2019 NFL Mock Draft 3.0: Post-Free Agency Edition

It just doesn’t feel right. Barring another trade, the Cleveland Browns will not have a pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft for the first time since 2008. After years of drafting in the Top 10, the Browns shipped their 2019 first round pick to the New York Giants for Odell Beckham Jr., and look like contenders in the AFC North. The Browns’ trade for OBJ was just one of the many offseason moves that have shaken up the 2019 NFL Draft. With hundreds of millions spent in free agency, teams have filled needs and created new ones. So without further ado, here is my 2019 NFL Mock Draft 3.0: Post-Free Agency Edition ⬇️

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

  1. Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma. The Cardinals are going to let Kliff Kingsburg choose his quarterback, and all signs point to it being Kyler Murray and not Arizona’s 2018 first round pick, Josh Rosen. With Rosen under center, the Cardinals finished with the worst offense in football. And while that wasn’t entirely Rosen’s fault, Murray – a dynamic playmaker coming off a Heisman campaign – is a better fit for Kingsburg’s offense.
  2. San Francisco 49ersNick Bosa, DE, Ohio State. Even after drafting defensive lineman three of the past four years in the first round, the 49ers’ defense ranked No. 23 in the NFL, with the 18th-best adjusted sack rate. San Francisco traded for Dee Ford, but with an inconsistent track record, the 49ers need more help off the edge. Bosa might be the best prospect in the draft, with all the makings of an elite pass rusher in a similar mold to his brother, Chargers DE Joey Bosa.
  3. New York JetsJosh Allen, OLB, Kentucky. Having surrounded their franchise QB with a number of weapons in free agency, the Jets can turn their attention to a defense that ranked 21st in the NFL. New York also hasn’t ranked in the Top 10 in the NFL in adjusted sack rate since 2014, ranking 21st this past year. Allen would give the Jets a much-needed pass rusher.
  4. Oakland RaidersQuinnen Williams, DT, Alabama. After trading Khalil Mack,  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 should start with the defensive line. Williams, potentially the safest prospect in the draft, 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. Bruce Arians inherit the worst defense in the NFL, one that ranked 30th versus the run, and 31st against the pass. Kwon Alexander, Tampa’s best linebacker, also left to sign with the 49ers in free agency. White profiles as a three-down linebacker, capable of replacing Alexander and helping Tampa Bay both against the run and the pass.
  6. New York Giants: Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan. Eli Manning posted the 27th-best QBR among 34 qualified QBs in 2018, yet all signs point to Manning being the starter for another season. Once again, Dave Gettleman passes on a QB with a Top 10 pick, and instead adds to a defensive line that ranked 31st in adjusted sack rate. While Gary might not have the collegiate production, he’s a versatile lineman with all the physical tools and potential to become a force on the Giants’ defensive line.
  7. Jacksonville JaguarsJonah Williams, OT, Alabama. After giving Nick Foles a four-year, $88 million contract, the Jaguars need 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, helping improve Jacksonville’s 30th-ranked offense.
  8. Detroit LionsMontez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State. Detroit let Ezekiel Ansah walk in free agency and instead signed Trey Flowers to a massive, $90 million contract. But Matt Patricia won’t stop there in improving a defense that ranked No. 27 in the NFL. Flowers give Detroit a versatile lineman, but Patricia also needs someone with speed off the edge like Sweat, who blew up the NFL Combine with his 4.41 40.
  9. Buffalo BillsJawaan Taylor, OT, Florida. Buffalo began to remake their offensive line in free agency, with the additions of Mitch Morse and Ty Nsekhe, among others. However, the Bills still need to solidify the rest of their line after ranking 30th in run blocking and 23rd in pass blocking in 2018. Taylor projects as an early starter at tackle, capable of protecting Josh Allen for years to come.
  10. Denver BroncosDrew Lock, QB, Missouri. John Elway 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 has the arm strength and the physical tools to succeed in Denver.
