Mock Draft 2024: Senior Bowl Edition

With both the Senior Bowl and Shrine Bowl taking place in quick succession, what better way to preview the two then combining them with a Mock Draft! Imagine a world where the first 32 picks in the draft were solely from the pre-draft events.

First up we will preview the top talent at the Senior Bowl. Remember, this is just an exercise to look at team needs and preview some of the players who will steal the limelight this week, this is NOT a realistic first round mock. So don’t get mad!

Bears, Chicago Bears 2020

1. Chicago Bears

Laiatu Latu, Edge, UCLA

Top-end QBs usually don’t feel the need to make the trip to Mobile so we’ll shake things up at the top. The Senior Bowl will be important to Latu, as teams seek to get a grip on his injury history that forced him to medically retire. If he passes that test then he is a legitimate day 1 pick. The physically imposing defensive end logged 13 sacks in an impressive final season for the Bruins.

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2. Washington Commanders

Michael Penix Jr, QB, Washington

It appears the consensus selection at 2 is a quarterback. Without Williams and Maye in this version, who would be the first QB off the board from the Senior Bowl? I’d go with Penix. Although things went off the rails in the Playoff final, he displayed enough arm talent and playmaking ability to still be highly thought of. He’s another prospect who will need to convince teams he can stay healthy.

Patriots, New England Patriots

3. New England Patriots

Bo Nix, QB, Oregon

Another team searching for an answer at the QB spot is New England. The next best of this group is Bo Nix. He is a seasoned vet at college level and has displayed the accuracy and leadership NFL teams will covet. This could be an interesting pairing on Day 2 in the real thing if the Pats go for a player like Marvin Harrison Jr in round 1.

Cardinals, Arizona Cardinals 2020

4. Arizona Cardinals

Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

Time to get into the big uglies. Fuaga has top-10 potential and he will be looking to display it in Mobile. He is a powerful and physical finisher as a blocker and while some may have him marked as a guard, he could earn a shot on the outside with a good showing.

Los Angeles Chargers 2020

5. Los Angeles Chargers

Troy Fautanu, OL, Washington

Back-to-back offensive lineman go here and help the Chargers protect Justin Herbert. Fautanu is another prospect who may find his final resting place on the interior. He excelled as the leader of the best offensive line group in the country this year and will be in with a shout for a Day 1 place in the real thing.

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Giants, New York Giants 2020

6. New York Giants

Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

Even though the Giants added secondary reinforcements in the draft last year, another corner wouldn’t go amiss. Quinyon Mitchell excelled for Toledo this year, he only allowed 27 receptions all year and 0 touchdowns. His 14 pass breakups show his ability to locate the ball and affect plays.

Titans, Tennessee Titans 2020

7. Tennessee Titans

Devontez Walker, WR, North Carolina

The first receiver comes off the board here. The Titans are desperate for weapons and Tez Walker is one of the top guys down in Mobile. The Kent State transfer had to miss the start fo the year but quickly became Drake Maye’s favourite target. He has the ideal mix of size and speed.

Falcons, Atlanta Falcons 2020

8. Atlanta Falcons

Chris Braswell, Edge, Alabama

Braswell has had to play second billing to the more athletically talented Dallas Turner in Alabama but he has been just as productive. His 56 pressures, including 13 sacks, show his ability to get to the quarterback. He’s likely a Day 2 option in the real thing but the value of edge rushers see him go top 10 in this version.

Bears, Chicago Bears 2020

9. Chicago Bears

Byron Murphy II, DT, Texas

Chicago are back on the clock and are adding to their defensive front again. Murphy is enjoying a deserved bump up draft boards. His displays late in the season for Texas have seen him jump up to DT1 ahead of Johnny Newton. He will definitely be one to watch in 1-on-1 drills.

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Jets, New York Jets

10. New York Jets

Jordan Morgan, OT, Arizona

Finding protection for Aaron Rodgers is a must for the Jets. Although Morgan is the third lineman off the board here, he could go higher than both the guys in front of him. Morgan is a more natural tackle and has the length a lot of NFL teams desire. He was a big part of the renaissance at Arizona under Jedd Fisch.

