Written by Alexander Amir
1. Arizona Cardinals- Nick Bosa, EDGE (Ohio State)
The unequivocal top prospect in the draft, Bosa would immediately create a formidable pass rush lining up opposite Chandler Jones. Yes, he was injured for most of the 2018 season, but his bend, burst off the line, and refined pass rush moves are second to none. He deserves to be the #1 overall pick.
2. San Francisco 49ers- Josh Allen, EDGE (Kentucky)
The 49ers have been drafting defensive linemen for a while now (they picked one in the first round for three straight years from 2015-2017) but have been missing a true pass rush presence. Allen burst onto the scene this year with an outstanding year at Kentucky, and arguably has the highest upside of any player in this class given his versatility and athleticism. Quinnen Williams could be a consideration here, but edge is a bigger priority.
3. New York Giants (from Jets) - Dwayne Haskins, QB (Ohio State)
Giants get: #3 overall, #94 overall
Jets get: #6 overall, #37 overall, #133 overall, 2020 3rd rounder
Nobody knows how the Giants feel about their QB situation, but I personally think it’s imperative that they go all in on Dwayne Haskins this year. Moving up with the Jets prevents another team like the Jaguars, Broncos, or Dolphins from jumping them to take the Ohio State QB. The drop off between Haskins and the rest of the QB class is steep, and the Giants must pay to get their guy. With 11 total picks this year, they can afford to do so.
4. Oakland Raiders- Quinnen Williams, DT (Alabama)
Jon Gruden is thrilled that the Giants moved up, because that means he can get the 2nd best defensive player in the class. Williams was a beast at Alabama with 8 sacks, 71 total tackles, and a whopping 20 tackles for loss. The Raiders have holes everywhere, and while they drafted a DT in Maurice Hurst last year, they must take the best player available.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Greedy Williams, CB (LSU)
A team desperately in need of talent in the secondary gets the best cornerback in the draft by a long shot. Williams is tall with greasy hips and good ball skills, and has the perfect name for a shutdown corner. There is no QB here worth considering, and even if there were, I think Bruce Arians wants to give Jameis Winston one more chance.
6. New York Jets (from Giants)- Rashan Gary, DE (Michigan)
The Jets could have gotten Quinnen Williams with this pick, but given the amount of holes on their roster, trading back would give them the draft capital to do so. Pass rush is always a necessity for Gang Green, and considering rumors of the team trading Leonard Williams, Rashan Gary makes a lot of sense here. Gary is versatile enough to play any spot on the defensive line, with an excellent blend of size and speed. His array of pass rush moves needs to improve, but the raw talent and athleticism is too appealing to pass up on here. Offensive line is definitely a need, but the Jets don’t let top defensive talent go if they can help it.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars- Daniel Jones, QB (Duke)
This match makes too much sense. Jones is a perfect read option QB and would fit in Jacksonville’s system like a glove. Tom Coughlin is also the one making personnel decisions, and Duke head coach David Cutcliffe helped groom Eli Manning, who Coughlin became quite familiar with in his long tenure with the Giants. Jones lacks some of the raw arm talent that other prospects have, but the Jaguars are just two years removed from an AFC Championship appearance with Blake Bortles at the helm.
8. Detroit Lions- Clelin Ferrell, EDGE (Clemson)
With Ziggy Ansah likely departing in free agency, the Lions will be looking for his replacement. Brian Burns might be a slightly more refined pass rusher, but Ferrell has more upside and has an outstanding motor. He will join Damon Harrison, A’Shawn Robinson, and Da’Shawn Hand to create a dominant defensive line.
9. Buffalo Bills- Jonah Williams, OT (Alabama)
Like Oakland, the Bills are pretty much in need of every position. Offensive skill position players are a must this offseason, as QB Josh Allen needs something to work with. But the draft has lots of talent at those positions in rounds 2 and 3, and Allen ultimately needs protection before he can do anything. While some question Jonah Williams’ ability as a tackle, the Bills are equally in need of interior offensive linemen. The best pass protector in the draft makes a lot of sense.
10. Denver Broncos- Drew Lock, QB (Missouri)
This is a pure projection pick, but not one I would agree with were it to be true. GM John Elway reportedly loves Drew Lock, and the team desperately needs a QB. Lock has tons of natural arm talent but is extremely inconsistent in his decision making, mechanics, and accuracy. Nonetheless, his upside is huge. He also would be joining a Broncos team that already has Phillip Lindsay and Emmanuel Sanders as weapons. I wouldn’t take Lock, but it’s conceivable that Elway would.
