Updated: April 22, 2019
1. Arizona Cardinals: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
I’d be hard-pressed to believe the Cardinals are willing to give up on Josh Rosen so quickly. Granted, I was a big Rosen guy last year and personally believe he’d be the top quarterback in this year’s class. Allowing my biases to sway me, I’ll give the Cardinals what I think is the “right” pick.
Nick Bosa is an incredible prospect with a well-rounded skill set. He has great quickness and dominating power as a rusher. Bosa’s awareness is another positive of his game. The Cardinals signed Brooks Reed and Terrell Suggs this offseason, but both are over 30. I imagine they want to add a long-term EDGE rusher to play opposite of Chandler Jones.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama
This pick leaves the 49ers in an awkward spot. They’ve invested heavily in their defensive line in recent drafts and are more in need of a pass rusher as opposed to another lineman. But, I feel the gap between Quinnen Williams and Josh Allen is too steep to select the latter over the former.
Quinnen Williams has all-pro potential. Essentially any trait describing his game has a positive adjective in front of it. Williams was in constant demand of double-teams at Alabama thanks to his size, quickness, and strong mixture of pass rushing moves. He deserves credit for staying steady throughout games and maintaining a reputation as a hardworking lineman.
3. New York Jets: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
The Jets are slowly improving this offseason, but there’s still work to be done. The Jets have a lot of intriguing options with this pick. They have the potential to trade down and add TJ Hockenson or Jonah Williams/Jawaan Taylor to bolster their support system around Sam Darnold. If they should stay put, I see them going pass rusher. Their pressure on defense was abysmal and only mustered middling 39 sacks this past season.
Josh Allen brings a lot to the table with his speed jumping out right away. Allen isn’t solely reliant on his quickness for success as a rusher. He has a diverse group of moves and his power is on display frequently. He’s comfortable dropping into coverage and does a great job getting his hands up on plays he’s blocked out of.
4. Oakland Raiders: Devin White, LB, LSU
If this was 2009 I’d make the tired joke about the Raiders solely drafting someone because of their athleticism. But it’s not, and the Raiders are in desperate need of talent at linebacker. Both Brandon Marshall and Vontaze Burfict are merely stopgaps. With three picks in the first round, it’d be surprising if they didn’t select either White or Devin Bush in the first round.
I’m more bearish on Devin White than some, but I certainly see the upside of him. His speed is incredible and fits perfectly with today’s game. He’s intelligent and was comfortable dropping into coverage. I’m just worried about his tackling. If he continues to arm-tackle at the next level, this pick could be a major misfire for Oakland.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ed Oliver, DL, Houston
It’s not a secret that Tampa Bay’s defense was dreadful last year. They lack depth at many positions and in particular their defensive line needs special attention.
Ed Oliver would offer a much-needed boost to their defense. Teams will be willing to ignore his size because of his playmaking ability he displayed constantly throughout games. Oliver lived in the backfield and has a scary combination of speed and power.
6. New York Giants: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
I’ll give the Giants the benefit of the doubt and choose to believe they don’t really see Eli Manning as their quarterback for the next couple of seasons. This isn’t the greatest quarterback class in the world, but there’s certainly talent with franchise potential.
Kyler Murray unsurprisingly is the most dynamic quarterback in the draft. His improv skills were unmatched in college and he has the arm strength and accuracy you want out of a quarterback. Assuming the Giants are comfortable with his size, he’d be another exciting offensive piece to pair with Saquon Barkley.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: TJ Hockenson, TE, Iowa
This is a pick the Jaguars shouldn’t overthink. Their tight end play was terrible last year and you’d imagine they have their minds set on surrounding newly-signed Nick Foles with some offensive talent.
TJ Hockenson was one of the most enjoyable prospects to watch. There were times it almost seemed unfair to throw to him; he was that dominate. Hockenson is a well-rounded prospect who’s strong in blocking and has exceptional hands. He’s also a threat after the catch, often times requiring multiple guys to bring him down.
8. Detroit Lions: Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama
With TJ Lang retiring, the Lions are likely to look for a replacement as opposed to relying on Kenny Wiggins again. Wiggins struggled last year filling in for an injured Lang.
