For the final mock before the real thing, I thought I’d take my final stab at guessing the first round. If nothing else, it should be fun to look back on and laugh Friday, so let’s throw some darts.
1. Oakland Raiders - Kyler Murray - QUARTERBACK
All day yesterday there were different rumors circulating about the Raiders. It’s almost like reporters forgot that Gruden and Mayock threw the scouts out to keep intel tight to the chest. What hasn’t been a secret is Gruden’s hot & cold attitude towards Derek Carr. With 3 picks in the first round this is his best chance at finding a capable replacement.
2. San Francisco 49ers - Nick Bosa - EDGE
This picks been locked in so long it’s boring. Let’s move on.
3. Washington - Dwayne Haskins - QUARTEBACK
For as long as people have known that John Lynch wanted
Joey Nick Bosa, people have known that the Jets wanted to move down. What complicates things is the Cardinals and Bucs, who could also willingly jump farther down the board for a pick haul. In the end, I think Washington gets the best deal at 3. People will grill the Jets for getting so little, but take a look at their roster. Every pick helps.
4. Arizona Cardinals - Quinnen Williams - DEFENSIVE LINE
Here’s betting the Cards would get an A+ grade for simply getting the Raiders haul and Q, who looks like the best player in this draft class.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Devin White - LINEBACKER
There’s been a few who have given Arians a corner here. I do think Byron Murphy and Greedy Williams are better than they’re getting credit for. I also think the only thing that could hurt White going in the top 5 is positional value. Licht doesn’t overthink it.
6. New York Giants - Daniel Jones - QUARTERBACK
They’re going to get the lowest grade of any top 10 team from the draft graders.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars - Josh Allen - EDGE
The sliding Allen wrecks most Mocks here. Initial response will be tepid, at least until analysts realize neither edge rusher in Jacksonville is locked in for the long term. Campbell is over 30 and Yannick Ngakoue is playing out the last year of his contract.
8. Atlanta Falcons - Ed Oliver - DEFENSIVE LINE
The Falcons make the move to save Oliver from Buffalo. Detroit gets extra ammo to capitalize on the depth of the second tier of this class.
9. Buffalo Bills - Christian Wilkins - DEFENSIVE LINE
If I were running Buffalo’s War Room I’d go after Jonah Williams or T.J. Hockenson to at least try and give evolutionary Tebow a chance. Sorry Bills Mafia. I don’t.
10. Denver Broncos - Drew Lock - QUARTERBACK
Remember how the media had Elway locked in since early November? Me too. I don’t believe the sources suddenly leaking Devin Bush 4 days out from the draft. Maybe I’m wrong. I sure hope so.
11. Cincinnati Bengals - Devin Bush - LINEBACKER
Bengals get their QB1 and LB1 sniped from them and still come out with my favorite linebacker in the draft.
12. Green Bay Packers - D.K. Metcalf - WIDE RECEIVER
There’s rumors that Metcalf could fall out of the first. I think Brian Gutekunst gives Rodgers a new toy.
13. Miami Dolphins - Jawan Taylor - OFFENSIVE LINE
While everyone’s fighting for quarterbacks Chris Grier has his eye on the real prize. A 2020 class with franchise altering arms. The fins happily take a blue chip lineman on their way to 1 or 2 wins in 2019.
14. Detroit Lions - T.J. Hockenson - TIGHT END
Bob Quinn is happy to find Hock is still on the board because opposing teams out foxed themselves with concerns over positional value.
15. New York Jets - Andre Dillard - OFFENSIVE LINE
Would you believe me if I told you that Kelvin Beachum was the Jets best offensive lineman in 2018? Sam Darnold needs better than that and Adam Gase is going to go offense in the first. This is his last real shot at a HC job.
16. Carolina Panthers - Jonah Williams - OFFENSIVE LINE
Is he a guard? Is he a tackle? Good news, the Panthers need both. Can he fill two spots at once?
