2019 NFL Mock Draft: 1st-Round Predictions and Prospects Ready for Early Impact

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistApril 9, 2019

Ohio State defensive lineman Nick Bosa runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, March 3, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

While every NFL draft choice is ideally a long-term investment, not all of them require a wait to start reaping rewards.

Last season's No. 2 rusher was freshman Saquon Barkley. Some of his 2018 draft classmates included the first (Darius Leonard) and third (Leighton Vander Esch) players in total tackles, a player tied for 14th in sacks (Bradley Chubb) and the 17th-ranked player in passing yards (Baker Mayfield).

Early-impact prospects are our focus here, as we'll examine three of the best following our latest mock draft.


2019 NFL Mock Draft

1. Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

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

3. New York Jets: Josh Allen, DE/OLB, 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: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

9. Buffalo Bills: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

10. Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

11. Cincinnati Bengals: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan

12. Green Bay Packers: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

13. Miami Dolphins: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan

14. Atlanta Falcons: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

15. Washington Redskins: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

16. Carolina Panthers: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson

17. New York Giants (via Cleveland Browns): Brian Burns, DE, Florida State

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

19. Tennessee Titans: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

21. Seattle Seahawks: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida

22. Baltimore Ravens: Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State

23. Houston Texans: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

24. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago Bears): Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

25. Philadelphia Eagles: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

26. Indianapolis Colts: N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

27. Oakland Raiders (via Dallas Cowboys): Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

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

29. Kansas City Chiefs: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

30. Green Bay Packers (via New Orleans Saints): Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware

31. Los Angeles Rams: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

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


Top Plug-and-Play Prospects

Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State

Considering Bosa is the brother (Joey) and son (John) of former first-round picks, some might be fooled into thinking his bloodlines are one of the biggest drivers of his hype. Flip on his film, though, and it's easy to see why he's regarded as such a can't-miss prospect.

Over three seasons at Ohio State, Bosa had the same number of tackles for loss as games played (29). He also sacked the quarterback 17.5 times and forced a pair of fumbles. While not the most explosive option in this edge-rushing class, his fundamentals and motor yield consistent, near-elite production.

"He understands how to play and should become an early starter and future Pro Bowler," NFL.com's Lance Zierlein wrote.

Powerful from his base to his hands, Bosa routinely sheds his blocker (or blockers) and finds his way to the ball-carrier. His first NFL employer should expect more of the same, which is why he's in line to be a top-two pick and could still bump Kyler Murray out of the No. 1 spot.


Devin White, LB, LSU

Darron Cummings/Associated Press

White is a sideline-to-sideline enforcer with every bit of the speed-plus-power combination that label implies.

His three-year stay at LSU was largely a masterclass in expert linebacker play. Between his sophomore and junior campaigns, he tallied 256 tackles with 25.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 quarterback sacks. He also deflected nine passes, forced three fumbles, recovered two fumbles and added an interception to his overstuffed stat sheet.

"White blew scouts away at the combine with his speed, and I've had a general manager compare him to Patrick Willis," NFL.com's Peter Schrager noted.

White is the rare prospect who dazzles both with readiness and upside. In other words, he should be really good right out of the gate and has a chance to be great sooner rather than later.


Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

Sweat is one of the biggest risers of the post-season process. Blazing through the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds—the best time ever recorded by a defensive lineman—as a 6'6", 260-pounder has that kind of effect, apparently.

But he's more than an elite athlete. After bursting onto the national scene with 15.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks in 2017, Sweat delivered another eye-opener this past season with 14.5 more of the former and 12.0 of the latter.

When you combine top-shelf physical tools with elite production, you're looking at someone who could quickly become a pain in the neck for NFL passers.

"In the passing-driven NFL, edge defenders who can get after the quarterback are always in demand," WalterFootball.com's Charlie Campbell wrote. "With his length, speed, athleticism, size and strength, Sweat has the potential to be an impactful edge defender with double-digit sack potential as a pro."


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