getty-michael-penix-washington-pac-12-december.jpg
Getty Images

With one week to go before the NFL Draft, I present my annual mock. I am extremely confident in my top pick. I am slightly less confident in the next pick. And so on and so forth.

This is always a fun but difficult exercise, and one that I am very happy to do only once a year. Talking with folks around the league, it seems clear it will be an offense-heavy first round. In my mock, I have five quarterbacks going in the top 10 and no defensive player being selected until pick No. 12.

I have projected three Day 1 trades and surely there will be more, but this mock can only get so unwieldy. To those within the league reading this mock, please feel free to text me how wrong I am like usual.

For more draft coverage, you can hear in-depth analysis twice a week on "With the First Pick" -- our year-round NFL Draft podcast with NFL Draft analyst Ryan Wilson and former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. You can find "With the First Pick" wherever you get your podcasts: Apple PodcastsSpotifyYouTube, etc.

NFL Mock Draft
Round 1
Round 1 - Pick 1
USC • 6'1" / 215 lbs
Projected Team
Chicago
PROSPECT RNK
2nd
POSITION RNK
1st
PAYDS
3633
RUYDS
121
INTS
5
TDS
41
He's been the choice for months now. The Bears have spent enough time with him, and he with them, to make this marriage work. There's no suspense here and I need not write much more.
Round 1 - Pick 2
LSU • 6'4" / 210 lbs
Projected Team
Washington
PROSPECT RNK
6th
POSITION RNK
3rd
PAYDS
3812
RUYDS
1134
INTS
4
TDS
50
The Commanders hired Kliff Kingsbury as their OC for a reason, and Daniels will run his system perfectly. The phrase "dynamic playmaker" is overused in football but use it as much as you want with the Heisman winner.
Round 1 - Pick 3
North Carolina • 6'4" / 230 lbs
Projected Team
New England
PROSPECT RNK
5th
POSITION RNK
2nd
PAYDS
3608
RUYDS
449
INTS
9
TDS
33
There's simply no way in my mind the Patriots move out of this spot and/or don't take a quarterback. The way the offseason has gone -- and the way the last three years have gone -- they have to.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Ohio State • 6'4" / 205 lbs
Projected Team
Arizona
PROSPECT RNK
1st
POSITION RNK
1st
REC
67
REYDS
1211
YDS/REC
18.1
TDS
15
GM Monti Ossenfort got to enjoy some draft-day trades last year, and he will later in this mock. But he doesn't play here and secures the next Larry Fitzgerald for the Arizona franchise.
  Mock Trade from Los Angeles Chargers
Round 1 - Pick 5
Michigan • 6'3" / 219 lbs
Projected Team
Minnesota
PROSPECT RNK
20th
POSITION RNK
4th
PAYDS
2991
RUYDS
202
INTS
4
TDS
25
The Vikings got an extra Day 1 pick to make this exact move. McCarthy is much higher on team boards than he is in the media. He crushed his combine and pre-draft interviews, and Kevin O'Connell will love having a smart winner as his signal-caller.
Round 1 - Pick 6
LSU • 6'0" / 200 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Giants
PROSPECT RNK
3rd
POSITION RNK
2nd
REC
89
REYDS
1569
YDS/REC
17.6
TDS
14
Next week the Giants could absolutely draft a quarterback with this pick and I wouldn't blink. In this mock, they get who many in the league believe to be the best wide receiver in the draft.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Notre Dame • 6'8" / 322 lbs
Projected Team
Tennessee
PROSPECT RNK
8th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Some teams have very obvious needs and the Titans are one of them. Alt is the first offensive lineman off the board and he will immediately slot in beside last year's first-round pick, Peter Skoronski, to solidify the left side of the line in front of Will Levis.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Washington • 6'2" / 216 lbs
Projected Team
Atlanta
PROSPECT RNK
31st
POSITION RNK
5th
PAYDS
4903
RUYDS
8
INTS
11
TDS
39
The Washington QB has been rising lately, and I believe he'll be drafted in the first dozen picks no matter what happens next week. The Falcons paid a lot of money to a 36-year-old quarterback coming off an Achilles injury in a deal they can get out of in two years if they must.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Washington • 6'3" / 215 lbs
