Mock Draft: Patriots trade up, Vikings replace Kirk Cousins, Falcons stack offense

In NFLMocks’ most recent mock draft, the New England Patriots make a bold trade to secure Drake Maye. In addition, the Vikings replace Kirk Cousins and the Falcons find another weapon on offense.
Oct 14, 2023; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye (10)
Oct 14, 2023; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Drake Maye (10) / Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports
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The 2024 NFL Draft offers 32 franchises a chance at adding at least one foundational piece to the roster. From the names you know to the ones you’ve never heard of, let’s dive into a 2024 Mock Draft and familiarize ourselves with some names that figure to be prominent in draft discussions this Spring.

Offense Dominates The Early Portion Of This First-Round Mock Draft

The quarterback position has developed into a heated three-man race, depending on who you ask. Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, and Jayden Daniels have seemingly separated themselves from the pack. But fans of J.J. McCarthy, Michael Penix Jr., and Bo Nix will argue otherwise.

Wide receivers still consist of the regulars up top, including Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, and Rome Odunze. However, the second and third-tier pass catchers are impressive in their own right. For Troy Franklin and Xavier Legette, a first-round rookie contract is no longer a pipe dream — it’s a distinct possibility.

The offensive line group is perhaps the best of the bunch — no matter which side of the ball is being discussed. Olu Fashanu and Joe Alt are legitimate plug-and-play left tackles, rare for players with their youth. J.C. Latham, Taliese Fuaga, Amarius Mims, and Tyler Guyton all garner Day 1 consideration, making for a deeply talented unit.

Defense is a whole other ballgame. Lacking many of the blue-chip prospects of yesteryears, a couple of pass rushers, a standout defensive lineman, and a few defensive backs are the only redeeming qualities in this class — at least in the first round. Laiatu Latu and Jer’Zhan Newton are top 10 players but expect offense to dominate the early portion of the event.

In today’s mock draft, that outcome occurs, leaving plenty of defensive value later down the board. Without further ado, this mock draft kicks off with a shocking trade involving the New England Patriots and Chicago Bears.

A Trade As The Latest Mock Draft Gets Underway!

The Patriots won a Week 16 matchup with the Denver Broncos, much to the chagrin of some within the New England fan base. Sure, winning feels good, but not when it takes the team out of position for a top quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft.

But fret not; in NFLMocks’ latest mock draft, the Patriots take the initiative and move up to No. 1 overall to guarantee a long-term successor at quarterback. And with that, the Patriots… you are on the clock!