2019 First Round NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Post-Combine
Davis Mattek 2019 NFL Mock Draft 2.0
The 2019 NFL Draft is over 20 days away and the anticipation is killing most of us. While the NFL Draft is one of the most unpredictable events in all of the sporting world, NFL Mock Drafts are one of the most enjoyable parts of the entire process. I did my first mock draft a month ago here on RX and quite a lot has changed since then. We have received combine numbers, prospect interviews and more information has leaked out from NFL teams. This is my second attempt at an NFL Mock Draft for the 2019 NFL Draft.
First Round NFL Mock Draft
- Arizona Cardinals - Kyler Murray, Quarterback, Oklahoma
Kyler went first overall in my first NFL Mock Draft and there is no reason for him NOT to be the #1 selection this time around. Even if the Cardinals want to keep Josh Rosen, they would be looking a gift horse in the mouth to pass on Kyler. Kyler's statistical resume is just as good as Baker Mayfield and he adds rushing ability. An easy selection at #1.
2. San Francisco 49ers - Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
The 49ers have been gifted a unique position in this draft where they are set at quarterback despite picking #2. Generally, teams picking this high have an immediate need at quarterback or offense but the 49ers should be able to add a few wide receivers to their decent core of Pettis and Goodwin. Nick Bosa went at #2 in my last NFL mock draft but I see no reason to get fancy here. After #2, things get weird but starting Kyler/Bosa feels exceedingly likely.
3. New York Jets - Jawaan Taylor, Offensive Tackle, Florida
Drafting combine stud Jawaan Taylor will allow the Jets to move 2018 left tackle Kelvin Beachum to right tackle, replacing Brandon Shell. Shell had a decent 2018 but is likely better as a swing tackle than a starter. Protecting Sam Darnold and giving him an elite offensive line is a sure way to aid his development. Improving the offensive line will also make the signing of Le'Veon Bell look better.
4. Oakland Raiders - Quinnen Williams, Defensive Tackle, Alabama
While I think Gruden probably WANTS to select an offensive player here, taking D.K Metcalf or one of the Iowa tight ends is probably not game theory optimal. Williams is one of the most destructive interior defensive players that the NCAA has ever seen. He can start for the Raiders right away and help a defense that registered only 13 sacks in 2018.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan
With Bruce Arians coming into town, we can expect the vertical passing game to continue in Tampa Bay. They are set at QB, WR and TE (and will likely add a running back in the later rounds) but their defense needs work. Jason Pierre Paul is now 30 years old and his EDGE counterpart Carl Nassib recorded only 14 QB hurries last season. Gary and Josh Allen are the two best EDGE rushers in the class and Gary has the 4th best SPARQ score of all the EDGE's in the 2019 NFL draft class.
6. New York Giants -Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
In my original 2019 NFL Mock Draft, I had the Giants taking a quarterback. It has become apparent that they are not going to do that. They traded away their best pass rusher, Oliver Vernon, to the Cleveland Browns in order to get another guard to block for Saquon Barkley. Allen is not as much of an athlete as Gary but has incredible bend-ability and should go in the first 10 picks of the 2019 NFL Draft.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars - Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
While if I was personally drafting the Jaguars, I would take a wide receiver or one of the Iowa tight ends to make life easier for Nick Foles, the team cares more about having a good defense. The money and draft capital they have spent the last three seasons shows that explicitly. Sweat has the second best SPARQ score of any EDGE in this class and recorded 22.5 sacks in his last two seasons for Mississippi State.
8. Detroit Lions - Greedy Williams, Cornerback, LSU
The Lions best corner opposite Darius Slay last year was... no one. Every other corner the Lions played more than 100 snaps in 2018 received a coverage grade of less than 55 (1-100) from Pro Football Focus. The pick of Williams is a reach on most big boards but the best cornerback in the draft should go to a team that desperately needs a corner and the Lions do.
9. Buffalo Bills - Ed Oliver, Defensive Tackle, Houston
Whatever team you root for, you should want them to get Ed Oliver. He can rush the passer from the interior (something that the Rams have shown is valuable), stop the run and his athletic testing numbers make him nearly a unicorn in terms of prospects. The Bills will likely need a strong defense to compete with Josh Allen at the helm and adding Oliver to fill in Kyle Williams' vacated spot makes perfect sense.
