Happy Monday, everyone. Did you have a nice weekend? Would you like the start of your week ruined? If so, you're in luck! The third edition of my 2019 mock draft is here, and while I do my best to give each team what they need, it may not always be when you, the fans, want. I'm eager to hear which of you take offense.
A few administrative items:
1. The draft order used in this mock is based on the current order. If you don't like where your team picks you can only blame your team.
2. Remember: the draft itself is 7-rounds long. Maybe you don't like the fit of a player selected in the first round, but there will be plenty of opportunities to draft for that team need without compromising the value of the pick.
1. Oakland Raiders
PICK: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
Imagine if the Raiders kept Khalil Mack and still opted to draft Nick Bosa. That would've certainly put an end to the pass rush perils in Raider Nation, but alas a second contract is a hefty price to pay.
Instead, the Raiders make the first of their three 1st-round selections count and land the best overall football player in the class, providing Coach Gruden's remade Raiders with a cornerstone player.
2. New York Giants
PICK: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
I'm not sure if you've heard this or not, but the Giants opted not to select Sam Darnold, Josh Allen or Josh Rosen this past year and instead took a running back.
If you're a part of the collective football world who clutches your pearls at such a sight, I bring good news: the Giants will redeem themselves this year and take the best quarterback prospect in the class.
Roster construction is rarely a one year affair and as it turns out the Giants are terrible again this year. The team gets the chance to pull a gifted passer in Herbert to pair with their new face of the franchise, Saquon Barkley.
3. San Francisco 49ers
PICK: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
This is a bit of a hard pill to swallow for 49ers fans, but Solomon Thomas isn't drawing any inspiration with his play thus far as a Niner. It's also difficult to conceive four 1st-round picks invested in the defensive line in five years, but the 49ers need to get this group right.
Ferrell offers a lot of things Thomas didn't when coming out of Stanford: length, secondary pass rush counters and better awareness of how to land blows and negate first contact.
Putting him on the edge will allow the 49ers to have some flexibility with what they choose to do with their personnel, including Thomas and future free agent Arik Armstead.
4. Arizona Cardinals
PICK: Ed Oliver, DL, Houston
It's actually pretty fascinating: if the Cardinals don't pull the trigger here on Ed Oliver, where does he fall? I think despite Oliver's status as a top-2 prospect in the country by Draft pundits, he may be in for a slightly longer wait on Draft night when it's all said and done.
The Cardinals are a team devoid of talent, so getting good football players is a very straight forward goal for this organization. Oliver is a very good football player and the team's selections of Robert Nkemdiche and Haason Reddick in recent years is a good reminder that this team isn't scared to target athleticism and versatility in the first round, even if hit doesn't meet prototypical thresholds.
5. New York Jets
PICK: Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida
The Jets haven't boasted a lot of speed off the edge in recent years. This team has been all about a ferocious defense in recent years, so why not get a high motor defender who brings all kinds of hurt to opposing quarterbacks in Polite?
Polite has scheme versatility and he's shown the ability to win from tight and wide alignments alike. That burst off the edge is a rare trait, one the Jets would be very difficult to defend against if added to this athletic front seven.
6. Buffalo Bills
PICK: Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama
Buffalo's list of offensive prospects in consideration for a top-ten pick should look like the following:
- Alabama OL Jonah Williams
And that's it. If Williams isn't here, Bills Mafia needs to keep the tables stowed away for another day...you don't want to risk this pick on a reach. With that said, there's acceptable value here for Williams, who could feasibly play either tackler or guard in the NFL. With Dion Dawkins in house already, the added flexibility would be a cherry on top, allowing Buffalo to simply get their five best offensive linemen on the field.
(Brace yourself...this debate is certainly coming in the next few months.)
An opportunity to build up some pieces around a raw young quarterback is one the Bills would be wise to take advantage of, but only if the value is there. In this case, it is.
7. Detroit Lions
PICK: Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama
The Lions' template for a successful defense doesn't quite follow the same template of many other defenses. Coach Matt Patricia, who comes off the Bill Belichick coaching tree, would love to add more horses up front. The addition of Da'Shawn Hand is a step in the right direction, the 2018 rookie has been a pleasant surprise thus far in Detroit.
