I can hold back the hands of time no longer. I have to finally submit this exercise in futility and live with the consequences. It's my one and only 2019 mock draft, in all of its glory.
Of course, within minutes of this hitting the website I will get a phone call returned that makes me want to tear the entire thing to shreds and start over. But that's my problem, not yours. So here we go, my best crack out how the first 32 picks might unfold tonight.
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|Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma |
Like everyone else I have heard all the rumblings about Arizona not being locked in on this pick. Had one GM tell me he heard Cards brass told Josh Rosen to go ahead and buy a house in Scottsdale. Others have been firmly convinced for months that this is the pick, including many very close to Murray and coach Kliff Kingsbury. While a trade-out is always a consideration, I believe this has in fact been locked in since the combine, if not before.
|Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State |
I am buying the conventional wisdom here. John Lynch takes another pass rusher in the top 10, despite the low returns from Solomon Thomas to this point. He's recovered from injury and ready to challenge his brother for the NFL sack lead any given season.
|Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama |
The Jets really want to trade down, but unless the Skins move up for Dwayne Haskins here – which I am by no means ruling out – I don't see another obvious trade match. So Jets take the best player available and fortify their defensive line.
|Devin White, LB, LSU |
I hear a ton of buzz about Haskins here and two GMs I spoke told me they wouldn't be totally stunned if RB Josh Jacobs was the pick, but ultimately I think Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden focus on defense here and some who know them well tell me they think White is the guy over Josh Allen or Ed Oliver. So I'm going with that.
|Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky |
I continue to here they would pounce on Allen or White and in this scenario Allen is still on the board. Addressing defensive line with Gerald McCoy having about nine-and-a-half toes out of the building right now seems to be the consensus around the league for Tampa one way or the other.
|Ed Oliver, DT, Houston |
In their perfect word Allen is sitting here. If he is then I think the Giants sprint that card up to the stage with his name on it. Giants defensive line could use plenty of help. Devin Bush or an offensive lineman would make sense, too, but Oliver could be a real weapon at the point of attack.
|T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa |
You could make a strong case for a number of offensive linemen here, and I wouldn't argue one bit – especially Jonah Williams. But this team is so lacking with any sort of weapons for new QB Nick Foles and they have a lot of assets invested in that line and probably believe better health will provide gains there. They need people to throw the football to, desperately.
|Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama |
They really want to trade out, and at one point I had Atlanta or Washington moving up, but I am playing it safe here. And that's what I have Detroit doing as well. Super clean kid who will impact a still-needy OL whether at tackle or guard. If they are able to trade back I see them targeting an edge rusher.
|Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson |
Defensive line is the strength of this draft and it is a big need in Buffalo. With two already gone, the Bills grab Wilkins – who several teams covet – rather than go offensive line here. You could make a strong case for Andre Dillard or Jawaan Taylor, too.
|Devin Bush, LB, Michigan |
New head coach Vic Fangio is all over this kid and wants him very badly to be the central-nervous system of the new defense he is installing. And while John Elway is a QB/offense guy, and new QB Joe Flacco could use a guy like Fant, I'm leaning in Fangio's favor here.
|Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State |
He could turn out to be the best lineman in this draft and a mountain of a left tackle. If rookie head coach Zac Taylor wants to get that offense going, he will need far superior pass protection. He saw what the Rams signing Andrew Whitworth (from Cincy) did for Taylor when he was with the Rams. Bush very well would be the pick here if available … but he's not in my mock world.
|Noah Fant, TE, Iowa |
What better way to get things off on the right foot with Aaron Rodgers than to give him a specimen like this to boost the passing game? Sure, OL help is needed as well, but Rodgers has lost playmakers in recent years and Jimmy Graham seems close to done. Rookie head coach Matt LaFleur needs more pieces to the puzzle on offense after so much money was spent on defense in free agency (although if Bush is still on the board here I think he's the pick).
|Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State|
Speed kills and pass rush rules and Miami needs plenty of both on its defense. This team has holes everywhere, starting at QB, but I think they go that route in 2020. If Wilkins is available I believe he will be the guy for the Dolphins; in this case I have him as part of a very early run on tackles.
|Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College |
Have heard an intense buzz about him this week and Atlanta had a big contingent to see him on campus recently. In a perfect world they slide down a few picks to grab him, and I have heard they love Wilkins, too, but in my low-on-trades mock I'm just going to slot him here at 14. Playing a hunch.
|Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State |
I have been reporting on this match since the combine and, for once, in this instance, good fortunes shine upon the Skins QB room. I would not be surprised in the least if they moved to 3 or 8 or elsewhere to make sure they grab Haskins, but in this exercise he falls right to them.
|Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson |
He has not run for NFL teams, which has turned a few of them off, but there is some serious clay to mold here, and Carolina badly needs to add tooth to its pass rush. Jawaan Taylor could be long gone, but if he's not I could see him being the pick, too.
