The NFL Draft is now less than two weeks away and things are heating up! Teams are visiting with players and doing their final preparations before Roger Goodell takes the stage amidst a torrential downpour of boo’s. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.
In my first mock—Mock 1.0 can be read right here for those who missed it—I went more or less by the book, taking players that I would take at that pick if I were running said team. For this mock, I want to see how different things play out if the most expected pick of the draft, Kyler Murray going number one to the Arizona Cardinals, doesn’t happen. What does the draft look like if the Cardinals go in a different direction and realize that, hold on a second, Josh Rosen is actually a really good quarterback.
Let’s find out together shall we?
1. Arizona Cardinals: EDGE Nick Bosa
IT WAS ALL A SMOKE SCREEN! The football world is stunned when the Cardinals do the smart(?) thing and take the best player available to them at number one overall. Pairing Bosa with Chandler Jones gives the Cardinals a dominate pass rushing duo that’s sure to wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks.
2. San Francisco 49ers: EDGE Brian Burns
Chaos strikes in back-to-back picks! Yes, Quinnen Williams would be a great player to pick here, but the 49ers’ first picks the last three years have been interior defensive linemen (Solomon Thomas, DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead) and the Niners need another pass rusher on the outside with Dee Ford.
3. New York Jets: EDGE Josh Allen
Even with WIlliams still on the board, I’m picking Allen here for Gang Green. Gregg Williams clearly had a role for Anthony Barr in his defense, and while ultimately the Jets couldn’t land the talented linebacker in free agency, Allen is a terrific consolation prize.
4. Oakland Raiders: QB Kyler Murray
Jon Gruden’s grinning like a mad man in the war room as he watching Murray fall right into his lap. He’s kept is love for Murray almost as secretive as Kliff Kingsbury and putting Murray in Oakland’s offense with Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams to throw to is rather exciting.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DL Quinnen Williams
This is a no brainer pick for the Bucs. Williams could easily be the best player in this draft and pairing him with Gerald McCoy adds strength to strength.
6. New York Giants: QB Dwayne Haskins
I’ve seen a lot of mocks sending a pass rusher to New York (hell, I did it in my last one) but I have a hard time believing that the Giants are going to pass on a top tier quarterback two years in a row. Maybe they will; for all we know they are in love with Tua Tagovailoa and are hoping another year of Eli Manning lands them a top 10 pick again. Still, why not have another young QB in house?
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: OT Jonah Williams
The Jags can certainly think about about taking T.J. Hockenson here as he’d provide a perfect security blanket for Nick Foles. Personally, I’m going to stick with the best tackle in the draft. They need to make sure Foles is upright all season if they hope for more Super Bowl magic from BDN.
8. Detroit Lions: EDGE Montez Sweat
Even with the signing of Trey Flowers, the Lions need someone who can consistently get after the quarterback. Sweat certainly fits the bill with his 11.5 sacks last year and his ability to constantly operate in opponent’s backfields.
9. Buffalo Bills: DL Ed Oliver
If I’m the Bills, I’m counting my lucky stars Oliver fell this far. Oliver is a dominate interior defender who can stop the run and get after the quarterback. He’s the perfect guy to build your defensive line around and the Bills would love to be able to start breaking offensive lines regularly (especially the one protecting Tom Brady).
10. Denver Broncos: TE T.J. Hockenson
If the Broncos really want the Joe Flacco era to be elite, they’re going to need to get him plenty of talent to pass to. Hockenson not only helps in the passing game, but he’ll also be a force making holes for Phillip Lindsay to cruise through in the run game.
11. Cincinnati Bengals: QB Drew Lock
Sit your butt down Andy Dalton, there’s a new quarterback in town. Sure it would’ve been nice if Haskins had fallen to 11, but Lock still has plenty of upside and the Bengals need to do something to a) not suck and b) be watchable. A rookie quarterback with a big arm does that.
12. Green Bay Packers: TE Noah Fant
This is happening. I am speaking it into existence.
13. Miami Dolphins: OT Jawaan Taylor
With the top three quarterbacks taken and no elite pass rushers still on the board, the tanking Dolphins help bolster their lackluster offensive line with Taylor who you can plug and play day one and never worry about again.
14. Atlanta Falcons: DL Rashan Gary
I had Christian Wilkins here for the Falcons in my last mock, but I kinda like Gary’s versatility here. He can play inside next to Grady Jarrett or bounce outside and hold down the edge. I’m trusting Dan Quinn on having a plan for Gary and maximizing his talents.
15. Washington: LB Devin White
Taking the best available player because this team is trash and we need all the help we can get. Welcome to Washington D.C. Devin White.
