December 30th, 2018 marked the end of the 2018 NFL regular season and the start of the off season for the 20 teams that didn’t make the playoffs. With that being said, what is a start to an off season without a mock draft? The draft order is set (for the most part) and the underclassmen prospects are declaring by the day. I thought this was a perfect time to release my first 2019 mock draft.
Arizona Cardinals trade the 1st overall pick to Oakland for the 4th overall pick and the 27th overall pick. The Oakland Raiders Select Nick Bosa, Edge Defender, Ohio State.
After trading Khalil Mack to Bears, Jon Gruden has not been shy about the Raiders lack of a pass rush. Repeatedly saying how important it is to find a pass rusher. Well Jon, Nick Bosa isn’t Khalil Mack (who is) but is still an excellent football player with pro bowl/all pro ability. He is about as safe as it gets in terms of hitting on a number 1 pick. So if this was a real possibility for Oakland, this should be a no brainer. They should be doing everything (within reason) that they can to make this happen. Including parting ways with one of their other first round picks.
Raiders Needs: Edge Rusher, WR, CB, LB, S
2. San Francisco 49ers select Josh Allen, Edge Defender, Kentucky.
You had one job San Francisco and you blew it. All you had to do was lose out after you beat Denver and Nick Bosa was yours. But then you had to go and beat the Seahawks for no reason, relinquishing the first overall pick to your division rival. Anyway, I don’t want that to sound like an indictment on Josh Allen. Sure, he is no Nick Bosa but 49ers fans should still be very excited if he is the pick at 2. Allen has exceptional speed, a relentless motor, and optimal bend that allows him to win the corner at a high level. He is not a finished product with his hands/technique but has the elite traits mentioned above to warrant the second overall pick. His ceiling could be limitless if he continues to develop.
49ers Needs: Edge Rusher, WR, FS, CB, LB
3. New York Jets select Jonah Williams, Offensive Tackle, Alabama.
I was heavily considering taking an edge rusher for the Jets. Given the fact that this regime just hasn’t cared about addressing that position. However, I couldn’t ignore their offensive line needs. Tackles Brandon Shell and Kelvin Beachum are coming off down years and have been average (at best) through out their careers. Jonah Williams is the best tackle in the class and is instant upgrade over either player. This front office invested in Sam Darnold, so they have to do what they can to protect him. Which is exactly what they would be doing by selecting Jonah Williams.
Jets Needs: Edge Rushers, OL, WR, CB, RB
4. Arizona Cardinals (From Oakland) select Quinnen Williams, Defensive Tackle, Alabama.
I know what you are thinking. “Why would the Cardinals trade away the best player in the class?” Here is the thing. When looking at what Arizona needs, the question to ask is what positions don’t they need? The only corner stone pieces that I can think of that are currently on their roster are Josh Rosen, David Johnson, Christian Kirk, Patrick Peterson (who only has one more year left on his deal and is aging), Chandler Jones, and Budda Baker. The other 47 players are replaceable, so there is no quick fix to this rebuild. Which is why Arizona needs to obtain as many assets as they can to fill out this roster. Am I saying that they would ruin their draft by taking Nick Bosa? No, he is the best player in the draft and they need blue chip players. I just believe that trading back should be a real possibility for them considering all of the holes this roster has.
With that being said wouldn’t this be the dream for Arizona? Trading back to get another first round pick and still ending up with a top 2 player in class who plays a position of need. Even though it sounds to good to be true, I believe it is a very real possibility. Both the 49ers and the Jets don’t desperately need help at Defensive Tackle, so Quinnen Williams could end up in their laps when it’s all said and done (if this scenario happens).
Cardinals Needs: Everything besides QB and RB
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Greedy Williams, Corner Back, LSU.
The Bucs have been trying to figure out their Corner situation since the Ronde Barber era. They have had a revolving door of dudes and none of them have been the answer. Rookie Carlton Davis showed flashes but looks like more of a number 2. MJ Stewart primarily plays nickel, Vernon Hargreaves has struggled, Brent Grimes is way past his prime and is a free agent this season. A long and talented Corner-Back from DBU who literally has the name “Greedy” would solve all of their problems right?
