It’s my first NFL mock draft of the season, I’ve done a mock draft for the Rams but not the rest of the league. I plan on releasing quite a few mock drafts until finally launching my top 350 player big board and full NFL seven-round mock draft. As for now, here’s my first round mock.
1.Arizona Cardinals: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
Arizona has a new coach in town in the form of Kliff Kingsbury and while many might take his video clip of Kingsbury saying he would take Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray number one overall if he could, as something 100% serious, it’s not happening. The Cardinals have a young franchise QB to build around in Josh Rosen. They are likely going to entertain a ton of trade up’s but in the end, they grab one of the safest prospects in this draft in Nick Bosa. Markus Golden is a free agent as well as Benson Mayowa so you can expect Bosa to fill right in alongside elite sack artist Chandler Jones.
2.San Francisco 49ers: Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama
The rise of Quinnen Williams has been a fun story but it’s legit. This isn’t a joke, Williams is graded as my best overall prospect in this draft. The 49ers have defensive tackle Earl Mitchell set to hit free agency, in steps the best interior defensive lineman in the draft. Problem solved.
3.New York Jets: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
The Jets have a good option on the edge with Jordan Jenkins but will need help across from him. I’m not as big on Josh Allen as some but he’s going to go top five and this fit makes sense. Allen is likely the best player on their board, the Jets have holes to fill so they go with not necessarily their biggest, but their best option according to their board to pick someone.
4.Oakland Raiders: Ed Oliver, DL, Houston
Ed Oliver is dropping in mock drafts, a player that was once a “lock” to go in the top five now has lost steam. However, I expect that to change, with a team like the Oakland Raiders having three first round picks, it’s likely they are the favorite to draft the best player available. The Raiders have a long way to go but GM Mike Mayock is not passing on Ed Oliver in any scenario whatsoever.
5.Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
This seems like a no-brainer type of pick. When you look at the fact Bruce Arians has publicly committed to Jameis Winston, you can basically write off any chance of the Bucs selecting a QB in round one. Arians wants to roll with Winston and so it’s time to find him a blindside protector in case the organization doesn’t pay Donovan Smith. Tampa could go in a myriad of different directions but the fact is their team doesn’t look that bad on paper. Williams gives Tampa a bookend left tackle for now and beyond.
6.New York Giants: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
The Giants still have Eli Manning in their clutches with weapons such as Saquon Barkley, Odell Beckham Jr, Sterling Shepard and Evan Engram. However, old man Eli’s days are becoming less as a starter in the NFL. Haskins is my top QB in the draft, but the Giants will surely have to decide between Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins and Drew Lock. I see the fit more with Haskins who in my mind plays similar to Philip Rivers, the QB the Giants drafted and then traded away. Haskins can use his time in New York to sit and grow under Eli Manning unless Manning gets hurt or benched.
7.Jacksonville Jaguars: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
The Jaguars are likely moving on from former 2017 fourth-overall pick RB Leonard Fournette and their 2014 third-overall pick in QB Blake Bortles during the same off-season. While there is certainly interest in free agent QB Nick Foles, I’m not discounting the opportunity the Jaguars have to acquire a young gunslinger in the form of Drew Lock. He was by many, the best QB at the Senior Bowl and is one of the top QB’s in the draft. Great NFL size, paired with a giant arm and some mobility begs the question: Will Drew Lock be starting for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019? I would lean yes, as long as John Elway and the Denver Broncos do not trade up and steal him away. Jacksonville has some weapons that fit what Lock would want in receivers, Dede Westbrook, D.J. Chark are the deep threats on this roster and then you have to look at Marqise Lee, who is coming back from a season-ending injury and Keelan Cole to fill out the receiver room. It’s not a bad spot for Lock and the Jaguars need a QB.
8.Detroit Lions: Devin White, LB, LSU
Devin White is for many, the best linebacker in this draft and so far, I would echo that sentiment. The Lions have a defensive minded Head coach in Matt Patricia who chose G Frank Ragnow in last year’s draft. I would have to imagine he’s chomping at the bit to start building his own defense and this pick will be paramount to doing just that. White is one of the best players left here and he would easily elevate the LB room. Talk about having a captain, an athletic linebacker and an elite talent with enormous potential. It sounds a lot more exciting to Lions fans than picking Eric Ebron over Aaron Donald at eight overall again. This pick slot may give Lions fans nightmares, but White won’t.
