We don’t have any Colorado Buffaloes going in this mock, but it’s still fun to guess at what the upcoming 2019 NFL Draft will look like. Hint: trash QBs and lots of defensive lineman. Also, weirdly, lots of Mississippi players.
1. Oakland Raiders — Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
The Raiders are bad at just about everything. They have so many holes to fill on their disastrous roster, most notably lacking an edge rusher after their trade of Khalil Mack. Nick Bosa is the consensus No. 1 pick and could be a day-one star at a position of need.
2. Arizona Cardinals — Ed Oliver, DL, Houston
The Cardinals need an infusion of talent. They have plenty of needs on the offensive side — particularly on the offensive line — but in a draft loaded with game changing defensive linemen, they add to their defensive line with the monstrous Oliver.
3. San Francisco 49ers — Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama
The 49ers were supposed to contend for the playoffs, but with a rash of injuries, most notably to Jimmy Garoppolo, they’re in a position to bolster their defense with a top-5 pick. Here they would take Williams, who has been the best defender in college football as the tsunami behind the Crimson Tide. There’s a reason he earned first place Heisman votes ahead of Kyler Murray and Tua Tagovailoa.
4. New York Jets — Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
The Jets should draft an offensive weapon to bolster the least talented offense in the NFL and give Sam Darnold some much-needed help, but this isn’t the draft for that. Otherwise, they should probably trade down because they owe their second round pick to Indianapolis. BUT if they do draft here, Josh Allen is the best edge rusher after Bosa.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars — Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
The Jags’ season from hell may turn out to help them out of the mess they’ve created with Blake Bortles. Herbert won’t likely fix their protect offense — not yet, at least — but he’s a polished and accurate passer who should be serviceable as starter. In a draft weak on QBs, a mediocre passer is worth reaching for with the 5th pick.
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
The Buccs have one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL and it’s mostly the fault of their cornerbacks, who have been intermittently injured and trash. Deandre Baker is an elite prospect with the size, athleticism and polish to keep up with the Michael Thomases and Julio Joneses of the NFC South. Shoutout to Mel Tucker for developing him.
7. New York Giants — Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Eli Manning is washed. You know, Odell Beckham knows, everyone but Pat Shurmur knows. Haskins doesn’t profile as a future star QB, but the Giants just need an accurate passer capable of getting the ball to Odell and Saquon Barkley. Once they have that (and a decent offensive line), they should get back to the playoffs.
8. Detroit Lions — Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
The Lions’ defensive line. They thought they would mitigate their issues by adding defensive tackle Damon Harrison at the trade deadline, but it hasn’t changed much. Now with Ziggy Ansah on the brink of free agency, there’s a pressing need for Detroit to grab the best defensive lineman left on the board.
9. Buffalo Bills — Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
The Bills need to protect the bad Josh Allen, so it’s wise for them to select the best offensive tackle in the draft.
10. Atlanta Falcons — Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan
The Falcons desperately need a pass rusher. They would probably prefer an edge rusher like Allen to replace the disappointing Vic Beasley opposite Takkarist McKinley, but Gary would be a fine back-up plan. He would be terrifying next to the critically underrated Grady Jarrett.
11. Green Bay Packers — Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Assuming the Packers fix their offense by way of health and coaching changes, they could turn what was a weakness into a huge strength. Greedy Williams was considered a top-5 prospect not too long, and though his hype has died down some, he’s an opportunistic playmaker who should help turn around their defense. He would play opposite 2018 first rounder Jaire Alexander in what may be the best young cornerback duo in the league.
12. Denver Broncos — Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss
The Broncos could get creative here and draft a receiver like D.K. Metcalf or Marquise Brown, or they could be more prudent and fortify their offensive line. Little needs polish and strength, but the makings are there for him to be a standout tackle by the time Denver finds their QB of the future.
13. Cincinnati Bengals — Jeffrey Simmons, DL, Mississippi State
If losing George Iloka is a huge free agency loss, your defense is trash. That’s where Cincy is with their defense. Their overall lack of talent on that end has led to their team-wide collapse. They need a physical presence like Simmons to cause disruption that they haven’t really had.
14. Carolina Panthers — Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
Carolina’s defense used to carry the team, but gone are those days. Kawann Short and Luke Kuechly are always great, but most of their once-good supporting defenders are aging. They could go with someone like Montez Sweat to up their pass rush or Byron Murphy to start at cornerback, but here they take Deionte Thompson as a future star at safety.
15. Cleveland Browns — D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
Cleveland is going to be fun regardless of who they pick. They could be an absolute blast if they end up drafting the best receiver in the class to give Baker Mayfield another weapon beside Nick Chubb, Jarvis Landry and David Njoku. Marquise Brown could be another good pick considering Hollywood’s history with Mayfield, but Metcalf is a better fit next to Landry as a big-bodied receiver who has better hands in tight windows.
16. Washington — A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
Washington has a relative dearth of talent, and even though they have invested in Paul Richardson ($40 million) and Josh Doctson (a 2017 first round pick), neither is making much of an impact. With or without Alex Smith — who is rehabilitating a gruesome leg injury — Washington needs something more on offense. The Ole Miss receiver is a giant slot receiver who excels after the catch, and he would fit nicely working underneath those field stretchers.
17. Philadephia Eagles — Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
The Eagles’ Super Bowl winning defense has fallen on its head amidst issues in the secondary. They’re getting very little from their cornerbacks and need a long, physical player like Murphy. He’s a migraine for receivers and Philly needs him in the worst way.