Well I still have some concerns about him. He unquestionably has the physical talent to be a number 1 Corner at the pro level. Yet, his effort, press technique, inability to consistently turn his head around and find the football worry me. He will have to show teams that he can clean up these parts of his game to warrant a top 5 selection. FYI this mock draft is what I think is going to happen. Not who I would chose for each team. My CB1 resides at the University of Washington. But we will get to him later.
Buccaneers Needs: CB, OL, S, RB, Edge
6. New York Giants Select Brian Burns, Edge Defender, Florida State.
WHAT?! THE GIANTS AREN’T SELECTING A QUARTERBACK?! Believe me I understand that the Giants have a 5% chance of winning the Super Bowl with Eli Manning but it seems like they don’t care. The reports have been saying that Eli is their guy and to be honest I don’t necessarily have a problem with that. This QB class isn’t great, so there is no reason to reach for one this year. Especially with the 2020 QB class seeming to be more promising. So why not address another important position of need and keep building towards a future with a new signal caller.
As for Burns, I believe he is the best edge rusher in this class not named Nick Bosa. He has the bend, speed/explosiveness, pass rush arsenal, and polish that warrants a top 10 selection. If he weighs under 240 lbs, he might give General Managers some pause. However, he has room on his frame to add weight. Teams tend overthink prospects with size concerns, but I will give the Giants the benefit of the doubt.
Giants Needs: QB, Edge, OL, CB, LB
7. Jacksonville Jaguars select Dwayne Haskins, Quarterback, Ohio State.
Giving Blake Bortles a contract extension was and has been nothing short of a disaster. If 21 TDs and 13 Ints in a simplistic offense was the best that he could of done. That should’ve been a red flag to the Jags’ front office to move on. Now in all fairness I can’t put all of the blame on Bortles for their disappointing 2018 season. Their entire team imploded including their vaunted defense. But I still believe they are (top to bottom) one of the most talented rosters in the league.
However, I don’t believe Dwayne Haskins takes them to the Super Bowl in his rookie season. I like Haskins and wouldn’t have a problem with a team selecting him in the top 10 because of his positional value. Yet that doesn’t change the fact that he needs a year to sit and learn. There are too many inconsistencies on tape that give me doubts about throwing him into a starting line up on day 1. Especially with a team as talented as the Jags, who is (at least it seems) ready to compete. If Haskins is their guy. They need to make it a priority to sign a capable bridge Quarterback and give Haskins a red shirt year.
Jaguars Needs: QB, WR, FS, OL, TE
8. Detroit Lions select Clellin Ferrell, Edge Rusher, Clemson
Ziggy Ansah hasn’t been the dominant presence off the edge the Lions hoped he would be. So going with an Edge Defender makes a lot of sense here. Especially because the fit is so perfect. For right or wrong, Matt Patricia loves big and physical Defensive Ends that can set the edge and hold the LOS. Which is what Ferrell thrives at. However, I have some concerns about him as a a pass rusher. I don’t know if he has the top end athleticism or bend to be a premier (still a very good one) pass rusher at the pro level. But Patricia comes from the Belichick coaching tree and they haven’t really cared about a pass rush as long as they have a rotation of rushers. So maybe it wouldn’t matter as much?
Lions Needs: DE, CB, TE, LB, S
9. Buffalo Bills select D.K. Metcalf, Wide Receiver, Ole Miss.
If everything checks out medically, D.K. Metcalf is the best receiver in the class. He possesses freak athleticism, tremendous ball skills, excellent body control, and has illustrated the ability to consistently beat press coverage with his releases. Now he must expand his route tree and if he does, he can be one of the best receivers in the league. There is no one in this class who could help Josh Allen more than Metcalf. Considering that the Bills have one of the most limited receiving corps in the NFL.
