22 Apr 19
San Gabriel Valley Tribune
The last days of smokescreens and pre-draft hot takes are upon us, as the 2019 NFL draft begins on Thursday. With the rumor mill spinning and the Cardinals nearly on the clock, here’s the third and final mock draft in our predraft series:
1. ARIZONA CARDINALS: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma | Previous mock: Same
For weeks, this pick has seemed like a sure thing. Now, just days before the draft, no one seems to know what to believe. Could the Cardinals trade down? Would they pick Nick Bosa? Don’t let the rumors distract you. Murray is an ideal fit for Kliff Kingsbury’s system, and if Murray winds up being a Russell Wilson clone, no one will complain about Arizona taking two quarterbacks in two years.
2. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State | Previous mock: Same
No need to overthink this pick, even if the 49ers did trade for Chiefs pass rusher Dee Ford this offseason. Bosa is a carbon copy of his Pro Bowl brother. Some believe he might even be better. With Ford on the other side and DeForest Buckner on the interior, the 49ers could terrorize NFC West quarterbacks for years to come.
3. NEW YORK JETS: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston | Previous mock: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
The Jets haven’t had a decent edge rusher since John Abraham left almost 15 years ago, and conventional knowledge would suggest Alabama’s Quinnen Williams is the smart pick here. But defensive coordinator Gregg Williams apparently sees Oliver as a dominant pass-rusher in the mold of Aaron Donald. We’ll see about that.
4. OAKLAND RAIDERS: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama | Previous mock: Same
Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock could have something up their sleeve here, but assuming the Raiders stand pat, Williams is, by far, the best available player on the board. A pass rusher would be preferred, since defensive tackle is the Raiders’ deepest position group. But if no trades are explored, Williams is a pretty great consolation prize.
5. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: Devin White, LB, LSU | Previous mock: Same
Depending on how the Bucs view Gerald McCoy’s future with the team, they could use this pick on Oliver, if he’s around, or edge rusher Josh Allen, who they might not have expected to be here. No one fits with the Bucs as well as White, though. New coordinator Todd Bowles’ defensive scheme begs for a ball-hawk like him.
6. NEW YORK GIANTS: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky | Previous mock: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
This mock worked out quite nicely for Giants GM Dave Gettleman, who may find a way to screw up this pick, anyway. Allen’s presence should convince the Giants to run up to the podium. He’s a freakish pass rusher who could rack up double-digit sack seasons from the get-go.
7. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida | Previous mock: Same
This is a toss-up of potential right tackles, with Taylor and Alabama’s Jonah Williams the two most likely options. The Jaguars desperately need a road-grader to plow open rushing lanes on the right side, and stylistically, Taylor makes the most sense.
8. CINCINNATI BENGALS (trade from Lions): Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State | Previous mock (to Lions): Montez Sweat, Mississippi State
New Bengals coach Zac Taylor probably doesn’t have interest in his first coaching job being judged on the success of Andy Dalton. If you listen to draft buzz, Haskins has fallen a bit out of favor in recent weeks. But if the Bengals want the Ohio State product, they may have to trade in front of the Broncos, who are also in the market for a quarterback.
9. BUFFALO BILLS: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa | Previous mock: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
With Josh Allen in place for the foreseeable future, the Bills would be wise to surround him with as much talent as possible. In Buffalo, Hockenson would immediately become Allen’s best available target, while also dramatically improving the run game as an in-line blocker. Hard to see Hockenson falling outside of the top dozen picks.
10. DENVER BRONCOS: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri | Previous mock: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
John Elway tends to fall in love with quarterbacks whose scouting reports use words like “grit” and “moxie”. Lock is the prototype field general in that regard – sometimes, to a fault – and what he lacks in polish, he makes up for in tools. At least, that’s what Elway is hoping for.
11. DETROIT LIONS (trade from Bengals): Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State | Previous mock (to Bengals): Devin Bush, Michigan
If Detroit can trade down, add a mid-round pick and still select Sweat, Lions general manager Bob Quinn should be clicking his heels. The Lions already added free agent pass rusher Trey Flowers in the offseason, but drafting Sweat would turn a desperate need into a roster strength.
