NFL Mock Draft 2024: How Cardinals, Vikings passing on Marvin Harrison Jr., J.J. McCarthy changes first round

The first round of the 2024 NFL Draft may be predictable to start with the top three quarterbacks coming off the board in succession, but then it can get very interesting in a hurry. It all starts with the non-QB decision the Cardinals make at No. 4 overall.

Arizona has been tied most to filling its biggest need with the best possible player, Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. Trading down also has been rumored. But what if the Cardinals would just stay put and not take Harrison?

Likewise, the Vikings, sitting on the No. 11 and No. 23 overall picks, are expected to make a move for a quarterback with Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy becoming the ideal target. But what if they don’t trade up or just wait on a QB early?

Here’s looking at what might happen if the Cardinals and Vikings stay on the clock where they are and pass on those two players:

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NFL Mock Draft 2024

1. Chicago Bears (from Panthers)

  • Caleb Williams, QB, USC (6-1, 214 pounds)

The Bears are locking into their replacement for Justin Fields, hoping Williams will deliver long-term as a high-ceiling big-armed, athletic winning playmaker.

2. Washington Commanders

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

The Commanders have been leaning here to land an explosive athlete with a big arm who fits the offense of Kliff Kingsbury well.

3. New England Patriots

  • Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina (6-4, 223 pounds)

With Williams and Daniels off the board, the Patriots should be leaning to grab Maye as their franchise passer for their new offense under Alex Van Pelt.

MORE NFL DRAFT: Complete list of every team’s draft pick

4. Arizona Cardinals

  • Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama (6-3, 247 pounds)

The Cardinals would open myriad possibilities by not taking Harrison or another wide receiver early, instead opting for a cornerstone playmaker for defensive-minded coach Jonathan Gannon after trading out of a chance for Will Anderson Jr. last year.

(Getty Images)

5. Los Angeles Chargers

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

The Chargers would run their pick to the podium should Harrison still be available to be their new dominant No. 1 target for Justin Herbert.

6. New York Giants

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

The Cardinals deciding against Harrison would also open the door for the Giants to land Nabers as their new No. 1 and slide Rome Odunze out of the top seven.

2024 NFL DRAFT TOP 10 LISTS: QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | EDGE

7. Tennessee Titans

  • Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame (6-9, 321 pounds)

The Titans would be tempted by Odunze, but they have been more attached to Nabers. They need to stay the course and continue to upgrade the offensive line for Will Levis with a lockdown, long-term left tackle.

8. Atlanta Falcons

  • Rome Odunze, WR, Washington (6-3, 212 pounds)

This pick would be easier for the Falcons if Turner was indeed off the board. They could pile a fourth consecutive dynamic first-round skill player, following Kyle Pitts, Drake London, and Bijan Robinson, giving them one of the most loaded passing games with Kirk Cousins under Zac Robinson.

Rome Odunze 04022

9. Chicago Bears

  • Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA (6-5, 259 pounds)

The Bears would also consider a promising young wideout despite having veterans DJ Moore and Keenan Allen for Williams, but in the end, they can go with the ideal pass-rushing bookend opposite Montez Sweat for Matt Eberflus.

10. New York Jets

  • Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State (6-6, 312 pounds)

The Jets will be ready should Odunze drop to them and also can also consider top receiving tight end Brock Bowers, but getting Fashanu behind aging tackle flyers Tyron Smith and Morgan Moses makes sense.

11. Minnesota Vikings

  • Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State (6-4, 254 pounds)

Should the Vikings not take J.J. McCarthy and eschew offense with this initial first-rounder, they should think about Verse, the ideal havoc-wreaker for the scheme of defensive coordinator Brian Flores.

NFL DRAFT RUMORS: Drake Maye | Jayden Daniels | J.J. McCarthy | Vikings | 2024 Draft

12. Denver Broncos

  • J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan (6-2, 219 pounds)

The Broncos have been tied plenty to Bo Nix, but they would be thrilled if the Vikings let McCarthy slip through them because he has a higher ceiling in Sean Payton’s offense.

J.J. McCarthy

(Getty Images)

13. Las Vegas Raiders

  • Bo Nix, QB, Oregon (6-2, 214 pounds)

The Raiders will also be ready for McCarthy, but they might make out fine and not need to go offensive line, cornerback, or another position should NIx be available for offensive coordinator Luke Getsy.

