Draft order based on current standings.
1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow (QB/LSU)
Cincinnati has bottomed out this season, but I don’t think all hope is lost with this team. They have been competitive, seven of their losses were decided by a touchdown or less, but Andy Dalton’s midseason benching ha sshown that the team is ready to move on from him, even if he did reclaim his starting job.
When the season began, Burrow wasn’t on anyone’s radar as a first rounder, let alone the top pick in the draft, but he has been phenonemal this season en route to winning the Heisman Trophy.
2. New York Giants – Chase Young (EDGE/Ohio State)
At last, the Giants get the edge rusher they have been in desperate need of. New York has historically always had quality pass rushers, which is why the defense has seemed to completely lack an identity over the past few seasons. While Burrow is likely the top pick in the draft, Young is the most talented player, and someone the Giants may lose out on if they defeat Washington this week.
3. Miami Dolphins – Andrew Thomas (OT/Georgia)
I think at this point, its too early to select Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa is in a weird position following his injury, so the Dolphins may pivot to plan B, upgrading their offensive line and hoping a quarterback falls to them with their other two first-round picks. Thomas will fills the void left when Miami traded away Laremy Tunsil and will be the immediate blindside protector.
4. Washington Redskins – Tristan Wirfs (OT/Iowa)
Trent Williams has made it clear he will never play for Washington again. He will ultimately be traded and Washington will be in position to find his replacement in a draft class that has some serious talent at the position. Wirfs has played right tackle mostly this season for the Hawkeyes, but there is no doubt he will be a left tackle at the NFL level.
5. Detroit Lions – Jeff Okudah (CB/Ohio State)
Detroit had a number of needs, including the defensive line, but it’s hard to imagine they ignore their pressing need for cornerback help if Okudah is still on the board. Darius Slay is talented, but he enters the final year of his contract in 2020 and as it is, the Lions lack talent across from him. Okudah should be drafted with the goal of starting across from Slay, but could ultimately become the team’s No. 1 corner should Slay leave in free agency.
6. Arizona Cardinals – Jerry Jeudy (WR/Alabama)
Sadly, this may be the end of an era for Arizona if Larry Fitzgerald does in fact move on in free agency. Christian Kirk has show flashes of talent this season, but he functions best in the slot and the Cardinals really lack an outside threat. Jeudy could emerge as the top threat in an offense oozing with potential in the future.
7. New York Jets – Austin Jackson (OT/USC)
Pass protection has been an issue of need for the Jets for quite some time now and as the team enters a crucial season for Sam Darnold, New York needs to be able to better protect him. Jackson is a late riser who is now garnering top 10 consideration.
8. Jacksonville Jagurs – Isaiah Simmons (S/Clemson)
Defensive line help is definitely a position of need given how horrific Jacksonville has been on stopping the run, but I think given how much money and draft picks have been spent along the defensive line recently, the Jaguars will focus elsewhere. Simmons can play a hybrid strong safety/linebacker role for the Jacksonville.
9. Los Angeles Chargers – Tua Tagovailoa (QB/Alabama)
One of the hardest things about this draft is figuring out where Tagovailoa will land following his devestating hip injury. Some people still have him going top three in their mocks, but I am a bit skeptical at this juncture. I think the Chargers could end up being an ideal landing spot for him. Philip Rivers is a free agent after the season and given his on-field play this season, he could be sent packing, but the Chargers are the only team he has ever known (unless you count the six minutes he was a New York Giant) and is still a fan favorite who could be brought back on a one-year deal for his swan song, ultimately grooming Tagovailoa while he continues to rehab and isn’t forced into action before he is fully healed.
10. Denver Broncos – CeeDee Lamb (WR/Oklahoma)
Courtland Sutton has emerged as the top wide receiver in Denver, but the Broncos are thin with talent at the position as they continue to rebuild. Lamb is tough after the catch and has good hands.
11. Carolina Panthers – A.J. Epenesa (EDGE/Iowa)
Carolina is currently in limbo. Their head coach was fired, their starting quarterback may not be returning and the team has been awful at stopping the run. Will Grier will make his first NFL start this week and with two games to audition, it will be important to assess whether or not it is worth entering 2020 with him at the helm or to instead shift their focus on Justin Herbert. Ultimately, I decided to go with the Panthers typical M.O. if selecting the best player available to bring along an edge rusher, something you can never have enough of in the NFL.
12. Atlanta Falcons – Julian Okwara (EDGE/Notre Dame)
Vic Beasley is a free agent after the season and Takkarist McKinley has been a disappointment who may not have his option picked up. Okwara has gotten a lot of buzz, but I don’t love him here. He is a bit undersized and isn’t strong against the run. Unless he bulks up, I can’t see him as much more than a situation edge rusher.
13. Las Vegas Raiders – Laviska Shenault (WR/Colorado)
The Raiders acquired Antonio Brown last season, but obviously things fizzled out immediately with him. Injuries have hampered his 2019 season, so the combine will be important for him, but he is a chess piece who can line up anywhere at wide receiver.