12. GREEN BAY PACKERS: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan | Previous mock: Rashan Gary, Michigan
If Hockenson lasts this long, expect the Packers to swipe him up. Williams is also an option. But in this scenario, Green Bay opts for defense. In Bush, the Packers would get a linebacker unlike any other on the roster, capable of ranging sideline to sideline in the run and pass game.
13. MIAMI DOLPHINS: Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan | Previous mock: Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
The other first-round Michigan defender goes a pick later, as the Dolphins find themselves desperate for talent on the defensive line. The main knock with Gary is that his production never matched his talent, but under new coach Brian Flores, the Dolphins shouldn’t have issue deploying Gary in a multitude of ways.
MORE NFL DRAFT COVERAGE:
Rams offensive draft needs
Rams defensive draft needs
Chargers offensive draft needs
Chargers defensive draft needs
14. ATLANTA FALCONS: Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama | Previous mock: Same
Atlanta is in a unique spot to potentially trade up, considering how few holes they have on their roster. In this mock, however, a possible top-10 talent falls all the way to 14th overall. The Falcons could use reinforcements up front, and Williams is one of the most foolproof prospects in this range.
15. WASHINGTON: Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State | Previous mock: Drew Lock, Missouri
The receiver situation is dire in Washington, making this a possible landing spot for Ole Miss wideout D.K. Metcalf. The value in this draft slot, though, is on defense. Burns has the tools to be a top-10 pick, and Washington could use a bookend to Ryan Kerrigan on the edge.
16. CAROLINA PANTHERS: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State | Previous mock: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
A pass rusher to replace the retired Julius Peppers might seem like a seamless fit, but with injuries starting to affect Cam Newton, using this pick to protect their quarterback isn’t a bad idea, either. Dillard is the draft’s most polished pass protector, and it’s possible he wouldn’t last this long.
17. NEW YORK GIANTS: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson | Previous mock: D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss
Given all the Daniel Jones chatter surrounding this pick, you might think Gettleman wouldn’t wait any longer on a franchise quarterback. But the Giants GM has always been a staunch devotee of drafting the best available, and in this slot, that’s Wilkins, who, like Josh Allen, would immediately upgrade the Giants defense.
18. MINNESOTA VIKINGS: Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma | Previous mock: Same
Considering how short the Vikings fell of their offensive potential last season, there’s no excuse to ignore addressing the line early and often in this draft. Ford is a mauler who can play guard or tackle, giving the Vikings some flexibility to fit him in where needed.
19. TENNESSEE TITANS: Garrett Bradbury, OL, N.C. State | Previous mock: Noah Fant, Iowa
This is a make-or-break season for Marcus Mariota, meaning the Titans should give him all the help they possibly can to know what they have. With a hole to fill at right guard, Bradbury could step in right away, before eventually moving to center.
20. PITTSBURGH STEELERS: Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple | Previous mock: Greedy Williams, LSU
Wouldn’t it be poetic if Pittsburgh drafted Marquise Brown, cousin of Antonio Brown, to take his place in the Steelers offense? It’s possible, but their gaping hole at cornerback warrants a more immediate response.
21. OAKLAND RAIDERS (trade from Seahawks): Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson | Previous mock (to Seahawks): Taylor Rapp, Washington
Seattle would desperately like to move down, with only four total picks, and here, the Raiders oblige to snap up a pass rusher after opting against one with their first pick. Ferrell’s ceiling may be lower than some other edge rushers in this class, but he’s also one of the most polished.
Coach Jon Gruden’s Oakland Raiders currently hold the 4th, 24th and 27th picks in Thursday’s first round of the 2019 NFL draft. (AP Photo/Matt York)
22. BALTIMORE RAVENS: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss | Previous mock: Garrett Bradbury, OL, N.C. State
At some point, Metcalf’s physical tools become too eye-popping to ignore. His route tree may have been limited at Ole Miss, but with some development, Metcalf could become Lamar Jackson’s top target. Whether it’s Metcalf or not, the Ravens need to add weapons early.
