750 THE GAME STAFF
Earlier this week we wrote about Oregon Ducks quarterback Bo Nix possibly being a first-round pick in next year’s NFL Draft. CBS Sports draft analyst Ryan Wilson said he would slot Nix in the middle of the first round to the Denver Broncos.
ESPN’s draft analyst Todd McShay published his early mock draft for the 2024 NFL Draft on Thursday, and he has a different opinion on Nix, not including him in his first-round.
Additionally, McShay says Washington Huskies star quarterback Michael Penix, Jr. is also not a first-round prospect, at least not yet.
McShay has USC’s Caleb Williams as his first quarterback and top overall prospect, going No. 1 to Tampa Bay in a projected trade with Arizona. McShay has just one other quarterback in his first round: UNC’s Drake Maye, third overall to the Washington Commanders.
Quarterbacks aside, McShay does have a pair of Washington Huskies going in the first round, with defense end Bralen Trice going No. 10 overall to Pittsburgh and teammate and wide receiver Rome Odunzie going a pick later to the Chicago Bears.
McShay does not include any Oregon Ducks in his early first-round mock draft. That would snap a streak of four straight drafts a Ducks prospect was taken in the first round (2020: Justin Herbert – No. 6 – LA Chargers, 2021: Penei Sewell – No. 7 – Detroit Lions, 2022: Kayvon Thibodeaux – No. 5 – New York Giants, 2023: Christian Gonzalez – No. 17 – New England Patriots).
Notably, Seattle-area native and Ohio State edge rusher JT Tuimoloau, who picked the Buckeyes over Oregon, goes No. 8 overall to Chicago, per McShay. And former Ducks offensive lineman Kingsley Suamataia, now at BYU, goes in the first round at No. 28 to Cincinnati.
McShay’s full 2024 initial first-round mock draft is on ESPN +, here.