Wednesday, March 20, 2024

2024 NFL MOCK DRAFT With Player Comparisons - 3/20/24

Since the combine ended I have been churning through the tape like a fat kid goes through cake.  Since we are in the middle of liars season now I have been trying to sift through any rumors to see if I can find some grains of truth , but the best things you can trust are still your own eyes , and the list of prospect meetings & team visits. This draft has a higher quality of players than 2023 as a whole , but a few of the players that I had already watched & liked did go back to school so its not as great as it could have been. Thankfully it is a smaller list of players coming out prematurely these days ,  because the transfer portal and NIL money have thankfully cut down on the number of people who entered the draft too early.  Basically between the extra Covid year and the transfer portal there are a LOT of older prospects in this draft.  That means we get a better evaluation , but you also have to weigh the tape of a 5th or even 6th year senior versus 3rd year players and compensate accordingly. Also , most of the talent that should end up in the top 5 , and even probably the top 10 is on the offensive side of the ball. I would be surprised if more than one defender comes off the board in the top 10 , and I also wouldn't be surprised if the top 10 is all offense. I have watched all of these players actually play many times  , but that is not the same as breaking down the film on them, and as of now I have currently broken down the film on one game for 332 players.  Although I am also now up to 256 players that I have evaluated for at least 3 games , but there is still so much more tape to watch.  I usually end up with at least 3 games scouted on somewhere between 450 to 500 players before draft week. So I will be taking my last 2 vacation weeks , and having another staycation in both in late March & mid April.  The college transfer portal & NIL money has drastically changed the face of college football. These days unless you are guaranteed to be a top 100 pick you might want to take the NIL money , stay in school , and try to improve your draft stock. A lot of players disappoint, go back to school, get injuries, get in trouble , and others come out of the woodwork.  Basically we are all still a ways off from potentially decoding this draft right now , but the picture is a lot clearer today. The Pro Days & team visits are still going on , and those 2 things are important pieces to the puzzle. This is NOT a rankings list of my top players, but instead just my guess at how the draft will go at this time. In addition to it looking like a better draft overall than 2023 there are some positions that have stuck out so far. Right now WR and the O-Line are the best positions in the draft. It wouldn't shock me if half of the entire first round is made up of WR's and O-Lineman. As a bonus , Quarterback , and CB look potentially deep in the first 2 days too. Also while there isn't a off the ball LB I would take in the 1rst round ,  there are a lot of them I would draft between the 2nd & 5th rounds. Plus unlike last years predominantly undersized WR class there is a lot of bigger wideouts available in the 2024 draft. I still expect a QB to go #1  , although it could be through a trade , because you never know if the Bears might try to get a big haul of picks , and take a QB later.  With Fields traded , and the Bears to take a new QB on a rookie contract , they can be contender very soon. I am putting a QB at #1 either way , and I believe it likely that QB's are the top 3 picks with as many as 6 potentially being selected in the first round. So a lot of trades will probably happen, and since it's draft season again it's time to start throwing trades in the mocks. I have also added the first selection for the 2 teams who don't have a first round pick this year. While I waited until the beginning of free agency was over for full team writeups this year I still need to write my prospect profiles. All I have are tons of notes in coaching short hand , but I am now in the process of making them into fully worded profiles. So hopefully next week all my picks will have full player descriptions. Without further ado here it is. Agreeing or disagreeing is welcome, but please do it intelligently & respectfully or I just won't post your comment. So here it is. Enjoy.

# Is for a player for with reported character or maturity concerns.

** Is for a player with reported injury concerns.

1.BEARS - (car) - CALEB WILLIAMS - QB - USC - 6"1" , 214


The Bears are in the catbird seat this year again. To have back to back number one overall picks usually means your team was terrible the previous season , but the Bears gained a lot of draft capitol , including the # 1 overall pick this year by trading out of the top spot in 2023 with Carolina.  Plus they got a #1 WR in DJ Moore. Since the Panthers were terrible last year , and ended up the clear worst team in the league , the #1 pick they traded to the Bears is even more valuable this year in a deeper QB class. Could the Bears trade out of the top 5 again and get even more picks and players? Yes, but it would be completely stupid to do so, and Bears GM Ryan Pace isn't stupid. While last years team made clear & steady progress Justin Fields got hurt again , and his 4th quarter struggles are well known now. He did take some steps forward as a passer, but I expect he will keep getting hurt when he runs a lot , and he isn't yet a good enough passer to be a good starter without that steady diet of explosive runs. Also , I just think that Caleb Williams , Drake Maye , and Jayden Daniels are all clearly better passers than he is. I would even rather have MCcarthy & Penix as well. The first 4 are all mobile , and can give you some scrambling & running ability , but only Daniels is the electric running threat that Fields is. To me it originally came down to Williams or Maye because of their bigger builds. Both are less likely to get hurt. Plus scrambling so they can find a open receiver is what both of them prefer , but Daniels did take a huge step forward in 2023. The Bears already had plenty of cap space before the huge cap increase for all teams this year, and then they cut veterans Eddie Jackson & Cody Whitehair after they were coming off down seasons. The trade and contract extension for edge rusher Montez Sweat worked out well for them , but they could have used some of that money for a fellow edge rusher to join with Sweat. The Bears don't have any key free agents since they tagged & resigned Jaylon Johnson , but with the young building blocks they already have in place , the cap room , and draft capitol ( #1 , #9, and # 75 picks) they could move into the playoffs very easily in 2024. In fact until the Vikings lost Cousins I expected the NFC North to be one of the best overall division's in football in 2024. So the Vikings need to make a move now before they fall behind. Current big needs for the Bears are in the interior of both the O-Line & D-Line, edge rusher, CB , safety , and maybe a extra WR. If the bears do take a QB at #1 they might get one of the 3 top tier WR's at # 9 to pair with Moore & Kennan Allen, or take the best O-Lineman available. I think its too early to move on from either of their young OTs , but they could take the best OT and move RT Darnell Wright inside to RG where his rookie year struggles with speed rushers could be alleviated. I'm not sure any of the edge rushers , or CB's in this class are worth the # 9 pick , although they did re-sign top CB Jaylon Johnson. Although since they traded their 2nd rounder for Sweat a trade back to gain a 2nd rounder in a deep draft might make some sense. They did sign veteran ball hawking safety Kevin Byard , but he has lost a step. Signing dual threat RB D'andre Swift was a surprise signing to me because they already have 2 good young RB'S in Khalil Herbert & Roschon Johnson. Pass catching TE Gerald Everett was brought in as well.  They are taking one of the QB's , and all rumor's say they are locked in on Caleb , but that could just be a negotiating tactic to generate a higher trade value. They traded Fields , but at this point apparently a 6th that can become a 4th based on playing time is the best they could get. Whoever the QB is in 2024 I expect them to look back fondly on the day that the Bears stole future HOFer Keenan Allen from the Chargers for a 4th round pick. GRAND THEFT WR ! Anyway I expect they will go with Williams, even though his recent delusions of grandeur have made me move him down to the #3 QB in this draft. Now all this arrogant stuff he's pulling has made me distrust him. Williams has become the first player to ever refuse medical testing at the combine , which makes me wonder what he is hiding. Rumors of his posse of yes men around him , and arrogant attitude don't help either. Then there is the crazy rumor that his father is saying he is so good he should get a percentage of the NFL team that drafts him? That is straight nuts , and I wouldn't have done that for Tom Brady when he was playing , and I wouldn't even do it for the unicorn Patrick Mahomes now. Maybe its a smoke screen because he is from DC , and is trying to force his way to the Commanders , ala John Elway & Eli Manning. Even if it is I don't like selfish snow flakes who think they are bigger than the game , or outside the rules. Jeff George & Jay Schroeder were very talented QB's , but also selfish jerks that their teammates disliked. They divided locker rooms , and the stuff that Williams is reportedly pulling is even worse. Anyway, Williams is very talented , and his 2021 & 2022 tape was excellent. This year he took steps backward , and his number stupid throws really increased. He is a great improvisor & playmaker , but he needs to learn to get rid of the ball on time & in the pocket. 



Now With Daniel Snyder gone the new owner took a year to assess last seasons team , and found it wanting. New OC Eric Bieniemy got too pass happy , and Sam Howell's solid start to the season imploded. Once the tide turned Washington traded away both starting edge rushers , and it was really all down hill from there culminating in 9 straight losses to end the season. HC Ron Rivera got fired , and they are rebuilding now. On the bright side they have the #2 overall pick, an extra 2nd & 3rd rounders , and tons of cap room. I expected new head coach Dan Campbell to bring some players from Dallas with him , and he got 2 on day one. Edge rusher Dorrance Armstrong has been good in a part time role with 16 sacks over the last 2 seasons , and its reasonable to believe he can live up to his 3 year 45 million dollar deal by producing double digit sacks playing starter level snaps. Armstrong needs to set a better edge against the run though. I think new center Tyler Biadasz is overrated , and not worth his 10 million a year because he lacks quickness & athleticism , but he is a tough battler who tries hard. Then rotational veteran DE Dante Fowler left the cowboys to join Quinn with a 3rd team. New guard Nick Allegretti played OK for the Chiefs when Joe Thuney got hurt , and that includes 2 playoff games & The Superbowl so I like them taking a chance on him at a reasonable price. Austin Ekeler got hurt , and looked slower behind a bad O-Line last season , after 2 elite seasons in a row. He's 29 now , and didn't cost a lot , so maybe in a lesser role as a pass catching & change of pace back he could shine again in Washington. Veteran TE Zach Ertz gives them a more reliable pass catching TE than Logan Tomas. Marcus Mariota was paid enough to be the primary backup. They are taking a QB at #2 though. Expect a attacking defense that forces more turnovers in 2024.  I believe 2023 1rst round route jumping CB Emmanuel Forbes could do a lot better in this new scheme if he adds a little more muscle. Plus its not a coincidence that Trevon Diggs & Daron Bland each led the league in picks , and defensive TD's during Quinn's reign as Dallas DC. DB's are Quinn's specialty , but he asks a lot of them now. If Caleb Williams does get his way , and ends up with Washington he will see a familiar face in new OC Kilff Kingsbury who coached him at USC last season. For Now I am expecting they take Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels at #2. Reliable , but just OK blindside protector Charles Leno , good CB Kendall Fuller , and solid slot WR Curtis Samuel were all let go. The Commanders had the cap room to bring back all 3 if they wanted to. Washington traded away Sam Howell for very little so they HAVE to draft a QB here , because signing former 1rst round bust Marcus Mariota doesn't expire any hope. Maye is big armed mobile QB who played behind a bad O-Line ,and with just OK weapons. Has so many special throws on tape , but a fair amount of stupid ones too. I would love to see what he could do with good blocking , and better pass catchers. 

