New Year Mock Draft: Seven QBs, several shocking trades, and a defensive drought

In NFLMocks’ first mock draft of 2024, quarterbacks fly off the board in a hurry. Who will Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, and Jayden Daniels end up with? Can the Vikings and Seahawks find signal-callers of the future?

Arizona State Sun Devils head coach Kenny Dillingham congratulates USC Trojans quarterback Caleb
Arizona State Sun Devils head coach Kenny Dillingham congratulates USC Trojans quarterback Caleb / Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY
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Teams Without A First-Round Pick In This Mock Draft

No. 33: Carolina Panthers — Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon

The Panthers need a lot of help on the roster, but no position is as barren as wide receiver. Troy Franklin provides Bryce Young with a No. 1 option in the passing game, as the Oregon product boasts the best release package in the class and consistently creates separation.

No. 42: Detroit Lions (via LV) — Xavier Legette, WR, South Carolina

After trading out of Round 1 and acquiring future draft capital in the process, the Lions still land a difference-maker at No. 42 in this mock draft. Xavier Legette, at 6-foot-3 and 227 pounds, creates a new layer for the Detroit offense with his game-breaking speed.

No. 44: San Francisco 49ers (via ATL) — Denzel Burke, CB, Ohio State

The 49ers also traded out of Day 1, and similar to Detroit, San Francisco won’t miss out on an instant starter. Denzel Burke had an up-and-down career at Ohio State, but his talent has never been a question. The Niners hope NFL coaching is the last piece Burke needs to realize his true potential.

No. 59: Cleveland Browns — Devontez Walker, WR, North Carolina

Amari Cooper turned back the clock in 2023, but Elijah Moore and the rest of the wide receiver room have been underwhelming — to say the least. Devontez Walker hasn’t caught the eye of the entire NFL Draft community yet, but once folks circle back to his tape, one thing will become clear: Walker can play.

The North Carolina star is a big-play specialist with a deceptive first step and burst. He easily finds his way behind the last line of the defense and shows impeccable ball-tracking ability on passes downfield. Walker is a candidate to play himself into Round 1, but as for this mock draft, the Browns snag him at No. 59 overall.

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