Happy Monday, everyone. Did you have a nice weekend? Would you like the start of your week ruined? If so, you’re in luck! The third edition of my 2019 mock draft is here, and while I do my best to give each team what they need, it may not always be when you, the fans, want. I’m eager to hear which of you take offense.
A few administrative items:
1. The draft order used in this mock is based on the current order. If you don’t like where your team picks you can only blame your team.
2. Remember: the draft itself is 7-rounds long. Maybe you don’t like the fit of a player selected in the first round, but there will be plenty of opportunities to draft for that team need without compromising the value of the pick.
1. Oakland Raiders
PICK: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
Imagine if the Raiders kept Khalil Mack and still opted to draft Nick Bosa. That would’ve certainly put an end to the pass rush perils in Raider Nation, but alas a second contract is a hefty price to pay.
Instead, the Raiders make the first of their three 1st-round selections count and land the best overall football player in the class, providing Coach Gruden’s remade Raiders with a cornerstone player.
2. New York Giants
PICK: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
I’m not sure if you’ve heard this or not, but the Giants opted not to select Sam Darnold, Josh Allen or Josh Rosen this past year and instead took a running back.
If you’re a part of the collective football world who clutches your pearls at such a sight, I bring good news: the Giants will redeem themselves this year and take the best quarterback prospect in the class.
Roster construction is rarely a one year affair and as it turns out the Giants are terrible again this year. The team gets the chance to pull a gifted passer in Herbert to pair with their new face of the franchise, Saquon Barkley.
3. San Francisco 49ers
PICK: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
This is a bit of a hard pill to swallow for 49ers fans, but Solomon Thomas isn’t drawing any inspiration with his play thus far as a Niner. It’s also difficult to conceive four 1st-round picks invested in the defensive line in five years, but the 49ers need to get this group right.
Ferrell offers a lot of things Thomas didn’t when coming out of Stanford: length, secondary pass rush counters and better awareness of how to land blows and negate first contact.
Putting him on the edge will allow the 49ers to have some flexibility with what they choose to do with their personnel, including Thomas and future free agent Arik Armstead.
4. Arizona Cardinals
PICK: Ed Oliver, DL, Houston
It’s actually pretty fascinating: if the Cardinals don’t pull the trigger here on Ed Oliver, where does he fall? I think despite Oliver’s status as a top-2 prospect in the country by Draft pundits, he may be in for a slightly longer wait on Draft night when it’s all said and done.
The Cardinals are a team devoid of talent, so getting good football players is a very straight forward goal for this organization. Oliver is a very good football player and the team’s selections of Robert Nkemdiche and Haason Reddick in recent years is a good reminder that this team isn’t scared to target athleticism and versatility in the first round, even if hit doesn’t meet prototypical thresholds.
5. New York Jets
PICK: Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida
The Jets haven’t boasted a lot of speed off the edge in recent years. This team has been all about a ferocious defense in recent years, so why not get a high motor defender who brings all kinds of hurt to opposing quarterbacks in Polite?
Polite has scheme versatility and he’s shown the ability to win from tight and wide alignments alike. That burst off the edge is a rare trait, one the Jets would be very difficult to defend against if added to this athletic front seven.
6. Buffalo Bills
PICK: Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama
Buffalo’s list of offensive prospects in consideration for a top-ten pick should look like the following:
- Alabama OL Jonah Williams
And that’s it. If Williams isn’t here, Bills Mafia needs to keep the tables stowed away for another day…you don’t want to risk this pick on a reach. With that said, there’s acceptable value here for Williams, who could feasibly play either tackler or guard in the NFL. With Dion Dawkins in house already, the added flexibility would be a cherry on top, allowing Buffalo to simply get their five best offensive linemen on the field.
(Brace yourself…this debate is certainly coming in the next few months.)
An opportunity to build up some pieces around a raw young quarterback is one the Bills would be wise to take advantage of, but only if the value is there. In this case, it is.
7. Detroit Lions
PICK: Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama
The Lions’ template for a successful defense doesn’t quite follow the same template of many other defenses. Coach Matt Patricia, who comes off the Bill Belichick coaching tree, would love to add more horses up front. The addition of Da’Shawn Hand is a step in the right direction, the 2018 rookie has been a pleasant surprise thus far in Detroit.
But this team will be built from the inside out, just like the team was committed to accomplishing on offense this past off-season. So when another dominant defender from that same Alabama pipeline comes falling into the 7th overall selection courtesy of some teams ahead of them checking the needs boxes, it only makes sense to go for another disruptive, athletic defender along the defensive front.
8. Denver Broncos
PICK: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
This team needs a quarterback. Color me stunned that the Case Keenum investment hasn’t materialized as John Elway would have hoped.
Here’s the bad news: I’m not quite ready to put Dwayne Haskins into this stratosphere, after watching him in recent weeks.
Here’s the good news: if Elway drafted him, he’d almost assuredly bust anyway. It’d be very on brand. So instead, why not add a gifted piece to the secondary and add more competition to a group that needs to find a long term replacement for Aqib Talib?
9. Jacksonville Jaguars
PICK: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
Remember that quick talk we just had about Dwayne Haskins? It still applies. There are elite prospects still on the board: Thompson is one of them. Imagine Thompson prowling the middle of the field with Bouye and Jalen Ramsey on the boundary.
This isn’t to say that Barry Church and Tashaun Gipson and Ronnie Harrison are a bad safety room. But good players shouldn’t prevent teams from drafting great players that fit the team’s identity. That would be exactly the case with the pick of Thompson to Duval.
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
PICK: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
If you are unfamiliar with the Bucs secondary, allow me to sum things up for you: it’s bad. Very bad.
Yes, the team invested early picks in CBs M.J. Stewart and Carlton Davis in last year’s draft. But as was the case with the Jaguars’ selection of Thompson at 9, good players should never prevent you from drafting great players. Murphy is an attractive fit for the the Bucs, given his ball skills and quickness.
An added bonus? There’s no such thing as too much cornerback depth in the NFL.
11. Cleveland Browns
PICK: Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan
Huh? Don’t the Browns already have a somewhat stiff defensive end in Emmanuel Ogbah?
You’re right, they do…but Rashan Gary shouldn’t be playing defensive end in the NFL, at least not full-time. No, instead imagine Gary playing at 3T in this Browns front between the likes of Larry Ogunjobi and Myles Garrett! This is a potent and exciting pathway for Gary in the NFL.
Yes, Gary has cut weight to play defensive end this season for Michigan. But that move can be easily undone, given Gary’s rare athletic traits. Plus, consider Gary’s greatest strength at the moment may just be stacking blocks with his hands. That extension and stout play will come in handy on the interior.