Written by Cody Manning
It’s Mock Draft Monday!!! We are getting through the first few waves of free agency so teams have filled out some needs, which an impact on how the first round of the draft will flow. The Cardinals control the draft based on the rumors around them picking Kyler Murray. They could even investigate potential trades to jump back with a quarterback needy team and collect more picks to help add much needed depth to their roster. Trades can be difficult to project this far out so I am going to let the teams stay put and select players that I can see them taking in late April.
1. Arizona Cardinals – Defensive Tackle, Quinnen Williams, Alabama
Until the Cardinals trade away Josh Rosen, I am going to have a tough time believing they would select Kyler Murray even though the whispers in the wind are telling me otherwise. The closer we get to the draft the more trade value is losing on Rosen and will have to sell him for pennies on the dollar if they wait until April 25th. Williams is the safest bet to be a great player for a long time and will provide an immediate boost to the interior defensive line for the Cardinals. He would make life easy for Chandler Jones and Terrell Suggs on the outside rushing the quarterback.
2. San Francisco 49ers – Edge Rusher, Nick Bosa, Ohio St.
The 49ers added Dee Ford and Kwon Alexander over this past week which will help improve their front seven of their defense. They still could use another legit edge rusher to combine with Ford to help get after the quarterback. Bosa offers them a player that they can lineup opposite of Ford and wreak havoc on the opposing offense.
3. New York Jets – Edge Rusher, Josh Allen, Kentucky
The Jets are an ideal team that could trade out of the top 5 so they can try to recoup some draft capital that they lost in last year’s trade that resulted in them getting Sam Darnold. They have a need to find an edge rusher though, so if Bosa or Allen fall to them at #3 then I can see them staying put to help get their defense an immediate impact player. Allen has a high ceiling and could be a home run hit for New York.
4. Oakland Raiders – Linebacker, Devin White, LSU
The Raiders are one of the harder teams to predict where they could go with their #4 pick come April. While they would love to have Bosa or Allen fall to them, they may need a team to trade up to get a quarterback for that to happen. Regardless, their linebacker room needs an upgrade and White can be the answer for that department. He gives them a sideline to sideline backer that can bring speed to their unit.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Cornerback, Greedy Williams, LSU
If this situation plays out come draft night, then I firmly believe that Jason Licht will explore trade option with a team that wants to jump the Giants for a quarterback. If they do stay put, then I think they will look at upgrading their corner position with Williams. The secondary was one of the worst last year so they need all the help they can get in the backend. Greedy gives them a long and athletic corner that can go stride for stride with the best of them.
6. New York Giants – Quarterback, Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
How does Dave Gettleman redeem himself after trading one of the most polarizing players in Giants history? He shocks the world by drafting the most polarizing player in this draft class. While he would deserve even more criticism for not keeping OBJ if he were to select Murray come April, but he would at least get the New York media off his back and give their fanbase something to believe in. Will it happen? More than likely not but since we are still over a month away from the draft, I can still have some fun here.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars – Tight End, T.J. Hockenson, Iowa
Well the Jaguars decided to toss a lot of money to bring Nick Foles to Jacksonville, so they better look at finding him a legit weapon in the passing game. Hockenson can be his blanket when he drops back to pass and with his blocking skills, he can help contribute to their ground game as well. While they are two different players, this selection could provide his Zach Ertz in Jacksonville.
8. Detroit Lions – Edge Rusher, Rashan Gary, Michigan
Matt Patricia will be looking to add a key piece to his defense that he can rely upon on the unit he takes pride in. Gary will be a controversial pick among most analysts including some from the Blitz team’s scouting department because of the lack of good tape on him. But his athletic profile is off the chart and can be a moldable piece for Patricia. I wouldn’t be surprised if Detroit would take the chance on him.
9. Buffalo Bills – Wide Receiver, D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss
The Bills quietly made some good moves during free agency by upgrading and adding depth to their offensive line while finding Josh Allen a couple weapons in the passing game. John Brown and Cole Beasley are solid role players, but Buffalo needs a true #1 receiver and most importantly some size in their receiving corps. Metcalf not only gives them size but another deep threat through the air.
