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The NFL Draft is less than a week away, meaning we're almost finished with a pre-draft process that sometimes seems interminable. Or maybe that's just me, seeing as this is the sixth mock draft I've written leading up to it.

There are only so many directions you can take when putting together a mock, but while I've experimented with different ideas recently, this mock is more straightforward.

I approached this one as a prediction. I combined all the information I've gathered from talking and reading with my own feelings on players to come up with my best guess. Let's call it "slightly informed speculation."

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.

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
There's no secret to what this pick will be, no matter how hard anybody attempts to convince you there is. Caleb Williams has been destined to be a Chicago Bear for months now.
Round 1 - Pick 2
LSU • 6'4" / 210 lbs
Projected Team
Washington
PROSPECT RNK
6th
POSITION RNK
3rd
PAYDS
3812
RUYDS
1134
INTS
4
TDS
50
It's possible the Commanders could go with Drake Maye or J.J. McCarthy or shock the world and take Michael Penix Jr. or Bo Nix. However, I'm confident it'll be a quarterback here, and putting together all the context clues suggests the reigning Heisman Trophy winner is the most likely selection.
Round 1 - Pick 3
North Carolina • 6'4" / 230 lbs
Projected Team
New England
PROSPECT RNK
5th
POSITION RNK
2nd
PAYDS
3608
RUYDS
449
INTS
9
TDS
33
Drake Maye remains the No. 2 QB on my board, and while I've tinkered with the idea of the Patriots going different directions here in prior mocks, quarterback makes the most sense to me. Maye has plenty of kinks to work through (every rookie QB does), but his upside is sky-high.
Round 1 - Pick 4
Ohio State • 6'4" / 205 lbs
Projected Team
Arizona
PROSPECT RNK
1st
POSITION RNK
1st
REC
67
REYDS
1211
YDS/REC
18.1
TDS
15
Should things break this way, I can see the Cardinals being convinced to trade down by a team with a burning desire for a quarterback, but Arizona already has plenty of draft capital in 2024. Is there truly a desire to move down? Particularly when they'd choose the top player on their board? Marvin Harrison Jr. could be a Hall of Fame player.
  Mock Trade from Los Angeles Chargers
Round 1 - Pick 5
Michigan • 6'3" / 219 lbs
Projected Team
Minnesota
PROSPECT RNK
20th
POSITION RNK
4th
PAYDS
2991
RUYDS
202
INTS
4
TDS
25
I'm hardly the first person to connect the dots of what the Vikings hope to do with their two first-round picks. Minnesota moves up to grab the quarterback it wants and the one who fits best what Kevin O'Connell asks his QB to do.
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
There's been some recent scuttlebutt the Giants are open to moving up and taking a quarterback, even with Daniel Jones still on the roster. I can't rule it out, but they don't have two firsts to offer like the Vikings do. So, with all the top QBs off the board, the Giants have to settle for a possible game-changing receiver in Malik Nabers!
Round 1 - Pick 7
Notre Dame • 6'8" / 322 lbs
Projected Team
Tennessee
PROSPECT RNK
7th
POSITION RNK
2nd
If Joe Alt is on the board at No. 7 we could see the Titans racing to get the pick in. Alt is the best of the bunch in a draft class that is heavy on offensive tackles and provides Tennessee with a franchise cornerstone player.
Round 1 - Pick 8
Alabama • 6'3" / 247 lbs
Projected Team
Atlanta
PROSPECT RNK
10th
POSITION RNK
2nd
I'm interested in seeing what happens here. Even if there are four quarterbacks taken by the time Atlanta is on the clock, I can see teams looking to move up to get a tackle or receiver. The problem is I don't have an obvious deal to mock given what I have with the first seven picks, so the Falcons stand pat and address a need on defense.
Round 1 - Pick 9
Washington • 6'3" / 215 lbs
Projected Team
Chicago
PROSPECT RNK
11th
POSITION RNK
3rd
REC
92
REYDS
1640
YDS/REC
17.8
TDS
15
The Bears have added Keenan Allen already this offseason to pair with D.J. Moore, but as talented as Allen is, he hasn't played a full season since 2019, nor is he a long-term answer. So the Bears take Odunze to give Caleb Williams another weapon. I could also see the Bears going tackle here.
Round 1 - Pick 10
Georgia • 6'4" / 230 lbs
Projected Team
N.Y. Jets
