The time has finally come. We are in the home stretch of the 2019 NFL Draft, the final days of preparing for what is going to be an awesome spectacle, an event that will change the landscape of NFL franchises and the lives of athletes forever. For some, it’ll be great; for others, not so much. Some players might never play a snap at the next level. It’s unfortunate to write that, but it’s the absolute truth, so let’s hope that your favorite team makes the right decision and the player puts in the work to be the best player they can be on and off the field.
Until we actually know the destinations for these players, it’s always fun to write about where a player fits, and it’s even more fun to predict where a player might land in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
I’m not the biggest fan of mock drafts, but it’s a good exercise. My last of the year, I hope you’re pleased with the results from my 2019 NFL Mock Draft!
1.Arizona Cardinals – Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
For quite some time, this has been the rumor. There’s no reason to believe that this won’t happen, despite some Twitter counter-rumors. Kliff Kingsbury will want to start his offense with a player that’s a natural fit for it, and that’s Kyler Murray. The bet on himself will pay off and Murray will be the first pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. The big question will be about who will take Josh Rosen off of their hands and what it will cost them? My prediction: Josh Rosen ends up with the Chargers.
2. San Francisco 49ers – Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
Once Murray is announced as the first pick, it won’t take long for the 49ers to make their selection. They could consider someone like Quinnen Williams, but putting Buckner on the interior makes sense and having a player like Bosa opposite Dee Ford makes the most sense. This would be a slam dunk for the 49ers.
3. New York Jets – Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
As much as I’d like to think that the Jets can trade out of this selection, there’s just no trade partner that makes sense. I don’t see the Giants and the Jets coming to terms on a deal, and there’s no other team that makes sense. With that being said, the Jets can certainly take a pass rusher, but like Jamal Adams and Leonard Williams, they take the best player available. Don’t overthink it; take Quinnen Williams and prosper.
4. Washington Redskins (mock trade with Oakland) – Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Getting in front of teams like the Giants, Bengals, and Dolphins makes the most sense for the Redskins. They need to draft a quarterback, and it sounds as if they’re “all-in” on drafting Dwayne Haskins. Jon and Jay Gruden will be talking back and forth on this one, and the Raiders will get a plethora of picks between this year and next year. Meanwhile, the Redskins get a bright future at quarterback.
Redskins receive: 2019 1st Round Pick (4th Overall)
Raiders receive: 2019 1st Round Pick (15th Overall), 2019 3rd Round Pick (76th Overall), 2020 1st Round Pick, 2020 2nd Round pick
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Devin White, LB, LSU
Could the Buccaneers consider Ed Oliver? Absolutely, but with Gerald McCoy and Vita Vea, I think they’ll be focused on Devin White from LSU. Now that Kwon Alexander is gone, there’s a serious need for an LB1 in Tampa Bay, and Devin White makes the most sense. He needs to get better with his mental processing, but he’s an athletic player that can do just about anything you ask him to do.
6. New York Giants – Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
There’s a very strong chance the Giants take Daniel Jones, but for now, they take the best player available. Dave Gettleman loves players in the trenches, and there’s plenty for him to like with Ed Oliver. He’s versatile, freakishly athletic, and so disruptive at the line-of-scrimmage.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
Protecting their investment in Nick Foles is a smart decision, and they need help on their offensive line. There’s no doubt that Williams can play left tackle or right tackle and he’s the most technically-sound offensive tackle in this class. Whether the Jaguars want to go with the run first or the pass, Williams is a plug-and-play guy from day one, and he’ll contribute in both areas.
8. Detroit Lions – Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
Since Bob Quinn has been drafting for the Lions, he’s selected eight players from the SEC with his 25 draft picks. He will stay the course and draft another SEC player here. This time, it’s a player that will help with the pass rush and will pair up perfectly with Trey Flowers and Damon “Snacks” Harrison. I did explore some trades for them but just couldn’t find myself pulling the trigger with the talent that was on the board.
9. New York Giants (mock trade with Buffalo) – Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
Dave Gettleman gets on the phone with his old friend, Brandon Beane, and they make a trade happen. Since Beane has been in Buffalo, they haven’t kept their original pick in the first round. If they’re not moving up, they’re moving back. The Giants will get their quarterback to sit behind Eli Manning and it all works out for them despite giving up some picks for this year and the future. Either way, the Giants have 12 picks in this year’s draft and they’re going to be on the move.
Giants Receive: 2019 1st Round Pick (9th Overall)
Bills Receive: 2019 1st Round Pick (17th Overall), 2019 3rd Round Pick (95th Overall) and 2020 2nd Round Pick
10. Denver Broncos – Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
Losing Brandon Marshall is going to hurt this defense despite having Todd Davis, but the Broncos are going full-steam ahead with this “win-now” mode with Joe Flacco at quarterback. With that being said, the Broncos take the best linebacker in the class in Devin Bush. He’s going to give you good range, elite athletic ability, and sure tackling. The Broncos will love this addition to their front seven on defense.
