The playoffs are here, that means for fans of 20 teams draft season has begun. Welcome folks and strap in for an excruciating four months of ‘rumors,’ big boards and mocks. With the first 20 picks in the draft set, I thought it would be a great time to take put out my first 2019 NFL Mock Draft of the season. The order for playoff teams has been based on regular season records and is not a projection of how the playoffs will play out.
2019 NFL Mock Draft 1.0
1. Arizona Cardinals – Quinnen Williams, DL, Bama
The Cardinals roster is a complete mess and an argument could be made for them trading down and acquiring as many pieces as they can through the draft. Quinnen Williams is an elite prospect and would provide a much-needed injection of talent along Arizona’s defensive interior. There are no glaring weaknesses to Williams game and he has the look of a future all pro. Arizona needs these types of players to kick-start their rebuild.
2. San Francisco 49ers – Nick Bosa, Edge, Ohio State
With Solomon Thomas carving out a role on the interior of the 9ers rotation and a lack of quality options along the edges, Bosa makes perfect sense for San Francisco. He is a technically refined prospect with premiere athletic traits. Bosa will be a plug and play player who will contribute 10+ sacks a year.
3. NY Jets – Jonah Williams, OT, Bama
The Jets number 1 priority this offseason must be to surround Sam Darnold with as much help as possible. On the defensive side of the ball, the Jets look pretty solid, but the offense needs a serious infusion of talent. Jonah Williams is the best tackle prospect in this year’s class and would provide a major upgrade for the Jets at LT.
4. Oakland Raiders – Brian Burns, Edge, FSU
Pass rushers don’t grow on trees (I’m looking at you, Mr. Gruden). The Raiders gave away one of the most dominant pass rushers to enter the league in the last decade and unsurprisingly have struggled to find any sort of consistency rushing the passer this season. Enter Brian Burns. The long, bendy rusher from Florida State is an elite pass rusher with a wide array of moves in his arsenal. I don’t think there is much between him and Bosa as rushers (though Bosa is significantly better against the run) and Burns still has room to fill out his frame. The upside and instant impact he can make as a rusher make him well worth the 4th overall pick.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Deionte Thompson, S, Bama
The Bucs have so many holes to fill on defense, but the secondary has to improve. Thompson would be a great building block in the back end and his range and playmaking ability would provide a massive upgrade over any option currently on the roster. This pick would be a good mix of value and need for the Bucs who could also entertain the possibility of trading down.
6. NY Giants – Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
The Giants need a QB desperately. Eli just ain’t it anymore and is hurting their offense. Haskins is the clear-cut QB1 in this class and would give the Giants a lethal young core on offense. Some Giants fans may want to see them wait until 2019, but passing on Haskins would be a mistake. He has tantalizing physical tools and has shown consistent improvement throughout his lone season as a starter for Ohio State. He has the makings of a franchise QB, why pass on the opportunity to get your QB of the future again?
7. Jacksonville Jaguars – Drew Lock, QB, Mizzou
I would not advise the Jags to pick Drew Lock, who I have graded as a 3rd round prospect, but teams will reach in QBs and the Jags may need a QB more than anyone in the league. Why Drew Lock at this spot? Lock has a superior ceiling to guys like Daniel Jones and Will Grier. Lock put some good performances on film and showed improvement in a lot of key areas, namely pocket management and decision making, later in the season. The Jaguars need to make a change at QB before next season and whilst they may look to pursue a veteran like Teddy Bridgewater or Joe Flacco or address it through the draft. The Jaguars will likely overpay or overdraft a QB this offseason.
8. Detroit Lions – Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
The Lions have struggled to find consistency rushing the passer over the last few seasons. Allen has a versatile skill set and excels as a speed rusher off the edge, or dropping back into coverage. He is a unique talent and would be a great building block for Detroit on defense.
9. Buffalo Bills – D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
Josh Allen needs weapons and Metcalf is the best WR prospect to come out in the last few years. He’s a big-bodied receiver with legitimate field stretching capabilities. He is exactly the type of receiver the Bills should surround Josh Allen with. Injuries need to check out for DK, but he is well worth a top 10 pick if the medicals are cleared.
10. Denver Broncos – Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
There is a temptation to reach on a QB here, but with Keenum already in place and being paid handsomely, I think the Broncos should either wait and draft Brett Rypien in the mid rounds to compete for the starting job or wait until next year. In either case, I think they should focus on filling holes on defense with their first pick and rebuild their identity as a dominant defensive team. Adding a shutdown corner like Greedy to the mix would make this defense incredibly tough to throw the ball against.
11. Cincinnati Bengals – Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma
The right side of the Bengals line has been a mess all season. They still have decisions to make at the QB position, but to take someone here would be a massive reach. Ford provides a major upgrade at either guard or tackle and is good value in this range. The versatility Ford can provide for the Bengals up front would allow them to be flexible in retooling their OL and putting their best 5 blockers on the field without fitting square pegs into round holes.
12. Green Bay Packers – Jachai Polite, Edge, Floirda
I love me some Jachai Polite. The outstanding pass rusher is a perfect fit in GB with his combination of speed and bend. There is some uncertainty surrounding the Packers long-term options along the edge and Polite would give them one of the better young pass rushers in this year’s class to build around.
13. Miami Dolphins – Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
Daniel Jones is bound to be over drafted by someone. The Duke product is a steady kind of QB who is capable of being a serviceable starter in the NFL. He has intriguing physical tools, clean mechanics and took steps as a processor this season. QB will likely be Miami’s most pressing need next season and must be addressed. The Jones pick may not be exciting, but I think he is a pretty safe pick in this year’s weak class.
