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2024 NFL Draft: Ideal top two picks for every team

As we reach the final stretch of the prospect-evaluation period, each team is lining up its boards, thinking through every possible scenario and dreaming of how things could turn in its favor during the 2024 NFL Draft.

In this exercise, I make those dreams come true by distributing this year's top prospects among all 32 teams, giving each organization ideal picks with its first two draft slots.

I kept some semblance of realism in this process, however, assigning each player only once and making reasonable projections of where prospects may be selected. In some instances, I mention when teams might have to trade up to acquire a certain prospect.

Some excellent players are not listed below because four teams (the Cardinals, Commanders, Eagles and Packers) currently own three picks in the top two rounds, and I wanted to account for the likelihood that they will grab top talent with that third premium pick. For this reason, receiver Ladd McConkey, edge rusher Adisa Isaac, linebacker Trevin Wallace, running back Jaylen Wright and offensive lineman Cooper Beebe are not included.


Round 1: No. 30 overall -- Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma

Round 2: No. 62 overall -- Devontez Walker, WR, North Carolina

Left tackle Ronnie Stanley has missed 36 games due to injuries over the past four seasons, and Baltimore traded right tackle Morgan Moses to the Jets this offseason. They should love finding the large (6-foot-8, 322 pounds) and agile (he performed the three-cone drill in 7.5 seconds) Guyton, who can play on either side of the line, available late in the first. Walker could be a steal late in the second round for a Ravens squad in need of another receiver. Second-year star Zay Flowers could make plays from the slot with Walker and Rashod Bateman, who is entering a contract year, lining up outside. 

Round 1: No. 28 overall: Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU

Round 2: No. 60 overall: Javon Bullard, S, Georgia

The trade of Stefon Diggs makes it a necessity to find a receiver with one of their first two picks. The Bills would likely have to move up to acquire Thomas, but general manager Brandon Beane has been willing to trade up for "his guy" in the past. The LSU wideout would play the deep-threat role that was once inhabited by Gabe Davis, with free-agent signee Curtis Samuel being Josh Allen's safety valve. Bullard is an effective slot defender who also makes plays downfield and tackles running backs well in space. He'll fit in with Mike Edwards and Taylor Rapp as they take over for former starters Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer

Round 1: No. 18 overall: JC Latham, OT, Alabama

Round 2: No. 49 overall: Troy Franklin, WR, Oregon

Trent Brown was signed this offseason to compete for the starting right tackle job after Jonah Williams moved on as a free agent, but his injury history means the team should add a rookie to the mix. Latham is a stout pass protector and dominant run blocker who can take the line to the next level. Tee Higgins is scheduled to play on the franchise tag this season but could be moved if a strong deal is offered. Franklin's speed (4.41-second 40-yard dash) and after-the-catch elusiveness would help take pressure off Ja'Marr Chase in 2024 and beyond.

Round 2: No. 54 overall: Payton Wilson, LB, North Carolina State

Round 3: No. 85 overall: Kiran Amegadjie, OT, Yale

Wilson's speed (4.43 40) and production (138 tackles last season) make him a bargain if available midway through the second round. Adding his nose for the ball and coverage ability alongside Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (who is heading into the final year of his rookie deal) and veteran Jordan Hicks bolsters the Browns' second-level defense. Amegadjie is an intriguing prospect with plus length (36 1/8-inch arms) and agility who will be a valuable contributor if Jedrick Wills, Jack Conklin and/or Dawand Jones lose time to injury again this season.

Round 1: No. 12 overall: Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington

Round 3: No. 76 overall: Jalyx Hunt, Edge, Houston Christian

I hesitate to put Penix in the first round because of his injury history, but the Broncos' need for a quarterback makes it tough to pass him up. Head coach Sean Payton could build a strong offensive line to protect Penix the same way he did for accurate pocket passer Drew Brees in New Orleans. Hunt has grown from a safety at Cornell to a force on the edge, making 20.5 tackles for loss with 13.5 sacks for the Huskies over his last two seasons. His length (34 3/8-inch arms) and speed (4.64 40) make him a solid third-round pick for the pass rush-needy Broncos.