10. Denver Broncos – Defensive Tackle, Ed Oliver, Houston
Dwayne Haskins or even somehow Drew Lock could go here but after John Elway’s recent comments on Joe Flacco and not restructuring his contract, I believe Denver is ok passing on a quarterback in the first round. After addressing the secondary in free agency and bringing in Ja’Wuan James to fill their right tackle position this does give them some flexibility to go best player available. Oliver is another moldable defensive player that can be used to upgrade the interior of their defensive line.
11. Cincinnati Bengals – Quarterback, Dwayne Haskins, Ohio St.
Andy Dalton isn’t the answer for Cincinnati and after moving on from Marvin Lewis the Bengals could be looking to move on at the quarterback position as well. Andy Dalton has zero dead money left on the final two years of his contract so if they were comfortable starting Haskins day one then they could potentially trade Dalton for draft capital to build around their franchise quarterback. While they will more than likely must trade up to get a quarterback, in this situation they could get their next franchise quarterback of the future.
12. Green Bay Packers – Tight End, Noah Fant, Green Bay
By investing some of their cap space into the defense during free agency, Green Bay finds themselves in a situation where they could find Aaron Rodgers some help. Beyond Devante Adams the Packers have an aging Jimmy Graham and a group of young receivers that haven’t had one guy that has solidify himself as the man across from Adams. Fant offers Green Bay an athletic tight end that can split out wide to give Rodgers another threat when they spread it through the air.
13. Miami Dolphins – Offensive Tackle, Jawaan Taylor, Florida
Based on their current quarterback situation, the Dolphins would be the best bet to trade up to get a quarterback, but they may have to sell the house for that to come April. They will more than likely must find a bridge quarterback or take a swing on a guy during Day 2. Taylor will help fill the open right tackle position and give their line some power to help run the ball.
14. Atlanta Falcons – Edge Rusher, Brian Burns, Florida St.
Vic Beasley hasn’t been the answer that the Falcons were hoping he could be. Atlanta finds themselves in an ideal situation because of the fall of the top pass rushers in this class. Burns can get to the quarterback on a consistent basis which the Falcons defense needs. He can give a much-needed boost to their defensive front.
15. Washington Redskins – Edge Rusher, Montez Sweat, Mississippi St.
Like the Falcons, the Redskins would love to see a player like Burns or Sweat fall to them at #15. Sweat offers a little different skillset than the other edge rushers but he uses his strength to his advantage and just showed off his athletic ability at the combine. Sweat could give Washington one of the best fronts in the NFL featuring himself. Ryan Kerrigan, Jonathan Allen, and Da’Ron Payne
16. Carolina Panthers – Offensive Tackle, Andre Dillard, Washington St.
The Panthers must address their offensive line this offseason because of the beating that Cam Newton took in 2018. Dillard is one of the best pass protectors in this class and he could help protect Newton’s blindside for the rest of his career. After the run on the edge rushers this could be an ideal situation for Carolina.
17. New York Giants – Edge Rusher, Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
Whoever gets selected with this pick will always be compared to OBJ for the rest of the careers. If it is a hit then it helps the Giants look a little better, if not, then it could go down as one of the worse moves in their franchise history, of course, based on how the rest of OBJ’s career turns out. Ferrell offers them an impact player that can help fill the edge need after trading Olivier Vernon.
18. Minnesota Vikings – Offensive Tackle, Jonah Williams, Alabama
The Vikings can’t escape the first round without taking one of the top linemen in this class. Williams would be the ideal fit for Minnesota because of his versatility. While I believe he can play tackle at the next level, he does have the ability to play guard or center. The Vikings need an overhaul on their line and Williams would be the right step in that direction.
19. Tennessee Titans – Center, Garrett Bradbury, N.C. State
The Titans made some additions to upgrading the trenches on both sides of the ball during free agency. While they need another threat in their passing attack, it might be too rich for what is currently on the board. Bradbury gives their interior line an upgrade and can fit that ground game that Tennessee prefers to lean on during game day.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers – Linebacker, Devin Bush, Michigan
After having the glamour offense over the recent years, it is time for the Steelers to reinvent their defense and go back to their hard-nosed ways. Bush will bring that thud that Pittsburgh needs and can help improve their ability to stop the run. He could be on that long list of linebackers that the Steelers are known for.
