1. Arizona Cardinals: Nick Bosa, JR (Ohio State) DE
Nick Bosa can be a generational talent at the defensive end position. Since his true freshman season, I had heard ramblings of him going number one, but with a suspect stat sheet I wasn’t sold. When I turn on the tape however, I see everything I want in a defensive end. His bend and power will transition perfectly into the NFL in either 3-4 or 4-3 schemes as a D-end. The only thing that concerns me is him being prone to injury, which was the same for his brother, Joey, coming out of school. Nick is a way too early contender for Rookie Defensive Player of the Year in 2019.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Josh Allen, SR (Kentucky ) LB
This is perfect because I get to re-use all my “Draft Josh Allen” jokes from a year ago. But this Josh Allen will go much higher in the draft and rightfully so. Allen was a former 2-start recruit, so it’s fitting he goes number two. After 7 sack sophomore and junior seasons, Allen exploded with a record setting 17 sack senior season for Kentucky. Watching Allen’s highlights, you can tell he is the best pass rusher in the class and maybe the best linebacker as well. He can cover in space and even made a few big coverage plays against wide receivers in the endzone. The 49ers can be one of the scariest teams on 3rd and 5+ in the NFL with Allen.
3. New York Jets: Quinnen Williams, RS. SO (Alabama) DL
New York has a lot of needs, so going best player available seems like a sound approach. Quinnen Williams will join Leonard Williams in creating a poor-man’s version of the Rams defensive line in 2018 with Donald and Suh. Being young up front will be good while they spend big money fixing holes elsewhere.
4. Oakland Raiders: Jonah Williams, JR (Alabama) OL
The Gruden Era needs to build a bully on offense, and the best way to do that is by grabbing the most skilled lineman in this year’s draft. Williams will most likely shift inside to play guard, but that’s okay. They drafted Kolton Miller last year, and when you pair him on the same line with Williams and Osemele Kelechi, you could potentially see a situation similar to that in Indy last season. In football, I believe you should rebuild up front first, so this is a no-brainer in my opinion, especially when you already have your guy at QB.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Greedy Williams, RS. SO (LSU) CB
The last name Williams has been popping up a lot recently. Tampa is in dire need of youth and speed at the CB position and Greedy fits that role. Greedy was a lockdown corner against the best talent in the SEC and his game will only flourish in the NFL. LSU churns out defensive prospects year after year, especially at CB; and 2019 is no exception.
6. New York Giants: Dwayne Haskins, RS. SO (Ohio State) QB
I hope the Giants trade this pick and try for a QB in the next two loaded classes, but management may feel the need to have someone learn behind Eli while he’s still here. Haskins blew up on the scene this season despite many thinking he wouldn’t be the starter before last spring. This is the best-case scenario for Haskins professionally, as he gets to mature while learning behind a Super Bowl winning quarterback. Maybe he comes in for an injured Eli, but most likely he gets stashed till 2020.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Kyler Murray, RS JR (Oklahoma) QB
I still think they sign Nick Foles to a two-year deal, but Kyler will be the future for Jacksonville. Right when they need to pay big money for Fournette and their O-line, Foles will come off their books and they’ll have a fresh Kyler waiting in line. Foles can lead them to playoff berths in 2019 and 2020, which will give Kyler a chance to witness the playoff atmosphere first-hand going into year 3. Maybe this gives him time to get baseball fully out of his system; and who knows, maybe at the end of this year we have a Mahomes type situation.
8. Detroit Lions: Devin White, JR (LSU) LB
Detroit has a lot of holes on defense, especially if they let Ziggy Ansah walk in free agency. Devin White can come in and become the instant leader for their defense. I spoke earlier how LSU deploys defensive talent into the NFL and White will be no exception. He is an even stronger candidate than Bosa to win Rookie Defensive Player of the Year in 2019.
9. Buffalo Bills: D.K. Metcalf, RS. SO (Ole Miss) WR
Josh Allen needs a lot of help on the offensive side of the ball, so pairing him with the youngest, most talented wide receiver in this year’s draft makes too much sense. LeSean McCoy is getting older, so the offense will need to funnel more of its offense to the passing game. Metcalf is 6’4”, weighs north of 220 lbs, and can take the top off the defense with his speed. He is a star in the making if Buffalo can put this offense together correctly.
