Tis the season! Not for giving, of course...but for mock drafts! Welcome to Mock Draft 4.0, a two-round romp through the current NFL Draft order. Welcome to the party, Saints and Cowboys fans! We've missed you dearly and hope you enjoy the festivities! Chicago fans? Maybe next time.
Below is my latest set of picks. By this time next Tuesday the first 20 picks will be set in stone. Enjoy!
1. Arizona Cardinals
Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
The odds of me placing anyone not named Nick Bosa in the first slot are pretty darn close to zero, at least until March/April when we have a better idea of who the team picking here actually likes.
Me? I like Bosa. Arizona is in a unique opportunity to add a cornerstone and potentially elite talent (the other being Josh Rosen from last year) on both sides of the ball. Rosen and Bosa on rookie contracts will provide the Cardinals with a 3-4 year window to flesh out the roster and compete.
2. Oakland Raiders
Quinnen Williams, IDL, Alabama
The Raiders are one of those programs that simply need elite talent. Yeah, getting Nick Bosa would be swell. But at some point the Raiders need to stop creating needs for their team and start filling the gaps in the line-up. And under no circumstances should the selections of P.J. Hall (2017 2nd round) and Maurice Hurst (2017 5th round) prevent them from drafting Williams, who has been dominant this year.
3. San Francisco 49ers
Brian Burns, EDGE, FSU
This is where things get pretty weird. SF has a dire need for an edge presence and last time I assigned them Clemson's Clelin Ferrell. What has changed since then? I did Brian Burns' formal film assessment.
Burns is the anti-Solomon Thomas: he's got an elite first step, elite pass rush qualities and he's a little light in the trunk. We've been told that Burns is currently tipping the scales somewhere just over 240 lbs, which is lighter than you'd want but yet functional play strength isn't an issue on film. The 49ers get an elite pass rush prospect in Burns.
4. New York Jets
Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
I'm having a hard time seeing Josh Allen not being a darling this winter. Allen grew exponentially as a defender prior to his senior season and has top shelf athletic traits as a prototypical weight. The Jets are suckers for explosive defenders, so this feels pretty on brand for Gang Green.
5. Detroit Lions
Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
This shoe fits so I'm here to make sure the Lions wear it. Detroit needs pass rush to help aid a line that will be bidding farewell to Ziggy Ansah this winter. Clelin Ferrell is an attractive replacement option because he fits the preferred personnel profile of a Lions defensive lineman.
The team has proven they've got a soft spot for heavy handed, long armed defenders. Ferrell is very much of that mold.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
The Bucs defense isn't exactly what we would call "good". Byron Murphy, on the other hand? Yeah, he's good. The Bucs have logged just 8 interceptions this season (Andrew Adams x3, Justin Evans x1, Adarius Taylor x1, Isaiah Johnson x1, Ryan Smith x1 and Javien Elliott x1) and need more ball production.
Heck, 2018 rookie cornerbacks Carlton Davis and M.J. Stewart have gotten 5 combined passes defensed in 20 combined games.
Solution: Take all the things that made Brent Grimes great before Father Time took over and put it in a slightly larger package. Oh, and Murphy is a redshirt sophomore.
7. Buffalo Bills
D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
The Bills need to get their franchise QB some new toys ASAP. Allen's stat line has struggled more than his play this season, getting more accomplished pass catchers and bumping Zay Jones and 2018 UDFA Robert Foster (who has played well!) down the pecking order is in everyone's best interests.
Metcalf entered the 2019 Draft despite a neck injury, so at this point we have to assume he's full steam ahead and no WR has the physical talent of Metcalf.
8. New York Giants
Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
We don't know for sure what Herbert's plans are but for the sake of Giants fans (and my mentions on Twitter) I'm going to continue to give them a franchise QB until it's no longer feasible.
This is the dream scenario for the Giants: landing a franchise QB just one year passing on Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and Josh Rosen in favor of Saquon Barkley would extend New York's competitive window exponentially.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars
Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Did you watch any of Jacksonville's 17-7 win over Miami this weekend? No? Good. I'm happy for you. The Jaguars' offense was hard enough to watch during their run to the AFC title game last year, let alone this year while benching Blake Bortles and turning the keys over to Cody Kessler.
