The 2019 NFL Draft is around a month away, but the draft order is set and mock drafts have been going out at a fast pace. We at The Athletes Hub have worked together to compile our own mock draft for the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft which will take place in Nashville, Tennessee. Here are our selections:
1. Arizona Cardinals: EDGE Nick Bosa, Ohio State (Hunter)
The Cardinals desperately need to build around young quarterback Josh Rosen with offensive linemen and wide receivers, but it will be very tough to pass on a player of Nick Bosa’s caliber. The style of Bosa is very similar to that of his older brother, Joey. Pairing him up with Chandler Jones could form the best 1-2 edge rusher punch in the NFL.
2. San Francisco 49ers: EDGE Josh Allen, Kentucky (Jonathan)
Kyle Shanahan has stated the San Francisco 49ers will be changing up their defensive line tactics by playing their defensive ends at wide 9 technique next season. That suggests the 49ers will be loading up on edge rushers, rather than interior defenders at the draft. That could bring them to Josh Allen, who has the explosive power off the edge the 49ers have lacked.
3. New York Jets: EDGE Rashan Gary, Michigan (Hunter)
The New York Jets pass-rush situation is grim, and a perfect solution would be to draft Rashan Gary at #3. He is the total package as an end with his athleticism and size combination.
4. Oakland Raiders: DE Quinnen Williams, Alabama (Devon)
Quinnen Williams seems to have the highest ceiling among first-round talents, and could go as early as #3. With 19.5 sacks during the 2018 season, Williams will be essential to the Raiders rebuild.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: OT Jonah Williams, Alabama (Brian)
Jameis Winston has seen his numbers drop steadily over the last 3 seasons, even finding himself getting benched for Ryan Fitzpatrick in Week 9 of last season. What better way to help him gain some confidence than drafting perhaps the best offensive lineman available? Williams has said he will play wherever is requested, and the Bucs could use that versatility.
6. New York Giants: QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State (Martin)
With Eli Manning seemingly reaching the end of his career in the NFL, the New York Giants need to prepare for life after him. At Ohio State, Dwayne Haskins proved why he is likely the best quarterback in the 2019 draft class. He will have to sit behind Manning for a year or two, but once Manning retires, the team will be just fine with Haskins at the helm.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma (Tristin)
The Jacksonville Jaguars need a quarterback, and while they are expected to sign Nick Foles in free agency, Murray would still be on their board here at #7. It is a bit of a reach, but if you let Murray sit for a year, teach him the offense, and get him acclimated to the speed of the NFL, he should be a great pickup.
8. Detroit Lions: CB Greedy Williams, LSU (Tristin)
I am keeping my previous selection for the Detroit Lions from our previous mock. The Lions do need a pass rusher, but there are so many pass rushers in this class that the Lions can snag later on. I believe that if Williams is on the board at this point, Detroit needs to take him.
9. Buffalo Bills: DT Ed Oliver, Houston (Luke)
With Jonah Williams off the board, the Buffalo Bills need to look at their other main focus points for this draft. The Bills defense was solid, but Ed Oliver can make it better. A fast first step and elite power to get through to the backfield, Oliver can make a big impact and early here. This is assuming that Buffalo doesn’t trade down.
10. Denver Broncos: CB DeAndre Baker, Georgia (Ray)
The Denver Broncos secondary took a big hit last offseason after they decided to trade Aqib Talib to the Los Angeles Rams. Now with Bradley Roby hitting the free agent market and Chris Harris, who turns 30 in June, coming back from a gruesome leg injury, they desperately need to address the position.
11. Cincinnati Bengals: LB Devin White, LSU (Jonathan)
It is a new era in Cincinnati, but it seems Andy Dalton will return at quarterback for the time being. With that, the Bengals should look for their quarterback on defense and take LB Devin White. At LSU, White logged 133 tackles last season and is equally capable in both pass coverage and stopping the run.
12. Green Bay Packers: EDGE Montez Sweat, Mississippi State (Ray)
The Green Bay Packers are in desperate need of a pass rusher, especially considering Clay Matthews’ declining play and pending free agency. Nick Perry also hasn’t been very effective since signing a long-term deal. Meanwhile, Montez Sweat has shown up big during Senior Bowl week, and the Combine and has him skyrocketing up draft boards.
13. Miami Dolphins: QB Drew Lock, Missouri (Brian)
Another pick that stayed the same from our first mock draft, Drew Lock remains the best option for the Miami Dolphins here. Ryan Tannehill will likely be gone, and Lock is the best quarterback on the board for long-term success. His numbers at Missouri, combined with his athleticism and ability to pick apart a defense, should see him drafted by Miami at #13.
14. Atlanta Falcons: EDGE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson (Devon)
Ranked as a top 10-15 selection in various mocks, Clelin Ferrell should add some depth to the Atlanta Falcons defense. Through his last 3 full seasons, Ferrell has averaged 9 sacks per campaign.
15. Washington Redskins: QB Daniel Jones, Duke (Martin)
Last season, the Washington Redskins had poor luck at the quarterback position with both Alex Smith and Colt McCoy going down with season-ending leg injuries. With that said, the team is unsure if Alex Smith will be playing next season, and instead of going after someone like Nick Foles, they should take a chance on Daniel Jones with the #15 pick.
16. Carolina Panthers: OT Greg Little, Ole Miss (Tristin)
The Carolina Panthers need to protect Cam Newton, and Greg Little should be a building block in doing so. Ryan Kalil is a free agent, and the signing of Matt Kalil hasn’t worked out for the team as desired. Drafting Little would be beneficial for all involved.
