The calendar has flipped to April, meaning we are just weeks away from the start of the 2019 NFL Draft.
College pro days come to an end over the next few days. While teams still have scheduled meetings with prospects in the coming weeks, a lot of draft boards have already begun to take shape.
A lot can happen between now and April 25. If the Arizona Cardinals decide to make Kyler Murray the first overall pick, then one lucky team will likely acquire Josh Rosen at a bargain rate, which in turn could alter the entire first round of the draft.
For now, let’s stick with the current draft order without projecting any possible trades. As we get closer to the draft, trades will start to be incorporated in these mock drafts.
1. Arizona Cardinals- QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
The amount of buzz linking Murray to the Cardinals is starting to make me believe that Arizona might be pulling off the biggest smokescreen of all time. But since I’m not projecting trades in this mock draft, I will stick with Murray here. Kliff Kingsbury gets his QB and ends up flipping Josh Rosen for a second-round pick.
2. San Francisco 49ers- DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State
The 49ers recently traded a second round pick for edge rusher Dee Ford, so don’t be surprised to see John Lynch look to trade down a few picks in order to replenish their draft capital. If they stay at No. 2, San Francisco will be thrilled to take the draft’s best pass rusher, and possibly the best overall prospect in this entire class.
3. New York Jets- EDGE Josh Allen, Kentucky
With new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams sticking with a 3-4 defense, Allen fits in perfectly as the best pass rusher among this year’s crop of outside linebackers. While Jets fans might have felt a bit spurned by Anthony Barr’s change of heart during free agency, they will quickly forget about that once they see Allen wreak havoc on opposing offensive lines.
4. Oakland Raiders- DL Quinnen Williams, Alabama
If one team were to try to trade up to No. 1 in order to snag Murray, I believe it would be Jon Gruden and the Raiders. They certainly have the draft picks to appease the Cardinals. If Gruden stays put, this pick will come down to either Williams or linebacker Devin White, and considering Oakland’s need for a better pass rush, Williams gets the nod.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- LB Devin White, LSU
The Bucs are another trade-down candidate, as any team looking to take Dwayne Haskins will want to jump ahead of the Giants at No. 6. With the fifth pick, Bruce Arians will happily take whoever is left between Williams and White. In this case, Tampa Bay gets their stud middle linebacker, making Kwon Alexander’s departure in free agency a distant memory.
6. New York Giants- QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State
What the Giants do at No. 6 might be the most talked-about pick in the entire first round after Arizona at No. 1. No one truly knows what Dave Gettleman is thinking, despite several reports indicating that the Giants may not be able to pass on the elite pass rushers in this year’s draft. Considering the depth of this year’s DL class, Gettleman decides it’s finally time to find Eli Manning’s replacement while waiting until his second pick of the first round to find his pass rusher.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars- OT Jawaan Taylor, Florida
The Jaguars handed Nick Foles a massive contract this offseason to lead the offense over the next few years. Now they must protect him. Jacksonville has some pieces of its offensive line already set, but could desperately use a mauler like Taylor. At 6-foot-5, 312 pounds, the tackle out of Florida will slide right into Jacksonville’s starting RT position, where he will quickly become one of Foles’ favorite players on the team.
8. Detroit Lions- DT Ed Oliver, Houston
The Lions may have made the biggest splash of the offseason by signing DE Trey Flowers, but don’t think that will stop Matt Patricia from adding more talent on the defensive line. Oliver put on a show at Houston’s pro day last week, showcasing a combination of speed and agility uncommon in most defensive linemen. With the versatility to move outside if needed, Oliver would give Detroit arguably the most talented D-line in the NFL.
9. Buffalo Bills- DE Rashan Gary, Michigan
If anyone had any doubts about Gary’s physical traits, the defensive end quickly put them to rest at Michigan’s pro day. Gary ran an incredible 4.58 40-yard dash, and despite his limited production in college (only 10.5 sacks in three years), his size and speed will likely lead to him going in the first half of the draft’s opening round. Buffalo needs playmakers all over their roster and will happily bet on Gary’s potential.
10. Denver Broncos- TE T.J. Hockenson, Iowa
Denver is another interesting spot in the first round, as John Elway could easily take a quarterback to develop under veteran Joe Flacco. But at the end of the day, Elway decides to go with the top tight end in what is considered one of the best TE classes in years. Hockenson has drawn comparisons to the recently retired Rob Gronkowski, which the Broncos, along with almost every other team across the league, would gladly welcome into their offense.
