Miles Sanders looking forward to draft day
The 2019 NFL draft countdown has begun so, with the three-day event (April 25-27) right around the corner, we wanted to join in the chorus of mock drafts.
We’ve spoken to experts and former NFL scouts, in addition to doing plenty of reading and research, so you can find our three-round NFL mock draft below.
1. Arizona Cardinals: Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray
A year after drafting Josh Rosen with the No. 10 overall pick, the Cardinals could decide to hold onto the former UCLA gunslinger and give him a chance to operate under new head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Or Kingsbury and company could go with the electrifying Heisman Trophy winner who can change the franchise on Day 1.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Ohio State DE Nick Bosa
The 49ers are in a somewhat similar situation to last season’s New York Giants, who picked up Saquon Barkley at No. 2. The 49ers have a lot of needs — and could choose to trade back to get more picks — but Bosa might very well go down as the best player in this draft. Can San Francisco really afford to pass up on a player who treated double-teams like papier-mâché?
3. New York Jets: Alabama DT Quinnen Williams
It’s very possible that the Jets trade down here. If they don’t, look for them to take the best player available — and that’s Williams. The 2018 Outland Trophy winner had 19.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks last season. Imagine that disruption paired with Pro Bowl defensive end Leonard Williams.
4. Oakland Raiders: Kentucky EDGE Josh Allen
Jon Gruden had a busy offseason — trading for WR Antonio Brown and signing veteran DB Lamarcus Joyner and LB Vontaze Burfict. Know what’s missing? An EDGE rusher, another one of Oakland’s glaring needs. We’re clearly not the only ones who think so. “Oakland would be a great spot for him,” ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. said.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: LSU LB Devin White
The Bucs lost Kwon Alexander in free agency, and White could do what Darius Leonard did for Indianapolis’ defense last year as a rookie. Top five might seem high for White, but the linebacker class is thin. Tampa Bay’s prudent decision would be settling for the LSU standout.
6. New York Giants: Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins
GM David Gettleman — yes, the man who signed Odell Beckham Jr. to a $95 million contract and then traded him away a year later — insisted last week that he wouldn’t force a pick at quarterback. But maybe he was just trying to discourage other teams from jumping ahead to take Haskins. The fact is New York isn’t going to win without a new signal-caller; the Giants’ pick here will help show whether Gettleman actually has a plan.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Houston DT Ed Oliver
It isn’t often that a team has the chance to draft a three-time, first-team All American. The Houston stud doesn’t have the typical height and length NFL teams want to see in DTs — but Oliver’s jump off the ball makes up for any concerns. If Oliver falls this far, Jacksonville brass should thank the heavens.
8. Detroit Lions: Iowa TE TJ Hockenson
Too early for a tight end? Maybe, but QB Matthew Stafford needs weapons on offense — trading Golden Tate to the Philadelphia Eagles last season didn’t help matters — and Hockenson is the pick that’ll help them most in that department. He’s a complete tight end. Although the Lions have other options (OL Jonah Williams, perhaps), they’re reportedly high on the former Hawkeye.
9. Buffalo Bills: Alabama OT Jonah Williams
The Bills might trade up to grab an inside player like DT Ed Oliver. But, if they don’t, they still need blocking. Desperately. The Outland Trophy finalist can slide inside to guard if need be, but he’s the draft’s top tackle for a reason. Plus, it can’t hurt that Buffalo’s new OC — former Alabama playcaller Brian Daboll — is familiar with Williams.
10. Denver Broncos: Missouri QB Drew Lock
Lock gushed about his meeting with Broncos GM John Elway, calling it something he “dreamed about as a kid.” With the offseason signing of Joe Flacco, Elway could afford to be patient with Lock while bringing him along a little slowly. If Denver doesn’t go quarterback here, it could always hope to strike gold at the position later in the draft.
11. Cincinnati Bengals: Michigan LB Devin Bush
Cincinnati had one of the worst offensive lines in the league in 2018. But the Bengals need a playmaking linebacker, and after White went to Tampa Bay, Bush is the only LB left worth a first-round pick. The 2018 Big Ten defensive player of the year had 13 pass breakups over the last two years — tied for most among Power 5 linebackers.
