Pre-Combine NFL Mock Draft
The 2019 NFL Draft is over 50 days away but the speculation on how the first round will go is in full swing. I have been waiting my whole football career to be in the position to do a first-round NFL Mock Draft and with so much intrigue, especially amongst the top 10 picks, this is one of the pieces I have been most excited to present as part of our NFL365 package. Without further ado, this is my Version-One, Pre-Combine NFL Mock Draft.
First Round NFL Mock Draft
- Arizona Cardinals – Kyler Murray, Quarterback, Oklahoma
The Cardinals can pay whatever lip service they want to keep Josh Rosen in the fold but Kliff Kingsbury knows that Kyler is simply a better quarterback. He measured 5’10 and 207 pounds at the NFL Combine, a surprising size considering how much hand-wringing has been done over his slight build. Kyler’s final season at Oklahoma University was better than Baker’s final season and was the best Adjusted Yards Per Attempt season any college QB has ever had.
2. San Francisco 49ers – Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
EDGE rushers make the world go ’round in the NFL and you will notice a plethora of them in this first round NFL Mock Draft. Bosa is the consensus top pass rusher in this draft class and the 49ers can use the help to replace Cassius Marsh opposite Arik Armstead. If there was a true WR1, I could see SF going that way but it seems unlikely.
3. New York Jets – Quinnen Williams, Defensive Tackle, Alabama
The Jets are one of the most talent-devoid rosters in the NFL so adding the most destructive interior pass-rusher in the class makes sense. The Rams blueprint of using Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh to disrupt opposing offenses through the middle of the line is a guiding light with this pick.
4. Oakland Raiders – T.J Hockenson, Tight End, Iowa
Hockenson’s tape has to be seen to be believed. He had a more productive college career than former Iowa teammate George Kittle and is like a third tackle in the running game. Jon Gruden needs dynamic playmakers to make Derek Carr look better and adding an extreme athlete who can block, run crisp routes and create after the catch solves that need.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Jawaan Taylor, Offensive Tackle, Florida
Taylor is the best tackle in this class and a consensus top-10 prospect for the entire draft class. Bruce Arians is a fan of the 7-step drop back and neither left tackle Leonard Wester nor right tackle Demar Dotson are good enough to warrant passing on a lineman who can stabilize the pocket for Jameis Winston right away.
6. New York Giants – Dwayne Haskins, Quarterback, Ohio State
The Giants need a quarterback. Dave Gettleman knows it, I know it, Evan Silva knows it, we all know it. Eli Manning just isn’t going to get it done. Assuming the Giants DON’T trade for Josh Rosen, they are almost forced to take Haskins here. Haskins had 9.1 adjusted yards per attempt in college and offers the Giants real hope for the future that they don’t have with Eli.
I was close to sending D.K Metcalf of N’Keal Harry to the Jaguars but without a stable solution at quarterback, it makes more sense for the Jaguars to try and re-fortify their defense in this 2019 NFL Mock Draft. Allen has tremendous bend coming around the EDGE and can even stand up off the line of scrimmage and drop back when need be. He is a perfect fit across from Calais Campbell.
8. Detroit Lions – N’Keal Harry, Wide Receiver, Arizona State
The Lions are not close enough to being good to worry about improving the defense over adding weapons for Matt Stafford. While D.K Metcalf has grabbed most of the headlines this offseason, Harry is a better player and complements Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones and Theo Riddick well. As a prototypical X-wide receiver, he will allow Golladay the freedom to be used in a free-roam, Julio Jones-esque role.
9. Buffalo Bills – Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan
For better or worse, the Bills are what they are on offense. Given Josh Allen (the quarterback) specific set of skills, the Bills can add pieces on offense in the later rounds who are deep threats or offensive weapons rather than finished and polished products. The Bills best pass rusher (Jerry Hughes) is 30 years old, so some fresh blood here with the quick-handed Gary.
10. Denver Broncos – Drew Lock, Quarterback, Missouri
John Elway is never going to stop searching until he finds the heir to Peyton Manning’s throne. Despite trading for Joe Flacco, there seems to be no reason to not try and add the next franchise QB to the roster. There has already been buzz out of Denver that Elway is high on Lock and given his prototypical size and arm strength, I do get the logic as to why Elway would make this pick even if I think it is a reach.
