othing cures the pain of realizing you’ve just watched your last live NFL game until September quite like a mock draft. That is unless you hate your teams pick (you probably do), then you are just going to be even more triggered. No worries, take out your frustrations at me on Twitter. I spent eight hours penning this mock draft with hopes of your
Now that the New England Patriots are once again Super Bowl Champions, the draft order is at last finalized and all 32 teams are in off season mode. Welcome to the fifth iteration of my 2019 NFL Mock Draft!
1. Arizona Cardinals: Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama
Woah!?!? Not Nick Bosa?!?! If Arizona doesn’t trade back and makes a selection, it has to be either Williams or Bosa and I don’t think the gap between Bosa and Williams is very wide, if there even is one at all. It could also be argued that Arizona’s need on the interior defensive line is far greater than on the edge.
Williams was the most dominant defensive player I studied on film last season. It’s not just that he features exceptional quickness, power, technique and urgency on the field, his football IQ is incredibly high. He processes play concepts rapidly, works through contact and lives in the backfield.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
Williams going No. 1 overall and Bosa falling right into their hands is the dream scenario for the Niners. While San Francisco has used plenty of premium draft capital on its defensive line, the outside pass rush is still severely lacking. Enter Bosa who can immediately solve the issue.
Bosa is a refined technician with his hand usage, explosive mover and features exceptional play strength. He has the upside to become that next Myles Garrett, Von Miller or Khalil Mack caliber edge rusher in the NFL.
3. New York Jets: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
Picking No. 3 overall, the Jets have a lot of flexibility with the selection. One year after trading up for Sam Darnold and parting with considerable draft capital, New York could easily slide back and acquire a good bit of that back. The Jets are also in prime position to snatch up a premiere talent if they stay put and make a selection which would be the case if Allen is the pick.
Allen ran circles around SEC offensive tackles all season long to the tune of 21.5 tackles for loss and 17 sacks. Playing in a division that features quarterback Josh Allen, the story lines would write themselves with both dynamic athletes facing each other twice per season.
4. Oakland Raiders: Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
The Raiders defense registered an NFL-low 13 sacks in 2018. 13 (THIRTEEN) SACKS! Not only was that mark the fewest in the NFL by 17 (SEVENTEEN!!!), 11 individual defensive players recorded at least 13 in 2018. Outside of some abysmal quarterback situations (Hi, Jacksonville), there is no greater team need in the entire NFL than pass rusher for the Raiders. The good news? This draft is loaded with pass rushing talent and Burns is a great one.
Burns’ blend of length, flexibility, technical refinement, football intelligence and burst serve as a strong foundation for him to become a dynamic playmaking defender in the NFL. In his last 11 games against Power 5 competition, Burns recorded 20.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks and 6 forced fumbles.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ed Oliver, iDL, Houston
Could we be seeing the end of Gerald McCoy in Tampa Bay? As it stands, the Bucs are on the hook for nearly $13 million in 2019, 2020 and 2021. He could also be cut with zero dead cap accumulated. Certainly feels like the writing is on the wall.
Oliver would pair nicely with last year’s top pick Vita Vea and provide Tampa Bay with a dynamic interior penetrator. The Bucs made strides on defense last year, but more work needs to be done for Tampa Bay to field a competitive defense.
6. New York Giants: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Not sure if you’re aware or not but current Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning is 38 and New York passed on his successor in last year’s draft in favor of a running back with pick No. 2 overall. Well, that running back just earned NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Honors and is primed to be one of the most dynamic and prolific weapons in the league for years to come. Now, New York finds itself picking in the top 10 and the need to identify its future at quarterback remains.
Completing 70 percent of his passes for 4,831 yards with 50 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, Haskins had a historically great season for a Big Ten quarterback in 2018. His ability to slot throws from the pocket to the dynamic Ohio State offensive weapons can transition to the NFL where Odell Beckham, Evan Engram, Sterling Shepard and Saquon Barkley would immediately be at his disposal. The Giants make sense for Haskins and I think it would be his best chance to reach his ceiling.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Hello, Duval. How are you?
On one hand, Murray just doesn’t have the makeup of a top-10 quarterback pick one would expect from Tom Coughlin and Doug Marrone. On the other hand, Jacksonville’s run-heavy identity would be terrific for Murray and Jacksonville could be looking to make a splash.
Using the run to set up the pass, Murray thrives on play-action and roll out passes where he can get deeper drops to expand his ability to see the field and take advantage of his arm talent and mobility. The Jaguars are a championship-caliber roster everywhere except where it matters most – quarterback. Let’s see if a
leopard jaguar can change its stripes.
8. Detroit Lions: Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan
Detroit, you are a challenging team to pick for. Well maybe not since the needs are pretty clear, but the passionate Lions’ fan base is always ready to pounce on picks they don’t prefer from us draft gurus. I probably didn’t do myself any favors slotting a Michigan defender to the Detroit Lions and I already calculated the inevitable gripes from the Lions den about how “lazy” I am for going in this direction.
With that out of the way, hear me out. Gary to the Lions makes a lot of sense. There is a clear need at edge rusher for Detroit and Gary has top-10 caliber athletic ability and physical traits. While he needs technical improvements, I can see Matt Patricia believing he can be the one to develop Gary to reach his potential. Gary can be a game-wrecker.
With the questions about fit and need now answered, it is worth mentioning that Ford Field is less than an hour drive from Ann Arbor, so Gary’s transition from Michigan to Detroit would be a smooth one. Speaking of smooth, are you shaving with a Harry’s Razor?
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9. Buffalo Bills: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
With glaring needs at wide receiver, offensive line and the defensive line, Buffalo is in position to go in a number of different directions that make sense. Picking just ahead of QB-needy teams in Denver and Miami, No. 9 could be an attractive trade up spot for a team like the Bengals or Redskins (or any of the aforementioned teams) to move up for Drew Lock. General Manager Brandon Beane loves his draft picks and flexibility so things could get interesting on draft day. Whether Buffalo picks at No. 9 or slides back a bit, Taylor would be a sensational pick.
I recently studied Taylor and fell in love with his game. His size, mobility, strength and length are plus traits that led to a dominant junior season for the Gators. You just don’t see guys as big as Taylor slide their feet as smoothly as he does with as much body control and ability to connect with defenders in space. He could immediately start at right tackle opposite of Dion Dawkins and provide Buffalo two exciting bookend tackles to protect franchise quarterback Josh Allen while blasting open holes in the run game.
10. Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
There is almost too much smoke when it comes to the grumblings about John Elway liking Drew Lock that I’m starting to doubt them. Isn’t it a touch early for that? Maybe it’s Buffalo or Detroit putting information out there to entice a team to move up…
But it makes sense. Denver will be below average until it gets the quarterback position right and Lock has an exciting skill set. He features a sturdy frame, big arm and good mobility while taking major strides forward in Derek Dooley’s progression-style offense for Missouri in 2018. He had an impressive week in Mobile at the Senior Bowl.