2019 NFL Mock Draft: Kyler Murray to Giants, Steelers replace Antonio Brown, Jaguars, Redskins trade up for QB
If Murray declares for the draft it could throw the top half of the first round into upheaval
A week ago, we all assumed Kyler Murray was going to play baseball. Then, last Wednesday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that NFL Draft. On Sunday, more reports emerged: The Oakland A's were trying to convince Murray to stick with baseball and a decision could be reached by Monday.for the 2019
If this was 2012, Murray wouldn't even consider declaring -- he was a top-10 pick of the Oakland A's and he'd be lucky to go in the third round of the NFL Draft. Which is exactly what happened to Russell Wilson. But Wilson's sustained success, and with what Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson accomplished as rookies, Murray is absolutely a first-round talent.
And Murray's addition to this draft class could hasten a run on quarterbacks by teams desperate for them. It's why we have the Jaguars and Redskins trading up for one, and why four quarterbacks are off the board after 11 picks.
Alright, let's get to all the picks.
1. Arizona Cardinals
Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State. On a team chock full of holes, edge rusher isn't at the top of the to-do list. That said, it's hard to pass on a talent like Bosa, who can take over games. There isn't an offensive linemen worth taking this high and the Cardinals find themselves in full-on rebuild mode less than a year after hiring Steve Wilks and drafting Josh Rosen in the first round.
2. Jacksonville Jaguars (mock trade with 49ers)
Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State. The Jaguars get their franchise quarterback, which officially ends the Blake Bortles era in Jacksonville. The only question becomes how long before Haskins, who finally declared for the draft, assumes the starting job full-time.
3. New York Jets
Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky. Is Josh Allen the best pass rusher in the draft? That will be decided in the coming weeks and months, but no one did more for their draft stock than Allen, who returned to Kentucky for his senior season and went off. After seven sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss in 2017, Allen gained 10-15 pounds of muscle and put up 14 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss and was pretty much unblockable.
4. Oakland Raiders
Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama. Williams might be the second-best player in this draft, which is why the Raiders are taking him here even though defensive tackle isn't an immediate need. Williams has been one of the most dominant players in college football, and this is after sitting behind Da'Ron Payne (a Redskins first-rounder last spring) in 2017. Oakland needs an edge rusher but Williams is a one-man pocket-collapser from the interior.
5. 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. Jason Pierre-Paul had 12.5 sacks but he ranked 80th among all edge rushers, according to Pro Football Focus.
6. New York Giants
Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma. General manger Dave Gettleman sure sounds like he's content to bring Eli Manning back for another season but imagine the Giants offense with Murray under center, Saquon Barkley in the backfield, and Odell Beckham and Evan Engram running routes. Woo boy.
7. San Francisco 49ers (mock trade with Jaguars)
Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson. Ferrell was one of the stars of the best defensive line in college football, and he finished his junior season with 11.5 sacks and 20 tackles for loss. There may be questions about Ferrell's flexibility compared to the other first-round pass rushers but there's no denying his Clemson production. In fact, on first downs during the 2018 season, Ferrell ranked among the top-10 players in the country in sacks (5), hurries (12), hits (10), knockdowns (5) and pressures (17).
8. Detroit Lions
Byron Murphy, CB, Washington. When it's all said and done Murphy could be the first cornerback taken. He's an athletic playmaker with game-changing ability. Darius Slay had a good season for the Lions but coach Matt Patricia could use a top-flight cornerback on a defense that ranked 31st against the pass, according to Football Outsiders.
9. Buffalo Bills
Ed Oliver, DT, Houston. Kyle Williams is retiring and Oliver, considered a top-5 pick during the college season, would be a steal here. There are questions about his size, and whether he can hold up over a 16-game season, but he's consistently disruptive in both the run and pass game.
10. Denver Broncos
Daniel Jones, QB, Duke. Is Case Keenum the answer in 2019? New coach Vic Fangio said Keenum is the Broncos' quarterback "right now." Either way, we know general manager John Elway would love to upgrade the position. There's a reason he was closely watching Justin Herbert this season and now that he's returned to Oregon, Elway could turn his attention to other draft-eligible passers. After a good 2018 season, Jones could improve his stock with a strong showing at the Senior Bowl.
11. Washington Redskins (mock trade with Bengals)
Drew Lock, QB, Missouri. Alex Smith suffered a gruesome injury in November and it's unclear if the 34-year-old will be fully recovered by training camp. Lock has the best arm of this quarterback class -- he reminds us of Jay Cutler -- and he would answer at least one of the looming offseason questions for this franchise and its beleaguered fanbase.
12. Green Bay Packers
Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida. Polite, who had a breakout season at Florida, has an explosive first step and off-the-chart physical abilities. His knack for getting in the backfield was unrivaled at times this fall. And while Kyler Fackrell has had a breakout season in Green Bay, Clay Matthews is 32 and in the final year of his contract.
13. Miami Dolphins
Greedy Williams, CB, LSU. With four quarterbacks already off the board, the Dolphins bolster their secondary. Williams may not be the most polished cornerback in this draft class but he is insanely athletic and has all the tools to become a great player.
14. Atlanta Falcons
Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson. Grady Jarrett was a beast this season but he could use some help along the defensive line. And Lawrence could end up being the best player to come from this dominant Clemson defensive line.
15. Cincinnati Bengals (mock trade with Redskins)
Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama. The Bengals' offensive line ranked 22nd in the league, according to Football Outsiders and the team can move on from Cordy Glenn without incurring any dead salary-cap charges. Williams has consistently been a top-10 pick in our mock drafts but Kyler Murray has thrown the top half of the board into upheaval. Meanwhile, Cincy gets a player who they can pencil in at left tackle for the next decade.
16. Carolina Panthers
Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama. Eric Reid was signed a month into the season but he quickly became one of the Panthers' best defensive backs. His contract is up, which is the case for safety Mike Adams, who will turn 38 in March. Thompson is the best safety in the class (he's expected to officially declare for the draft on Monday), and he can be a game-changer in centerfield. On a unit lacking depth in the secondary, Thompson would be a solid choice.
17. Cleveland Browns
D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss. Metcalf is the best wide receiver in this draft and he'd give Baker Mayfield another downfield playmaker alongside Antonio Callaway. And this offense -- with Jarvis Landry, David Njoku and Nick Chubb -- would immediately be considered one of the AFC's best.
18. Minnesota Vikings
Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas St. Is it too early for the Vikings to look for a quarterback? That was rhetorical, mostly because Kirk Cousins is one year into a three-year, $84 million -- all guaranteed -- deal. And since Cousins isn't going anywhere, Minnesota has to do a better job of protecting him. Risner was a tackle in college but could kick inside at the next level where he will be a Day 1 starter.
19. Tennessee Titans
Noah Fant, TE, Iowa. Delanie Walker is 34 years old and suffered an ankle injury in Week 1 that ended his season. 2017 third-round pick Jonnu Smith finished with 20 receptions and should improve in Year 3 but adding the most athletic tight end in a stacked draft class could be hard to pass up for an offense in desperate need of playmakers.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State. Bet you didn't see this coming. If the Steelers ship Antonio Brown out of town (for, say, a second-round pick), they could decide to replace him with one of the best receivers in this draft class. Harmon put up eye-popping numbers during his junior season at N.C. State and he'd make it difficult for opponents to double-team JuJu Smith-Schuster.
21. Seattle Seahawks
Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State. Frank Clark has balled out this season (14 sacks) but he's the only edge-rushing threat. Sweat isn't as athletic as Bosa, Allen or Polite but it's hard to argue with his production. He had 12 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss for Mississippi State in 2018.
22. Baltimore Ravens
Devin White, LB, LSU. C.J. Mosley could hit free agency after the season and White, who could be a top-10 pick, would seamlessly transition into the role. He's one of the most dynamic players in the draft, a sideline-to-sideline thumper who would immediately solidify the middle of the defense.
23. Houston Texans
Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma. Ford excelled at tackle this season after moving over from guard and he could play either position at the next level. In related news: Deshaun Watson was sacked 62 times in the regular season for the Texans, which is ... unsustainable.
24. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago)
Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan. Khalil Mack was traded before the season, Bruce Irvin was cut last month, and the Raiders are one of the NFL's worst pass-rushing units. They have to address the position early, and possibly often in the 2019 draft. Gary didn't live up to expectations at Michigan but part of that can be blamed on him playing out of position. Is he an edge rusher? Is he better inside?
25. Philadelphia Eagles
Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware. Adderley made a name for himself over the final months of the season and the FCS standout could find himself among the first 32 players taken. He'll have a chance to prove himself at the Senior Bowl and the biggest question might be his size -- is he big enough to play safety over the course of an NFL season -- because every other aspect of his game checks all the boxes of what teams look for in a defensive back.
26. Indianapolis Colts
Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State. The Colts' defense was exposed by the Chiefs in the divisional round but there's no shame in that; the Chiefs routinely expose every defense they face. But for as good as Matt Eberflus' unit was, upgrading the secondary should be a priority. Oruwariye, a physical, fluid cornerback who can cover, was one of college football's best cornerbacks on first down, holding opponents to 27.6 completion percentage while forcing two interceptions and seven passes defended.
27. Oakland Raiders (via Dallas)
N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State. The Raiders need playmakers because 33-year-old Jordy Nelson isn't close to the player he was in Green Bay. Harry had 73 receptions for 1,088 yards and nine touchdowns last season, and he reminds us of JuJu Smith-Schuster and Anquan Boldin.
28. Los Angeles Chargers
Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State. Same as last week. 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. He often requires double-teams, which is a problem for any offense already dealing with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.
29. New England Patriots
Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson. Yep, three of four Clemson defensive linemen went in the first round here. Some were skeptical about Wilkins returning for his senior season but he set career highs in sacks, tackles for loss and, oh yeah, he beat Alabama in the national title game. He'd also help a Patriots defensive line 26th in run defense and 30th in pass rush, according to Football Outsiders.
30. Los Angeles Rams
Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia. Nickell Robey-Coleman and Aqib Talib have had solid seasons but Marcus Peters and Troy Hill have struggled with consistency. Talib is also 32 and Baker, who had a strong 2018 with the Bulldogs, would add some youth and playmaking ability to Wade Phillips' defense.
31. Kansas City Chiefs
Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama. The Chiefs' defense has been among the league's worst in 2018 and solidifying the linebacker position is as good a place to start as any. Wilson was expected to return to school but announced Sunday night that he was headed to the NFL. He could end up being the best linebacker in this class.
32. Green Bay Packers (via New Orleans)
Joshua Jacobs, RB, Alabama. Coming into the season, Damien Harris was the name to know as the best draft-eligible Alabama running back. But Jacobs has been the more dynamic player this season. He breaks tackles at a 38.5 percent clip (that's third in the country among backs with at least 50 touches) and 41.3 percent of his carries result in first downs (that's No. 2). A running back may not slip into the first round but if one does, Jacobs is a good bet -- assuming he leaves school early. New Packers coach Matt LaFleur ran the ball more than half the time in Tennessee last season, and a more balanced attack in Green Bay could prolong Aaron Rodgers' career.
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