2019 NFL Mock Draft: Raiders land Nick Bosa, Patriots replace Rob Gronkowski, three QBs taken
For the first time in a long time, Nick Bosa falls out of the No. 1 pick
Another week, another mock draft where the Raiders don't take a quarterback with one of their first-round picks. Still, three quarterbacks go in our latest version, with the first going off the board at No. 5.
All right, 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. Arizona Cardinals
Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama. Protecting Josh Rosen has to be the No. 1 priority in the offseason and Williams has been flawless this season for Alabama. If the Cards can fix the offensive line in free agency then they could use the top pick on the draft's best player, Nick Bosa.
2. Oakland Raiders
Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State. Is there any way Bosa doesn't go first overall? Sure, and should he be on the board when the Raiders go on the clock, expect them to take him without a second thought. The defense has been a disaster and the pass rush nonexistent, which makes perfect sense when you trade the NFL's best pass rusher in Khalil Mack and a few months later, release the team's second-best rusher in Bruce Irvin.
3. New York Jets
Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky. Outside linebackers Jordan Jenkins and Brandon Copeland have combined for 12 sacks but both have struggled with consistency this season. (Of course, you could say that about the entire Jets organization.) Allen returned to Kentucky for his senior season and is now one of the nation's elite pass rushers. He'd be a welcome addition in a Jets locker room that could see a lot of changes in the coming months.
4. San Francisco 49ers
Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson. Ferrell had 10 sacks for Clemson while playing on the best defensive line in football. He may not go this high but the 49ers need to find pass rushers despite taking defensive linemen in the first round from 2015-17.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars
Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State. Jags executive Tom Coughlin historically likes college quarterbacks with more experience but the current circumstances in Jacksonville may dictate that he deviate from that plan. 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. For much of the season 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. With Blake Bortles' Jaguars career all but over, the Jags need a post-Bortles plan and Haskins could be the best option.
6. Atlanta Falcons
Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State. When defensive tackle Grady Jarrett is tied for the team lead in sacks, that's probably a good sign you need to upgrade the pass rush. Former first-round rushers Takk McKinley and Vic Beasley have combined for 11 sacks but the Falcons could choose to move on from Beasley after the season. Burns, meanwhile, 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.
7. Detroit Lions
Devin White, LB, LSU. The Lions have needs up and down the roster on the defensive side of the ball, which is what happens when you rank 29th. But instead of bolstering the defensive line or secondary, coach Matt Patricia takes one of the draft's most athletic players in White. Detroit's linebackers have struggled with consistency and White would bring some much needed tenacity to the group. You could argue that 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.
8. New York Giants
Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon. It sure feels like Eli Manning will come back in 2019 to be the Giants' starter but that doesn't mean it's right. We still don't know if Herbert will leave school, and it's hard to ignore his average season for the Ducks, but he has all the things you look for in a franchise quarterback. Perhaps the best-case scenario is for Manning to serve as the bridge to Herbert next season, and then give Herbert the job full time in 2020.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Greedy Williams, CB, LSU. The Bucs' pass defense ranks 29th, according to Football Outsiders and Williams enters the draft season as the top-rated cornerback. Also: 35-year-old Brent Grimes is in the final year of his contract and the Bucs need to get younger, faster and more physical at the position.
10. Buffalo Bills
Ed Oliver, DT, Houston. We have Quinnen Williams ranked slightly ahead of Oliver, but Oliver has the experience; Williams played sparingly behind Da'Ron Payne in 2017 (Payne was the Redskins' 2018 first-round pick) though he's set the world on fire this season. Still, Oliver is a beast, despite weighing in the 285-pound range, and with Kyle Williams' contract set to expire, finding his replacement will be a priority.
11. Green Bay Packers
Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama. 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.
12. Denver Broncos
D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss. With two quarterbacks off the board already, the Broncos get Case Keenum the draft's top wide receiver. The team traded Demaryius Thomas earlier this season and Emmanuel Sanders, who is on injured reserve, has just one year left on his contract. Courtland Sutton is now the go-to receiver and Metcalf would add a much needed deep threat to this offense. He was one of college football's most dynamic pass catchers before his college season was cut short by injury and he has a chance to be special at the next level.
13. Cincinnati Bengals
Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama. The Bengals' defense has been atrocious this season but they don't have huge needs along the interior defensive line; Geno Atkins and Andrew Billings have been fine. But if Williams is on the board here you can't pass him up. He's an unblockable monster who would immediately wreak havoc against the rest of the AFC North.
14. Carolina Panthers
Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida. Carolina ranks 23rd in getting after the quarterback, according to Football Outsiders. And Polite, who had a breakout season at Florida, has and explosive first step and off-the-chart physical abilities. His knack for getting in the backfield was unrivaled at times this fall.
