2019 NFL Mock Draft: Latest Picks After Kyler Murray, Underclassmen DeclareJanuary 15, 2019
2019 NFL Mock Draft: Latest Picks After Kyler Murray, Underclassmen Declare
Right when draft analysts, scouts, coaches and general managers had a decent feel for the 2019 draft class, Oklahoma quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray entered the group. The effect of Murray, a player widely considered to be worthy of a top-10 pick, entering this group turns the draft upside down.
With previous mock drafts, there was the issue of supply-versus-demand at the quarterback position. Too many teams needed quarterbacks with not enough talented players on the board to fill the voids. Murray entering the draft puts one more viable name into the mix.
Fans of the Jaguars, Giants, Dolphins, Redskins and any other club eyeing quarterbacks can now be excited about the prospect of another potentially elite player in the class.
How does Murray declaring shake up the first round?
1. Arizona Cardinals
The Pick: Nick Bosa, Edge-Rusher, Ohio State
Could the Arizona Cardinals surprise us all and draft Kyler Murray or Quinnen Williams here? They could, but the best player in this draft class is Nick Bosa. With the first overall pick, the Cardinals have an easy decision. Bosa is the best value, fills a need at outside linebacker and is a perfect fit in defensive coordinator Vance Joseph's scheme.
Pairing Bosa with Chandler Jones turns the Cardinals' pass rush into something special. As we saw previously in Denver with Von Miller and Bradley Chubb, Joseph's scheme works well with two athletes moving around the formation.
Some will look at new head coach Kliff Kingsbury and think the Cardinals need to go offense here, but there isn't an offensive prospect worthy of the No. 1 pick.
2. San Francisco 49ers
The Pick: Quinnen Williams, Defensive Lineman, Alabama
Another defensive lineman picked in the first round?
For the San Francisco 49ers, yes.
The 49ers could select an edge-rusher like Josh Allen here, but Quinnen Williams is the best player on the board and does fit a need for a 3-technique pass-rusher in the team's four-man front. This allows DeForest Buckner to stay at nose tackle—where he's been an awesome impact player—and frees the team up to move on from Arik Armstead as a pass-rusher.
With Jimmy Garoppolo coming back healthy in 2019 and a solid roster at offensive line, the 49ers don't have to reach here to fill needs and can instead land a rock-solid, Pro Bowl-caliber player.
3. New York Jets
The Pick: Josh Allen, Edge-Rusher, Kentucky
The New York Jets made an offensive-minded hire with Adam Gase as head coach, but they looked to get tougher and more physical on defense with Gregg Williams coming in as coordinator. Williams will dial up pressures in his two-deep coverage but needs someone to crash the edge and be his Myles Garrett in New York.
Josh Allen is the next-best player on the board (ranked No. 3 overall on my list) and has excellent power, length and speed on a 6'5", 260-pound frame. He has all the tools to step right into an NFL defense and dominate—as seen by his 18.5 tackles for a loss and 14 sacks against an SEC schedule in 2019.
Left tackle Jonah Williams of Alabama is another choice that makes sense here, but I also wouldn't rule out a trade back if the Jets find a partner trying to move up the board for a quarterback.
4. Oakland Raiders
The Pick: Ed Oliver, Defensive Lineman, Houston
As much as Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock would like to see an edge-rusher on the board to replace Khalil Mack in this spot, both Bosa and Allen being gone clears the way for a best-player-available pick. It just so happens to be at a position that could use an upgrade, too.
Ed Oliver may not have had a statistically dominant 2018 season after battling injuries and constant double-teams, but in watching his tape, it's obvious he has the traits to be an excellent interior pass-rusher. Some will want to compare him to Aaron Donald and his 6'1", sub-300-pound frame, but I see more of a suped-up Grady Jarrett—which is pretty good.
The Raiders are under the microscope after a massive rehauling of the roster this season. Both Mayock and Gruden will want to get this pick right. Playing it safe and going with a sure thing in Oliver is a great first move together.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Pick: Rashan Gary, Edge-Rusher, Michigan
Interior penetrator or outside rusher? Many wonder what Michigan's Rashan Gary will be in the NFL. The answer is much more simple: He's a pass-rusher with the tools to play in multiple alignments.
At 6'5" and estimated to be around 280 pounds, Gary has the size and power to play 3-technique. Watching his tape at Michigan, he often plays outside the offensive tackle and uses his excellent athleticism and agility to set the edge and loop to the quarterback.
The Buccaneers need help all over the roster, but establishing a pass rush is the first step to becoming relevant on defense again.
