NFL Mock Draft 2019: Updated Predictions for Top College Prospects

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistFebruary 19, 2019

Oklahoma's Kyler Murray (1) throws the ball while warming up before an NCAA college football game against Texas Tech, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018, in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo/Brad Tollefson)
Brad Tollefson/Associated Press

The 2019 NFL Scouting Combine is steadily growing closer. It's scheduled to kick off on February 26, with workouts beginning on March 1. By the end of the combine, we should have a better idea of where this year's top prospects stand.

It's important to remember, though, that the combine is best utilized for medical checks and interviews—for which it was designed—and to help confirm or deny previously existing impressions. Teams shouldn't fall in love with players with poor game tape who suddenly run fast or jump far.

This is why most of the top prospects before the combine are going to remain the top prospects after it. Sure, there will be plenty of shuffling among draft boards, but we shouldn't see a projected top-five pick plummet out of the first round—barring injury, of course.

Here's an updated first-round mock involving many of those top prospects. The selection order is based on factors like prospect potential and upside, team needs and recent developments. You'll find an in-depth look at some of those developments below.


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: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

8. Detroit Lions: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

9. Buffalo Bills: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi

10. Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

11. Cincinnati Bengals: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

12. Green Bay Packers: Devin White, LB, LSU

13. Miami Dolphins: Clelin Ferrell, Edge, Clemson

14. Atlanta Falcons: Brian Burns, Edge, Florida State

15. Washington Redskins: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

16. Carolina Panthers: Greg Little, OT, Mississippi

17. Cleveland Browns: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

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: N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

23. Houston Texans: Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia

24. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago): Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

25. Philadelphia Eagles: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

26. Indianapolis Colts: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

27. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas): Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

28. Los Angeles Chargers: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

29. Kansas City Chiefs: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan

30. Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans): Jachai Polite, Edge, Florida

31. Los Angeles Rams: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

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


Marquise Brown Underwent Lisfranc Surgery

Alonzo Adams/Associated Press

So, injury has been mentioned as one of the reasons a player could suddenly slide significantly. We've seen it once already, as former Mississippi State defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons suffered a torn ACL while preparing for predraft workouts.

Former Oklahoma wide receiver Marquise Brown could be the latest player to slide. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Brown underwent surgery for a Lisfranc injury last month and will miss workouts at the combine and at Oklahoma's pro day.

This is an issue for two reasons. The first is that there's no clear timeline for when Brown will be able to resume football activity—although Schefter suggested as early as rookie minicamp.

The bigger issue is that teams won't get to see Brown's athletic skills up close before the draft. This is big because Brown's game is based on his speed and elusiveness, not size or strength—he's listed at just 5'10" and 168 pounds.

Now, teams should put more stock into what they've seen on film than how fast Brown moves in shorts. However, if a player as slight as Brown is going to be successful as a pro, he'd better be a true burner. Confirming that he is now becomes a bit more challenging.

The good news, according to The Athletic's Dane Brugler, is that Brown will be on hand for medical checks and interviews at the combine. Therefore, teams will be able to form their own opinions on just how significant the injury is.


Murray Not Sure Whether He Will Throw at Combine

Former Oklahoma quarterback and reigning Heisman-winner Kyler Murray was selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Oakland Athletics. He had options coming out of college, though he recently declared for the NFL draft and committed to playing football over baseball.

He seemed eager to prove that this was the right decision.

"I eagerly await the opportunity to continue to prove to NFL decision makers that I am the franchise QB in this draft," Murray said, per AP writer Carrie Muskat.

Therefore, it was a little curious to hear that Murray isn't sure whether he'll take part in combine drills—as Cowboys writer Clarence Hill Jr. reported:

Clarence Hill Jr @clarencehilljr

Kyler Murray plans to go to the combine but has not decided if he will do the drills https://t.co/8cpebkssoQ

For many teams, the fact that Murray will attend and finally put to rest the mystery surrounding his height—he's listed at 5'10"—will be enough. He has a year of incredible game tape to study, and how fast he runs or how far he throws in a non-game setting isn't relevant.

However, it is curious that a player who eagerly awaits the opportunity to show that he is the best quarterback in the draft won't perform head-to-head with the draft's other quarterback prospects in Indianapolis.

Expect plenty of teams to question Murray about just how committed he is to football during combine interviews.


Antonio Brown Open to Playing for Any Team

For now, wide receiver Antonio Brown is a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. However, he has asked for a trade and recently said in an interview with ESPN that he would be willing to play for any team that shows interest.

However, Brown also made it clear that he only wants to play for a team that is willing to add some guaranteed money to his contract. The $68 million deal he signed with Pittsburgh only included $19 million guaranteed.

In a recent Instagram Live video, Brown placed a call for teams interested in providing guarantees, as noted by ESPN's Adam Schefter:

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

On Instagram Live, Antonio Brown said: *”If your team got guaranteed money, they want to get to know me and work with me, tell them to call me.” *He now wants to be known not as “A.B.” but as “Mr. Big Chest.”

This has to gain the attention of teams thinking of selecting a wide receiver in the first round—a first round that now may or may not include Marquise Brown.

Wide receivers have been notoriously hit-and-miss in recent years, and Brown is a proven commodity. If a team can get him, quite possibly for something less than a first-round pick, and make him happy with a little guaranteed cash, it's an option worth exploring. This is especially true for teams with an open Super Bowl window who may not have the time to develop a young, raw receiver.

As Albert Breer of TheMMQB reported last week, the Steelers are open to trading Brown to every other team except those in the AFC North and the New England Patriots.