Round 2: No. 42 overall: Cam Hart, CB, Notre Dame

Round 2: No. 59 overall: Edgerrin Cooper, LB, Texas A&M

Trading for receiver Stefon Diggs allows the Texans to address other needs with their two second-round selections. Hart's combination of size (6-3, 202 pounds with 33-inch arms) and speed (4.5 40) make him a nice fit in Houston, especially with free-agent signees Jeff Okudah and C.J. Henderson coming off injury-shortened seasons. Cooper's speed (he put up a 4.51 40 at 230 pounds) could earn him a second-round slot, setting him up to attack plays in the backfield and to the boundary in DeMeco Ryans' defense. 

Round 1: No. 15 overall: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

Round 2: No. 46 overall: Xavier Legette, WR, South Carolina

Arnold's a fiery competitor who made plays all over the field for Alabama. He could focus on stopping outside receivers, with Kenny Moore II returning to the Colts to man the slot, though the rookie could handle those duties if needed, as well. Arnold’s 4.5 40 speed at the NFL Scouting Combine didn’t impress, but his excellent pro day cemented his top-20 status. Legette's ability to get past smaller defenders with his long strides, along with his ability to body them up on short and intermediate routes, could get him on the field regularly for a team that relies heavily on three-receiver sets.

Round 1: No. 17 overall: Troy Fautanu, OL, Washington

Round 2: No. 48 overall: Maason Smith, DT, LSU

With Josh Allen locked up via a new, lucrative five-year contract, the Jaguars can focus on the big guys on both sides of the ball early in the draft. Fautanu's versatility makes him a great fit in Jacksonville, where he could step in at multiple spots as a rookie if injuries hit the offensive line. Cam Robinson and Walker Little are free agents after the season, as well, so Fautanu would be a long-term candidate to play left tackle. Adding Smith's size (6-5, 306 pounds, 34 1/2-inch arms) after acquiring free agent Arik Armstead should help strengthen the team's defensive line. 

Round 1: No. 32 overall: Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas

Round 2: No. 64 overall: Kamari Lassiter, CB, Georgia

Kansas City might have to move up in the first round -- which GM Brett Veach has done in the past, grabbing Patrick Mahomes in 2017 and Trent McDuffie in 2022 -- to acquire Worthy, but the Texas receiver’s elite 4.21 40 speed would be such a nice fit in a Chiefs offense that has lacked juice since Tyreek Hill’s departure in 2022. Worthy’s return ability is a bonus, in light of the league's new kickoff rules. The Chiefs have some players who can make up for the loss of cornerback L'Jarius Sneed, but Lassiter is a potential bargain late in the second round who makes up for average straight-line speed with short-area quickness and tenacity.

Round 1: No. 13 overall: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

Round 2: No. 44 overall: Ennis Rakestraw Jr., CB, Missouri

I'm not projecting trades in this exercise, so the Raiders miss out on the top passers. Fuaga becomes the ideal pick in a less-than-ideal situation, with right tackle Jermaine Eluemenor signing with the Giants this offseason. Fuaga could line up at guard or tackle, depending upon the team's plan for 2022 seventh-rounder Thayer Munford Jr. Since there are no quarterbacks of value in Round 2, the Raiders pick up a physical cover corner in Rakestraw to improve a thin outside group.  

Round 1: No. 5 overall: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

Round 2: No. 37 overall: Blake Corum, RB, Michigan

The release of Mike Williams and trade of Keenan Allen makes finding a playmaker at receiver an absolute must. Nabers can win off the line with quickness, runs excellent routes and gives quarterback Justin Herbert a reliable target with strong hands at the catch point. Reuniting Corum with Jim Harbaugh is too appealing to ignore. He's the kind of bell-cow back -- with receiving and pass-protection skills -- any coach would love.

Round 1: No. 21 overall: Jer'Zahn Newton, DT, Illinois

Round 2: No. 55 overall: Ja'Tavion Sanders, TE, Texas

Losing Christian Wilkins in free agency was a major blow to the Dolphins' defensive line; Newton's strength and quickness off the ball give him a chance to contribute immediately. Sanders will get down the seam against defenses worried about Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle outside. This seems like an excellent marriage for an already explosive offense. 

