The 2019 NFL Draft is almost upon us.
That makes this Mock Draft season!
This year’s draft appears to be deep at the defensive line and wide receiver position, while it is considered to be one of the weaker crops of quarterbacks and running backs than in recent seasons.
Despite that, I believe several signal callers will go in the first few rounds of a draft that I expect will be trade-heavy.
Of course, predicting draft picks is hard enough, let alone predicting trades. That won’t stop me from giving it a shot!
Here are my 2019 NFL Draft Predictions, including trades, for the first round:
1. Arizona Cardinals – QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
This is probably the least surprising pick of the draft. Murray has been rumored to be the Cardinals’ top choice for months, and head coach Kliff Kingsbury has even been quoted a few years ago as saying he would take Murray as the top pick in the NFL Draft. The move will give the team its starting quarterback of the future, and free up last year’s first round pick, QB Josh Rosen, for the best trade offer.
2. San Francisco 49ers – DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State
If Kingsbury wasn’t the Cardinals’ new head coach, I could honestly see Bosa going in the top spot. He is the consensus top defensive lineman in this year’s draft, which is extremely deep at both DE and DT. Bosa has been pro-ready for over a year now, and is expected to immediately contribute. The Niners have committed heavily to the defensive line in the past few seasons, but can fortify their pass rush with Bosa.
(Trade – TB trades pick 5, pick 70 to NYJ for pick 3)
3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – LB Josh Allen, Kentucky
Allen is considered to be one of the top outside pass rush options available in this draft. With the Bucs shifting to a 3-4 scheme, Allen would fit perfectly as a pass rusher for the team. Plus, the trade enables the Bucs to hop the Oakland Raiders, in the case they were worried Gruden and company were thinking of taking Allen.
4. Oakland Raiders – DT Ed Oliver, Houston
The Raiders may luck out and land the draft’s top interior lineman. Oliver came into last season as the projected top pick of this draft, but after a down junior season, some questions arose about Oliver. However, the Raiders are rumored to be enamored with Oliver, and could land their target without having to move at all.
5. New York Jets – DL Quinnen Williams, Alabama
Knowing that the Raiders want Oliver and not being totally interested in Allen should allow the Jets to move down to five and get who they wanted anyway, in Williams. After missing out on bringing in LB Anthony Barr to boost the team’s pass rush, New York can have Williams play DE next to DT Leonard Williams, and have a potentially powerful pass rush.
6. New York Giants – DE/LB Montez Sweat, Miss St.
After putting up 22.5 sacks over the past season in the SEC, Sweat flew up draft boards. Then, he put up record-setting speed numbers at the NFL Combine, and almost solidified his status as a top five pick. Then, it was discovered that Sweat has an enlarged heart, a condition that is rumored to be giving some teams pause when considering Sweat. However, the condition hasn’t hampered Sweat in the past, and he would be a perfect pass rush addition to a Giants’ defense in the process of transitioning to the 3-4.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars – T Jawaan Taylor, Florida
The Jaguars added QB Nick Foles in the off season, so adding to the offensive line at the top of the draft isn’t an awful idea. Taylor is projected to be the top tackle off the board, and the Jaguars have a void at RT where Taylor could start from Day 1.
(Trade – GB trades pick 12, pick 30 & pick 112 to DET for pick 8)
8. Green Bay Packers- WR D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss
Yes, I am predicting a rare, intra-division trade. Detroit is looking to add draft picks, and Green Bay could be looking to move up past the Bills to ensure they get the wide receiver of their choice. Metcalf blew everyone away at the combine with both his performance and stature, and could be a dangerous option for QB Aaron Rodgers for years to come.
9. Buffalo Bills – TE T.J. Hockensen, Iowa
I think the Bills would like to trade down from this spot, but I’m going to guess that they won’t find exactly what they are seeking for the ninth overall pick. Hockensen is projected to be the top tight end off the board, and the team could use a safety blanket for young QB Josh Allen.