Projected Team
Chicago
PROSPECT RNK
11th
POSITION RNK
3rd
REC
92
REYDS
1640
YDS/REC
17.8
TDS
15
The entire Chicago Bears organization is being reimagined this offseason and GM Ryan Poles gets two franchise-changers in the top nine. Sure, they sent a fourth for Keenan Allen, but he only has this year left on his deal. Odunze with D.J. Moore is a dream for years to come for Caleb Williams.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Alabama • 6'6" / 342 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Jets
PROSPECT RNK
19th
POSITION RNK
5th
REC
56
REYDS
714
YDS/REC
12.8
TDS
7
One personnel executive called Latham the safest offensive lineman in the draft considering how high his floor is. The Jets remade their offensive line in the last several weeks but reinforcements will be necessary.
  Mock Trade from Minnesota Vikings
Round 1 - Pick 11
Georgia • 6'4" / 230 lbs
Projected Team
L.A. Chargers
PROSPECT RNK
14th
POSITION RNK
1st
REC
56
REYDS
714
YDS/REC
12.8
TDS
7
New Chargers GM Joe Hortiz agreed to this trade because 1) the Chargers need more cheap players and 2) he's really good at the draft. With Harrison off the board a pick earlier, the Bolts slide down and still pick up an elite pass-catcher at the tight end spot for Jim Harbaugh.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Alabama • 6'3" / 247 lbs
Projected Team
Denver
PROSPECT RNK
7th
POSITION RNK
1st
Every other mock you read will have Turner going to the Falcons at 8. The Broncos need a QB of course, but they can always get Spencer Rattler in the third. Denver badly needs pass-rush help.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Penn State • 6'6" / 317 lbs
Projected Team
Las Vegas
PROSPECT RNK
4th
POSITION RNK
1st
Only so many teams can trade up for so many quarterbacks. Here, I have the Raiders being forced to stand pat and drafting the Penn State tackle.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Oregon State • 6'6" / 324 lbs
Projected Team
New Orleans
PROSPECT RNK
12th
POSITION RNK
3rd
I could see the Saints being a trade-back candidate in this scenario. But if no one calls, New Orleans takes Fuaga with some uncertainty at their tackle position.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Alabama • 6'0" / 199 lbs
Projected Team
Indianapolis
PROSPECT RNK
13th
POSITION RNK
2nd
PAYDS
4508
RUYDS
234
INTS
3
TDS
51
He can play outside and inside and had great ball production at Alabama. He goes to Indy where he can start Day 1.
  Mock Trade from Seattle Seahawks
Round 1 - Pick 16
Toledo • 6'0" / 196 lbs
Projected Team
Philadelphia
PROSPECT RNK
8th
POSITION RNK
1st
GM Howie Roseman is a regular draft-day-trader-upper, so why would 2024 be any different? Seeing the first corner go off the board, he makes a move quickly to get ahead of Jacksonville and get Mitchell.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Alabama • 6'1" / 195 lbs
Projected Team
Jacksonville
PROSPECT RNK
26th
POSITION RNK
4th
The Jaguars could always move back here but then they'd miss out on a corner. The run on the position started two spots earlier and the Jags don't want to be left out, so they get McKinstry here.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Florida State • 6'4" / 260 lbs
Projected Team
Cincinnati
PROSPECT RNK
9th
POSITION RNK
1st
Slightly surprised Verse is available here, but it feels like best player available for Cincy. He can play inside or out for Lou Anarumo.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Texas • 6'0" / 306 lbs
Projected Team
L.A. Rams
PROSPECT RNK
15th
POSITION RNK
1st
Sometimes the football gods smile kindly upon you. Aaron Donald retires and L.A. has the best defensive tackle prospect in the draft sitting right there.
Round 1 - Pick 20
LSU • 6'4" / 205 lbs
Projected Team
Pittsburgh
PROSPECT RNK
17th
POSITION RNK
4th
REC
68
REYDS
1177
YDS/REC
17.3
TDS
17
