Welcome to NFL Draft month everyone! Since I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to survive April, given that the NFL Draft, Avengers Endgame AND Game of Thrones season finale are all going down this month, I figured I’d get out my first mock draft out now while I’m still alive and sane. Let’s be honest, once April 14th comes and goes, I’m gonna be a complete mess and won’t have the mental capacity to sit down and wildly predict which players each of these football teams are going to take in the first round. I’m going to be worried about Westeros.
Before we get into it, here’s how I’m approaching this mock:
- No trades because I said so
- I’m making each pick as if I was in charge of the team. I’m not here to predict what the hell Jon Gruden’s going to do, I’m predicting what I’d do if I was the decision maker for each team
Let’s do this!
1. Arizona Cardinals: QB Kyler Murray
I’m not passing on the chance to pair Kliff Kingsbury with the player he’s been openly drooling over since he was Texas Tech’s head coach. Murray isn’t just an electric athlete, he’s also a very good quarterback. I as the Cardinals need to make the Kliff hiring workout and look like a smart decision, and the best way to do that is to get him the quarterback he needs. Plus, Murray will put butts in seats and the Cardinals could use with an infusion of excitement.
Don’t worry Josh Rosen, you won’t be stuck in Arizona for long...
2. San Francisco 49ers: EDGE Nick Bosa
Easiest pick in the draft. The 49ers need pass rushing help and Bosa might be the most game day ready rusher in this draft. This is a no brainer.
3. New York Jets: EDGE Josh Allen
Gregg Williams clearly had a role carved out for Anthony Barr in his defense, so let’s go and draft a guy who looks a lot like Barr on tape. Allen is that hyper athletic linebacker who can play all over the field but most importantly can get after the quarterback. If the Jets are going to dethrone the Patriots in the AFC East, it starts with sacking Tom Brady early and often. Allen is a big step towards that.
4. Oakland Raiders: DL Quinnen Williams
The Raiders recorded 13 sacks on the season last year. THIRTEEN. Williams is a plug and play guy who instantly gives the Raiders a formidable rusher on the interior line. I thought about taking Montez Sweat here but Williams is too skilled to pass on. Plus, interior pressure is where it’s at now.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DL Ed Oliver
As the decision maker for the Bucs I’m furious with myself as the decision maker of the Raiders because I would’ve loved to have had Williams fall in my lap at No. 5. That being said, I’m happy to take Oliver who has shown to be another interior disruptor who I can pair with Gerald McCoy to build one of the most disruptive lines in the NFL (and to have as a replacement when McCoy eventually leaves Tampa).
6. New York Giants: EDGE Montez Sweat
Welcome to your new home Josh Rosen! The Giants could take Dwayne Haskins here but I’m instead deciding to trade a 2nd round pick for Rosen, get my future QB and still have a top 10 pick to take one of the most productive pass rushers in this draft.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: OT Jonah Williams
We’ve got our Super Bowl MVP quarterback who’s going to lead us to greatness and now he’s got the protection he needs to make sure he doesn’t get killed before Week 3. Wins for everyone!
8. Detroit Lions: TE T.J. Hockenson
LET’S GET CRAZY! Defense is great and all but I need to get this offense right and need to get Matthew Stafford looking like the Matty Stafford of old. Best way to do that? Get him a 6-foot-5 tight end who can run routes like a receiver and catch just about anything thrown to him. Oh, and he’s a monster blocking in the run game. I’ll take my raise now Martha Ford.
9. Buffalo Bills: OT Jawaan Taylor
I have my franchise quarterback and now it’s all about protecting him and making sure Josh Allen has time to show off that inaccurate cannon he calls an arm. Man, I wish I was leading this team last year when we had the chance to draft Josh Rosen but alas, I’m stuck with who I’m stuck with.
10. Denver Broncos: QB Dwayne Haskins
I’m prying power away from the sweaty fingers of John Elway and I’m drafting the quarterback of the future right here and right now. This is a perfect situation for Haskins as he doesn’t come in with the pressure of starting right away and can sit behind the elite quarterback known as Joe Flacco to learn the ropes of the NFL. Meanwhile, poor Joe gets bumped out of the starting gig by a rookie two years in a row and realizes that maybe it’s time to hang up the cleats.
11. Cincinnati Bengals: EDGE Brian Burns
I would have loved to have taken Haskins here and replaced averaged ass Andy Dalton but I won’t say no to an explosive pass rusher who comes into the league already with a variety of moves.
12. Green Bay Packers: TE Noah Fant
THE PACKERS FINALLY HAVE A LEGIT RECEIVING THREAT AT TIGHT END! I don’t think I could get anymore excited for an imaginary draft pick that I made. Fant brings something that has been lacking from the Packers’ offense since the days of Jermichael Finley and he’ll quickly become one of Aaron Rodgers’ favorite targets.
13. Miami Dolphins: QB Drew Lock
Can’t be anything without a quarterback and while I do love me some Fitzmagic, he’s certainly not the future. Get Lock in house, see what he can do, have him learn the gunslingers mentality from one of the best and then roll into 2020 with starting QB in hand. Or, if the Dolphins suck it up and land a top 5 pick, take the quarterback you want there and trade Lock to the highest bidder. Who says no?