But this team will be built from the inside out, just like the team was committed to accomplishing on offense this past off-season. So when another dominant defender from that same Alabama pipeline comes falling into the 7th overall selection courtesy of some teams ahead of them checking the needs boxes, it only makes sense to go for another disruptive, athletic defender along the defensive front.
8. Denver Broncos
PICK: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
This team needs a quarterback. Color me stunned that the Case Keenum investment hasn't materialized as John Elway would have hoped.
Here's the bad news: I'm not quite ready to put Dwayne Haskins into this stratosphere, after watching him in recent weeks.
Here's the good news: if Elway drafted him, he'd almost assuredly bust anyway. It'd be very on brand. So instead, why not add a gifted piece to the secondary and add more competition to a group that needs to find a long term replacement for Aqib Talib?
9. Jacksonville Jaguars
PICK: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
Remember that quick talk we just had about Dwayne Haskins? It still applies. There are elite prospects still on the board: Thompson is one of them. Imagine Thompson prowling the middle of the field with Bouye and Jalen Ramsey on the boundary.
This isn't to say that Barry Church and Tashaun Gipson and Ronnie Harrison are a bad safety room. But good players shouldn't prevent teams from drafting great players that fit the team's identity. That would be exactly the case with the pick of Thompson to Duval.
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
PICK: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
If you are unfamiliar with the Bucs secondary, allow me to sum things up for you: it's bad. Very bad.
Yes, the team invested early picks in CBs M.J. Stewart and Carlton Davis in last year's draft. But as was the case with the Jaguars' selection of Thompson at 9, good players should never prevent you from drafting great players. Murphy is an attractive fit for the the Bucs, given his ball skills and quickness.
An added bonus? There's no such thing as too much cornerback depth in the NFL.
11. Cleveland Browns
PICK: Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan
Huh? Don't the Browns already have a somewhat stiff defensive end in Emmanuel Ogbah?
You're right, they do...but Rashan Gary shouldn't be playing defensive end in the NFL, at least not full-time. No, instead imagine Gary playing at 3T in this Browns front between the likes of Larry Ogunjobi and Myles Garrett! This is a potent and exciting pathway for Gary in the NFL.
Yes, Gary has cut weight to play defensive end this season for Michigan. But that move can be easily undone, given Gary's rare athletic traits. Plus, consider Gary's greatest strength at the moment may just be stacking blocks with his hands. That extension and stout play will come in handy on the interior.
12. Indianapolis Colts
PICK: Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama
Buckle in, Colts fans. This is one of my favorite team/prospect matches in the entire draft order...I don't foresee myself taking this pick out of play when Mock Draft 4.0 rolls around in December.
The Colts have invested heavily in the defensive side of the football, but their efforts up front have been centered around adding talented edge rushers to the roster. They'll need a disruptive presence in the middle to put this unit over the top and Davis has DeForest Buckner type potential.
13. Oakland Raiders (via Dallas Cowboys)
PICK: Devin White, LB, LSU
The bad news? The Raiders defense is terrible. The good news? They've already added Nick Bosa and with this pick, they nail down another feature defender. Devin White is a mean, nasty, explosive hitter in the middle of the defense.
His "throwback" style of play and smash-mouth presence make him the linebacker who I think will appeal most to Coach Gruden. This Raiders front seven is a whole different kind of scary with Nick Bosa and Devin White in the line-up.
14. Seattle Seahawks
PICK: Jerry Tillery, IDL, Notre Dame
Last week Jon Ledyard mentioned that this feels like a stereotypical Seahawks pick. Clearly I agree. Tillery's emergence this season has yielded great results for Notre Dame. His length, physicality, powerful set of the line of scrimmage and pass rush ability will undoubtedly stand out to Seattle as they look to continue their culture reset.
Tillery has taken a few years to reach his potential, but high risk prospects hasn't been something to scare the Seahawks away in the past. If there were any team who would be willing to overlook it for the traits, it is Seattle.