12. Green Bay Packers: Clemson DT Christian Wilkins
In some ways, this would be a worst-case scenario for Green Bay. There’s obvious interest in the likes of TJ Hockenson and Ed Oliver, but we have them projected as being long-gone by the time the Packers pick. Still, having a player who amassed 41 career tackles-for-loss in college isn’t a bad consolation prize.
13. Miami Dolphins: Mississippi State EDGE Montez Sweat
The first-team All-American, who recorded 22.5 sacks the last two seasons, set a 40-yard dash record for defensive linemen. However, Sweat was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy — a heart condition that took Michigan’s Maurice Hurst from a possible top-10 pick to the fifth round last year. Selecting Sweat at No. 13 overall is a risk, but perhaps a worthy one.
14. Atlanta Falcons: Michigan DL Rashan Gary
Gary is a bit of a wild card. His technique may be inconsistent, but his athleticism has never been in question. His potential is off the charts: He’s 277 pounds and ran a 4.58-second 40-yard dash — which was as fast as Washington RB Myles Gaskin. He’d be a good fit for Atlanta, which needs help on the defensive line.
15. Washington Redskins: Duke QB Daniel Jones
With Alex Smith out of the picture, Washington’s QB options entering 2019 are Colt McCoy and Case Keenum. Not good enough. This may be a reach, but if Jay Gruden wants to contend in the NFC East — and keep his job for a bit longer — investing in a rookie QB with Jones’ ceiling is the way to do it.
16. Carolina Panthers: Florida State EDGE Brian Burns
Carolina needs a rusher off the edge, and Burns just so happens to be the fastest edge rusher in this class. On top of that, last month Burns said that the Panthers were showing him the most interest so far. This pick would make a lot of sense.
17. New York Giants: Washington CB Byron Murphy
New York’s defense could use some work, and after spending the No. 6 pick on Dwayne Haskins, the Giants address the secondary here. While LSU’s Greedy Williams and Georgia’s Deandre Baker are intriguing options at corner, Murphy is the best in the draft. He’ll start right away.
18. Minnesota Vikings: Boston College OG Chris Lindstrom
Lindstrom would fit nicely into Minnesota’s zone-blocking scheme, perhaps making him a better choice than fellow OL Cody Ford, who’s recently been linked to the team. Regardless, the fact is that Minnesota sorely needs help on the offensive line — and it’s hard to get much more consistent than Lindstrom. He started 49 straight games at Boston College and would be an immediate upgrade.
19. Tennessee Titans: Mississippi State DT Jeffery Simmons
A player of Simmons’ caliber being around this late in the first round is a testament to how deep the D-line group is this year. Simmons’ player comp on NFL.com is Ndamukong Suh, after all. The two-time first-team All-SEC honoree has the power and athleticism to excel wherever he’s needed.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: LSU CB Greedy Williams
The Steelers’ biggest needs are linebacker and cornerback and, by the time they draft, there’ll almost certainly be no first-round talent at LB left. Mike Tomlin was on-hand to watch Williams’ Pro Day at LSU, and he might have the highest ceiling of any corner.
21. Seattle Seahawks: Clemson DE Clelin Ferrell
Seattle traded productive pass-rusher Frank Clark to Kansas City earlier this week. Why not use its first selection on Clark’s replacement? The Ted Hendricks Award winner (top DE in college football) had 19.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks last season. The Seahawks are getting a steal.
22. Baltimore Ravens: Oklahoma OL Cody Ford
Baltimore may have more pressing needs, especially after watching pass-rushers Terrell Suggs and Za’Darius Smith walk this offseason. Plus, it’s no secret the Ravens are in the market for a wideout. But Ford has already been compared to former Baltimore OL Kelechi Osemele, and he has the ability to start on the right side this season — while eventually taking over for a potentially soon-to-be-retired LG Marshal Yanda. He provides good value Baltimore might not be able to pass up.