Vikings, Minnesota Vikings

11. Minnesota Vikings

Jaden Hicks, S, Washington State

The Vikings need more bodies in the secondary, Harrison Smith simply can’t go on forever. Hicks is 6’3 and 212lbs, meaning he is a versatile piece in the defensive backfield. He took more snaps in the box than as a deep safety but still needs to improve as a tackler. Watch out for how he’s used throughout the week’s drills.

Broncos, Denver Broncos 2020

12. Denver Broncos

Braden Fiske, DT, Florida State

Fiske completely destroyed the Louisville offensive line in the ACC Championship game with three sacks and eight defensive stops, per PFF. He will look to take that momentum into the Senior Bowl and attack the offensive linemen in Mobile, if he replicates that, don’t be surprised if he is an outside shout for a day 1 spot.

Raiders, Las Vegas Raiders

13.Las Vegas Raiders

Kalen King, CB, Penn State

Kalen King is one player who could gain plenty from a week at the Senior Bowl. It was a down year for King who got taken apart by Marvin Harrison Jr and has work to do in order to restore his reputation. Facing up against elite receivers in man coverage will be a test, but he needs to show he can handle it if he wants to go off the board in the first two days.

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Saints, New Orleans Saints 2020

14. New Orleans Saints

Kam Kinchens, S, Miami

The Saints could do with an injection of youth in their secondary. Tyrann Mathieu is ageing so why not bring in another ball hawk in Kam Kinchens. Although his play took a step back in 2023, he still logged 5 picks to display his playmaking ability.

Colts, Indianapolis Colts 2020

15. Indianaoplis Colts

Cedric Gray, LB, North Carolina

Since the regression of Shaq Leonard and his subsequent trading to the Eagles, the Colts could benefit from extra depth at linebacker. The position is wide open in this class, with no defined number 1. An athletic player like Gray could grasp this opportunity to make an impression.

Seahawks, Seattle Seahawks 2020

16. Seattle Seahawks

Darius Robinson, Edge, Missouri

Missouri had a fantastic year in the SEC and Darius Robinson was the x-factor in the pass rush. He had nine sacks and could be versatile across the line. At 6’5, 296lbs he has the length for the outside and the bulk to force things on the inside. While the ‘Hawks usually go for diminutive speed rushers, Robinson would be a nice change for them.

Jaguars, Jacksonville Jaguars 2020

17. Jacksonville Jaguars

Xavier Legette, WR, South Carolina

This is a stacked wide receiver group and the middle class is going to be difficult to separate. Legette is an imposing receiver and has a chance to shine here. I’ve matched him with the Jags in this draft to give them a big-bodied receiver to go alongside Ridley and Kirk.

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Cincinnati Bengals 2020

18. Cincinnati Bengals

Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma

The Bengals are in the market for a tackle if Jonah Williams gets paid elsewhere. Guyton has ideal length for the position and has a good record at Oklahoma. In over 1,000 snaps, Guyton has only allowed 2 sacks. His profile has the potential to be a serious riser come draft day.

Los Angeles Rams 2020

19. Los Angeles Rams

Adisa Isaac, Edge, Penn State

This is an unusual situation for the Rams. They aren’t used to first round picks so let’s use this as an opportunity to bolster what is a very inexperienced group. Penn State’s Adisa Isaac is a speed rusher who has benefitted from playing across from Chop Robinson for the Nittany Lions. He had nine sacks in 2023 and would pair nicely with Byron Young.

Steelers, Pittsburgh Steelers 2020

20. Pittsburgh Steelers

Patrick Paul, OT, Houston

The Steelers invested in the offensive line in round 1 last year with the selection of Broderick Jones but they could return to the well this year. Patrick Paul has been an elite pass blocker for Houston in his five year career. PFF have him graded above 90 in both of the last two seasons and he would give the Steelers a pair of young bookends.

Dolphins, Miami Dolphins 2020

21. Miami Dolphins

Cooper Beebe, iOL, Kansas State

Cooper Beebe has played both guard and tackle at the college level but he is most likely going to be on the interior in the NFL. Miami suffered a lot of attrition at the spot last season and still need to add depth to protect Tua in the pocket. Watching Beebe battle the likes of Byron Murphy in Mobile will be of particular interest.

