NFL Mock Draft: 2 Early QBs, a surprise at number 1, and the Dolphins finally address a problem

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2024 Mock Draft moves on with picks 9 through 16.

9. Chicago Bears, Terrion Arnold, CB Alabama

Terrion Arnold
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With their second pick in the first round, the Chicago Bears address the defensive side of the football by selecting Terrion Arnold from Alabama. Some people have him falling to the second round but because of his play-making ability in Alabama, I can definitely see him going in the first round.  

Arnold is a redshirt sophomore who was a two-sport athlete before playing football full-time at Alabama. His basketball background will help in jump balls and boxing out receivers in the boundary. 

10. New York Jets, Olumuyiwa Fashanu, T Penn State

Olumuyiwa Fashanu
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The New York Jets were tied for 3rd in most sacks allowed by a team in 2023. As if losing Aaron Rodgers on the fourth play of the season wasn’t enough, the Jets finished the year 7-10. 

Olumuyiwa Fashanu from Penn State will help shore up a dismal offensive line for the New York Jets. Fashanu was a two-year starter at left tackle who didn’t allow a single sack for the 2023 season.

Fashanu was named the Rimington-Pace Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year and earned first-team All-Big Ten honors. Drafting Fashanu at number 10 would be a gift to Aaron Rodgers as well as the New York Jets.

11. Minnesota Vikings, Byron Murphy II, DT Texas

Bryce Young, Byron Murphy II
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The Minnesota Vikings finished the season ranked 24th in total defense and 31st in generating a pass rush. For this reason, Byron Murphy II from Texas makes for a great fit. 

Murphy played in 39 games with 16 starts for Texas University. Murphy finished his junior year with 8.5 tackles for loss, 5 sacks, and 7 QB hurries. Byron Murphy II would fill a need for Minnesota’s much-maligned defense. 

12. Denver Broncos, Dallas Turner, DE Alabama

Dallas Turner
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The Denver Broncos finished the season with the 31st-ranked defense and the 23rd-ranked pass rush in the NFL. The feud between coach Sean Payton and Russel Wilson is well documented but Denver takes a gamble going defense in the first round.  

Dallas Turner of Alabama joins his former Crimson Tide teammate, Patrick Surtain II, in Denver. The 6’4 junior out of Alabama finished the 2023 season with 10 sacks and 2 forced fumbles. Drafting him at number 12 might be a bit early but, it’s never too early to fix the trenches.

13. Las Vegas Raiders, Taliese Fuaga, T Oregon State

Taliese Fuaga
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With the 13th pick in the draft, the Las Vegas Raiders select Taliese Fuaga from Oregon State. The redshirt junior has shown progress every year while at Oregon State. 

Having allowed zero sacks throughout his career at OSU, Fuaga is an imposing figure at 6’6” and 334 pounds. In 2023 Fuaga was also an Outland Trophy semifinalist and was a First Team All-Pac 12 selection.

Josh Jacobs and company will welcome such a presence on the offensive line as the Raiders look to improve under head coach Antonio Pierce

14. New Orleans Saints, JC Latham, T Alabama

Jc Latham
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JC Latham becomes the third Alabama player taken off the board in the first round. Looking to build their offense and protect Derek Carr, this is a perfect selection for the New Orleans Saints. 

Latham finished his career with Alabama as a solid right tackle having allowed zero sacks throughout his tenure. Latham is intimidating, standing at 6’6” and weighing 330 pounds. 

15. Indianapolis Colts, Nate Wiggins, CB Clemson

Nate Wiggins, A.T. Perry
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The Colts finished the 2023 season ranked 20th in total defense and 22nd in coverage. One can only wonder how they would have faired with a healthy Jonathan Taylor for a full season. 

Indianapolis needs to go defense here because CJ Stroud and Trevor Lawrence are in their division. Nate Wiggins from Clemson is a great fit for this Colts Defense. 

Wiggins finished the 2023 season with 2 interceptions and 2 forced fumbles. Wiggins will enter the draft with 3 career interceptions, 2 touchdowns, and 19 pass deflections.

16. Seattle Seahawks, Jared Verse, DE Florida State University

Jared Verse
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Two of Seattle’s top sack specialists came from the linebacker position. Jarran Reed had 7 sacks at the nose tackle position.  

Continuing with the youth movement, Seattle selects Jared Verse from Florida State University. Verse comes in having amassed 9 sacks and 1 forced fumble in his junior year at FSU.