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USATSI

The NFL is an ever evolving ecosystem in the offseason. 

Almost every offseason, four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Stefon Diggs posts some cryptic messages on social media, seemingly indicating a desire to be traded. Almost every year he stays put, and Diggs and the Bills act like his comments are no big deal. In 2024, he finally got traded as Buffalo sent him down south to the AFC South division champion Houston Texans

With pro days now in the rearview mirror, Washington Huskies quarterback and 2023 Heisman Trophy runner-up Michael Penix Jr. has seen his stock climb after posting a 40-yard dash time in the 4.5s, revealing athleticism as a runner that wasn't put on display much in college. He now makes his debut in the Podell Mock Draft for version 5.0, the penultimate edition prior to the 2024 NFL Draft kicking off on Thursday, April 25. Take a look to see where he comes off the board and more. 

For more draft coverage, you can hear in-depth analysis twice a week on "With the First Pick" -- our year-round NFL Draft podcast with NFL Draft analyst Ryan Wilson and former Vikings general manager Rick Spielman. You can find "With the First Pick" wherever you get your podcasts: Apple PodcastsSpotifyYouTube, etc. Listen below!

NFL Mock Draft
Round 1
Round 1 - Pick 1
USC • 6'1" / 215 lbs
Projected Team
Chicago
PROSPECT RNK
2nd
POSITION RNK
1st
PAYDS
3633
RUYDS
121
INTS
5
TDS
41
The Bears' new face-of-the-franchise quarterback will be 2022 Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams. Justin Fields is a Pittsburgh Steeler. Yes, Williams isn't flawless. He could be better at staying on schedule and executing the plays that are called, but his cool demeanor and ingenuity when plays do break down make him a special quarterback prospect. Williams also isn't afraid to speak his mind: he concluded his NFL Scouting Combine press conference by asking if the Bears want to win. That's the next face of the franchise in Chicago.
Round 1 - Pick 2
North Carolina • 6'4" / 230 lbs
Projected Team
Washington
PROSPECT RNK
4th
POSITION RNK
2nd
PAYDS
3608
RUYDS
449
INTS
9
TDS
33
It's a new regime in Washington. General manager Adam Peters and head coach Dan Quinn look to kick off their franchise-altering draft class that includes six of the first 102 picks with their face-of-the-franchise QB. Maye was the only FBS player with 7,000-plus passing yards and 1,000-plus rushing yards in the past two seasons. Maye also said at his combine presser that it didn't seem like the Bears were very familiar with who he was. Maye will be here at number two, and given his age and eye-popping throws on tape, he should be the pick.
Round 1 - Pick 3
LSU • 6'4" / 210 lbs
Projected Team
New England
PROSPECT RNK
6th
POSITION RNK
3rd
PAYDS
3812
RUYDS
1134
INTS
4
TDS
50
The 2023 Heisman Trophy winner enters the pros with 55 games of experience as a starter (29 at Arizona State, 26 at LSU), and he parlayed that experience into becoming the only player in FBS history with 12,000-plus career passing yards and 3,000-plus career rushing yards. He also became the only FBS player since the turn of the 21st century to average over 300 passing yards per game and 75 or more rushing yards per game in a season this past year. The Patriots signed quarterback Jacoby Brissett to be their bridge quarterback/mentor. Now, all they have to do is get their future QB1 to Foxborough.
