Update: April 25, 2019
1. Arizona Cardinals: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
I have to give the Browns and Cardinals credit, back to back years where we have no idea who’s going number one. I got the first pick wrong last year and probably will this year. But, I’m sticking Nick Bosa at one. I’m keeping the faith with Rosen and Nick Bosa would be a great compliment to Chandler Jones. Bosa’s quickness, power, and strength as a pass rusher gives you a lot to love.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama
This pick could get weird. I wanted to give the 49ers Josh Allen because it fills a more pressing need, but I feel Quinnen Williams and Nick Bosa are the two “can’t miss” prospects. Playing alongside DeForest Buckner, Williams should have an immediate impact his rookie season. He’s a high effort lineman with an incredible mixture of quickness and power.
3. New York Jets: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
If the Jets stay put I’d be surprised if they didn’t go defense at number three. There’s some Ed Oliver talk out there, but many speculate it to be a smokescreen. Whether it’s edge rusher or defensive line, New York’s defense needs some juice. Josh Allen can be a cornerstone piece on defense. Allen’s capable of dropping into coverage and obviously thrives as a rusher. His play speed is out of this world good and he has a nice set of countermoves. He lacks discipline at times but the tools are there to be the next big pass rusher.
4. Oakland Raiders: Ed Oliver, DL, Houston
The Raiders have to address nearly all aspects of their defense this year. Bolstering their defensive line makes the most sense because of how often they struggled to create pressure. An undersized but ferocious defender, Ed Oliver would be an instant impact player for the Raiders. Oliver was a constant playmaker at Houston who lived in the backfield. He was a phenomenal tackler whose quickness is tough to match.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Devin White, LB, LSU
A linebacking group that was already struggling got even worse this offseason after losing Kwon Alexander. Linebacker is rather thin in this year’s draft so Tampa Bay may be aggressive early to solidify the position. Devin White’s speed separates him instantly from most linebackers and makes him a perfect fit for today’s game. White also displayed great intelligence and was comfortable in pass coverage. Assuming he can clean up his tackling, White can be a special player.
6. New York Giants: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Most assume the Giants will grab their quarterback of the future in this year’s draft; with Kyler Murray being the dream scenario. Assuming teams are comfortable with his stature, Murray has the tools to be a good pro. He’s capable of making plays with his feet (solid at avoiding brutal hits), has a strong arm, and displayed good accuracy as well. He some minor flaws as passer though. I particularly want to see him improve his placement and lead his receivers better in the NFL.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama
The Jaguars offensive line struggled this past season. There’s the obvious assumption they’ll strengthen their line to improve Foles’s chances of success in Jacksonville. A versatile and refined prospect, Jonah Williams can step in immediately at either tackle or guard. Williams’s technique is some of the strongest in the draft and he was a reliable blocker in both the pass and run game.
8. Detroit Lions: TJ Hockenson, TE, Iowa
Eric Ebron failed in Detroit so there’s a chance they may be gunshy about another tight end early. But, I feel it’d be difficult to pass on someone like Hockenson after watching him. He’s easily the most complete tight end in the draft. A force as a blocker and a pass-catcher. Hockenson was also one of the toughest tackles in college football.
9. Buffalo Bills: Jawaan Taylor, OL, Florida
The obvious goal of any team after drafting a young quarterback is to protect him. Jawaan Taylor is one of the most athletic tackles in the draft and would start right away at right tackle for Buffalo. Taylor pairs his athleticism with intimidating power. This combination helps make him one of the top pass blocker in this year’s class.
10. Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
Denver invested a lot of time and energy in scouting this year’s group of quarterbacks. You can make the argument that Joe Flacco is a capable starter for a couple of years so Denver can take a chance on a raw prospect. Drew Lock has some great traits such as a lightning quick release, great athleticism, and a passion for football. However, he still has loads to improve upon with an emphasis on his pocket presence and awareness.
11. Cincinnati Bengals: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Andy Dalton has tailed off and Cincinnati may be looking for a fresh face at quarterback. Dwayne Haskins is comfortably my top quarterback in this year’s draft. There’s certainly the risk of him having only a year of film, but I can appreciate his growth throughout the season. If anything a year on the bench behind Dalton may benefit him. Haskins has a good arm and is accurate as well.
12. Green Bay Packers: Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
I’d be surprised if the Packers don’t go pass rusher with one of their first round picks. They made a couple of nice signings in Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith, but the importance of getting to the quarterback cannot be stressed enough. Brian Burns is an athletic pass rusher with a great first step. Burns also has great intelligence as a defender and a diverse set of rushes/countermoves.
13. Miami Dolphins: Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson
The Miami Dolphins ranked near the bottom of the league at run defense last year. An early pick to address their interior line makes sense at 13, especially if Christian Wilkins slides this far. Wilkins is one of my favorite defensive prospects. His athleticism, power, and energy levels make him so difficult to block. He also has outstanding awareness and was fantastic at getting his hands up to make passes more difficult for the quarterback.
14. Atlanta Falcons: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
The Falcons came into the offseason thin at cornerback depth and made no moves to alleviate the issue in free agency. Greedy Williams is up there as one of the most debated prospects in the draft. There’s no denying his talent. When he’s going 100%, he has clear shutdown corner potential. His length, athleticism, and coverage skills are all that you want out of a corner. But, there’s been multiple cases where he tended to fade as games went on and allow easy passes he’s capable of defending. If a team’s confident they can motivate him, Williams has huge potential.
15. Washington Redskins: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
Josh Norman is in his 30s and Quinton Dunbar will be entering the 2019 season coming off a season-ending leg injury, so depth at corner is warranted. From a coverage perspective, Byron Murphy is probably the most pro-ready corner in the draft. Murphy’s comfortable following the quarterback’s eyes and made multiple big plays on third downs and late-game situations. I do want to see him improve his physicality though. I wasn’t terribly impressed with his tackling or ability to shed blockers.
16. Carolina Panthers: Andre Dillard, OL, Washington State
Protecting Cam Newton will be a top priority for Carolina after what happened to their season after his injury. Andre Dillard’s a high upside tackle with incredible size and athleticism. He’s a high-energy player with a strong blocking style. His technique is a little raw but that’s largely due to the offense he’s coming out of.
17. New York Giants: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
This pick remains the same because of how atrocious New York’s pass rush was last year. Clelin Ferrell would provide an immediate boost to New York’s defense. His physicality as a defender is incredible and he plays with great intelligence. Ferrell’s motor is what you want out of an EDGE rusher and he does the little things well like cutting off the checkdown for quarterbacks.
18. Minnesota Vikings: Garrett Bradbury, OL, NC State
Minnesota’s offensive line was dreadful last year and is clearly limiting them. Interior line is a particularly glaring need for the Vikings who will likely go best offensive linemen available at 18. Garrett Bradbury has day-one starter potential. He’s an athletic center with great strength as a blocker. Selecting Bradbury will allow them to slide Pat Elfein to guard who has experience at the position from his time at Ohio State.
19. Tennessee Titans: Dexter Lawrence, DL, Clemson
Tennessee needs a serious boost to the interior of their defensive line. Dexter Lawrence is a massive nose tackle with surprising quickness. Lawrence uses his size to his advantage and is capable of just driving opposing linemen backwards. To reach another level, he’ll have to diversify his pass rush. He tended to rely too heavily on his power to create pressure.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
I personally have Devin Bush ranked above Devin White. He may be undersized, but I feel his intelligence and play style allowed him to overcome it. Bush was used multiple ways at Michigan and was effective as a blitzer thanks to his quickness. He’s great at recognizing plays and has strong closing speed. Bush was also comfortable dropping into coverage and was a much stronger tackler than White. He’d be a slam dunk at 20 for a team that’s had a huge hole at linebacker for a couple of years.
