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Justin Bales | Archive | Email |
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2019 NFL Mock Draft: Version 1.0
2/25/19

Nick Bosa

Pairing Nick Bosa with Chandler Jones would give Arizona one of the best DE tandems in the league.


1. Arizona Cardinals - Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State

Nick Bosa is the obvious pick, but that doesnít always seem to happen in the NFL. The Cardinals are a team filled with holes, meaning they can take the best overall prospect. They have one solid defensive end in Chandler Jones with an opening on the other side. Bosa features an NFL body with the ability to utilize speed or power moves to rush the quarterback. There have been reports that heís better at this point than his older brother, Joey Bosa, who has quickly become a premiere defensive player in the NFL. In 2017, Nick recorded 8.5 sacks and 16.0 tackles for a loss at Ohio State. He displayed elite potential in 2018 as well, recording 4.0 sacks and 6.0 tackles for a loss before suffering an injury and shutting down his season to train for the NFL Combine. There are multiple spots Arizona could go with this pick, but Bosa is the safe choice.

2. San Francisco 49ers - Quinnen Williams, DE, Alabama

Williams is a versatile player, who has the potential to play either defensive end or slide inside to tackle for the 49ers. It simply depends on whether or not San Francisco wants Solomon Thomas to slide inside or Williams to fill that role. Williams played only one full season at Alabama, recording 8.0 sacks and 19.5 tackles for a loss in 15 games in 2018. Heís a quick defensive lineman for his size, but also comes with bullrush potential. Williams is slightly better against the run, but far from a liability against the pass. As a bonus, Iím willing to predict that San Francisco keeps him inside, making up one of the best defensive tackle combinations in the NFL between Williams and DeForest Buckner.

3. New York Jets - Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky

The Oakland Raiders are dying for potential pass rushers after trading Khalil Mack, meaning they could potential unload draft capital to trade up to this spot for Josh Allen. If they donít, heíll likely be the next New York Jet. He has progressively gotten better throughout his collegiate career, breaking out as a senior. In 2018, Allen recorded 17.0 sacks and 21.5 tackles for a loss in 13 games. He has elite burst off the edge, although he struggles at times with hand placement. His athleticism has been enough to get by, but the addition of finesse/power moves will only make him that much more dangerous. While Allen is known for his pass rushing abilities, he is more than capable of dropping into zone when needed. There are some scouts that believe Allen has the potential to slide over a position to middle linebacker, while others say he can add weight to become a 4-3 defensive end if needed. The most likely scenario is Allen stays standing as an edge rusher, but the versatility canít hurt his stock.

4. Oakland Raiders - Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan

As mentioned above, the Raiders are in dire need of someone to get pressure on the quarterback. Gary is far from a safe prospect, but he comes with tremendous upside as a pass rusher. Jon Gruden and company have proven time and time again that they donít care about media critique as long as they are getting what they believe will help their team. They have holes all across the defensive line, and Gary enters the NFL with the ability to potentially play inside or out. Heís a smart player, who totaled 9.0 sacks and 18.0 tackles for a loss over his last 22 games at Michigan. He has the potential to become a high level run defender, but this is a pick based around his length, versatility, and ability to rush the passer. Similarly to everything Gruden has done since joining Oakland, heíll take a chance on a high upside player, who comes with a bit more risk than some would like this high in the NFL Draft.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Ed Oliver, DT, Houston


Oliver is taking somewhat of undeserved heat after an injury-riddled, questionable season in 2018. He still found plenty of success, and he recorded 13.5 sacks and 53.0 tackles for a loss through 32 career games. Heís a bit undersized, but has the speed and athleticism to create a mismatch against nearly any offensive line. Oliver struggles at times with his responsibilities, but has proven he has the potential to become a difference-maker in the run and pass. While he doesnít always get pressure on the quarterback, he generally gets his hands in the passing lanes. Oliver is also a consistent tackler, who rarely gives up on run plays, regardless of how far downfield the back gets. There have been talks that the Buccaneers are going to move on from Gerald McCoy, and Oliver could immediately slot into the starting role next to Vita Vea. Weíve seen how a pass rush up the middle can change offenses, a la Aaron Donald, and the Bucs could be looking to replicate that strategy the best they can with Oliver.