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Eagles, Philadelphia Eagles 2020

22. Philadelphia Eagles

Mike Sainristal, CB, Michigan

Sainristal is one of my favourite players in this year’s draft class. Although small in stature, he is the type of defender who simply knows how to be in the right spot at the right time. He can cover effectively in the slot and blitzes well also. He needs to tighten up his tackling but would certainly help bolster an Eagles secondary that fell to pieces at the business end of the season.

Texans, Houston Texans 2020

23. Houston Texans

Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon

The Texans are pretty well stocked on the offensive line but age is creeping up on Shaq Mason. Juice Scruggs has played at guard so they could squeeze another center in down the road. Powers-Johnson has been elite for the Ducks this year. In his whole time at Oregon he never allowed a single sack. He should be the first center off the board and one of the most impressive players at the Senior Bowl.

Cowboys, Dallas Cowboys 2020

24. Dallas Cowboys

Jaylen Wright, RB, Tennessee

This is a wide open running back class this year. It’s unlikely to include a first-round prospect, that means teams will be combing the mid-rounds for potential. The Cowboys should have done more to replace Zeke Elliott so I have them grabbing Jaylen Wright. He contributed over 1,000 yards rushing for the Vols at an average of 7.4 yards per carry.

Packers, Green Bay Packers

25. Green Bay Packers

Javon Bullard, DB, Georgia

The big plus point in regards to Javon Bullard is his versatility. The defensive back played both as a free safety and slot corner for the Bulldogs. In 2023, QBs had an NFL passer rating of 34.0 when targeting Bullard. He will be able to show off at both spots in Mobile and as the slot role becomes more important in the NFL, Bullard’s value will be rising.

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Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2020

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Malachi Corley, WR, Western Kentucky

It may be time for Bucs fans to face up to the reality of life without Mike Evans. While someone like Corley wouldn’t be a like-for-like replacement, he is going to be a coveted player on day 2 of the draft. He has 22 touchdowns in the last two seasons and is a smooth route runner. He will likely light up the 1-on-1 sessions, causing headaches for the corners.

Cardinals, Arizona Cardinals 2020

27. Arizona Cardinals

Kingsley Suamataia, iOL, BYU

Suamataia has played exclusively as a tackle at the college level. He transferred to BYU from Oregon after one season and has put together a solid resume for the Cougars. His pass blocking is strong but he perhaps needs to add a better anchor. Scouts have already said he could be better suited on the interior where he would receive extra help. He should take reps at both spots in Mobile.

Bills, Buffalo Bills 2020

28.Buffalo Bills

Ladd McConkey, WR, Georgia

The Bills are set to lose Gabe Davis in the offseason and things seemed off with Stefon Diggs late in the season. With that in mind matching them with a receiver makes a lot of sense. McConkey on the face of it looks like a Julian Edelman-style slot but he is much more than that. He took 78% of his snaps on the outside and is a legitimate all-round receiver. Injury derailed the end of his season but he is a solid 2nd round prospect.

Chiefs, Kansas City Chiefs 2020

29. Kansas City Chiefs

Jamari Thrash, WR, Louisville

Back-to-back receivers go off the board here. The Chiefs add a true deep threat in Jamari Thrash. He had a strong start to the season only for it to tail off at the business end of the year. His speed will be an asset he can flaunt in front of NFL scouts.

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Lions, Detroit Lions 2020

30. Detroit Lions

DJ James, CB, Auburn

Detroit’s secondary was exposed on a few occasions throughout their playoff journey so it’s likely they dedicate an early draft pick to the group. DJ James transferred to Auburn from Oregon and enjoyed life in the SEC. His ten pass breakups in 2023 demonstrate his ability to cover and locate the football.

49ers, San Francisco 49ers 2020

31. San Francisco 49ers

Zach Frazier, C, West Virginia

Frazier had another impressive season in his fourth year at West Virginia. Although he took snaps at guard early in his career, he has been a center exclusively for the last three seasons. He allowed only seven pressures in 2023, none of which resulted in a sack.

Baltimore Ravens

32. Baltimore Ravens

Christian Haynes, iOL, UConn

At 6’2, 313lbs Haynes is lightly undersized but it hasn’t affected his proficiency at UConn. He has excelled as a run blocker and pass protector. The key issue is that he hasn’t lined up against the cream of the crop in college football. The Senior Bowl is an ideal situation to prove himself against better opposition.

Rory-Joe Daniels

CFB Contributor