Attempting to predict the wildly unpredictable NFL Draft is not an easy task, but let’s give it a whirl anyway. I threw in a few realistic trades to shake things up because what’s the point in trying to simulate the draft without the aspect of involving trades. Take a look and let me know if you agree or disagree with who your team lands with!
Mock Draft 1.0
1 Arizona Cardinals: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Cardinals can’t pass up the top prospect in the draft. Lining up Bosa opposite Chandler Jones immediately gives Arizona one of the best edge rushing duos in the entire league. The only way that I can’t see Bosa landing in Arizona is if the Cardinals trade out of the top selection to load up on draft capital in a deep class, but picking Bosa to start the draft is still the most likely option three months out.
2 Jacksonville Jaguars (From SF): Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
I firmly believe that the 49ers will deal the #2 pick to a team looking to draft a quarterback. Whether that happens to be Jacksonville, New York, Denver, or someone else entirely is still yet to be seen. Here, Jacksonville moves all in with Haskins for the future, hoping he’s the piece that can elevate their offense and take them back to the playoffs.
3 New York Jets: Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky
While a trade down for the Jets would probably be preferred after throwing the farm at the Colts for Sam Darnold last year, Josh Allen is a prospect that would be almost too hard to pass up. Allen had a tremendous senior season for the Wildcats, leading the nation with 17 sacks on the year. In many other drafts, he’d be the top defensive player on the board.
4 Oakland Raiders: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
After trading away Khalil Mack before the season, the Raiders pass rush struggled, really struggled, totaling only 13 sacks on the season. To put into perspective on how poor that was, the teams with the next lowest amount, the Giants and Patriots, still managed to accumulate 30 sacks each. Drafting Quinnen Williams at #4 is less about positional need and solely based on not being able to pass up an interior defensive lineman with his sensational skill set.
5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Drafting the #1 cornerback of the class would be a huge first step in fixing the worst pass defense of 2018. The Buccaneers allowed a 110.9 passer rating to opposing quarterbacks this year, worst among all 32 teams. Greedy Williams would give the Bucs a fighting chance at holding opponents under 30 points next season.
6 New York Giants: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
After being jumped by Jacksonville for Dwayne Haskins, the Giants “settle” for the best offensive lineman in the class with Jonah Williams. No matter who is throwing passes for New York in 2019, it won’t matter how good they are if they’re given the same amount of protection that Eli Manning was in 2018.
7 San Francisco 49ers (From JAX): Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
After trading down from pick #2, the 49ers still land a Pro Bowl talent pass rusher with their first selection of the draft. In a loaded edge rusher class like this one, I think the 49ers best option is to move down and stockpile additional picks for someone they would’ve considered taking at #2 in the first place, similar to their trade in 2017 with Chicago.
8 Detroit Lions: Jachai Polite, OLB, Florida
After a subpar first season under head coach Matt Patricia, the Lions will need to improve many facets of their defense, with pass rush being the first target. Whether Detroit signs Ziggy Ansah back in free agency or not, edge rusher is a huge need for the Lions and Patricia knows if the problem isn’t fixed on defense he’ll be on the hot seat.
9 Buffalo Bills: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
Having Ed Oliver replace Kyle Williams in Buffalo almost feels like too perfect of a draft fit for it to happen. If Oliver slides down the board this far, which is very possible given the absurd amount of defensive line talent at the top of this draft, the Bills will be running the selection card up to the podium to make this pick.
10 Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
Whether the Broncos go after a quarterback in free agency is yet to be seen, but 2018 has revealed that Case Keenum is certainly not the answer for John Elway and the Broncos. Drew Lock brings Denver new hope and possibly would be Elway’s last shot as a GM, if he swings and misses with a quarterback again I can’t see him staying around much longer.
11 Cincinnati Bengals: Devin White, LB, LSU
After filling big needs in their secondary and defensive line last year with Jessie Bates and Sam Hubbard, the Bengals could look to draft a linebacker in the first round this year and the best one available is LSU’s Devin White. Although this year’s linebacker group isn’t particularly strong, White is certainly the cream of the crop
12 Green Bay Packers: Brian Burns, OLB, Florida State
With Kyler Fackrell‘s emergence this year as third-year edge rusher, some of the Packers defensive concerns were alleviated but rushing the quarterback is still a major weakness in Green Bay. Drafting a physical beast like Burns who can wreak havoc on the edge will be a great start to the draft for Green Bay, who own two first-round picks this year.
13 Miami Dolphins: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
With a coaching change coming through Miami, a quarterback change is likely to happen as well. First-year head coach Brian Flores and offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell will be forced to choose their signal caller of the future and while Daniel Jones may be a bit of a reach here, he’s a better option than Ryan Tannehill.
