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

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistMarch 9, 2019

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 29:  Kyler Murray #1 of the Oklahoma Sooners reacts after losing to the Alabama Crimson Tide in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

This is a tricky time for NFL prospect evaluations.

On the one hand, you'll never collect more data then you'll get coming out the combine and various pro days.

On the other, we're in peak smokescreen season, so connecting the dots might uncover a prospect-team connection or it could lead you down a road to nowhere.

What we can see, though, are rising draft stocks.

After laying out our latest first-round mock, we'll examine three prospects moving up draft boards.


2019 NFL Mock Draft

1. Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

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

3. New York Jets: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

4. Oakland Raiders: Josh Allen, DE/OLB, Kentucky

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan

6. New York Giants: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

8. Detroit Lions: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

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

10. Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

11. Cincinnati Bengals: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

12. Green Bay Packers: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson

13. Miami Dolphins: Devin White, LB, LSU

14. Atlanta Falcons: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

15. Washington Redskins: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

16. Carolina Panthers: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State

17. Cleveland Browns: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

18. Minnesota Vikings: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

19. Tennessee Titans: Brian Burns, DE, Florida State

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jachai Polite, OLB, Florida

21. Seattle Seahawks: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida

22. Baltimore Ravens: Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State

23. Houston Texans: Cody Ford, G, Oklahoma

24. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago Bears): Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

25. Philadelphia Eagles: Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware

26. Indianapolis Colts: N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

27. Oakland Raiders (via Dallas Cowboys): Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

28. Los Angeles Chargers: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan

29. Kansas City Chiefs: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

30. Green Bay Packers (via New Orleans Saints): Irv Smith, TE, Alabama

31. Los Angeles Rams: Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson

32. New England Patriots: Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina


Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

Maybe everyone has been duped, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a recent mock that doesn't have the reigning Heisman Trophy winner as the first prospect off the board.

In a way, this all gets back to Murray measuring better than expected at the combine: 5'10" and 207 pounds.

And for anyone who doesn't trust those numbers for whatever reason, he's expected to get measured a second time at Oklahoma's Pro Day, per NFL.com's Ian Rapoport:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

#Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray will run the 40 at his Pro Day, along with a regular passing workout, source said. He’s also expected to weigh-in again and get measured... for all the height truthers out there.

But this has less to do with Murray's size than you think.

Basically, his draft stock was always tied to the NFL's comfort level with him. If they believe his frame can hold up—and given the current restrictions on hitting the quarterback, it's hard to imagine they wouldn't—then all quarterback-needy clubs should have him atop their board.

He has explosive athleticism and a rocket arm, a potent combination that yielded 5,362 combined passing and rushing yards and 54 total touchdowns last season.

No prospect has a ceiling like his, and that should get him in the No. 1 spot, whether that means joining the Cardinals or perhaps a trade partner to be named later.


Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

Darron Cummings/Associated Press

There aren't many—if any—prospects having a better pre-draft process than Sweat.

Back in January, his stock surged at the Senior Bowl. On the first day of practice, NFL.com's Lance Zielein dubbed Sweat "the most dominant guy out here" and declared "he's going to end up being picked in the top 10."

Once Sweat made it to Indianapolis, he set the combine ablaze. At 260 pounds, he motored through a record-setting 4.41-second 40-yard dash. He went on to record top-eight positional rankings in every drill he completed: 36" vertical (tied for seventh), 10'5" broad jump (fourth), 4.29-second short shuttle (tied for sixth), 7.00-second three-cone (tied for fifth).

"He moves like a wide receiver through the bags, exhibiting outstanding lateral quickness and change-of-direction ability," NFL.com's Bucky Brooks wrote. "With Sweat also showing disruptive pass-rush skills on tape, he might have put himself in the discussion to be picked in the top five in some meeting rooms."

Sweat has solid production to his name, too. Over the past two seasons, he recorded 98 tackles with 19.0 sacks.


T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

While Hockenson's teammate on the Hawkeyes Noah Fant had more eye-popping numbers at the combine, Hockenson's marks simply reinforced what many already believed—he's the most complete tight end in this class.

"If I'm his coach, he doesn't come off the field," ESPN's Matt Bowen told Mark Emmert of Hawk Central. "Because I can run my playbook in reduced sets when he's an in-line tight end blocking at the point of attack. I know I also can flex him in formation. And you've seen what he can do after the catch."

The 6'5", 251-pound Hockenson ran a 4.7-second 40 and a 4.18-second 20-yard shuttle. He also recorded a 37.5" vertical and a 10'3" broad jump. Athleticism might not be his top selling point, but it still counts among his strengths.

He's capable of more than he could show at Iowa, although his numbers were impressive there, too. Over two seasons, the redshirt sophomore collected 73 receptions for 1,080 yards and nine touchdowns.    


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