The draft season is now in full swing thanks to the end of college football, the ending of the NFL season, and player declarations are coming in. It has been a while since I have made a mock draft, so I figured I would indulge in the draft communities favorite pastime. If you are curious to know what my player rankings are; check out my new expanded top 100 big board on the site. If you want to talk about any of the picks made here then be sure to follow on twitter @DanteCollinelli. This draft order is from Tankathon.com.
Pick 1: Arizona Cardinals
Selection: Nick Bosa, Edge/ Ohio State
The Cardinals are in dire need of all things offensive outside of the quarterback and running back position. With that said, however, there is no offensive lineman or outside playmakers that warrant the first overall pick. Nick Bosa is about as a sure thing as you can get when it comes to evaluating prospects. He has the speed, the power, and the smarts to be a dominant force on the edge for the next 10 years. His hand placement is something that really stands out on film because it allows him to rip tackles out of the way like they are not even there. Arizona would be adding Bosa to a depth chart that already includes Chandler Jones, Markus Golden, and Hassan Reddick. An elite pass rush would help the Cardinals turn around quicker than people think.
Pick 2: Oakland Raiders
Selection: Quinnen Williams, DT/ Alabama
Not having the first pick in this draft is a nightmare scenario for Oakland fans and management. Nick Bosa is the only player who fits a need and has the talent to warrant a top-three selection, but he is off the board here. This puts Oakland in a weird place which could lead to them trading down a couple spots for even more picks! Since I am not doing trades in this mock draft I just gave Oakland the best player on the board. Quinnen Williams was the most dominant defensive player in all of college football this year. He regularly gets into the backfield to blow up quarterbacks and running backs alike. One thing that gets overlooked with Williams is that he is just a sophomore, so he his ceiling is higher than some other D-line prospects. The Raiders already have Maurice Hurst and PJ Hall, who play the same position and were drafted last year, but Williams is the only player who makes sense with Bosa off the board.
Pick 3: New York Jets
Selection: Josh Allen, Edge/ Kentucky
The New York Jets have finally found their franchise quarterback in Sam Darnold, but they still lack a good pass rush. Ideally, if the draft happens this way I think the Jets would be motivated to trade back and collect some more picks. Allen would be a good consolation prize if the Jets could not trade back. He had 14.0 sacks and 18.5 tackles for a loss which allowed him to win the college football equivalent of the defensive player of the year award. Jordan Jenkins leads the team with seven sacks and his followed by Henry Anderson with six, who is listed as a backup on the team’s website, so needless to say the Jets could use all the help they can get for the outside rush.
Pick 4: San Francisco 49ers
Selection: Greddy Williams, CB/ LSU
The 49ers are another team who will be put into a tough situation with Bosa off the board. San Francisco could use some help at WR and IOL, but I don’t think any players from those groups are worthy of a top-five pick. This may be a reach for Greddy, but he fills a need at one of the games most important positions. Williams has the perfect size (6’3) and length to be a modern shutdown corner. He mirrors WRs well at all levels of the field and has flashed some elite ball skills when given a chance. On the 49ers current roster they have Richard Sherman, who is already 30 years old, and Ahkello Witherspoon. Sherman is playing well for his age, however, he has injury history from his time in Seattle. Witherspoon has been inconsistent at best so an upgrade is needed for the 49ers.
Pick 5: Jacksonville Jaguars
Selection: Justin Herbert, QB/ Oregon
Yes, I know that it is very unclear if Justin Herbert will declare or not. He may not know now, but if he realizes he is going in the top five I think he declares. Jacksonville sunk a lot of money into Blake Bortles and then benched him for Cody Kessler which is embarrassing. Herbert is the best quarterback in this class by a good margin in my opinion. He has a strong arm, accuracy, and mobility that will make him a coveted prospect. Herbert will give you a lot of those “wow” moments but on occasion will also leave you shaking your head. He is gonna need some development but Jacksonville has a good O-Line, Running Back, and defense making it one of the best places for Herbert. As for what Jacksonville should do with Blake Bortles; I have no clue.
Pick 6: Atlanta Falcons
Selection: Ed Oliver, DT/ Houston
We have had a lot of nightmare scenarios for teams, so finally we have a dream scenario. The Falcons have been decimated by injury along with poor play on both sides of the ball. This has put them in a position to select a premier player. Ed Oliver will remind a lot of people of Aaron Donald and for good reason. He combines speed and power into a small compact frame allowing him to disrupt plays in the backfield. Oliver has seen his stock dip a tad because of some off the field “issues” with his former head coach. It did not really bother me though, and I don’t think it will bother the NFL either. Oliver would be an instant upgrade on the Falcons D-line over players like Terrell McClain and Grady Jarrett. The young DT is a rare prospect even though he falls out of the top five in this mock draft.
