NFL Mock Draft 2024, post-Combine edition: J.J. McCarthy, Bo Nix, Michael Penix Jr. find new landing spots

The 2024 NFL Combine didn’t turn the 2024 NFL Draft upside down, but there were a few mock draft-altering developments.

Some of the top prospects sprang into March with the same momentum, while others saw their lofty status take a little bit of a hit. Certain teams also became more attached to taking some players and less connected to selecting others.

Although there’s no change in the consensus top four because none of those prospects worked out at the combine, there remains a lot in flux behind them. Here’s the Sporting News’ latest look at how picks 1-32 may play out on April 25 in Detroit.

MORE NFL COMBINE: Winners & losers | Grading all the QB workouts

NFL Mock Draft 2024

Caleb Williams

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1. Chicago Bears (from Panthers)

  • Caleb Williams, QB, USC (6-1, 218 pounds)

Williams didn’t need to work out in Indianapolis to prove anything, as his participatory presence there was enough to feel more confident the Bears will anoint him their franchise QB soon — assuming they can still move Justin Fields for a reasonable return.

2. Washington Commanders (4-13 last season)

  • Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU (6-4, 210 pounds)

The Commanders could be thinking about Drake Maye, too, of course, but having Kliff Kingsbury as their new offensive coordinator makes it more likely they will lean to more dynamic running QB in Daniels. He still has a big-play arm on top of how he can take over games with his legs. After skipping the combine, Daniels can confirm his top-two status with a strong pro day on March 27.

3. New England Patriots (4-13)

  • Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina (6-5, 220 pounds)

Maye also stood tall at the combine and impressed when not taking the field. He profiles as a reliable leader of a franchise and can execute everything needed with his arm and athleticism in any type of offense. While Williams and Daniels have higher ceilings, Maye has a higher floor.

4. Arizona Cardinals (4-13)

  • Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State (6-3, 202 pounds)

Harrison, the namesake son of the Colts’ Hall of Famer, has a case to be the best overall prospect in this class as a dominant No. 1 receiver with immense physical skills. The Cardinals didn’t need to see him the combine to know he would be the ideal new No.1. wide receiver for Kyler Murray.

5. Los Angeles Chargers (5-12)

  • Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame (6-7, 316 pounds)

Jim Harbaugh was front and center scouting a lot of his Michigan players at the combine, but he needs to go more Irish than Wolverine to keep boosting the Chargers’ offensive line with Rashawn Slater the only true reliable at left tackle. Alt is very athletic and would be a long-term bookend with Slater. Alt can help the new run-heavy offense of Greg Roman while also being a protection asset for Justin Hebert.

NFL DRAFT: Big board of top 125 players overall, rankings by position

6. New York Giants (6-11)

  • J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan (6-3, 202 pounds)

The Giants provide the first twist in the draft. They’ve been on record talking more about taking a QB to replace Daniel Jones as their franchise leader with this high of a pick. McCarthy met with the team at the combine before showing off his live arm with zip and accuracy. He would be a big passing upgrade from Jones and also bring his own brand of tough, athletic playmaking.

7. Tennessee Titans (6-11)

  • Malik Nabers, WR, LSU (6-0, 200 pounds)

New Titans coach Brian Callahan had the Bengals’ passing offense thriving with former LSU star Ja’Marr Chase as the centerpiece. With DeAndre Hopkins aging and Treyon Burks so far disappointing, Tennessee needs to go after a new No. 1 for Will Levis. Nabers’ smooth route-running and quickness can provide a go-to guy all over the field.

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8. Atlanta Falcons (7-10)

  • Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama (6-4, 240 pounds)

Turned turned more heads as the best pass rusher in this class at the combine with an awesome display of his athleticism in getting to the quarterback. Speaking of QB, this presumes the Falcons will go the veteran route for their next starter (Justin Fields? Russell Wilson? Kirk Cousins?), freeing them up to get an ace bookend to Montez Sweat.

