I wanted to get out a first mock draft before the combine. That obviously didn’t happen and now the actual draft is less than a month away but better late than never I guess.
Pick #1- Arizona Cardinals- Kyler Murray QB
Josh Rosen‘s days in Arizona are limited. Head coach Kliff Kingsbury clearly wants Murray and it would be shocking if he wasn’t the first pick.
Pick #2- San Francisco 49ers – Quinnen Williams DT
I believe Williams is actually a better prospect with more potential than Bosa. Plus, the 49ers already have Dee Ford on the edge and the idea of pairing Williams with DeForest Buckner is too great to pass up.
Pick #3- New York Jets- Nick Bosa EDGE
The Jets will happily take Bosa with the third pick. He’s the best defender in the draft according to many analysts.
Pick #4- Oakland Raiders- Josh Allen EDGE
The Raiders defense recorded 13 sacks in 2018 which was last in the league. The Giants had the second least with 30. The gap from second worst to worst was 17 sacks. That’s crazy when you consider the gap between the Giants and the teams with the most sacks in 2018 (Chiefs and Steelers with 52) was only 22. The Raiders need to replace Khalil Mack and fast.
Pick #5- Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Rashan Gary EDGE
The Buccaneers finished tied for the 19th fewest sacks in 2018. Pairing Gary with Jason Pierre-Paul could produce a lethal combo, but the Buccaneers may admittedly have more pressing needs.
Pick #6- New York Giants- Dwayne Haskins QB
This pick is far from a slam dunk, but it would make sense for the Giants to get Eli Manning‘s heir now rather than continue waiting.
Pick #7- Jacksonville Jaguars- Noah Fant TE
Any pass catchers would be welcome in Jacksonville at this point. The team hasn’t had a good tight end since Marcedes Lewis.
Pick #8- Detroit Lions- Montez Sweat EDGE
Pick #9- Buffalo Bills- Jawaan Taylor OT
Josh Allen might be able to run now, but it would be nice for the Bills to limit the number of hits he’ll take early on.
Pick #10- Denver Broncos- Devin White LB
With Brandon Marshall no longer on the team, the Broncos will need a new player to hold down the center of their defense.
Pick #11- Cincinnati Bengals- Andre Dillard OT
The Bengals offensive line has always been a mish-mash of pieces. Some think Dillard is actually the best tackle in the draft, and if the Bengals are among that group they may jump at the chance to add some stability along the line.
Pick #12- Green Bay Packers-Jonah Williams OG
Pick #13- Miami Dolphins- Clelin Ferrell EDGE
Pick #14- Atlanta Falcons- Ed Oliver DT
Oliver is incredibly talented and getting him this low would be a steal for Atlanta. Oliver would form a formidable interior pair with Grady Jarrett.
Pick #15- Washington Redskins- Drew Lock QB
I don’t really think Lock will fall this far. Every year quarterbacks have a way of moving up the draft boards in the final hours, but for a first draft, I’ll have him slide to the Redskins.
Pick #16- Carolina Panthers- Devin Bush LB
No more Thomas Davis, no problem. Although, I’d be interested to see how the Panthers would utilize Bush in their 4-3 defensive scheme.
Pick #17- New York Giants (from Cleveland Browns)- Christian Wilkins DT
The Giants defense is an absolute mess. Wilkins will provide a physically and mentally stabilizing force in the center of the defensive front.
Pick #18- Minnesota Vikings- Cody Ford OT
The Vikings offensive line has been a mess for years despite multiple attempts to fix it. This spot might be a little high for Ford, but the Vikings are desperate for stabilizing talents.
Pick #19- Tennessee Titans- D.K. Metcalf WR
This isn’t my favorite pick and it will likely change in future mocks. That being said, just because the Titans signed Adam Humphries doesn’t mean they won’t try to find more weapons to surround Marcus Mariota with.
Pick #20- Pittsburgh Steelers- Greedy Williams CB
I am praying to the football gods that the Steelers will get their pick right this year. They seem to find a player in the first round every other year, which means this is going to be a good year. Williams isn’t the top corner on most analysts’ boards, but I liked his college play the most.