Pick 7: Detroit Lions
Selection: Jachai Polite, Edge/ Florida
The run on defensive players continues as the Lions fill there biggest need with an edge defender. Polite has the best bend in this entire draft class which jumps off the screen when you watch his film. He also shows elite physical traits such as speed and athleticism on a consistent basis. Polite may not be as effective as Bosa and Allen right off the bat, but he has the most upside of any edge rusher in this draft class. The Lions only real pass rusher is Ezekiel Ansah, who will turn 30 next season. Not only is Ansah on the older side, but he also has an extensive injury history combined with inconsistent play. There are a couple of ways I could have gone with this pick, but I think Polite has the most value here in the top 10 as well as filling a need.
Pick 8: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Selection: Deionte Thompson, Safety/ Alabama
Last year Tampa passed on Derwin James, who made the Pro-Bowl this year and choose to stick with Christ Conte at safety. Well, Conte got stiff-armed by Vance Mcdonald onto the IR, and Tampa Bay still has a hole at the safety position. Enter Deionte Thompson who possesses elite range as a free safety. Thompson will get some flack from teams because of how thin his frame is, but his elite playmaking ability makes him a premier prospect. Defense in the NFL today is more about producing turnovers than actually stopping offenses. Thompson would give the Buccaneers some much-needed firepower in that area. I know some people might want a quarterback here, however, I think Tampa would be better served drafting someone they know will improve their team from day one.
Pick 9: New York Giants
Selection: Dwayne Haskins, QB/ Ohio State
If you ask me, this is a reach to take Dwayne Haskins inside of the top 10 picks. Quarterbacks always get pushed to the top despite their talent level and this year will be no different. I have heard some grumblings from Giants nation that the team might stick with Eli Manning in 2019. Everyone who believes that please raise your hand. Now if your name is either Peyton or Archie put your hand down. Haskins showed the ability to throw to all areas of the field with accuracy and touch in his first season as the starter for Ohio State. Like Justin Herbert, it is currently unknown if Haskins will declare, but teams are hoping he will. Some of the knocks on Haskins will include limited experience and poise under pressure. The Giants may be a quarterback away from winning a bad NFC East this year. Pairing Haskins with Odell and Barkley along with some offensive line upgrades could mean big things for the G-Men next season.
Pick 10: Buffalo Bills
Selection: Jonah Williams, OT/ Alabama
The Buffalo Bills have a slew of holes to fill on the offensive side of the ball, but the most glaring one is on the O-Line. Rookie quarterback Josh Allen is running for his life so much that he is breaking rushing records for QBs held by Mike Vick. Jonah Williams has started at both tackle spots in his college career and did well at both. He has great foot speed, hand placement, and a good anchor. Some scouts say Williams is more suited at guard which is fine, but his tape shows me he has the tools to be an elite left tackle. The Bills have Dion Dawkins on the roster who is decent but not much else. It might be tempting to take a WR here, however, you can not get the ball to a WR without time to throw it.
Pick 11: Green Bay Packers
Selection: Clein Ferrell, Edge/ Clemson
The Green Bay Packers should not be picking this high. This is not a team like the Bills who have a talent-deprived roster or the Falcons who have been killed by injury. The Packers have a playoff caliber roster and have been relatively healthy compared to some other teams. The Packers have already fired head coach Mike McCarthy, and now they need to kill this draft class. The Packers are currently rolling out Dean Lowery and Kenny Clark at DE. Clark has been pretty solid, but Lowery is not exactly great. Clein Ferrell is ready to go as an edge prospect for a team that is still trying to compete for the playoffs next year. Ferrell is a multi-year starter on one of the most vaunted defenses in all of college football. He will not wow you with athleticism but he will wow you with his technique and production.
Pick 12: Carolina Panthers
Selection: Noah Fant, TE/ Iowa
The Panthers would love to see Jonah Williams sitting here at pick 12, but in this mock draft, he is already gone. That leads me to give them an elite mismatch weapon with Noah Fant. If you go and google Fant’s production you will not be impressed. To really get a grasp on Fant you have to watch his tape. Fant is a speed demon for a tight end who can attack defenses down the seam at an elite level. Fant is not the best blocker in the world, but I would not consider it to be a liability like that of Mike Gesicki. Carolina currently has Ian Thomas has the starting tight end who has been less than impressive. Greg Olson has a long history of injuries, and he is getting up there in age. Cam Newton needs someone else to throw the ball to besides running back Christian McCafferty.
