2019 NFL Mock Draft: Bengals find Andy Dalton's replacement; Pats target Alabama TE in post-Gronk world
Defenders and Alabama players dominate the most recent mock draft
Andy Dalton's season is over and while his contract runs through 2020 the Bengals could use their current draft position to find his successor. The Raiders and Giants also target quarterbacks, though for different reasons; Derek Carr is just two years removed from finishing tied for third in the MVP voting but it's not clear if he's what Jon Gruden is looking for, while Eli Manning is 37 years old and is in the twilight of his career.
As always, this version is stocked with defensive talent as well as a few new faces as we move towards bowl season, and beyond that, draft season.
Alright, let's get to all the picks.
If you're wondering, the picks below are ordered based on winning percentage, playoff seedings and strength of schedule (via Tankathon.com).
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1. San Francisco 49ers
Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State. For now, Bosa's our No. 1 pick. It hasn't changed in weeks (months) though perhaps we'll get more clarity as we get into the offseason. Here's the deal: The 49ers are a bad team. The good news is their season has been ruined by injuries and 2019 will be much improved. The bad news is they lack a consistent pass rush. Drafting Bosa, who has the potential to be a game-changing talent, solves that. (Stream Broncos-49ers and all the CBS games on CBS All Access, and stream the entire Sunday NFL slate on fuboTV, try it for free.)
2. Oakland Raiders
3. New York Jets
Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama. The Jets have needs up and down the roster, and you could argue for an edge rusher or defensive tackle here, but protecting 2017 first-rounder Sam Darnold should be pretty high on the to-do list. Williams has been near-flawless all season and he'd be the Jets' starting left tackle for the next decade.
4. Arizona Cardinals
Greedy Williams, CB, LSU. Williams is the prototype for today's NFL cornerback -- rangy, long, fast -- and he'd pair nicely with Patrick Peterson as the Cardinals spend the offseason retooling their roster.
5. Detroit Lions
Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama. By the time it's said and done, Williams might be considered the best prospect in this draft class. He's had a monster season at Alabama and he'll give Lions coach Matt Patricia a much-needed playmaker in the middle of his defense.
6. Atlanta Falcons
Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State. We've spent months talking up Quinnen Williams and Ed Oliver, but Simmons has been a disruptive interior force this season. He has just one sack but he spends games in the backfield as evidenced by his 15.5 tackles for loss. In related news: The Falcons' defensive line is among the league's worst, according to Football Outsiders.
7. New York Giants
Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State. Haskins has had a monster season at Ohio State, including 11 touchdowns and just one interception in his most recent wins over Michigan and Northwestern. We hadn't included him here until last week, mostly because it sounded like the redshirt sophomore was set to return to school. But Haskins might have the most upside of any quarterback in this class, and his 4,500 passing yards and a 70.0 completion percentage only make him more attractive to quarterback-needy NFL teams. It would also mean the Giants are finally moving on from Eli Manning.
8. Buffalo Bills
Ed Oliver, DT, Houston. The Bills' offense desperately needs help but they'll certainly settle for Ed Oliver, who could very well be a top-five talent in this draft. With 35-year-old Kyle Williams in the final year of his contract, Sean McDermott would gladly take Oliver here.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars
Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida. The quarterback situation looms large but assuming the Jags figure something out in free agency, addressing the pass rush would make sense. Polite, who had a breakout season at Florida, feels like a Jaguars player with his explosive first step and physical abilities. His ability to get in the backfield was unrivaled at times this fall.
10. Green Bay Packers
Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama. Same as last week. The Packers traded away Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and currently, 35-year-old cornerback Tramon Williams is playing free safety. Thompson's the best safety in this class and it isn't close. With depth at pass rusher, Green Bay gets their centerfielder here.
11. Cleveland Browns
D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss. Metcalf declared for the draft last week after his college season was cut short by injury. He was one of college football's most dynamic pass catchers before he was hurt and he'll give Baker Mayfield the physical downfield threat he lost when Josh Gordon was traded.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State. Burns is a long, lean explosive pass rusher. At 235-240 pounds, the concern is whether he's strong enough to play the position at the next level but Burns isn't just a speed rusher; he's also strong, and has the frame to get stronger. Either way, the Bucs struggle to get after the quarterback and Burns immediately solves that problem.
13. Cincinnati Bengals
Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon. The Bengals say they're committed to Andy Dalton, whose season is over after suffering a thumb injury, but this team hasn't won a playoff game in the Marvin Lewis era, which dates back to 2003, and they haven't qualified for the postseason since 2015. Herbert has off-the-charts measurables but he had an inconsistent junior season at Oregon and there's no guarantee he'll declare for the draft. If he does, and tests well during the pre-draft process, he could be a top-5 pick.
