2019 NFL Mock Draft
Last Updated: March 15, 2019
Lou Pickney, DraftKing.com
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2019 NFL Mock Draft
1. Arizona Cardinals - Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma (5'10" 195) *
It's hard to envision the Cards holding onto QB Josh Rosen in this scenario. Murray is a remarkable talent and a special athlete. Quite the sign of the times that a 5'10" quarterback would be seriously considered for the top spot. If someone had suggested such a thing back when I first started Draft King in 2003, it would have been hard to take them seriously.
But rule changes made for safety reasons has tilted the sport decidedly in favor of teams with great passing attacks and pass defenses. But you have to be accurate to succeed, and Murray certainly showed great accuracy in 2018. 69% completion rate and 42 passing TDs against seven interceptions.
2. San Francisco 49ers - Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio St. (6'4" 270) *
Bosa was a standout at Ohio State, just like his older brother Joey was. Whether Nick also ends up in California remains to be seen, but at this point Bosa has to be the strong favorite to come off the board here.
There is a chance that the 49ers might like another EDGE (which usually designates either a 4-3 DE or a 3-4 OLB who are good pass rushers off the edge) player, maybe Josh Allen or Montez Sweat. But that would qualify as a surprise considering how strong of a prospect Bosa appears to be.
3. New York Jets - Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky (6'5" 250)
You might see the Jets trade back from this spot, perhaps a New York, New York trade if the Giants are itching to trade up to secure Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins. The Jets should be able to get either Allen or Montez Sweat at #6, a calculated risk that might hinge on how the Jets size up the top edge rusher prospects.
4. Oakland Raiders - Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama (6'4" 290) *
This is the first of three first-round selections that Oakland holds for the 2019 NFL Draft. Q. Williams is a remarkable talent, an absolute menace who excels at pass rushing from an interior defensive line position.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Montez Sweat, EDGE, Miss. St. (6'6" 245)
Much of how things sort out with these early picks will likely depend on how the various teams drafting near the top rate the various top EDGE pass-rushing prospects. If the Bucs are, say, higher on Sweat than Josh Allen, this is a rather nice way for the scenario to play out.
6. New York Giants - Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio St. (6'3" 220) *
If the Giants want to land Haskins, I suspect they will have to trade up to do so. The Giants hold this pick, the #17 overall pick acquired in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade with Cleveland, and the #37 overall pick early in round two.
At the same time, Eli Manning at age 37 last season had his highest career completion rate (66%) and lowest interception rate (1.9%), so he's not out of gas by any means. But it would probably be for the best to not rush Haskins into the starting lineup, instead learning from the incumbent QB, similar to Patrick Mahomes in 2017 with Alex Smith in Kansas City.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars - Ed Oliver, DT, Houston (6'3" 290) *
I'm a big fan of Oliver. And while I try to take certain aspects into account (e.g. familiarity bias with college teams in the southeastern U.S. dominating local sports coverage here in Nashville) and temper enthusiasm I have for any one prospect, I think Oliver has tremendous potential.
This could be a leapfrog spot for any team wanting LSU linebacker Devin White, who I suspect wouldn't fall past Detroit at #8 in this scenario.
8. Detroit Lions - Devin White, LB, LSU (6'1" 255) *
White is a bit of an exception to the rule, an overall solid linebacker with a strong all-around game who isn't a pure pass-rusher type. But White is a gifted athlete, and he would fill a need in Detroit's front seven.
9. Buffalo Bills - Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan (6'6" 285) *
The Bills have been active on the free agent market. But defensive line remains a need, and with Gary they would be bringing in a player who could potentially fit a variety of roles up front.
It doesn't hurt that Gary is a remarkably quick player, and while he's not the pure EDGE prospect that some projected above him are, his closing speed is the sort of thing to give opposing QBs nightmares.
10. Denver Broncos - Drew Lock, QB, Missouri (6'3" 225)
The worst-kept secret out of the Senior Bowl in Mobile back in January was that Lock made a very positive impression on decision-makers in the Broncos organization. There would be some risk to standing pat and hoping Lock is on the board here, particularly if the Dolphins (#13) and the Redskins (#15) have unanswered questions for their quarterback plans by that point.
11. Cincinnati Bengals - Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida (6'5" 335) *
At this point, Taylor appears to be the favorite to be the first offensive lineman drafted in 2019. Taylor is skilled at both run-blocking and pass-blocking, but in particular it was his improved pass-blocking that has helped him to move up draft boards.
12. Green Bay Packers - T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa (6'5" 250) *
The Packers were more aggressive than normal in free agency, including signing a pair of EDGE pass rushers.
This feels high for Hockenson to come off the board, that despite his very promising skills at tight end. It's entirely possible that Green Bay could trade back, gain an extra pick or two, and still be able to select Hockenson.
