2019 NFL Mock Draft
Last Updated: April 24, 2019 (11:58 p.m. CDT)
Lou Pickney, DraftKing.com
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2019 NFL Mock Draft
1. Arizona Cardinals - Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma (5'10" 195) *
This year I decided to do a few things a little differently with my mock, aiming to pair players with teams that could trade up/down to target them. So keep that in mind as you read this.
When I started Draft King in 2003, it was considerably more difficult for teams to trade into (or out of) the top five spots. But that changed under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, ratified in 2011, particularly relative to salary cap concerns.
Something else I tried today was tracking the odds on several online gambling sites that offer prop betting on the draft, hoping to see if there were any notable shifts. It was rather tedious, but seemed to be worthwhile.
The odds for Murray being selected #1 overall kept shifting on one site in particular today. In the span of about 12 hours, Murray went from a -350 favorite (risk $350 to win $100) to a -525 favorite. And no, I didn't place any wagers. But it was interesting to see the lines keep moving across several sites as the day progressed, even if the process was a bit unwieldy.
And while that wasn't necessarily smart money coming in, it was steady enough to suggest to me that bettors weren't buying the smokescreens suggesting Nick Bosa or Quinnen Williams might be selected #1 overall.
2. San Francisco 49ers - Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio St. (6'4" 270) *
My anticipation is San Francisco sticking at this spot, barring something really surprising. Bosa is the top EDGE prospect on nearly every draft board, though if Bosa goes #1, it appears most likely that the 49ers would target Quinnen Williams.
Either way, it's a win/win for the 49ers. But the fact that a team would trade for a high-end veteran pass rusher as San Fran did with the Chiefs to acquire Dee Ford, then use the #2 overall pick on another top-level pass rusher, is a sign of the times for just how valued elite pass-rushers are in the modern NFL.
3. New York Jets - Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama (6'5" 300) *
This projection is a great example of what I mean by projecting a player to a given team versus a specific spot on the draft board. The Jets are poised to trade back from #3, and offensive line is a team need that could be filled further down the board, perhaps as far as down to #15 with the Redskins.
In the event the Jets don't trade down, I could see them going with a defensive tackle here. There have been whispers that the Jets weren't particularly enamored with EDGE Josh Allen, particularly relative to their hybrid 3-4 base defense.
4. Oakland Raiders - Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama (6'4" 290) *
There were convincing indications made on Wednesday suggesting the Raiders are more likely to target a defensive tackle here than a defensive end.
Q. Williams might be gone by #4, but if that happens I could envision the Raiders going with another top DT prospect with Ed Oliver at this spot. It would be a major surprise if they were both gone by #4, though that would also mean either Nick Bosa or Kyler Murray would still be on the board.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Devin White, LB, LSU (6'1" 255) *
The Bucs appear disinterested in trading down, with the front office seeming to like five or six prospects in particular and knowing that at least one or two will be there when they go on the clock.
White is a special talent who would fill a serious need for the Bucs. It would be interesting to see who the Bucs would choose between White and Ed Oliver if they're both on the board at #5.
6. New York Giants - Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky (6'5" 250)
With two 2019 first-round selections, the Giants have some latitude. But late indications very strongly hinted that the Giants were going to look for a top EDGE prospect here, and in some ways Allen might be a bargain at the #6 spot.
But in my notes it says "Pass rusher FIRM" for the Giants here, and we'll see soon enough how accurate that proves to be.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars - Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida (6'5" 335) *
This is an interesting spot for the Jaguars. Targeting an offensive lineman makes sense for the Jags, and the odds on a couple of books stayed firm with a -120/-120 O/U of 7.5.
Part of why this pairing makes sense is that Jacksonville could really use a right-side offensive tackle, which is where Taylor is also projected to play in the NFL.
Alternately, the Jags could look elsewhere for O-Line help, perhaps Alabama's Jonah Williams if he is still on the board here. But presuming the Jags aren't afraid of medical concerns some have raised about Taylor, he seems like a great fit.
It actually wouldn't surprise me to see the Jags trade back from this position and still end up with Taylor, particularly with the Lions being quite vocal about wanting to trade down. That actually works to Jacksonville's favor.
Think about it. If you're Washington and you see Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins still on the board, and you know there's a chance another team has an if/then trade on standby with Detroit, and you believe in Haskins as being the long-term answer... you have to pull the trigger on a trade here, right?
8. Detroit Lions - Montez Sweat, EDGE, Miss. St. (6'6" 245)
As noted above, Detroit has put the word out that they want to trade down from #8. Somewhat like the Jags with Taylor one spot above, there is a medical concern with Sweat, who was revealed to have a heart condition during testing at the NFL Combine.
And despite some talk about Sweat's stock having bottomed out (and clearly some teams are concerned), his over/under odds remained live in several books as of my final mock deadline. Granted, those ranged from O/U 7.5 (-500/+300) to 8.5 (-450/+275 or -550/+325), indicating that there is at least some thought that Sweat is likely to slide past this spot.
But if Sweat's stock had truly bottomed out, his line would have likely outright disappeared from the books. And that didn't happen.