6. New York Giants
The Pick: Dwayne Haskins, Quarterback, Ohio State
The future of the New York Giants is not Eli Manning; the sooner the front office realizes that, the better. With the No. 6 pick in the 2019 NFL draft, the Dave Gettleman-led scouting staff would be wise to use the early selection on a quarterback after choosing to bypass Sam Darnold, Josh Allen and others in the 2018 draft.
Dwayne Haskins was just a one-year starter at Ohio State, but he's been a fantastic quarterback in his starts. Haskins also showed improvement down the stretch with impressive performances against Michigan, Northwestern and Washington to end his season.
With a big arm, ideal pocket presence and the football IQ to quickly continue his development, Haskins is the top quarterback on my board.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Pick: Kyler Murray, Quarterback, Oklahoma
The Kyler Murray story is far from over as the Heisman Trophy-winning former Oklahoma quarterback declared for the 2019 NFL draft right at the league's January 14 deadline. He could still opt to play baseball, but for now, his name is in the draft lottery.
Murray is an intriguing yet controversial selection as a Round 1 quarterback. Many area scouts B/R spoke to do not feel he's a true first-rounder on talent, but one pointed at the direction the league is headed (more wide-open offenses) and the success of Baker Mayfield as a reason to believe he will be selected in the first round even if his talent grade isn't placed there.
For Jacksonville, this would signify a move away from the power ground game on offense and open things up to excite a fanbase with huge hopes after the team looked to be primed for postseason success in 2017. A struggle this year puts the Jaguars in great position to select Murray and change the fortunes of the franchise.
8. Detroit Lions
The Pick: Clelin Ferrell, Edge-Rusher, Clemson
The overwhelming need in Detroit is for an improved pass rush. Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn will use the first round to secure an edge-rusher who has dominated in every big moment in the last three seasons at Clemson.
Ferrell, a 6'4", 265-pound junior, has excellent length and power. But what impresses the most is his motor and determination coming off the end of the offensive line. He has all the traits NFL scouts look for in the position plus the mentality to win in the trenches.
9. Buffalo Bills
The Pick: Jonah Williams, Offensive Tackle, Alabama
The run of defensive linemen and quarterbacks ahead of the Buffalo Bills allows the draft's best offensive lineman to slide down the board.
Alabama's Jonah Williams started at right tackle as a true freshman for the Crimson Tide and has since spent two seasons kicking tails on the left side of the line. He might not have ideal tackle measurements at 6'5" and just over 300 pounds, but his technique and footwork are flawless. If teams get out of their own way and focus instead on his skill set and not his arm length, Williams is a sure-fire top-10 pick.
In Buffalo, Williams gives the team options. Dion Dawkins could play right or left tackle as well as guard. The same goes for Williams, as this selection upgrades the total talent on the line and allows them to get the best five players on the field.
10. Denver Broncos
The Pick: Daniel Jones, Quarterback, Duke
John Elway has done an admirable job rebuilding the Denver Broncos on the fly, but the one position he can't fix is the one he became a Hall of Fame player at—quarterback.
With the No. 10 pick in the 2019 NFL draft, the Broncos must focus on finding a quarterback of the future. It's obvious that short-term-fix Case Keenum isn't the long-term plan, and no young players on the roster are expected to compete for the starting job. What the Broncos need is a bona fide franchise-caliber passer, and NFL teams find those players in the draft.
Duke's Daniel Jones is a fantastic all-around athlete at 6'5" and 225 pounds but has shown the touch, accuracy, football IQ and pocket movement to be considered a top-10 pick. A big week at the Senior Bowl could propel Jones to QB1 status in this draft.
11. Cincinnati Bengals
The Pick: Devin White, LB, LSU
Speed, instincts and three-down ability at linebacker are among the biggest possible needs for the Cincinnati Bengals this offseason. Fixing all three with one pick would help turn around a team going in reverse.
Devin White is the ideal linebacker prospect for today's NFL. He's running-back fast, linebacker tough and has the range of a safety. As one of the most improved players in college football over the last season, White has worked hard to become a smarter, more instinctive linebacker, and it's paid off as he transformed from a great athlete to a great defender.
12. Green Bay Packers
The Pick: Brian Burns, Edge-Rusher, Florida State
With two picks in the first round of the 2019 NFL draft, the Green Bay Packers can focus on building a defense to keep pace with the talented offenses they're now facing in the NFC North. Step one is finding a pass rush.
