2019 NFL Mock Draft: Latest Predictions Entering Preseason Week 2
This time last year, no one expected Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield to hear his name called first, but there he was taking a phone call from the Cleveland Browns atop the 2018 draft board. Who will hear their name called as the first pick in the 2019 NFL draft?
The 2019 class is shaping up to be an all-timer along the defensive line. Ohio State studs Nick Bosa and Dre'Mont Jones could both be top-10 picks, Houston has all-world tackle Ed Oliver, and Michigan's versatile Rashan Gary looks like a top-five player.
Unlike previous classes, this year also has a crop of offensive tackles that will turn heads. Alabama's Jonah Williams has been rock-solid since starting Week 1 as a true freshman. Teams are also excited about Trey Adams (Washington), Greg Little (Ole Miss) and David Edwards (Wisconsin) as Round 1 talents.
There isn't much hype about the quarterback class yet, but it's almost a guarantee that by April, NFL teams will have talked themselves into a player in the top 10. Missouri's Drew Lock, Oregon's Justin Herbert and Auburn's Jarrett Stidham are the biggest names as the season gets closer.
Of those top-tier players, who goes first? Using OddsShark Super Bowl futures as of August 15 to set the draft order, here's an early look at how it could all play out.
1. New York Jets
The Pick: Nick Bosa, Edge-Rusher, Ohio State
Let me be the first to say that I don't expect the Jets to hold the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 draft, but the fellas in Las Vegas didn't ask for my opinion when setting the Super Bowl odds. As it stands, the Jets have the top spot in this mock draft and use it on a rare pass-rusher who perfectly fills the team's biggest need.
Nick Bosa, the younger brother of Joey, looks like a lock to be a top-three pick. He's athletic, tough, injury-free and productive coming out of a major program. The only thing that could derail his path to an early selection would be a major injury or off-field issue—and looking at his family history, it doesn't seem like either is likely.
2. Miami Dolphins
The Pick: Ed Oliver, Defensive Tackle, Houston
If the Miami Dolphins own the No. 2 pick in the 2019 NFL draft, it means there has been an awful season that likely results in a housecleaning that will cost management, head coach Adam Gase and quarterback Ryan Tannehill their jobs.
That might lead you to think the Dolphins would draft a quarterback here. You'd be wrong.
The 2019 quarterback class doesn't have a player currently ranked high enough to warrant top pick consideration. Instead, the Dolphins can bolster the defense with an all-world defensive tackle talent in Ed Oliver.
Oliver, who has already declared for the 2019 NFL draft, looks like a young Aaron Donald with his quickness and crafty pass-rushing moves. If the Dolphins are rebuilding, Oliver is a great foundation to start with.
3. Chicago Bears
The Pick: Jonah Williams, Offensive Tackle, Alabama
The Chicago Bears have an exciting new head coach in Matt Nagy who plans to open up the offense with Mitchell Trubisky and a cast of fun skill-player options. What the front office must do now is build the offensive line to protect Trubisky and Co.
Jonah Williams, who came in as a true freshman at Alabama and started Week 1, is as clean an offensive tackle prospect as we've seen in quite some time. The only question mark might be size (6'5", 302 lbs) but his tape is near perfect in terms of technique and athleticism. If he can stay healthy, there will be talk about him as one of the best tackle prospects in the last decade.
4. Cincinnati Bengals
The Pick: Rashan Gary, Defensive Tackle, Michigan
Geno Atkins simply cannot play forever. To plan for his eventual departure, the Cincinnati Bengals should be all over Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary.
The Wolverines defense asks Gary to line up all over the front, but his most natural position is as a three-technique pass-rusher. Just like Atkins, he's able to use his speed, leverage and intelligence to time his moves and shoot gaps to get into the backfield as a penetrator.
Gary might not have the hype of Bosa or Oliver right now, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see him outperform them statistically given the talent around him on this loaded Michigan defense.
5. Buffalo Bills
The Pick: Trey Adams, Tackle, Washington
The Buffalo Bills are undergoing a roster makeover that started with quarterback Josh Allen and linebacker Tremaine Edmunds in the first round, but general manager Brandon Beane can't be done yet—especially if the team is selecting in the top five picks.
