The NFL Draft is crucial for each and every team in the NFL. By failing to draft quality prospects, a franchise could be set-back for several years, just ask the Cleveland Browns before John Dorsey walked in the door.
With the NFL scouting combine imminent, let’s conduct a pre-combine first-round mock draft for 2019.
No. 1 Arizona Cardinals: Josh Allen, OLB Kentucky
Allen is the top-pass rusher in this draft class as he’s coming off a 17-sack season at Kentucky.
No. 2 San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa, DE Ohio State
Like Arizona, the 49ers need a pass-rusher. With Allen off the board, they should jump all over Bosa.
No. 3 New York Jets: Quinnen Williams, DT Alabama
Ever since Damon Harrison left the team following 2015, the Jets have lacked a big-time run stopper. Williams would bring that to the Big Apple.
No. 4 Oakland Raiders: Ed Oliver, DT Houston
The Raiders need their Khalil Mack replacement. With Bosa, Allen, and Williams gone Oakland should go with Oliver to be their new top run stopper and pass rusher.
No. 5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Greedy Williams, CB LSU
The Bucs need a corner desperately. The 6’3″ Williams is the top corner in this year’s draft class.
No. 6 New York Giants: Dwayne Haskins, QB Ohio State
The Giants need to find Eli Manning’s replacement. Haskins is the top pro-style quarterback in this draft and appears to be a perfect fit for the Giants offense.
No. 7 Jacksonville Jaguars: Jonah Williams, OT Alabama
With Haskins off the board, the Jags should look to upgrade the offensive tackle position by selecting the best offensive lineman in this year’s draft in Williams.
No. 8 Detroit Lions: Rashan Gary, DT/DE Michigan
The Lions need a defensive force. Gary out of Michigan can get to the quarterback and stop the run and would be popular with the in-state fans.
No. 9 Buffalo Bills: Jawaan Taylor, OT Florida
The Bills desperately need to find bodies to protect Josh Allen (not the aforementioned pass rusher). With Williams off the board, they should go with the next best offensive tackle in Taylor.
No. 10 Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, QB Missouri
Despite already having Case Keenum on the roster and trading for Joe Flacco, Denver should take a shot on senior-bowl standout Lock as their franchise quarterback going forward.
No. 11 Cincinnati Bengals: Brian Burns, OLB/DE Florida State:
The Bengals had the league’s worst defense in 2018. Every defensive rebuild starts with a pass-rush. Drafting Burns would provide Cincinnati with a pass-rusher and run stopper.
No. 12 Green Bay Packers: Clelin Ferrell, DE Clemson
The Packers lacked any sort of pass-rush in 2018. In a draft full of great pass-rushers, there’s no reason why Green Bay should not select one. Ferrell from Clemson is a perfect fit.
No. 13 Miami Dolphins: Montez Sweat, OLB/DE Mississippi State
The Dolphins are another team in need of a pass-rusher. As long as they don’t go, quarterback, they will likely take the top edge rusher on the board. In this mock, it would be Sweat.
No. 14 Atlanta Falcons: Byron Murphy, CB Washington
The Falcons let Robert Alford go and Brian Poole is a restricted free-agent. Atlanta should go corner here and Murphy is the top one available on the board.
No. 15 Washington Redskins: Daniel Jones, QB Duke
With Alex Smith out for 2019 and his career in jeopardy, the Redskins need to draft a franchise quarterback. With pro-style quarterbacks Kirk Cousins, Smith having success, and mobile Robert Griffin III failing in Washington, they should go with Jones rather than Kyler Murray here.
No. 16 Carolina Panthers: Jachai Polite, OLB/DE Florida
Like many in this year’s draft, the Panthers are in need of a pass rusher. Polite would be the top player to fit that need on the board.
No. 17 Cleveland Browns: Yodny Cajuste, OT West Virginia
The Browns seemed to be locked in on defensive tackle Jeffery Simmons. However, he tore his ACL so Cleveland should switch their focus over to finding protection for Baker Mayfield and draft Cajuste.
No. 18 Minnesota Vikings: Andre Dillard, OT Washington State
The Vikings run game struggled mostly due to their poor play up front. Dillard would help create holes for Dalvin Cook to run the ball and give Kirk Cousins more time to throw the ball.
No. 19 Tennessee Titans: D.K. Metcalf, WR Ole Miss
Marcus Mariota needs a big-name wide receiver. Corey Davis hasn’t lived up to the potential that made him a top-five pick. Tennessee should try again at finding a number one receiver with D.K. Metcalf.
No. 20 Pittsburgh Steelers: Kelvin Harmon, WR NC State
The Steelers are likely going to trade Antonio Brown, thus they need to draft his replacement. With Metcalf off the board, Pittsburgh should go with the next best receiver available in Harmon.
No. 21 Seattle Seahawks: Taylor Rapp, S Washington
With Earl Thomas set to depart, Seattle needs to find their next star safety. They shouldn’t look any further than Rapp from Washington. He is the top safety in this year’s draft class.
No. 22 Houston Texans: Dalton Risner, OT Kansas State
The Texans need to do a better job protecting Deshaun Watson in order to go deeper in the playoffs. Risner would help do just that.
No. 23 Baltimore Ravens: Josh Jacobs, RB Alabama
The Ravens don’t have a running back who can take pressure off of LaMar Jackson. Baltimore should select Jacobs to be their franchise running back.
No. 24 Oakland Raiders (via Chicago): Devin Bush, LB Michigan
The Raiders should continue to replace defensive veterans they let go here. Bush is the perfect replacement for Bruce Irvin at linebacker.
No. 25 Philadelphia Eagles: Greg Little, OT Ole Miss
With Jason Peters no longer effective, the Eagles need another offensive tackle. Little would be a perfect fit to take his role.
No. 26 Indianapolis Colts: Lonnie Johnson, CB Kentucky
The Colts are arguably a second corner away from being a complete team. The 6’3″ Johnson out of Kentucky would bring great length to this position and be a potential starter for many years to come.
No. 27 Oakland Raiders (via Dallas): DeAndre Baker, CB Georgia
The Raiders should make it a defensive trifecta with their three first rounders and select Jim Thrope award-winning corner Baker out of Georgia to bolster their secondary as Gareon Conley hasn’t quite cut it.
No. 28 Los Angeles Chargers: Kyler Murray, QB Okalahoma
Philip Rivers is nearing the end of his career and the Chargers need to start thinking about how they are going to move forward afterward. Murray could be their franchise quarterback after Rivers walks.
No. 29 Kansas City Chiefs: Nassir Adderly, S Delaware
The Chiefs defense is what kept them from reaching Super Bowl 53. With Eric Berry possibly on the way out, they should draft Adderly to be the anchor of their secondary.
No. 30 Green Bay Packers (via NO): Deionte Thompson, S Alabama
The Packers have a chance to greatly improve their defense by taking Thompson to fill the void left by another former Bama star in Ha-Ha Clinton Dix.
No. 31 Los Angeles Rams: Johnathan Abram, S Mississippi State
The Rams could lose Lamarcus Joyner this summer. Abram earned the reputation as one of the most physical players in the country making him the perfect fit.
No. 32 New England Patriots: TJ Hockenson, TE Iowa
Rob Gronkowski may retire in the next few weeks. Hockenson has the ability to develop into a Gronkowski type tight end.