11. Atlanta Falcons (from Bengals)- Ed Oliver, DT (Houston)
Falcons get: #11 overall, #104 overall
Bengals get: #14 overall, #80 overall
The Falcons defense was atrocious this year, in part due to injuries, but a talent like Ed Oliver’s would absolutely transform the defensive line. Despite a smaller stature, Oliver has the requisite play strength and outstanding speed to be a force on the interior of the defensive line. This is a worthy trade up given Oliver’s upside and skillset.
12. Green Bay Packers- Brian Burns, EDGE (FSU)
Burns is one of the best pure pass rushers in the class, with excellent bend, strong hand usage, and a varied repertoire of pass rush moves. The Packers have been sorely missing a pass rush for a long time, and Burns can be the first step in building the defense back up.
13. Miami Dolphins- Jeffery Simmons, DT (Mississippi State)
The Dolphins desperately need to generate pressure up front. Simmons is extremely disruptive in the backfield, using his great burst and hands to rush the QB or penetrate rushing lanes. They have a nice core on defense with Xavien Howard, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Raekwon McMillan, and Simmons will give them a talented, young defender at each level of the defense.
14. Cincinnati Bengals (from Falcons)- Devin White, LB (LSU)
The Bengals have a lot of work to do on the roster, which is why trading down with Atlanta was a no brainer. Their defense is in shambles, and linebacker Vontaze Burfict’s career is in jeopardy due to injury. Devin White is a rangy, speedy linebacker who’s a powerful tackler and can cover tight ends and running backs. His mental processing isn’t quite there yet, but he showed massive improvement this season. A linebacker like White is a good place to begin rebuilding the defense.
15. Washington Redskins- Deionte Thompson, S (Alabama)
Washington’s defense was very good for much of last season, and that success can be largely attributed to the presence of D.J. Swearinger and HaHa Clinton-Dix in the defensive backfield. Well, Swearinger is no longer on the team and Clinton-Dix will likely command a fairly large sum of money in free agency. The best safety in the class will help fill that void.
16. Carolina Panthers- Jawaan Taylor, OT (Florida)
Cam Newton’s team underwent an epic collapse last season, finishing the season 1-7 after beginning it 6-2. Newton, Christian McCaffrey, and DJ Moore are the core of a potentially potent offense, but the offensive line is in shambles. Ryan Kalil and Daryl Williams are free agents, while Matt Kalil struggled mightily. Jawaan Taylor would be an anchor on the offensive line for years to come with his size, strength, and footwork.
17. Cleveland Browns- D.K. Metcalf, WR (Ole Miss)
Offensive and defensive lines should be addressed, but I have a feeling GM John Dorsey will go out and get Baker Mayfield a receiver with true star potential. N’Keal Harry might well be the pick here, but Metcalf offers a bit more upside due to his explosiveness. Metcalf would automatically become the team’s go-to boundary receiver, leaving Antonio Callaway to stretch the field and letting Jarvis Landry go to the slot where he belongs.
18. Minnesota Vikings- Cody Ford, OL (Oklahoma)
With so much talent on both sides of the ball, why were the Vikings such a mediocre team in 2018? Well, look no further than the men protecting QB Kirk Cousins. Both Brett Jones and Nick Easton (who are both centers/guards) are free agents this year, and neither played particularly well in 2018. The Vikings line was also decimated by injury, with only one starter playing all 16 games. Ford has the versatility to play either tackle or guard, and can slide in anywhere immediately.
19. Tennessee Titans- Marquise Brown, WR (Oklahoma)
The Tennessee offense is in desperate need of a spark. There are questions surrounding Brown about his durability and size, but he is absolutely electric. He will completely change the Titans offense and open up the field, providing a perfect complement to Corey Davis. Most importantly, he will let the organization truly see what Mariota can do with a real weapon.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers- Jachai Polite, EDGE (Florida)
The Steelers find themselves in an interesting predicament with their defense. T.J. Watt is a stud, but on the other side of him there is Bud Dupree. His cap number jumps up to 9 million this year, and given Pittsburgh’s limited cap space, it just doesn’t make sense to pick up an option for someone who hasn’t posted more than 6 sacks in a season. Instead, they can draft a talented edge rusher in Polite with great upside.
21. Seattle Seahawks- Montez Sweat, EDGE (Mississippi State)
While the Legion of Boom is no longer there, the Seahawks still have a strong linebacking corps and an emerging secondary. What would really make this defense spark is another pass rusher to pair with Frank Clark (assuming they resign him, which I believe they will). Sweat had double digit sacks in two straight seasons, and he’s an explosive 4-3 defensive end with good strength and straight line speed.