The Bills have a solid left tackle in place with Dion Dawkins, but he could be a candidate to move to the right side if Trey Adams is a possibility in Round 1. Adams, who mans the left side for Washington, is an excellent power blocker with some Taylor Lewan traits.
With Allen at quarterback and bookended by Dawkins and Adams, the Bills will have the offensive firepower to make noise in the AFC East if/when Tom Brady finally retires from New England.
6. Arizona Cardinals
The Pick: A.J. Brown, Wide Receiver, Ole Miss
There is a lot of debate about the top quarterback, top defensive tackle or top linebacker, but there is no debate that Ole Miss' A.J. Brown is the top wide receiver in the 2019 draft class.
At 6'1" and 225 pounds, Brown has the size NFL teams want to see, but he's also shown crafty route running and some play after the catch. Brown, based on his 2017 season, reminds me of the New Orleans Saints' Michael Thomas when he was at Ohio State. The biggest question for Brown might be who will get him the ball now that quarterback Shea Patterson transferred to Michigan.
The Cardinals drafted speedy receiver Christian Kirk in Round 2 of the 2018 draft, but he doesn't profile as a true WR1. They'll need one once Larry Fitzgerald hangs up his cleats, and Brown fits the style of an outside receiver capable of getting open underneath and over the top.
7. Cleveland Browns
The Pick: Greg Little, Offensive Tackle, Ole Miss
It's weird for me too, seeing the Browns drafting at No. 7 overall instead of at No. 1, but this is where Las Vegas has them. And if you've been watching the reports out of training camp or paying attention to the talent that general manager John Dorsey has added, this does look like a roster worthy of winning multiple games.
On paper, the biggest hole on the depth chart is at offensive tackle. Guard Joel Bitonio has been kicked out to left tackle to replace retired Joe Thomas, but that's a spot he hasn't played since 2013, his senior season at Nevada. Right tackle Chris Hubbard is solid, but the team could use an upgrade at one tackle spot.
Greg Little is a massive man (6'6", 325 lbs) and is terrific in the run game. He's a little heavy-footed in pass pro, which has some scouts calling him a right tackle prospect, but like Mike McGlinchey or Jack Conklin before him, Little has value as a top-10 pick even if he's on the right side.
8. Washington Redskins
The Pick: Jarrett Stidham, Quarterback, Auburn
The first quarterback comes off the board at pick No. 8 overall, where the Redskins look to get a quarterback of the future on the roster well before it's a need.
Alex Smith is 34 years old, which is young in quarterback years anymore, but the team has to be thinking about the future. With a top-10 pick and a roster that isn't built to win right away, drafting for the future is the way to go.
Jarrett Stidham was the top quarterback when I polled scouts this summer. The Auburn signal-caller has a big arm and good athleticism, and he's coming out of a scheme that makes him pro-ready. If he bounces back from the shoulder injury that necessitated offseason surgery, he looks to be the top quarterback in the class.
9. Indianapolis Colts
The Pick: Greedy Williams, Cornerback, LSU
The first cornerback comes off the board and lands in an ideal situation for his talents. Greedy Williams goes to a new-look Indianapolis Colts defense with Malik Hooker, Quincy Wilson, Kemoko Turay, Darius Leonard and Tyquan Lewis all in their first or second seasons and expected to be a dominant foundation for the future.
Williams, like his nickname suggests, likes to get the football. He's a little lean at 6'2" and 182 pounds, but he has the length and recovery speed that gets NFL scouts excited. His six interceptions in 2017 also show that he has the ball skills that often come into question when a player is considered a top-10 pick.
The Colts may need offensive line help or a skill player at this spot once April gets here, but right now it's too tempting to grab another top cornerback prospect to round out the defense.
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Pick: Justin Herbert, Quarterback, Oregon
Before you open Twitter and roast me, hear me out.
Jameis Winston was drafted No. 1 overall in the 2015 NFL draft, but since then, he's struggled on and off the field. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have an out after this season and can walk away from his contract without taking a cap hit by opting to not pick up Winston's fifth-year option.
I would do it. So would three evaluators I talked to this week about Winston and the future of the Buccaneers.