10. Denver Broncos – QB Drew Lock, Missouri
The Broncos have been rumored to be enamored with Lock. After trading for QB Joe Flacco this off season, taking Lock would enable the team to sit the signal caller for his entire rookie season to learn and adjust. Despite Lock not being the top rated passer in this year’s draft, I think he comes off the board first.
11. Cincinnati Bengals – LB Devin White, LSU
After losing LB Vontaze Burfict, the Bengals have a hole at linebacker. White is projected as the top linebacker in this year’s draft, and can play sideline-to-sideline and all three downs. He could immediately slot into the middle of the Bengals’ defense and start from Day 1.
12. Detroit Lions – TE Noah Fant, Iowa
Once the Lions recouped some picks by trading back, the team can focus on filling holes. Fant is arguably a better option than Hockensen, and his impressive combine performance definitely has raised his stock. Fant would be a perfect fit for QB Matthew Stafford, who hasn’t had many great options at tight end in his career.
13. Miami Dolphins – OL Jonah Williams, Alabama
Many people think that the Dolphins would go quarterback here. I just don’t see it. The team has already committed to tanking the 2019 season in hopes of landing one of the top QBs in next year’s draft. Williams is one of the draft’s top lineman, and would be a nice piece up front to protect the team’s next franchise QB.
(Trade – BAL trades pick 22, pick 102, 2020 4th rounder to ATL for pick 14)
14. Baltimore Ravens – WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma
The feeling here is that the Ravens will be fearful that the Redskins could take the last top tier receiver in the draft, forcing a move up. Adding a deep threat like Brown would give young QB Lamar Jackson a top option for years to come, and help keep defenses spread out for plays to be made both underneath and over the top.
(Trade – TEN trades pick 19, pick 157, 2020 third rounder to WSH for pick 15)
15. Tennessee Titans – Brian Burns DE/LB, Fla St.
LB/DE Brian Orakpo retired after last season, leaving the Titans with a need for a pass rusher. Being fearful that the Panthers may get their man, I think the Titans will leap frog Carolina to land Burns, who should boost the team’s outside pass rush.
16. Carolina Panthers – OT Andre Dillard, Wsh St.
Dillard has been flying up draft boards after a good performance at the NFL Combine. A monster at the tackle position, Dillard is another player that should be able to start Day One, and Carolina loves to build along the lines.
17. New York Giants (via Browns) – QB Daniel Jones, Duke
I think the Giants are able to stay at 17 and land their man. Jones has been flying up some team’s draft boards, and has even been compared to QB Peyton Manning in recent days. While I think that’s a stretch, taking Jones here allows the team to develop him behind Peyton’s brother, Eli, in 2019.
18. Minnesota Vikings – OL Cody Ford, Oklahoma
Injuries, age, and free agency have plagued the Vikings in recent seasons. Ford has the ability to play the tackle and guard position, with many projecting him to move inside at the pro level. He would be a solid fit for Minnesota here.
19. Washington Redskins – OL Garrett Bradbury, N.C. State
The Redskins are another team that has seen their offensive line decimated in the last few seasons. While the team is set at the tackle positions, it could certainly use help on the interior. Bradbury has played center in the past, but could also fit at a guard position.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers – CB Greedy Williams, LSU
Defensive back has been a consistent problem for the Steelers over the past five years. Adding Williams to the mix would help solidify the team’s back end, and it isn’t bad having a DB named “Greedy”, right?
21. Seattle Seahawks – DT Christian Wilkins, Clemson
After striking out with DT Malik McDowell in the second round a couple seasons ago, I could see the Seahawks looking to add a young player to the interior of its defensive line. Landing Wilkins at 21 would be no small feat, as he is projected by many to go in the teens. Yet, with the depth of talent in this first round, I have Wilkins slipping to here.
22. Atlanta Falcons – DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
I have Clemson defensive linemen going back-to-back here. Trading back and landing Ferrell is a big win for the Falcons, who could expect Ferrell to contribute from the jump along the team’s defensive line.
