1. Arizona Cardinals – Kyle Murray (QB/Oklahoma)
Yes, the Cardinals traded up to select Josh Rosen last year, but unless you’re living under a rock, you know that Kliff Kingsbury is enamored with Murray. Fox Sports Joel Klatt has definitely stated that Rosen is “going to get moved” and the Chargers, Giants and Patriots all seem to be in on him. Normally, I don’t predict trades, but this is not a typical circumstance. I don’t think the Cardinals are bluffing. Among the three teams, I think the Giants have the best chance to pull off the trade, so I will operate this mock as if the Giants acquired Rosen for a second rounder.
2. San Francisco 49ers- Nick Bosa (EDGE/Ohio State)
I know the 49ers have invested a lot in their pass rush in recent years, but if they don’t trade down, I see them taking Bosa. The fact is, in today’s NFL, you can never have enough pass rushers and San Francisco is bound to lose some of their guys within the next year or two in free agency. The 49ers are a better team than their record last year and can make a serious playoff push with the addition of Bosa.
3. New York Jets – Josh Allen (EDGE/Kentucky)
Like Arizona and San Francisco, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Jets traded down as they selected Sam Darnold with the No. 3 pick last year. New York has had a productive offseason, adding Le’Veon Bell and C.J. Mosley in free agency while trading for Kelechi Osemele via trade, but they still need an impact edge rusher across from Leonard Williams.
4. Oakland Raiders – Quinnen Williams (DT/Alabama)
The Raiders are a hard team to peg. I’ve flirted with them taking a quarterback during the season and I still don’t totally trust the relationship between Jon Gruden and Derek Carr, but they’ve also played this season like a win-now team, so it’s hard to fathom that they will take Dwayne Haskins even if the team reportedly likes him. Instead, I think Oakland takes the best player available, which is Williams, who had a monster season at Alabama and is arguably the top overall talent in this draft.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Devin White (LB/LSU)
I think the Bucs are going to make the first surprise pick of the draft if they stand pat. Josh Allen is gone, so they can’t get the edge rusher they want. Donovan Smith was re-signed, so I don’t see Jawaan Taylor being selected and I think it is too early for Greedy Williams. Instead, they go for White, a converted running back with a great work ethic who has shown significant improvement each year – and he’s not finished yet. White would ultimately replace Kwon Alexander, who signed with the 49ers last month.
6. New York Giants – Rashan Gary (EDGE/Michigan)
Yes, I already hear the boos from some of my loyal Giants fan readers and truth be told, I am not sold on Gary myself. I think he is a bit too one-dimensional overall, but he does have athleticism (read: he’s raw) and has room for improvement with coaching. The Giants traded away Olivier Vernon, so an edge rusher is a desperate need and, as mentioned earlier, I am treating this draft as if they acquired Josh Rosen. Had they not, I think this would be Drew Lock’s landing spot as I am getting a conflicting idea of how much the team likes Dwayne Haskins.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jawaan Taylor (OT/Florida)
Jacksonville has signed Nick Foles, so that throws out any of the available quarterbacks. Instead, the Jaguars can now focus on fixing their offensive line, which has been among the worst in football. The offensive line was so bad that Ereck Flowers was not only picked up off the scrap heap, but he played some significant snaps too.
8. Detroit Lions – Devin Bush (LB/Michigan)
Yes, I know I have two interior linebackers being selected in the top 10. This just isn’t your traditional draft class. Detroit’s linebackers were among the worst in the NFL last season. Jarrad Davis was taken with the Lions top draft pick in 2017, but he has failed to live up to the billing so far. Bush is an athletic freak and the Lions have shown interest in him and Devin White.
9. Buffalo Bills – Ed Oliver (DT/Houston)
One of my favorite picks in this draft, I think Oliver is absolutely a steal for the Bills. He fills a major need for Buffalo, who lost Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus over the last two seasons and his athleticism is off the charts for a defensive tackle. There are some minor character flaws, but I think they are overblown.
10. Denver Broncos – Drew Lock (QB/Missouri)
The worst kept secret in this draft is how much John Elway loves Drew Lock. Joe Flacco was acquired last month, but his acquisition won’t stop the Broncos from getting Lock, though it puts Flacco into a very similar position to the one he was in last year.
11. Cincinnati Bengals – D.K. Metcalf (WR/Ole Miss)
I think Metcalf is another hype machine (and personally, I prefer his teammate A.J. Brown), but Cincinnati has never been one to shy away from the athletic freak. A.J. Green turns 31 this summer and is in his contract year while John Ross has been a disappointment so far.
12. Green Bay Packers – T.J. Hockenson (TE/Iowa)
Defense has been the focus of the Packers free agency acquisitions, so perhaps they target offensive players with one of their two picks. Odd but random fact, the last non-quarterback offensive skill position player the Packers have taken in the first round is Javon Walker in 2002. Jimmy Graham is still around, but he’s not the same player he once was and struggled to make an impact in the end zone last season.