11. Cincinnati Bengals – Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
This feels like “Andre Smith 2.0”, but it’s going to pay off. The Bengals have a need for a right tackle, and despite the urge of going after a quarterback, they’ll stay in the trenches. Taylor provides grip strength and power in the run game. His footwork can get better, but overall, he’s a top-15 talent and this is a great pick for the Bengals.
12. Green Bay Packers – T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
I can’t see Hockenson falling any farther than this, to be honest. Teams in the top 10 could certainly consider him, but this was just the way the board came together. Hockenson is a great in-line blocker and a solid receiving option. Pairing him with Aaron Rodgers and the rest of this offense will pay off in a big way.
13. Miami Dolphins – Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
Maybe the Dolphins tank for Tua, but I find that hard to believe. There’s no reason to believe that they won’t be looking to add a quarterback to their roster in this draft. Could they trade for Josh Rosen? It wouldn’t surprise me, but after visiting with Drew Lock during the draft process and having a private workout with him, it would be hard for them to pass him up. He’s got a big arm, but he’s struggled against more premier competition in the SEC, partially because his teammates suffered from chronic drops. He’ll be a work in progress, but behind Ryan Fitzpatrick, it should be a smooth transition for Lock.
14. Atlanta Falcons – Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
There’s a chance that the Falcons move up to ensure that they get Christian Wilkins, but for now, they’ll stay put and he’ll fall into their lap. They need help on the interior of their defensive line, and pairing Wilkins up with Grady Jarrett would immediately create a quick and disruptive duo. Wilkins is a smart player, graduating from Clemson in under three years. He’s a leader and a productive player with a great work ethic.
15. Oakland Raiders (mock trade with Washington) – Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, WR, Oklahoma
This doesn’t play exactly to the strengths of my big board, but the Raiders are such a question mark. Now that they have additional picks, it wouldn’t surprise me if they end up taking some chances. This time, they add another weapon to their offense with Marquise “Hollywood” Brown. He’s an explosive player and can provide this offense with a different dynamic that they don’t have on the roster right now. Brown has a small frame at 165 pounds and has been dealing with a Lisfranc injury, but if he can stay healthy, this is a great pick. Keep in mind, Brown is related to Antonio Brown. The Raiders are having fun.
16. Carolina Panthers – Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
I’ve said for a while that I love the idea of Andre Dillard being in Carolina. He could be a plug-and-play left tackle and would be an upgrade to what they have. He’s the best pass blocker in the class and can improve as a run blocker with time. This pick has a ton of upside to it, and he’s just a natural fit for Carolina.
17. Buffalo Bills (mock trade with New York Giants) – D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
The Bills haven’t kept their original spot in the first round since Beane and McDermott have taken over. Whether it’s trading down or trading up, they’re always on the move. The Bills move back and acquire more picks. That’ll put them in position to add players to their offensive and defensive lines, and most importantly, obtain a number one receiver for Josh Allen. Metcalf has the upside to be a number one receiver and will create mismatches with his size and speed on just about every cornerback he matches up against.
18. Oakland Raiders (mock trade with Minnesota) – Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
There’s a chance that the Raiders take Burns at 15th overall to make sure that nobody else does at 16th or 17th. Fortunately, he’s still there and the Raiders get one of the better pass rushers in this class. He was used as a situational pass rusher for the Seminoles, and he’ll have to maintain his body weight around 250 pounds, but overall, there’s plenty of upside with this selection. The Raiders should be happy with this haul, and keep in mind, they’re also getting a talented cornerback in Trae Waynes with this pick.
Raiders Receive: CB, Trae Waynes and 2019 1st Round Pick (18th Overall)
Vikings Receive: 2019 1st Round Pick (24th Overall), 2019 2nd Round Pick (35th Overall)
19. Tennessee Titans – Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
Now that Brian Orakpo has retired, there’s a need for the Titans to get another edge rusher into the mix. The player that makes the most sense is Montez Sweat. Despite the heart condition, he won’t be off every team’s board, and there’s no reason to believe that Mike Vrabel won’t love him. He’ll be able to utilize the explosiveness of Harold Landry and the length and speed-to-power of Sweat. This would be a fun duo to watch on Sundays.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers – Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple
If there’s any team that doesn’t do what the consensus says to do, it’s the Pittsburgh Steelers. I’d be shocked if either one of the Devins (linebackers) is available, and with that, they’ll go with the next-highest player on their board. Rock Ya-Sin is a physical corner who loves jamming wide receivers at the line of scrimmage. There’s no reason to believe that Mike Tomlin and this defensive staff won’t love him and his work ethic.
21. New England Patriots (mock trade with Seattle) – Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
Rob Gronkowski has retired, and the Patriots have a need for a tight end. They have 12 picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, and they could end up with even more picks next year. With that being said, there’s a tight end on the board, and I can see them moving up to get him. Fant is one of the best, if not the best, receiving options at the position. Keep in mind that he’s a pretty good blocker, too. This pick will make plenty of people jealous, but it makes too much sense for the Patriots.
