LAFB Network Releases 1st Round NFL Mock Draft Predictions

LAFB Network NFL Mock Draft
Jessica Alcheh-USA TODAY Sports

The LA Football Network staff gets into the NFL Mock Draft spirit and makes selections for all 32 first-round draft picks.

LAFB Network NFL Mock Draft

1. Chicago Bears (from Carolina)

Caleb Williams, QB, USC: Even draft-season fatigue couldn’t shake Caleb Williams’ draft status.  While comparisons to Patrick Mahomes are ill-conceived, Williams’ talent is undeniable and he has the chance to become Chicago’s greatest quarterback. He’s unquestionably the top quarterback in this draft, and the Bears have a golden opportunity to swing for the fences.  – RL Anderson

2. Washington Commanders

Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU: The consensus for most of the college football season was that Drake Maye would be the 2nd quarterback taken in the 2024 NFL Draft. That certainly may still happen, but after winning the Heisman, and after Kliff Kingsbury was hired as the Commanders’ offensive coordinator, the feeling is that they like Daniels more with his athletic upside, and natural fit in Kingsbury’s system. – Ryan Dyrud

3. Minnesota Vikings [TRADE with New England Patriots1]

J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan: There has been smoke all offseason that the Vikings are all in on trying to find a replacement for Kirk Cousins. They trade up with the Patriots and select Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy. Maye might be the pick here, but I think McCarthy fits Kevin O’Connell’s system a bit more and has a ceiling that we have not seen yet. – Ryan Dyrud

4. Arizona Cardinals

Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State: The Cardinals need a game-changing receiver, and Marvin Harrison Jr. fits the bill. His elite size, polished route running, and touchdown potential instantly bolsters Kyler Murray‘s arsenal and elevates Arizona’s offense. – RL Anderson 

5. Los Angeles Chargers

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Texas A&M
LAFB NFL Mock Draft: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Malik Nabers, WR, LSU: With the void left by Williams and Allen, the Chargers need a #1 receiver and Nabers fills the void. He’s got all the qualities to succeed in the league and pairing him with Herbert is a no-brainer. – Nicholas Buenavidez 

6. New York Giants

Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame: Joe Alt is the best offensive lineman in this year’s draft and can play both left and right tackle. The Giants have drafted two tackles in the first round in recent drafts but haven’t hit home runs with them. If they are unable to trade up for Daniels or McCarthy, I think they will pass on Maye and select a franchise tackle instead. Not the sexy pick for New York, but a good one. – Ryan Dyrud

7. Las Vegas Raiders [TRADE with Tennessee Titans2]

Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina: Even Mark Davis can’t screw this up. The Raiders get a real quarterback for the future and Devonte Adams emerges from his Elvis-like lockdown a new man. – Chauncey Telese

8. Atlanta Falcons

Dallas Turner, Edge, Alabama: The Falcons are in desperate need of pass-rush help and Turner gives them an instant upgrade on the depth chart. They ranked 21st in team sacks last season and lost Calais Campbell and Bud Dupree who accounted for 13 of their 42 sacks. – Nicholas Buenavidez

9. Chicago Bears

NCAA Football: Arizona State at UCLA
LAFB NFL Mock Draft: Alex Gallardo-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Alex Gallardo-USA TODAY Sports

Laiatu Latu, Edge, UCLA: Latu enhances the Bears’ defense, perfectly complementing Montez Sweat by bringing tactical excellence to Sweat’s speed to power brute force. The Bears ranked seventh-worst in pass rush last season, Latu’s skill in disrupting quarterbacks will not only improve their pass rush but also bolster the secondary. – RL Anderson

10. New York Jets

Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State: Protecting Aaron Rodgers is priority 1,2,3, and 4. They signed Tyron Smith but he’s near the end of his career and can’t stay healthy. The Jets get their tackle of the present and the future. – Chauncey Telese

11. New England Patriots [TRADE with Minnesota Vikings1]

Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State: A trade down may be controversial in Boston but the Patriots have a lot of needs and not enough picks to even come close to addressing them without taking a deal. Sure, they missed out on the top quarterbacks of this year’s draft (The Raiders trade really hurt) but with enough capital now, they can build a solid base for their guy next year. Fashanu brings great talent to an underrated line and could challenge Okorafor for a starting job right off the bat. – Tad Desai

12. Denver Broncos

Syndication: Online Athens
LAFB NFL Mock Draft: Joshua L. Jones / USA TODAY NETWORK Credit: Joshua L. Jones / USA TODAY NETWORK

Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia: The Broncos have holes all over the roster. There is still a shot that they make a run for one of the top 4 QBs, but I think ultimately the price will be too high and they will be better off taking a shot on one of the tier 2 or 3 QBs later on.