10. Denver Broncos: Deandre Baker, SR (Georgia) CB
I could easily see Denver going offensive line here after the trade for Joe Flacco, but with glaring needs at cornerback as well, I see them addressing that here. I see some top offensive prospects falling this draft, so look for the Broncos to scoop them up in later rounds. But for this pick, Deandre Baker is a sure-fire starter in the NFL and can come in and be their best cover corner as a rookie.
11. Cincinnati Bengals: Jawaan Taylor, JR (Florida) OT
The Bengals need help on their O-line, and Jawaan Taylor is the offfensive linemen with the highest ceiling in this draft. Taylor’s pass blocking ability would allow him to lockdown the blind side and give Andy Dalton more time to progress through his reads. He still needs to improve in the run game, but being 6’5” and 330 lbs gives me confidence he will figure it out.
12. Green Bay Packers: Greg Little, JR (Ole Miss) OT
With Green Bay establishing a culture of making Aaron Rodgers happy, nothing would make him happier than more protection from the offensive line. A part of me hopes they trade this pick to get AB, but realistically Green Bay can use a guy who will start for them right away and add depth on their line. Little could be a great role player on that line for years to come.
13. Miami Dolphins: Clelin Ferrell, RS JR (Clemson) DL
Miami has been devoid of a monster upfront since they cut Ndamukong Suh and let him walk to the Rams last offseason. Clelin Ferrell, if he falls, could be a steal for the Dolphins up front. However, the Dolphins will have many needs to fill, so we could see them possibly trade back and tank all of 2019. Overall, Clemson players will fall throughout this entire draft.
14. Atlanta Falcons: Andre Dillard, RS SR (Washington State) OT
I don’t see Atlanta passing up on this pass protecting stud. With Steve Sarkisian out in Atlanta, I imagine more passing for Matt Ryan in 2019. With that said, drafting Dillard would put their offensive line–who have been okay at best the past 2 seasons–on notice. Dillard can start at right tackle, if not left guard, on day one. If they ever want to move on from Jake Matthews, his replacement is right here. Coming from an Air Raid offense at Washington State, it will be interesting to see if he struggles with NFL run blocking.
15. Washington Redskins: Montez Sweat, SR (Mississippi St) EDGE
With Jonathan Allen coming into his own last season, his progression would be even sweeter if he were paired with a lengthy pass rusher to make a lethal combo. Enter Montez Sweat, who had set himself apart at the Senior Bowl, and is also coming off two 10+ sack season. The offense for Washington should be better addressed after a full year of tanking and allowing management time to deal bad contracts while seeing how Smith’s injury unfolds.
16. Carolina Panthers: Rashan Gary, JR (Michigan) DE
With Julius Peppers just recently ending what will eventually be a Hall of Fame career, the Panthers will have a void for an elite edge presence and Gary can be that player for years to come. Cam Newton’s injury makes things uncertain going into 2019, so it will be a safe bet to grab a guy who can start for you Week 1. Many have Gary going higher, but I see him as a sliding in the first round.
17. Cleveland Browns: Ed Oliver, JR (Houston) DL
Cleveland is in a position where they can take a chance on a guy that most had as a top-3 lock entering the season. After a tumultuous junior season at Houston, Oliver’s stock has slipped to around 15-20, but he surely has the talent to be considered much higher. If teams somehow can look past the character issues from last season, they will be getting a force of nature at defensive tackle. If he runs around a 4.7 40-yard dash, I see him going inside the top 10 come draft day.
18. Minnesota Vikings: Cody Ford, RS JR (Oklahoma) OG
Cody Ford is very similar to his former teammate Orlando Brown, in the sense that they are so raw they will need time to develop. Ford being much smaller than Brown, will only play interior offensive line in the NFL. If the Vikings take the chance on Ford they are getting a potential Pro Bowl guard, 6 or 7 years from now. I think ford is a smart guy who will age like fine win in the NFL by consistently getting better each year of his career.
