With just days until the 2019 NFL Combine, let’s run through another 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. The 6.0 version came out right before the Super Bowl.
1. Arizona Cardinals (3-13) | Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Kliff Kingsbury said his team would stick with their man: quarterback Josh Rosen. By all measurements, it would be extremely foolish to cut bait on a top 10 pick after just one season. But if Arizona got the right price for Rosen, Kingsbury and the Cardinals could absolutely go back on their word by bailing on Rosen and selecting Murray. Once the combine is over, Murray’s draft stock will be through the roof.
There would be little argument to make Murray that pick if it weren’t for his height (probably about 5-foot-9). But with Murray attempting 90 percent of his passes from the pocket in college in 2018, a good — or at least confident — offensive mind (*cough* Kingsbury cough*) will think they can make Murray’s height work.
2. San Francisco 49ers (4-12) | Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
The 49ers land the best prospect in the draft. The Bosa family understands the NFL is a business and treat it as such, which can be tricky for NFL teams. Nick’s brother Joey held out during the beginning of his rookie season. Nick skipped the second half of the 2018 college football season to get healthy for the draft. But Joey is one of the best defensive players in the NFL when healthy. Nick will be, too.
3. New York Jets (4-12) | Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama
Is there such a thing as a safe pick? Williams is probably the closest thing.
A product of an incredible Alabama program, Williams was dominant in the interior against the best offensive linemen in the country. He’ll be a strong addition for New York as Adam Gase takes over.
4. Oakland Raiders (4-12) | Josh Allen, DE, Kentucky
Out goes Khalil Mack. In comes Allen.
Allen has the size, speed and technique to be an elite NFL pass-rusher. He showed as much with 17 sacks in 2018. But what makes Allen a top pick is his ability to defend the run and diagnose offenses better than most of his fellow pass-rushing prospects. He’s a complete package, and in theory, Allen will be the reason Jon Gruden stops bemoaning his team’s lack of pass rush (which Gruden created by trading Mack).
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-11) | Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
The Buccaneers have a lot of needs, but I have long believed they shouldn’t settle at the quarterback position. The Bucs picked up Jameis Winston’s fifth-year option worth just over $20 million in 2019. That doesn’t mean they’re committed to him — nor should it. They can draft Winston’s replacement, and use the 2019 season to help Haskins prepare for the NFL. When the imminent happens and Winston screws up on or off the field, Tampa Bay will have Winston’s replacement in place. The Buccaneers can trade Winston during the 2019 season or let him walk in 2020.
6. New York Giants (5-11) | DK Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
Once the combine is over, Metcalf will have entrenched himself as a top 10 pick. He’s a physical marvel who showed in his brief college action that those physical gifts apply nicely to the football field. In theory, his medicals will clear up concern around his neck injury. If (and perhaps when) the Giants elect to trade Odell Beckham, they will quickly replace him with a receiver that can help out Eli Manning in his final years.
Speaking of Manning, a quarterback would make sense here. But like last year, the Giants won’t draft a player they don’t think is worth of the draft position. They missed Haskins and Murray and will pass on Drew Lock and Daniel Jones.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11) | Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
As if the Jaguars defensive line needs more talent. Still, Oliver is too good to pass up, and so Jacksonville will continue to add to their already star-studded defense (which didn’t play like a star-studded defense in 2018). Oliver is undersized but productive. He’ll get some Aaron Donald comparisons, because they’re both smaller, talented interior rushers. But Donald, of course, is the best defensive player in the NFL and Oliver is a troubled prospect. They are currently a world apart. Doug Marrone will be in charge of bridging the gap.
8. Detroit Lions (6-10) | Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Lions general manager Bob Quinn, who is a former Bill Belichick disciple, takes a page out of his former boss’ book. You can never have too many defensive backs, according to Belichick. The Lions may have talent in their defensive backfield, but they get a chance at a unique prospect, who may quickly become one of the league’s top cornerbacks.
9. Buffalo Bills (6-10) | Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
If Josh Allen is going to complete more of his pass attempts, logic says that better pass protection will aid him. Now, it remains to be seen whether Allen will ever be an accurate quarterback rather than his current state, the most mobile howitzer the world has ever seen. Regardless, Dillard will continue to wow at the combine after impressing during the college All Star games.
10. Denver Broncos (6-10) | Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
John Elway was rumored to have told Lock he would be a top 10 pick. Elway makes the rumor true, and pairs the young quarterback with veteran Joe Flacco. It’d be nice to think that the Broncos will put together a situation like Kansas City, with a transition from Lock to Flacco after the youngster gets a year to develop on the bench. But Elway’s track record with quarterbacks pales in comparison to that of Andy Reid. Lock would be a starter in 2019, maybe as early as Week 1.