14 Atlanta Falcons: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan
How scouts value on field production vs. physical tools will be the biggest question for Rashan Gary’s draft stock this spring after an underwhelming three year career at Michigan. While Gary did run hot and cold on tape, he is expected to absolutely tear through the combine, which will most likely get him drafted in the top 15, an outside shot at the top 5. He has the stature and strength to play any position along the D-Line, but I think lining up on the edge is his best fit.
15 Washington Redskins: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
This year’s best receiver isn’t even a wide receiver. While former Hawkeye Noah Fant’s junior season numbers weren’t as stellar as his sophomore year, the stud tight end did see heavier coverages and more attention paid to taking him out of the gameplan. The Redskins land Jordan Reed‘s replacement here with a red zone monster who will be Pro Bowl caliber starting year one.
16 Carolina Panthers: Jeffrey Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
While interior defensive line may not be the positional need at the top of the board for Carolina, pairing Kawann Short with a rookie like Jeffrey Simmons would give Carolina one of the best defensive tackle duos in the entire league. Simmons, a top ten player on my board, deserves to be taken higher than this, and likely would in any other draft class, but because of how absurdly deep this defensive line group is he could easily slip to the middle of the first round.
17 Cleveland Browns: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
After taking Denzel Ward #4 overall last spring, the Browns pair him up with one of the most talented corners in this year’s class, Deandre Baker of Georgia. We know that John Dorsey values corners highly, taking Ward last year and Marcus Peters in the first round a few years before that, but the Browns really have a chance to turn their secondary into one of the league’s best this year.
18 Minnesota Vikings: Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma
When you spend $84 million on a franchise quarterback, you have to protect him. The Vikings didn’t do so well at that in 2018 and offensive line is a pressing issue heading into the offseason. While the Vikings do need more help on the interior than at tackle, taking Cody Ford here at #18 gives them flexibility depending on if they see him more as a tackle or guard.
19 Tennessee Titans: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
After coming up one game short of the playoffs in 2018, Mike Vrabel and the Titans have quite a few holes to fix on defense heading into 2019. Notable weaknesses include edge rusher and cornerback, so taking Byron Murphy here at #19 would give them a great duo between him and Malcolm Butler. They’ll need all the secondary help they can get trying to limit DeAndre Hopkins twice a year.
20 Pittsburgh Steelers: Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama
Taking a linebacker here at #20 only makes sense for the Steelers, who look to bring some ferocity back to the city that once claimed a feared defense. Another season playing Vince Williams, Jon Bostic, and L.J. Fort is a recipe for disaster in which Pittsburgh fans can only hope their front office avoids. Wilson was a standout in the Alabama defense over the past two seasons, bringing great athleticism and run defense to the Steelers would be a key addition.
21 Oakland Raiders (From SEA): Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
One of the benefits of having the plethora of draft capital that the Raiders have is that when a player you like starts slipping down the board, you can trade up and get him no questions asked. Here, Oakland jumps Baltimore for the best safety in the class Deionte Thompson out of Alabama. After seeing how safeties like Minkah Fitzpatrick, Derwin James, and Jabrill Peppers have slipped deeper into the first round in the past couple of years, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it happen this year with Thompson. I highly anticipate the Raiders trading up from either #24 or #27 to target a player in the middle of the first round.
22 Baltimore Ravens: Garrett Bradbury, C, North Carolina State
The first interior offensive lineman off the board, Garrett Bradbury would give Lamar Jackson peace of mind in the pocket for Baltimore. The Ravens are no doubt looking to upgrade the middle of the offensive line, building their offense around a strong running game was essential in their late-season success which led to a playoff berth. Bradbury is a vicious mauler and an immediate upgrade for the Ravens.
23 Houston Texans: Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss
Deshaun Watson got sacked 62 times in 2018. This is how you end a young quarterback’s career early just as the Texans did with David Carr. After two seasons of constantly being beaten up, Houston needs to prioritize pass blockers this spring, making both a move in free agency for a lineman like Rodger Saffold or Daryl Williams, as well as spending their first round pick on a day one starter.
24 Oakland Raiders (From CHI): Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
With the Raiders third and final first-round selection, they double dip on defensive linemen with a nasty edge rusher in Montez Sweat. As mentioned above, the Raiders are in desperate need of pass rushers, and taking Sweat would go miles in terms of pressuring opposing quarterbacks. At 6’6″, Sweat has insane length around the edge and consistently beat talented SEC tackles with ease.
25 Philadelphia Eagles: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
One thing is for certain in Philadelphia, protecting Carson Wentz has to be priority one. The Eagles are looking for the heir to Jason Peters as the veteran’s remaining years are numbered in the league. Landing Dillard here in the first round would give Philly peace of mind protecting their franchise quarterback’s blindside for years to come.
