The 2024 NFL Draft is still several months away, but it is never too early to get familiar with the next batch of talent heading to the league. In our July mock draft, quarterbacks come off the board early and often while the defense boasts multiple franchise-altering edge rushers.
2024 NFL mock draft: Cardinals land Caleb Williams, Brock Bowers goes top five
I will use my own order for this mock draft because the betting odds do not align with how I see the season unfolding. If you have beef with my order, just know that it is subject to change throughout the summer. With that caveat out of the way: Let’s get the ball rolling!
No. 1: Arizona Cardinals – Caleb Williams, QB, USC
The Cardinals currently employ one of the most exciting quarterbacks in the NFL, Kyler Murray. However, the former Heisman Trophy winner has dealt with injuries for the majority of his professional career and is currently rehabbing torn ligaments in his knee.
Whether or not Murray returns to the field in 2023, Arizona is destined to sit atop the 2024 NFL Draft. A trade would result in unprecedented dead cap space since Murray recently signed a monster contract extension, but with a new regime in place, pivoting to a rookie contract Caleb Williams provides the quickest jumpstart to a rebuild.
Williams is supremely talented and looks like a point guard when he escapes the pocket. He consistently creates huge gains out of nothing. The former five-star recruit drips arm talent and charisma; he is not quite in the generational grade on my scale, but Williams is franchise quarterback material.
No. 2: Tampa Bay Bucs – Drake Maye, QB, UNC
The Bucs are firmly in the Caleb Williams Sweepstakes, but Drake Maye is not a bad consolation prize. The North Carolina signal-caller is deathly accurate from the pocket and is a deceptively agile runner out of the backfield. His dual-threat abilities and special deep ball make Maye a surefire first-round talent.
The depth chart at quarterback currently consists of Baker Mayfield, Kyle Trask, and John Wolford. The sound you heard just now was a collective groan from the Tampa Bay fan base. As difficult as the 2023 season will be for the Bucs, Maye presents a light at the end of the tunnel.
No. 3: Chicago Bears – Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia
Oh boy, a tight end at No. 3 overall? While it may be jarring to see, I assure you that Brock Bowers is worth it. More than your typical tight end, Bowers is an all-around threat in the passing and running game. His frame is a tad small, but you would never know it by watching.
The Georgia superstar is a game-breaker as a receiver. He wins in several ways, including designed handoffs, deep shots down the seam, and out routes to the sideline. Bowers boasts an expansive route tree and unprecedented polish in every area of his game. Feed Justin Fields more!