We are now just six days out from the NFL Draft and the excitement is beginning to amp up for NFL fans.
With the future of their respective franchises on the line, what will we see some teams do? The Draft is where teams, for better or worse, get awfully creative in attempts to set their team up for long-term success.
Based on my amateur analysis and what I have been reading, I have comprised this mock draft based on what I truly believe will happen (not necessarily what I would do as a General Manager). This mock draft, however, will not include trades. I will save my mock draft with trades for our next 3rd & Wrong episode which will air on Monday.
Without further ado, the Arizona Cardinals are now on the clock…
1. Arizona Cardinals
The Pick: Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama
After months of speculation of whether the Cardinals will draft Kyler Murray, their smokescreen reveals that the Cardinals wanted Williams all along. I still do not understand why teams with the no. 1 overall pick do this, but here we are.
Quinnen Williams is arguably the best player in the Draft, and the Cardinals make no mistake in bolstering their defence.
After starting a single season, Williams was dominant at the line of scrimmage, and is only 21 years old! His quickness allows him to burst from the line and disrupt the offensive line en route to getting to the QB.
There is still a boatload of potential to be developed with Williams which makes this a solid pick.
2. San Francisco 49ers
The Pick: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
Nick Bosa was touted as the best player in this Draft class for a very long time. With his injury that he suffered in Week 3 of the NCAA Football season, Bosa was bound to fall down the draft board, even if it was just a tiny bit.
With Bosa, you know what you’re getting – steady production. He is as close to a “can’t miss” prospect as you can get. In just three games in 2018, Bosa had six tackles for loss, four sacks, and a forced fumble.
For the 49ers, this is a no-brainer pick. They have been inconsistent getting to the quarterback in recent years, and have missed on multiple first round picks. They acquired Dee Ford in Free Agency from the Kansas City Chiefs, but if they can pair him up with Bosa, they will easily have one of the best defensive lines in the NFL.
3. New York Jets
The Pick: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
Although the Jets have said they would like to trade back, if they cannot find a trade partner, this will be their pick. The Jets have bolstered their entire team this offseason, having acquired C.J. Mosely, Le’Veon Bell, Jamison Crowder, and the list goes on.
The Jets made a push for Minnesota Vikings LB Anthony Barr, where it was rumoured they were going to switch him to more of an edge rusher from an off the ball linebacker. Josh Allen is exactly the player to fill that need if they still want to.
Watching Josh Allen at the NFL Combine, I was wholly impressed with his athleticism. He can beat you on the edge with his burst, but I also think he’d excel as an off the ball linebacker in some packages.
As an all-around player, Josh Allen is one of my favourites, and the Patriots’ rival gets him at 3rd overall.
4. Oakland Raiders
The Pick: Devin White, LB, LSU
Although they missed out on the defensive lineman and EDGE defenders in the class, the Raiders pick themselves the best linebacker in the class in Devin White.
This pick has been heavily mocked to the Raiders, and it’s no wonder why. They have been hurting at linebacker for years. Although they added Vontaze Burfict and Brandon Marshall, linebacker is still a need. I really like Brandon Marshall, but Burfict is not a long-term solution.
With Devin White, the Raiders are getting a great leader in the locker room, and a linebacker who can do it all. Against the pass, White is able to go sideline to sideline in a hurry. He has a knack for spotting the run and shutting it down.
With this draft pick, head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock can turn what’s been a weakness on this team for years into a massive strength.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Pick: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
From everything I’ve heard (on podcasts – not my “sources”) and read, the Bucs desperately wanted LB Devin White. After missing out on their guy, I think we see the Draft’s first reach as Devin Bush comes off the board.
After losing young stud Kwon Alexander in Free Agency to the San Francisco 49ers, the Bucs have a hole on the middle of the defence. Bush reminds me of Kwon Alexander in that they have similar skill sets.
Bush impressed me at the NFL Combine with his speed in open space, and it’s no different on tape. Although he’s a little smaller, he has the ability to cover and defend the run that teams desperately look for in today’s NFL.
