2019 NFL Mock Draft: Redskins find Alex Smith's replacement, four quarterbacks go in Round 1
This quarterback class isn't as deep as last year's but that doesn't mean teams desperate to upgrade won't take a gamble
With uncertainty surrounding the quarterback position, the first passer doesn't go off the board until the 10th pick. But then there's a run on them. The Buccaneers, who drafted Jameis Winston with the first-overall pick in 2015, might be ready to move on and they target Justin Herbert. Then three more quarterbacks follow over the next 22 picks as teams desperate to find their face of the franchise perhaps overdraft players who might otherwise not go until some time after Round 1.
As has been the case in our previous mock drafts, this one is chock-full of defensive talent, so much so that there's a good chance plenty of first-round talent falls into the second round, especially if QB-needy teams gamble on Day 1.
Alright, let's get to it.
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. Oakland Raiders
Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State. Until we have more clarity on the quarterback situation -- who's coming out, who's staying -- Bosa will likely remain the first-overall pick. He'll immediately improve this porous Raiders defense and he'll go a long way in replacing pass rusher Khalil Mack.
2. San Francisco 49ers
Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama. Joe Staley is 34 years old and has one year left on his contract. Williams is the best offensive tackle in the class and while there are concerns that he may be better suited to move inside, he's a Day 1 starter.
3. New York Giants
Greedy Williams, CB, LSU. The Giants desperately need a quarterback but at this point there's just no one worth the second-overall pick, at least not yet. But this class is laden with talent on the defensive side of the ball and New York has one of the league's worst defenses. Janoris Jenkins is 30 years old and his play has slipped this season. B.W. Webb is set to be a free agent, and former first-round pick Eli Apple was traded to New Orleans several weeks ago. Landing the most athletic cornerback in the draft makes sense here.
4. Arizona Cardinals
Ed Oliver, DT, Houston. One of the most athletic players in this draft class, Oliver lives in the backfield. He's a disruptive force against the run and pass, and he often requires double-teams, which frees up other teammates to make plays. Defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche, the team's 2016 first-round pick, hasn't lived up to expectations and Oliver would immediately bolster the unit.
5. New York Jets
Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky. The Jets have bigger needs on offense, but there's not an offensive lineman or wide receiver worth taking this high. Allen has had a breakout senior season and has been a tenacious pass rusher who can also drop into coverage.
6. Buffalo Bills
Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama. Thirty-five-year-old Kyle Williams is in the final year of his deal and Star Lotulelei, who signed a five-year deal last offseason, hasn't been as productive as hoped. Quinnen Williams could end up being the best interior linemen in this draft class and is coming off a dominant performance against Mississippi State over the weekend.
7. Detroit Lions
Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan. The Lions defensive line ranks first in rushing the passer, according to Football Outsiders, but Ziggy Ansah is on the franchise tag and his future in Detroit remains a question after the season. Gary, who plays down the road in Ann Arbor, can play both interior and on the edge, though he's probably best suited inside.
8. Denver Broncos
Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia. Tremaine Brock and Bradley Roby are in the final year of their contracts. Baker has had a fantastic season at Georgia; offenses regularly throw away from him and on the rare occasion the ball comes his way he has allowed a passer rating of 31.3, according to Pro Football Focus.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars
Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State. The Jaguars pass on a quarterback but get Blake Bortles (or, perhaps, whomever they tap in free agency to replace Bortles) an imposing downfield weapon. Harmon is a threat at every level -- he has the ability to make contested catches in traffic and beat defensive backs deep.
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon. Ryan Fitzpatrick is best in small doses. He's a great "break glass in case of emergency" option but at this point in the proceedings he's not a starter. And neither, it seems, is Jameis Winston. The 2015 first-rounder may have the rest of the season to prove otherwise but depending on who loses their job in January, the Bucs could be in the market for their next franchise quarterback.
11. Cleveland Browns
Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State. The Browns' defense is young and explosive, but the defensive line lacks depth. Larry Ogunjobi has been good this season -- he has 4.5 sacks through 10 games -- but Trevon Coley will be a free agent in the spring. Simmons is arguably the third-best defensive tackle in this draft after Oliver and Williams.
12. Indianapolis Colts
J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford. Tight end Eric Ebron currently leads the team in receptions. This is great news for Ebron, as he rediscovers his game in Indy, but Andrew Luck could use another downfield threat to pair with T.Y. Hilton.
