Seriously, there are many similarities in both classes. A year ago at this time, I did my first mock draft for 2023, not knowing the Bears would trade out of the top pick and the Houston Texans would cause chaos in the top five on draft day. Chicago's front office again has a decision to make at No. 1, and you'll see below that I believe there's a clear direction it should go.
With two rounds of the NFL playoffs down and the order for the top 28 picks in Round 1 set, it's time for my first mock of the 2024 cycle. Let's get into my early projections for April's draft, starting with the Bears, who also pick at No. 9. The Arizona Cardinals have two picks as well (Nos. 4 and 27).
I'm not going to predict any trades below -- it's still really early to assess which teams could move up and what it would take to get there. As I've said before, this is merely an exercise to show you all what I'm thinking three months out from the draft, based on my Big Board rankings and what I'm hearing from execs, scouts and coaches in the league.
I'm going to use ESPN's Football Power Index to project pick Nos. 29-32, so it's not me deciding the Super Bowl winner. Check out the "SportsCenter Special: NFL Mock Draft 1.0," and you can see me, Matt Miller, Kevin Negandhi and Field Yates go through all 32 picks.