Alternately, if the Packers don't go for a tight end here, they might target that spot down at #30 with the selection acquired from New Orleans.
13. Miami Dolphins - Andre Dillard, OT, Washington St. (6'5" 310)
Dillard is a name that has shot up draft boards as of late. This part shouldn't surprise you, but Dillard is particularly adept at stopping edge rushers, displaying great fundamentals and technique. He only gave up one sack in 41 games played over the past three seasons in Pullman, which is absolutely remarkable, particularly considering how pass-heavy Mike Leach's offenses have been.
14. Atlanta Falcons - Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama (6'5" 300) *
With the Falcons using the franchise tag on DT Grady Jarrett, they should be free to address another need spot here. Williams played both left tackle and right tackle for the Crimson Tide, but he might project best as an interior offensive lineman. He would seem to be a good target for a team wanting a skilled pass-blocker with versatility.
15. Washington Redskins - Daniel Jones, QB, Duke (6'5" 220) *
There has been plenty of talk linking the Redskins with Jones, who certainly looks the part as a prototype QB at 6'5". His accuracy is a concern for me, with a completion rate of 60.5% in 2018, one year after posting a 56.7% completion rate with only 14 TDs against 11 interceptions.
Of course, if the Redskins acquire Cardinals QB Josh Rosen, that would allow Washington to look elsewhere at this spot. But, for now, I'm going with Jones.
16. Carolina Panthers - Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson (6'5" 265)
This would seem to be a good combination, a team in Carolina that needs a blue-chip defensive end to chase opposing QBs and a star in Ferrell who is already a known quantity to college football fans in the Carolinas.
Opinions on Ferrell tend to vary, more than usual for a prospect at a key position. But this draft is deep with defensive linemen with great pass-rushing ability, which should allow Carolina to fill that EDGE need without having to trade up.
17. New York Giants (via Cleveland) - Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida St.
Things didn't work out the way the Giants had hoped with Olivier Vernon, a defensive end who excelled in Miami but found himself battling injuries the past two seasons with the Giants. But Vernon was traded to the Browns as part of the blockbuster Odell Beckham Jr. deal, which is how the Giants ended up with this selection.
Burns has considerable momentum at this point, in part because of some evaluators noting that Burns has a strong pass-rush skillset to go with tremendous timing, exceptional quickness, and a good motor.
18. Minnesota Vikings - Garrett Bradbury, OL, NC State (6'3" 300)
The Vikings need help on the interior offensive line, and Bradbury could be a good fit for Minnesota to that end, particularly in zone blocking.
19. Tennessee Titans - Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson (6'3" 315)
Wilkins was a key part of Clemson's success over the past few years, a massive presence as part of a remarkable stacked front seven on defense. But he's more than just a run-stuffer, with the ability to maneuver through interior offensive lines and a closing speed that makes him difficult for quarterbacks to evade in the pocket.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers - Devin Bush, LB, Michigan (5'11" 235) *
Bush is a versatile linebacker, able to cover sideline-to-sideline or drop back into coverage as need be. ILB is a need spot for the Steelers, and while Bush isn't a pass-rushing machine like how other linebackers in this mock tend to be, his skillset would seem to make Bush a good fit with what Pittsburgh needs out of the draft at this position.
21. Seattle Seahawks - Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi St.
It was a fun ride in Seattle during the Legion of Boom era, but such things are ephemeral in the world of the National Football League.
Predicting a Seahawks selection is not an easy task, just behind New England in my estimation. But the management in Seattle seems rather adept at identifying and targeting players that seem to be a good fit, even if they have to reach to do it.
22. Baltimore Ravens - A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss (6'1" 225) *
It might surprise some people to think that the top wide receiver drafted in 2019 would be out of Ole Miss but *not* D.K. Metcalf. Not surprisingly, the freakishly athletic Metcalf shined at the NFL Combine in Indy, but in many ways his former teammate Brown might be the superior wide receiver prospect.
With the Ravens having struggled at wide receiver, I imagine they would prefer the safer downside with Brown versus the boom-or-bust element that Metcalf would provide.
23. Houston Texans - Greedy Williams, CB, LSU (6'3" 185) *
Trying to project a range for Williams has been challenging, in part because of inconsistencies in his game. Man-to-man has been his bread-and-butter, but there are questions about everything from his press coverage skills to his effort/drive to his tackling.
But you're going to need an absolute burner to beat Williams deep, and in a draft that isn't particularly strong at cornerback, he could find himself being selected on night one.
24. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago) - Mack Wilson, ILB, Alabama (6'0" 230) *
This is the second of the three 2019 first-round picks held by Oakland. And, at a glance, this might appear to be a bit of a stretch, an inside linebacker with some questions about tackling technique going in round one.