13. Oakland Raiders (via Cowboys)
Drew Lock, QB, Missouri. The Raiders might be tempted to take Deionte Thompson here -- and perhaps they should -- but with each loss it seems that, fairly or not, Derek Carr's days in Oakland may be numbered. Lock is a strong-armed quarterback who has played well in recent games. When he's on he's unbeatable. The problem has been consistency from one week to the next.
14. Seattle Seahawks
Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama. The Seahawks' offensive line has been a refreshing surprise but with Earl Thomas' season -- and career in Seattle -- over, and with Thompson still on the board ... well, the marriage makes too much sense not to happen. He's the best safety in this draft and it's not close.
15. Atlanta Falcons
Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida. Former first-rounder Vic Beasley has just one sack in nine games, Atlanta's pass rush ranks 26th. Polite has had an explosive season for the Gators and while he needs to get better against the run, few pass rushers are as good at getting after the quarterback.
16. 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 16th in run blocking and 24th in pass protection. Jason Peters is 36 years old and his contract is set to expire after the 2019 season.
17. Baltimore Ravens
N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State. Harry can make plays down the field and that's exactly what the Ravens' predictable, boring offense needs. Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead and John Brown have all been good additions, but none can take over games. Harry has that type of ability.
18. Miami Dolphins
Daniel Jones, QB, Duke. Ryan Tannehill may have two years left on his current deal but barring an unforeseen turnaround when he takes the field at some point this month, he's done in Miami. Adam Gase needs to find a franchise quarterback who can grow into the role, something Tannehill has been unable to do. Jones is an interesting prospect who looks the part, can make all the throws, is surprisingly mobile and plays for QB guru, David Cutcliffe.
19. Green Bay Packers
20. Tennessee Titans
Noah Fant, TE, Iowa. The most athletic tight end in the class, Fant would provide Marcus Mariota a reliable middle-of-the-field threat. Jonnu Smith has flashed at times but he has just 10 receptions this season. And Delanie Walker, who is on injured reserve, is 34 years old.
21. Cincinnati Bengals
Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama. Same as last week. The Bengals' historically terrible defense fired defensive coordinator Teryl Austin on Monday but that won't magically fix all that ails this unit. An influx of talent is also needed. Wilson is the most complete linebacker in the class and he would see playing time immediately.
22. Minnesota Vikings
23. Houston Texans
Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State. Just like the Vikings, the Texans have issues along the O-line. Deshaun Watson has taken a beating for much of the first half of the season. Protecting him has to be a priority.
24. Washington Redskins
Will Grier, QB, West Virginia. We'll admit it: We thought Alex Smith could have an MVP-type season in Washington. It's been pretty much the opposite of that and it's clear he's a short-term option. Grier, who has played well of late, could spend a year behind Smith and take over in 2020.
25. Oakland Raiders (via Bears)
Byron Murphy, CB, Washington. The Raiders need help everywhere. After grabbing Bosa and Lock, Gruden looks to bolster the secondary. Murphy is an athletic playmaker, exactly what Oakland's secondary needs as former first-rounder Gareon Conley and former Panthers third-round pick Daryl Worley have struggled this season.
26. Carolina Panthers
David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin. The Panthers could use an infusion of youth (and some depth) along the offensive line; Chris Clark and Amini Silatolu are on the final year of their contracts, and Edwards is having a standout campaign for the Badgers.
27. New England Patriots
Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson. Danny Shelton and Malcolm Brown are in the final year of their deals, and so too is Trey Flowers but we can't imagine the Pats let one of the league's best defensive linemen get away. Lawrence is a 340-pound wrecking ball who is surprisingly quick for his size.
28. Los Angeles Chargers
Raekwon Davis, DL, Alabama. Quinnen Williams has gotten most of the attention this season but Davis is an anchor on the Crimson Tide's defensive line. Now imagine him flanked by Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.
29. Pittsburgh Steelers
Devin White, LB, LSU. 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 may be more of a thumper.
30. Green Bay Packers (via Saints)
A.J. Brown, WR Ole Miss. Same as last week. With the emergence of young pass catches like Davante Adams, Equanimeous St. Brown and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Randall Cobb could be phased out. Brown would give Aaron Rodgers another dynamic downfield weapon.
31. Los Angeles Rams
32. Kansas City Chiefs
Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State. Oruwariye is a rangy, physical corner with playmaking ability. Kendall Fuller has been solid this season -- but not nearly as productive as he was with the Redskins in 2017. Steven Nelson and Orlando Scandrick have also had their moments but Oruwariye would bring youth and athleticism to the group.
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