2019 NFL Mock Draft: Predictions for Where 1st-Round Prospects Will Land

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistFebruary 5, 2019

Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary plays against Indiana in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman was just named Super Bowl MVP. That's quite an accomplishment for a former college quarterback who was taken the seventh round of the 2009 NFL draft. It's players like him and Tom Brady, famously picked in the sixth round, who prove that you don't have to be a first-rounder to be great.

Let's not pretend that Super Bowl LIII wasn't littered with former first-rounders who helped their respective teams reach the big game, however. From Jared Goff and Todd Gurley to Sony Michel and Malcom Brown, there were centerpiece players on both teams who came out of Round 1.

Each of the league's 32 teams will go into April's draft hoping to add their own championship building blocks. Below is a mock of the first round—based on factors like prospect potential, team needs and team fit—followed by an upclose look at some of the top potential pairings.

    

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: Rashan Gary, Edge, Michigan

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

6. New York Giants: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

8. Detroit Lions: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

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: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

14. Atlanta Falcons: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

15. Washington Redskins: Brian Burns, Edge, Florida State

16. Carolina Panthers: Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia

17. Cleveland Browns: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

18. Minnesota Vikings: Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma

19. Tennessee Titans: Montez Sweat, Edge, Mississippi State

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State

21. Seattle Seahawks: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

22. Baltimore Ravens: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi

23. Houston Texans: Greg Little, OT, Mississippi

24. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago): Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson

25. Philadelphia Eagles: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

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): Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

31. Los Angeles Rams: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan

32. New England Patriots: Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama

    

4. Oakland Raiders: Rashan Gary, Edge, Michigan

The Oakland Raiders need a pass-rusher. There's no question about it after they produced a league-low 13 sacks in 2018. Seven players had more sacks than Oakland in 2018.

Fortunately, the Raiders should be able to add a quality pass-rusher in this year's draft. The class is deep at the position, and Oakland is armed with three first-round selections. The first of which is at No. 4 overall, and this is where the Raiders should target an edge-rusher.

Because of the demand for quarterbacks, the Raiders may be able to snag either Nick Bosa or Josh Allen—arguably the draft's top two pass-rushers—at No. 4. In this mock, though, they'll be deciding which pass-rusher to make the third off the board.

Michigan's Rashan Gary certainly deserves to be in the conversation. He doesn't have a ton of sacks on his resume (3.5 in 2018), but he has size (6'4", 284 pounds) and plenty of upside. Because of this, NFL Media's Lance Zierlein actually has Gary going second overall to the San Francisco 49ers in his latest mock.

"Ohio State's Nick Bosa is a more polished and game-ready edge-rusher than Gary, but San Francisco could opt for explosiveness over refinement," Zierlein wrote.

The Raiders should feel good about pulling the trigger on Gary if he's available at No. 4.

    

6. New York Giants: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

The pairing of the former Ohio State quarterback and the New York Giants almost makes too much sense. Haskins is widely considered one of the top quarterback prospects in the draft, and the New Jersey native has interest in starting his pro career as a backup to Eli Manning.

"I would love it," Haskins said, per Tom Rock of Newsday. "I grew up watching Eli Manning back when he had [Jeremy] Shockey and [Amani] Toomer and Plaxico [Burress]. I loved that team."

The question here, of course, is how long Haskins might have to sit. Manning can still play well—he had 4,299 yards passing and 21 touchdowns in 2018—but has just one year remaining on his current contract.

If New York is interested in keeping the 38-year-old around beyond the 2019 season, Manning will likely want something longer than a one-year deal. At the same time, it feels unlikely the Giants would draft a quarterback this year and then ask him to sit longer than two seasons—or even one, for that matter.

If the Giants believe Manning can be a high-end starter beyond 2019, the quarterback probably isn't the pick here.

    

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

The Jacksonville Jaguars appear set to move on from quarterback Blake Bortles sooner than later. This could precipitate the team into taking a quarterback with the seventh overall pick. This, of course, is if the team doesn't first try to acquire a veteran; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles tops that list.

Former Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo is now the offensive coordinator in Jacksonville.

If the Jaguars don't acquire a veteran, they almost have to draft a quarterback high, with Missouri's Drew Lock making a lot of sense. He has arm talent, is mobile and can make the kinds of throws that Patrick Mahomes has recently wowed the NFL with.

Bleacher Report draft analyst Matt Miller, meanwhile, compares Lock to 2009 first overall pick Matthew Stafford.

Other quarterbacks like Oklahoma's Kyler Murray and Duke's Daniel Jones will also be in the conversation here. However, Jones struggled during Senior Bowl week, and Murray isn't yet committed to playing in the NFL. If the draft were today, Lock would be the safest choice. 

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