We’re less than two full weeks away from the 2019 NFL Draft and it’s time to pump another projection of how it might go. But this time, there’s a second round to give you twice the mock drafting action!
Just like last time, I made a concerted effort to have different selections for the majority of the teams. I was able to accomplish this with new players projected at 27 of the 32 picks.
Notably, however, I did not change the first four picks since it seems like there is a growing consensus that Kyler Murray, Nick Bosa, Josh Allen
So I felt there was no real need to throw a wrench into things if this is ultimately how the draft goes. This strongly suggests that the 2019 NFL Draft truly will kick off around 8:30 on opening night, which is around the time the Tampa Bay Buccaneers go on the clock.
I also want to make note that this mock draft is less an exercise in myself trying to accurately predict the actual outcome of the draft, but more playing around with some interesting scenarios. So if a pick doesn’t make sense in your eyes, don’t overthink it and just have some fun.
Without further ado, let’s jump right in!
It seems like the Cardinals are locked into doing what seemed unthinkable just a few months ago in selecting quarterbacks with consecutive first-round picks by taking Murray.
There’s no denying that Murray better fits the spread offense new head coach Kliff Kingsbury is installing than incumbent Josh Rosen. Also behind Arizona’s makeshift offensive line, it’s likelier that the mobile Murray will be able to survive the season.
So the question will be who Arizona winds up shipping Rosen off to. It seems most likely that he’ll land with an NFC East team. That may prove to be the biggest drama at the outset of the first night of the draft, rather than who will be the top selection as the television networks might desire.
2. San Francisco 49ers – DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State
Arguably the best player in this draft class, Bosa “falls” one spot to the 49ers with the second selection. Combined with the addition of Dee Ford this offseason and the already established presences of DeForest Buckner and Solomon Thomas, the 49ers brass are likely optimistic their defensive front can wreak enough havoc on opposing quarterbacks to mask their problematic secondary.
3. New York Jets – OLB Josh Allen, Kentucky
Since the Jets struck out in free agency in acquiring pass-rusher Anthony Barr, landing a player with Allen’s upside is a solid consolation prize. The Jets haven’t had a dominant edge-rusher since John Abraham left the team nearly 15 years ago. Allen has a lot of refinement ahead of him but is a relatively raw piece of clay with enormous potential to end the premium pass-rushing lull.
4. Oakland Raiders – DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama
2018 rookie Maurice Hurst was one of the few bright spots on an awful Raiders defensive line, and the team has a more positive outlook on the interior of that unit with the presences of Johnathan Hankins, P.J. Hall, Justin Ellis and Eddie Vanderdoes joining him. Thus in the eyes of some, drafting another interior presence like Williams is overkill for a team that has little on the edge.
But the Raiders need all the pass-rush help they can get, with a historically bad unit generating just 13 sacks, a feat that only one team since sacks became an official stat in 1982 have failed to eclipse.
Williams will provide that help, in addition to beefing up one of the league’s worst run defenses in 2018 as well.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – DT Ed Oliver, Houston
I’m not going to lie to you, I’m partially putting Oliver here to troll Falcon fans that believe the team is going to trade up and get him. But I also think there’s a legit chance that he could go to Tampa Bay, if for no other reason that the Football Gods will decree that if the Falcons can’t get Oliver, it will be due to him winding up with a division rival.
But seriously, the recent strife involving the team and Gerald McCoy suggests that the Bucs are needing another pass-rusher to go along a unit that currently a declining 30-year old Jason Pierre-Paul, overachieving Carl Nassib and run-plugging Vita Vea besides McCoy. If McCoy’s future isn’t in Tampa, then getting someone like Oliver to provide interior pressure makes a ton of sense.
6. New York Giants – OLB Rashan Gary, Michigan
Most people seem to project Gary to play defensive end or defensive tackle in the NFL. I, however, have a different belief, in that I think he might be best suited to being an outside linebacker. Gary is a gifted athlete that has non-existent technique, which means turning him into an effective hand-in-the-dirt pass-rusher might take especially long. Instead, just let him use his natural athleticism as a rush linebacker.
Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher has a history of preferring more stout defensive end types rushing off the edge in his 3-4 scheme. I’m looking at you Markus Golden, Kareem Martin
7. Jacksonville Jaguars – OT Cody Ford, Oklahoma
The Jaguars need a right tackle, and I went with Ford due to the recent rumors suggesting that there are some medical red flags that could push Florida’s Jawaan Taylor down the board.
8. Detroit Lions – ILB Devin White, LSU
Jarrad Davis hasn’t been the stabilizing force in the middle of the Lions defense as they might’ve hoped when he was their top selection two years ago. So instead they get a player in White, who could be that guy.
9. Buffalo Bills – DE Montez Sweat, Mississippi State
The Bills need to add to their pass rush. Longtime stalwart Jerry Hughes is entering a contract years and turns 31 this year. Trent Murphy and Shaq Lawson haven’t shown themselves the capability of carrying a rush. The Bills hope that Sweat can.
10. Denver Broncos – QB Drew Lock, Missouri
Despite trading for veteran Joe Flacco, Broncos GM John Elway will continue to take as many bites of the apple available to him until he finds Denver’s long-term franchise quarter.
11. Cincinnati Bengals – QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State
With talk that Haskins’ stock is media hype, I don’t think the Bengals will mind whatsoever. It’s out with the old, in with the new in Cincinnati. First Zac Taylor replaces Marvin Lewis at head coach, and now Haskins can replace Andy Dalton at quarterback. Dalton provides a nice one-year bridge, and Haskins should fit well in Cincy’s new short, timing-based offense that Taylor is porting over from Los Angeles.
12. Green Bay Packers – TE T.J. Hockenson, Iowa
New head coach Matt LaFleur is a Kyle Shanahan protege and will want to install a more grounded, tight-end-heavy attack than Green Bay’s traditional let’s spread the field with multiple wide receivers. Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis are both on the wrong side of 30 to really be considered anything more than stopgaps. Hockenson is the guy to build around for the future.
13. Miami Dolphins – OT Jawaan Taylor, Florida
As mentioned earlier, it’s possible that Taylor could slide if the rumors surrounding some medical red flags are true. If so, Miami won’t complain about getting arguably the best tackle in this class to replace Ja’Wuan James at right tackle opposite Laremy Tunsil.
14. Atlanta Falcons – DE Brian Burns, Florida State
The Falcons land their Vic Beasley replacement in Burns, who will settle in nicely in the team’s improved rotation of pass rushers thanks to the recent addition of free agent Adrian Clayborn.
Burns will make his living as a speed rusher off the edge just like Beasley, but already has a more polished repertoire of moves and certainly talks the talk of being a player that wants to be the best pass-rusher he can possibly be. The Falcons will be happy to discover if he can walk the walk in Atlanta.
15. Washington Redskins – WR N’Keal Harry, Arizona State
The loss of free agent Jamison Crowder opens up an opportunity for a capable slot receiver. Plus Harry’s size and ball skills mean that he could quickly overtake Josh Doctson as the team’s go-to wideout in the very near future.
There’s a good bet that the Redskins might make a move for Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen on draft day. So it’s possible this pick could be traded in part of that deal. But if they do retain it, it makes sense to try and surround their new quarterback with better weapons.
16. Carolina Panthers – DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
Ferrell gives the Panthers a steady pass-rusher after they lost Julius Peppers to retirement this offseason. Right now, Bruce Irvin and Mario Addison, their top two edge guys are both going to be 32 by year’s end, meaning this team needs an infusion of youth at the position.
17. New York Giants (from Cleveland) – OT Jonah Williams, Alabama
Williams could go much higher than this, but NFL teams are weird about measurables. But Williams is the most polished tackle in this class and should be able to slide instantly and upgrade right tackle for the Giants and also be groomed to replaced middling left tackle Nate Solder in a couple of years when he wears out his welcome in New York.
18. Minnesota Vikings – OT Andre Dillard, Washington State
The Vikings get a left tackle in Dillard that will help bump incumbent Riley Reiff inside to guard, a move the team has been desiring this offseason. Basically, the Vikings are able to upgrade two positions with one pick.
