For teams other than the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams, the 2019 NFL offseason is already here. While those two are busy preparing for Super Bowl LIII, the other 30 are preparing to try closing the talent gap in free agency and the draft.
While free agency is the first opportunity on the schedule—it kicks off along with the new league year on March 13—the draft is arguably the most important. Teams do have to navigate the draft properly, but they don't have to overspend to add talent. While incoming prospects aren't pro-proven, they do bring both youth and upside to the equation.
A solid draft can help secure a team's core for the foreseeable future.
We still have a long way to go until the draft, which begins April 25, but here's an early look at how we see the first round unfolding. We'll mock the first round based on factors like prospect potential and team needs. We'll also examine some of the latest draft-related buzz.
2019 NFL Mock Draft, Round 1
1. Arizona Cardinals: Nick Bosa, Edge, Ohio State
2. San Francisco 49ers: Josh Allen, Edge, Kentucky
3. New York Jets: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
4. Oakland Raiders: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Rashan Gary, Edge, Michigan
6. New York Giants: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
8. Detroit Lions: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
9. Buffalo Bills: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
10. Denver Broncos: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
11. Cincinnati Bengals: Clelin Ferrell, Edge, Clemson
12. Green Bay Packers: Devin White, LB, LSU
13. Miami Dolphins: Brian Burns, Edge, Florida State
14. Atlanta Falcons: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
15. Washington Redskins: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
16. Carolina Panthers: Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia
17. Cleveland Browns: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
18. Minnesota Vikings: Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma
19. Tennessee Titans: Montez Sweat, Edge, Mississippi State
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
21. Seattle Seahawks: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
22. Baltimore Ravens: N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
23. Houston Texans: Greg Little, OT, Mississippi
24. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago): Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
25. Philadelphia Eagles: Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson
26. Indianapolis Colts: Jachai Polite, Edge, Florida
27. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas): Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
28. Los Angeles Chargers: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
29. Kansas City Chiefs: Taylor Rapp, S, Washington
30. Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans): Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
31. Los Angeles Rams: David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin
32. New England Patriots: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
Lock Creating a Buzz at Senior Bowl Week
Baker Mayfield's rise to the No. 1 pick last year took a big jump at Senior Bowl practices, where he flashed pro quarterback skills. While it's definitely premature to be talking about Missouri quarterback Drew Lock as a potential No. 1 pick, he's at the very least raising his profile in Mobile, Alabama.
Lock was one of two players who spoke with the media during the week's opening press conference. He impressed with his ease in front of the camera and his level of confidence. Remember, a team drafting Lock is also looking for a face of the franchise, not just a signal-caller.
The second part of the job is something Lock hopes to show he can handle during practices this week.
"I've been trying to become a pure pocket passer who can run a little if he has to," Lock said, per Eric Edholm of PowerMizzou.com. "Show them my drops, show how fluid I can be in the pocket. That will be big for me this week."
On a down note, Lock's hands measured in at just 9 inches. This could be a big issue for some personnel people, and it at least raises questions about his ability to hold onto the ball as a pro.
Daniel Jones Measures Up
While Lock's hands came in a bit undersized, the quarterback came in at a solid 6'3" and 223 pounds. Duke quarterback Daniel Jones, another potential first-round selection, also measured in at a prototypical 6'5".
Jones may have even more to gain from a strong Senior Bowl week than Lock. Duke isn't exactly known as a pro quarterback factory, but that doesn't mean Jones isn't NFL-ready. If he can show that he is during Senior Bowl practices, he could climb draft boards, as The MMQB's Albert Breer recently explained:
"Quarterbacks normally carry the week—Baker Mayfield did last year, as Carson Wentz did in 2016—and that guy this week will probably be Duke's Daniel Jones, a 6'5", 220-pound three-year starter with good physical skills, who's been pushed up the board a little because of the relative weakness of the position in this year's class. A big week could position him to make a run at Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins' presumed spot as first quarterback to be drafted."
Expect plenty of eyes to be on the duo of Lock and Jones during the week, much like they were on Mayfield and Josh Allen last year.
Montez Sweat Has a Big Week Ahead
While the draft's top defensive prospects—like Nick Bosa, Quinnen Williams and Josh Allen—aren't participating in the Senior Bowl, this doesn't mean teams won't get an up-close look at any first-round pass-rushing talent.
Mississippi State edge-rusher Montez Sweat, who amassed 11.5 sacks and 14.0 tackles for a loss in 2018, will be on the field. He'll have a chance to generate a buzz, which is big because unlike the quarterback class, the edge-rusher class is deep in 2019.
"I think it's strong there," San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch said, per Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com. "That's clear. There's good pass-rushers in this draft. I think that's a strength of this draft. ... Everyone is looking for those guys, so I think we're excited."
The 49ers are coaching the South roster this week.
Sweat kicked things off strong, measuring in at a solid 252 and with 36-inch arms. That length will help stave off blockers at the pro level.
If Sweat can back up his weigh-in with a strong week of practice, he should stay in the first-round conversation.