NFL Mock Draft 2019: 1st-Round Predictions as Free Agency Officially Begins

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2019

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) looks up, during the first half of the Orange Bowl NCAA college football game against Alabama, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

Though players cannot be officially signed until 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, it's pretty safe to say the 2019 edition of NFL free agency is underway. A large percentage of big-name players have already agreed to new deals, and many of those contracts are going to heavily influence the 2019 NFL draft.

What might the first round look like now that many teams have addressed some of their biggest needs? Let's take a look.

Here, you'll find an updated first-round mock draft based on factors such as remaining team needs and player potential. You'll also find an up-close look at some of the early free-agency moves likely to have the biggest impact on Round 1.


2019 NFL Mock Draft Round 1

1. Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

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

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

4. Oakland Raiders: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

6. New York Giants: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi

8. Detroit Lions: Rashan Gary, Edge, Michigan

9. Buffalo Bills: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

10. Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

11. Cincinnati Bengals: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

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

13. Miami Dolphins: Montez Sweat, Edge, Mississippi State

14. Atlanta Falcons: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson

15. Washington Redskins: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

16. Carolina Panthers: N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

17. Cleveland Browns: A.J. Brown, WR, Mississippi

18. Minnesota Vikings: Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia

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

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Dre'Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State

21. Seattle Seahawks: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

22. Baltimore Ravens: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

23. Houston Texans: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State

24. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago): Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

25. Philadelphia Eagles: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

26. Indianapolis Colts: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

27. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas): Jaylon Ferguson, EDGE, Louisiana Tech

28. Los Angeles Chargers: Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma

29. Kansas City Chiefs: Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida

30. Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans): Devin Bush, LB, Michigan

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

32. New England Patriots: Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama


Nick Foles to Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars made a splash early on in the "legal tampering" window, agreeing to a four-year, $88 million deal with former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles.

Albert Breer @AlbertBreer

New Jaguars QB Nick Foles gets a four-year, $88 million deal, with upside to $102 million, source said. In the first 2 years, Foles pulls down $46.625 million. Really solid deal, and his own team to run.

According to NFL Media's Ian Rapoport, this move means the end of Blake Bortles' time in Jacksonville:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

The #Jaguars are expected to release QB Blake Bortles when QB Nick Foles’ deal is official and signed, I’m told. Will be a few days. But Bortles will be free.

It also likely takes the Jaguars out of the quarterback market in Round 1. If Foles, 30, had been offered a two- or even a three-year deal, then the possibility of drafting a quarterback early and grooming him would still remain. However, this being a four-year contract pretty much puts it out of the question.

The only way a rookie quarterback would be on the roster past the end of Foles' contract would be if Jacksonville exercises its fifth-year option. There's pretty much no way it would do so for a player who has been sitting on the bench for four years. 

Instead, the Jaguars are likely to focus on winning during the window for Foles. This makes taking a receiver for the QB to target—Mississippi's D.K. Metcalf in this mock—a terrific idea.


Anthony Barr, CJ Mosley to New York Jets

The New York Jets entered free agency with a ton of cap space, and they're putting it to use. They have already added former Baltimore Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley and former Minnesota Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr.

Field Yates @FieldYates

The Jets defensive core is now led by: * S Jamal Adams * ILB C.J. Mosley * OLB Anthony Barr * DL Leonard Williams * ILB Avery Williamson And with pick no. 3 in the draft, a player like Quinnen Williams or Josh Allen could be added to that list.

These moves are significant because they help solidify New York's linebacker corps and should change how the Jets approach the third overall pick in the draft.

While New York could still take an edge-rusher such as Kentucky's Josh Allen or Michigan's Rashan Gary, depending on who is available, there is less pressure to do so. Barr is capable of rushing the quarterback on passing downs and could be a force opposite Leonard Williams.

"Barr had three sacks in 2018 but is likely to find himself in a more pass-rush-heavy role with New York, which continues to build around quarterback Sam Darnold, but is clearly paying attention to both sides of the ball," Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com wrote.

If the Jets plan on using Barr as a pass-rusher, then it makes sense to go after defensive tackle Quinnen Williams if he's available. He could be the anchor of a vastly improved front seven.


Sheldon Richardson to Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns don't have as many needs as they have in past offseasons, but they did need help in the middle of their four-man defensive front. They got it by agreeing to a three-year deal with defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson.

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

The #Browns are signing former #Vikings DT Sheldon Richardson to a 3-year, $36M deal, source said. A ton of capital on that D-line.

This is a notable move because it likely takes the Browns out of the search for a defensive lineman in Round 1. Cleveland has already agreed to trade guard Kevin Zeitler to the New York Giants in exchange for defensive end Olivier Vernon.

As such, Cleveland's front four now consists of Myles Garrett, Richardson, Larry Ogunjobi and Vernon—four quality players under the age of 29.

This means teams eyeing a defensive lineman probably won't have to consider jumping into the top half of Round 1 to get ahead of the Browns. Instead, it will probably be teams looking at linebackers or receivers—Cleveland grabs Mississippi's A.J. Brown in this mock—who will want to jump Cleveland.