2019 NFL Mock Draft: Predictions for Updated 1st-Round Order

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2019

Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary goes up against the Rutgers offensive line during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017, in Ann Arbor, Mich. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

While the National Football League isn't likely to view it as direct competition anytime soon, the Alliance of American Football—which began its inaugural season over the weekend, is showing that it can give prospective professional football players a second chance.

Among the players on the field over the weekend was Trent Richardson, who was the third overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft.

Of course, this year's NFL prospects hope they don't need a second chance in a league like the AAF or Vince McMahon's pending XFL—and the NFL team's drafting them early will hope the same.

We don't know who will be drafted on opening night this April, but we do know the draft order. Below is a mock draft based on that order, prospect potential and team needs. You'll also find an up-close look at some potential pairings that could lead to lengthy NFL careers.

          

2019 NFL Mock Draft Round 1

1. Arizona Cardinals: Josh Allen, Edge, Kentucky

2. San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa, Edge, Ohio State

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: Devin White, LB, LSU

12. Green Bay Packers: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State

13. Miami Dolphins: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

14. Atlanta Falcons: Clelin Ferrell, Edge, 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: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

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): 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): T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

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

32. New England Patriots: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

        

4. Oakland Raiders: Rashan Gary, Edge, Michigan

The Oakland Raiders need pass-rushing help. That much is obvious after the team produced an NFL-low 13 sacks in 2018. Even though he traded away star pass-rusher Khalil Mack in order to help set up this draft, head coach Jon Gruden knows the value of pass-rushers.

"It's hard to find a great one," Gruden said early in the 2018 season, per Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area. "It's hard to find a good one. It's hard to find one."

Yes, the Raiders had a great pass-rusher in Mack, but they got two first-round picks in exchange for him and now have three in the 2019 draft after also trading wideout Amari Cooper.

If Oakland uses its first of the three picks on former Michigan defensive lineman, it will add a versatile defender who can rush the passer from multiple positions. At 6'5" and 283 pounds, Gary could play defensive end on early downs and then kick inside to the 3-technique spot, rushing the passer from the interior on passing downs.

Hopefully, the Raiders will be past the rebuilding period when it's time for Gary to get his second NFL contract.

       

13. Miami Dolphins: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

The Miami Dolphins aren't tipping their hand about the future of quarterback Ryan Tannehill. However, it feels like the franchise will be moving on from him sooner than later.

It's not a great sign that the new regime won't openly endorse Tannehill as the franchise quarterback.

This means Miami may be looking for a new quarterback as soon as this April. If so, former Oklahoma star and reigning Heisman-winner Kyler Murray may be a perfect fit. While he doesn't possess archetypal size—he's listed at 5'10"—Murray is poised in the pocket, reads the field well and is extremely accurate. These are all traits new head coach Brian Flores has watched Tom Brady utilize for years.

The big question, of course, is whether Murray is going to commit to playing in the NFL instead of Major League Baseball. Unfortunately, it seems that no one has a clear answer there. Hopefully, teams will find out more at the scouting combine.

"Murray will be the big story," one executive told NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah. "Will he or won't he play football? How does he interview with teams?"

If Murray is committed to football, he might be the long-term answer Miami has been searching for under center.

        

32. New England Patriots: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

While the Dolphins have long been looking for a franchise quarterback, the rival New England Patriots have been able to bank on Brady for nearly two decades. While it's possible New England does draft his eventual successor this year, a lot will depend on how many quarterbacks are drafted early.

There are four at the top of this mock, which would leave the Patriots looking at the second tier. Instead of reaching for a questionable quarterback, it makes more sense for them to scoop up a sure thing at tight end.

Iowa's Noah Fant—who racked up 519 yards and seven touchdowns last season—projects as a star pass-catcher at the NFL level. This is something New England could desperately need if Rob Gronkowski decides to call it a career.

Gronkowski didn't walk off with a win in Super Bowl LIII, choosing instead to delay his decision.

"Tonight's about celebrating with our teammates," he said after the game, per ESPN's Mina Kimes. "That decision will be made in a week or two."

Expect the Patriots to be regularly linked to tight ends if Gronkowski does opt for retirement.  

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