If Bowers falls to them at 12, this might end up being one of the best picks of the entire first round. Bowers is a do-it-all tight end as he is a game-breaker in the passing game and a very solid blocker in the run game. The Broncos haven’t had a bonafide tight end since Shannon Sharpe. Could Brock Bowers be the next? – Ryan Dyrud

13. Tennessee Titans [TRADE with Las Vegas Raiders2]

Jared Verse, Edge, Florida State: The trade with the Raiders was to capitalize on Drake Maye falling. Titans get some more pieces and still add a great piece to their defense. Ultimately, it would have been nice to shore up their offensive line, but getting some more pass rush was also a need. The Titans generated the 6th fewest pressure in the NFL last season and adding Verse can add more pressure and rack up more sacks for the Titans in an up-and-coming AFC South. -Amar Desai

14. New Orleans Saints

Rome Odunze, WR, Washington: Odunze is the most complete route runner in the class, and combined with Chris Olave creates a good tandem. Odunze has been flying up draft boards for a reason and should come in and immediately contribute. – Nicholas Buenavidez

15. Indianapolis Colts

NCAA Football: Mid-American Conference Football Championship-Miami (OH) at Toledo
LAFB NFL Mock Draft: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports

Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo: Mitchell is not a bad consolation prize for Indianapolis after losing out on Brock Bowers and Rome Odunze. Re-signing Kenny Moore was a key move of the offseason but finding a corner halfway through the first round who is arguably the best in a very deep class is an A+ move. Mitchell has the potential to immediately step in as the number one guy for Indy. – Tad Desai

16. Seattle Seahawks

Graham Barton, IOL, Duke: Graham Barton’s greatest strength is his versatility. He excels in interior positions, which is precisely where the Seahawks need support. Although the defense also requires improvement, the offense thrives with consistent and high-quality line play. – RL Anderson

17. Jacksonville Jaguars

Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama: With the prioritizing of other positions, Arnold fell right into the laps of the Jaguars. While the Jaguars forced 16 interceptions last season, 11 of those interceptions were made by a non-cornerback. Darious Williams forced four interceptions, but they could use more help and Arnold is a premier corner that will start day one for Jacksonville. Instant upgrade in an aforementioned rising division, the AFC South. – Amar Desai

18. Cincinnati Bengals

Byron Murphy, IDL, Texas: The Bengals opt to be proactive by building one of the league’s best defensive lines this season. Byron Murphy rounds out the front four, when paired with Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard. They also added Sheldon Rankins in free agency. – RL Anderson

19. Los Angeles Rams

NCAA Football: Illinois at Minnesota
Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

Jer’Zhan Newton, IDL, Illinois:

Looking to replace Aaron Donald is a fool’s errand and one might figure McVay goes offense with his first, round one pick ever. However, they need to start rebuilding their pass rush after going all in on their secondary and O-line in free agency. – Chauncey Telese 

20. Pittsburgh Steelers

Troy Fautanu, OT, Washington: Pittsburgh allowed the 11th most sacks in the NFL last season. While the addition of Braxton Jones seems promising, they need another tackle to give them solid pillars on both ends of the offensive line. Fautanu is a great addition who brings a physical presence and quickness that would fall in line with the Steeler’s philosophy. – Amar Desai

21. Miami Dolphins

Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon: With Philadelphia coming up looking for a Kelce replacement, the Dolphins are almost forced to make this pick. Powers-Johnson is arguably the best pure center in this class and with an otherwise solid to good offensive line (when healthy), fills one of their biggest needs. Going defense was tempting but keeping Tua healthy should always be Miami’s priority number one. – Tad Desai

22. Philadelphia Eagles

NCAA Football: Alabama at Miami
Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

J.C. Latham, OT, Alabama: Ideally, they would’ve taken JPJ (thanks Miami) because replacing Jason Kelce was a MUST, but instead they look towards replacing Lane Johnson with a guy who can eventually take over at tackle but also plug in at guard for now. – Chauncey Telese