14. Atlanta Falcons: DL Christian Wilkins
Wilkins will come in from day one and plug in perfectly alongside Grady Jarrett to form a formidable defensive front. Hopefully as the Falcons decision maker, we can come to a long term deal with Jarrett (who’s currently playing under the franchise tag) but if not, Wilkins will be able to help ease his absence next year.
15. Washington Redtails: LB Devin White
First order of business as decision maker for this team, I’m officially changing the team name to the Redtails, in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen. Second, I’m 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 recorded the fifth fewest sacks last year and adding Ferrell would go a long way to fixing that in 2019. Ferrell has an elite getoff and the ability to be a formidable pass rusher and could be exactly the edge presence Carolina has been searching for.
17. New York Giants (via Cleveland Browns): LB Devin Bush
Name a linebacker on the Giants other than Alec Ogletree. I’ll give you $100 if you can. I reaaaaaally wanted to take a wide receiver here since this is the pick that sent Odell Beckham to Cleveland but I can’t pass up on Bush who will bring speed, toughness and playmaking to a defense that severely lacked anything positive.
18. Minnesota Vikings: OT Andre Dillard
Got to continue to boaster 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 Rahsan Gary
Really wanted Noah Fant to fall here but stupid Pete managing the stupid Packers took him way back at 12. (That being said, the Titans have thrown enough offensive weapons around Marcus Mariota that at a certain point you need to start focusing on the other side of the ball.) The Titans where slightly below average at getting after the quarterback and adding Gary would give them another disruptive interior rush to go along with Jurrell Casey.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: CB Byron Murphy
Sure I could’ve tried to get Antonio Brown’s replacement here but let’s be honest, it’s not the Steelers’ offense that lets them down in the playoffs against the Patriots; it’s their defense. Murphy has shown a knack for making the big play in the passing game, being a stout run stuffer and sticking to receivers all over the field. He’ll instantly improve Pittsburgh’s secondary.
21. Seattle Seahawks: CB Greedy Williams
Let me give the big, long corner who loves to play physical to Pete Carroll and see what he can do with him. 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: WR D.K. Metcalf
Pete Rogers, decision maker for the Indianapolis Colts tried to call up to make a trade but then remembered that trades don’t happen in this mock because I said so. So Metcalf is now in Baltimore to give Lamar Jackson a huge receiver to stretch the field and give him a number one option to pass to.
23. Houston Texans: OT Cody Ford
Deshaun Watson was sacked 62 times last year. BUILD AN OFFENSIVE LINE HOUSTON!
24. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago Bears): RB Josh Jacobs
The only thing missing in Oakland’s offense is a strong run game and Jacobs would certainly help fill that gap. He’s a three-down back who can contribute in the passing game just about as well as he can on the ground. Plus imagine defenses having to worry about a strong ground game while focusing on Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams.
25. Philadelphia Eagles: S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson
Josh Jacobs could certainly have been in play for the Eagles even with their recent trade for Jordan Howard but I decided to go defense and get the do-it-all safety who’s been rocketing up people’s draft boards.
26. Indianapolis Colts: WR Hakeem Butler
I missed out on D.K. Metcalf but still got my hands on an elite outside receiver who can help take the pressure off of T.Y. Hilton. At 6-foot-5, Butler is a mountain of a receiver who can catch anything thrown his way with his ridiculous reach. Oh, and he casually ran a 4.48 40. Say hello to Andrew Luck’s new favorite target!
27. Oakland Raiders (via Dallas Cowboys): EDGE Jachai Polite
This might be a slight reach but need I remind you the Raiders recorded THIRTEEN sacks last year. Polite could be just a one-hit wonder who won’t be able to consistently produce like he did his junior year, or he could be a Pro Bowl pass rusher who has reliable moves to get after the quarterback.
28. Los Angeles Chargers: DL Jerry Tillery
This is an easy pick for the Chargers as they desperately need help in the middle of their defensive line. Tillery has the length and power to be a natural disruptor in the interior but will have a few consistency issues to overcome before reaching his highest ceiling.
29. Kansas City Chiefs: WR Marquise Brown
Matias listed the Chiefs as a potential landing spot for Brown and I love it. With the uncertainty surrounding Tyreek Hill, Brown is a perfect player to try and replicate what Hill can do on the field.
30. Green Bay Packers (via New Orleans Saints): WR A.J. Brown
Can you tell that my goal as temporary GM for the Packers is to give Rodgers all the offensive talent he could ask for? Brown has tools to immediately make an impact and can be a productive receiver over the middle of the field (something that’s been seriously lacking in Green Bay). Put him in the slot, Davante Adams on the outside and Fant coming from the tight end position and have yourself a day.
31. Los Angeles Rams: OL Garrett Bradbury
John Sullivan doesn’t seem to be coming back to LA but Bradbury will do just fine as a replacement. Bradbury has the strength and technique to be stout in the run game while also an anchor in the passing game.
32. New England Patriots: DL Dexter Lawrence
No one will ever replace Gronk so why try? Instead of taking a guy like Irv Smith Jr., whom I’m sure is a really great guy and good player, I’m putting my resources towards bolstering a defensive line that’s lost Trey Flowers and Malcolm Brown in free agency. Lawrence will come in day one as a dominate run stuffer and has the potential to develop into an elite pass rusher as well. I’ll happily take a flier on that upside at the end of the first round.