For those who know my madness, welcome back. For the new people, welcome to my craziness. While normally I would’ve had one out by now, it’s weird…the Browns are good and now have traded their 1st Round pick for Odell Beckham Jr., the urgency to get this done wasn’t there. Guys…we’ve come a long way and I think it’s safe to say THE BROWNS ARE BACK! Now last year people knew me as THE ADVOCATE for Baker Mayfield, while I still am for you new people reading my Mocks for the first time, I’m not afraid to be different. I don’t care about being wrong as long as I learn from it.
This year’s draft is one of the more fascinating drafts in recent memory because of the lack of top tier QB and OT prospects, but the deep talent at D-Line and TE. In a time where building in the trenches defensively and having TEs that can spread the field, this draft comes at the height of these trends in the NFL. What also makes this draft interesting is that the team that holds the #1 pick in Arizona seems to be quitting on their 1st Round pick from last year, who is a Quarterback, so they can draft another Quarterback. The chances of this draft going into complete chaos early is very possible and for a fan of the draft like myself, that makes it much more entertaining. So with that said, let’s dive into Mock Draft 1.0
Arizona trades QB Josh Rosen to New England Patriots in exchange for 2019 4th Round pick and 2020 2nd Round pick- Arizona is bound to trade Josh Rosen at some point whether it be before or after the draft. Kliff Kingsbury isn’t married to having Rosen as his QB and will use this opportunity to get value for him. The question is where does Rosen go? The Giants and Redskins make a ton of sense, but looming as always the Patriots. Bill Belichick always looks toward the future and he’d be a fool not to consider Rosen while he’s under a rookie contract. Having Rosen sit and learn behind Brady will prepare him for taking over the job. Teams haven’t been willing so far to offer a 2nd in 2019 for Rosen, so the best Arizona can hope for is a 2020 2nd. The Patriots always are willing to move future picks as they have a couple compensatory picks coming next year so they can afford to move a 2 for a potential Brady successor. This would leave the door open for the Cardinals to take Kingsbury’s QB to run his offense.
- Arizona Cardinals- QB Kyler Murray Oklahoma- After trading Josh Rosen, the choice would become very clear that the Cardinals will take the Heisman Trophy winner with the #1 pick. With new Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury running his Spread Offense now he’s free to get his Quarterback while not being married to Josh Rosen as his guy. Kingsbury knows Murray well from facing him at Texas Tech and should know how he would use him if given the opportunity. Murray isn’t the same passer as his predecessor Baker Mayfield, but he’s still one of the best deep ball passers and one of the more accurate passers in this class. What stands out is his release, he can get the ball out quick and on target which is what Kingsbury will want. Plus, think about it, Kyler Murray and David Johnson RPO plays…nightmares for defenses. It’s a risky move, but one that can pay off big time for Arizona’s rebuild.
- San Francisco 49ers- EDGE Nick Bosa Ohio State- In a lot of ways the Jimmy Garoppolo injury might turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the 49ers. One would expect Garoppolo to return to his pre-injury form in 2019 and the Offense will improve. The 49ers have lacked a true EDGE rusher and while they added Dee Ford via trade from Kansas City, you don’t pass up on the best EDGE rusher in the draft. Honestly what more can be said about Nick Bosa? He just does everything great. Add to that he’s arguably more explosive than his brother Joey Bosa coming out of college and Nick’s only going to get better. He was wise to sit out the rest of the season after his injury cause he had nothing left to prove. He’s the best player in this draft and the 49ers are lucky enough to land him.
- New York Jets- EDGE Josh Allen Kentucky- The Jets need help at numerous positions, but none might not be as pressing as a pass rusher. It’s been years since the Jets had a young pass rusher who can attack off the edge. They have some talented D-Line players, but just lack that pass rusher. The Jets thought they had that in Anthony Barr until he had a change of heart to return to Minnesota. The Jets added a Defensive leader in CJ Mosely, but still lack a pass rusher. Josh Allen is an athletic freak but might be the most polished of all the pass rushers in this year’s draft. In terms of the upside he offers, it might be the highest in the draft compared to all pass rushers. To have Allen come off the edge, it will take pressure of the Jets secondary which needs all the help it can get. In order for Sam Darnold to succeed, he needs his defense to keep his team in games.