6. New York Giants
The Pick: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Eli Manning is no spring chicken, and Dave Gettleman and Co. know that, so they end the theatrics here by taking their QB of the future. The Giants came out and told the media they were considering giving Manning a contract extension earlier in the offseason.
All that talk gets put to bed though as Kyler Murray is arguably the best quarterback in the Draft that we have seen since Michael Vick.
Murray was once considered a future baseball stud, but after his Heisman worthy performance at OU, he has cemented himself as the best QB in this class.
With a young star in Saquon Barkley, the Giants adding Murray would be a scary duo. Don’t be foolish, Gettleman, draft Murray and see where these young players can take the Giants in a hit-and-miss NFC East.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Pick: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
This may come as a surprise to some, but the Jags add to their tight end room with the best in the class.
With newly acquired QB Nick Foles, the Jags need to surround him with weapons, while also maintaining the ass-kicking culture they have been striving for. Adding Hockenson allows them to do both.
T.J. Hockenson started making waves in draft circles as people began to look beyond fellow teammate tight end Noah Fant. Hockenson is the more complete tight end who can contribute massively in the run game with his blocking.
When it comes to the passing game, Hockenson can contribute there too. In 2018 he had 760 yards receiving on 49 receptions with 6 touchdowns. That is while competing for reps with Noah Fant.
Geoff Swaim isn’t doing it as the primary tight end in Jacksonville, Hockenson is their guy.
8. Detroit Lions
The Pick: Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan
Although the Detroit Lions have come out and said they’d like to trade down, I think Rashan Gary will be their pick if they stand pat.
Rashan Gary is a polarizing prospect who can do it all with his versatility. His bust-potential, however, is also quite high.
Matt Patricia needs versatility in his defence; that is why they broke the bank for Trey Flowers. Like Flowers, Rashan Gary can play all over the defensive line and is good doing so.
The downfall with Gary is that he never truly developed under John Harbaugh’s defence.
If Matt Patricia can develop him into his full potential, that will be a scary duo along the defensive line.
9. Buffalo Bills
The Pick: Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama
The Buffalo Bills can go a multitude of directions with this pick. Personally, I think they should trade down and still snag a solid player. With this pick, however, I have them taking the sure-thing with the best offensive lineman in the class.
Williams was an offensive tackle for the Crimson Tide, but many scouts and evaluators have him better served as an interior lineman (guard or centre).
Although he lacks the ideal arm length of an NFL OT, he was still dominant at the college level. I personally think arm length is a little overrated, especially when a guy like Williams showed he was more than capable of blocking for Alabama QBs Tua Tagovailoa and Jalen Hurts.
Even after their Free Agency spending spree that included signing multiple O-linemen, the Bills still need to sure up the Guard position to protect QB Josh Allen.
10. Denver Broncos
The Pick: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
With both of the top 2 linebackers off the board, John Elway has to go QB and draft, Dwayne Haskins. This is a solid consolation prize for a team that needs to begin thinking of who their next QB will be.
As a one year starter, Haskins needs time to develop. Lucky for him, Joe Flacco will make a great stop-gap guy who will lead the way for Haskins as he makes his transition into the NFL.
Dwayne Haskins is arguably the best passer in the Draft. He did have some polarizing playmakers to help him out at OSU, but that shouldn’t take away from his ability to lead the team to a 13-1 record.
Haskins dropped a casual 400 yards passing on the vaunted Michigan defence. That should not be overlooked. He was a little slow at the Combine, but he was the best passer in a mix of good, not great, quarterback prospects.
11. Cincinnati Bengals
The Pick: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
Though I would love to see the Bengals go QB here and move on from Andy Dalton, they are such a wild card that I could see them building around Dalton. With that in mind, I have them taking Jawaan Taylor of Florida.
Taylor is in debate for the best offensive lineman in this class. He played right tackle, and he played it very well. His mix of size and quickness is what allows him to be so dominant on the outside.
Cincinnati surprised people with their solid pick of Billy Price in the 2018 Draft. Though he is a solid interior lineman, right tackle is a position of need for the Bengals. They could go any direction with this pick, but here they sure up the offensive line for a battered and bruised Andy Dalton.
12. Green Bay Packers
The Pick: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
With TJ Hockenson off the board, the Packers don’t risk losing their guy as they take the 2nd best TE in this class. “But Austyn, they signed Jimmy Graham!!” Yes, they did, and did you watch him last year?
As interesting as it is, the Iowa teammates were both dominant at the college level, and they did nothing but improve their stocks at the NFL Combine. Fant ran an incredible 4.5 40-yard dash at 6’4″ 250lbs. That’s not fair.
Fant can improve in the running game, but as a receiver, he will be one of Aaron Rodgers’ favourite targets straight out of the gate.
13. Miami Dolphins
The Pick: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
New head coach Brian Flores need not overthink this selection. I am sure they didn’t expect Sweat to fall this low, but here he is.
Sweat really began making a name for himself during the Reese’s Senior Bowl. He was simply phenomenal up against the Draft’s top prospects. From there, he went and torched the Combine and the rest is history – he cemented himself as a top prospect.
He was dominant with his ability to drive the offensive tackles back bends around the edge. At 6’6″ 260lbs., he has the length to get his hands on the O-line and create separation.
With a defensive-minded head coach, the Dolphins beef up that defensive line with a solid prospect who has star potential.
14. Atlanta Falcons
The Pick: Ed Oliver, DL, Houston
This surprised me as I was creating this mock draft. Ed Oliver is one of the better defensive linemen prospects, but there are concerns about his size.
With the Falcons, who underperformed greatly last season, Oliver will be paired alongside Grady Jarrett who is a young star in his own right. That pairing will be
At only 6’2″ 285lbs., Oliver is currently undersized as a defensive tackle, but didn’t play linebacker, which has caused him to fall down many draft boards as teams cannot project where to play him. This leaves him open season for the Falcons to snatch up.
Whether Oliver puts on some weight and plays defensive tackle or sheds some weight and plays linebacker, he has the athleticism to do so, and succeed, at the NFL level.
15. Washington Redskins
The Pick: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
The Redskins are back in good shape as Drew Lock falls in their laps at 15 overall. After acquiring Case Keenum, the Redskins are not done adding to the quarterback room.
With the heart-breaking loss of Alex Smith last season, the Redskins watched their playoff hopes dwindle in the hands of practice squad quarterbacks. Case Keenum is slightly better.
Thus, the Redskins take a guy who can lead the team, similarly to Alex Smith before his injury, with the upside of being much more talented than Alex Smith.
At worse? Drew Lock is still better than Case Keenum.
16. Carolina Panthers
The Pick: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
The Panthers could go either with an offensive lineman, a defensive lineman or secondary here. I predict they pair Donte Jackson with his former LSU teammate Greedy Williams.
Greedy Williams, from his name to his build, is your prototypical cornerback. At 6’2″ 185lbs., he has the size and length to line up with the NFL’s best receivers as a real press corner.
He lives up to his name as he was one of the more daunting cornerbacks to throw to. By 2018, teams stopped throwing his way as much, but he still had two interceptions and nine pass breakups (PBUs).
Taking Greedy Williams will solidify the secondary and allow the Panthers to go toe to toe with the NFL’s best passing attacks.
17. New York Giants
The Pick: Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
The Giants allow themselves to recover from the loss of Olivier Vernon by selecting Brian Burns. Burns had weight concerns at the Senior Bowl, but those concerns were put to bed when he put on a whopping 21 pounds before the Combine.
Burns can double as a pass-rusher and an off the ball linebacker if put in the right system. During his time at Florida State, Burns had 7 passes defended, which isn’t terrible for an edge rusher.
In 2018 alone, Burns put together 15.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. For the Giants, this is a no-brainer pick when they have to make up for the loss of talent that occurred this offseason.
18. Minnesota Vikings
The Pick: Cody Ford, OG, Oklahoma
This has been a favourite mock selection for those in Draft circles.
It’s no secret that the Vikings did not reach expectations after giving Kirk Cousins a boatload of guaranteed money.
Part of that reason was that they lacked consistency along the O-line. Kirk Cousins got sacked 40 times in 2018. For a guy who the Vikings are paying a bunch of money to win them a Super Bowl, they need a guy like Ford to protect him.
