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With the major wave of free agency having passed and a highly anticipated quarterback draft a little more than five weeks away, it’s easier to assess what needs remain and which fits could be in place for mock draft season.

The Minnesota Vikings made the first of what could be multiple bold moves Friday when they acquired the No. 23 pick from the Houston Texans. The Vikings sent Nos. 42 (second round) and 188 (sixth round) and a second-round pick in 2025 to the Texans for Nos. 23 and 232 (seventh round).

It’s of note because it involves one of the Chicago Bears’ NFC North rivals and because the Vikings now own two first-round picks — Nos. 11 and 23 — positioning them to potentially trade again and move up to draft a replacement for quarterback Kirk Cousins, who signed with the Atlanta Falcons.

All focus remains on the Bears, though, who are better positioned with two first-round picks at Nos. 1 and 9.

Presenting mock draft 2.0, which includes projected trades.

Who might be available for the Chicago Bears at No. 9? A mini mock draft before the NFL combine.

1. Bears (from Carolina Panthers): Caleb Williams, QB, USC

USC quarterback Caleb Williams watches at the NFL scouting combine on March 2, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
USC quarterback Caleb Williams watches at the NFL scouting combine on March 2, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

The Bears will see Williams throw for the first time at his pro day Wednesday and are expected to host him on a visit to Halas Hall shortly after so they can spend more time with him and get required medical information. Whether a private workout is added to the mix remains to be seen. There are big hurdles to clear — a physical is paramount — but not many remain for the Bears to feel good about choosing him.

2. Washington Commanders: Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye goes through stretches before a game against Syracuse on Oct. 7, 2023, in Chapel Hill, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Seward)
North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye goes through stretches before a game against Syracuse on Oct. 7, 2023, in Chapel Hill, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Seward)

So much for pairing Maye with his former Tar Heels teammate and good friend Sam Howell. The Commanders traded Howell to the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday, and new general manager Adam Peters will be in the market for a quarterback in an offseason of seismic change for a franchise that also has a new owner and coach.

3. New England Patriots: Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU

LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels celebrates a win over Florida on Nov. 11, 2023, in Baton Rouge, La. (Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels celebrates a win over Florida on Nov. 11, 2023, in Baton Rouge, La. (Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

The Mac Jones era came to an end when he was traded to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Patriots have a good veteran in Jacoby Brissett in place to help along a rookie quarterback. Enter Daniels, the Heisman Trophy winner.

4. Arizona Cardinals: Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison catches a touchdown pass against Michigan State on Nov. 11, 2023, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison catches a touchdown pass against Michigan State on Nov. 11, 2023, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Every team in the top eight or so that isn’t in the quarterback market is primed to potentially trade out of the spot. The Cardinals can stay put and get the top wide receiver on the board as they need to outfit Kyler Murray after Hollywood Brown left via free agency.

5. Minnesota Vikings (projected trade with Los Angeles Chargers): J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

Michigan quarterback J J McCarthy looks on during the NFL combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 2, 2024, in Indianapolis. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Michigan quarterback J J McCarthy looks on during the NFL combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 2, 2024, in Indianapolis. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

The Vikings were interested in bringing back Cousins at a certain price, and now that he left they must reboot. McCarthy’s skill set makes him a good fit for Kevin O’Connell’s offense, and the Chargers need help everywhere so a move down makes sense. Fun fact: The Vikings have drafted three QBs in Round 1 since getting Tommy Kramer in 1977: Daunte Culpepper (1999), Christian Ponder (2011) and Teddy Bridgewater (2014).

6. New York Giants: Malik Nabers, WR, LSU

LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers speaks to the media during the NFL combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 1, 2024, in Indianapolis. (Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
LSU wide receiver Malik Nabers speaks to the media during the NFL combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 1, 2024, in Indianapolis. (Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Seahawks GM John Schneider had some interesting remarks Thursday when he said the team’s efforts to re-sign QB Drew Lock fell short and that Lock would be in position to compete for the starting job in New York. If so, the Giants need to help whoever becomes their starter with some receiver help.