Round 1: No. 3 overall: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

Round 2: No. 34 overall: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

NFL Network’s Bridget Condon reported at the NFL Scouting Combine that the Patriots have had interest in Daniels since Bill Belichick was still with the franchise. Daniels' lean build is similar to Tom Brady's when he was coming into the league, but the comparisons end there. Daniels can whip the ball from the pocket, and his elite running ability will drive defenses crazy on third down. Mims' inexperience and 2023 ankle injury (and recent hamstring issue) may cost him a first-round draft slot, but he likely won’t last long in the second round, with the Patriots on the clock with the 34th overall pick. One of the few places his 6-8, 360-pound frame fits perfectly is the space vacated by tackle Trent Brown, who signed with Cincinnati as a free agent this offseason.

Round 1: No. 10 overall: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

Round 3: No. 72 overall: Tyler Nubin, S, Minnesota

In 2020, Aaron Rodgers threw 16 touchdown passes to Green Bay tight ends (Robert Tonyan, Marcedes Lewis, Jace Sternberger and Dominique Dafney). Imagine what a talent like Bowers could do with a healthy Rodgers looking for him in the red zone, on key first downs and longer throws when presenting a mismatch. Nubin's a ballhawk (13 career INTs) and will do his job in the run game, so it won't be a surprise if he starts Day 1.

Round 1: No. 20 overall: Graham Barton, C, Duke

Round 2: No. 51 overall: Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

Barton played left tackle the last three years for the Blue Devils, but his intelligence, athleticism and willingness to finish blocks should allow him to excel at center, where he started his true freshman season due to health issues along the O-line. Mitchell's a raw route-runner and can take the top off the defense with his 4.33 40 speed. The Steelers have been drawn to talented pass catchers who are available a bit later than their potential would indicate, so this seems like an excellent fit.

Round 1: No. 7 overall: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

Round 2: No. 38 overall: Marshawn Kneeland, Edge, Western Michigan

Tennessee has not yet found a replacement for Taylor Lewan since releasing him after the 2022 season. It's tough to picture a more perfect fit than the tall, strong Alt. Kneeland has a shot to be a first-round selection because of his excellent film, length (34 1/2-inch arms) and combine workout (7.02-second three-cone drill at 267 pounds). The Titans should snap him up if he's around early in the second after losing Denico Autry, the team’s sack leader (11.5) from last season, in free agency.


Round 1: No. 4 overall: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

Round 1: No. 27 overall: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

The Cardinals are in a great position to trade down for additional picks this year and next, but if they stay put, Harrison's playmaking ability would fit a need the team has had for some time. Wiggins' closing speed is special, as he's willing to fight receivers through the catch. His lean build will likely scare off some teams, but Arizona's desperate need for outside corners draws the team to him late in the first.

Round 1: No. 8 overall: Dallas Turner, Edge, Alabama

Round 2: No. 43 overall: Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

Turner provides the speed (4.46 40) Atlanta needs to improve its moribund pass rush. He's not the biggest edge defender in the class (6-2 3/4, 247 pounds) but uses his 34 3/8-inch arms to their full advantage with a long-arm move and against the run. The Falcons select two Alabama players in the first two rounds, following in the footsteps of the Lions (2023), Eagles (2021) and Patriots (2021) in recent years. McKinstry's man cover skills helps make up for the departure of Jeff Okudah this offseason.

Round 2: No. 33 overall: Braden Fiske, DT, Florida State

Round 2: No. 39 overall: Ben Sinnott, TE, Kansas State

Signing Derrick Brown to a major extension locks down one spot along the Panthers' defensive line. Fiske's athleticism and hustle to the ball makes him a natural to play next to Brown at the 5-technique. The Panthers may still be able to select him if they trade down a few spots to acquire extra mid-round picks. Sinnott is an underappreciated prospect whose quickness from his stance, strong hands and skills as a move blocker compare favorably to last year's rookie sensation, Sam LaPorta.