  Mock Trade from Arizona Cardinals
Round 1 - Pick 4
Michigan • 6'3" / 202 lbs
Projected Team
Minnesota
PROSPECT RNK
19th
POSITION RNK
4th
PAYDS
2991
RUYDS
202
INTS
4
TDS
25
The Minnesota Vikings didn't send the Houston Texans two second-round picks (one in 2024 and one in 2025) and a 2024 sixth-round pick for an extra 2024 first-rounder for nothing. They thirst for a new franchise quarterback after Kirk Cousins deserted them for the Atlanta Falcons. The Vikings use that extra draft capital to trade up and select J.J. McCarthy after the first three teams refuse to move back. McCarthy was an efficient conductor for Michigan's run-first offense the last two seasons, throwing 44 touchdowns and only nine interceptions. The result: a 27-1 record and a 2023 national championship. McCarthy was adept at executing the offense his coaches asked him to run while also showcasing athleticism as a runner and while throwing on the run. He has the velocity to make tight window throws and has no issue taking what the defense gives him. Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort trades back for the second draft in a row in order to accelerate Arizona's rebuild.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Ohio State • 6'4" / 205 lbs
Projected Team
L.A. Chargers
PROSPECT RNK
1st
POSITION RNK
1st
REC
67
REYDS
1211
YDS/REC
18.1
TDS
15
The Chargers need another pass-catcher after making tough salary cap decisions and moving on from wideouts Mike Williams and/or Keenan Allen. Los Angeles selected TCU's Quentin Johnston (6-foot-4, 215 pounds) in the first round last year, and this time it selects a receiver with a similar build who is a generational prospect in Ohio State's Marvin Harrison Jr. College football's receiving touchdowns leader across the past two seasons (28) enters this draft as the clear-cut WR1. You can't trade out of this spot. Justin Herbert is ready to raise his game to a new level with a shiny, young top target.
Round 1 - Pick 6
LSU • 6'0" / 200 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Giants
PROSPECT RNK
3rd
POSITION RNK
2nd
REC
89
REYDS
1569
YDS/REC
17.6
TDS
14
Malik Nabers was one of the most electrifying receivers in the nation last year, ranking second in the country in receiving yards (1,569) and receiving first downs (69). The Giants desperately need a game breaker at receiver, and this pick fills that void.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Notre Dame • 6'8" / 322 lbs
Projected Team
Tennessee
PROSPECT RNK
8th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Joe Alt was a unanimous 2023 All-American as Pro Football Focus' highest-graded offensive lineman last season (90.7). He has been impenetrable as a pass-blocker the last two seasons, allowing just one sack and only 11 quarterback pressures since 2022. Given the litany of injuries Titans quarterbacks have suffered the past two seasons, Tennessee selects the best offensive line prospect in the 2024 class.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Alabama • 6'4" / 242 lbs
Projected Team
Atlanta
PROSPECT RNK
7th
POSITION RNK
1st
Atlanta needs help along the edge after letting 37-year-old Calais Campbell walk in free agency and no player on the team totaling at least seven sacks. The only pass rusher who totaled more sacks (22.5), tackles for loss (32.5) and quarterback pressures (117) than Dallas Turner from 2021-2023 was former teammate Will Anderson Jr. Turner isn't as polished entering the league as Anderson Jr. was, but the physical tools are there. Atlanta snags arguably the most pro-ready edge rusher prospect in the 2024 class.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Washington • 6'3" / 215 lbs
Projected Team
Chicago
PROSPECT RNK
10th
POSITION RNK
3rd
REC
92
REYDS
1640
YDS/REC
17.8
TDS
15
Chicago goes all in on supporting Caleb Williams' development after both Mitch Trusbisky and Justin Fields failed to pan out. While edge rusher is a tempting selection, the Bears select college football's receiving yards leader (1,640) to pair with D.J. Moore and Keenan Allen. Williams is set up to thrive in the Windy City.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Georgia • 6'4" / 240 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Jets
PROSPECT RNK
13th
POSITION RNK
1st
REC
56
REYDS
714
YDS/REC
12.8
TDS
7
Aaron Rodgers hasn't had a reliable tight end since former Packers tight end Jermichael Finley's spinal cord injury back in 2013. The Jets addressed their offseason line swiftly this offseason, signing Cowboys Pro Bowler Tyron Smith and Ravens guard John Simpson and trading for Ravens offensive tackle Morgan Moses. Rodgers pounds the table for Bowers, and general manager Joe Douglas grants his request. Bowers falls into their laps as a one of the best tight end prospects in years. He is the SEC's all-time leader for tight ends in catches (175), receiving yards (2,538) and receiving touchdowns (26) -- and all those figures were also the most among TEs from 2021-2023. He is also the first college football player with 25 or more receiving touchdowns and five or more rushing touchdowns in a career since Tavon Austin did so at West Virginia from 2009-2012. Dynamic to say the least.