19. Tennessee Titans – OG Chris Lindstrom, Boston College
The Titans signed Rodger Saffold this offseason, but he’s a short-term fix at best. They still have a hole at right guard, where Lindstrom instantly slides into and fixes.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers – TE Noah Fant, Iowa
While the Steelers need help on defense, passing up on a talented tight end like Fant is hard to do. He’ll team with Vance McDonald, with the team employing more two-tight end sets, hoping it offsets the massive loss they’ve suffered at wide receiver with Antonio Brown’s departure.
21. Seattle Seahawks – WR D.K. Metcalf, Mississippi
The Seahawks can’t pass on athletes, and while their desire to be this run-first offense under Brian Schottenheimer is admirable and all, they need playmakers in the passing game. Doug Baldwin is on the decline and they need a big-time outside threat like Metcalf that can thrive alongside Russell Wilson’s improvisational style of play.
22. Baltimore Ravens – ILB Devin Bush Jr., Michigan
The Ravens nab their C.J. Mosley replacement in Bush, giving the Ravens an impressive continuity of Pro Bowl-caliber middle linebackers dating back to Ray Lewis with the team’s inception in 1996.
23. Houston Texans – OT Dalton Risner, Kansas State
The Texans need all the help they can get along the offensive line, and picking this late in the draft means that the premium tackle will be off the board. So they “settle” for Risner, who should instantly upgrade their right tackle position as they hope to nab a left tackle later in the draft to groom behind Matt Kalil.
24. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago) – CB Greedy Williams, LSU
I’ll be upfront, Williams is the only cornerback I’m projecting in the first round simply because how this corner class is viewed by NFL teams is completely unknown to me.
The Raiders need a capable outside guy opposite Gareon Conley, and Williams is an easy fit.
25. Philadelphia Eagles – DT Christian Wilkins, Clemson
For whatever reason, I’ve heard rumors that Wilkins is not as beloved in this class as many in the media think. If that is the case, he could slide right into the Eagles lap, who are looking to upgrade their depth behind Fletcher Cox and Malik Jackson.
26. Indianapolis Colts – WR A.J. Brown, Mississippi
Metcalf’s more productive team, Brown, instantly upgrades the slot position in the Colts offense where Chester Rogers is a serviceable player but has no business starting on a quality offense.
27. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas) – RB Josh Jacobs, Alabama
Gone are the old men in Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin, making way for the young workhorse in Jacobs, whose best football may be ahead of him, after being a part-time player in college.
28. Los Angeles Chargers – QB Daniel Jones, Duke
The Chargers have more pressing needs elsewhere, but if one of the top four quarterbacks falls to this point in the draft, I think they’ll be enticed to grab him. Philip Rivers turns 38 this year and is entering the final year of his contract.
The Chargers may simply conclude that they’re not going to be bad enough to get an elite quarterback with him on the roster, so take advantage of this golden opportunity. If that means Jones will sit behind Rivers for a couple of seasons, so be it. That’s exactly how it went down with Rivers sitting for two years behind Drew Brees
If Bradbury slides this far, it’s going to be hard for the Chiefs to pass him up. Austin Reiter performed well in a handful of starts last year at center as the Chiefs look to replace Mitch Morse there. But they cannot pass up on arguably the draft’s top center.
30. Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans) – SS Juan Thornhill, Virginia
Much like the cornerback group, how this safety class stacks up and comes off the board is unknown to me. But last year, Packers GM Brian Gutekunst just targeted talented athletes at cornerback in Jaire Alexander and Josh Jackson, and it worked out well. So they could do the same this year at safety, and thus Thornhill instantly becomes the top safety on their board to join Adrian Amos.
31. Los Angeles Rams – OC Erik McCoy, Texas A&M
The Rams can plug McCoy immediately in at center, where he can take over for John Sullivan. They are a team that is going to have to spend considerable capital in the new future rebuilding their offensive line after losing Sullivan and Saffold this offseason and will lose left tackle Andrew Whitworth at some point in the near future. McCoy is a great start.
32. New England Patriots – DT Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State
This is not a significant need for the Patriots, nor do I think they’d take another bite of the apple of drafting a defensive tackle coming off a major injury as they did a couple of years ago with Dominique Easley.
