11. Cincinnati Bengals: Devin White, LB, LSU
As stated before, this one is a very popular mock draft pick to the Cincinnati Bengals, but it makes a lot of sense.
The Bengals have needs at linebacker and then basically everywhere along the offensive line. But something tells me they’ll want to pick White head of guys like Cody Ford and Dalton Risner. If Jawaan Taylor or Jonah Williams make it to this pick, though, I could certainly see them pulling the trigger on one of them.
12. Green Bay Packers: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
It has been reported that the Packers will be having Jimmy Graham around for 2019, but even if that’s the case, I don’t think you can rely on Graham anywhere near like you used to be able to earlier in his career. And even if the Packers stick with Graham for another season, Hockenson remains a top choice for them.
At 6-foot-5, 245 pounds, Hockenson is a true full-time tight end. He can block and release off the line of scrimmage, and he can get up the seam and into his routes from the slot. This guy could elongate Aaron Rodgers’ career for years much like Gronk has done with Brady.
13. New York Giants (via MIA): Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma
*TRADE* MIA sends No. 13, No. 79 and second round pick in 2020 to NYG for No. 6.
I bet the Giants would be happy selecting Cody Ford at No. 6 overall, so if they can trade back, get an extra third and fourth round pick out of it (perhaps even more) and get Ford, they should certainly be pleased.
Ford can play both right tackle or inside at guard in the NFL. I like his tape at tackle, so I think that’s where you give him a shot first opposite Nate Solder.
P.s. I know some people will be yelling that I don’t even mention them targeting a quarterback. I think quarterback is their number one need, but until I hear they are interested in pulling the trigger in the first round, mocking them Murray or Haskins like they should seems pointless.
14. Cleveland Browns (via ATL): Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
*TRADE* ATL sends No. 14 and No. 111 to CLE for No. 17, No. 81 and No. 145.
Things are trending up for Cleveland in some big ways. In fact, their list of draft needs isn’t a mile long like it usually is. And that fact combined with their 11 draft picks (not including compensatory picks) makes them a prime candidate to move up a bit. I think that if Greedy Williams gets within striking distance for them, they’ll be willing to part ways with one or more of their many late round draft picks to go pair him with Denzel Ward.
In this trade I have Cleveland and Atlanta swapping first round picks (just three spots) with Cleveland also giving up two third round picks but getting an early fourth rounder back.
15. New York Jets (via WAS): Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
*TRADE* WAS sends No. 15, No. 46 and a first rounder in 2020 to NYJ for No. 3.
Jumping all the way from No. 3 to No. 15 is a big risk for the Jets, especially for their needs of edge rusher and offensive tackle. But, even in a doomsday scenario that I have written before this pick, they still get their hands on a really good edge player in Clelin Ferrell.
The draft doesn’t happen in a vacuum, but getting an extra first round pick (Washington will probably be bad in 2019, too) and an extra second round pick while still ending up with Clelin Ferrell would be a win for the Jets in my book.
16. Carolina Panthers: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
Carolina’s biggest needs seems to be along the offensive line, on the edge at pass rusher and then also at safety. With Ford, Williams and Taylor gone, instead of over reaching for Greg Little, I think it would make more sense to get a guy like Montez Sweat on the edge.
Sweat had a nice Senior Bowl, and I am sure the NFL took notice. He’s not much of a speed rusher, but Sweat does give you a high floor, albeit a low ceiling.
17. Atlanta Falcons (via CLE): Ed Oliver, iDL, Houston
*TRADE* CLE sends No. 17, No. 81 and No. 145 to ATL for No. 14 and No. 111.
This would be a big-time win for the Falcons if they could pull something like this off.
I really don’t know where the NFL will be on Ed Oliver, as it stands today. He’s small — about 280 pounds, if that — and the only success story of an interior player that small is Aaron Donald, who is an absolute freak. I am worried about Oliver being a tweener is the wrong system, and I think the NFL agrees with me. That’s why he could last until this point or even later.
But, for the Falcons, a guy like Oliver could make sense because they could play him next to Grady Jarrett on the inside or as a 5-tech on the edge. Flexibility of a defensive system will be key for Oliver, but I would trust Dan Quinn to figure it out.
18. Minnesota Vikings: Chris Lindstrom, iOL, Boston College
This one is going to be boring, but there’s no way the Vikings can look anywhere else other than interior offensive line with their first pick in this draft.
Lindstrom played really well at the Senior Bowl, and he even earned the praise from fellow offensive lineman Dalton Risner at the event, who vouched for Lindstrom’s talent as an interior player at the end of the week.
Plug him and play him.
19. Denver Broncos (via TEN): Christian Wilkins, iDL, Clemson
*TRADE* TEN sends No. 19 No. 83 and No. 157 to DEN for No. 10.
Whatever the result may be, whether that’s trading up or down, I don’t see the Broncos staying at No. 10 in this draft. They’re either going to need a quarterback badly and will move up, or they will have somehow addressed that need before the draft and will move back.
In this scenario, I have them moving back to their benefit. While picking up an extra third and fifth round pick, the Broncos address one of their main needs with a player I think NFL teams will fall in love with by the time the draft rolls around. Wilkins is a guy you want on your football team, in character and talent.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
Whew. Avoided disaster by the skin of their teeth with this one.
If Greedy Williams, Byron Murphy, and all five of the top edge rushers are off the board when Pittsburgh goes on the clock, just turn off the TV if you’re a Steelers fan. It would be the second year in a row where they would likely be making a massive reach for a player in the first round to help mask a massive need that likely won’t work out in the long run.
But, thankfully, if Murphy is still on the board, they won’t have to worry about that. They will get a true first-round cornerback.