NFL Mock Draft 1.0 – Previewing the NFL’s First Round – UPDATED LANDING SPOTS WITH TRADES with Theo Gremminger

by Theo Gremminger · Featured

We are less than three weeks away from The NFL Draft. Here is my take on how the first round will play out with my NFL Mock Draft 1.0. 

Look for Volume 2.0 to drop next week with two complete rounds!

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*= pick acquired in a trade 

No. 1 – Chicago Bears – Caleb Williams QB USC

The Bears get their franchise QB in Williams. With the weapons Chicago has accumulated the past two offseasons (DJ Moore, Keenan Allen), Williams should immediately post QB1 fantasy numbers. This is a franchise-defining moment for Da Bears. 

No. 2 – Washington Commanders – Jayden Daniels QB LSU

Daniels and Drake Maye have both been mocked to the Commanders recently, but I lean toward Daniels. His explosiveness and scrambling ability perfectly fit the Kliff Kingsbury offense. 

No. 3 – Drake MayeQB UNC

The Patriots sprint to the podium for Maye. After the Mac Jones experiment did not work, New England gets a chance at figuring out the ever-important quarterback position for the long term. After years of going up against Josh Allen, The Patriots draft a quarterback with some Allen-like tendencies. 

*No. 4JJ McCarthy – QB Minnesota 

TRADE: Minnesota sends Picks #11, 23, 2025 3rd for Pick #4

The Vikings give up a lot to move up and draft McCarthy. McCarthy immediately steps into one of the best possible situations a young signal-caller could imagine. Justin Jefferson, Jordan Addison, T.J. Hockenson, and a top-notch OL. Now, all he has to do is perform.

No. 5 – Los Angeles Chargers – Marvin Harrison Jr. WR Ohio State

There will be much arguing in the Chargers front office about whether to pick an OT like Joe Alt, but Harrison Jr.’s talent will be too much to pass up. MHJ immediately steps into the WR1 role attached to Justin Herbert. This is a slam-dunk landing spot. 

No. 6 – New York Giants – Malik Nabers WR LSU

The Giants have been searching for a dynamic star wide receiver for years, and they find it in Nabers.

The last time New York selected an LSU WR, it worked out well. Nabers has the star potential at WR that the Giants have lacked since Odell Beckham

No. 7 – Tennessee Titans – Joe Alt OT Notre Dame 

The Titans fall into an ideal scenario by landing Alt- the NFL Draft’s top OT. The Tennessee offense will be pass-heavy, and Alt is a perfect player to protect Will Levis‘ blindside. Alt has all the makings of an All-Pro offensive tackle. 

*No. 8 – Indianapolis Colts – Rome Odunze WR Washington

TRADE: Indianapolis sends Picks #15, 82 for Pick #8 

Indianapolis has been rumored to be attempting to moving up for Nabers, but Odunze is far from a consolation prize. He has size and athleticism and was a mega producer at Washington. He will greatly improve the offense from day one and would speed up the maturation process of Anthony Richardson. Odunze, Michael Pittman Jr. and Josh Downs would form one of the league’s best WR trios. 

No. 9 – Chicago Bears – Olu Fashanu OT Penn State

The Bears select Fashanu, Williams’ high school teammate. Fashanu was one year apart from Williams at Gonzaga in Washington, D.C. and developed into one of the best players in the Big Ten. He did not allow a sack in the past two seasons. He would be a great addition to an improving Bears OL and join Darnell Wright– Chicago’s 2023 first-round pick. 

No. 10 – New York Jets – Brock Bowers TE Georgia

If the Jets do not trade down, then Bowers seems like a no-brainer. The multifaceted Bowers is a perfect fit in the Aaron Rodgers-led offense and has a chance to be the No. 2 target behind Garrett Wilson. This addition would help put the Jets in the running for the AFC East Title. 

No. 11 – Arizona Cardinals – Xavier Worthy WR Texas 

Shocker. Several mock drafts have Worthy projected to be selected at the tail end of Round 1 or even the beginning of the second. NFL Teams will value the speedy WR a lot higher than that. Worthy has taken a top 30 visit to Arizona, and he would be a massive addition to a WR group in need of playmakers.  

No. 12 – Denver Broncos – Bo Nix QB Denver 

While this pick would be somewhat of a reach, Denver cannot pass up the accurate, productive, and experienced Nix.

With 61 career starts, Nix is the most experienced signal caller in this NFL Draft. Sean Payton and the Broncos are in desperate need of a long-term signal caller and will shoot their shot. 

No. 13 – Las Vegas Raiders – Michael Penix Jr. QB Washington

Penix is rising up draft boards and lands quite well in Las Vegas. The strong armed QB performed very well at the NFL Combine and his Pro Day. Las Vegas is in need of a long-term answer at QB and Gardner Minshew and Aidan O’Connell are not that. 

No. 14 – New Orleans Saints – Taliese Fuaga OT Oregon State

New Orleans could go in several directions here at 14, but ultimately will choose to go with one of the draft’s top tackles in Fuaga. An absolute mauler up front, Fuaga would immediately improve the Saints run blocking and overall offensive line play. 

No. 15 – Atlanta Falcons – Dallas Turner DE Alabama

Atlanta gets the edge rusher they may have selected at No. 8 overall in Turner. The Falcons finished bottom-12 in the league in sacks, and the All-American Turner could immediately give them a boost in that category (10 Sacks last season at Alabama). 

