2024 NFL Mock Draft: Projected Landing Spots for Every Ohio State Draft Prospect and Every First-Round Pick

By Dan Hope on April 24, 2024 at 8:38 am
Marvin Harrison Jr.

Thirty-two players were selected during the first round of the 2024 NFL draft on Thursday night while nine members of last year’s Ohio State football team have a chance to be among the draft’s 257 total picks over the next three days.

It’s time for my best guesses at where each Buckeye will end up and how the entire first round of the NFL draft will play out.

Having started my sports media career as an NFL draft writer, I’ve published at least one mock draft every year for more than 15 years. My success in actually making correct projections has varied – among media members whose mock drafts have been scored by The Huddle Report for at least the past five years, my scoring average ranks just 49th out of 68, so I clearly have plenty of room for improvement.

Nevertheless, I’m taking my best shot once again at predicting how one of my favorite events of the year will play out.

We’ll start this mock draft by projecting landing spots for all nine of Ohio State’s 2024 NFL draft process, from the Buckeyes’ lone projected first-round pick in Marvin Harrison Jr. to those who may or may not be drafted. Then, I’ll make my projections for all 32 picks of Round 1 with some insight into why I made each selection I did.

WR Marvin Harrison Jr.: Round 1, No. 4 overall, Arizona Cardinals

While Harrison is considered by many to be the best player in the draft, the top three teams in the draft order all need quarterbacks. That likely leaves the Cardinals with a decision between trading down or drafting Harrison as the first non-QB off the board.

While they’re believed to be open to trading down, they should think long and hard before passing up the opportunity to draft Harrison – unless they’re confident they can immediately move back up to land him, just as they did last year in drafting former Ohio State offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr. Short of that, the Cardinals shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to draft the two-time unanimous All-American, who would become the first Ohio State wide receiver ever selected in the top six picks.

DT Mike Hall: Round 2, No. 54, Cleveland Browns

Hall is widely projected to be selected in the second half of the second round, which is where the Browns are slated to make their first pick in this year’s draft. Defensive tackle is one of their biggest draft needs, and they’ve shown interest throughout the pre-draft process in Hall, who grew up in nearby Streetsboro. Everything aligns for this to be a natural match if the explosive interior penetrator is still on the board when the Browns are on the clock.

TE Cade Stover: Round 3, No. 80, Cincinnati Bengals

Barring the unlikely event of Brock Bowers falling to the 18th pick, the Bengals are likely to be in the market for a tight end on Day 2. Sticking with the theme of native Ohioans staying in their home state, Stover would be a natural fit to fill that need for the Bengals in the middle of Round 3, where he’s slotted in many draft projections. Stover made a pre-draft visit with the Bengals, so they appear to have interest in the Buckeye tight end.

Cade Stover
Cade Stover is widely projected to be a third-round pick in the 2024 NFL draft.

LB Tommy Eichenberg: Round 4, No. 118, Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks have been loading up on former Buckeyes of late, and while one of those Buckeyes is Jerome Baker, he and fellow free-agent inside linebacker addition Tyrel Dodson were only signed to one-year contracts. The Seahawks don’t have any proven depth behind them, leaving them needing to draft at least one linebacker. That could make Seattle an ideal middle-round landing spot for Eichenberg to have a chance to compete for a starting job by his second NFL season.

S Josh Proctor: Round 5, No. 169, Green Bay Packers

Safety is one of the Packers’ biggest draft needs, and new Packers defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley was Proctor’s secondary coach for his second season as a Buckeye in 2019. The familiarity between them could make this an appealing fit for both sides, and the fifth round is likely where Proctor will start to draw serious consideration for teams still in the safety market.

LB Steele Chambers: Round 7, No. 250, Baltimore Ravens

Chambers sits on the fringe between being drafted and going undrafted, but a strong pre-draft process has seemingly bolstered his chances of getting selected in the late rounds. The Ravens are likely to look for inside linebacker depth on Day 3 after losing Patrick Queen in free agency, and Chambers’ athleticism should allow him to contribute early on special teams with late-round steal upside.

WR Xavier Johnson: Round 7, No. 251, San Francisco 49ers

You might not see Johnson in other mock drafts, but his special teams skill and versatility to play multiple positions are coveted qualities for a late-round draft pick. 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan loves versatile offensive weapons, and a player who can provide depth at wide receiver and running back and return kicks would check multiple boxes for San Francisco.

G Matt Jones: Undrafted free agent, New York Jets

Jones could end up on the wrong side of the draft bubble after a disappointing 2023 season for Ohio State’s offensive line, but he should quickly land a free-agent contract if he goes undrafted. Should Jones hit the free-agent market, he’ll want to sign with a team without much proven interior offensive line depth; the Jets would fit that criteria while allowing the Brooklyn native to play close to home.