15. Atlanta Falcons
PICK: Dexter Lawrence, DL, Clemson
The Falcons have been a hard luck team in 2018. Season ending injuries have hampered this defense, yet a mid-season push has them back in the thick of things. Good rosters have a bit more flexibility in drafting for need, which is why I have the Falcons drafting Dexter Lawrence.
Deadrin Senat figures to be a fixture up front for the next few seasons, but mixing him with a more special athlete in Dexter Lawrence as the nose tackle will ensure this Falcons defense is capable of physically dominating the opposition up front.
16. Philadelphia Eagles
PICK: Yodny Cajuste, OT, WVU
The Eagles have enjoyed top shelf play at Left Tackle for quite some time under the watch of Jason Peters. Part of what makes Peters so good is how well he moves for his size.
That is one trait Peters shares with West Virginia's Yodny Cajuste. Add in the pipeline between Philadelphia and Morgantown (Smallwood, Douglas, Gibson in recent years) and the Eagles figure to be a team in on the action for Cajuste.
17. Baltimore Ravens
PICK: Chris Lindstrom, OL, Boston College
Recent reports suggest the Ravens may be headed for a divorce with coach John Harbaugh after the season. No matter who the head coach is, one this is for sure...
This team needs to run the football better. The Ravens currently average 3.6 yards per carry, 31st in the NFL. The team has a promising set of tackles and adding Lamar Jackson to the starting line-up should loosen the edges of the box.
But the interior line needs work. Insert Chris Lindstrom and reap the benefits of a plug and play starter starting next season.
18. Miami Dolphins
PICK: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
The Miami Dolphins owe Ryan Tannehill a whole bunch of money in 2019. He hasn't earned it. The fleeting flashes of good play from 2016 are a distant memory, marred by the knee and shoulder injuries that have cost him all but four games since the end of the 2016 season.
Haskins is a high risk pick, given his small sample size. But he's shown enough of all the desired traits for a starting NFL quarterback that he can't slide forever. If he comes out, he'll very likely be a first round pick.
The seat won't stay lukewarm under Coach Adam Gase forever, but targeting a fresh start at quarterback could allow him to extend his window and start fresh with the team.
19. Green Bay Packers
PICK: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
The Packers' rush LB duo of Clay Matthews and Nick Perry aren't bad. They're just a little long in the tooth. The Packers remodeled the secondary this past spring and despite some tempting weapons on the board, it would be wise to try and up the ante in the pass rush department this year.
Josh Allen has had himself a splendid season thus far, his length and explosiveness will undoubtedly pair well in the eyes of the NFL. Ten years after the Packers drafted Clay Matthews, they land his replacement in Allen.
20. Tennessee Titans
PICK: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
Simmons is a potent defender up front. His status as a prospect will be an interesting case study, given an ugly off the field incident from several seasons ago involving a physical dispute.
All reports indicate Simmons has been a model citizen during his time with the Bulldogs, if the pre-draft process clears him, Simmons may be off the board before this pick.
As it relates to the Titans' front seven, Jurrell Casey is a great centerpiece. But to add help around him would be wise and the Titans could use another physical, disruptive body to keep heat on opposing passers and maximize Casey's one on one looks.
21. Cincinnati Bengals
PICK: Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama
The Bengals took a step out of the 20th century this year with the addition of Malik Jefferson, but there's more work to be done. Elite NFL defenses have athleticism on the second level and that's an area the Bengals are still lacking.
Mack Wilson would be very helpful in remedying this situation. Wilson has high end coverage skills and would immediately be the best linebacker on the Bengals roster. He's that good.
22. Minnesota Vikings
PICK: Gerald Willis III, DL, Miami
Minnesota's defense is very good. Their offensive line play is not. But here's the dilemma: does the value at offensive guard match the picks? No.
And this is why the Vikings are a very good team...they don't force the pick. So when a potential stud three technique is on the board and the Vikings don't have a long term solution on the roster?
Make the pick. Willis is a disruptive monster up front who would likely be held in higher regard if not for being kicked off the Florida Gators' program and missing the 2017 season.
23. Houston Texans
PICK: David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin
This is an obvious need selection for the Texans, but I also like the value here in the mid-20s. Edwards has athletic upside, but more importantly he's got tremendous length. The performance of QB Deshaun Watson thus far in his career is all the more impressive when considering he's been beaten to a pulp.