Let Winston walk, sign a veteran (like Teddy Bridgewater) and use this pick to draft his successor? It's not the worst idea for whoever will be taking over the Buccaneers job.
Justin Herbert is a big quarterback (6'6", 235 lbs) with the athleticism and arm strength to impress scouts. The one thing we're all waiting to see is how he does in yet another offensive system—his third in as many years—and if he has the mental toughness needed to play the position in the pros. If he handles those questions, Herbert might be the top pick in the draft.
11. Seattle Seahawks
The Pick: Clelin Ferrell, Edge-Rusher, Clemson
A rebuild is coming in Seattle—that much should be obvious from Las Vegas oddsmakers having them so low on the Super Bowl futures list. The team has bet its future on quarterback Russell Wilson and linebacker Bobby Wagner and must use the draft and free agency to fill in the gaps. That means no more projects in early rounds and more direct hits on picks.
Clemson's defensive line is loaded with prospects, but the best is defensive end Clelin Ferrell. He has the size, athleticism and production to rank as one of the best edge-rusher prospects in a loaded class. On a Seattle defensive line that's seen a ton of turnover and more than a few draft misses, Ferrell would be a welcome addition to a group that's looking for consistency.
12. Detroit Lions
The Pick: Devin White, Linebacker, LSU
General manager Bob Quinn and head coach Matt Patricia figure to make the Detroit Lions a much tougher team, especially on defense, in the coming seasons. That process started in the 2018 draft but will heat up in 2019 as the two get on the same page.
A player that should pique their interest is LSU linebacker Devin White. A former two-way stud in high school, White has the instincts of a running back but packs a 6'1", 240-pound punch as a tackler. He's fast and fluid in the open field and has already drawn a comparison to Myles Jack in my scouting notes.
Linebacker isn't the biggest need for the Lions, but pairing White with Jarrad Davis could make this group special.
13. Baltimore Ravens
The Pick: Raekwon Davis, Defensive Tackle, Alabama
Surprise, surprise: Alabama has another stud defensive tackle. How fitting that the Baltimore Ravens would draft him.
The Ravens, under general manager and former Alabama tight end Ozzie Newsome, have loved the Crimson Tide—the team picked four Alabama players in the last two drafts. Newsome will be easing into retirement after this season, but new general manager Eric DeCosta has learned from his boss that Nick Saban is doing something special in Tuscaloosa.
Davis is your classic Alabama defensive lineman. A 6'7", 306-pounder with athletic moves and 8.5 sacks last season, he'll likely be asked to do even more this year. If he tests well, there's an argument for him being drafted even higher than this.
14. Tennessee Titans
The Pick: Dre'Mont Jones, Defensive Tackle, Ohio State
The Tennessee Titans got a late start on the head coach hiring process after making a small playoff run, but they landed one heck of a coach in Mike Vrabel. Now that the former New England Patriot linebacker is teamed back up with former Patriots scout and current Titans GM Jon Robinson, the two can lay out a vision for the roster and go about attacking the needs.
We saw some of that in the 2018 draft with Rashaan Evans (linebacker) and Harold Landry (pass-rusher) as the team's first two choices. Don't be surprised if defense is the first choice next year, too.
Dre'Mont Jones had a first-round grade on my draft board when he decided to return to Ohio State for the 2018 season. As long as the big man can stay healthy, he'll be a top-20 lock as a pass-rushing defensive tackle.
15. Denver Broncos
The Pick: Deandre Baker, Cornerback, Georgia
Here's what I've heard this summer about the Denver Broncos' cornerback situation: Chris Harris is still highly valued, but there are those in the front office who aren't sold on Bradley Roby. This might play into the decision to select Boston College's Isaac Yiadom in the third round of the 2018 draft, but it will definitely factor into the team's 2019 plans.
Deandre Baker had three picks on a loaded Georgia defense last season, but he will be asked to do more now that Dominick Sanders and the team's top front seven players—Roquan Smith, Lorenzo Carter and Trenton Thompson—all choosing to go pro.
Baker needs to prove he has the speed to carry receivers down the field, but his 2017 tape made him look like a Round 1 cornerback with excellent NFL potential.