  Mock Trade from Minnesota Vikings
Round 1 - Pick 11
Florida State • 6'4" / 260 lbs
Projected Team
Arizona
PROSPECT RNK
11th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Jared Verse is arguably this class' best when it comes to bull-rushing opposing offensive tackles into their quarterbacks to blow up plays before they can even get going. He is also sturdy against the run. The Cardinals need more juice in their pass rush -- they ranked 23rd in quarterback pressure rate (32.9%) -- and Verse will help them greatly in this area.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Alabama • 6'0" / 196 lbs
Projected Team
Denver
PROSPECT RNK
12th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Terrion Arnold is the hands-down top defensive back in this class, and he goes to a team that already has a Pro Bowl corner in Pat Surtain II. At 6-foot and weighing 196 pounds, Arnold won consistently in the SEC. The first-team All-American co-led the conference with five interceptions and led the entire SEC in targets ending with an incompletion (43). Arnold also didn't allow a touchdown on 445 coverage snaps last season. Denver's secondary will likely take a step back after releasing Justin Simmons. Arnold can help soften his absence, an ability he highlighted with the Crimson Tide.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Washington • 6'2" / 216 lbs
Projected Team
Las Vegas
PROSPECT RNK
29th
POSITION RNK
5th
PAYDS
4903
RUYDS
8
INTS
11
TDS
39
Michael Penix Jr. makes his debut in this series of mock drafts thanks to his stock rising after a pro day workout in which he recorded a 40-yard dash time in the 4.5s, revealing athleticism he didn't showcase in college (eight rushing yards on 35 carries last season). The Raiders fail to trade up for Jayden Daniels, so Antonio Pierce gets a QB to build around after Las Vegas hosted Penix for a visit earlier this month.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Oregon State • 6'6" / 324 lbs
Projected Team
New Orleans
PROSPECT RNK
14th
POSITION RNK
3rd
New Orleans whiffed on 2022 first-round pick Trevor Penning. Left tackle Andrus Peat is also a free agent. New Orleans plugs in a mountain-like blocker in Taliese Fuaga, who is 6-foot-6 and 334 pounds. He is a menace as a run blocker, and he has plenty of upside as a pass blocker. That's the kind of trench menace Derek Carr needs to have cleaner pockets.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Toledo • 6'0" / 196 lbs
Projected Team
Indianapolis
PROSPECT RNK
9th
POSITION RNK
1st
Selecting Quinyon Mitchell, a 6-foot, 196-pound cornerback equipped with great speed (4.33-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine) could help out their defense tremendously. The physical tools are off the charts.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Texas • 6'1" / 308 lbs
Projected Team
Seattle
PROSPECT RNK
15th
POSITION RNK
1st
Byron Murphy II is exactly what the Seahawks need up front to pair nicely with Leonard Williams and Boye Mafe on the edges of their defensive front. They were the second-worst run defense in football in 2023, and the 6-foot-1, 308-pound mountain of a man could go a long way toward getting back on track. He had the highest quarterback pressure rate (17.0%) by an FBS defensive tackle last season (minimum 250 pass rushes) as well as the highest Pro Football Focus pass-rush grade (91.5) by an FBS defensive tackle in 2023.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Penn State • 6'6" / 317 lbs
Projected Team
Jacksonville
PROSPECT RNK
5th
POSITION RNK
1st
Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence suffered multiple injuries that heavily impacted his level of play in 2023. Jacksonville aims to fix that issue by drafting one of the best offensive tackles in the draft. Olu Fashanu didn't allow a sack during his 697 pass-blocking snaps in college. He could be the long-term answer at left tackle with Cam Robinson having just a year left on his contract in 2024.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Alabama • 6'6" / 360 lbs
Projected Team
Cincinnati
PROSPECT RNK
20th
POSITION RNK
5th
JC Latham is a plug-and-play guy at tackle or guard. The second-team All-American allowed just three sacks in 970 career pass-blocking snaps. Latham started every Alabama game (27) at right tackle the last two seasons. Yes, the Bengals did sign Trent Brown, but Joe Burrow needs a long-term right tackle. Here he is.