Jonah Williams is a refined offensive line prospect. He’s capable of playing either tackle or guard. Williams has great technique and is strong in the run game. Playing in the SEC, he’s had plenty of experience against some of the top defensive linemen in this year’s draft.
9. Buffalo Bills: Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson
Star Lotulelei is a solid lineman and does a good job plugging up the middle. But, it was evident watching the Bills that they struggled to get consistent interior pressure.
One of my favorite prospects in the draft, Christian Wilkins was a headache for opposing offenses. Wilkins is an active defensive lineman with great awareness. He was a threat both through creating pressure and batting down balls at the line of scrimmage (15 times during his career).
10. Denver Broncos: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Denver can be difficult to get a grasp of. It’s feasible they believe Joe Flacco is a fine option at quarterback for next season. After all, their defense is strong and they just need average quarterback play to be a potential wildcard team. Still, I do feel it’s fair to assume that either this year or next year the Broncos will take another crack at finding their quarterback of the future.
Dwayne Haskins is my number one quarterback of the draft. He’s raw, but he has most of the tools you want out of a quarterback. His accuracy is great and he has terrific ball placement. Haskins also has an NFL arm. He’s certainly a risk with only one year of film, but I found it encouraging to see his continued growth throughout the season.
11. Cincinnati Bengals: Jawaan Taylor, OL, Florida
Even after re-signing Bobby Hart, the Bengals should look towards bolstering their offensive line. Right tackle was a major issue for them this past season and could limit their playoff chances next year if it goes unaddressed in the draft.
Jawaan Taylor has one of the best physical profiles in the draft with particular emphasis on his athleticism. Taylor’s an experienced lineman who blocks with pure power. He’s one of the top pass-blocking tackles in this year’s class.
12. Green Bay Packers: Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
With Clay Matthews and Nick Perry gone, EDGE rusher will be a top need for the Packers. Ted Thompson’s a huge fan of quickness and Brian Burns seems like the ideal prospect for Green Bay.
Brian Burns is a fluid defender who is effective in creating pressure through inside and outside rushes. He has a beautiful swim move and has little difficulty separating from linemen. Burns is an intelligent defender and is comfortable reading a quarterback as well.
13. Miami Dolphins: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
With Cameron Wake leaving in free agency, the Dolphins will be looking for his replacement. Their current group of pass rushers doesn’t offer much and places a sense of urgency in addressing the position.
Montez Sweat’s heart condition is a scary issue. If teams are comfortable with his long-term outlook as a pro, he’s a no-brainer in the first round. Sweat’s a long defender with a great initial burst. He has the strength to shed blockers and was efficient in reading plays. He’s not the most fluid defender though, and his play style can be a bit clunky at times. He’ll also have to work on diversifying his moves as he tended to be too reliant on his speed.
14. Atlanta Falcons: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
The Falcons have the talent to be a playoff team, but it’s a matter of keeping Matt Ryan upright. They’re in for a rude awakening if they think starting Ty Sambrailo at right tackle is going to cut it.
Andre Dillard has some work to do in regards to his technique. Overall, he has the tools to be a cornerstone piece of any offensive line. Dillard’s a high-effort tackle whose athleticism pairs nicely with his domineering size. He can be an instant starter for the Falcons at right tackle.
15. Washington Redskins: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
It shouldn’t take a long look at the Redskins quarterback room to realize they’ll need to address the position sooner rather than later.
Drew Lock is a risk, to say the least. It’s clear he has the tools: strong arm, athletic, great size, and a passion for football. On the flipside, he has dreadful pocket presence, wild ball placement, and a tendency to hold onto the ball for far too long. It’s encouraging to see his continual progress over the course of his college career, but he still has a long ways to go.
16. Carolina Panthers: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
The Panthers are in need of depth at cornerback. Ross Cockrell suffered a gruesome leg injury and is still a bit of a question mark. If the Panthers suffer any other injuries to their cornerback group their pass defense has the potential to be dreadful.