Patriots Receive: 2019 1st Round Pick (21st Overall), 2020 5th Round Pick (they always get one)
Seahawks Receive: 2019 1st Round Pick (29th Overall), 2019 3rd Round Pick (73rd Overall), 2019 7th Round Pick (239th Overall)
22. Baltimore Ravens – Garrett Bradbury, OC, North Carolina State
Marshall Yanda can’t play forever, can he? Well, he did just sign a contract extension, so yeah, he can. Bradbury can be a plug-and-play interior offensive lineman for the Ravens. Whether he’s playing guard or center, he provides versatility and tremendous quickness off the snap. Matt Skura can also move around, too. Either way, Bradbury operates well in space and is a reach block machine. He’ll help with the development of Lamar Jackson, and that’s something that the Ravens should consider.
23. Houston Texans – Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma
A top-15 talent in this draft falls a little bit. It doesn’t hurt him, though, because he’s a still a first-round pick and goes to a team that has a serious need for his talent. Ford is a right tackle at the next level with his grip strength, hand placement, and footwork. He’ll be an upgrade for the Texans, and most importantly, Deshaun Watson gets much-needed protection.
24. Minnesota Vikings (mock trade with Oakland) – Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State
If you want a good football player, look no further. There’s no reason for me to believe that Risner falls out of the first round. He’s a terrific leader on and off the field, and he’s a versatile player, too. He can play either guard spot or center, but there’s also a chance he gets a look at right tackle. The Vikings have a need for some offensive line help, and Risner would be a terrific fit. I love this selection.
25. Philadelphia Eagles – Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
Despite having other needs, like a safety or an offensive tackle, the Eagles will go with the best player on the board. Byron Murphy makes a ton of sense for their secondary and, despite their ability to make something out of nothing with their cornerbacks last year, they need help. Murphy is a terrific zone corner who has great ball skills and has shown the ability to win football games on his own (see his game against Utah). The Eagles will turn their focus to safety and offensive tackle in the second round.
26. Indianapolis Colts – Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
It was a tossup for me between Charles Omenihu and Clelin Ferrell. Both players would be a fir for the Colts, and they’ve shown interest in both. Ultimately, I went with the player that scores just a few points higher on my grading scale. Ferrell has great length and a blend of power and speed that he can use to create mismatches in stopping the run or rushing the passer.
27. Oakland Raiders – Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
Sure, I have the Raiders giving up their second-round pick in this draft, but they gained a ton of picks from the Redskins already. They also gained Trae Waynes for their secondary, so altogether, they’re ending up with four starters after the first round — not bad. Josh Jacobs would be the day one starter for the Raiders with Marshawn Lynch’s retirement. Jacobs has an aggressive running style that’s similar to Lynch, so it should work out well for the Raiders and their new offense.
28. Los Angeles Chargers – Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
Part of me was leaning towards Dexter Lawrence, but his limited role as a pass rusher hurt him. Overall, Simmons would be a top-five player in this class, but with the torn ACL, he’s fallen down some boards. I like him enough go in the first round, and the Chargers are the team that makes the most sense. Justin Jones is a nice piece on the interior defensive line, but Simmons can be an alpha for the Chargers.
29. Seattle Seahawks (from Kansas City) – Charles Omenihu, DL, Texas
I’ve circled around on the Seahawks about a million times. They’ve added some additional picks to their draft board for the 2019 NFL Draft, and to kick it off, they’ll go with an edge rusher. Omenihu is a versatile chess piece for any defense and can play in a variety of spots, from a 4i-technique to a stand-up pass rusher. He’ll replace Frank Clark and will contribute in rushing the passer and stopping the run. This is just a natural fit for their defense. Think of Michael Bennett . . . lite.
30. Green Bay Packers – Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida
It’s either a safety or Chase Winovich. That’s the conclusion I’ve reached with the Packers. Overall, the selection of CGJ makes a ton of sense. He flashes the range over the top, can come downhill, and has the ball skills required to play in the slot or as a single-high safety. Mike Pettine will love this addition next to Adrian Amos.
31. Los Angeles Rams – Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
Having an interior pass rush is important, but at this rate, the Rams are just looking to stop the run and free up Aaron Donald. Dexter Lawrence has the size at 6’4″ and 340 pounds and is dominant stopping the run. He’ll plug gaps and distribute the line of scrimmage. He might only be a two-down player, but he’ll be highly coveted for their defense now that Ndamukong Suh is gone.
32. Seattle Seahawks (mock trade with New England) – Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
This one just makes sense, right? They’ve never really replaced Richard Sherman, and Greedy has a similar body type. At 6’2″ and 185 pounds, there’s plenty of length and aggressiveness from him. He has a tendency to get flat-footed, and there are times that it looks like he quits on plays, but I think the Seahawks can turn him into a solid cornerback. I love this pick and the haul for the Seahawks in the first round.