14. Indianapolis Colts – Yetur Gross-Matos (EDGE/Penn State)
Justin Houston turns 31 this offseason and has lost a step since his Kansas City days, so it makes sense for the Colts to look for additional help along the pass rush. Gross-Matos is a raw, but physically gifted talent whose potential is off the charts.
15. Cleveland Browns – Mekhi Becton (OT/Louisville)
Cleveland should have hopefully learned everything that’s wrong with starting Greg Robinson as your left tackle. An upgrade to the blinside protector is desperately needed for a team who is talented on paper but can’t seem to click on gameday.
16. Philadelphia Eagles – Paulson Adebo (CB/Stanford)
Philadelphia will perpetually need secondary help and I will perpetually mock one to them and they will perpetually select anyone else but a cornerback and I will still mock one to them. We have done this song and dance before but it has been 18 years since Philadelphia has selected a cornerback in the first round of the draft and what they’re currently doing just isn’t working. When will the madness stop?
17. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Grant Delpit (S/LSU)
Tampa is another team at an interesting crossroads. Quarterback Jameis Winston is a free agent and one of the most polarizing signal callers in the NFL, but I can see Tampa Bay leaning more towards re-signing him than letting him walk. The secondary woes are still there, so Grant Delpit is definitely in play. He has top 10 talent, but is an unpolished player whose penchant for missng tackles has caused his stock to drop.
18. Las Vegas Raiders – Kristian Fulton (CB/LSU)
Oakland traded away Gareon Conley and Daryl Worley is a free agent to be who has been pretty nondescript in 2019. In a division where you face Patrick Mahomes twice a year, you can’t get by with a leaky secondary.
19. Tennessee Titans – C.J. Henderson (CB/Florida)
Logan Ryan is entering the final year of his contract and Tennessee how shown a lack of depth in their secondary following injuries throughout the season to Malcolm Butler and Adoree Jackson. This will help.
20. Jacksonville Jaguars – Derrick Brown (DT/Auburn)
A legitimately talented player who fell due to positional needs, Jacksonville uses their second first rounder once again on the defensive line. Brown can generate pressure from the interior, but will also help stop the run, which Jacksonville seems completely unable to do.
21. Dallas Cowboys – Albert Okwuegunam (TE/Missouri)
Dallas brought Jason Witten out of retirement, but there really isn’t much left in the tank of what was a stellar NFL career. Witten should retire this offseason and Dallas will need to prioritize adding a new tight end.
22. Miami Dolphins – Justin Herbert (QB/Oregon)
It’s more likely that someone (or maybe even Miami) will trade up to select Herbert, but for now, patience is a virtue for the Dolphins, who added the top tackle in the draft and can now add their new franchise quarterback as Josh Rosen once again look overwhelmed at the NFL level.
23. Miami Dolphins – D’Andre Swift (RB/Georgia)
Miami continues to overhaul their offense, upgrading at running back that has become a black hole of production.
24. Minnesota Vikings – Bryce Hall (CB/Virginia Tech)
The wheels just seem to have fallen off for Xavier Rhodes, who went from being an All-Pro in 2017 to allowing the second worst passer rating when targeted in 2019. Also, Trae Waynes is a free agent this March.
25. Buffalo Bills – Jalen Reagor (WR/TCU)
John Brown has had a career revival in Buffalo while Cole Beasley has been reliable in the slot, but Josh Allen needs a true deep threat. Enter Reagor, an explosive wideout and natural route running who can stretch the field for Buffalo.
26. Kansas City Chiefs – Trevon Diggs (CB/Alabama)
Kendall Fuller, Bashaud Breeland and Morris Claiborne are all free agents at season’s end. Last season, we saw opposing offenses score at breakneck speeds with the Chiefs poor secondary, so this position can’t be ignored this spring.
27. Green Bay Packers – Kenneth Murray (LB/Oklahoma)
Blake Martinez is in the final year of his contract and hasn’t imrpoved upon his promising 2018 campaign. Should Green Bay let him walk, a replacement will be needed.
28. San Francisco 49ers – Xavier McKinney (S/Alabama)
McKinney could be utlizied in San Francico much like how Minkah Fitzpatrick is used in Pittsburgh, a chess piece who lines up everywhere along the defense and can do it all. McKinney doesmn’t have many flaws in his game and I can see him as a riser during draft season.
29. New England Patriots – Raekwon Davis (DT/Alabama)
Interior defense seems to be the one weakness of a stout Patriots squad. Davis is a long (6-foot-6) and big bodied (312 pounds) defender who can line up all across the defensive line and is a disruptor both as a pass rusher and run stopper.
30. New Orleans Saints – Tee Higgins (WR/Clemson)
Michael Thomas is a dynamic receiver, but the Saints have practically force-fed him the ball this season since the other wide receivers on the team offer little to nothing.
31. Seattle Seahawks – Tyler Biadasz (C/Wisconsin)
At some point, Seattle has to get some offensive line help for Russell Wilson, right? Justin Britt is in the final year of his deal in 2020.
32. Baltimore Ravens – Dylan Moses (LB/Alabama)
Moses missed 2019 after tearing his ACL last August, but he was the top linebacker in this draft class before the injury and could still go in the top half of the first round.