2019 NFL Mock Draft: B/R Staff Round 1 Predictions

NFL StaffContributor IApril 22, 2019

2019 NFL Mock Draft: B/R Staff Round 1 Predictions

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    Alonzo Adams/Associated Press

    You might have noticed that here at Bleacher Report, we love mock drafts. Like, we really, really love mock drafts. And can you blame us? It's as fun to create a mock draft as it is to consume one. Nobody's gonna bat 1.000, but there are millions of possible outcomes to speculate on—all of which are destined to stir up debate. 

    But mock drafts are almost always solo efforts, which means they lack the competitive nature of the real-world event. 

    That's about to change, because Bleacher Report NFL analysts Gary Davenport, Brad Gagnon and Brent Sobleski have come together for a group draft, and we're told at least one case of beer is on the line. 

    With our experts picking in alphabetical order and trades on the table, here's how the mock first round went down. 

1. Arizona Cardinals

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    Alonzo Adams/Associated Press

    The Picker: Davenport

    The Pick: QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma

    This is a franchise-defining selection. The sort of pick that makes or breaks the careers of head coaches and general managers.

    If new Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury can tailor an offense that fits what Murray does best while masking his weaknesses and the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner goes on to have the impact of a Carson Wentz, Patrick Mahomes or even a Baker Mayfield, Kingsbury will be hailed as an offensive guru, and general manager Steve Keim will be lauded for having the guts to select the 5'10" signal-caller.

    But if Murray's diminutive stature proves to be his undoing, Keim and Kingsbury will both likely be looking for work before long—especially since drafting Murray all but ensures quarterback Josh Rosen will be traded.

    No pressure, kid.

2. San Francisco 49ers

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    The Picker: Gagnon

    The Pick: EDGE Nick Bosa, Ohio State

    Even with the highly paid Dee Ford and 2017 No. 3 overall pick Solomon Thomas already on board, this is a fairly obvious pick for the San Francisco 49ers.

    I wouldn't fault them for taking former Kentucky pass-rusher Josh Allen either, but they have to go with whoever they believe is the best edge-defender in a draft that will be forever remembered for players at that premium position. 

    Bosa is a complete-package defensive end with NFL pedigree, and he's played with his hand in the dirt more often than Allen. That's something he'll be asked to do consistently in San Francisco, where the pressure will be on to perform from the get-go as the team completes its rebuild. 

    Good thing Bosa is a little more polished from a technical standpoint—another reason he's less of a risk than Allen. 

    Another intriguing option is former Alabama interior defender Quinnen Williams, but DeForest Buckner is already a star inside, and Thomas has thus far been a disappointment. Don't be surprised if they take Bosa (or Allen) and then try to trade Thomas. 

3. New York Jets

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    The Picker: Sobleski

    The Pick: LB Josh Allen, Kentucky

    The New York Jets' search for an edge-rusher continues. No Jets edge-defender has managed more than seven sacks since Calvin Pace registered 10 during the 2013 campaign.

    As a result, the organization hurried to sign Anthony Barr in free agency before he backed out of a deal and returned to the Minnesota Vikings. Since New York missed out on its preferred target, the draft is its path to a better a pass rush.

    Kentucky's Josh Allen led the Power Five conferences last season with 17 sacks. The reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year will provide flexibility in coordinator Gregg Williams' front as a pass-rusher and linebacker who's comfortable working in space.

    "Josh is an excellent pass-rusher," an NFC coach told ESPN.com's Rich Cimini. "He's still a little bit raw, but he hasn't reached his potential yet. He can bend; he can play the run. He has some pass-rush moves; it's not just straight-ahead speed. His upside is tremendous."   

4. Oakland Raiders

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    The Picker: Davenport

    The Pick: DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama

    You'll have to forgive Oakland Raiders GM Mike Mayock if he looks like he swallowed a bug when he turns in this selection. Watching Bosa and Allen come off the board just before Oakland picks would be a tough pill to swallow for a team that had fewer sacks as an organization in 2018 (13) than six players had individually.

    As consolation prizes go, Quinnen Williams of Alabama is a danged good one.

    He's a 6'3", 303-pound interior force who is as quick in the trenches as he is powerful, and teammate Jonah Williams (no relation) described him (via Dane Brugler of The Athletic, who slotted Quinnen Williams as the No. 2 overall prospect in this class) as "trying to block a 300-pound bar of soap."