But Wilson is able to cover a wide range when he drops back, able to track down the ball carrier without over-pursuing. He wasn't asked to blitz very much at Alabama, but when he did he was very effective.
25. Philadelphia Eagles - Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss (6'5" 325) *
There's no questioning the physical skills of Little, a former five-star high school recruit who has tremendous athleticism. Fundamentals are a concern, and he is going to need time to develop in a pro system.
But while Little lacks polish, he is hardly the only offensive lineman in this era where that is the case. With so many high school football teams relying on 4 WR sets on a regular basis, and I've seen this firsthand doing play-by-play for high school games here in Tennessee, there simply aren't the reps there for learning technique in pro-style formations.
Little is a solid pass blocker though, and in the right system (which Philadelphia might have) he should be able to thrive and contribute, though some patience will likely be needed to that end.
26. Indianapolis Colts - Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma (5'10" 170) *
Brown was a junior college transfer to Oklahoma who only played two seasons with the Sooners. But he broke 1,000 yards receiving in both of those seasons, posting a combined 2,413 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns.
A foot injury suffered in the 2018 Big 12 Championship game against Texas derailed him late, and while the injury has hampered his ability to show off his skills for scouts, he should be healthy by the time training camp rolls around.
Brown is a slot receiver who wouldn't necessarily be a good fit for every team, but he would seem to be ideal for the Colts, a team in need of a dangerous WR to work out of the slot.
27. Oakland Raiders (via Dallas) - Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida (6'2" 260) *
Even if Oakland opts to look elsewhere with its first two selections, landing a great pass rusher is of vital importance for the Raiders. Polite didn't have a particularly good NFL Combine performance according to reports, and I thought that would cause some evaluators to fade him. But that really hasn't happened.
Why, you might ask? Because Polite is a remarkably skilled pass rusher. It's almost jolting to read evaluator projections about him at the pro level, with glowing praise for his motor and his ability to come off the edge with a full compliment of moves... and then to read the less than enthusiastic comments about his ability as a run-stopper.
But you can never have enough elite-tier pass rushers in the modern NFL, and after trading Khalil Mack to Chicago last season (and seeing him thrive there), you know the Raiders are going to try their best to land a great pass-rushing prospect in this draft.
28. Los Angeles Chargers - Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson (6'4" 340) *
Finally we have a defensive line prospect who isn't a high-level pass rusher here with Lawrence. At 340 pounds, Lawrence has the size to clog up the middle, but he has range beyond what you might think a man of his size would have. Add in his strong fundamentals and a quick first step, and Lawrence has a chance to hear his name called on night one of the draft next month here in Nashville.
29. Kansas City Chiefs - Byron Murphy, CB, Washington (5'11" 180) *
As noted earlier, this isn't exactly a bumper crop of corners in the NFL Draft class of 2019. But Murphy is among the best of the bunch, particularly in zone schemes. Press coverage is another matter, though, with opinions varying more than normal about how Murphy can handle man-to-man assignments.
But Murphy is an intelligent player who has great physical toughness to match and a motor that never stops, and he would fill a need for the Chiefs in their secondary.
30. Green Bay Packers (via New Orleans) - D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss (6'3" 225) *
While there are areas of Metcalf's game that could use improvement, like route-running and battling defenders for contested passes, his remarkable athleticism makes him a really fun player to watch, at least as long as it's not against your favorite team.
Metcalf is a special player, and while his sample size at Ole Miss was rather limited due to the neck injury that prematurely ended his 2018 season, he has the potential to develop into a true superstar receiver at the NFL level.
31. Los Angeles Rams - Dre'Mont Jones, DT, Ohio St. (6'2" 295) *
The Rams managed to sign EDGE Dante Fowler, acquired during the season last year from Jacksonville, to a new contract. They also offset the loss of FS LaMarcus Joyner to the Raiders in free agency by signing veteran safety Eric Weddle.
But it won't be easy to replace DT Ndamukong Suh, who is an unrestricted free agent (as of this writing) and not expected to return to the Rams in 2019. Luckily for the Rams, this is a deep draft at defensive tackle, and they should have several viable options to consider even this late in the first round.
32. New England Patriots - Noah Fant, TE, Iowa (6'5" 240) *
What the Patriots have done is absolutely remarkable. New England has made the playoffs every year since 2002 with only one exception, 2008, when Tom Brady's season ended in week one due to injury. And the Pats still managed to go 11-5 with Matt Cassel at QB that season, only missing the playoffs in an absolute fluke.
There have been whispers about the Patriots having interest in free agent tight end Jared Cook, though they are hardly the only team looking into possibly signing him. But if Cook ends up in New England, that likely suggests the Pats will look in another direction with this selection.
* indicates a player who entered the 2018 season with NCAA eligibility remaining for 2019