It is finally here. After 363 days of giddy anticipation for the 2019 NFL Draft, it has finally arrived. As an absolute draft nut, I spend the whole draft cyle anxiously awaiting the moment when the first team is on the clock. To commemorate the moment, I put together my own mock draft projecting how the first round will look, without projecting any trades.
1. Cardinals- Nick Bosa (Edge, Ohio State)
The minute Kyler Murray picked football over baseball, everyone assumed he belonged with the Cardinals. All it took was one video interview of Kliff Kingsbury saying he would draft Murray first overall to create this media storm. Realistically this move was one gigantic smoke screen. The best choice for the Cardinals is taking Nick Bosa to add an elite pass rusher to their defensive line. By adding Bosa, they can continue to build around the young, promising Josh Rosen.
2. 49ers- Quinnen Williams (DT, Alabama)
The next elite defensive player on the board fits perfectly with the 49ers defensive situation. By adding Quinnen Williams the 49ers will have a young, explosive defensive line featuring DeForest Buckner and Solomon Thomas.
3. Jets- Ed Oliver (DT, Houston)
While Ed Oliver saw a slide in his stock over the draft cycle, the Jets will scoop him up at three. His motor and quick first step will make him the perfect three-down defensive tackle to polish up the Jets defense.
4. Raiders- Kyler Murray (QB, Oklahoma)
Head Coach John Gruden made it very clear last season that he is not afraid to tear apart the old roster to create his dream team. His next move is selling off Derek Carr and adding a quarterback he can mold. Murray will be transformative in Gruden’s offense. Hopefully, he can get some weapons to play alongside him.
5. Buccaneers- Devin White (LB, LSU)
Devin White proved he is one of the best linebacker prospects in the past few years with his elite athleticism and intelligence. Tampa Bay desperately needs an anchor for their defense, especially after Kwon Alexander left for San Francisco.
6. Giants- Josh Allen (Edge, Kentucky)
Don’t fall for the Dwayne Haskins hype just yet. While Giants fans would love to see Eli’s successor in 2019, Dave Gettleman made it very clear they will not rush the process. The best bet for this rebuilding team and adding a defensive weapon. That makes it perfect for the sack master Josh Allen to land in New York.
7. Jaguars- Jonah Williams (OG, Alabama)
Jacksonville managed to turn a Super Bowl contender into a burning dumpster fire. Everything started to go downhill once promising offensive tackle Cam Robinson went down for the season. Fortifying the offensive line is a must, and Jonah Williams can line up anywhere the Jags need him to.
8. Lions- T.J. Hockenson (TE, Iowa)
Matt Patricia almost traded for Gronk last offseason, and now he can get Gronk 2.0. Hockenson is a rare dual-threat tight end and will be an instant weapon for Matthew Stafford.
9. Bills- Rashan Gary (DT, Michigan)
Buffalo is one of the teams in this year’s draft that has plenty of needs to fill and can accomplish this by taking the best available player. Gary will plug right into this defense thanks to his versatility and top-level athleticism.
10. Broncos- Dwayne Haskins (QB, Ohio State)
John Elway loves larger, big armed quarterbacks and he can get exactly that with Haskins. Since Peyton Manning retired, the quarterback position has been very inconsistent. Let’s be real folks, Joe Flacco is a very short term fix. Haskins can grow with this team for years to come.
11. Bengals- Jawaan Taylor (OT, Florida)
There is finally a new sheriff in town in Cincinnati, and his name is Zac Taylor. It would make the most sense for Taylor to move on from Andy Dalton and start from scratch, but bolstering the offensive line will create a good situation regardless of who is under center.
12. Packers- Brian Burns (Edge, FSU)
The Packers spent a ton of money on adding veteran defensive players to gear up for a final few runs with Aaron Rodgers. Taking Brian Burns will give the Packers another weapon on defense to make them a scary unit.
13. Dolphins- Drew Lock (QB, Missouri)
Miami is in full rebuild mode, and despite everyone already speculating a tanking season for Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, they cannot pass this opportunity to take a quarterback early. Why not replace Ryan Tannehill with a worse, younger version of Ryan Tannehill?