Round 1: No. 1 overall: Caleb Williams, QB, USC

Round 1: No. 9 overall: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

Williams' playmaking ability from the pocket and on the run make him the clear No. 1 player in this draft class. Harnessing that ability to maximize his efficiency would potentially make him one of the top quarterbacks in the league, ending a search that has been ongoing in Chicago for most fans' lifetimes. Odunze, DJ Moore and Keenan Allen would be the best Bears receiving trio in recent memory; the former Husky is the sort of strong, agile outside receiver the team hoped it was getting when it traded for Chase Claypool.

Round 1: No. 24 overall: Jonathon Brooks, RB, Texas

Round 2: No. 56 overall: Brandon Coleman, OL, TCU

The Texas running back's fit with the Cowboys is too strong to ignore. Not only does the team need a true playmaker at the position, but his November knee surgery was also performed by Dallas’ team doctors -- so they'd know his rehab progress. His combination of power, agility and vision when healthy make him a late first-round value. Coleman's stock is still on the rise; if Dallas is lucky, the versatile tackle/guard with plus athleticism will be available at the end of Round 2, allowing the Cowboys to make up for Tyron Smith's departure in free agency.

Round 1: No. 29 overall: Darius Robinson, Edge, Missouri

Round 2: No. 61 overall: T.J. Tampa, CB, Iowa State

Even at 285 pounds, Robinson showed he could stand up on the edge in his final year at Missouri. Aidan Hutchinson and Marcus Davenport could use a young apprentice, especially since Davenport is coming off a season-ending injury. The release of Cam Sutton leaves the Lions in need of a cornerback, and Tampa's size and hard-hitting style should be appreciated by head coach Dan Campbell and defensive coordinator and former NFL star corner Aaron Glenn. 

Round 1: No. 25 overall: Cooper DeJean, S, Iowa

Round 2: No. 41 overall: Roger Rosengarten, OT, Washington

The signing of Xavier McKinney fills one starting safety spot, while DeJean fits the other. His game reminds me of Brian Branch, whom the Packers passed on in last year's draft -- though they found receivers Jayden Reed and Dontayvion Wicks and defensive lineman Karl Brooks with capital accumulated via trade-downs. Rosengarten was lefty Michael Penix Jr.'s blindside protector the past two seasons. Green Bay’s starting right tackle last season, Zach Tom, has experience at left tackle, so he could make the switch if Rosengarten earns a starting role. 

Round 1: No. 19 overall: Jared Verse, Edge, Florida State

Round 2: No. 52 overall: Michael Hall Jr., DT, Ohio State

Verse would be such a bargain for the Rams at No. 19. His heavy hands and relentless passion for attacking ball-carriers would instantly improve the team's pass rush without sacrificing strength against the run. Aaron Donald's retirement means the Rams will be looking for an active interior player to pair with second-year DT Kobie Turner. Hall is exactly that: a disruptive force in the middle of the defense who is a problem for opposing offensive linemen. 

Round 1: No. 11 overall: Bo Nix, QB, Oregon

Round 1: No. 23 overall: Laiatu Latu, Edge, UCLA

Nix doesn’t possess elite physical attributes -- though they are very similar to former Vikings starter Kirk Cousins’ -- but the demand for quarterbacks, combined with Nix's experience and competitive nature, could cause the Vikings to secure him at No. 11 instead of waiting for their second Thursday night selection 12 picks later. Latu suffered a serious neck injury early in his college career but led the FBS with 21.5 tackles for loss (and tied for fourth with 13 sacks) last season, flashing the quickness and heavy hands to beat tackles outside. He would be a nice add late in the first for Brian Flores’ revamped edge rushing corps. 