Haskins' style of play meshes well with the Jaguars' speedy WR group and after receiving a 1st-round eval from the Advisory Committee, the odds of Haskins entering the Draft are on the up.
10. Atlanta Falcons
Ed Oliver, IDL, Houston
The stars keep aligning for the Falcons in these mocks. Oliver found his way to Atlanta in Mock Draft 3.0 as well, it's too good of a marriage to let slip through the cracks and EDGE value plus team needs in front of the Falcons allow us to justify the slide.
Will it happen in real life? Oliver's stock is going to be a fascinating case because his size is going to concern NFL teams. You can hate it all you want, but NFL teams are going to get shy about his lack of weight and lack of length.
11. Carolina Panthers
Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
I love this fit. Thompson's addition on the back end for the Panthers brings a level of range this team hasn't seen in quite a while. And plugging a true single high safety on the back-end will help Carolina immensely in their effort to deal with the arms race that is the NFC South.
12. Cincinnati Bengals
Devin White, LB, LSU
The Bengals took a step in the right direction last offseason by drafting their first fast linebacker of this millennium. The next step is drafting a good fast linebacker. Devin White, step up sir!
Alabama's Mack Wilson is apparently going back to school, making White the only legit LB prospect with top-20 hopes. Getting the explosive White to step into the middle of this defense would add a whole new dynamic to the front seven.
13. Denver Broncos
Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
The Broncos' defense has been fierce this season, but they never really replaced Aqib Talib on the boundary. Introducing Greedy Williams.
Williams' effort level has waxed and waned at times this season but he's a lengthy man corner who can help amplify the Broncos' pass rush by staying sticky on routes down the field and forcing opposing QBs to hold the ball for longer amounts of time.
14. Green Bay Packers
Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida
Clay Matthews had a great run. But he hasn't had 10+ sacks since 2014 and is one game away from a career low in sacks (3.5 this season in 14 starts). And while the team still has Nick Perry and Kyler Fackrell has been a revelation this season, Perry's contract is a heavy hitting one. And Perry has missed nearly half of the Packers' games since signing a 5-year, $59M contract prior to 2017.
Polite has elite burst and would be a potent addition to a lacking pass rush group.
15. Miami Dolphins
Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
Stop me if you've heard this before: the Dolphins' efforts offensively have been derailed by terrible offensive line (and quarterback) play. Well there's no QB worth valuing in the top-15 here, so the Dolphins are faced with a philosophical challenge. Build a bridge for the quarterback of the future with a veteran stop gap and make the supporting cast as strong as possible is the logical solution.
RT JaWuan James is a free agent this offseason, but ideally the Dolphins can bring him back and they can use their talent at tackle to justify giving Jonah Williams the Brandon Scherff treatment. Williams can play guard, but teams will question his length and some will prefer him at Guard. I like him just fine at Tackle but Miami's OL woes need to be put to bed.
16. Washington Redskins
Tyler Biadasz, IOL, Wisconsin
Speaking of Brandon Scherff, here's hoping Washington sees him healthy at the start of next season. What a fun player to watch. Now imagine taking Scherff and putting another player built in his likeness next to him at Center (or putting him at Right Guard).
This team's identify is forged along the line of scrimmage. Putting Biadasz on an offensive line that features Trent Williams, Brandon Scherff and Morgan Moses is...terrifying.
17. Cleveland Browns
N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
Remember that time Baker Mayfield came within one game of setting the Cleveland Browns' franchise record for completion percentage as a rookie? Oh yeah, that's still happening. Mayfield is completing 64.6% of his 444 pass attempts...the highest figure of any passer with 300+ pass attempts in franchise history. (Otto Graham completed 64.7% of his 258 pass attempts in 1953 and probably has something to say about it...but I digress.)
What Mayfield has done this year while throwing to the likes of Antonio Callaway, Rashard Higgins, Breshad Perriman on the boundary is incredible. Imagine adding ASU star N'Keal Harry, a contested catch (and run after catch) monster, into the mix?