    He's the best player available in this spot—and an easy call.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    The Picker: Gagnon

    The Pick: LB Devin White, LSU

    With the big three defensive linemen gone, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would probably consider trading down. That was a thought here, but there didn't seem to be much interest from my comrades. 

    That's fine, because the Bucs need more off-ball talent at the linebacker position following Kwon Alexander's departure, and White is one of the best off-ball linebacker prospects we've seen in years.

    His sideline-to-sideline range is off the charts, but White is so much more than that. He's got the ability to play a huge role in run defense, in coverage or even as a pass-rusher. He's a tough, competitive dude with strong leadership skills and the ability to become a perennial All-Pro with a little more polish.  

    The Bucs have invested plenty of draft and financial capital into the defensive line and defensive backfield. Now they can grab one of the best players available while also filling a hole between those two levels. 

6. New York Giants

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    The Picker: Sobleski

    The Pick: DT Ed Oliver, Houston

    Bad teams make bad decisions, hence why they're often stuck at the top of the draft. The New York Giants made a bad decision a year ago when they bypassed a top quarterback prospect for a running back at No. 2 overall—even if it was Saquon Barkley. Amazingly, the organization seems comfortable with making a similar mistake.

    Eli Manning is the Giants' starting quarterback. At this point, his standing doesn't seem to be in any trouble. But New York is looking to build up the rest of the roster.

    If a quarterback isn't the answer, a top-10 pick is meant to add elite talent.

    Houston's Ed Oliver can complete a defensive front that already features two talented young performers in Dalvin Tomlinson and B.J. Hill. Oliver is a disruptive interior defender who can play multiple positions and immediately become the team's defensive cornerstone.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    The Picker: Davenport

    The Pick: OT Jawaan Taylor, Florida

    The Jacksonville Jaguars just invested $88 million in the quarterback position by signing Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles to a four-year deal.

    Now the Jags need to turn their attention to protecting that investment.

    It's not often that you see an NFL team drop a top-10 pick on a player who projects as a right tackle. But at 6'5" and 312 pounds, Taylor's a prototypical strong-side blocker—he's a bulldozer in the run game but has the quickness to hold his own in pass protection.

    The Jaguars are hopeful that after having most of his second NFL season wiped out by a torn ACL, third-year pro Cam Robinson will be able to hold down blocking duties on Foles' blind side. The right tackle spot, on the other hand, is a question mark.

    Taylor's the emphatic answer to that question.

8. Detroit Lions

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    The Picker: Gagnon

    The Pick: DL Rashan Gary, Michigan

    Per Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, the Detroit Lions are "aggressively looking to deal down in the first round." And again, I tried to make that happen, but there isn't a lot of interest in top-10 picks with Murray, Bosa, Allen, Williams and even Oliver off the board. This is a dead zone, which probably explains why the Lions are open to trading down. 

    But if they stick around, it'd make a lot of sense to take Gary, who is both the most physically enticing player available and a guy who often flashed his jaw-dropping physical skills just west of Detroit at the University of Michigan. 

    Gary's college performance didn't always live up to what you might have expected from a phenomenal athlete with elite size (he's 6'4", 277 lbs), speed (he ran a 4.58-second 40-yard dash at the combine, which was better than any defensive lineman in Indy) and potential. But the Lions have big-money free-agent addition Trey Flowers and plenty of talent elsewhere on defense, which should afford them the ability to let Gary develop at a reasonable pace.

9. Buffalo Bills

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    The Picker: Sobleski

    The Pick: OT Jonah Williams, Alabama

    The Buffalo Bills placed a priority on building a strong offensive front this offseason to protect second-year quarterback Josh Allen.

    Buffalo already signed Mitch Morse, Spencer Long, Quinton Spain, Jon Feliciano, LaAdrian Waddle and Ty Nsekhe. Obviously, all six won't start, especially with Dion Dawkins and Wyatt Teller already on the roster. But general manager Brandon Beane wanted to breed competition.

    "We're going to try to bring in competition like we'll do across the board, and we'll try to improve that," Beane said in January, per the Buffalo News' Jason Wolf. "We have to be honest [with their situation]."

    Despite all of the signings, left tackle isn't solidified. Alabama's Jonah Williams is the draft class' best offensive line prospect and a readymade NFL blocker. Questions about length continue to dog Williams, but a more consistent performer can't be found in this year's draft.

10. Denver Broncos

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    The Picker: Davenport

    The Pick: QB Drew Lock, Missouri

    This is a best-case scenario for the Denver Broncos: a top 10 without any trades by teams that are looking to snare a quarterback. That lack of movement drops the Broncos' signal-caller of the future—and a player Denver GM John Elway has reportedly been "smitten" with for some time—right into Denver's lap.

    In Elway's defense, there's a lot to like about Lock, a 6'4", 228-pounder who has both the size and arm talent that make NFL teams all woozy. He's not a finished product, and his accuracy can occasionally be sporadic, but the tools are there for Lock to become a quality starter.

    Denver's offseason acquisition of Joe Flacco takes the pressure off the franchise to start Lock right away, but let's be brutally honest: Flacco's not that much better than Case Keenum.

    So, let him start 10 or 11 games and then cede the offense to a first-round rookie…for the second year in a row.

    In related news, Flacco needs a hug.

11. Cincinnati Bengals

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    The Picker: Gagnon

    The Pick: QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State

    ESPN's Todd McShay suggested earlier this month that Dwayne Haskins' stock was dropping, while scout-turned-analyst Jim Nagy figured that stock was inflated by media hype in the first place. Still, if Murray and Lock are top-10 picks, I can't see the Cincinnati Bengals letting Haskins slide any deeper. 

    Something I've noticed about the Bengals in recent drafts is they love selecting high-profile players. This is especially the case on Day 2, where they almost never stray from expanded media mock drafts with popular players like Sam Hubbard, Joe Mixon, Jordan Willis, Jake Fisher and Jeremy Hill. But it's usually their modus operandi in Round 1 as well, and that top-10 John Ross selection from 2017 is evidence. 

    That might have something to do with the fact that the Bengals have a famously tiny scouting department. Regardless, it's why they'd strongly consider Haskins here. 

    The Bengals are old-school, and Haskins is an old-school, prototypical pocket passer with a cannon arm. He also played his college ball right there in Ohio, and Cincinnati has no long-term financial ties to regressing starter Andy Dalton

    So yeah, this would make a hell of a lot of sense.

12. Green Bay Packers

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    The Picker: Sobleski

    The Pick: LB Devin Bush, Michigan

    The Green Bay Packers have to be giddy with the available options. They can address the offense with the top wide receiver prospect, Ole Miss' D.K. Metcalf, or an elite tight end in Iowa's T.J. Hockenson.

    But a bigger impact can be made on defense with the addition of linebacker Devin Bush.

    General manager Brian Gutekunst reshaped the defense this offseason with the free-agent additions of safety Adrian Amos and outside linebackers Preston Smith and Za'Darius Smith. The unit isn't complete, though. Inside linebacker next to Blake Martinez remains unsettled.

    Bush is the epitome of a modern linebacker. He may be slightly undersized (5'11", 234 lbs), but his range, instincts and comfort level working in space make him a three-down defender.

    Besides, the Packers still own the 30th overall pick to address the offense.

13. Carolina Panthers (Via Trade with Miami Dolphins)

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    The Picker: Davenport

    The Pick: EDGE Montez Sweat, Mississippi State

    The Miami Dolphins are rebuilding. Or tanking. Or retanking. Something. Anyway, it's worth it to Miami to slide back a few spots if it means picking up an extra third-rounder in the process.

    It similarly makes sense for a Carolina team that's in "win now" mode and just so happens to have an extra Round 3 pick to move up from No. 16 and address a pass rush that lost some pop this offseason. The Panthers have a decent pair of starters at defensive end in Mario Addison and Bruce Irvin, but the pair of veterans have just one double-digit-sack season between them—and behind them the depth chart gets sparse quickly.

    An All-SEC pick each of the last two seasons, Montez Sweat piled up 22.5 sacks for the Bulldogs over the last two seasons, leading the conference in that category in 2017. The 6'6", 260-pounder also peeled off a jaw-dropping 4.41-second 40-yard dash at the scouting combine.

