Free agency came and went, rearranging every team's list of needs and priorities, but the biggest pre-draft domino has yet to fall. I'm talking, of course, about Josh Rosen. How the Cardinals proceed with their second-year quarterback, for whom they traded up to No. 10 just a year ago, will determine how so much of the draft unfolds. Which is why, until the Cardinals decide to trade him (which might not ever happen, of course), every mock draft will need to address the Cardinals-Rosen conundrum.
In my latest mock draft -- two weeks after Alex Smith -- in his mid-30s -- isn't a long-term solution.in a far juicier outcome than this week's mock -- I have the Redskins trading for Rosen and giving up a second-round pick to do so. , the Redskins need to be in the market for a better and younger quarterback who has a chance to become their long-term solution at the position. Keenum and Colt McCoy are nothing more than placeholders and
They could hope that a quarterback falls to them at No. 15, but that's a risky proposition. It could happen, but it just as easily couldn't happen. And there's no way to know how it'll unfold ahead of time. Can the Redskins risk waiting around at No. 15 for one of the big-three quarterbacks? If they do that and come up with nothing, they'll be screwed.
The way they've approached free agency signals that they're not looking to undergo a rebuild. TheyThat's not a bad move given how good Collins has been at his peak. But it's not the kind of signing a team that thinks it's heading into a long rebuild makes. The Redskins want to win now or at the very least, soon. It's why they traded for Smith a year ago.
With all that in mind, Washington is one landing spot that makes a whole lot of sense for Rosen. Other landing spots that make sense are New York with the Giants and Miami with the Dolphins.
In this mock, I have the Redskins making a move for Rosen, the Cardinals taking Murray No. 1 overall, the Giants using Drew Lock after he experiences a slight draft-day stumble, and the Dolphins trading up to take Dwayne Haskins. Based on recent comments made by Giants general manager Dave Gettleman, I don't think the Giants are entering the draft thinking they need to get a quarterback, but I also think if one of the big-three were to drop to them at No. 17, they would pull the trigger. Meanwhile, the Dolphins are in desperate need of a long-term solution at quarterback. doesn't change much of anything besides giving them a very flimsy insurance plan if they don't manage to come away with a quarterback in the draft.to take
OK, let's get to all the picks, which also include the Patriots trading up for their long-term Gronk replacement.
| Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma |
In this scenario, the Cardinals trade Josh Rosen to the Redskins for a second-round pick. The Cardinals then give new coach Kliff Kingsbury what he presumably wants: Murray as his franchise quarterback.
| Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State |
A no-brainer for the 49ers, who have to be hoping the Cardinals find a way to deal Rosen and take Murray No. 1 overall, which would leave Bosa for them.
| Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky |
It's a tossup between Allen and Quinnen Williams, but the Jets value an edge rusher more than an interior lineman here, so they make Allen, the second-best edge rusher in the draft, their pick.
| Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State |
In a somewhat surprising move, the Raiders don't take Williams. Instead, they go for the third-best edge rusher in the draft, Sweat. According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Sweat has a pre-existing heart condition. However, according to The Athletic's Dane Brugler, a NFL team source told him that it's considered a low-risk condition. A year ago, who entered the draft with a reported heart condition. So even if some teams are scared off, the Raiders aren't likely to be one of those teams.
| Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama |
The Buccaneers would love for Williams to fall to them. This is a team with whole host of issues on the defensive side of the ball. They should be taking the best player available. That's Williams, who is a monster on the interior of the defensive line. Yes, the Buccaneers could use a pass rusher. If Sweat is available, they should take him. But Williams did generate eight sacks this past season.
| Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson |
After trading Olivier Vernon to the Browns, the Giants have a need on their defensive line. Truth be told, the Giants have a ton of needs at nearly every position (except running back), but the Giants could do a whole lot worse than Ferrell, who had 21 sacks over his final two college seasons. The Giants could still be in the market for a quarterback even with Eli Manning returning, but they might also decide to wait another year to draft Manning's successor.
| Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida |
After signing Nick Foles to a big contract, the Jaguars aren't likely to use their top-10 pick on a quarterback. They could, however, use their pick on an offensive lineman. Taylor might be the best tackle in the draft and should be an upgrade for the Jaguars.
| Greedy Williams, CB, LSU |
The Lions are one of the most interesting teams in this draft. They could go in a number of different ways. Edge rusher was a priority before free agency, but the team signed Trey Flowers to a big deal. They should still try to upgrade up front, but Williams is the best cornerback in the draft and the Lions have a need in the secondary even after signing Justin Coleman.
Mock trade with the BillsDwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
The Dolphins signed Ryan Fitzpatrick to be their bridge starter. Now they just need to make sure that bridge leads somewhere. I have them trading up with the Bills to get ahead of the Broncos and Bengals, two teams that could be in the market for a quarterback, in order to get Haskins, who can sit behind Fitzpatrick until he's ready. I'd be willing to guess that process would take less than a full season.
| Devin White, LB, LSU|
Vic Fangio got the Broncos' coaching job because of his outstanding work as the defensive coordinator with the Bears and 49ers. Fangio's linebackers for those teams? Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman / Roquan Smith, and Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman. After parting ways with Brandon Marshall, the Broncos have a need at linebacker. And Fangio's defenses typically rely on good linebackers.
| Devin Bush, LB, Michigan|
The Bengals have finally cut Vontaze Burfict. Time to get his replacement in Bush. They'd prefer White, but the Bengals need to upgrade at linebacker somehow and there might not be a worthy Day 1 starter available after Round 1.
| T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa |
The Packers give Aaron Rodgers the dynamic pass-catching tight end he's never had. Hockenson might be considered a luxury pick, but considering the Packers already filled some of their biggest needs in free agency and also own a second first-round pick, they can afford to get a luxury at No. 12. He's the best tight end in the draft due to his ability to both block and catch.