18. Philadephia Eagles
Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
Philadelphia's season has been put on life support, thanks in large part to a horrible secondary. The team has seen Sidney Jones, Rasul Douglas and a large group of street free agents struggle in stretches this season. They'll need to get it fixed and the return of Jalen Mills from IR isn't going to do the trick.
Enter the combative Bryce Hall. Hall has wonderful ball skills and anticipation...plus he's not lacking in the functional strength department, which has been a bit of an issue for 2017 2nd-round pick Sidney Jones.
19. Pittsburgh Steelers
Amani Oruwaryie, CB, Penn State
Speaking of shaky secondaries, the Steelers are in need of another answer to the Artie Burns experiment. This team loves athletes on defense and Oruwariye has the goods. A long, fluid corner, Oruwariye can provide Pittsburgh with a fresh talent to introduce and hopefully pick the brain of Joe Haden.
20. Tennessee Titans
Raekwon Davis, IDL, Alabama
Pro Bowl DL Jurrell Casey could teach Raekwon Davis a whole bunch. And the Titans are a team that has a lot of youth invested in the offensive side of the ball, so they're at a little more luxury than some of the other teams picking before the playoff spots.
Davis has unbelievable talent and his presence and development could provide the Titans with a nasty interior pass rush down the road.
21. Minnesota Vikings
Jeffery Simmons, IDL, Mississippi State
I thought about interior OL here, but the value simply isn't right. No, instead the Vikings scoop up a tumbling Jeffery Simmons, who they can insert as their 3-technique and let his quickness off the snap create headaches in between Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen.
This is a long term solution to the short term move the team made by signing Sheldon Richardson in free agency.
22. Indianapolis Colts
Christian Wilkins, IDL, Clemson
The Colts have something cooking this season. The Andrew Luck magic is very real. He's one of the few passers in the NFL who can consistently lift the play around him.
So my eyes turn to the defensive side of the ball, at least for now. And the team made investments in the secondary and on the edge in recent memory, but nothing on the interior. I'm here to fix that with the addition of Christian Wilkins.
Wilkins is a versatile defender who can play base end vs. the run and be an effective interior pass rusher. He'll make life easier for all of the linebackers, including potential 2018 rookie of the year Darius Leonard.
23. Seattle Seahawks
Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware
A small school stunner! Well, maybe not so much after The Athletic's Dane Brugler has sung Adderley's praises all season and our Jon Ledyard mocked Adderley in the first round last week.
But geez, man. Adderley is an absolute blast to watch. His processing speed works on a whole different level than anyone one the field. And with Earl Thomas' status in the air and the general overhaul of the roster and culture in Seattle, I for one would love to see Adderley featured in their upcoming Legion Of Zoom.
24. Baltimore Ravens
Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
All I want for Christmas is Lamar Jackson throwing bombs to Hollywood Brown at this time next season. Lamar's passing in 2018 has been...selective. The team has done well to simplify as they look to amplify ball control and continue to wean Lamar into the playbook.
But with a full offseason and some effective tape during his rookie season and potentially a home playoff start, Lamar is about to get fully unboxed in 2019 and he'll need more dynamic weapons on the boundary.
25. Oakland Raiders (via DAL)
Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan
What is Rashan Gary? A defensive tackle or a defensive end? I prefer he gets some inside reps, but he's an absolute monster at setting the edge. The Raiders can come out of their first two draft picks with Gary, Quinnen Williams, Jonathan Hankins (will need to be resigned) and a player I really liked from 2018 in Arden Key as their front four.
That's a great step in the right direction, considering Mo Hurst's medical scare. There's no such thing as too much depth up front.
26. Houston Texans
Yodny Cajuste, OT, WVU
Forget depth, the Texans would love for a few tackles who aren't terribad. Well, meet Yodny Cajuste! Length, power, athleticism. Cajuste would immediately be the best tackle on the team's roster and keeping Deshaun Watson cleaner is the key to this team reaching their ceiling.
A plug and play addition for the Texans.
27. Oakland Raiders (via CHI)
Kelvin Harmon, WR, N.C. State
Now that Oakland has addressed their defensive identity, how about some help for whomever is throwing passes long term? This board fell favorably with a possession style receiver in Kelvin Harmon. Harmon doesn't have great long speed but he knows how to separate vertically with his length and strength.