  11. Cincinnati BengalsDevin Bush, ILB, Michigan. The Bengals’ defense has taken significant steps backward over the past few years, finishing 2018 ranked 28th in the NFL. Vontaze Burfict signed with Oakland in free agency, but either way, the Bengals needed an upgrade at ILB. Bush may be a bit undersized, but he proved his athletism at the NFL Combine and has the skills to be a three-down starter.
  12. Green Bay PackersT.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa. The Packers’ offense took a step back last season, finishing as the 12th-best passing attack in the NFL. And while Matt Lafleur should be an improvement over Mike McCarthy, outside of Davante Adams, Aaron Rodgers doesn’t really have any reliable targets. Hockenson would give Rodgers a playmaker over the middle, an upgrade over Jimmy Graham at tight end and help in the run game as a terrific blocker.
  13. Miami DolphinsCody Ford, OG, Oklahoma. After trading Ryan Tannehill and signing Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Dolphins are already looking ahead to the 2020 NFL Draft class for their franchise QB. Whether that’s Jake Fromm or Tua Tagovailoa, Miami has to improve their offensive line this season. The Dolphins ranked 31st in pass blocking, OG Josh Sitton retired and OT Ja’Wuan James signed with Denver. Ford would give Miami a versatile lineman, capable of playing guard or tackle.
  14. Atlanta FalconsEd Oliver, DT, Houston. If the Falcons want to get back to the top of the NFC South, it starts with their defense, which ranked 31st in the NFL, and their defensive line. Even with Grady Jarrett, whom the Falcons’ franchise tagged, Atlanta’s defensive line ranked among the worst in the NFL. Enter Ed Oliver, who’d be a perfect fit next to Jarrett and a more-than-capable replacement.
  15. WashingtonDwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State. 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 trade (Josh Rosen?) or the draft. Though he started just one season at Ohio State, Haskins has the physical tools to be an NFL quarterback.
  16. Carolina PanthersBrian Burns, DE, Florida State. Cam Newton tends to get all the blame for the Panthers’ struggles, but in reality, it’s Carolina’s defense that’s been an issue. The Panthers’ defense ranked 22nd in the NFL and 20th in adjusted sack rate. In a division with Matt Ryan, Drew Brees and Jamies Winston, Carolina has to improve its pass rush. After totaling 23.0 sacks over three seasons at Florida State, Burns can give the Panthers that speed off the edge they desperately need.
  17. New York Giants (via Cleveland)Daniel Jones, QB, Duke. Gettleman must know he can’t pass on a quarterback entirely. Eli Manning is long past his prime, and the Giants need to find his replacement. Jones will need some seasoning to become a franchise QB, but he compares favorably to Manning, and will benefit from his three seasons at Duke under head coach and quarterback guru David Cutcliffe.
  18. Minnesota Vikings: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State. Minnesota’s 18th-ranked offense has to get better and that starts up front with a much-maligned offensive line. Minnesota’s offensive line ranked No. 23 in the NFL in run blocking and four of the five Vikings’ starters graded as average or below average per Pro Football Focus. Dillard could slide in a protect Kirk Cousins’ blind side, improving the Vikings’ pass protection from day one.
  19. Tennessee Titans: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson. Outside of Jurrell Casey, the Titans’ defensive line is lacking. Tennessee’s defense ranked 19th in the NFL, with a defensive line that finished 28th against the run and 22nd against the pass. The Titans have to get more stout up front, and Wilkins would be a day-one starter at defensive tackle who can both rush the passer and stop the run.
  20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU. With Artie Burns looking like a bust and Joe Haden turning 30 in April, Pittsburgh needs to improve a secondary that struggled in 2018, finishing 17th in the NFL in pass defense. A lanky corner, Williams looks like a potential CB1 at the next level, capable of locking down top-flight receivers in man-coverage across the AFC and AFC North.
  21. Seattle Seahawks: Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame. Chances are, the Seahawks will trade down with just four picks in the 2019 NFL Draft. However, if they choose to stay at No. 21, looking for Seattle to improve either its offensive or defensive line. Over the past few seasons, the Seahawks’ defense has taken a few steps backward. Seattle could use another interior presence up front next to Jarran Reed, something Tillery, who tallied 7.0 sacks and 8.5 TFL in 2018 for the Irish, could provide.
