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NFL Mock Draft 2019: Projections for Top Prospects in 1st-Round Discussion

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistApril 6, 2019

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

With just under three weeks to go until the first round of the 2019 NFL draft on April 25, there's still some uncertainty about which player will be taken with the No. 1 overall pick.

Although a majority of mock drafts have the Arizona Cardinals selecting Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, nothing is guaranteed with a first-round pick from a year ago still on the team's roster at quarterback. 

While Murray is the topic of most draft conversations right now, there are plenty of prospects on the defensive side of the ball who will generate buzz when April 25 rolls around.

But for now, all we can do is speculate what the Cardinals will do and what the trickle-down effect of the decision will be. 

                          

2019 NFL 1st-Round Mock Draft

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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, OG, 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

                             

Top Prospects

Kyler Murray 

Until the Arizona Cardinals finalize the No. 1 overall pick, speculation will run rampant about first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury taking Murray as the perfect fit in his system.

While most people assume the potential selection of Murray means the immediate end of Josh Rosen in Arizona, the team could keep both quarterbacks on the roster after the draft, as NFL Network's Ian Rapoport noted.

Because Murray comes from the same program as 2018 No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield, plenty of comparisons have been made between the two. 

Mayfield is taller, heavier and has longer arms than Murray, who has a slight advantage in hand size over the Cleveland Browns quarterback, per Pro Football Focus: 

Pro Football Focus @PFF

Baker Mayfield vs Kyler Murray https://t.co/8TiKPaBEqi

Murray and the Cardinals have been linked for quite some time because the Heisman Trophy winner is a great fit in Kingsbury's offense, which was developed at Texas Tech from 2013-2018. 

But before the Cardinals make a decision, they have to weigh all of their options, including how well Rosen will work in Kingsbury's system. 

If the Cardinals opt to throw their trust behind Rosen and improve their defense with the No. 1 pick, the next place Murray could land is Oakland, who recently met with the quarterback. 

Pro Football Focus' Sam Monson threw out the same hypothetical scenario, and he noted that the Raiders might have to trade up to No. 2 or No. 3 to avoid another team jumping over them: 

Sam Monson @PFF_Sam

Hypothetically, if Kyler Murray didn't go to AZ @ #1, how far does he slide? Raiders would take him at 4, I think. But would they need to jump higher to avoid being gazumped by a QB needy team trading above them?

In that hypothetical, the Raiders have the assets in their arsenal to trade up to No. 2 or No. 3 to select Murray since they have three first-round draft picks. 

But that situation might not even come into play if the Cardinals decide Murray is the player who should be the face of their franchise in the Kingsbury era. 

Prediction: Murray is selected by Arizona at No. 1.

                                

Josh Allen 

Where Murray lands will affect the order in which the top defensive prospects go off the board. 

If the Oklahoma quarterback is the No. 1 pick, defense should dominate the rest of the top five, with Josh Allen, Nick Bosa and Quinnen Williams being the most-coveted prospects. 

Allen, an edge-rusher out of Kentucky, recently met with the San Francisco 49ers and is visiting a handful of other franchises, as ESPN.com's Adam Schefter disclosed: 

Adam Schefter @AdamSchefter

Kentucky DE/OLB Josh Allen is wrapping up his two-day private visit today with the SF 49ers, per source. From SF, Allen will go on to Detroit to visit the Lions, and then later visit the Bengals, Buccaneers, Jaguars, Bills, Giants, Jets and Raiders. Busy schedule.

The 49ers are in an intriguing spot at No. 2 because they recently added defensive end Dee Ford and have a stockpile of highly drafted defensive linemen from previous drafts. 

With Murray off the draft board, Nick Bosa would be the best player available in the eyes of many experts, but the 49ers might be better off taking pass-rushing linebacker Allen. 

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

Selecting Bosa could cause a logjam on the defensive line and force the 49ers to make difficult roster decisions during training camp. 

But if the Niners want to go after the best player available, Allen will likely land with the New York Jets, with whom he'd learn under veteran linebacker C.J. Mosley, who signed with the team as a free agent. 

No matter where he lands, Allen is expected to make an immediate impact for a team looking to get closer to challenging for the postseason instead of finishing among the league's worst franchises once again. 

Prediction: San Francisco considers Allen, but he lands with the Jets at No. 3.

                              

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

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