NFL Mock Draft 2019: 1st-Round Projections, Latest Top Prospects' Stock Watch

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistApril 17, 2019

Houston defensive lineman Ed Oliver Jr. stretches as he participates in drills during Pro Day at the indoor football practice facility at the University of Houston Thursday, March, 28, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)
Michael Wyke/Associated Press

A week and change separate the NFL from an influx of new talent as the next rookie class enters the league. 

Despite the proximity of the event and the end of most pre-draft affairs for prospects themselves, the stock market surrounding the class continues to change.  

Some of this is legit as front offices keep grinding out tape, gathering information and submitting reports. An overall draft board doesn't figure to change much, but things do come up. But some of this is also simply the media and fans catching up with how the league feels and it finally making its way public. 

Fans probably won't know who the actual No. 1 pick is until the day of the draft itself. But other stock market fluctuations continue to slip out or at least trend in obvious directions.

      

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: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

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: T.J. Hockenson, 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: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

19. Tennessee Titans: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

21. Seattle Seahawks: Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State

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

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

24. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago Bears): D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

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: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

32. New England Patriots: Jace Sternberger, TE, Texas A&M

      

4. Oakland Raiders: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

Stock: Up

Michael Wyke/Associated Press

This one wasn't hard to see coming. 

Prospects who can consistently generate pressure from the middle of the defensive line give NFL teams something most others don't have. And provided he lands in the right scheme with a staff willing to use him that way, Houston's Ed Oliver can do just that. 

So no, it isn't a surprise to see comments like this from a prominent figure like NFL.com's Lance Zierlein: 

Oliver is likely one of those prospects battered around by the draft process but not moving much on team boards. He's a 6'2", 287-pound defensive lineman who consistently generated pressure from the middle and while considered "small" by some, uses power and leverage in a similar way guys like Geno Atkins do. 

Even if Oliver's stock wasn't flying high, a team like the Oakland Raiders would have a hard time passing on him. Jon Gruden's club boasts three picks in the opening round and grabbing a talent like Oliver who can mask other weaknesses on the team by disrupting consistently is impossible to ignore. 

Oakland slapping Oliver in the heart of its defense next to another disruptor like Maurice Hurst would prop up a rebuilding unit behind the line and one of the worst pass rushes in the league in the aftermath of the Khalil Mack trade. 

       

9. Buffalo Bills: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

Stock: Up

Michael Conroy/Associated Press

It seemed like a matter of time before Alabama's Jonah Williams worked his way back into top-of-draft chatter. 

Williams is an Alabama offensive lineman, so naturally this was bound to happen. He fell out of favor a bit at the combine for a 33⅝" arm-length measurement but is on the rebound late in the process, according to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo: 

The concern with Williams' bad measurement at the combine was legit from a stock standpoint, at least. It suggested he projects more as a guard at the next level, though it ignores how his 6'4", 302-pound frame with good athleticism held up on the edges of a line in the SEC. 

Williams kicking inside and having a lengthy career at center or guard wouldn't be terrible for him or the team drafting him—depending on where he goes. But as the process has put the combine behind it, Williams has naturally slotted in as a tackle again in the public mindshare. 

Provided this holds, the Buffalo Bills would like a prospect like Williams after allowing 28 sacks of then-rookie Josh Allen last year and 41 outright. The front office has done plenty to rebuild the offensive trenches this offseason, yet Williams would still come in as an instant starter and improve other positions by simple forcing more talent to them for a competition. 

        

31. Los Angeles Rams: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

Stock: Down

Ric Tapia/Associated Press

The safety class has gone through some hard knocks during the path to the draft, with presumed leader Deionte Thompson struggling to keep pace. 

Alabama product or not, there clearly isn't a guarantee Thompson is the first safety off the board anymore. This gradual shift really started back near the beginning of April:

Thompson, 6'1" and 195 pounds, had the wrist injury hold him back throughout the process and eventually drummed out the talk about film in which he showed good range and an ability to play most roles. His being a bit light might raise some concerns about whether he can keep dishing big hits consistently at the next level, too. 

But as usual, teams near the end of the order already doing pretty good for themselves aren't going to complain when a talent drops down the board. The Los Angeles Rams win in this case after losing Lamarcus Joyner in free agency. 

Joyner wasn't irreplaceable by any means but Thompson is a good way to ease the loss, even if it is on a rotational basis. Reloading with high-upside talent while saving cap space is how contenders keep the window open and Thompson comes from a program that knows all about winning, as an added bonus. 

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