Mock Draft: Bears add Saquon Barkley, Giants get Caleb Williams, Raiders trade for QB

In NFLMocks’ latest first-round mock draft, the Bears parlay the No. 1 overall pick into superstar running back Saquon Barkley, plus more current and future assets. Caleb Williams heads to New York, and the Raiders find an answer at quarterback.
Dec 25, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26)
Dec 25, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) / Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
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No. 2: Washington Commanders — Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

Drake Maye brings a safer floor than Williams, thanks to his prototypical size and pinpoint accuracy within structure. The Commanders have a new ownership group, a fresh front office, and a soon-to-be updated coaching staff. Maye is the ideal choice to begin a rebuild.

No. 3: New England Patriots — Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

With Bill Belichick on the way out, the 2024 campaign signifies a changing of the guard in several ways for New England. At No. 3 in this mock draft, the Patriots land a Heisman trophy winner with dual-threat capabilities — nearly six years after passing on Lamar Jackson.

Kyler Murray gets help on offense

No. 4: Arizona Cardinals — Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State

Positional value or the best player available? That’s the question for Arizona. In today’s mock draft, the Cardinals opt to protect quarterback Kyler Murray by snagging Olu Fashanu. The Penn State star is a top-end pass protector from the jump with untapped potential as a run blocker.

No. 5: Los Angeles Chargers — Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

The Chargers come out like bandits, drafting Marvin Harrison Jr., the best player this cycle, at No. 5 overall. Sure, other areas on the roster need addressing, but adding a guy with this size, speed, and route-running proficiency is too good to pass up. Justin Herbert is smiling.

No. 6: Chicago Bears (via NYG) — Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

After narrowly missing out on Harrison Jr., the Bears pivot to Malik Nabers, an LSU pass catcher who would be WR1 in most draft classes. Along with D.J. Moore, the explosive Nabers gives Justin Fields the best opportunity to seize the QB1 mantle for the foreseeable future.

A mock draft trade sees the Vikings come up for a signal-caller of their own

Titans Send:
•No. 7 overall (2024)

Vikings Send:
•No. 11 overall (2024)
•No. 108 overall (2024)
•Future 2nd round pick (2025)

The Vikings tried at will to move up the draft board in 2023 for a long-term Kirk Cousins replacement. With the top three names already taken, Minnesota can’t risk the quarterback-needy Falcons taking their guy… thus, a trade-up.

No. 7: Minnesota Vikings (via TEN) — J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Frankly, selecting J.J. McCarthy this early and trading a future asset to do it is quite the dice roll. He grades closer to a late first or early second-round grade on NFLMocks’ current Big Board. But if Kevin O’Connell sees promise in the 20-year-old quarterback? He will make the move.

McCarthy is a raw ball of clay who never got the chance to flex his talent in a system conducive to putting up numbers. However, the Michigan alum showed clear signs of improvement, and given his natural arm talent and borderline elite athleticism, it’ll be surprising if he makes it out of the top 10 come April.

Perhaps the best part is that the Vikings can re-sign Cousins to a short-term pact and allow McCarthy to develop behind the grizzled veteran. Not every first-round quarterback has to be thrown into the fire in Year 1. Look at Jordan Love.