However, I do think some team is going to pull the trigger on Simmons in the first round due to the fact that him missing a portion of his rookie season incentivizes a team to maximize his impact by making him a first-round pick to get that coveted fifth year of the contract. Whether it’s the Patriots or someone else, I expect some NFL team to show the wherewithal for such a savvy move. And nobody does savvy moves better than the Patriots.
33. Arizona – WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma
Reuniting Kyler Murray and his favorite wide receiver makes sense
34. Indianapolis (from N.Y. Jets) – CB Sean Bunting, Central Michigan
Adding an outside corner is a big need for this Colts team.
35. Oakland – DE Jaylon Ferguson, Louisiana Tech
Low on athleticism, but high on production, Ferguson will help the Raiders paltry pass rush.
36. San Francisco – CB Rock Ya-Sin, Temple
His length and man cover skills will really bolster this position.
37. N.Y. Giants – CB DeAndre Baker, Georgia
Baker covered some top guys in the SEC and should fit well in New York.
38. Jacksonville – DE Chase Winovich, Michigan
He’ll be their replacement for Dante Fowler on the outside.
39. Tampa Bay – CB Byron Murphy, Washington
He’ll likely go earlier than this, but it fills a big need for the Bucs.
40. Buffalo – OT Kaleb McGary, Washington
A solid investment for the future at their right tackle position.
41. Denver – ILB Mack Wilson, Alabama
Gives Vic Fangio an athletic, intelligent middle linebacker to build his defense around.
42. Cincinnati – WR Deebo Samuel, South Carolina
He’ll be seen as Cincinnati’s version of Robert Woods.
43. Detroit – CB Julian Love, Notre Dame
Their need to upgrade the spot opposite Darius Slay has been obvious for years.
44. Green Bay – WR Hakeem Butler, Iowa State
Butler gives them a big-time “X” that is too good a value to pass up here.
45. Atlanta – OT Tytus Howard, Alabama State
Howard’s experience in a zone-blocking scheme in college means that he’ll be able to make a quicker transition to the next level than you’d expect from a small school guy. He should challenge Ty Sambrailo to be the team’s opening-day starter at right tackle.
46. Washington – CB Trayvon Mullen, Clemson
The Josh Norman experience hasn’t gone according to plan.
47. Carolina – OT Greg Little, Mississippi
They hope he solves the left tackle spot that has been problematic since Jordan Gross retired in 2014.
48. Miami – SS Nasir Adderley, Delaware
He bumps Minkah Fitzpatrick into being a full-time corner.
49. Cleveland – SS Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State
Provides an enforcer on the back end to replace Jabrill Peppers.
50. Minnesota – DT Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame
He’ll replace Sheldon Richardson as their main interior pass rusher.
51. Tennessee – NT Dexter Lawrence, Clemson
He’ll be plugged in at nose tackle next to Jurrell Casey.
Artie Burns has been underwhelming, and they hope Layne won’t be.
53. Philadelphia (from Baltimore) – DE Jachai Polite, Florida
The rich get richer as the Eagles will never pass up on a good pass-rusher.
54. Houston (from Seattle) – OT Yodny Cajuste, West Virginia
He’s the aforementioned developmental left tackle of the future.
55. Houston – CB Amani Oruwariye, Penn State
The Texans get a young, talented cornerback of the future.
56. New England (from Chicago) – WR Andy Isabella, Massachusetts
Your classic Patriots-style slot receiver.
57. Philadelphia – FS Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida
He’ll be a young safety to groom behind Rodney McLeod and Malcolm Jenkins.
58. Dallas – FS Taylor Rapp, Washington
The Cowboys get an upgrade in the secondary in the smart, savvy safety.
59. Indianapolis – DE L.J. Collier, Texas Christian
The Colts find more pass-rush help on the edge.
60. L.A. Chargers – OT David Edwards, Wisconsin
The Chargers hope he can solidify the right tackle spot for them.
61. Kansas City – SS Darnell Savage, Maryland
He’ll be their Eric Berry replacement.
62. New Orleans – RB Miles Sanders, Penn State
He’ll be the inside runner to replace Mark Ingram.
63. Kansas City (from L.A. Rams) – WR Parris Campbell, Ohio State
Given Tyreek Hill’s recent issues, they need another burner at wide receiver.
64. New England – TE Irv Smith Jr., Alabama
He’ll step and be their Gronk replacement.