- Washington Redskins (from Oakland)- QB Dwayne Haskins Ohio State- TRADE: Washington trades #15 overall, a 2019 3rd 5th Round picks and a 2020 1st Round pick- Unless Washington makes a splash and acquire Josh Rosen from Arizona, they need to move up and get a QB. Their current QB room consists of Colt McCoy and Case Keenum. For Dwayne Haskins, it’s a great situation to sit and learn for a little bit while a veteran starts the season. Haskins is a true pocket passer with the ability to move around in the pocket and make any throw. While he did have some problems dealing with pressure, his numbers at Ohio State cannot go unnoticed. Completing 70% of his passes for almost 5,000 yards and 50 TDs to 8 INTs, he was unstoppable passing the ball last year. While Ohio State has never produced a successful NFL Quarterback, Haskins has all the talent to be the first one.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers- DT Quinnen Williams Alabama- For Tampa Bay, this is a dream scenario. With Devin White and Quinnen Williams both on the board, the Buccaneers can pick whoever they feel is the best fit for their team. Gerald McCoy has been wildly speculated to be available on the trade market as the Buccaneers look to cut his salary from the roster. Quinnen Williams can easily move in and replace him or if the Bucs decide to keep McCoy, create a dynamic duo of DTs that can create pressure on the inside. Whatever the Bucs decide to do between Williams and White, they can’t go wrong.
- New York Giants- LB Devin White LSU- The Giants at #6 now face a predicament. While there are conflicting reports of their interest in Dwayne Haskins, he’s now off the board. Drew Lock and Daniel Jones would be major reaches at #6. At this point, you take the best player available again and continue to grow as a team, then take the QB. The Giants don’t have a lot of talent on the Defensive side and lack a leader. Devin White is by far the best LB in the draft and arguably is the best player in the draft. Dave Gettleman had success with a similar athletic, high Football IQ LB in Luke Kuechly in Carolina and wouldn’t shock me if he sees a lot of the same in Devin White.
- Jacksonville Jaguars- OT Jawaan Taylor Florida- The Jaguars a year ago were the envy of the league, they had the most talented defense in the league with a solid offense that was expected to continue to grow. Only problem was they had a horrible O-Line and an even worse QB. They seemed to address the QB position in Nick Foles, now they need to protect their investment. It really becomes a debate between Jawaan Taylor and Jonah Williams. It really comes down to if you think Williams can stay at OT. Taylor is going to to be an OT in the NFL. He has good footwork and while he could be a bit stronger, he should be able to help in the pass protection, which is something the Jaguars need to improve in if they’re going to get back to the playoffs.
- Detroit Lions- EDGE Montez Sweat Florida State- The Lions are approaching a crossroads. While the Lions still have a capable QB in Matthew Stafford, last year we saw Stafford take a step back in his production. The Lions did get aggressive and sign Trey Flowers and Jesse James, but I can see them drafting both positions early. This is the earliest I can see TJ Hockenson going, but the Lions have a more pressing need. With Matt Patricia, he needs his pass rushers and while Trey Flowers is good, he needs a strong opposite and Montez Sweat can offer that. His ridiculous athletic ability alone has scouts salivating over his potential and he dominated at Florida State. Lions fans know what a great pass rush can do after seeing Ziggy Ansah in his prime dominate. Having Montez Sweat and Trey Flowers? They will get after the QB in 2019.
- Buffalo Bills- DT Ed Oliver Houston- The Bills lost longtime staple Kyle Williams to retirement this offseason and now lack an interior presence. Luckily for the Bills, the most talented player in the draft has fallen to them at #9. One can make the argument that the Bills should take DK Metcalf even though the Bills have invested heavily in Free Agency at WR, they don’t have a surefire #1 WR for Josh Allen. At the same time you gotta make sure you can stop opposing offenses. Ed Oliver was dominant at Houston and quite honestly there may not be a player with more upside in the draft. His ability to wreck havoc in the backfield consistently is uncanny and he might’ve put up gaudy numbers if he wasn’t double and triple teamed so much. And still he was able to get into the backfield. Oliver could become an actor for the Bills defensively for years to come while Josh Allen hopefully turns out to be the Franchise QB.
