May 24, 2024

This will be the first NFL draft held in the Motor City.

Fittingly, the first few teams will be looking for offensive engines.

Quarterbacks were selected No. 1 overall in seven of the last 10 drafts, and that figures to be the case again Thursday with the Chicago Bears likely to take former USC standout Caleb Williams.

And as was the case in 2021, quarterbacks could go 1-2-3.

This mock draft contemplates a trade near the top, with conjecture that the New England Patriots could swap the No. 3 pick for Minnesota’s two first-round selections at 11 and 23. Both teams are in the market for quarterbacks, so it’s perfectly reasonable that the Patriots might stay put.

Regardless, there is intrigue at the top of this year’s draft.

There’s also legacy. This field of prospects features several whose fathers played in the NFL, among them Marvin Harrison Jr. and Frank Gore Jr., Kris Jenkins, who likewise shares has father’s name, along with Brenden Rice (son of Jerry Rice), Joe Alt (John Alt), Luke McCaffrey (Ed McCaffrey) and Jonah Elliss (Luther Elliss).

Harrison is likely to be a top-five pick and the first non-quarterback off the board.

One way the first round could unfold:

1. CHICAGO: QB Caleb Williams, USC — The Bears are taking a quarterback. Barring a surprising head fake, they’re taking this Trojans star.

2. WASHINGTON: QB Jayden Daniels, Louisiana State — Heisman winner and dual-threat QB gives the Commanders a weapon with Lamar Jackson tendencies.

3. MINNESOTA (proposed trade with New England): QB Drake Maye, North Carolina — The Vikings might have to package their two first-round picks to get their QB.

North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye (10) rears back to pass during the first half.

North Carolina’s Drake Maye (10) could be the third quarterback selected in the NFL draft Thursday.

(Chris Seward / Associated Press)

4. ARIZONA: WR Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State — Cardinals want to find their next Larry Fitzgerald, so they grab a gift for Kyler Murray.

5. CHARGERS: T Joe Alt, Notre Dame — If Harrison were to slide to them, the Chargers would love it. Alt could move from left tackle in college to right tackle in the pros.

6. N.Y. GIANTS: QB J.J. McCarthy, Michigan — McCarthy could go earlier. Giants are looking to move on from Daniel Jones, who is coming off an ACL tear.

7. TENNESSEE: WR Malik Nabers, Louisiana State — DeAndre Hopkins is old, and Treylon Burks has trouble staying healthy. Quarterback Will Levis needs more help.

8. ATLANTA: OLB Dallas Turner, Alabama — Turner fits the Falcons’ change to a 3-4 defense and can both rush the passer and drop in coverage.

9. CHICAGO: T J.C. Latham, Alabama — The Bears need more help in the interior of their OL, but taking a tackle here affords them some flexibility.

10. N.Y. JETS: T Taliese Fuaga, Oregon State — Receiver is tempting here, but a reliable tackle probably would be even more helpful for the aging Aaron Rodgers.

11. NEW ENGLAND (proposed trade from Minnesota): DT Byron Murphy II, Texas — If the Patriots bail out of the No. 3 pick, they might decide to wait a bit on a QB.

Washington's Rome Odunze (1) catches a pass for a touchdown as Oregon State defensive back Jaden Robinson (4) pursues.

Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze could end up in Denver.

(Mark Ylen / Associated Press)

12. DENVER: WR Rome Odunze, Washington — Jerry Jeudy is gone and Courtland Sutton might not be around much longer. Time to restock at receiver.

13. LAS VEGAS: QB Michael Penix, Washington — A second wave of QBs is going to go, and the Raiders might need to start that wave instead of risking Penix being gone in second round.

14. NEW ORLEANS: TE Brock Bowers, Georgia — Bowers would be a good fit in Denver, too. He should go in this range and surely would make Derek Carr happy.

15. INDIANAPOLIS: CB Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo — Colts gave up a lot of explosive plays last season. Mitchell could help them cut down on those.

16. SEATTLE: OLB Chop Robinson, Penn State — Can never have too many talented edge rushers, and Robinson would be a good fit for new defensive coordinator Aden Durde.

17. JACKSONVILLE: CB Terrion Arnold, Alabama — Jaguars lost Darious Williams back to the Rams, so there’s a spot for Arnold to step into right away.

18. CINCINNATI: T Olumuyiwa Fashanu, Penn State — The Bengals are OK on the left side, but they are in need of an upgrade on the right. Fashanu can play either side.

19. RAMS: DE Jared Verse, Florida State — No one is going to step in and strike fear the way Aaron Donald did, but the Rams can still beef up their pass rush. Verse was a sack machine in college.

Florida State defensive lineman Jared Verse (5) follows a play against Syracuse.

Jared Verse (5) was a great pass rusher for Florida State and the Rams need help on the defensive line.

(Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associated Press)

20. PITTSBURGH: T Troy Fatanu, Washington — Fatanu is capable of playing all over the offensive line, so maybe he starts at center and eventually moves to right tackle.

21. MIAMI: CB Nate Wiggins, Clemson — The Dolphins might take a defensive tackle here, but Wiggins is excellent value at a coveted spot if he slips this far.

22. PHILADELPHIA: OT Tyler Guyton, Oklahoma — Eagles select eventual replacement for five-time Pro Bowler Lane Johnson, who has been a rock at right tackle but is 33.

23. NEW ENGLAND (proposed trade from Minnesota): CB Kool-Aid McKinstry, Alabama — Foot injury might give teams a little trepidation, but McKinstry has the tools to be a shutdown corner in NFL.

24. DALLAS: T Amarius Mims, Georgia — The Cowboys need a center, too, but Mims will be the left tackle of the future for somebody. Why not Dallas?

25. GREEN BAY: T Jordan Morgan, Arizona — Packers have released David Bakhtiari, and they need to address their offensive line. Good place to start.

26. TAMPA BAY: C Jackson Powers-Johnson, Oregon — GM Jason Licht likes drafting offensive linemen, and the Buccaneers need to find a solid center once and for all.

27. ARIZONA: DE Laiatu Latu, UCLA — Cardinals need help all along their defensive front, and Latu could slide a bit because of his medical history.

28. BUFFALO: WR Brian Thomas Jr., Louisiana State — With no more Stefon Diggs, the Bills need another top-shelf target for Josh Allen. Thomas fills those requirements.

29. DETROIT: CB Cooper DeJean, Iowa — The Lions have had lots of injuries at corner. The versatile DeJean could help them there, and in the return game.

30. BALTIMORE: WR Ladd McConkey, Georgia — If they don’t take a corner, the Ravens might look for a receiver to pair with Zay Flowers.

31. SAN FRANCISCO: WR Xavier Legette, South Carolina — Tempting to pick up help on the defensive line, but the 49ers might look for an eventual Brandon Aiyuk replacement.

32. KANSAS CITY: WR Xavier Worthy, Texas — Could Worthy be the next Tyreek Hill? It didn’t hurt the prospect that he broke the combine record with a 4.21-second 40.

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