  22. Baltimore Ravens: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss. The Ravens let both John Brown and Michael Crabtree walk in free agent, leaving a very thin wide receiving corps for Lamar Jackson. Baltimore must improve Jackson’ weaponry to compete in the AFC North, and Metcalf would be a terrific fit. Though there are some concerns about his mobility, Metcalf is exactly the type of deep-ball threat Jackson needs.
  23. Houston Texans: Chris Lindstrom, OG, Boston College. The Texans’ offensive ranked 32nd in the NFL in pass protection, allowing a league-high 62.0 sacks. If DeShaun Watson is going to lead Hoston back to the postseason, the Texans must improve their line. Lindstrom is a plug-and-play starter who would immediately replace either of the Texans’ currently projected starting guards.
  24. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago): Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson. Oakland drafted Quinnen Williams with the No. 4 overall pick and can continue improving their defensive line by drafting a replacement for Khalil Mack. Ferrell might not be a physical specimen like Bosa or Allen, but he was one of the most productive pass rushers in the NCAA over the past four years, totaling 27.0 sacks and 50.5 TFL.
  25. Philadelphia Eagles: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington. The Eagles had all sorts of secondary trouble in 2018, finishing the season with the 15th-ranked pass defense in the NFL, allowing more than 4,300 passing yards. And even after re-signing Ronald Darby, Philadelphia could use another corner. Murphy was the best of a terrific Huskies’ secondary, with 4 INTs and 13 passes defended last season.
  26. Indianapolis Colts: Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple. Indianapolis had the fourth-ranked rush defense in the NFL in 2018, but the 20th-ranked pass defense. And with Pierre Desir and Kenny Moore atop the Colts’ depth chart at corner, Chris Ballard has to add multiple pieces in the secondary. A physical corner, Ya-Sin has moved into first-round consideration after his Senior Bowl and NFL Combine performances.
  27. Oakland Raiders (via Dallas)Noah Fant, TE, Iowa. The Raiders found Derek Carr a true No. 1 wide receiver in Antonio Brown. But Oakland, can’t stop there. Mayock and co. have a lot of work to do to improve the 25th-ranked offense in the NFL. Jared Cook was Carr’s most reliable target last season left via free agency. Oakland would be better off letting him walk and drafting his replacement in Fant.
  28. Los Angeles ChargersGreg Little, OT, Ole Miss. To prolong Philip Rivers’ career, the Chargers have to do a better job at keeping him upright. Los Angeles’ offensive line 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: Johnathan Abram, SS, Mississippi State. 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. Abram is a hard-hitting, physical defender who can replace Eric Berry and control the middle of the field for Kansas City.
  30. Green Bay Packers (via New Orleans): Taylor Rapp, SS, Washington. After their defense ranked 29th in the NFL, Green Bay overhauled their defense this offseason, adding DEs Preston Smith, Za’Darius Smith and FS Adrian Amos in free agency. But the Packers shouldn’t be done there. Josh Jones rated as just an average safety per Pro Football Focus, and Green Bay can upgrade the position with the selection of Rapp, a quality strong safety with impressive skills and instincts.
  31. Los Angeles Rams: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson. Aaron Donald is a monster in their interior of the Rams’ defense, but outside of Donald, Los Angeles’ defensive line play was lackluster. The Rams re-signed Dante Fowler Jr. to a one-year deal, but it looks like Ndamukong Suh won’t be back. Lawrence never replicated his sensational freshman season, but with tons of potential and special physical tools, Lawrence is an intriguing late first-round pick, especially for a team like the Rams.
  32. New England Patriots: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss. With Rob Gronkowski’s retirement, Tom Brady doesn’t really have a reliable target outside of Julian Edelman. The Patriots signed Bruce Ellington and Maurice Harris, but neither really moves the needle for New England. Brown, who caught 85 passes for 1,320 yards and six touchdowns in 2018, can play either outside or in the slot and would give Brady another talented option at wide receiver.

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