6. New York Giants - Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

Personal feelings aside, this is likely the right pick for the Giants. They have rode a terrible Eli Manning for years now, and they need to find his successor. Haskins has only started one season at the collegiate level, but he found plenty of success, throwing for 4,831 yards and 50 touchdowns, while recording only eight interceptions. He also completed 70% of his passes in 14 games. Heís a pocket passer with a solid combination of accuracy and arm strength. Haskins is also a solid decision-maker when throwing from a clean pocket. That may be an issue with New York, as they are in desperate need of help along the offensive line. Jonah Williams would be my first pick here, but New York will likely overdraft a quarterback after selecting a running back over a potential franchise quarterback with the second pick of last seasonís draft.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars - Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson

There are a few places the Jaguars could go in this situation. Drew Lock or Kyler Murray make sense, but I anticipate they use a one year stop-gap quarterback before finding their heir in a better 2020 draft class. If thatís the case, they could draft T.J. Hockenson or Noah Fant to fill a void at TE, but Ferrell is too good of value to pass up. He has looked outstanding over his last two seasons, totaling 21.0 sacks and 38.0 tackles for a loss over his last 29 games. He possesses great acceleration off the line with multiple pass rush moves that have allowed him to find the quarterback throughout his collegiate career. He has also proven that he can find success against the run, and he has the potential to continue to develop as a run stopper in the NFL. Ferrell will play defensive end in Jacksonvilleís defense, but he has the potential to stand up as a 3-4 OLB if needed.

8. Detroit Lions - Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

Williams has all the makings of an elite CB1 if he hits his ceiling. Heís an athletic corner with plenty of size. He has flashed tremendous press potential, while also displaying the ability to play off of his receiver. His only true knock is his effort in run support, which could change in time. Williams seemingly has the potential to shadow opposing teams WR1ís, which is relatively rare for cornerbacks coming out of college. The Lions need plenty of cornerback help outside of Darius Slay, and even he struggled at times in 2018. Williams is a potential playmaker, who would immediately add value to a position that should be at the top of Detroitís list in this draft.

9. Buffalo Bills - Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

The Bills selected their franchise quarterback (Josh Allen) last year, and now they need to protect their investment. They have multiple holes along the offensive line, and Williams is a player that can play either tackle or guard. Heíll immediately slot into the starting lineup and likely upgrade any position he takes over. Heís an extremely technical tackle, who has quick and impressive hands. Williams has also shown the ability to get to the second level, while potentially moving on to other players after his initial block. Williams has some of the most uncertain value in this draft, but itís likely he works his way into the top-10 on draft night.

10. Denver Broncos - Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

Lock is a big quarterback, who owns a cannon for an arm and has no business being selected in the top-10 of this draft. Thatís the exact reason John Elway will pull the trigger on him. Elway loves quarterbacks with size and powerful arms. He tends to ignore the red flags, such as a career 56.9% completion percentage at Missouri. The Broncos recently traded for Joe Flacco, but he simply isnít the long term answer. While he may be a one or two year starter to allow Denver to wait until a better quarterback class, that seems somewhat unlikely. Quarterbacks are generally overdrafted, even in weak classes. Lock has the exact profile Elway tends to look for in a quarterback, and there have already been reports that this pick is a near ďlock.Ē Keep in mind, even though Lock comes with substantial risk, he also comes with quite a bit of upside if he can reach his ceiling.

11. Cincinnati Bengals - Devin White, LB, LSU

The Bengals will need help along the offensive line, but they have a glaring need at middle linebacker. Devin White is a difference-maker on the defensive side of the ball with sideline-to-sideline range in run defense. Heís also an extremely sure tackler, who has plus play recognition. White is a valuable asset in the pass game as well, although he has found more success in zone coverage versus man. In his last two seasons, White has totaled 256 tackles, 7.5 sacks, and 25.5 tackles for a loss. Heíll immediately slot into the starting role for Cincinnati, and heíll add a presence on the second level that the Bengals have been lacking.

12. Green Bay Packers - Jachai Polite, DE, Florida

The Packers will surely be looking for pass rushers in this draft, and theyíll have their pick of the litter here. Montez Sweat was an interesting option, but I sided with the upside of Polite for Green Bay. He only has one season worth of true production, recording 19.5 tackles for a loss and 11.0 sacks through 13 games in 2018. He also recorded six forced fumbles over that span. Polite is an ultra-athletic edge rusher, who utilizes speed and acceleration to beat tackles. He needs to work on his run support if he wants to find consistent success in the NFL, but he has elite pass rushing upside, which is exactly what Green Bayís defense is in need of.