Bills Needs: WR, OL, TE, RB, Edge
10. Denver Broncos select Drew Lock, Quarterback, Missouri.
Being a current student at Mizzou, I want to like Drew Lock more than I do. There are parts of his game that intrigue me. Yet, his slow processing speed, shaky play under pressure, and inconsistencies with accuracy would make me extremely hesitant to take him in the first round. However, he has seemed to have turned the corner in his last stretch of games. Looking more comfortable in a pro style offense and seeing the field better. He was clearly the best Quarterback at the Senior Bowl, and had some really good responses in his interviews. Lock must of caught Denver’s attention, because there have been numerous reports of General Manager John Elway being infatuated with Lock. It’s no secret that they need a Quarterback or more importantly, Elway needs to hit on a Quarterback. I think Lock is his guy.
Broncos Needs: QB, OL, CB, LB, TE
11. Cincinnati Bengals select Devin White, Linebacker, LSU.
Hopefully the Bengals are as tired of watching Nick Vigl and Preston Brown play Linebacker as I am. And let’s not forget atrocity that is Vontaze Burfict. Which is why I want to introduce Cincinnati to Devin White, the best Linebacker in this class. White His has a sky high ceiling (because of his physical traits) but is not a finished product yet. He is still learning how to read his keys and trust his instincts. The Bengals must realize this and have a plan in place to develop him. If they do, they should not hesitate to pull the trigger on him.
Bengals Needs: LB, QB, CB, TE, OL
12. Green Bay Packers select Jachai Polite, Edge Defender, Florida.
Speed, bend, power, and explosiveness are traits that Jachai Polite has and that Packers’ edge rushers lack. Clay Mathews probably won’t be on the team next year and Nick Perry and Kyler Fackrell are best served as complimentary pieces. Everyone knows the Packers must get after the Quarterback if they want to get back to their winning ways. Polite can help them do that.
Packers Needs: Edge, S, LB, OL, WR
13. Miami Dolphins select Ed Oliver, Defensive Tackle, Houston.
Many are probably thinking I am crazy for having Ed Oliver fall to 13. Believe me, I know how good he is (top 5 player on my board) but a lot of the teams picking in the top 10 have far greater needs. Now the Dolphins don’t have a crying need at defensive tackle. However, the value is too great to pass up on a blue chip player like Oliver.
Dolphins Needs: QB, Edge, DT, WR, IOL
14. Atlanta Falcons select Jeffery Simmons, Defensive Tackle, Mississippi State.
Like San Francisco, you blew it Atlanta. All you had do was lose your last game and you would’ve been picking at 7! Ed Oliver was yours but Matt Bryant had to make a meaningless game winning field goal to rip him from your grasp. Don’t be too disappointed because you are still getting a great player in Jeffery Simmons. The Falcons love fast and explosive play makers on the defensive side of the ball and that’s exactly what Simmons is. Pairing him with Grady Jarrett would be dangerous for the rest of the league.
Falcons Needs: DT, IOL, Edge, LB, TE
15. Washington Redskins select Bryon Murphy, Corner Back, Washington
I believe that Byron Murphy is the best Corner in class. His ball skills, change of direction ability, smooth athleticism, and junk yard dog mentality put him in a tier of his own. He might lack the ideal length that teams want in their Corners. Yet Denzal Ward and Jaire Alexander showed us that size should not deter anyone from taking good football players. With Josh Norman not living up to his contract and nearing retirement. The Redskins need a number 1 corner then can rely on. Insert Bryon Murphy.
Redskins Needs: QB, WR, CB, IOL, S
16. Carolina Panthers select Deionte Thompson, Free Safety, Alabama.
Deionte Thompson came into the season with high expectations and in the beginning of the year, he looked like he was living up to those expectations. Yet, he under preformed in the college play offs. I still believe that his peaks are enticing enough to be worthy of the 16th overall pick. Especially for the Panthers. They have continued to ignore the position. Signing band aid players like Mike Adams and Kurt Coleman. To no surprise (to me at least) their secondary was exposed this season. Thompson could be the fix to a long lasting problem.
