2019 NFL Mock Draft: Predictions for Top Prospects as Pro Days Conclude

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistApril 3, 2019

FILE - In this Dec. 29, 2018, file photo, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray (1) looks to pass during the first half of the Orange Bowl NCAA college football game against Alabama, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Representatives of the Oakland Athletics and Major League Baseball met Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, with Heisman Trophy winner Murray, a day before the quarterback’s deadline to enter the NFL draft, a person with direct knowledge of the session said. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)
Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

Ever since Kliff Kingsbury took the job as Arizona Cardinals head coach, speculation has run rampant about the franchise selecting Kyler Murray with the No. 1 overall pick. 

The 2018 Heisman Trophy winner is the most talked-about prospect going into the 2019 NFL draft, and his potential landing spot will be discussed at length over the next three weeks. 

Although Murray's received the majority of the attention since he declared his intentions to play football instead of baseball, there are a handful of franchise-altering defensive prospects also expected to be chosen in the top five of the first round on April 25.

                       

2019 NFL 1st-Round Mock Draft

1. Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

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

3. New York Jets: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky

4. Oakland Raiders: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Devin White, LB, LSU 

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

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

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

9. Buffalo Bills: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

10. Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

11. Cincinnati Bengals: Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma

12. Green Bay Packers: Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan 

13. Miami Dolphins: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

14. Atlanta Falcons: Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State 

15. Washington Redskins: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

16. Carolina Panthers: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU 

17. New York Giants (from Cleveland): Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson

18. Minnesota Vikings: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State

19. Tennessee Titans: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

21. Seattle Seahawks: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

22. Baltimore Ravens: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

23. Houston Texans: Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss

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

25. Philadelphia Eagles: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

26. Indianapolis Colts: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

27. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas): Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State

28. Los Angeles Chargers: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

29. Kansas City Chiefs: Garrett Bradbury, C, NC State

30. Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans): Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple

31. Los Angeles Rams: Jaylon Ferguson, EDGE, Louisiana Tech

32. New England Patriots: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

             

Predictions For Top Prospects

Kyler Murray 

No one is sure what the Cardinals will do with the No. 1 pick when April 25 rolls around, but they are not exactly stifling the links between them and Murray, despite drafting Josh Rosen in the first round in 2018. 

Kingsbury recently called Murray "one of the better dual-threat players to ever play," according to ESPN.com's Adam Schefter

If you want to overreact to that statement, you'll make the assumption that Kingsbury is in love with Murray and taking him with the top pick is a no-brainer. 

Although we don't know what is going on inside the Arizona facility, the decision to select Murray, or another player, at No. 1 has to come with immense pressure. 

Giving up on Rosen after one year in which he wasn't the main issue is tough, but if Kingsbury believes Murray is the right quarterback for his system, he has to pull the trigger on the selection and send Rosen to another team in exchange for draft picks. 

MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 29:  Kyler Murray #1 of the Oklahoma Sooners scrambles with the ball against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl at Hard Rock Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Miami, Flo
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

If that's the call Kingsbury wants to make, it would be wise for him to keep it a mystery until draft day so the Cardinals can get some value in exchange for Rosen. 

But the Cardinals aren't the only franchise doing their due diligence on Murray, as the Oakland Raiders held a private workout for the quarterback Monday. 

The Raiders also have a signal-caller on their roster in Derek Carr, but if head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock want to move on from Carr, this may be the time to do it. 

If a trade up to No. 1 is necessary to select Murray, the Raiders have the assets to potentially satisfy the Cardinals. 

Oakland's three first-round draft picks make any future trade discussions possible, as the Cardinals would presumably want a king's ransom in return for a selection that lands a Heisman Trophy winner and potential generational talent. 

There's no suggestion yet that Oakland would consider a trade up to No. 1, but we've seen some wild trades happen to acquire quarterbacks through the draft in recent years. 

For reference, the Rams traded a total of six draft picks to Tennessee to take Jared Goff with the No. 1 overall pick in 2016, while Philadelphia shipped five picks to Cleveland to move up to No. 2 to take Carson Wentz in the same draft. 

Prediction: Murray lands with Arizona at No. 1.

                 

Nick Bosa

Before Murray stormed up draft boards, Nick Bosa was seen as the consensus No. 1 overall pick in most mock drafts. 

The younger brother of Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa is a dynamic edge-rusher who should make an immediate impact on whichever defense he lands with.

Although the Cardinals are being connected with Murray, they are still doing their research on the top defensive prospects, like Bosa. 

According to Schefter, the Cardinals brass met with Bosa last Friday, which is a sign the franchise isn't 100 percent convinced of its decision just yet. 

Bosa is also headed to Arizona to meet with the team this Thursday and Friday, per Albert Breer of the The MMQB.

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Although Kingsbury has an offensive background, the Cardinals need significant upgrades on the defensive side of the ball to improve in 2019. 

That's why selecting Bosa with the No. 1 overall pick seems like the practical move since there's a franchise quarterback already in place in Arizona. 

But if the Cardinals move on from Rosen and choose Murray at the top of the first round, the San Francisco 49ers would be the favorites to land the defensive end out of Ohio State. 

If Bosa lands with the Niners, he'd be the fourth defensive end since 2015 to be selected by the franchise in the first round. 

But if San Francisco sticks with the best player available method, Bosa has to be the pick if he's there. 

If the Niners want to go unconventional, they could take defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, but Bosa could be too much of a future star to turn down. 

With that being said, it seems unlikely right now that Bosa is selected any lower than the No. 2 pick. 

Prediction: Bosa goes to San Francisco at No. 2.

                      

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

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