2019 NFL Mock Draft
Last Updated: November 8, 2018
Lou Pickney, DraftKing.com
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Note: this draft order is based on the inverted list of Super Bowl odds, slightly modified toward the back-end to more accurately reflect draft slotting for playoff teams.
2019 NFL Mock Draft
1. San Francisco 49ers - Nick Bosa, DE/OLB, Ohio St. (6'4" 270) *
Bosa should be in the NFL right now, but NFL eligibility rules prevented him from entering this past April's draft. Bosa decided to leave the Ohio State football team to concentrate on his forthcoming pro career, opting to avoid further wear-and-tear (and running the risk of catastrophic injury) while making millions for others in a system that prohibited him from profiting from his own likeness.
At this point, Bosa appears to be the top pass rushing prospect eligible for the 2019 NFL Draft. And while the 49ers might be able to auction this pick for a small fortune from a QB-hungry team, that might depend in turn on whether Justin Herbert returns to Oregon in 2019.
2. Oakland Raiders - Ed Oliver, DT, Houston (6'3" 290) *
A dominant interior defensive force, Oliver is a special player. This article by Richard Johnson explains part of what makes Oliver such a unique talent.
Oakland needs plenty of help, in part because of what the Raiders gave up to acquire 2019 first-rounders from the Chicago Bears (DE/OLB Khalil Mack) and the Dallas Cowboys (WR Amari Cooper). More later on that.
3. New York Giants - Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon (6'5" 225) *
There is plenty of speculation on whether Herbert will return to Eugene for his senior season. But with the potential to be the top quarterback drafted in a year with few draft-eligible standouts at QB, Herbert may find that turning pro is his best move. We shall see.
4. Buffalo Bills - Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss (6'6" 325) *
It's interesting to gauge opinions on Little, a highly-coveted recruit out of high school who has tremendous pro potential. Great size and tremendous athleticism.
There are plenty of questions about Little though, from his technique to his balance to his motor. But Little should impress with his pre-draft workouts, which should help his draft stock in the weeks leading into late April 2019.
5. Arizona Cardinals - Jeffery Simmons, DL, Miss. St. (6'4" 300) *
Elite-level pass rushers are in high demand in the NFL, particularly interior defensive linemen with that skill. Simmons fits the bill to that end, and he could fill a key role on Arizona's defensive line.
6. New York Jets - Greedy Williams, CB, LSU (6'3" 185) *
Perhaps my favorite tall corner prospect since Xavier Woods coming out of Florida State, Williams has a unique blend of size and speed which should serve him well in the NFL.
7. Cleveland Browns - Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama (6'5" 300) *
If it's not Ole Miss' Greg Little as the first offensive lineman off the board in 2019, it's quite likely that Williams will earn that designation. Williams is a tremendous pass blocker, which is more important than ever, but he also plays an important role in Alabama's run game.
8. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Drew Lock, QB, Missouri (6'3" 225)
Opinions on draft-eligible quarterbacks vary wildly, more than I can recall at this point in the season going back to when I launched this site in 2003.
Lock has near-prototype height and is very accurate, and it's the latter trait that should help boost his chances of being a top ten selection. His numbers this season have been down compared with 2017, but Lock has more than three touchdowns for every interception he has thrown this season.
9. Miami Dolphins - Clelin Ferrell, DE/OLB, Clemson (6'5" 260) *
Ferrell is a talented edge rusher, with NFL-quality size and incredible quickness and closing speed. Ferrell is part of a dominant defensive unit at Clemson, which certainly helps him as far as double-teaming goes. But there is no doubting his capacity to pressure opposing quarterbacks, and it's that trait which could lead to Ferrell coming off the board in the top ten.
10. Denver Broncos - Devin White, LB, LSU (6'1" 255) *
This would be rather high for a traditional linebacker, meaning not a 3-4 scheme OLB, also referred to at times as an EDGE rusher. Don't ask me why you see EDGE written in all caps like a Japanese pro wrestler; that's just how it is.
White is an exceptional run stopper, and he's overall one of the more polished prospects in the draft. He pretty much has to be well-polished to come off the board this high, and his ability to drop back into coverage and to blitz on occasion is strong.
11. Indianapolis Colts - Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame (5'11" 195) *
After Greedy Williams, opinions on the top cornerback prospects are rather scattershot at this point. Love is an explosive player with tremendous instincts, a playmaker who can jam up opposing receivers as easily as he can drop back into zone coverage. In this scenario, Love would be staying in-state in Indiana with the Colts.
