2019 NFL Mock Draft: 1st-Round Predictions Ahead of Free Agency

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistMarch 11, 2019

LSU linebacker Devin White runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine, Sunday, March 3, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

The 2019 NFL offseason is shifting into overdrive.

A handful of franchise tags have already been handed out. Several trade agreements have been reached. Draft prospects have already received their primary auditions at the scouting combine. And come Wednesday, we'll start seeing contracts and trades become official.

It's a busy time of the year, and one that can shift draft needs in a hurry. For example, the Oakland Raiders could've spent one of their three first-rounders on a wideout, but that seems far less likely with Antonio Brown coming to town on a new $50 million pact.

That makes this a great time to update our first-round mock draft, after which we'll spotlight three prospects worth your attention.

                

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

                

Devin White, LB, LSU

Don't see White's draft projection as a reflection of his skill. If there were a greater need for linebackers at the top of this draft, 2018's Butkus Award winner could rocket up the board.

He has everything you want in a three-down 'backer. At the combine, he paced his position with a 4.42-second 40-yard dash, bench pressed 225 pounds 22 times, skied for a 39.5-inch vertical jump and tallied a 118-inch broad jump.

He puts those physical gifts to great use, too. Over his final two seasons in Baton Rouge, he compiled 256 tackles, 25.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception.

On the latest big board from Bleacher Report's Matt Miller, White checked in at sixth overall. Even without a great need at the position, it's possible some team loves his skill level so much they take him top 10 as the best player available.

              

Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

There are several ways to set the football world on fire at the combine. But few are able to physically match the way Butler boosted his stock.

On the surface, maybe his 4.48-second 40-time and 18 bench-press reps don't blow you away. But once you combine them with the fact he's 6'5" tall and weighs 227 pounds, those numbers—plus his 36-inch vertical and 128-inch broad jump—are incredible.

"Butler's unique play strength after the catch allows him to win contested deep balls and then plow through tackle attempts to create chunk plays and long touchdowns," NFL.com's Lance Zierlein wrote. "... He's a work in progress, but the traits and potential are worth taking a shot."

While not a finished product, Butler is hardly a blank canvass. He provided the Cyclones with 16 touchdowns over the last two seasons and averaged a whopping 20 yards per catch on his 101 receptions over that stretch.

              

Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

Teams in the market for a traditional tight end will probably look at Fant's collegiate teammate, Hockenson, first. But those coveting a pass-catching matchup problem will be all over the hyper-athletic Fant.

Fant's physical testing was off-the-charts good. He blazed through a 4.5-second 40-yard dash, which is absurd for a 6'4", 249-pound tight end. And it might have been even better than that. NFL.com's Gil Brandt clocked Fant at 4.46 and 4.47 seconds on his two attempts. As NFL.com's Dan Parr noted, only three tight ends have bettered 4.46 since 2006: Vernon Davis, Dorin Dickerson and Evan Engram.

Fant showed more than his straight-line speed, too. He tallied 20 reps on the bench press, cleared 39 inches on his vertical, broad-jumped 127 inches and recorded a time of 4.22 seconds on the 20-yard shuttle.

Even though the Hawks weren't a prolific passing attack, Fant still put up numbers in their system. Over the past two seasons, he turned his 69 receptions into 1,013 yards and 18 touchdowns.

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