Week 1 of the NFL season is (mostly) in the books. Half of the league is 1-0 and thinking Super Bowl, while half of the league is 0-1 and might already be looking towards the NFL Draft. Somewhere in the middle are the Browns and Steelers, but let’s be honest Browns fans, you’re always looking ahead to the Draft. What better time for a 2019 NFL Mock Draft?
The order: Putting out a mock draft on the first #OverreactionMonday of the year can be tricky when it comes to choosing the order. To give a potentially realistic listing of teams, I made slight changes to the Las Vegas betting lines for each team to win the Super Bowl before they played games on Sunday. The small changes included moving up or down teams that won or lost on Sunday, but no more than three spots. In a sense, the draft order you see below is the inverse of the projected Vegas odds to win the Super Bowl that we’ll see after Monday Night Football. It is not indicative of how good or bad I believe your team is.
No. 1 - New York Jets
Pick: Ed Oliver, DL, Houston
With Sam Darnold already in place as quarterback of the future, the Jets can go after other areas of need. While protecting Darnold should be a priority, there isn’t an offensive lineman worth taking this high. Enter Ed Oliver.
Oliver is an elite interior disruptor with high-end athleticism, technique and motor. Putting him on a defensive line along with Leonard Williams and Nathan Shepherd would allow them to dominate the line of scrimmage on a weekly basis.
No. 2 - Cleveland Browns
Pick: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
Cleveland is another team with their future quarterback already set, so they are able to take the best player available. Nick Bosa is capable of being the top pick in the draft because of his refined pass rush ability.
Placing him across from former #1 overall pick Myles Garrett is a scary thought for AFC North quarterbacks.
No. 3 - Cincinnati Bengals
Pick: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
If the Bengals are drafting this high, it’s safe to assume that Marvin Lewis will be fired. Then again, I feel as though I’ve said that before, so who knows.
With a new regime would surely come a new quarterback, as Andy Dalton has proven to be just average throughout his career.
Drew Lock is a talented downfield passer who has dominated competition early this college football season. The thought of Lock throwing deep balls to A.J. Green and John Ross would be too much to pass up for the new Bengals staff.
No. 4 - Arizona Cardinals
Pick: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
It’s feels as though Arizona has been looking for a high-end cornerback to pair with Patrick Peterson for the length of his career. How about a fellow former LSU Tiger?
Greedy Williams is as talented as they come at the position, and has the athleticism to continue improving. With some big matchups ahead for him, he will have a chance to improve his stock to top-5 status.
No. 5 - Buffalo Bills
Pick: Raekwon Davis, DL, Alabama
The Bills are a bit lacking in talent on the offensive side of the ball, but the defensive line class is hard to pass over. Buffalo would be wise to look heavily toward the offensive side later in the draft if they choose a defensive player the first round.
Raekwon Davis is talented enough to justify this, thanks to his otherworldly build. While the Bills have missed on some defensive line selections in recent years, the versatile Davis could come in and change the outlook of that front in a hurry.
No. 6 - Indianapolis Colts
Pick: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
The Colts were fortunate enough to get Andrew Luck back healthy, and recognized a need in protecting him during the 2018 NFL Draft while selecting Quenton Nelson and Braden Smith.
That trend needs to continue, and Jonah Williams is likely to be the first offensive tackle taken in the class. With Anthony Castonzo only under contract through next season (and, frankly, an average starting tackle), it would be wise to choose his successor in Williams.
No. 7 - Miami Dolphins
Pick: Brian Burns, EDGE, FSU
Cameron Wake is an ageless wonder, but he has to slow down at some point. While Robert Quinn is still more than serviceable, the Dolphins need to look at an EDGE defender early in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Brian Burns has the tools to be the top EDGE taken, and has established himself as an elite prospect early this college football season.
No. 8 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pick: David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin
Tampa Bay is pretty set at their skill positions, so searching for more protection for Jameis Winston should become a priority. David Edwards is a powerful offensive tackle prospect from Wisconsin who should be considered for a first-round pick.
No. 9 - Oakland Raiders
Pick: Jeffery Simmons, DL, Mississippi State
The Raiders made it a point to surround quarterback Derek Carr with talent this past offseason, so mission accomplished there, even if it is aging players. But without Khalil Mack in the fold, their defensive front needs a lot of work.
Simmons is almost a luxury pick, but he is a versatile defensive lineman to pair next to Maurice Hurst, P.J. Hall, Arden Key and Bruce Irvin. The Raiders wanted to improve their interior pass rush, and he can provide that ability as a rookie.