13. Miami Dolphins - Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

This is the sexy pick across the industry, and it makes quite a bit of sense. Ryan Tannehill is on his way out and Miami will need to find a replacement. There have been talks that the Dolphins are interested in tanking to find their quarterback of the future in the next draft or two, but thatís a bold proposition for any head coach. Murray started 14 games for Oklahoma this season, throwing for 4,361 yards, 42 touchdowns, and only seven interceptions. He also ran for 1,001 yards and 12 touchdowns on 140 rush attempts. He has game-changer potential, and the NFL is seemingly moving towards dual-threat quarterbacks. Murray could have potentially been the first quarterback taken if he had committed strictly to playing in the NFL sooner or with more conviction, but Miami is a losing franchise that will take a chance on a boom or bust prospect.

14. Atlanta Falcons - Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

There are plenty of teams with obvious needs. The Falcons are one of those teams. They need help along the interior defensive line, and Christian Wilkins is an NFL-ready player that can find success from day one. Heís a massive individual who comes with versatility; although heíll play defensive tackle in Atlantaís current defensive system. Wilkins has found plenty of success over his last three seasons at Clemson, totaling 36.0 tackles for a loss and 14.0 sacks over that span. I considered DreíMont Jones in this spot, but Wilkins seems to own a comfortable lead on him in the majority of ranks, and Iím fully willing to follow suit on that end.

15. Washington Redskins - D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

This pick assumes that Metcalfís medical checks out, as is expected. He missed part of last season with a neck injury, and only played in 19 total games since 2017. In those games, he recorded 65 receptions for 1,215 yards and 14 touchdowns, although he was never truly the WR1 on his team. Metcalf is a player that projects well in the NFL as he features a WR1 body with speed and solid hands. Heíll continue to work on route running as he progresses as a player, but he comes with more upside than any receiver in this draft, including his former teammate, A.J. Brown. Thatís exactly what the Washington Redskins need as they have been without a true WR1 for quite some time.

16. Carolina Panthers - Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

Thompson isnít the safest prospect on the board, but he fills a glaring hole in the Panthers defense. They will be forced to address the safety position this offseason, and drafting the best one in the class is far from a bad idea. He has versatility at the position, as he can play center field or move into the box. He also displayed good ball skills, recording two interceptions and six deflections last season. Thompson is a willing tackler, but needs to find more consistency in that department. While he may not be everyoneís favorite pick here, it makes sense for Carolina to address this position with this selection.

17. Cleveland Browns - DreíMont Jones, DT, Ohio State

The Browns donít have a ton of major needs, but they could use help at defensive tackle. There have been reports that if Jeffery Simmons falls to this pick, Cleveland will select him. That seems relatively unlikely, as he is loaded with off-field concerns, including a physical altercation with a woman and a recent injury. If they were willing to take Simmons, they could simply shift their focus to DreíMont Jones. Jones is a bit undersized, but heís athletic, and can produce hustle plays. In his last season at Ohio State, he recorded 13.0 tackles for a loss with 8.5 sacks. Heíll add another dimension to an already potent Cleveland pass rush, making their defense that much more dangerous.

18. Minnesota Vikings - Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss

The Vikings were considered one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl prior to the start of last season, but a struggling offensive line quickly ended their hopes. They have a relatively complete roster, but will need to upgrade their offensive line if they want to make a run this season. Little is a versatile player, who has the potential to play their tackle position, while also being able to kick into guard. He has the quickness to keep up with speed rushers, while he has enough power to slow down bull-rushers, although he has struggled more with the latter. Little will likely slide into the left tackle position for Minnesota, giving Kirk Cousins a bit more blindside protection.