***TRADE*** The MINNESOTA VIKINGS TRADE their 1rst (#11) and the 1rst (#23) they got from the TEXANS to the PATRIOTS for their 1rst (#3) rounder ***TRADE***

3.VIKINGS-(ne) - JAYDEN DANIELS - QB - LSU - 6"4' , 200


Kirk Cousins got paid AGAIN , but it wasn't by the Vikings. They reportedly wanted him on a cheaper 2 year deal with less guaranteed cash , and were expected to draft a QB pretty high even if he resigned. Cousins went to a team that potentially has receiving weapons on par with the Vikings, a good O-Line, and a much better RB & running game. I do think the Vikes pivoted well though signing injury prone , but still very talented former #3 overall pick bust Sam Darnold to a one year 10 million dollar deal that makes a ton a sense. He still might finally figure it out , and he just came from Frisco with Kyle Shanahan , and Vikings head coach Kevin O'connell is from the Shanahan/Mcvay coaching tree. So Darnold should be able to slide right into the offense , and his contract doesn't hinder them if they want to draft a QB in the first. Now that they acquired a 2nd first rounder from the Texans I am pretty confident they are going trade up for one.  The Texans basically swapped Pro Bowl edge rushers in free agency with the Vikings as Danielle Hunter is coming to Houston & Jonathan Greenard is heading to Minnesota. Hunter is the longer , twitchier , more explosive & consistent  , and has the higher upside as a pass rusher of the 2. Yet he does not set a good consistent edge in the run game , and he's the greedy type who is always looking to squeeze more money out of you , even when he already has a good contract. Greenard finally fully busted out in 2023 , and he sets a better edge , but I think he got too much money for a guy with his career production. Minnesota also brought in another later breakout edge rusher Andrew Van Ginkel from the Dolphins on a 2 year 20 million dollar deal. LB Blake Cashman came from the Texans as well , but he is risky to me , because he was regularly hurt for the first 3 years of his career. He is a big athletic LB who was finally healthy in 2023 , and them proceeded to have a pretty kick ass season. 3 years 26 million is a huge bargain if he is healthy again , but his track record of injuries is worrisome. Although he did play his high school & college ball in Minnesota so that bodes well. They also got another talented injury prone player when they signed RB Aaron Jones away from the Packers , and he is a big play dual threat upgrade over Mattison , and its only for one year and 7 million. So , for the most part I like what they are doing with the money they would have given Cousins. QB , Interior O-Line , CB , and  interior D-Line are what they need most now. There is a crazy rumor about them trading Superstar WR Justin Jefferson , but I can't see that being a remote possibility unless Jefferson actually wants out , or its a trade for a QB. Even then trading a player like Jefferson is gut wrenching for a fan base. Some may say they traded away Diggs , but Diggs wanted out , and he isn't quite as good or young as Jefferson when that went down. Plus Diggs is surly & temperamental . Jefferson just seems joyous on the field , in the locker room , and in the community. So I think they should get a extension done at some point , and getting him a new high level prospect QB should help get him to sign for the ong term. Daniels is a lean explosive runner at QB, but he really improved as a passer in 2023 , and he had the best WR's of all these Quarterbacks. He needs to add at least 20 pounds of muscle , but he absolutely earned the Heisman Trophy last year. It bothers me that he didn't even get weighed & measured at the combine , but his Pro Day on March 27th should be fully attended. 



The cards had one of the least talented rosters for the 2023 season , but new coach Jonathan Gannon got them playing hard , and they squeezed out 4 wins despite Kyler Murray only playing 7 games. They have a lot of cap space , two 1rst - the #4 & 27 overall picks , two 2nd's , three 3rd's , and 9 total picks left after trades. They have a lot of needs , but WR , EDGE rusher , DT , CB , and interior O-Line lead the way.  WR Marquise Brown was their big free agent , and they had the money to keep him if the wanted to , but Brown is already gone to Chiefs. So far in my opinion they have just overpaid middling free agents in DT Justin Jones and CB Sean Murphy-Bunting. So they better draft well. Unless a shocker happens the top 3 QB'S in the draft will be gone , but if someone is willing to pay a lot to come up to #4 like the Giants , Vikings , Denver , or Vegas they could move back some. I would stay at #4 and take WR Marvin Harrison JR unless the deal was ridiculous, but the top 3 WR's in this draft are elite prospects. Plus NFL teams could have them ranked in different orders. Maybe the Cards like Nabers or Odunze more , and if they move back to just #6 with the Giants they could still get their #1 ranked WR. I'm willing to bet that the Chargers are going to move out of #5 if even a decent package of picks comes their way , but the Cards are ahead of them if they choose to move back. I would use pick #27 on the highest rated player still available at their other big needs. Building through the draft is smart , but there were some big relatively young free agents I am sure their fans wish they had signed. Marvin Harrison JR. is the #1 player on my board , and as close to a sure thing as a player can get. Harrison is a big WR who runs routes with the smoothness , quickness, and attention to detail of a smaller WR. Or basically he runs routes like his HOFame father. With the exception of not being a burner , although his long speed is fine , he has it all. Highest floor you can get , but the ceiling is pretty high too. 

***TRADE*** The N.Y. GIANTS TRADE their 1rst (#6) and their 3rd (#70) they to the CHARGERS for their 1rst (#5) rounder ***TRADE***

5.GIANTS-(lac) - JJ MCCARTHY - QB - MICHIGAN - 6"4" , 219


Considering the fact that Daniel Jones keeps getting hurt , is hurt again , has only had one decent season , and they can get out of his contract after 2024 the Giants should be in the QB market. They could trade up into the top 3 for one , maybe reach for a Mccarthy , Penix or Nix at #6 , or sign a veteran . They didn't have the weapons , O-Line , or cap space to entice Kirk Cousins. I would have gone after Russell Wilson if I ran the Giants , but even if they did he went to the Steelers. Trading up to #3 with the Patriots would make the most sense for both teams , but I have them just moving up one pick here with the Chargers. They could move up to #4 to make sure they get the 4th QB off the board , but I'm going to give the Cardinals enough credit to say they are smart enough not to trade away from a sure thing like Marvin Harrison JR. Anyway their big off season move was trading a second for lanky edge rusher Brian Burns , and signing him to a 5 year 150 million dollar deal with 76 million guaranteed. They also signed RB Devin Singletary after losing Saquon Barkley to the division rival Eagles. Anyway , this team is also devoid of any proven offensive play makers , because Darren Waller got hurt again. Waller may even retire.  So if they stay at #6 a WR would also make a ton of sense. A offensive tackle makes sense , because highly touted by all of us , Evan Neal has been bad at RT. So if they drafted a OT they could kick him inside to guard. Mccarthy is very toolsy , athletic , and he isn't afraid to chuck it into middle of the defense. However , he has very little tape showing him passing well against a defense remotely resembling one that he will see in the NFL. 

6.CHARGERS-(nyg)- JOE ALT - OT - NOTRE DAME - 6"8" , 321


The Chargers had the worst cap situation in the league being almost 21 million over when free agency started , and that's after cutting LB Erik Kendricks who had a good season in 2023. They gave a new deal to Khalil Mack who is coming off a 17 sack season , but is also 33 years and was in the last year of his deal. Other obvious possible cap casualties or trade candidates were WR Mike Williams & DE Joey Bosa , because even though both are good players when healthy , neither are healthy often enough to justify their current contracts. Williams was finally let go , which saves them 20 million , but they restructured and kept Bosa. Center Corey Linsley also falls into the category of once great player who is now injury prone , and has a hard to justify big salary , but he retired.  Former 1rst round LB Kenneth Murray has never lived up to his draft status , and I'm not sure if they even made a big effort to bring him back , but I could have seen him playing better in Harbaugh's defense. Anyway , Murray signed with the Titans. Former standout RB Austin Ekeler had a down injury plagued season , but with better blocking he could still be useful , although its sad that he didn't get much money from Washington after years of being underpaid. Bringing back safety Alohi Gilman at a reasonable price after his breakout season was a good idea. I like the Will Dissly signing as well. While Dissly isn't a big separator he can block & catch , and his main question has always been health. TE Hayden Hurst was also signed , and is a similar player on the field to Dissly.  Power RB Gus Edwards fits what Harbaugh wants to do , so I see why they signed him, but injury questions are also his Achilles heel, They brought run stuffing LB , and former charger LB Denzel Perryman after 3 years away , but he is a liability in coverage. They should have kept WR Keenan Allen , but nope.  I expect QB Justin Herbert to look back in horror on the day that the Bears stole future HOFer Keenan Allen from the Chargers for a 4th round pick. GRAND THEFT WR ! To ask the guy who was leading the league in receptions through week 14 to take a pay cut , especially when he was already underpaid compared to last seasons production, is ludicrous . If you watched the games later in the season , when the bolts were out of contention & they shut down everybody with even a hang nail, you know how bad this team looked without Keenan Allen. On the bright side Harbaugh's commitment to the 2 TE power running game does make for a lot of open guys off of play action , but right now their receivers resemble the Patriots of last season , and that is miserable. There is no telling what Harbaugh will do now that he has the ability to get whatever type of players he wants, because he didn't have that control back in his 49ers days , but I expect the Harbaugh led Chargers to make a quick turnaround & be a contender soon. Just not this season , but the defense will be better. These first 2 years where Harbaugh will have such a strong familiarity with the college players entering the NFL should give him a leg up on other coaches who hold a lot of sway in draft rooms.  This roster needs a LOT of new players , and they need to be cheap so that means the draft. They have all of their own draft picks plus a extra 7th rounder. If they stay at #5 a OT, WR , or possibly TE Brock Bowers make the most sense. As much as I love Bowers , and Harbaugh runs a lot of 12 ( 2 TE sets) personnel I wouldn't take Bowers there. In fact if they can get a QB needy team in the top twelve to trade with them they could get the picks they need to fill out the roster , and still get a good Right Tackle or WR. Or maybe a team wants to trade up for one of the top 3 WR's. Either would be ideal. However , they may move back even farther. The Patriots are ahead of them , and they may move back as well , but if they don't the Chargers are in prime position to get a big haul from the Vikings. This time I had the pats trading back first , but the Chargers still move down slightly , and pick up a extra draft pick. Plus they still get Joe Alt as long as they don't move back far enough to be behind Tennessee. Alt is a tall technically sound athletic OT , who literally improved on all my questionable areas from 2022's tape in 2023. He has a really high floor , a good size ceiling , and can play both OT spots. I can't see him getting past pick #7 , but he could go as high as #4. 



Of all the coaching fireings Mike Vrabel was a shocker to me. That roster sucked before the season , the Titans had a lot of injuries , and they had a really bad O-Line too. Vrabel didn't deserve that , but coaches are often scapegoats , although I was just as shocked that another team didn't snap him up right away. The team got old & injured , and they should have let a young 48 year old winner like Vrabel rebuild , and I think some of the teams who hired new unproven head coaches over Vrabel will regret it. New QB Will Levis showed some promise behind that bad O-Line , and with a average receiving core. They do have a lot of cap space though. With 2023 third round RB Tajae Spears , and incoming Tony Pollard at RB its now pretty obvious that the new Titans will be a zone heavy speedy slashing running game. Which is the opposite of thumping you with departed future HOFer Derrick Henry.  So its kind of weird that they let a young athletic zone suited center Aaron Brewer go to the Dolphins on a low cost 3 year 21 million dollar deal, and brought in the big beefy Lloyd Cushenberry on a 4 year 50 million dollar deal. Don't get me wrong Cushenberry is a better well rounded player , and Brewers anchor in pass pro was subpar , but they could have kept Brewer and moved Cushenberry to guard. The only O-Lineman on their roster I believed in going forward was rookie guard Peter Skoronski , and I still think they should give him a shot at OT. Although to be fair Daniel Brunskill did show some promise. Hiring young head coach Brian Callahan isn't a bad call , but the reason I like it most is that his dad Bill Callahan comes to coach with him. In my opinion poppa Callahan has been the best O-Line coach in football for over a decade , and every guy he coaches who listens will get better. They let a better LB in Azeez Al-Shaair go to the rival Texans ,and signed a worse player in former 1rst round bust Kenneth Murray away from the Chargers , but I guess he was at least cheaper. CB Chidobe Awuzie is a slight upgrade at CB over Sean Murphy-Bunting , who signed with Arizona , but he is also about 4 million more per season. Finally a signing I really like came across the net when they signed WR Calvin Ridley. With D-Hop & Ridley they are now dangerous, and it will really cut down on D-Hop double teams. Plus D-Hop is in his 30's. If Treylon Burks can stay healthy , and Chig Okonkwo can stretch the seam like he did in 2022 Will Levis has a legit chance to succeed. They brought in veteran backup QB Mason Rudolph too. Now just keep building that O-Line , and let Callahan SR. work his magic. CB and interior D-Line are big needs on defense as well. With Alt gone they may just take their 2nd highest rated OT.  2 of the 3 stud WR's are still available here , but another WR seems like overkill , although they might be able to trade back with a team that wants one. Young Callahan's former club the Bengal's might be willing to make that trade , but I am not sure if the Titans want to move back that far. TE Brock Bowers is worth the pick , but I just think QB Will Levis needs to be protected first & foremost if they stay at this slot. Fuaga is a people mover in the run game, and has the tools to stay outside with some technique refinement. Has some really fun nasty blocks on tape too. 