Brian Burns has excellent length at almost 6'6" with exceptional burst and agility coming off the ball. He's long enough to disrupt offensive tackles and get his hands up to knock down passes, but he also has the twitch to bend around the edge and get into the backfield.
Burns does need to bulk up and add strength—something he told me he's working on—but finding athletes with his pass-rush IQ and moves is not an easy task. If he's on the board, the Packers must pounce.
13. Miami Dolphins
The Pick: Greedy Williams, Cornerback, LSU
The first cornerback finally comes off the board, and the Miami Dolphins have to be excited about the prospect of pairing Greedy Williams with Minkah Fitzpatrick to form a potentially dominant duo in the secondary.
Williams, at 6'3", has excellent length and enough speed to stay in-phase with receivers down the field. He's also well-coached coming out of the LSU system and knows the tricks of the trade to cover without his hands and use his footwork to shadow receivers. He's a plug-and-play starter with high upside as a potential Pro Bowl-caliber player.
This isn't just a best-player-available pick; this is a potential steal to land a player some scouts see as one of the five best in the class at selection No. 13.
14. Atlanta Falcons
The Pick: Jeffery Simmons, Defensive Lineman, Miss. State
As the Atlanta Falcons enter an offseason with their best defensive lineman (Grady Jarrett) set to become a free agent, it's likely the front office will look to either replace their star or build a wall with his return by adding another top-tier tackle to the group. Jeffery Simmons is without a doubt a top-tier tackle.
A junior from Mississippi State, Simmons has all-world ability as an interior pass-rusher and showed off his skills weekly in the SEC. He has the body type to fit in any defensive scheme, but he projects best as a 3-technique interior rusher.
As more and more NFL teams focus on bringing pressure on the quarterback from up the middle, players like Simmons without elite athleticism and ideal size will shoot up boards.
15. Washington Redskins
The Pick: Drew Lock, Quarterback, Missouri
The run on quarterbacks continues as supply meets demand and four passers are drafted in the top 15 picks.
Missouri's Drew Lock could have a Josh Allen-like rise this offseason thanks to amazing arm strength, good athleticism and the tools to develop into an NFL starter. He needs a big week at the Senior Bowl showing off improved footwork and accuracy, but like Allen last year, this could be the start of his stock solidifying in Round 1.
The Redskins are empty at quarterback due to injuries and must look to restart with a young, franchise-caliber quarterback. Investing in Lock and working to put a team around him with a solid offensive line and respectable skill players could get Washington back competing in the NFC East soon.
16. Carolina Panthers
The Pick: Yodny Cajuste, Offensive Tackle, West Virginia
The days of watching Cam Newton run for his life every passing down can end with the selection of senior left tackle Yodny Cajuste.
Cajuste is a fantastic athlete at a position that is too often overlooked because he played in the Big 12 and operated mostly in a wide-open scheme some scouts want to discount. That will be their loss, as Cajuste has excellent physical tools to work with including fast feet, great balance and enough length to keep pass-rushers off his frame.
The Panthers have to address the offensive line this offseason. Adding Cajuste checks off the team's biggest need.
17. Cleveland Browns
The Pick: Trayvon Mullen, Cornerback, Clemson
The John Dorsey-led Cleveland Browns are suddenly one of the best drafting teams in the league. That will continue in 2019 as the club hits on picks in the middle of the round instead of at the top.
Up first is Clemson cornerback Trayvon Mullen. A hero of the national title game, Mullen has ideal size and speed to secure a starting cornerback job in the NFL. He's smart, too, and showed against Alabama his ability to make plays as a blitzer—not to mention his sitting back in coverage and executing a rare interception of Tua Tagovailoa.
Mullen does need to test well to show NFL scouts he has the agility to handle transitions against pro routes at top speed, but his film at Clemson showed a first-round talent at cornerback ready to start in the pros.
18. Minnesota Vikings
The Pick: Cody Ford, Offensive Line, Oklahoma
Fix the offensive line, Minnesota.
The Vikings are a talented team with Pro Bowl talent littered across the roster, but the struggle to build an offensive line that can protect Kirk Cousins or open holes for Dalvin Cook is embarrassing. And now, drafting at No. 18 overall, the team will miss out on many top tackle prospects. One happens to fall through the cracks and could answer many of the team's problems.
Oklahoma's Cody Ford lined up at left tackle for the Sooners, but many in the NFL scouting community believe he's best suited for an offensive guard spot in the pros. He's a powerhouse in the run game and has the movement skills to protect Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield, which is why teams are projecting his stock as a potential All-Pro guard if moved inside.