10. Denver Broncos - Drew Lock, Quarterback, Missouri
NFL teams are higher on Drew Lock than we think and they are lower on Dwayne Haskins than we want to believe. The Broncos did trade for Joe Flacco but that doesn't seem to be a clear indicator that they won't take a quarterback. They drafted two wide receivers who played right away last year, they have several running backs in the stable, the best EDGE in the game and solid corner backs. Taking a potential franchise quarterback is a win for the Broncos in this NFL mock draft (even if I don't personally believe that is what Lock is).
11. Cincinnati Bengals - Devin White, Linebacker, LSU
In my first run, I had the Bengals selecting Cody Ford. Their re-signing of Bobby Hart suggests they are likely not looking for an offensive tackle with their first-round pick. Devin White is clearly the best linebacker of this class and while the value of a non-EDGE linebacker has diminished, NFL teams still value the position as a whole. White does have the ceiling of legit star at the linebacker position due to athleticism and instinct.
12. Green Bay Packers - N'Keal Harry, Arizona State, Wide Receiver
Aaron Rodgers has been on a downward trajectory the last three NFL seasons. We can still believe he is the god of quarterbacking but with Davante Adams as his only above-averge pass-catcher, the sledding has gotten tough. Harry is the clear best wide receiver in this class for me. If the Packers want to extend what Aaron Rodgers has left, he needs better pass-catching options than Marquez Valdez-Scantling.
13. Miami Dolphins - Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
Adding offensive talent to this Miami team is the exact opposite of Miami's mission right now. They are in full tank mode, trading Ryan Tannehill and adding Ryan Fitzpatrick while retaining Devante Parker. Much like when the Cleveland Browns were in asset-acquiring mode, it is better to add defensive value picks which is what Burns is.
14. Atlanta Falcons - Noah Fant, Tight End, Atlanta Falcons
Tight end is not the top need for the Falcons by any means as they have Austin Hooper in place. However, Matt Ryan is nearing the tail-end of his prime and Fant is such an elite prospect that he would instantly make the Atlanta offense better. T.J Hockenson is just as good if not better than Fant but Fant's athletic profile leads me to believe that he will be drafted over Hock and that is represented in my second NFL mock draft of the year.
15. Washington Redskins - Dwayne Haskins, Quarterback, Ohio State
Hear me out: Case Keenum isn't good. Alex Smith might not ever play football again due to complications with his broken leg. The only way out of purgatory for Washington is to get an elite quarterback. If the Giants pass on Haskins and the Broncos take Lock, there is a good chance that Haskins make it this last and I would expect Washington to leap on the opportunity to take him.
16. Carolina Panthers - Andre Dillard, Offensive Tackle, Washington State
Cam Newton is beginning to enter the next phase of his career. He will have to take fewer hits to stay effective as he struggled with injury for all of 2018. With DJ Moore, Curtis Samuel and Christian McCaffrey in place, adding offensive line help should be the top priority for Carolina in this draft and over the next year. Dillard's quickness makes him an ideal tackle for a mobile QB.
17. New York Giants - Jonah Williams, Offensive Tackle, Alabama
The Giants acquired this pick in the Odell Beckham trade and will use it to continue to prop up Weekend At Eli's Manning. I weighed D.K Metcalf or Marquise Brown as a pick here but ultimately think it is more likely that Chad Wheeler gets replaced by Williams. Williams had a stunning combine and could end up being the best tackle in this draft.
18. Minnesota Vikings - Cody Ford, Offensive Guard, Oklahoma
The Vikings had one of the worst offensive lines in all of football last year. The line was unable to create running lanes for Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murry and Kirk Cousins got hurried far more than is optimal. The Vikings are aware of this weakness and are likely to leave this draft with several lineman. Ford is a massive 6'4, 350 pound and could likely play tackle but fits better at guard. One of my favorite offensive lineman of the class.
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19. Tennesse Titans - Hakeem Butler, Wide Receiver, Iowa State
Mike Vrabel probably wants to take a defensive player here but the needs of his team are more glaring on offense. Marcus Mariota is unlikely to reach his ceiling without more playmakers around him. Taywan Taylor is fine secondary wide receiver but adding Butler with Corey Davis could make the Titans a legitimately exciting young offense. Butler offers better tools than Corey Davis on the perimeter and the two could split the duties of a true WR1.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers - A.J Brown, Wide Receiver, Ole Miss
The Steelers are incredibly sharp at drafting wide receivers. They have found Antonio Brown, Manny Sanders, and JuJu Smith-Shuster over the last eight years and were smart enough to trade for Ryan Switzer. They know that A.J Brown is better and more agile than D.K Metcalf is. Brown is a first-round talent to me and the Steelers have an A.J Brown-sized hole opposite JuJu Smith-Shuster that will be filled in this NFL mock draft.
21. Seattle Seahawks - Juan Thornhill, Safety, Virginia
With Earl Thomas gone from the Seahawks secondary, they need to fill his role (or at least try). The Seahawks also famously draft bigger defensive backs (Thornhill is at 205 pounds) who are dramatically good athletes. Thornhill is close to a three-sigma athlete and the most athletic defensive back of the class. I love this fit for player and team and think Thornhill will excel in the NFL regardless of where he lands.
22. Baltimore Ravens - D.K Metcalf, Wide Receiver, Ole Miss
The Baltimore Ravens wide receiver depth chart looks like a now-defunct AAF depth chart. Willie Snead is the current top wide receiver with not much behind him. They are a lock to leave this draft with several wide receivers and I would think they would be favored to take one in the first round. D.K Metcalf is a "go and get it" wide receiver which fits with Lamar Jackson's accuracy issues.
23. Houston Texans - Dalton Risner, Offensive Tackle, Kansas State
Risner was one of the standout performers at the Senior Bowl in 2019 and his mobile aggressivenes is exactly what the Texans need. No quarterback spent more time running for their in 2018 than Deshaun Watson did and it is a disservice from the organization to not find a way to protect him. Risner might be a little over drafted here but fits a need.
24. Oakland Raiders - T.J Hockenson, Tight End, Iowa
In my first NFL mock draft, I had Hockenson going far too high at #4 to Oakland. My guess is that they would be counting their lucky stars if Hockenson makes it this far in the draft to pick him at 24. T.J Hockenson could very well be the best tight end in this draft and will fill the spot that Jared Cook left in the offseason while also being an elite blocker for Derek Carr and the run game.
25. Philadelphia Eagles - Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Safety, Florida
Pass defense continues to be a need for the Eagles. Last years starter, Corey Graham, has not returned to the team leaving a hole that needs to be filled. The athletic and intelligent Gardner-Johnson can play in any defensive scheme and will be a nice partner for Malcom Johnson in the secondary.
26. Indianapolis Colts - Christian Wilkins, Interior Defensive Lineman, Clemson
The Colts 2018 interior defensive lineman rotation was okay but Wilkins falling to them here would be a gift. Wilkins is a versatile player who can fill a hole in the middle of the Colts defensive line in rotation from day one. His presence in the middle will free up space on the EDGE for Jabaal Sheard.
27. Oakland Raiders - Ben Banogu, EDGE, TCU
The most athletic SPARQ athlete in this EDGE class finds a home in Oakland as a Gruden Grinder. He is not projected as a first-round pick in many spots but his athletic profile makes him a rare prospect. He had 17 sacks in his final two seasons at TCU and the Raiders desperately need some dynamism on their defensive line.
28. Los Angeles Chargers - Greg Little, Offensive Tackle, Mississippi
This is one of the few picks that I am sticking too from the first NFL mock draft I did. The Chargers need offensive line help with the overall unit aging. Philip Rivers is one of the least mobile quarterbacks in the NFL and for the Chargers to keep their championship window open, they should be wanting to keep him off his back.
29. Kansas City Chiefs - Byron Murphy, Cornerback, Washington
Any defensive back. Seriously, any good defensive back needs to find their way to Kansas City with this selection. There are questions all over the defense for Kansas City but with all the elite EDGE and DT's gone, the team should focus on a safety or a corner here. Murphy is elite in coverage but struggles in run support (any area that doesn't matter for the Chiefs as they plan on planning with a lead).
30. Green Bay Packers - Devin Bush Jr, Linebacker, Michigan
The Packers should be adding to their offense as much as possible in this draft but without any top tier options left on the offensive line and both the Iowa tight ends gone, Devin Bush is a good consolation prize. Bush can play all three linebacker positions comfortably and is highly mobile. He is a true modern linebacker.
31. Los Angeles Rams - Clelin Ferrel, EDGE, Clemson
All of the Rams pass rush came from the interior last season; their leader in QB hits from a non-interior position was SIX. EDGE is a big need for the team and they will be lucky to have Ferrel fall to them. He is not overly-athletic from a SPARQ perspective but was a disruptive player at Clemson and should be ready to start from day one.
32. New England Patriots - Marquise Brown, Wide Reciever, Oklahoma
No Gronkowski. No Chris Hogan. All the Patriots have left is Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett and.... Bruce Ellington? Wide receiver is a real need for the Patriots and while Belichick has always found it hard to draft wide receivers, Brown fits the model of a guy who is super useful in the modern NFL with his ability to play anywhere on the field and at any depth of target.
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