7. Tennessee Titans: Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame

Notre Dame offensive lineman Joe Alt runs a drill at the NFL scouting combine on March 3, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Notre Dame offensive lineman Joe Alt runs a drill at the NFL scouting combine on March 3, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

The Titans shelled out for center Lloyd Cushenberry in free agency, and a year after drafting Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski in the first round, they still need to improve protection for QB Will Levis. Alt is a plug-and-play left tackle, and the Titans released veteran Andre Dillard on Friday.

8. Atlanta Falcons: Dallas Turner, edge, Alabama

Alabama linebacker Dallas Turner runs a drill at the NFL scouting combine on Feb. 29, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Alabama linebacker Dallas Turner runs a drill at the NFL scouting combine on Feb. 29, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

As tempting as a wide receiver might be, the Falcons need a disruptive force for their front seven. They haven’t had a player reach 10 sacks since Vic Beasley in 2016. Turner would fit in nicely.

9. Bears: Rome Odunze, WR, Washington

Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze is tackled by Michigan defensive back Mike Sainristil during the national championship game on Jan. 8, 2024, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze is tackled by Michigan defensive back Mike Sainristil during the national championship game on Jan. 8, 2024, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

It’s easy to see the Bears going with an offensive tackle or even an edge rusher after trading for wide receiver Keenan Allen. It’s also fun to imagine the possibilities with a young receiver to pair with DJ Moore into future years.

10. New York Jets: Taliese Fuaga, OT, Oregon State

Oregon State offensive lineman Taliese Fuaga speaks during a news conference at the NFL scouting combine on March 2, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Oregon State offensive lineman Taliese Fuaga speaks during a news conference at the NFL scouting combine on March 2, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

The Jets signed veterans Tyron Smith and Morgan Moses, both 33, but their age tells you offensive tackle remains a primary need if the team is serious about protecting Aaron Rodgers and building for the future.

11. Chargers (projected trade with Vikings): Olu Fashanu, OT, Penn State

Penn State offensive tackle Olu Fashanu runs a drill during the team's pro day on March 15, 2024, in State College, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Freed)
Penn State offensive tackle Olu Fashanu runs a drill during the team’s pro day on March 15, 2024, in State College, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Freed)

Jim Harbaugh built up his powerful Michigan teams in the trenches, and the Chargers have to do a better job of keeping Justin Herbert upright. An offensive lineman would make sense at No. 5 if they stay there, even after trading Allen and releasing Mike Williams.

12. Denver Broncos: Jared Verse, edge, Florida State

Florida State defensive end Jared Verse celebrates after a big play against Virginia Tech on Oct. 7, 2023, in Tallahassee, Fla. (Michael Chang/Getty Images)
Florida State defensive end Jared Verse celebrates after a big play against Virginia Tech on Oct. 7, 2023, in Tallahassee, Fla. (Michael Chang/Getty Images)

The cap-strapped Broncos seem like a trade-down candidate if someone wants to come up. They have been heavily overhauling the roster under Sean Payton and have a critical need for an edge rusher.

13. Las Vegas Raiders: Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama

Middle Tennessee Alabama Football

Alabama defensive back Terrion Arnold during a game against Middle Tennessee on Sept. 2, 2023, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

Vasha Hunt/AP

Alabama defensive back Terrion Arnold during a game against Middle Tennessee on Sept. 2, 2023, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

The Raiders have an explosive front after signing tackle Christian Wilkins to play alongside Maxx Crosby. The secondary is suspect and Arnold would be a good get.

14. New Orleans Saints: Troy Fautanu, OT, Washington

Washington offensive lineman Troy Fautanu runs a drill at the NFL scouting combine on March 3, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Washington offensive lineman Troy Fautanu runs a drill at the NFL scouting combine on March 3, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

The Saints continue to manage the salary cap as best they can with an aging roster. They really need help in the trenches and could go with a lineman on either side of the ball.

15. Indianapolis Colts: Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

Clemson's Nate Wiggins participates in the 40-yard dash during the NFL combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 1, 2024, in Indianapolis. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Clemson’s Nate Wiggins participates in the 40-yard dash during the NFL combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 1, 2024, in Indianapolis. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

The big splash has been re-signing wide receiver Michael Pittman. Wiggins can fly and the Colts need help at cornerback, which was a thin position in free agency.

