2019 NFL Mock Draft: Raiders draft Derek Carr's replacement, Giants pass on QB to bolster O-line
Jon Gruden says he loves his quarterback but that doesn't mean he's not looking to upgrade the position
We're a quarter of the way through the season and only the Cardinals have yet to win a game. The Browns managed the feat two weeks ago and the Raiders did it against the Browns on Sunday. It was also Jon Gruden's first NFL regular-season victory in 3,592 days. Against Cleveland, Oakland quarterback Derek Carr threw for 437 yards, but he completed only 60 percent of his throws and tossed two interceptions. And every time the camera's caught Gruden on the sideline he was contorting his face into what appeared to be various shades of disappointment.
Turns out, that's Gruden's resting game face because he insisted he's all in on Carr.
"Do they not believe me?" Gruden asked NFL.com's Mike Sliver after the victory over the Browns. "Do they not want to write the truth? Look, the guy's completing almost 75 percent of his passes, and we just started working together. I mean, I love my quarterback. I wish people would just stop asking and leave me alone."
Yes, we believe you, Jon. You like Carr ... for now. But you certainly reserve the right to change your opinion and we reserve the right to draft your next franchise quarterback with one of your first-round picks. Which brings us to our latest mock draft.
And because you're wondering, we've ordered the picks based on each team's records this season, then sorted by how they finished in 2017.
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1. Arizona Cardinals
Jonah Williams, LT, Alabama. Williams is the No. 1 pick for the second-consecutive week; last time we had him going to the Texans, a team still in desperate need of drastic upgrades along the the offensive line. But after beating the Colts, Houston no longer has the top pick, which now belongs to the still-winless Cardinals. Like the Texans, Arizona has a young franchise quarterback, and like the Texans they struggle to protect him. Williams is one of the most athletic offensive linemen in the country and he makes perfect sense for the Cards.
2. New York Giants
Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss. It's way too early to target a quarterback even though that is among the Giants' biggest needs. Also high on the list: Fixing this hot mess of an offensive line. Former first-round pick Ereck Flowers has been moved from left tackle to right tackle to the bench and Greg Little would go a long way in shoring up a unit that also includes 2018 second-rounder Will Hernandez.
3. Houston Texans
Ed Oliver, DT, Houston. Like the Cardinals and Giants, the Texans desperately need help along the offensive line; Deshaun Watson has already been sacked 17 times on the season, including seven in Sunday's win over the Colts. But with enough depth in the draft to wait until subsequent rounds to bolster the O-line Houston instead takes defensive tackle Ed Oliver, who will join a D-line that could include Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt.
4. Indianapolis Colts
Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State. The Colts are sprinting to the podium to submit Bosa's name should he be on the board here. Indy's defense hasn't been bad this season but it's hard to justify passing on a world-class pass rusher no matter who you are, right Jon Gruden?
5. New York Jets
Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson. Yes, defensive end Henry Anderson leads the Jets with 2.5 sacks but there is no one currently on this defense that can come close to doing what Ferrell is capable of. Adding a legit pass rusher will make the rest of the unit that much better.
6. Oakland Raiders
Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon. With Bosa, Ferrell and Oliver off the board the Raiders could target other defensive linemen in a deep class. Or Jon Gruden could find Derek Carr's replacement. Seeing what Gruden thought of Khalil Mack, and how exasperated he appears -- despite what he may say afterwards -- we wouldn't be shocked if he drafted "his guy."
7. San Francisco 49ers
Greedy Williams, CB, LSU. The 49ers could certainly use a reliable deep threat in the passing game but with the pool of draft-eligible wideouts much deeper than their cornerback counterparts -- and with Richard Sherman struggling with injuries -- Williams makes a lot of sense here.
8. Detroit Lions
Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama. The Lions' defense is allowing 5.6 yards per carry and is ranked 27th against the run, according to Football Outsiders. Davis is nearly impossible to move and would go a long way in shoring up that run D.
9. Buffalo Bills
N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State. What to get the team that needs everything? If you're the Bills, there's probably no better place to start than at wide receiver. There is no clear No. 1 wideout in Buffalo, where Kelvin Benjamin has struggled to make an impact.
10. Atlanta Falcons
Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan. When healthy, the Falcons have plenty of young, physical playmakers at linebacker and in the secondary. Lawrence, would add that youth and physicality along the defensive line.
11. Cleveland Browns
D.K Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss. Jarvis Landry is one of the league's most reliable receivers but rookie Antonio Callaway has a ways to go as a play in, play out deep threat. The 6-4 Metcalf could be what the Browns were waiting for in Josh Gordon.
12. Pittsburgh Steelers
13. Minnesota Vikings
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama. After what Steelers tight end Vance McDonald did to safety Chris Conte on Monday Night Football last week, we feel confident in writing that the secondary is a need for Tampa Bay.
15. Seattle Seahawks
16. Los Angeles Chargers
Drew Lock, QB, Missouri. Adding help along the defensive line makes sense here but after passing on a quarterback last year, the Chargers take one in 2019. This assumes, of course, that Philip Rivers won't play forever.
17. Dallas Cowboys
A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss. Here are the Cowboys' leading pass catchers: slot receiver Cole Beasley, running back Zeke Elliott and tight end Geoff Swain. A downfield threat for Dak Prescott is an obvious need here.
18. New England Patriots
Brian Burns, DE, Florida State. The Pats' defense looked dominant against the Dolphins but the reality is that this unit remains replacement-level at best. Burns' ability to get in the backfield will take the pressure off a beleaguered secondary.
19. Philadelphia Eagles
Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia. Jalen Mills, who has been on the field for more than 95 percent of the snaps, has had a tough start to the season, and Baker would give coach Doug Pederson some viable options in the secondary.
20. Denver Broncos
Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State. Domata Peko is 33 years old and Simmons would bring some much-needed talent to the interior defensive line.
21. Green Bay Packers
Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama. Wilson is an every-down, sideline-to-sideline player and the latest big-play linebacker to come out of Alabama.
22. Washington Redskins
Anthony Johnson, WR, Buffalo. Alex Smith has leaned heavily on his running backs and tight ends to start the season and while tight end Jordan Reed can be explosive when he's healthy, it's a lot easier to win in the NFL with a balanced offense.
23. Carolina Panthers
Dre'Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State. The best pass-rushing defensive tackle in the draft joins a Panthers defense that has ranked in the bottom third in defense during its first three games, according to Football Outsiders.
24. Oakland Raiders (via Bears)
Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State. You may have heard something about Jon Gruden shipping Khalil Mack out of town. And now after getting his franchise quarterback, Gruden hopes to replace at least some of Mack's productivity.
25. Miami Dolphins
26. Cincinnati Bengals
Noah Fant, TE, Iowa. It's unclear if Tyler Eifert will ever return to form and with the Bengals' offensive line coming together, the team can focus on surrounding Andy Dalton with down-the-field playmakers.
27. Tennessee Titans
Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson. The Titans have struggled to keep their offensive line healthy but adding a run-stuffer in the middle of this defense could also be an option. Which brings us to the 350-pound Lawrence, who has flashed some pass-rushing skills too.
28. Baltimore Ravens
Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky. Allen is too small to replace Terrell Suggs, but his athleticism and versatility would make him an intriguing option on a Ravens defense that is annually among the league's best.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars
30. Green Bay Packers (via Saints)
Kaden Smith, TE, Stanford. Jimmy Graham hasn't been bad in Green Bay (four games, 16 catches, 169 yards, one touchdown) but he's also 31 years old and Smith would give Aaron Rodgers yet another downfield weapon.
31. Kansas City Chiefs
Michael Jackson, CB, Miami. The NFL's worst defense needs help, well, everywhere. In a pass-happy league where every quarterback throws for 400 yards a game, shoring up the secondary makes the most sense for a Chiefs team that is all set on offense.
32. Los Angeles Rams
Jachai Polite , DE, Florida. It's early but Polite has flashed for the Gators to start the season. Through five games he has four sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles and a knack for constantly finding his way to the quarterback.
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