Add in some great reps as a back shoulder target and Harmon provides a lot of what they're currently missing at wide receiver.
28. Los Angeles Chargers
Gerald Willis, DL, Miami (FL)
Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram are stud pass rushers. Now add in some interior pass rush. That's what Willis can bring to the table. The Chargers have several young talents on defense: Des King, Derwin James, Bosa and Ingram, for starters. The team's ability to soften the blow of Philip Rivers' retirement will be centered around two things: having an identity outside of him as a team and finding a suitable replacement.
This pick accomplishes the former.
29. New England Patriots
T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
The football gods are cruel. You don't have to look any further than Rob Gronkowski's 2018 season. Aged 29, Gronk threatened retirement as an alternative to being traded to Detroit over the off-season. New England looking and willing to deal their former All-Pro should tell you quite a lot.
So should his regression in numbers. 3 touchdowns this year. On pace for his fewest catches in a 10+ game season since he was a rookie in 2010. He looks...not like Gronk.
So go get Baby Gronk and let him continue to live on in spirit once the original model hangs them up. Hockenson can block. He can catch vertically and he can gouge you with his size after the catch.
30. Los Angeles Rams
Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
The Rams really shouldn't be picky...they need secondary regardless. Lamarcus Joyner may not be back. Aqib Talib will be 33 in February and Marcus Peters has been up and down this season. Who hasn't been up and down? Georgia's Deandre Baker.
Baker has been one of the most consistent defensive backs in the country the last two seasons and has the football IQ to step into a big role quickly.
31. Kansas City Chiefs
Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia
You watched Sunday Night Football last night right? Monday Night Football vs. the Rams in Week 11? Sunday Night Football in Week 6 against the Patriots? Thursday Night Football last week vs. the Chargers? The Week 2 shootout against Pittsburgh?
Alright then. This team NEEDS pass defenders and Juan Thornhill is a very underrated Safety convert.
32. Green Bay Packers (via NO)
Dalton Risner, OT/IOL, Kansas State
Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 48 times this season. That ain't gonna fly. The team has wonderful talent at tackle, so it's time to brush up on the interior. Consider the pick of Risner an extension of the Miami Dolphins' selection of Jonah Williams. Put Risner on the roster and let the five best guys find their way into the starting line-up.
33. Arizona Cardinals: David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin
34. Oakland Raiders: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
35. Indianapolis Colts (via NYJ): Dexter Lawrence, IDL, Clemson
36. San Francisco 49ers: Chris Lindstrom, iOL, Boston College
37. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma Sooners
38. Buffalo Bills: Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
39. New York Giants: Devin Bush Jr., LB, Michigan
40. Jacksonville Jaguars: Kaden Smith, TE, Stanford
41. Detroit Lions: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
42. Carolina Panthers: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
43. Cincinnati Bengals: Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss
44. Atlanta Falcons: David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State
45. Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
46. Green Bay Packers: Dawson Knox, TE, Ole Miss
47. Washington Redskins: Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia
48. Miami Dolphins: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
49. Cleveland Browns: Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson
50. Philadelphia Eagles: Bobby Evans, OT, Oklahoma
51. Pittsburgh Steelers: Dru Samia, OG, Oklahoma
52. Tennessee Titans: Irv Smith Jr, TE, Alabama
53. Minnesota Vikings: Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington
54. Houston Texans (via SEA): Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis
55. Philadelphia Eagles (via BAL): Elgton Jenkins, IOL, Mississippi State
56. Indianapolis Colts: Joe Giles-Harris, LB, Duke
57. Dallas Cowboys: Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Missouri
58. Houston Texans: Zach Allen, DL, Boston College
59. Los Angeles Chargers: David Long, CB, Michigan
60. New England Patriots (via CHI): Rashard Lawrence, DL, LSU
61. New England Patriots: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
62. Kansas City Chiefs (Los Angeles Rams): Jerry Tillery, DL, Notre Dame
63. Kansas City Chiefs: Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma
64. New Orleans Saints: Taylor Rapp, S, Washington