16. Seattle Seahawks: Byron Murphy, DT, Texas

Texas' Byron Murphy speaks to the media during the NFL combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on Feb. 28, 2024, in Indianapolis. (Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Texas’ Byron Murphy speaks to the media during the NFL combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on Feb. 28, 2024, in Indianapolis. (Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

An offensive tackle would fit well here, but so would Murphy, who would be a nice addition with defensive end Leonard Williams re-signed.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars: Darius Robinson, DL, Missouri

Missouri defensive lineman Darius Robinson against Arkansas on Nov. 24, 2023, in Fayetteville, Ark. (Michael Woods/AP)
Missouri defensive lineman Darius Robinson against Arkansas on Nov. 24, 2023, in Fayetteville, Ark. (Michael Woods/AP)

The Jaguars have been pretty active in free agency and just signed San Francisco 49ers castoff Arik Armstead. The versatile Robinson had a great week at the Senior Bowl and performed well at the combine.

18. Cincinnati Bengals: Brock Bowers, TE, Georgia

Georgia tight end Brock Bowers reacts after scoring a 41- yard touchdown reception during the second quarter against UAB at Sanford Stadium, Saturday, September 23, 2023, in Athens, Ga..

Georgia tight end Brock Bowers reacts after a 41- yard touchdown reception against UAB on Sept. 23, 2023, in Athens, Ga. (Jason Getz/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Jason Getz/Jason Getz/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Jason Getz

Georgia tight end Brock Bowers reacts after a 41- yard touchdown reception against UAB on Sept. 23, 2023, in Athens, Ga. (Jason Getz/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Some project Bowers to go higher, but tight ends generally are not premium picks. If he makes it this far, he would be a great new weapon for QB Joe Burrow.

19. Los Angeles Rams: Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

Toledo defensive back Quinyon Mitchell runs a drill at the NFL scouting combine on March 1, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Toledo defensive back Quinyon Mitchell runs a drill at the NFL scouting combine on March 1, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

The Rams need to fill a massive void after the retirement of Aaron Donald. If this is too rich of a spot for Illinois defensive tackle Johnny Newton, the Rams also need a marquee player in the secondary and Mitchell has been hot.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia

Georgia's Amarius Mims speaks to the media during the NFL combine on March 2, 2024, in Indianapolis. (Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Georgia’s Amarius Mims speaks to the media during the NFL combine on March 2, 2024, in Indianapolis. (Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

The hulking Mims (6-foot-8, 340 pounds) is a perfect fit for the brand of football the Steelers like to play, and they’re going to need to protect Russell Wilson, who doesn’t move like he used to in Seattle.

21. Miami Dolphins: Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon

Oregon's Jackson Powers-Johnson during a game against Arizona on Oct. 8, 2022, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Oregon’s Jackson Powers-Johnson during a game against Arizona on Oct. 8, 2022, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

The Dolphins have been hit hard with losses in free agency and their top pass rushers suffered serious injuries last season. An edge defender would make sense. So would Powers-Johnson, who can play any interior position.

22. Philadelphia Eagles: Ennis Rakestraw, CB, Missouri

Missouri defensive back Ennis Rakestraw Jr. speaks during a news conference at the NFL scouting combine on Feb. 29, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Missouri defensive back Ennis Rakestraw Jr. speaks during a news conference at the NFL scouting combine on Feb. 29, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

James Bradberry had a rough go of it last season for a defense that was a mess. As the Eagles reconfigure things under new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, they ought to seek help at cornerback.

23. Chargers (projected trade with Vikings from Browns via Texans): Brian Thomas, WR, LSU

LSU wide receiver Brian Thomas runs a drill at the NFL scouting combine on March 2, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
LSU wide receiver Brian Thomas runs a drill at the NFL scouting combine on March 2, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

The Chargers have a critical need at wide receiver, and fortunately for them the draft is stocked there — so much so that a talent like Thomas still might be on the board with the second pick acquired from the Vikings in this projected trade.