14. Atlanta Falcons – Ed Oliver, DL, Houston
This may seem low for Ed Oliver, but there are a lot of rumblings that he will fall due to size concerns. The Falcons should be sprinting to hand their card in if Oliver is on the board here. Oliver is such a phenomenal athlete and could play anywhere along the defensive front for Atlanta, who I would anticipate would want to move him around dependant on situations. Oliver has the upside to be one of the elite defensive tackles in the league and form a lethal combo with Grady Jarrett up front.
15. Washington Redskins – Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State
There are a number of avenues the Skins could go with this pick, but I think WR is where they ultimately go. They have struggled mightily in the passing game this season and don’t have a true go to WR who can command high volume targets. Harmon is exactly that type of player. I think he has number 1 receiver upside and his hands are amongst the best in the class.
16. Carolina Panthers – Clelin Ferrell, Edge, Clemson
The Panthers need a long term upgrade at defensive end, Ferrell is a great combination of value and scheme fit here. Ferrell has been lost in the shuffle in this edge class, but he is a blue chip prospect with plug and play tools.
17. Cleveland Browns – Jeffery Simmons, DL, Miss. St.
I could see the Browns going WR here, but passing on Simmons at this point would be tough to justify. Larry Ogunjobi has looked like a stud for Cleveland, but they need an upgrade next to him along the interior. Simmons is an incredibly well rounded prospect who is unblockable at times. Pairing him Garrett and Ogunjobi would be scary for opposing offenses.
18. Minnesota Vikings – Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia
In April the Vikings simply need to pick the best offensive lineman available. In this case, that is Yodny Cajuste. The athletic left tackle may be the best pass protecting tackle in this class and would be a major upgrade over any current options on the roster.
19. Tennessee Titans – N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona St.
Corey Davis is an emerging star, but the Titans trot out a pretty modest bunch of receivers around him on a weekly basis. I considered Hollywood Brown here but ultimately went with Harry as I believe he is the superior prospect and would give the Titans one of the better 1,2 punches in the league at receiver.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers – Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
The Steelers need to find a young star at CB who can slot in opposite Joe Haden. Their best bet in this class? Byron Murphy. Pittsburgh have had their fair share of struggles on the back end of the defense this season and a playmaking corner would help solidify their secondary. Murphy has the athletic ability, instincts, and ball skills to be a pro bowl level player at the NFL level.
21. Philadelphia Eagles – DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia
The Eagles secondary has been depleted this season and is desperate for an injection of talent this offseason. Baker is one of the most consistent players in this class and can be an immediate starter for the Eagles.
22. Indianapolis Colts – Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
Deebo would be a lot of fun in the Colts offense. He is a well rounded playmaker who you can move around the formation and scheme touches for. His route running, hands and ability after the catch make him well worth a 1st round pick and I think he can be an extremely productive number 2 receiver in the NFL.
23. Seattle Seahawks – Rashan Gary, Edge/DL, Michigan
Gary would be a nice fit in the Seahawks defense and excellent value here. Whilst some consider Gary one of the elite prospects in this class, I do not believe the Michigan defender is a top 20 prospect. He will test incredibly well, but he has struggled to find consistency during his career at Michigan and needs to expand his game from a technical perspective.
24. Baltimore Ravens – Josh Jacobs, RB, Bama
I don’t love any of the iOL options that would be available at this point, Jacobs would be good value here and fill a position of need. He offers a complete 3 down skill set and runs nasty. He would be a great fit with the Ravens new identity on offense.
25. Oakland Raiders (From Cowboys) – Devin White, LB, LSU
The Raiders defense needs to add talent at every level. Getting an LB who can command the defense from the middle is vital for the Raiders bold rebuild. White is a great downhill player who reads his keys well and beats blockers to spots with his speed and quickness. He plays with a tenacity Gruden will like.
26. Houston Texans – David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin
The Texans have trotted out one of the worst offensive lines in the league this season and Deshaun Watson has done incredibly well to play at such a level in the face of almost constant pressure. David Edwards is a high upside player with room to still grow into his frame. He would likely lock down the right tackle spot for Houston and serve as an immediate upgrade.
27. Oakland Raiders (From Bears) – Hollywood Brown, WR, Oklahoma
Brown would give the Raiders a deep threat, unlike any receiver they have on the roster at the minute. Brown’s game isn’t all speed as he also flashes solid route running skills and can be a nightmare to tackle after the catch.
28. LA Chargers – Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson
Wilkins would be a nice addition to the Chargers defensive front. He would be an upgrade over their current options at defensive tackle and would present nice value here. Wilkins flashes a well rounded game with excellent athleticism and solid hand use, he would be a great value pick here.
29. New England Patriots – Montez Sweat, Edge, Miss. St.
I think the Patriots have to aggressively pursue pass rushers in the offseason. Montez Sweat would be a nice pickup here. His ability to get after the passer is up there with the best in this class and he would be good value at this spot.
30. LA Rams – Zach Allen, Edge/DL, Boston College
Allen would be a nice pick up here. The Rams could use Allen as a base defensive end on early downs and move him around on passing downs. Allen has a high motor and has shown a lot of improvement as a technician this season. He is a large edge (6’5”, 285lbs) prospect who will benefit from being moved around the formation to exploit mismatches as a pass rusher.
31. Kansas City Chiefs – Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn St.
This would be a great get for the Chiefs. Oruwariye has the athletic traits and man coverage skills to be a solid starter in the league. There is a lot of upside with Oruwariye and his athleticism and length are intriguing, he would be a huge upgrade for the Chiefs at CB.
32. Green Bay Packers (From Saints) – Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
The Packers need to surround Rodgers with more weapons. Jimmy Graham has been disappointed and Fant would be a steal this late. Fant can operate out of the slot for the Packers, but he is a capable blocker who can play in line too.