***TRADE*** The BENGALS TRADE their 1rst (#18) and their 2nd (#49) in this draft and their 2024 3rd rounder to the FALCONS for their 1rst (#8) rounder ***TRADE***

8.BENGALS-(atl)- ROME ODUNZE - WR - WASHINGTON - 6"3" , 212


The big questions with the Bengals is will Joe Burrow actually be healthy to start a season for once , and then be healthy throughout. I would really like to see that. I think Burrow's health questions are the reason why Jake Browning hasn't been traded so far this offseason , because Browning looked good in the 7 games he was the primary QB for the Bengals. A 4-3 record as a QB in a tough division like the AFC North is a accomplishment. I thought Browning might get traded for a 2nd , but Burrow is still recovering , although he is expected to be healthy by May for OTA's. They kept Tee Higgins by throwing the franchise tag on him , but I honestly think they should trade him if they can get a 2024 first rounder for him , or if they trade up for one of the big 3 WR'S in this draft. He's a good player , but Chase is better , and they can't afford big contracts for both. The Bengal's brought back a familiar face in safety Von Bell after a year away in Carolina. Then they signed brainy former back up safety Geno Stone , who ended playing a lot last season , and led the AFC with 7 picks from the division rival Ravens. TE Tanner Hudson who became a weapon while Browning was at QB was re-singed. Mike Gesicki is another pass catching TE they brought in , but lets hope he never does the griddy again when he scores. TE Drew Sample , who can actually block some , was brought back too. RB Zach Moss was healthy for a lot of last year , and played well when he got a shot to start when Jonathan Taylor missed the start of the season. After trading Joe Mixon to the Texans Moss & 2023 rookie Chase Brown should be the primary ball carriers. DT Sheldon Rankins is a solid free agent signing , but he seems overpaid ( 2 years 26 million ) to me. Rankins can penetrate , but he is injury prone , and didn't hold his ground very well against the run last season. The signing of giant Trent Brown to play RT opposite Orlando Brown JR. gives Joe Burrow 2 enormous bookends to keep him safe, So I am having them trade up for a WR. I am giving them Odunze this time because he has the size Chase lacks , and they should be losing Higgins this year or the next, but I think Burrow & Chase might prefer fellow LSU alum Malik Nabers. Odunze runs routes well, wins in all areas of the field , and is just a skilled bigger WR. 

9.CHICAGO - MALIK NABERS - WR - LSU - 6 feet , 200


This is a dream come true , not only for the Bears organization , but any QB. Having all of Keenan Allen , DJ Moore , Cole Kmet, Gerald Everett , and now Malik Nabers to throw to is just sick. Nabers is very explosive , and has elite tape this season. His ability to separate & make plays after the catch is rare. It bothers me that he didn't even get weighed & measured at the combine , but his Pro Day on March 27th should be fully attended. 

10.JETS  - JC LATHAM - T/G- ALABAMA - 6"6" , 342


The Jets season was like a Shakespearian tragedy last year. First they get one of the only 2 QB's in the league I would have called elite ( Mahomes is obviously the other ) before last season. Rodgers got them to bring a lot of his buddies with him too, although I think every single one of them was overpaid , and none of them did much on the field. Then this team , that looked like a pre-season Superbowl contender , loses Rodgers to a torn Achilles on the first drive of the year. Zach Wilson failed to improve enough to win , despite the mentorship of his hero Rodgers , and was benched. First for journeyman Trevor Siemian , and then for the worst NFL QB I have ever seen in Rodgers buddy Tim Boyle. The locker room imploded , finger pointing ensued, and the whole season was a profound disappointment. Since Rodgers is now 40 , and coming off a torn Achilles , its fair to question if he can return to anything close to his once elite form.  On the bright side he is now talking about playing another 2-4 seasons , and he has that kind of inner fire /chip on the shoulder that Brady had. Another potential down side was that independent Presidential candidate RFK was reportedly considering Rodgers as a VP choice. If it were any other current NFL player I would call B.S. , but this is Aaron Rodgers. Highly intelligent , politically aware , and vocal about it. For Rodgers it actually makes some sense , but could he actually do both at the same time?  Something tells me Rodgers thinks he could , but luckily for the Jets RFK picked someone else.  Anyway , back to the Jets . If Rodgers is healthy and even 85% percent of what he was pre-Achilles they are a Superbowl contender. The main problems for this team are obvious. Fix the O-Line & get your QB more weapons , because this defense is ready to go. One of the bright spots of the 2023 Jets was the return to health & form of Linebacker CJ Mosely, and they gave him a 2 year extension. The Jets have had little cap space , and they have been purging the roster of some older past their prime players this off season. So far in free agency they have lost 2 good young players in edge rusher Bryce Hoff & safety Jordan Whitehead , but Huff could really hurt. 2023 first rounder Will Mcdonald is going to need to step it up this season to help fill that void. On defense they have signed one player I like as CB Isaiah Oliver should fit right into this defense since he came from the 49ers. Although a pair of interior D-Lineman in former 1rst round bust Javon Kinlaw who played for HC Robert Selah in frisco , and a backup NT Leki Fotu , are not exactly inspiring stuff. On offense they have already started to fix some of their O-Line problems. The Jets signed away one of the Ravens starting guards in big John Simpson. Then they traded with the  Ravens for their starting RT Morgan Moses , who is coming off a good season for a trifling swap of 4ths and a 6th. Veteran QB Tyron Taylor fits as well , because he can keep them in games if Rodgers goes down. The signing of big former Chargers wideout Mike Williams is risky , because he is so injury prone, but if he's healthy he could be a great #2 WR for the Jets. In the draft they don't have a 2nd because of the Rodgers trade , but they have 7 total picks . Including the #10 overall , a 3rd and two 4ths. They should use at least 3 of those picks ,  on offensive lineman & pass catchers to help Rodgers. At # 10 I doubt any of the top 3 WR's will be there so that leaves TE Brock Bowers , and a potential blindside protecting OT as the top choices. Rodgers buddy , and former great LT when both were with the Packers David Bakhtiari was cut by the Packer after 3 years of injuries. It would make sense if he signed with the Jets , and if he was actually healthy again while keeping Aaron Rodgers upright. It would also be a dagger in the ass of the Packers front office , and I think they would deserve it for the crappy way they treated him. However, since his health is a clear question mark they should absolutely draft a OT , and the rookie could play guard this year if Bakhtiari is healthy. Olu Fashanu , Taliese Fuaga , Troy Fautanu , and JC Latham could all fit that bill.  Although Fashanu is the only only who actually played the blindside last season , and ironically the only one of the 3 who I doubt has the strength to run block inside at guard. Fuaga is gone this time. They might even be able to trade back a little to gain some more much needed picks , and get one of those 3 guys. Or maybe even Bowers who would be a steal #10 , and a even bigger steal later.  Since they signed often injured , but still future HOFame OT Tyron Smith to play the blindside I am giving them one of the 2 who can play guard until Smith gets hurt. To be fair Smith is still a top 10 OT when healthy , even though he is well past his prime , but last years 13 regular season games played were his most since 2019.  Maybe they role the dice , and still bring in Bakhtiari on a incentive laden deal based on playing time in the hope that either he or Tyron would be healthy at left tackle each week. Its not the weirdest idea I have ever thought of. Its just that signing expensive older players like Tyron & Mike Williams to deals, and expecting them to play key roles to help , the 40 year old coming off a big injury Rodgers ,  seems super risky.  So I am giving them JC Latham here. Maybe playing next to Tyron Smith will help Latham fulfill his potential. He is ridiculously strong , with a great highlight reel of manhandling dudes, but super grabby on the outside. Part of me thinks guard is his best position right now anyway. 

11.PATRIOTS-(min)- BROCK BOWERS- ** -TE -GEORGIA - 6"3" , 243


Bill Belichick is gone, and while he is still a defensive genius his offenses in the post Brady era left something to be desired. In my opinion the fact that he didn't get a head coaching job this off season says less about him , and more about todays majority of pussified snow flake players who can't handle hard coaching & the accountability any real man should be able to deal with. Also the Apple+ documentary that seemed to just focus on anything negative with regards to Belichick , and paint a false narrative that many great former players disagree with , didn't help. With Brady gone there was no one to set the example of team first attitude & responsibility.  Also there were no more players staying for less money like Brady, and no more veteran players chasing a ring late in their careers willing to suck it up for less dollars. In fact after Brady was gone Belichick ended up having to overpay for lesser players , and the roster was significantly diminished , especially on offense. I think new HC Jerod Mayo has a chance to bridge the gap between old school Belichick , and new school whiners enough to field a much more competitive roster. The fact that he was known for his brains more than his athletic ability for the majority of his career makes me think he will be successful in the long term. Plus with the # 3 overall pick they have chance to either take a good QB , or trade back and acquire picks to build up a roster that lacks many building block players. They could trade back in the top 12 with the Giants or Vikings looking to come up for a QB , and get the picks needed to help rebuild the roster , and still get a great OT or maybe a WR with that pick. They signed veteran stopgap QB Jacoby Brisset , and could go QB next year if they aren't happy with the results. Or maybe take a QB they like who falls to the 2nd round , or Spencer Rattler in the 3rd. Former QB Mac Jones is now the backup for the Jaguars at the cost of a 6th round pick. In this case Jayden Daniels is the 3rd QB taken, but will they want a guy with that slight build , or a offense heavy on RPO's to take advantage of his current talents? If it's Drake Maye I believe he would fit Alex Van Pelts offense better. Their main free agents were guard Michael Onwenu , OT Trent Brown , TE Hunter Henry , WR Kendrick Bourne. All of them but Brown re-signed with the Pats. Young talented safety Kyle Duggar had the transition tag placed on him , and if I was the Pats front office I would want him signed for the long term. Athletic LB Sione Takitaki was brought in as well ,  but for the low price they paid they may just see him as more of a core special teamer than as as a starting LB. Situational pass rusher Josh Uche was also brought back. Former Steelers OT Chukwuma Okorafor lost his starting job last season , and maybe the Pats still see him as a starter , but I think he would fit better as a swing tackle. The recently re-signed Bourne was the Pats most reliable WR last season , but he profiles as a #3. They also signed KJ Osborn away from the Vikings , but he is also a #3 WR , and that was one of the problems in New England last season. This team needs a true #1 WR. The big 3 WR's in this draft are already gone this time , and they could reach for Brian Tomas , or they can take stud TE Brock Bowers. Brock moves all over the formation , and he can be their # 1 receiving target. While Bowers & the returning Hunter Henry are not the quite in the same class as Gronk & Hernandez as a duo the 2 TE offense the Patriots ran back then might be something to consider considering their lack of high level WR's. 2 TE's sets also make it easier to run the ball and defensive head coaches like Mayo tend to love a ball control offense. Bowers is a solid blocker , but his main strengths are as receiver , and he runs through would be tacklers like he just caught them banging his girlfriend. 