9.Buffalo Bills: DK Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
Don’t laugh but I think the Bills have a good roster and are just missing a few pieces. A big-time receiver is a must and here I think Buffalo grabs the best receiver in the draft. I like the potential of Isaiah McKenzie, Robert Foster and Zay Jones but could you honestly say DK Metcalf wouldn’t be the number one receiver as soon as he got to Buffalo? You really can’t. Metcalf has an unbelievable frame, he’s extremely athletic, has very smooth hands, runs very well for his frame and has that “it” factor. Metcalf is going to pan out in the NFL and with Josh Allen’s mobility and ability to prolong plays, someone like Metcalf becomes an integral part of an offense. This should be the pick for Buffalo, it’s not too early to find yourself a receiver that could become one of the elite in a few years.
10.Denver Broncos: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
Arguably the best cornerback comes off the board here after the Broncos missed out on arguably the best cornerback last year in Denzel Ward. Fluid hips, the ability to mirror his receiver, ball skills and awareness is what makes Byron Murphy of Washington the likely favorite to be the top corner off the board. The team traded for Joe Flacco and still have Case Keenum, I doubt unless Drew Lock is here do the Broncos take a QB. Murphy fills the void that’s left with impending free agent Bradley Roby and an aging star Chris Harris Jr. that may or may not be in the cards this season for Denver. Picking Boston College’s Isaac Yiadom was not a bad pick but Denver will absolutely need to upgrade the position. Since this draft arguably has three elite corner prospects this pick becomes even more imperative.
11.Cincinnati Bengals: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Surprise! I mean…it really shouldn’t be. Andy Dalton is not the answer unless the Bengals are okay with being a fringe playoff team for the rest of time. It’s time for the Bengals to go off the tracks a little bit and take the dive here with excitement. To me, Kyler Murray has a ton of tools you can build around, the height doesn’t bother me it’s his weight if anything but still, elite athleticism, great arm talent and legitimate football mentality, Murray should be the pick here. The Bengals can do whatever they want with Dalton, they could keep him and his $16 million on the books or cut/trade him and save that money. With new Head coach Zac Taylor, I expect this move to potentially happen and shock people. This really is a great pick for Cincinnati and I’m honestly shocked hardly anyone is mocking a QB to the Bengals in this first round.
12.Green Bay Packers: Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida
Fun prospect with a high motor, elite speed rush potential and a monster ceiling. That just described one of the most exciting pass rushers in the draft, Jachai Polite. The Packers may want to go offensive weapon here but I suggest the team explores that option later on with their second first-round pick they acquired in a trade last year with the Saints. Polite can instantly start alongside veteran edge defender Nick Perry and add an element to the pass rush that could propel Green Bay to take the next step on defense under Mike Pettine.
13.Miami Dolphins: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
The Dolphins have aging Cameron Wake & William Hayes who are set to hit the free agency market with the addition of the fact Charles Harris, the former first-rounder hasn’t really flashed as much as the Dolphins expected, you could see a pass rusher joining the fray. Clelin Ferrell looks like the likely pick here to go next to Robert Quinn next year who is still only just 28-years old. Would Miami draft Kyler Murray here if he fell? Certainly, but in this scenario, he doesn’t so it’s Ferrell to Miami.
14.Atlanta Falcons: Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan
The Falcons had a disappointing year, to say the least. Coming off a Super Bowl loss, then a divisional round loss and then in 2018 not even making the playoffs, it was quite the fall from grace for Atlanta. One of the main issues for the struggles had to be pinned on injury. Atlanta kicked off the season losing players left and right which included stud safety Keanu Neal and star LB Deion Jones. It was never their season, so now with Grady Jarrett likely hitting free agency with outrageous demands, the Falcons will have to look to replace a key cog on their defense. Insert Rashan Gary, the former top overall recruit in the country had a great display of his talent in 2017 but his 2018 inconsistencies have him falling from surefire top-five pick to mid-first round. The potential is obviously there and the Falcons will take him or Christian Wilkins to replace Jarrett. My money would be on the higher upside of Gary who has enough versatility to move around the defensive line. This pick screams Dan Quinn to me.
15.Washington Redskins: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
The Redskins, you could argue will not be needing a cornerback here, but while they received quality play out of Quinton Dunbar, the rest of the group including the aging Josh Norman could start to weigh this secondary down. I like Fabian Moreau, he’s a converted cornerback that could turn into something special, I like Greg Stroman and I really like supplemental draft pick Adonis Alexander, but Greedy Williams is a game-changer at this spot. The 31-year old Norman is declining in my eyes and Williams gives the Redskins a chance at another elite-level corner. When you talk about looking for a young game-changing cornerback to develop, Greedy might be at the top of that list.
16.Carolina Panthers: Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware
The Panthers just signed Eric Reid but the ageless wonder in the form of 38-year old Mike Adams will likely need to be replaced. Insert the best safety in the draft, Delaware’s Nasir Adderley. What’s not to like about Adderley? He’s had experience playing corner and safety. Ball skills? Check. Range? Check. Football IQ? Check. High character? Check. High motor? Check. Run support? Check. Tackling? Check. Where are the weaknesses? Not sure, couldn’t find one and he may not be here once he hits the combine.
