NFL mock draft 2019: Murray-to-Cardinals shuffles Round 1; 49ers, Jets benefit | NFL
The NFL Combine is finished, and only Pro Days remain before the 2019 NFL Draft. That makes it a perfect time for a new Sporting News mock draft.
Based on the Combine results that either raised or lowered prospects’ draft stock across positions, there are wholesale changes for our projected first round, beginning at the top.
With Kyler Murray going to the Cardinals at No. 1 overall feeling more like reality than rumor, there are ripple effects all the way to No. 32. Should Arizona go through with the decision to a draft another quarterback early, the rest of the teams will enjoy the trickle-down effect it has on a strong, top-heavy class of edge and interior pass-rushers.
Here is now how we see things going down April 27.
NFL mock draft 2019
1. Arizona Cardinals
Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Murray squashed plenty of questions about his undersized frame by measuring better than expected (5-10, 207 pounds, 9 1/2-inch hands). His dynamic playmaking, backed by smarts and accuracy, has the Cardinals locked on Murray going to work in a Kliff Kingsbury passing offense suited to him, assuming they can move 2018 first-rounder Josh Rosen.
2. San Francisco 49ers
Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Bosa would be a no-brainer for the 49ers if he were to fall to them. Pro Bowl tackle DeForest Buckner had a breakout pass-rush season, and fellow first-rounder Solomon Thomas found another gear after he slid inside. Bosa is a sleek edge force (6-4, 266 pounds) with even more upside than that of brother Joey.
3. New York Jets
Josh Allen, DE/OLB, Kentucky
The Jets need to get their edge pass rush going for new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Allen was productive in college and is loaded with the kinds of moves that will allow him to continue racking up sacks in the NFL. He also is capable of making plays in coverage.
4. Oakland Raiders
Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
The Raiders would be in play for Allen, but if he’s gone, they would be fine making this pick for their defensive front. Williams is a massive (6-3, 303 pounds) and explosive inside disruptor. It’s hard to ignore his Aaron Donald-like potential after his meteoric rise through his final college season.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Rashan Gary, DT/DE, Michigan
Gary, a versatile defender, can produce even better in Todd Bowles’ scheme than he did with the Wolverines. He uses his hands, power and big frame (6-4, 277 pounds) to occupy run-blockers. He also has some intriguing inside pass-rush ability.
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6. New York Giants
Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
With Murray off the board, the Giants will be the favorites to take this East Coast kid to succeed Eli Manning. Haskins cemented his draft stock late in the Buckeyes’ season, when he had some jaw-dropping games with his big arm and downfield accuracy. He has ideal size (6-3, 231 pounds) as a strong pocket passer with the right dose of athleticism. That checks the right boxes for general manager Dave Gettleman.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
With the Jaguars expected to sign Nick Foles at QB, they also need to improve his pass protection and receivers. Taylor (6-5, 312 pounds) offers agility, smarts and technique to handle most athletic edge-rushers. He has been rising up boards as scouts have realized he is not just relegated to right tackle; he can thrive better than anyone else in this class on the left side.
8. Detroit Lions
Montez Sweat, DE/OLB, Mississippi State
Sweat crushed his Combine workouts, running the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds and recording a vertical of 36 inches, which is ridiculous at his size (6-6, 260 pounds). He translates that into relentless pursuit of the passer, and Matt Patricia would put him in positions to produce.
9. Buffalo Bills
D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
Metcalf lived up to his reputation as a beast (6-3, 228 pounds) at the Combine with his blazing 40-yard dash time (4.33), high number of bench-press reps (27) and amazing vertical (40 1/2 inches). He is a classic size/speed prospect, and then some. The Bills could use the best wideout in the class to help Josh Allen.
10. Denver Broncos
Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
John Elway has his new bridge QB in Joe Flacco, but he still needs to consider a first-rounder in 2019. Elway has already had a long, good scouting look at Lock, who has a big arm to go with ideal size (6-4, 228 pounds). Lock also has the fearlessness and elusiveness every NFL likes in an aggressive, downfield passer.
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11. Cincinnati Bengals
T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
12. Green Bay Packers
Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
The Packers kept defensive coordinator Mike Pettine because of his creative 3-4 scheme, and he would find the right ways to use Ferrell off the edge. Ferrell is the best of the Clemson defensive line prospects because his size (6-4, 264 pounds) makes him a good outside run-stopper to add to his explosiveness as a pass-rusher.
13. Miami Dolphins
Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
Jones has all-around, pro-tailored skills to go with his ideal size (6-5, 221 pounds), built up by NFL-friendly tutelage from Peyton and Eli Manning mentor David Cutcliffe. Jones also has the tough make-up Miami wants as the face of its rebuild under new coach Brian Flores as the team looks to move on from Ryan Tannehill.
14. Atlanta Falcons
Ed Oliver, DT/DE, Houston
The only question with Oliver — and a tough one for many teams — is what position he fits best on the defensive line. He has become more of an end/tackle tweener in many scouts’ eyes rather than the pure inside force that is Quinnen Williams, thus the separation on the board. But with coach Dan Quinn taking over the defense in Atlanta again, he would know how to use Oliver’s versatility in the Michael Bennett vein.
15. Washington Redskins
Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
The Redskins might need to part with this pick should they trade for Rosen. But for now, should Haskins, Lock and Jones be off the board, they should be fine stealing the draft’s best cornerback to be Josh Norman’s replacement. Williams is a long, lean corner (6-2, 185 pounds) who has rare speed, quickness and agility for his size. He’s not the most physical player, but he is fundamentally sound in coverage, and he uses his length at the line of scrimmage to break up routes.