14. New York Giants (Via Trade with Atlanta Falcons)

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    The Picker: Gagnon

    The Pick: QB Daniel Jones, Duke

    The Giants need a successor to Manning, and they won't likely have this much draft capital next year. Besides, they can't afford to prolong this obvious rebuild. Not in that city, especially as the Jets gain traction with a hot new franchise quarterback in Sam Darnold and an expensive roster.

    The G-Men aren't scheduled to play on Sunday Night Football in 2019, which hasn't happened since 2001. They need something to look forward to, which is why I'm confident they'll use one of their two first-round picks on a quarterback. 

    In fact, in this case, with Oliver already in tow, I have them leaping ahead of the quarterback-needy, division rival Washington Redskins just to ensure they land Jones. There's already chatter that the Atlanta Falcons could trade down from No. 14, so the price tag might be bearable (I'm thinking it'll cost them the first of their two fourth-round picks and No. 17 overall). 

    Jones is a decisive, accurate short-yardage passer who needs time to develop his ability to work through progressions, and the Giants have that time while they reload and Manning does a victory lap or two.

    Oh and speaking of Manning, he and Jones just happen to share a college coach. That David Cutcliffe connection can't be ignored.

15. Houston Texans (Via Trade with Washington Redskins)

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    The Picker: Gagnon

    The Pick: OT Andre Dillard, Washington State

    Midway through the 2017 season, the Houston Texans made the silly decision to trade veteran left tackle Duane Brown.

    Since then, a bad offensive line has become a joke. According to Pro Football Focus, young Texans franchise signal-caller Deshaun Watson was under pressure more frequently than any other qualified quarterback in the NFL while taking a league-high 62 sacks in 2018. Injury-prone bust Matt Kalil won't do much to help as Houston's only significant free-agent addition to the line. 

    But the last remnant of that Brown trade with the Seattle Seahawks could be the key to the Texans' quest for a long-term pillar on Watson's blind side. Dillard isn't likely to last until No. 23, but Houston might be able to leap into the top half of the first round by dealing the second-round selection it received from Seattle as part of that deal. 

    That would be the 54th overall pick, which Sobleski accepted on the Redskins' mock behalf. This is an ambitious trade up for an athletic three-year starter in Dillard who killed it at the combine and appears to have the pass-blocking skills and physical traits required of a stalwart NFL left tackle. 

16. Baltimore Ravens (Via Trade with Miami Dolphins)

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    The Picker: Davenport

    The Pick: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

    That's right—another trade back for the Dolphins. This one nets the team some future draft capital in the form of a 2020 second-round pick.

    It also nets the Baltimore Ravens an athletic marvel the organization hopes will serve as Lamar Jackson's go-to receiver for years.

    Granted, D.K. Metcalf wasn't even the most productive wide receiver at Ole Miss last year, catching 26 passes for 569 yards and five scores in an injury-marred 2018 season. But there hasn't been a wideout who has helped himself more this draft season than Metcalf, whether it was with viral photos of his shredded physique or a superhuman display at the combine that included a 4.33-second 40 and 27 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press.

    Metcalf hasn't come close to fulfilling his potential as a pass-catcher.

    If he does, Metcalf could become a superstar. And the best receiver the Ravens have had in a long time.

17. Atlanta Falcons (Via Trade with New York Giants)

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    The Picker: Gagnon

    The Pick: DT Christian Wilkins, Clemson

    The Falcons need pass-rushing help, but that doesn't mean they need to draft a prototypical edge-rusher. They sort of did that with first-round picks Vic Beasley and Takkarist McKinley in 2015 and 2017, respectively.

    Either they're feeling they got burned by one or both of those picks, or they remain confident in Beasley and/or McKinley. Either way you slice it, they might prefer to stay away from the edge in Round 1, especially because they'll be left with the lower end of the top tier at this juncture. 

    Instead, let's give them Wilkins, who hasn't garnered as much attention as Williams or Oliver during the predraft process but was often unstoppable during his four years as a key player on Clemson's legendary defensive line. 

    Most importantly, Wilkins can rush the passer from the inside, which should make life easier on Beasley and McKinley. And he's polished enough to make an immediate impact, which is critical for a Falcons team in win-now mode and facing a looming potential contract conundrum with franchise-tagged star Grady Jarrett. 

18. Minnesota Vikings

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    The Picker: Sobleski

    The Pick: TE T.J. Hockenson, Iowa

    Tight end isn't an obvious choice for the Minnesota Vikings, but Iowa's T.J. Hockenson makes sense on multiple levels.