The LSU receiver could easily come off the board earlier than this. But after the Diontae Johnson trade, the Steelers will want to add a receiver. And we know that's a position they draft well.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Texas • 5'11" / 165 lbs
Projected Team
Miami
PROSPECT RNK
32nd
POSITION RNK
7th
REC
75
REYDS
1014
YDS/REC
13.5
TDS
6
The Dolphins are eventually going to have some difficult decisions to make at wide receiver when it comes to those contracts. May as well get prepared for that now with nabbing the fastest receiver in the draft.
  Mock Trade from Philadelphia Eagles
Round 1 - Pick 22
UCLA • 6'5" / 265 lbs
Projected Team
Seattle
PROSPECT RNK
16th
POSITION RNK
3rd
John Schneider is in full control of this draft and he trades back in this mock, as is his wont. Latu's medical concerns have him falling slightly, but Seattle should be very familiar with the former Washington and UCLA pass rusher.
  Mock Trade from Minnesota Vikings
Round 1 - Pick 23
Washington • 6'4" / 317 lbs
Projected Team
L.A. Chargers
PROSPECT RNK
22nd
POSITION RNK
1st
A long-armed tackle who could slide inside if necessary for the Chargers. On Day 1, the Chargers address their top two needs with the trade with Minnesota.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Georgia • 6'7" / 340 lbs
Projected Team
Dallas
PROSPECT RNK
18th
POSITION RNK
4th
REC
75
REYDS
1014
YDS/REC
13.5
TDS
6
An obvious need for the Cowboys with an obvious fit in Mims. What he lacks in experience he makes up for in upside.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Oklahoma • 6'7" / 328 lbs
Projected Team
Green Bay
PROSPECT RNK
39th
POSITION RNK
6th
This is a very good offensive lineman draft and the Packers need one of them. Guyton played right tackle at Oklahoma but will need some time adjusting to the pros.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Penn State • 6'3" / 254 lbs
Projected Team
Tampa Bay
PROSPECT RNK
21st
POSITION RNK
4th
After a strong free agency to retain the group that got them within a drive of the NFC title game, the Bucs address an obvious need with Robinson. The Buccaneers continue to invest in pass rushers high in the draft.
  Mock Trade from Arizona Cardinals
Round 1 - Pick 27
Texas • 6'4" / 196 lbs
Projected Team
New England
PROSPECT RNK
24th
POSITION RNK
5th
REC
55
REYDS
845
YDS/REC
15.4
TDS
11
Here's Ossenfort's Day 1 trade, figuring he can get the same caliber player at pick 34 as he can at 27 -- and then some. New England struck out on receivers in free agency so the Patriots have to be aggressive in surrounding Drake Maye with talent, and they come up to get Mitchell.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Georgia • 6'0" / 185 lbs
Projected Team
Buffalo
PROSPECT RNK
27th
POSITION RNK
6th
REC
30
REYDS
478
YDS/REC
15.9
TDS
3
Some teams have him as the fifth-best receiver in the draft, and he could very well not be here when Buffalo picks. After the Stefon Diggs trade, it's obvious what Buffalo has to do.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Iowa • 6'0" / 198 lbs
Projected Team
Detroit
PROSPECT RNK
23rd
POSITION RNK
3rd
REC
55
REYDS
845
YDS/REC
15.4
TDS
11
More teams have DeJean as a safety/nickel than cornerback/nickel. For Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn, DeJean can play in a number of different spots.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Duke • 6'5" / 314 lbs
Projected Team
Baltimore
PROSPECT RNK
52nd
POSITION RNK
9th
Baltimore has a lot of holes to fill along its offensive line. Barton has versatility the Ravens can use.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Missouri • 6'5" / 296 lbs
Projected Team
San Francisco
PROSPECT RNK
28th
POSITION RNK
5th
The Niners are in a great position to take best player available. If they can deal Brandon Aiyuk in the next week, they could always take a receiver.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Clemson • 6'1" / 182 lbs
Projected Team
Kansas City
PROSPECT RNK
29th
POSITION RNK
5th
Following the L'Jarius Sneed trade, the Chiefs can add to the defensive backfield with Wiggins. This pick may well be up for auction, though.