24. Dallas Cowboys: JC Latham, OT, Alabama

Alabama offensive lineman JC Latham runs a drill at the NFL scouting combine on March 3, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Alabama offensive lineman JC Latham runs a drill at the NFL scouting combine on March 3, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

The Cowboys need to replace mainstay Tyron Smith and are also down their starting center, so they figure to be in play for a big man in the trenches.

25. Green Bay Packers: Cooper DeJean, DB, Iowa

Iowa defensive back Cooper DeJean runs on the field against Michigan State on Sept. 30, 2023, in Iowa City, Iowa. (Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo)
Iowa defensive back Cooper DeJean runs on the field against Michigan State on Sept. 30, 2023, in Iowa City, Iowa. (Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo)

The Packers changed defensive coordinators and replaced safety Darnell Savage with a splash signing of Xavier McKinney. DeJean would provide coverage flexibility and can play safety, nickel or cornerback. This is provided he runs well at Iowa’s pro day.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Chop Robinson, edge, Penn State

Penn State defensive lineman Chop Robinson runs a drill at the NFL scouting combine on Feb. 29, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Penn State defensive lineman Chop Robinson runs a drill at the NFL scouting combine on Feb. 29, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

After releasing Shaq Barrett, the Buccaneers need some help off the edge. Robinson had a strong showing at the combine and can get to the quarterback.

27. Cardinals (from Texans): Laiatu Latu, edge, UCLA

UCLA defensive lineman Laiatu Latu pressures Arizona State quarterback Trenton Bourguet on Nov. 11, 2023, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun)
UCLA defensive lineman Laiatu Latu pressures Arizona State quarterback Trenton Bourguet on Nov. 11, 2023, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun)

Teams will be concerned about a neck injury Latu had early in his college career at Washington. He was super productive for the Bruins and would make sense for a defense that has needs up front.

28. Buffalo Bills: Adonai Mitchell, WR, Texas

Texas wide receiver Adonai Mitchell participates in a flexibility drill during the NFL scouting combine on March 2, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Texas wide receiver Adonai Mitchell participates in a flexibility drill during the NFL scouting combine on March 2, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Gabriel Davis exited via free agency, and the Bills can replace him with a more well-rounded receiver in Mitchell.

29. Detroit Lions: Braden Fiske, DT, Florida State

Florida State defensive lineman Braden Fiske runs a drill at the NFL scouting combine on Feb. 29, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Florida State defensive lineman Braden Fiske runs a drill at the NFL scouting combine on Feb. 29, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

In two short years, the Lions have built a pretty complete roster. You can make a case they need a little more juice up front, and Fiske seems like a perfect fit for Dan Campbell with the ability to pressure the quarterback from the interior.

30. Baltimore Ravens: Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas

Texas' Xavier Worthy smiles after breaking the 40-yard dash record with a time of 4.21 seconds during the NFL combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 2, 2024, in Indianapolis. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Texas’ Xavier Worthy smiles after breaking the 40-yard dash record with a time of 4.21 seconds during the NFL combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 2, 2024, in Indianapolis. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

How many times have we been here, saying the Ravens need to get Lamar Jackson help on the outside? Worthy can absolutely scoot and it’s interesting to project his ability in that offense.

31. San Francisco 49ers: Graham Barton, OL, Duke

Due's Graham Barton speaks to the media during the 2024 NFL combine on March 2, 2024, in Indianapolis. (Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Due’s Graham Barton speaks to the media during the 2024 NFL combine on March 2, 2024, in Indianapolis. (Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

The 49ers ran into trouble in the Super Bowl when they struggled to keep QB Brock Purdy clean in the pocket. Barton played left tackle in college and probably can play any position on the line in the NFL. He might be best on the interior.

32.  Kansas City Chiefs: Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma

Oklahoma offensive lineman Tyler Guyton runs a drill at the NFL scouting combine on March 3, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Oklahoma offensive lineman Tyler Guyton runs a drill at the NFL scouting combine on March 3, 2024, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

It’s popular to consider a wide receiver — a new toy for QB Patrick Mahomes — but that doesn’t seem like an Andy Reid pick. The Chiefs are mindful of helping Mahomes, and that starts with linemen.



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