11. Cincinnati Bengals – Cody Ford, Offensive Lineman, Oklahoma
Despite having only one full year of starting at Oklahoma, Ford has scouts drooling. He is absolutely massive at 6’4, 345 pounds but has quick feet and hands that allow him to be a skillful pass blocker and vicious run blocker. If the Bengals don’t trade John Ross, they have all the playmakers they need on offense and simply need to give those players time to make plays.
12. Green Bay Packers – Noah Fant, Tight End, Iowa
Green Bay sucked on offense last year, which is surprising, given that they have, yanno, Aaron Rodgers. D.K Metcalf doesn’t fit the profile of a player that the Packers would take but Fant is interesting to me here. Jimmy Grahm is on a clear decline and Rodgers has to be sick of Green Bay’s cycle of bringing in aging tight ends and waiting for them to get hurt. In a championship window, the Packers should priortize offensive difference makers over defensive stalwarts.
13. Miami Dolphins – Ed Oliver, Defensive Tackle, Houston
The Dolphins are entering tank mode, so taking a running back or wide receiver who they will have to pay big money too while they suck doesn’t make a ton of sense. With Taylor and Ford off the board, shifting to the destructive Ed Oliver makes sense. He will be a long term asset who won’t have to play every snap of his first two seasons to learn the position at the NFL level and even put on weight if need be.
14. Atlanta Falcons – Greedy Williams, Cornerback, LSU
The Falcons have found themselves without a partner for Desmond Trufant and Williams can answer that concern. He is fantastic in man coverage and tracks the ball like a seasoned vet. He should be ready to start on day one for the Falcons who play in one of the pass-happiest divisions in football.
15. Washington Redskins – Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
Washington is another team in the first round of this NFL Mock Draft that finds themselves in such a hopeless spot that they should just be trying to add some value to their roster. They don’t really need a tackle as they already have Trent Williams so Brian Burns on the other side of the ball makes sense. He is a little small at 231 but Washington can afford to bring him on slowly.
16. Carolina Panthers – Jonah Williams, Offensive Tackle, Alabama
Not taking a player to make Cam Newton’s life easier would be a cardinal sin. The team has Curtis Samuel, D.J Moore and Christian McCaffrey as their primary pass catchers so they need to keep Cam upright and away from being hit. Installing Williams, who is very technically refined at a young age, across from Matt Kalil and then eventually moving to LT, is the right move here.
17. Cleveland Browns – Devin White, Linebacker, LSU
The years of your best linebacker being your most important defensive player are past us and I could see the Browns taking a corner to pair with Denzel Ward here. However, John Dorsey has some old school football left in him and Devin White’s hard-hitting, explosive brand of football should be an improvement for the Browns especially if they move on from Jaime Collins.
18. Minnesota Vikings – Garrett Bradbury, Interior Offensive Lineman, NC State
The number one need for Minnesota if offensive line help. They have corners, they have wide receivers, they have a quarterback, they have a tight end, and a running back. They are likely to select three or more lineman in this draft and they could start with Bradbury who is ready to be an NFL center right away. He moves laterally extremely well and should be a good enough run blocker to sway Mike Zimmer.
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19. Tennesse Titans – Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
We are getting into the range where we are moving into second-tier defensive players while there are top-tier offensive playmakers left. However, coach Mike Vrabel will firmly believe that adding a play-making EDGE rusher to his defense can change how he calls plays. Ferrell is one of the quickest and most explosive EDGES in this group, maybe even better than Brian Burns.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers – D.K Metcalf, Wide Receiver, Ole Miss
Antonio Brown is gone and he isn’t coming back. The star wide receiver has demanded a trade and while it isn’t the #SteelerWay, what could be more fun than the Steelers adding another stud wide receiver across from JuJu Smith-Schuster? Metcalf has enough questions about his production that I am not sure he’ll go in the first round but this would be an amazing spot for him to land for dynasty fantasy football.
