Maldo’s Mock Draft 2.0

Justin Maldonado

The 2019 offseason has seen some major shake-ups across the entire league. A variety of NFL teams have gotten elite reinforcements since our last mock via trade or free agency. This will affect how teams decide to use their draft pick, but some teams have done nothing to change my opinion. I think one team will look to be aggressive in finding their franchise cornerstone under center.

1st Overall Pick: Arizona Cardinals Select Kyler Murray – QB – Oklahoma

When Texas Tech’s head coach Kliff Kingsbury said that he would take Heisman winner Kyler Murray 1st overall as the coach of Texas Tech, he had to be fully aware of the opportunity presented when choosing the Cardinals job. The Cardinals will do whatever it takes to improve after having the league’s worst record and provide Kingsbury the talent he wants to succeed. Rosen doesn’t have the vote of confidence after an unconvincing rookie season either.

2nd Overall Pick: San Francisco 49ers Select Nick Bosa – DE – Ohio State

The 49ers acquired and extended Dee Ford for the next five years, but that won’t stop them from taking the consensus best player in the draft, Nick Bosa. Bosa would give San Francisco an elite edge rusher for the first time since Aldon Smith. Despite being a rotational pass-rusher in his early years at Ohio State and playing only three games this season, his impact was felt at the college level. Bosa should expect double-teams out the gate in the NFL.

3rd Overall Pick: New York Giants (Traded via Jets) Select Dwayne Haskins – QB – Ohio State

The Giants try to make amends after passing on four quarterbacks last year, by trading up to secure their quarterback for the future. After trading Odell Beckham Jr. to the Browns, they will have another first rounder to bolster their roster. Dwayne Haskins raised his stock enormously at the end of the 2018 season, en route to finishing with 50 touchdowns to only 8 picks as a first-year starter. The Giants agree on terms with their New York rival to ensure landing Eli Manning’s successor.

4th Overall Pick: Oakland Raiders Select Quinnen Williams – DT – Alabama

The chances of landing a Khalil Mack in any draft are slim, but why not get the next Aaron Donald? Quinnen Williams was a dominant 3-tech on the Alabama line, and his burst at over 300 pounds is incredible. Gruden could end up with the best player in this year’s draft as interior pressure is more valued now than ever. He’s flirted with the idea of taking Murray or Haskins, but they’ll both be gone thanks to the Giants bold move.

5th Overall Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Select Josh Allen – OLB – Kentucky

Allen made substantial development in 2018 at Kentucky, improving his totals in tackles, tackles for a loss, sacks, and forced fumbles from the year prior. With numerous National Defensive Player of the Year awards under his belt, his ceiling is immense. The Bucs were tied for the 19th-most sacks last season and could pair someone up with Jason Pierre-Paul for the rest of his prime.

6th Overall Pick: New York Jets Select Montez Sweat – DE – Mississippi State

After trading down, the Jets obtained extra draft capital and still get to draft a stud edge rusher with immense upside in Montez Sweat with the Giants former pick. The news of a heart condition shouldn’t affect his stock from soaring after breaking the 40-yard dash record amongst defensive lineman at the combine. The Jets will need to cultivate the pass-rushing skills of the long and freakishly athletic Sweat if they want the best out of him.

7th Overall Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars select Jawaan Taylor – OT – Florida

The Jags could use pass rush help, but with the best three prospects off the board already they give new quarterback Nick Foles the necessary protection. Jawaan Taylor is the best lineman in this year’s draft and can move people with ease in the run game for Leonard Fournette as well. Taylor played in every game as a Gator and will provide the kind of stability along the offensive line Jacksonville needs.

8th Overall Pick: Detroit Lions Select Rashan Gary – DE – Michigan

Despite underwhelming production at Michigan last year, the physical tools of height, weight, and speed have always been there for Rashan Gary. He has a bad tendency to rely on his explosive bull rush, but with the Lions letting Ziggy Ansah walk, Gary could prosper with newly-signed Trey Flowers on the opposite side.

9th Overall Pick: Buffalo Bills Select Ed Oliver – DT – Houston

With the recent retirement of Kyle Williams, Buffalo should look to beef up the interior after losing their starter for the last 13 years. Ed Oliver is already accustomed to double-teams and his nonstop motor allows him to make plays in both the passing and run game. Oliver’s amazing burst on the snap makes up for being slightly undersized.

10th Overall Pick: Denver Broncos Select Drew Lock – QB – Missouri

The buzz surrounding Broncos GM John Elway and his infatuation for Drew Lock’s rocket right arm is growing daily. Denver was already able to address the offensive line and cornerback issues in free agency, and with Joe Flacco, they can develop a young quarterback for a year behind a Super Bowl MVP.

11th Overall Pick: Cincinnati Bengals Select Devin White – ILB – LSU

The Bengals could use speed on defense, and Devin White has been displaying explosive sideline-to-sideline play the last two seasons in Baton Rouge. Registering over 120 tackles in two straight years; he could play every snap on defense for Cincinnati. White is one of the safer picks with low potential to bust.

12th Overall Pick: Green Bay Packers Select Cody Ford – OT/G – Oklahoma

Green Bay chose to fill their needs on the defensive side of the ball with proven veterans in free agency. They’ll tackle their offensive line woes with an instant starter for years to come, Cody Ford. He got plenty of experience starting games the last 3 years and helped keep a clean pocket for Kyler Murray.

13th Overall Pick: Miami Dolphins Select Jonah Williams – OT – Alabama

No matter who’s under center, it seems like they can’t stay healthy for Miami. Losing their starting tackle Ja’Wuan James won’t help Ryan Fitzpatrick at all. But drafting Jonah Williams could, who’s spent the last three years keeping his quarterback upright for Alabama. The Dolphins will hope a good enough quarterback prospect falls to them at 13th but will settle for a pro bowl caliber lineman.

14th Overall Pick: Atlanta Falcons Select Christian Wilkins – DT – Clemson

The Falcons decided to franchise-tag Grady Jarrett, but they wouldn’t have to extend him big bucks if they line him up with Wilkins this season. He could start from day one. He also knows what it takes to close out the big game, beating Alabama twice in the National Championship.

15th Overall Pick: Washington Redskins Select DK Metcalf – WR – Ole Miss

Washington hasn’t had a pro bowl wide receiver since Santana Moss in 2005. A red-zone monster in the making standing at 6’3, DK Metcalf also possesses lethal 4.33 speed. Not many defensive backs will want to stand in front of him. Metcalf’s best at physically dominating his opposing matchup, but will need to develop his route tree to strive at the next level.

16th Overall Pick: Carolina Panthers Select Clelin Ferrell – DE – Clemson

Carolina generated only 35 sacks last year, and Julius Peppers their franchise sack leader just retired. The Panthers replace Peppers with another stalwart in Clelin Ferrell. With consistent production the last three years in the ACC, the 2-time National Champion was the most impactful on the stacked Clemson line. Ferrell could be a double-digit sack contributor immediately for Carolina.

17th Overall Pick: New York Giants Select Brian Burns – DE – FSU

The Giants use their pick from the Browns to take Brian Burns, after moving on from defensive ends Olivier Vernon and Jason Pierre-Paul in consecutive years. His speed and length is enough for New York to select him here, with an explosive get-off. His lack of strength leaves Burns with plenty of room to improve, but he’s shown enough ability to rotate on passing downs.

18th Overall Pick: Minnesota Vikings Select Andre Dillard – OT – Washington State

Kirk Cousins needs a lot around him to succeed, and beefing up the O-line should only benefit him. The Vikings are loaded on defense, and with left tackles being a premium, Andre Dillard is the selection to make. Dillard is one of the more agile tackles in the draft and knows how to use his length in pass-protection. He can provide the support needed to help Cousins get his first playoff victory.

19th Overall Pick: Tennessee Titans Select T.J. Hockenson – TE – Iowa

Marcus Mariota’s favorite target since joining the Titans has always been Delanie Walker, who turns 35 soon and is coming off a season-ending broken ankle in week 1. The Titans can get themselves a swiss army knife in tight end T.J. Hockenson to ultimately replace Walker. Hockenson would improve the overall quality of the offense with his natural receiving ability, and blocking impact in the run game. Regardless of the verdict on a Mariota extension, Tennessee will have a player worth keeping around.

20th Overall Pick: Pittsburgh Steelers Select Greedy Williams – CB – LSU

The Steelers are known for many things, none of them include fielding an above average secondary for the last decade. With Joe Haden likely a cap casualty, the Steelers draft Greedy Williams hoping he becomes the number one cornerback they desired. He showed he can mirror receivers with his lanky frame in college, and has elite NFL speed. He broke onto the scene with 6 picks in 2017 but lacks physicality in the run game.