Round 1 - Pick 19
UCLA • 6'5" / 267 lbs
Projected Team
L.A. Rams
PROSPECT RNK
16th
POSITION RNK
3rd
Laiatu Latu racked up the hardware at UCLA, down the highway from the Rams in Inglewood, last season: He was named a unanimous All-American and the 2023 Ted Hendricks Award winner (the best defensive end in college football). He led the FBS in quarterback pressure rate (21.4%) in 2023, and his 23.5 sacks across the last two seasons were also the most in college football. His 96.3 Pro Football Focus defensive grade is the highest by an FBS player in the past 10 seasons. That's the type of pass-rush presence the Rams need after Aaron Donald's retirement. Sure, it's not a one-for-one since Latu is an edge player and not an interior rusher like Donald, but he fills a need all the same.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Washington • 6'4" / 317 lbs
Projected Team
Pittsburgh
PROSPECT RNK
21st
POSITION RNK
1st
The 2023 Morris Trophy winner (the best offensive lineman in the Pac-12) is the type of lineman the Steelers need: a real deal left tackle. He shores up the left tackle spot opposite 2023 first-round pick right tackle Broderick Jones.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Iowa • 6'1" / 207 lbs
Projected Team
Miami
PROSPECT RNK
30th
POSITION RNK
5th
While NFL teams had to wait for Cooper DeJean's pro day workout because of a leg injury, it ended up being worth the wait. He ran a 40-yard dash in the 4.4s and recorded explosive vertical (38.5 inches) and broad (10-foot-4) jumps, according to The Athletic. Thanks to this strong showcase, Miami selects him to beef up its secondary where he could line up as outside corner, nickel or safety.
Round 1 - Pick 22
LSU • 6'4" / 205 lbs
Projected Team
Philadelphia
PROSPECT RNK
18th
POSITION RNK
4th
REC
55
REYDS
845
YDS/REC
15.4
TDS
11
Brian Thomas Jr. is a monster, standing at 6-foot-4 and weighing 205 pounds, and he used that frame well in 2023, leading the nation in receiving touchdowns with 17. He is the big-play answer (17.3 yards per catch in 2023) Jalen Hurts needs to get back on track as a passer. Not having that third receiver as a release valve was one of many issues for the Eagles offense in 2023.
  Mock Trade from Minnesota Vikings
Round 1 - Pick 23
Clemson • 6'2" / 185 lbs
Projected Team
Arizona
PROSPECT RNK
27th
POSITION RNK
4th
The Cardinals could still use another corner after signing Sean Murphy-Bunting in free agency. The first-team All-ACC honoree doesn't have the ideal weight some teams look for, though, standing at 6-foot-1 and weighing 173 pounds. However, Nate Wiggins is a long, athletic cornerback with high-end speed as evidenced by his 4.28-second 40-yard dash. Jonathan Gannon will appreciate this selection.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Duke • 6'5" / 314 lbs
Projected Team
Dallas
PROSPECT RNK
51st
POSITION RNK
8th
Duke's Graham Barton both fills a need and provides Mike McCarthy with some choices up front. Offensive line is arguably the Cowboys' biggest need after losing left tackle Tyron Smith and center Tyler Biadasz in free agency. Graham Barton played tackle in college, but he could also fit at left guard and allow for Tyler Smith to move to left tackle. Dallas executive vice president Stephen Jones touted offensive line as the strength of this draft class, and he puts his money where his mouth is with this pick.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Georgia • 6'7" / 340 lbs
Projected Team
Green Bay
PROSPECT RNK
17th
POSITION RNK
4th
The Packers had to say goodbye to All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari this offseason, so general manager Brian Gutekunst takes a swing on one of the most physically imposing players in this draft class. Amarius Mims is a little bit of an unknown quantity because he had only eight career starts in 30 games at Georgia. However, he didn't allow a sack in 377 pass-blocking snaps in college. Mims did start in both of Georgia's playoff games en route to a 2022 CFP national title. This move could allow versatile offensive lineman Zach Tom to move back inside and to shore up their center or right guard spots.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Alabama • 6'1" / 195 lbs
