Sam Farmer’s NFL mock draft 1.0: Falcons could go all-in with trade to No. 3

By | March 4, 2024

Many NFL teams are looking for quarterbacks, and there are plenty of attractive candidates this season.

This inaugural mock draft considers quarterbacks going with the first three picks, and a hypothetical trade that could facilitate that.

One way the design could unfold:

1. Chicago: QB Caleb WilliamsUSC— The Bears are restarting with a new quarterback, a guy who likely would have been taken first overall in the past two drafts.

2. Washington: QB Jayden Daniels, Louisiana State – Tough to pass on a quarterback when you need one as much as the Commanders do. Fits well with the Kliff Kingsbury system.

3. [PROPOSED TRADE] Atlanta, from New England: QB Drake Maye, North Carolina — As in 2021, QBs go 1-2-3. Instead of trading for Justin Fields, Falcons restart the clock with a rookie.

4. Arizona: WR Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State — If the Cardinals want to pay Kyler Murray all that money, they need to give him the best weapons. New era Larry Fitzgerald.

Notre Dame offensive lineman Joe Alt warms up before a game against Clemson in November.Notre Dame offensive lineman Joe Alt warms up before a game against Clemson in November.

5. Chargers:OT Joe Alt, Notre Dame — Alt replaces Trey Pipkins at right tackle and the Chargers have formidable bookends in Rashawn Slater to protect Justin Herbert.

6. New York Giants: WR Rome Odunze, Washington — The Giants don’t have a true No. 1 receiver and they need to stock the shelves for quarterback Daniel Jones.

7. Tennessee: OT Olu Fashanu, Penn State – The Titans teamed up at left tackle last season and it basically turned into a crappy revolving door. Fashanu and Will Levis, former teammates.

8. [PROPOSED TRADE] New England, from Atlanta: T JC Latham, Alabama — Yes, the Patriots could sit out and take a quarterback, but in this scenario, they could wait to check that box.

Read more: Rams set up with money and draft picks, now they can ‘do anything we want’

9. Chicago: WR Malik Nabers, LSU — Good news for Chicago’s starting quarterback: The Bears are acquiring a No. 2 receiver to complement DJ Moore.

10. New York Jets: TE Brock Bowers, Georgia — Of course, the Jets could use a protector for Aaron Rodgers. But for coach Robert Saleh, Bowers could be New York’s answer to George Kittle.

11. Minnesota: Rand Dallas Turner, Alabama – For the first time since 2014, when they took Anthony Barr from UCLA, the Vikings are using their top pick to bolster their pass rush.

12. Denver – QB JJ McCarthy, Michigan Goodbye, Russell Wilson. Sean Payton goes against type and takes a quarterback he can mold from the start.

Toledo defensive end Quinyon Mitchell runs the 40-yard dash Friday at the NFL scouting combine.Toledo defensive end Quinyon Mitchell runs the 40-yard dash Friday at the NFL scouting combine.

Toledo defensive end Quinyon Mitchell runs the 40-yard dash Friday at the NFL scouting combine. (Michael Conroy/Associated Press)

13. Las Vegas: CB Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo — The Raiders have needs at quarterback and defensive tackle, but those can wait a while. By the way, Mitchell ran the 40 in 4.33 seconds.

14. New Orleans: DE Jared Verse, Florida State – Besides Carl Granderson, the Saints are floundering as pass rushers. Verse gives them an injection of speed and intensity.

15. Indianapolis: CB Cooper DeJean, Iowa — DeJean has a leg injury, so he may slip a bit. Super versatile defensive back who can line up anywhere.

16. Seattle: DE Laiatu Latu, UCLA — Regardless of whether they keep Leonard Williams, the Seahawks could use help on the defensive front. Latu would provide that.

17. Jacksonville: DT Jer’Zhan Newton, Ill. — The Jaguars got just 3½ sacks from their defensive linemen last season. Newton had eight sacks on his own last season.

18. Cincinnati: CB Terrion Arnold, Alabama — His 4.5 time in the 40 hasn’t blown anyone away, but Arnold is fluid, smart and a good fit for the Bengals.

Read more: With big money and draft picks, Rams GM Les Snead says: ‘We like to attack’

19. Rams: C Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon — This may not be a sexy pick — especially since the Rams haven’t drafted in the first round since 2016 — but an important position to sign.

20. Pittsburgh: OT Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State – Steelers strengthen their blocking front and make Fuaga the first Oregon State offensive lineman to go in the opening round.

21. Miami: DT Byron Murphy II, Texas — Free agency is looking to deal a blow to Miami’s defensive line. Murphy starts rebuilding.

22. Philadelphia: CB Nate Wiggins, Clemson – Wiggins ran the 40 in a scorching 4.28 seconds, but limped off with a hip injury. He should be ready to go for his pro day.

23. Houston: WR Brian Thomas Jr., LSU — The Texans get a big, confident receiver for CJ Stroud. The 6-foot-2 Thomas is a smooth route runner with strong hands.

24. Dallas: OT Amarius Mims, Georgia – The Cowboys will eventually have to move on from Tyron Smith, so tackle is a glaring position of need.

Miami defensive back Kamren Kinchens performs a drill at the NFL scouting combine on Friday.Miami defensive back Kamren Kinchens performs a drill at the NFL scouting combine on Friday.

25. Green Bay: FS Kamren Kinchens, Miami — The Packers need a tackle to replace David Bakhtiari, either immediately or eventually, but safety is a more pressing need.

26. Tampa Bay: WR Keon Coleman, Florida State — Coleman could be the next Mike Evans for the Buccaneers, and they would love to grab that guy.

27. Arizona: OT Tyler Guyton, Oklahoma — Another move to strengthen Arizona’s offense, already bolstered by the addition of Harrison at wideout.

28. Buffalo: DT Kris Jenkins, Michigan – The Bills need to strengthen the interior of their defensive front and Jenkins, a throwback at the position, would be a good fit.

29. Detroit: CB Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama – The immensely talented McKinstry was able to slip out of the first round after doctors discovered a broken bone in his foot.

Read more: New Chargers GM Joe Hortiz says production, not age or money, will decide who goes

30. Baltimore: G Graham Barton, Duke — The Ravens are facing the potential departure of both guards. In this mock they are setting up for emergency.

31. San Francisco: CB Kamari Lassiter, Georgia — The 49ers need an offensive tackle, but the top prospects are gone at this point. Help on the corner is also needed.

32. Kansas City: WR Troy Franklin, Oregon — The Chiefs need more weapons for Patrick Mahomes, and Franklin has the speed to beat defenders on the outside.

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This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

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