We’re exactly one month away from the 1st round of the NFL Draft. A lot has changed since the Mock Draft 1.0 with NFL combine and free agency. Kyler Murray is seemingly a “lock” to go #1 overall now with multiple teams in the bidding, Antonio Brown is a Raider, Le’Veon Bell is a Jet, the Jaguars signed Nick Foles to be their quarterback for the foreseeable future, and Odell Beckham Jr. was traded for the 17th & 66th picks in the draft (along with Jabrill Peppers) among other shakeups. So here is what I think those moves among other things have done to the landscape of the 1st round of the NFL Draft:
- Arizona Cardinals – QB Kyler Murray (Oklahoma)
Murray is the most polarizing prospect in this year’s draft and seems to have no shortage of suitors despite not really working out at the combine and just throwing and getting weighed at his Pro Day. His combine measurements of 5’10 1/8” and 207 lbs. (later weighed in at 205 lbs. at his Pro Day) showed teams he was big enough. Russell Wilson was 5’10 5/8” and 204 lbs. at his combine, so this is NFL evaluators asking for a do over. Murray is repped by “Comeback SZN” co-host Erik Burkhardt, who is also the agent for new Cardinals’ coach Kliff Kingsbury. It would seem odd that the Cardinals would hire a coach that was seen as a bit of a reach and not go all-in. After all, Kingsbury said he’d take Murray “with the first pick in the draft if I could” back in October. The Cardinals have to play the Seahawks twice a year and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
- San Francisco 49ers – DE Nick Bosa (Ohio State)
The draft is about not screwing your pick up as much as it is getting it right and Ohio State DE Nick Bosa is a close to a sure thing as there is nowadays. His father was a 1st round pick at DE, his brother, Joey “Big Bear” Bosa stepped on the field for the Chargers in his rookie season and was an instant impact pass rusher. Nick’s promise is reminiscent of his brother’s at Ohio State and there is no reason to think his early season core muscle injury will hamper him at the next level. The 49ers are in need of serious pass rush help with only DeForest Buckner being able to consistently generate any and he’s on the interior. Bosa would provide an edge threat to help force QBs to step up into a collapsing pocket.
- *TRADE* Washington Redskins (from New York Jets) – QB Dwayne Haskins (Ohio State)
Do you really think a Dan Snyder-run team is going to just be cool rolling out Case Keenum as their starter Week 1? Haskins threw for 4,831 yards with 50 TDs to just 8 INTs this past season at THE Ohio State. He’s a classic dropback passer with advanced pocket awareness and really good accuracy, as he completed 70.0% of his passes this past season. The Redskins are in need of a starting caliber QB with Alex Smith’s injury so they get aggressive and move all the way up from #15 to nab the most coveted signal caller in this year’s draft. The Jets have been anxious to recoup picks after moving up to #3 last year to get Sam Darnold and this seems like a perfect match.
- Oakland Raiders – DT Quinnen Williams (Alabama)
The Raiders need help everywhere along the defensive line. They drafted Mo Hurst who plays DT last year, but Williams is a dominant interior player with tremendous pass rush ability. With Mike Mayock steering Jon Gruden’s pirate ship, I feel like they won’t be able to mess up when arguably the best player in the draft falls in your lap at #4.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – EDGE Josh Allen (Kentucky)
The Bucs have a few guys who can rush, but both Jason Pierre Paul and Carl Nassib are better suited for 4-3 schemes. They just signed Shaq Barrett and former 2nd rounder Noah Spence could see a revitalized role in Todd Bowles’ aggressive 3-4, but Allen is too good to pass up at #5. Allen returned to Lexington for his senior season and finished the year with had 17 sacks for the Wildcats. He’s is a gym rat who is always striving to get better and he’ll be able to step in immediately as a situational pass rusher while he grows into what the Bucs (and me) hope will be a dominant edge defender for years to come.
- New York Giants – EDGE Montez Sweat (Mississippi State)
The Giants traded away JPP last year and Olivier Vernon this off-season, so their edge rushing cupboard is pretty bare. Sweat is a freak athlete who can burned up the combine running a 4.41 40 at 6’6” 260 lbs. He has great get-off, but needs a little bit of refining when it comes to pass rush technique as he’s primarily won with speed and athleticism. But he’s got all the tools to be great. And as far as health, he did get flagged for an enlarged heart but he was cleared to work out at the combine and has no history of issues. One team has said it doesn’t effect his stock at all, which is why I’m keeping him in the top 10.
- Jacksonville Jaguars – TE T.J. Hockenson (Iowa)
Hockenson is viewed by a lot of experts as a “can’t miss” prospect. A good receiver and route runner, Hockenson is an even more impressive blocker. With Nick Foles now under center in Jacksonville, it would behoove the Jags to give him a Zack Ertz-type weapon that can also help Leonard Fournette and the running game.