Edwards would go a long way in helping to keep Watson clean...or at least cleaner than he's been thus far. There's plenty of developmental upside with Edwards as well, given his recent transition to the offensive line after originally being designated as a tight end when he arrived on campus.
24. Washington Redskins
PICK: N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
The Redskins have a lot of length and ball skills at the wide receiver spot. With Paul Richardson and Josh Doctson on the outside, Washington also has more potential than production.
Enter N'Keal Harry. Harry adds a dynamic to this receiver group that the team currently lacks, strength and power. But Harry still has the run after catch ability in his skill set to be an effective match with quarterback Alex Smith.
25. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago Bears)
PICK: Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State
With the Raiders deciding to move on from WR Amari Cooper this season, the obvious need at wide receiver is one that will need to be addressed this offseason. In Harmon, the Raiders add a player who is a bit more effective with his contested catch skills and with his hands, although he's not quite as dynamic of an athlete as Cooper.
Their subtle differences aside, Harmon can make plays down the field while also using his size in the red zone. He would be a welcomed addition to this Raiders receiving group.
26. Carolina Panthers
PICK: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
Carolina has a soft spot for big boys up front. Sources can confirm: Montez Sweat = a big boy.
Sweat has good extension and a rocked up frame, so he'll get the Panthers' interest. But Sweat also offers a good deal of burst off the line of scrimmage. He can struggle at times when he needs to flatten the edge and turn the corner, but his power and length help keep those angles soft.
27. New England Patriots
PICK: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
Rob Gronkowski is banged up yet again after flirting with retirement in the offseason. The Patriots also have Dwayne Allen, but the chance to add another size/athleticism mismatch is an intriguing one for this offense.
Will Tom Brady be around to reap the benefits? Who knows...but even if he is, he won't be in the long term. So the best course of action for this franchise is to make sure the roster is primed for whomever takes the reins next.
28. Los Angeles Chargers
PICK: Rashard Lawrence, DL, LSU
Lawrence is an underrated piece of this 2019 defensive line group. Lawrence has heavy hands and has enough versatility that he can uncover from gaps and cause chaos in a penetration role as well.
Why does this make sense for the Chargers? The team could really use some fresh blood between Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa on the interior. A potent, physical force like Lawrence can push the pocket in one on ones, or force the opposition into difficult decisions in the blocking scheme.
29. Pittsburgh Steelers
PICK: Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State
The Steelers have had trouble getting the best out of former first round pick Artie Burns at cornerback. They seem to have been burned by the allure of a high ceiling, low floor player in Burns, so the next attempt at the cornerback position would be wise to come with some more polish.
Enter Penn State's Amani Oruwariye. Oruwariye has big time athletic gifts but he's also an experienced defender who will have played in over 40 games during his time with the Lions. The Steelers will know him as intimately as anyone, given his close proximity to Pittsburgh.
30. Green Bay Packers (via New Orleans Saints)
PICK: Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia
The once proud wide receiver group in Green Bay is suddenly filled with fresh faces. And you know what? The group of J'Mon Moore, E.Q. St. Brown and Marquez Valdes-Scantling isn't a bad series of depth players behind Davante Adams and Randall Cobb.
But it's not great. Aaron Rodgers' winning window isn't getting any more open, so the Packers need to be in the mentality to bring in polished prospects who can contribute right away.
Ridley can be that player offensively for the Packers in 2019.
31. Los Angeles Rams
PICK: Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
The Rams did a great job in boosting their pass rush by trading for DE Dante Fowler at the trade deadline. Will he end up staying in Los Angeles? Will Ndamukong Suh stay put, too? (That's unlikely, by the way.)
This team's built for a big window...but pass rush is an area that will need fortification. Enter bendy Brian Burns, who has some size concerns but is a pass rush dynamo with tilt, burst and refined counters.
32. Kansas City Chiefs
PICK: Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
The Chiefs secondary is...not great. Bryce Hall? He's quietly pretty great. It's a match made in heaven, right?
Ball skills and a fit at position of need, pretty straight forward proposition.