It is Mock Draft Monday! The first mock after the regular season for college football -- a sad landmark, surely, but a big signpost on the road to Draft Town.
Two declarations stand out in this mock: that of Ole Miss WR D.K. Metcalf, who has officially entered the Draft as a redshirt sophomore; and of Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins, who has been rumored to be decided as well as a redshirt sophomore. Haskins feels like a Round 1 lock in a weak quarterback class, while Metcalf has big Combine questions to answer. You'll find both in the Top 10 of this particular mock.
If you're a Cowboy or Saint fan, never fear -- there are Round 2 picks for you at the end of the mock. If you're a Bears fan...just enjoy your great season and ask me for a Round 3 fit on Twitter @BenjaminSolak.
Let's get it poppin'.
This mock draft order is updated with the Week 12 results besides that of SNF and MNF, because I ain't staying up that late.
1. San Francisco 49ers
Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
This will be one of those drafts for which we know the first overall pick a month before the actual day, if San Fran remains the leadoff hitter. They need a Bosa-level talent badly on that defensive front, and Baby Bosa remains the best player in this class despite the fact he hasn’t played in over a month. Look for San Francisco to invest heavily in both trenches as they look to build a perennial winner with a healthy Garoppolo.
2. Arizona Cardinals
Quinnen Williams, iDL, Alabama
Arizona may not desperately need a defensive tackle, but it'll be tough to complain once you watch Quinnen's tape. I do not dispute that this team needs offensive help at a ton of spots, and I entertained Jonah Williams here, but Steve Wilks likely won't pass up the opportunity to bring in a blue-chipper on the defensive interior. Quinnen provides a plug-and-play starter next to Corey Peters, with a greater pass-rush profile from Day 1. If you want to get excited about the offense, head on over to Round 2.
3. Oakland Raiders
Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
With the emergence of Maurice Hurst as a dominant force (who could have seen that happening?), you have to wonder if this Oakland team will go chasing an elite defensive tackle in Ed Oliver with their early pick. They've got bigger needs elsewhere.
It will be tough to shuck the Mack narrative come draft time, so I expect them to go EDGE early — Ferrell is the next man up, who has checked every box in his final season with the Tigers: burst, bend, power, and finishing ability. He doesn't have a Mack ceiling, but he'll produce in Year 1.
4. New York Jets
Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
Three EDGEs in the first four picks? Why not? Burns, like Ferrell and Bosa, has the potential for multiple double-digit sack seasons in his career if the fit and development turn out right. The Jets have some good interior disruption from young players like Nathan Shepherd and Leonard Williams, but they simply must get some explosiveness off the edge to step into the next level of modern defense. Burns offers elite pass-rushing tools, and will have the freedom to rush from wider alignments given New York’s personnel.
5. New York Giants
Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
It’s easy, when making a mock draft, to just give the Giants the top QB available and keep on truckin’. I won’t buck the trend here: to pick anything other than a quarterback would be truly flabbergasting for this front-office. With Haskins likely to declare and Herbert likely to return to school, the inside track for QB1 runs through Ohio State. I’m more bearish on Haskins than others seem to be, as he’s an inconsistent player still in need of years of development to be trusted — but he’s also New York’s best shot at a high-ceiling starter.
6. Jacksonville Jaguars
T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
I'm here for the madness with a Top 6 tight end. Let's get weird.
Jacksonville desperately needs pass-catching help, but I don’t think they’re gonna shake their run-first identity any time soon (unless they move on from The Great Bortler). A true in-line tight end makes a ton of sense for how the scheme works — and that’s why I brought T.J. Hockenson to the table, the best in-line tight end in this class. Hock is only a redshirt sophomore, but with the way he’s dominated for the Hawkeyes and continued to become stronger and faster, I think he’s a future elite prospect at the position.
