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With under two weeks to go until the 2024 NFL Draft, the waiting game continues, agonizingly. I will say, though, I am grateful to the Football Gods that it starts April 25, because it's the earliest start date since 2020 when we watched Roger Goodell announce draft selections from his basement.

As for this draft-centric newsletter, we started last week, but if you're new here, I got you covered. We're rebranding the Pick Six newsletter through the end of April. I, CBS Sports NFL Draft analyst Chris Trapasso, will be with you every step of the way. Honored. 

Before I begin with today's newsletter, this paragraph will be your daily reminder to tell all your buddies and that one friend who's adamant your team NEEDS to trade up in the first round to sign up for the With the First Pick newsletter. All you have to do is click here and then share this link with them.

1. Today's NFL mock draft 🔮: Brock Bowers to Denver


NFL editor Kyle Stackpole got to write a mock draft today instead of editing mine. There aren't many surprises in his top 10, but ... 

1. Chicago Bears -- Caleb Williams, QB, USC
2. Washington Commanders -- Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU
3. New England Patriots -- Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina
4. Arizona Cardinals -- Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State
5. Los Angeles Chargers -- Malik Nabers, WR, LSU
12. Denver Broncos -- Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia
15. Indianapolis Colts -- Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU
20. Pittsburgh Steelers --Graham Barton, OT, Duke
21. Miami Dolphins -- Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State
24. Dallas Cowboys -- Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma
29. Detroit Lions -- Ennis Rakestraw, CB, Missouri

... beyond the top 10, we get some fresh prospect-team pairings from Kyle, including Thomas to the Colts, which somehow, I haven't seen too often during this process. Also, how about Jared Verse to the Dolphins after Miami lost both Jaelan Phillips and Bradley Chubb late last season? Sneaky-good fit right? 

And there's always a surprising selection -- or two -- late in the first round. Rakestraw from Missouri, who certainly has his fans in the scouting community, would be that guy from this mock and simultaneously fill a void in Detroit's defense.  

2. 'With the First Pick' podcast 🎧: Mock draft 13.0 with Rick and Ryan

Yes, you're reading that correctly -- it's the 13th mock draft Rick Spielman and Ryan Wilson have done during this pre-draft process, and this one features trades, of course, and is centered around non-traditional landing spots for the top quarterbacks in this class. 

Like how about J.J. McCarthy to the Giants, which somehow never seems to happen in other mocks, despite the Giants holding the No. 6 overall pick? Even better -- how about, after a trade down, the Patriots land Michael Penix at No. 11?! HELLO. 

3. Prospect of the day 📈: Kris Abrams-Draine, CB, Missouri

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Have to feature Abrams-Draine, the biggest draft crush of mine in this class, especially relative to where he's perceived to ultimately be selected. I have a first-round grade on the Missouri corner, even after his relatively average-ish combine workout. The first-round grade mostly comes from the insane consistency he demonstrated in the SEC over the past three years when he intercepted nine passes and knocked away 34 others from the slot, from the boundary. 

Beyond that, even under 6-foot and under 190 pounds, Abrams-Draine is a missile of a tackler and hardly misses any. More than anyone else, he feels like the defensive prospect bound to outplay his draft position, although I wouldn't be stunned if he's picked somewhere in the middle of the second day of the draft. 

  • Notable combine results: 4.44 in the 40-yard dash, 33.5-inch vertical 
  • Combine measurements: 5-foot-11 and 3/8", 179 pounds
  • Current CBS Sports prospect ranking: No. 33 overall (CB6)

4. Is J.J. McCarthy worth the building hype? 👀

This, from Doug Clawson, is a vital piece to read with two weeks to go until the draft. Doug is a researcher who does a very fair job building a case for and against the Michigan quarterback, who's seemingly experienced a meteoric rise in the past month or so since the combine. 

Check this nugget from the article, on McCarthy under pressure in 2023: "He was poised under pressure and made enough off-schedule throws, ranking top 10 in college football in completion rate (63%), yards per attempt (9.5) and pass efficiency (168.2) when pressured last year."

5. News & Notes 📝

Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys
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  • Rashee Rices turns himself in to police. The league is monitoring the situation with Chiefs second-year wideout following his involvement in a serious multi-car crash that reportedly came after he was racing with another sports vehicle. With a suspension possible, will this force Kansas City to go receiver earlier than we thought a few weeks ago?
  • Tyler Smith willing to change positions on O-line. The Cowboys saw long-time left tackle Tyron Smith sign with the Jets in free agency so 2022 first-round pick Tyler Smith, who has settled in at guard and said he's comfortable there, recently remarked he'd be fine kicking outside
  • OL rankings, evaluations, pro comparisons. Not exactly news, but noteworthy. Garrett Podell converted Rick Spielman's overarching thoughts on the blockers in this class into article form. A must-read for Jim Harbaugh and anyone who wants to double-dip at offensive line in this class.