19. Tennessee Titans - Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

This draft is absolutely loaded with edge rushers, meaning the Titans should have no issues finding one here. They have a few players that are plus pass rushers at the moment, but adding another is far from a bad idea. Sweat is an extremely tall prospect, who uses his length well. He utilizes multiple pass rushing moves, specifically involving his acceleration and athleticism. In his last two seasons at Mississippi State, Sweat totaled 30.0 tackles for a loss and 22.5 sacks. Heís another player that will help put pressure on the quarterback in Tennessee, which is an attribute their defense is in need of with quarterbacks like Andrew Luck and Deshaun Watson running opposing offenses.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers - Mack Wilson, ILB, Alabama

Is this a reach? Most likely. Does it make sense? Absolutely. Wilson found plenty of success in 14 games at Alabama last season, totaling 65 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss, and 1.0 sack. He also recorded two interceptions with five deflections. Heís a three-down linebacker that has sideline-to-sideline ability. Wilson should be able to find success in both the pass and run game, as he diagnoses plays well, and trusts his instincts. Heís a safe option for a team that needs inside linebacker help, but doesnít truly come with the upside of some other players available. Regardless, a safe option that will fill a void makes sense over potential upside at this part of the draft.

21. Seattle Seahawks - Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

The Seahawks featured one of the worst secondaries in the NFL last season, and theyíre going to need to address the position in this draft. With Greedy Williams off the board, they will have their pick between Byron Murphy and Deandre Baker. Murphy is a versatile cornerback, who has the ability to play outside or in the slot. He has flashed the ability to press or play off, as well. Furthermore, Murphy has found plenty of success in both man and zone at Washington. In his final collegiate season, he recorded four interceptions and 13 pass deflections. Murphyís ceiling is a CB1, who can shadow opposing WR1s, but his size could be an issue against larger receivers in the NFL.

22. Baltimore Ravens - Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State

The Ravens are expected to select a receiver with this pick, but there are a multitude of options for them to consider. NíKeal Harry and A.J. Brown may be the two most likely with D.K. Metcalf off the board, but Iím slotting Harmon into this spot. He has been climbing up the draft boards throughout the season, totaling 81 receptions for 1,186 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games at North Carolina State. He has a WR1 body with tremendous hands. He wonít necessarily take the top off of defenses every play, but he does come with some deep threat potential. Heíll more or less be a safe intermediate receiver for Lamar Jackson to continue to develop. While Harry and Brown both come with more upside than Harmon, heís the safer pick, who will immediately add to this offense.

23. Houston Texans - Cody Ford, OG, Oklahoma

Deshaun Watson was under pressure as much as any quarterback in the NFL last season, and the Texans are going to need to address that in this draft. Ford is a player that seemingly brings a high floor and an even higher ceiling into the equation. He can immediately slide into their starting lineup as a guard, while cross-training his skills as a tackle. He doesnít necessarily have elite size for the outside, but he owns a great first step combined with tremendous power. Ford also uses his hands extremely well, which is why he projects to play tackle in the long run. He also features the athleticism that can help him get down the field to the second level after his initial blocks. This isnít necessarily a sexy pick, but itís the most logical for Houston.

24. Oakland Raiders - A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss

The Raiders addressed their lack of a pass rush with their first pick, and now theyíll address their need for a wide receiver. Jordy Nelson is no longer the receiver he formerly was, and they donít have much upside behind him. Brown was the focal point of the Ole Miss offense that also featured D.K. Metcalf at times last season. Over his last 23 games, he has recorded 160 receptions for 2,572 yards and 17 touchdowns. Heís a big receiver, who utilizes agility and power in his routes and after the catch. Brown also has sure-fire hands, while he can play inside or out. Heís the type of receiver that a team can mold their offense around, and heís another high upside option for Oakland, who will likely be shooting for the stars in this draft.

25. Philadelphia Eagles - Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

Dexter Lawrence doesn't have the gaudy stats of Clelin Ferrell or Christian Wilkins, but he was a major part of the reason that those players are being drafted so high. Lawrence is a massive individual, who has the ability to eat up double-teams on the interior. In his three-year career at Clemson, he recorded 18.0 tackles for a loss and 10.0 sacks. Heís a powerful player, who will immediately help the Eagles in the run game. Fletcher Cox has been taking on double-teams for quite some time, but that may have to stop with Lawrence next to him. If not, Lawrence will finally see solo blocks, which could raise his ceiling. There are some that believe heíll be forced to come off the field on third downs, but I donít fully believe that is true. At worst, Lawrence will make Coxís life easier, which would be a welcome sign for one of the best players in the NFL.

