1. Arizona Cardinals
Nick Bosa – EDGE – Ohio State
I cannot and will not buy into the Kyler Murray to the Cardinals hype. I will stick with my better judgment and go with my gut. Nick Bosa is the quintessential blue chipper and adding him to a group with the presence of veterans Chandler Jones and Terrell Suggs will benefit the entire team. Suggs can be utilized in the best possible situations with Bosa’s arrival while Jones will most likely be in more one-on-one scenarios. Plus, Bosa can learn from both.
2. San Francisco 49ers
Brian Burns – EDGE – Florida State
It took me a while to get on board with Brian Burns but repetitive film study and research and I am climbing right on to the bandwagon. Burns’ combination of explosiveness and fluidity is rare, to say the least. Dee Ford was brought in through a trade with Kansas City and pairing Ford with Burns could boost the pass rush that much more. Solomon Thomas hasn’t worked out as of yet and could be a draft day trade. While Burns’ size has come into question at times, his upside is far too glorious to pass up.
3. New York Jets
Quinnen Williams – DT – Alabama
The Jets have a new head coach and a new defensive coordinator in Gregg Williams. With the new DC comes a new defensive scheme and a switch to a 4-3 is looming. I can only assume that Leonard Williams will be moved inside to play a 3 technique but will need someone next to him. A Williams duo in New York would put a huge smile on the face of Jets fans as Quinnen Williams can rush the passer from his interior spot but provides run stuffing ability as well. With the Williams’ interior pairing, C.J. Mosley in the middle, and Jamal Adams on the back end, the Jets could have pro bowl caliber talent at every level.
4. Oakland Raiders
Clelin Ferrell – EDGE – Clemson
Ferrell is a perfect fit for a 4-3 and playing opposite of the speedier Arden Key could give the Raiders a nice pass rushing combination that they haven’t been able to put on the field in a long time. They have plenty of depth at the position with Shilique Calhoun, Josh Mauro, and Alex Barrett but need a starting caliber defensive end. Ferrell brings with him a well-rounded attack that includes the ability to get to the quarterback but he also serves as a formidable run stopper.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Josh Allen – EDGE – Kentucky
Jason Pierre-Paul‘s 12.5 sacks in 2018 ranked 12th in the league proving that he is far from being done. Jason Licht and new head coach Bruce Arians need to bring in some youth to take some of the attention away from Pierre-Paul. New defensive coordinator Todd Bowles would appreciate getting Kentucky’s Josh Allen to use in different spots on the field. Allen can play with a hand in the grass or play off the ball as a stand-up edge rusher which is exactly what Bowles seeks out.
6. New York Giants
Dwayne Haskins – QB – Ohio State
The Giants have pledged their allegiance to Eli Manning but they cannot pass up drafting a first-round quarterback for the second year in a row. Rather they want to roll with Manning in 2019 or come to their senses and go with a rookie, Dwayne Haskins should be the selection here. Haskins is a pure pocket passer with a big arm. He is an accurate passer but one who needs time and protection with limited scrambling ability.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
Jawaan Taylor – OT – Florida
Nick Foles was paid to be the new man in Jacksonville so the next box to check for David Caldwell is to protect his investment. 2017 second-round pick Cam Robinson tore his ACL unfortunately so when he will be available in 2019 is unknown at this point. Taylor could be added to start at left tackle until Robinson is back and then slide over to the right side.
8. Detroit Lions
Noah Fant – TE – Iowa
It’ll be hard not to be reminded of the failed Eric Ebron experiment if Fant does, in fact, go this high to Detroit. There have even been skill set comparisons between Ebron and Fant but the fact of the matter is that Noah Fant will be an immediate impact starter at the tight end position for Detroit. A great athlete, Fant can be highly productive who can be a mismatch for almost anyone a defense wants to assign to him. Fant has really good hands for the position and will be able to provide Matthew Stafford with a weapon in the passing attack.
9. Buffalo Bills
Ed Oliver – DT – Houston
Buffalo gets a huge gift on a silver platter with a perennial pro bowl caliber player at the ninth overall selection. Ed Oliver out of Houston is a perfect fit for the Bills. Brandon Beane has added a good number of free agents but drafting a guy like Oliver to be a part of the core along the defensive line is how Super Bowl teams are built. Oliver can disrupt the running game from the defensive tackle spot but the best aspect of his game might be his capacity to get to the quarterback and flush him out of the pocket.