16. Carolina Panthers
The Pick: Mitch Hyatt, Offensive Tackle, Clemson
Count me among those who believe Matt Kalil isn't the long-term answer at left tackle for the Carolina Panthers. The question remains, though, if the front office agrees and is willing to do anything about it.
Right down the road at Clemson, there is a left tackle with three years of starting experience. Mitch Hyatt has quietly put together a stellar career for the Tigers, notching two All-American seasons so far. He'll have another one coming as long as he stays healthy.
Hyatt (6'5", 305 lbs) might have to answer size and length questions similar to the ones Texas' Connor Williams faced in this year's draft, but he looks like a rookie NFL starter. The Panthers need exactly that type of impact as the team pivots under new ownership and potentially a new front office.
17. Dallas Cowboys
The Pick: Jaquan Johnson, Safety, Miami
The Dallas Cowboys are often thought of as a team in need of a defensive end, but the depth there is very good if everyone can stay in the good graces of the NFL league office. What the team does need is an enforcer at safety to pair with a group of talented young cornerbacks.
Miami's Jaquan Johnson might not be built like a traditional strong safety—he's listed at 5'11" and 190 pounds—but he's a thumper who excels at all levels of the game. He's a lot like former Florida safety Marcus Maye, now with the New York Jets, in that he can easily play free or strong and matches up well across the board in the defensive backfield.
As long as Johnson stays healthy, he'll be my top safety prospect in this class for the foreseeable future.
18. New York Giants
The Pick: Drew Lock, Quarterback, Missouri
Jalen Ramsey thinks Eli Manning is done, and it does look like the future Hall of Famer is nearing the end of his run. The Giants have drafted mid-rounders Kyle Lauletta (2018) and Davis Webb (2017) in the last two drafts, but there hasn't been any indication as of yet that either is the long-term guy.
That opens the door for a first-round pick at quarterback if the Giants find one waiting on the board for them.
Missouri's Drew Lock is a Power Five version of Josh Allen from the 2018 draft class, but with mechanical problems to go with his sub-60 percent completion rate. Lock has a big arm, big frame and "potential"; that's likely good enough to be a top-20 pick.
19. Kansas City Chiefs
The Pick: Zach Allen, Edge-Rusher, Boston College
The Kansas City Chiefs are faced with the reality that Justin Houston is only getting older and former first-round pick Dee Ford hasn't lived up to expectations. The team did draft Breeland Speaks in the second round last year, but the need for a more complete pass-rusher is still there.
Boston College's Zach Allen is one of my favorite players in the upcoming class. He's 6'5" and 285 pounds, which fits the mold the Chiefs are going for with their ends, but he also has agility and power in his moves. He posted six sacks in 2016 and again in 2017, and he looks to break out this year with Harold Landry gone to the NFL.
20. Oakland Raiders
The Pick: N'Keal Harry, Wide Receiver, Arizona State
The Oakland Raiders have gotten older this offseason, but eventually Jon Gruden will hire a personnel man who can come in, assess the roster and go about improving the strong foundation that is still in place.
Up first should be addressing the skill groups. Amari Cooper is very solid, but the rest of the receiving corps does little to excite. Adding a big-play threat with some size opposite the more possession-style Cooper would be tops on my list.
Arizona State's N'Keal Harry fits the bill at 6'4", 216 pounds, and he tallied over 1,100 yards last season. He doesn't have a marquee quarterback getting him the ball, so his numbers will never compete with those run-and-shoot teams, but he'll be in the lead for WR2 all season long.
21. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Pick: Mack Wilson, Linebacker, Alabama
Picture this: Mack Wilson and Myles Jack roaming the middle of the field for the Jacksonville Jaguars behind a defensive line that's absolutely stout and in front of a secondary that's swagged out. This is what every NFL defense is moving toward—rangy, athletic linebackers who can shut down the inside run but also match up in coverage or take away RPOs.
Wilson, like most Alabama linebackers, is a little banged up. He'll have to prove this season that he's able to stay healthy. If he gets that down, he'll be one of the nation's top tacklers and playmakers at linebacker. That, plus his athleticism and football IQ, will have him ranked as a first-rounder.
