If you're concerned about your favorite team's defense, don't worry because help is on the way. The 2019 NFL draft class is loaded with talent on the defensive side of the ball, including many players who could probably walk on to an NFL field today and make a difference.
This mock draft features 22 defensive players, including 13 defensive linemen. Obviously certain teams will target offensive players based on their needs, but if needs were not a factor, a realistic mock draft could be put together with 32 defenders. If all of the elite draft-eligible prospects declare, this will be a special draft class.
Since it's still early in the season and projecting a draft order is difficult, the order for this mock draft has been determined based on Super Bowl odds via OddsShark.com.
1. Arizona Cardinals: Nick Bosa, DL, Ohio State
2. Buffalo Bills: Ed Oliver, DL, Houston
3. San Francisco 49ers: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
4. New York Jets: Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss
5. New York Giants: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
6. Oakland Raiders: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan
8. Indianapolis Colts: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
9. Cleveland Browns: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
10. Detroit Lions: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
11. Denver Broncos: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
12. Seattle Seahawks: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
13. Miami Dolphins: N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
14. Dallas Cowboys: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
15. Washington Redskins: Zach Allen, DE, Boston College
16. Houston Texans: Trey Adams, OT, Washingon
17. Atlanta Falcons: David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin
18. Tennessee Titans: Anfernee Jennings, LB, Alabama
19. Carolina Panthers: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
20. Cincinnati Bengals: Dre'Mont Jones, DL, Ohio State
21. Los Angeles Chargers: Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn
22. Pittsburgh Steelers: Devin White, LB, LSU
23. Philadelphia Eagles: Josh Allen, LB, Kentucky
24. Oakland Raiders (from CHI): Taylor Rapp, S, Washington
25. Minnesota Vikings: Beau Benzschawel, OG, Wisconsin
26. Green Bay Packers: Brian Burns, DE/LB, Florida State
27. Baltimore Ravens: Lukas Denis, S, Boston College
28. Green Bay Packers (from NO): Troy Dye, ILB, Oregon
29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
30. New England Patriots: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State
32. Los Angeles Rams: Raekwon Davis, DL, Alabama
5. New York Giants: Justin Herbert
Any mock draft in October will probably be wrong about all 32 selections because so much can change between now and April. That said, it's almost impossible to imagine a scenario where the Giants pass up the opportunity to draft Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert.
The Giants offense continues to struggle and it's becoming clear that the 37-year-old Eli Manning is far more a part of the problem than the solution.
With Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen still on the draft board, the Giants selected Saquon Barkley in 2018—a choice which could have a devastating impact on the organization if they aren't able to quickly find Manning's replacement. Fortunately, it looks like the Giants will be in the running for Herbert.
Herbert's accuracy downfield is what sets him apart from the competition, and quarterback prospects with that trait rarely turn into busts at the next level.
19. Carolina Panthers: Noah Fant
For the second consecutive season Greg Olsen has missed significant time due to injury, and it's time for the Panthers to think about life without the 33-year-old tight end.
Olsen still has two years remaining on his contract, but given his age and injury history the Panthers may be in the market for a replacement this offseason.
The 6'5" Noah Fant has the size and athleticism to be a game-changing player at the tight end position, and could be an ideal target to replace Olsen.
Tight ends tend to take a year or two to develop at the pro level due to the variety of assignments they are faced with as both blockers and receivers. Drafting Fant in 2019 would give the Panthers a year or two to groom him alongside Olsen before asking him to take on the full starting responsibilities.
31. Kansas City Chiefs: Amani Oruwariye
The Chiefs are 5-0 but even the most optimistic fan has to have concerns about the defense.
Kansas City entered Week 5 dead last in the NFL in total defense and, despite a convincing victory, gave up another 502 yards to the Jaguars on Sunday. When Blake Bortles lights up your secondary for 430 passing yards, it's probably a sign you need to address the situation next offseason.
The loss of cornerback Marcus Peters, who was traded to the Rams during the offseason, is one of the reasons for the struggles and it's an area Kansas City will need to fix.
There are a number of players at both cornerback and safety who the Chiefs are likely keeping an eye on at this early stage of the process. Among those is likely 6'1" Amani Oruwariye from Penn State.
Oruwariye uses his size to consistently challenge receivers at the catch point, a trait which led to Peters' success throughout his tenure in Kansas City.