2024 NFL Mock Draft: Commanders at odds on quarterback choice; Cardinals load up on defense

NFL teams are conducting top-30 visits with draft hopefuls this month while also doing medical rechecks on players flagged at the combine. Final preparations are being made as teams build their respective boards. It is important for fans to know how those big boards are developed. 

First and foremost, they will not have 100s of prospects on their boards. Instead, it will be a more finely pruned list in the range of 150 total. Those players are arranged by where the team would feel comfortable taking them but also will account for roster needs. Considerations include work ethic, medical evaluations, athleticism, production, personality and many other qualities, but the conversation begins with whether or not the prospect is a fit for what that specific team wants to do on offense or defense. 

In today’s thought exercise, we explore positional needs and what each team may hope to accomplish in the first round. 

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 Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, etc. Listen to the latest episode below!

Teams without a first-round pick

33. Panthers: CB Nate Wiggins, Clemson

Carolina is likely inclined to take an offensive prospect with this selection but the board is more conducive to taking Wiggins, who starts opposite Jaycee Horn. 

42. Texans: DT Braden Fiske, Florida State

Houston addresses a big position of need with the selection of Fiske. The Texans were interested in Arik Armstead and now land on a more cost-effective option in the draft. 

54. Browns: DT Maason Smith, LSU

Defensive tackle is a long-term position of need for the Browns given the short-term solutions on the roster. Cleveland has been drawn to LSU in the past, particularly players coming off down seasons, like Grant Delpit and Greedy Williams.

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

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