Written By: Roy Countryman @Blitzalytics @PreacherBoyRoy
We are coming down the home stretch in draft preparations, with only pro days and pre-draft visits left on the schedule before we arrive in Nashville for the NFL Draft. This is my third mock draft of the offseason, and we have seen some stock rise and drop with the more the scout and front offices vet out character and athletic questions, and now their big boards come more into focus. Enjoy the madness….
Arizona Cardinals trade Josh Rosen, QB to Los Angeles Chargers for their 3rd Rd. Pick #92.
1.Arizona Cardinals- Kyler Murray: QB, Oklahoma
The Cardinals go get their man. Murray is a perfect fit for Kingsbury’s offensive system, and behind a reinvented OL should get a chance to make plays early and often. With the Cardinals announcing the trade of Josh Rosen to the Chargers just prior to the draft, it paves the way for Murray to become a dual threat phenomenon in the NFL and the face of the Cardinals.
2.San Francisco 49ers- Nick Bosa: Edge, Ohio State
Yes, the 49ers traded for talented pass rusher Dee Ford, but they need to continually add playmakers on the front seven, and when given the chance to bookend Bosa with Ford it puts offenses on notice that they are coming to get the QB. It also allows them to utilize former 1st rounder, Solomon Thomas as a chess piece pass rusher rather than just as an outside pass rusher.
3. New York Jets- Josh Allen: Edge, Kentucky
Whether the Jets run a 3-4 or 4-3 alignment it doesn’t matter because Allen will be able to show off his dynamic pass-rushing chops, and if need be can drop off into coverage and make some plays as well. Adding more star power to this team is needed and Allen gives them a notable presence off the Edge they have severely lacked.
4. Oakland Raiders- Quinnen Williams: IDL, Alabama
The Raiders have made some monumental moves this offseason and now they add the best interior defensive presence in the draft. Williams consistently puts OL on their heels with a dynamic package of quickness and strength and will boost the Raiders front seven with a force from the interior.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Devin White: LB, LSU
The Bucs lost Kwon Alexander to the 49ers in FA, and need an injection of athleticism to their LB corp, and they get one of the best in the class. White has rare speed and ability for a MLB and with Todd Bowles, at the helm, he will utilize him in ways to be a difference maker early and often.
6. New York Giants- Dwayne Haskins: QB, Ohio State
The Giants trade of OBJ signals the winds of a rebuild, but the Giants want to still compete so they select their QB of the future knowing that they have the #17 selection to help bring another player on board who can make a more immediate impact. Having Haskins sit behind Eli and learn the system will be invaluable for his future success.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars- T.J. Hockenson: TE, Iowa
The Jaguars got their man under center now in Nick Foles, and during his time in Philly he loved targeting his TE’s, so the Jags go out and get not only the best TE in the draft but also one of the best run blockers as well which fits right in with how they want their offense run.
8.Detroit Lions- Ed Oliver: IDL, Houston
Matt Patricia is a defensive coordinator at heart, and with the addition of Trey Flowers, he showed his hand at what he values in defenders along the DL: versatility. Oliver could use his dynamic abilities all along the DL and not be pin down to one distinct position due to some of the talented DL on the roster in Damon Harrison, A’Shawn Robinson, and Da’Shawn Hand. He could be a true difference maker as an interior pass rusher in year one.
9.Buffalo Bills- Traded to Steelers- Devin Bush: LB, Michigan
Trade Details- Steelers get: 1st Rd. #9
Bills get: 1st Rd. #20, 3rd Rd. #84, 6th Rd. #176 (f/OAK), and a 2020 4th Rd. pick
With one of their top targets off the board already in Devin White, and two teams in the Broncos and Bengals licking their chops to pick the other top LB in this class the Steelers trade up to secure their man. This Steelers team is severely lacking a playmaker at the LB position since Shazier went down with his gruesome injury. White is an immediate impact player in the rushing and passing game who can be inserted into a defense that is going to need to step up with their offense looking like it may regress without Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell.
10. Denver Broncos- Jonah Williams: OL, Alabama
The Broncos who were set to draft Devin Bush pivot to their second best option in Jonah Williams who may slide inside to G and give them a chance to allow Joe Flacco time to carve up defenses. Williams is an ideal pick to partner with new OL coach Mike Munchak and it would not surprise me to see him make the Pro Bowl in his first year a la Zack Martin.
11. Cincinnati Bengals- Daniel Jones: QB, Duke
Boom! Stunner! But Drew Lock is still on the board!!! Yes, he is, but looking over the QB’s that new HC Zac Taylor has worked with in his history the name I kept coming back to that fits his style in Daniel Jones. Jones is a big bodied and athletic passer who is adept at getting the ball out in time and with accuracy which Taylor values more than pure arm strength. We all know new HC like to tie themselves to a QB that they like and this is his chance at usurping Dalton’s starting spot in year one.
12. Green Bay Packers- Cody Ford: OG/OT, Oklahoma
I know the mock draft world is pining for Noah Fant here, but the Packers already have a similar TE in Jimmy Graham on the roster, and I think that the Packers FO is going to be more concerned with keeping Aaron Rodgers upright and healthy than finding another pass catcher. They select Cody Ford because of his ability to play RT or as an OG. He is a physical and aggressive blocker who doesn’t lose a ton of reps and would make for a quality addition to the OL.
13. Miami Dolphins- Jawaan Taylor: OT, Florida
What no QB for Miami? That’s right I don’t see them liking any of these QBs as much as they like the prospective crop of QB’s in next years draft. So why not start building the foundation before the house. They have Tunsil at LT and just allowed Ja’Wuan James to leave for Denver so they replace him with a young and physical OT in Jawaan Taylor who can help keep bridge QB, Fitzpatrick upright and get some experience for their next franchise QB.
14.Atlanta Falcons- Dexter Lawrence: DT, Clemson
The Falcons slapped the franchise tag on Grady Jarrett and look to keep him long term, so now they add a big-bodied DL to help deter OL from double teaming him all the while keeping those fast and hard-hitting LBs clean to flow to the ball and make plays.
15. Washington Redskins- Traded to Raiders- Rashan Gary: Edge, Michigan
Trade Details- Raiders get: 1st Rd. #15, 3rd Rd. #77
Redskins get: 1st Rd. #27, 2nd Rd. #35, 5th Rd. #141 (f/NYJ)
The Redskins are not sold on any of the QBs enough to take them this high, so they start the process of looking at trading down and accruing more picks, and they find a taker in none other than the head coaches brother Jon Gruden. The Raiders jump back up in Round one to pick one of the most versatile pass rushers in this draft to add to this vicious and ferocious front 7 they are building. Gary told Gruden while being interviewed at the Combine, “I am the guy who will solve your pass rushing problems”. Well, now we will get to see if he is right.
16. Carolina Panthers- Montez Sweat: Edge, Mississippi State
Sweat has elite athletic measurables as were evidenced by his performance at the NFL Combine, but he also had a medical red flag arise with a heart issue. The Panthers have experience with such issues, even drafting a player previously in Star Lotulelei that was flagged as well during the Combine only later to be cleared to play. The Panthers value pass rushers and this is a value they cannot pass up.
17. New York Giants (f/CLE)- Brian Burns: Edge, Florida State
After grabbing their QB of the future at pick #6, they come back and get defensive coordinator James Bettcher an exciting pass rusher to add to his front seven. Burns is one of the most refined pass rushers in this class and stands a chance to put up quality sack numbers in year one with the G Men because of their lack of pass rushers on the roster.
18. Minnesota Vikings- Andre Dillard: OT, Washington State
The OL play of the Vikings last year was one of the reasons that Kirk Cousins looked terrible. They add the best pass blocking OT in the draft, and slot him in to be Cousin’s blindside protector in year one while sliding incumbent LT, Riley Reiff inside to OG thus further solidifying the OL as a whole.
19. Tennessee Titans- Noah Fant: TE, Iowa
The Titans are known for having some of the best TE play in the NFL over that last 5 years, and with this selection, they look to keep having it for the foreseeable future. Fant is a dynamic pass catcher who needs more motivation in the run blocking department, but he will get to be mentored by one of the best in the business in Delanie Walker. He will also help out Marcus Mariota by giving him another big-bodied target who can win one on one matchups.
20.Pittsburgh Steelers- Traded to Bills- D.K. Metcalf: WR, Ole Miss
The Bills trade back hoping that Andre Dillard would be available to help keep Josh Allen clean, but they have a nice consolation prize left to pick up. They select the freak athlete that plays WR in D.K. Metcalf. We all know the numbers he put up at the Combine including the non-sustainable body fat measurement, but it is his vertical prowess that makes this pick make sense with the Howlitzer-armed Josh Allen.
