The Big LeadThe Big Lead

2019 NFL Mock Draft: 6.0, Before the NFL Combine

The 2018 NFL season ends Sunday, so it’s time for another 2019 NFL Mock Draft. Our first 2019 NFL mock draft was back in April, right after the 2018 draft. We did our second in September after a month of college football. Our third mock draft came in October as team needs became evident. We did a mock draft in December after the college football regular season. Our 2019 NFL Mock Draft 5.0 was in early January at the end of the regular season.

1. Arizona – Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State. Less than three months to the draft, it feels like only a failed medical or a trade could unseat Bosa from this spot.

2. San Francisco – Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama. Awesome interior DL. Would join three other 1st round picks on the DL. No change from last mock draft.

3. NY Jets – Josh Allen, Edge, Kentucky. Jets best option is still to trade down for more picks. If Gregg Williams moves the Jets to a 4-3, does the 260-pound Allen fit at DE? As a junior in high school, he was an All-Star WR.

4. Oakland – Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma. Keep an eye on Derek Carr in free agency. There’s an out in his contract. The Chiefs drafted Patrick Mahomes, sat him for a year, and then started him. Will the Raiders ponder the same with Derek Carr and Murray?

5. Tampa Bay – Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State. If the Gerald McCoy rumors are true, this is a great draft to find his replacement. There are huge needs in the secondary, but free agency is filled with cornerbacks.

6. NY Giants – Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State. Only has 14 career starts. Likely sits behind Eli Manning for at least a few games – maybe a season – before taking over as the starter.

7. Jacksonville – Daniel Jones, QB, Duke. Opened eyes as a freshman with 3 TDs vs Notre Dame, but came back to earth with five picks the next week vs UVA. As a junior he was terrific, albeit against a bad ACC. Struggled late in the season vs Clemson and Wake Forest, but bounced back with 5 TDs in a rout of Temple. Jack of all trades (186 rush yards vs UNC), master of none.

8. Detroit – Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia. Several scouts I’ve spoken with since bowl season ended have moved Baker ahead of Greedy Williams as the #1 CB in the draft. I think it’s close. Strangely, I think a healthy Lions team next year can contend for a playoff spot.

9. Buffalo – Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State. Helped greatly by a great Senior Bowl, Dillard might be the #1 lineman taken in the draft. The Bills have many needs; protecting Josh Allen is near the top.

10. Denver – Drew Lock, QB, Missouri. John Elway is rumored to be enamored. But would he be there in the 2nd round? Probably not once Lock impresses throwing against air at the Combine. Lock came into the last season as my #1 QB, but he wasn’t overly impressive against the likes of Alabama, South Carolina, Georgia and Kentucky (1 TD, 5 INTs, under 60 percent completions in each game).

11. Cincinnati – Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama. Increasingly, scouts are split on Williams, who likely will start out at guard. Depending on whom you talk to, he’s no longer the best tackle prospect in the draft.

12. Green Bay – Rashan Gary, Edge, Michigan. Think we’ll hear him rising up draft boards the next few months. Had a weird year where he didn’t play much, and took arrows from the media, but the talent definitely warrants him going in the 1st half of the 1st round.

13. Miami – Ed Oliver, DT, Houston. There is a big need at QB, but unless they move up, it is increasingly looking like they won’t find one here. The Dolphins had the 24th ranked DVOA run defense, and new head coach Brian Flores will certainly need to start rebuilding that defense.

14. Atlanta – Dexter Lawrence, DL, Clemson. One of the biggest disappointments in 2018, Atlanta couldn’t stop anyone, and the defense will be the top priority this offseason. Head coach Dan Quinnis now in charge of the defense, so the pressure is on.

15. Washington – Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, Oklahoma, WR.The QB situation is dicey, the offensive line needs to get healthy, but Brown is the best play-making skill position player in this draft. A tight end wouldn’t be a bad idea, and I still like the idea of Noah Fanthere.

16. Carolina – Devin White, LB, LSU. With Thomas Davis leaving the Panthers, and Luke Kuechly one concussion away from retirement, it’s time to find a talented replacement in the middle of the defense. There is a big need at TE with Greg Olsen retiring, but several talented ones will be available in the 2nd round.

17. Cleveland – Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson. Susceptible against the run last year, the Browns need to bolster the interior in free agency or the draft. Fortunately for them, it’s a draft loaded at the position.

18. Minnesota – Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State. Pro Football Focus rated the Vikings offensive line 29th in the NFL. So yeah, keep blaming Kirk Cousins. Offensive line has to be the top priority in the draft.

19. Tennessee – T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa. The Titans lost TE Delanie Walker to a broken ankle in the opener and the offense really struggled. He’s 35 in August. Hockenson is a plug-and-play guy who helps Marcus Mariota immediately. No, I don’t think you panic yet about Mariota’s injuries.

20. Pittsburgh – Devin Bush, LB, Michigan. The Steelers have been searching for the Ryan Shazier replacement, and Bush could be a candidate, though he’s a bit smaller.

21. Seattle – Greedy Williams, CB, LSU. Time for the Seahawks – who were a surprise playoff team in 2018 – to rebuild that secondary. Williams could end the Combine as a Top 15 talent in the draft.

22. Baltimore – N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State. Lamar Jackson is going to need help on the outside, but after Brown, it’s not yet clear who the 2nd best WR in the draft is.

23. Houston – Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida. It’s got to be defensive back or the offensive line, right? Deshaun Watson was sacked more than any other QB in the NFL last year.

24. Oakland (via Chicago) – Byron Murphy, CB, Washington. The 32nd ranked pass defense per DVOA has to spend one of its first round picks on a defensive back. When you’re facing Pat Mahomes2x a year, you better beef up the secondary.

25. Philadelphia – Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson. There is a lot of uncertainty heading into the offseason about the Eagles defensive line. Three players, age 31 or older, could be moving on.

26. Indianapolis – Noah Fant, TE, Iowa. We know Frank Reich loves his tight ends, and despite having Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron, both are free agents in 2020. Fant looks like a future star.

27. Oakland (via Dallas) – JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford. Jon Gruden is a major wild card in this draft given all the needs the Raiders have. It’s difficult to imagine that pathetic defense only getting one pick out of the three 1st rounders, but offense sells tickets, and they’ll be Vegas in 2020.

28. LA Chargers – Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama. Health on this team is a massive issue, and MLB Denzel Perryman has been hurt each of the last two years. Without him, they’re thin at LB. Wilson has star potential.

29. Kansas City – Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama. There are needs all over the Chiefs defense, so it feels like a best-on-board situation. Perhaps a CB will emerge in at the Combine as a candidate here, because the top three are almost certain to be gone.

30. Green Bay (via New Orleans) – Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma. The Packers offensive line was fantastic, with the exception of issues at right guard. Will new coach Matt LaFleur want to go to the run the way he did with Derrick Henry late in the season? And can Ford play guard? He was an All-American tackle for the Sooners.

31. New England – Jachai Polite, Edge, Florida. As always, who knows with Belichick. The pass rush wasn’t bad in the postseason, but let’s see how the Super Bowl goes. This is an old team almost everywhere other than the OL and at RB.

32. LA Rams – Jaylon Ferguson, Edge, Louisiana Tech. They’re probably going to lose Dante Fowler in free agency, opening a big need on the edge. There also could be a need at CB.