22. Baltimore Ravens- N’Keal Harry, WR (Arizona State)
This is a no brainer. Baltimore has tried and failed to get a #1 receiver for ages, and it’s now more important than ever that they do so for young QB Lamar Jackson. Harry is a big, silky smooth receiver who can high-point the ball and excels at gaining YAC. He would do wonders for Jackson’s development.
23. Houston Texans- Yodny Cajuste, OT (West Virginia)
Deshaun Watson was running for his life for all of 2018. His offensive line was made of swiss cheese, and needs upgrades across the board. With Williams, Taylor, and Ford off the bird, Cajuste becomes the top offensive lineman available. He’s an outstanding pass blocker with excellent strength and anchor.
24. Oakland Raiders- Devin Bush, LB (Michigan)
After drafting Quinnen Williams with their #4 overall pick, the Raiders follow up with a well-rounded linebacker in the 2nd level. Bush has the requisite speed to cover the entire field and can change direction with smooth hips and quick feet. His strength to take on blockers is limited, but playing behind Williams will complement his game perfectly.
25. Philadelphia Eagles- Joshua Jacobs, RB (Alabama)
After a messy season at running back that saw Jay Ajayi, Corey Clement, and Darren Sproles take turns on the injury report, that position should be a top priority. Sproles and Ajayi are both also free agents, and they are unnecessary to re-sign. Jacobs is a do-it-all back that will be on the field for all three downs, and has a blend of size, speed, and hands. He will help provide support for an Eagles offense that was somewhat stagnant when Carson Wentz was in the lineup.
26. Indianapolis Colts- Christian Wilkins, DL (Clemson)
Darius Leonard would love some support in front of him, and GM Chris Ballard will give it to him. Wilkins can get solid penetration and has a constant motor, and can also hold the line of scrimmage. His ceiling is a bit capped due to his size, but he will provide a much needed disruptive presence in the middle of the line.
27. Oakland Raiders- Kelvin Harmon, WR (NC State)
After going defense with two straight picks the Raiders give Derek Carr some help on offense. They could go running back here, but there’s richer RB talent on day 2 and no running-back needy team in front of their 2nd round pick. Harmon is a big target with excellent strength and physicality. He also has unexpected speed and quickness for his size with impressive ball skills. He should fill in Amari Cooper’s shoes nicely.
28. Los Angeles Chargers- Dexter Lawrence, DT (Clemson)
The Chargers have arguably the most complete roster in the league. But Lawrence could give them another dimension to their defense. Given his natural size and strength, Lawrence will easily be a run stuffer at the next level. He needs to refine his technique, but taking away interior rush lanes will force opposing running backs to outrun LA’s speedy defense. Lawrence also has the potential to be productive on passing downs, collapsing the pocket and eating up blockers to let stud edge rushers Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram produce.
29. Kansas City Chiefs- Byron Murphy, CB (Washington)
Cornerback should be a massive point of emphasis for the Chiefs this offseason. Steven Nelson started coming into his own, but they need a partner for him. They should be ecstatic that Murphy fell to #29, as he showcases outstanding fluidity and the ability to stay with any receiver. He has deficiencies in press coverage, but he can be a shutdown corner given his flexibility and instincts.
30. Cincinnati Bengals (from Packers)- Kyler Murray, QB (Oklahoma)
Bengals get: #30 overall, #140 overall
Packers get: #42 overall, #80 overall (from Atlanta)
The moment everyone is waiting for. The Bengals are easily the clearest team fit for Kyler Murray in my mind. Andy Dalton is not the future, and getting Murray’s upside this late in the 1st round is worth the risk. They also make good use of their pick from the Atlanta Falcons that they received earlier in the draft. Murray would be able to prove what he can do with bona fide weapons in A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, and Joe Mixon. If he doesn’t pan out, the Bengals can follow up with another QB in a pretty loaded 2020 class.
31. Los Angeles Rams- Charles Omenihu, DL (Texas)
Despite being loaded with big names on the defense, the Rams will be pretty deficient on the defensive line. Dante Fowler showed improvement as the season progressed, but especially with Ndamukong Suh likely departing in free agency, a defensive lineman should be priority. Omenihu offers versatility to play 4-3 defensive end or tackle, and has outstanding speed, length, and toughness. If Omenihu reaches his full potential, he and Aaron Donald can form a wrecking crew.
32. New England Patriots- T.J. Hockenson, TE (Iowa)
Rob Gronkowski is very likely to retire this offseason, but even if he doesn’t the Patriots love their tight end sets. New England has a fair amount of needs up and down the roster, but getting a toy like Hockenson for Tom Brady always seems to be the priority. He has strengths across the board, from blocking to route running to hands. Hock would become the new Gronk immediately.