Round 1: No. 14 overall: Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn State

Round 2: No. 45 overall: Keon Coleman, WR, Florida State

Former first-round pick Trevor Penning struggled at left tackle, and veteran right tackle Ryan Ramczyk is dealing with a chronic knee issue, so the Saints will be looking for offensive line help early in the draft. Fashanu possesses the size (6-6, 312 pounds) and length (34-inch arms) to excel in the NFL if he can continue to grow as a player. He would seemingly be a great answer at left tackle if Penning is moved to left guard or right tackle. The Saints could also use another outside threat to pair with Chris Olave now that veteran Michael Thomas has been released. Coleman's long speed is only average (4.61 40 at 230 pounds), but he has some open-field quickness for his size. 

Round 1: No. 6 overall: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

Round 2: No. 47 overall: Jaden Hicks, S, Washington State

If the Giants are truly looking to move on from Daniel Jones, then Maye's strong arm, fearless attitude and thick overall build would be a welcome sight at MetLife Stadium. His strong physical presence could remind GM Joe Schoen and head coach Brian Daboll of Josh Allen -- both Schoen and Daboll were in the Bills organization when Allen arrived in Buffalo. Schoen signed Jalen Mills in free agency to help make up for the loss of Xavier McKinney, but the former Patriot could be used in a slot role, with Hicks playing in the box and deep at safety.

Round 1: No. 22 overall: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo 

Round 2: No. 50 overall: Zak Zinter, OG, Michigan

GM Howie Roseman will likely have to make his fifth first-round trade in the last six years to get Mitchell after the corner excelled at the Senior Bowl and combine (4.33 40 and 20 bench reps at 195 pounds). He may lose the 50th pick in such a trade but would still have the 53rd selection. The Eagles took Landon Dickerson early in the second round in 2021 after he suffered an injury late in his final college season -- like Zinter. The Michigan guard is a powerful and agile lineman who would step into a starting role as soon as he is able, assuming Cam Jurgens moves to center to replace Jason Kelce.

Round 1: No. 31 overall: Patrick Paul, OT, Houston

Round 2: No. 63 overall: Max Melton, CB, Rutgers

Paul is a key selection for the Niners because star left tackle Trent Williams, who’ll turn 36 years old this summer, misses a couple of contests each year, and Colton McKivitz could use some competition at right tackle. His length (36 1/4-inch arms), strength (30 bench reps) and agility (7.65 three-cone) are intriguing at 6-7 1/2 and 331 pounds. Melton's athletic combine display (4.39 40, 40.5-inch vertical, 11-foot-4 broad) put him on the map for the first two rounds, but teams like San Francisco needing depth at cornerback should also appreciate his eight career interceptions at Rutgers.

Round 1: No. 16 overall: Byron Murphy, DT, Texas

Round 3: No. 81 overall: Jeremiah Trotter, LB, Clemson

The Seahawks add Murphy's low center of gravity in the middle of the defensive line to improve their porous rush defense. The 6-foot, 297-pounder is an active defender with plus athleticism (4.87 40, 33-inch vertical) who will team with Leonard Williams to affect the pocket in passing situations. Trotter's ability to recognize and attack plays in the box should make up for losing Bobby Wagner (again) and aid the front seven in more effectively stopping the run.

Round 1: No. 26 overall: Chop Robinson, Edge, Penn State

Round 2: No. 57 overall: Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon

Robinson's production at Penn State was not elite; he accumulated 17.5 tackles for loss with 9.5 sacks over the past two seasons. The Buccaneers would benefit from adding his explosiveness off the edge (4.48 speed at 254 pounds), however, after releasing veteran Shaq Barrett. Powers-Johnson could be this year's Creed Humphrey, a top center prospect falling into the second round. He is a perfect replacement for retired center Ryan Jensen because of his strength, attitude and underrated mobility in the pivot. 

Round 1: No. 2 overall: J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

Round 2: No. 36 overall: Jordan Morgan, OT, Arizona

Commanders GM Adam Peters was part of the 49ers group that made Brock Purdy a very relevant Mr. Irrelevant in 2022. McCarthy's game is the closest to Purdy's among the top four quarterback prospects, bringing competitiveness, athleticism and an unapologetic willingness to throw passes into tight windows. The release of Charles Leno Jr. makes finding a left tackle a priority. Morgan is a solid pass protector with smooth movement and a stout anchor despite average length (32 7/8-inch arms).

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