Pick 13: Denver Broncos
Selection: Tyler Biadez, Center/ Wisconsin
The Broncos actually do not have a lot of holes despite their record being poor. One area of need is the O-Line, so I had them reach here for my top rated IOL, Tyler Biadez. It is not known if Biadez will declare yet, but if he does everyone better watch out. Biadez is a smooth mover in the run game and has the anchor to be effective in the passing game. It easy to watch the Wisconsin offensive line and see he is the best lineman on the field. Denver currently has Connor Mcgovern, Billy Turner, and Elijah Wilkinson in the IOL. Biadez is better than all three of those players right now. I understand the demand from fans to want to replace Case Keenum, but with Herbert and Haskins off the board, Denver needs to address the O-Line.
Pick 14: Cincinnati Bengals
Selection: Devin White, LB/ LSU
It is a crime that Devin White has fallen this far because he is far and away the best LB in this class. The Bengals have mostly ignored the LB position for a couple of years now and it needs to stop. White is the fastest linebacker prospect I have seen in my short life as a “scout”. He gets sideline to sideline in the blink of an eye. One of the knocks on White coming into the season was that he struggled with diagnosing plays and then attacking. If you watch his tape this year it is easy to see that he has improved a lot in that area already. If you are wondering who Devin White would replace on the depth chart I guarantee you could not guess. It is Hardy Nickerson, who sounds like an auto-generated Madden 19 player. Pairing White with Malik Jefferson (third round pick, 2018) would give the Bengals some of the speediest linebackers in football.
Pick 15: Cleveland Browns
Selection: Trayvon Mullen, CB/ Clemson
Is it not crazy that the Browns are picking this late in a mock draft? You can thank Baker Mayfield and a midseason coaching change for that. It is nice to look at the Browns depth chart and not see like 10 different positions of need. I was torn between Trayvon Mullen and a tackle prospect but based on history I think Mullen is a safe bet. The young corner has the ideal size and technique for Cleveland’s defensive scheme. Mullen does not even have to come in and be CB 1 right away because of last year’s first-round pick Denzel Ward. Not a lot of teams have thrown at Mullen, however, his ball skills seem to be up to NFL standards when tested. I think Mullen is flying under the radar right now, but I think that will change when teams get a look at him in Indianapolis for the combine.
Pick 16: Miami Dolphins
Selection: Raekwon Davis, DT/ Alabama
If you do not know this already: I am a die-hard Miami Dolphins fan, in fact, I will be at the game this weekend against Jacksonville. It saddens me to say this, but my favorite team is a hot mess right now. Our best players are old as hell (Cam Wake, Rashard Jones, and Frank Gore) and then there is the conundrum that is Ryan Tannehill. If you ask me though, the defensive line is by far the biggest need on this team. Raekwon Davis has gotten overshadowed by Quinnen Williams this season at Alabama. In that huge shadow, Davis has put together some very good tape. He shows power at the point of attack and enough finesse to show pass rusher upside. The interior of the Dolphins D-Line currently consists of Davon Godchaux and Akeem Spence as starters, both of whom have been awful. Their backups are Ziggy Hood and Sylvester Williams, both of whom were midseason pickups. Miami needs a lot of quality players out of this draft class; it is amazing they are 7-7 right now.
Pick 17: Washington Redskins
Selection: Daniel Jones, QB/ Duke
If you look at my big board you will see that I think this is a huge reach by the Redskins. With that said, they are currently starting Josh Johnson at quarterback with Mark Sanchez as his backup. Jones had an up and down season at Duke, but he showed enough NFL traits to warrant a team taking a shot on him in the first round. Jones showed the ability to be accurate on short to intermediate routes as well throwing with touch. Jones also showed that he was a decent athlete outside of the pocket much like Alex Smith who he could be replacing. My problems with Jones come down mostly to decision making and arm talent. His deep ball is not exactly accurate, and he throws the occasional interception that will make you shake your head. If you are Washington though you do not really have much of another option at this point.
Pick 18: Philadelphia Eagles
Selection: Yodny Cajuste, OT/ West Virginia
This should a dream come true for Eagles fans if the board falls this way on draft night. I know the team needs some dire help at the CB position, but they can not pass up a chance to draft a franchise tackle. Jason Peters is not getting any younger, and Carson Wentz already has a big injury history in just his second season. Cajuste has spent his career protecting the backside of Will Grier at West Virginia where he has done a damn good job. Cajuste has quick feet and a solid anchor which makes him tough to push back in the passing game. His technique also projects very well to the next level which should excite Eagles fans. If you want to wait for Peters to retire that is no problem because Cajuste can play guard in the meantime.