Greedy Williams is a mixed bag as a prospect. There are obvious concerns about his toughness. It’s also difficult to ignore how often he tended to fade as games went along. If he can stay motivated, he has real potential to be the next shutdown corner. He’s shown plenty of instances where he excels in pass coverage and his length is ideal as well.
17. New York Giants: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
The New York Giants front seven as a whole needs to be improved. Their defense had a disappointing 30 sacks last season, which ranked them as one of the bottom three teams in the league. An EDGE rusher is a likely option at either of their first round picks.
Clelin Ferrell can be a game changer in the NFL. He has a great motor and a strong initial burst. His intelligence as a defender in on display constantly. He capable of contributing on run defense and even did a solid job of covering guys in the backfield to cut off any potential checkdowns for quarterbacks.
18. Minnesota Vikings: Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma
The Minnesota Vikings are in an awkward spot with their offensive line. There are some murmurs that they may be willing to push Riley Reif inside to guard, but I feel Reif is better suited staying outside. Fortunately, there’s a couple of versatile offensive line prospects in this year’s class for Minnesota.
Cody Ford would offer a big boost to Minnesota’s interior blocking. He’s a nice athlete and very effective as a pass blocker. His toughness is on display on any run play as he’s capable of just powering over opposing linemen.
19. Tennessee Titans: Garrett Bradbury, OL, NC State
Marcus Mariota struggled to stay on his feet last season and continued poor line play could really rattle his confidence as a quarterback. The Titans made a nice pickup in Rodger Saffold but would be wise to add another interior lineman to pair with him.
Garrett Bradbury is one of the top center prospects in the draft. He has terrific mobility and is stellar in pass coverage. He’s not the most physical blocker so he may need help against bigger linemen.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
Ever since Ryan Shazier’s injury, linebacker has been a pressing need for the Steelers. This isn’t the strongest linebacker class so Pittsburgh would be wise to be aggressive in pursuing either Devin White or Devin Bush.
A favorite of mine, Devin Bush did a terrific job of overcoming his small stature. Bush has great speed and was effective as a blitzer. He’s a strong tackle, comfortable in coverage, and fundamentally sound. With the game relying more on speed, I think Bush will be capable of overcoming his size and become a reliable three-down linebacker.
21. Seattle Seahawks: Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan
There have been rumors swirling that the Seahawks are considering trading Frank Clark. Assuming it’s true, they’d need to look for a replacement early. An even if it isn’t the case, Seattle doesn’t have a particularly strong option to play opposite of Clark.
There’s a lot to love and a lot to hate about Rashan Gary. He has the size and athleticism all coaches desire. His initial burst and closing speed are top level and Gary’s reliable in run defense. The tools are there, but he really needs to refine his craft as a pass rusher. Too often he relies purely on his speed and offers little in regards to hand-fighting or countermoves.
22. Baltimore Ravens: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
With the Ravens moving all in on Lamar Jackson, it only makes sense to surround him with talent. It may come as a surprise that I don’t have them going DK Metcalf here, but typically the Ravens avoid prospects with injury histories. Metcalf’s neck may be enough to scare them away.
N’Keal Harry seems like an ideal fit for Baltimore’s offense. He’s a tough and physical receiver who’s capable of making catches in traffic. His speed and power also make him a threat after the catch. The Ravens will also appreciate his ability as a run-blocker as well.
23. Houston Texans: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
The Texans secondary is in desperate need of help. Houston added Bradley Roby in free agency; however, he struggled in Denver this past season. They’ll likely look towards adding some insurance in case Roby’s struggles continue.
Byron Murphy is terrific in pass coverage. Regularly shadowing his opponent, Murphy has fantastic instincts. He was able to snag four interceptions in 2018 and was a major threat with the ball in his hands. I would like to see him improve his tackling though, I felt it could be a little finesse at times.
24. Oakland Raiders: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
With Jared Cook heading to New Orleans the Raiders will have to spend some of their draft capital on his future replacement. It was evident how much Carr leaned on him last season, so it’d be difficult to see Oakland’s offense having any success without a competent tight end.