23. Houston Texans: Florida OT Jawaan Taylor
Deshaun Watson is one of the league’s most dynamic quarterbacks. But he can’t do anything when hurt or lying on the turf. Houston has to protect their franchise signal-caller, and what better way than to draft a 6-foot-5, 312-pound versatile mauler? He can start at right tackle or guard immediately.
24. Oakland Raiders: Iowa TE Noah Fant
With Jared Cook now in New Orleans, the Raiders need to replace him — and they recently brought Fant in for a visit. Fant isn’t much of a blocker, but he’s a big-play threat who should immediately make a splash in the Raiders’ offense. This would be an ideal fit.
25. Philadelphia Eagles: Clemson DT Dexter Lawrence
Sure, the Eagles are fine up front in 2019 after signing Malik Jackson and bringing back Brandon Graham. And drafting Alabama running back Josh Jacobs is intriguing. But Eagles GM Howie Roseman called this year’s defensive line draft class “historic,” and Philadelphia is known to draft pass-rushers in the first round. Lawrence going this late is criminal.
26. Indianapolis Colts: Ole Miss WR DK Metcalf
Yes, the Colts signed Devin Funchess to complement T.Y. Hilton. But it was just a one-year deal, and QB Andrew Luck needs some more help. Metcalf has his downsides — he’s definitely more of a straight-line athlete — but he would be a huge downfield threat from Day 1. His 4.33-second 40-yard dash is freakish, especially for a 238-pound wideout.
27. Oakland Raiders: Alabama RB Josh Jacobs
Jalen Richard and Isaiah Crowell are solid situational pieces and backups. But Jacobs — paired with Antonio Brown — could make the Raiders’ offense worth recognizing. If Oakland isn’t drafting the quarterback of the future, Derek Carr needs all the help he can get.
28. Los Angeles Chargers: Washington State OT Andre Dillard
QB Philip Rivers needs better protection at right tackle and, if pass-protection is the priority, it’s hard to find a better fit than Dillard — who pass-blocked in an air-raid scheme that saw him in more than 700 passing situations last season alone. Dillard also recently met with the Chargers, so there’s some smoke here.
29. Kansas City Chiefs: Georgia CB Deandre Baker
Baker had a bad NFL Combine. No way around that. But the Georgia standout’s awareness and ability in press man coverage is just what Kansas City needs. The Chiefs’ secondary has long been an issue. Drafting Baker — after already signing Bashaud Breeland — is a nice step toward correcting the team’s biggest flaw.
30. Green Bay Packers: Oklahoma WR Marquise Brown
QB Aaron Rodgers needs more help and, if Green Bay can’t get Hockenson earlier, it should look to wide receiver with its second pick of the first round. Brown may be undersized at 5-foot-9 and 166 pounds, but he’s a big play waiting to happen. If it weren’t for foot surgery that kept him from the NFL Combine, Brown could’ve impressed with sub-4.4 speed.
31. Los Angeles Rams: Texas A&M OL Erik McCoy
The Rams need a replacement at center after not exercising their option on John Sullivan. McCoy, who ran a 4.89-second 40-yard dash, can fill the gap. A 38-game starter in College Station, the 6-foot-4, 304-pounder held his own against Clemson’s Dexter Lawrence and Christian Wilkins, Alabama’s Quinnen Williams, Mississippi State’s Jeffrey Simmons and more.
32. New England Patriots: Alabama TE Irv Smith Jr.
The Patriots tend to draft for value and not need early in the draft, but Smith checks both those boxes. (He provides solid value while also filling an obvious need with the retirement of Rob Gronkowski.) Smith is an all-around tight end, and that’s something New England needs after running at the seventh-highest rate in the league last year.
