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Post-Combine mini mock draft: 4 QBs go top 10, Jets land stud

J.J. McCarthy
J.J. McCarthy

Armed with more information from the NFL Combine, it’s time to dive into the 2024 NFL Draft head-first

The 2024 NFL Draft is less than two months away. Now that the Combine has been completed, information is coming in at a steady pace, both about the prospects and about the teams that will be drafting them. So, before free agency kicks off on Monday, let’s take a look at how the top 10 of the NFL Draft may take shape with this mini-mock draft.

1. Chicago Bears – Caleb Williams, QB, USC

This is an easy one. Caleb Williams to the Bears is the only slam dunk in this draft class. Considered one of the greatest QB prospects in years, Williams has the potential to be a franchise changer. For a Bears team that has never had a 4,000-yard passer in their history, that’s too much promise to pass on.

2. Washington Commanders – Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

The draft really starts with the second pick. It feels safe to say the Commanders will target a QB, but which one? I’m going with Jayden Daniels, whose stock is on the rise after the Combine. With reports of strong interviews and multiple teams eyeing him, Daniels has momentum on his side. It helps that he’s the most athletic QB in the class, which could give him an edge.

3. New England Patriots – Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

I think in an ideal world the Patriots would prefer to sign a veteran starting QB and trade out of this pick. They just have too little talent to be thinking about throwing a young QB to the wolves. But since it seems unlikely they’ll be able to sign Kirk Cousins or Baker Mayfield, they may not have a choice. So for now, the Pats take whichever of the top 3 quarterbacks falls to them. In this case, that’s the ultra-talented Drake Maye, who’s hoping to prove that his down draft year was just a fluke.

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4. Arizona Cardinals – Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

Arizona is blessed to be the first team to not need a quarterback this year. As a result, they get the top player on many people’s boards in Marvin Harrison Jr.

The son of a Hall of Famer, MHJ is an elite talent in his own right. There isn’t anything he hasn’t been able to do on the football field, boasting elite route running, body control, athleticism, and hands. MHJ is considered the best WR prospect since the likes of Julio Jones and A.J. Green. For a team that doesn’t have a lot of weapons, Arizona is lucky enough to grab a potential game-changer at four.

5. Los Angeles Chargers – Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

Jim Harbaugh has made it clear since day one – he wants to balance out the Chargers offense. No more hero ball from Justin Herbert and the Chargers’ talented WR corps. This team is going to need its running game.

So, how do you fix that? You target the best offensive lineman in the draft and star building a wall. Pairing Joe Alt with Rashawn Slater would potentially give the Chargers their bookend tackles for the next decade, as both players are tone-setters who can dominate in both the pass and run game. Even though the Chargers have more pressing issues, that may be more than Harbaugh can pass on.

6. New York Giants – J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

Perhaps no player has seen their star rise more this offseason than McCarthy. The Michigan quarterback doesn’t do much on tape to wow the viewer. But he’s incredibly accurate, one of the most efficient third down passers college football has ever seen, and athletic enough to inspire hope that his game outside the pocket will grow. Plus, he’s a winner who was mentored by Jim Harbaugh. For a team desperate for a change at QB, that may be all they need to give him a chance to be the program changer he was at Michigan.

7. Tennessee Titans – Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

This may come as a shock since the Titans have been linked to an offensive lineman for most of the offseason. However, new head coach Brian Callahan has been clear: he wants to add weapons this offseason to help Will Levis.

Considering Callahan came from Cincinnati where they built out their weapons before their OL, it seems like a reasonable bet he’s telling the truth. With a top-end WR still on the board, the Titans can add a dynamic threat to their offense who should open things up and hopefully take some of the pressure off their porous OL.

8. Atlanta Falcons – Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama

Finally, the first defensive player goes. Atlanta is going hard after the veteran quarterbacks this offseason and even appears to be the favorite to land Kirk Cousins. With a new leader seemingly likely to come aboard and a bevy of young weapons already on the offense, the Falcons can take the best player available. That’s Dallas Turner, an athletic freak who dominated at the college level. Turner has a chance to be an impact pass rusher, something the Falcons have lacked since Vic Beasley’s infamous 15.5-sack season.

9. Chicago Bears – Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

The Bears got their quarterback, now they make a move to keep him protected. Yes, the Bears have two young OTs that they really like in Braxton Jones and Darnell Wright, but their OL continues to be among the worst in the NFL. That’s where Taliese Fuaga comes into play. The big lineman from Oregon State has the versatility to play both tackle and guard, and should be able to step in and be a day one starter. That should help solidify the Bears’ OL, which could give Caleb Williams something he never had at USC: time to throw.

10. New York Jets – Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State

The Jets round out this mini-mock by selecting perhaps the best pass blocking offensive lineman in this draft class.

Fashanu isn’t the normal Joe Douglas offensive line prospect. He’s not the big, athletic road-grading mauler. Instead, he’s a finesse pass blocking OT who has great technique but lacks the power and aggression in the run game that Douglas usually loves.

Still an elite athlete, Fashanu should be able to step in day one and be a plus pass blocker, though his run blocking will need work. That works out fine for Robert Saleh and Nathaniel Hackett, who are hoping to build their offense around an aging quarterback who’ll need better pass protection than the Jets have put out the last few years.

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2 months ago

I like Fuaga and Fautanu (UW) way more than Fashanu.

christian herzeca
christian herzeca
2 months ago

good job Newman. lots will depend on how FA pans out of course, but if the Jets can get 3 credible OLs in FA, then I would take Bowers at 10. like him even more than Pitts

Peter Buell
Peter Buell
2 months ago

I said this yesterday and I’ve been saying this for months.
The Jets need to do a double all in and do it much much better than last year when Lawson and Brown were kept and given bonus’ and void years.
Those two cuts could have net the cap an additional $23m. Instead we’ll be paying them tge next 3 years.
TO THE POINT..I ramble too much
1. Trade draft assets from 2025-26 to trade for Tennessee’s #7 pick.
Even if they need to give a 1 and 2 and 1 and 3 which gives the Titans an 800 point tax for waiting.
Rodgers will be here 2 years, 3 if extremely lucky.

2. Similiar to last year but with more intelligence re-structure the higher earning players to bonus’and void years to open every penny possible.
In addition guys like JD Davis can be extended 2 or 3 years with the new deal structured to max the cap value. JFM fits the same bill
Jets can wind up with north of $50m with co-operation.
This is what I’d like to see them do.
Since the article is draft related I’ll begin there
With the 7 and 10 picks the can get both a top tackle and WR. Maybe Bowers if all the top wide outs are taken.
Let’s go with wr Nabers and T Fashanu.
In Free agency Ridley at about $18 per
RT Jonah Williams $10.8m per
C Connor Williams $13.5 per (moves Tippman to LG)
Bringing back Fant and McGovern as pro back ups for about $5m combined would be a good move imo.
Leaves a few mill left but the starting line would be

Fashanu Tippman Connor Williams Vera-Tucker and Jonah Williams

Garrett Wilson, Cal Ridley and Nabers plus the UDFA kids from last year.
Would be nice to be able to offload Lazzard but as of now he would be wr4.

Good Luck Joe D

Jonathan Richter
Jonathan Richter
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter Buell

Who is JD Davis?