Raiders Continue The Quarterback Run With A High-Upside Signal-Caller Of Their Own
No. 14: Las Vegas Raiders — Cam Ward, QB, Washington State
The Raiders might stick with Aidan O’Connell next year, but odds are, the new regime will want its own guy behind center. Cam Ward is raw — there’s no denying it. However, the Wazzu signal-caller has shown steady improvement since initially being a zero-star recruit. Ward has arm talent that Vegas fans haven’t witnessed in quite some time.
No. 15: Arizona Cardinals (via HOU) — Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama
Head coach Jonathan Gannon went with an offensive weapon earlier in the mock draft, but the defensive specialist gets his building block on the other side of the ball here. Dallas Turner gets into the backfield with ease, using flawless hand usage and a nice burst to terrorize opposing quarterbacks.
No. 16: New York Jets — Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State
Ideally, the Jets would prioritize beefing up the offensive line. Unfortunately, the top three offensive tackles are off the board, forcing New York to pivot elsewhere. Keon Coleman would thrive opposite Garrett Wilson. Coleman’s contested catch ability meshes perfectly with Wilson’s chain-moving skillset.
No. 17: Los Angeles Chargers — Jer’Zhan Newton, DL, Illinois
The Chargers have fielded a league-worst run defense more often than not in the past decade. Jer’Zhan Newton can change that immediately. Newton flexes rare traits for an interior defender, as the Illinois product is always disrupting running lanes and clearing paths for his pass rushers off the edge. Joey Bosa is already smiling.
No. 18: Buffalo Bills — Cooper DeJean, DB, Iowa
Cooper DeJean can play cornerback or safety in the NFL, which is exactly what the Bills need. Both starting safeties are north of 30 years old, and the cornerback room, to put it mildly, is a mess. DeJean kills two birds with one stone, thanks to one-of-one athleticism and instincts.
No. 19: New Orleans Saints — Graham Barton, OL, Duke
The Saints can go any direction in Round 1, but Graham Barton is a no-brainer to me. Barton can play all five positions on the offensive line and has All-Pro potential once he picks a spot and sticks with it.
No. 20: Minnesota Vikings — T’Vondre Sweat, DL, Texas
T’Vondre Sweat is a “my guy” in the 2024 NFL Draft. The Texas Longhorn checks in around the 360-pound mark, and somehow, he plays even bigger than that. The Vikings' defense is playing well under Brian Flores, but the roster lacks a player with Sweat’s ability from the interior.