Written by: Nick Farabaugh
With mid-season and the trade deadline passing us by, the needs of many teams in the league have become increasingly apparent. General Managers start realizing that they are simply not in contention for a playoff spot any longer, and they are looking towards the 2019 NFL Draft.
For just about every team in the top 6, that is true, and they unloaded at the deadline. The Raiders, in particular, gave away Amari Cooper and have a strong focus on the draft.
Thus, using the likely outcomes here, and with the current draft order, we take a look at a mid-season mock draft.
1. New York Giants
Pick: Justin Herbert, QB - Oregon
Eli Manning is simply washed. The Giants passed on Rosen, Allen, and Darnold in the past draft for Saquon Barkley, and no matter your opinion of Barkley, most people knew Manning was done and that a new QB was needed.
The Giants need that franchise QB that can transform this team and lead them to the promised land with that great offensive core they have. They have lots of other holes on the defense, and Nick Bosa is tempting here, but QB has to be the way to go.
Herbert is seemingly the surest thing in the draft, and he shows exactly what you would like arm strength and accuracy wise. Simply put, this is a player the Giants need to and should go after.
2. San Francisco 49ers
Pick: Nick Bosa, EDGE - Ohio State
Bosa is the surest thing in the draft and the top talent on the board regardless of what you think about the rest of the class. Nick Bosa might be the better Bosa, as he has more explosiveness and better hands off the line overall.
With the versatility and level of play Bosa has shown on tape, this is a no brainer for the 49ers. They have needs in the secondary and at receiver, sure, but Bosa is a can’t miss guy here. This is an easy pick, John Lynch.
3. Oakland Raiders
Pick: Deionte Thompson, Safety - Alabama
With three first round picks, the Raiders can address a plethora of needs on both sides of the ball. And edge rusher is absolutely the biggest need, but all three levels of the defense need help.
Thompson would immediately change the defense for the better. He is a special player, and probably the best player in the draft in terms of DBs. He can play single-high and be a player with some of the best recognition and coverage skills in the draft.
4. Arizona Cardinals
Pick: Ed Oliver, IDL - Houston
The Cardinals defense is not terrible and doesn’t actually have that many holes on it, but the interior defensive line needs an upgrade. With guys like Chandler Jones off the edge, Ed Oliver is the seemingly consensus #2 D-lineman in the class. He’s an easy pick.
His athleticism is elite for a guy that plays on the defensive line, and he is a blur of a pass rusher. This is the type of player that changes the front of the defense, and with elite players on the defense already, the Cardinals will transform their defense right away.
5. Buffalo Bills
Pick: Kelvin Harmon, WR - NC State
The Bills can go in a bunch of different directions here. One thing I do know is that it has to be on the offensive side of the ball. Josh Allen is being laid out on a platter here with a subpar offensive line and no key weapons outside of LeSean McCoy.
Thus, they take the guy who has everything you would want in an NFL receiver. Harmon has elite size, hands, contested catch ability, and anything and everything else. The NFL is already falling in love with him, and this should be a slam dunk pick.
6. Cleveland Browns
Pick: Jonah Williams, OT - Alabama
The Browns have to get Baker Mayfield a tackle to protect him, because Mayfield is currently running for his life out there. So, why not take the best offensive tackle in the draft? Williams is an athlete with elite strength who has some great length to stop the top edge rushers in the class. He has not been dominated once and locks down the LT spot all day. The Browns get their Joe Thomas replacement right away and protect their young QB.
7. Indianapolis Colts
Pick: Quinnen Williams, IDL - Alabama
At this point, the Colts have the offense they want, but they need a pass rush badly. With the young Kemoko Turay showing promise off the edge, Williams going inside would give the Colts an elite player at all three levels of their defense.
WIlliams’ violent hands and ability to get easy penetration might just be the best since Aaron Donald came out of Pitt. He is seriously great player and would make the Colts much, much better.
8. New York Jets
Pick: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE - Clemson
The Jets need a pass rusher badly to pair with their improving DL and young, growing secondary. I thought of many different ways they could have gone, but passing on a solid, fundamental football player like Ferrell is not the way you improve your defense.
Ferrell adds a good pass rusher off the edge with great run defense to add to it. He would complete the Jets defense rather nicely, and finally give them more than a marginal pass rush.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars
Pick: Drew Lock, QB - Missouri
Listen, that defense is fantastic, but if you think you are going to go anywhere with Blake Bortles, it is just not gonna happen. That has to be the Jaguars number one priority this offseason, so they will go for the QB with the big arm as he is the flashy pick.
I am not particularly high on Lock and feel he is in the Josh Allen range of QBs, but he very well might be better than Bortles, as Lock can at the least process the field and control the ball. It is only sensible for the Jaguars to fix their QB situation.
10. Denver Broncos
Pick: Mack Wilson, ILB - Alabama
I was thinking it was possible to go DB here, but with Brandon Marshall likely walking after the season is over, the Broncos will need a playmaker in the middle to build this defense around. Thus, the athletic freak that is Mack Wilson comes about. His intangibles are off the charts and he is as developed of an ILB as you will see in this draft. Wilson is a really special linebacker that can change and man a defense.
