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 29 - Detroit Lions - Ennis Rakestraw Jr. - Cornerback - Missouri

The Detroit Lions will try to improve on a near-perfect season which saw them lose a game they should have won in the NFC Championship. Ennis Rakestraw Jr. provides much needed support for a pass defense that ranked 26th in yards and touchdowns allowed. Rakestraw Jr. is a perfect fit for the Lions' culture, he's tough, physical and is aggressive against the run and pass. He can be beat deep and has a questionable injury history. While he may not have elite talent; hard workers with non-stop motors translate well in the NFL and he fits the bill.

Pick 30 - Baltimore Ravens - Keon Coleman - WR - Florida State

The Ravens are trying to become a more balanced team on offense and took a big step forward under offensive coordinator Todd Monken in 2023. With rookie Zay Flowers and a 2-time MVP Lamar Jackson, the Ravens offense can become more physical and dangerous in the red zone with the addition of Keon Coleman. Coleman isn't much of a vertical threat but uses his elite size (6'4" 215) and ball skills to make a wide range of catches. He's a terror to bring down in the open field and will provide Jackson with a legitimate passing threat in the red zone.

Pick 31 - San Francisco 49ers - Graham Barton - Tackle / Guard - Duke

The reigning NFC Champions have another year with Brock Purdy at quarterback to build a team around the former "Mr. Irrelevant." Adding Graham Barton provides the 49ers with a versatile lineman that they can find the perfect spot for as a long-time starter. Barton was a tackle at Duke for the last three seasons but his size and skill set translate better to center or guard in the NFL. The 49ers can use Barton as depth in the short-term while they develop him into an NFL tackle or an elite interior lineman.

Pick 32 - Kansas City Chiefs - Troy Franklin - WR - Oregon

After hearing how the Chiefs lacked weapons on the outside and weren't the dynamic offense they were before, the Chiefs will bolster their wider receiver corps with Troy Franklin. Franklin is a versatile wide receiver that can play in the slot or line up on the outside. With his lanky frame and elite speed, the Chiefs will use him as a deep-threat weapon while deploying Rashee Rice and Travis Kelce on inside routes. Franklin has had problems with drops but what Chiefs wide receiver doesn't? It's a perfect fit.