Mock trade with the DolphinsRashan Gary, DL, Michigan
After trading back, the Bills still get a player who is often considered a top-10 pick. Before free agency, I figured receiver would make the most sense for the Bills after failing to trade for Antonio Brown. But they did sign John Brown and Cole Beasley in free agency, giving them two competent receivers a year after having none. By taking Gary, who didn't produce much in college but has the skills to dominate at the next level, the Bills make the strength of their team even stronger. Last year, the Bills' defense ranked second in DVOA.
| Ed Oliver, DT, Houston |
Grady Jarrett should be back, even if he has to play the year under the franchise tag. But a long-term deal could be tricky. Oliver would give them insurance in the event Jarrett holds out or leaves after the coming season. If Jarrett signs a long-term deal, the Falcons would have a monster tandem inside for the foreseeable future.
| D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss |
After trading for Rosen, the Redskins are no longer in the market for a quarterback. After losing Jamison Crowder in free agency, the Redskins could be in the market for a receiver. After an explosive performance at the combine, Metcalf has jumped to the top of many receiver boards. The Redskins grab the incredibly athletic Metcalf, who joins Josh Doctson and Paul Richardson in Washington. That'd make for an explosive -- though somewhat unreliable -- receiver group.
| Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama |
Offensive tackle was the Panthers' biggest need entering the offseason. They re-signed Daryl Williams, who should play on the right side, but cut Matt Kalil, who has started on the left side. Williams should step in and fill the void created by Kalil's departure.
From the BrownsDrew Lock, QB, Missouri
This works out nicely for the Giants, who use the first-round pick acquired in the Beckham trade to take their quarterback of the future, who will start the season behind Eli Manning.
| Cody Ford, G, Oklahoma|
The Vikings need to get better up front as they enter Year 2 with Kirk Cousins. Offensive line was already a need before free agency and then the Vikings parted ways with Mike Remmers and Nick Easton. In Ford, the Vikings are getting an immediate starter at guard.
| Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson |
With Bennie Logan still unsigned, the Titans need another interior lineman to pair with Jurrell Casey. Over his final two college seasons, Wilkins racked up 23 tackles for a loss and 10.5 sacks.
| Byron Murphy, CB, Washington |
The Steelers should be focused on fixing their problem at linebacker or at cornerback. With White and Bush off the table, the Steelers won't find a linebacker worthy of the 20th overall pick. So, they take Murphy, a cornerback who checks in at .
| Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State|
Even after franchise tagging Frank Clark, the Seahawks need to get better up front on defense. They've parted ways with Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, Sheldon Richardson, and Malik McDowell over the past year, and Dion Jordan is still unsigned.
| Garrett Bradbury, C, NC State |
The Ravens need receivers, but they've talked about building an offense starting with the offensive line. Bradbury would start immediately on the interior of their line.
| Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State|
The Texans need to pick an offensive lineman after nearly getting Deshaun Watson killed.
From the BearsJosh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
They already went edge with their first first-round pick. They have another first-round pick coming up shortly. So, the Raiders can afford to take a bit of a luxury in Jacobs, the best running back in the draft. Suddenly, with an offense featuring Brown, Williams, and Jacobs, the Raiders are loaded at the skill positions.
| Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia |
It's all about fixing a leaky secondary in Philadelphia after acquiring Malik Jackson to bolster the defense up front and trading for DeSean Jackson to give Carson Wentz another weapon on offense. Baker might be the third-best cornerback in the draft, but he's worthy of a first-round pick.
Mock trade with the ColtsNoah Fant, TE, Iowa
Even if Gronk returns, the Patriots need to get younger at the position. There's a very good chance Fant will be off the board well before the mid-20s. But if he's around, the Patriots can use their bevy of picks to move up for a tight end who can impact the game immediately as a pass catcher, though he still needs to hone his blocking. In that sense, he's not the perfect Gronk replacement considering Gronk is one of the best blockers at his position group.
From the CowboysJeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
If Simmons were healthy, he might be a top-15 pick. Unfortunately, Simmons. That means, he'll miss a portion of the 2019 season. The Raiders, though, could get tremendous value if they're willing to be patient. Even after their free-agency spree, the Raiders are unlikely to unseat the Chiefs or Chargers in 2019. Why not get a top-15 talent in Simmons at the end of the first round? He's unlikely to miss the entire season and most importantly, he should be ready to break out by the time the Raiders arrive in Las Vegas.
| Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame|
Corey Liuget is a free agent. Brandon Mebane is coming back, but he's 34. The inside of the defensive line is a need. Tillery would start immediately alongside Mebane. The Chargers' defensive front with Joey Bosa, Melvin Ingram, Tillery, and Mebane would be among the best in football in 2019.
| Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida |
The Chiefs got rid of their two best edge rushers, Justin Houston and Dee Ford. It's time to reload at the position. Polite would start immediately at defensive end in the team's new 4-3 scheme.
From the SaintsNasir Adderley, S, Delaware
The Packers could use an edge rusher, but they also need a new free safety. Recently signed Adrian Amos is a box safety. In Chicago, he played alongside the great and rangy Eddie Jackson. Adderley has good enough speed to be the team's new single-high safety.
| Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson |
Re-signing Dante Fowler addressed their need for an edge rusher. Lawrence can slot in on the interior of their line where Ndamukong Suh lined up a year ago.
Mock trade with the PatriotsMarquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
After trading down, the Colts find their compliment to T.Y. Hilton. Brown is a speedster NFL.com's Lance Zierlein compared to DeSean Jackson. The one-year deal the team gave to Devin Funchess should not prohibit them from taking a receiver in the first round.