A 2019 NFL Mock Draft days after the 2018 NFL Draft? Of course. We do this every year. Last year’s year-in-advance Mock Draft correctly projected 11 of the 32 first round picks. For this year, we projected the draft order based on our team expectations for 2018.
1. Cincinnati – Drew Lock, QB, Missouri. Think we’ll see the end of the Marvin Lewis and Andy Dalton eras next year. The 6-foot-4, 225 pound Lock made a big leap as a junior, and as of now, he’s the best QB in next year’s class.
2. Buffalo – Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State. Got their future QB (Josh Allen) and now they get a franchise pass-rusher in Joey’s “little” (6-foot-4, 270 pounds) brother, who has 13.5 sacks in two seasons.
3. Arizona – Ed Oliver, DT, Houston. Got younger on offense in the ’18 draft; now get Oliver, who may be the best interior lineman prospect since Ndamukong Suh.
4. Miami – Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn. One of the biggest surprises of the 2018 draft is that Miami didn’t draft a QB. Stidham started at Baylor, then transferred to Auburn, and has been good in both spots.
5. Tampa Bay – AJ Brown, WR, Ole Miss. The Bucs wisely got three defensive backs in the draft, and the best DT. Patience is wearing thin with Jameis Winston. But perhaps speedy AJ Brown (11 TDs) can pair with Mike Evans and promising Chris Godwin.
6. Chicago – Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson. There’s probably going to be a need at WR for Mitch Trubisky (though I like Anthony Miller a lot), but value in Lawrence – who could go #1 – is too good to pass up.
7. Baltimore – Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama. Protection for Lamar Jackson, if Austin Howard’s best days are behind him and 2018 3rd round pick Orlando Brown doesn’t deliver. The Ozzie Newsome-Alabama pipeline even continues after the great GM has departed.
8. New York Jets – Trey Adams, OT, Washington. Sam Darnold gets his blindside protected by the hulking (6-foot-8, 327 pounds) Adams, who missed half of 2017 due to a knee injury. I look at 2018 as a prep-year for 2019, when Darnold will be ready to run the show.
9. Washington – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon. Insanely talented, and has the size (6-foot-6, 225 pounds), but had last year slowed by a broken collarbone. Has #1 overall potential. Yes, I’ve got reservations about Alex Smith.
10 Denver – Clayton Thorson, QB, Northwestern. Don’t laugh, the kid is big (6-foot-4, 225 pounds), and has shown steady improvement over three seasons. Tore his ACL in the Music City Bowl, and decided to return to school.
11 Kansas City – Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan. This is embarrassingly low for the former #1 high school recruit in the country. At 6-foot-5, 280 pounds, we’re looking at an elite, potential #1 overall pick when he dominates for Jim Harbaugh next season.
12. Oakland – Michael Jackson, CB, Miami. No surprise that Jon Gruden’s first four picks were all in the trenches. The secondary still needs help.
13. Cleveland – Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson. Yes, I think the Browns will be this good next year. And I still can’t believe they passed on Sam Darnold and Bradley Chubb.
14. Detroit – DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia. Next year’s CB class doesn’t appear to be as loaded as this year, but Baker should be one of the best prospects.
15. Seattle – Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama. The Seahawks miss the playoffs again and they continue to rebuild the defense.
16. Atlanta – Anfernee Jennings, LB, Alabama. Remember him? Go watch the Clemson film, when he had 3 TFL, 1 sack, and generally wrecked havoc.
17. Tennessee – Irv Smith, TE, Alabama. Loved the Titans first two picks in the ’18 draft, and I think they’ll have to address tight end soon, with Delanie Walker turning 34 in August.
18. NY Giants – Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss. Tried to tell you Giants GM Dave Gettleman likes the trenches; his first four picks involved the run game or stopping the run.
19. Green Bay (via New Orleans) – Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State. The 6-foot-5 300-pounder could have entered the NFL draft and gone in the mid-rounds; another great season may put him in the 1st round.
20. Philadelphia – Ken Webster, CB, Ole Miss. Missed the 2016 season after suffering a knee injury in the opener; returned in 2017 to have a solid year. An All-American candidate in 2018.
21. Indianapolis – Bryce Love, RB, Stanford. It’s time to get excited again about Andrew Luck and the Colts. They’ll add another piece on offense in Love after rebounding with Luck’s return and Quenton Nelson improving the offense in 2018.
22. New England – Sutton Smith, OLB, Northern Illinois. Led the nation in pressures last year, and had 15 sacks. A bit undersized (6-foot-1, 230 pounds), but loaded with potential.
23. San Francisco – Cameron Smith, ILB, USC. Probably doesn’t go this high, because he’ll be deemed too big, and too slow, and won’t test well. And then he’ll have an awesome, All-Pro laden 10-year run for somebody.
24. Minnesota – Zach Allen, DE, Boston College. The Vikings might have the best roster in the NFL, and the one place you can never have enough depth is in the pass rush. Allen (6-foot-5, 285 pounds) certainly qualifies.
25. Jacksonville – LJ Scott, RB, Michigan State. I’m worried about the Jags brutal schedule, and the fact that if Leonard Fournette misses a significant amount of time, they’re in trouble. Scott doesn’t have the speed, but he’s nearly identical in size to Le’Veon Bell, who also played for Sparty.
26. Carolina – Collin Johnson, WR, Texas. DJ Moore has star potential, but I’m not sure you can say that for the team’s other WRs.
27. LA Rams – Caleb Wilson, TE, UCLA. Understandably, there are Super Bowl expectations for next season. Bolstered the defensive line, upgraded the receivers, and perhaps the last piece to the puzzle is a strong tight end.
28. Houston – Damien Harris, RB, Alabama. I’m bullish on the Texans with Deshaun Watson at QB, and Harris would add incredible another dimension to a potentially-awesome offense.
29. Dallas – Juwan Johnson, WR, Penn State. I loved the Cowboys’ 2018 draft, and there’s good depth at WR, but the 6-foot-4 Johnson would be the perfect big target for Dak Prescott.
30. Pittsburgh – TJ Edwards, LB, Wisconsin. Steelers had a puzzling draft, and didn’t address the Ryan Shazier situation. Still, I like them to make a deep playoff run. Remember, this bogus call cost them HFA, and set up a terrible matchup against the loaded Jaguars.
31. LA Chargers – David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State. I believe the Chargers have defense to make a run at the Super Bowl, though the creativeness on offense leaves much to be desired. Nobody makes people miss like Montgomery.
32. Green Bay – Anthony Johnson, WR, Buffalo. One of the most productive players in Buffalo offensive history. Possibly the school’s best prospect since Khalil Mack.