7. Atlanta Falcons
Jeffery Simmons, iDL, Mississippi State
It’s still tricky to peg a great fit for Atlanta in the first round, as their roster seems so much stronger than their play. I toyed with a corner but landed on Simmons, a Top 5 talent who will deal with character questions from a violent incident earlier in his college career. Simmons’ potential is sky high, and you’ve seen some truly dominant play this season. Ed Oliver falls beyond Atlanta, because he doesn't really fit beside under tackle Grady Jarrett -- Atlanta needs at least one big body somewhere on their defense...right?
8. Detroit Lions
Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
Two Iowa TEs going Top 8?! Well, when they’re the two best players at the position in the class, why the heck not? Hock beat Fant out because he offers more as a blocker, but Detroit is glad to introduce a middle of the field threat to run the seam between Golladay and Marvin Jones. I don’t think they’re going to move on from Stafford anytime soon, so you have to pour resources into the offense to try and win with him — Fant serves that mission, with an elite athletic profile and WR-esque tracking and high-pointing skills.
9. Buffalo Bills
D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
Last time I did a mock draft on this here site, I got shredded by #BillsMafia for mocking them a potentially elite DT in Ed Oliver. Well, my dear Buffalonians, Oliver is still on the board -- but I'm a good listener.
As the news broke earlier this week that D.K. Metcalf would indeed declare for the 2019 NFL Draft, I wondered how high his ceiling was. This is probably it: working his way into Top-10 consideration with a clean bill of health and stellar Combine testing. Metcalf’s density-adjusted athleticism will top the charts, and his tape beats that of teammate A.J. Brown when put under the microscope. Buffalo needs WR help and shouldn't shy away from any fit/style of play -- so Metcalf unseats Kelvin Benjamin, thank the good Lord in heaven.
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
Tampa benefits from a defense heavy Top-10, as Jonah Williams slides past the Bills, the Cards, and the Jets to land in Tampa. I considered Greedy Williams here, as that was another complaint I received in my recent mock draft — but because Greedy has struggled this season, I’m no longer positive he’s a Top 10 pick. Not so with Williams, a stellar mover with great patience and technical versatility on the outside. He offers tackle/guard versatility, but I’d start him at RT to replace the aging Demar Dotson.
11. Cleveland Browns
Ed Oliver, iDL, Houston
Is Ed Oliver going to fall because he wore the wrong coat on the sideline and then left the stadium? Because he didn’t play for the second half of the ultimate AAC game against Memphis? I don’t really know, because I don’t really understand what’s going on there. Oliver will have to account for the whole debacle and answer tough questions about his choices, but I think his fall in this mock had more to do with the heavy premium on EDGE rushers and the ascent of Quinnen Williams. Good news for Cleveland, as they continue to pour resources into their defensive front: Garrett - Ogunjobi - Oliver - Ogbah/Avery is a nice set-up.
12. Green Bay Packers
Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
I didn’t originally think him a Round 1 player before the season, but Josh Allen’s improved 2018 tape has vaulted him into this conversation. I still think there are a few EDGEs worthy of this spot over Allen — Montez Sweat or Jachai Polite — but Allen’s production and athleticism are hard to argue with. He’s gotta take strides in terms of hand usage and set recognition, but DC Mike Pettine will like his coverage/rush versatility a ton.
13. Miami Dolphins
Tyler Biadasz, iOL, Wisconsin
While he’s only a redshirt sophomore, he is a future first-rounder, and if he comes out in the 2019 class, he’ll be treated as such. Biadasz is more than big enough to play guard at the next level on a Miami offensive line which oh so desperately needs it. With his mobility and angles on top of his power, Biadasz seems to me a Pro Bowl caliber player. The Dolphins have to answer questions at the quarterback position, but no matter who's back there, they need bolstered trench play.
14. Denver Broncos
Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Denver likely would have snagged Jeffery Simmons/Ed Oliver if Atlanta had taken Greedy; so if you really hate the pick for either team, just switch ‘em and don’t complain to me about it. We know Denver has found success in recent history with elite corner play, and that’s why they invest a first rounder in Greedy Williams. Williams has the frame, quickness, and eye discipline to play in almost any alignment, though he has struggled int he press this year. Off coverage, as Denver often deploys, is a great use of his skill set.
15. Philadelphia Eagles
Deionte Thompson, SAF, Alabama
The injury bug bit Philly bad this season, and it all began with a Week 3 injury to free safety Rodney McLeod. With again vets in Chris Maragos and Corey Graham as their stopgap options (both of whom missed major time this season) Philadelphia safety depth was exposed, and their corners left isolated on islands. Thompson comes in as McLeod’s heir in the deep middle, offering elite range to soften the load for the boundary corners in Jim Schwartz’s heavy Cover 3 scheme.
16. Cincinnati Bengals
Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama
I put three tight ends in the Top 20 because I just don’t care — I don’t think it’s ever happened. To be frank, however, this tight end class is B-O-N-K-E-R-S bonkers; and we should anticipate more tight ends going in Round 1 in the future, as the role of the tight end expands beyond that of blocker first, intermediate target second. Irv Smith Jr. offers silly speed and great hands for the position, with the same limited route tree that gave O.J. Howard questions when he came out. Smith will have to test like Howard to go Round 1, but I think he’ll blow the doors off the 40, 10-yard split, and vertical jump. Time to look beyond Eifert (and Marvin) for the Bengals.
17. Tennessee Titans
Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
Feels like this Tennessee team is just a year (and another good draft) away from being really competitive. Whether or not that good draft includes a new QB (I don’t think so), adding another young EDGE to the mix of a high-flying defense makes too much sense: enter Sweat, a different style rusher to Landry in that he wins with hand usage and length before explosiveness and bend. Sweat, Casey, Landry, Jackson, Byard, and Evans -- lot to like there, folks.
18. Indianapolis Colts
Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida
I’d love to give Frank Reich and Andrew Luck some more offensive weapons in the passing game — looking at you, Kelvin Harmon — but honestly, I’m also down with watching them put up 400 yards a game throwing to *checks notes* Chester Rogers. Reich benefitted from a great pass rush in Philadelphia, and knows the value of a deep group — so bring in Polite, a super bendy rusher to put opposite Kemoko Turay and really stress offensive lines with wide alignments.
19. Seattle Seahawks
Jerry Tillery, iDL, Notre Dame
Man if Tillery doesn’t feel like a Seattle defensive lineman of yore: length, strength, power, and explosiveness. His tape is more inconsistent than you’d like to see, but I remember another interior penetrator with up-and-down film the Seahawks gambled on in Round 1. I’ll like Tillery more than I did Malik McDowell, and I think Seattle will as well: he offers tremendous upside and seems to be on a positive developmental track in his senior season. Super interesting dude, too.
20. Carolina Panthers
Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia
I don’t know how many years it’s been that we’ve sat here, mocking offensive linemen to Carolina. You could have sold me on Wiscy’s David Edwards at tackle, or rather attacked the interior directly, with Boston College’s Chris Lindstrom or NC State Garrett Bradbury. As it is, I elected to go for Cajuste, who has played himself into Round 1 consideration with his athletic ability, flexibility, and length at the position. Carolina will bring back Matt Kalil and Daryl Williams from IR, and has seen good play from Taylor Moton -- but they need better interior play, and Moton can bump inside. Never a problem, having too many offensive linemen who can play tackle.
21. Washington Redskins
Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State
Wanted to get Butler in about seven different spots (really, three: CLE, IND, TEN) before Washington cashed in on the pick. This might be a bit of a stretch for Butler, who will need to affirm some wild testing numbers that Iowa State claims he’s hit — but with his size and explosiveness, Butler is a stellar vertical threat that offers inaccuracy erasing ability with his length. Will Smith be willing to hit him deep? If not, go get a new quarterback (or just pay the one you already had, you dolts). Butler officially puts the cap on the "Josh Doctson: Starter?" experience.
22. Oakland Raiders (via Dallas Cowboys)
Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama
My gut tells me Gruden will want the LSU linebacker who’s a bigger hitter, but I took Mack Wilson over Devin White to given Oakland fans a lucky break. Wilson is the better prospect, who sticks more true to his reads, sees plays developing faster, and is markedly more impactful in coverage. Feels weird to have a Top 5 (okay, Top 6) player drop into the twenties, but here we are: Mack’s a stud, and I think White’ll look great in the Silver and Black when Gruden inevitably takes him over Wilson anyway.
23. Baltimore Ravens
Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State
Wanted to get Kelvin in about seven different spots (really, four: CLE, IND, OAK, TEN) before I finally landed on Baltimore and could let it go on no longer. Harmon is a true three-level weapon who profiles as an X-receiver, something that Baltimore desperately needs: he lets Michael Crabtree and Smoke Brown work from the Z/slot, which better profiles to their strengths. Harmon is a great catch radius/body control guy on the boundary as well, which is where QB Lamar Jackson’s accuracy issues show up the most frequently -- that'll help.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers
Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
Pittsburgh has needed a corner for the past 300 NFL Drafts. I felt the pull to go linebacker, but I gave ‘em Devin White last time, so I decided that corner was the move here. Bryce Hall’s production has been undeniable this season, and his WR background should appeal to the Steelers, who selected a Round 6 WR convert in CB Brian Allen out of Utah in 2017. Hall offers WR length and ball skills, but how he moves at his size is what really makes him a promising corner at the next level.
25. Minnesota Vikings
David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin
In another situation where a team below benefits from the mistakes of the team above, Minnesota snags the tackle Carolina should have taken. Against prioritizing athleticism and also cashing in on a more local product, the Vikings bring in the ex-TE in David Edwards, who I think up there with Jonah Williams as a Top-10 player in this class. Length and foot speed will do that at the OT position, as Edwards steps in as the LT of the future opposite RT of the future Brian O’Neill.
26. Houston Texans
Byron Murphy III, CB, Washington
I know we all expect Houston to go offensive line, but here’s the thing: teams that neglect the offensive line generally keep neglecting the offensive line, no matter the problems it causes. Nothing’s going to stop them from drafting another "developmental athlete" in Round 3/4, so why not bring in a stud corner in Byron Murphy in Round 1 instead? Murphy has risen into CB1 conversations recently (hit up Kyle on Twitter if you doubt me, @GrindingTheTape) given his ball production, quickness, and aggressive downhill play. Houston’s defense needs that on the outside.
27. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago Bears)
Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State
If you checked out the Houston corner that went a pick beforehand, I told you to hit up Kyle for a validation. This time it’s Joe, and his recent report on Oruwariye that stamps his approval on the Penn State produce as a Round 1 target. Oruwariye’s ball skills and physicality have shined even when he was a reserve last season — now a Senior Bowl invite, Oruwariye must check the movement skill box to become more than just a guy who wins with God-given length. I think he will, and remember: Gruden just may be coaching one of those two teams.
28. Los Angeles Chargers
Juan Thornhill, SAF, Virginia
I teased DeAndre Baker here, as Los Angeles has never shied from those smaller corners — but I landed on Thornhill to pair with Derwin James, because I just think it’s way too fun. Thornhill offers similar interchangeability as James does, as he has background as a college cornerback, which gives Los Angeles’ defense impossible multiplicity on the back-end. Thornhill’s best fit is also in the deeper areas, which allows him to read the QB and react to route concepts, so he won’t bite into Derwin’s reps at the line. Beautiful.