17. New York Giants - Rashan Gary - DEFENSIVE LINE
I like Brian Burns. Dave Gettleman won’t. James Bettcher has one of those schemes that can manufacture pressure, so a pure edge rusher won’t be as high a priority, and the team will fall for Gary’s tools.
18. Minnesota Vikings - Garrett Bradbury - OFFENSIVE LINE
Minny is a sleeper team to try and move up to grab Dillard, but wind up sticking to grab the best interior linemen left on the board. Some will peg Cody Ford here. Bradbury is a better fit for the Kubiak scheme.
19. Tennessee Titans - Cody Ford - OFFENSIVE LINE
I think the Titans are another wildcard. While they were Blaine Gabbert away from a playoff berth in 2018 they secretly have a slew of needs at priority positions. You probably didn’t realize that because they’re a boring team. (Seriously name four players after Mariota, I’ll wait.)
20. Pittsburgh Steelers - Brian Burns - EDGE
I think the Steelers will try and move up. I just also think Kevin Colbert will try too hard to make sure he looks like he won the deal to get anything done. Cornerback makes a lot of sense here but Burns is a clean fit for them as a 3-4 edge rusher who will be able to drop in space with time. If Ben Roethlisberger hadn’t agreed to an extension yesterday I would have put a receiver here, as Pit seems more concerned with his happiness than the on field product.
21. Seattle Seahawks - Montez Sweat - EDGE
The draft falls perfectly for Seattle’s needs. Some teams ahead of them worry about a heart condition. Pete Carroll convinces himself he has enough heart for everyone.
22. Baltimore Ravens - N’Keal Harry - WIDE RECEIVER
I almost grabbed Noah Fant here because Lamar Jackson can never have enough tight ends. Instead he gets a contested catch artist who can make his quarterback look competent. At the press conference they’ll talk about his ability to block. Bet on it.
23. Houston Texans - Dalton Risner - OFFENSIVE LINE
I think Bill O’Brien darn near poops himself when the run on lineman starts. In the end Houston gets a guy who can play anywhere but left tackle. That’ll help later as they need 3 more linemen.
24. Oakland Raiders - Noah Fant - TIGHT END
The Raiders are going to get glowing reviews coming out of this draft. Then their defense is going to be the worst in football.
25. Detroit Lions - Greedy Williams - CORNERBACK
Detroit burns some of that extra capital they got to get back up and give the Darius Slayton a running mate and heir apparent.
26. Indianapolis Colts - Jeffery Simmons - DEFENSIVE LINE
This just screams the kind of long view pick that I imagine Chris Ballard has the onions to pull off. Since his hire Indy has come across as the kind of front office that will make the smart pick, even if it isn’t necessarily the obvious one in the moment.
27. Arizona Cardinals - Hakeem Butler - WIDE RECEIVER
If the Cardinals settle on Josh Rosen, they’re going to need him a real receiver. Zombie Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk aren’t going to cut it.
28. Los Angeles Chargers - Byron Murphy - CORNERBACK
Gus Bradley gets a clean fit for his zone heavy scheme. I think Murphy slides farther than anticipated because he isn’t the kind of silly athlete that NFL team’s take high in the first. Chargers have a quietly scary secondary to fill that empty stadium with.
29. Seattle Seahawks - Nasir Adderly - SAFETY
I prefer Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, I just think Carroll will like a 4-year starter who can step into that Earl Thomas role early on.
30. Green Bay Packers - Johnathan Abrams - SAFETY
People are going to call me Cheezy when I pick Rodgers to make it back to the Super Bowl and I don’t even care. Abrams gives them a flexible chess piece that can come up and help cover in the intermediate zone and also play as an extra linebacker.
31. Los Angeles Rams - Clellin Ferrell - EDGE
Much like Samson Ekubam, Ferrell is a stronger player rushing than he is in space. That’s alright in Wade’s scheme.
32. New England Patriots - Jerry Tillery - DEFENSIVE LINE
Here’s betting this pick looks like a steal 3 years down the road.