16. Carolina Panthers: EDGE Clelin Ferrell
The Panthers could go offensive line here but pass rush is still a major need for them. With Ferrell still on the board, I doubt the Panthers will let the opportunity to draft him pass. He’d help a defense that managed to record the 5th fewest sacks last year.
17. New York Giants (via Cleveland Browns): LB Devin Bush
No brainer for the Giants given that no one, not even their beat writers, can name one of their linebackers. Bush brings speed, toughness and playmaking to a defense that is severely lacking anything positive.
18. Minnesota Vikings: OT Cody Ford
Got to continue to improve the offensive line. All the pieces are there for the Vikings to be a Super Bowl caliber team and the offensive line is the biggest hurdle standing in the way.
19. Tennessee Titans: DL Christian Wilkins
Wilkins is a big human being who will come in and help anchor the Titans’ defensive line alongside Jurrell Casey. At 19, the Titans would be thrilled to land a guy of Wilkins’ caliber.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: WR D.K. Metcalf
Antonio Brown who? Get ready for Metcalf and team MVP JuJu Smith-Schuster to become the best wide receiver duo in the NFL and make all of Pittsburgh ever forget there was a guy named AB on the team. In all seriousness, Metcalf adds the down-the-field threat that will help keep the middle of the field open for JuJu to continue to do damage.
21. Seattle Seahawks: CB Greedy Williams
I like this pairing too much to change it. Give me a big, long corner who loves to play physical and I’ll send him right to Pete Carroll. Williams has aspects of his game to still improve upon, most notably his eagerness to get involved in the run game (there is none), but physically he’s a perfect fit for Seattle’s defense.
22. Baltimore Ravens: OL Garrett Bradbury
Not as sexy as a wide receiver or edge rusher but the Ravens need to start building back up the middle of their offensive line. Bradbury was a stud in college, can play center or guard and would benefit from learning from one of the best interior linemen of all time in Marshal Yanda.
23. Houston Texans: OT Andre Dillard
Andre Dillard at 23 is a steal for the Texans. They need all the offensive lineman help they can get and Dillard is a starting left tackle from Day 1.
24. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago Bears): RB Josh Jacobs
What’s the best thing for a young quarterback? No, not a Hall of Fame receiver who may or not be insane and a coach who just wants to watch the world burn. It’s a running game! Jacobs is the best back in this draft and can make plays in both the ground game and in the passing game.
25. Philadelphia Eagles: CB Byron Murphy
The Eagles’ pass defense was a little above average per DVOA but they recorded only 10 interceptions, 5th worst in the league last year. Murphy has great instincts and regularly makes plays on the ball, something that has been lacking in Philly’s secondary.
26. Indianapolis Colts: CB Deandre Baker
It pains me to not mock Hakeem Butler here but I wanted to spice things up and give the Colts a potential shutdown corner instead. While Baker doesn’t offer the prototypical size for an outside corner, he basically can do everything else need to play on the boundary extremely well.
27. Oakland Raiders (via Dallas Cowboys): EDGE Jachai Polite
The Raiders have yet to address their pass rush woes and do so finally with their 27th pick possibly reaching for Polite. But remember, the Raiders had 13 sacks last year. THIR. TEEN.
28. Los Angeles Chargers: DL Jerry Tillery
The Chargers need help in the middle of their defensive line and Tillery has the length and power to be a natural disruptor in the interior. He does have a few consistency issues to overcome before reaching his highest ceiling, but if he can be more reliable, the Chargers are getting themselves a difference maker.
29. Kansas City Chiefs: WR Marquise Brown
Yup. This is happening:
I know they have needs at other positions but I'd love to see what Hollywood Brown would do in the KC offense.— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) April 7, 2019
30. Green Bay Packers (via New Orleans Saints): S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
After going offense at pick 12, the Packers decide to go defense here and snag the versatile safety out of Florida. Gardner-Johnson can line up at deep safety, on the outside, and in the slot. He gives the Packers a lot of flexibility in their secondary and another young playmaker. Plus, another member of their growing three name group.
31. Los Angeles Rams: DL Jeffery Simmons
If Simmons came into this draft healthy, he would’ve easily gone in the top 10. But after tearing his ACL, he’s likely not to be taken in the first round. The Rams are brimming with talent and can take the risk of using a first round pick on a defensive force returning from an ACL injury.
(Simmons also has a history of violence that he’ll need to work to move past.)
32. New England Patriots: WR A.J. Brown
If you need more detail as to why I am in love with this pick and need it to happen, you can do so here: