Plenty of surprises in Rob Rang’s Updated First Round Mock Draft
The 2019 NFL Draft is less than one week away and the only thing we can say with certainty is that there are going to be plenty of surprises.
That is always the case in the NFL draft, of course, but what makes this year unique is the difference in opinion atop virtually every position group. Think about it, with the exception of tight end (T.J. Hockenson), edge rusher (Nick Bosa) and inside linebacker (Devin White), there is little consensus as to who will be drafted first at each position, much less second, third or fourth.
With one more week to press my best sources – they helped me project all five QBs to the correct teams last year – here is how I see things shaking out in the first round.
Rang's final mock will be posted here at NFLDraftScout.com Wednesday night, April 24.
1. Arizona Cardinals – Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Murray has some bust factor to him but he is the most dynamic player in this draft and an ideal fit in Kliff Kingsbury’s offense. Expect Josh Rosen to get peddled with the Giants (which have 12 draft selections to play with) a particularly intriguing fit.
2. San Francisco – Nick Bosa, OLB, Ohio State
Sure, the 49ers already boast a pretty fearsome front with DeForest Buckner, Solomon Thomas and shiny new edge rusher Dee Ford but Bosa could turn a team strength into one of the better units in the league.
3. New York Jets – Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
Like the 49ers a pick earlier, the Jets need merely to pick their favorite flavor of the dominant front seven defenders available to them. Oliver’s quickness would seem a terrific fit in new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ ultra-aggressive scheme.
4. Oakland Raiders – Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
Arguably the best player in the draft falling in your lap? Mike Mayock the analyst would have to give the Raiders and their new GM an A for this selection, despite Oakland already possessing a lot of young talent up front.
5. Tampa Bay – Devin White, ILB, LSU
Count me among those who believe that the Bucs are going to take big, big strides in Year One under Bruce Arians – mostly because of how he will corral Jameis Winston. Hitting an immediate impact star as the QB of the Bucs’ defense would go a long way in correcting last year’s under-achieving defense, as well.
6. New York Giants – Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan
Could a quarterback go here? Sure, but all Dave Gettleman has ever done so far is be honest about his affinity for hog mollies and running the ball. Gary is a Jersey native with the size, strength and athleticism to one day be viewed as the best player in this draft.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
Like Gettleman, Tom Coughlin is a straight-shooter. He believes in size and physicality in the trenches. Taylor might rank second or third among tackles for some but he’s a perfect fit for the Jaguars’ offense.
8. Detroit Lions – Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky
Dynamic off the edge, better dropping into coverage than most assume and team leader, Allen checks off too many of the boxes Matt Patricia and Bob Quinn appear to be using to let slip any further.
9. Buffalo Bills – D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi
The Bills are another run-first (and second) team but what is the point of adding a quarterback with as strong of an arm as Josh Allen if he can’t unleash it every now and again. Metcalf has the speed and size to make play-action a legitimate threat.
10. Denver Broncos – Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
I love the fit of Lock in Denver, though adding a speedy linebacker like Michigan’s Devin Bush is another exciting option. Lock’s arm, mobility and swagger could remind John Elway of himself and the Broncos would have time to make Lock earn the starting role, learning behind a consummate pro in Joe Flacco.
11. Cincinnati Bengals – Devin Bush, ILB, Michigan
Much of the focus nationally has centered on the Bengals replacing Andy Dalton but don’t be surprised if it is instead a changing of the guard at the QB on defense that occurs instead. Bush is faster (and plays smarter) than former starter Vontaze Burfict but offers similar physicality and intensity.
12. Green Bay Packers – T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
There likely is no truth to the rumor that the Packers were offering tryouts to Lambeau stadium vendors as reliable pass-catchers to complement Davante Adams but the tight ends and receivers on the roster weren’t offering much help. Hockenson can be the safety blanket (and so much more) that Aaron Rodgers has been missing.
13. Miami Dolphins – Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
The Dolphins current QB depth chart consists of Ryan Fitzpatrick, Luke Falk and Jake Rudock. If they do not select a QB here (or trade for Rosen), at least they’ll make projecting which team and position is likely to go No. 1 in 2020 easy for draft analysts. Haskins is no Tom Brady but he is a gutty, rhythm passer with good accuracy to the short and intermediate levels, which new head coach Brian Flores should appreciate.
14. Atlanta Falcons –Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
Sweat’s medical red-flags could scare off some but I have a hard time envisioning him getting out of the top 15 – and can you imagine his speed off the edge across from Vic Beasley with Grady Jarrett attacking up the middle? Yeah, so can Dan Quinn.