23. HOUSTON TEXANS: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU | Previous mock: Andre Dillard, Washington State
Houston might riot if this isn’t an offensive lineman, but at this juncture, there are no obvious choices up front. Williams was once seen as a top-10 pick, but his questionable tackling skills have seen him tumble quite a distance. With the 23rd pick, he’d be worth the risk.
24. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (mock trade from Raiders): Byron Murphy, CB, Washington | Previous mock (to Raiders): Josh Jacobs, Alabama
The Seahawks move back a couple spots, add a fourth-round pick and still end up snagging one of the top defensive backs in the draft. This pick is tough to place, but Murphy – who played nearby at UW – lasting this long would be awfully tempting.
25. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss | Previous mock: Christian Wilkins, Clemson
The Eagles could go in a number of directions, but considering Jason Peters’ age and their constant injury issues up front, a future starting left tackle seems like the wisest investment. Little was a former 5-star recruit who never quite lived up to his billing. The right coaching could unlock that potential.
26. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (mock trade with Colts): Noah Fant, TE, Iowa | Previous mock (to Colts): Jonathan Abram, Mississippi State
No team has more picks in this draft than the Patriots, so you can expect the defending champs to trade up more than once to get their guys. With Rob Gronkowski retired (for now), the fit with Fant is obvious. They’d have to trade ahead of Oakland to ensure they get the uber-athletic Iowa product.
27. OAKLAND RAIDERS: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama | Previous mock: Rock Ya-Sin, Temple
With Fant and their preferred corners gone, the Raiders opt for the only game-breaking running back in this class. Jacobs can step in right away and be a three-down back, but whether any running back in this class is worth a first-round pick is a reasonable question to ask.
28. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS: Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware | Previous mock: Jerry Tillery, Purdue
Jahleel Addae was released in the offseason because he didn’t fit the Chargers’ need for a deep safety to play alongside Derwin James. Adderley is exactly that, with deep cover skills that would pair perfectly with the Chargers’ last first-round pick. Though, two first-round safeties in two years might be a bit overkill.
29. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma | Previous mock: Jaylon Ferguson, Louisiana Tech
Cornerback or edge rusher are the Chiefs’ most obvious positions of need, and while Georgia corner DeAndre Baker could be an ideal fit, it’s awfully intriguing to wonder might happen if you add a talent like Brown to a group that includes Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill.
30. GREEN BAY PACKERS: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss | Previous mock: Marquise Brown, Oklahoma
Expect the Packers to add some kind of pass-catcher in the first round, with the possibility of even trading up for a prospect like Fant. Here, they manage to add a slot receiving weapon without losing future picks. Some think Brown could be the most successful wideout in this draft.
31. NEW YORK GIANTS (mock trade with Rams): Daniel Jones, QB, Duke | Previous mock (to Rams): Dexter Lawrence, Clemson
OK, so maybe Jones won’t last this long. Still, I find it hard to believe any NFL team is actually enamored with the Duke quarterback, who doesn’t have much of an arm and isn’t the most accurate option either. But reports suggest the Giants have looked closely, and it makes sense to trade up into the first round to get an extra year of team control. The Rams would happily oblige.
32. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (mock trade with Patriots): Jonathan Abram, S, Mississippi State | Previous mock (to Patriots): Hakeem Butler, Louisiana Tech
Colts general manager Chris Ballard loves to trade down, and in the Patriots, he finds an ideal trade partner. Abram, meanwhile, is an ideal, hard-hitting complement to young free safety Malik Hooker. Indy has a lot of options here, but Abram makes quite a bit of sense.
37. LOS ANGELES RAMS (Second-round pick through mock trade with Colts): Chris Lindstrom, OG, Boston College
After trading down, the Rams could go for a safety or a defensive tackle, both of which they’ve studied extensively. But with an impact interior offensive lineman still on the board, Lindstrom becomes the safe choice for a team that needs to further fortify its offensive front.