No. 10 - Washington Redskins
Pick: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
The Redskins have a glaring need for talented pass catchers for quarterback Alex Smith, especially considering Jordan Reed’s injury history.
A.J. Brown has the potential to be the first wide receiver off the board, as the strength he has in his broad frame and run after catch ability give him a unique skillset. Brown will have to prove himself against press coverage, but his traits suggest a potentially dominant outside receiver at the next level.
No. 11 - Tennessee Titans
Pick: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
Tennessee addressed the need for pass rush by drafting Harold Landry, but will likely need more help in that area with Brian Orakpo aging.
Montez Sweat is a dude. He is an explosive pass rusher with active hands and excellent college production. While he needs to add strength, pairing him with another explosive rusher in Landry would be dangerous.
No. 12 - New York Giants
Pick: Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State
Ereck Flowers has been a massive disappointment for the New York Giants, and the tackle position needs to be addressed. A near match made in heaven, Risner is an elite right tackle at the collegiate level.
With his versatility and seamless pass sets, Risner is a strong and pro-ready offensive lineman. He would prove security for the aging Eli Manning (or up-and-coming Kyle Lauletta).
No. 13 - Detroit Lions
Pick: Kris Boyd, CB, Texas
Detroit is seemingly still searching for a quality cornerback opposite Darius Slay, the final piece to their secondary puzzle.
Kris Boyd is one of my favorite prospects in the early scouting process, as his smooth transitions and length give him a high ceiling. Boyd could stand to add some strength and work on his hands, but the small issues in his game seems fixable enough that a team could bank on his athleticism in Round 1.
No. 14 - Oakland Raiders
Pick: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
Oakland took a chance on Martavis Bryant, and it came back to bite them. Now, their wide receiver corps needs to get younger around Amari Cooper, and the downfield role is currently unoccupied.
N’Keal Harry is an athletic specimen who has the body control and frame to win down the field and above the rim. Playing in the PAC-12, Oakland will surely get a good look at Harry this season.
No. 15 - Seattle Seahawks
Pick: Chris Lindstrom, OG, Boston College
The Seahawks draft plan should come down to three words: PROTECT RUSSELL WILSON. They’ve done a disservice to his development putting him behind the offensive line they trotted out on the field yesterday, an issue that needs to be fixed.
Chris Lindstrom has the potential to be the top true guard taken in the draft. Not unlike the Colts taking Quenton Nelson, Lindstrom will help protect Wilson while providing plus run blocking ability as well.
No. 16 - Baltimore Ravens
Pick: Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan
While the Ravens have targeted EDGE in recent drafts, they still seem to lack a successor to Terrell Suggs. Rashan Gary isn’t necessarily that guy, but he could add into the group effort of getting after the QB.
Gary will test well, and his potential versatility will be coveted too. However, his lack of a true position along the defensive line may put a ceiling on how high he is drafted.
No. 17 - Denver Broncos
Pick: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
We have back-to-back Wolverines, as Denver decides to address their underwhelming inside linebackers by selecting Bush's first round talent.
On the shorter side for a linebacker, Bush will need to prove his speed to justify a selection in the top-20, but his ability is all over his film and the Broncos would be wise to add a presence in the middle of their defense.
No. 18 - Houston Texans
Pick: Trey Adams, OT, Washington
Houston knows it needs to better protect Deshaun Watson, hence the selection of Martinas Rankin. The starting group is still a mess however, and the Texans must protect their franchise, in the form of Watson, at all costs.
Trey Adams has OT1 potential, but takes a bit of a fall here due to his recent injury. Nevertheless, he is too good a value to pass up here for a Houston team that desperately needs to improve their offensive line.
No. 19 - Kansas City Chiefs
Pick: Deionte Thompson, FS, Alabama
Deionte Thompson has played lights out football in the early stages of this college football season, elevating his stock into round 1 status. While Kansas City has Eric Berry roaming the alley, a free safety with sideline-to-sideline range would be the perfect match alongside of him. Thompson is a great fit.
No. 20 - Dallas Cowboys
Pick: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
The Cowboys wide receiver core is abysmal. With the departure of Dez Bryant, they are missing a potentially dominant threat who can win above the rim.
D.K. Metcalf could become that guy, as his physical profile and long speed give him a ridiculous ceiling. Already showing some nuance in his releases this season, Metcalf‘s game isn’t limited to the jump ball. He should be one of the first wide receivers off the board if he declares as a redshirt sophomore.
No. 21 - Carolina Panthers
Pick: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
Carolina should look to protect Cam Newton, but after hardly addressing the issue this past offseason, it’s time to wonder if that is one of Ron Rivera’s priorities.
