2019 NFL Mock Draft: 1st-Round Predictions and Top Prospects' Stock Watch

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2019

Florida State defensive lineman Brian Burns runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine, Sunday, March 3, 2019, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Darron Cummings/Associated Press

While the focus of attention as it pertains to the NFL is on free agency, draft stock movements continue to happen in the background.

Those free-agency moves continue to shuffle what the draft-day projections look like, as always. But things like pro days quietly continue to shift around actual prospect stock, too. In the aftermath of the combine, the unraveling of additional big board adjustments and pro days generally lead to the last great shift on the stock market.

It shouldn't come as any surprise to hear that in this class, pass-rushers continue to rise up the board while quarterback isn't impressing too much. This has been the initial projection for some time and doesn't figure to change now.

Below, let's update the mock projections based on recent happenings and outline some of the notable stock movement since the combine.


2019 NFL Mock Draft

1. Arizona Cardinals: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State

2. San Francisco 49ers: Josh Allen, DE/OLB, Kentucky

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

4. Oakland Raiders: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

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

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

8. Detroit Lions: Brian Burns, DE, Florida State

9. Buffalo Bills: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

10. Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

11. Cincinnati Bengals: Devin White, LB, LSU

12. Green Bay Packers: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

13. Miami Dolphins: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

14. Atlanta Falcons: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan

15. Washington Redskins: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

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

17. New York Giants (via Cleveland Browns): Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State

18. Minnesota Vikings: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

19. Tennessee Titans: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

21. Seattle Seahawks: Taylor Rapp, SS, Washington

22. Baltimore Ravens: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss

23. Houston Texans: Garrett Bradbury, OL, NC State

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

25. Philadelphia Eagles: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

26. Indianapolis Colts: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

27. Oakland Raiders (via Dallas Cowboys): Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

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

29. Kansas City Chiefs: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson

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

31. Los Angeles Rams: Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware

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


Stock Up: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

Darron Cummings/Associated Press

Few players have done more for their stock lately than Montez Sweat out of Mississippi State.

Sweat always figured to look good at the combine—most 6'6", 260-pound pass-rushers do if they make it to that stage.

Then Sweat ran the 40-yard dash.

A ridiculous 4.41 seconds. It was the fastest time for a defensive lineman since 2006. Of course, rushing the passer isn't just running in a straight line. But as onlookers probably could have predicted, Sweat looked good in other drills—and it is meshing quite well with the film:

Sigmund Bloom @SigmundBloom

"I’d never seen Shaquan Montez Sweat play a down of football before I watched him run that ridiculous-ass 4.41... I do admit to being a bit worried that I’d ultimately be underwhelmed by his film...In fact, Sweat’s tape may have been even more impressive than his combine workout" https://t.co/IfLu2Hy9GE

Originally projected as a first-round pick perhaps somewhere in the middle, it's hard to ignore him in the top 10 or so now.

Above, Sweat comes off the board fifth to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a rebuilding team that only tallied 38 sacks a year ago after whiffing on experiments like Vinny Curry and perhaps inching closer and closer to losing a key rusher like Gerald McCoy.

Sweat can't do it all on his own, but his sheer athleticism off the edge is something that can improve the Buccaneers right away while the coaching staff tries to harness it into a top talent.


Stock Down: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

Darron Cummings/Associated Press

The quarterback class this year seems to feature Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins at the top, with the rest shouldering each other out of the way for third-best.

Duke's Daniel Jones continues to have a hard time standing out as the process continues. It isn't too surprising, as Jones struggled to stand out at Duke last year, throwing 22 touchdowns against nine interceptions. He's got a live arm but appeared to struggle under pressure and progress slowly.

According to Rob Rang of NFLDraftScout.com, Jones didn't wow at the combine: "It is unlikely that Jones converted any doubters into believers with his performance during the QB session."

Feel free to tack on middling ball speeds:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

This is cool. Got QB ball speed numbers at the Combine. WV’s Will Grier had the strongest arm with a 59 score (tied w Boise's Brett Rypien). Other top QBs: MSU’s Nick Fitzgerald & NC State’s Ryan Finley at 57; BUF’s Tyree Jackson, Mizzou’s Drew Lock & Duke’s Daniel Jones at 54.

It isn't all bad for Jones. A longer-than-expected wait on draft day could let him land in an ideal situation with more potential to help him succeed over the long term.

Above, this is the Oakland Raiders at No. 27. There, maybe Jones sits for a year or two behind Derek Carr. If not, he's thrown to the wolves but gets to lean on a potent-looking offense with Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams.


Stock Up: Brian Burns, DE, Florida State

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

It shouldn't register as too much of a shock to see another edge-rusher here.

Florida State's Brian Burns checked in at 6'5" and 249 pounds before landing right behind Sweat in the impressive department:

Chase Goodbread @ChaseGoodbread

More official 40 times for DLs: Montez Sweat 4.41 👀 (modern combine DL record) Brian Burns 4.53 Rashan Gary 4.58 Chase Winovich 4.59 Nick Bosa 4.79 #NFLCombine

It should go without saying, but Burns looked impressive in everything he did, not just the 40. He looked quite a bit heavier than his playing days in college yet retained the same speed and athleticism, which is great for his draft stock and likely bad news for pro quarterbacks.

After all, size was the only major concern with Burns in a write-up from NFL.com's Lance Zierlein:

"Long, thin pass-rush specialist who possesses elite get-off and stride length to simply outrun overmatched tackles around the rush arc and into the backfield. Burns' edge speed and varied rush approach should translate to the league, but his skinny frame and lack of play strength are absolutely concerns moving forward."

The impressive growth shown by Burns shoves him into the top 10, where a team like the Detroit Lions will be waiting at No. 8.

Granted, those Lions paid up big for Trey Flowers in free agency. But he isn't simply a pass-rusher, as he's quietly been a Swiss Army-knife type for years in New England. The Lions still lost the sheer (though erratically available) pressure of Ezekiel Ansah, so Burns can arrive in multiple fronts and create some havoc right away.


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