2024 NFL Mock Draft: Five QBs selected in Colin Cowherd’s 12-pick mock

The 2024 NFL Draft is less than a month away, and Colin Cowherd has entered the mock draft fray by predicting the first 12 picks of April’s draft. Cowherd said his mock draft comes not only based on his own opinions but also based on talking to NFL sources — and that he expects several trades as the draft is loaded with quarterbacks, wide receivers and “the best offensive tackle [class] ever.”

While Cowherd agrees with the consensus on a lot of top picks — including the first one — he has some surprises as his 12-pick mock gets further down the list.

[Caleb Williams welcomes Mahomes comp: ‘I don’t like running unless I have to’]

Here are Cowherd’s picks with his full thoughts, starting with the Chicago Bears at No. 1.

1. Chicago Bears (from Carolina Panthers) — QB Caleb Williams, USC

Cowherd’s thoughts: “[General manager] Ryan Poles has shifted this last year to offense. They bring in Keenan Allen, D’Andre Swift, Gerald Everett, last year D.J. Moore. Poles, a former offensive lineman, started building up this offensive line three years ago with draft capital. This team will be offensively productive with [Williams], the only college player the last two years to have at least 30 passing touchdowns and 10 rushing touchdowns each year with a bad offensive line at USC.” 

2. Washington Commanders — QB Drake Maye, UNC

Cowherd’s thoughts: “Big, strong and sturdy. The Commanders had a bad offensive line — Sam Howell got sacked more than any quarterback [last season] — you’re not going to for a spindly quarterback in cold weather. They need a Justin Herbert clone.”

3. New England Patriots — QB Jayden Daniels, LSU

Cowherd’s thoughts: “I don’t if it’s going to work, but the Patriots need playmakers. They don’t have those on the outside, and Jayden Daniels is a playmaker. He’s got some Lamar Jackson. He’ll run around and throw it around. They’re nine games under .500 since Tom Brady left. And [Daniels] actually fits — I just don’t know if Jerod Mayo, offensively, can get him where he needs to be. But they don’t have enough speedy playmakers, so you might as well get that at quarterback and see what transpires. Lamar Jackson didn’t have a great receiving corps until this year and still won a lot of games.

4. Arizona Cardinals — WR Marvin Harrison, Ohio State

Cowherd’s thoughts: “This feels like an easy one. Harrison, an all-time college football receiver, goes to Arizona. They lost Hollywood Brown, Kyler Murray’s got a star running back and a tight end he likes — he needs a No. 1 receiver. Harrison’s personality is a bit quiet and reticent. That’s fine — Kyler will make up for it. They need a great playmaker, and I think this guy is in the Randy Moss, Calvin Johnson prototype of a star day one in the NFL.”

Colin’s NFL mock draft: <a href=

Colin's NFL mock draft: <a href=

5. Minnesota Vikings (trade with Chargers) — QB JJ McCarthy, Michigan

Cowherd’s thoughts: “The Chargers trade down with Minnesota and get both of their first-round picks — this, I’m told, is what Jim Harbaugh wants — and the Vikings select J.J. McCarthy, who will sit a year behind Sam Darnold under Kevin O’Connell. The Vikings have a great left tackle and running back and two excellent receivers in Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison. The NFC North is now an offensive division. Darnold is not the long-term future, but like Alex Smith with Patrick Mahomes, he’ll be a great mentor for a year. I think McCarthy is a B+ prospect, but in Minnesota, with this coach and these pieces, I think he’ll have real success.”

6. New York Giants — WR Malik Nabers, LSU

Cowherd’s thoughts: “He’s like Odell Beckham Jr., but I think a little faster and maybe more durable. They just don’t have enough weapons. They don’t have playmakers. They were 30th in scoring. And I don’t believe they want the fifth-best quarterback in this draft. I don’t think Bo Nix, for them, works here, or Michael Penix works here. Tight end Darren Waller is considering retirement. Saquon Barkley is gone. They’ve got to give Daniel Jones something to work with, and they don’t want to take a huge cap hit. This kid can fly.”

7. Tennessee Titans — OT Joe Alt, Notre Dame

Cowherd’s thoughts: “The Titans have a bad offensive line. The only way Will Levis will succeed is if he has some protection. Alt is athletic, a dominant left tackle in a draft filled with them.”

8. Atlanta Falcons — Edge rusher Dallas Turner, Alabama

Cowherd’s thoughts: “Atlanta has the offensive line, wide receiver, quarterback, running back and tight end fixed. Turner is the best edge rusher in the draft. They haven’t had a double-digit sack guy since Vic Beasley, and now have a defensive head coach in Raheem Morris. DeMeco Ryans had two first round picks last year — he got a quarterback and an edge rusher. Morris got Kirk Cousins, now he gets his edge rusher.”

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Colin's message to Caleb Williams haters? Relax on him

9. Chicago Bears — Edge rusher Jared Verse, Florida State

Cowherd’s thoughts: “After getting Williams, I think the Bears would like to trade down, but there are no takers so they take Verse. Can’t have a good enough pass rush when you’re facing the Lions offensive line and all those receivers and skill players on the Packers. The Bears have to get Montez Sweat some help on that defensive line. They only had 50 sacks last year, 12 fewer than any other team. Verse is just the beginning. I think Chicago gets another edge rusher later in the draft.”

10. New York Jets — WR Rome Odunze, Washington

Cowherd’s thoughts: “New York got veteran tackles, so I think the Jets get Rome Odunze from Washington. Garrett Wilson is their No. 1, Mike Williams is good but can’t stay healthy. Allen Lazard’s more of a No. 3 to No. 4. Odunze will walk in and very comfortably be a No. 2. He’s got a big catch radius and is also an adult — a very disciplined, hard-working player. No distractions here for a noisy franchise. I think he will really work in New York and make an impact very early.”

11. Los Angeles Chargers (trade with Vikings) — OT Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State

Cowherd’s thoughts: “The Chargers get maybe the best run-blocking tackle in the draft. You can move him inside or at right tackle. Fuaga is just a mauler. He lost very few snaps all season. This is a team that couldn’t rush last year, and I don’t buy the Chargers taking a wide receiver here. They want more picks and want to get physical. I think later in the first round, they take an edge rusher or a defensive tackle.”

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12. Seattle Seahawks (trade with Denver Broncos) — QB Michael Penix Jr., Washington

Cowherd’s thoughts: “The Broncos trade down, they need more players. The Seahawks move up and take Penix so he can stay in the same town. Ryan Grubb, the new Seahawks offensive coordinator, was Penix’s offensive coordinator in college at Washington. Seattle doesn’t owe Geno Smith any money this year. I think Penix throws the prettiest ball out of anyone in the draft this year, including Caleb Williams. You can say it’s a bit of a reach, but Seattle’s got their pieces — corners, running backs, receivers, a left tackle, linebackers. Seattle’s got a lot of pieces here, I think they’ve got the ability to give up some draft capital to take a guy who can throw a beautiful ball to Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf and Jaxon Smith-Njigba.”

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