NFL Mock Draft 2019: Latest Predictions for Top-Tier 1st-Round Prospects

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2019

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws a pass against Texas during the first half of an NCAA college football game at the Cotton Bowl, Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Cooper Neill)
Cooper Neill/Associated Press

The NFL draft is the highlight of the offseason—both because it has a massive impact on the future of the league and because it's an ever-changing entity. While the crop of draft-eligible prospects doesn't really change between the end of the collegiate season and the draft, the view of which players are at the top will.

Between all-star events like the Senior Bowl and the East-West Shrine Game, the scouting combine and pro days, there are plenty of opportunities for players to have their stocks rise or fall after their college careers have ended.

Sometimes, bits of news can impact the draft picture just as dramatically. Take Kyler Murray's recent announcement that he plans to commit to football, for example:

The Oklahoma product and reigning Heisman-winner has been one of the top quarterback prospects for some time, but his decision to commit to the NFL—he was taken in the first round of the MLB draft—should make prospective NFL employers feel better about taking a chance on him.

Murray should be considered a top prospect, along with the players in the following first-round mock. Along with these recent predictions, you'll find a look at some of the latest draft-related buzz.

    

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: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

11. Cincinnati Bengals: Devin White, LB, LSU

12. Green Bay Packers: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

13. Miami Dolphins: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

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: Dre'Mont Jones, DT, Ohio 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): 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

    

Murray Hires a Football Agent

As previously mentioned, Murray has made his commitment to football. What teams will likely take seriously, though, is the fact that Murray has hired a football agent. According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, he has signed with Erik Burkhardt of Select Sports Group:

This is significant because Burkhardt specializes in NFL contracts. While it may be easy to assume that sports agents are versed in all leagues—or that there isn't a significant difference between them—this isn't the case.

Contract language varies from league to league, as do negotiations tactics and goals. For example, Murray's previous agent, Scott Boras, is a baseball specialist. He's negotiated deals for top players like Max Scherzer and Bryce Harper, but he doesn't have experience handling NFL contracts.

Whereas baseball contracts are, for the most part, fully guaranteed, NFL contracts are not. There are incentives, injury-only guarantees and—in Murray's case, as a rookie—offset language to sort out. Hiring Burkhardt represents a big step toward committing to Murray's first NFL deal.

    

A's Not Willing to Just Let Murray Go

While Murray appears to be working toward an NFL career, he still has the matter of his baseball contract to sort out. He was selected in the first round of the MLB draft by the Oakland Athletics, and he is under contract with the team.

According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, Murray will have to pay back nearly $1.3 million to the A's:

However, Oakland may not be satisfied with just monetary compensation. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has reported that the A's are determined to still sign Murray and that the team could offer him more money than his current $4.6 million deal offers.

This means that an open commitment to football and hiring a football agent may not necessarily guarantee that Murray plays in the NFL. Oakland spent a first-round pick on Murray and would understandably like to see him play for it. Boras, who stands to make money off Murray's baseball deal, would also like to see Murray play baseball.

While Murray's plan may be to play football, there could still be a behind-the-scenes tug-of-war over Murray's future throughout the draft process.

    

Is Haskins a Better Fit for the Giants?

Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

Murray should be a top option for quarterback-needy teams, but maybe not for the New York Giants. The Giants, who will at some point need a successor to Eli Manning, appear to be looking for a bigger signal-caller.

Murray is listed at 5'10". According to Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.com, a team source has described Murray as "a little too small" for New York.

This could mean the Giants are leaning more toward Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins, another top quarterback prospect. The New Jersey native is keen on playing in New York, and he also happens to measure in at a more archetypal 6'3".

Any quarterback drafted by the Giants would likely have to spend at least part of the 2019 season learning behind Manning. Fortunately for New York—if it does indeed have interest in Haskins—this shouldn't be a problem.

"I would love it," Haskins said of potentially backing up Manning, per Paul Schwartz of the New York Post.

While Murray may be off the table, Haskins appears to be pounding on it.

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