The 2018 NFL regular season is over, so it’s time for a 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 near the end of the regular season.
1. Arizona – Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State. A silver lining to their awful, 3-win season: Three offensive line starters ended up on IR; they’ll have a new coach; and four 2018 draft picks got a lot of quality reps. If nobody wants to trade up for a QB, Bosa is the heavy favorite to go here and play on the other side of Chandler Jones.
2. San Francisco – Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama. Drafted a DT 17th in 2015; DE 7th in 2016; and a DE 3rd in 2017. Run defense ranked 13th in DVOA, and the pass defense was worse (25th), but the highest drafted CB in the last 25 years was Shawn Springs in 1997. Will certainly be looking to trade out of this spot.
3. NY Jets – Ed Oliver, DT, Houston. The Jets were 25th against the run this season. There is a need at corner and obviously on the offensive line (two starters on IR), and they’re deficient at the skill positions. Cap space may take care of some of that. Oliver had 53.5 TFL in three seasons, and he only played eight games in 2018. Ceiling would be Aaron Donald.
4. Oakland – Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State. The Raiders can get out of Derek Carr’s remaining contract this offseason. Doing that would help Jon Gruden rebuild the team in the mold he wants and go shopping in free agency. They’re not remotely close to a playoff team with Carr next year, so why not reset under a rookie QB?
5. Tampa Bay – Greedy Williams, CB LSU. They passed on Derwin James last year, but did end up with Vita Vea, who finished the season strong. They can’t pass on a CB this year. There is a need for a QB, and the early guess here is that’s where they go in the 2nd round.
6. NY Giants – Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky. Has Giants coach Pat Shurmur been talking up Eli Manning (38 tomorrow) as a smokescreen? The Giants don’t have their QB of the future, but Manning just had his best season in five years (fewest fumbles, fewest interceptions, highest completion percentage, highest YPA). The Giants were a bottom 10 defense against the run and pass, and Allen would play opposite their best rusher, Olivier Vernon.
7. Jacksonville – Daniel Jones, QB, Duke. Makes his debut in my 2019 Mock Draft. At 6-foot-5, 220 he looks the part, and inevitably the running comparisons to Josh Allen will be made. Jones tossed 3 TDs vs Northwestern, 3 vs UNC, and then 5 vs Temple. The 59 percent completions are troubling.
8. Detroit – DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia. Matt Patricia is a defensive guy, and it’s not a good look that the Lions defense ranked 32nd vs the pass. The offense struggled when it traded Golden Tate and then lost Kerryon Johnson to injury.
9. Buffalo – Jonah Williams, LT, Alabama. The Bills haven’t taken a WR in the 1st round since Sammy Watkins in 2014. Zay Jones was a smart 2nd round pick in 2017, but the Bills need a #1. Warning: We’ve discussed the dangers of drafting WRs shorter than 6-foot-3 in the Top 10. Read this, then look at the most recent list. There isn’t a true #1 WR in this spot, hence the offensive line improvements.
10. Denver – Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, Oklahoma, WR. An injury reduced him to a non-factor vs Alabama, but you’ll hear Tyreek Hill comparisons over the next few months. Emmanuel Sanders is coming off torn Achilles, and Courtland Sutton needs a running mate. They need a QB, but it sounds like Drew Lock’s stock is dropping.
11. Cincinnati – Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi St. The Bengals have a bottom five pass defense and rush defense. There’s a major need at linebacker, with Vontaze Burfict possibly retiring due to concussions. The front seven is abysmal. There are two 1st round picks at corner. This will come down to who the Bengals have graded highest defensively.
12. Green Bay – Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson. The Packers defense ranked 29th in DVOA primarily because six starters ended up on IR. There will be a push for tackling machine Devin White, but four months out, the nod here goes to Ferrell.
13. Miami – Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan. Given the Ryan Tannehill rumors, a QB could be in play here. But the offensive line was ranked 31st by Pro Football Focus last month. The defense has talent in the secondary, but the pass rush is non-existent (29th in sacks), and Cameron Wake turns 37 and could be done in Miami. It’s really stunning Adam Gase got Miami to 7-9 and Brock Osweiler started half a dozen games.
14. Atlanta – Devin White, LB, LSU. It’s possible they spend their first three picks on defense. White paired with Deion Jones would instantly bolster a shoddy defense that ended the season ranked 26th in DVOA.
15. Washington – Noah Fant, TE, Iowa. Difficult to gauge the Redskins given their offensive stats are so negatively skewed by playing with a 4th string QB for the final 6.5 games. To that point, the Redskins were 6-3 with Alex Smith. Their 2018 2nd round draft pick, Derrius Guice, didn’t play due to a preseason injury. If Alex Smith isn’t back, give the new QB (Joe Flacco?) a 2nd tight end to pair with oft-injured Jordan Reed.
16. Carolina – Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama. The Panthers lacked the ability to pressure the QB, and as such their secondary was a disaster (ranked 24th). It’s a good draft on the DL, but Thompson is by far the best safety available.
17. Cleveland – Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson. Browns hit a home run with Denzel Ward in the 1st round. Now they need to shore up their run defense, which finished the season ranked 25th. Think they’d love Devin White to fall here, but that seems unlikely; keep an eye on Montez Sweat.
18. Minnesota – Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss. All the blame fell upon Kirk Cousins for not getting to the playoffs. He had his best statistical season as a pro, but the offensive line was a disaster. Pro Football Focus ranked them 29th. Mike Zimmer wanted to run; can’t behind that line.
19. Tennessee – Byron Murphy, CB, Washington. There just isn’t much talent on this roster. They need to draft a WR in the early rounds, and you saw how sluggish the offense looked without TE Delanie Walker (who is 35 in August). If Fant is on the board he shouldn’t get past the Titans. But WRs can be had in Round 2. For value here, Murphy is a plug-and-play starter for a team that ranked 21st in pass defense.
20. Pittsburgh – Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame. Arguably the best offensive line in the NFL; tied for the NFL lead in sacks. The secondary struggled again, ranking 17th in the NFL. If Antonio Brown is jettisoned, then drafting a WR could happen in Round 2.
21. Indianapolis – N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State. The Colts didn’t take long to get back to the playoffs, and the defense surprised everyone. There’s a need at cornerback, but it’s unclear now if there’s a 5th CB going in the 1st round. It’s an up-and-down WR group, but it’ll be interesting to see how Harry runs at the Combine.
22. Philadelphia – Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn. There is a need in the secondary, but Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills will return from IR. Haloti Ngata turns 35 this month, and there’s value in Brown (6-foot-5, 325 pounds).
23. Seattle – Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson. The Seahawks need to improve in the trenches, and the guess here is they go defensive. Lawrence was projected as a Top 10 pick before his season, and here’s hoping he can play against Alabama.
24. Oakland (via Dallas) – Jaylon Ferguson, DE, Louisiana Tech. The Raiders had 13 sacks. For the season. They absolutely must draft some pass rushers and difference-makers in the trenches.
25. Baltimore – Jachai Polite, OLB, Florida. Future Hall of Famer Terrell Suggs turns 37. It’s difficult to envision him playing for another franchise, but stars like Joey Porter and Willie McGinest played for multiple teams.
26. Houston – Jawaan Taylor, OL, Florida. The Texans nearly got DeShaun Watson killed with that protection. He took 62 sacks, putting him in an elite class you don’t want to be part of. The Texans may draft on the OL and cornerback for the first few rounds.