Draft Day is finally upon us. It’s been a long road, especially for us Jets fans, but it’s bittersweet that it’s coming to an end. After doing a few different versions over the last few months I thought it would be best to finish it how it started, full first round, no trades allowed. Trades are impossible to predict and because the draft is hard to predict as well, there’s no need to make it more difficult.
In the past what I have done was do a mixture of what I would do and what I thought would happen but not this time around. There are so many different rumors out there around the league so this is my chance to distinguish what I think is real and what is fake. With that being said, this is what I think is going to happen and absolutely not what I would do for all 32 selections.
QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma (29th overall, QB1)
Even though the smoke connecting Murray and the Cardinals has lessened just a bit, all of the signs are pointing to this being the first pick in the draft. It has been talked about too much and the front office and coaches haven’t hyped up Rosen enough in my mind to pick anyone else. They didn’t even include Rosen in their hype video for the schedule release, which tells me a lot. The Cardinals should not have too much difficulty moving him in a trade this weekend once it’s official.
2. San Francisco 49ers
EDGE Nick Bosa, Ohio State (2nd overall, EDGE1)
Nick Bosa doesn’t seem to be the consensus top player on boards anymore, splitting with Quinnen Williams in most cases. However, the Niners still need this position rather than taking another interior lineman to join three other first rounders. They have already traded for Dee Ford meaning they just need one more guy and Bosa would fit in perfectly. He can play in the wide nine, or any other spot on the line really and become a force right away. With this decision really down to two players, they go towards more towards need but it’s 1000% possible he’s the top guy on their board.
3. New York Jets
IDL Quinnen Williams, Alabama (1st overall, IDL1)
A Seven Round Mock was released earlier this week where you voted in Josh Allen for this pick, but now it’s my turn to vote. While Allen would fill a more pressing need, you turn away a talent like Quinnen Williams. History has shown that when Mac has an early pick, he goes top player on his board (Williams in ‘15, Adams in ‘17, Darnold in ‘18), so it’s hard to see his ways changing here. They will have to figure out alignments that work best with the personnel they would have but considering what can Quinnen provide, it shouldn’t be that difficult. Another reason for this is because the teams first big goal is to dethrone the Patriots for the division title, the way to do that is defeating Tom Brady. The way to do that is to get in his face and it’s hard to do that even with an elite edge rusher due to how quickly he gets rid of the ball. Williams has a shorter path to the quarterback and against the Pats, a couple milliseconds can be the difference between a sack and a touchdown. Don’t over think the decision.
4. Oakland Raiders
LB Devin White, LSU (8th overall, LB1)
For the past few weeks, it seems that the Raiders are between Quinnen Williams and Devin White, pretty much ignoring the edge position. That’s the part that surprises me considering they only had 13 sacks last season but here they are getting the wish. White is an outstanding prospect that should only get better with more time at the position. His elite athleticism and traits will make him one of the more exciting players at the position in the entire league. White is pretty similar to Roquan Smith from last year’s draft who ended up going 8th last year, so this should not be a surprise to anyone if they saw how Smith played last year.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
EDGE Josh Allen, Kentucky (5th overall, EDGE3)
Worst case scenario for the Bucs. They seem to be in the same boat hoping for Williams or White to fall but that doesn’t happen here. The edge position is still a big need for them, especially now moving to a different defense under Todd Bowles. The former Jets Head Coach will finally get the edge rusher he’s wanted over the last four seasons in New York. Allen will fit seamlessly into their 3-4 defense as an outside backer. He can get after the quarterback with a bunch of moves and also has more than enough ability to play in space when needed. Going against the run will be a bigger issue but Bowles will be able to live with it until Allen improves that like he did with his pass rushing last year.
6. New York Giants
QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State (42nd overall, QB2)
To pick a quarterback or not to pick a quarterback, that is the question. A lot of non-Giants fans are having fun with the fact the Daniel Jones has been connected here but you won’t fool this guy (at least with this). Taking a quarterback in general still isn’t a guarantee but hearing that they’ve done more work on Haskins than any other team has to mean something. They could wait another year but what if the team plays better than expected and don’t have a high enough pick for one of next year’s crop? Haskins won’t be rushed, by the team, to play right away. He’s a one year starter that still needs to learn the game and sitting behind a potential (whether we like it or not) Hall of Fame Quarterback isn’t the worst way to start off his career.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
OT Jawaan Taylor, Florida (4th overall, OT1)
The Jaguars are sitting in a good spot here at seven. They don’t necessarily NEED any of the top guys to fall and they still have a pretty good roster to get back in contention next season. The offense could use some work though, enter Jawaan Taylor. It’s possible to see this be an Iowa tight end or maybe DK Metcalf but the feeling is Coughlin will want to build up that front to get more physical, while also protecting their investment. Taylor will slide in at the right tackle position, forming a formidable tackle duo with former second rounder and third year player, Cam Robinson.
8. Detroit Lions
TE TJ Hockenson, Iowa (6th overall, TE1)
Bob Quinn, the Lions General Manager, comes from the New England pipeline, just as Matt Patricia does and it’s possible they want to build the offense the way New England did with Rob Gronkowski. Granted, you can never expect anyone to become a Gronk, but Hock has the shortened last name and the tools to become the next great tight end in the league. He’s a fantastic blocker and a solid receiving threat to boot. He uses his size and length to his advantage and combining it with his athleticism, you can see a star in the making. Giving Stafford a target in the middle of the field will be vital especially to open up the field for Golladay and Jones down the field.
9. Buffalo Bills
IDL Ed Oliver, Houston (7th overall, IDL2)
It was difficult not putting Jonah Williams here but the front office has done a decent job putting money into the offensive line, even if we already know how the Spencer Long experiment is going to pan out for them. So let’s go best available at a position of need for them. Oliver has the traits to get decision makers very excited about his potential and in a perfect world, he would go to a team where he can go in a four man front, which just so happens to be what Buffalo runs. Sean McDermott will have some fun moving him all around the defensive line utilizing his elite athleticism while also hoping he frees up space for last year’s first round pick, Tremaine Edmunds. This defensive could have some freaks if both hit their ceilings.
10. Denver Broncos
QB Drew Lock, Missouri (64th overall, QB3)
Broncos rumors are a little wild where we can see an abundance of things happening. After the trade for Joe Flacco, myself and many others assumed that Elway would be done trying to get his young quarterback for the time being but here they still take that guy in Drew Lock. He’ll have some mechanics to work on but with Flacco in the fold, they won’t need to rush him and could allow him to learn the game a little more, just like the situation Haskins could be going into. But also just like that one, the leash on the initial starter could be pretty short.
11. Cincinnati Bengals
LB Devin Bush, Michigan (13th overall, LB2)
This may be the first time covering the draft so closely that I have mocked the same position to the same team the entire offseason. From day one it was Devin White for weeks and then ended the last few weeks with Devin Bush as the name connected to Cincy. Not much else I can say that hasn’t already been said in these mock drafts. The defense needs some young blood in there with athleticism and that’s exactly what Bush will bring. Bush will immediately be a leader on that defense to bring the defense into this era of teams having young, athletic linebackers.
12. Green Bay Packers
WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma (47th overall, WR8)
The first absolutely crazy selection in this mock goes to the Packers. As you can see, this would be a massive reach on my board, but to be clear, Brown would probably be 10 spots higher if not for the lisfranc injury and another 10 spots higher than that if he weighed 180 instead of 166 pounds. He’s short and small and has also dealt with injuries, which doesn’t happen to be the greatest mixture when it comes to receivers. However, there is noise out there that Brown can still be the first receiver off the board and the Packers are the first team that could legitimately take one. If healthy, Rodgers to Brown could be extremely fun to watch for the next few seasons.
13. Miami Dolphins
OL Jonah Williams, Alabama (9th overall, OT2)
Almost gave Williams away to another AFC East rival but nope, he falls to 13 where Miami can snatch him up. Williams will be a great value wherever they want to play him next season. He could realistically play any of the 5 offensive line positions and be a pro bowl caliber player relatively early on. The team is in rebuild mode and don’t seem all that likely to take a quarterback in this draft and plan to go into the year with Fitzmagic under center. So why not try to get the offensive line ready for when you do want to get your quarterback of the future in 2020 and not have no names like the Cardinals did for Rosen last year.
14. Atlanta Falcons
DL Rashan Gary, Michigan (30th overall, IDL4)
While this is a reach on my board, he would definitely be ranked higher up if I was making a board for the Falcons. He reminds me of a more athletic Michael Bennett but just not as refined. The versatility though would be huge for Dan Quinn. He could try to bulk him up and play inside next to Grady Jarrett for the next four, five seasons or hope he turns into the outside rusher that they had hoped Vic Beasley would become. Either way, this pick would excite me as a Falcons fan knowing that they have options with Gary.
15. Washington Redskins
EDGE Montez Sweat, Mississippi State (20th overall, EDGE5)
This is not a crazy fall but Sweat takes a tiny tumble after getting top ten talk ever since his historic combine. A 4.41 40 is amazing but that’s not makes an edge rusher amazing. The reason for him going 15th is because more of his heart issue than anything else. He was cleared for action for the Senior Bowl and combine but it could potentially be a long term issue that teams may not want to take a risk on. Dan Snyder has been known to take a risk or two in his time so this seems like a solid projection all around.
16. Carolina Panthers
OT Andre Dillard, Washington State (28th overall, OT4)
There are a few different possibilities being thrown around for the Panthers but it just comes down to the offensive line and how what positions they want to patch up. They are good at center and right guard and just spent some money to re-sign Daryl Williams, but the left side of the line is not good. In comes Andre Dillard and he would be a nice piece to fit into the puzzle, mainly because of his pass blocking pedigree. Arguably the best one in the class and this could help Cam get the final years of his career to be productive years rather than spent on the bench due to injuries.
17. New York Giants (from Cleveland)
WR DK Metcalf, Ole Miss (16th overall, WR2)
Traded one superstar receiver to get this pick, just to take one that has that same potential. While they have they same potential, they are nothing alike as receivers other than the fact that they can make unreal catches and are very fast. Their main receivers are both better fits as slot receivers so they can take Metcalf and immediately make him their X receiver. He’s a big, strong, athletic receiver that can take the top off the defense and won’t have problems bringing in contested balls down the field or within 15 yards of the line of scrimmage. He would be an incredibly helpful piece for Haskins to grow with and could possibly be the start of a dynamic duo.
18. Minnesota Vikings
OL Cody Ford, Oklahoma (17th overall, OT3/IOL2)
The Vikings are another team that needs to work on the offensive line. They were serious Super Bowl contenders going into the season last year but the poor play of the line had a huge say in them not making the playoffs at all, even with the upgrade at quarterback. Cody Ford could come in and play either guard position or the right tackle spot, even though they just drafted Brian O’Neil to play there last year. Considering you got some strong, physical defensive lines to go against in the division with names like Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, Mike Daniels, Trey Flowers, just to name a few. Offensive line has to be a must for the Vikings in round one.
19. Tennessee Titans
EDGE Brian Burns, Florida State (3rd overall, EDGE2)
The first draft crush of mine for the 2019 NFL Draft was Brian Burns all the way back in August. He did nothing to disappoint in 2018 to make me feel any other way so it hurts to drop him this far in the mock draft even I view him as a much better player than this. His added weight to get to 250 should only help his cause but teams still may be curious to see how he plays in an actual game at that weight rather than running around in shorts at the combine. They drafted Harold Landry last year and did just sign Cameron Wake last month but adding a player like Burns to join that rotation could be something special until the two youngsters take over for good.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
CB Greedy Williams, LSU (23th overall, CB3)
The Steelers continue to try but keep failing at the cornerback position. They need to get their former first round pick, Artie Burns, off the field and they can do that by taking one of the top corners in this class. Greedy entered the year as a consensus top 10 player for the draft but after a down year, he has taken a bit of a fall. He’s still solid in coverage who just has a couple concerns with technique that could be easy fixes. It’s his size and speed that makes him the first DB off the board.
21. Seattle Seahawks
S Jonathan Abram, Mississippi State (31st overall, S2)
It took a little longer than most to do a deep dive on Abram and it’s disappointing that it did. Abram is a very fun player to watch play to play knowing he can take your head off at any second. He isn’t a replacement because he’s more of a box safety than deep but it isn’t laughable to put him back there from time to time. Has fluid enough hips to turn and run but it’s his physicality that’s his calling card. Rather than be the next Earl, he’ll be closer to the next Kam.
22. Baltimore Ravens
C Garrett Bradbury, NC State (12th overall, IOL1)
This is newer in terms of connections but his name has been mentioned here quite a bit. They lost Ryan Jensen in free agency last off season and never really replaced him. With Lamar at quarterback he can get away from almost any defender but if he’s going to develop as a passer, he’s going to need a cleaner pocket. Bradbury is great in both facets of offense and especially fits a zone blocking scheme, which Baltimore runs. This is one of the biggest steals of round one in my mind.
23. Houston Texans
TE Noah Fant, Iowa (10th overall, TE2)
If there was one team to bet on trading, it would be Houston. The state of their offensive line is an embarrassment and in this scenario it’s impossible to upgrade without it being a huge reach. So while understanding this won’t happen, let’s give Watson some much needed help. Houston gets great value here while upgrading a position that has been lackluster to say the least. Fant can be a Jimmy Graham type of receiver but a much better blocker, although that isn’t saying much. If they cannot upgrade the line, they have to get a weapon to help him to get rid of the ball quicker.
24. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago)
HB Joshua Jacobs, Alabama (25th overall, HB2)
This has become one of the more mocked picks in all of round one, meaning it likely won’t happen. Despite that, this is still the selection a day after Marshawn Lynch announced his retirement. Jacobs won’t have the stats of a typical round one running back but he has the traits that make him easy to root for. Adding Jacobs to the offense with Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams give Jon Gruden some toys to play around with in his second season.
25. Philadelphia Eagles
EDGE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson (18th overall, EDGE4)
Ferrell is a very good player that plays a premium position but for some reason doesn’t get the love others are getting despite embarrassing arguably the top tackle in the class in the National Championship Game. Eagles traded away Michael Bennett and still have Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett long term, but Howie Roseman has put a premium at edge rusher in the past making me think he won’t pass on this value. He’ll join a great rotation on the defensive line who could take over sooner than later.
26. Indianapolis Colts
IDL Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State (Not Ranked due to off-field)
I am one for second chances, however excuse me for being a little more suspect of someone who’s trying to get an NFL deal where he’ll get millions of dollars guaranteed. As a player many believe he is a top 10 player but because of a recently torn ACL and the whole hitting a woman thing, he will fall down boards. The Colts had a dynamite draft last year and could afford to take this chance here, especially while also holding the 34th overall pick to get more immediate help there. While I’m cautious on taking Simmons, the Colts May be the team to do so.
27. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas)
CB Justin Layne, Michigan State (22nd overall, CB2)
Justin Layne is a corner that gets love but rarely first round love. He is a newbie to the position but already looks like he’s been doing it for years, meaning his ceiling could be higher than most corners in this class. His size and technique in space, for being newer, are special and the ball skills he brings as a former receiver show up consistently on film. He understands the game on both sides of the ball which will only help his development. Given it’s a new era in Oakland, they may be able to take this chance on potential.
28. Los Angeles Chargers
CB Lonnie Johnson, Kentucky (4th round grade)
If there is one pick to hope that doesn’t happen it might be this one. Lonnie Johnson is a prime example of traits over film. He is a big, long corner that tested tremendously during the combine but the tape on him shows that he should be a much later pick than this. As against this as many are, it’s hard to ignore that there is usually a pick like this at least once a year so it had to get thrown in here. Los Angeles should go more pro ready with the roster they currently have with someone like Byron Murphy or interior defensive line with Jerry Tillery or Dexter Lawrence but they decide to go with upside with Johnson.
29. Seattle Seahawks (from Kansas City)
CB Byron Murphy, Washington (11th overall, CB1)
Third cornerback in a row taken and this one is the best value. Murphy will concern some with his smaller size and not elite testing but when you go through film and even watch his position drills at the combine he is the best guy out there. Murphy may fit more of a zone scheme but could play in a diverse scheme in my mind. Seattle could easily look to trade out of this pick with someone who wants to take Daniel Jones but if they stay here, they rebuild the new Legion of Boom with studs like Abram and Murphy in the secondary.
30. Green Bay Packers
OL Dalton Risner, Kansas State (34th overall, OT5/IOL4)
The Packers are sitting pretty at 30. They’ve already had one pick and could trade down to get some more picks in a pretty deep draft to get Rodgers as much immediate help to get one more Super Bowl run but in a mock draft with no trades, they get someone that could help immediately at four of the five offensive line positions. If drafted by Green Bay, he would likely need to start off at guard but he is more than capable of playing there and at a high level too. Packer Nation should be ecstatic with this selection.
31. Los Angeles Rams
IDL Christian Wilkins, Clemson (19th overall, IDL3)
The Rams obviously just lost in the Super Bowl a few months ago so they have a pretty good roster, to say the least. Not having many needs, it’s tough to find the right player but Wilkins may be just that. The team loved having the depth at interior line last year with Donald, Brockers and Suh but with Suh gone they can replace him with a younger version. Wilkins is the ultimate team player who will do what he needs to do in whatever role they give him. It’s likely he doesn’t last this long but if he does, Wade Phillips will love the new toy given to him.
32. New England Patriots
WR AJ Brown, Ole Miss (39th overall, WR6)
This just would not be fair to see. AJ Brown is seen as the top receiver on many boards and while he is out of my top five, I still really like him and understand that being wrong is a possibility and if this is his destination it’s more of a certainty than anything else. Brown can play inside or out with no issues. He’ll be a favorite for Brady early with his good route running and elite hands. This biggest issue would probably be how big of a difference his route tree will be between here and Ole Miss. If he can learn the playbook, we’re all going to need to look out.