RB Miyan Williams: Undrafted free agent, Minnesota Vikings

Being unable to work out for NFL teams before the draft after an injury-shortened final season at Ohio State hurts Williams’ chances of being drafted, and his continued recovery from knee surgery probably makes him more likely to contribute to an NFL offense in 2025 than 2024. The Vikings signed Aaron Jones to a one-year contract this offseason but don’t have a ton of running back depth behind him, so Minnesota could be a good landing spot for Williams to compete for a backup spot this year and have a chance to earn a bigger role next year.

First-Round Mock Draft

1. Chicago Bears (from Carolina Panthers): Caleb Williams, QB, USC
2. Washington Commanders: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU
3. New England Patriots: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

Williams to the Bears is a foregone conclusion and most signs are pointing toward the Commanders drafting Daniels at No. 2 overall. There’s a school of thought that the Patriots could trade down if they get the right offer, but the safe bet is that they’ll draft a quarterback too, likely whoever remains on the board between Maye and Daniels.

4. Arizona Cardinals: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

Assuming the Cardinals stay put and draft Harrison in this scenario, they’d become the third team to draft first-round Buckeyes in back-to-back years, joining the Washington Commanders (Dwayne Haskins and Chase Young in 2019 and 2020) and New Orleans Saints (Rick Middleton and Kurt Schumacher in 1974 and 1975).

5. (PROJECTED TRADE) Minnesota Vikings (from Los Angeles Chargers): J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

Jim Harbaugh’s new team doesn’t need a quarterback, but he could help his former Michigan quarterback become a top-five draft pick by trading down. The Vikings’ trade for the No. 23 overall pick has always been viewed as a precursor for Minnesota to make another move up for a quarterback, and they might need to jump the New York Giants to land one of the top four quarterbacks with how much McCarthy’s draft stock has risen in the pre-draft process. If the Chargers can convince the Vikings to send them the 11th and 23rd picks plus a future early-round pick, they’ll likely pounce on the opportunity.

6. New York Giants: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

Some evaluators believe Nabers is the draft’s best receiver. It would still come as a surprise if he gets selected before Harrison, but he is the top candidate to be the second non-quarterback off the board.

7. Tennessee Titans: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

While former Ohio State offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere will look to earn his way back into the starting lineup at right tackle this year, the Titans need an upgrade at left tackle. Alt is a consensus top-10 pick who is seen as the top offensive tackle in this year’s draft, so he should be an easy choice for Tennessee if he’s still on the board.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

Toledo has never had a top-10 pick (and just one first-round pick ever), but that could change thanks to Mitchell, the projected top cornerback in this year’s draft. Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze, Alabama edge rusher Dallas Turner and Texas defensive tackle Byron Murphy II also warrant consideration here.

9. Chicago Bears: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

The Bears can ensure Caleb Williams starts his tenure in Chicago with a better group of receivers than Justin Fields ever had by drafting Odunze, whose size paired with playmaking ability makes him a perfect complement to DJ Moore and Keenan Allen.

10. New York Jets: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

With a 40-year-old quarterback coming off a torn Achilles and a head coach and general manager who might get fired if the Jets aren’t more successful this season, they’ll be taking a win-now approach to this year’s draft. While the Jets have two solid tight ends in Tyler Conklin and Ohio State product Jeremy Ruckert, no prospect in this draft outside of Harrison is more ready to help a team win now than Bowers.

Brock Bowers
Brock Bowers is a potential top-10 pick after earning All-American honors in all three of his seasons at Georgia. (Photo: Jake Crandall/USA TODAY Network)

11. Los Angeles Chargers (from Minnesota Vikings): Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

The Chargers could draft Joe Alt if they stay put at the fifth pick, but Fuaga might be a more natural fit for their need at right tackle after earning All-American honors at that position in 2023. 

12. Denver Broncos: Bo Nix, QB, Oregon
13. Las Vegas Raiders: Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington

Evaluators are split on whether Nix and Penix should even be first-round picks, but the Broncos and Raiders both have a major need at quarterback. They could potentially look to trade down before drafting quarterbacks, but they might not want to risk missing out on these Heisman Trophy finalists with a big drop-off in the quarterback class after them.

14. New Orleans Saints: Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State

The Saints have drafted an offensive or defensive lineman in the first round each of the last eight times they’ve made at least one first-round pick in the NFL draft, and it’s likely they’ll do so again this year. I considered putting Byron Murphy in this spot amid buzz that the Texas defensive tackle could go as high as the top 10, but left tackle is a more pressing need and Fashanu is a borderline top-10 pick who would address that need well.