22. Los Angeles Chargers
The Pick: Ryan Finley, Quarterback, North Carolina State
The last time the Chargers drafted a quarterback from North Carolina State, it worked out pretty well. Philip Rivers is arguably the greatest player in team history, but time isn't on his side. It's time to draft a quarterback of the future that Rivers can eventually give way to. Ryan Finley can be that player.
Finley, a Boise State graduate transfer, is coming off a 2017 season that saw him complete 65 percent of his passes for the Wolfpack. He also went seven games into the season without throwing an interception. Teams could easily love the 6'4", 210-pounder's stroke and ability to make plays down the field. I've already heard one comparison to Jared Goff.
23. Atlanta Falcons
The Pick: Joe Jackson, Edge-Rusher, Miami
The Miami Hurricanes are loaded defensively for the 2019 draft, and one player who is poised for a breakout is edge-rusher Joe Jackson.
Jackson was overshadowed by teammates Chad Thomas and Kendrick Norton last year, but he still added 6.5 sacks on his own while showing the raw talent to become a dangerous pass-rusher at the pro level. His 6'5", 258-pound frame is perfect for a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme, and outside of Nick Bosa, he's the best of the true edge-rushers in this class at standing up and getting after the quarterback.
The Falcons have invested high picks in defensive ends Vic Beasley and Takk McKinley, but they're still waiting for consistency from Beasley. If that doesn't come in 2018, look for the front office to make improvements opposite the spark that McKinley showed in his rookie campaign.
24. San Francisco 49ers
The Pick: Michael Jackson, Cornerback, Miami
The San Francisco 49ers know they're a little light at the wide receiver position, but the word from the front office is that head coach Kyle Shanahan believes he can scheme players open and doesn't need elite receivers. If that's the case, look for the 49ers to continue beefing up the defense early in the draft.
Although receiver is a need, so too is cornerback. Richard Sherman is only a short-term solution, and the team is still trying to figure out who the No. 2 cornerback will be. General manager John Lynch and Shanahan should invest early picks at the position—even if critics say the team's Seattle-style defense doesn't need elite cornerbacks.
Michael Jackson was one of the ACC's best defenders in 2017, grabbing four interceptions and breaking up four more passes. His size (6'1", 200 lbs) and experience coming out of Miami make Jackson one of the best corners in the upcoming class.
25. Houston Texans
The Pick: Dexter Lawrence, Defensive Tackle, Clemson
If you follow college football, you've no doubt heard that the Clemson defensive line is loaded. And it is...for college football. There is a myth that the Tigers boast four first-rounders on the unit, and based on 2017 tape and conversations with scouts, it's just not true.
Edge-rusher Clelin Ferrell looks like a first-rounder, that's for sure. Tackle Dexter Lawrence, one of the most hyped recruits of the 2016 recruiting class, could be. Teammates Christian Wilkins and Austin Bryant aren't seen in the same light.
Lawrence, who tips the scales at 6'5" and 340 pounds, has to show NFL front offices that he can get push up the field as a pass-rusher. If he does that, we're looking at another Vita Vea type prospect who will be a first-rounder. But if Lawrence is seen as "just" a space-eating tackle, he could fall.
For the Texans, a space-eating tackle who can get some upfield push would be a welcome addition to the line. Lawrence keeping blockers occupied while Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt converge on the backfield would be a treat.
26. Green Bay Packers (from Saints)
The Pick: Deebo Samuel, Wide Receiver, South Carolina
The Green Bay Packers made a shrewd move in the 2018 draft by trading with the New Orleans Saints for their 2019 first-rounder. Now the Packers, who had a very good draft on paper, are poised as the only team with two first-rounders in 2019. With that, they can continue loading up an already good roster.
Up first is the team's need at wide receiver. Davante Adams looks like a star in the making, but Randall Cobb is aging, and the rest of the group is unproven. Adding a speedy, yards-after-catch expert to replace Cobb should be a priority. That's what Deebo Samuel does best.
Samuel was a second-rounder on my board before suffering a foot injury in the 2017 season and opting to return to South Carolina for his senior year. If he comes back with the same burst and playmaking skills he showed last year, Samuel will be a D.J. Moore-like prospect with Round 1 buzz.
