2019 NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Post-Combine Edition

Just over a year ago, Kyler Murray was Baker Mayfield’s backup and potentially the future centerfielder for the Oakland Athletics. But after taking the Big 12 by storm, leading the Oklahoma Sooners to the College Football Playoff and winning the Heisman Trophy, Murray has spurned the Athletics, and instead might be the No. 1-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Murray didn’t even throw at the NFL Combine, but his weigh-in and interviews may have been enough to convince the only team that matters: The Arizona Cardinals. So with the NFL Combine in the books, here is my 2019 NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Post-Combine Edition.

(All Offensive, Defensive and line rankings come via Football Outsiders DVOA)

  1. Arizona CardinalsKyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma. The Arizona Cardinals had the worst offense in the NFL last season, and they hired Kliff Kingsbury, in part, to change that. So, if Kingsbury wants Kyler Murray instead of Josh Rosen at QB, odds are the Cardinals will make the Oklahoma QB the No. 1-overall selection. An electric playmaker with many of the tools to succeed in today’s NFL, Murray’s seen his stock steadily rise since committing to football, putting him in play for the No. 1-pick.
  2. San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State. After quarterback, the second-most important position in the NFL might be an elite pass rusher, which the 49ers don’t have. Even though the 49ers selected a defensive lineman with three of their last four first-round picks, San Francisco’s defense has ranked in the bottom of the NFL each of the past three seasons. Arguably the best prospect in the draft, Nick Bosa has all the makings of an elite pass rusher.
  3. New York JetsJosh Allen, DE/OLB, New York Jets. The Jets haven’t ranked in the Top 10 in the NFL in adjusted sack rate since 2014. While New York also needs to improve the offense around Sam Darnold, another way to help their franchise QB is to improve their defense. Allen, who totaled 17.0 sacks and 21.5 TFL at Kentucky in 2018, would give a defense that ranked 21st in the NFL a much-needed pass rusher.
  4. Oakland Raiders: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama. After trading Khalil Mack, unsurprisingly, Oakland finished with the worst adjusted sack rate in the NFL. The Raiders need help all across a defense that ranked 30th in the NFL, and Mike Mayock has to start up front with the defensive line. Williams might be the safest prospect in the draft and would give Oakland a fearsome interior pass rush, along with Maurice Hurst, that’d give opposing offensive lineman all sorts of fits.
  5. Tampa Bay BuccaneersDevin White, ILB, LSU. New defensive coordinator Todd Bowles inherits the worst defense in the NFL, one that ranked 30th versus the run, and 31st against the pass. And with Kwon Alexander, Tampa’s best linebacker, set to hit free agency, the Buccaneers need all the help they can get. White profiles as a three-down linebacker at the next level, capable of helping Tampa Bay both against the run and in pass defense, whether or not Alexander is re-signed.
  6. New York Giants: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State. The Giants would be insane to stick with Eli Manning another year after Manning posted the 27th-best QBR among 34 qualified QBs, but stranger things have happened. Odds are though, the Giants will take Manning’s future successor with this selection even if he doesn’t start from day one. Haskins needs to be more consistent, but he might be the most pro-ready QB prospect in this year’s draft, with lots of potential after just one year as a starter.
  7. Jacksonville JaguarsJonah Williams, OT, Alabama. The Blake Bortles era might be over in Jacksonville, but all signs point to the Jaguars targeting a veteran QB like Nick Foles in free agency and trying to win now, rather than drafting a rookie. If so, Jacksonville needs to improve an offensive line that allowed 53.0 sacks and ranked 27th in pass protection. Whether he plays at tackle or guard, Williams is the best offensive lineman in the 2019 draft class and would offer a massive upgrade.
  8. Detroit Lions: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan. Plagued by injuries, Ezekiel Ansah hasn’t lived up to his billing as he gets set to hit free agency.  The Lions would be smart to let him walk, and instead, turn to the draft to bolster their pass rush and a defense that ranked 27th in the NFL. Gary might not have had elite production at Michigan, but he oozes potential and after an impressive combine performance, looks to be a lock for the Top 10 of the 2019 NFL Draft.
  9. Buffalo Bills: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida. Whether it’s at guard, tackle or center, Buffalo’s line needs drastic upgrades in order to better protect Josh Allen after ranking 30th in run blocking and 23rd in pass blocking. Taylor, at 6’5” 312 lbs., projects as an early starter at right tackle, capable of protecting the Bills’ franchise QB and paving the way for LeSean McCoy for years to come.
  10. Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri. John Elway may have traded for Joe Flacco, but he’s nothing more than a short-term solution at QB. If Elway wants to keep his job much longer, he’s going to have to find a long-term solution. Elway is reportedly enamored with Lock, and while Lock needs some time to develop, he certainly has the arm strength and the physical tools to succeed in Denver.
