2024 NFL mock draft: Mel Kiper's updated Round 1 predictions

Illustration by ESPN

Time for my third mock draft for the 2024 NFL draft cycle, plugging roster holes and filling needs with all 32 first-round picks after the first wave of free agency. Sure, there are still several free agents available, but the big-money signings have passed for the most part. We're about to see more one-year deals for the next couple of weeks. We also have a much better idea of which positions teams could target in Round 1 next month.

My last mock was before the NFL combine, which feels like months ago. We have several "yes" answers to questions we were asking at that time: Will the Bears trade Justin Fields? Will Kirk Cousins sign with a team other than the Vikings? Will the Commanders be all-in on a quarterback at No. 2 overall? We also got a fascinating trade between the Vikings and Texans which that saw Minnesota acquire a second first-round pick.

I'm not projecting any trades in this new set of predictions, but I have plenty to say about the scenarios for pick No. 1 through 32. I also updated my Big Board -- my overall rankings and the top 10 prospects at every position. The combine helped set those rankings based on accurate measurements and testing numbers. We're only five weeks away from the real thing, the start of Round 1 on April 25.

Below is my new mock draft. Check out the "SportsCenter Special: NFL Mock Draft 3.0" and you can see me talk through each pick.

draft coverage:
Yates' latest mini mock draft
Reid's top 50 | Miller's top 50
Consensus rankings | More

1. Chicago Bears (via CAR)