It’s almost December, and that means we’re in prime time to start looking ahead towards the 2019 NFL draft.
We already have an idea of which teams are out, and which teams are for real. So it only makes sense for us to pair those teams with draft prospects we are learning more and more about.
*Draft order based on projections, not current standings*
1) Arizona Cardinals – Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Bosa should stay put as the consensus first overall pick. His freaky talent, great technique, and successful bloodline make him a prospect that simply no team can pass on if he’s available. There’s nobody else worth the first overall pick. Since I’m not mocking any trades here, Bosa moves out to the desert.
2) Oakland Raiders – Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
Williams has absolutely shot up draft boards recently. His tape is cleaner than Ed Oliver’s, despite the hype that surrounds Oliver. Williams right now looks like the best DT prospect in this draft this draft is loaded with defensive linemen, which is a huge need for Oakland. I say they get the best available here.
3) San Francisco 49ers – Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
The two Alabama boys off the board within the first 3 picks isn’t the shocking part of this one. The 49ers going OT in the first 10 back to back years would really be strange, but their future is going to be coming off of a torn ACL and they need youth and talent on the offensive line. Like a lot of picks here, need will outrank best available but Williams is certainly very close to being a top 3 talent in this draft.
4) New York Jets – A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
The Jets drafted their franchise QB last, this year they’ll need to add some weapons for him to look for. Brown is the best WR in this draft class as it stands right now. Top 5 is probably too high for him, but need over best available again.
5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Tampa Bay could’ve landed premier DB talent last year (which they absolutely need) and opted to get a run stuffing DT instead. That pick is gone and it’s too late to question it. All they can do now is make up for it by drafting the best DB in this draft who is coming from a school that shoves out elite DBs like clockwork. They have time to find a Winston replacement, and round 2 could hold some solid QBs. Williams seems perfect here. A very lanky and physical corner is exactly what any NFC South defense needs.
6) New York Giants – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
The Giants opted not to go for any QB from the most loaded QB class in decades last year. Instead, they drafted one of the most electrifying playmakers in the league. The Giants are in a bit of a rebuild and have needs along the defensive and offensive lines, but they can’t pass on a big name QB again. Eli just doesn’t have it anymore, and a new and young QB could provide a big spark for this team. If he declares, he’s going to New York.
7) Jacksonville Jaguars – Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
Just like the Bucs, the Jaguars have a glaring QB problem. Unlike the Bucs, the Jaguars are overall much stronger defensively and lack offensive weapons. A good offense starts with a good QB, and they lack that right now. Lock would be a real reach here, but he’s my QB2 if Herbert decides to enter the draft, and he’s what Jacksonville needs the most.
8) Detroit Lions – Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
The defensive line class of this draft is absolutely loaded. Ferrell has produced at the best levels of his career this year and has shown great improvement against the run. The Lions need to build some sort of pass rush, and it starts with a good DE.
9) Cincinnati Bengals – Devin White, ILB, LSU
The Bengals have quite a few needs. Some of their biggest problems are coaching and average QB play, but I don’t see them going QB. If White is available here, they have to go with him. He’s one of the best athletes in this draft.
10) Buffalo Bills – Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky
It would be too weird for the Bills not to draft two straight Josh Allen’s with their first overall pick, right? Allen is the most dominant 3-4 OLB prospect in this draft not named Nick Bosa. His athleticism is great and he has been getting better each season. He absolutely blew up in 2018 and there’s no way he shouldn’t go top 10.
11) Clevland Browns – Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
The Browns finally don’t have a top 3 pick and they still will get to land one of the best players in this draft. With 3 defensive linemen already off the board, there is still tremendous value in drafting Oliver. He is a great guy to help Clevland put more pressure on opposing QBs and provide decent help against the run.
12) Miami Dolphins – Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
Like a couple other teams, the Dolphins have a need for QB. They also happen to have a lot of other needs and a defensive lineman is one of the biggest of those needs. Brown has been getting better in run and pass defense each year, and would be a good pick for a team who’s best defensive linemen are in their mid-late thirties and contract years.
13) Atlanta Falcons – Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
And another very solid d-line prospect. People don’t exaggerate when they say this d-line class is loaded and it’s prevalent so far. I could see Atlanta pulling a DB like Deionte Thompson here, but Allen would a good choice too. Sweat is an exceptional run defender and his pass rusher. If he falls by some miracle, I don’t see why Atlanta wouldn’t grab him.
14) Philadelphia Eagles – Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss
Little could be the first lineman off the board over Williams, but for now, I have it like this. Jason Peters is at the end of his career and it’s been showing. Wentz needs a bookend LT to keep him safe and give him time, and Little is just the man for the job. He has shown weakness to rushers with power, and the NFC East is filled with some of the best pass rushers in the league. Despite this, his ceiling and the Eagles need is too high for him not to go here.
15) Tennessee Titans – Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan
I’m tired of talking about how many defensive linemen are here, but this is probably what the draft will look like and it’s weird. Tennessee has a decent defense but it has a habit of getting exposed from time to time. The safe choice here is to build up front with a solid piece.
16) Baltimore Ravens – Jeffrey Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
A great athlete with great tape. If he can stay clean off the field, this is a steal for Baltimore. Simmons is one of the most explosive defensive linemen in the draft and it’s never bad to strengthen your strengths.
17) Green Bay Packers – Zach Allen, DE, Boston College
The Packers have spent countless first round picks on DBs in recent years, and they finally got some good pieces it looks like. Their defense is finally good against the pass and a good pass rusher with run stuffing specialties can take the pressure off of a young secondary like the one in Green Bay. Allen also has all the natural tools to become a great pass rusher and certainly would’ve gone before former teammate Harold Landry if he declared last year.