Drops remain a concern for Noah Fant, but I see a lot of teams looking past that because of his physical profile. He has incredible speed and athleticism which makes him a major threat after the catch. Fant is a competent blocker and is capable of splitting out wide as well. He has the potential to be the centerpiece of a great offense.
25. Philadelphia Eagles: Jeffery Simmons, DL, Mississippi State
Fletcher Cox is one of the premier linemen in the NFL, but outside of him, the Eagles don’t have a ton of depth. Philadelphia is at their best when they’re able to rotate linemen and keep their best guys fresh.
This pick kind of contradicts what I just said, because Jeffery Simmons is recovering from an ACL tear. But, at pick 25 someone with the talent of Simmons may be too difficult to pass up. He’s a fantastic hand fighter and maintains separation from opposing linemen. He’s strong as a tackler and his size made him a constant candidate for double-teams.
26. Indianapolis Colts: Dexter Lawrence, DL, Clemson
Chris Ballard has stated that he wants the Colts to be known for their defensive and offensive lines. He knocked it out of the park with the Quenton Nelson selection last year, so I expect him to hope for the same results, only this time with a big-bodied defensive lineman.
Dexter Lawrence’s size is incredible and he can just drive opposing linemen at will. He has surprising quickness and deserves credit for having a consistent motor which can be rare for someone of his stature. I would like to see him diversify his countermoves instead of relying solely on his strength.
27. Oakland Raiders: Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State
The Raiders moved on from Donald Penn and Kelechi Osemele this offseason, so I’d have to assume they’ll look to bolster their offensive line with one of their many first round picks.
Capable of playing all three positions, Dalton Risner is one of the most versatile prospects in the draft. Risner is a tough blocker with sound technique. He’s strong in pass protection and powerful in run blocking. An instant day one starter for the Raiders.
28. Los Angeles Chargers: Chris Lindstrom, OL, Boston College
The Chargers are likely to focus on adding to their offensive line this year, in particular in hopes of finding their long term solution at center. They may potentially need some help at guard as well, so versatility will be key.
Chris Lindstrom is capable of playing either guard or center for the Chargers. Lindstrom’s a great athlete and packs a strong punch as a blocker. He’s an intelligent player whose physical ability should allow him to overcome his lack of length.
29. Kansas City Chiefs: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
The Chiefs secondary is in desperate need of revamping and they weren’t able to make much noise in free agency. Kansas City will be looking for a tough and physical corner at the bottom of the first.
Deandre Baker’s a nice and well-rounded cornerback prospect. He’s great in coverage and comfortable hand fighting with receivers. His closing speed is great and does an outstanding job of watching the quarterback without losing his man. He’d be a huge upgrade for Kansas City.
30. Green Bay Packers: DK Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
The Packers went with a couple of mid-round receivers last year. While they weren’t awful, I’d have to imagine they’ll be looking for more of a blue-chip prospect in this year’s draft.
DK Metcalf needs little introduction. His combine made a lot of noise, both good and bad. Watching him, you certainly understand the hype. His combo of speed and power is evident right away. He’s one of the most dangerous receivers in the open field and would pair nicely with Davante Adams.
31. Los Angeles Rams: Erik McCoy, OL, Texas A&M
The Los Angeles Rams offensive line is beginning to age, so they’re likely to look for some fresh talent to develop for the future. The loss of Rodger Saffold also places a heavy emphasis on adding a guard early.
Capable of playing either guard or center, Erik McCoy brings great versatility to any offensive line. Another SEC linemen that’s had plenty of experience going against some of the best prospects in the draft. McCoy has great athleticism and power as a blocker and is capable of being a day one starter in the NFL.
32. New England Patriots: AJ Brown, WR, Ole Miss
It’s an understatement to say the Patriots are thin at receiver. Demaryius Thomas was a recent signing, but he’s coming off of his 2nd Achilles injury and is in his 30s. It’s no guarantee he can be an effective receiver for New England.
AJ Brown has a nice set of skills. He’s a good route runner and displayed great body control at Ole Miss. Despite not being the biggest receiver, he was comfortable grabbing the ball in contested coverage. Brown was also regularly a threat after the catch.