14. New Orleans Saints

  • Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State (6-6, 324 pounds)

The Saints will be also considering pass rushers, but with the Verse twist, getting Fuaga to help shore up some questions at tackle makes sense offensively.

15. Indianapolis Colts

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

The Colts also will consider tight end Brock Bowers plenty, but they love what DeJean’s versatility and quick playmaking can mean for their secondary.

16. Seattle Seahawks

  • Byron Murphy II, DT, Texas (6-0, 297 pounds)

The Seahawks are also into DeJean’s unique coverage skills, but if the Colts or another team beat them to him, they can be thrilled about getting the explosiveness of Murphy up front.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo (6-0, 195 pounds)

The Jaguars will have their pick of speedy downfield corners to line up opposite Tyson Campbell, and Mitchell dropping behind DeJean would be ideal.

Quinyon Mitchell

(Getty Images)

18. Cincinnati Bengals

  • Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia (6-3, 243 pounds)

The Bengals landed Mike Gesicki and re-signed Drew Sample, but it would be difficult to pass up on a falling Bowers to be an impactful third target to replace Tyler Boyd between Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins.

19. Los Angeles Rams

  • Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama (6-0, 189 pounds)

The Rams will also be happy to get DeJean or Mitchell, but the playmaking Arnold should remind them plenty of Jalen Ramsey.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Jackson Powers-Johnson, C/G, Oregon (6-3, 328 pounds)

The Steelers will look at Powers-Johnson to give them a big boost at center to be their next Maurkice Pouncey after the disappointment of Mason Cole.

21. Miami Dolphins

  • Johnny Newton, DT, Illinois (6-2, 304 pounds)

The Dolphins need a major backfield disruptor to help replace Christian Wilkins, and what happens early shouldn’t affect their pick too much.

22. Philadelphia Eagles

  • Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia (6-8, 340 pounds)

The Eagles make a stash move here with the future of tackle beyond Lane Johnson in mind with an offensive tackle who mirrors the frame of Jordan Mailata.

23. Minnesota Vikings (from Browns through Texans)

  • Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington (6-2, 216 pounds)

The Vikings could just keep their two first-rounders, go best defensive player available first, and come back with a fine QB choice here. Penix should be set up to still be on the board, especially if another team ends up with McCarthy.

Michael Penix Jr.

Getty Images

24. Dallas Cowboys

  • Graham Barton, OT, Duke (6-5, 313 pounds)

The Cowboys need to look at upgrading both offensive tackle and guard, and Barton gives them a couple of strong athletic starting options.

25. Green Bay Packers

  • J.C. Latham, OT, Alabama (6-6, 342 pounds)

The Packers need to make this position a high priority, and Latham could help them find an immediate, direct replacement for David Bakhtiari.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama (5-11, 199 pounds)

The Buccaneers traded Carlton Davis in the offseason and need an active, playmaking cover man to put opposite Jamel Dean for defensive-minded Todd Bowles.

27. Arizona Cardinals (from Texans)

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

The Cardinals need to work on the interior line after taking Paris Johnson Jr. for tackle in last year’s draft, and Fautanu has the athleticism to kick out outside and provide strong bookend blocking, if needed.

28. Buffalo Bills

  • Chop Robinson, EDGE, Penn State (6-3, 254 pounds)

The Bills have been tied to taking a wide receiver after trading Stefon Diggs and not re-signing Gabe Davis, but they also need to rebuild the pass rush for Sean McDermott. Robinson has his brand of explosiveness.

Chop Robinson

(Getty Images)

29. Detroit Lions

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

The Lions are a sneaky team to watch for a first-round wide receiver. They need a reliable big target outside to complement Amon-Ra St. Brown while they still wait on Jameson Williams to become a consistent deep threat.

30. Baltimore Ravens

  • Darius Robinson, EDGE, Missouri (6-5, 285 pounds)

The Ravens lost Jadeveon Clowney in free agency, and Robinson’s solid floor vs. the run and pass-rush upside make him a solid replacement option.

31. San Francisco 49ers

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

The 49ers need to get some more speed and playmaking away from Charvarius Ward, and Wiggins is the last of the true first-round-worthy corners.

32. Kansas City Chiefs

  • Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon (6-2, 176 pounds)

The Chiefs also will think about offensive tackle and consider other wide receivers, but in the end, Franklin’s versatility and big-play ability make sense as contingencies for Rashee Rice and Marquise Brown.

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