21. Seattle Seahawks – Safety, Deionte Thompson, Alabama
The Seahawks are moving on from Earl Thomas and will be looking to replace the final member of the Legion of Boom. Thompson’s athletic ability offers Seattle a player that can help control the backend of a defense with his sideline to sideline ability. I also would imagine that Pete Carroll would love to have a Nick Saban coached up defensive back in his secondary.
22. Baltimore Ravens – Wide Receiver, N’Keal Harry, Arizona St.
After losing Terrell Suggs, C.J. Mosley and Za’Darius Smith the Ravens have a need for a linebacker and an edge rusher, but in this situation, they will see the top talent from those positions come off the board. Regardless, they need to find Lamar Jackson a big body receiver he can depend upon during 50/50 situations. Harry offers Baltimore a potential #1 receiver to pair with Jackson for a long time.
23. Houston Texans – Offensive Tackle/Guard, Cody Ford, Oklahoma
The Texans let Deshaun Watson take a beating last year and if they don’t enhance the play of their offensive line then it could shorten their franchise quarterback’s shelf life. Ford would give the Texans that bully attitude that it needs, and it helps that he can play tackle or guard. Like the Vikings, the Texans must address their offensive line in this class.
24. Oakland Raiders – Running Back, Josh Jacobs, Alabama
The Raiders need to find some youth for their backfield. With all the top edge rushers off the board, Oakland could take the consensus top back in the class with one of two late 1st round picks. He could help lighten the load for Marshawn Lynch and doesn’t have much tread on his tires coming from his limited role at Alabama.
25. Philadelphia Eagles – Cornerback, Bryon Murphy, Washington
The Eagles secondary was decimated with injuries last year. While Ronald Darby is returning on a one-year deal but he is coming off an injury so there is no guarantee he will be the same. Murphy can come in and start right away for Philadelphia plus he can be a long-term option for them at the corner position.
26. Indianapolis Colts – Defensive Tackle, Christian Wilkins, Clemson
The Colts have been relatively quiet in free agency while retaining some of the talent from last year’s roster. Indy still has a need to upgrade the interior of their defensive line. Wilkins can come in and play right away plus the Colts would gain a great locker room guy that fits their current culture.
27. Oakland Raiders – Safety, Nasir Adderley, Delaware
The Raiders defense needs more ballhawks in their secondary. Adderley was a standout player for the Oakland coaching staff in Mobile and can be a weapon in their defense because of his versatility. If the Raiders do want to move on from Karl Joseph, this would also give them that flexibility.
28. Los Angeles Chargers – Defensive Tackle, Jeffrey Simmons, Mississippi St.
The Chargers are in position to add the best player available to help give their team more depth. The interior of their defensive line could need some improvement. Simmons won’t be ready to start the season but could help Los Angeles in a playoff push once he gets fully healthy. This is one of the spots that can help Simmons stay inside the 1st round.
29. Kansas City Chiefs – Cornerback, Deandre Baker, Georgia
The Chiefs need to just stick to drafting for their defense in 2019 and it starts with their secondary. Baker offers Kansas City a day one starter that will have an immediate impact on that defense. After moving on from Justin Houston and Dee Ford, plus all the top edge talent off the board, KC should look to the top defensive backs if they stay put.
30. Green Bay Packers – Linebacker, Mack Wilson, Alabama
The Packers could use an upgrade and depth for their inside linebackers. In a weak class at the position I wouldn’t be surprised to see a team take Wilson in the backend of the 1st round. Wilson would give Green Bay an athletic linebacker that has some of the better coverage skills compared to his competition.
31. Los Angeles Rams – Defensive Tackle, Dexter Lawrence, Clemson
The Rams are in position to add depth to their team and plan for any future departures, but they do have a hole left by Ndamukung Suh. Lawrence would be the ideal nose tackle to pair with Aaron Donald. He could help demand attention and use his strength to win one-on-one battles.
32. New England Patriots – Quarterback, Drew Lock, Missouri
The Patriots always find a way to reload every season and not missing a beat. While they do have some needs that can be addressed, they could also look to lock down Brady’s potential replacement on 5-year rookie contract. Or Bill Belichick could build Lock up as a serviceable quarterback and moves him if Brady truly does play for as long as he wants.