27. Green Bay Packers
The Pick: Michael Deiter, Guard, Wisconsin
The Packers are up again—this time with their own pick—and they dip into a familiar spot to grab an interior offensive lineman to keep Aaron Rodgers upright through the end of his career.
Michael Deiter has played both tackle and guard for the Badgers, which is something the Packers generally favor in their linemen, and has excelled at every stop. His 6'6", 321-pound frame makes him an option anywhere on the line, but for the Packers, he would be an early All-Pro-type talent at guard.
Deiter has the power in the run game to be special. The only question marks pushing him to the end of the round are positional value and if he has the agility to protect the edge against speedy rushers. Move him inside to guard, and that second concern is no longer valid, meaning Deiter looks like a star.
28. Minnesota Vikings
The Pick: David Edwards, Tackle, Wisconsin
If you haven't noticed, Wisconsin is loaded at the offensive line. The team has five starters, and all five will be drafted when their eligibility is up. Michael Deiter went one spot before this, but it's David Edwards whom teams are most excited about in terms of potential.
The 6'7", 320-pound Edwards has played right tackle, and there's already talk of him being a plug-and-play starter once he decides to jump to the NFL. In both the run and passing game, Edwards has shown himself up to the task of handling pro-level defenders. A second-team All-American last year, Edwards could work his way into the OT2 spot this year.
That depth in this tackle class is great news for the Vikings, a team living on Band-Aids at both tackle spots until a draft value like Edwards comes along.
29. Los Angeles Rams
The Pick: Montez Sweat, Edge-Rusher, Mississippi State
The Los Angeles Rams are rolling with a defensive line that will essentially be three tackles wreaking havoc on offensive lines this season—once Aaron Donald signs, that is. Eventually they'll need to add a true outside pass-rusher. That should come early in the 2019 draft.
Mississippi State's Montez Sweat is the kind of player who stands out all spring, even while intending to study his teammates. His 10.5 sacks last season after transferring in from a JUCO put him on the NFL's map. Between he and teammate Jeffrey Simmons, the Bulldogs have one of the country's best defensive lines. Both could hear their names called in next year's first round, but it's Sweat who makes the most sense for the Rams.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pick: Damien Harris, Running Back, Alabama
Will Le'Veon Bell factor into the Pittsburgh Steelers' long-term plans? The way they've played his contract situation makes it seem unlikely. That would open the door for his replacement to be drafted early in 2019.
Damien Harris is currently the only running back prospect I have a Round 1 grade on, but that could change in a hurry if he's overshadowed by Najee Harris in his own backfield. The older Harris has power on a 5'11", 213-pound frame and showed the vision and burst needed to be an NFL starter. We're still waiting to see his ability as a pass-catcher, but so far, what he's shown is premium stuff.
As the Steelers prepare for a transition from Bell and eventually Big Ben, Harris and a strong defense could be the ticket to remaining competitive.
31. Philadelphia Eagles
The Pick: David Sills, Wide Receiver, West Virginia
The Eagles don't need much when looking at the roster on paper, but there is always a need for more wide receivers—especially if you worry about Alshon Jeffery staying healthy or Nelson Agholor being a one-year wonder.
David Sills was a teenage prodigy at quarterback made famous by receiving a scholarship offer to USC when he was 13 years old. That didn't pan out, but Sills reinvented himself and became one of the best receivers in college football. NFL teams need to see speed from him, but his understanding of the offense from a quarterback's point of view and his excellent size (6'4", 201 lbs) make him a sleeper option as a late first-round pick in 2019.
32. New England Patriots
The Pick: Will Grier, Quarterback, West Virginia
One of the hottest rumors in the weeks leading up to the 2018 NFL draft was that the New England Patriots would package two first-round picks in order to move up and select Baker Mayfield. That didn't happen, but I've since heard that the Patriots' love of Mayfield was legit.
If you liked Baker, you're going to like Will Grier.
The West Virginia quarterback missed the last couple games of the 2017 season with a broken hand, but he's a fiery passer with accuracy and a live arm. There will be scheme questions, but Mayfield going first overall seems to quiet some of the old "spread offense" or "Big 12 defense" arguments scouts would raise about Grier.