Brett Whitefield's 2024 NFL Mock Draft 3.0


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Brett Whitefield's 2024 NFL Mock Draft 3.0

The majority of free agency has passed, and we have a pretty good understanding of where everyone’s roster stands. That makes it a great time to drop another 2024 NFL Mock Draft.

I have now watched all the tape for over 200 prospects and have scored about 190 of them. That also means the Fantasy Points Prospect Guide is live, and you can check out skill-player write-ups for free right now. Offensive linemen and defensive players will start getting added next week.

That is a perfect segue to talk about this class as a whole. I have 24 first-round grades (as of now), which is a personal record in my nine years of scoring prospects. While watching each prospect, my gut all along was that this class was very top-heavy and then fell off a cliff somewhere in the second round (minus extremely deep classes like WR and IOL).

I think, more than ever, top-50 picks in this class are uber valuable — for instance, the 27th-best player in the class is pretty similar to the 48th-best player in the class.

Before we begin, here’s a refresher into my mock process.

While the first two mocks of the cycle were of the “what Brett would do” variety, today, I am taking my first crack and trying to sort it out from a predictive standpoint.

To make these selections, I have carefully considered each team's needs, evaluated the positional value of available prospects, and weighed each player's talent against the specific fit for each team. Considering these factors, I have compiled a mock draft reflecting my evaluation and vision for the 2024 NFL Draft.

Remember, my big board ranking is completely team-agnostic. If I were to do a big board for each individual team, they would look drastically different from each other. Let's get started!

Check our Brett’s Mock Draft 1.0 and Mock Draft 2.0, which have a “what Brett would do” theme

Brett Whitefield’s NFL Mock Draft 3.0

1) Chicago Bears (VIA CAR): Caleb Williams, QB, USC (Big Board: 3)

I don’t want this to happen, but have conceded that this is the most likely outcome at this point. Part of me still thinks Washington desperately wants to come up to 1 for Caleb, but I am going with the book for now.

2) Washington Commanders: JJ McCarthy, QB, Michigan (Big Board: 1)

My top QB in the draft winds up #2 overall to the Commanders. They secure their QB of the future with McCarthy and his presence in this offense leads us to a fascinating question. Do Kliff Kingsbury QBs struggle playing in structure because of him, or has it been just a coincidence? Perhaps McCarthy’s ability in structure and pocket prowess unlocks Kliff’s system.

3) Minnesota Vikings: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina (Big Board: 13)


Vikings get: 2024 1st-round pick (#3 via NE)

Patriots get: 2024 1st-round pick (#11 via MIN), 2024 1-round pick (#23 via MIN), 2025 3rd-round pick (via MIN)

I am simply dot-connecting on this one. Obviously the Vikings want to trade up for a QB. Vikings QB coach Josh McCown happened to be Maye’s high school coach, so this is an easy one to slot. While I am not the highest on Maye, there is no doubt he will be set up for success as well as any the rookie QBs.

4) Arizona Cardinals: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State (Big Board: 2)

I think if the Cardinals get stuck here at fourth overall and can’t trade back for a team moving up for Jayden Daniels, they make the no-brainer pick and take the best non-quarterback in the class. Harrison gives them a true alpha dog who can win at all three levels of the field.

5) Los Angeles Chargers: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State (Big Board: 11)

Identity pick incoming! Jim Harbaugh might be the most stubborn coach in all of football so I predict he and Joe Hortiz will go with the attitude pick here in his first draft. I am not proclaiming to know he prefers Fuaga over a guy like Joe Alt, but from everything we know about the way Jim likes to run his teams, it would make perfect sense. Fuaga is a monster who brings nastiness and toughness to the team and perfectly sets up a new smash-mouth culture on the OL. He also is a natural RT, which doesn’t force them to move Rashawn Slater off of LT.

6) New York Giants: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU (Big Board: 6)

Daniel Jones buys new franchise QB Daniels some time to fully learn the offense before he eventually takes over the reins. If the board somehow fell this way, I anticipate the Giants would run to the podium. If they don’t go QB, I could see them going with one of the premium WRs or OTs.

7) Tennessee Titans: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame (Big Board: 5)

For the second year in a row, the Titans land the best OL in the draft. Alt slides in at LT and plays next to last year's 1st-round pick Peter Skoronski to give them a potentially dominant left side of the line as they continue to insulate Will Levis.