18) Indianapolis Colts – DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia
The Colts are on a hot streak. They finally don’t seem to need o-line help, Luck is back, they have good enough RBs and WRs. All they need is to sprinkle in a few solid pieces and this team can be for real. Baker has received some Tre White comparisons, so he looks to be in good company.
19) Oakland Raiders (From Dallas) – Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
Gruden can take a page from his brother’s book here and realize there’s something different in the water in Alabama. Bama is the go-to school for great defensive prospects, and Thompson is just that. The Raiders have had one of the ugliest secondaries in the NFL for a few years. Gareon Conley is starting to emerge and just needs a little more help. Thompson is one of two Alabama DBs that can really help Oakland here.
20) Seattle Seahawks – Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama
Bama has its fingerprints over this year’s top defensive prospects. Davis is another solid defensive star from Alabama that looks to make noise at the next level. Seattle’s offense is in good hands no matter what as long as Wilson is at QB, and it’s a little too early to comfortably take any more offensive linemen.
21) Denver Broncos – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
Diggs broke out before losing his season to injury and has been on the rise each season in college. Denver has been poor in pass defense and they certainly miss Talib. Diggs is a long and physical corner just like Talib and has the tools and pedigree to take this defense to the next level.
22) Carolina Panthers – Jachai Polite, OLB, Florida
Polite is built more as a 3-4 OLB more than anything else if he wants to be a 3-down guy, so the Panthers defensive scheme isn’t too friendly in that regard. Polite has end of the 1st talent to me, but he’s been good on and off the field and has a great knack for getting to the QB. I think Carolina could take the gamble.
23) Washington Redskins – Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State
The Redskins have finally built a great defensive line and have some very strong safeties and linebackers. They have depth needs on offense and a cornerback need on defense. This team is loyal to its guys, so no matter how many times people say they need a WR, they may not listen. However, Campbell’s draft stock could skyrocket from the combine and if he happens to fall to be available here, I don’t think that even Washington could pass on him since he’s one of the best available at a position of need.
24) Houston Texans – Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College
The Texans can’t afford to keep letting Watson get hit. They need depth and starters and Lindstrom could be high on their board because of his pass blocking specialty. They have weapons on both sides of the ball. All they really need is someone to give Watson time.
25) New England Patriots – Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Missouri
Gronk trade rumors are in no short supply in the last couple of years and his health is a growing concern. Okwuegbunam is easily the best TE here and has that big size New England seems to favor.
26) Minnesota Vikings – Cody Ford, G, Oklahoma
It’s between Ford and Lindstrom here. It all depends on who Houston drafts. Cousins is a Top 10 QB with a Top 5 WR combo to throw to and a great defensive cast. The offensive line has been their biggest problem by a long shot. Cousins has been durable his whole career, but he can’t afford to keep getting hit. Easily Cousins’ biggest weakness is fumbling, and fumbles decrease when sacks do. Ford can play T or G for Minnesota.
27) Oakland Raiders (From Chicago) – N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
Getting two of the best defensive players at their position in the draft is a good start for Oakland’s rebuild. The next step is to give Carr some weapons rather than take them away. Oakland’s current WR group is either old, average, or both. If Carr is part of their future like Jon Gruden says, they have to give him some weapons. Harry is a big body guy that won’t be making many people miss, but can be an excellent redzone threat and could be groomed into a very capable starting WR.
28) Kansas City Chiefs – Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson
Kansas City doesn’t seem to need offensive help. I think they’re content with a cast that puts up 36.7 ppg. They’re not going to be losing anyone big in FA, so addressing their biggest need is a must. This team has been gross to watch in the secondary, so going need late in the 1st round seems reasonable and safe.
29) Pittsburg Steelers – Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
Pittsburg has an elite offensive line, receiving corps, a top 10 RB right now, a future HoF QB, a great pass rush, and a surprisingly good secondary all of a sudden, but still seems to be missing something. That something could be put down to coaching, but that doesn’t change their need for a big man in the middle. They’ve been solid against pass and rush, but it’s always fun to add more to the defensive line.
30) Los Angeles Rams – Mack Wilson, ILB, Alabama
The Rams have an elite offense and star power on the defensive line and secondary, yet their defense has been average or worse this year. Linebacker is a huge need for this team, especially on the inside. Drafting a young ILB from the best team in college football is a great move for this team.
31) Los Angeles Chargers – Dre’Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State
Like the last two teams, the offense is not an issue. Even defense isn’t that big of an issue; and just like the Steelers, I gave them a DT because of that. The Chargers run defense gives up 107 YPG currently, so a DT is a smart move. With that being said, Jones is a better pass rusher than run stuffer at his size; but adding pressure is becoming more important than being an elite run stopper in today’s NFL. Plus, Jones can probably do it all with the right coaching and team, and LA has just that.
32) Green Bay Packers (From New Orleans) – Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State
Green Bay has Rodgers. They have a good line. They have a top 10 WR and underrated RB. Yet, they can’t seem to win. Like some other good teams, coaching could be the biggest issue and it could get addressed. They’ve already drafted good d-line help, now they can do what they do and spend a first round pick on a DB with potential. They keep giving away safeties, now they have to add one.
*Some Fun Facts*
Predicted Schools With Most First Rounders:
Mississippi State, Ohio State, Clemson: 3
LSU, Ole Miss, Boston College: 2
Most Drafted Positions:
CB, LB: 4
Offense Or Defense: