Written by Ryan Lippert
Well NFL fans, the time has finally come: draft week is officially here! With the draft just days away, the picture is starting to become clearer. With that, it’s time to make my final predictions. Here is what I believe will happen in the first round Thursday night.
1. Arizona - Kyler Murray, QB (Oklahoma)
I’m sticking with my top pick from my last mock here. Arizona has made it no secret that they’re interested in Murray, even after taking Rosen in last year’s draft. This wouldn’t be what I would do personally, but I truly believe this will be the pick and Murray will be the future face of the Cardinals.
2. San Francisco - Nick Bosa, Edge (Ohio State)
Nothing changes in my top two picks. The 49ers have the chips fall exactly the way they want while they get the top prospect in this draft. Bosa fills a huge need as an edge rusher and will quickly become the face of this San Francisco defense.
3. New York Jets - Josh Allen, Edge (Kentucky)
There is a lot of talk about the Jets wanting to trade out of this spot. However, I see them staying put as they have a chance to get one of the top two edge rushers in this draft. Allen has huge upside here and fills a big need for the Jets. He is great as a pass rusher and in coverage, and I believe he could possibly have an even better career than Bosa.
4. Oakland - Quinnen Williams, DT (Alabama)
The Raiders have the luxury of having three first-round picks in this year’s draft. That said, I have them taking the best player available at this spot. Williams is a top three prospect for me and fills a huge need on the defensive interior for the Raiders. I see him being the immediate face of this defense as he is a huge threat against both the run and the pass.
5. Tampa Bay - Devin White, LB (LSU)
Nothing changes for me with my top five picks in this mock draft. The Buccaneers have a lot of holes to fill on their defense, and I have them getting the best defensive player available at this spot. White fills a major need for them as they just lost Kwon Alexander this offseason. I believe he will actually be an upgrade from Alexander and be a future Pro Bowl caliber player.
6. New York Giants - Jawaan Taylor, OT (Florida)
This is where things begin to change for me. Throughout the whole pre-draft process, I’ve had the Giants taking Haskins here as they need a quarterback. However, they now have the number 17 pick and are reportedly not very high on Haskins. If the second part is true, they can wait on the quarterback and add another piece to their offensive line. Taylor is the best offensive lineman available and becomes an instant starter at tackle.
7. Jacksonville - TJ Hockenson, TE (Iowa)
If Taylor is still on the board here, he is their guy. Unfortunately, he doesn’t in this scenario. With that in mind, I have the Jaguars getting another weapon for new quarterback Nick Foles. Hockenson would fill a huge need at tight end and become an immediate go-to guy for Foles in the passing game.
8. Detroit - Clelin Ferrell, Edge (Clemson)
Detroit is a team that has many needs on the defensive side of the ball. Their biggest need? Edge rusher. I had Sweat mocked to them here, but with rumors that teams are taking him off their boards due to his heart condition, I believe he falls lower than this. With that, the next best prospect at this position would be Ferrell. Ferrell had an outstanding career at Clemson and will be an immediate starter in Detroit.
9. Buffalo - Jonah Williams, OT (Alabama)
Luckily, the Bills won’t have to be in the quarterback market this year since they seem to have finally found their guy in Josh Allen. With that in mind, their next order of business is finding him some more protection. Williams is the second best offensive lineman in this class and would be a great fit in Buffalo. He would be an immediate starter at tackle and could also slide inside to guard if they ever needed him to.
10. Denver - Drew Lock, QB (Missouri)
Even though they just signed Joe Flacco, the Broncos will be in the market for their quarterback of the future. Haskins is my best quarterback available here, but it has been reported on multiple occasions that Lock is their guy in Denver. Lock would be a great fit to learn behind Flacco and could eventually take over if he were to struggle or get injured.
11. Cincinnati - Dwayne Haskins, QB (Ohio State)
The Bengals are in an interesting position here as they have huge needs on defense and on the offensive line. However, they also have a quarterback in Andy Dalton that has struggled. I believe it’s time for them to move on if they want to truly compete. Haskins can come into camp and compete for the starting job and eventually take it from Dalton.
12. Green Bay - Andre Dillard, OT (Washington State)
I had Hockenson picked at this spot in my last mock but he isn’t available in this scenario. The Packers could also go defense here, but I believe that offensive line is the safe pick. Dillard is the best available offensive tackle at this spot and would make an immediate impact on this offensive line, providing more protection for Aaron Rodgers.
13. Miami - Montez Sweat, Edge (Mississippi State)
Miami is another team that could be in the quarterback market. Unfortunately, the top three guys are already off the board and the Dolphins aren’t in a “win now” situation. Because of this, they can wait until next year for a QB. Edge is their next need and Sweat is the best available player at the position. As I already addressed, he has health concerns, but his potential is too high to pass on at this pick.
14. Atlanta - Ed Oliver, DT (Houston)
The Falcons get one of the steals of the draft right here as they land a top-five prospect in this draft. Oliver fills a huge need for the Falcons on the defensive interior and becomes an immediate impact player. He is great as a pass rusher and a run stopper and will be a Pro Bowl caliber player if he lives up to his potential.
15. Washington - D.K. Metcalf, WR (Ole Miss)
I’m sticking with my pick here for the Redskins. Some people have them in the quarterback market, but I’m one of few believers in Case Keenum; if given some weapons, he can be a solid starter. Metcalf is the best receiver in this draft and will be Keenum’s go-to guy. If he stays healthy, Metcalf will be the next great wide receiver in the league.
16. Carolina - Brian Burns, Edge (Florida State)
The Panthers are a team that is just a few pieces away from truly competing in the NFC. One of those pieces they are missing: a true edge rusher. Burns would fill that hole for the Panthers. He is the best available edge rusher at this spot and would be a steal here as some mock drafts have him going as high as the top 10.
17. New York Giants (via Cleveland) - Daniel Jones, QB (Duke)
After taking an offensive lineman with their first pick, the Giants are still in the market for a quarterback. As previously mentioned, they can wait until this spot to get their guy. Jones isn’t a quarterback that I’m high on or believe is first round worthy. However, he is reportedly the guy the Giants are looking at. He won’t be the immediate starter, but he can take over if Eli continues to struggle.
18. Minnesota - Cody Ford, OL (Oklahoma)
This is another pick that I don’t see changing. It was clear this past season the Vikings have a major need for offensive linemen. At No. 18, Ford is the best available remaining. He is a great fit here as he can start at guard or tackle, depending on where the Vikings feel they need him the most.
19. Tennessee - Noah Fant, TE (Iowa)
The Titans are a team that struggled down the stretch last season as they were in the running for the AFC South title for the first half of the season. Marcus Mariota is still a good young quarterback, but it’s obvious he doesn’t have many weapons around him. I have them adding a nice weapon here with Fant. He will play alongside Delanie Walker and will eventually be their TE1 as he is a huge threat in the vertical passing game.
20. Pittsburgh - Devin Bush Jr., LB (Michigan)
As a Steelers fan, this is the best possible scenario for Pittsburgh on draft night. The chips have fallen their way on they get their guy with Bush, filling a major need on this defense at inside linebacker. This pick gives them the athletic linebacker that they have been missing since losing Shazier and will be the face of their defense for many years to come.
21. Seattle - Rashan Gary, DL (Michigan)
I have two Michigan defensive players going back-to-back here. The Seahawks are in need of a defensive lineman/edge player, and Gary could fill both positions for them. I’m not very high on him, but he makes sense here as he can play off the edge or slide inside on the defensive line.
22. Baltimore - A.J. Brown , WR (Ole Miss)
I’ve decided to stick with my pick here for Baltimore. The Ravens need a wide receiver for Lamar Jackson and could go with many different options. For me, Brown is my WR2 and would be the immediate WR1 for the Ravens. He will help stretch the field as a deep threat and could be a potential Pro Bowl wide receiver.
23. Houston - Garrett Bradbury, OL (NC State)
The Texans have been a team on the rise but still have some holes to fill. The biggest of these needs is offensive line. Bradbury is the best offensive lineman available at this selection. He can start at guard immediately or even move to center if the Texans needed him to. This will help give Watson some more protection and possibly open up the run game.
24. Oakland (via Chicago) - Greedy Williams, CB (LSU)
With one of the picks they received in the Khalil Mack trade, I have the Raiders getting some more help on the defensive side of the ball. Williams isn’t my top corner, but I see him being the top guy on Oakland’s board. He is a long, fast corner who will be an immediate starter on this Raiders defense.
25. Philadelphia - Byron Murphy, CB (Washington)
In the beginning of the pre-draft process, I had the Eagles taking a running back, Now that they have Jordan Howard, I have them addressing their new biggest need at cornerback. Murphy is my top corner in this class and will be a Week One starter in Philadelphia. He is a little on the small side but is a great coverage corner and does a good job at coming downhill to provide run support.
26. Indianapolis - Christian Wilkins, DT (Clemson)
The Colts are another team that I have their pick staying the same in this mock draft. They could look at a wide receiver, but this class is deep at that position. Another huge need they have is at defensive tackle, and Wilkins fills that role. He is the safest pick available here, and I see him being an immediate starter for the Colts, becoming a very solid player in the future.
27. Oakland (via Dallas) - Josh Jacobs, RB (Alabama)
After addressing the defensive side of the ball with their first two selections, I have the Raiders adding a weapon on offense here. They have a huge need at the running back position and Jacobs is the best player at the position. While I’m not sold on this running back class, this pick makes sense for the Raiders, and Jacobs will be their Week One starter.
28. Los Angeles Chargers - Jeffery Simmons, DT (Mississippi State)
I’m sticking with the guy that I have had the Chargers pick throughout the entire pre-draft process, If it weren’t for his injury and past off the field issues, Simmons would be a top-10 pick. The Chargers are already a contender in the AFC, and one of their only huge needs is at defensive tackle. Once Simmons is ready to play, he will be an immediate starter and potential Pro Bowl caliber player if he lives up to his high ceiling.
29. Kansas City - Deandre Baker, CB (Georgia)
In my last mock draft, I had the Chiefs picking a wide receiver mainly because there wasn’t a good enough corner available. Luckily, they have one fall in this scenario. After losing Steven Nelson in free agency, they will be looking for a starter at corner, and Baker will fill that role immediately. I’m willing to believe he could even be an upgrade from Nelson.
30. Green Bay - Nasir Adderley, S (Delaware)
After getting some much needed help on the offensive line with their first pick, I have the Packers addressing their defense here. With the departure of Ha Ha Clinton-DIx, they need another safety. Adderley is my top safety in this class and would be an immediate starter alongside Adrian Amos in this Packers secondary.
31. Los Angeles Rams - Erik McCoy, OL (Texas A&M)
After falling short in a very sloppy Super Bowl, the Rams are looking to stay in the mix this season. They don’t have many huge needs but could use some improvement on the offensive line. McCoy is a great fit here as he can play guard or center. I see them possibly sliding him to center to replace John Sullivan.
32. New England - Marquise Brown, WR (Oklahoma)
The defending Super Bowl champs wrap up the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. I had them originally drafting a tight end to replace Gronkowski, but I believe this could be too high for that position. Despite this belief, I still have them adding an offensive weapon. Brown is a good fit for the Patriots here as they can move him around the formation, and he’s a huge big play threat like his cousin Antonio.