No. 16 – Seattle Seahawks – Laiatu Latu DE UCLA

Seattle is a bit of a wild card at 16. They could choose to go with an offensive lineman but fill a need with Latu who, arguably, is the best pass rusher in the NFL Draft. 

No. 17 – Jacksonville Jaguars – Brian Thomas Jr. WR LSU

The Jaguars will run to the podium if Thomas Jr. is still available at 17. Thomas Jr. led the nation with 17 TD receptions and is the ideal candidate to replace Calvin Ridley (25 Red Zone targets in 2023). With Christian Kirk, Evan Engram, Gabe Davis, and Thomas Jr., Jacksonville would have a potent set of receivers for Trevor Lawrence to excel with. 

No. 18 – Cincinnati Bengals – Amarius Mims OT Georgia 

The Bengals will be a threat to select Bowers and potentially even trade up for him. If they stay put at 18, drafting an offensive lineman makes a lot of sense.

Mims (6-7, 340-pounds) has tons of potential and can help protect Joe Burrow for years to come. 

No. 19 – Los Angeles Rams – Jared Verse DE FSU

The Rams add one of the drafts top pass rushers in Verse. Verse had an excellent NFL Combine. Not only is he one of the best bets to get to the QB in this draft class, but he is also strong against the run. 

No. 20 – Pittsburgh Steelers – Quinyon Mitchell CB Toledo 

Pittsburgh selects one of the top corners in the class in Mitchell. With size, speed and strong tackling, Mitchell is a complete package. He was the top CB at the Senior Bowl and ran a 4.33 40 at the NFL Combine. 

No. 21 – Miami Dolphins – JC Latham OT Alabama 

The massive Latham (6-6, 342-pounds) can immediately step in as a guard or right tackle. Latham would be a strong replacement for Robert Hunt– who headed to Carolina in free agency. 

*No. 22 – Buffalo Bills – Adonai Mitchell WR Texas 

TRADE: Buffalo sends Picks #28, 133 for #22

The Bills trade up in the first round for the second consecutive year. After drafting Dalton Kincaid in 2023, they add the uber athletic Mitchell. With Stefon Diggs now a Houston Texan, Mitchell would bring much needed talent and playmaking ability to the WR position. Moving up makes a lot of sense to “get their guy.”

No. 23 – Arizona Cardinals – Cooper DeJean CB Iowa

DeJean would be a slam dunk pick for Arizona. Much like Worthy, DeJean is an elite athlete who put on an absolute show at Iowa’s Pro Day. DeJean posted a 4.45 40 to go along with a 38.5 inch vertical leap. He could be selected 10 picks earlier than this and is a value in this range. 

No. 24 – Dallas Cowboys – Jordan Morgan OT Arizona

The Cowboys add versatility and quality to their OL with Morgan. After losing Tyron Smith and Tyler Biadasz, the Cowboys offensive line is in transition.

Morgan gives them great flexibility with his ability to play guard or tackle.

No. 25 – Green Bay Packers – Graham Barton OL Duke

Barton is arguably the draft’s top interior lineman. He joins an ascending Green Bay offense. The 21-year-old Barton can play center and was an All-ACC left tackle at Duke. 

*No. 26 – Kansas City Chiefs – Ladd McConkey WR Georgia

TRADE: Kansas City sends Picks #32, 131 for #26

For the third season in a row, the Chiefs draft a WR in the draft’s first two rounds. The Chiefs make a slight trade up to draft McConkey- one of the off season’s biggest risers at wideout. McConkey fits in well with Rashee Rice, Hollywood Brown, and Travis Kelce

No. 27 – Arizona Cardinals – Troy Fautanu OT Washington

Arizona makes their third selection of the first round with Fautanu. The All-Pac 12 offensive tackle can also play guard. Wherever he ends up, his physicality and toughness will be a major asset to an Arizona Cardinals offense looking to take a big leap forward in year two of the Drew Petzing offense. 

No. 28 – Philadelphia Eagles – Nate Wiggins CB Clemson

The trade down turns out to be a classic Howie Roseman move, as the Eagles fill a position of need with Wiggins. The 20-year-old Wiggins has height (6-1) and elite speed (4.28 40-yard dash). He is the drafts fastest defender. 

No. 29 – Detroit Lions – Kool-Aid McKinstry CB Alabama

The Lions could go in several directions at 29 including WR. Ultimately, McKinstry would be a great value pick at the end of the first round. McKinstry is an excellent CB and also would help immediately in the return game.

No. 30 – Baltimore Ravens – Tyler Guyton OT Oklahoma

Guyton has size (6-7, 328-pounds) and versatility (played RT at Oklahoma but can switch to the left side). He would be a strong replacement for Morgan Moses

No. 31 – San Francisco 49ers – Terrion Arnold CB Alabama 

The 49ers could draft an offensive lineman, but the chance at a talent like Arnold is something they could not pass up at the tail end of the first round.

Arnold was an All-American at Alabama and one of the best defensive players in the draft. 

No. 32 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Chop Robinson DE Penn State

Robinson has freaky athleticism. He tore up the NFL Combine with a blazing 4.48 40-yard dash. He would be a welcome addition to the Buccaneers pass rush. Tampa Bay finished tied for the No. 7 most sacks in the NFL last season. Robinson adds to a position of strength.

For more from Thep Gremminger, check out the PlayerProfiler vs Fantasy Pros Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft – Dynasty Rookie Mock Draft – Fantasy Pros vs PlayerProfiler