Julius Peppers isn’t getting any younger, and Carolina would be wise to look for potential pass rushers early in the class. Ferrell would be a gift to fall this late into the first-round, as he has Top-10 potential.
No. 22 - Los Angeles Chargers
Pick: Brian Lewerke, QB, Michigan State
Some Chargers analysts projected them to look into a potential Phillip Rivers' successor in the 2018 NFL Draft. While that may surprise some as Rivers is still playing at a high-level, this is the same franchise that took Rivers while they had Drew Brees as their starter.
Brian Lewerke has QB1 potential, with a smooth game and arm talent that sets his ceiling at something similar to Rivers-level.
No. 23 - San Francisco 49ers
Pick: Damien Harris, RB, Alabama
With Jerrick McKinnon out for the season, Kyle Shanahan will be relying on Alfred Morris to carry the load this season. Damien Harris could emerge as RB1 next offseason, especially in the wake of Rodney Anderson's injury. Harris has been effective when given opportunity at Alabama, and will come into the league with minimal wear and tear.
No. 24 - Atlanta Falcons
Pick: Zach Allen, EDGE, Boston College
Atlanta likes to stay multiple with their defensive fronts, and the thicker Allen could be their last missing chess piece.
Not built like a true EDGE, Allen is a dominant run defender with a high motor, who would provide depth and be able to kick inside on passing downs as well. His strength at the point of attack would give Atlanta a dimension quietly missing from their current defensive ends.
No. 25 - Green Bay Packers
Pick: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
Green Bay has been looking for receiving threats at tight end for Aaron Rodgers for years now, and they think they've finally found one in Jimmy Graham. But Graham will be 32 this season, and many would argue his skills are not what they once were.
Fant is a ridiculous talent at the tight end position, with receiving ability reminiscent of Graham. With Green Bay needing to get younger at that spot, look for them to target Fant in Round 1.
No. 26 - Jacksonville Jaguars
Pick: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
While it seems as though the Jaguars are committed to Bortles, if they fall short of the AFC championship game, it would be difficult to not reevaluate.
Justin Herbert’s ceiling far outreaches Blake Bortles, and they could view Herbert as not only excellent value at this point in the draft, but the piece to put their franchise over the top.
No. 27 - Green Bay Packers
Pick: Devin White, LB, LSU
While the Packers have an incredible defensive line and exciting young talent in the secondary, their linebackers are a bit underwhelming, especially in coverage.
Devin White is an incredible athlete who has the ceiling of a first round pick. While he has yet to fully utilize his physical gifts, he is built to fill gaps, and would be an upgrade to the Packers' current linebackers.
No. 28 - Pittsburgh Steelers
Pick: Levonta Taylor, CB, Florida State
Pittsburgh has seemingly gotten by with experimental cornerback play for a few seasons. With some struggles in the playoffs last season and slowing down Tom Brady always proving to be a challenge, they would be wise to continue to find capable cornerbacks in the draft.
Levonta Taylor will be one of the more highly regarded cornerback prospects in next year's class. A bit undersized, if he can add strength he will become a sure-fire first round selection.
No. 29 - Minnesota Vikings
Pick: Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia
Minnesota has few weaknesses, but one area they could improve is the talent and youth on the interior offensive line. Yodny Cajuste currently plays tackle for West Virginia and is consistent and sturdy in his pass sets, but has experience at guard and could slide there at the next level.
No. 30 - Philadelphia Eagles
Pick: David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State
Coming off a Super Bowl, the Eagles have few weaknesses. Our very own Benjamin Solak foresees running back as being their main target, as Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles could both be gone come draft time.
David Montgomery is a potential workhorse running back with excellent contact balance. His stout frame projects him favorably for the next level, and he would keep the Eagles' backfield as a strength of the offense.
No. 31 - Los Angeles Rams
Pick: Jalen Jelks, EDGE, Oregon
Los Angeles needs help getting after the quarterback, and attempted to accomplish this by trying to trade for Khalil Mack. While Jalen Jelks is no Mack, he is a slippery and quick pass rusher with bend and a high motor. Jelks could be a plug-and-play EDGE for the Rams.
No. 32 - New England Patriots
Pick: DaMarkus Lodge, WR, Ole Miss
First things first, let us rejoice that the rightful Super Bowl champion is back on the throne.
Secondly, let’s ask how they got back to this position with the underwhelming wide receiver corps currently on the roster (hint: he wears no. 12).
DaMarkus Lodge is a versatile, slippery route runner who wins with body control in the air. The acrobatic catches and all-around game would project perfectly into New England’s offense. All three Ole Miss wide receivers wind up with first round selections, a very real possibility in the 2019 NFL Draft.