  11. Cincinnati BengalsEd Oliver, DT, Houston. Cincinnati’s defense has dropped off significantly over the past few seasons and finished the year ranked 28th in the NFL. Geno Atkins may be a force in the middle, but he’s only getting older, and the Bengals don’t have much talent around him in their front seven. Once projected as the potential No. 1-overall pick, Oliver will give the Bengals another interior pass rusher, as well as a replacement-in-waiting for Atkins.
  12. Green Bay Packers: Montez Sweat, DE/OLB, Mississippi State. Though Green Bay drafted two CBs in the 2018 NFL Draft, their defense still struggled, finishing the year ranked 29th in the NFL and 28th against the pass. Defensively, the Packers need to add an edge rusher, and Sweat, who totaled 23.5 sacks and 30.5 TFL with the Bulldogs and put up impressive numbers at the combine, would be a great fit.
  13. Miami Dolphins: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson. The Dolphins have needs all across their roster and are reportedly already looking ahead to the 2020 draft class for a QB. And after finishing the season ranked 28th in adjusted sack rate, and with both  Cameron Wake and Robert Quinn potentially on their way out of Miami, it makes a sense for the Dolphins to get younger off the edge by adding one of the most productive pass rushers in college football over the last few seasons.
  14. Atlanta FalconsGreedy Williams, CB, LSU. Hemorrhaged by injuries since their Super Bowl run, the Atlanta Falcons have struggled to remain competitive in the NFC South. Matt Ryan and the offense remain top-notch, but Atlanta’s defense continues to struggle, ranking as the second-worst unit in the NFL in 2018. When Dan Quinn’s Seahawks’ defenses were at their best, they had two top-flight corners. Adding Williams to the Falcons’ secondary could give Quinn something along those lines, and help improve the 29th-ranked pass defense in the NFL.
  15. Washington: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke. Unfortunately, Alex Smith’s career might be over following a gruesome leg injury, and at the very least, Washington can’t count on Smith moving forward. Washington needs to find a new franchise QB, whether it be via free agency (Teddy Bridgewater?), trade (Josh Rosen?) or the draft. Jones, the Senior Bowl MVP, comes into the NFL well prepared after three years of tutelage at Duke under head coach and quarterback guru, David Cutcliffe.
  16. Carolina PanthersByron Murphy, CB, Washington. A lot of the blame tends to fall on Cam Newton for the Panthers’ struggles, but in reality, it’s Carolina’s defense that’s taken a few steps backward. The Panthers defense finished the year ranked 22nd, and 24th against the pass – not ideal in a division with Matt Ryan, Drew Brees and Jameis Winston. Carolina can pair Murphy with 2018 second rounder Donte Jackson, giving themselves a much-improved cornerback tandem in 2019.
  17. Cleveland Browns: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson. John Dorsey has the Browns poised to compete in the AFC North in 2019, but if Cleveland wants to take the next step, they’ve got to improve their defense. The Browns pass defense ranked 7th in the NFL, but their run defense ranked just 25th. Cleveland needs another interior lineman to pair with Larry Ogunjobi, and Wilkins would give the Browns a day-one starter at defensive tackle who can both rush the passer and stop the run.
  18. Minnesota Vikings: Cody Ford, OT/G, Oklahoma. Minnesota’s offense has to get better in year two with Kirk Cousins under center and that starts with a much-maligned offensive line, which graded out as one of the worst lines in the NFL per Pro Football Focus. Ford, who’s versatile enough to play guard or tackle, is mauler who’d make a huge difference up front for the Vikings.
  19. Tennessee Titans: Chris Lindstrom, OG, Boston College. The Titans have to better protect Marcus Mariota after allowing the fourth-worst adjusted sack rate in 2018. All too often, opposing teams were able to get pressure up the middle, and if Tennessee ever wants Mariota to develop into its franchise QB, they have to change that. Lindstrom’s a plug-and-play starter who will play a long time in the NFL.
  20. Pittsburgh SteelersDevin Bush, ILB, Michigan. Pittsburgh never really replaced Ryan Shazier following his horrific injury, but they’ll need to if they want to return to the NFL’s elite. Jon Bostic isn’t cutting it, and the Steelers need an upgrade to improve their 13th-ranked defense. Though a bit undersized, Bush has all the skills of a sideline-to-sideline linebacker, capable of both playing coverage and the run.
  21. Seattle SeahawksGarrett Bradbury, OG/C, N.C. State. Seattle’s offensive line hasn’t ranked better than 20th in pass protection since 2010, and in 2018, it was again a disaster, ranking 30th in the NFL. All three of Seattle’s interior lineman rated as below average or worse, per Pro Football Focus, while OG JR Sweezy is set to hit free agency. Bradbury, who’s been rising up draft boards with his strong performance at the combine, could slide right in and be a long-time starter.
