USATSI

NFL teams are conducting top-30 visits with draft hopefuls this month while also doing medical rechecks on players flagged at the combine. Final preparations are being made as teams build their respective boards. It is important for fans to know how those big boards are developed. 

First and foremost, they will not have 100s of prospects on their boards. Instead, it will be a more finely pruned list in the range of 150 total. Those players are arranged by where the team would feel comfortable taking them but also will account for roster needs. Considerations include work ethic, medical evaluations, athleticism, production, personality and many other qualities, but the conversation begins with whether or not the prospect is a fit for what that specific team wants to do on offense or defense. 

In today's thought exercise, we explore positional needs and what each team may hope to accomplish in the first round. 

Without further ado, let's kick this off!

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. Listen to the latest episode below!

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
Caleb Williams will the No. 1 overall selection to the Bears unless there is a medical situation to which the public is not privy.
Round 1 - Pick 2
North Carolina • 6'4" / 230 lbs
Projected Team
Washington
PROSPECT RNK
4th
POSITION RNK
2nd
PAYDS
3608
RUYDS
449
INTS
9
TDS
33
Washington takes the second best quarterback off the board. I do believe there could be some clashing in the room as to whether Jayden Daniels or Maye is the preference. Adam Peters' past suggests Maye would be the more likely candidate, but Kliff Kingsbury's coaching background may favor Daniels.
Round 1 - Pick 3
LSU • 6'4" / 210 lbs
Projected Team
New England
PROSPECT RNK
6th
POSITION RNK
3rd
PAYDS
3812
RUYDS
1134
INTS
4
TDS
50
I know there is discussion that the Patriots could trade out of this pick, but I do not see them taking that leap at the end of the day. They have spent a lot of time scouting Daniels and he is the third quarterback off the board. The Patriots need to devote the rest of this draft to the offense.
  Mock Trade from Arizona Cardinals
Round 1 - Pick 4
Michigan • 6'3" / 202 lbs
Projected Team
Minnesota
PROSPECT RNK
19th
POSITION RNK
4th
PAYDS
2991
RUYDS
202
INTS
4
TDS
25
Minnesota will have to trade away a package that includes three first-round picks for the right to move up from No. 11 overall to take the fourth quarterback. At the end of the day, no one will remember nor care what the Vikings surrendered to facilitate this trade if it pans out.
Round 1 - Pick 5
LSU • 6'0" / 200 lbs
Projected Team
L.A. Chargers
PROSPECT RNK
3rd
POSITION RNK
2nd
REC
89
REYDS
1569
YDS/REC
17.6
TDS
14
Four quarterbacks are taken with the first four picks, so that frees up the Chargers to take the best non-quarterback in the draft. They took Quentin Johnston a year ago and may be more inclined to throw Nabers' skill set into the equation.
Round 1 - Pick 6
Ohio State • 6'4" / 205 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Giants
PROSPECT RNK
1st
POSITION RNK
1st
REC
67
REYDS
1211
YDS/REC
18.1
TDS
15
Who could have predicted that Harrison Jr. would be available at No. 6 overall? He is a great fit for what the Giants want to do on offense. Harrison is a good pairing with Wan'Dale Robinson and Jalin Hyatt, but not as good as Malik Nabers would have been.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Notre Dame • 6'8" / 322 lbs
Projected Team
Tennessee
PROSPECT RNK
8th
POSITION RNK
2nd
There is no bigger slam dunk in the 2024 NFL Draft than the Titans taking a left tackle, specifically Alt at No. 7 overall. They released Andre Dillard this offseason and do not have a clear resolution to that position.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Alabama • 6'4" / 242 lbs
Projected Team
Atlanta
PROSPECT RNK
7th
POSITION RNK
1st
Edge rusher is the biggest position of need considering the options that are available. They could take a cornerback or trade back but Turner feels like a safe choice under the circumstances.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Washington • 6'3" / 215 lbs
Projected Team
Chicago
PROSPECT RNK
10th
POSITION RNK
3rd
REC
92
REYDS
1640
YDS/REC
17.8
TDS
15
Yes, Chicago traded for veteran receiver Keenan Allen and acquired D.J. Moore a year ago. Allen is far along in his career and is not necessarily a building block so that does not preclude the franchise from taking another player at the position. Odunze is actually a really good fit considering the personnel already on the roster.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Oregon State • 6'6" / 324 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Jets
PROSPECT RNK
14th
POSITION RNK
3rd