15. Indianapolis Colts: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama
16. Seattle Seahawks: Dallas Turner, OLB, Alabama

Both of these Alabama defenders could also be in play as potential top-10 picks, so the Colts and Seahawks would likely jump at the opportunity to draft them at the end of the first half of Round 1. Arnold would fill the Colts’ need for an upgrade at cornerback while Turner would add an explosive edge rusher to new Seahawks coach Mike Macdonald’s defense.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars: Byron Murphy II, DT, Texas
18. Cincinnati Bengals: Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU

The Bengals would probably take Murphy if he falls to the 18th pick, but the Jaguars might also decide his value is too good to pass up to lead off the second half of Round 1. If that happens, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Bengals add another former LSU wide receiver to pair with Ja’Marr Chase as they prepare for the likelihood of losing Tee Higgins next offseason.

19. Los Angeles Rams: Jared Verse, OLB, Florida State

The Rams are likely to be in the market for pass-rushing help early in the draft, and Verse is projected as a top-15 pick in some mocks as one of the most gifted pass-rushers in this year’s class.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Troy Fautanu, OT, Washington

Pittsburgh drafted a first-round offensive tackle in Broderick Jones just last year, but the Steelers still need another offensive tackle upgrade to anchor the other end of the line. Fautanu has been projected to go as high as the top 10, so Pittsburgh would be smart to snap him up if he’s still on the board at the end of the top 20.

21. Miami Dolphins: Jer’Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois

The Dolphins should be looking to add an impact player to their interior defensive line after losing both Christian Wilkins and Raekwon Davis in free agency. Newton, the reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, would fit the bill.

22. Philadelphia Eagles: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

The Eagles are expected to target a cornerback in the early rounds of the NFL draft. Wiggins likely projects as the third first-round cornerback off the board after running a blazing-fast 4.28-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine.

23. Los Angeles Chargers (from Cleveland Browns via Houston Texans and Minnesota Vikings): Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas

Worthy, who ran a record-breaking 4.21 40 at the combine, initially signed with Michigan out of high school but ended up at Texas instead. While Worthy never played for the Wolverines, Harbaugh could get a second chance to coach him now, as the Chargers have a major need for his speed and playmaking ability at wide receiver.

Xavier Worthy
Xavier Worthy’s record-setting speed is likely to make him a first-round pick. (Photo: Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman/USA TODAY Network)

24. Dallas Cowboys: Graham Barton, C, Duke

Drafting first-round offensive linemen has typically been a successful strategy in Dallas, so the Cowboys would be smart to do it again by taking Barton, the leading candidate to be the first interior offensive lineman off the board.

25. Green Bay Packers: JC Latham, OT, Alabama

The Packers need to upgrade at offensive tackle, and Latham – the highest-ranked prospect in the 2021 recruiting class who entered the 2024 NFL draft – is arguably the best player available on the board in this scenario.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Laiatu Latu, OLB, UCLA

Latu was the best edge player in all of college football last season, leading the FBS with 21.5 tackles for loss, so landing him outside the top 25 would be a steal for the Buccaneers. Concerns about a neck injury that led Washington to medically disqualify him could lead to a draft-night slide, but the Buccaneers could use another pass-rusher and shouldn’t pass upon his talent.

27. Arizona Cardinals (from Houston Texans): Chop Robinson, OLB, Penn State

Pairing Harrison with an impact pass-rusher would be an ideal first round for the Cardinals, and Robinson is as explosive as any edge defender in the draft.

28. Buffalo Bills: A.D. Mitchell, WR, Texas

The Bills need to add a wide receiver after trading Stefon Diggs to C.J. Stroud’s Texans, and Mitchell – who Ohio State fans might remember for catching the game-winning touchdown in Georgia’s College Football Playoff victory against the Buckeyes two years ago before he transferred to Texas – is the best receiver still on the board in this scenario.

29. Detroit Lions: Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

Drafting a pair of Iowans (Jack Campbell and Sam LaPorta) proved to be a successful strategy for Detroit last year, and DeJean’s versatility to play all over the secondary with his proven track record as both an All-American cornerback and a dynamic punt returner should make him an appealing late first-round pick.

30. Baltimore Ravens: Darius Robinson, DE, Missouri

The last of the players attending the draft still on the board, Robinson fits the Ravens’ mold as a big edge rusher with the versatility to line up in numerous spots along the defensive front. The Ravens have long been known for prioritizing the best player available in their draft strategy, and Robinson would be in that conversation if he’s still on the board at the 30th pick.

31. San Francisco 49ers: Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma

Right tackle is the 49ers’ most immediate draft need. Drafting Guyton would give them another massive, athletic tackle from Oklahoma to pair with Trent Williams as a bookend of their line.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

A wide receiver certainly merits consideration here as the Chiefs won the Super Bowl despite mediocre receiver play last season, but there aren’t any sure-fire first-round receivers left on the board. Kansas City also needs a new left tackle, and Mims has the talent to go as high as the top 20, so the Chiefs would have good reason to snap him up if he’s still on the board at the end of the first round.

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