11. Cincinnati Bengals- LB Devin Bush, Michigan
The Bengals would take a long look at Haskins if he drops to them here, but with him going to the Giants at No. 6, Cincinnati instead chooses to bolster its defense. As much as the Bengals would love Devin White, they will happily take the other top linebacker named Devin. Bush can play any linebacker position, and would look great next to the recently re-signed Preston Brown.
12. Green Bay Packers- WR D. K. Metcalf, Ole Miss
Green Bay has already had one of its most aggressive offseasons in recent memory, picking up top free agents at several positions on the defensive side of the ball. Tight end could definitely be the move here, especially if Hockenson is still on the board. But with the top TE already gone, the Packers will give Aaron Rodgers the top wide receiver in the draft to pair with Davante Adams.
13. Miami Dolphins- QB Drew Lock, Missouri
While many around the league believe they will be tanking for Tua in 2019, the Dolphins can’t pass up the opportunity to grab their future franchise quarterback. Lock has been rising up draft boards recently, so Miami might have to trade up in order to get the Missouri QB. He has a lot of work to do with his consistency, but the strength of Lock’s arm, along with his experience playing four years in the SEC, should be enough to convince Miami to pull the trigger on him.
14. Atlanta Falcons- DT Christian Wilkins, Clemson
The Falcons have long been connected to Ed Oliver, but with him now looking like a lock to go in the top 10, Atlanta will have to turn towards one of the talented Clemson d-linemen. Wilkins has an explosive first step, and his athleticism and versatility will fit perfectly next to Grady Jarrett.
15. Washington Redskins- DE Montez Sweat, Mississippi State
Washington would love to find its future franchise quarterback in this draft, and with Murray, Haskins and Lock all off the board, Daniel Jones will likely be in the conversation at No. 15. However, with Sweat still available, the Redskins will sprint to the podium with this pick. Sweat will immediately fill in for Preston Smith, who left for Green Bay in free agency.
16. Carolina Panthers- OT Jonah Williams, Alabama
The Panthers need help on both the offensive and defensive line, so don’t be surprised to see them go with a pass rusher at No. 16. But Carolina knows it cannot expect to contend without a healthy Cam Newton under center, and in order for him to stay healthy, he needs a strong offensive line in front of him. Williams is the second-best offensive lineman in the draft after Taylor, and has the ability to shift inside to guard if needed.
17. New York Giants- OLB Brian Burns, Florida State
After finally finding their franchise quarterback at No. 6, Gettleman and the Giants are absolutely thrilled to find Burns still on the board at No. 17. Burns is 6-foot-5 and incredibly athletic, and would give New York the talented edge rusher they desperately need. If Gettleman goes with an edge rusher with the first pick, don’t be shocked to see the Giants try to trade up a few picks in order to snag Haskins or Lock somewhere in the 10-12 range.
18. Minnesota Vikings- OT Andre Dillard, Washington State
Dillard has been another rising star recently after he tested off the charts at the combine. Minnesota’s need for help along the offensive line is hardly a secret. Dillard could step in and start on day 1. His pass protection skills would be greatly appreciated by Kirk Cousins.
19. Tennessee Titans- DT Dexter Lawrence, Clemson
After picking up some offensive pieces in free agency, Tennessee will look to add to its defense in the first round. Enter Lawrence, the next member of Clemson’s defensive line to hear his name called in the first round of the draft. Lawrence is a massive human being, measuring in at 6-foot-4 and 342 pounds, who would be the perfect player to line up next to Jurrell Casey.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers- TE Noah Fant, Iowa
In case you hadn’t heard, the Steelers lost a few key offensive contributors this offseason. Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell are obviously the big names, but also gone is tight end Jesse James. Taking Fant at No. 20 would be an instant upgrade over James. While he may not have the blocking skills of his fellow Iowa TE Hockenson, Fant is a better pass catcher, something the Steelers now need pretty badly.
21. Seattle Seahawks- CB DeAndre Baker, Georgia
The Legion of Boom has long been broken up, leaving the Seahawks with some glaring holes in the secondary. Seattle could look to replace Earl Thomas by taking the top safety in this year’s draft, but will instead be tempted into taking arguably the top corner in Baker. Baker is a tough, physical player with all of the physical traits that teams look for in a cornerback.