PROSPECT RNK
14th
POSITION RNK
1st
REC
56
REYDS
714
YDS/REC
12.8
TDS
7
Bowers is a tough evaluation for me. Historically, tight ends taken in the first round haven't had a high hit rate. I certainly understand the appeal of Bowers, however, as he brings a lot to a team's passing attack as a big-bodied target with after-the-catch ability.
  Mock Trade from Minnesota Vikings
Round 1 - Pick 11
Alabama • 6'6" / 342 lbs
Projected Team
L.A. Chargers
PROSPECT RNK
19th
POSITION RNK
5th
I'm high on Latham and believe he can stick at left tackle in the NFL, but some evaluators believe he's better suited at right tackle. That's fine with the Chargers, who will happily put him on the right side since they have Rashawn Slater on the left.
  Mock Trade from Denver Broncos
Round 1 - Pick 12
Washington • 6'4" / 317 lbs
Projected Team
Washington
PROSPECT RNK
22nd
POSITION RNK
1st
Washington has plenty of draft capital and a rookie quarterback to protect in Jayden Daniels. The Broncos don't have many picks and have been connected routinely to Bo Nix. So the Broncos move down to the early second, where taking Nix makes more sense, and the Commanders move up to get a left tackle.
Round 1 - Pick 13
Alabama • 6'0" / 199 lbs
Projected Team
Las Vegas
PROSPECT RNK
13th
POSITION RNK
2nd
I had a conversation this week with somebody much smarter than I am and whose opinion I respect. They told me that if Terrion Arnold is on the board when the Raiders are up, they'd be shocked if he wasn't the pick. So, I'm taking their word for it! It would make plenty of sense.
Round 1 - Pick 14
Penn State • 6'6" / 317 lbs
Projected Team
New Orleans
PROSPECT RNK
4th
POSITION RNK
1st
The Saints need to upgrade at left tackle, and while Fashanu's stock has taken some hits in recent months, I still believe he's a premier pass-blocking left tackle. You bank on that and hope you can round out his ability in the run game.
Round 1 - Pick 15
Toledo • 6'0" / 196 lbs
Projected Team
Indianapolis
PROSPECT RNK
8th
POSITION RNK
1st
I mentioned in my last mock that I worry about taking a corner from the MAC, given the lack of success stories, but I can see Mitchell being the first. He's big, long, athletic and plays like the offense stole the football from him, and he will do anything to get it back.
Round 1 - Pick 16
Florida State • 6'4" / 260 lbs
Projected Team
Seattle
PROSPECT RNK
9th
POSITION RNK
1st
I can see Seattle going in multiple directions here, and it's hard to know what the new regime in charge will target with its first pick. All that said, when I watch Jared Verse play, it's like he's already in a Seahawks uniform. He's the kind of well-rounded edge-setter who has flourished in Seattle over the years.
Round 1 - Pick 17
Clemson • 6'1" / 182 lbs
Projected Team
Jacksonville
PROSPECT RNK
29th
POSITION RNK
5th
I've been higher on Wiggins than most throughout the entire draft process, and I believe he'd be a good fit in Jacksonville, where the Jaguars can use an upgrade at corner.
Round 1 - Pick 18
Texas • 6'0" / 306 lbs
Projected Team
Cincinnati
PROSPECT RNK
15th
POSITION RNK
1st
The Bengals need help on the interior of their defensive line, and while it may not be their biggest need, having their choice of the top interior lineman here has them pulling the trigger on it. I've mocked Murphy here, but it could also be Illinois' Johnny Newton.
Round 1 - Pick 19
UCLA • 6'5" / 265 lbs
Projected Team
L.A. Rams
PROSPECT RNK
16th
POSITION RNK
3rd
The Rams make their first first-round draft pick since taking Jared Goff in 2016, and use it on UCLA edge rusher Laitu Latu. There were medical concerns about Latu early in the draft process, but those have quieted down since. Plenty of teams consider Latu the top edge player in the class. Perhaps the Rams are one of them.
Round 1 - Pick 20
Oregon State • 6'6" / 324 lbs
Projected Team
Pittsburgh
PROSPECT RNK
12th
POSITION RNK
3rd
The Steelers look like a team ready to Establish The Run in 2024, so they add the best run-blocking tackle in the class to their offensive line. I love watching Taliese Fuaga's tape. He emasculates opponents regularly.
Round 1 - Pick 21
Georgia • 6'7" / 340 lbs
Projected Team
Miami
PROSPECT RNK
18th
POSITION RNK
4th
The Dolphins have plenty of needs to address, and this is something of a Best Player Available at one of those needs picks. Mims offers a lot for any team to dream on. The concern is the overall lack of reps during his time at Georgia, but he's a massive human being with incredible athleticism, not just for his size but for anybody.
