2019 NFL Mock Draft: 1st-Round Predictions, Prospects Who Will Shape Day 1

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistMarch 31, 2019

Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Saturday, March 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Certain anchor points always shape the way the NFL drafts play out.

A year ago, Baker Mayfield, right at first overall, started a run on the top quarterbacks that didn't stop, which ended up seeing four come off the board in the top 10. Vita Vea at No. 12 was the first of three interior defensive linemen to come off the board in the round. And on a smaller scale, Frank Ragnow at No. 20 caused Cincinnati to mini panic and go with Billy Price right after.

The 2019 class isn't as dramatic under center. But certain key prospects at premium positions or otherwise can shape the entirety of the day. After an updated mock draft, let's look at some of these key prospects.

      

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: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

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: Jace Sternberger, TE, Texas A&M

       

4. Oakland Raiders: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

Michael Wyke/Associated Press

Contrary to what seems like popular belief, Ed Oliver never needed a stock boost at his pro day to become a top-10 player.

Oliver, 6'2" and 287 pounds, has always looked like a force of nature on the interior, an Aaron Donald mold that can disrupt pockets and use leverage to influence running plays.

The Houston defensive lineman went ahead and proved how dominant he can be by putting on a show at his pro day, anyway. One of the many impressive numbers recorded says it all:

Oliver coming off the board will signal to teams that—as always—creators of unorthodox pressure up the middle won't last long. It will mean short stays on the board for guys like Rashan Gary and others, if not forcing some unexpected names up into the first round.

And it only takes one team to make this happen. Above, it's the Oakland Raiders, owners of three first-round picks and the need to make up for a putrid showing in the pressure department after recording less than 20 sacks a season ago after the Khalil Mack trade.

Putting Oliver on the same line as Maurice Hurst could spur one of the most notable defensive turnarounds in the league.

       

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

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What happens with Kyler Murray isn't as interesting as what might happen with Ohio State's Dwayne Haskins.

Murray is a more divisive prospect, his height and other factors playing into some teams likely not caring to take a gamble on him at all, even with a need under center.

Haskins, not so much. He's 6'3" and 231 pounds, coming off a campaign in which he threw for 50 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. Limited mobility means a lack of risk-taking hits as a runner. A booming arm contends for best in class.

Even deep passing shines compared to others when advanced metrics come into play:

In other words, Haskins is going to create a serious run on the position that could have four or five names coming off the board in the first round.

And it's the New York Giants. It has always been the Giants. It is in the Giants' best interest to pretend like it isn't, talking up Eli Manning. But after shipping away Odell Beckham Jr. and clearly softly starting a rebuild, the Giants need a better outlook behind their 38-year-old passer who could only muster 21 touchdowns a season ago.

Call it an ideal scenario for all parties. Manning doesn't get yanked off the stage yet, and Haskins gets to learn from a veteran. The rest of the teams in need start to squirm too as the draft unfolds, which is fun for viewers.

      

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

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

With a lack of depth at wide receiver this year, tight ends figure to jump-start the run on offensive weapons.

Iowa's Noah Fant looks like he'll be the main culprit. The 6'4", 249-pound tight end is a big-play threat at all levels of the field and showed it well enough in college, scoring 18 touchdowns over his last two seasons and averaging more than 13 yards per catch both seasons.

Fant has continued to blaze his path during the draft process, even earning a comparison to Eric Ebron from NFL.com's Lance Zierlein, who wrote the following:

"Fant is at his best in open space and on the move as his catch-focus appears to wane when coverage crowds him or he hears footsteps. He needs to get stronger and more competitive at the point of attack to help a run game, but if that never happens, his ability to uncover and hit big plays will still make him a coveted prize for teams ready to add a move tight end as their new matchup toy."

Fant coming off the board early will mean added pressure for teams in need to take his teammate, T.J. Hockenson, not to mention fringe first-round players like Jace Sternberger and wideouts. It will also push defensive talent down the board to teams that didn't think it would be available.

The Green Bay Packers are the ones to make it happen in the mock above. Coming out of a six-win season in which the first year of the Jimmy Graham experiment was a dud, the Packers need more reliable weapons for Aaron Rodgers.

At worst, Fant is a situational deployment as a rookie who can make splash plays. Over the long run, especially while working with a player like Rodgers, he could reach a vast ceiling and justify the borderline top-10 selection.

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