19. Tennessee Titans
The Pick: Montez Sweat, Edge-Rusher, Miss. State
The Tennessee Titans saw almost no production from Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo during the 2018 season, which is why the pivot to 2018 first-rounder Harold Landry and a draft pick will be a welcomed change in 2019.
With Montez Sweat on the board, general manager Jon Robinson and head coach Mike Vrabel have the ideal partner to Landry. Sweat is long, physical, fast and versatile enough to stand up or put his hand in the dirt. He's also super competitive, which is why he has a chance to shoot his stock past the Titans' draft reach with a big week at the 2019 Senior Bowl.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pick: Tre Lamar, Linebacker, Clemson
The middle of the defense needs work in Pittsburgh—especially if they're going to be chasing Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson four times a season. Enter Tre Lamar, the heart and soul of the Clemson linebacker corps.
Lamar will need to prove to scouts at the NFL Scouting Combine that he has the speed to handle sideline-to-sideline duty, but his tape is very impressive as he shows the instincts and football IQ to shut down offenses between the tackles.
In a base 3-4 defense where he can stuff the run, get after the quarterback on interior blitzes and drop into zone coverage, Lamar looks like a perfect fit in Pittsburgh.
21. Seattle Seahawks
The Pick: Deionte Thompson, Safety, Alabama
The top safety on the board comes off as Alabama free safety Deionte Thompson slides into Earl Thomas' old roster spot.
Thompson isn't Thomas, but not many safeties are. He does have excellent rage and instincts over the top, even if Clemson's passing game gave him some fits in the national title game. Thompson shouldn't be judged on one outing, especially when the rest of his 2018 film was dominant. If there is a valid concern, it's that he looks very skinny on film, but an NFL weight program can bulk him up.
As the Seahawks prepare for another run in the playoffs next season, addressing the secondary will be crucial as this team continues to rebuild on the fly.
22. Baltimore Ravens
The Pick: Marquise Brown, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma
I have a rule that inaccurate quarterbacks need big targets at wide receiver. This might break that rule, but the Baltimore Ravens should be investing in deep speed to pair with Lamar Jackson's considerable arm strength. Opening up the offense with vertical routes to give Jackson room to run should excite everyone in Baltimore.
With Jackson entrenched as the future of the team at quarterback, the offense must develop to match his strengths. The team drafted tight ends Hayden Hurst and Mark Andrews last year to take over the middle of the field but need a yards-after-catch threat to keep defensive backs on their heels.
Add the speed and big-play ability of Marquise Brown to this roster, and teams like the Los Angeles Chargers won't be able to spend all their resources stopping Jackson's legs.
23. Houston Texans
The Pick: Greg Little, Offensive Tackle, Ole Miss
If you watched the NFL playoffs you noticed the Houston Texans struggle to keep pace with any and all outside pass-rushers. Julien Davenport is a promising young athlete at tackle, but has to develop considerably before he's ready to handle what the AFC South can throw at him.
Addressing the offensive line should be the priority of the off-season in Houston. The best way to build the line is through the draft where an inexpensive rookie can come in as a Day 1 starter and still grow on the job. After trying to go the bargain route with a Round 4 project, the decision-makers need to pull the trigger on a plug-and-play starter.
Greg Little has the size (6'6", 325 lbs) and power to excel in both the run game and in pass protection as either a left or right tackle.
24. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago)
The Pick: Deandre Baker, Cornerback, Georgia
The Raiders' rebuild continues with a physical cornerback able to hold up with SEC speed while also showing the grit to make plays against the run. Deandre Baker slides into a starting spot opposite Gareon Conley to fill a major need on the depth chart.
Predicting how Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden will draft is tough—Mayock has never run a draft before—but it's easy to look at the Raiders roster and see that the two former broadcasters must address the cornerback position either in free agency or the draft. Or both.
25. Philadelphia Eagles
The Pick: Byron Murphy, Cornerback, Washington
The Philadelphia Eagles secondary is much better than most would assume given the lack of huge names on the depth chart, but there is still a need for cornerback upgrades and depth, as seen in the divisional round loss to the New Orleans Saints.
Washington's Byron Murphy is only around 5'11", but he's a feisty cover man with excellent instincts and closing speed. He showed off his ball skills all season for the Huskies and was a thorn in the side of Pac-12 quarterbacks.
Some scouts might see Murphy as a slot cornerback, and that's a possible destination for him in Philadelphia. But no matter where he's lining up, he has the skills to make a major impact immediately.