    First, his value can't be denied. Hockenson is the class' top-rated tight end prospect and has the potential to be drafted among the initial 10 selections.

    Second, Hockenson's value is derived from a unique skill set. The majority of today's tight ends are either weapons in the passing game or traditional in-line blockers. Few can do both equally well. Hockenson can.

    Third, the reigning John Mackey Award winner's blocking ability will help a suspect offensive line. Hockenson is exceptional at the point of attack and will only make the Vikings' front stronger.

    Finally, Kyle Rudolph is entering the final year of his contract and turns 30 years old in November. The Vikings can lean on 22-personnel (one running back and two tight ends) this season and then have Hockenson serve as Rudolph's replacement for the 2020 campaign.

19. Tennessee Titans

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    The Picker: Davenport

    The Pick: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

    Not only is that back-to-back tight ends—it's back-to-back tight ends from the same school.

    Guessing that's never happened before in the first round of an NFL draft.

    Losing out on Hockenson by a single pick would be a blow for the Titans—he's a perfect heir to Delanie Walker at tight end in Nashville given their similar skill sets.

    But the future at that position is still a priority for Tennessee given Walker's age, recent injury history and Marcus Mariota's penchant for targeting the tight end spot.

    Noah Fant isn't as NFL-ready as his former Hawkeyes teammate, nor is he the blocker that Hockenson is. But the 6'4", 249-pounder is a matchup nightmare for linebackers and safeties over the middle given his length and speed (4.5-second 40-yard dash at the combine).

    Give the kid a year to learn behind Walker, and Fant could quickly become a difference-maker for the Titans.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    The Picker: Gagnon

    The Pick: CB Byron Murphy, Washington

    The Pittsburgh Steelers would probably be all over a new pass-catcher to replace Antonio Brown here, but with Hockenson, Fant and Metcalf off the board they can instead fill a need with the pick of the cornerback litter. 

    It's become clear 2016 first-rounder Artie Burns isn't panning out, and neither Joe Haden nor Steven Nelson is a shutdown artist outside. It's time for Pittsburgh to add a potential playmaker there, especially coming off a season in which its defense ranked in the bottom five in the NFL with just eight interceptions. 

    It just so happens that the polished, versatile Murphy is coming off a four-pick redshirt sophomore campaign  at Washington. And he can play inside or outside and should be able to contribute in run defense right off the bat, which is ideal for a team that is in win-now mode. 

21. Seattle Seahawks

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    The Picker: Sobleski

    The Pick: WR Parris Campbell, Ohio State

    The Seattle Seahawks made quarterback Russell Wilson the game's highest-paid player when he agreed to a four-year, $140 million contract extension. The organization's primary goal from this point forward is simple: Do everything possible to maximize the quarterback's effectiveness.

    General manager John Schneider already addressed last year's much-improved offensive front by re-signing D.J. Fluker and adding four-time Pro Bowl guard Mike Iupati.

    Last year, the Seahawks featured the league's best ground game. The passing attack needs more help, though, especially with Doug Baldwin's injury status. Baldwin has had knee and shoulder surgeries since the season ended. The wide receiver had a sports hernia surgery scheduled for early April as well, according to NFL Network's Mike Garofolo.

    Since Baldwin's status remains in question, wide receiver is a significant need. Ohio State's Parris Campbell is a blazing-fast (4.31-second 40-yard dash) target who can serve as a vertical threat or an option in the short game to gain yardage after the catch.

22. Miami Dolphins (Via Trade with Baltimore Ravens)

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    The Picker: Davenport

    The Pick: EDGE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson

    If the draft plays out like this, Dolphins general manager Chris Grier will be one of the NFL's happiest men on April 25. A pair of trades back netted the team a pair of extra Day 2 picks—one in each of the next two drafts.

    And even with that wheeling and dealing, the Dolphins can take a big-time edge-rusher after the departure of Cameron Wake, Robert Quinn and Andre Branch.

    Clelin Ferrell doesn't get the run of some of this year's other top D-line prospects—in part because he played on a loaded front with the Tigers. But the 6'4", 264-pounder is a force in his own right—a powerful, technically sound defensive end who should be able to start for the Dolphins early in his NFL career.

    Miami effectively had their cake and ate it, too.

