after numerous SEC teams, who spurred him in recruiting, heavily courted him to transfer.

Pick 16 - Seattle Seahawks - Laiatu Latu - Edge - UCLA

The Seahawks commitment to Geno Smith makes them unlikely to pick a quarterback in the first round and every team in the NFL needs pass rushers. Laiatu Latu is a perfect fit for Seattle's new coach, Mike McDonald who is likely to be the defensive play-caller and would benefit from the Lombardi and Ted Hendrick's award winner as the nation's best defensive lineman and defensive end, respectively. Latu is story is as good as his production on the field; he amassed 23.5 sacks in two seasons after being forced to medically retire in 2020 before he was cleared in 2022.