12.DENVER - BO NIX - QB - OREGON - 6"2" , 214


The Broncs had a Bad cap situation when free agency started because they stupidly ate Russell Wilson's contract. Sean Payton is a great coach , but he wants a robot point guard like Drew Brees was at the end of his career. Russel Wilson is more of a improvisor at his best , but Payton wants a Drew Bree's clone. However , benching , blaming , and bad mouthing Wilson made him impossible to trade. Wilson completed almost two thirds of his passes last season , and had a excellent 26/8 TD to interception stat line in 2023. Payton is making him the scapegoat for all his teams woes just like Jerry Jones did to Amari Cooper a couple of years ago. Well Cooper has had back to back seasons of at least 72 catches and at least 1160 yards receiving with subpar QB play. Payton's plan will probably work out in the long run , but they are eating a huge ( 85 million in dead money) contract , and getting back none of the massive amount of picks they used to acquire him. Their bad cap situation already cost them a good safety in Justin Simmons , and its not a coincidence that their defense really improved after Simmons got healthy. Then they traded injury prone former 1rst round WR Jerry Jeudy for 5th & 6th rounders which clears more cap space. To make it clear I believe the Broncos should trade back, gather more picks , and then maybe take a QB later if one falls to a spot where the value is better. I just don't think Payton agrees. He could take the big armed & more productive Michael Penix who I prefer , or the king of short quick hitting passes in this draft in Nix. I think Payton wants a robotic short passing ball control offense. So that means Nix. 



The raiders really came together , and played both harder & better under new coach Antonio Pierce. I'm really glad owner Mark Davis saw the light this time , and gave the full time job to Pierce , because he screwed the pooch in this same scenario a couple of years ago when he hired Josh Mcdaniels over Rich Basaccia. Rookie 4th round QB Aidan O'connell even had a couple of good games , but not enough to secure the permanent job. They already signed journeyman gamer Gardner Minshew to compete , and I think they may draft a QB too, but only if one the like falls to them at the right time. Basically I am saying I doubt they trade up for one ,  and I previously thought they might for Jayden Daniels , partly because Pierce was on the coaching staff while Daniels was still at Arizona. The Raiders now have 2 young QB's with starting experience , and rebuilding the roster would make more sense in the first round with pick #13 by taking a building block player such as a CB or right tackle. They might even get the top corner on their board , or the 2nd or 3rd OT in their stack. The Raiders had a lot of cap space before making cuts , but after getting rid of Jimmy Garoppolo & Hunter Renfrow they already signed a good young DT in Christian Wilkins to a big 110 million dollar deal.  Then they re-signed promising young center Andre James to a solid deal after a breakout season. In addition to needing the CB & RT the Raiders also need a guard , a new starting RB to replace the departed Josh Jacobs,  and maybe another DT to round out their rotation. Last years draft was big on tools , but lacking production. First round toolsy ,but clueless about football edge rusher Tyree Wilson needs to get better. You would think that watching the relentless Maxx Crosby on a regular basis would inspire the kid to rapid improvement , but 2023 was a lost season for him. 2nd round TE Michael Mayer started making his mark whenever O'connell was brave enough to throw it to him, but I expected more from him as a blocker based off his college tape. 3rd round DT Byron Young joins him as a young guy who didn't do much in Vegas as a rookie, but he was hurt. 3rd round speedy WR Tre Tucker actually made some big plays , and his deep routes helped out pulling safeties,  and opened up the field for others more in the final third of the season. Blazing fast 4th round corner Jakorian Bennett actually played a lot early , but not very well.   So basically I think the Raiders have a chance at a wildcard spot if a few things go right , especially with the Broncos & Chargers going through rebuilds , but unless  Mahomes gets hurt the Chiefs seem a lock for the division  title. They also brought in underrated dual TE Harrison Bryant from the Browns so we might see more 2 TE sets this season. I am going with my top corner here. Mitchell had great tape at a small school , but so much off coverage & his level competition were worries until he was great at the Senior Bowl. Great combine too. Has a chance to be the first defender off the board.



The Saints have a bad cap situation... again. Every year I think they are going to take all of their cap hits , and they never do , because they to refuse to fully rebuild. So they have been cutting & restructuring a lot of veterans. They did re-sign 2 defensive leaders in LB Demario Davis & safety Tyrann Mathieu.  On the bright side they finally let overrated O-Lineman Andrus Peat go. He's always been subpar in the NFL to me, and it doesn't matter if you can play tackle or guard if you are bad at both positions. Guard James Hurst took a pay cut to stay , and he is slightly better than Peat anyway. Stud RT Ryan Ramczyk restructured his deal too , and it was a pay cut that gives him some guaranteed money he didn't have. Michael Thomas is gone, and they seem to be attempting to replacing him with Cedrick Wilson who did very little in Miami. Signing injury probe edge player Chase Young for 13 million guaranteed would make more sense to me if he was healthy, but he is having neck surgery, and could miss part of training camp. The Saints knew this , but still his history of stingers worries me. Young LB Willie Gay has the talent to be a solid starter , and its just a one year 5 million deal. Maybe playing next to Davis will inspire him to consistency. Safety Marcus Maye was let go as well. The saints have a lot of needs. OT , guard, D-Line both inside & out , and CB. Angry 2022 first round OT Trevor Penning hasn't lived up to his draft status yet, and I am not sure if he will ever has the feet & balance to be a left tackle. Ramczyk has been hampered with a knee injury the last few years that have caused him to miss 5 games last season alone. I think he could play the left side, but that knee combined with the struggles of Penning make OT the absolute most important need. If they are lucky they will get a LT that works out , keep Ramczyk at RT , and kick Penning into guard. Olu Fashanu is still here, and yes Fashanu took a step back this year , but he is a much higher level prospect compared to Penning. His feet & athleticism scream franchise left tackle , and he makes it look easy at times. Maybe with NFL coaching , and in a NFL strength & conditioning program he could fulfill that potential. 



The Colts seemed to have learned from their mistakes from the Andrew Luck era, and didn't rush back 2023 first round tooled up QB Anthony Richardson from injury. He's a big dude, but so was Luck , and he retired way too young. They threw the franchise tag on possession WR Michael Pittman. They had plenty of cap room when free agency started , but I'm not sure they are using it as wisely as they could have. Gardner Minshew filled in capably for Richardson , but him leaving to Vegas is no big loss. Signing way past his prime QB Joe Flacco to be the primary backup kind of surprised me though. While Flacco had a mini career resurgence for The Browns last year, and I logically assumed he would stay in Cleveland , I wouldn't want him to be my primary backup at this stage of his career. Off the ball LB Zaire Franklin was given a generous 3 year contract averaging over 10 million a year for a guy I think to be on the decline , but maybe they know something I don't. Long term steady slot corner Kenny Moore deserved to be resigned, but he's 30 now , and 3 years 30 million seems a bit much. However, I do like the resigning of DT Grover Stewart , and bringing in former Dolphin DT Raekwon Davis. Combining those 2 with stud Deforest Buckner should give them a heck of a rotation on the interior of the defense , and the length of Buckner & Davis should really clog passing lanes. Brock Bowers would be the ideal pick , but he is already gone on this mock. So in addition to a stud pass catching TE , the colts big needs are CB, safety , and edge rusher. Guard & WR are lesser needs as well. So I am giving them my top ranked edge rusher. Turner is twitchy & productive with a high ceiling & low floor. I would love to see him cut loose of the edge in a attacking defense. Dallas had a elite combine , and is so much younger (just turned 21) than Latu & Verse , so its reasonable to believe he is still getting better. Turner could easily be the first defensive player off the board.



The Seahawks went a little backward last year , and with the amount of talent they had on defense alone it was surprising. So Pete Carroll was finally let go. Geno Smith wasn't quite as good in 2023 either , but with both starting OT'S out , and at the same time no less I get it. Plus I think he missed former QB coach Dave Canales who was the Bucs OC last season . I don't think its a coincidence that Canales presided over the turnaround years of 2 once highly touted , but previously disappointing QB's. NEW OC Ryan Grubb comes from Washington university , so it wouldn't shock me if they drafted Michael Penix. Seattle had plenty of cap space when free agency opened, but they restructured/extended WR Tyler Lockett anyway.  The best thing they did was re-sign Leonard Williams to a 3 year deal. They finally cut once great , but now almost always injured safety Jamal Adams , although those 2 first rounders they traded for him were a colossal waste. Free safety Quandre Diggs took a step back last season , and was let go too. Rarely targeted pass catching TE Noah Fant was re-singed to a contract averaging over 10 million a year , which makes little sense to me , but maybe at that price they will throw it to him more. Then again maybe they paid Fant so much because TE's Will Dissly & Colby Parkinson signed with someone else. They also traded for Washington's 2023 starting QB Sam Howell who started out hot , but then struggled. They got him cheap though , and I think its a smart move & upgrade over Drew Lock. I also love the singing of young Tyrell Dodson , who was especially great in coverage last season , and he is needed because both of last years starting LB's (Bobby Wagner & Jordyn Brooks ) signed elsewhere. They also brought in former fins LB Jerome baker. I was afraid they might overdraft a off the ball LB after losing Wagner & Brooks. There is no LB that should be taken in the 1rst round , but the hawks have reached ( like Jordyn Brooks ) in the 1rst round plenty of times in the 14 years John Schneider has been running the show , but hopefully that was Pete Carrols influence. They lost road grading guard Damien Lewis to Carolina & free agency as well making it a pretty big need. So I am giving them a guy who can play tackle if one of their starting OT's is hurt again , but start out at left guard. Fautanu actually played LT last season , and he has the high floor of at least a great guard. Plus he played right up the road at Washington so the Hawks should know him well. Has some nasty to him , and the athleticism he showed at the combine showed he could play OT in the NFL. Its just that to me he looks like a guy who could make a few Pro Bowls outside , but actually be a ALL-PRO at guard. 



The Jags underperformed last year , and while injuries were part of it , their defense worries me more. New DC Ryan Neilsen puts a emphasis on forcing turnovers , and that should help. I especially like the way his Falcons defense caused so many fumbles. The Jags were lacking cap space when free agency started , but singed veteran center Mitch Morse almost immediately after he was cut by the Bills. He is not the player he once was , but he is a upgrade over the disappointment Luke Fortner has been over the last 2 years. Plus his contract isn't big enough to prevent them from drafting a center at some point , and I like a lot of centers in this draft. I expected WR Calvin Ridley to leave in free agency , because they couldn't afford him & they didn't use him right anyway. He is a skilled route running possession receiver who you occasionally throw deep to , but they just kept sending him deep to pull safeties far too much. I'll bet they didn't expect him to sign with the division rival Titans though. They replaced him with a young large bodied deep threat , and skilled blocker Gabe Davis from Buffalo , who might even work out in that role. At the very least Davis is cheaper. Their best move was throwing the franchise tag on edge rusher Josh Allen , but if they could sign him to a long term deal that would be ideal. I like the signing of veteran CB Ronald Darby because he came cheaply , and he replaces corner Darious Williams who they lost to the rams , but they won't miss the poor tackling habits of Williams. Which brings me to incoming safety Darnell Savage , who's tackling habits worry me too , but he's young enough to hopefully change that. Incoming speedy return man/WR Devin Duvernay is very similar to free agent Jamal Agnew who is still available. The jags best signing is veteran DT Arik Armstead. Jacksonville's big needs are most of the O-Line, corner , and edge rusher. I would go O-Line because protecting young franchise QB Trevor Lawrence being healthy is your only chance of winning a Superbowl. I am giving them a edge rusher though. Verse is a powerful edge player who lacks bend, and he might have went in the top 10 if he had entered last years draft . He added the weight we all wanted this off season , but it took him awhile to adjust to his new size , and look explosive again this year. 

