With the NFL season officially over — and the AAF season officially underway (Go Iron) — your head is going to be overrun by numerous amounts of mock drafts between now and April.
So that’s why I’ve decided to get a little (maybe a lot) crazy with my 6.0 Mock Draft for your entertainment.
Quarterbacks control every single draft class. Whether it’s stacked at the top or scarce all around, the flow of every draft weekend comes and goes as the quarterbacks do. With a huge question mark over this 2019 quarertback class, that leaves the door of possibilities wide open when it comes to predicting what could happen.
In this mock draft, I have nearly half of the teams selecting in the first round not selecting in their original draft spots via trades both up and down. It’s an unlikely reality as a whole, but I wanted to give some fans an idea of what it could look like if their team moved up or down.
We know it will happen, we just don’t know which teams will be aggressive yet.
Here’s my guess at a ton of trades that could be in the realm of realism when draft weekend rolls around.
1. Oakland Raiders (via ARI): Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
*TRADE* ARI sends No. 1 to OAK for No. 4 and No. 27.
In the words of legendary coach Jon Gruden, it’s hard to find good pass rushers in this league. That’s why when you trade away one of the best ones you have, you better do everything you can to replace him.
The Raiders have three first round picks. I would suggest they use them to get a pass rusher. Now, could they sit at No. 4 and wait to get one there? Sure, but there’s a chance that all three teams in front of them could choose an edge rusher. I don’t think it’s Oakland’s style to sit and wait. Due to them not paying the price of a pick for a quarterback, I think they can give Arizona just one of their extra first round picks to get up and get Bosa.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
San Francisco needs the best talent on the defensive line they can get, but unfortunately for them Quinnen Williams would start eating into other high draft assets like Solomon Thomas and DeForest Buckner on the inside — they sort of just need Thomas to figure it out in the middle and upgrade elsewhere.
San Fran would benefit much more by getting themselves one of the best edge players in this stacked edge class at No. 2. Now, I don’t think the talent gap between that of Josh Allen, Brian Burns and Jachai Polite is that far, if spacious at all, but it seems the NFL really likes Allen the most, so mocking him here makes sense.
3. Washington Redskins (via NYJ): Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
*TRADE* NYJ send No. 3 to WAS for No. 15, No. 46 and a first rounder in 2020.
Unless Washington wants to start *checks notes* 32 year old Josh Johnson for an entire season in 2019, they better draft a quarterback, and in this class they better draft one high.
Alex Smith isn’t playing in 2019. There’s just no way. He might not even play again with that leg injury. With Smith commanding $20 million in cap space, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to sign a big name quarterback in free agency either.
That brings us to the draft and the desperation to get into the Top 5. If Washington is trading one second rounder this year and one first rounder next year to move up, you can bet they’re going to swing for the fences with which guy they choose.
That’s Kyler Murray.
4. Arizona Cardinals (via OAK): Quinnen Williams, iDL, Alabama
*TRADE* OAK sends No. 4 and No. 27 to ARI for No. 1.
Well, this worked out lovely for the Cardinals now didn’t it?
This would be the beauty of a trade back by the Cardinals. If they can stay in the Top 5 and yet acquire more premium Top 50 picks, they should absolutely do it. The Cardinals’ roster needs help beyond just one pick at No. 1, especially since that pick won’t be a quarterback.
Quinnen Williams is one of the best football players in this draft class, and getting him at No. 4 would feel like a steal.
5. Jackson ville Jaguars (via TB): Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
*TRADE* TB sends No. 5 and No. 135 to JAX for No. 7, No. 69 and a third round pick in 2020.
I do think that some team is going to trade up into the Top 5 for a quarterback, and once that happens I can see the other handful of teams that also need one starting to get very restless as the clock ticks.
Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht loves the draft. It’s his favorite game to play. He also loves having the chance to get more picks and select more players. That’s why I think a small move back to No. 7 with Jacksonville could be in the cards. This way the Jags get to jump the Giants to pick their quarterback and the Buccaneers get some extra picks to play with later.
Jacksonville MUST come away from this draft with either Murray or Haskins.
6. Miami Dolphins (via NYG): Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
*TRADE* NYG sends No. 6 to MIA for No. 13, No. 79 and second round pick in 2020.
Yeah, hey, remember that quarterback panic I was referencing earlier? Well, this is another step in that direction.
It’s sort of like the Jaguars seeing Kyler Murray go off the board. If any team after Murray and Haskins gets selected is considering Drew Lock with their first pick, they’re going to do what they need to do to get him. Free agency could certainly change this pick, but if Miami somehow goes into draft weekend with the quarterback set up they have now, they’ll get desperate — they have to.
On a more positive note, Lock still has a high ceiling as a quarterback, even if picking him here is high. That arm of his is fantastic and he seemed to have a great head on his shoulders when we talked to him at the Senior Bowl. He knows where he has to improve with footwork and mechanics to become as consistent as he needs to be.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (via JAX): Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
*TRADE* JAX sends No. 7, No. 69 and a third round pick in 2020 to TB for No. 5 and No. 135.
Honestly, if Quinnen Williams is off the board, the Buccaneers have a lot of room to be flexible. Even with this pick, I am assuming left tackle Donovan Smith is going to be back, at least for 2019. But, the Bucs still need to work on an answer at right tackle with Demar Dotson aging.
The Bucs could pick any of Jonah Williams, Jawaan Taylor or Cody Ford here and I think it would be worth it, but the reason I went with Taylor is how good he is in pass protection. With new head coach Bruce Arians, the Bucs are sill going to be a vertical offense. That’s going to require their offensive tackles to be comfortable in long pass sets while blocking for three or four seconds per snap. Taylor projects best for that, and for the right tackle position, if you ask me.
8. Detroit Lions: Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
If the draft board falls like this, Lions fans will be jumping for joy.
Burns is good enough to go anywhere from pick No.2 to this pick here at No. 8 — I doubt he’d gets past Detroit. Edge play is a high need for the Lions, and they’re certainly hoping the top of the draft is going to go as quarterback crazy as possible.
9. Buffalo Bills: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
The Bills could certainly get themselves a playmaker for quarterback Josh Allen to throw to, and because of that guys like D.K. Metcalf, Kelvin Harmon and even T.J. Hockenson could come into play. But you can’t throw if you can’t protect, and that’s why I have the Bills taking Williams to bolster their trenches.
There will be plenty of playmakers to grab on Day 2.
10. Tennessee Titans (via DEN): Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida
*TRADE* DEN sends No. 10 to TEN for No. 19, No. 83 and No. 157
Every year there’s at least one team that comes out of nowhere to make a move that you didn’t expect. For this mock draft, I’m predicting it’s the Titans.
After watching three of the top four edge rushers go off the board, the Titans could be sitting at No. 19 sweating that when they go on the clock at No. 19 the pickings will be slim or none for the position they need most. I expect Denver to be in the draft market for a quarterback, but I also expect them to take a swing at one in free agency. If they land one, say a Nick Foles or a Teddy Bridgewater, they would likely be a trade partner via moving back in the draft in order to pick up some extra picks and players.
Tennessee would get a dynamic pass rusher to combine with Harold Landry with Brian Orakpo retiring and Derrick Morgan now over the age of 30.