Ford can do it all. He played guard in the NCAA, but he said that he would be comfortable playing tackle as well.
Regardless of where he plays, the Oklahoma product would be a welcomed addition to the Vikings who are looking to take the next leap in 2019.
19. Tennessee Titans
The Pick: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
In my Titans article, I mentioned that they should go tight-end in the first round. Given that both Fant and Hock are taken, they get the next best thing in A.J. Brown.
This is a surprise pick because the Titans have been rumoured to be going defence in the 1st round. Given that there are no surefire defenders that I would go for in this spot, they should take the top WR of this class while they can.
Brown posted 85 receptions for 1320 yards and 6 touchdowns. He has the speed and ability to break any play big.
They just signed Adam Humphries to put in the slot, while already having Corey Davis. If they can get Brown, they will have a solid lineup of wide receivers for Marcus Mariota and this Titans offence.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pick: Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple
The Steelers defence in 2018 was not terrible. But their cornerbacks is where they have a glaring need. They can address that need with one of the toughest players in this draft.
Rock Ya-Sin is the epitome of “Temple Tough”. A two-time state champion wrestler, Ya-Sin transferred to Temple for his senior season (2018) where he excelled. He had 47 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, and 2 interceptions to go along with 12 passes defended.
While he only has one year of experience against better collegiate talent, he possesses the tools necessary to make an impact in the NFL.
21. Seattle Seahawks
The Pick: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
The run on cornerbacks continues as the Seahawks take one of the remaining first-round cornerback talents in the draft.
Byron Murphy had a great combine. He really caught my eye in his ability to attack the football with his quickness. Whether he is defending the pass or the run, Murphy has the instincts you’d want from a CB to defend against it.
Seattle continues retooling that defence with the recent departures of Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman with a solid young corner.
22. Baltimore Ravens
The Pick: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
The Ravens need to address wide receiver in the Draft, and they do just that by taking a big target for Lamar Jackson to throw to.
N’Keal Harry is a big, solid wide receiver who can win contested catches. With Lamar Jackson struggling with accuracy, he needs a guy who can come down with those 50/50 balls. Moreover, Harry contributes greatly to the run game with his blocking capabilities.
The Ravens will benefit greatly in both the passing and running games with the acquisition of Harry at 22.
23. Houston Texans
The Pick: Garrett Bradbury, OL, NC State
The Texans need a lot of help along the offensive line, and they get just that by acquiring Garrett Bradbury.
One of the NFL Combine standouts, Bradbury hit the ground running with his 34 bench press reps. He killed the 3-cone drill with a 7.41 second time. To top it off, he was easily one of the better linemen in drills.
His background as a tight-end has clearly contributed to his athleticism. He can play anywhere on the interior of the offensive line. Deshaun Watson has been getting dummied in the backfield for his short career, and the Texans need to invest along the offensive line.
Bradbury’s agility and athleticism will make him a solid NFL starter for a team that desperately needs it.
24. Oakland Raiders
The Pick: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
To continue this rebuild, Mike Mayock snags the top running back in the draft in Josh Jacobs.
A do-it-all kind of running back, Jacobs was a contributor on offence and special teams. Averaging an astounding 30.6 yards per return. Throughout his time at Alabama, Sports Reference has him averaging a cool 5.9 yards per carry. He can also contribute in the passing game, where he put up 48 receptions for 571 yards and 5 TDs over his time at Alabama.
Jacobs will be a solid addition for a team that just lost Marshawn Lynch, and never really had anyone beyond that.
25. Philadelphia Eagles
The Pick: Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson
Although I could see the Eagles going running back here, I think their recent acquisition of Jordan Howard will allow them more flexibility to address CB.
The Eagles seem to annually battle injuries to the secondary that leads to them using practice squad players. Why not take a guy like Trayvon Mullen who had other teams avoiding his side of the field.
They have a very young core of good cornerbacks but injuries cause them to take the reigning Defensive MVP of the National Championship game.
26. Indianapolis Colts
The Pick: Jeffery Simmons, DL, Mississippi State
The Colts beef up their defensive line in a massive way with the addition of Jeffery Simmons. This is a pick that NFL Scout, Matt Miller has nearly locked in as general manager Chris Ballard’s selection.