14. Falcons- Christian Wilkins (DT, Clemson)
Inconsistency has rattled the Falcons since their Super Bowl run a few seasons ago. Defensive woes and major injuries hindered their progress, so their best bet is adding depth to an already young talented defense.
15. Redskins- Daniel Jones (QB, Duke)
There is a ton of speculation that the Redskins will pull a full-on Washington move by trading up in the top five to take a quarterback. In this case, I decided not to project any trades but overvaluing a tall quarterback who knows the right people sound like something Dan Snyder would advocate for.
16. Panthers- Andre Dillard (OT, Washington State)
Protecting Cam Newton is a top priority for Carolina, and the long tackle from Washington State will plug nicely into the lineup.
17. Giants- Cody Ford (OT Oklahoma)
The Giants chose to add a defensive weapon and missed out on all of the top quarterbacks in this class. Waiting until next year for Justin Herbert is the right decision. They might as well build a stout offensive line for him.
18. Vikings- Montez Sweat (Edge, Mississippi State)
Sweat’s heart condition causes him to take a major hit. The Vikings are desperate for a talented edge rusher and they bolster their defense by taking the athletic freak.
19. Titans- Noah Fant (TE, Iowa)
Marcus Mariota is struggling a lot throwing the ball, so what better way to make his life easier than drafting an uber athletic, pass-catching tight end.
20. Steelers- D.K. Metcalf (WR, Ole Miss)
The Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell era is over in Pittsburgh. It’s now time for a new wave of explosive offensive weapons, and Metcalf will fit in nicely opposite JuJu Smith-Schuster.
21. Seahawks- Greedy Williams (CB, LSU)
It feels like the days of the Legion of Boom is years ago. The lengthy, athletic corner fits perfectly with the mold that coach Pete Carroll looks for in lock down corners. However, let’s be realistic here. The Seahawks will probably take some player every team graded as a third-round talent that won’t even contribute next season.
22. Ravens- A.J. Brown (WR, Ole Miss)
Because Lamar Jackson is an oversized running back playing quarterback, giving him help in the pass game is a must. Brown is the perfect, reliable target for Jackson.
23. Texans- Garett Bradbury (OG, NC State)
The Texans were last season’s surprise team, but could not make a run in the playoffs because of their offensive line woes. Interior lineman Garett Bradbury is the perfect player to lead the way for franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson.
24. Raiders- Devin Busch (LB, Michigan)
The pieces are starting to fall into place for Jon Gruden. Plugging in the athletic, rangey linebacker from Michigan will provide a perfect anchor for what was a lack luster defense last season.
25. Eagles- Clelin Ferrell (Edge, Clemson)
The Eagles might be one of the most complete teams this late in the draft. However, they struggled last year because of major injuries at key positions. Clelin Ferell appears to be a good fit as a good defensive presence of the edge.
26. Colts- Byron Murphy (CB, Washington)
The Colts are few key players away from being a presence in the AFC for years to come. What better way to make that happen than taking the dominant corner out of Washington.
27. Raiders- Josh Jacobs (RB, Alabama)
Remember those weapons this offense needed that I referenced earlier? It’s okay don’t pretend you did. Regardless, Josh Jacobs is the best running back in this class, and an ideal pairing with Kyler Murray.
28. Chargers- Marquise Brown (WR, Oklahoma)
Receiver does not appear to be a major need for the Chargers, but the speedster Marquise Brown is just too good to pass on here at 28.
29. Seahawks- N’Keal Harry (WR, Arizona State)
Ah yes, another opportunity for the Seahawks to reach. The best decision is building up a nonexistent receiving group in Seattle.
30. Packers- Nasir Adderly (S, Delaware)
The Packers can finally complete their defensive rebuild, capping things off with the dominant FCS product from Delaware to roam the secondary.
31. Rams- Deandre Baker (CB, Georgia)
The Rams are also another team with no major needs, but Deandre Baker is a steal at 31. Depth at corner will improve an already dominant defense.
32. Patriots- Julian Love (CB, Notre Dame)
What will good ole’ Bill do here? No first round tight ends occupy the board, so bringing in a flashy corner is the perfect fit for the Patriots defense.