23. New England Patriots [TRADE with Minnesota Vikings1]

Bo Nix, QB, Oregon: If the Patriots are going to miss out on all members of the Big Four quarterbacks, this is the next best scenario. They don’t have to move around anymore and Nix falls right in their laps. While taking Michael Penix Jr. was an option here, his age and injury history are red flags the Patriots simply can’t ignore. If Nix is slow to develop, they can afford to let him sit behind Brissett for weeks, months, or even the season without having to worry about wasting his prime years. – Tad Desai

24. Dallas Cowboys

Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma: Trading out was very tempting here but the Cowboys just can’t leave the first round this year without a tackle. While Guyton certainly has a lot to work on, his potential is something that is very likely to be too tempting to pass up on. At 6’8”, 322 lbs., he brings an aggressiveness and tenacity to the offensive line and is an intriguing developmental prospect to watch. – Tad Desai

25. Indianapolis Colts [TRADE with Green Bay Packers3]

NCAA Football: Army at Louisiana State
LAFB NFL Mock Draft: LAFB NFL Mock Draft: Matthew Hinton-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Matthew Hinton-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU: The Colts continue their aggressive night by trading back into the first round. With the Bills, Ravens and 49ers all potentially targeting one of the more surprising falls of this draft, if they want Thomas Jr., it was now or never.  A top-ten receiver in some people’s eyes, I’m not quite that high on Thomas but getting a receiver of his caliber at 25 is absolutely worth it especially if they don’t have to give up a first round pick next year to do it. – Tad Desai 

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia: The Bucanneers balance out their offensive line by adding Amarius Mims to the right side. They went to great lengths to keep Mike Evans, now it’s time to make sure Baker Mayfield has the time to get the ball out. – RL Anderson

27. Arizona Cardinals (from Houston)

Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa: DeJean’s lockdown ability at corner, scheme versatility, and knack for takeaways make him the perfect solution to the Cardinals’ secondary woes. – RL Anderson

28. Buffalo Bills

Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas: There’s no 1-1 Stefon Diggs replacement and the Bills are lacking in weapons for Josh Allen so Mitchell makes sense here. Mitchell can play into the void left by Gabe Davis. – Nicholas Buenavidez

29. Detroit Lions

NCAA Football: Louisiana State at Alabama
LAFB NFL Mock Draft: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Kool-Aid Mckinstry, CB, Alabama: The Lions corners could definitely use some youth and a good match is Mckinstry. Most of the Corners are UFAs by 2025 with only Amik Robertson, Cam Sutton, and Steven Gilmore signed through 2026. McKinstry could come in his rookie hear and have a similar impact to Brian Branch last season. – Nicholas Buenavidez

30. Baltimore Ravens

Jordan Morgan, OT, Arizona: Briefly considered going receiver here but I think the Ravens can nab a solid talent later in this draft. For now, they have to address Morgan Moses’ absence. Jordan Morgan is a very promising prospect, putting up big names against top talent like Laiatu Latu in a strong comeback campaign from a torn ACL in 2022. If he continues to develop his strength, he could be exactly what Moses was: a very solid to good tackle that fits perfectly on the right side. – Tad Desai

31. San Francisco 49ers

Chop Robinson, Edge, Penn State: The Chase Young experiment didn’t quite work out as expected and he’s now playing in New Orleans. While the Niners made some additions through free agency, adding a guy like Robinson will give another solid piece to their pass-rush rotations. Robinson has great speed off the edge and the athleticism that you would want in a premier pass-rushing piece. He can keep this Super Bowl window open for San Francisco by providing instant production as a pass rusher for this defense, opposite Nick Bosa. – Amar Desai

32. Kansas City Chiefs

Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State: The Chiefs need a big-bodied receiver who can win contested catches and stretch the field. Keon Coleman’s size, strong hands, and leaping ability make him a potential red-zone nightmare and a perfect complement to their new-look offense. – RL Anderson


1Minnesota trades the following picks: #11 overall, #23 overall, #157 overall, 2025 2nd round, 2026 2nd round to New England for #3 overall

2Las Vegas trades the following picks: #13 overall, #77 overall, 2025 1st round, 2025 conditional 3rd round to Tennessee for #7 overall
3Indianapolis trades the following picks: #46 overall, #117 overall, 2025 2nd round, 2025 6th round to Green Bay for #25 overall