Projected Team
Tampa Bay
PROSPECT RNK
25th
POSITION RNK
3rd
The Buccaneers traded Carlton Davis away to the Detroit Lions. Here comes his replacement in Kool-Aid McKinstry. The 2023 first-team All-American and two-time first-team All-SEC corner never allowed a touchdown in college on 1,206 career coverage snaps. His speed going deep and his quick twitch burst playing the ball in zone coverage could stand to improve, but playing in a secondary with Antoine Winfield Jr. should help those issues.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Texas • 6'4" / 196 lbs
Projected Team
Arizona
PROSPECT RNK
24th
POSITION RNK
5th
REC
55
REYDS
845
YDS/REC
15.4
TDS
11
The Cardinals traded out of the opportunity to select Marvin Harrison Jr. with the fourth overall pick, but they address their receiver position here, critical with the loss of Marquise Brown this offseason. The 2023 Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year was an end zone magnet, leading the conference in touchdown catches (11). This is a pick that will make QB Kyler Murray smile.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Florida State • 6'4" / 215 lbs
Projected Team
Buffalo
PROSPECT RNK
45th
POSITION RNK
8th
REC
50
REYDS
658
YDS/REC
13.2
TDS
11
Keon Coleman is the bigger-bodied target (6-foot-4, 215 pounds) at wide receiver that Josh Allen now desperately needs with Stefon Diggs now on the Houston Texans. Coleman can line up all over the formation, and he is a slick route-runner with great knowledge of how to best utilize his body to maintain leverage against defenders. Keon Coleman has an argument for being the best contested catcher in this class. He's a great athlete, and he can be a red-zone monster in the NFL as teams fight to guard him and Dalton Kincaid near the end zone.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Penn State • 6'3" / 254 lbs
Projected Team
Detroit
PROSPECT RNK
22nd
POSITION RNK
4th
Chop Robinson is explosive. He ran a 4.48-second 40-yard dash while standing at 6-foot-3 and weighing 254 pounds. Detroit couldn't find a pass-rush complement to Hutchinson last season, so it gets a dynamic athlete at that spot here. That should give the Lions defense a critical boost with the team squarely in contention for NFC supremacy.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Oklahoma • 6'7" / 328 lbs
Projected Team
Baltimore
PROSPECT RNK
38th
POSITION RNK
6th
The Ravens have dealt with multiple injuries to Ronnie Stanley, and they are thin at right tackle. Guyton (6-foot-7, 328 pounds) could potentially be developed into a right tackle or developed to be the long-term successor to protect Lamar Jackson's blindside since Stanley enters a contract year in 2024.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Arizona • 6'5" / 325 lbs
Projected Team
San Francisco
PROSPECT RNK
52nd
POSITION RNK
9th
Chiefs All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones had way too many unblocked runs at Brock Purdy in the Super Bowl. The 49ers' offensive line needs an upgrade, and Jordan Morgan can help out. He was a pure left tackle at Arizona, but the 6-foot-5, 325-pound lineman could also play guard in the NFL. San Francisco desperately needs help inside if it is going to get over the hump in the Super Bowl.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Texas • 6'1" / 172 lbs
Projected Team
Kansas City
PROSPECT RNK
32nd
POSITION RNK
7th
REC
75
REYDS
1014
YDS/REC
13.5
TDS
6
Xavier Worthy ran the fastest 40-yard dash in NFL Scouting Combine history, clocking in at 4.21 seconds to break John Ross' record. He even said his ideal destination is the Chiefs. "In a perfect world, I definitely would want to go to the Chiefs," Worthy said, via USA Today. "Just the way Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs improvise and use you. They had Tyreek Hill. The way they used him, I feel like that would be a perfect fit for me." The Chiefs grant Worthy's wish and secure the turbo-charged wideout they have been looking for since they traded Hill away to the Miami Dolphins two years ago.