18.ATLANTA-(cin) - LAIATU LATU - ** - OLB/DE - UCLA - 6"5" , 260


After Desmond Ridder was benched for the 2nd time it became clear that the Falcons will have a new QB next year , and thank GOD for that. The falcons FINALLY have a good QB , but it cost them some hefty cash , but would you expect anything else from Kurt Cousins? 100 million guarantee on a 4 year deal worth 180 million total. Cousins is coming off his best season statistically before a Achilles injury cut his campaign short. He will be 36 and coming off a big injury , but he is a pocket passer so there is a reasonable amount of hope that he will return to form. Cousins comes to a team with potentially as good receiving ( London , Pitts, and Bijan)  weapons , or at least they could fulfill that promise with a good QB like Cousins. A good O-Line, and a much better RB's & running game should help too. In addition they signed deep threat Darnell Mooney away from the Bears , and while I think they over paid ( 3 years 39 million , and 26 million guaranteed) based on his past production , it's possible that he even surpasses his deal with Cousins under center. Explosive , but injury prone slot guy Rondale Moore was brought in as well in a swap for QB Desmond Ridder. So I doubt they take a WR at # 8 , even though the 2 best players on the board are WR's. Instead I have them trading out this time. They need D-Line help , both inside & out , and corner help too.  I just don't see any prospect at that position worth #8 overall. So they can trade back to a WR hungry team , or make a slight reach for a edge rusher or corner. Since new head coach Raheem Morris is a defensive guy , and they seem worse off on the edge than at CB , I would go there if I had them staying at pick 8. Instead I will have the salary cap strapped Falcons trading back with the Bengals. Latu is the most advanced pass rusher to come into the league in years. Has karate kid hands, a full toolbox of moves , and transitions between them like a 10 year vet. If his medicals ( neck) are clean he could be the first edge rusher taken , but his age ( turns 24 this season ) , and neck make that less likely. 

19.RAMS - BYRON MURPHY - DT - TEXAS - 6"1" , 297


Last year was supposed to be the season where the Rams took all their cap hits from their previous ALL-IN years , and be bad. Not only did they get a Superbowl victory from those years , but Sean Mcvay & company found a way to be competitive with the least talented defense I can remember in 2023 anyway. This off season the Rams have a first round pick for the first time since Jared Goff was drafted #1 overall in 2016. They also have their 2nd , two 3rds , and 11 picks total. Last season with Cooper Kupp either injured , or playing hurt , he didn't look like his old dominant self for much of last season. Luckily 5th round draft steal Puka Nicua broke his streak of being injured like he was in college, and had maybe the greatest rookie season of any WR in history , but he still needs to clean up the drops. Then journeyman WR Demarcus Robinson broke out late in the year with 4 TD's in the last 5 regular season games to look like a capable # 3 WR. They re-signed Robinson before free agency even started , and 5 million was cheap for what he did last season. The Rams already did the smartest thing they could do before free agency started by resigning stud guard Kevin Dotson , who was coming off a career year , and he thrived in the rams scheme. So now the Rams finally have real salary cap space ( 52 million ), and have paid the price for their previous ALL IN ways. So they also have real draft pick capitol. Basically if Stafford is healthy they could make another run at a Super Bowl in 2024.  This roster looks good on offense except for maybe the O-Line , but it was improved last year already with the additions of Dotson , and 2nd rounder Steve Avila. On defense they need some help in most places , but a LOT of help is needed in the secondary. Their 2023 defense played a lot of 2 deep zone trying to prevent the big pass , and hope offenses make their own mistakes , but former DC Raheem Morris is now the head coach of the Falcons. New DC Chris Shula has never been in charge at the Pro level so its a mystery what he might do other than it should be a base 3-4 scheme. So basically as long as Stafford & Mcvay are sticking around for a few years this team is still in a championship window. 3 time defensive player of the year & future HOFer Aaron Donald retired , and he was still one of the best players in the league. So props to him for going out on top , but he will be missed. Not only by the Rams ,  but by all of us who just love football.  Although signing Jimmy Garopolo to be Stafford's backup is a perfect fit , because he has already taken a team to the Superbowl in this offense , and he can keep them competitive for a few games if Stafford is out for a stretch. Yet Jimmy G will be suspended for the first 2 games for violating the PED rules.  On offense left tackle is the biggest need , but on defense they could just take the best player available. The potential free agents they might have wanted to bring back are CB Ahkello Witherspoon , or one of their centers in Brian Allen & Coleman Shelton. Allen got hurt and hasn't lived up tis contract so he was cut for cap space. Shelton played well in the running game , but was a liability as a pass blocker , but he signed with the Bears. They probably will just move 2023 second rounder Steve Avila to center full time. If the right OT falls to #19 they might go there , but they need someone who can capably take some of Aaron Donald's snaps. So I believe either Byron Murphy or Jer'zahn Newton is the pick now. Murphy is undersized , but powerful & explosive , and he murdered it at the combine. 



The Steelers remain in contention year after year , even when they don't have a good roster for one reason - MIKE TOMLIN. He is clearly not only one of the best coaches in the league now , but I believe one of the greatest coaches EVER.  To keep at 500 or above for 17 seasons , even with subpar QB play is legendary. Bill Belichick had 7 losing seasons , Andy Reid 3 , Tom Landry 8, and Don Shula 2.  So whenever I hear whispers of the Steelers thinking about moving on from Tomlin it just reminds me of something I read in a book about 30 years ago , and this truism stands true throughout time. " The wizards first rule is people are stupid' . People often believe things because they are afraid they are true, want it to be true ,  or are looking to place blame on someone else. Or they actually lack intelligence , and believe they should go along with whatever other people the dummy's think are really intelligent are saying.  Now that doesn't make Tomlin perfect , and I am sure he would tell you the same thing. Do I wish he was a little more offensively adventurous at times? Yes I do. New OC Arthur Smith won't help with that much either , but it should improve their efficiency at running the ball. However, its easier to take more chances when you have a good QB. Well now they have Russell Wilson , who can make big plays , and doesn't turn the ball over much.  Sounds like a recipe for a Superbowl contender under a defensive head coach like Tomlin. Plus they are getting Russ on the cheap thanks to the Broncos mistake, although Russell did get a little full of himself in the one year he played under Paul Hackett , so he isn't blameless. It's just Sean Payton putting all the blame on Wilson after a season of having average at best average offensive weapons ,  while everyone learns a different offense , in the 2nd season in a row without a first round draft pick , on a team with salary cap problems , in a season where the team had a lot of injuries is ludicrous. Butt hurt veteran backups Mason Rudolph & Mitch Trubisky signed elsewhere , but that's no big loss. 2022 first rounder Pickett throwing a hissy fit once Wilson signed was a surprise. Pickett hadn't played well enough to even beat out long time backup QB Rudolph  , and they were media reports he refused to dress as a backup for their week 17 game. Also he had a workout scheduled with Steelers receivers that he blew off when they signed Wilson. Don't get me wrong I would have gotten rid of him too, but they got almost nothing for him. Then again the day after trading Pickett they traded for Justin Fields , and they got him for almost nothing too. So in my opinion the Steelers have not only gotten a huge up grade at starting QB , but even a small upgrade at backup QB too , and you could use Fields to do some Taysom Hill type  stuff if you wished to. I don't like trading away #1 WR in 27 year old Deonte Johnson , who can flat out separate. I was surprised when I saw how little they got for him too. When all it cost you for him is a CB ( Donte Jackson ) that Carolina were going to cut , and a swap of late round picks you lost the deal. This is one of the few areas that I don't like about Tomlin. He is actually right to not want players who don't want to be there , but saying so in the media lowers their trade value , because other teams know you need to get rid of the player now.  Jackson is fast enough to run with anyone though , and he is a upgrade over what they had at one of there CB spots last season. So maybe I am being to hard on the Steelers here. Plus the Steelers excel at drafting WR's outside the first round. I still think Pittsburgh needs to draft another corner.  I like the signing of new safety Deshon Elliott , but they need stud safety Minkah Fitzpatrick to be healthy as well. Bringing in new LB Patrick Queen from rival Baltimore is a upgrade , but it does bare mentioning that Queen was a bust until the Ravens brought in Roquan Smith to play next to him , and the Ravens didn't pick up Queen's 5th year option.  In addition to WR the Steelers also need a center , a RT , and another interior D-Lineman. The interior O-Line is most important though.  Jackson Powers-Jhonson is the best center prospect in years. A big powerful center who moves the line of scrimmage , and the even rarer center who is great in pass protection. JPJ is a perfect fit for Pittsburgh , and I will always have them drafting him in any mock where he is still available. 

21.MIAMI - AMARIUS MIMS ** -  OT - GEORGIA - 6"8" , 340


The Fins are one of the teams that were ALL-IN last season, but even after the big salary cap increase per team they were still close to 25 million over the cap when free agency opened. So they cut former ALL PRO CB Xavien Howard , and former pro Bowl edge rusher Emmanuel Ogbah , although both were coming off down seasons. Although that creates a lot of dead cap space , and that bill will come due eventually. Tua is playing on his 5th year option right now, and giving him a extension would create some space , but he has only been healthy for one year. Key free agents were stud center Connor Williams , but he is coming off a torn ACL in December , and breakout edge rusher Andrew Van Ginkel who already signed with the Vikings. They signed athletic smaller center Aaron Brewer , but his anchor in pass pro is a worry. Often injured LT Terron Armstead was considering retirement , but he is coming back on a restructured deal. They lost stud DT Christin Wilkins to a big money deal with the Raiders. Then they overpaid LB Jordyn Brooks. The 9 million they gave Shaq Barrett is risky because of his injury history. The one signing I do like is CB Kendall Fuller.  So right now their main needs are OT , DT , guard, edge rusher, and off the ball LB . They did sign a pass catching TE in Jonnu Smith to go with Durham Smythe , who is more of a blocker. So TE is a lesser need unless something ridiculous like Brock Bowers falling to them happens. This team has a lot of needs , cap problems , and doesn't have 3rd or 4th round pick. So I think they should trade back if they can , but if the right O-Lineman is available they might not. I just think it will be much harder for Miami to be a Supebowl contender in 2024. The potential left tackles here Amarius Mims ,or Tyler Guyton. I am giving them Mims because his tape is better , and he has at least practiced at left tackle. Mims is a mammoth physical specimen with some good tape , but only 8 total starts. If he had been healthy all year I think he would have been the 2nd OT off the board , and probably would have gone in the top 10. 