17. Cleveland Browns select Riley Ridley, Wide Receiver, Georgia.
This season, Cleveland showed us that they are ahead of schedule in their development. They have their Quarterback in place, some nice offensive pieces, and a pretty stout defense. However, they need a couple more additions to take them over the top. Insert Riley Ridley. Yes like his brother Calvin, Riley is also a very good Wide Receiver. If I am being honest, I believe he has a more complete skill set. He might not be as explosive but he is a lot better in the air, has more reliable hands, an can still separate at a high level. If Ridley takes care of business at the combine, there really isn’t a weak part of his game. He could be a perfect compliment to Jarvis Landry that the Browns desperately need.
Browns Needs: DT, CB, WR, OT, DE
18. Minnesota Vikings select Cody Ford, Offensive Lineman, Oklahoma.
Many people are blaming Kirk Cousins for the Vikings disappointing season and he definitely deserves a large part of the blame. However, everyone is ignoring how bad Minnesota’s offensive line has been. I will be the first one to say that Cousins did not play well enough in the big moments but it was clear that his spotty protection was affecting him. Fortunately for them, Cody Ford is in the class. Ford is a versatile lineman who can play Guard or Tackle at a high level. He is a massive upgrade over either of the Viking’s Guards and could maybe kick out to Left Tackle if Riley Reiff continues to struggle.
Vikings Needs: OL, DT, LB, TE, QB
19. Tennessee Titans select Noah Fant, Tight End, Iowa.
Marcus Mariota is at his best when he is able to find Delanie Walker over the middle. Well Walker is aging and suffered a horrific leg injury this season. Hopefully he can return to full form next year but they are going to have to find his replacement sooner than later.
Tight End Noah Fant does some of the same things as Walker. For example, they excel at wining vertically. Possessing the speed and athleticism to beat defenders deep. Fant isn’t as effective playing in line as Walker but is a more dynamic receiver.
Titans Needs: Edge, WR, TE, G, CB
20. Pittsburgh Steelers select Deandre Baker, Corner Back, Georgia.
It’s a weird year in the NFL when the Steelers aren’t in the playoffs. One of the biggest reasons why they were outside of the Super Bowl hunt is the numerous mistakes their secondary continues to make. They love to draft athletic defensive backs no matter how raw they are. However, Mike Tomlin and his staff haven’t shown the ability to develop them. So I will save them the trouble of having to develop someone and draft them Deandre Baker. Baker is basically a finished product who is extremely physical and a technician in press. He also has ball skills for days and great instincts in zone. The question that everyone will have is, how athletic is he? We will have to find that out at the combine but if he hits all of the athletic thresh holds. He might be gone before 20.
Steelers Needs: CB, LB, Edge, QB, WR
21. Seattle Seahawks select Rashan Garry, Defensive Lineman, Michigan.
22. Baltimore Ravens select Deebo Samuel, Wide Receiver, South Carolina.
23. Houston Texans select Jawaan Taylor, Offensive Tackle, Florida.
24. Oakland Raiders (From Chicago) select N’Keal Harry, Wide Receiver, Arizona State.
25. Philadelphia Eagles select Yodney Cajuste, Offensive Tackle, West Virginia.
26. Arizona Cardinals (from Oakland, from Dallas) select Dalton Risner, Offensive Lineman, Kansas State.
27. Indianapolis Colts select Christian Wilkins, Defensive Tackle, Clemson.
28. Los Angeles Chargers select Dre’mont Jones Defensive Tackle, Ohio State.
29. Kansas City Chiefs select Nasir Adderley, Defensive Back, Delaware.
30. Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans) select David Edwards, Wisconsin, Offensive Tackle.
31. Los Angeles Rams select Mack Wilson, Linebacker, Alabama.
32. New England Patriots select T.J. Hockenson, Tight End, Iowa.