21st Overall Pick: Seattle Seahawks Select Johnathan Abram – S – Mississippi State

The Legion of Boom is now finally a thing of the past, with Earl Thomas moving on to the Ravens, the Seahawks could take their chances on aggressive box safety Johnathan Abram. His coverage skills are limited, but he can bring the same physicality Kam Chancellor once did.

22nd Overall Pick: Baltimore Ravens Select Devin Bush – ILB – Michigan

With the Ravens unable to come to terms with C.J. Mosley, they are going to have trouble replacing someone of his caliber in the middle of their defense. Insert Devin Bush, who lacks size for an NFL linebacker, but makes up for it with the range and skills to be on the field for all three downs. He can fill the gap right away and his potential will continue to grow if he gains strength.  

23rd Overall Pick: Houston Texans Select Garrett Bradbury – C – N.C. State  

Deshaun Watson got sacked a league-leading 65 times this year, ouch. Keep in mind he is a mobile quarterback with an average frame. Garrett Bradbury is someone Houston could rely on immediately along the interior.

24th Overall Pick: Oakland Raiders (via Bears) Select Deandre Baker – CB – Georgia

The Raiders gave up the most passing touchdowns a season ago, and decide to pair up their 2017 first round cornerback Gareon Conley with Deandre Baker. Gruden will look to shut down the AFC West with this tandem. Deandre Baker isn’t the biggest corner or the fastest one, but has great versatile coverage skills.

25th Overall Pick: Philadelphia Eagles Select Josh Jacobs – RB – Alabama

The Eagles have been using running back by committee for years now. Josh Jacobs could be the answer to all their problems, especially with little tread at the college level and the potential to play all three downs. Jacobs could pose a big threat in Philly’s infamous run-pass option offense.

26th Overall Pick: Indianapolis Colts Select Dexter Lawrence – DT – Clemson

Dexter Lawrence declined in sack production but proved to be vital to the Clemson front. At nose tackle, his pass-rushing skills are more than good enough to compete at the next level. His conditioning will have to improve if he wants to be more than just a rotational rusher. The biggest need for the Colts would get easily filled.

27th Overall Pick: Oakland Raiders (via Cowboys) Select Noah Fant – TE – Iowa

After going defensive with their first two picks, the Raiders get another weapon for Carr in Noah Fant. A big play waiting to happen, Fant displayed he can beat defenses vertically in multiple ways. Not many linebackers will be fast enough to cover him, and his speed should prevent defenses from double-teaming Antonio Brown.

28th Overall Pick: Los Angeles Chargers Select Dre’mont Jones – DT – Ohio State

Dre’mont Jones earned the starting gig at Ohio State in 2016, and defenses have had to deal with his burst off the line ever since. He’s got a lot of dumbbell curls to do if he wants to make a living as a defensive tackle in the pros though.

29th Overall Pick: Kansas City Chiefs Select Byron Murphy – CB – Washington

The Chiefs have to replenish a depleted secondary after trading Marcus Peters last year, and cutting former All-Pro Eric Berry after struggling to stay healthy the last couple years. Byron Murphy possesses lockdown corner skills with great anticipation for the football. His size will be overlooked by high IQ and natural instincts.

30th Overall Pick: Green Bay Packers (via Saints) Select A.J. Brown – WR – Ole Miss

The Packers are thin when it comes to pass catchers outside of Davante Adams, especially with the losses of Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb in successive seasons. A.J. Brown can be a safety net for Aaron Rodgers as a big-bodied slot receiver that excels in yards after the catch. He’s the type of weapon that Rodgers can use to extend drives.

31st Overall Pick: Los Angeles Rams Select Jachai Polite – DE – Florida

The Rams were able to keep Dante Fowler for another year, but Jachai Polite could be a part of the Rams’ future if their gamble pays off. Polite’s film is undeniable, with a lightning-fast first step leading to 11 sacks for the Gators. But with many question marks surrounding his weight and character issues, the Rams get a steal for this kind of talent at 31.

32nd Overall Pick: New England Patriots Select Marquise Brown – WR – Oklahoma

The Patriots leading receiver was Julian Edelman, with 850 yards. Their second leading receiver was a running back, James White. And with Josh Gordon’s future unknown as he’s suspended indefinitely, the Patriots take their chances on the burner Marquise Brown. Brown has a minuscule frame but is a threat to score whenever the ball is in his hands. “Hollywood” Brown manages to still go in the first despite Lisfranc surgery.

The 2019 NFL Draft will take place in Nashville, Tennessee; and the first round will be broadcast on NFL Network and ESPN on April 25th.