My gut tells me that offensive tackle is still very much in the realm of possibility for New York. If the Jets do not take an opportunity to get a tackle now, then they could be in a position to address both again next offseason. Joe Douglas comes from a Philadelphia situation that does not believe a team can overinvest in the offensive line. Fuaga can play guard for a year and then bump out to right tackle next year or provide insurance in the event that one of the 33-year-olds get injured.
  Mock Trade from Minnesota Vikings
Round 1 - Pick 11
Toledo • 6'0" / 196 lbs
Projected Team
Arizona
PROSPECT RNK
9th
POSITION RNK
1st
Arizona takes the second defender off the board and the first cornerback. Arizona has the opportunity to address several needs by trading back from No. 4 overall. The journey begins with Mitchell.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Alabama • 6'0" / 196 lbs
Projected Team
Denver
PROSPECT RNK
13th
POSITION RNK
2nd
REC
56
REYDS
714
YDS/REC
12.8
TDS
7
Denver has bigger needs but this stage of the first round is too rich to take one of the available quarterbacks in my opinion. Arnold and Patrick Surtain II is quite the duo in the secondary.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Alabama • 6'6" / 360 lbs
Projected Team
Las Vegas
PROSPECT RNK
20th
POSITION RNK
5th
Thayer Munford is the starting right tackle and Jordan Meredith is listed as the starting right guard. Las Vegas needs to upgrade the right side of its offensive line one way or another. Latham gives the flexibility to play either.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Penn State • 6'6" / 317 lbs
Projected Team
New Orleans
PROSPECT RNK
5th
POSITION RNK
1st
Offensive tackle has essentially become a point of desperation for New Orleans in short order. Former first-round pick Trevor Penning has not panned out the way many had hoped yet and right tackle Ryan Ramczyk's knee has reportedly not responded to treatment, which means the Saints could need to address both positions. Fashanu is a plug-and-play starter.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Georgia • 6'4" / 240 lbs
Projected Team
Indianapolis
PROSPECT RNK
13th
POSITION RNK
1st
REC
56
REYDS
714
YDS/REC
12.8
TDS
7
Bowers is a great fit for Indianapolis. Shane Steichen had Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert in Philadelphia. Adding Bowers is a way to address the receiving corps without necessarily taking away from Alec Pierce's opportunity.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Washington • 6'4" / 317 lbs
Projected Team
Seattle
PROSPECT RNK
21st
POSITION RNK
1st
Members of the new Seattle offensive coaching staff worked with Fautanu at Washington. Fautanu played left tackle for the Huskies but has positional flexibility. He would be a welcomed solution to the team's efforts to find a starting-caliber offensive guard.
Round 1 - Pick 17
LSU • 6'4" / 205 lbs
Projected Team
Jacksonville
PROSPECT RNK
18th
POSITION RNK
4th
REC
68
REYDS
1177
YDS/REC
17.3
TDS
17
Jacksonville has needs at wide receiver and cornerback. The roster is in a good enough spot to go best player available as well. With Calvin Ridley gone, there is a chance to add to the room at No. 17 overall and the Jaguars do so with the selection of Thomas.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Texas • 6'1" / 308 lbs
Projected Team
Cincinnati
PROSPECT RNK
15th
POSITION RNK
1st
Cincinnati signed Sheldon Rankins after losing DJ Reader in free agency. Murphy II is a pick who can turn a position of comfort into a position of strength.
Round 1 - Pick 19
UCLA • 6'5" / 267 lbs
Projected Team
L.A. Rams
PROSPECT RNK
16th
POSITION RNK
3rd
Los Angeles lost of a big part of the defense this offseason when Aaron Donald announced his retirement but Latu opposite Byron Young is worth getting excited about. Latu is as natural a pass rusher as one will find in this draft class.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Georgia • 6'7" / 340 lbs
Projected Team
Pittsburgh
PROSPECT RNK
17th
POSITION RNK
4th
Jackson Powers-Johnson has been the trendy association with Pittsburgh lately but Mims would solidify the corners with Broderick Jones flipping back to left tackle and Mims slated to play right tackle as he did in Athens.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Duke • 6'5" / 314 lbs
Projected Team
Miami
PROSPECT RNK
51st
POSITION RNK
8th
Barton has positional flexibility. He could play guard or center if Miami asked that of him. Given Robert Hunt's departure and the signing of Aaron Brewer, fans can probably expect him to begin at guard.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Iowa • 6'1" / 207 lbs
Projected Team
Philadelphia
PROSPECT RNK
30th
POSITION RNK
5th