22. Baltimore Ravens- C/G Erik McCoy, Texas A&M
McCoy is another player whose performance at the combine has seen him soar up draft boards. His 4.89 40-yard dash registered as the fastest among all offensive linemen, which would bode well in an offense led by the mobile Lamar Jackson. While he spent most of his time at Texas A&M at center, he did play a few games at guard, and the Ravens will gladly sign up for that versatility.
23. Houston Texans- G/OT Cody Ford, Oklahoma
Similar to the Panthers’ situation with Cam Newton, the Texans can’t expect to compete for a spot in the postseason if they can’t protect Deshaun Watson. Houston surrendered a league-high 62 sacks last season, an inexcusable number that must decrease in 2019. Ford is another lineman that can slot in at guard or tackle, and would instantly shore up Houston’s line.
24. Oakland Raiders- RB Josh Jacobs, Alabama
While the Raiders did add Isaiah Crowell in free agency, the veteran is clearly not their future at running back. Jacobs is undoubtedly the top running back available in this year’s draft. As an added bonus, Jacobs’ body does not have many miles on it, as the back touched the ball just 300 times at Alabama. Jacobs would give the Raiders’ offense another talented playmaker to pair with Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams.
25. Philadelphia Eagles- CB Byron Murphy, Washington
Philadelphia agreed to a one-year deal with Ronald Darby, but with him uncertain to be ready by Week 1 due to a torn ACL, the Eagles will look to add another body to its CB group in the draft. Murphy is another physical corner that would offer Philadelphia some much-needed depth. After taking Sidney Jones in the second round of the 2017 draft, the Eagles add another DB out of Washington in Murphy.
26. Indianapolis Colts- WR A.J. Brown, Ole Miss
Indianapolis signed Devin Funchess earlier this offseason, but with him signing just a one-year deal, Indy decides to give Andrew Luck another talented pass-catcher by taking Brown. Brown is big, athletic, versatile and great after the catch, and would be a dynamic receiver to work out of the slot alongside T.Y. Hilton and Funchess.
27. Oakland Raiders- DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
Gruden has not heard the end of it since trading away Khalil Mack last year. While Oakland snagged Williams at the top of the draft, don’t think that will stop the Raiders from taking another pass rusher with their third first round pick. Ferrell has the ability to get to the quarterback and is very strong against the run. He and Williams will cause massive headaches for opposing offenses for years to come.
28. Los Angeles Chargers- DL Jeffrey Simmons, Mississippi State
The Chargers have some amazing talent on their defense already, but could afford to add another big body up the middle. Simmons likely won’t be ready for the start of the season, but prior to tearing his ACL, he was largely considered a top-10 talent. When healthy, Simmons puts pressure on the quarterback unlike almost any other DT in the draft. A defense consisting of Simmons, Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram sounds like a nightmare for offensive lines.
29. Kansas City Chiefs- CB Greedy Williams, LSU
The Chiefs could use pieces all over the defense, as several starters from last year’s group have departed this offseason. Even after adding Tyrann Mathieu and Bashaud Breeland to the secondary, Kansas City could use a whole lot of help with its defensive backs. Williams was once considered the top corner in the draft and possibly a top-10 pick, but has since dropped. The Chiefs will gladly take him near the end of the first round.
30. Green Bay Packers- G Chris Lindstrom, Boston College
The Packers gave Aaron Rodgers a flashy new target to throw the ball to with their first pick, and now they take a big body to protect their star QB with their second pick. Lindstrom absolutely crushed the combine, running the 40-yard dash in 4.91 seconds, which has led to him entering the first round buzz. Rodgers will be thrilled to have Lindstrom’s athleticism protecting him up front.
31. Los Angeles Rams- C Garrett Bradbury, NC State
As we get closer to the draft, more and more reports are connecting the Rams to the center out of North Carolina State. Bradbury shined at the Senior Bowl and backed it up with an impressive workout at the combine. Los Angeles let John Sullivan walk out the door and has yet to address the position this offseason. Bradbury would step in right away as the team’s starting center.
32. New England Patriots- TE Irv Smith Jr., Alabama
The rumors surrounding Rob Gronkowski turned out to be true, as the future Hall of Fame tight end has decided to hang up his cleats. While a midseason return for Gronk is always possible, the Patriots won’t pass up the opportunity to find their future at the tight end position. With the amount of draft capital New England has, it would be surprising to see Bill Belichick trade up in the first round to target one of the Iowa tight ends (Hockenson or Fant). But at No. 32, Smith is the easy pick.