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Wally Skalij

The Kansas City Chiefs are back-to-back Super Bowl champions. As they celebrate, the other 31 teams are immersed in preparation for the personnel acquisition portion of the offseason calendar. NFL free agency is less than a month away and that will inform teams on the direction they may need to go in the 2024 NFL Draft. In some cases, teams may need to get aggressive in how they fill certain team needs. 

In today's thought exercise, Pittsburgh, which has traded up to make two of its past four first-round selections, and Minnesota move up in the draft order to address positions that may not be available to them if they wait until their original draft position. 

Without further ado, let's kick this off!

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 to the latest episode below!

NFL Mock Draft
Round 1
Round 1 - Pick 1
USC • Jr • 6'1" / 215 lbs
Projected Team
Chicago
PROSPECT RNK
2nd
POSITION RNK
1st
I believe Chicago has known that it was going to draft a quarterback when it made the offensive coordinator change. I still believe that today. Caleb Williams is the best of the bunch in my opinion.
Round 1 - Pick 2
LSU • Sr • 6'4" / 210 lbs
Projected Team
Washington
PROSPECT RNK
8th
POSITION RNK
3rd
Kliff Kingsbury has been working with the dual-threat capable Caleb Williams. Jayden Daniels has proven even more capable of making an impact on the ground. Coming off a Heisman-winning season, Daniels played better than any quarterback in the nation. He parlays that into a lucrative rookie contract in Washington.
  Mock Trade from New England Patriots
Round 1 - Pick 3
North Carolina • Soph • 6'4" / 230 lbs
Projected Team
Minnesota
PROSPECT RNK
6th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Minnesota has perused the rookie quarterback market over the past few years and has not been in a position to pounce. I tend to think New England WILL draft a quarterback, but the possibility that it is not in love with the quarterback prospects available has to be considered. In this instance, the Patriots give the Vikings the heir apparent to Kirk Cousins.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Ohio State • Jr • 6'4" / 205 lbs
Projected Team
Arizona
PROSPECT RNK
1st
POSITION RNK
1st
Arizona has gone from towers at the wide receiver position -- Larry Fitzgerald, DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, etc. -- to the league's smallest wide receiver room in 2023. The Cardinals add more size to the room with Marvin Harrison Jr.
Round 1 - Pick 5
Notre Dame • Jr • 6'7" / 322 lbs
Projected Team
L.A. Chargers
PROSPECT RNK
5th
POSITION RNK
2nd
If Los Angeles takes an offensive tackle at No. 5 overall, the decision will be either 1) move left tackle Rashawn Slater back to the right side and draft Joe Alt, or 2) draft Olu Fashanu and move him to right tackle. It is likely that this choice is used on the offensive side of the ball, though.
Round 1 - Pick 6
LSU • Jr • 6'0" / 200 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Giants
PROSPECT RNK
10th
POSITION RNK
3rd
New York does not have a true No. 1 wide receiver. I believe Malik Nabers can be that player. His body control down the field is the best in the class. The room looks a lot better when Wan'Dale Robinson and Jalin Hyatt slot into roles more aligned with their skill sets.
Round 1 - Pick 7
Penn State • Jr • 6'6" / 317 lbs
Projected Team
Tennessee
PROSPECT RNK
5th
POSITION RNK
2nd
With Joe Alt off the board, Titans head coach Brian Callahan rewards his father's choice to join him in Nashville with another first-round selection to protect Will Levis. The other consideration here would be tight end Brock Bowers.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Alabama • Jr • 6'4" / 252 lbs
Projected Team
Atlanta
PROSPECT RNK
9th
POSITION RNK
1st
Raheem Morris is back as Atlanta's head coach after serving as the team's interim head coach in 2020. His first action is strengthening his defense with a player who can manufacture his own pass rush off the edge. Dallas Turner is still a relatively young prospect in the COVID era, so his best football is likely ahead.
Round 1 - Pick 9
UCLA • Sr • 6'5" / 265 lbs
Projected Team
Chicago
PROSPECT RNK
12th
POSITION RNK
2nd
The Chicago defense took steps in the second half of the season but throw it into hyperdrive with the selection of Laiatu Latu. Montez Sweat and Latu take the worst pass rush from the first half of the 2023 season and make it one of the NFC's formidable units.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Alabama • Jr • 6'6" / 360 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Jets
PROSPECT RNK
11th
POSITION RNK
3rd