17. Cleveland Browns: OT Jawaan Taylor, Florida (Martin)
Last season, Baker Mayfield gave something that Cleveland Browns have been hoping to have for years, and that is a promising quarterback. With Mayfield entering his sophomore season, the team needs to give him some protection on the offensive line, and Jawaan Taylor is the best option here.
18. Minnesota Vikings: OT/G Cody Ford, Oklahoma (Jonathan)
The Minnesota Vikings bet the franchise on QB Kirk Cousins, now they need to give him the best chance to succeed by upgrading their dreadful offensive line. Cody Ford can plug and play at guard or right tackle and provides a dominant physical presence the Vikings line lacked last season.
19. Tennessee Titans: EDGE Jachai Polite, Florida (Luke)
Montez Sweat was the Tennessee Titans first choice, so Jachai Polite gets the nod here. Once again, an edge rusher that has an uncanny ability to spin through into the backfield and pressure any quarterback. The combine will hurt his stock, but the Titans need this pick to get back towards playoff contention.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: CB Byron Murphy, Washington (Hunter)
This past season, the Pittsburgh Steelers only picked up 8 interceptions during the regular season. Byron Murphy would be a perfect fit for this team, as the past two seasons, he has totaled 6 interceptions. Some may claim he is undersized, but his potential outweighs the criticism.
21. Seattle Seahawks: DE Oshane Ximines, Old Dominion (Ray)
The Seattle Seahawks edge hasn’t been the same since losing Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett in 2018. Their only real contributor on the defensive line last year was Frank Clark, who has been slapped with the franchise tag. Oshane Ximines broke out last year, recording 12 sacks, and would be the first player ever drafted from Old Dominion.
22. Baltimore Ravens: S Nasir Adderley, Delaware (Brian)
After releasing S Eric Weddle, the safety position may become a need for the Baltimore Ravens. Nasir Adderley is an excellent tackler who possesses great speed and can compete for the ball any time it’s up in the air. He played both in the slot and in the box at Delaware, which should free up defensive coordinator Don Martindale to call even more blitzes in 2019.
23. Houston Texans: OT Andre Dillard, Washington State (Tristin)
The Houston Texans made strides towards success in 2018. They have a shiny quarterback in Deshaun Watson, who looks promising, but needs to make some improvements as a passer. For him to do so, he’ll need to be kept upright. Andre Dillard out of Washington State should help ensure the franchise QB isn’t looking up at the lights.
24. Oakland Raiders: TE TJ Hockenson, Iowa (Devon)
I’m not sure how TJ Hockenson falls outside the top 10-12, but this is a bargain for the Oakland Raiders. With Jared Cook set to test free agency, the front office should keep an eye on Hockenson at this stage.
25. Philadelphia Eagles: DT Dre’Mont Jones, Ohio State (Hunter)
Dre’mont Jones is an extremely athletic three-technique player with the ability to play a disruptive brand of football on all three downs. In all, Jones would be an excellent pairing with All-Pro Fletcher Cox.
26. Indianapolis Colts: WR DK Metcalf, Ole Miss (Brian)
The Indianapolis Colts need a physical, big-bodied receiver to compliment T.Y. Hilton, and DK Metcalf certainly fits. In addition to having an initialed name, Metcalf is 6’4″, 225 pounds, has a 40.5 inch vertical, and just ran a 4.33 40-yard dash; meaning not only can he jump over defensive backs to get the ball, but he can also outrun them downfield too. He may seem too good to be true, but for a team with a big need at wide receiver like Indianapolis, it’s worth the risk.
27. Oakland Raiders: WR Riley Ridley, Georgia (Devon)
While DK Metcalf would have been ideal, Georgia WR Riley Ridley provides potential as well. The junior season of Ridley proved to be beneficial, totaling 559 receiving yards and 9 TD. He should be viewed as a red zone threat for the Raiders, who were unable to produce a WR with 4+ TD in 2018.
28. Los Angeles Chargers: DT Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame (Martin)
Heading into the offseason, the Los Angeles Chargers will look to improve on defense, and Jerry Tillery out of Notre Dame fits the mold for them. Adding him alongside Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram will be a headache for opposing offenses.
29. Kansas City Chiefs: OG Dalton Risner, Kansas State (Luke)
Rule #1 for all NFL teams: Protect the quarterback. Rule #1.5 for all NFL teams: Score as much as possible. Kansas City has no issue with scoring, but were unable to protect QB Patrick Mahomes at times. Dalton Risner has a quick step-back, power to boot, and can protect the pocket from collapsing incredibly well.
30. Green Bay Packers: LB Devin Bush, Michigan (Ray)
Green Bay should go defense with both of their 1st round picks. Mike Pettine had a positive impact on their core last year, but they need playmakers on that side of the ball. Jake Ryan had a season-ending injury in 2018, and likely won’t return to the team this offseason. Devin Bush is a great sideline-to-sideline tackler who can become an anchor on that defense.
31. Los Angeles Rams: DT Christian Wilkins, Clemson (Jonathan)
The Los Angeles Rams are set to lose a clutch of key defenders in free agency, including Dante Fowler, Lamarcus Joyner and Ndamukong Suh. With such a deep defensive line class, the Rams could find Suh’s replacement late in the first round with Clemson’s Christian Wilkins as a prime candidate.
32. New England Patriots: TE Irv Smith Jr, Alabama (Luke)
I was hoping that TJ Hockenson would slide further down, but Irv Smith Jr is just as suitable. A beast on both passing offense and blocking when needed, Smith can go and learn under Gronkowski before he retires.