13. Miami Dolphins – Dwayne Haskins (QB/Ohio State)
Haskins likely won’t last this late as someone is bound to trade up for him, but he won’t fall further than here. Miami is in need of a new quarterback after trading away Ryan Tannehill. On the bright side, Dolphins fans will enjoy three weeks of Ryan Fitzpatrick before he inevitably implodes.
14. Atlanta Falcons – Brian Burns (EDGE/Florida State)
Atlanta finds themselves again looking for an edge rusher. Vic Beasley has regressed significantly since leading the league in sacks in 2016 while Takkarist McKinley hasn’t lived up to his first round billing. Beasley is in the final year of his contract, so Burns could spend a year rotating into the lineup before taking on a full-time role in 2020.
15. Washington Redskins – Daniel Jones (QB/Duke)
Again, I am conflicted. I don’t see Jones as a first-round talent, but quarterbacks are often selected higher than their value purely due to positional need. Case Keenum was acquired, but he’s nothing more thna a sto-gap.
16. Carolina Panthers – Clelin Ferrell (EDGE/Clemson)
Julius Peppers has retired and Mario Addison is in the final year of his contract, leaving them razor-thin in the pass rush department.
17. New York Giants – A.J. Brown (WR/Ole Miss)
The Giants traded Odell Beckham Jr. and now use the first rounder they acquired in the deal to find his replacement. I wouldn’t rule out Jonah Williams here either.
18. Minnesota Vikings – Jonah Williams (OT/Alabama)
Minnesota signed Kirk Cousins to a massive contract last year and he spent all of 2018 running for his life. Fixing the atrocious pass protection is a significant need this year.
19. Tennessee Titans – Montez Sweat (EDGE/Mississippi State)
Brian Orakpo retired and Derrick Morgan hasn’t been re-signed, leaving sophomore Harold Landry and 37-ear-old Cameron Wake as the only reliable pass rushers on the roster. Sweat may fall after reports of a heart condition were revealed.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers – Greedy Williams (CB/LSU)
With the top inside linebackers gone, the Steelers can address their perpetual need for a cornerback. I like Williams more than the consensus seems to be, so I think it is good value for the Steelers.
21. Seattle Seahawks – Cody Ford (G/Oklahoma)
Seattle was one of the most run-heavy teams in the league last year and will likely look to continue that trend in 2019. Mike Iupati was signed last month, but he has been an injury risk over the past few seasons. Ford played right tackle for the Sooners, but I think he profiles more as a guard in the NFL.
22. Baltimore Ravens – Marquise Brown (WR/Oklahoma)
Another player who I am not in love with, Baltimore desperately needs a weapon for Lamar Jackson after losing John Brown and Michael Crabtree in free agency. Brown is very undersized, but speedy and is projected to go in the first round.
23. Houston Texans – Andre Dillard (OT/Washington State)
Houston had one of the worst tackle combos last year in Julie’n Davenport and Martinas Rankin. Given Deshaun Watson’s injury history, protecting him is crucial.
24. Oakland Raiders – Josh Jacobs (RB/Alabama)
Isaiah Crowell was signed the other day, but he shouldn’t prevent the Raiders from adding Jacobs. Jacobs played in a timeshare in Alabama last season, but scouts have been salivating over him all draft season and he should be the first running back off the board.
25. Philadelphia Eagles – Byron Murphy (CB/Washington)
Jalen Mills is still listed as a starting cornerback, which is kind of sad since he gets torched on such a consistent basis.
26. Indianapolis Colts – Christian Wilkins (DT/Clemson)
The Colts focused on rebuilding the offensive line last year. Now, they need to address the trenches on the other side of the ball. Wilkins falls much further than he should and is a steal for Indianapolis.
27. Oakland Raiders – DeAndre Baker (CB/Georgia)
The Raiders have addressed some of their biggest positional needs, like tackle, linebacker and safety, through free agency, but cornerback is still something that needs to be upgraded. If the Raiders aren’t worried about his attitude, I can see Jachai Polite being selected here too.
28. Los Angeles Chargers – Dexter Lawrence (DT/Clemson)
Both Corey Liuget and Brandon Mebane are gone, making defensive tackle the most significant need for the Chargers. Luckily, this is a draft class loaded with talent in the position.
29. Kansas City Chiefs – Jachai Polite (EDGE/Florida)
Dee Ford has been traded to the 49ers, so the need is there. Polite is talented, but still a bit raw and scouts are worried about his maturity. Andy Reid has been known to take risks on players, so he shouldn’t be a surprise here.
30. Green Bay Packers – Chris Lindstrom (G/Boston College)
The Packers addressed a lot of their defensive needs in free agency, opening the door for them to use their top draft picks on offense. David Bakhtiari is the most underrated left tackle in the NFL, but Green Bay needs help along the interior.
31. Los Angeles Rams – Dre’Mont Jones (DT/Ohio State)
The Rams don’t seem interested in a Ndamukong Suh reunion, but they should still replace him in the draft.
32. New England Patriots – N’Keal Harry (WR/Arizona State)
The Patriots have a number of needs between receiver, tight end, edge rusher, offensive tackle and defensive tackle. Not to mention I wouldn’t rule out someone like Daniel Jones if he fell here. This is a total dart throw, but Harry would become a solid option for Tom Brady.