10. Denver Broncos
Drew Lock – QB – Missouri
Joe Flacco or no Joe Flacco, Denver seems to be really into Drew Lock from Missouri. Bringing in Flacco was the best possible move if John Elway does, in fact, take Lock with the tenth pick. Lock is not a day one starter and needs time to develop his decision making. The raw talent is there but still has work to do to polish everything up. Joe Flacco and Drew Lock could potentially have the same effect as the Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes relationship.
11. Cincinnati Bengals
Devin White – LB – LSU
Vontaze Burfict is out and Devin White is actually an upgrade here. White’s range and downhill style make him a steal for the Bengals. White is a powerful tackler and packs a heck of a punch in the box. He has the ability to not only be a force at the line of scrimmage but can also string plays out and play sideline to sideline. He is a good enough athlete to cover in space as well.
12. Green Bay Packers
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson – S – Florida
The Packers moved on from safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix after four and a half seasons. They signed Adrian Amos away from division rival Chicago Bears but Gardner-Johnson is a thumper of a prospect who can be a game changer on the back end. He can stay on the field in most packages which is obviously an attractive trait.
13. Miami Dolphins
Kyler Murray – QB – Oklahoma
Is there some Fitzmagic left? Miami is hoping so but with the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner still on the board when they’re on the clock, they don’t hesitate to bring him to the Magic City. Murray’s size is the biggest issue but his speed and arm strength make up for a lot of that. There will always be a concern that since he is a smaller quarterback, he will be susceptible to injuries.
14. Atlanta Falcons
Christian Wilkins – DT – Clemson
The Falcons put the franchise tag on Grady Jarrett but no deal has yet to be inked. 2018 third rounder, Deadrin Senat, is slated to take over one of the starting spots. Wilkins is a big man that can help plug the middle. Brent Venables moved Wilkins around a little bit at Clemson and even used him as an EDGE rusher in special packages. His adaptability keeps him on the field in most situations. Dan Quinn is expected to handle the defensive coordinator duties in addition to his head coaching role and Wilkins would be a great fit in Quinn’s base 4-3.
15. Washington Redskins
D.K. Metcalf – WR – Ole Miss
Before Case Keenum was brought in, I would’ve bet money that Washington takes a quarterback in the first round. However, with Keenum in town, the need for an immediate signal caller is not as severe. Josh Doctson and Paul Richardson are both in line to be the primary targets in our nation’s capital but a bigger bodied receiver is needed. Metcalf appears to be an athletic freak but his durability and production are in question.
16. Carolina Panthers
Jonah Williams – OL – Alabama
The Panthers parted ways with Matt Kalil after only one year with the team so bringing in some young blood to the offensive line is a high priority. Williams can play either tackle spot or a guard in the NFL which allows Taylor Moton to slide back inside to play guard or bookend Williams and Moton at the two tackle positions. Having both of these versatile linemen at the Panthers disposal would be a good way to keep Cam Newton healthy.
17. New York Giants
Byron Murphy – CB – Washington
Dave Gettleman’s moves the past few months have seemed to cause the Giants fanbase some dismay. I do agree that allowing Landon Collins to walk away with zero ROI is baffling but the OBJ trade brought in the 17th overall pick, a third-round pick, and a starting caliber safety in Jabrill Peppers. Granted, the Browns seemingly won that trade but New York not only gets their quarterback of the future with their 6th pick, they add a playmaker to a defensive back room that needs an injection of youth. Murphy can be a day one starter for the G-Men.
18. Minnesota Vikings
Cody Ford – OG – Oklahoma
Minnesota’s disappointing 2018 could be chalked up to a few different factors but one thing is for certain, bolstering their offensive line will only improve their chances of regaining the NFC North. Ford is a big and versatile player who projects as a tackle or a guard. He should step right into either guard spot for the Vikings.
19. Tennessee Titans
Chris Lindstrom – OG – Boston College
Tennessee is actively working on putting together the best offensive line in the NFL. They have one of the best tackle tandems in Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin, they have Ben Jones at center, and they signed guard Rodger Saffold away from the Rams. Adding Lindstrom in the draft would give them five solid starters along the line.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
Devin Bush – LB – Michigan
It’s possible that Bush goes much higher but let’s be honest, mock drafts usually bat at about .200 so nothing is 100%. Devin Bush would be a nice fit for Pittsburgh who needs to find a rangy playmaker in the middle of their defense. T.J. Watt has really come on strong and solidified the edge rushing aspect of Keith Butler‘s defense but the reality is they need a replacement for Ryan Shazier and shore up the run defense.
