With the 2024 NFL Draft closing in on us, you know what I'm very much pumped up for? The out-of-nowhere rumors, reports, and shocking buzz that happens every single year from like, a week to go all the way until draft day.

Speaking of those rumors, are we going to get a Brandon Aiyuk trade with a team on the clock, a la A.J. Brown in 2022? That'd be quite the firework in Round 1.

John Breech is getting a well-deserved break for the time being, as we've rebranded 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.

Today's NFL mock draft 🔮: One defender in top 12

Dallas Turner USATSI

Jared Dubin, come on down. You're in the mock draft spotlight today! And, yes, it's a doozy.

1. Chicago Bears -- Caleb Williams, QB, USC
2. Washington Commanders -- Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina
3. New England Patriots -- Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU
4. Minnesota Vikings (via mock trade with Cardinals) -- J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan
5. Arizona Cardinals (via mock trade with Chargers) -- Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State
8. Atlanta Falcons: Dallas Turner, EDGE, Alabama
10. New York Jets -- Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State
12. New Orleans Saints (via mock trade with Broncos-- JC Latham, OT, Alabama
16. Seattle Seahawks -- Jared Verse, EDGE, Florida State
21. Miami Dolphins -- Johnny Newton, DT, Illinois
22. Philadelphia Eagles -- Laiatu Latu, EDGE, UCLA
27. Arizona Cardinals -- T.J. Tampa, CB, Iowa State

To make sure you follow Jared's awesome, chaos-filled top 10, he has the Vikings trading from No. 11 to No. 4 with the Cardinals to pick McCarthy and then instantaneously has the Cardinals trading from No. 11 to No. 5 to secure Harrison Jr. to be the No. 1 receiver for Kyler Murray. But the trades weren't done there, and likely won't be on draft night, either. 

He has the offensive tackle-desperate Saints trading with the Broncos to land an Alabama blocker at No. 12, and then the Bills making a slight ascension from No. 28 to No. 23 to get Brian Thomas Jr. into the new-look offense in Buffalo. There's another trade, involving the Cowboys, in the late stages of Round 1 as well. 

'With the First Pick' podcast 🎧: DB rankings, evals, pro comps

Former Steelers cornerback Bryant McFadden joined Rick and Ryan on this episode to hash out everything regarding the cornerbacks and safeties in the 2024 draft class. This episode features a gigantic number of defensive backs, so prepare yourself to be inundated with cornerback and safety knowledge from the two regulars and the Super Bowl-winning defensive back.

Prospect of the day 📈: Solomon Byrd, EDGE, USC

Solomon Byrd Getty Images

Back IN THE WEEDS with a Day 3-ish prospect you probably have heard nothing about until now. And beyond trying to provide you with new information about the draft, so you can impress the friends you're watching the draft with on Saturday, I'm featuring Byrd for another reason -- he had one of the worst workouts you're ever going to see at the edge-rusher position: 5.02 seconds in the 40-yard dash and 7.52 seconds in the three-cone drill -- all at under 6-foot-3 and 255 pounds at the USC Pro Day; it's just no one noticed because it was all about Caleb Williams. 

BUT, and plain-old capital letters do not adequately express how emphatically I want to stress this, Byrd does not move like one of the worst-testing athletes we've ever seen at the edge-rusher position. On film, he's bendy when absorbing contact from blockers and dips and flattens to the quarterback with decent regularity. I even saw one of those Von Miller "ghost" rushers, where the defender fakes a two-armed bull rush to the outside, drops his arms down and dips around the lunging offensive tackle. 

Beyond the bizarre disparity between what the workout and film indicate about Byrd's athletic capabilities, he has a loaded repository of pass-rush moves and his hands are active and, crucially, very heavy. Now, like a fair amount of prospects in this class, Byrd played collegiate football for six years, which all but officially caps his upside. Despite all these strikes against him, the film hinted that I should keep an eye on Byrd either late on Day 3 or in camp after going undrafted. He's such a polished and strong player. Production-wise, he registered 10 sacks and 18 tackles for loss in his two seasons at USC and had 6.5 sacks with 9.5 tackles for loss as a redshirt freshman at Wyoming in 2019. 

  • Notable pro day results: 5.02 in the 40-yard dash, 7.52 three-cone, 32-inch vertical
  • Pro day measurements: 6-foot-2 2/7", 255 pounds, 33 5/8" arms
  • Current CBS Sports prospect ranking: No. 340

Who'll be most impacted by 2024 NFL Draft? 👀

Naturally, we fixate on the prospects in every draft class, but they represent a ripple effect that occurs throughout the league. Draft picks landing in their new cities as professionals affects countless players and coaches in the NFL. Staffer Cody Benjamin created a top 10 list of players, coaches, and executives most impacted by this draft. Here's what he wrote on Bills quarterback Josh Allen

"Buffalo spent big to build around Allen earlier in his career. Now they've shed multiple starters in the name of much-needed financial relief, putting added pressure on the forthcoming rookie class. With both Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis now playing elsewhere, Allen sorely needs more pass-catching help, which could prompt a trade up in Round 1."

News & Notes 📝

Tee Higgins USATSI
  • DeForest Buckner agrees to extension. The Colts towering defensive tackle will be in Indianapolis the next two seasons after the new $46 million deal he agreed to Monday, a development that probably decreases the likelihood of Shane Steichen's team addressing interior defensive line early in the draft. 
  • Clubs most likely to draft for need. Josh Edwards wrote this piece, which highlights the Cowboys and Titans among those teams he expects to bypass the best player available strategy early in the draft because of the clear needs they have. 
  • Tee Higgins doesn't think he'll be traded. The Bengals franchise-tagged receiver recently said he believes he will play in Cincinnati in 2024. After that though, the Bengals will have to make a decision at the wideout spot, with Ja'Marr Chase entering the final year of his rookie contract. Receiver early for Cincinnati in the draft?