Tis the season! Not for giving, of course…but for mock drafts! Welcome to Mock Draft 4.0, a two-round romp through the current NFL Draft order. Welcome to the party, Saints and Cowboys fans! We’ve missed you dearly and hope you enjoy the festivities! Chicago fans? Maybe next time.
Below is my latest set of picks. By this time next Tuesday the first 20 picks will be set in stone. Enjoy!
1. Arizona Cardinals
Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
The odds of me placing anyone not named Nick Bosa in the first slot are pretty darn close to zero, at least until March/April when we have a better idea of who the team picking here actually likes.
Me? I like Bosa. Arizona is in a unique opportunity to add a cornerstone and potentially elite talent (the other being Josh Rosen from last year) on both sides of the ball. Rosen and Bosa on rookie contracts will provide the Cardinals with a 3-4 year window to flesh out the roster and compete.
2. Oakland Raiders
Quinnen Williams, IDL, Alabama
The Raiders are one of those programs that simply need elite talent. Yeah, getting Nick Bosa would be swell. But at some point the Raiders need to stop creating needs for their team and start filling the gaps in the line-up. And under no circumstances should the selections of P.J. Hall (2017 2nd round) and Maurice Hurst (2017 5th round) prevent them from drafting Williams, who has been dominant this year.
3. San Francisco 49ers
Brian Burns, EDGE, FSU
This is where things get pretty weird. SF has a dire need for an edge presence and last time I assigned them Clemson’s Clelin Ferrell. What has changed since then? I did Brian Burns’ formal film assessment.
Burns is the anti-Solomon Thomas: he’s got an elite first step, elite pass rush qualities and he’s a little light in the trunk. We’ve been told that Burns is currently tipping the scales somewhere just over 240 lbs, which is lighter than you’d want but yet functional play strength isn’t an issue on film. The 49ers get an elite pass rush prospect in Burns.
4. New York Jets
Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
I’m having a hard time seeing Josh Allen not being a darling this winter. Allen grew exponentially as a defender prior to his senior season and has top shelf athletic traits as a prototypical weight. The Jets are suckers for explosive defenders, so this feels pretty on brand for Gang Green.
5. Detroit Lions
Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
This shoe fits so I’m here to make sure the Lions wear it. Detroit needs pass rush to help aid a line that will be bidding farewell to Ziggy Ansah this winter. Clelin Ferrell is an attractive replacement option because he fits the preferred personnel profile of a Lions defensive lineman.
The team has proven they’ve got a soft spot for heavy handed, long armed defenders. Ferrell is very much of that mold.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
The Bucs defense isn’t exactly what we would call “good”. Byron Murphy, on the other hand? Yeah, he’s good. The Bucs have logged just 8 interceptions this season (Andrew Adams x3, Justin Evans x1, Adarius Taylor x1, Isaiah Johnson x1, Ryan Smith x1 and Javien Elliott x1) and need more ball production.
Heck, 2018 rookie cornerbacks Carlton Davis and M.J. Stewart have gotten 5 combined passes defensed in 20 combined games.
Solution: Take all the things that made Brent Grimes great before Father Time took over and put it in a slightly larger package. Oh, and Murphy is a redshirt sophomore.
7. Buffalo Bills
D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
The Bills need to get their franchise QB some new toys ASAP. Allen’s stat line has struggled more than his play this season, getting more accomplished pass catchers and bumping Zay Jones and 2018 UDFA Robert Foster (who has played well!) down the pecking order is in everyone’s best interests.
Metcalf entered the 2019 Draft despite a neck injury, so at this point we have to assume he’s full steam ahead and no WR has the physical talent of Metcalf.
8. New York Giants
Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
We don’t know for sure what Herbert’s plans are but for the sake of Giants fans (and my mentions on Twitter) I’m going to continue to give them a franchise QB until it’s no longer feasible.
This is the dream scenario for the Giants: landing a franchise QB just one year passing on Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Josh Rosen in favor of Saquon Barkley would extend New York’s competitive window exponentially.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars
Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Did you watch any of Jacksonville’s 17-7 win over Miami this weekend? No? Good. I’m happy for you. The Jaguars’ offense was hard enough to watch during their run to the AFC title game last year, let alone this year while benching Blake Bortles and turning the keys over to Cody Kessler.
Haskins’ style of play meshes well with the Jaguars’ speedy WR group and after receiving a 1st-round eval from the Advisory Committee, the odds of Haskins entering the Draft are on the up.
10. Atlanta Falcons
Ed Oliver, IDL, Houston
The stars keep aligning for the Falcons in these mocks. Oliver found his way to Atlanta in Mock Draft 3.0 as well, it’s too good of a marriage to let slip through the cracks and EDGE value plus team needs in front of the Falcons allow us to justify the slide.
Will it happen in real life? Oliver’s stock is going to be a fascinating case because his size is going to concern NFL teams. You can hate it all you want, but NFL teams are going to get shy about his lack of weight and lack of length.