From ClevelandDaniel Jones, QB, Duke
The Giants go back to that Manning/Cutcliffe family tree for Eli's replacement. They can't actually wait til Day 2 to pretend to address their most obvious need, and one of the most obvious needs in all of pro football.
|Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida |
A physical specimen who can make a big difference to a line that badly needs it. Vikings need the Kirk Cousins splash to work. Whether he stays at tackle or not, he would make sense here. Cody Ford seems like a good fit, too, but picked up some rumblings Vikes may not be as high on him as some other teams.
|Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson |
This is a moveable chess piece who fits perfectly into the Titans scheme. An absolutely massive defender with freakish athleticism to boot.
|Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia |
If it plays out this way, there will be serious debate on whether to take Baker or LSU corner Greedy Williams. In the end, Mike Tomlin knows his scheme and his defense and my hunch is he tips the balance in Baker's favor. Corner is a need, again, and this might solve it.
|Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan |
He isn't everyone's cup of tea for myriad reasons, but the Seahawks are not scared off by guys with different personality traits. He is a great scheme fit and the last time the Seahawks took a Michigan pass rusher – Frank Clark, the guy being replaced here – it worked out pretty well.
|N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State |
A year ago they used their first pick to eventually draft the most glaring need at the time – tight end. I could see first-time GM Eric DeCosta doing the same here. They need pass rush (but could sign veteran Ziggy Ansah who is visiting the team) and interior OL help, too, but could use their third-round picks – to move up – to address that. They may have the weakest receiver room in the NFL. This is an immediate boost of size, speed and skill. Marquise Brown or DK Metcalf would fit the bill as well, but I'm rolling the dice on Harry.
|Cody Ford, G, Oklahoma |
The Texans are dead-set on boosting their offensive line. It's no secret. Maybe they move up address it, but Ford being around in this spot would work well, too. Bradbury could be the guy, or another interior linemen. I could also see this pick being a LT like Greg Little.
From ChicagoJosh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
They love this kid and believe he is an every-down difference maker. With the Eagles and others lurking behind, I'm going to slot him here rather than pick 27, when Oakland selects again. Great character and another influx of talent to a reshaped offense.
|Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State |
There are serious concerns about a heart condition and he is off some boards in the first round, but I am not sure Howie Roseman could pass him up here. Run on players with some injury issues could be underway. I expect Maryland safety Darnell Savage to be super hot in this range, too.
|Jeffery Simmons, DL, Mississippi State |
The Colts are building for the long haul and even if this is a redshirt year because of an ACL injury, he could anchor this D for years to come. I wouldn't be shocked if the Colts moved up a spot or two to land him. GM Chris Ballard loves him and safety Darnell Savage, but I am going Simmons.
Mock trade with Raiders via DallasDrew Lock, QB, Missouri
Two wheeler-dealers get together. Jon Gruden makes blockbusters every few months, and John Elway has dealt back into the first round before for a QB. Elway has to worry about the Chargers grabbing a QB here, and the Raiders, especially with the pass rush picked through and two picks already made, add more Day 2 picks.
|Darnell Savage, S, Maryland |
I am not sure he makes it here, but if he does I see the Chargers taking him. So much versatility and potential impact as a deep safety, slot corner and a linebacker in some of their more out-there packages. They love Vandy corner Joejuan Williams, too, and maybe he is the guy, but they were one of the first teams to start sensing how far Savage was going to rise (if you read this space I told you guys over a month ago this was the out-of-nowhere guy to watch).
From Kansas CityByron Murphy, CB, Washington
The evaluations of the corners are all over the place, but there is a consensus that if Murphy was a tick quicker he would be way off the board before now. With Seattle's ability to cultivate defensive backs, I see them addressing that position here one way or the other. They are always in the market to trade back, too, and this could be where Denver or someone else moves up for Lock, too.
From New OrleansMarquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
What better way to make Rodgers really happy? These two moves would give LaFleur more than he needed. Whatever you may say about Green Bay's current group of receivers, they lack a burner like Brown. Could draft mostly defense the rest of the way – absent an OL or two – if they pulled this off.
|Garrett Bradbury, C, NC State |
Interior OL is an issue with some key veterans no longer a part of that line. They invested some 2018 picks on C/G but Bradbury could be an immediate starter (some might prefer Erik McCoy of Texas A&M and a tackle like Little could very well go in the back end of this round, too, with Andrew Whitworth nearing the end.
|Irv Smith, TE, Alabama |
The Patriots will probably trade back or do something no one saw coming (CB Joejuan Williams wouldn't shock me in the least; the Pats tend to rate corners differently than some other teams). But Bill Belichick loves him some Nick Saban and this addresses a massive need and Belichick still has a ton of picks on Friday to shock and awe the rest of the NFL then.