Pick #21- Seattle Seahawks- Dexter Lawrence DT
Pick #22- Baltimore Ravens- Marquise Brown WR
Pittsburgh drafts great receivers every year. Baltimore doesn’t. Maybe this will finally be the year they land a star pass catcher, who also happens to be Antonio Brown‘s cousin.
Pick #23- Houston Texans- Byron Murphy CB
The Texans swung and missed with cornerback Kevin Johnson in 2015. Here’s the redo Houston, don’t screw it up.
Pick #24- Oakland Raiders (from Chicago Bears)- T.J. Hockenson TE
Pick #25- Philadelphia Eagles- Josh Jacobs RB
The Eagles have a solid offensive line but absolutely nobody to run the ball with. In a down year for running backs, Jacobs is the most impressive of the bunch.
Update: The Eagles traded for Jordan Howard from the Bears. It is unlikely the team will take a running back now. Instead they will target a player to help their defensive line or secondary.
Pick #26- Indianapolis Colts- Deandre Baker CB
Pick #27- Oakland Raiders (from Dallas Cowboys)- Rock Ya-Sin CB
Yeah, Gareon Conley was a recent first round selection, but the Raiders still need a lot of help at cornerback.
Pick #28- Los Angeles Chargers- Dalton Risner OT
The Chargers can find a better right tackle than Sam Tevi. If the team chooses to go in a different direction than offensive tackle, they might target a cornerback or interior help for the defensive line.
Pick #29- Kansas City Chiefs- Garrett Bradbury C
This may be the most boring, but most secure, pick in the first round. The Chiefs lost their starting center from last season and scouts have been raving about Bradbury since the combine.
Pick #30- Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans Saints)- A.J. Brown WR
How can you not have better options for Rodgers to throw to? Remember when he had multiple real threats at receiver and not just one guy who gets double covered every time? A.J. Brown will give the future Hall of Fame QB another quality option.
Pick #31- Los Angeles Rams- Jeffery Simmons DT
I am very hesitantly putting Simmons here. He tore his ACL only a few months ago and that has hurt his draft stock quite a bit and I would ordinarily expect a player with that injury to fall out of the first round. However, scouts and analysts are still talking about Simmons’ talent and potential. Since Ndamukong Suh is a free agent and the Rams seem like the kind of team that likes to take risks, why not draft Simmons? If he recovers well, he’ll be a steal at this spot.
Pick #32- New England Patriots- Jaylon Ferguson EDGE
Trey Flowers is gone, which means it’s time for the Patriots to churn out his replacement. They did land Michael Bennett, but he’s been used more as a rotational pass rusher recently and I’m not confident in having Deatrich Wise Jr. as a full-time starter yet anyways. Did I mention that Ferguson had 45 sacks and 67.5 tackles for loss in college?
Best Remaining Offense-
Daniel Jones QB, Greg Little OT, Kaleb McGary OT, Irv Smith Jr. TE, Riley Ridley WR
Realistically, Jones will go somewhere in the first round. Even if he isn’t worthy of a top 15 pick, quarterbacks always have a way of rising on draft night. Offensive linemen are always hard to judge and half of them turn out to be busts anyway. Little and McGary will have to wait to see when and where the other tackles go before knowing if they have a shot at being taken in the first round.
Smith Jr. is a great prospect who could go in the first round, especially since tight ends of his skill don’t come through every year. Ridley was more potential than production in college and it helps that his bother is already a solid pro for the Falcons. Still, I don’t think he’s first round worthy, especially compared to the three wideouts I have going in this mock.
Best Remaining Defense-
Brian Burns EDGE, Jachai Polite EDGE, Jerry Tillery DT, Mack Wilson LB, Julian Love CB, Johnathan Abram S, Nasir Adderley S, Taylor Rapp S, Deionte Thompson S
This draft will have quality edge and interior defenders all the way through the third round. It will simply be impossible for NFL teams to take all of them in the first. Wilson and Love both had more hype going into the 2018 college season but lost ground due to inconsistencies. Since so many safeties bounced around in free agency, I find it hard to believe that one will be taken in the first round.