26. Indianapolis Colts - NíKeal Harry, WR, Arizona State

Is wide receiver the biggest need for the Indianapolis Colts? No, but itís fun to consider and a truly plausible scenario. T.Y. Hilton has found plenty of success in the NFL, but heís more or less a deep threat, even if heís an elite one. Eric Ebron will continue to find success at tight end, but the remainder of the Indianapolis receiving group is a bit shaky. Harry is likely to drop a bit if he posts lackluster numbers at the NFL Combine, which is somewhat expected. He has never truly has possessed elite separation ability, but he ball skills are second to none. Harry will come down with contested catches, and Andrew Luck is a confident quarterback that will be willing to throw into coverage to give his receiver the best shot at success. Over the last two seasons at Arizona State, Harry has totaled 155 receptions for 2,230 yards and 17 touchdowns. The Colts could address issues with their secondary through free agency, and adding Harry to their already dominant offense would make them that much more dynamic.

27. Oakland Raiders - Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

This hasnít been the Oakland Raiders M.O. in this draft, but with three picks, they donít have to stick to one plan. Deandre Baker isnít seen as a high upside prospect, but he is seen as one of the safest in this draft. He comes with relatively average size, and tremendous speed. He has the ability to play at the line or off coverage, but he has looked significantly better in man. That doesnít necessarily mean he canít play zone, though. He simply uses his speed better in man, which may end up with him generally guarding receivers that are looking to take the top off of defenses. Baker likely will never turn into a shadow cornerback, but heíll be a starter in the NFL for years to come, which is something Oakland needs at this point.

28. Los Angeles Chargers - Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware

Adderley is a smaller school prospect, who comes with tremendous upside. Heís a safety that has the ability to play center field, taking away opposing deep threats with his ball-hawking potential. He can also move up in the box and help with run support. As if that isnít enough, Adderley has the potential to slide over to corner with very little issues. The Chargers could certainly use another safety to lean on, and Adderley makes their elite secondary that much better. This is a defense filled with chess pieces, and Adderley will fit right in a potential game-changing role.

29. Kansas City Chiefs - Jeffery Simmons, DE, Mississippi State

Simmons was a lock to be selected inside the top-15 of this draft, but off-field issues, including a confrontation with a woman and a recent injury have hurt his stock. He was an elite player over his final 26 games at Mississippi State, totaling 30.0 tackles for a loss and 7.0 sacks over that span. He also added five pass deflections and three forced fumbles in those games for good measure. Heís a potential difference-maker on the defensive line, and the Chiefs are a team that need defensive help. Theyíre also a team that is focused heavily on offense, and will be willing to wait for Simmons to get healthy to incorporate him in their defense. They have also proven that theyíre willing to take chances on players with shaky pasts, and Simmons is a steal at this pick from a talent perspective.

30. Green Bay Packers - T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

Iím sure by my final installment, Iíll have T.J. Hockenson selected well before this pick, but this is how this mock shakes out. Hockenson is an elite blocker, who surpassed the highly-touted Noah Fant in the passing game at Iowa. He finished this season with 49 receptions for 760 yards and six touchdowns. The Packers drafted three receivers last season, and itís time they take care of the tight end position with Jimmy Graham nearing the end of his career. Hockenson has game-changing potential in both the run and pass game, which is something Green Bay hasnít had at tight end in quite some time. Heíll immediately help Aaron Rodgers and company from any part of the field, especially in the red zone.

31. Los Angeles Rams - Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State

The Rams have a few needs, specifically middle linebacker, but that position doesnít truly make sense at this spot. Instead, they can select another edge rusher in a stacked class. Brian Burns is a speed rusher, who will struggle in the run game until he adds weight to his frame. With that being said, he can take some pressure off of Aaron Donald on passing downs, which is all the Rams needs. Through 33 games at Florida State, Burns totaled 38.5 tackles for a loss and 23.0 sacks. He comes with quite a bit of risk, but he can be a game-changer on third and long situations.

32. New England Patriots - Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

It would be a bit surprising if Fant wasnít selected in the first round, but there are players that are going to fall. Fant isnít likely to be one of them, though. Heís ultra-athletic and will immediately be a mismatch in the passing game. He needs work as a run blocker, but the Patriots can utilize him in the pass game more than the run game. If Rob Gronkowski opts to retire this offseason, Fant can immediately step in as a mismatch. If Gronkowski doesnít retire, New England could still use this pick on his heir. Imagine how Tom Brady could use a player that caught seven touchdowns on only 39 receptions last season at Iowa.