Also, even if Detroit trades down and another team drafts Sweat, there should be several quality EDGE prospects available in the picks 12-15 range.
9. Buffalo Bills - Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson (6'3" 315)
It hasn't exactly been a huge secret that the Bills both need and want to land at least one high-end defensive lineman in this draft. #9 overall for Wilkins might be a bit high, but he would seem to be a great fit for what Buffalo needs on its defensive front.
I could also see one of the teams drafting in the next few spots below the Bills wanting to trade up to get Iowa TE T.J. Hockenson, which Buffalo might be able to pull off while still having the player they want on the board a few spots below.
10. Denver Broncos - Devin Bush, LB, Michigan (5'11" 235) *
From my notes: "Fade D. Lock to DEN. Trade-down candidate, Flacco QB1."
Denver is yet another team near the end of the top ten that could be in prime position to trade down. And while there were connections drawn between Denver and Missouri QB Drew Lock after the Broncos got to see Lock up-close at the Senior Bowl, that talk quieted after Denver traded a fourth-round selection to Baltimore for QB Joe Flacco.
11. Cincinnati Bengals - Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson (6'5" 265)
This is an interesting spot for the Bengals, who as of this writing have 11 picks in this year's draft. But the rub: that total includes a staggering five selections in the sixth round.
There are options for the Bengals to trade up or down from here, and the Bengals could potentially target a quarterback prospect in round one.
12. Green Bay Packers - T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa (6'5" 250) *
This matchup I've stuck with for some time. Hockenson is a special talent, though as we've moved closer to draft day, my suspicion that Green Bay would need to trade up from #12 to ensure they land Hockenson has grown stronger.
13. Miami Dolphins - Jeffery Simmons, DL, Miss. St. (6'4" 300) *
It's an interesting decision for teams needing a dominant defensive linemen as to how to value Simmons. He is a remarkable pass rusher, with that rare ability to disrupt passing plays from an interior DL position.
But Simmons is also recovering from a torn ACL, which will likely keep him out of action at least into the early part of the season. Though, if Miami is angling toward the 2020 season and beyond with its planning (taking their lumps in 2019), Simmons would actually be a great fit toward that long-term plan.
14. Atlanta Falcons - Ed Oliver, DT, Houston (6'3" 290) *
This is a great example of matching a player to a team versus a spot on the draft board. It would be a huge surprise for Oliver to slide to #14, but there has been plenty of speculation that the Falcons might be angling to work a deal to trade up to select Oliver.
Alternately, the Falcons could stick at this spot and consider several different defensive linemen who could be a good fit. But there was too much lingering chatter connecting Atlanta with Oliver for me to project anyone else.
15. Washington Redskins - Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio St. (6'3" 220) *
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder is said to be taking an active role in the team's approach to its first-round selection, particularly in connection with the search for a long-term answer at quarterback.
Washington has the proverbial dry powder to trade up to #3 with the Jets, potentially in exchange for picks #15, #46, #76, and #96, or something along those lines. Whether such a deal actually takes place is another matter; would the Jets be okay with sliding all the way back to #15?
16. Carolina Panthers - Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida St. (6'5" 250)
It would seem that the Panthers are in a good spot to land a great EDGE pass rusher at #16 at this spot, and Burns would seem to be a slight bargain at this spot compared with some projections that show Burns coming off the board a few picks earlier.
Also, if there's any validity to suggestions that Carolina might be interested in Missouri QB Drew Lock, you might want to keep an eye on them late in round one.
In this mock, somewhat surprisingly, Lock slides all the way out of round one. But the odds are that a QB-needy team with a high-to-mid round two selection could be inclined to trade up for a late first-rounder to use on a QB, ensuring the fifth-year team option would be in play for a key position.
In short: while I don't think the Panthers will necessarily do this, I could easily see a team trading up into late round for a sliding QB. Something to keep in mind, if nothing else.
17. New York Giants (via Cleveland) - Daniel Jones, QB, Duke (6'5" 220) *
How far up would the Giants have to move to land Jones? With division-rival Washington two spots above needing a QB, it could prompt the Giants to trade up a few spots to ensure they land their quarterback of the future... provided, of course, the Giants actually are targeting a QB for round one.
Jones certainly looks the part of a prototype QB at 6'5" 220. His stats tell me another story, though, especially his completion percentage. 60.5% in 2018 on the college level does not inspire confidence, and that was actually an improvement over 56.7% in 2017.
The game has changed, in large part because of rule changes made for safety reasons that tilted the advantage to teams with great passing attacks and great passing defenses. It's no longer "the quarterback's fault" when a high throw over the middle gets a WR hit hard in the head by a quick-striking strong safety.
But the big caveat: you must be accurate. Tell me this: who is the last QB who averaged a sub-60% completion rate over his final two years in college who went on to become an NFL star?
18. Minnesota Vikings - Andre Dillard, OL, Washington St. (6'5" 310)
Plenty of buzz has surrounded Dillard down the stretch, to the point where he might come off the board in the top ten. Minnesota might need to trade up if they specifically want Dillard, though this draft has some good talent at interior OL, to the point where the Vikings might not need to trade up to get the lineman they want.
