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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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2024 NFL Draft: How will the top 10 picks shake out?

As April 25 inches closer and pro days wrap up, teams are finalizing their boards to make crucial selections at the top of draft.
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Photo by Katelynn Ivy
Junior LB Edgerrin Cooper (45) tackles LSU QB Jayden Daniels (5) during Texas A&M’s game against LSU on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023 at Tiger Stadium (Katelynn Ivy/The Battalion)

1. Chicago Bears (via Carolina): Caleb Williams, quarterback, USC

Perhaps the one true lock of the draft, Caleb Williams will call the Windy City home this season. Justin Fields being traded to Pittsburgh ended any speculation that the Bears would pass on one of the decade’s best quarterback prospects. Williams’ dynamic creation and immense physical talent will be surrounded by a newly-reinforced supporting cast. General manager Ryan Poles brought in wide receiver Keenan Allen and running back D’Andre Swift to supplement WR D.J. Moore, and Williams will find himself in an unusually ready-made situation for a rookie QB.

2. Washington Commanders: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

New general manager Adam Peters will need a QB after moving on from Sam Howell following a rocky season. Drake Maye’s name has not been brought up much in connection to the Commanders, but Peters was part of the San Francisco staff that fooled everyone in 2021 when it selected QB Trey Lance. Maye played in coach Phil Longo’s air raid system at North Carolina, and Commanders offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury’s scheme is a part of that coaching tree. Maye’s downfield aggression pairs perfectly with star wide receiver Terry McLaurin, and Washington gets a franchise-changing answer at quarterback .

3. New England Patriots: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

With the Bill Belichick era coming to an end, New England will look to usher in the next iteration of Patriots football. Jayden Daniels has the sort of electrifying play style that owner Robert Kraft could want to bring excitement to a region that just endured a lifeless offensive season. De facto general manager Eliot Wolf could consider trading back to recoup assets for a roster completely barren of talent, but ownership wins out in this scenario and Daniels brings a dual-threat skill set to Foxborough.

4. Arizona Cardinals: Marvin Harrison Jr., wide receiver, Ohio State

With an established QB in Kyler Murray already in place, Arizona will get offers from teams trying to get their hands on a signal-caller. Arizona elects to take the best player on the board with an all-world wide receiver. Harrison is an offense-changing weapon that wins with his size, body control and route-running prowess. Arizona is starting to build something on offense with Murray, Harrison and breakout tight end Trey McBride.

5. Minnesota Vikings (via Los Angeles Chargers): J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

The Vikings decided not to re-sign veteran QB Kirk Cousins this offseason, leaving a gaping hole on the depth chart at QB (sorry, Sam Darnold). The Vikings have been gearing up for a trade up since they acquired an additional first-round pick from Houston. With elite weapons in wide receivers Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison already on hand, Minnesota decides to fly up the board and choose McCarthy to steer the ship. Coach Kevin O’Connell comes from the Sean McVay coaching tree that relies on quarterbacks to play within themselves and make good decisions, something McCarthy has shown en route to a National Championship at Michigan.

6. New York Giants: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

Just a year after inking QB Daniel Jones to a 4-year, $160 million contract, the Giants will have to seriously consider moving up for a quarterback. They miss the boat in this scenario but pick the most explosive player in the draft class. Nabers has field-tilting speed to give Jones his first true difference maker to get the ball to. The Giants choose to build up the roster around the quarterback while kicking the QB decision down the road for a year.

7. Tennessee Titans: Joe Alt, offensive tackle, Notre Dame

Sometimes you just need to take your vegetables and make the boring pick. New coach Brian Callahan brought his father and famed offensive line guru Bill Callahan onto the staff and now gives him a massive lump of clay to mold. Alt is a 6-foot-9 behemoth of a left tackle with great athleticism to be a blindside protector. Alt should slide right into the starting lineup next to 2023 first-round pick Peter Skoronski to lock down the left side of the line.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Dallas Turner, edge rusher, Alabama

The Atlanta Falcons are on a never-ending search for pass rush and have not drafted a player with multiple 10-sack seasons this millenia. New coach Raheem Morris gets some juice off the edge with NFL Combine star Turner. Morris’ defense relies on versatility on the ends with Leonard Floyd and Michael Hoecht previously having success, and Turner’s elite first step and fluidity in space gives the Falcons a fast ball off the edge.

9. Chicago Bears: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

With the second of two top-10 picks, Chicago decides to get spicy. Should the Bears be smart and draft a pass rusher or an upgrade at offensive tackle? Maybe, but instead they go with pure unadulterated fun in Washington’s Rome Odunze. Chicago gives Caleb Williams all the tools he could ask for, and Odunze’s well-rounded skill set makes him an ideal go-to guy for a rookie.

10. Los Angeles Chargers (via New York Jets): Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

After moving back with Minnesota, the Chargers get back up to get their guy. New coach Jim Harbaugh has made it known that the offensive line will be a priority for LA, and he will fall in love with Fuaga’s hard-nosed playstyle. As a right tackle, Fuaga can bookend the Chargers’ line opposite Rashawn Slater to keep superstar quarterback Justin Herbert upright while bringing a much-needed nastiness to the roster.

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