17.Cleveland Browns: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
Let’s make this easy. Cleveland, you have a franchise QB that you just drafted number one overall, a QB that broke Peyton Manning’s rookie passing touchdowns record, a QB that brings excitement to the city of Cleveland. So, you absolutely should not trot out Greg Robinson to be your franchises blindside protector, ever again. Instead, one of the best tackles in the draft Jawaan Taylor can fill right in tomorrow. Taylor has an all-around game and while there is still room to go on the technical aspect of the game, Taylor is a monumental upgrade from what the Browns had last year.
18.Minnesota Vikings: Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State
The Vikings went from NFC championship game to not making the playoffs one year later. Newly-signed QB Kirk Cousins was battered in the pocket and it’s safe to say if the Vikings are any bit serious about competing in this league, they will need to upgrade their offensive line. In steps one of the best offensive linemen in the draft, Dalton Risner. He prefers to play right tackle and while I think he should move in at guard, he could play any position on this offensive line. Minnesota is missing consistency and nastiness on their o-line, which is something Risner can bring. He’s smart, he’s powerful and versatile which will lead him becoming one of the best young offensive linemen in the NFL.
19.Tennessee Titans: Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
I could definitely see the Titans grabbing another weapon for Marcus Mariota but with the loss of Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan hitting free agency, Tennessee will look to add a pairing for their second-round edge defender Harold Landry and Brian Burns would be a match made in heaven. Burns is arguably the more athletic of the two and now you adding more speed off the edge with his unbelievable bend. Burns may not end up being a superstar but he has big-time potential and will be a stalwart of an NFL defense for a long time.
20.Pittsburgh Steelers: DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia
Don’t you just get the feeling you can predict where a certain player goes just by looking at his build? No? Well, I look at DeAndre Baker and he screams Steeler to me. Pittsburgh made the interesting choice of keeping heavily criticized defensive coordinator Keith Butler and now they need to attack the off-season in hopes of bringing their defense back from the ashes. The Steelers started Coty Sensabaugh and Artie Burns last year, so it’s time for the Steelers to grab their big-game cornerback. I wasn’t fond of the Artie Burns selection when it happened and we all know what Sensabaugh is. Baker is a game-changing cornerback when the Steelers are looking for that game-changing play, they could look Baker’s way to make that happen. He’s physical, he plays bigger than he is, he has experience in a myriad of different coverages and he’s very sound in running support. The Steelers can add a big-time player at 20 as they look to repair the damage on the defensive end.
21.Seattle Seahawks: Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson
The Seahawks get more beef in the trenches with the spectacular Christian Wilkins. Seattle has spent plenty of draft capital on the likes of defensive line but none of them have emerged into a legit and consistent contributor besides Jarran Reed. Seattle can start to find that consistency in one of Clemson’s best. Much better use of a first-round pick than last year, I must say.
22.Baltimore Ravens: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
The top RB in this class heads to the team that had a guy by the name of Gus Edwards carrying the load of the carries to end the season. Edwards is a solid NFL player but Josh Jacobs has superstar written on him. The Alabama Crimson Tide rusher only ran around 12 times a game due to the depth-filled backfield in Tuscaloosa but that bodes well for the team that drafts Jacobs and of course, it bodes well for Jacobs. Not a lot of tread on his tires and a lot of potential, room for growth and a lot to work with from day one. Jacobs can instantly transform the Ravens offense into something it hasn’t been on the ground since Ray Rice. The Ozzie Newson connection still lives with this pick even with Eric DeCosta taking over the reins of general manager.
23.Houston Texans: Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma
The Houston Texans have an investment to protect and that is Deshaun Watson who has already suffered a season-ending injury in the NFL. Cody Ford would be an upgrade over the raw Julie’n Davenport and Seantrel Henderson. Ford has rare ability and is a total nightmare for a defensive player to go up against in any facet. Ford can absolutely play either tackle spot and the Texans will need to consider him at 23.
24.Oakland Raiders: N’Keal Harry, WR, Oakland
The phenomenal N’Keal Harry will be a first round pick but the question is: where is he going? He heads to the Raiders with their second of three first-round picks. The team traded away Amari Cooper for this exact pick and so they will replace him with a player that could be just as good if not better in Harry. The big-bodied receiver has unbelievable ball-carrier vision and is an absolute terror in the open field. The Raiders did one of my top ten receivers in Marcell Ateman but aside from that, they have a lot of retooling in that WR room. Harry can come in day one and add another dimension to the Raider offense.