New York and Tennessee almost certainly will take an offensive tackle in the first round. The Jets could trade up and take someone they really want, fall back and still get a quality option or stay put and take the best available. They need a left tackle like Joe Alt or Olu Fashanu, but that's not going to happen unless they get more aggressive.
  Mock Trade from Minnesota Vikings
Round 1 - Pick 11
Georgia • Jr • 6'4" / 240 lbs
Projected Team
New England
PROSPECT RNK
4th
POSITION RNK
1st
New England trades back almost 10 spots and still gets a player who may have been considered at No. 3 overall. If the Patriots are the landing spot for Justin Fields, then suddenly this offense gets a lot more interesting.
Round 1 - Pick 12
Michigan • Jr • 6'3" / 202 lbs
Projected Team
Denver
PROSPECT RNK
32nd
POSITION RNK
5th
I have mocked J.J. McCarthy higher than most in the media for awhile. He is not a finished product, but when searching for a consistent commodity and a proven winner, McCarthy is difficult to top. He is liked more in the league than the media.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Texas • Jr • 6'1" / 308 lbs
Projected Team
Las Vegas
PROSPECT RNK
14th
POSITION RNK
1st
Offense, defense, it did not matter once Antonio Pierce took over as head coach: both sides of the ball had new energy. Maxx Crosby threatening to request a trade if Pierce was not hired long-term was the perfect example of his influence. The Raiders need help on the offensive line and cornerback, but address another need in the first round.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Washington • Jr • 6'3" / 215 lbs
Projected Team
New Orleans
PROSPECT RNK
7th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Wide receiver is not the biggest need for this team, but Rome Odunze is one of the best talents available. Pairing Chris Olave and Odunze is a scenario worth getting excited about if you are a Saints fan.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Toledo • Jr • 6'0" / 196 lbs
Projected Team
Indianapolis
PROSPECT RNK
20th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Indianapolis used this year to identify some young cornerbacks who can serve as depth, but it needs a player capable of locking down one side of the field. Quinyon Mitchell is that player.
  Mock Trade from Seattle Seahawks
Round 1 - Pick 16
Oregon State • Jr • 6'6" / 334 lbs
Projected Team
Pittsburgh
PROSPECT RNK
13th
POSITION RNK
4th
Pittsburgh can ill afford to wait until its first pick to see if an offensive tackle is still available, especially with Cincinnati and Los Angeles ahead of Mike Tomlin's team. The Steelers move up to take Taliese Fuaga, who should be an impactful bookend opposite Broderick Jones for many years.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Alabama • Soph • 6'0" / 196 lbs
Projected Team
Jacksonville
PROSPECT RNK
16th
POSITION RNK
1st
At the end of the day, Jacksonville will probably target an offensive player because this is an important year for Trevor Lawrence and that unit. In this scenario, the Jaguars land cornerback Terrion Arnold to capitalize on some Josh Allen pressures, because there is no way the team allows him to walk in free agency.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Georgia • Jr • 6'7" / 340 lbs
Projected Team
Cincinnati
PROSPECT RNK
24th
POSITION RNK
5th
Jonah Williams has played out the final year of his rookie contract, so right tackle will be an issue once again unless they extend him. Amarius Mims has top-10-overall potential but has limited playing experience at Georgia. His availability has also been tested with injuries.
Round 1 - Pick 19
Oklahoma • Jr • 6'7" / 328 lbs
Projected Team
L.A. Rams
PROSPECT RNK
39th
POSITION RNK
7th
The streak of offensive tackles continues at No. 19 overall. Los Angeles is leaning into its Super Bowl window with Matthew Stafford at quarterback by taking an offensive lineman to protect him in the first round. Tyler Guyton is a right tackle with room for technical growth, but the upside is remarkable.
  Mock Trade from Pittsburgh Steelers
Round 1 - Pick 20
Illinois • Jr • 6'2" / 295 lbs
Projected Team
Seattle
PROSPECT RNK
17th
POSITION RNK
2nd
Seattle traded for Leonard Williams at the deadline, but now he is slated to hit free agency. The Seahawks can bring him back and devote even more resources to that defensive front with Dre'Mont Jones, or they can infuse a bit of youth.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Washington • Jr • 6'4" / 317 lbs
Projected Team
Miami
PROSPECT RNK
26th
POSITION RNK
1st
