Welcome to my fifth mock draft of the 2019 NFL Draft season, this one a pre-Senior Bowl edition. This is the intro that nobody ever reads, explaining that most of this mock draft is predictive, with a heavy slant toward how I believe the NFL may see the current draft landscape.
No further ado. Now, enjoy.
1. *TRADE* San Francisco 49ers (Via ARI): Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
A trade within the same division? Come on, Ledyard!
Ask me if I care. No, seriously. Ask me.
Look at it this way. The Cardinals are going to get trade offers for no. 1, either by a team in need of a quarterback or a team trying to get Bosa (Oakland). The Cardinals have an elite edge rusher already in Chandler Jones, and another decent one in Markus Golden. Would Bosa be an awesome pick? Absolutely. Nothing in the world wrong with it.
But imagine getting a ransom for no. 1, being able to fill other CRYING needs over the next two drafts, and STILL getting maybe the best player in the draft at a huge position of need. It’s a no-brainer.
As for the 49ers, they can afford to give up picks. Sure, they have obvious needs, but they should be able to fill some in free agency, and an elite pass rusher makes the whole defense SO MUCH BETTER. With Bosa off the edge, the 49ers have one of the best pass rush duos in the NFL in he and DeForest Buckner. Now all they need to do is stay healthy.
As for giving up assets to a division foe, somebody is going to do it. If you’re San Francisco, it’s get Nick Bosa or watch someone else do it. I think he’s the player they are missing to go over the top.
2. *TRADE* Arizona Cardinals (Via SF): Quinnen Williams, iDL, Alabama
With the reasoning already explained, let’s talk about the fit. Imagine Chandler Jones, arguably the best pass rusher in the NFL, paired with Quinnen Williams, arguably the best prospect in the draft? The Cardinals have a ton of needs, so getting more picks is another huge part of this. With the roster in shambles, find a way to get yourself in position to fix both lines and prosper.
3. New York Jets: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
Two things are true in New York that weren’t true before: the head coach (Adam Gase) and the defensive coordinator (Gregg Williams) both care about pass rush, a lot. Just look at their track records. That’s why I firmly believe the Jets are in the market for edge rushers first and foremost, and will make sure they come away with one at the top of the draft.
Allen has the size, speed and bend to rush the passer at a high level off the edge, as well as being able to drop and play with his hand down. He’s an ideal remedy for the Jets primary illness.
4. *TRADE* Jacksonville Jaguars (Via OAK): Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
The Jaguars are in dire need of a quarterback, and it doesn’t appear that there will be a strong option available in the offseason. With Doug Marrone and Tom Coughlin still in place, the Jaguars are bound to be a run-heavy team that thrives on the short-intermediate passing game. Haskins is a good fit for their system, but there will be questions about how high the ceiling is with the redshirt sophomore at the helm.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ed Oliver, iDL, Houston
With Gerald McCoy likely on the way out of town, the Bucs will be looking for another difference-maker on the interior defensive line to help out Jason Pierre-Paul. I don’t care that they drafted Vita Vea with their first round pick last year; he’ll be a good player, but he doesn’t have close to the explosive skill set on all three downs that Oliver offers.
NFL games are won in the trenches, and while Tampa Bay could go with an offensive tackle here, I’m not sure they value Jonah Williams this high, and I can’t give them Greg Little again (did in my last mock, almost died). I’d think about Cody Ford, but I’ve only seen him at right tackle. Tough to predict how he’ll do moving to the left side. Oliver can make plays behind the line of scrimmage and at the point of attack. Can’t pass on that given the Bucs need to get after the quarterback at a high level without McCoy.
6. New York Giants: Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma
The Giants have holes all over their defense, and on the right side of their offensive line. I love Ford as a pick for them, as he has the upside to be a stud right tackle opposite Nate Solder. If the Giants are unable to develop him at tackle, Ford could be a dominant guard in the NFL, where New York also has a massive hole. His traits and physical mentality are special.
7. *TRADE* Oakland Raiders (Via JAX): Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
If the board falls like this, the Raiders will be in a semi-tough spot if they were to stay at no.4. They need an edge rusher, but with so many to choose from, they might get overwhelmed inside the top five.
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As for the Raiders, Burns is the type of explosive edge rusher they need, bringing bend and a great pass rush plan to the table. The Raiders need a polished player in the first round, and Burns will offer that skill set right away.
8. Detroit Lions: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
The Lions need pass rush help, but the cornerback situation opposite Darius Slay is a nightmare, and there isn’t an answer on the current roster. Williams isn’t a finished product, but his length, instincts and fluidity in man coverage are an ideal fit for Detroit. Can he welcome Matt Patricia’s culture and show more consistent effort and technique?
9. Buffalo Bills: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
Two things need to check out for Metcalf to be a top-tier pick: his neck and his Combine workout. If he’s healthy and tests as elite as we all think he will, his stock will soar. His speed and catch radius are the perfect combination to develop alongside Josh Allen. The Bills haven’t shied away from raw players, believing in their coaching staff to develop them. That’ll need to be the case again with Metcalf, who isn’t a finished product just yet.
10. Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
I know it’s January, but doesn’t it just feel like this one is inevitable? Given what John Elway prefers at the quarterback position, the need the Broncos have at quarterback and Lock’s upside for a team building their way back into a contender, this one makes sense on paper. I’m not sure I’d do it though. Lock has improved, but he still ain’t worth a first round pick. Big risk for a guy who hasn’t shied away form them.