15. Cleveland Browns
Byron Murphy, CB, Washington. The Browns continue a recent trend of stockpiling top-flight defensive talent in the first round. Murphy, one of college football's best cornerbacks, joins a unit that includes Jabrill Peppers, Myles Garrett and Denzel Ward -- all first-rounders since 2017, all defensive stars -- as the organizational transformation from laughingstock to playoff contender continues.
16. Miami Dolphins
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. The Dolphins need depth along the defensive line and Simmons makes a lot of sense here.
17. Washington Redskins
Drew Lock, QB, Missouri. Lock isn't perfect but he has plenty of experience at Missouri where he played in 49 games and improved his completion percentage each season. He also has one of the strongest arms among draft-eligible quarterbacks and plays with confidence, something the Redskins could use after going losing Alex Smith and Colt McCoy to injuries.
18. Philadelphia Eagles
Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia. After dominating for much of last season, the Eagles' offensive line could use an upgrade. The unit ranks 16th in run blocking and 23th in pass protection. Jason Peters is 36 years old and his contract is set to expire after the 2019 season.
19. Indianapolis Colts
Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State. A physical receiver who makes contested catches look easy and is a scoring threat every time he touches the ball, Harmon would give Andrew Luck another downfield playmaker to pair with T.Y. Hilton.
20. Tennessee Titans
N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State. Running back Dion Lewis is currently the second-leading receiver behind former first-rounder Corey Davis. Harry had 73 receptions for 1,088 yards and nine touchdowns this season, though he skipped Sun Devils' bowl game to prepare for draft season.
21. Minnesota Vikings
Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College. Kirk Cousins took two more sacks on Sunday and he has yet to make it through a game without a sack this season. And while the Vikings' offense showed life in the first game after offensive coordinator John DeFilippo was fired, the reality is that if the offensive line can't protect Cousins, none of this is sustainable. Lindstrom, after a strong season at Boston College, is arguably the best guard in the draft.
22. Oakland Raiders (via Dallas)
Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama. Same as last week. 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.
23. Baltimore Ravens
Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State. With Terrell Suggs nearing the end of his illustrious career, Sweat would be a natural successor. The Mississippi State standout followed up a 10.5-sack junior season with 11.5 sacks in 2018.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers
Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia. It's confirmed just about every week; other than Joe Haden, the Steelers desperately need to upgrade the cornerback position. Artie Burns, the 2016 first-round pick, hasn't worked, and Baker has been one of the best cornerbacks in college football after another stellar season at Georgia.
25. Seattle Seahawks
Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan. Gary's athleticism is off the charts but his production hasn't matched the expectations. Part of that was the way he was used in Ann Arbor, where he played interior defensive line as well as edge rusher. He's probably best inside but the Seahawks would find the best way to exploit that versatility to make an already good defense even better.
26. New England Patriots
Noah Fant, TE Iowa. Rob Gronkowski looks done. He managed just two catches for 21 yards in Sunday's loss to the Steelers, a team he regularly dominates. And if Tom Brady is going to play another few seasons, he has to have a reliable tight end. Fant is the most athletic tight end in this class and would be a good fit in New England.
27. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago)
Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State. Gareon Conley has shown glimpses of his first-round talent this season but the Raiders' defense remains one of the league's worst. Adding Oruwariye, a physical, fluid cornerback who can cover, makes sense here, even if it means no Marquise Brown (whom we had going to the Raiders .)
28. Kansas City Chiefs
Taylor Rapp, S, Washington. The Chiefs' have needs all over their defense. And while it was great to see Eric Berry back on the field in Week 14, the K.C. defense has struggled for much of the season. Rapp is an adept playmaker, both against the pass and the run and would improve a replacement-level pass defense.
29. Houston Texans
Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas St. The Texans' offensive line ranks 23rd against the run. That's the good news. They're also 31st against the pass, and when Deshaun Watson is your franchise quarterback, you have to protect him. Risner is a mauler who played right tackle this season but could kick inside in the NFL if needed.
30. Los Angeles Rams
Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia. Marcus Peters has had an off season, perhaps in part because he's still recovering from a calf injury. Either way, he's set to make $9 million and the Rams will have a decision to make. Hall, meanwhile, is a big, physical cornerback who is a sure tackler.
31. Los Angeles Chargers
Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson. Lawrence is a 340-pound wrecking ball who is surprisingly quick for his size. He would bolster the Chargers' interior defensive line that already includes Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa.
32. Green Bay Packers (via New Orleans)
David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State. Yep, that's right, this is the first time we've included a running back in the first round of our 15-and-counting 2019 NFL mock drafts. Realistically, Montgomery probably won't find his way into Round 1 but he's an explosive runner who could give Rodgers another weapon and in the process add balance to an offense that at times looks out of sync. Montgomery has 2,300 yards and 23 touchdowns his last two seasons and shows the ability to catch passes coming out of the backfield.
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