Essentially every interior offensive lineman with NFL playing experience on Miami's roster is slated to hit free agency. One would think the Dolphins bring a few of those players back, but this stage of the first round is also a great opportunity for them to draft a player. Troy Fautanu has played left tackle at Washington but projects inside at the next level.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Florida State • Jr • 6'4" / 260 lbs
Projected Team
Philadelphia
PROSPECT RNK
15th
POSITION RNK
3rd
Philadelphia is that team every year that makes a pick leaving fans wondering, 'How did the rest of the league allow that player to fall into their laps?' Jared Verse could be that player this year. He profiles as a prospect of interest for the Eagles.
Round 1 - Pick 23
Oregon • Jr • 6'3" / 320 lbs
Projected Team
Houston
PROSPECT RNK
25th
POSITION RNK
1st
Houston uses the last first-round pick acquired in the Deshaun Watson trade to address the offensive line. Injuries plagued that unit last season and, while the team as a whole performed above expectation, the line was in need of some attention.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Arizona • Sr • 6'5" / 325 lbs
Projected Team
Dallas
PROSPECT RNK
61st
POSITION RNK
10th
Jordan Morgan played left tackle at Arizona but may have a higher professional ceiling as an interior blocker. His versatility is important for a Dallas team that could lose Tyron Smith in free agency and is flirting with the possibility of moving guard Tyler Smith back outside.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Iowa • Jr • 6'1" / 207 lbs
Projected Team
Green Bay
PROSPECT RNK
22nd
POSITION RNK
4th
Green Bay pointed defensive coordinator Joe Barry to the exit and hired Boston College head coach Jeff Hafley to replace him. The franchise has used 12 of its past 13 first-round selections on the defensive side of the ball and that continues.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Duke • Sr • 6'5" / 314 lbs
Projected Team
Tampa Bay
PROSPECT RNK
38th
POSITION RNK
6th
Center Ryan Jensen has announced his retirement. Tampa Bay already needed improvement along the interior offensive line, so Jensen leaving only compounded that need. Graham Barton has the versatility to play each of the three interior positions.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Penn State • Jr • 6'3" / 254 lbs
Projected Team
Arizona
PROSPECT RNK
18th
POSITION RNK
4th
Marvin Harrison Jr. and Chop Robinson is a good outcome for Arizona in the first round. Each side of the ball is given a piece for the future on Jonathan Gannon's rising team.
Round 1 - Pick 28
LSU • Jr • 6'4" / 205 lbs
Projected Team
Buffalo
PROSPECT RNK
27th
POSITION RNK
4th
Is more Stefon Diggs drama in the cards this offseason? Buffalo could use another reliable pass-catcher on the outside to stretch the field and create more opportunities underneath for last year's first-round selection, Dalton Kincaid.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Alabama • Jr • 6'1" / 195 lbs
Projected Team
Detroit
PROSPECT RNK
23rd
POSITION RNK
5th
The idea of pairing Kool-Aid McKinstry with Brian Branch, who is another Alabama defensive back drafted by Detroit last year, is appealing, because those are accountable players who should help set the standard for that Lions secondary.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Missouri • Sr • 6'5" / 296 lbs
Projected Team
Baltimore
PROSPECT RNK
19th
POSITION RNK
3rd
Odafe Owen has progressed nicely in his fledgling career, but Baltimore could use another pass rusher, especially in the event Jadeveon Clowney does not return. Darius Robinson brings more power to the table than his finesse counterpart.
Round 1 - Pick 31
Clemson • Jr • 6'2" / 185 lbs
Projected Team
San Francisco
PROSPECT RNK
21st
POSITION RNK
3rd
The 2024 season will Charvarius Ward's last under contract in San Francisco. The selection of Nate Wiggins gives the 49ers some insurance in the event that he moves on, but also allows them to absorb injury losses that have sunk the secondary's performance over the past few years. The return of a healthy Talanoa Hufanga will also make a big impact.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Florida State • Jr • 6'4" / 215 lbs
Projected Team
Kansas City
PROSPECT RNK
28th
POSITION RNK
5th
Mecole Hardman and Marquez Valdes-Scantling made some plays for Kansas City down the stretch, but Rashee Rice, Justin Watson and Keon Coleman would be the future. Coleman is a ball winner down the field while Rice does a good job creating yards after the catch and Watson is Mr. Reliable in chain-moving situations.

The 2024 NFL Draft will take place from April 25-27 in Detroit. More draft coverage can be found at CBSSports.com, including the weekly updated draft order and a regularly available look at the eligible prospects