14. Philadelphia Eagles
Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia. Same as last week. After dominating for much of last season, the Eagles' offensive line could use an upgrade. The unit ranks 20th in run blocking and 25th in pass protection. Jason Peters is 36 years old and his contract is set to expire after the 2019 season.
15. Miami Dolphins
Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State. Danny Amendola leads the Dolphins in receptions with 48. Meanwhile, 2015 first-rounder DeVante Parker still hasn't found his form. Harmon is a physical receiver who makes contested catches look easy and is a scoring threat every time he touches the ball. He'd would give Ryan Tannehill (or whomever's under center in 2019) a much-needed downfield threat.
16. Indianapolis Colts
Byron Murphy, CB, Washington. The Colts rank 23rd in pass defense and Murphy has been one of the best cornerbacks in college this season, including his two-interception performance in the Pac-12 Championship Game win over Utah.
17. Carolina Panthers
Noah Fant, TE, Iowa. Fant declared for the draft last week and he leads a deep class of tight ends. The Panthers have other needs -- offensive line chief among them -- but with Greg Olsen sidelined for the rest of the season, finding Cam Newton an athletic middle-of-the-field playmaker will also be key.
18. Tennessee Titans
Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky. Allen had a breakout season at Kentucky and could find himself among the first 10 players drafted. He'd pair nicely with 2018 second-round pick Harold Landry, who is fourth on the team with 2.5 sacks.
19. Denver Broncos
Kaden Smith, TE, Stanford. Smith had just 47 catches and two touchdowns this season but he has the athleticism NFL offenses covet. Yes, the Broncos drafted Jake Butt in the fifth round last year but he suffered an ACL injury in late September and won't be fully healthy until minicamp.
20. Minnesota Vikings
Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College. Kirk Cousins has been sacked every game this season -- including two in each of the last three contests -- and bolstering the interior line will be critical to keeping the Vikings quarterback upright in 2019 and beyond. Lindstrom is arguably the best guard in the draft and he's coming off a strong season at Boston College.
21. Washington Redskins
Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama. The Redskins have needs on offense too -- wideout in particular -- but claiming Reuben Foster off waivers is a clear sign they'll do just about anything to fix their linebacker situation; Mason Foster has not been good. Wilson is one of the best defenders on a dominant Alabama team and he fits the prototype for what NFL teams look for in linebackers: sideline-to-sideline speed, smart, good tackler and good in coverage.
22. Oakland Raiders (via Dallas)
Devin White, LB, LSU. The Raiders got their quarterback but they also need a pass rusher and a wide receiver. But White is too good to pass up here. Mack Wilson might be the more polished linebacker but White is arguably more explosive. Both have sideline-to-sideline speed and the athleticism to handle the demands of the position in today's NFL but White is more of a thumper.
23. Baltimore Ravens
Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson. Same as last week. Terrell Suggs is 36 and this may be his last season in Baltimore. Ferrell isn't as explosive as Suggs in his prime but he can certainly grow into that role while playing on one of the league's top units.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers
Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State. If the Steelers are going to match up fast linebackers against players like Keenan Allen, they might as well draft physical, fluid cornerbacks to cover them. Plus, after Joe Haden, there is no depth at the position outside of slot corner Mike Hilton -- and that includes 2016 first-rounder Artie Burns, who was benched earlier this season.
25. Seattle Seahawks
Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State. Frank Clark has been a monster this season but the Seahawks could use a pass rusher on the other side of the formation. Sweat followed up a 10.5-sack performance in 2017 with 11.5 sacks this season.
26. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago)
Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan. Gary checks two boxes for the Raiders: He can play both interior defensive line and edge rusher. And while Oakland has a bigger need at defensive end, Gary might be better inside though his versatility means he can play in several different roles.
27. Houston Texans
28. Los Angeles Chargers
Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson. Wilkins has had a fantastic senior season playing on one of the best defensive lines in college football. He has a nonstop motor as evidenced by his 4.5 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss in 2018.
29. New England Patriots
Irv Smith, Jr., TE, Alabama. Rob Gronkowski returned to the lineup Sunday after missing a month with an injury but he has just two touchdowns in nine games, the lowest total of his career. There's also the report that he's "still dealing with the Patriot Way," which could mean a parting of ways sooner rather than later.
30. Green Bay Packers (via New Orleans)
Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas St. Aaron Rodgers spends most Sundays running for his life and the offensive overhaul continues with restocking the offensive line.
31. Kansas City Chiefs
Te'von Coney, LB, Notre Dame. Coney's had a very good senior season that's included nine tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. The Chiefs have needs all over its defense but linebacker has been especially weak in 2018.
32. Los Angeles Rams
Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia. Aqib Talib is 32 years old, coming off an injury, and has one year left on his deal. Marcus Peters is just 25, and also has one year left on his contract, but has been inconsistent this season. Either way, Baker is a dynamic player who can blanket opponents.
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