    Mmmmm. Cake.

23. Washington Redskins (Via Trade with Houston Texans)

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    The Picker: Sobleski

    The Pick: QB Will Grier, West Virginia

    The Washington Redskins achieved two goals by trading down from the 15th to 23rd overall pick.

    First, the team positioned itself to get better value for a quarterback it likes. West Virginia's Will Grier is a mature prospect who can immediately push veteran Case Keenum and compete for the starting spot.

    According to Pro Football Focus, the 24-year-old signal-caller tied for first with Missouri's Drew Lock by making 33 big-time (or NFL-caliber) throws last season. Grier also posted a 76.6 adjusted completion percentage.

    Second, extra picks acquired in the trade will help Washington supplement a subpar roster. The team owns 10 selections. More draft capital will help the front office address problem areas at wide receiver, guard, linebacker and cornerback.

24. Oakland Raiders

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    The Picker: Sobleski

    The Pick: WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma

    The Oakland Raiders revamped their wide receiver corps to give head coach Jon Gruden exactly what he wants.

    "We don't want to have a good receiving corps," Gruden said during Antonio Brown's introductory press conference. "I want to have the best receiving corps in football."

    The additions of Brown, Tyrell Williams and J.J. Nelson give the Raiders a complementary trio to improve upon last year's 18th-ranked passing offense. But it's not complete.

    Oklahoma's Marquise Brown is the draft class' most explosive receiving threat. His ability to create separation is second to none. The 5'9", 166-pound receiver is undersized, but he's nearly impossible to cover. He serves as a vertical threat whether he's working outside the numbers or in the slot.

    Plus, he would help keep his cousin Antonio happy—which is crucial to all of this working.

25. Philadelphia Eagles

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    The Picker: Davenport

    The Pick: OL Cody Ford, Oklahoma

    The Philadelphia Eagles don't have a lot of glaring needs. The ones the Iggles do have (inside linebacker chief among them) won't be easy to address at this spot. So they may look to bolster an aging position group.

    In theory, the Eagles are set at tackle for 2019 with Jason Peters and Lane Johnson. But Peters is 37 and has been rather prone to injuries in recent years, and depth behind those players and the guard position are both potential problem areas.

    That's where Oklahoma's Cody Ford comes in.

    As Lance Zierlein wrote for NFL.com, the 6'4", 329-pound Ford "offers a rare combination of physical and athletic traits that will have NFL teams dreaming of his upside."

    He needs development. But whether it's as a swing tackle or playing inside at guard, Ford has the ability to help the Eagles right away and eventually become a solid starter outside in his own right.

26. Indianapolis Colts

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    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    The Picker: Gagnon

    The Pick: EDGE Brian Burns, Florida State

    I can't believe my amigos just went a combined five picks without someone selecting Burns, who went 11th in my last solo mock draft. But I'll take it, as this would be a dream scenario for the Indianapolis Colts in the No. 26 spot. 

    Indy added pass-rusher Justin Houston in free agency, but the former Chief has probably seen his best days in the NFL. They also have Jabaal Sheard and Denico Autry up front, but the former is 30 and the latter will be 29 this summer. They need some fresh blood to pair with 2018 second-rounder Tyquan Lewis up front. 

    The Colts have reportedly met with and shown plenty of interest in Burns, who after a strong three-year run in the ACC should make an immediate impact as a pass-rusher and be a passable run defender in the pros. 

27. Oakland Raiders

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    The Picker: Sobleski

    The Pick: TE Irv Smith Jr., Alabama

    Another Alabama Crimson Tide prospect, running back Josh Jacobs, is often associated with one of the Oakland Raiders' later first-round picks.

    However, Irv Smith Jr. is the better value and fills a bigger need. Last season, Jared Cook led the team with 896 receiving yards. The veteran signed with the New Orleans Saints in free agency, though. Right now, the Raiders tight end room consists of Darren Waller, Lee Smith, Luke Willson, Derek Carrier and Paul Butler. It's not an inspiring group.

    The 20-year-old tight end is still growing as a player, but his natural athleticism and ability in both phases of the offense are already evident. Smith has a chance to immediately impact the Raiders lineup as Cook's replacement.

    Besides, running back can be addressed later. No team between the 28th and 34th picks is an obvious landing spot for Jacobs.

