Welcome to my first official mock draft for The Draft Network. If you thought I hated your team last year, maybe you should sit down, prepare yourself for a minute. This is going to be a fun ride.
The order of the selections below is based on the latest Vegas odds, or at least whatever the latest Vegas odds were when Trevor did his mock a week ago. I figured keeping the order the same would help you guys compare our mocks, obviously favoring mine over his.
These picks were a combination of what I would do and what I think NFL teams would do in these situations. Please disregard that the real thing is over eight months away, take this super seriously and lambaste me for every pick you hate.
No. 1 – New York Jets
PICK: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
Many have already tabbed Williams as one of the best tackle prospects in recent memory, but I wouldn’t quite go that far. The Alabama left tackle is technically polished and assignment-sound, but physically/athletically/violently he’s more Jake Matthews than Tyron Smith or Trent Williams.
Williams is very pro-ready however, and well-versed in a variety of pass sets. His strike timing and finishing can improve, but he’d be a plug-and-play upgrade for the Jets right out of the gate as a rookie.
No. 2 – Miami Dolphins
PICK: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
Even when projecting players to the NFL, you don’t see many quarterbacks that can rip the football like Herbert. He has a cannon of an arm, and the flashes of deadly accuracy are incredible. But Herbert doesn’t always show great poise in the pocket, and he’s still coming along mentally.
For Miami, a decision about Ryan Tannehill’s future should come after the season. If the veteran struggles, the Dolphins could look to trade him, or use him as the bridge until Herbert is ready. Either way, I think their interests in quarterbacks will be real next season.
No. 3 – Chicago Bears
PICK: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
Imagine the Bears defense with two top-tier edge rushers. On one side, Leonard Floyd is about to embark on a career-defining year coming back from injury after two up-and-down seasons. On the other side could be Bosa next season, unquestionably the best prospect in the class.
Bosa’s pass rush plan and technique are extremely advanced for his age, and his level of play has been utterly dominant in the Big Ten. Few college rushers offer his blend of flexibility, speed and hand usage, traits that could make him an immediate double-digit sack artist in the NFL.
No. 4 – Cincinnati Bengals
PICK: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
Will change finally come to Cincinnati? Until it happens, I’m just going to keep betting on it. If Marvin Lewis is finally sent packing, perhaps Andy Dalton will be as well. The latter is competent, but he’s never going to be the type of player to transcend the talented group around him.
Lock has the arm, the mechanics and the improving accuracy to be an impact starter in the NFL. He needs to make a big leap in his consistency this season, especially as a downfield passer, where the flashes are great but the lows are messy. His ceiling is higher than Dalton’s, but his floor might be lower too.
No. 5 – Buffalo Bills
PICK: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
When the Bills make this pick, Jerry Hughes will either be entering the final year of his contract or no longer with the team. Either way, Sean McDermott’s group will be in need of pass rush help, especially with Shaq Lawson being a colossal disappointment two years into his career.
McDermott prefers big-bodied ends, and Ferrell is the ideal prototype. The length, strength and size are there, but I’m worried Ferrell isn’t the type of athlete to ever be a highly-productive edge defender at the next level. Deadly hand usage is Ferrell’s calling card however, and could make up for his lack of great bend at the top of the arc.
No. 6 – Arizona Cardinals
PICK: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
I don’t think Williams is on the level of Marshon Lattimore and Jalen Ramsey just yet, but the physical and athletic skills are definitely there. He’s fast, long and has flashes of tantalizing ball skills, but the technique and awareness are still coming together.
The Cardinals have Patrick Peterson on one side, but opposite him has been a revolving door of ill-fitting options. Adding Williams to a secondary with Peterson and Budda Baker would move the Cardinals unit one step closer re-discovering their past success.
No. 7 – Cleveland Browns
PICK: Ed Oliver, IDL, Houston
Could Oliver really fall to Cleveland? Call me crazy, but I’m not sure the NFL is going to be as wild about a 270-275 pound defensive tackle who whoops up on AAC opponents every week. Personally? I think Oliver is an incredible athlete with insane power and anchor in the trenches. He lives in opponent’s backfields, and he moves like a linebacker.
The Browns still need interior defensive line help to complete their defensive overhaul. Oliver would be a great fit next to Larry Ogunjobi, giving the Browns two explosive one-gappers for Gregg Williams’ defensive front. Those two, with Myles Garrett and Emmanuel Ogbah? Whew.
No. 8 – Washington Redskins
PICK: Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama
Could the Redskins really pick an Alabama player in the first round for the third year in a row? Looking at their roster, Zach Brown and Mason Foster are solid, but neither have made a big impact in coverage during their NFL careers.
In the modern NFL, you need those skills in your second-level defenders. Wilson is rangy, athletic and instinctive in coverage, consistently making plays as a zone defender. He’s exactly what Washington is missing in their quest to build a defense to compete with the score of talented tight ends and running backs in opposing NFC East passing attacks.
No. 9 – Indianapolis Colts
PICK: Raekwon Davis, IDL, Alabama
What will the Colts need after this season? Your guess is as good as mine, as the roster needs major work in several places. After building up the offensive line with a lot of his early 2018 NFL Draft moves, I’m guessing Chris Ballard keeps stacking the trenches with premier talent in 2019.
Davis is an immediate NFL starter right away due to his technique, physicality and pad level when playing the run. He was productive as a pass rusher last season, but still has work to do in order to win 1v1 and get home consistently from the interior.
No. 10 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
PICK: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
As talented as they are, three Alabama players coming off the board in a row doesn’t sound super likely. Nevertheless, the weakest spot on the Bucs roster is clearly safety, where I don’t trust Justin Evans and I trust whoever his running mate will be even less.
Enter Thompson, a redshirt junior who started both college football playoff games for Alabama and played wonderfully. He’s big, rangy, physical and athletic, but does need to work on wrapping up cleaner and processing things a tad quicker from single-high coverage.