Congratulations to the New England Patriots for winning the Super Bowl for the sixth time in Tom Brady’s career. I’m admittedly the furthest thing from a Patriots fan, but even I have come to realize that the dynasty we are witnessing in New England is unreal. All that being said, the end of the Super Bowl means one thing: all eyes now turn towards the draft. That (and the fact the entirety of the draft order is now sorted out) makes this the perfect time for another mock draft. So with the first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft the Arizona Cardinals select:
1. Arizona Cardinals: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
I said in my Mock Draft 1.0 that something major would need to change for me to mock someone other than Bosa at No. 1. While I do think the gap has closed between Bosa and Quinnen Williams, Bosa is still the top prospect in this draft in my opinion. He has everything you look for in an EDGE rusher: quickness, strength, technique, stamina and motor.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
This is the first draft that I can remember in quite a while where the first few teams on the clock do not need a quarterback. That means they should take the best player available. That is exactly what I think the 49ers will do. They would like nothing more than Bosa to be here. With him off the board they should take the young, strong, explosive Williams. Even with San Francisco spending a lot of premium picks on its defensive line in recent drafts, it can still use some help up front, especially from a superb talent like Williams.
3. New York Jets: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
Unless a trade or something happens I see these Top 3 picks pretty much staying the same. Bosa, Williams and Allen are by far the Top 3 prospects in my opinion and happen to fill needs for the Top 3 teams in the draft. Allen is a excellent athlete with the speed and underrated power to consistently get after the quarterback. He made big play after big play throughout his career at Kentucky and I predict he will do much of the same in New York, who have desperately needed a premier pass rusher for the past few years.
4. Oakland Raiders: Ed Oliver, DL, Houston
Saying the Raiders desperately need a pass rush might be an understatement. They would like nothing more than for Allen to somehow fall to them. But since he isn’t available here and there really isn’t an EDGE option I like for this pick, I see them taking arguably the best interior pass rusher of this class. You will hear plenty of talk about how he is on the smaller side, but his athleticism and quickness more than makes up for it. He also has the versatility to play outside on obvious passing downs and rush from there as well.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
Let’s just say the Ronald Jones experiment failed greatly last season. He barely saw the field and was highly ineffective the few times he did. It is safe to say that Tampa Bay is still looking for a legitimate workhorse running back and Josh Jacobs can be that guy. He has a stout, strong build and uses it to run hard and physical. He also has an underrated burst and some juice and elusiveness in the open field. If coach Bruce Arians wants to help Jameis Winston reach his full potential, giving him a back like Jacobs to take pressure off with the run game is one proven way to get that done.
6. New York Giants: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Eli Manning is 38 years old and other than a few weeks at the end of the season really had a subpar year. The Giants have two of the more explosive, young athletes at their positions in Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley. It’s time they pair them with a quarterback that fits that timeline as well. Haskins is by far the best quarterback of this draft class in my opinion. He is smart, has a solid arm, and very good touch and accuracy. His biggest concern is that he only started 14 games at Ohio State. If he can sit behind and learn from Manning at the start of next season that concern becomes less of a factor.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
If I am a general manager, taking Murray in the first round really worries me. Not at all because of his skill set, but because of the baseball option he has and the wavering he has done recently on which sport he is playing. I wouldn’t want to spend a premium pick on a guy who might end up playing baseball. That being said, the Jaguars are going to be looking for the quarterback who will take them to the next level. If they can’t find it in free agency, they will certainly look for it in the draft. Murray would fit well in Jacksonville with his excellent speed and athleticism combined with the strength and power of Leonard Fournette. Basically, think the impact in the run game Lamar Jackson made for Baltimore, but Murray is a much more polished passer at this point.
8. Detroit Lions: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
Detroit has needed pass rush help for quite some time. And that is even more true now that Ziggy Ansah has regressed and is now a free agent. Enter Ferrell. He is exactly what coach Matt Patricia will look for at the position: someone who can get after the quarterback in a variety of ways and is still stout against the run. Other than Nick Bosa (who went No. 1 in this mock), Ferrell may just be the best all around EDGE rusher who can play the run and pass equally well.
9. Buffalo Bills: Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama
The Bills need to get help for Josh Allen if they want him to be successful. That includes at wide receiver, tight end and especially offensive line. You will hear a lot of debate as to whether Williams is a tackle or a guard. Who cares? He is going to start somewhere right away and play either position at a high level. I will say his ceiling is higher at guard in my opinion though. Three of the Bills’ five offensive lineman are free agents and arguably all but one of the five should be upgraded anyways. No matter where Williams plays he will be a big help in Buffalo.
10. Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
If you read my “Stock Up/Stock Down” article after the Senior Bowl then you know Lock put on a show throughout the week. He showed off his very good arm strength, solid accuracy and better-than-advertised athleticism. All of that will make him fly up draft boards and picked higher than he probably should. General manager John Elway is still looking to find an answer at the position that he manned at such a high level throughout his career. Lock may just be the answer he has been looking for, especially if he can sit and learn from Case Keenum for a while.