28. Los Angeles Chargers

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    The Picker: Davenport

    The Pick: DT Dre'Mont Jones, Ohio State

    This pick may raise a few eyebrows—not so much that the Chargers took a 3-technique tackle, but that that tackle wasn't Jeremy Tillery of Notre Dame.

    At just 281 pounds, Jones is a tad undersized to play inside in the NFL. And his run defense is a work in progress. But he's one of the most disruptive pass-rushers from the inside in this class—maybe the most disruptive. In a one-gap scheme that favors players getting up the field and collapsing the pocket, Jones could be a menace.

    Say in a scheme like Gus Bradley's 4-3 "Under" front in Los Angeles.

    Jones could be an ideal replacement for Corey Liuget, who is currently a free agent. 

    Besides, the last time the Chargers took a Buckeyes D-lineman in Round 1, it worked out, um, OK.

29. Kansas City Chiefs

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    The Picker: Gagnon

    The Pick: CB Deandre Baker, Georgia

    The Kansas City Chiefs will be looking to replace solid veteran cornerback Steven Nelson, who left in free agency, and they already have two strong cover men who can watch the slot in Kendall Fuller and new arrival Tyrann Mathieu. So what they need is a capable outside corner to pair Fuller (when he's covering the X or Z) and/or mediocre veteran Bashaud Breeland. 

    Baker fits the bill. 

    The 2018 Jim Thorpe Award winner isn't a super-athlete, but he's been a top-notch playmaker for three consecutive years in the best conference in college football. He's also extremely polished from a technical standpoint in coverage, and according to PFF he hasn't surrendered a touchdown on a pass thrown his way since 2016. 

    He'd play a major role immediately for a Super Bowl contender.

30. Green Bay Packers

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    The Picker: Sobleski

    The Pick: OT Kaleb McGary, Washington

    The Green Bay Packers have plenty of first-day draft flexibility with a pair of selections in the opening frame. Due to a newfound aggressive nature in free agency thanks to general manager Brian Gutekunst, the Packers don't have any glaring holes. 

    Even so, right tackle is a potential short- and long-term problem area.

    Bryan Bulaga is an outstanding strong-side protector. Unfortunately, he's dealt with multiple injuries and missed 13 games over the last two seasons. Furthermore, financial considerations come into play. The 30-year-old Bulaga holds a $8.4 million cap hit this season before becoming a free agent next year. His status opens the door for a replacement.

    The 6'7", 317-pound Kaleb McGary shows great movement skills, which present themselves in pass protection. According to Pro Football Focus, the three-and-a-half-year starter allowed only six sacks on 1,654 career pass-blocking snaps.

31. Los Angeles Rams

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    The Picker: Davenport

    The Pick: OT Dalton Risner, Kansas State

    The Los Angeles Rams have one overriding mission in 2019—get back to the Super Bowl and finish the job after losing Super Bowl LIII to the New England Patriots.

    Were Dexter Lawrence to slide to the back end of Round 1—which he has in this mock—the Rams would consider him. Depth in the secondary is a possibility. So is (albeit in something of a dark-horse capacity) the running back position—although that would probably give Todd Gurley's fantasy owners an aneurysm.

    The offensive line is also an area that needs to be addressed—whether it's at guard with the departure of Rodger Saffold or the future at left tackle behind 37-year-old Andrew Whitworth.

    Risner didn't play either of those spots at Kansas State—he was primarily a right tackle and center. But just because he didn't play those spots doesn't mean he can't, and guard might be his best fit in the NFL given his relative lack of quickness.

32. New England Patriots

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    The Picker: Gagnon

    The Pick: DT Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State

    Of course the New England freakin' Patriots land a two-time first-team All-SEC defensive tackle with top-10 talent with the final pick of the first round. But none of my colleagues were willing to take a chance on the rehabbing Simmons earlier, and I can't imagine the Patriots would pass here after losing big man Malcom Brown in free agency. 

    Simmons likely won't make an immediate impact as he recovers from a torn ACL suffered in February, but the Patriots can afford to wait. Worst-case scenario, he's a tremendous addition to the roster in 2020, but in the best case, he's an impact player by the time next postseason rolls around. 

    Regardless, this is the spot to add a player who has superstar potential but won't be a factor in September, and the Pats are a good fit because they don't need this selection to make a difference right off the bat.