21. Seattle Seahawks: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
Fresh off of re-signing Russell Wilson, the Seahawks will look to surround him with more weapons. N’Keal Harry is a strong and physical receiver who is not afraid to make catches in traffic. Harry has terrific hands and makes solid adjustments on passes which allow him to overcome his lack of elite speed. He’ll also earn coaches respect for his effort as a run blocker.
22. Baltimore Ravens: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
The Ravens usually aren’t huge on drafting guys with an injury history, but they may make an exception for Hollywood. By far my favorite receiver in the draft, Brown brings a lot to the table. He’s a strong route runner with elite speed which makes him one of the most dangerous players in the open field. He makes perfect sense for a team going all in on Lamar Jackson.
23. Houston Texans: Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma
The Texans need to invest some serious resources into protecting Deshaun Watson. Cody Ford is capable of playing either tackle or guard in the NFL. He’s a great athlete with domineering size. Ford’s a power blocker who can absolutely dominate opposing linemen.
24. Oakland Raiders: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Texas A&M
Montez Sweat would be a steal at 24 for the Raiders. Sweat has the ideal skill set for a pass rusher. He’s very long and plays with power. Sweat displayed a strong initial burst and did an excellent job of reading plays as they developed. He has some technical aspects of his game to clean up, but the tools are there.
25. Philadelphia Eagles: Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan
The Eagles are always fans of having a deep defensive line rotation. Rashan Gary has some medical red flags, hence the drop, but I still feel he’s likely to go in the first round. Gary’s first step and athleticism jump out right away. These traits allow his speed rushes to be extremely effective and he has terrific closing speed. I would like to see Gary diversify his countermoves to better increase in production in the NFL.
26. Indianapolis Colts: DK Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
The Colts could use an upgrade at number two receiver. DK Metcalf is a physical specimen who is an absolute beast in the open field. His size, speed, and physicality make him a very tough cover. He’s still a little raw and requires some patience, but the upside’s there if he can improve his hands and technique.
27. Oakland Raiders: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
Oakland may look towards surrounding Derek Carr with some new weapons to improve upon his tough 2018 campaign. Noah Fant is an extremely athletic tight end who was comfortable lining out wide or playing inline. He did struggle with drops during his career which may be a cause for concern for some teams.
28. Los Angeles Chargers: Jerry Tillery, DL, Notre Dame
The Chargers could use a couple of upgrades to their defensive line. Jerry Tillery is a long defensive line who uses his strength to create pressure. He packs a strong punch which allows him to maintain separation from opposing linemen. He’s still a bit raw and will need to improve his technique and leverage to become a better player.
29. Seattle Seahawks: Chase Winovich, EDGE, Michigan
With the Frank Clark trade, pass rusher becomes a pressing need for Seattle. If I wanted to go the NFL cliche route, I’d talk about Chase Winovich’s grit. And hey, he’s got a lot of it. Winovich isn’t the most athletically gifted rusher but he’s sound in technique and does an exceptional job diagnosing plays. He won’t set the league on fire, but he should be a reliable player on any defense.
30. Green Bay Packers: AJ Brown, WR, Ole Miss
The Packers may want a more reliable receiver to pair with Davante Adams instead of a couple of mid-round players. AJ Brown was very effective at creating separation at Ole Miss. Brown was also great at positioning and body control. I’m a fan of his route running and he was a dangerous player in the open field. I do want to see more sustained effort out of him, he had a tendency to take broken plays off.
31. Los Angeles Rams: Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State
The Rams lost a couple of offensive linemen to free agency this year. Dalton Risner is a versatile lineman who is capable of playing all three positions. Risner’s sound fundamentally and was effective in all phases as a blocker. His power as a blocker allows him to control opposing linemen with ease.
32. New England Patriots: Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
Deebo Samuel has some of the best hands in the draft. Samuel’s effort is incredible and he’s more than willing to make catches in heavy traffic. He’s an insanely competitive receiver who also did a great job getting yards after the catch. He’ll have to clean up his route running some; but with the receiving group the Patriots have now, he should be an instant contributor.