The NFL Scouting Combine just wrapped up in Indianapolis recently where a lot of prospects helped, and some hurt, their draft stock. Also, the new league year starts this week along with free agency. So there is no better time for another Mock Draft:
1. Arizona Cardinals: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio St.
There was a ton of chatter coming out of Indianapolis that Kyler Murray is basically a lock to be the top pick overall for the Cardinals. I am still very skeptical of that move to this point. With Josh Rosen in place (who shouldn’t be judged for his rookie year with such a bad team around him), I find it hard to believe they would already quit on Rosen and try to trade him for what is being reported as a Third Round pick. I believe Rosen can become super successful in Kliff Kingsbury’s offense and that is why I still believe at this point in the process that the Cardinals will take the best player in this draft class in Bosa.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
I have had Quinnen Williams in this spot for the first two Mock Drafts and while I still believe he is the second best player in the draft, he doesn’t seem like as good a fit for the 49ers at this point. San Francisco has invested multiple high picks in players best suited for the interior of their defensive line. Taking Allen allows them to move Solomon Thomas back inside where he is better suited to make the impact expected from a Top-3 selection. Allen paired with Thomas, Arik Armstead, and DeForest Buckner would make for a very good and more balanced defensive line.
3. New York Jets: Quinnen Williams, Defensive Tackle, Alabama
The Jets would like nothing more than for one of the top EDGE rushers to fall to them here at three. If Allen and Bosa are both gone, the Jets are more likely to trade back for a team looking to make sure they get a top quarterback in front of Oakland or the Giants. Since I am not predicting trades in this mock, I see them taking the best player available in Williams. Quarterbacks always say that pressure up the middle is what gives them the most problems. Quinnen Williams combined with Leonard Williams in the middle of the Jets’ defensive line would cause a lot of problems for opposing quarterbacks.
4. Oakland Raiders: Kyler Murray, Quarterback, Oklahoma
The Raiders were able to pull off a solid trade for Antonio Brown. While he comes with his drama, there is no denying his elite talent. He already tweeted love at first site with Derek Carr. There has been reports recently that Carr could be had via trade for the right price, however. While I think that has become increasingly unlikely, I do think the Raiders won’t hesitate to take Kyler Murray if he is available here. I find it hard to believe that, if given the chance, Gruden will pass on an electric talent like Murray who he wasn’t shy about praising at the Combine.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Jawaan Taylor, Offensive Tackle, Florida
The Bucs are putting everything into helping Jameis Winston succeed. That is most evident by the fact that they talked Bruce Arians out of retirement to be the head coach. He just so happens to be the perfect coach with the perfect scheme for Winston’s skill set. There are already plenty of weapons to throw to in Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, O.J. Howard and others. They could use a new feature running back, but that will likely be in a later round. That leaves the offensive line which struggled at times last season. Especially at right tackle which Taylor can fill in at right away. Taylor has the power and athleticism to even move over to left tackle should Donovan Smith get too expensive for the Bucs. I really like this fit for Tampa Bay.
6. New York Giants: Dwayne Haskins, Quarterback, Ohio St.
General Manager Dave Gettleman said during his press conference at the Combine that he “liked the Chiefs model at Quarterback.” That is to say, find a good rookie quarterback and have them sit and learn behind a veteran their rookie year. Haskins is the perfect candidate for such a situation in New York. He only played 14 games in college and would be learning from one of the most professional men in the league in Eli Manning. It is a match made in draft heaven.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: DK Metcalf, Wide Receiver, Mississippi
Of all the rumors to come out of Indianapolis, the one I believe the most is Nick Foles to the Jaguars. If that does in fact happen, that should solve the Jaguars’ problems at the Quarterback position. The next step is to get him a solid supporting cast to throw to. Metcalf is a gigantic human being for being a wide receiver. At 6’4″ and 228 lbs and was able to run a 4.33 40-yard dash combined with a 40.5″ Vertical Jump at the Combine. That explosiveness is the perfect complement outside to the punishing running game Tom Coughlin and company are building in Jacksonville.
8. Detroit Lions: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi St.
I don’t know if anyone improved their draft stock as much as Sweat did last weekend at the Combine. At 6’6″ and 260 lbs, Sweat put up a 4.41 4o-yard dash and a 1.50 10-yard split. That 40-yard dash time is the best by a defensive lineman ever since the NFL instituted the laser timing system in 2003. His 10-yard split was second best among EDGE rushers in this years draft. He also showed surprising power with 21 reps of 225 lbs on the bench which is super impressive considering how long his arms are. The Lions need a pass rusher in a bad way especially since Ziggy Ansah is a free agent and I believe Sweat is the perfect guy to fill that void.
9. Buffalo Bills: Jonah Williams, Offensive Tackle, Alabama
I admittedly was not high on Josh Allen as a franchise Quarterback before last season. But what he was able to do in Buffalo with a severe lack of talent around him was truly quite impressive. The Bills should focus this offseason on getting any and all talent around Allen. Every position can be upgraded around him- offensive line, wide receiver, tight end, and even running back. That’s why I really like Williams’ fit in Buffalo. I personally believe he has the talent to be a good left tackle in the NFL. If General Manager Brandon Beane doesn’t feel as comfortable with that proposition, he can also move inside and be an excellent guard. Either way, the Bills should look to add the best offensive player on their board and I think Williams should be that guy.
10. Denver Broncos: Greedy Williams, Cornerback, LSU
I have seen a lot of drafts with Drew Lock to the Broncos at this selection. And while it does make a lot of sense, I see John Elway going in a different direction. With the trade for Joe Flacco (who is under contract for the next three years) I see him making more of a win-now move with this pick; that’s why I think he might look to Greedy Williams here. Chris Harris is coming off an injury, Bradley Roby is a free agent, and behind that there isn’t much else at the cornerback position for Denver. If Elway is able to re-sign Roby and draft Williams, that would make for a good trio of defensive backs and allow Harris to move back inside as the nickel back where he has been so good throughout his career.