We’re about a month away from the combine, and it’s time for the most reactionary aspect of the NFL Draft cycle: a mock draft. To make things clear, a mock draft is not done based on what I would do as a fake GM of all 32 NFL teams, but rather what I think those teams will do based on their coaching staff, previous pick history, roster construction etc.
This mock draft, in particular, will not have trades, but when we get closer to April 25th, we’ll start getting a little wild with the trades.
Now that we’ve gotten around all that, let’s get to the picks.
1. Arizona Cardinals-Nick Bosa: DE, Ohio State
Arizona has to get better in a lot of ways, so taking the best player available has to be their decision, and for me, no player is better than Nick Bosa right now.
2. San Francisco 49ers-Josh Allen: EDGE, Kentucky.
An explosive defender off the edge, not only can Allen rush the passer, but he can drop into coverage smoothly, and be productive there. His floor as a prospect is a lot higher than people may assume.
3. New York Jets-Quinnen Williams: DL, Alabama
Incredibly consistent, experienced, athletic, and just a damn good football player. It may not excite Jets fans who may tired of seeing their team take defensive linemen in the first round, but you can’t pass on someone like Quinnen Williams when he falls to the third pick.
4. Oakland Raiders-Clelin Ferrell: EDGE, Clemson
The Raiders are in a total rebuilding mode, needing a litany of different playmakers. Perhaps the most obvious being pass rusher, and the Raiders will look to get a good one in Clelin Ferrell. For some people, this may be too high, but Paul Guenther likes big, long defensive ends, and Ferrell fits that mold well.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers-Ed Oliver: DL, Houston
Many in Tampa are expecting the Bucs to move on from Gerald McCoy, and the Bucs are going to need more defensive line help outside of Jason Pierre-Paul. Ed Oliver will bring a crazy level of explosiveness and athleticism to the position that the Bucs will drool over.
6. New York Giants-Cody Ford: RT, Oklahoma
Giants GM Dave Gettleman loves his “hog mollies”, so he’s going to get himself one in Oklahoma’s Cody Ford. Ford is a technically sound, nasty, difference maker on the offensive line, who will start immediately for the Giants.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars-Dwayne Haskins: QB, Ohio State
Blake Bortles is not the answer at QB for the Jaguars, now or in the future. The Jaguars have to find their future signal caller, and that man is Dwayne Haskins. Haskins is accurate, has a good arm, and is mobile, working with the Jags’ new offensive coordinator John Defilippo will be perfect for him.
8. Detroit Lions-Montez Sweat: EDGE, Mississippi State
Lions GM Bob Quinn has clearly wanted to prioritize both sides of the line, and has done a good job with the offensive side. Now it’s time for the defense to get some love with Montez Sweat. Sweat is a little undersized, but his speed and agility off the edge is exactly what the Lions need after the Ezekiel Ansah experiment hasn’t worked out well enough to keep him.
9. Buffalo Bills-D.K. Metcalf: WR, Ole Miss
The Bills need help offensively, both on their offensive line and their pass catchers. There are free agent options available for the offensive line, and enough depth in the draft to where the Bills need to be able to take the best player available. D.K. Metcalf fits that bill perfectly, a true outside, alpha-type receiver, who will grow into a legit threat.
10. Denver Broncos-Drew Lock: QB, Mizzou
This seems inevitable at this point. John Elway has missed too often at the QB position and needs someone to hit, even if it isn’t a home run. Drew Lock has question marks, but his personality and strong skill set will make him an intriguing option for Elway’s Broncos.
11. Cincinnati Bengals-Devin White: LB, LSU
The Bengals are restarting, and to help with that restart, it’s time to get a Linebacker who can play in this era of football. Devin White is that player for them, and he can run and chase sideline to sideline, blitz on passing downs, and just be a great impact player for them.
12. Green Bay Packers-Jachai Polite: EDGE, Florida
Jachai Polite is an athlete. The Green Bay Packers need athletes at the EDGE position, and Polite is going to tear up offensive lines with his agility, quickness, and bend off the edge. More than that, Polite is a perfect fit for Mike Pettine’s defense.
13. Miami Dolphins-Kyler Murray: QB, Oklahoma
Much like Drew Lock to Denver, Kyler Murray to the Dolphins just seems inevitable. With the Dolphins moving on from Ryan Tannehill, and no good replacement on the roster, they need to draft someone to inject youth and energy to that position. Murray is imperfect, but he is exciting and more intriguing than the other options in this class.
14. Atlanta Falcons-Jeffrey Simmons: DL, Mississippi State
Atlanta did a large overhaul of their staff, offloading all 3 of their coordinators, and Dan Quinn is taking over the defensive coordinating duties. What Dan Quinn wants is a dominant defensive line, and someone like Jeffrey Simmons will allow them to attack offenses without blitzing.
15. Washington Redskins-Kelvin Harmon: WR, NC State
The Redskins 2019 season already seems pretty lost. Alex Smith is out, rumors that Andy Dalton will be brought in to be the starter, and there’s nothing exciting about this team outside of a running back who missed his entire rookie year to injury. They still need a real, consistent threat outside, and Kelvin Harmon can do that, being able to win at the catch point, and have strong hands to reel catches in.
16. Carolina Panthers-Jonah Williams: OT, Alabama
Jonah Williams is a far better player than this position, but NFL teams and media seem to have trouble with his length, so I’m expecting some sort of drop for Williams. If it happens, Carolina should be sprinting to the podium to get someone of his caliber, because Williams is dominant in both the pass and the run game.