- Denver Broncos- QB Drew Lock Missouri- The Broncos no doubt have the defense and offensive playmakers to be a playoff team, but they don’t have the Quarterback to lead them there. John Elway is hoping that Joe Flacco is able to be the guy to lead them there, but if Elway is smart, he doesn’t put all his eggs in that basket, especially with Flacco’s recent performance history. That leads the Broncos to taking a young QB to develop. Drew Lock has been an intriguing NFL prospect throughout his career at Missouri and has shown flashes of brilliance passing the ball. He has the arm to zip the ball anywhere on the field, but his problem is his accuracy which has been very erratic. Add to that his decision making leaves a lot to be desired, he tends to lock in on his first target and doesn’t read the rest of the field all the time. Going to Denver and sitting behind Joe Flacco should benefit him to develop as a passer. Out of all the QBs by pure passing ability, Lock has arguably the highest upside in the draft, but it’s going to take patience.
- Cincinnati Bengals- LB Devin Bush Michigan- This is one of the safest bets in the draft. The Bengals released Vontaze Burfict finally and have a hole in their LB unit. They would love to see Devin White fall here, but Devin Bush isn’t a bad consolation prize. People talked about Rashan Gary as the superstar of Michigan’s defense, but it was Devin Bush who was the heart and soul of the defense. While undersized, he makes up for it with his motor and nose for the ball. Very rarely does Bush take a bad angle on a runner and he’s a physical hitter who makes sure that when he tackles a player, they go down. Bush could quickly become a leader for the Bengals defense for years to come.
- Green Bay Packers- WR DK Metcalf Ole Miss- The Packers need to surround Aaron Rodgers with playmakers. They’ve lost a lot and most of their replacements and fill-ins haven’t worked. This could very well be TJ Hockenson here, but just think of the possibilities of Rodgers throwing to DK Metcalf. The reality with Metcalf is he’s all pure upside, there’s not a lot of tape of him. Yes he’s a big, physical, athletic freak but he hasn’t shown much in the route running department and with AJ Brown opposite him, teams were already at a disadvantage covering both. There’s also concern with Metcalf coming back from a neck injury. Green Bay is a perfect place for Metcalf to thrive running opposite Davante Adams and having Aaron Rodgers throw him the ball.
- Miami Dolphins- OL Jonah Williams Alabama- For the Dolphins, it’s pretty obvious they’re tanking for Tu’a in the 2020 NFL Draft, so in the process why not get someone to protect their QB next year? A few years ago, the Dolphins lucked into a Franchise LT in Laremy Tunsil and this time luck into Jonah Williams, the best OL in the draft. Jonah has everything you’re looking for in a potential O-Line prospect, he has the techinique, footwork, strength and smarts. The problem is nobody knows where to put him on the line. The talent is there to be a LT, but he needs to bulk up a bit more. He’s better off staying on the inside and for the Dolphins, they could use a Guard. Having a left side of Tunsil and Williams could help protect whoever their Franchise QB is they select in 2020.
- Atlanta Falcons- EDGE Brian Burns Florida State- Takkarist McKinley hasn’t worked out for the Falcons and after putting the Franchise Tag on Grady Jarrett, the Falcons will probably look to address adding another pass rusher early. With Rashaan Gary on the board, it would be tempting, but Brian Burns fits more of what the Falcons want to do. Burns is your typical long, yet thin pass rusher who explodes off the line, but lacks in strength right now. What there is to like is the long wing span that could help wrapping up tacklers or slowing them down in the run game. Burns will be a bit of a project, but the upside has him as a reliable pass rusher who can consistently generate pressure.
- Oakland Raiders (from Washington)- DL Rashaan Gary Michigan- After trading down with Washington, the Raiders should focus on finding either another offensive playmaker to pair with Antonio Brown or finding a pass rusher. With no standout WR worth taking here and 2 later 1st Round picks, the Raiders should focus on getting a pass rusher. Rashaan Gary wasn’t a standout at Michigan and one could argue he wasn’t a Top 3 defensive player on his team. But at his size with his measurable he’s bound to translate at the NFL level. He took on a lot of double and triple teams which might’ve impacted his numbers. Gary is more projectable than a sure thing prospect and it’ll take a team with coaching and patience to make sure Gary pans out to be everything people thought he would become out of High School.