- Detroit Lions – DE Rashan Gary (Michigan)
With Ziggy Ansah’s tenure in Detroit having come to an end, the Pats Midwest will be looking for a new DE. I’m sure Matt Patricia and the Lions staff got a good look at Rashan Gary in Ann Arbor. Gary was the #1 prospect coming out of HS and while his stats at Michigan underwhelm, a defensive-minded coach like Matt Patricia could be just the guy to unlock his full potential as Gary has all the tools to be elite.
- Buffalo Bills – OT/OG Jonah Williams (Alabama)
The Bills invested a lot in QB Josh Allen last year trading up several times over the course of a few months to draft they Wyoming Cowboy. However, all those picks they traded in addition to injuries and retirement left them lacking talent up front on the o-line. Williams is seen as the top prospect on the offensive line this season as he’s played all over. He started at his collegiate career right tackle, but was later moved to left tackle. Many think in the pros due to his just average arm length he’d be best kicked inside to guard. But wherever they play him, Williams will be an upgrade as Buffalo must protect their rocket armed QB.
- Denver Broncos – LB Devin White (LSU)
Broncos also have Vic Fangio as their head coach last year who was part of the team that drafted MLB Roquan Smith 8th overall last year. Fangio has also coached the likes of Ray Lewis and Patrick Willis, so you know he’ll be high on White, who is a similar type of athlete. White was the 2018 Butkus Award winner recognizing the best linebacker in college football. LSU has recently turned into LBU churning out some really good pros at the position including former Bucs’/now 49ers’ Kwon Alexander and the Falcons’ Deion Jones. White is the next in that lineage and has drawn comparisons to Lewis. A converted RB, White has a very thick frame and possesses terrific closing speed. He is a see-ball/get-ball LB who ran a 4.42 40 and is not afraid of contact.
- Cincinnati Bengals – OT Jawaan Taylor (Florida)
The Bengals need help across the o-line and Jawaan Taylor is a tremendous run blocker with the size and feet to excel in pass protection. He’ll just need to clean up some hand placement to help Andy Dalton to flourish in this McVay-esque offense under new head coach Zac Taylor.
- Green Bay Packers – WR D.K. Metcalf (Ole Miss)
The 6’4” 224 lbs Metcalf has been cleared for football activities after undergoing neck surgery in October of 2018. Metcalf’s 4.33 40 yard dash at the combine made him the talk of Indy. The Packers have Devante Adams on the outside, but Metcalf would allow them to stretch the field and take the top off the defense. How scary would the Packers be if they line up those Aaron Rodgers throwing go routes to this guy?!
- Miami Dolphins – LB Devin Bush (Michigan)
If Bush was 3-4” inches taller he’d likely be a top 10 pick. He doesn’t fall too far as he lands with former Patriots Linebackers Coach Brian Flores who finds his Quarterback of the Defense in Bush while they #TankForTua in 2019.
- Atlanta Falcons – EDGE Brian Burns (Florida State)
Burns has had 38.5 tackles for loss in his 3-year career at FSU. This season he finished plays more and wound up with 10 sacks. He is a freak athlete, but he had problems converting speed to power on his rushes. A skinny player in college playing around 235 lbs., he bulked up to 255 lbs. for the combine and carried the weight well alleviating some of those concerns about his size.
- *TRADE* New York Jets (from Washington Redskins) – DE Clelin Ferrell (Clemson)
The Jets need to generate pressure off the edge badly and Ferrell can do that. He would have likely been a 1st round pick last year, but chose to return to Death Valley citing unfinished business. The Jets get lucky he’s available after this trade down as he’s had 21 sacks in the last two seasons for Clemson.
- Carolina Panthers – LT Andre Dillard (Washington State)
Left tackle Matt Khalil has been released and Cam Newton is undergoing offseason shoulder surgery. Protecting Cam has to be priority #1 for the Panthers and Andre Dillard is viewed by some as the top LT in the draft. Coming out of Mike Leach’s air raid offense, Dillard snaps out of his stance and should be able to protect Cam’s blindside for years to come.
- *TRADE* New York Giants (from Cleveland Browns) – DT Ed Oliver (Houston)
Earlier in the year, Oliver was considered a possibility for the top overall pick. But an up and down season along with the notion that he lacks finishing ability has lowered his projection. Oliver is a monster against the run notching 53 TFLs in just 30 games, but his 13.5 sacks in that same timeframe is underwhelming. Some teams have worked him out as an stand-up EDGE guy like the Chargers use Melvin Ingram, so anywhere where he’s rushing the QB is in play for Oliver.
- Minnesota Vikings – OT/OG Cody Ford (Oklahoma)
The Vikings have to protect their $84 million dollar investment and keep Kirk Cousins upright. He’s shown the ability to be a solid QB with good protection in Washington, so Rick Spielman makes the selection of Cody Ford who can play right tackle or kick inside to guard.