22,EAGLES - COOPER DEJEAN - ** - CB/S - IOWA - 6 ft. , 203


In my opinion The Eagles had the deepest most talented roster in the league last season , but a lot of their older players declined some , got hurt , or both. Combine that with Jalen Hurts taking a small step back with former OC Shane Steichen now coaching the Colts, Hurts having a officially unreported nagging knee injury , and some weird internal problems ended with the eagles imploding late in the season.  Now they have lost future HOFamers Jason Kelce & Fletcher Cox to retirement , but were able to bring back mainstay edge rusher Brandon Graham for a 15th season. Then they used their newly acquired cap space to get a huge upgrade by signing Saquon Barkley. At center they already drafted 2 centers in Landon Dickerson & Cam Jurgens , and they ended up as the starting guards last season , but Jurgens actually has a similar athletic profile to Kelce's. Dickerson just got a big contract extension too. Don't forget the extension for ace kicker Jake Elliott, which locks him up for 4 years , and gives them more cap room this season. The Birds also signed breakout edge rusher Bryce Huff away from the Jets. Then just to top it off they brought back junkyard dog king of crap talking safety/ slot corner Chauncey Gardner-Johnson , after a injury wrecked season in Detroit. They also signed former 1rst rounder Devante Parker doesn't separate much , but he can win contested catches , and at this stage of his career he might be able to challenge for the 3rd WR at best. Athletic LB Devin White comes in from Tampa Bay , but in all areas except blitzing the former #5 overall pick has been a bust so far.  I really like getting young former Steelers starter Kenny Pickett for almost nothing to backup Jalen Hurts , but why would he want out of Pittsburgh to come to Philly? Hurst is younger than him , is firmly entranced as the starter , and has a big long term contract. Wilson is 36 , and on a one year deal for the veteran minimum. Just seems stupid & petulant to demand a trade after Wilson signed. Kids these days. So basically GM Howie Roseman is killing it again. Dude just rolls with the punches , then takes lemons and makes lemonade year after year. The secondary is where they still need the most immediate help right now, and I mean both corner & safety. Getting a heir apparent to another future HOFer in RT Lane Johnson could be addressed as well. Another lesser immediate need, but still potentially important need is a 3rd WR , because if Brown or Smith get hurt the healthy one will be seeing constant double teams. The Eagles have a extra 2nd rounder as well , and there is no GM more skillfully aggressive at trading on draft day than Howey. So if a good player falls don't be surprised if Roseman goes and gets him , as he did last year with Jalen Carter. After last years late season collapse I think its good that the Eagles are getting younger. They should be the one of the favorites in the NFC in my book. Dejean played a lot of slot in 2022 , but played outside CB this season. His results were still good , but I like his slot/safety 2022 tape more. If he was a full time safety he would be my #1 guy there , but as a corner he is my #3. Coopers potential versatility to be moved all over are what could make him even more valuable. I actually think he is a bargain at this draft slot. 

23.PATRIOTS-(minn,clev)-  BRIAN  THOMAS JR. - WR - LSU - 6"3" , 210


Thomas has the tools to be a #1WR , and his deep ball acumen to the endzone would help any QB. Still needs some help as a route runner , and he's a notch below the elite trio of WR's at the top of the draft. Its just that WR's with this size , speed , and production are rare. 



The Cowboys didn't play up to their talent in the post season again , and of course Jerry Jones still claims they are ALL IN. That's a bald faced lie, because if that were true they would have signed some free agents on day one , or at least day 2 of free agency. If you have ever played in a salary cap fantasy football league then you know what a stars & scrubs roster is.  Dallas isn't quite that far gone , but they do have a lot of expensive star players on big contracts , and now "Jerrah"  might actually be crazy enough to make all 3 of Dak , Lamb , and Parsons the highest paid players in the league at their positions over the next year or 2. Neither Dak or Parsons have the production to justify those deals , although Parsons has the upside to be close. In real football that stars & scrubs philosophy can only work if you make good draft picks with cheap salaries every off season, and this year not one of the Cowboys 8 2023 draft picks played even a significant role for the team, Undrafted free agent TJ Bass probably did the most for them while filling in for injured starters for the majority of 4 games , but none of their picks in the first 3 rounds played much or well.  1rst round Nose Tackle Mazi Smith was terrible. Smith still hasn't learned to get off the ball on time , couldn't even clog up the lanes to stop the run as the 2 down player they drafted him to be at minimum , and inexplicably lost about 20-25 pounds allowing him to get pushed around regularly. 2nd round TE Luke Schoonmaker wasn't the blocker they hoped for either , and he also dropped a lot of the few passes thrown his way. At least 3rd round LB Demarvion Overshown has a good reason for not contributing. He had a great camp then tore his ACL, and missed the whole season. 4th round DE/DT Viliami Fehoko couldn't crack the game day roster. Then he hurt his knee before going on IR , then was designated to return , but never did play. That's a shit show of a draft. Now maybe some of their 2023 rookies take a step forward in 2024 ,  and become actual contributors this season. Logically at least 2 or 3 should , but so far their 2023 draft is legendarily bad. The last time I saw a draft this bad was also Dallas. It was in 2009 when they kept trading back ,and passing on good players. None of that 2009 class became starters , and only Edge Victor Butler & backup TE John Phillips ever saw any decent rotational snaps with the first team. Also , if Dallas was ALL In they would have kept Tyron Smith who just had his best season in about 5 years, but at this point I wouldn't give him a contract that wasn't based on playing time anyway. It looks like the Jets , who actually signed him to a incentive laden deal , didn't either. So maybe Tyrons just tired of Jones , or losing in the playoffs. Now they have restructured Zack Martin's contract to free up salary cap space , even though he held them up for a pay raise in camp last year , when he is clearly on the decline. Martin is a HOFamer , and still a good player , but he wasn't even the best guard on the team last season because Tyler Smith was better. If Dak tries to become one the highest paid QB's after his repeated playoff failures , including 2 picks in the embarrassing ass kicking that Green Bay gave then IN DALLAS he's a jackass. Jordan Love clearly outplayed him in that game. To me Dak has proven that he is not the team first guy he claims to be. Kirk Cousins was having a better season than Dak when he got hurt , has had a a very similar career path , and if Dak gets paid more than him Jerry Jones has lost it. Neither QB has done much in the post season , but Dak has had better teams than Cousins in their respective playoff games. In 3 of the 5 regular season losses Dallas had in 2023 he was clearly out played by the opposing QB , including journeyman Joshua Dobbs in a game where my little brother  ( Cowboys fan) lost his voice from screaming at the TV. I write this lengthy detailed cowboys preview for him every year.  Since I watch all of their games with him , and we have even went to watch their spring training for a couple of days in Oxnard , I am very aware of their team. Stats don't mean squat if you can't do it when it counts most Dak. He and Tony Romo both just failed too often in the biggest games. Meanwhile Danny White is a forgotten man who doesn't have their regular season stats , but at least he got them to the NFC Championship - 3 STRAIGHT TIMES! However , without re-doing Dak's deal they won't be able to sign almost anyone, unless they want to restructure a bunch of other deals , and Dak holding out for top dollar proves he doesn't put winning first. Even if Dak resigns in a few weeks ALL IN would be laughable because the overwhelming majority of the good free agents would be gone. They have to nail this draft , and have 2 or 3 guys from last year step into big productive roles , to be anything remotely resembling a Superbowl contender in 2024. I think it more likely that Dallas have missed their window , but Jerry Jones is too old to admit it , and re-load/re-build. My brother would rather re-load/re-build than give into Dak's silly demands , and look for a new QB next season, or even hope that Trey Lance has finally figured it out. Dak is reportedly asking for 60 million a year. Ridiculous! Only QB's like Brady & Mahomes deserve that kind of cash , because they can drag a roster with holes in it to a Lombari Trophy. Dak has definitely had the leagues most talented roster twice , and couldn't even get to the NFC Championship. Of course neither Brady or Mahomes tries to squeeze every last dollar from their teams  , because they are real team first leaders , and winning is more important to them than cash. Guys like Cousins and Dak might somehow win it all someday , but if they do it will be a lot harder because their priorities are skewed. Just Like " JERRAH". It is more important to Jones that he wins his way , and that he gets the credit , than winning is.  Dallas has already lost RB Tony Pollard to the Titans, and center Tyler Biadasz & rotational edge rusher Dorrance Armstrong to the Commanders. Pollard doesn't fit the power running style McCarthy wants anyway, and Biadasz's inability to either get a consistent push , or get up the field made that worse.  What did Dallas do in retaliation to these FA losses when free agency opened? They resigned their young cheap long snapper. Since I haven't seen any reason that they can count on Mazi Smith , despite his physical gifts , they need a real veteran NT to occupy blockers. Not old out of shape Jonathan Hankins either , because just being better than Mazi was last year means very little if you have eyes , and he signed with Seattle anyway. DJ reader was still out there early, and if his quad is healthy he is a massive upgrade , but the Lions were smart enough to snatch him up. Teair Tart might be had cheaply too, but since his football character questions have been widely reported , who knows? Future HOFame LB Bobby Wagner is still really good , and could have filled their QB of the defense linebacker need , but he also went to Washington. Former rotational DT Neville Gallimore signed with the Dolphins as well.  At least on day 3 of free agency they finally brought in savvy veteran LB Eric Kendricks , who is coming off a good season for the Chargers , but he may lack the size they need in the middle. Long term king sized LB Leighton Vander Esch got injured again last season , and was finally let go as well. Thank God he is retiring anyway , because I can't believe he played this long with repeated neck injuries. There is still a few older serviceable OT's , and interior O-Lineman available in free agency , but until they get some cap space its irrelevant . Maybe former Cowboy Connor Williams could come back later, and play center this time like he did for Miami, but his injury is the question there. That's all their big needs, and even if they draft one of each they need to cover their asses with some vets. In the draft they need a center for sure , and there are 3 of them possibly worth pick 24 in Jackson Powers-Johnson , Graham Barton, and Zack Frazier. I doubt JPJ makes it to them though , but he would be ideal for Mccarthy's offense. The only OT's possibly worth pick # 24 who might fall to them are 2 physical specimens that are unproven for a 1rst rounder, but both have the mean streak I love. 1. Amarius Mims - Unproven due to injury ( 8 total starts at Georgia and all at RT ) . Truly massive filled out frame with GODZILLA strength , and a ridiculous upside. Some dominant tape at times. I don't know if he can play on the left side , but he has at  least practiced there. If he was healthy all year I actually believe he would be OT #2 , and go in the top 10 of this draft. 2. Tyler Guyton - Super athletic & talented with a big upside , but unproven due to inexperience. Guyton's tape isn't as good as Mims, especially in the run game , but you could see him starting to figure out how to use his tools better at The Senior Bowl. Only 14 starts , and all at RT. Guyton is less experienced on offense because he didn't play O-line in high school , and his technique is still raw & inconsistent. Although he definitely has the feet , twitch , and length to flip to the left side. If neither player is there , or they don't want one of these 2 guys they should just take the best interior O-Lineman available , and kick Tyler Smith back out to LT. Too be fair the OT class is great at the top, but it isn't that great after the top 6 to me , at least in players I think can start outside in year one. Of those 6 that I think will stick at tackle , only 3 played the left side last season, and some teams like half of them at guard. Personally I think 7 or 8 OT's might go in the first round anyway , and as many as 11 eleven total offensive lineman could be off the board on day one, but I think there are just 8 worth a top 32 pick. Basically unless they ink a contract with a sure fire good veteran starter before the draft this team better take one of the nine I think might be worth the 24th pick or Jerry Jones will look senile. They need a RB too , and there are still a lot talented veteran RB's that can be had relatively cheaply. I would sign one & draft one now , but one of them needs to be a thumper who breaks tackles. Maybe even Zeke Elliott if he can be supportive of their young rookie RB taken in this draft. This teams needs size & power on the interior of both lines , and a RB that can wear down defenses. Unless they bring back Stephon Gilmore they will need another CB too. They did re-sign veteran CB Jourdan Lewis , but its not like he was in high demand , and he only ended up the #3 corner last season because Diggs got hurt.  In addition I'm glad they finally let the ghost of Michel Gallup move on as well , because no one was going to trade for his contract after how he looked last season , although he woke up some in their playoff game. So WR is also a lesser need , but at least Jalen Tolbert made strides last season , and young Jalen Brooks also earned some playing time. In addition speedy return man Kavontae Turpin earned some more snaps with the offense as well. Guyton is the only pick in this situation. 