Pick 19: Indianapolis Colts
Selection: Rashan Gary, DT/ Michigan
Most people considered Gary to be a top 10 lock before the season started but after a rocky season the hype has cooled down. Gary might have the widest range of any player in this class because it is not hard to see some team falling in love with his upside and drafting him in the top 10. Gary works best as an interior rusher where he can use his superior athletic ability to make an impact in both the passing and rushing game. Michigan wanted to play him on the outside way too much and it hurt his stock. The Colts have turned things around pretty quickly and this pick would only help that process go faster.
Pick 20: Tennesse Titans
Selection: N’Keal Harry, WR/ Arizona State
The Titans are currently on a three-game win streak and they look much improved from earlier in the season. One hole that still remains is that of the WR spot. Corey Davis has had some moments but has been far from consistent. They released Rishard Matthews, who is on the Jets now, and Delaine Walker has too many injury concerns. N’Keal Harry is my current WR 1 in a receiver class that has a lot of question marks. Harry is 6’3 and has a wide frame which allows him to box out smaller corners for catches. He was one of the most effective after the catch WRs in all of college football despite not looking fast in straight line speed. The worry from scouts is that Harry will not be able to separate at the next level. If Harry runs well at the combine expect him to be taken higher than this.
Pick 21: Minnesota Vikings
Selection: Dalton Risner, OG/OT/ Kansas State
The Vikings are an odd team because their roster is filled with young talent on both sides of the ball, but they are losing games. If you have not heard the Vikings are paying Kurt Cousins a lot of money to be their starting quarterback right now. If you are going to invest Cousins then you have to invest in the line in front of him. Dalton Risner is one of my favorite prospects this year because of his versatility. He can play practically any spot you ask him to at a high level. I think he works best at guard because it will mask some of his athletic misgivings. Risner is fantastic in the run game consistently getting to the second level to knock out linebackers. The Vikings need all the help they can get up front right now.
Pick 22: Seattle Seahawks
Selection: David Edwards, OT/ Wisconsin
The Seahawks offensive line has improved this year by a wide margin. They can actually run the football effectively, and Russel Wilson is running for his life much less this year. To keep that momentum going the Seahawks take David Edwards. Edwards plays RT for a left-handed quarterback so essentially he plays LT. Edwards shows good hand placement as well as good movement skills in both the passing and running game. He will not blow you away with elite physical traits, but when it comes down to it Edwards will get the job done. Seattle swung and missed on Germain Ifedi, so Edwards gives them a chance to make up for that.
Pick 23: Baltimore Ravens
Selection: Montez Sweat, Edge/ Mississippi State
Up to this point, this was the pick that I had the most trouble making. You want to give Baltimore some help at WR and RB but they value just is not there. Montez Sweat would be the hopeful incumbent to Terrell Suggs spot whenever he chooses to finally hang it up and enter the hall of fame. Sweat is mean pass rusher who gets behind the line in the run game and passing game. One of the things I love about Sweat is that he has multiple pass rush moves that he can use to get the quarterback. Spins, bull rushes, and swim moves are all in his weekly film study. The Ravens certainly have bigger holes, but this is the best combination of need and value.
Pick 24: Pittsburgh Steelers
Selection: Deandre Baker, CB/ Georgia
There are a lot of good players that have fallen in this draft due to three quarterbacks being taken, but Pittsburgh will be happy with that. The Steelers are currently rolling out Joe Haden (not getting younger), Cody Sensabaugh (not very good), and Artie Burns (1st round bust) at cornerback. Deandre Baker is a big physical man to man corner with plus ball skills. Baker can mirror WRs all the way down the field which tells me he should run well enough at the combine to stay in the round one conversation. If you are asking me who my favorite corner in this draft is not who the best is I would answer Deandre Baker. The Steelers have made some really bad picks in the secondary in recent years so it would not surprise me if they make an odd pick here come draft night.
Pick 25: Oakland Raiders
Selection: Devin Bush, LB/ Michigan
This is the second of three 1st round picks for the rebuilding Raiders. This pick was acquired for Amari Cooper when he was traded to the Dallas Cowboys. Oakland has plenty of holes to fill but getting a guy like Bush would give them a true middle linebacker. Bush gets sideline to sideline quickly and makes plenty of plays in coverage. Bush is like a heat-seeking missile blowing up running backs and wide receivers alike. Bush will get pushed down some boards because he is only 6’1, but his ultra-aggressive play style along with his high football IQ should make him a first-round pick. The Raiders are currently running with Navaro Bowman and Thair Whitehead at LB, who are both ways beyond their prime.
Pick 26: New England Patriots
Selection: Dre’Mont Jones, DT/ Ohio State
The Patriots have to replace Tom Brady at some point but this is not the draft to do it. New England has always tried to invest in the defensive line and Dre’Mont Jones fits the bill. Jones is flying under the radar right now but when you put on the tape you see a top 20 talent. The young DT gets an amazing push in the pocket where he consistently collapses the pocket on quarterbacks. He showed a great burst off the line while ripping through O-lineman like they are butter. New England currently has Malcolm Brown and Lawrence Guy starting at DT so needless to say they need an upgrade. New England is another team that tends to make odd picks in round one and yet they still win every year.
Pick 27: Oakland Raiders
Selection: Byron Murphy, CB/ Washington
So the Raiders are picking again here in the first round because of the Khalil Mack trade with Chicago. Oakland desperately needs an upgrade at WR, but Byron Murphy is way too good of a player to pass up here. Murphy is more of an off zone corner than some others in this draft class. He has tremendous ball skills that he combines with elite anticipation. Byron is a bit on the small side, however, he plays bigger than he is and that is key. Denzel Ward is a great example of how Murphy can have successes at the next level. Gareon Conley has shown some signs of life, but Daryl Worley is not a player I would want guarding the boundary. The depth after those players is even worse so Murphy fills a need on a team with way too many.
Pick 28: Kansas City Chiefs
Selection: Oshane Ximenes, Edge/ Old Dominion
The Chiefs have shocked almost everyone this year due to the play of Patrick Mahomes. If you watch a Chiefs game it is easy to see that they need help on the defense. Both Dee Ford and Justin Houston have been good this year on the edge. Dee Ford is a free agent, and he is going to get paid a lot of money. Justin Houston is not exactly getting any younger, so the Chiefs need to think about the future on the edge. Ximenes is a plus athlete with a myriad of effective pass rush moves that will give offensive tackles nightmares. He comes from a smaller school so his performance at the senior bowl will be very important to his stock.
Pick 29: Houston Texans
Selection: Greg Little, OT/ Ole Miss
The Texans have shocked me so far this season by winning 10 games. They have one of the worst O-lines in all of football and yet they are still good. Greg Little has disappointed a lot of people this year, but he still brings a lot of good traits to the table. Little is a smooth mover at the tackle spot and has games where he dominates. The Texans are not really in a position to be picky about what O-lineman they take, but Little provides a lot of upside. Houston needs to focus on keeping Deshaun Watson upright as much as possible; I would not be surprised if they make multiple selections on the O-Line in this draft.
Pick 30: LA Rams
Selection: Brain Burns, Edge/ Florida State
The Rams are in an odd position when it comes to the draft. They do not have a lot of current holes but ones that will come open when older players start to regress. When the Rams traded a third-round pick for Dante Fowler JR it signaled a need at the edge position. Fowler is a free agent so that means Burns could be an instant starter. I do not have a first-round grade on Burns, but it is hard to ignore his combination of athleticism and bend. Burns has been inconsistent throughout his college career despite having great numbers this year. My issue with Burns is that I am not sure what kind of scheme he would be effective in. The Rams have enough talent to take a shot on a raw prospect though.
Pick 31: LA Chargers
Selection: Dexter Lawrence, DT/ Clemson
It is so good to see the LA Chargers healthy and playing at a high level. Eventually, they will have to replace Phillip Rivers but as I have said many times this is not the year for that. The most glaring weakness I see on their roster is at the DT position. Dexter Lawrence has returned to his old form this year after dealing with some injuries. He excels at stopping the run and moves well for his massive size. Lawrence would fit perfectly into the Chargers scheme and fill the gaps between Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. LA looks like they are gonna gear up for another run next year, so expect them to take players that are ready to play right away like Dexter.
Pick 32: Green Bay Packers
Selection: Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, WR/ Oklahoma
We talked about the Packers earlier when they made their first pick at number 11. Green Bay seems to have no intention of starting over (don’t blame them) so I mocked them a deep threat WR instead of the best player available. Brown might be the fastest player in this entire class which is really saying something. Hollywood would be a huge boost to a Packer team who has struggled to throw the deep ball this year. My only concern with Brown is his limited route running ability at the University of Oklahoma. Lincoln Riley did a great job masking Brown’s weakness, but at the NFL level, it becomes much more difficult. The only known quantity in the Packers WR room is Devante Adams so I could see Brown starting from day one with only one job: take the top off of the defense.