- Carolina Panthers- C Garrett Bradbury NC State- The Panthers need to build their O-Line up if they want to have a chance next year. Cam Newton has taken a pounding in recent years and it looks like it’s taking its toll. Garrett Bradbury was the 2018 Rimington winner for Best Center in the Nation and he backed it up showcasing his ability at the combine. He showed good agility and footwork opening eyes to some who felt he wasn’t better than a 2nd or 3rd Round pick. He has good core strength and keeps himself low to the ground, but most importantly is a motivated blocker. For the Panthers they need someone who can contribute immediately to protect Cam Newton. They have playmakers in Christian McCaffrey and DJ Moore (who will take a step up in 2019), they just gotta protect Cam.
- New York Giants (from Cleveland)- QB Daniel Jones Duke- This is where you can bet Dave Gettleman will be Dave Gettleman. While he could roll with Eli Manning, watch Eli’s career end and possibly position his team towards the top of the 2020 NFL Draft where he can draft Eli’s successor in a deep QB class, instead he’ll draft a QB bust in 2019. Daniel Jones is getting a lot of 1st Round talk and normally when I write Mocks that while I try to be crazy, I want it to be realistic to what could happen. Daniel Jones will go in the first round, but I don’t see the talent. He’s got mediocre accuracy in the intermediate pass and deep ball. In his one weather game against Miami had horrible accuracy. He’s good in the short game, but a lot of those play were designed short passes. With Saquon Barkley, that could work for Jones, but I don’t see where the talent is. Do the Giants need a Quarterback? Yes. Should they reach for a QB who very well could bust? No. But Dave Gettleman has been a disaster at GM, so I think he’ll screw this up. Sorry Giants fans.
- Minnesota Vikings- OG Cody Ford Oklahoma- The Vikings plain and simple need to give Kirk Cousins all the pieces needed to succeed. They have the offensive playmakers, but their O-Line was horrible last year and definitely needs upgrading. Cody Ford might be one of the more intriguing O-Line prospects because of his size and athleticism some believe he can move over to LT, but the safe move would be to keep him at guard. Ford will offer a great pass protector for a team right out of the gate. He has a nasty streak which helps on the inside and might help him develop as a run blocker.
- Tennessee Titans- TE TJ Hockenson Iowa- The Titans didn’t live up to expectations in Year 1 under Mike Vrabel. The Offense took arguably a step back, the Defense was solid but it wasn’t a good as in was in 2017. The Titans have looked to get weapons for Marcus Mariota, but they could use another TE to pair with the aging Delanie Walker. It’s hard to find a problem with TJ Hockenson as he can do it all. He’s a strong receiver, route runner and a solid blocker. He has the size and speed you want in the position. If anything, he’s one of the safest picks in the draft. The Titans could run a ton of sets with Walker and Hockenson that’ll give teams headaches to defend to help out Marcus Mariota in what looks to be a defining year in Mariota’s career.
- Pittsburgh Steelers- CB Byron Murphy Washington- The Steelers have had the most fascinating offseason in recent memory with trading Antonio Brown for almost nothing in terms of his talent. Then all the chaos from within the team, the Steelers seem like a team that’s ready for their fall. They have pieces to make another run, but in order to win they need to improve their defense. It’ll be between Greedy Williams and Byron Murphy and I believe the Steelers will go for a safer pick in Murphy. Murphy might be one of the best cover corners in the draft and shows fluid hips and light feet when covering his guy. He also is better at tackling and can contribute in the run game. His ball skills might be his best talent, he just has a knack for the ball. The Steelers would be crazy to pass on Murphy with a need at CB.
- Seattle Seahawks- OT Kaleb McGary Washington- The Seahawks teased the idea of trading Russell Wilson, but for their own good wisened up and made him the highest paid player in the league so now it’s time to build around him. The Seahawks need help on the O-Line, especially at tackle, where they can’t keep throwing players out there hoping one sticks. Fortunately they don’t have to look too far for help. McGary has the prototypical size you want and has experience coming from Washington running a spread offense. What McGary lacks is the athletic ability you want to potentially move over to the left side. McGary was reliable, didn’t miss games at Washington and was an All-Conference performer. His ceiling his as a consistent RT, while his floor might be moving inside to Guard.