  22. Baltimore Ravens: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama. If the Ravens want Lamar Jackson to succeed, they’ve got to give him more talent on offense. Gus Edwards performed amicably down the stretch, but he’s an undrafted free agent, and with Alex Collins cut following his arrest, Baltimore could use a RB. The Ravens have long had an affinity for Alabama players, and Jacobs has all the tools to succeed in the NFL.
  23. Houston Texans: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State. With the 32nd-ranked offensive line in terms of pass protection, DeShaun Watson was consistently under duress, taking a league-high 62.0 sacks. Hoston must improve line this offseason. A four-year starter for the Cougars, Dillard looks like a stud lineman in the making, capable of protection Watson at either tackle position.
  24. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago)DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia. Oakland’s pass defense was atrocious last season, finishing the year ranked last in the NFL. And while improving the pass rush is a good start, the Raiders also need a lot of help in the secondary. Gareon Conley is talented, but hasn’t yet lived up his to first-round status. Oakland would do well to pair Conley with another, solid, all-around corner in Baker, who has drawn comparisons to last year’s top corner: Denzel Ward.
  25. Philadelphia EaglesA.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss. Outside of Zach Ertz, Carson Wentz doesn’t really have a consistent target in Philadelphia. Alshon Jeffrey has struggled with injuries, Nelson Agholor hasn’t lived up to his first-round status, and Golden Tate is a free agent. The Eagles need another playmaker and Brown could give them just that. While he’s not as hyped as his teammate D.K. Metcalf, Brown is a more polished WR, with terrific route-running ability.
  26. Indianapolis ColtsBrian Burns, DE/OLB, Florida State. While the Colts’ defense improved as the season went on, it still finished the year ranked 20th against the pass, with the fourth-worst adjusted sack rate in the NFL. Indianapolis has all the makings of a potential juggernaut, but improving their pass rush must be a priority this offseason. A First-Team All-ACC selection, Burns would give the Colts some of the speed it lacks off the edge after totaling 23.0 sacks over three seasons at FSU.
  27. Oakland Raiders (via Dallas): T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa. With Antonio Brown in the fold, the Raiders have found Derek Carr a true No. 1 wide receiver. But Oakland, can’t stop there. Mayock and co. have a lot of work to do to improve an offense that ranked 25th in the NFL. Jared Cook was Carr’s most reliable target last season but is set to hit free agency. Oakland would be better off letting him walk and drafting his replacement in Hockenson, an athletic tight end who can also stay inside and block, helping the Raiders’ passing attack and run blocking.
  28. Los Angeles ChargersGreg Little, OT, Ole Miss. If the Chargers want to prolong the last few years of Philip Rivers’ career, they have to do a better job at keeping him upright. Down the stretch, Los Angeles’ offensive line really struggled against some of the better pass rushes in the NFL, finishing as Pro Football Focus’ 30th ranked offensive line. Little could help the Chargers shore up their right tackle spot, as well as replace Russell Okung at left tackle after 2020.
  29. Kansas City Chiefs: Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware. Patrick Mahomes and co. might be able to outscore anyone, but if the Chiefs are going to win the Super Bowl, they have to improve a pass defense that allowed almost 300 passing yards per game. Kansas City needs help all over their secondary, especially with Eric Berry’s future possibly in question. Adderley, who tallied 9 INTs over the past two seasons, would help upgrade a much-maligned secondary.
  30. Green Bay Packers (via New Orleans): Noah Fant, TE, Iowa. Outside of Davante Adams, Rodgers doesn’t really have any reliable targets that are consistently healthy. And after taking a step back, the Packers’ offense has to improve in 2019 if Green Bay wants to get back to the playoffs. Fant, who caught 18 TDs over the past two seasons, would give Rodgers and Matt LaFleur a huge target over the middle of the field, and a tight end that can line up and block as well.
  31. Los Angeles Rams: Jaylon Ferguson, DE, Louisiana Tech. Aaron Donald might be the best defensive player in the NFL, but even with Donald, the Rams only ranked 19th in adjusted sack rate. And even though the Rams re-signed either Dante Fowler Jr., it’s just a one-year deal. Los Angeles has to get cheaper and younger along their defensive line. Ferguson set the NCAA sack record with the Bulldogs and would help improve Los Angeles’ 19th-ranked defense.
  32. New England Patriots: Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama. Tom Brady really doesn’t have a reliable target outside of Julian Edelman. Rob Gronkowski is on his last legs and reportedly has been considering retirement, while Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson are all free agents. The Patriots were at their best, offensively, with two top-flight TEs, and Smith, who caught 44 passes for 710 yards and 7 TDs this past year at Alabama, could pair with Gronk and replace him when he retires.

 

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