21. Seattle Seahawks
Greedy Williams – CB – LSU
Williams has some serious question marks around his game. Most of which involve his effort. This may drop him out of the first round completely but Seattle has the kind of coaching staff that gets the very most out of its players. If they can get the most out of Greedy on every play, they’ll have a pro bowl cornerback on their hands.
22. Baltimore Ravens
N’Keal Harry – WR – Arizona State
The highest priority inside Baltimore’s draft room is the wide receiver position. They lost John Brown to free agency and cut ties with Michael Crabtree. They retained Willie Snead who was second on the team in receiving yards in 2018. I am also looking forward to seeing the development of UCLA product Jordan Lasley but Harry is underrated in most circles in this writer’s opinion and should be a rookie of the year candidate when it is all said and done.
23. Houston Texans
Dalton Risner – OT – Kansas State
Risner is one of my favorite draft prospects in this year’s crop. He can play both guard and tackle and is a nasty blocker who loves to finish blocks with a side of maple syrup. He has good feet for the position and rarely gets overpowered. After last season’s playoff loss, Houston needs guys to protect Deshaun Watson and Dalton Risner will do just that from the right tackle spot.
24. Oakland Raiders
T.J. Hockenson – TE – Iowa
After checking off the edge rusher box with the fourth overall pick, Oakland adds arguably the best overall tight end in the draft. Hockenson is a more traditional tight end than his college teammate but he has a lot more tools. He can be an in-line blocker but also brings with him really good hands and provides a receiving threat.
25. Philadelphia Eagles
Nasir Adderley – S – Delaware
Coming out of the same school that produced Joe Flacco, Adderley is a coverage safety who can also tackle. The Eagles can take Adderley to fit in with Rodney McLeod and Malcolm Jenkins. Adderley also happens to be a Philly native, being from Malvern, Pennsylvania.
26. Indianapolis Colts
Hakeem Butler – WR – Iowa State
Andrew Luck needs other weapons besides T.Y. Hilton and Hakeem Butler is a raw athletic talent who would be best suited in an offense with an established receiver and an established quarterback which Indy has. The Colts were a surprise playoff team last year but with another weapon to be a vertical threat and adding defensive depth in later rounds, the Colts could find themselves back in the playoffs.
27. Oakland Raiders
Joshua Jacobs – RB – Alabama
The Raiders signed Isaiah Crowell who is a really underrated player at the running back spot and it is still unknown what Marshawn Lynch plans to do. Jacobs does not have the same vision as a Le’Veon Bell but does have the same one cut ability as Bell. Jacobs, in the right scheme, can be a dangerous back and along with Crowell, and maybe Lynch, Oakland would have a really good backfield.
28. Los Angeles Chargers
Andre Dillard – OT – Washington State
The Chargers could go offensive tackle or defensive tackle here and with Dillard still on the board, they go offensive. Dillard can come in to compete with Sam Tevi for the starting right tackle spot. Lillard needs time to develop but eventually will be ready for the responsibilities of a franchise left tackle so once Russell Okung is no longer playing, Dillard can slide over and take over.
29. Seattle Seahawks
Montez Sweat – EDGE – Mississippi State
Seattle traded away Frank Clark to the Kansas City Chiefs and in return, received their first round pick. They add another weapon to a rebranded defense with Montez Sweat. He had an outstanding combine on the field but there was also a heart condition discovered during the medical exams. This may cause some teams to remove him from their boards. If Seattle is not one of those teams, he would be a great candidate for the 29th spot.
30. Green Bay Packers
Irv Smith Jr. – TE – Alabama
Green Bay took a safety with their first pick and with their second pick that they got from New Orleans, they take the third first-round tight end of the day. Irv Smith comes from a football family and goes ten picks later than his dad did in 1993. Ironically, Irv Smith Sr was taken by New Orleans in ’93 and his son gets taken in the spot that originally belonged to the Saints. That would be a fun narrative now, wouldn’t it?
31. Los Angeles Rams
Dexter Lawrence – DT – Clemson
The Rams take the Clemson product who is skyrocketing up boards lately and is taken to replace Ndamukong Suh in the middle of the Wade Phillps’ defense. He, along with Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers, will form a really solid defensive line. The Rams gave Dante Fowler a one year prove it deal and also brought in veteran Clay Matthews. Lawrence would be a great fit with those guys.
32. New England Patriots
Rashan Gary – DE – Michigan
New England does New England things and gets a gem at the 32nd pick. Is Rashan Gary an edge rusher? Is he a 4-3 defensive end? Is he a 3-4 defensive lineman? Well, he could probably be all three and then some at the next level but I like him the best with the Patriots defense to replace Trey Flowers‘ production.