26. Indianapolis Colts
The Pick: N'Keal Harry, Wide Receiver, Arizona State
The Indianapolis Colts made a fantastic turnaround in 2018 en route to a playoff berth and Wild Card Round victory. They are close, but general manager Chris Ballard needs one more draft to get them into serious contention.
Ballard and his excellent team of scouts will be looking to improve the offense and could do so by adding a marquee target for Andrew Luck in the first round. N'Keal Harry has excellent size (6'4", 213 lbs) and has dominated after the catch at Arizona State.
The Colts do have needs on defense, especially a pass-rusher, but the free-agent class this year is rich at the edge. Paying for a pass rush and drafting wide receivers is the better move this offseason.
27. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas)
The Pick: Josh Jacobs, Running Back, Alabama
A running back in the first round? Yes, because Josh Jacobs is an Alvin Kamara-like talent.
The junior bruiser for Alabama has excellent balance through contact, great power and has shown the agility and speed to make an impact outside the tackle box. Jacobs is also a soft-handed receiver who has shown in the Alabama scheme the skills to torch defenses in a variety of ways.
The Raiders need to get better at virtually every position, including running back. Jacobs will take pressure off quarterback Derek Carr and should have plenty of holes to run through given the strength of the team's offensive line.
28. Los Angeles Chargers
The Pick: Jawaan Taylor, Offensive Tackle, Florida
The Los Angeles Chargers offensive line was exploited by the New England Patriots defense, with the right side of the line looking notably weak. Not only is this a team need heading into the offseason, but it's also by far the team's biggest issue.
Protecting Philip Rivers and also opening up the outside run game will be a main goal of the front office this offseason. Adding the athletic and powerful Jawaan Taylor from Florida—who has experience at left tackle—will immediately upgrade an offensive line that just took a beating. With Taylor's movement and push in the run game, the Chargers will be in much better position to make a deep postseason run in 2019.
29. New England Patriots
The Pick: Noah Fant, Tight End, Iowa
Tom Brady might play forever, but Rob Gronkowski cannot. With NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reporting that the future Hall of Famer is considering retirement, it's smart of the New England Patriots to tap into a very talented tight end class to find his replacement.
Noah Fant isn't the blocker that Gronk is, nor is he as big, but he'd be a unique matchup problem thanks to his athleticism and versatility. With Brady not looking like he's slowing down anytime soon, the Patriots must continue to give him weapons to beat defenses through the middle of the field. Fant can be that safety valve while also exploiting size mismatches in the red zone.
30. Los Angeles Rams
The Pick: Devin Bush, Linebacker, Michigan
Free agency will hit the Los Angeles Rams defense hard this offseason, meaning general manager Les Snead and head coach Sean McVay must be thorough in their plans to rebuild through the draft and budget signings.
The defense must be addressed. The team is likely to let a player like Dante Fowler Jr. walk as he seeks a big contract, and they also have areas that simply need to be upgraded. Selecting Devin Bush, a plug-and-play starter at middle linebacker, is an easy choice in this scenario.
Bush might not have ideal height at 5'11", but he has the bulk (240 lbs) and athleticism to be a matchup problem for tight ends. He's rangy enough to take away seam routes and dominate the run between and outside the tackles.
31. Kansas City Chiefs
The Pick: Taylor Rapp, Safety, Washington
The Kansas City Chiefs secondary is a patch-work unit that desperately needs an upgrade. While there are no cornerbacks with a grade worthy of this selection left on the board, there is a safety with the range and hitting ability to warrant this pick.
Washington's Taylor Rapp has played both a free and strong alignment at Washington and is a great fit in a two-deep look. He's physical enough to come up near the line of scrimmage in Bob Sutton's defense but has the speed and instincts to be used in over-the-top coverage.
Rapp can be an eraser when matched up against tight ends and backs, but his middle-of-the-field defense is what makes him an exciting choice for the Chiefs.
32. Green Bay Packers (from Saints)
The Pick: Irv Smith Jr., Tight End, Alabama
The Green Bay Packers don't have many needs on paper and are loaded with young, emerging players at key spots. They could look to go linebacker and improve their team speed or add another pass-rusher, but after selecting Brian Burns at pick No. 12 overall, it makes more sense to give Aaron Rodgers some long-term weapons on offense.
Irv Smith Jr. is the perfect tight end for Matt LaFleur's offense thanks to his athleticism and ability to move around the formation. At Alabama, he lined up at flex tight end, H-back, fullback and in-line tight end while showing off excellent athleticism at 6'4" and 241 pounds.
Tight end might not rank as the biggest need for the Packers, but Smith is the kind of talent that makes you overlook needs and instead draft the best player on the board.