- Baltimore Ravens- EDGE Chase Winovich Michigan- The Ravens got absolutely raided this offseason defensively. Terrell Suggs left for Arizona, CJ Mosely went to the Big Apple, and Zadarious Smith went to the Packers. In order for the Ravens to defend their AFC North crown, they need to rebuild their pass rush. Chase Winovich would be a reach here to some, but if you watched Michigan play this year, it shouldn’t be considered a reach. Winovich was the emotional leader of the defense, who has a motor that doesn’t stop. He wrecked havoc all season in the backfield and at the Combine showcased athleticism I think some had doubted that he had. For the Ravens, you need a guy that can play standing up and with his hand down. Winovich is an NFL ready prospect that can do those things and can contribute immediately in the NFL
- Houston Texans- OT Andre Dillard Washington State- The Texans need to improve their O-Line, this isn’t a debate, it’s a requirement. For the sake of Deshaun Watson, they need to get a LT that can protect their Franchise QB. Andre Dillard might be the best pass protector in this year’s draft and honestly that wouldn’t be a surprise coming from Mike Leach’s Air Raid offense. The question will always be can players from that system develop, but Dillard is different. A 4 year starter at Washington State, Dillard is a high character player who is extremely intelligent. What impresses you the most is his balance and footwork when dealing with pass rushers. To deal with Jacksonville and Indianapolis who have pass rushers who will come after Watson, this is a dream scenario if you’re a Texans fan.
- Oakland Raiders (from Chicago)- WR Hakeem Butler Iowa State- For the Raiders to walk out of Day One with picks for their QB in 2020 (*cough* Jake Fromm *cough*), a high upside pass rusher in Rashaan Gary, and a revamped WR core led now by Antonio Brown and Hakeem Butler, Jon Gruden might get the last laugh. Butler silenced any critics by having a strong combine showcasing his athleticism despite being 6’6’’ 225 lbs., he ran a strong 40 under 4.5 which wowed a bunch of us watching the Combine. He has had inconsistent hands, but he’s entering a low pressure situation in Oakland which will allow him the time to develop. With Derek Carr and potentially Antonio Brown there, Hakeem Butler will have a great opportunity to develop and shine quickly in the NFL.
- Philadelphia Eagles- S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson Florida- The Eagles failed to return to the Super Bowl last season and their Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles is now in Jacksonville, leaving the team squarely on the shoulders of Carson Wentz. The Eagles have done a good job improving the offense adding Jordan Howard, so in the draft they will probably look to improve the defense early. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson might be the most NFL ready of all the safeties in this draft. He had a strong combine, showcasing his great athletic ability that probably solidified his 1st Round stock. What sets Gardner-Johnson apart is his versatility. At Florida he was strongest as a playmaking safety who had great ball skills, but he also never shied away from attacking the line of scrimmage and making plays in the backfield. He can play either safety position and be an asset to a team right away. That’s what the Eagles need and what makes this a perfect fit.
- Indianapolis Colts- DT Christian Wilkins Clemson- The Colts came out of nowhere to being back as AFC Title contenders. Andrew Luck was healthy once again, the Offense came back to life with a revamped O-Line and a running game that actually took the pressure off the passing game. The Colts also had a great Defense that showed potential to be one of the best in the NFL. They could use more help in the trenches and Christian Wilkins fits perfectly into what the Colts want. Wilkins was a leader throughout his time at Clemson and there might not be a harder worker in this draft. Wilkins is a tad undersized for the position, but he makes up for it with a quick burst off the line and the strength to handle double teams. He didn’t miss a game either at Clemson which is definitely an accomplishment. He’s going to be a solid pro who won’t be a flashy star, but a reliable starter.
- Oakland Raiders (from Dallas)- RB Josh Jacobs Alabama- The Raiders currently have Marshawn Lynch and other unproven RB commodities on their roster. Knowing Jon Gruden’s history, he invests heavily in his offense. With Josh Jacobs on the board still after getting Hakeem Butler to pair with Antonio Brown, Gruden can’t help himself here. Jacobs showed down the stretch the explosiveness that makes you see Alvin Kamara in him. He’s a 3 Down back who can contribute in the passing game. What concerns me is he’s had some injuries throughout his Alabama career which could be a red flag to teams, but his talent making big plays will tempt someone like a Gruden to pull the trigger even with some concerns.