8) Atlanta Falcons: Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama (Big Board: 8)

The Falcons have been connected to Turner in nearly every mock since the end of the college football season. They pretty clearly need some talent on the edge, so I will not resist the tide (pun intended). Turner brings explosiveness, length, and bend as a pass-rusher.

9) Chicago Bears: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU (Big Board: 12)

Adding Nabers to a WR room that already features Keenan Allen and DJ Moore would be complete overkill. However, it would also be awesome. I love giving their new young quarterback as many weapons as possible.

10) New York Jets: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia (Big Board: 16)

Slotting Bowers is nearly impossible, as it is tough to predict which teams are willing to pull the trigger on a relatively devalued position. In this case, the Jets have fixed their OL (at least temporarily) and are in a win-now window, so let’s load up another pass catcher and elite RAC weapon in Bowers. The books have tilted this way recently as well, so I will follow suit.

11) New England Patriots: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington (Big Board: 4)


Patriots get: 2024 1st-round pick (#11 via MIN), 2024 1-round pick (#23 via MIN), 2025 3rd-round pick (via MIN)

Vikings get: 2024 1st-round pick (#3 via NE)

The Patriots do the right thing to start the new era in New England. They get great value in a trade back and still land a premium player in the class in Odunze. Odunze is a do-it-all alpha WR whose presence alone will elevate the other players in the room.

12) Denver Broncos: Bo Nix, QB, Oregon (Big Board: 20)

Even if this is high for Nix, Denver doesn’t have a choice here, as the Broncos desperately need a quarterback. Nix’s play style, experience, snap-to-throw quickness, and ability to run an offense will appeal to Sean Payton.

13) Los Vegas Raiders: Michael Penix Jr, QB, Washington (Big Board: 34)

Same logic as the Nix pick above here. It might be early for Penix, but at some point, the Raiders will have to take a swing on a QB, and I don’t think they can afford to wait until the 2nd round to grab Penix. They are a primo trade-up candidate, and maybe on draft day, we will see them move mountains to get back into the first and pull the trigger on Penix there.

14) New Orleans Saints: Troy Fautanu, OT, Washington (Big Board: 7)

Fautanu seems to be well-liked by just about everyone, and somehow, he is still massively flying under the radar. He is an excellent prospect. Traditionally, this Saints regime has loved versatile offensive linemen, and while I think Fautanu is a tackle through and through, his ability to kick inside and play guard makes him the perfect Saints pick.

15) Indianapolis Colts: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo (Big Board: 15)

Mitchell was tailor-made for the Gus Bradley zone defense. I think Mitchell could also excel in a man-heavy scheme (he is that good), but his read-and-react ability and ball skills with his eyes on the QB are exceptional.

16) Seattle Seahawks: Graham Barton, OL, Duke (Big Board: 26)

It is probably a bit early for Barton’s services but it is no secret the glaring weakness for the Seahawks right now is on the interior of their OL. They have been connected to Barton in the pre-draft process as well. The Seahawks traditionally love moving around the board, so perhaps we will see them move back a couple of spots and make this pick a bit later.

17) Jacksonville Jaguars: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama (Big Board: 23)

Stefon Diggs and Calvin Ridley landing with divisional opponents underscores that the Jags need a cornerback desperately, and they have been doing their homework on all the top guys. Some consider Arnold the top CB in the draft, and he would fit opposite Tyson Campbell very well. He also brings some nickel versatility.

18) Cincinnati Bengals: Johnny Newton, DI, Illinois (Big Board: 9)

Newton is one of my favorite players in the entire draft class. I cannot remember a more polished pass-rushing interior defensive lineman in my nine years of scoring prospects. He slides in to fill a giant need created by DJ Reader leaving in free agency (literally and figuratively — Reader is huge). Newton might not be the run defender Reader is, but he is exceptional as a pass-rusher.

19) Los Angeles Rams: Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA (Big Board: 9)

I have a tough time seeing Latu be available here, but I don’t have access to his medicals, and that seems to be the one thing holding him back from being a top-10 pick. Based solely on film, he is a top-10 player for me, so this is a potential steal. Latu has an exceptionally diverse pass-rush arsenal and gives the Rams a ton of alignment versatility.

20) Pittsburgh Steelers: JC Latham, OT, Alabama (Big Board: 15)

I’m leaning heavily into the culture and identity of Steelers football here, which they started to get back to this year. I expect them to keep pushing back that direction this year as well, and adding a road-grader like Latham at offensive tackle is a heck of a way to accelerate the process.