- Tennessee Titans – DT Christian Wilkins (Clemson)
Christian Wilkins is one player I’m confident will have a successful NFL career. This guys has a great head on his shoulder and just gets it. He loves football and falls into a great situation with Mike Vrabel coaching him up. The Titans could stand to upgrade their d-line and Wilkins can play the 5-technique DE in their 3-4 scheme along with Jurrell Casey.
- Pittsburgh Steelers – CB Greedy Williams (LSU)
Andraez “Greedy” Williams is the latest in the line of elite LSU CBs. From Patrick Peterson to Tre’Davious White to Donte Jackson, LSU just churns out really good cover guys. Greedy Williams is seen as next in line, but his evaluation is all over the board with scouts. Some see him as a top 5 player in the draft while some don’t give him a 1st round grade. The Steelers have had a lot of problems locking up other teams top receivers and with a division that now includes Odell Beckham Jr., that will be a priority.
- Seattle Seahawks – S Nasir Adderly (Delaware)
With Earl Thomas moving on from the Seahawks, they luck into Nasir Adderly being available at #21. The D-1AA product out of Delaware has been getting a lot of buzz in the pre-draft process and justified that with a terrific Senior Bowl that he capped off with an interception. With great range, awareness, and hitting power, Adderly would be an ideal replacement for FS Earl Thomas.
- *TRADE* Denver Broncos (from Baltimore Ravens) – QB Drew Lock – (Missouri)
Word has been out for quite some time that John Elway really like Lock, but 10th overall is pretty rich for him. Ravens new GM Eric DeCosta looks to maximize value and he moves back to pick up some additional mid-round picks and the Broncos get the QB they covet.
- Houston Texans – CB DeAndre Baker (Georgia)
DeAndre Baker is only 5’10” but possess great feet and rare length for his size that neutralizes the lack of ideal height. Jonathan Joseph is 34 years old and Baker would be a nice addition to a Texans secondary that will need to stop Andrew Luck to keep winning division titles.
- Oakland Raiders (via Dallas Cowboys) – TE Noah Fant (Iowa)
Jared Cook was the team’s most productive receiver last year but he went to the Saints in free agency so the Raiders turn to Iowa who put their second tight end in the first round with Noah Fant. At 6’4” 249 lbs. he’s got a huge catch radius and ran a 4.50 40 yard dash in Indy.
- Philadelphia Eagles – RB Josh Jacobs (Alabama)
Jacobs didn’t even start at Alabama, but he possesses the modern NFL skill set that is ideal for the runningback position. He did run a 4.60 at his Pro Day which actually helps the Eagles as they didn’t expect him to be here at #25.
- Indianapolis Colts – CB Byron Murphy (Washington)
The Colts re-signed CB Pierre Desir, but could use some more guys that can cover. Murphy is a solid corner but lacks prototypical size. He’s been reliable for the Huskies with 7 INTs over the past two seasons and can help in the slot right away.
- Oakland Raiders (via Chicago Bears) – EDGE Jaylon Ferguson (Louisiana Tech)
The Raiders need an edge rusher after dealing Khalil Mack last year and what better place to start that the NCAA’s all-time leading sacker in Jaylon Ferguson? He’d had 45 career sacks include of 17.5 this past season and Mike Mayock & Jon Gruden are hoping some of that juice carries over to Sundays.
- Los Angeles Chargers – G/C Garrett Bradberry (NC State)
The Chargers need to beef up their o-line to keep Philip Rivers upright in the final years of his career. Bradberry is a top interior line prospect who started as a tight end, but put on weight and kicked inside. He’s got great feet and carries the new pounds well. He should be a reliable starter for years.
- Kansas City Chiefs – WR Hollywood Brown (Oklahoma)
Patrick Mahomes gets another deep threat as the future of Tyreek Hill is a little murky. There were rumors of him being shopped earlier this off-season and now a likely suspension is coming after a domestic battery case that resulted in a broken arm for his 3-year old child. At 5’10” 168 lbs., Brown resembles a young receiver that flourished under Andy Reid in DeSean Jackson.
- Green Bay Packers (via New Orleans Saints) – S Johnathan Abram (Mississippi State)
The Packers traded Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at the deadline and didn’t get a big return snaring just a Day 3 pick. In this scenario, they take the Mississippi State safety can play in the box or single high to help defend the aerial attacks of the Bears, Vikings, & Lions.
- Los Angeles Rams) – DT Jeffrey Simmons (Mississippi State)
The Rams start preparing for the loss of Ndamukong Suh and take Simmons who was a top 10 talent before tearing his ACL working out for the combine. Simmons can take over Suh’s role in 2020 as the Rams covet cheap young talent as you’d think they’re going to pay Jared Goff.
- New England Patriots – DT Dexter Lawrence (Clemson)
A mammoth DT, Lawrence is 6’4” 342 lbs. and will certainly plug up the giant hole in the middle left by Malcolm Brown’s departure. Bill Belichick has always preferred huge defensive tackles dating back to Vince Wilfork and this is just the next in that line.