33. Arizona Cardinals: Arizona State WR N’Keal Harry
34. Indianapolis Colts: Notre Dame DT Jerry Tillery
35. Oakland Raiders: Temple CB Rock Ya-Sin
36. San Francisco 49ers: Ole Miss WR A.J. Brown
37. New York Giants: Louisiana Tech EDGE Jaylon Ferguson
38. Jacksonville Jaguars: Mississippi State S Johnathan Abram
39. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Washington S Taylor Rapp
40. Buffalo Bills: Penn State RB Miles Sanders
41. Denver Broncos: Kansas State OL Dalton Risner
42. Cincinnati Bengals: NC State OL Garrett Bradbury
43. Detroit Lions: Penn State CB Amani Oruwariye
44. Green Bay Packers: Maryland S Darnell Savage
45. Atlanta Falcons: Ohio State DT Dre’Mont Jones
46. Washington Redskins: Ohio State WR Parris Campbell
47. Carolina Panthers: Delaware S Nasir Adderley
48. Miami Dolphins: Alabama State OT Tytus Howard
49. Cleveland Browns: Michigan State CB Justin Layne
50. Minnesota Vikings: Iowa S Amani Hooker
51. Tennessee Titans: Michigan EDGE Chase Winovich
52. Pittsburgh Steelers: South Carolina WR Deebo Samuel
53. Philadelphia Eagles: Washington OT Kaleb McGary
54. Houston Texans: Notre Dame CB Julian Love
55. Houston Texans: Alabama RB Damien Harris
56. New England Patriots: Ohio State WR Terry McLaurin
57. Philadelphia Eagles: Florida DB Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
58. Dallas Cowboys: Virginia S Juan Thornhill
59. Indianapolis Colts: TCU DE L.J. Collier
60. Los Angeles Chargers: Alabama LB Mack Wilson
61. Kansas City Chiefs: Iowa State WR Hakeem Butler
62. New Orleans Saints: Stanford WR JJ Arcega-Whiteside
63. Kansas City Chiefs: Oklahoma State RB Justice Hill
64. New England Patriots: Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham
65. Arizona Cardinals: Mississippi State C Elgton Jenkins
66. Pittsburgh Steelers: Stanford LB Bobby Okereke
67. San Francisco 49ers: Alabama S Deionte Thompson
68. New York Jets: Penn State OG Connor McGovern
69. Jacksonville Jaguars: USC OT Chuma Edoga
70. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Iowa State RB David Montgomery
71. Denver Broncos: BYU LB Sione Takitaki
72. Cincinnati Bengals: Old Dominion EDGE Oshane Ximines
73. New England Patriots: Kentucky CB Lonnie Johnson Jr.
74. Buffalo Bills: Western Illinois DT Khalen Saunders
75. Green Bay Packers: San Diego State TE Kahale Warring
76. Washington Redskins: Eastern Michigan EDGE Maxx Crosby
77. Carolina Panthers: West Virginia QB Will Grier
78. Miami Dolphins: Michigan State S Khari Willis
79. Atlanta Falcons: West Virginia OT Yodny Cajuste
80. Cleveland Browns: Boston College S Will Harris
81. Minnesota Vikings: Boston College DE Zach Allen
82. Tennessee Titans: Ole Miss TE Dawson Knox
83. Pittsburgh Steelers: TCU EDGE Ben Banogu
84. Kansas City Chiefs: UMass WR Andy Isabella
85. Baltimore Ravens: Notre Dame WR Miles Boykin
86. Houston Texans: Texas A&M TE Jace Sternberger
87. Chicago Bears: Memphis RB Darrell Henderson
88. Detroit Lions: Florida EDGE Jachai Polite
89. Indianapolis Colts: Ole Miss OT Greg Little
90. Dallas Cowboys: Iowa DE Anthony Nelson
91. Los Angeles Chargers: Miami (Fla.) DT Gerald Willis III
92. Seattle Seahawks: Vanderbilt CB Joejuan Williams
93. New York Jets: Michigan CB David Long
94. Los Angeles Rams: Texas A&M DT Daylon Mack
95. New York Giants: Georgia WR Riley Ridley
96. Washington Redskins: Northern Illinois OT Max Scharping
97. New England Patriots: Kentucky S Mike Edwards
98. Jacksonville Jaguars: Wisconsin OG Michael Deiter
99. Los Angeles Rams: Texas A&M RB Trayveon Williams
100. Carolina Panthers: Georgia LB D’Andre Walker
101. New England Patriots: San Jose State TE Josh Oliver
102. Baltimore Ravens: Oregon EDGE Justin Hollins