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USA Today Sports Media Group
Jess Root

Vikings trade up to shake up new mock draft

The Minnesota Vikings made a big statement this week with their trade to acquire the 23rd pick in the 2024 NFL draft. It signaled a likely plan to move up in the first round to acquire a quarterback to replace Kirk Cousins, who left to the Atlanta Falcons in free agency.

In this mock draft, the Vikings and Denver Broncos both move up to get a quarterback, while the New England Patriots wait on a quarterback until later in the first round.

1. Chicago Bears: USC QB Caleb Williams

USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams talks with USC Trojans head coach Lincoln Riley during the first half of the game against No. 6 Oregon Ducks on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore.

This is a no-brainer. Justin Fields has been traded. Williams is the guy.

2. Washington Commanders: LSU QB Jayden Daniels

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Commanders land a young, mobile QB like Kyler Murray for new OC Kliff Kingsbury, who coached Murray in Arizona.

3. (Trade) Minnesota Vikings: North Carolina QB Drake Maye

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Vikings trade the 11th and 23rd picks, plus a 2025 third-round pick to the Patriots for the third overall pick.

They then get their quarterback in Maye. So much for Sam Darnold being the starter.

4. Arizona Cardinals: Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals need three quarterbacks to go in the first three picks and that is what happens. Harrison is the obvious choice because the receiver position is still a mess for the Cardinals.

5. Los Angeles Chargers: LSU WR Malik Nabers

Malik Nabers 8 dives for a ball as the LSU Tigers take on Texas A&M in Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, November 25, 2023.

The Chargers need a receiver as they traded Keenan Allen and released Mike Williams. Nabers would be unquestionably the No. 1 receiver in any draft class that didn’t include Harrison.

6. New York Giants: Georgia TE Brock Bowers

Georgia Bulldogs tight end Brock Bowers (19) runs after a catch during the third quarter as Auburn Tigers take on Georgia Bulldogs at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala., on Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023.

The Giants make a surprising move to get the best tight end in the class.

7. Tennessee Titans: Notre Dame OT Joe Alt

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Alt is the first tackle off the board as the Titans give Will Levis protection.

8. (Trade) Denver Broncos: Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy

Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) warms up during the spring game Saturday, April 1, 2023 at Michigan Stadium.

The Broncos move up from No. 12 to No. 8, giving Atlanta the No. 76 pick and a 2024 third-round pick. They get their quarterback in McCarthy to replace Russell Wilson.

9. Chicago Bears: Washington WR Rome Odunze

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

With their second pick in the top 10, they give Caleb Williams a top target, adding Odunze to the WR group that includes D.J. Moore and Keenan Allen.

10. New York Jets: Oregn State OT Taliese Fuaga

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Rodgers gets a tackle who was impossible to get past in the Senior Bowl.

11. New England Patriots (from Vikings): Washington OT Troy Fautanu

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

No quarterback for the Pats, who signed Jacoby Brissett? Not yet. They get a tackle and Fautanu is great.

12. Atlanta Falcons (from Broncos): Texas DL Byron Murphy II

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons add defensive help to make things easier for their offense.

13. Las Vegas Raiders: Toledo QB Quinyon Mitchell

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Mitchell wowed at the Senior Bowl and showed elite athleticism at the combine. The Raiders make him the first cornerback drafted.

14. New Orleans Saints: Illinois Johnny Newton

Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Saints get big help in the interior on defense.

15. Indianapolis Colts: Iowa CB Cooper DeJean

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

DeJean is one of the most athletic guys in the draft. He might be a cornerback or a safety at the next level, but the Colts need him.

16. Seattle Seahawks: Alabama EDGE Dallas Turner

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Seahawks take the first edge rusher in the draft. They have Leonard Williams inside and now Turner on the outside.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars: Florida State EDGE Jared Verse

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The Jags used the franchise tag on Josh Allen. Verse will now line up opposite him. Now Allen can test free agency if the Jags want and let Verse replace him.

18. Cincinnati Bengals: Penn State OL Olu Fashanu

Penn State offensive lineman Olumuyiwa Fashanu

Jonah Williams left to Arizona in free agency. Enter a new tackle in Fashanu.

19. Los Angeles Rams: Alabama OT JC Latham

Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News

The Rams add young protection for Matthew Stafford.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Oregon C Jackson Powers-Johnson

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers cut Mason Cole, their former starting center. They have Russell Wilson at quarterback and now a guy who could be one of the best centers in the league as a rookie.

21. Miami Dolphins: Alabama CB Terrion Arnold

Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

The Dolphins add help in the secondary to add to Jalen Ramsey and replace Xavien Howard.

22. Philadelphia Eagles: Clemson CB Nate Wiggins

Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles need youth in the secondary. Wiggins is young and athletic.

23. New England Patriots (from Vikings, via Browns and Texans): Oregon QB Bo Nix

Syndication Statesman Journal

The Pats get their quarterback. This pick started as the Browns’ and was traded to the Texans, then traded to the Vikings, who traded it to the Pats. But the Pats can let Nix wait behind Brissett to start the season.

24. Dallas Cowboys: Georgia OT Amarius Mims

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas retools the tackle position with this pick.

25. Green Bay Packers: Duke OL Graham Barton

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Barton has positional versatility and will likely give the Packers interior help.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: UCLA Laia Latu

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Todd Bowles gets one of the most productive pass rushers in the draft.

27. Arizona Cardinals (from Texans): Georgia CB Kool-Aid Mckinstry

Georgia Bulldogs wide receiver George Pickens (1) makes a diving catch while being guarded by Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Kool-Aid McKinstry (1) on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, during the College Football Playoff National Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

The Cardinals drafted two corners last year and signed Sean Murphy-Bunting in free agency. Adding McKinstry gives head coach Jonathan Gannon more secondary help.

28. Buffalo Bills: LSU WR Brian Thomas

Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Allen will love having Thomas to throw to in addition to Stefon Diggs.

29. Detroit Lions: Michigan CB Mike Sainristil

Michigan defensive back Mike Sainristil celebrates a play against Washington during the second half of the national championship game at NRG Stadium in Houston on Monday, Jan. 8, 2024.

The Lions get one of their local stars from the championship Wolverine team to add to the secondary.

30. San Francisco 49ers: Oklahoma OL Tyler Guyton

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Niners would like to upgrade at right tackle from Colton McKivitz. They can do that with Guyton.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Florida State DL Braden Fiske

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Fiske was nearly unblockable at the Senior Bowl and proved to be an athletic freak at the combine. Pairing him with Chris Jones on the defensive line will add havoc to a very good defense.

More Cardinals and NFL coverage

Listen to the latest from Cards Wire’s Jess Root on his podcast, Rise Up, See Red. Subscribe on Apple podcasts or Spotify.


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