Philadelphia does not often take a player incapable of playing along the offensive or defensive lines in the first round but it is time for a change. Darius Slay and James Bradberry dropped off last season and a need emerged.
  Mock Trade from Minnesota Vikings
Round 1 - Pick 23
Florida State • 6'4" / 260 lbs
Projected Team
Arizona
PROSPECT RNK
9th
POSITION RNK
1st
REC
68
REYDS
1177
YDS/REC
17.3
TDS
17
Arizona began its quest to upgrade the roster with the selection of cornerback Quinyon Mitchell and now adds another vital piece to the defense. Verse is the second of three first-round selections.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Oregon • 6'3" / 320 lbs
Projected Team
Dallas
PROSPECT RNK
33rd
POSITION RNK
2nd
Dallas could use one or two new starters on the offensive line and what those positions end up being really depends on how the coaching staff sees Tyler Smith. Powers-Johnson can play guard or center.
Round 1 - Pick 25
BYU • 6'6" / 325 lbs
Projected Team
Green Bay
PROSPECT RNK
40th
POSITION RNK
7th
Suamataia becomes the left tackle in Green Bay, replacing longtime stalwart David Bahktiari. Suamataia is the cousin of Lions right tackle Penei Sewell.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Penn State • 6'3" / 254 lbs
Projected Team
Tampa Bay
PROSPECT RNK
22nd
POSITION RNK
4th
Tampa Bay and Shaq Barrett went their separate ways this offseason. In fact, the Buccaneers bid farewell to many key defenders, such as Carlton Davis and Devin White. The Bucs now add to the unit with the selection of Robinson.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Illinois • 6'2" / 295 lbs
Projected Team
Arizona
PROSPECT RNK
28th
POSITION RNK
6th
Arizona takes its third defender in the first round as Newton now joins Quinyon Mitchell and Jared Verse. Defensive-minded head coach Jonathan Gannon will be excited by this outcome.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Texas • 6'4" / 196 lbs
Projected Team
Buffalo
PROSPECT RNK
24th
POSITION RNK
5th
REC
55
REYDS
845
YDS/REC
15.4
TDS
11
Buffalo pulled Stefon Diggs out of the offense and now reinvests with Mitchell. The reality is that the Bills are in a Super Bowl-now window and can ill afford coming up short in the department of supporting Josh Allen.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Alabama • 6'1" / 195 lbs
Projected Team
Detroit
PROSPECT RNK
25th
POSITION RNK
3rd
Detroit takes another Alabama defensive back in the top 50 overall for the second consecutive year. McKinstry has a familiar face to teach him the differences between Tuscaloosa and the Motor City.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Oklahoma • 6'7" / 328 lbs
Projected Team
Baltimore
PROSPECT RNK
38th
POSITION RNK
6th
After trading away Morgan Moses and losing starting offensive guard Kevin Zeitler in free agency, Baltimore throws resources in the direction of its offensive line. Guyton is an incredibly athletic right tackle who still has some technical refinement to accomplish.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Arizona • 6'5" / 325 lbs
Projected Team
San Francisco
PROSPECT RNK
52nd
POSITION RNK
9th
San Francisco has been able to construct a productive offensive line without it being littered with former first-round picks. The potential of that unit could be much higher by adding some of those blue-chip talents, however. Morgan has positional flexibility but is likely pegged on the left side.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Washington • 6'2" / 204 lbs
Projected Team
Kansas City
PROSPECT RNK
61st
POSITION RNK
13th
REC
69
REYDS
1159
YDS/REC
16.8
TDS
10
Kansas City could consider cornerback Nate Wiggins from Clemson here but wide receiver could also be fun. Polk is a good complement to Hollywood Brown and Rashee Rice, who is now dealing with legal problems.

Teams without a first-round pick

33. Panthers: CB Nate Wiggins, Clemson

Carolina is likely inclined to take an offensive prospect with this selection but the board is more conducive to taking Wiggins, who starts opposite Jaycee Horn

42. Texans: DT Braden Fiske, Florida State

Houston addresses a big position of need with the selection of Fiske. The Texans were interested in Arik Armstead and now land on a more cost-effective option in the draft. 

54. Browns: DT Maason Smith, LSU

Defensive tackle is a long-term position of need for the Browns given the short-term solutions on the roster. Cleveland has been drawn to LSU in the past, particularly players coming off down seasons, like Grant Delpit and Greedy Williams.

The 2024 NFL Draft will take place from April 25-27 in Detroit. More draft coverage can be found at CBSSports.com, including the weekly updated draft order and a regularly available look at the eligible prospects