23. Houston Texans – T Greg Little, Ole Miss
Before the season, Little was projected to be one this year’s top picks. A slide in performance resulted in a similar slide in Little’s draft stock, but that could lead to him being a steal for a team in the middle of the first round. The Texans are needy for help at tackle, making Little a good fit for the team.
24. Oakland Raiders (via Bears) – CB Byron Murphy, Washington
The Raiders have many holes, including in the defensive backfield. Murphy is one of the top defensive back prospects in this draft, if not the top corner available. While Oakland may not want him lining up against a team’s top option immediately, Murphy has the potential to grow into a team’s top option at defending the pass.(Trade – KC trades pick 29,
25. Philadelphia Eagles – DL Jeffrey Simmons, Miss St.
The Eagles have shown a willingness to draft prospects with an injury history in the past, and coming off an ACL tear puts Simmons in that same boat. However, when healthy, Simmons is a force, with some comparing him to DT Ndamukung Suh. Pairing Simmons next to another Mississippi State product in DT Fletcher Cox would give the Eagles an enviable combo in the middle of the team’s defense.
26. Indianapolis Colts – DL Rashan Gary, Michigan
Before the draft, Gary was projected to go into the top half of the first round. Due to the rising of other prospects and the depth at defensive line, I have Gary slipping to the Colts, where he could be a Day One starter at defensive end of Indianapolis.
27. Oakland Raiders (via Cowboys) – DT Dexter Lawrence
Lawrence just feels like a Raiders’ pick, right? Suspended for the National Championship due to testing positive for a banned substance, Lawrence was once considered among the top d-lineman in this draft. Now, off the field issues will see him fall, and I have the Raiders’ capitalizing and scooping him at the bottom of the first round.
28. Los Angeles Chargers – OL Kaleb McGary, Washington
The Chargers have had depth issues at offensive line for years. Adding McGary would give the team flexibility to play him at multiple positions, creating valuable protection for aging QB Philip Rivers.
29. Kansas City Chiefs – S Nasir Adderley, Del. St.
After cutting S Eric Berry, the Chiefs have a hole in their secondary. Adderley is arguably the best safety available, and at the back end of the first round, you can afford to draft based on need.
30. Detroit Lions (via Saints & Packers) – WR Hakeem Butler, Iowa State
The Lions haven’t had a big play wide receiver since Calvin Johnson. Now, I have them taking a receiver who is similar in stature. Good workouts have boosted Butler’s stock, and I have the Lions grabbing him at the bottom of the first round.
31. Los Angeles Rams – TE Irv Smith, Jr., Alabama
The Rams offense is loaded with weapons, minus tight end. Insert Irv Smith, Jr., who put up big numbers at Alabama, and should be able to transition to an NFL offense easily. Smith, Jr. would be a nice target for QB Jared Goff.
32. New England Patriots – OL Chris Lindstrom, Boston College
With the last pick of the first round, I think the Patriots will snag an offensive lineman out of their own backyard. The team has seen its offensive line depth be tested in recent seasons, so adding a young player who can play multiple positions and is controllable for five seasons should be appetizing to the Patriots.
As if that weren’t enough, I’m going to predict a couple other draft weekend trades that I think will go down, based on my trades above:
Washington trades pick 96 and 2020 3rd rounder to Arizona for QB Josh Rosen:
It’s known that Arizona is looking to move Rosen. However, I believe their price is too high. However, after a couple draft day moves, I think a Redskins offer of two third round picks should get the deal done, and give the Redskins’ their QB of the future.
Philadelphia trades pick 127 to New York for LB Darron Lee:
The Eagles are in need of a linebacker, and the Jets have one to spare. After not getting what they initially wanted for Lee, I think the Eagles could be able to acquire him for a fourth rounder on draft day.
Thanks for checking out 789 Media’s 2019 NFL Mock Draft! Track our selections, and let us know what you think in the comments or on Twitter or Facebook.