11. Cincinnati Bengals (6-10) | Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
It feels like just yesterday when we were praising the Bengals for doubling up on tackles Cedric Ogbuehi, a first-rounder, and Jake Fisher, a second-rounder, in 2015. They’re now both backups, and the Bengals need to improve on the offensive line. Williams will make Andy Dalton better — and when the Bengals move on from Dalton, Williams should help that quarterback, too.
12. Green Bay Packers (6-9-1) | Clellin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
Ferrell fills a need at pass-rusher as Clay Matthews continues to age. He was a productive pass-rusher, as he was tied for fifth-most sacks in college football with 12. He’s a champion, which will help Matt LaFleur re-establish a winning culture that has been lacking in the last two years.
13. Miami Dolphins (7-9) | Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
Brian Flores will want to draft a tone-setter for his new locker room. Wilkins is the perfect player to do that. He’s a standup individual who excels on the field despite tragedy in his family. Wilkins should quickly develop into a leader in the locker room, and he will be one of Flores’ first blue chip players that begins to turn the Dolphins organization around.
14. Atlanta Falcons (7-9) | Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
The Falcons have just one trustworthy cornerback in Desmond Trufant. Baker will help solidify their defensive backfield. Cornerback Isaiah Oliver, a 2018 second round pick, figures to be in the mix to start next season. But in today’s NFL, it’s always worth having three starting-caliber cornerbacks.
15. Washington Redskins (7-9) | A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
The Ole Miss receivers go first and second among those at their position. While Metcalf was out with an injury, Brown was terrific with 85 receptions for 1,320 yards and six touchdowns. The Redskins have attempted to fill out their receiver position with Josh Doctson, Paul Richardson and Michael Floyd. None of those acquisitions have worked out. Brown could help them reverse that trend, and should be an aid to whoever is the starting quarterback for Washington in 2019.
16. Carolina Panthers (7-9) | Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan
The 2019 draft presents depth at the defensive end and defensive tackle positions at the end of the first round. There’s a grouping of well-rounded defenders, who may all sneak into the top 10 picks or may drop in the beginning of the second round. Gary should fall safely in the first round, and may even jump into the top five if his freakish athleticism tempts a team at the top of the draft. But he’s in need of development to become and every-down player, which might present too much risk.
17. Cleveland Browns (7-8-1) | Devin Bush, LB, LSU
Linebacker Jamie Collins was barely on the field near the end of the season, perhaps because the Browns were in favor of a youth movement. But Collins’ days in Cleveland are numbered, and Bush presents good value at this point in the draft. Bush can do everything: run defense, coverage and pass rushing. He’ll be a versatile tool for the Browns defense, as they transition to something new: winning.
18. Minnesota Vikings (8-7-1) | Jaawan Taylor, OL, Florida
Taylor could play either guard or tackle at the NFL level, even if his size (6-foot-5, 335 pounds) better suits the tackle position. But the Vikings have needs all over the offensive line, and should be able to plug Taylor in at left tackle. If he can’t keep up with the challenges of that position, he could try to move inside to guard.
19. Tennessee Titans (9-7) | Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida
Mike Vrabel might see Polite’s weaknesses and think he can help cover those up. Polite is a speed pass-rusher, who struggles to hold his own in run defense. Likely as an outside linebacker, Polite would be an impact player as a third-down pass-rusher. The rest will have to come with time, coaching and hard work.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-6-1) | Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
The Steelers haven’t seemed to care in recent years that their tight ends don’t block. So Fant’s shortcomings as a blocker shouldn’t matter. Fant is an oversized receiver, with the possibility of looking something like Zach Ertz. He should be able to contribute immediately as a pass-catcher, particularly if the Steelers pull off a trade involving Antonio Brown. Fant proved a tremendous mismatch at Iowa, where he worked with another likely first-round tight end in T.J. Hockenson, who is more well-rounded but not as dangerous of a pass-catching threat.
21. Seattle Seahawks (10-6) | Dre’Mont Jones, DL, Ohio State
The Seahawks will likely retain defensive end Frank Clark with the franchise tag, but Jones can rush alongside Clark from the interior. Jone is a long and strong athlete at 6-foot-3 and 285 pounds. In a perfect world. he might grow into a role like the one Michael Bennett had.
22. Baltimore Ravens (10-6) | Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
Let’s give Lamar Jackson someone to target. Samuel is the most gifted route-runner in the draft class, and should be silky smooth in the Ravens’ passing offense. A player like Oklahoma’s Marquise Brown, whose injury may force him out of the first round, might make sense as he has experience working with a mobile quarterback in Murray. But the idea would be that Samuel can learn to improvise with Jackson and quickly become the Ravens’ No. 1 option.