21. Seattle Seahawks – Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida
In my dreams, the Seahawks find a way to get T.J Hockenson or Noah Fant but it seems unlikely. This team wants to run the ball and rush the passer, which Polite allows them to do. There is nothing Polite about Jachai’s game and he has the physical tools that have often made Seahawks front office members leap to a prospect.
22. Baltimore Ravens – Kelvin Harmon, Wide Receiver, NC State
With the news that Michael Crabtree has been cut, the Ravens have a massive hole at wide receiver. Even if John Brown stays on the team, the organization needs to provide Lamar Jackson with tools to succeed. Some scouts even have Harmon as the second-best wide receiver in this class and his 6’3, 213 pound frame fits with the sorts of throws that Jackson can already made.
23. Houston Texans – Andre Dillard, Offensive Tackle, Washington State
No quarterback spent more time running for their life in 2018 more than Deshaun Watson did. The team has all of their answers at wide receiver and could find no reasonable use for Josh Jacobs. Dillard at worst can be a swing tackle for his rookie year but offers some stability to one of the Texans worst player groupings.
24. Oakland Raiders – Byron Murphy, Cornerback, Washington
Unlike the last Byron defensive back to come from the Pacific Northwest, Byron Murphy is not a SPARQ-star but he is fast, dynamic and can cover in a zone defensive incredibly well. Using the pick from the Khalil Mack trade, Jon Gruden adds a playmaker to his absolutely horrible Raiders defense.
25. Philadelphia Eagles – Christian Wilkins, Interior Defensive Lineman, Clemson
In an upset, I have the Eagles taking Wilkins over EDGE rusher Montez Sweat. Fletcher Cox could use a younger compatriot on the interior in Philly and Wilkins offers that from day one. He can play any defensive line technique asked of him and will put pressure on passers from the interior right away.
26. Indianapolis Colts – JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Wide Receiver, Stanford
In one of the first true reaches of this NFL Mock Draft, I have the Colts jumping to take JJ Arcega-Whiteside. JJAW is the perfect fit with T.Y Hilton. The two are perfectly complementary with Hilton constantly going in motion and moving around the formation while Whiteside is perhaps the best jump-ball and contested catch wide receiver of this entire draft. Arcega-Whiteside has real Mike Evans upside.
27. Oakland Raiders – Joshua Jacobs, Running Back, Alabama
Fine, you heathens, we can have a running back go in the first round. Gruden is not going to be able to help himself but to do something that math tells him he shouldn’t. Jacobs has no production to speak of from Alabama but did catch 28 passes in his two full-time playing seasons. Theoretically, he fits in nicely with Derek Carr’s check-down heavy approach.
Russell Okung is now 30 years old and keeping Phil Rivers from having to move his stationary body should be the utmost priority for the Los Angeles Chargers. Little is actually huge at 6’5″, 325 pounds and has massive arm length. He is fairly raw according to most scouts so he might need to learn on the bench as a rookie.
29. Kansas City Chiefs – Jonathan Abram, Safety, Mississippi State
The Chiefs need a safety. My god, do they need a safety. Jared Sorenson and Eric Berry (when he played) were amongst the worst safeties in the NFL last season and a big reason why KC was defeated in the AFC Conference Championship. I expect the Chiefs to focus heavily on defense in this draft and Abrams strong tackling could allow him to play linebacker in certain spots as well.
30. Green Bay Packers – Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
Sweat joins his college teammate Abram toward the latter half of the first round of this NFL Mock Draft. The Packers don’t seem likely to jump on Marquise Brown here, who is the other player I was considering from them. Sweat could easily go much higher than this as he is really an elite prospect.
31. Los Angeles Rams – Jeffery Simmons, Interior Defensive Lineman, Mississippi State
Missippi State fans must be going nuts! The Rams are expected to let Ndamukong Suh test out free agency which will likely leave them without a partner on the interior for Aaron Donald. Simmons provides that partner and some serious disruption on the interior.
32. New England Patriots – Nasir Adderley, Safety, Delaware
The only FCS pick of the first round of this NFL Mock Draft goes to the New England Patriots with the dynamic Adderley from Delaware. Adderley’s film is like watching one man water bug who is drawn to the ball on all plays. He is the exact type of versatile, high-IQ player that the Patriots love.