No. 1: Chicago Bears — Caleb Williams, QB, USC
If the Bears are selecting No. 1 overall, even if it ends up being with Carolina’s pick, the franchise will surely be ready to turn the page on Justin Fields. In his place comes what many are tabbing as a generational prospect at quarterback.
USC’s Caleb Williams isn’t quite as surefire as the media would lead you to believe, but his arm talent and creativity should make him the top pick off the board for a quarterback-needy squad. Williams is a plug-and-play option for Chicago in Year 1.
Russell Wilson Out, Drake Maye In For Broncos
No. 2: Denver Broncos — Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina
Will the Broncos actually select at No. 2 overall come next spring? If their play in 2023 is any indicator, such a high draft pick wouldn’t be a surprise. While there are bigger issues at play than Russell Wilson, it would be too difficult for Sean Payton to pass up on a signal-caller here.
Enter Drake Maye. A close second to Williams in most quarterback rankings, the UNC star flexes prototypical size and is arguably the best deep ball thrower in the class. The Wilson reign comes to a screeching halt as Maye could quickly remind Broncos fans of franchise legend John Elway.
No. 3: Chicago Bears (via CAR) — Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State
The temptation to select Marvin Harrison Jr. proves too strong for the Chicago front office. After adding the top quarterback, the best wide receiver in college football follows Williams to the Windy City. Like his father, MHJ possesses teach tape route running and boasts a frame considerably larger. He is the best wide receiver prospect in years.
No. 4: Arizona Cardinals — Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State
No quarterback? Are you serious? Yes, I am. Right now, the expectation — at least in my mind — is to build around Kyler Murray, not trade him. If so, head coach Jonathan Gannon will want a building block for his defense. Jared Verse is explosive off the snap and an ever-improving run defender. He has “top-five pick” written all over his tape.
No. 5: Las Vegas Raiders — Quinn Ewers, QB, Texas
While QB1 and QB2 are widely agreed upon in the mock draft community, a handful of prospects could be the third signal-caller off the board. Quinn Ewers still has work to do with consistency, but the flashes he has put on tape have NFL teams salivating.
Ewers boasts adequate arm talent, even if his overall arm strength is a notch below elite. More often than not, the Longhorn alum shows supreme ball placement and regularly gives his pass catchers a chance to create after the catch. His skillset fits well with Josh McDaniels — or whoever is the head coach in Vegas next season.