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16. Carolina Panthers
Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
Dillard backed up a big week of Senior Bowl practices with an impressive Combine performance. His athleticism was on full display to prove that, at 6-5, 315 pounds, he is the smoothest pass protector in this class. With the edge-rushers not lining up for the Panthers in this slot, they instead can go for someone who will keep those guys away from Cam Newton and his recovering shoulder.
17. Cleveland Browns
Devin White, ILB, LSU
The Browns did get a good season from Joe Schobert in 2018, but it would be hard to pass on White as the best player available. White covers a ton of ground against the run, and he also would upgrade their intermediate coverage. He is easily the rangiest defender in the class and would thrive under Steve Wilks, who once led the Panthers’ elite linebacker corps.
18. Minnesota Vikings
Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
The Vikings need offensive line help for the sakes of both Kirk Cousins and Dalvin Cook. Dillard being taken off the board earlier helps their cause. Williams is a strong pass protector who also is big enough (6-4, 302 pounds) to pave the way in the running game.
19. Tennessee Titans
Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
The Titans have a big receiver in Corey Davis (6-3, 209 pounds) who is transforming into a No. 1, but they need more complementary, big-play juice for Marcus Mariota. Aptly nicknamed “Hollywood” for his Florida hometown, Antonio’s cousin has plenty of flash as a field-stretching receiver. Marquise (5-9, 166 pounds) has elite vertical speed and quickness coming in and out of routes. He missed the Combine and won’t be available for the Sooners’ Pro Day coming off Lisfranc surgery, but he should be good to go for the heat of the offseason program.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
Devin Bush, ILB, Michigan
Bush did his best to match White athletically at the Combine, and the Michigan product proved his size (5-11, 234 pounds). Ryan Shazier was not much bigger, and Bush could have a similar impact in Pittsburgh.
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21. Seattle Seahawks
Christian Wilkins, DT/DE, Clemson
The Seahawks will think about an offensive lineman or a more traditional edge-rusher, but ultimately, it’s hard to pass on Wilkins’ versatility. He can line up everywhere and is equally effective stopping the run outside and getting to the QB inside. He measured (6-3, 315 pounds) and tested as well as advertised at the Combine.
22. Baltimore Ravens
Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
This is the Ravens’ first draft in a long time without Ozzie Newsome as GM, but Eric DeCosta should still have a little affinity for Alabama products. Alex Collins’ release, plus the free agency of Ty Montgomery and Buck Allen, means Baltimore could use an upgrade from Gus Edwards. Jacobs (5-10, 220 pounds) is the best bet of any feature-type back to go early. There’s a bit of Ezekiel Elliott in him; he’s a smart, complete back who runs with great vision and power, and he is equally elusive as an outside runner and receiver.
23. Houston Texans
Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma
The Texans would be thrilled to get Ford, the last of the first round-worthy offensive linemen. He is a raw tackle who can first be a big asset in run blocking before rounding into a physical pass protector. The Texans’ need at this position is too big for them to ignore early in the draft.
24. Oakland Raiders (from Bears)
Brian Burns, DE/OLB, Florida State
Burns had 15.5 sacks in his final Seminoles season and was a borderline first-rounder until the Combine, where he arrived bulked up at 6-5, 245 pounds without showing a drop-off in his explosiveness. Coach Jon Gruden and GM Mike Mayock would be thrilled to get Burns and Quinnen Williams for their front.
25. Philadelphia Eagles
Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
This pick is building steam because the team’s need and the player’s skill set line up so well. The Eagles could use a space-eater to flank Fletcher Cox, and Lawrence is a textbook inside run-stuffer with ideal size (6-4, 342 pounds).
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26. Indianapolis Colts
Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
The Colts are set to lose another breakout cornerback with Pierre Desir hitting free agency. Baker would give them a smart, physical, press coverage presence to compensate. He backed up his size (5-11, 193 pounds) with good speed at the Combine.
27. Oakland Raiders (from Cowboys)
N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
28. Los Angeles Chargers
Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame
At 6-6, 295 pounds, Tillery was a beast as a three-technique in college, and he backed that up with a stellar Combine. He matured with his play and temperament to unleash his pass-rush skills in his final season with the Irish.
29. Kansas City Chiefs
Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
The Chiefs will have a hard time keeping Steven Nelson in free agency. Murphy is a smooth, fluid cover man. What he gives up in size and press potential (5-11, 190 pounds) he makes up for in speed, aggressiveness and ballhawking skills.
30. Green Bay Packers (from Saints)
Irv Smith, TE, Alabama
Smith is a technically-sound run blocker and route runner who has shown vertical receiving juice to go with compact size (6-2, 242 pounds). He delivered a strong enough Combine to place himself behind Hockenson as the draft’s second best tight end. After getting Ferrell, the Packers can focus on a key offensive need with this pick.
31. Los Angeles Rams
Jaylon Ferguson, OLB, Louisiana Tech
Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips should a see a little Von Miller in Ferguson, who has some explosive pass-rush moves. He will be able to stay on the field in the NFL as a big (6-5, 259 pounds), natural run-stopper on the edge.
32. New England Patriots
Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson
Mullen has rebounded from an up-and-down final season with the Tigers to show off his potential, strengthened by the Combine performance many expected. His size (6-1, 199 pounds), speed (4.46 40-yard dash) and physicality make him the type of well-rounded prospect the Patriots like.