21. Seattle Seahawks- Juan Thornhill: S, Virginia
The Seahawks love athletes, pure as simple and they are not afraid to go off script of who they selecting from who the media is picking. Thornhill was known to be a day two valued safety going into the Combine, but then blew up the testing which put the onus back on his tape which is outstanding. The need for a true center fielder in Seattle is needed in this reimagined secondary and Thornhill would be a great addition to those young guns on the roster.
22. Baltimore Ravens- N’Keal Harry: WR, Arizona State
Baltimore is running a vastly different offense from the rest of the league with Lamar Jackson under center. Harry is a big-bodied target who runs with nasty intentions after the catch, he also has a wide catching radius which can help mask some of the accuracy inefficiencies with Jackson's passing ability.
23. Houston Texans- Byron Murphy: CB, Washington
Houston lost two key secondary pieces through free agency in Tyrann Mathieu and Kareem Jackson. The thing they lost most from those two players is versatility and Murphy could be a terrific addition to this defense because he can be utilized from a number of positions and represents one of the best ballhawks in this draft class.
24. Oakland Raiders (f/CHI)- Greedy Williams: CB, LSU
With all the additions Gruden and Mayock have made over the course of this offseason they haven’t added a ton to the CB room, so they take a tremendously talented CB who understands how to be a pest at the catch point but needs to tighten up his tackling and pursuit effort.
25. Philadelphia Eagles- Tytus Howard: OT, Alabama State
Another curveball in the first round. Philadelphia is paying close attention to this athletic big man, and look to add him to the equation to be the LT of the future. He would be afforded the opportunity of sitting behind one of the best LT of the past decade in Jason Peters with whom he shares some size and skill similarities and then get thrown out as the blind side protector in 2020.
26. Indianapolis Colts- Jeffery Simmons: IDL, Mississippi State
Without a disappointing ACL tear, the Colts would not be afforded the opportunity to select Simmons. When healthy he is a dynamic presence as a pass rusher along the interior of the defensive line. This pick just fits with the value that Chris Ballard has been able to find over the course of last year’s draft and his free agency signings.
27. Oakland Raiders (f/DAL)- Traded to Redskins- Drew Lock: QB, Missouri
After trading down to a more comfortable position and picking up additional draft capital the Redskins select their QB of the future. Bruce Allen was at his pro day, and we all know he makes the decision in Washington, but Lock is a quality add at this point of the first round. The Redskins have struggled to push the ball downfield vertically over the course of the last 5 years, and with Lock, in tow, there will be no trouble in that department in the years to come.
28. Los Angeles Chargers- Kaleb McGary: OT, Washington
One of the best stories of the draft McGary has survived a health scare that involved his heart in high school to become one of the least talked about quality OL in this draft. McGary is a nasty temperament RT who has the athleticism to pass protect the edge against quality pass rushers as well as be able to gain some movement in the running game. Would be a quality addition to a Chargers OL that needs reinforcements.
29. Kansas City Chiefs- Garrett Bradbury: C, N.C. State
After seeing Mitch Morse leave for greener pastures in Buffalo the Chiefs strike gold with the best C in the class falling into their laps. Teaming him up with Mahomes for the next decade will be an ideal scenario come draft day for Kansas City due to his intelligence and rare athleticism from the C position.
30. Green Bay Packers (f/NO)- Irv Smith Jr.: TE, Alabama
After selecting some OL help for Aaron Rodgers the Packers come back and get him a versatile weapon from the TE position in Irv Smith Jr. He can be utilized in a number of ways from FB, Move TE, In-Line TE, to Slot WR. He has great athleticism and hands to make a difference as a pass catcher and he also is a quality blocker.
31. Los Angeles Rams- Chris Lindstrom: OG, Boston College
After seeing Roger Saffold leave for Tennessee and then cutting John Sullivan the Rams will need to continually add talent to the IOL, and they get it in Chris Lindstrom. He is a fluid moving OG who can pull and work in space with ease as well as show some power as a drive blocker, he would be a quality addition to the Super Bowl runner up in trying to keep Goff upright.
32. New England Patriots- Jerry Tillery: IDL, Notre Dame
The Patriots could go in a host of different directions, but they select the intelligent and uber-athletic DL in Tillery. He put on a show at the Combine all the while knowing he needed surgery to repair a labrum issue. He was a wrecking ball while at Notre Dame and at times he would ragdoll OL, with Belichick and co. there to motivate him it would not surprise me to see him vastly outplay his draft slot.
There you go draft world, let me hear it if you think I got your team’s pick right or if I am way off track!