29. New England Patriots
Raekwon Davis, iDL, Alabama
Picking for New England in the first round is really hard, because their approach to team building is so unique. I went straight for top talent on the board here, with Raekwon Davis, a super strong run defender with versatility along the defensive line. Davis doesn't have much of a pass-rush yet, though he has the length and power to push the depth of the pocket. Davis will have to be productive as the 5-technique to offer first-round value for the Pats here.
30. Los Angeles Rams
Devin White, LB, LSU
Feels like a good spot for Chase Winovich if the Rams want to go EDGE, but I’ll let them sweat out the New England pick and rejoice as Devin White falls into their lap. As I alluded to with the Oakland pick (no, not that Oakland pick; the other Oakland pick) I have some concerns with White’s processing ability, though I think he’s finishing the year pretty strong. White’s athleticism and hitting ability strengths up the interior of Wade Phillips’ defense, giving them a bit more playmaking when Phillips decides to go light in the box.
31. Kansas City Chiefs
DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia
No easier pick in the world (ignore what I said for the Niners) than a DB for KC — but which one? I elected to bring in Baker, the polar opposite of Marcus Peters, who they shipped away last offseason. Peters was uber-aggressive, whereas Baker picks his spots with great awareness and measured risk. I worry about his deep speed a lot, and I’m not sure how well his physicality will translate against bigger receivers, but his production is hard to argue with at the end of Round 1.
32. Green Bay Packers (via New Orleans Saints)
JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford
If this WR class is so weak, why did four go in the first round? Well, because I don’t think it’s weak, and I wanted to prove a point. GB could have easily gone for Boston College’s Chris Lindstrom or Washington’s Taylor Rapp here, but I elected instead to go for wide receiver and JJ Arcega-Whiteside, an absolute freakazoid in the red zone who will regularly win one-on-one match-ups opposite Davante Adams. I liked the way GB approached their late-round splurge on wideouts last year, but they could still use a clear outside receiver to capitalize on Rodgers’ waning years — J-JAW fits the bill.
33. Arizona Cardinals: N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
34. Oakland Raiders: Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Missouri
35. San Francisco 49ers: Chris Lindstrom, iOL, Boston College
36. New York Giants: Gerald Willis, iDL, Miami
37. Jacksonville Jaguars: Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia
38. Indianapolis Colts (via New York Jets): Taylor Rapp, SAF, Washington
39. Detroit Lions: Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan
40. Buffalo Bills: Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State
41. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Zach Allen, EDGE, Boston College
42. Atlanta Falcons: Garrett Bradbury, iOL, NC State
43. Cleveland Browns: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
44. Green Bay Packers: Cody Ford, iOL, Oklahoma
45. Denver Broncos: Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington
46. Philadelphia Eagles: Michael Jackson, CB, Miami
47. Cincinnati Bengals: Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss
48. Miami Dolphins: Christian Wilkins, iDL, Clemson
49. Tennessee Titans: Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
50. Houston Texans (via Seattle Seahawks): Damien Harris, RB, Alabama
51. Carolina Panthers: Jaquan Johnson, SAF, Miami
52. Indianapolis Colts: DaMarkus Lodge, WR, Ole Miss
53. Dallas Cowboys: Dexter Lawrence, iDL, Clemson
54. Philadelphia Eagles (via Baltimore Ravens): Bobby Okereke, LB, Stanford
55. Washington Redskins: Kaden Smith, TE, Stanford
56. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kendall Joseph, LB, Clemson
57. Minnesota Vikings: Anfernee Jennings, EDGE, Alabama
58. Houston Texans: Tyree St. Louis, OT, Miami
59. Los Angeles Chargers: Garrett Brumfield, iOL, LSU
60. New England Patriots (via Chicago Bears): Anthony Nelson, EDGE, Iowa
61. New England Patriots: Collin Johnson, WR, Texas
62. Kansas City Chiefs (via Los Angeles Rams): Rashard Lawrence, iDL, LSU
63. Kansas City Chiefs: Joe Giles-Harris, LB, Duke
64. New Orleans Saints: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss