23 Apr 19
Each year at this time, we give readers our best guess at how the upcoming NFL Draft might play out – not including trades.
After taking into account the needs of teams, past selecting trends, best player scenario opportunities along with reading the tea leaves, it’s always fun to project what each team will do the first day.
Last year, there was a huge run on quarterbacks. There shouldn’t be as many this taken year in the first round, although one is going to kick off the draft at the top, just as Baker Mayfield did in 2018 with the Browns. Kyler Murray has the top spot this time, but after that, look for a healthy run of defensive ends and defensive linemen. That’s the strength of this draft.
The Patriots? If the chips go their way, they’ll knock off an important need at No. 32.
Here’s our crack at the 2019 NFL mock draft:
FILE – In this Oct. 6, 2018, file photo, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws a pass against Texas during the first half of an NCAA college football game at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The Texas-Oklahoma rivalry is never short on bad blood between the Big 12 border states. (AP Photo/Cooper Neill, File)
1. Arizona: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma – Forget all the backpedaling, smokescreens, fibbing and whatever else. Murray has always been Kliff Kingsbury’s guy.
2. San Francisco: Nick Bosa, Edge rusher, Ohio State – Best pass rusher in the draft won’t sit long after the dust settles with the Cards pick.
3. NY Jets: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston – Had planned on going with Josh Allen given need for an edge rusher, but Gang Green supposedly in love with Oliver.
4. Oakland: – Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama – Despite popular belief, Jon Gruden does like dominating defensive playmakers.
5. Tampa: Devin White, ILB, LSU – Just plug him in as a replacement for Kwon Alexander, who signed a hefty free agent deal with the Niners.
6. N.Y. Giants: Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky – They’re going with the best defensive player available in this spot. In our mock, with the Jets, Raiders and Bucs passing on the pass rusher, it’s Allen.
7. Jacksonville: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida – The Jags want to bring in instant and much-needed protection for their new quarterback, Nick Foles. This was a toss-up between Taylor and Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson.
8. Detroit: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan – Thought about Hockenson here as well, but Matt Patricia can’t resist a potential defensive star, nabbing the combine stud.
9. Buffalo: Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama – Offensive line has been a major problem for the Bills. Williams can start right away at either tackle or guard.
10. Denver: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri – Is their quarterback situation ever settled? Even with Joe Flacco, still need to groom a future guy. They’ll go to the well one more time with Lock.
11. Cincinnati: Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma – QB Dwayne Haskins could go here, but hard to go wrong with one of the best linemen in the draft. Bengals in need of O-Line help.
12. Green Bay: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa – Chances are, Hockenson will be gone before here, but we’re going to say the Packers get lucky, and get a tight end who starts Day One for Aaron Rodgers.
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13. Miami: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State – Does anyone really think Fitzmagic is the long-term answer? They still need a quarterback. Haskins needs work, but he’s the second best QB in the draft.
14. Atlanta: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson – Defensive line help is high on their list of needs. The Falcons won’t hesitate to nab Clemson’s defensive leader.
15. Washington: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma – Some believe Josh Rosen will land with the Redskins. Whether he does or not, receiver help is top priority.
16. Carolina: Montez Sweat, Edge rusher, Mississippi State – The Panthers need a replacement for Julius Peppers. They take a chance on top-10 talent who drops a bit due to heart condition.
17. N.Y. Giants: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke – They pass on a QB at No. 6, but not here. They need Eli Manning’s successor and can’t wait – no matter what they tell you.
18. Minnesota: Garrett Bradbury, C/G, NC State – Offensive line needs an overhaul. Center is a good place to start.
19. Tennessee: Brian Burns, Edge rusher, Florida State – With Brian Orakpo retired, in comes another Brian to help bring the heat on quarterbacks.
20. Pittsburgh: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan – He’s a highly athletic linebacker and looks the part to finally help fill the void of losing Ryan Shazier after a devastating injury in 2017.
21. Seattle: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State – Simmons tore his ACL but is a top-10 talent, one the Seahawks won’t pass on, even with the injury.
22. Baltimore: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss – Here’s one receiver who will help Lamar Jackson get the ball downfield.
23. Houston: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State – Deshaun Watson was sacked a league-high 62 times last year. Need we say more?
24. Oakland: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington – Running back Josh Jacobs is a possibility here, but they go cornerback.
25. Philadelphia: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama – They don’t have a true No. 1 runner on their roster. Now, they do.
26. Indianapolis: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson – Not sure Ferrell drops this far. If he does, Patriots might be in play to move up. He’s the best player on the board, and too good to pass up for Matt Eberflus’ defense.
27. Oakland: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa – They need a replacement for Jared Cook. Athletic freak Fant is the next tight end up.
28. LA Chargers: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson – Nose tackle is a giant need for Bolts. See AFC division round game with Patriots, where they were manhandled up the middle in the run game.
29. Kansas City: Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State – After releasing Eric Berry, they’re looking for a presence at safety. Abram is that, and more.
30. Green Bay: Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College – Guard is high on their list of must-haves in the draft. Lindstrom should immediately take care of one spot on the line the Pack have been trying to fill the past two seasons.
31. LA Rams: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU – They need an infusion of youth out on the boundary. Williams is extremely athletic and a ball-hawker.
32.PATRIOTS: Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama – If Simmons had dropped, the Patriots would have pounced. That’s how they roll. But with Rob Gronkowski retired, they really need a tight end. Smith is a must. No doubt he comes highly endorsed by Nick Saban.