19. Tennessee Titans - Garrett Bradbury, OL, North Carolina St.
Bradbury has also been connected with the Vikings at one pick above. Titans GM Jon Robinson has established that he's not shy about trading up to get the player he wants.
The Titans could also use a blue-chip tight end, and I imagine Iowa TE Noah Fant will be given consideration at this spot as well.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers - Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia (5'11" 185)
Quite the array of defensive backs on the board here for Pittsburgh in this scenario. And while they might look for a linebacker here, the secondary needs the team has coupled with the sheer volume of talent that should be on the board ultimately led me to project Baker here.
21. Seattle Seahawks - Greedy Williams, CB, LSU (6'3" 185) *
Will we see a run on defensive backs in the back half of the first round? It would certainly seem to be a possibility. Opinions on Greedy Williams tend to vary more than normal, but in the right system Williams could be a great fit.
Seattle has two first-round picks, but only five selections overall in this draft. It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest to see Seattle trade out of either this spot or #29 overall.
22. Baltimore Ravens - Noah Fant, TE, Iowa (6'5" 240) *
There have been strong hints pointing at the Ravens prioritizing tight ends in this draft, and Baltimore going with Fant here seems like a logical pairing.
23. Houston Texans - Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma (6'4" 340) *
Offensive line is a major need for Houston, and Ford would help them to that end, with a versatility that could allow him to be utilized in a number of different ways.
24. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago) - Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama *
It's not exactly a top secret scoop that the Raiders reportedly have strong interest in Jacobs, who in this scenario would be the first running back selected. And perhaps it wasn't happenstance that news came out this week revealing the planned retirement by Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch.
25. Philadelphia Eagles - Darnell Savage, S, Maryland (5'11" 200)
There have been strong hints down the stretch that Savage could end up being selected late in round one. Whether Philadelphia is the team to target him remains to be seen, but it's entirely possible that we will see Savage end up as the first safety drafted in 2019.
26. Indianapolis Colts - Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma (5'10" 170) *
The further you get from the top of the draft board, the less likely that a given team is to target a specific perceived need.
But in this case, the matchup seems ideal. Brown is an exceptional slot receiver, and he would fill a major need for the Colts.
27. Oakland Raiders (via Dallas) - Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan (6'4" 275) *
It was revealed recently that Gary is suffering from a labral tear, a shoulder injury that he should be able to play through before having surgery after the season to repair it.
Earlier, I mentioned the fact that Montez Sweat didn't disappear off the prop bet board as a good sign that Sweat might not slide as far as some have suggested. Unfortunately for Gary, the opposite seems to be true; he went from an over/under of 9.5 to then, poof, off the board.
Gary was a highly-recruited high school standout with great potential. If he can stay healthy, and that is a big if, he has the chance to play a key role in the rebuilding of Oakland's defensive front.
28. Los Angeles Chargers - Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple (6'0" 190)
An overlooked talent who started off his college career at Presbyterian College, Abdurrahman "Rock" Ya-Sin transferred to Temple, where he had a tremendous 2018 season.
Ya-Sin has been a relative late riser in the draft evaluation process. And while he isn't as polished of a product as other comparable corners, he has a versatility to fit a variety of schemes and a reputation for being a tough-nosed leader.
29. Seattle Seahawks (via Kansas City Chiefs) - D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss (6'3" 225) *
With the Seahawks only possessing five picks total in this year's draft, they would seem to be a prime target to trade back from #29. That's especially the case if they hold onto their #21 overall selection.
Metcalf is a physical freak, more potential than plug-and-play. But particularly if he can stay healthy and refine his game, Metcalf could become one of the best wideouts in the NFL.
30. Green Bay Packers (via New Orleans) - Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio St. (6'0" 205)
I don't think Campbell falls out of round one. Green Bay might not be inclined to go with a receiver here if they take a tight end at #12, but ultimately the more offensive weapons they make available to Aaron Rodgers, the better for their chances in 2019.
31. Los Angeles Rams - Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame (6'6" 295)
With incumbent DT Ndamukong Suh not expected to return to the Rams in 2019, adding a player like Tillery as this spot would seem to be a savvy move for the Rams.
However, it would also be wise to note that the Rams don't have a second-round selection in this draft, and barring a trade they wouldn't pick again until near the end of round three. Add in the fifth-year contract option factor, and the Rams look like a strong candidate to trade back from this spot.
32. New England Patriots - Johnathan Abram, S, Miss. St.
I nearly penciled in Drew Lock at this spot, though I would as much expect a team wanting Lock with a fifth-year option to trade up to get him here as I would New England bringing Lock in as a backup.
Abram gets overlooked compared with the attention fellow Mississippi State draft prospects Montez Sweat and Jeffery Simmons have drawn, but he is a quality defensive back who has a very good chance of hearing his name called on night one.
* indicates a player who entered the 2018 season with NCAA eligibility remaining for 2019