MORE: Dallas Turner amazes in running, jumping drills

9. Chicago Bears (7-10)

  • Rome Odunze, WR, Washington (6-3, 201 pounds)

Odunze sparkled at the combine to the point he’s not far behind Harrison and Nabers in an elite top tier of wide receivers that still stand out from a strong overall class. The Bears have DJ Moore as the No. 1 for Williams. Odunze’s game-breaking ability would be a great outside complement.

10. New York Jets (7-10)

  • Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State (6-6, 321 pounds

The Jets need to think more about bringing back Mekhi Becton at left tackle after he showed some healthy promise late, but they’re already very shaky at right tackle. Fashanu’s physical frame would be ideal to fill that hole in front of Aaron Rodgers.

11. Minnesota Vikings (7-10)

  • Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA (6-5, 265 pounds)

The Vikings would need to make quarterback a higher priority if they can’t or choose not to re-sign Kirk Cousins for one more season, but they also need to address their defense with a versatile pass rusher who can blow up a lot of plays. Latu can fill that exact hole well.

12. Denver Broncos (8-9)

  • Bo Nix, QB, Oregon (6-2, 217 pounds)

The Broncos should be on the radar for McCarthy, but if he’s gone and they can find a way to move on from Russell Wilson at QB, they should be happy going for the strong-arm, accurate Nix to be a well-rounded successor in Joe Lombardi’s offense. Both Nix and McCarthy shined at the combine to stay neck-and-neck in the quest to be the fourth QB drafted.

Nate Wiggins

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13. Las Vegas Raiders (8-9)

  • Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson (6-2, 185 pounds)

Wiggins ran a blazing 4.28 40 at the combine, but he also came away with a hip injury. The former confirms his speed as a cover man who can stay with receivers downfield, and the latter issue won’t hurt his stock too much with a few other corners fading. The Raiders, if they don’t go QB, should jump on him for the back end of Antonio Pierce’s pass defense to help the rush.

14. New Orleans Saints (9-8)

  • Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State (6-6, 234 pounds)

The Saints continue to face an uncertain future at the position with right tackle Ryan Ramczyk’s major injury concerns and Trevor Penning’s disappointment. Fuaga is the well-rounded, athletic blocker they need for the new Klint Kubiak 49ers-like offense.

15. Indianapolis Colts (9-8)

  • Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama (6-0, 196 pounds)

The Colts have a need for impact coverage outside, regardless of what they do with ace slot man Kenny Moore. Arnold, still just behind Wiggins after the combine, is smooth and agile for his size and can also be a bonus asset vs. the run.

16. Seattle Seahawks (9-8)

  • Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State (6-4, 248 pounds)

The Seahawks will want to revamp their pass rush for new defensive-minded coach Mike Macdonald, whose Ravens led the league in sacks last season. Verse is a very productive player with explosive upside, just behind Turner and Latu in this class.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars (9-8)

  • Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia (6-7, 340 pounds)

The Jaguars have some uncertainty with left tackle Cam Robinson, and young right tackle Anton Harrison might be better off at guard. Mims is the right kind of blocker to add for Trent Baalke and Doug Pederson.

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18. Cincinnati Bengals (9-8)

  • Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia (6-4, 240 pounds)

The Bengals take advantage of teams having greater needs above and jump on the best offensive talent available. They still need more offensive line help for Joe Burrow, but at least Bowers can help as a blocker while also being a dynamic third receiver replacing Tyler Boyd to boost both Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins.

19. Los Angeles Rams (10-7)

  • Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa (6-1, 209 pounds)

The Rams could use a unique, versatile cover man and active playmaker in their secondary after hitting on some front-seven talent last year. DeJean makes a lot of sense in Chris Shula’s scheme.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-7)

  • J.C. Latham, OT, Alabama (6-6, 326 pounds)

The Steelers need to keep revamping their offensive line after adding first-rounder Broderick Jones and guard Isaac Seumalo last offseason. Center is also a position of need that they can fill later, but they must get an upgrade over Dan Moore Jr. at left tackle opposite Jones at right tackle.