25.Philadelphia Eagles: Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama
You can certainly see a cornerback going off the board here but with the big three gone, the Eagles grab their inside linebacker to replace free agent Jordan Hicks. Mack Wilson has some great talent in the form of impressive athleticism, someone that can shed blocks and drop well into coverage. He needs to establish some consistency at the position but he instantly makes the Eagles better.
26.Indianapolis Colts: Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State
The Colts will likely Jeffery Simmons here or someone like Montez Sweat or even N’Keal Harry if he’s there. The problem is Harry isn’t there and Indianapolis needs to get Andrew Luck another legit receiver to go along with T.Y. Hilton and Eric Ebron on the offense. Kelvin Harmon is an extremely well-rounded receiver that can help in every area except maybe being a RAC monster. Harmon doesn’t have that wiggle or the acceleration you would like to see in a receiver after the catch. Still though, great size, great blocker, great play strength, strong hands, very good route runner and a productive player in college. Harmon instantly adds size to that room and only helps out Luck.
27.Oakland Raiders: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
Montez Sweat absolutely blew up the Senior Bowl practices but he was already well on the NFL radar before that event. The Raiders add to their defense by selecting one of the best pass rushers available to replace former superstar edge defender Khalil Mack. In Mayock’s first draft he selects Ed Oliver, N’Keal Harry and Montez Sweat in hopes to speed up this rebuild and compete sooner than later. The Raiders still have players like Arden Key, PJ Hall and Maurice Hurst on their defense that they can add to.
28.Los Angeles Chargers: Jeffery Simmons, DL, Mississippi State
Brandon Mebane is set to be a free agent and while the Chargers have a great looking defense, they are going to want to replace him and get younger at the position. Jeffery Simmons is an option here, and without the ACL tear, he’s likely in the top 10. However, with the injury, it pushes Simmons down the board and into the Chargers lap. Do you redshirt Simmons or do you try and get him back towards the end of the year. Drafting players like this are when you have a chance to truly reap the reward or have it blow up completely in your face. To me, I feel as though Simmons is a top three player at his position and maybe top two, so it’s hard to just pass on him as he will never play. Sometimes you have to be one step ahead, the worry for teams could be what they saw after the Patriots drafted Dominique Easley.
29.Kansas City Chiefs: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida
Eric Berry is awesome but he’s aging and the rest of the safeties in Kansas City wouldn’t start on any other team. Here comes Chauncey Gardner-Johnson to set the table as someone that only got better each year and showed signs of consistent growth en route to being a first round-level player. CGJ has the ball skills to change the game on a dime, versatility, range and of course his tackling ability. The Chiefs have the best offense in the league statistically, but the issue with them is the fact they don’t really have much of a defense. Grabbing a player of Gardner-Johnson’s caliber makes this almost a no-brainer.
30.Green Bay Packers: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
Why on earth would you put Noah Fant over T.J. Hockenson? Yes, many know that I’m all team Hockenson and I’m warm on Noah Fant but ultimately believe he’s the third best or fourth best tight end in the league. Fant, to me, is more of a big receiver than a great blocker. He’s a willing blocker but his ability reminds me closer to Evan Engram, so this should be interesting. The Packers find their tight end to replace Jimmy Graham and help out Aaron Rodgers. Fant is a freakish athlete and fits extremely well in the Packers offense.
31.Los Angeles Rams: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
I can hear your boo’s from a miles away but I’m sorry, in this scenario I didn’t see a trade down making sense, so the Rams go with the best player available on their board in T.J. Hockenson. Hockenson is the best tight end in my mind in this draft. When you look for a tight end that can have the versatility to flex out wide, play inline or even as an h-back, a tight end that has big-play ability, a tight end that has blocking ability, a tight-end that has great balance, a tight end that moves well after the catch and a tight end that can take over if need be. The Rams just went 13-3 so to act as if they have to make this pick a pre-existing positional need is wrong. The man they call Hock can instantly step in and be the starting all-around tight end, which would allow the Rams to use Gerald Everett and Tyler Higbee strategically and maybe allow Head coach Sean McVay more of an option to open up the play-calling. With Sweat, Gardner-Johnson, Simmons, Wilson and Brian Burns all off the clock here, this would likely be a trade but for the sake of this mock, we went with the ultimate BPA player here.
32.New England Patriots: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
The Super Bowl winning Patriots will likely consider trading out of the first like they always seem to do. However, if they don’t they could go best available here and select Deionte Thompson. His play in the big National Championship game was a nightmare and could be one of the reasons he drops, but the talented Alabama safety would be a great fit for the Patriots. New England is older at the position with both Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung at 31 years of age, Chung is coming off an injury he suffered in the Super Bowl that left him with an air cast on his arm. Thompson could fit right in there with Duron Harmon and be the future at the position.