- Los Angeles Chargers- DT Dexter Lawrence Clemson- The Chargers have pretty much all the pieces you need to be a Super Bowl contender. They could look to build their O-Line, but there’s nobody really worth taking here. Hunter Henry is returning healthy next year and should make a difference. For the Chargers, this is a depth pick. Dexter Lawrence is a monster of a man who will command double teams from opposing O-Lines. He’s great for stopping the running game because of the space he takes up, but he lacks in his pass rushing ability. What is the biggest concern for him is a lot of his weaknesses were hid by a ridiculously talented Clemson Defensive Line. He also needs to put in the work to better himself. At his size with his athletic ability, he can be a force in the NFL.
- Kansas City Chiefs- CB Greedy Williams LSU- The Chiefs are going with a totally revamped Defense in 2019 and rightfully so. They couldn’t really stop anyone last year. Part of that was because they decided to move Marcus Peters to the Rams. Kendall Fuller was a nice get from Washington for Alex Smith, but he needs another talented CB opposite him. Based on talent alone, Greedy Williams is a Top 5 talent in this draft, but with concerns with his lack of effort and needing to work on his craft, I believe he’ll fall. Williams is the ideal CB you’re looking for, long, athletic, and is a pure cover corner. He shows the ability the stay with anyone and has a natural ability to make a play on the ball when it comes his way. He needs to improve on his tackling and could improve his overall physicality as a player, but the talent is all there.
- Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans)- TE Noah Fant Iowa- For the Packers after drafting DK Metcalf, why stop there? The Packers could use another TE, especially with Jimmy Graham on the decline and not the same player he once was. Noah Fant with Aaron Rodgers would be a nightmare for opposing defenses because of Fant’s ability to stretch the field and his athleticism makes it extremely hard for teams to match up against him. Now pair him with Graham who is still productive, Davante Adams and DK Metcalf? Aaron Rodgers might set passing records in 2019.
- Los Angeles Rams- DT Jeffery Simmons Mississippi State- The Rams have shown time and time again to draft 5 steps ahead of everyone because of their depth and this pick would be no different. With Ndamukong Suh a Free Agent right now, the Rams need someone to pair with Aaron Donald for now and the long term future. Simmons would be a Top 10 pick if he didn’t tear his ACL in the pre-draft process. His combination of power and athleticism for his position and size is rare. While Simmons did have an incident where he punched a woman in 2016, from numerous accounts Simmons has truly learned from his incident and became a leader at Mississippi State and most likely won’t be a problem going forward. The talent speaks for itself, it’s going to take a team that can wait for him to heal from his injury and return to form that’s going to reap the rewards.
- New England Patriots- TE Irv Smith Jr. Alabama- With the retirement of Gronk, is this pick more obvious? Even if Noah Fant were to fall to this point, I think the Patriots would take Smith over Fant. Coming from Nick Saban’s system which has had some success in recent years developing TEs, it would make sense for Belichick to look towards Alabama to replace Gronk. Smith has the ability to stretch the field, but also has the ability to block, which is something that you know Belichick will look for as Gronk, as much of a receiver he was, was also a willing blocker. For the Patriots, they’ve lost a lot of offensive weapons, but replacing Gronk will be issue #1 as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick chase down Otto Graham and Paul Brown’s historic record of 7 Championships.
BONUS: #49 Cleveland Browns- S Nasir Adderley Delaware- This would be a dream scenario for Browns fans. If you’re looking for a Jabrill Peppers recplacement, Adderley fits the bill and then some. His only real knock is his level of play, but dominated at the Senior Bowl. He has the instinctive ability to help in the run game, but also the coverage ability to help in the passing game. If he makes it here, you don’t think twice, take Adderley.
The bottom line with Mocks is it’s all speculation, nothing is for sure. A lot can happen in the next week and you can bet there will be a Mock 2.0 and for those who know my Mocks, this was a tame Mock. For 2.0, let’s get crazy…