Simmons is a big-bodied defensive lineman who can clog up the middle of the line, but also apply pressure to opposing offences. In 2018, he had 17(!!) tackles for a loss and two sacks.
His draft stock fell as a video surfaced of him punching a woman in what was reported as an attempt to protect a relative. During his time at Mississippi State, however, he had a clean record and everyone around him spoke graciously of him as he avoided trouble in his time there.
Simmons also tore his ACL in training for the Draft. He looks to bounce back with a clean slate as the Colts put their faith in him at 26.
27. Oakland Raiders
The Pick: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
Finally, the Clemson edge rusher comes off the board. Ferrell began the Draft processes as one of the top edge defenders but has since fallen due to other players rising (see Montez Sweat).
Ferrell was absolutely astounding in his Junior season, having racked up 19.5 tackles for a loss, 11.5 sacks, 4 pass break-ups, and three forced fumbles.
His production speaks for itself. The speed and athleticism at which Ferrell plays with are impressive.
A slight knock against Ferrell is that the entire Clemson D-line was talented beyond measure and that Ferrell benefited because of it.
If the Raiders come away with a haul of Devin White, Josh Jacobs, and Clelin Ferrell, we might have to start considering Jon Gruden actually smart.
28. Los Angeles Chargers
The Pick: Dre’Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State
The Chargers are one of the harder teams to predict for because they are so well rounded on the whole.
Enter Dre’Mont Jones on the defensive line In the AFC Divisional Round game, the Patriots ran all over the Chargers. They need someone who can push the pile on the interior of the defensive line.
Jones had a modest 13 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, one interception, three fumble recoveries in 2018.
As they already have a solid defence, if the Chargers can develop Jones get close to that level of production in the NFL, they will be playing with house money.
29. Kansas City Chiefs
The Pick: Dalton Risner, OG, Kansas State
With their guy Garrett Bradbury off the board, the Chiefs have to alter their plans at OL and snag Dalton Risner while they can.
Having Patrick Mahomes at the helm, the Chiefs know they must protect him at all costs. Why not grab the monstrous 6’5″ 315lb. lineman out of Kansas State.
Risner has experience at both right tackle and centre. In KC, Risner will slot into the centre.
If the Chiefs stand pat at 29, Risner is their guy.
30. Green Bay Packers
The Pick: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
After snagging Noah Fant to succeed Jimmy Graham, the Packers continue adding weapons by drafting the hyped up receiver out of Ole Miss.
D.K. Metcalf set the internet ablaze when he ran a 4.33 40-yard dash at 6’3″ 230lbs. There is no denying he is quite the physical specimen. In Ole Miss, he posted 67 receptions for 1228 yards and 14 touchdowns over 3 seasons.
His size and speed are simply unprecedented. What is cause for concern, however, is his lack of agility (low 3-cone drill time) and his injury history. Metcalf would be considered a top 10 prospect if not for a broken neck that he suffered in 2018.
If he remains healthy, however, the Rodgers-Metcalf connection will be a scary sight for opposing NFL fans for years to come.
31. Los Angeles Rams
The Pick: Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware
The Los Angeles Rams have been one of the more aggressive teams in Free Agency as of late, so they do not have many glaring holes. One need, however, would be safety.
This is where they acquire one of the top safeties in the class in Nasir Adderley. Adderley is an experienced safety who can do it all. He has experience at corner and at safety which could prove beneficial with Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib set to become free agents next season.
With a team lacking depth at safety now, the Rams are a perfect fit for Adderley.
32. New England Patriots
The Pick: Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson
The Patriots love versatile players. There are not many more versatile players than defensive lineman Christian Wilkins. He has the ability to play all across the line, and the burst to make blocking him a challenge.
There appear to be mixed feelings on the Clemson product, so whether he will be at 32 come draft day remains to be seen. As of now, it appears that enough teams have been low on the Clemson defensive line in general that those players will take a fall down draft boards.
To go along with his steady-Eddie production, Wilkins was a leader in the locker room for the National Champion Clemson Tigers. The Patriots get a high character, high production guy at 32 to help soften the blow of the loss of Trey Flowers.
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