Wakeup call? Williams slips to No. 3 in Mock by Kirwan, Miller

Quarterback Jayden Daniels 5 as the LSU Tigers take on Texas A&M in Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, November 25, 2023.
Quarterback Jayden Daniels 5 as the LSU Tigers take on Texas A&M in Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, November 25, 2023.

In what could be a wakeup call for the legion of draftniks comfortable with USC quarterback Caleb Williams as the anointed first pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, two of the best football minds in the business — Pat Kirwan and Jim Miller, cohosts of the must-hear Sirius XM's Movin the Chainsdropped him to No. 3 overall in the first mock draft of the season 

There were restraints on Friday's mock (e.g., no trades), and the two took turns picking, but they each passed on a chance to take Williams — Miller at No. 1 and Kirwan took No. 2 — before Williams slid to the New England Patriots at No. 3. Their next mock will add trades and be livlier, but, as always, their Country Friday Mock was a great production.

Overall, we at NFLDraftScout.com thought the mock on Movin' the Chains was pretty much on target for the usual reason: It was closely aligned with the way we see things. Only four of their first-round picks fell outside our own top 32.  We especially appreciated the common-sense approach to the top three quarterbacks, with Miller taking LSU's Jayden Daniels No. 1 (Chicago) and Kirwan — who also would have taken Daniel's No. 1 — grabbing North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye No. 2, for the Washington Commadanders. 

How did they dare allow Williams to slip? The same reasons we have outlined in his NDS profile — he makes too many mistakes with the ball and plays hero ball too often. The fact that he skipped workouts and medicals at the combine didn't help.  

"He runs into problems when he does too much," said Miller, himself a former NFL quarterback. "Too many fumbles for my liking. He is not a finished product — extremely talented but has a lot of work to do."

Kirwan, a former NFL team exec, and Miller agreed that Daniels' stock, in contrast to that of Williams', skyrocketed with a 2023 season that earned him the Heisman Trophy. Kirwan likened him to Baltimore's Lamar Jackson but with superior passing skills—pretty impressive considering Jackson is a two-time NFL MVP. As for Maye, who has been atop NDS's QB list most the year, Miller pointed out that the ex-Tar Heel standout has outstanding arm talent and is far more athletic than many think. He also impressed the MTC crew in an interview by demonstrating a sharp grasp of the game. 

After those quarterbacks went 1-2-3, the next to be named was Michigan's J.J. McCarthy, who went No. 12 (Kirwan) to the Denver Broncos. That is lower than some recent projections — which list him as high as No. 4 overall — but higher than we value him at NDS. 

The lowest NDS-rated player in MTC's first-round mock is Florida State DT Braden Fisk, whom Miller has going to Detroit at No. 29. He is No. 41 on our list. Good pick, really, considering Fisk is the animalistic type who should fit right into Lions coach Dan Campbell's defense. 

Players not taken by Kirwan or Miller whom NDS sees as potential first-rounders were LSU wide receiver Brian Thomas (NDS No. 24), Texas wide receiver Adonai Mitchell (No. 25), fast but small Texas wide receiver Xavier Worthy (No. 29), North Carolina State OLB Payton Wilson (No. 32) and Oregon quarterback Bo Nix (No. 33). 

If you missed the live airing, the show is availble on the Sirius app. Meantime, here is a summation, showing the picks, along with our own ratings and the height, weight and class of each player selected. 

  Team MTC  Selection NDS  Ht. Wt. Class
    Picker   Rating      
1 Chicago Bears ( via trade) Jim Jayden Daniels,   QB, LSU 4 6032 210 rSr
2 Washington Commanders Pat Drake Maye, QB, N. Carolina 2 6043 223 rSo
3 New England Patriots Jim Caleb Williams,  QB, USC 3 6011 214 Jr
4 Arizona Cardinals Pat Marvin Harrison, WR, OSU 1 6032 209 Jr
5 Los Angeles Chargers Jim  Rome Odunze, WR, Wash 8 6027 212 rJr
6 New York Giants Pat Brock Bowers, TE, Ga 5 6031 243 Jr
7 Tennessee Titans Jim Joe Alt, OT, Notre Dame 7 6085 321 Jr
8 Atlanta Falcons Pat Dallas Turner. OLB, Alabama 10 6026 247 Jr
9 Chicago Bears jim Malik Nabers, WR, LSU 6 5116 200 Jr
10 New York Jets Pat JC Latham, OT, Alabama 20 6056 342 Jr
11 Minnesota Vikings Jim Jared Verse, DE,  FSU 17 6037 254 rJr
12 Denver Broncos * Pat J. J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan 28 6024 219 Jr
13 Las Vegas Raiders * Jim Taliesa Fuagua, OT, Oregon St. 11 6056 324 rJr
14 New Orleans Saints Pat Olumuyiwa Fashanu, OT, Penn St. 13 6060 312 rJr
15 Indianapolis Colts Jim Terrion Arnold, CB, Alabama 12 5116 189 rSo
16 Seattle Seahawks Pat Troy Fautanu, OG,  Washington 30 6036 317 rJr
17 Jacksonville Jaguars Jim Qunion Mitchell, CB,  Toledo 9 6001 195 rJr
18 Cincinnati Bengals Pat Jerzahn Newton, DT, Illinois 26 6015 304 rJr
19 Los Angeles Rams Jim Laiatu Latu, DE,  UCLA 15 6046 259 rSr
20 Pittsburgh Steelers Pat Jackson Powers-Johnson, C, Oregon 18 6033 328 Jr
21 Miami Dolphins Jim Tyler Guyton, OT, Oklahoma 31 6076 322 rJr
22 Philadelphia Eagles Pat Nate Wiggins,  CB, Clemson 14 6013 173 Jr
23 Minnesota Vikings (trade) Jim Michael Penix Jr., QB, Wash. 23 6022 216 rSr
24 Dallas Cowboys Pat Graham Barton, C-G, Duke 38 6053 313 Sr
25 Green Bay Packers Jim Amarius Mims, OT, Georgia 16 6076 340 Jr
26 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Pat Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa 22 6004 203 Jr
27 Arizona Cardinals (trade) Jim Chop Robinson, DE, Penn State 21 6027 254 Jr
28 Buffalo Bills Pat Byron Murphy, DT, Texas 19 6004 297 Jr
29 Detroit Lions Jim Braden Fisk,  DT, Fla. State 41 6035 292 rSr
30 Baltimore Ravens Pat Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama 27 5114 199 Jr
31 San Francisco 49ers Jim Kamari Lassiter, CB,  Georgia 35 5114 186 Jr
32 Kansas City Chiefs Pat Jordan Morgan, OT, Arizona 37 6050 311 rSr
By Frank Cooney, NFLDraftScout.com

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