21) Miami Dolphins: Jackson Powers-Johnson, IOL, Oregon (Big Board: 29)

Miami fills its most significant need — center — with the best player in the draft at that position in JPJ. It's an easy one to slot.

22) Philadelphia Eagles: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson (Big Board: 38)

Speed, fluidity, and stickiness — that is Wiggins’ game. The Eagles couldn’t cover your grandma last year, so those traits should greatly appeal to them. Wiggins is best in the off-zone coverage the Eagles and Vic Fangio also like to deploy.

23) New England Patriots (VIA CLE, VIA MIN): Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State (Big Board: 16)


Patriots get: 2024 1st-round pick (#11 via MIN), 2024 1-round pick (#23 via MIN), 2025 2nd-round pick (via MIN)

Vikings get: 2024 1st-round pick (#3 via NE)

In part two of their big trade back, the Patriots land an excellent prospect with mouth-watering physical traits — and great value — in Fashanu. Prior to this pick, they were slated to start Conor McDermott at left tackle this season.

24) Dallas Cowboys: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia (Big Board: 35)

The Cowboys select arguably the biggest question mark in the class in Mims, who has just eight career starts. Those eight starts have some crazy good moments, though. He has all the physical tools in the world to be an excellent offensive tackle and could play on the left or right side as needed.

25) Green Bay Packers: Cooper DeJean, DB, Iowa (Big Board: 28)

The Packers have a glaring hole in their secondary at one of their safety spots. DeJean can play corner in the right system, but I also think he could be an elite safety in the NFL. I considered Tyler Nubin here as well, but I didn’t think his tape consistently screamed 1st round prospect, and then he had a dud of a Combine workout as well. DeJean might be the top safety in the class.

26) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State (Big Board: 14)

This is insane value for a guy with Verse’s skill set, but someone is going to have to slide a bit to fit all of these QBs in. He is also an older prospect, which could cause a draft-day slide.

27) Arizona Cardinals (VIA HOU): Byron Murphy II, DI, Texas (Big Board: 18)

The Cardinals get a bowling ball OL wrecker to add to their talent-void defensive line. Again, this is great value here. I think this is a realistic slide for various reasons, with the biggest being Murphy’s height coming in just over 6’0”. Personally, I don’t care about that, but so many NFL GMs are sticklers for measurables, making a small slide reasonable. Let's not forget Aaron Donald lasted until pick 10, and just last year Calijah Kancey lasted until 19th overall for similar reasons. Both were significantly better pass-rush prospects than Murphy.

28) Buffalo Bills: Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU (Big Board: 21)

The Bills get some good fortune and land a stud WR prospect who can win at the intermediate and deep parts of the field. Thomas has a lot of work to do to be the do-it-all WR1 Stefon Diggs was for the Bills, but his presence and field-stretching ability elevate the unit as a whole from day 1.

29) Detroit Lions: Xavier Legette, WR, South Carolina (Big Board: 37)

Given how much the Lions scored last year, this may be a shock to some, but the Lions do need an X receiver. Among the WR group, Legette screams “Dan Campbell Guy” more than the rest. I suspect the Lions love everything about this kid, from his backstory to his football intangibles and — obviously — his ability on the field. Cornerback is also in contention here.

30) Baltimore Ravens: Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas (Big Board: 55)

The run on WRs continues here. While I am lower on Mitchell than most, he would complement Zay Flowers and Rashod Bateman, especially if he develops his route running a bit. Either way, I love the Ravens adding to their pass-catching group.

31) San Francisco 49ers: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama (Big Board: 21)

The 49ers' secondary has massively underperformed the past two seasons, costing them in the Super Bowl last year. They have retooled/reloaded their defensive line and must complement an exceptional pass-rush group with some cover ability. An offensive tackle is definitely in play here, as well.

32) Kansas City Chiefs: Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma (Big Board: 30)

The Chiefs are tough to predict every year as they routinely pick at the end of the first. On paper, their biggest hole is left tackle, but I have no idea how they feel about last year’s 3rd-round pick Wanya Morris, who is currently penciled in as the starter. That said, Guyton is the best OL available and gives them options in camp.

Brett Whitefield is an experienced professional in football analytics, with more than a decade in the business. He has held several key positions with some of the top companies in the industry, including as a process manager at Pro Football Focus (PFF), where he spent more than seven years. Brett has also worked with and consulted for multiple NFL teams and Power-5 NCAA football programs.