“You’re an idiot.” Yeah, yeah, I know, just get it out the way and let the people have some fun, would ya?
As I prepped to write this mock draft, I went back and re-read some of TDN’s old mocks and even a few others around the web, and you know what, they all looked the same.
I’m not about copy-cat mock drafts. You know why? Because the whole point of a mock draft is to try to simulate possibility, to stimulate the imagination and allow fans to think, “hm, if this then that, how would this player look on my team?”
If I’ve learned anything about the draft after covering it for six years, it’s that it’s as unpredictable as they come. Teams think one way when they should think another. Teams get overly aggressive in strange spots. And those things always lead to a whacky final board when it’s all said and done.
With all that in mind, for this early-January mock draft, let’s have some fun. Presenting my first mock draft of 2019, which includes some blockbuster trades.
1. Jacksonville Jaguars (via AZ)
Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Let’s. Get. Weird.
You’re going to read a million mock drafts between now and April — hopefully most of which are on the draft network dot com. I’ve seen too many mocks that look far too similar when we all know the draft is an unpredictable beast. You know some teams are going to shoot their shot and change the course of the entire draft.
In this mock draft, Jacksonville is one of those teams.
I have the Jags moving up from No. 7 to No. 1 overall, likely for a first round pick in 2020 and a few other Top 100 picks thrown in there, to make sure they get the best quarterback this draft class can offer.
There are two types of teams in this league: ones that have a quarterback and ones that don’t, and if you don’t, you better find yours quick.
2. San Francisco 49ers
Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
Well, well, well, look who lucked out.
If a quarterback does get taken No. 1 overall, John Lynch might sprint to the podium himself a la Ultimate Warrior.
Or maybe he won’t… Maybe he’ll light up a cigar the second the 49ers go on the clock with Bosa still in the pool and smoke that bad boy until the clock hits zero before he casually hands the relay man the card.
Either way: Bosa The Niner.
3. New York Giants (via NYJ)
Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
Okay now we’re getting spicy.
If Haskins does go No. 1, then that means any other team that might be remotely looking for a quarterback is likely going to start breathing heavily in and out of a brown paper bag. This year’s quarterback class is scarce, and if you don’t get one of the top three or four guys (and even then), you’re holding down the fort for another year.
For the Giants, I could see them being aggressive. They can say Eli is their guy for 2019 all they want, but general manager Dave Gettleman isn’t naive. He knows that a rookie’s first year with Eli next to him could mean a lot for a young passer’s learning curve, even if they don’t play in Year 1.
For the Giants to move up just three spots (mainly to jump Oakland), they would likely only have to give up a few Day 2 picks. Perhaps their second, fourth and fifth this year and a second next year — they have two extra fourth and fifth round picks this year.
4. Philadephia Eagles (via OAK)
Quinnen Williams, iDL, Alabama
And this is the scene of the first act where all hell breaks loose.
What quarterback Nick Foles is doing for the Eagles for the second season in a row is incredible, but they’re just not going to give up on Carson Wentz. He is still the guy no matter how far Foles goes — I think?
Foles will turn 30 years old this month, but as we’ve seen from around the NFL, early 30s can be where a quarterback really hits his stride — Foles certainly seems to be. Tell me Jon Gruden wouldn’t pull the trigger on this deal to get a veteran, playoff-winning quarterback while also acquiring more draft picks for new GM Mike Mayock.
Foles’ contract includes both a team and player opt in/out this offseason. On the Eagles’ side, they can choose to sign Foles for $20 million guaranteed for one more year. For Foles, he can choose to pay back $2 million of his signing bonus and be a unrestricted free agent, regardless of the team’s desires. Foles will likely do that latter, as it could allow him to sign for more money on the open market. But Eagles’ GM Howie Roseman is a heckin’ wizard, and perhaps he can convince Foles to signed and get $20 million guaranteed while promising to trade him to a team of interest that would likely sign him to an extension.
Likely? No, but the Eagles will do whatever they can to get something out of Foles. Perhaps this is it.
Anyways, Philly sees their chance to get the best interior defensive lineman in the draft (a need), they make the call, they get Quinnen.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
Oh, wow, no trade or outlandish selection? Change the channel. Let’s see if Undisputed is on.
Nope, this is just a pick that makes a lot of sense for the team selecting. The Buccaneers need fortification on their offensive line, whether it ends up being a left tackle, right tackle or right guard. Jonah Williams is the best offensive lineman in the draft, and he could fill any of those three positions in Year 1 for the Buccaneers in a crucial year for evaluating their franchise quarterback Jameis Winston.
6. New York Jets (via NYG)
Ed Oliver, iDL, Houston
The Jets get a win-win here.
New York is getting a new coach, and they’re looking to acquire as much talent as possible. Because of that, trading down makes sense. But they don’t want to trade down too far because they do still want an elite player in this class.
If the quarterback run starts going early, there’s a real chance they can end up with Quinnen Williams, Jonah Williams, Ed Oliver or even Josh Allen. I think Oliver gets the nod over Allen, in this case.
7. Arizona Cardinals (via JAX)
Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma
By moving down from No. 1 to No. 7, Arizona will have picked up a first round pick this year and next year, and like two seconds or a second and a third. That’s a good purse for a team that needs a lot of talent.
The Cardinals offensive line was bad this year, and I mean just downright awful. There won’t be any time in the pocket for Josh Rosen to even progress with another year like the one I saw. Ford is a name you don’t see at the top of mock drafts a lot right now, but as a rare athlete with speed, strength and size, I think you’ll see him rise as the draft process rolls on. If Jonah Williams is gone, I’d be comfortable with Arizona taking Ford.
8. Detroit Lions
Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
If the board falls like this, the Lions will be in a tough spot. They need an edge rusher, but with so many to choose from, they might get overwhelmed.
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When it comes to settling on which edge rusher to choose, I think the Lions will love the size and speed combination of Allen the most. He’s a guy who can support the run yet speed bend on the outside.
9. Buffalo Bills
Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State
The theme for the Buffalo Bills this offseason has to be surrounding Josh Allen with the best offense they can come up with. That will start in free agency, but I think their most important piece will come with this pick.
Butler truly was a market share monster for the Iowa State offense down the stretch, and even in their bowl game, their opponent knew the ball was going to go to Butler and yet there was nothing they could do about it. At 6-foot-6, Butler can bring a rare combo of size, speed, red zone reliability and yards-after-catch ability to an offense as an outside wide receiver.
10. Denver Broncos
Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
I go to the NFL Combine every year, and while there I make sure to listen to as many NFL general manager podium interviews as I can — it gives me perspective as well as answers. When Broncos general manager John Elway was at the podium last year, someone brought up the fact that he isn’t afraid to swing and miss when it comes to finding a franchise quarterback. I remember he smiled and said, “And I’m going to keep swinging until I get one.”
With another head coach down, Elway’s ice is starting to get thin; he has to find that quarterback. If he’s going to take a swing at one in this class, especially picking at No. 10, perhaps that’s Duke’s Daniel Jones. Jones has a lot of fans in NFL circles.