Round 1 - Pick 22
Iowa • 6'0" / 198 lbs
Projected Team
Philadelphia
PROSPECT RNK
23rd
POSITION RNK
3rd
DeJean's entire draft process has been stunted by the broken leg he suffered late in the season, but he's a first-round talent. He's only taken four Top 30 visits, and one of those was to Philadelphia, which has a big need at corner.
  Mock Trade from Minnesota Vikings
Round 1 - Pick 23
LSU • 6'4" / 205 lbs
Projected Team
L.A. Chargers
PROSPECT RNK
17th
POSITION RNK
4th
REC
68
REYDS
1177
YDS/REC
17.3
TDS
17
There have been plenty of mock drafts with the Chargers taking LSU's Malik Nabers at No. 5, but after trading down with the Vikings, they end up with a new right tackle and Nabers' teammate at LSU. Nabers garnered more of the spotlight, which helped Thomas thrive, but he's a big-play threat from Day 1 with the ability to develop into a true No. 1 WR.
Round 1 - Pick 24
Oklahoma • 6'7" / 328 lbs
Projected Team
Dallas
PROSPECT RNK
39th
POSITION RNK
6th
Given their needs, cap situation, and lack of picks, I wonder if the Cowboys would like to trade down. For this mock, I have them addressing their biggest need with a player they met at the combine and watched at his pro day.
Round 1 - Pick 25
Arizona • 6'5" / 325 lbs
Projected Team
Green Bay
PROSPECT RNK
41st
POSITION RNK
8th
The Packers haven't drafted an offensive lineman in the first round in a while, but it would make sense to do so this season. I really like Jordan Morgan, whom some believe is destined to move to guard, but I believe he has a chance to be an above-average NFL tackle.
Round 1 - Pick 26
Penn State • 6'3" / 254 lbs
Projected Team
Tampa Bay
PROSPECT RNK
21st
POSITION RNK
4th
I've mentioned before I'm not overly high on the edge rusher class, and I have Chop Robinson as having the highest upside when it comes to getting after the quarterback. The Bucs grab his ability to do so while hoping Robinson can develop into more of a three-down player.
Round 1 - Pick 27
Michigan • 5'10" / 182 lbs
Projected Team
Arizona
PROSPECT RNK
57th
POSITION RNK
9th
Another player I've been higher on throughout the process than others, as I mocked him to the Lions a few mocks ago. Sainristil will likely be a nickel corner at the next level, but have you seen the guys nickels are asked to cover? Sainristil can do so and has a knack for making big plays.
Round 1 - Pick 28
Illinois • 6'2" / 295 lbs
Projected Team
Buffalo
PROSPECT RNK
25th
POSITION RNK
2nd
It's expected the Bills will address their receiver need in the draft, but given what's left on the board and the depth of talent at receiver in this class, Buffalo would be better served addressing another need at this spot. Newton is a disruptive force on the interior.
Round 1 - Pick 29
Alabama • 6'1" / 195 lbs
Projected Team
Detroit
PROSPECT RNK
26th
POSITION RNK
4th
The Jones fracture McKinstry suffered in his foot has left a cloud over his draft stock, but he's a talented player at a position of need for the Lions, and he has that tough-guy mentality you know this front office covets.
Round 1 - Pick 30
Duke • 6'5" / 314 lbs
Projected Team
Baltimore
PROSPECT RNK
52nd
POSITION RNK
9th
Nearly everybody you talk to believes Graham Barton is a good player; they just can't reach a consensus on where he'll be a good player. But that's kind of the selling point. Barton can play across the entire offensive line, and the Ravens could find a home for him at guard or right tackle.
  Mock Trade from San Francisco 49ers
Round 1 - Pick 31
Oregon • 6'2" / 217 lbs
Projected Team
Denver
PROSPECT RNK
37th
POSITION RNK
6th
PAYDS
4508
RUYDS
234
INTS
3
TDS
51
And the Broncos are back in the first round! After trading down from 12, Denver moves back into the end of the first round to get Nix and get the fifth-year option on him.
Round 1 - Pick 32
Texas • 6'4" / 196 lbs
Projected Team
Kansas City
PROSPECT RNK
24th
POSITION RNK
5th
REC
55
REYDS
845
YDS/REC
15.4
TDS
11
It made plenty of sense for the Chiefs to go after receiver in the draft, and the uncertainty around Rashee Rice only makes it a more significant need. Mitchell is not a complete player yet, but he's big, talented, and as sure-handed as it gets.

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