Here we go again. The full court press has begun, and we’ve now entered a lull in the Draft cycle. The Senior Bowl has come and gone and now we’re facing a four-week window of dead air before the next big event: the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine. To mark the end of Senior Bowl week, I’ve prepared my latest 2019 NFL Mock Draft.
Each of my first four iterations of a 2019 mock have been shockingly well received: an anomaly in this industry. Here’s hoping we keep coming up roses.
1. Arizona Cardinals: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
What do the Cardinals need? Elite football players.
What is Nick Bosa? An elite football player! Seems legit, right? Listen, if the Cardinals deem Quinnen Williams the proper choice, who am I to argue with them. Williams is a stud in his own right.
But for me personally? An elite edge rusher is the ticket. Bosa, like his brother, can play in any system you’d like to peg him to and can help totally reshape a defense.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
The good news? The 49ers don’t need a quarterback (we think). The bad news? The 49ers don’t really need a defensive tackle, either. Josh Allen, on the other hand, can provide the outside rush presence that the 49ers are lacking.
With DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead in house, the 49ers are set in the middle. Solving the pass rush problems will come with speed of the edge.
3. New York Jets: Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama
The Jets are welcoming in a new head coach this season…an offensive-minded one at that. So naturally the team is set to pick offense, right? NOT SO FAST, MY FRIEND.
There are rumors afloat that the Jets will part with DT Leonard Williams, a financial move that would make some sense for a team shifting in identity. Williams is due $14.2M this season and a franchise tag the following year would be worth approximately $18M.
The Jets flipping one Williams for another frees up long-term cash (and upgrades the position).
4. Oakland Raiders: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
The active receivers on the Raiders’ staff to close the season: Jordy Nelson, Marcell Ateman, Seth Roberts, Dwayne Harris and Keon Hatcher.
That’s a big ol’ batch of “yikes” from me, dog.
D.K. Metcalf is the anti-thesis of “yikes”, unless your perspective is an opposing cornerback. Go ahead and try to tell me Metcalf isn’t the type of player the Raiders (regardless of who is running the show) have fallen for. He’s flashy, an elite athlete and plays a sexy position.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
Regardless of whether or not OT Donovan Smith walks, this pick makes sense. Williams can step in at Left Tackle and replace Smith or push Smith to Right Guard in the team’s effort to maximize their 2015 investment.
Williams will also battle the narrative to kick inside, but even if he’s tasked with doing so he’s going to be a successful player. The Bucs need better pass protectors to help compensate for new head coach Bruce Arians’ deep passing scheme.
6. New York Giants: Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma
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Whether you like it or not, the Giants are ready to ride with Eli. Again. And to be quite frank, I’d rather deal with another season of Eli and a 2020 1st-round rookie than invest in any of these passers: there’s no sure thing.
So why not continue to build the infrastructure on offense so that Eli’s heir, whoever he is, will have as easy a life as possible?
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
While the Giants can be selective with their next quarterback, the Jaguars have no such luxury. Blake Bortles has got to go. So who makes sense? Dwayne Haskins has a pretty standard projection to the NFL.
There’s plenty of rough edges, but Dwayne has a lot of NFL throws on his film resume. And the Jaguars receivers are built for run after the catch, just as the ones at Ohio State are.
8. Detroit Lions: Ed Oliver, iDL, Houston
This is a BPA selection just as much as it is anything else. Da’Shawn Hand was a successful rookie for the Lions in 2018 before ending the season on Injured Reserve. Putting him and Ed Oliver next to Damon Harrison is…enticing, to say the least.
For a team that doesn’t rely on a lot of exterior speed in the pass rush, getting explosive rushers would go a long way in mending this Lions defense.
9. Buffalo Bills: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
Talk about a doomsday scenario for the Bills. Cody Ford, Jonah Williams, D.K. Metcalf and Ed Oliver are all off the board.
Bills Mafia is going to tell me Buffalo should trade down here, but I disagree. The draft is seven rounds long for a reason: there’s no need to force the issue at 9. A very talented pass rusher has fallen right into Coach McDermott’s lap.
The Bills staff prefers prototype players, Ferrell’s length, pass rush counters and run setting all fit the mold of a DE the Bills would covet.
10. Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
Death. Taxes. John Elway drafting high risk quarterbacks.
These are the certainties in life. And with Drew Lock, the stakes have never been higher. There’s a whole lot of smoke early on about Lock and Denver, suggesting that the team really likes the prototypical pocket passer from Missouri.
Lock was comfortably the best QB here in Mobile and won folks over with his demeanor and natural arm ability.