21. Miami Dolphins (11-6)

  • Jer’Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois (6-2, 295 pounds)

The Dolphins need more inside pass-rushing juice plus reliable run-stopping pop for new defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver. Weaver, a former defensive tackle, will be intrigued by the havoc Newton can create.

22. Philadelphia Eagles (11-6)

  • Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo (6-0, 196 pounds)

The Eagles are getting long in the tooth at corner and couldn’t keep players healthy in the nickel last season. Mitchell’s size and speed as a potential shutdown cover man are a good addition for the new Vic Fangio defense.

23. Houston Texans (from Browns)

  • Byron Murphy II, DT, Texas (6-1, 308 pounds)

Sheldon Rankins is a 29-year-old free-agent and Maliek Collins is also nearing 30. Murphy packs a lot of power into a smaller frame and has room to grow bigger and stronger for DeMeco Ryans.

24. Dallas Cowboys (12-5)

  • Jackson Powers-Johnson, G, Oregon (6-6, 320 pounds)

The Cowboys know that center Tyler Biadasz is a free agent and Zack Martin is 33. They also will consider moving Tyler Smith to left tackle to replace Tyron Smith. However that breaks down, targeting the best interior blocker in the class who can play either guard or center for a long time makes a ton of sense.

25. Green Bay Packers (9-8)

  • Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma (6-7, 327 pounds)

The Packers need to consider the near future of the position given David Bakhtiari is near the end of his career. Guyton once looked like a mauler, but with each workout keeps showing off some nimble feet and agility ideal for pass protection.

Michael Penix Jr.

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26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-8)

  • Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington (6-3, 214 pounds)

The Buccaneers are taking some sweet time re-signing Baker Mayfield, and although that’s been Plan A of the offseason, keep in mind they have a brand new offense under Liam Coen. Mayfield also won’t be lacking outside suitors given the number of QB-needy teams. Should he not return, going after the Tampa native Penix and his big arm is a smart move after the team kicked the tires on more QBs at the combine.

27. Arizona Cardinals (from Texans)

  • Troy Fautanu, G, Washington (6-4, 317 pounds)

The Cardinals need some interior blocking help for Murray after they get him a new top wide receiver. With Powers-Johnson gone, Fautanu would be a fine target to help support 2023 first-rounder Paris Johnson Jr.

28. Buffalo Bills (11-6)

  • Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU (6-4, 205 pounds)

The Bills won’t be re-signing Gabe Davis, so they need a versatile No. 2 to play off Stefon Diggs. Thomas, after continuing to shine as expected at the combine, has the size, route-running, and physicality to be productive outside or inside.

29. Detroit Lions (12-5)

  • Chop Robinson, EDGE, Penn State (6-3, 250 pounds)

The Lions need to give Aidan Hutchinson some bookend help in rushing the passer. As the first name suggests, Robinson can get after quarterbacks well with a good finishing burst.

30. Baltimore Ravens (13-4)

  • Jordan Morgan, OT, Arizona (6-5, 325 pounds)

The Ravens need to think about replacing fading Ronnie Stanley soon, as his contract has a near-future out. Morgan continued to impress with his athleticism during workouts, showing he can maximize impact for his size.

31. San Francisco 49ers (12-5)

  • Graham Barton, OT, Duke (6-3, 311 pounds)

The 49ers have Trent Williams still locking down left tackle, but they’ve been hurting at guard and right tackle, as they have seen Laken Tomlinson and Mike McGlinchey leave as free agents without reliable replacements. Barton is a natural in the outside running game, and his pass protection potential says he can start well at either line position.

32. Kansas City Chiefs (11-6)

  •  Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State (6-4, 215 pounds)

The Chiefs also will be tempted by combine speedsters Adonai Mitchell and Xavier Worthy, but Coleman is a little more well-rounded. Coleman has the smooth route-running to appeal to Patrick Mahomes, and his size provides needed upside as an outside, big-play threat.

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