I can't believe I'm saying this , but during the last third of the season , and especially during the playoff game against Dallas,  Jordan Love looked like a young Aaron Rodgers. Although Frisco's defense brought him back down to earth some. Up until the latter part of the season he had been a erratic inconsistent young QB in my eyes , and I was wondering if the packers might draft a QB in the 1rst round this season. Instead he was making perfect bucket throws off platform right over the outstretched hands of the Dallas turnover causing attacking defense. Making the right reads , and even when Dallas had a good defensive call in against the Packs offensive call he was just beating them time after time. The final score of that game was 48-32 , but trust me it wasn't that close. They beat the crap out of a very talented team , and made league TD pass leader & MVP runner up Dak Prescott look straight bad. Also , just on the outside chance that you didn't know the Packers are the youngest team in the league , and that should scare the rest of the NFL. 2024 will be the last season that Love has a cheap contract , and while the Packers are only were about 11 million under the cap if they were willing to go ALL IN during free agency , and drafted well they could be the best team in the NFC. Personally I doubt they will do so , but you never know. Once great LT David Bakhtiari was released because his knee hasn't responded well since he hurt it.  He has had multiple surgeries on it over the last 3 years, has only played in 13 games over that time , and had a 40 million cap hit they can cut in half by dumping him. On the bright side former 7th rounder Rasheed Walker actually played OK on the blindside last year , but I still think they might take a OT in the first round. On the downside it would suck for the Packs front office ( not to mention be ironically hilarious ) if Bakhtiari signed with the Jets , and was actually healthy again while keeping Aaron Rodgers upright. Longtime explosive RB Aaron Jones was let go as well. The Packers needed safety help at both spots, off the ball LB help , interior O-Line help ,  and for one of their young WR's to become the definitive #1 guy. In addition to Bakhtiari/Jones cuts they already cut a good LB in Dvondre Campbell , but it does create about 10.5 million in cap space. It's ironic that Campbell was cut because they had him playing hurt , and covering WR's while injured against the 49ers in the divisional playoff loss , but their blaming him for not getting it done in that messed up scenario is silly? Plus a possible left tackle & maybe a corner to replace the , traded before their late season run kicked in , Rasul Douglas as well. After cutting those once key players they have the cash to fill some of those holes in free agency. Combine that with a good draft this year, some players already on the roster taking a step forward , and good health makes it doable. I had read that they wanted to bring back injury prone free agent safety Darnell Savage  , but I wouldn't have payed a lot for a guy who plays so inconsistently & passively as a tackler instead of like a SAVAGE to be my last line of defense. Although I would bring the other safety Rudy Ford back if he isn't too expensive , because he is solid in the box. Slot corner & returner Keisean Nixon , was brought back as well. They used some of their cap savings to sign a much better safety in Xavier Mckinney. Plus they replaced Aaron Jones with the younger less injury prone Josh Jacobs with basically a one year deal that has 3 options on it if Jacobs plays well , but I could still see them drafting another RB to pair with him. Arnold had good tape this year , and he outplayed my pre-season #1 CB Koolaid Mckinstry on his own team. His football IQ needs some work , and not as polished as Koolaid, but he's so competitive. He could be the first defensive player off the board or fall to the bottom 3rd of the first round.

26.TAMPA BAY - GRAHAM BARTON - OL - DUKE - 6"5" , 313


The Bucs had a resurgence last season ,and it was mostly due to the emergence of Baker Mayfield. However QB guru Dave Canales is now gone to Carolina to be the head coach. However, Mayfield's emergence actually started in 2022 with the Rams under new OC Liam Cohen, so there is hope he will maintain the level of play he had in 2023. Speaking of Baker he got a new 3 year deal at a bargain price if he plays as well as he did last season. Franchise icon and future HOFer Mike Evans was resigned too. Another ALL-TIME Buc LB Lavonte Davis was also resigned for his 13th season. Tampa has very little cap space after resigning Mayfield , Evans , and David so they weren't expected to be very active in free agency , and they haven't been. DT Greg Gaines was also re-signed on a one year deal. They started out well by bringing safety Jordan Whitehead back. Often injured edge rusher Shaq Barrett was let go, and CB Carlton Davis was traded to the Lions for a 3rd. Tampa needs interior O-Line very badly. Their center , and at least one of their guards should be replaced this season. Edge rusher & corner are also big needs. Barton is the rare O-lineman who can play all 5 spots, but he lacks the length to stay outside full time. I like him more at center which is what he was back when he was recruited. His motor is always going , and he is always trying to finish. 

27.ARIZONA-(hou)- NATE WIGGINS ** -  CB - CLEMSON - 6"1' , 173


The cards really need a potential #1 corner. Wiggins is a thin , but speedy corner who needs to do a better job manning up against the run.  Another 10-15 pounds of muscle would help with that , but he did look a little improved as a tackler this season. Wiggins is so smooth , fluid , explosive , and competitive when the balls in the air that I just can't see him getting out of the first round. Pus he isn't just fast, he is also quick , and he has rare makeup speed. Adding muscle would also improve him improve press coverage  , and help keep him from getting manhandled by stronger WR's as well. Wiggins could also improve his rout awareness & timing to get his head around when the balls incoming down the field. In the end all of his issues are fixable , and he has the frame to add the muscle he needs without losing speed. 



The Bills may have missed their window , but the offense did improve after Joe Brady took over as OC , and they started running the ball more. They have huge cap problems, and started releasing & restructuring long term players. Jordan Poyer has been a mainstay of their defense for 7 years , and he and Micah Hyde previously teamed to give the Bills 2 safeties that can play high or low to disguise coverages. While both are on the decline I was still sad to see the pair broken up. Tre'davious White I understand , because he has missed more games than he has played over the past 3 years , and 12 in the last season alone. He was once a great player though. All 3 have been to the Pro Bowl before. They resigned Taylor Rapp at safety , but he has never had the coverage chops of Hyde or Poyer.  Mitch Morse was just a average center at this point , and this is a good center class in the draft , so this cut to save money makes sense to me. They also got Von Miller to take a pay cut , but he can earn it all back with incentives if he plays well & stays healthy. Making Taron Johnson the leagues highest paid slot corner coming off a career year was also necessary. Then you have the mercurial Stefon Diggs who seemed unhappy last year because his numbers were considerably down in the 2nd half of the season. Diggs has a big salary , but they ran the ball a lot more late in the season , and winning should trump his numbers. Its just I'm not sure Diggs agrees . Plus Diggs did have a lot of drops in 2023. LB Tyrel Dodson shined after the Matt Milano injury , especially in coverage , and I think they should have resigned him. He went Seattle though. Josh Allen's contract had to be restructured if they can actually be ALL-IN his season. The Bills need WR help even if Diggs is on the team next season, because Gabe Davis was free agent. Since Davis never showed any consistency I doubted they would bring him back even if they can afford him , but he signed with the jags. Although they will definitely miss his blocking , physicality , and occasional explosive big plays. Leonard Floyd is also a departing free agent , and while he was a disappointment , he played a lot of snaps off the edge, Its a lesser need though. They signed Mitch Trubisky to be the backup QB , and don't have any other key free agents. The Bills wisely resigned long term LT Dion Dawkins. Backup G David Edwards , and Rotational D-lineman AJ Epenesa & NT Daquan Jones were brought back as well. Center and WR are their biggest needs in my opinion , and it is a great WR class so its possible that they take 2 over the entirety of the draft with their 11 total picks , but 7 of those picks are from the 5th round or later. Their are 3 centers in this draft with a chance to go in the first round, but only Graham Barton or Zach Frazier have a good chance to make it to pick 28 , but if Jackson Powers Johnson is there for some reason they should run to the podium. Mitchell is a tall & fast WR , who could be great , but he needs to show more consistent effort to get there. 

29.DETROIT - ZACH FRAZIER - ** - C - W. VIRGINIA - 6"3" , 313


The Lions have made a remarkable turnaround under HC Dan Campbell & GM Brad Holmes , and both were rewarded with contract extensions through 2027 after making the NFC Championship game . Smart move on Campbell , although some of Holmes draft choices do worry me , or at least the order they have come in. If you place 2nd rounder Brian Branch in the spot of RB Jamar Gibbs at #18 in last years draft . Then put Gibbs at pick #18 in place of Jack Campbell , and Campbell in the place of Branch at pick #45 I would get it better. Although I guess it might not matter because they ended up with all 3 anyway. Not to mention the dominant receiving display TE Sam Laporta put on as a rookie at the top of the 2nd round at pick #34. This year they no longer have extra draft picks from the Stafford/Goff trade , and in fact only have 7 total with no 4th and a extra 6th. So they need to make their picks count more than the last 3 years.  They do have a good amount of salary space , but they might to save a lot of it because a potential extension for QB Jared Goff that needs to happen soon if they are going to resign him , but his struggles in out door stadiums might make negotiating tricky.  Personally ,  Goff's struggles with weather are why I have Frisco & Philly above the Lions in 2024. A definite extension for WR Amon Ra St. Brown should be in the works if they are smart.  So lets break down their free agency activity. Graham Glasgow filled in capably at both & center guard last year in his 2nd stint with the Lions , especially in the run game , and they resigned him to a 3 year deal. Whether he is a starter again or a veteran swingman might not be determined until we see how the draft shakes out. They also traded a 3rd rounder with the Bucs for CB Carlton Davis. The loss of guard Jonah Jackson in free agency , and the continued injuries of stud center Frank Ragnow , are why I could see the Lions taking a interior O-Lineman in the first round if there is one available who is worthy of this pick. Although there is No such luck this time , at least Frazier fills a need , and he has the temperament that fits their head coach. Frazier is a strong tough guy center who will fight you , but he needs to use his short arms more inside to live up to this pick , especially as a pass blocker. Veteran FA signee Kevin Zeitler is still a solid player , but not a ALL PRO anymore , and at his age (34) his signing shouldn't prevent Detroit from making this pick. 



The Ravens lost to the Chiefs in the AFC Championship. They started free agency with a bad cap situation being 7 million over when it started. The resigned key free agent DT Justin Madubuike coming off a career year , and brought back veteran #3 WR Nelson Agholor too. Their big new addition is a future HOFer who is the best power RB in the league over the last decade in Derrick Henry , and I can't think of a better fit than Henry. Plus even though he has lost a step he is still a bruiser who led the NFL in carries in 2023 , and has done so in 4 of the last 5 seasons. The Jets signed away one of their starting guards in big John Simpson. Then the Ravens traded their starting RT Morgan Moses , who is coming off a good season ,  for a trifling swap of 4ths and a 6th to join Simpson on the Jets. On the bright side they still have Patrick Mekari to fill that spot. In addition they reworked the contract of talented , but often injured LT Ronnie Stanley to get cap relief , but he still gets a lot of money if he is actually healthy all season. 34 year old once great ,  but still solid guard Kevin Zeitler is a FA also. So I expect the Ravens to get the best tackle or guard available in the 1rst round. Brainy back up safety Geno Stone , who ended playing a lot last season & led the AFC with 7 picks , then signed with the division rival Bengals. Young quality LB Patrick Queen signed with the even bigger divisional rival Steelers. Starting CB Ronald Darby,  and deep threat WR/ return man Devin Duvernay both signed with the Jaguars. Still they keep losing players who played a lot of quality snaps last season. Now the Ravens had a deep roster in 2023 , except for RB , and a lot of that depth is gone. So basically Baltimore has to draft well , but they generally are one of the best drafting teams in the league over the last 30 years. They have 9 draft picks with a extra 4th & 7th rounder , and I am confident that Eric Decosta & Ozzie Newsome will have this team in Superbowl contention again in 2024. So in addition to a guard & OT  a CB , WR , off the ball LB , edge rusher , and quality depth everywhere are all needed. Another bright spot is other veterans know the Ravens are contenders , and might come there on a discount chasing a ring. Koolaid is so smart & polished in press coverage , but the injury discovered at the combine won't alleviate questions about his long speed. 

31.S.F. 49ers - JER'ZHAN NEWTON - DT - ILLINOIS - 6"2" , 304


The niners have a Bad cap situation being almost 8 million over right before free agency started. Plus longtime stalwart DT Arik Armstead refused to take a pay cut and was let go , but they cleared enough space to make some moves. They signed a pair of talented edge rushers who have never quite lived up their draft status in Leonard Floyd & Yetur Gross-Matos. They also lost decent CB Isaiah Oliver & talented but injury prone pass rushing DT Javon Kinlaw to the Jets. Then they brought in a couple of rotational DT's in Maliek Collins & Jordan Elliott. After missing out on LB Eric Kendricks the niners signed LB DeVondre Campbell , and I like the signing because their defense depends on athletic LB's who can cover kind of deep over the middle , and Dre Greenlaw might miss the whole season after tearing his Achilles in the Superbowl. What this team REALLY needs more than anything is better O-Lineman , especially interior blockers. Their highest rated player at guard , center , DT , or CB should be the pick. The niners have surpassed the Ravens as the king of the compensatory picks  So they have 10 draft picks to move around , and get what they need to help them battle for NFC supremacy. Jerzahn Newton has fast hands , and so many ways to beat blockers. The only reason he is available here is a injury that prevented him from working out at the combine. 

32.CHIEFS - TROY FRANKLIN - WR - OREGON - 6"2" , 176


The Chiefs are once again the champs. Congrats to them and ALL their fans! For Mahomes to lead this team to a Lombardi trophy with those substandard WR's & OT's speaks to his elite unicorn greatness. He even did it in the Superbowl without a great guard in Joe Thuney. Truly one of a kind , and the only guy I can imagine surpassing Tom Brady one day. In fact as I write this in my opinion Tom Brady , Joe Montana, and Mahomes are the only logical names to even be in the conversation for greatest QB of all time. The difference is that the other 2 are retired , and Mahomes is still at the top of his game ,has 3 rings , and is under 30!  Andy Reid needs to acknowledged for his supreme coaching job as well , and if he coaches another 5-10 years he may go down as the G.O.A.T. Lets not forget DC Steve Spagnola who is one of the greatest defensive minds ever , and I would put him in the same breath as Bill Belichick as far as defensive coaching goes. Chris Jones and his ability to make QB'S uncomfortable from a wide variety of spots also needs his due as well , and I'm sure Chiefs fans feel a huge weight being lifted off their shoulders at the news of his new contract extension. The batted passes & pressures he had in the Superbowl were crucial to winning the game. Last but not least the awesomeness of Travis Kelce. I have never seen a TE face so many double & triple teams , and still make his mark as a receiver. A 250 TE that can run a great whip route? In-freakin-sane! His blocking is underrated too. As for dating Taylor Swift. Nice pull brother. The scariest part is that this team was missing so many things , and yet they still won it all. Compared to other players at their positions Mahomes & Kelce are underpaid , and if either were to make a big deal out of it the Chiefs would have to give them what they want , but neither has. Kind of Bradyish if you ask me , especially for Mahomes who is so far above any other current QB that its laughable. If they do become the first team to win 3 in a row they could go down as one of the great NFL dynasty's in history. With Chris Jones in the fold again only CB L'jarius Sneed is a key free agent, and they put the franchise tag on him. While Sneed is the grabbiest DB currently in the league he is effective because refs won't call a penalty all the time. They will probably trade him for picks to a team that actually has cap space, because the Chiefs were about 7.5 million over the cap when I wrote this. Young LB Willie Gay is the only free agent on this team that another team might want to make a push to sign , but with Nick Bolton & Leo Chenal & even Dru Tranquil KC just doesn't need him. OT , WR , CB are their biggest needs right now , and I expect all  those spots to be addressed in the draft at some point. Safety could  be a sneaky lesser need.  WR should even be addressed in free agency AND the draft , as they signed speedster Marquise Brown , and he has the talent to be a #1 WR with Mahomes throwing the ball.  I expect their 1rst round pick to be a WR , OT , or CB. With the exception of OT there is more chance to get a player who can start this year in the 2nd or 3rd round so I expect if the right OT falls that would be the choice. Maybe they could trade up for a OT , or even a WR, if they want a particular guy. Franklin is long & lean , and he has a knack for getting to deep balls. Although he needs to gain weight , and work on his initial quicks, but his build up deep speed to separate when the balls in the air is key. 




First off I like the hire of new head coach Dave Canales because in the last 2 years he has helped turnaround the careers of previously highly drafted busts turned journeyman QB's Geno Smith & Baker Mayfield. Surely he can get Bryce Young back on track after only one disappointing rookie season. The Panthers aren't winning anything this season , and anything more than doubling last seasons 2 wins to 4 would be impressive with the roster they are likely to field. So trading edge rusher Brian Burns for 2nd & 5th round draft picks doesn't bother me too much , because they probably won't be in playoff contention for 2 or more years , but you would think they should have gotten at least a 1rst rounder for him. He's a twitchy talented 25 year old edge rusher who has been productive every season , and you can't get a single first rounder for him? Anyway my main focus would be protecting Bryce Young , and giving him the weapons he needs to succeed. As that would be the opposite of last season where he had just had one good receiver in a past his prime Adam Thielen & one good O-Lineman in Taylor Moton. Although there is still plenty of hope for the the young & talented WR Jonathan Mingo , and OT Icky Ekwonu. They started out doing half of that by providing Bryce two 27 year old beefy guards in Robert Hunt & Damien Lewis that are known for moving the line of scrimmage in the run game & anchoring in the pocket in pass protection. Now they need a much better center , and some more pass catchers to give Young a chance to fulfill his promise. So they made a trade for a potential #1 WR in 27 year old Deonte Johnson , and he can flat out separate. It made me laugh when I saw how little they paid for him too , because when all it cost you for him is a CB ( Donte Jackson ) that you were going to cut , and a swap of late round picks you are winning . Signing big DT A'shawn Robinson gives them 2 nose tackles so maybe they are thinking of trading Derrick Brown too , because he is on his 5th year option this year. Or maybe they just want to play more base 3-4 looks , and one would be at the 5 technique. The Panthers also brought in high IQ off the ball LB Josey Jewell to QB the middle of the defense. So far they are using their cap space pretty wisely. It sucks that the 2024 #1 pick they traded to the Bears last year to get Bryce Young ended up being #1 overall , but with pick #33 at the top of the 2nd their is a decent chance either Graham Barton or Zack Frazier could fill their center void. If not it should definitely be another WR ,but with their new 2nd (#39) they have a great chance of getting a good WR , and I doubt Barton or Frazier will be there then. Since they traded CB Donte Jackson f& Burns corner and edge rusher are also large needs. The cash strapped Panthers also resigned veteran CB Troy Hill , and he did start 3 games for them in 2023 so who knows. With no interior guy available I would go WR. Pearsall can play inside or out , although I think many just see him as a slot guy. He was the most impressive wideout at the Senior Bowl, had the greatest catch of all in college this season , and also looked great at the combine. 



The Texans are not only coming off a great turnaround in DeMeco Ryan's first season as head coach , but the young talent on this team makes it look like they can be a contender for a long time. Most of us , and that definitely includes me , were too low on CJ Stroud as he looked like a veteran 10 year franchise QB as a rookie. In fact I think it was the greatest rookie QB season in NFL history. Throw in offensive building blocks in great LT Laremy Tunsil , young WR Nico Collins , a just re-signed TE Dalton Schulz , and Tank Dell if he can stay healthy. On defense young building blocks like edge Will Anderson , CB Derek Stingley JR. , safety Jalen Pitre , and maybe even LB Christian Harris make the future look bright. NT Foley Fatukasi was brought in from the jags right before free agency started to help clog up the middle some , but he did play for DC Matt Burke with the Jets earlier in his career , although he is a run down player only. They signed good young LB Azeez Al-Shaair LB away from the Titans too. Versatile veteran D-Lineman Denico Autry is a solid rotational guy that they also took from the Titans. The Texans basically swapped Pro Bowl edge rushers in free agency with the Vikings as Danielle Hunter is coming to Houston & Jonathan Greenard is heading to Minnesota. Hunter is the longer , twitchier , more explosive & consistent  , and has the higher upside as a pass rusher of the 2. Yet he does not set a good consistent edge in the run game , and he's the greedy type who is always looking to squeeze more money out of you , even when he already has a good contract. Greenard finally busted out in 2023 , and he sets a better edge , but he got too much money for a guy with his career production. The Texans also traded for RB Joe Mixon , and it only cost them a 7th , but I was surprised they signed to him a new kind of pricey ( 3 years , 27 million with 13 million guaranteed) contract at this stage of his career. Former injury prone #4 overall pick CB Jeffrey Okudah was brought in on a cheap prove it deal too. If Okudah & Stingley can be healthy , and live up to the prospects they were coming out of college together that would be something to see. They trade away their first rounder to the Vikings for a 2nd (# 42) and a 6th (#188) this year and a 2nd in 2025. I am much lower on Kingsley than pretty much everyone else because he seems like a guard with bad technique to me. He's too slow to play OT , but has the power to play guard. Although his balance & hand use need work, and I would like to see a mean streak more often. 



The Deshaun Watson signing has been a crap fest. Pre off the field perv allegations I would have called him a top 5 QB in the NFL , but he has played like a bottom ten guy in Cleveland. Whether its the time off or inner turmoil I don't know. Either way they played better with broken down Joe Flacco last year. HC Kevin Stefanski did a masterful job last season despite tons of injuries , and he should not be blamed if Watson sucks again. The Browns have a bad cap situation. Almost 13 million over when free agency started so you can't expect a lot of big deals. They did wisely re-sign edge Zadarius Smith. They signed interception waiting to happen Jameis Winston to be the new backup when Flacco went to the Colts. Then they traded for often banged up former 1rst rounder Jerry Jeudy which only cost them a 5th & 6th. I thought it was a great deal until they signed him to a 3 year 58 million dollar deal with 41 million guaranteed.  Jeudy has never even had a 1,000 yard season , and if you guaranteed me that he would reach his current career high 2022 ( 67 catches, 972 yards, and 6 TD's ) stats every year he still isn't worth that deal.  Rotational DT's Shelby Harris & Maurice Hurst also inked new deals as well, and both were needed , but I still think they need more youth on the D-Line. The question is along the edge or interior. I would just take the best player available at either. OT , LB , and RB are need as well. i am going with the best D-Lineman available here. Jenkins is really strong & athletic for his size. He can definitely stop the run, and play the 3 or 5 technique well there. Jenkins was also in a heavy rotation at Michigan,  but often on the sideline on passing downs, and I need to see more reps & improvement as a pass rusher.