12. Detroit Lions - A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss (6'1" 225) *
After a breakout season in 2017, Brown has a very good chance of being the first receiver off the board on opening night of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Brown's size works to his advantage, creating matchup challenges as a result. Brown is dangerous after the catch, and whatever he lacks in explosiveness he makes up for in toughness.
Brown has worked out of the slot so much that it might make evaluation challenging for NFL scouts, but there is no doubting his potential.
13. Tennessee Titans - Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan (6'6" 283) *
It's noteworthy that the 2019 NFL Draft will be held in Nashville, providing me with an opportunity to attend in person for the first time since 2012. I loved the atmosphere at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, but in the last couple of years the draft has mushroomed into a traveling annual show, a week-long celebration of pro football in the heart of football withdrawal season. Should be fun.
An athletic freak with great pass-rushing skill (notice a pattern here?), Gary is a particularly intriguing prospect. Daniel Jeremiah wrote an article about Gary that explains his unique skill in detail.
14. Atlanta Falcons - Raekwon Davis, DL, Alabama (6'7" 315) *
Davis has NFL-quality size, but it's his quickness that helps make him such a dangerous interior pass rush threat. He's no slouch against the run either, and he's versatile enough to fit any defensive scheme.
15. Jacksonville Jaguars - Ryan Finley, QB, NC State (6'4" 212)
It will be very interesting to see how the quarterback evaluation process plays out. Incumbent QB Blake Bortles will likely be in Jacksonville for 2019 thanks to the nature of his contract extension back in February, which guaranteed Bortles $6.5 million of his 2019 salary.
But if the Jags miss the playoffs just one season removed from holding a fourth quarter lead in New England in the AFC Championship game, changes will be made.
Finley may be the most NFL-ready quarterback prospect in the mix for 2019, and his 67.8 completion percentage certainly points to the high level of accuracy needed in the modern NFL.
16. Oakland Raiders (via Dallas) - Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia (5'11" 185)
This is the second of three 2019 first-round picks in the possession of the Raiders. Baker is a physical corner with excellent man coverage skills and tremendous instincts, and while he doesn't have track speed, Baker's overall ability to shut down opposing receivers is very strong.
17. Cincinnati Bengals - Dre'Mont Jones, DL, Ohio St. (6'3" 295) *
Jones has 6.5 sacks in the 2018 season as of this writing. And while losing Nick Bosa as an edge threat has allowed opposing teams to gameplan Jones, the fact he had the only sack in Ohio State's close win over Nebraska is indicative of his interior pass rush ability.
18. Seattle Seahawks - Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama (6'2" 195) *
An aggressive player with great size and speed for the position, Thompson has proven adept at quickly reading and diagnosing plays. There isn't a ton of tape on Thompson because of him seeing limited playing time early in his career, but there is no doubting his athleticism and potential.
19. Green Bay Packers - Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson (6'4" 310)
A sure-fire 2018 first-round talent, Wilkins opted to eschew the NFL and return to Clemson for one more season. Not surprisingly, it's Wilkins' ability to pass rush from an interior defensive position that makes him so valuable.
But Wilkins also has a tremendous motor, and while he isn't as adept against the run as some other prospects, it's his ability to bring the heat on passing plays that really appeals to NFL teams.
20. Washington Redskins - N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona St. (6'3" 215) *
Harry has perhaps the best shot of anyone in the field of draft-eligible receivers to move past A.J. Brown as the first wide receiver off the board. He has great size for the position to go with a knack for making spectacular plays, and his yards after catch reveals that he can do more than just body out smaller defenders in man coverage.
21. Baltimore Ravens - Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson (6'4" 300) *
Lawrence is a freakish athlete, somewhat raw but possessing tremendous talent and athleticism. This could prove to be a low projection if Lawrence is able to wow scouts in his pre-draft workouts.
While I tend to use caution looking at players who excel as a cog in a dominant unit, Lawrence is a standout who is worthy of individual praise. He might not be as NFL-ready as other similar prospects, but Lawrence has great potential and could develop into a dominant pro.
22. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago) - Joe Jackson, DE/OLB, Miami (6'5" 260) *
This is the third of three picks held by the Raiders in the 2019 NFL Draft, and if Oakland hasn't addressed its glaring need for a top-tier EDGE rusher with either of its first two picks in this round, odds are strong they would go for one here.
Jackson recorded double-digit tackles for loss in his first two years on the Hurricanes football team, and as of this writing he has 9.5 TFL in the 2018 season.