11. Tennessee Titans
Pick: Hakeem Butler, WR - Iowa State
The Titans might need some help on defense, particularly on the defensive line, but they need a wide receiver more than anything else. Corey Davis has not progressed as well as they have wished and outside of him, there is not much there.
Thus, welcome the big-bodied Hakeem Butler. Butler has the frame and elite catching ability you want from a #1 receiver. His ability to win one-on-one and be a deep play threat as well as a solid route runner give the Titans something they would not have had before. This is a game changing pick for Marcus Mariota, too.
12. Oakland Raiders (via Dallas)
Pick: Brian Burns, EDGE - Florida State
This is a historically deep edge class for the Raiders to pick in, and they need it badly. They have about four or five guys they could pick from, but they end up picking Burns because of how polished he is on the outside.
His skills to have a variety of moves and great hands allow him to win at all times. And he is super fast around that edge, and combining that with his bend, he is an elite edge prospect. This would be some consolation for getting rid of Khalil Mack, although I would have rather seen them together.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pick: Daniel Jones, QB - Duke
The Buccaneers are seemingly done with Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick is absolutely not the answer here. Unfortunately, the QB class is not that deep, but Jones is an intriguing prospect to say the least.He has great anticipation and arm strength. His mechanics and processing will need some work, but no doubt that he has the tools there to be the starter eventually. As long as the Buccaneers go out and get a bridge at QB, perhaps Tyrod Taylor, they will be completely fine with Jones as their future QB.
14. Detroit Lions
Pick: Greedy Williams, CB - LSU
So Williams gets the Marshon Lattimore slide here. The board just did not shake out in Williams’ favor, and he falls all the way to 14 and the Lions get an absolute steal here. The Lions need a CB opposite of Darius Slay and Williams fixes that in every way possible.He is an elite press corner and is athletic, giving the Lions much needed speed on the outside. He plays with some swagger and has the ball skills you want in a first round cornerback. Slay and Williams would be a lethal duo on the outside.
15. Atlanta Falcons
Pick: Jachai Polite, EDGE - Florida
I just can’t pass up on Polite here for the Falcons. They have a need at IDL and could pair an elite player with Grady Jarrett, but Vic Beasley is inconsistent and very well could be leaving the Falcons soon enough. Polite and Takk McKinley would combine to form one of the best edge duos in the game. Both are speed rushers with great bend around the edge, no matter how you slice it. Polite flies around the edge and with his type of athleticism, and it will make QBs fear this Falcons defense that much more.
16. Miami Dolphins
Pick: Dwayne Haskins, QB - Ohio State
The Dolphins seemingly are nearing the end of the Ryan Tannehill era, and while they can still ride him out for a year or two, he is not the answer to a team if you want to win a Super Bowl.Thus, Haskins comes in. There is no guarantee Haskins declares, but his athleticism and arm talent combo shows he has the flashes to be a franchise QB. He needs to work on ball placement and processing, but Haskins has a lot of promise. I hope he goes back to school, but if he comes out, the Dolphins would jump all over a guy like him.
17. Philadelphia Eagles
Pick: Byron Murphy, CB - Washington
The Eagles are loaded all over the spectrum with talent everywhere, but CB has really been their achilles heel, partially with regards to performance and injuries. Ronald Darby may walk and if he does, Sidney Jones and Avonte Maddox look promising, but they will need a true #1 CB. Byron Murphy brings that straight to the table. He has the aggressiveness, swagger, ball skills, and athleticism to be the top cornerback that the Eagles need. Murphy immediately makes a weakness a strength. He and Sidney Jones would make an incredibly solid CB room in Philadelphia.
18. Baltimore Ravens
Pick: J.J Arcega-Whiteside, WR - Stanford
If you want to change an offense and give it a clear #1 option, Arcega Whiteside would immediately give Baltimore just that. There is no elite RB, and they already have a savvy possession receiver in Michael Crabtree, and a small, shifty deep threat in John Brown.
So, a huge red zone target and the go-to option in the offense can become Arcega-Whiteside, as he has elite contested catch skills and solid route running as a whole. He immediately changes the Ravens offense to one more dangerous than before.
19. Green Bay Packers
Pick: Montez Sweat, EDGE - Mississippi State
This Packers defense needs a boost somewhere. They seldom get any pass rush, and with Clay Matthews aging and on the decline, they need an injection of youth in that pass rush.Sweat is a bit raw, but as a speed rusher, his combination of explosiveness, bend, and hand-to-hand skills allow him to stick out as a great prospect on the edge. With even more help from Matthews, Sweat could become one of the best in the league.
20. Minnesota Vikings
Pick: Jeffery Simmons, IDL - Mississippi State
If Simmons does fall this far, this is an easy pick for the VIkings to sprint to the podium.
If there is one area on defense the VIkings can improve on, and it would along the DL. Simmons instantly becomes a strong man with quickness on the line. He improves their run defense and will be able to get pass rush up the middle. The rich simply get richer here.
21. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago)
Pick: Devin White, ILB - LSU
Whew, the Raiders need help literally everywhere, and linebacker is one of the most pressing. Tahir Whitehead is nice, but outside of him, there is not much of note.
White is an alpha male on LSU’s defense, and while he is raw in processing, White can give this team some much needed speed in the middle of the field. This changes the defense, especially in the run, where they rank 26th overall.
22. Seattle Seahawks
Pick: DeAndre Baker, CB - Georgia
The Seahawks have a gutted secondary and need a CB badly. Shaquem Griffin has looked good, but there are not many bright spots outside of him in the CB room. They go with one of the more aggressive and heavily man-centric corners in Baker. His ability to be incredibly sticky and make plays on the ball allow him to get 1st round status. It does not hurt that he has been lockdown all over his film, too.
23. Houston Texans
Pick: Dalton Risner, OT - Kansas State
With Deshaun Watson and the offense working at all levels, and the defense at least being competent, the Texans have one clear need — offensive line. Risner gives them a nimble-footed lineman with the length and footwork to take on top edge rushers in the NFL. He is a complete package, and might take just a bit to develop, but he is a good one.
24. Cincinnati Bengals
Pick: Raekwon Davis, IDL - Alabama
Geno Atkins is elite, but he is 31 years old and in the final year of his deal. Chris Baker will likely leave at season’s end and Andrew Billings is better suited as a rotational guy than a starter. With Davis falling down the board far past his talent level, this is an easy pick despite needs elsewhere. His low-center of play and strength combine to make him a fearsome penetrational pass rusher. His explosiveness off the line also adds the element of quick pass rush up the middle.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers
Pick: Amani Oruwariye, CB - Penn State
Oh man, do the Steelers need some CB help. Artie Burns has been a bust and with Coty Sensabaugh currently starting opposite of Joe Haden, it is needless to say that it less than ideal for the Steelers.
With Oruwariye, the Steelers acquire an elite man coverage corner with great length, and more importantly, ball skills. This would be a steal for the Steelers and shore up the most suspect area of their defense.
26. Washington Redskins
Pick: N’Keal Harry, WR - Arizona State
The Redskins really need some WR help, no matter how you slice it. They are weak and the whiff on Josh Doctson (to this point) as not helped them by any means.
Harry is a contested catch monster who consistently has a big impact in the red zone and in the deep passing game due to his 6’6” frame. I know Harry is not necessarily the most athletic or the smoothest guy, but Washington needs some playmaking ability at receiver.
27. Los Angeles Chargers
Pick: Josh Allen, EDGE - Kentucky
Pairing this monster of a riser with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram? Yes, please.
Allen has become so much more polished from last year, as he finally uses his speed to power and has a variety of moves. His hands have improved drastically and he is an impressive coverage OLB for sure. He offers pass rush wherever they need it.
28. Carolina Panthers
Pick: Jaquan Johnson, S - Miami
The Panthers need an edge rusher, but they also need a safety as bad as anyone could. Eric Reid is nice, but there is no guarantee that he comes back next season to the Panthers.With that in mind, they get a true leader in the secondary and one of my favorite players due to his aggressiveness on the field, Jaquan Johnson. He dominates in the box, and can drop back and still not be a liability in coverage. He is the one DB that everyone is sleeping on.
29. New England Patriots
Pick: Rashan Gary, EDGE - Michigan
Well, this is only slightly scary…..okay, no, it’s downright terrifying. New England knows it needs pass rush help, and with an athletic specimen such as Gary, who can play in multiple fronts on the edge and inside at the 3 tech, the Patriots would add an elite prospect near the end of the first round. He is raw, but man, he is just so, so explosive.
30. Green Bay Packers (via New Orleans)
Pick: AJ Brown, WR - Ole Miss
Brown may not be the most athletic guy, but he sure is a polished receiver, no matter how you slice it. The Packers need some WR help, and although Davante Adams is great and EQ St. Brown has shown promise, it is undeniable that the Packers would love to get a slot guy who can run crisp routes and move the chains. That is what AJ Brown will give them. He offers good production, as he is that versatile at WR.
31. Kansas City Chiefs
Pick: Bryce Hall, CB - Virginia
A late riser on the board, Bryce Hall’s great man coverage skills and length immediately put him in the first round conversation.
The Chiefs have Kendall Fuller, but they desperately need an aggressive corner with ball skills across from him. Hall gives them that, with enough discipline that he can go toe-to-toe with even the fastest receivers in the league.
32. Los Angeles Rams
Pick: Noah Fant, TE - Iowa
I’m so sorry for the rest of the NFL if this actually happens. If you think that the Rams are hard to stop now, adding a field stretching, athletic tight end would put this offense in all-time best categories. Fant is the best TE in the draft and gives the Rams that over-the-middle target they need for long passing downs. Fant would become a mismatch and is a solid blocker, which only adds to his intrigue in Los Angeles.