23. Houston Texans (11-5) | Brian Burns, DE, FSU
He’s undersized at 225 pounds, which could make for an interesting puzzle for Texans defensive coordinator Romeo Crennnel. How to deploy Burns? If he fills out without losing his flexibility and speed, Burns would be an absolute steal at this point in the draft. However, it’s fair to wonder if he can play defensive end in the NFL at his current weight. And if not, how will the weight gain impact him?
24. Oakland Raiders (4-12) (from Chicago Bears) | Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
Jon Gruden pulls the trigger on a new quarterback, which spells bad news for Derek Carr. But Carr will get one season to improve his stock, because Jones, who needs to sort out his accuracy issues, is not ready to play in the NFL immediately. Of course, if Carr slips, Jones would jump into action. Carr would then be trade bait. But I can literally hear Gruden grilling (and loving) Jones in the QB Camp which we can longer see on ESPN.
Gruden, probably: “D.J., do you like music? Should I give your record a spin in Oakland? I like it, man. Let’s do it!”
25. Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) | Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
The Eagles secondary got its act together at the end of the year, but they looked brutal for much of the season. Murphy might be a bit of a reach at this point in the draft — he’s probably not the best player available. But if he turns into a starting caliber cornerback, he’ll be worth the investment, especially because the Eagles badly need to bring stability to their secondary.
26. Indianapolis Colts (10-6) | Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
There isn’t really a defensive position the Colts don’t need. But edge rushers will likely be hard to come by in free agency, which will probably leave them looking for help in the draft. At 6-foot-6, 250 pounds, Sweat is a physically gifted athlete who checks every physical requirement for an elite defensive end. Better yet, he’s a hard worker and likely an immediate impact player.
27. Oakland Raiders (4-12) (from Dallas Cowboys) | T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
Gruden, Carr and (hypothetically) Jones get a versatile tight end who can contribute as much in the running game as he can in the passing game. Hockenson, unlike Fant, is a strong run blocker. And that’s not taking away from what Hockenson can do as a pass-catcher — he’ll be a good option for whoever plays quarterback in Oakland. It’s just that he’s one of those rare tight ends who can still block well, unlike Raiders tight end Jared Cook, who is set to enter free agency in 2019.
Gruden, probably: “I’ll tell ya what, we’re drafting T.J. and D.J. What a coincidence. Wow.”
28. Los Angeles Chargers (12-4) | Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia
He has the potential to be a day-one starter at tackle for the Chargers. Cajuste is a former basketball player with impressive athleticism for a man his size. (Hey, it worked with Antonio Gates.) Cajuste was a three-year starter at left tackle, which should provide plenty of tape (good and bad) to help L.A. feel like he’s the right project for them.
29. Kansas City Chiefs (12-4) | Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
Boy, did that Chiefs secondary need help?
Thompson is the beneficiary of playing on a Crimson Tide team that boasted nothing but blue chip recruits. But that doesn’t mean he can’t help out a group of struggling Chiefs defensive backs. He’ll be a ball-hawking safety net in no time — and he’ll quickly find a leadership role, too.
30. Green Bay Packers (6-9-1) (from New Orleans Saints) | Dexter Lawrence, DL, Clemson
The Packers nabbed teammate Ferrell for completely different reasons than Green Bay would draft Lawrence. The two prospects serve as a nice foil for one another. Ferrell may end up being a pass-rushing specialist. Lawrence may end up being an interior run defender. They both have room and athleticism to grow into other roles — but they clearly have developed strengths. Lawrence is a tough player to block in the middle of a defense.
31. Los Angeles Rams (13-3) | Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma
The Rams wouldn’t have minded if Lawrence fell one more pick. They need help in the defensive interior, especially if Ndamukong Suh departs in free agency. Instead, the Rams will nab Ford to help strengthen the interior of their offensive line at guard, with Rodger Saffold potentially departing in free agency.
32. New England Patriots (11-5) | Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State
It would be wild to think that Bill Belichick picks a skill player in the first round for a second year in a row. After all, he’s picked just two in his entire tenure with the Patriots, including last year’s pick in running back Sony Michel.
Campbell is uniquely suitable for New England. He’s a two-time captain, which Belichick loves in a first-rounder. He’s a product of Urban Meyer, which Belichick has gravitated toward in the past. And Campbell can return the football on special teams. Belichick loves a four-down player. Campbell would be a high-volume option that Tom Brady (and whoever succeeds him) would learn to love.