23. Philadelphia Eagles - Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State (6'5" 310)
A three-time team captain at Kansas State, the versatile Risner is one of the top offensive line prospects who will be in the mix for the 2019 draft. Risner has specialized as a right offensive tackle for the Wildcats, but his capacity to fill multiple roles should allow him to be a good fit in a variety of offensive schemes.
24. Houston Texans - Elgton Jenkins, C, Miss. St. (6'4" 305)
Opinions on Jenkins vary considerably among evaluators, but he is a talented center with strong ability to protect against aggressive interior pass rushers. For a team (like the Texans) in need of a top-tier center, Jenkins could be an excellent fit.
25. Carolina Panthers - Marvell Tell, FS, Southern Cal (6'2" 195)
I'm not quite sure what to make of Tell's pro prospects at this point. Some evaluators are very high on Tell, a physical free safety with great quickness. Others have questioned everything from his pursuit angles to his effort on the field.
The pre-draft gauntlet will be vital for Tell, and for his sake I hope he takes part in the Senior Bowl, where he will have a week of practice to prove himself.
26. Pittsburgh Steelers - Brian Burns, DE/OLB, Florida St. (6'5" 230) *
A standout on a Seminoles team that has struggled in 2018, Burns has built on the double-digit TFL numbers posted in each of his first two seasons with another strong showing in the 2018 season. Burns is somewhat undersized for the position, but particularly at outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme (EDGE) he would seem to be an excellent fit with any NFL team needing pass rushing help.
27. Minnesota Vikings - T.J. Edwards, LB, Wisconsin (6'1" 245)
Evaluators have raved about Edwards' ability to recognize plays as they happen with remarkable speed. No one will mistake Edwards as a hybrid SS/LB, not with his larger-than-normal frame for the position and relatively pedestrian speed. But his pass coverage skills are rather remarkable considering all of that, and Edwards' capacity to shed blockers and close on opposing ball carriers is strong.
Edwards won't wow anyone at the NFL Combine, at least not with the on-the-field work. But he has great experience at the position and should be able to contribute right away, particularly if he lands on an already strong team.
28. Los Angeles Chargers - Will Grier, QB, West Virginia (6'2" 225)
The likelihood of this pairing is strongly tied to whether the Chargers see Rivers as their starting QB beyond the 2019 season, which will be his 16th in the NFL. Rivers as of this writing is having his best season completion percentage-wise (67.1%) since 2013, but ultimately it might not be the Chargers' decision to make.
Grier is having a great season at WVU, including leading the Mountaineers to a thrilling victory at Texas. He's also very accurate, which is a crucial skill to have in the modern era with how the game has changed over the past 15 or so years.
29. Green Bay Packers (via New Orleans) - Zach Allen, DE, Boston College (6'5" 285)
Building off of a 2017 season where he recorded 100 tackles with another strong season, Allen is creeping up draft boards. And with remarkable quickness for his size and a more well-rounded overall skill set than other top pass rushing prospects, Allen could end up being plucked off the draft board on night one.
30. New England Patriots - Derrick Brown, DL, Auburn (6'5" 315) *
The Patriots are next to impossible to predict when it comes to the draft. Brown seems like a good fit as a high-character person who clearly is paving the way for his post-gridiron career.
But it's Brown's remarkable size/skill mix that has him in the conversation for the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. You might expect a 315 pound defensive lineman to rely on size over technique, but not Brown, who has a variety of pass rush moves in his arsenal.
31. Kansas City Chiefs - Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama (6'2" 195) *
Diggs had a breakout 2018 season in Tuscaloosa, providing consistently strong play to match his considerable physical gifts. Unfortunately, Diggs suffered a broken foot against Arkansas, ending what had been a solid season as part of a stacked Crimson Tide roster.
It will be interesting to see what Diggs decides to do for 2019. If he returns to Alabama, Diggs could end up cementing his status as the top cornerback for 2020. But his pre-injury performance could boost him into the first round in 2019, presenting an interesting choice.
32. Los Angeles Rams - Montez Sweat, DE/OLB, Miss. St. (6'5" 245)
Any doubt about the Rams going all in for 2018 was removed by the team trading a 2019 third-rounder and a 2020 fifth-rounder to Jacksonville for DE Dante Fowler. But Fowler is slated to be an unrestricted free agent after the season, and the Rams will have plenty of hard choices to make this upcoming off-season with pending free agents and the salary cap.
Sweat has developed into a dangerous pass-rushing threat for the Bulldogs. A transfer from Michigan State, Sweat earned All-SEC honors last year in his first season at Mississippi State. His three sacks recently against Auburn certainly helped his case, and in some ways this is actually a rather low projection for Sweat.
* indicates player who has NCAA eligibility remaining for 2019