26 Indianapolis Colts: DK Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
The Colts land the best receiver in the draft class after it felt like 95% of Andrew Luck‘s production this year went to the tight end position. In a year that is deep with receivers that can make an impact out of the gate, the class really seems to be lacking star power at the top. D.K. Metcalf is one of the rare exceptions.
27 Seattle Seahawks (From OAK): Charles Omenihu, DE, Texas
After trading down from their position at #21, the Seahawks land a versatile lineman who would do wonders lining up opposite Frank Clark in Seattle. Omenihu brings the heat from the edge but also has the strength to muscle up against interior linemen if asked to do so.
28 Los Angeles Chargers: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
As mentioned before, this year’s defensive line group is just ridiculously deep. The Chargers would find a gem here late in the first round pairing Clemson’s Christian Wilkins with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram in the trenches. Talk about a line that just puts fear in opposing offensive linemen. Wilkins may not have the ceiling of college teammate Clelin Ferrell, but he deserves to be a first rounder without question.
29 Kansas City Chiefs: Justin Layne, CB, Michigan State
Listed at 6’3″ on Michigan State’s official site, Justin Layne is a beautifully lengthy corner who has shown the ability to lock down players in coverage. I see Layne shooting up draft boards after the NFL Combine, where I’m going to pay particular attention to what he measures in at. NFL scouts will fall in love with Layne’s physical tools as well as his speed.
30 Green Bay Packers (From NO): T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
Drafting their Jimmy Graham replacement with the Saints first-rounder, the Packers land an absolute unit in Iowa’s T.J. Hockenson. The former Hawkeye is proficient in both the passing game as well as run blocking, where he consistently punishes Big Ten defenders weekly. Having two first rounders is a luxury this year for first-year head coach Matt LaFleur.
31 Indianapolis Colts (From LAR): Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware
The Colts replace Clayton Geathers here with an FCS safety who just may be the best player this year at his position. Adderley lights up the tape but the only question is how well will he do when tasked against tougher competition. Trading up to #31 here, the Colts can pair Adderley with Malik Hooker and create a dangerous defensive backfield duo.
32 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (From NE): Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
The first running back finally comes off the board to close out the first round. This year’s running back class isn’t as talented at the top as previous years, Josh Jacobs is the only prospect to have true first-round value in my eyes. In what we’ve seen from Ronald Jones in his first season, it’s apparent that he was not a good fit with the Buccaneers last season. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Bruce Arians bring in his own guy here, bypassing the second round pick Jones from a year ago.
Selections For Teams Without 1st Round Picks
34 Los Angeles Rams: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
With Cory Littleton slated to become a free agent and Mark Barron struggling in 2018, the Rams will most likely look to add a linebacker through either free agency or the draft. Enter Devin Bush, an athletic, rangy, but undersized linebacker who amazing sideline to sideline capabilities. Bush’s stock will probably get even higher after the Combine, but the Rams could snag him here just outside the first round and have a great replacement for Littleton.
39 New England Patriots Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson
With Malcolm Butler’s departure after the 2017 season, the Patriots managed to trade for Jason McCourty and got solid production out of him as well as UDFA J.C. Jackson. Now with McCourty slated to be a free agent, the Patriots will need to find a solid second cornerback option opposite Stephon Gilmore. National Championship MVP Trayvon Mullen would be the perfect fit for Belichick and the Patriots, who have struggled at times the past few years defending the aerial assault.
58 Dallas Cowboys: Gerald Willis III, DT, Miami (FL)
Replacing David Irving with the former Hurricane lineman who led the ACC in TFL this season with 18.0. Listed at 6’4″ 300 lbs, Willis has the talent to step in and be a day-one starter for the Cowboys as a second rounder. Landing in Dallas with coach Rod Marinelli, Willis could see a Pro-Bowl ceiling in the NFL after reemerging on the scene this year in his senior season.
62 New Orleans Saints: Emanuel Hall, WR, Missouri
With Cameron Meredith not living up to expectations as a free agent signing this past season, and Ted Ginn Jr. turning 34 this spring, the Saints could use a third receiving option behind Michael Thomas and Trequan Smith. Hall averaged over 100 y/g his senior season and the deep threat averaged over 20 y/rec in both his junior and senior seasons.
87 Chicago Bears: Darnell Savage, S, Maryland
Assuming the Bears let Adrian Amos walk in free agency, this pick would give Chicago a great safety to pair with Eddie Jackson. The Bears don’t have too many glaring weaknesses, shoring up the defensive backfield with this selection and re-signing Bryce Callahan would go a long way to repeating their defensive success of 2018 even after the departure of Vic Fangio.