17. Cleveland Browns-Byron Murphy: CB, Washington
Browns fans are so happy to be picking here, and not worrying about who their QB is going to be. And John Dorsey is happy to take the best player available in Byron Murphy, who will be a great fit in Steve Wilks’s defense.
18. Minnesota Vikings-Dalton Risner: OL, K-State
The Vikings have a lot of good players on their roster, but their interior offensive line is a major problem. Dalton will be a godsend for them, with the ability to play any position on the line, and be consistent, and at times, dominant force for the Vikings, who desire to be more balanced on offense.
19. Tennessee Titans-TJ Hockenson: TE, Iowa
Delanie Walker is a fantastic tight end who is on the wrong side of 30 and coming off an injury. The Titans need help in both their blocking and their pass catching, and TJ Hockenson will be perfect for them at this position. Hockenson is young, been taught well, and will be a great player for the Titans for years.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers-“Greedy” Williams: CB, LSU
The Steelers defense is once again underachieving with Keith Butler at the helm, in large part because of constant miscommunications and technique flaws in the secondary. “Greedy” Williams will instantly make that secondary better, his movement and ball skills will allow him to be the player the Steelers have needed there for years.
21. Seattle Seahawks-Brian Burns: EDGE, Florida State
I’ll be honest, I have no idea what the Seahawks will do with this pick. The Seahawks have always been an enigmatic team when it comes to the draft, taking guys like Germain Ifedi, James Carpenter, Rashaad Penny, and others in the first round. So here I’m taking a player who seems to fit their mold and a need for them in Brian Burns, who has the speed and bend to be a perfect counterpart to Frank Clark, assuming Seattle brings him back in free agency.
22. Baltimore Ravens-Hakeem Butler: WR, Iowa State
The Ravens know Lamar Jackson is their future, and now it’s time to take steps to make that future reality. Making Greg Roman their Offensive Coordinator was a great first step, but now they need a legit threat on the outside for Jackson to throw it up to when it gets hot, and Butler is a dominant player above the rim. He can snatch the ball, and be a strong force for Lamar as he continues to grow in Roman’s offense.
23. Houston Texans-Yodney Cajuste: OT, West Virginia
The Texans need to do everything they can to keep Deshaun Watson alive. Watson has sustained too many hits and sacks in his first two years, and the Texans need to help him out more. Yodney Cajuste brings not only a consistency, but a nasty demeanor, and toughness that the Texans have been lacking for several years now.
24. Oakland Raiders-Rashan Gary: DL, Michigan
Gruden said it best himself “Good pass rushers are hard to find.” Well then let’s help find one, by giving him two. Rashan Gary from Michigan fits that Paul Geunther mold, big, and long, but Gary is also pretty raw, and doesn’t come with a lot of production. But The Raiders are willing to take a chance on him with traits as intriguing as his.
25. Philadelphia Eagles-Deebo Samuel: WR, South Carolina
The Eagles are tough to evaluate because they had so many injuries last year, especially in the secondary, where they struggled the most. However, it’s clear that their current group of receivers isn’t anything special outside of Alshon Jeffrey, so adding a speedy playmaker in Deebo Samuel will be a great addition to this Eagles passing attack moving forward.
26. Indianapolis Colts-Christian Wilkins: DL, Clemson
The Colts overachieved with incredible coaching last year, especially defensively, so it’s time that Chris Ballard does his best to upgrade this side of the ball. Christian Wilkins not only upgrades their defense from a talent level, but he fits their culture perfectly as well, huge win for the Colts here.
27. Oakland Raiders-Noah Fant: TE, Iowa
Boy, the Raiders have a lot of picks in this draft. After addressing the pass rush with the first two picks, it’s time to help the offense some, and getting an athletic, pass catcher in Noah Fant is a great pick here for the Raiders. Gruden was able to get a lot out of a late-career Jared Cook, but Noah Fant will be much better than Cook in Gruden’s offense.
28. Los Angeles Chargers-Dexter Lawrence: DL, Clemson
The Chargers are pretty solid across the board, but they really need to upgrade the interior defensive line to help Bosa and Ingram off the edge. Lawrence is a big, old school style nose tackle, who can take on double teams, and upgrade the Chargers run defense in a big way.
29. Kansas City Chiefs-Amani Oruwaryie: CB, Penn State
The Chiefs need defense. Now I’m not a big fan of Amani Oruwaryie, but with the style of defense that new Chiefs Steve Spagnuolo runs, Oruwaryie will be a great fit, being able to keep his eyes in front and not have to turn his head running with a receiver down the field.
30. Green Bay Packers-Chris Lindstrom: OL, Boston College
The Packers addressed their defense with the Polite pick, but now they need to re-solidify their offensive line with a guy like Chris Lindstrom. Lindstrom can slide right into either starting guard spot, and his ability to take on power and anchor will allow his transition to the NFL to be a little smoother than most.
31. New England Patriots-Jawaan Taylor: OT, Florida
The Patriots always manage to steal a player that they don’t deserve to have this late in the draft. But here they are, taking one of the best tackles in the draft, and simply, one of the best players in the draft. Jawaan Taylor will take Marcus Cannon’s job at Right Tackle, and the Patriots will continue to dominate on the offensive line under Hall of Fame offensive line coach, Dante Scarnecchia.
32. Los Angeles Rams-Mack Wilson: LB, Alabama
The Rams are really strong in several key positions. But where they’re weak, they’re really weak. Linebacker with Samson Ebukam and Cory Littleton is one of their biggest weakness, and now a young, athletic, pro-ready linebacker has fallen right into their laps in Mack Wilson. With Aaron Donald, and Michael Brockers up front, Wilson will be free to attack offenses with his speed and quickness.