18. Miami Dolphins — Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State
Any team could use a good mauler, and the Dolphins, seemingly always in need of offensive line help, are no exception. (Full disclosure: I haven’t watched a Dolphins game since Jason Taylor was playing, so I’m just hoping giving them an OT is a smart pick.)
19. Minnesota Vikings — Cody Ford, OG, Oklahoma
As the Eagles have been undone by their secondary, the Vikings’ Super Bowl aspirations have collapsed on the offensive line. If Minnesota wants any semblance of a run game, they need a physical lineman like Ford to clear paths for Dalvin Cook. Once they’re less predictable, their elite passing game should improve with balance.
20. Tennessee Titans — Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
Marquise Brown may struggle with drops on contested throws, but he’s electric with the ball and should add another element to the otherwise stagnant Titans offense. If Marcus Mariota can stay healthy and find consistency, Brown and Corey Davis could be one of the best tandems in the league.
21. Seattle Seahawks — Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State
Seattle is great developing defensive backs — shoutout to Tedric Thompson — but they still need a quality cornerback opposite Shaquill Griffin. Oruwariye is athletic and long, and his physical style is what you expect from a Seahawks DB.
22. Indianapolis Colts — Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
The Colts’ defense has been surprisingly strong this season, but they can always add talent. Sweat has NFL size and athleticism, and he’s been supremely productive in the SEC.
23. Oakland Raiders (via Dallas) — Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson
The Raiders may have solved their issues on the edge with Bosa, but they still need more help on the line. Wilkins has proven himself in his terrific Clemson career, and he should contribute right away on what be a substantially improved front four.
24. Baltimore Ravens — N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
The Ravens have one of the more shallow receiving corps in the NFL, and for now that’s OK because of their pistol option offense. But that’s just to make the transition for Lamar Jackson. He’s going to start airing it out soon, and when he does, a gifted receiver like N’Keal Harry would help immensely. Harry is also a great run blocker, which is an underrated skill that would be valuable for Baltimore.
25. Pittsburgh Steelers — Devin White, LB, LSU
Ever since the brutal injury to Ryan Shazier, the Steelers have had issues in the middle of the field. White isn’t as athletic or versatile as Shazier, but he’s damn good and should fortify their run defense.
26. New England Patriots — Zach Allen, EDGE, Boston College
Trading Chandler Jones and Jamie Collins before their paydays has meant the Patriots have struggled a bit with their pass rush in recent years. Allen isn’t qwhite the player Pats fans would want to root for, but he could be a fan favorite as a local player.
27. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago) — Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State
Go figure that the Raiders would lack a pass rusher and go-to receiver after trading Mack and Amari Cooper. The trade of Cooper for a first round was savvy (if not tanky), but the Raiders still need a quality receiver whether or not Derek Carr throws beyond the line of scrimmage. Harmon seems like a well-rounded receiver who should grow if put in a good environment.
28. Houston Texans — Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
The Texans have one of the worst lines in football, and though it hasn’t ruined their season like it has Minnesota, they still need immediate talent. Taylor would be a good fit for them.
29. Los Angeles Rams — Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
The Rams are finally showing their weaknesses. They could look for an edge rusher, an inside linebacker or a cornerback and they wouldn’t be making a mistake. I would pick Hall here, because in LA’s high-scoring contests, they can’t afford a weak link in the secondary.
30. Los Angeles Chargers — Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
The Chargers don’t really need anything besides better health, so they can make a luxury pick and bolster their already great pass rush with the productive Brian Burns.
31. Kansas City Chiefs — Taylor Rapp, S, Washington
With the uncertainty surrounding Eric Berry’s health, it would be keen for KC to at least think about having a young safety developing beside him. In all their shootouts, Rapp is an excellent coverage safety with the size and physically to take on tight ends as well as receivers.
32. Green Bay Packers (via Saints) — Jachai Polite, DL, Florida
After adding Greedy to their secondary, Green Bay would be smart to boost their subpar pass rush with a talent like Polite.
33. Raiders — Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, FloridaD’Andre Walker, EDGE, Georgia
34. Cardinals — Terronne Prescod, OG, NC State
35. 49ers — J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR Stanford
36. Colts — Oshane Ximenes, EDGE, Old Dominion
37. Jaguars — Collin Johnson, WR, Texas
38. Buccaneers — Jerry Tillery, DL, Notre Dame
39. Giants — Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson
40. Lions — Dexter Lawrence, DL, Clemson
41. Bills — Garrett Bradbury, C, NC State
42. Falcons — D’Andre Walker, EDGE, Georgia
43. Packers — Anthony Johnson, WR, Buffalo
44. Broncos — Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
45. Bengals — Gerald Willis, DL, Miami
46. Panthers — Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame
47. Browns — Chris Lindstrom, OT, Boston College
48. Washington — David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin
49. Eagles — Trey Adams, OT, Washington
50. Dolphins — Lil’Jordan Humphrey, WR, Texas
51. Vikings — Beau Benschawel, OG, Wisconsin
52. Titans — Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
53. Texans — Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin
54. Colts — Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama
55. Cowboys — Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
56. Eagles — Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
57. Steelers — Raekwon Davis, DL, Alabama
58. Patriots — Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia
59. Texans — David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State
60. Patriots — Chase Winovich, EDGE, Michigan
61. Chiefs — Dre’Mont Jones, DL, Ohio State
62. Chargers — Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia
63. Chiefs — Te’Von Coney, LB, Notre Dame
64. Saints — Joe Jackson, EDGE, Miami