The NFL Draft will begin Thursday, April 25, in Nashville, Tennessee. Round 1 will be held Thursday night with Rounds 2 and 3 to follow on Friday. On Saturday, April 27, the final four rounds (4-7) will be held. The Arizona Cardinals hold the first pick. Who will they select? Here’s a look at a mock 2019 NFL Draft one day prior to the new league year beginning.
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1. Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
One thing is certain, Arizona general manager Steve Keim is either going to be the franchise’s hero or he’s getting fired. Keim cannot risk NOT taking Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray with the first pick in the draft. Murray, who measured in at 5-feet-10⅛, is severely undersized, but he is simply too good of an athlete to pass over.
If Murray goes on to success like Baker Mayfield in Cleveland last year, then Keim looks like a complete idiot for not drafting him. If the Cardinals select Murray and hand over the keys to the offense and then he flops, well Keim is still locked in to idiot status. Such is the life of an NFL GM. With the Cardinals on the clock, they have to select Murray.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
The 49ers could use an elite receiver to take some of the pressure off of All-Pro TE George Kittle. Still, the defense could use an edge pass rusher with the talent of Bosa, who missed most of last season with a core injury.
He is an extremely talented pass rusher like his brother Joey, who plays for the Chargers. The younger Bosa posted strong numbers at the NFL Combine: 4.79 in the 40-yard dash, 33.5-inch vertical jump, and 29 reps in the 225-pound bench press.
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3. New York Jets: Josh Allen, DE/OLB, Kentucky
The Jets have great needs at a number of positions, but they cannot go wrong with Allen, one of the draft’s elite pass rushers. He was a first-team All-SEC and All-American pick after recording 17 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss last season.
Allen has great size (6-5, 262), speed (4.63 in the 40-yard dash), and strength (28 reps in the bench press). The former Wildcat star would be a welcome addition to a defense that finished 25th in total defense and 29th in scoring defense.
4. Oakland Raiders: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
With WR Antonio Brown in the bag, head coach Jon Gruden and new GM Mike Mayock can now attack a defense that was atrocious in 2018. Did someone say pass rush?
Gruden and the Raiders sold off former NFL MVP Khalil Mack to Chicago and now they need to revamp the defensive front. Sweat made himself a ton of money with his other-worldly performance at the recent NFL Combine.
At 6-6 and 260 pounds, Sweat ran a 4.41 in the 40-yard dash. For some perspective, consider that Sweat’s time would have placed him eighth among all wide receivers at this year’s combine. He will have some work to do to become an elite NFL pass rusher, but Sweat has plenty of upside, especially for a defense as bad as Oakland’s.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
Big Alabama DT Quinnen Williams is a step in the right direction for a Tampa Bay defense that handed out reservations to their own end zone like candy at Halloween. At 6-3 and 303 pounds, Williams ran a 4.83 40 and sported a 30.5-inch vertical jump. He’s explosive and versatile enough to be a two-gap player if needed.
Williams has just one season of headline production, but his quickness and athleticism make him the kind of player that could be playing in Pro Bowls annually.
6. New York Giants: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
It’s no secret that the Giants need to find Eli Manning’s successor at quarterback. Giants GM Dave Gettleman is not a fan of the under-six-foot quarterback and has little interest in a player like Murray. He does, however, covet, big strong-armed athletes like Haskins, who threw for 50 touchdowns last year at Ohio State.
Haskins is big – 6-3 and 230 pounds – and has played in a pro-style passing offense. He still has plenty to learn since 2018 was his only season as a starting quarterback in college. In a perfect world, Manning will be able to help groom Haskins for a year before giving way in 2020.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
After opening up the bank vault for quarterback Nick Foles, the Jags will essentially play Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Hawkeye to select a tight end. Jacksonville needs a top-flight tight end and Iowa has two of them in Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson. Fant, who ran 4.5 in the 40, might be the better athlete but Hockenson is the better overall tight end.
8. Detroit Lions: Devin White, LB, LSU
Can the Lions ever get anything right? Detroit is now becoming New England Lite with former Patriots director of scouting Bob Quinn as the GM and former Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia as the head coach. The Lions just recently signed former Pats Danny Amendola and Trey Flowers. That done, the Lions can address their other defensive needs by selecting White, an athletic 240-pounder who can play on all three downs.
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9. Buffalo Bills: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
Taylor was 380 pounds before his freshman season at Florida where he had to lose nearly 40 pounds to keep his scholarship. He won Freshmen All-SEC honors and went on to become one of the best offensive linemen in the country over the next two seasons. Taylor is big – 6-5 and 312 pounds – and a throwback type of tackle with a “road grader” mentality. He should become an instant starter in Buffalo.
10. Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
Since taking over as general manager for Denver in 2011, Hall of Famer John Elway has drafted five quarterbacks.
Five swings, five misses for Elway. Will he make it six?
The Broncos traded for Joe Flacco in the offseason, but Elway still wants a quarterback of the future. He may find it in Lock, the Missouri quarterback who led the FBS in touchdown passes (44) in 2017. Lock has all the tools – 6-4, athletic, strong arm – that Elway covets in a quarterback.
Article by Rick Bouch
Posted March 13th, 2019