15. Washington Redskins – Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
Quite frankly, I’m not as high on Jones as most. I do not have a first round grade on him due to his average arm strength. He clearly possesses the size, mobility and I.Q. to be successful, however, and is a clean schematic fit in Jay Gruden’s offense. With Alex Smith ailing, the Redskins are as desperate for QB help as anyone.
16. Carolina Panthers – Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
The Panthers’ top brass traveled the country to see all of the top OTs work out this spring. They are taking a tackle and if Williams – the best offensive lineman in this draft – is still available, GM Marty Hurney (not to mention Cam Newton) should be dancing.
17. New York Giants – Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
How does one replace a dynamic talent like OBJ? Draft a pass-catcher who is even faster. Hollywood meets Broadway.
18. Minnesota Vikings – Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
A bit passive, Dillard isn’t a fit for everyone but he possesses the best feet of any tackle in this draft class, which is exactly what Kirk Cousins needs to begin living up to his massive contract.
19. Tennessee Titans – Brian Burns, OLB, Florida State
Like the Falcons with Sweat, the idea of pairing the bendy Burns with Harold Landry and Jurrell Casey has to be an exciting thought for Titans’ fans.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers – Andraez “Greedy” Williams, CB, LSU
The Steelers have historically prioritized physicality and technique over speed and raw athleticism at cornerback but that has not translated into success in the defensive backfield in recent years. Williams needs to show more commitment in run support but his height, speed and balls-kills are Pro Bowl caliber.
21. Seattle Seahawks – Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State
Projecting the Seahawks to pick here may be a waste of time as the club has traded its first pick (either to move down or for a veteran) the past seven years. What’s more, the team currently has just four selections this year. Abrams possesses the speed and physicality this club prioritizes, however, and safety is a position of concern.
22. Baltimore Ravens – Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
Ferrell may lack the quick-twitch of some of this year’s other top edge rushers but his physicality, length and production makes him exactly the type of player former Ravens’ GM Ozzie Newsome would have loved. It will be fun to see if Eric DeCosta takes a similar approach on draft day.
23. Houston Texans – Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington
The Texans’ offensive line was a mess last season and given that young star Deshaun Watson has already missed half of one season due to injury, improving up front should be a top priority. McGary is as pro-ready as this class gets at offensive tackle with the size, athleticism and toughness to project as a plug and play starter at right tackle.
24. Oakland Raiders – Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
Given how productive Jared Cook was last year for the Raiders, it seems obvious that the club will be looking to add reinforcements to the position now that he’s in New Orleans. Fant is an even better athlete and provides terrific value here.
25. Philadelphia Eagles – Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware
Not every club has the guts to invest a first round pick in an FCS player like Adderley but taken a proven commodity like him at 25 is much tamer than investing the No. 2 overall selection in Carson Wentz or letting a Super Bowl MVP like Nick Foles walk away. Adderley possesses an ideal blend of size, range, tackling ability and ball-skills.
26. Indianapolis Colts – Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
In most drafts, Wilkins would probably go in the top 10-15 but he could slide a bit this year as teams foolishly give too much credit to the other dominant players on Clemson’s defensive line and overlook his polished game. Chris Ballard and his Colts staff were big winners a year ago in the draft and would be starting off beautifully this time, as well, if Wilkins fell into their lap.
27. Oakland Raiders – Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma
After the way Dalton Risner competed his tail off for Jon Gruden and the Raiders at the Senior Bowl, I wanted to place him here. Ford is the better athlete, however. Each possesses the positional versatility to pay immediate dividends.
28. Los Angeles Chargers – Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State
Finding a more dynamic weapon to pair with Keenan Allen (and Hunter Henry) as pass-catchers could provide the jolt the Chargers need to spark a predictable offense and disinterested LA fanbase. Campbell, a two-time team captain with electric speed would be a fun fit.
29. Kansas City Chiefs – Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
Baker isn’t the biggest or fastest of this year’s defensive backs but he is as battle-tested and tenacious as it gets. For a club destined to be playing in lots of shoot-outs, the reigning Thorpe Award winner would seem to make a lot of sense – especially with the top pass rushers off the board.
30. Green Bay Packers – Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
Along with Hockenson, Jacobs would provide the Packers – and more specifically Aaron Rodgers – plenty of reason to be rejuvenated. Jacobs lacks elite breakaway speed but has everything else needed to be a true franchise back, including soft hands, physicality as a blocker and toughness.
31. Los Angeles Rams – Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
Too talented to fall out of the first round, Murphy would provide the Rams with terrific depth at cornerback behind the gifted (but not exactly reliable) Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. Like the Chiefs, the Rams would be wise to keep adding to their defense.
32. New England Patriots –Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
Like Murphy one pick earlier, Lawrence is just too talented to slip out of the top 32 and no one would fill a bigger hole in the middle for the Patriots.