19. Tennessee Titans: Marquise Brown, JR (Oklahoma) WR
Brown is near and dear to my heart, as he attended the same JUCO as I did. Naturally, I want to put him higher, but unfortunately I don’t see him breaking the top 15. The Titans need to make a splash on offense and Brown could be It. As the run game develops with Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis, there will be more opportunity to go long on play action passes and other passing situations. Brown could be a poor man’s Tyreek Hill for the Titans.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Byron Murphy, RS SO (Washington) CB
I can already forecast that Murphy will rise on most boards after his combine performance this week; but as it stands, I see him being the third CB taken. The Steelers will be depleted on offense after losing Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell in consecutive seasons, but the defense is in even worse shape. Linebacker has been a need since Ryan Shazier’s injury, so look for them go there, if not cornerback, in this draft.
21. Seattle Seahawks: Jachai Polite, JR (Florida) EDGE
The Seahawks’ pass rush need a lot of help, especially if Frank Clark is a casualty of free agency. Their defense as a whole has been a joke the past couple of years, and it will be what holds them back from making the playoffs next season. Gaining a guy like Polite will help turn the heat up on opposing quarterbacks and will have a major impact across the whole defense. If they can keep Clark in Seattle, they will have a potent pass rushing combo for years to come.
22. Baltimore Ravens: N’Keal Harry, JR (Arizona State) WR
I’m not quite sure where the wide receivers in this years class will exactly fall, but with the Ravens dropping Crabtree, it signals they are looking to take a wide receiver high in this draft. I could also see them tossing a late pick to the Bengals for John Ross and completely overhauling their WR group. Currently, they need a tall wide receiver, and with Harry being 6’4” and around 210 lbs, Lamar Jackson will finally have a possession receiver to further develop the passing game in Baltimore.
23. Houston Texans: T.J Hockenson, RS SO (Iowa) TE
Houston needs to do right by Deshaun Watson and get him an O-line and some targets besides DeAndre Hopkins. Getting a tight end fills both of those needs, and if Hockenson falls this low they would be fools not to snatch him up. Ryan Griffin, their current tight end, is very underwhelming and has one year left on his contract. Hockenson plays like a Greg Olsen 2.0 and is coming out of the current TE University. Look for them to go tight end in round 1 and then address offensive line later in the draft.
24. Oakland Raiders: Devin Bush, JR (Michigan) LB
I’ve seen Bush slide to round 2 in a lot of mocks, but his post combine workouts and interviews will cement him as a late first round guy. Oakland needs a general on the defensive side and Bush can be that man. Bush was the Big 10 DPOY and projects as a Week 1 starter in the NFL.
25. Philadelphia Eagles: Dexter Lawrence, JR (Clemson) DT
The Eagles capitalize on a draft day slide by the Clemson defensive line and fill a need. A trio of Fletcher Cox, Michael Bennett, and Dexter Lawrence is downright scary. And with Bennett’s ability to play outside, you can have all three on the field at once. Now you may think of this as position overkill, but I imagine the Eagles will move either Bennett or Cox in the upcoming years to get their contracts off the books, and having Lawrence makes that a much easier transition.
26. Indianapolis Colts: Christian Wilkins, SR (Clemson) DL
No, I did not just now remember Clemson has three first round defensive linemen, I just think Wilkins and Lawrence fall to the end of the first in this loaded class. Many think Josh Jacobs is a lock for this pick, but I imagine the Colts either go with Le’Veon Bell in 2019 or run it back again with Mack. Regardless of their decision on who they draft, knowing the Colts, it will be the right guy. Wilkins offers the Colts a chance to strike big on a guy who would be top 10 in a lot of other drafts. Wilkins has the best chance of anyone left of blowing up in the NFL.
27. Oakland Raiders: A.J Brown, JR (Ole Miss) WR
Two Ole Miss wide receivers go in the first round this year and will have a chance to be the highest drafted WR duo from college. Brown is an electric possession WR that has size to boost and did surprisingly well playing next to another first round selection at the same position. He will flourish being more of the centerpiece in an NFL offense. A.J will get the chance to come in and replace the void left by Amari Cooper. Look for the Raiders to be the winners of any receiving talent that falls in this draft.
28. Los Angeles Chargers: Drew Lock, SR (Missouri) QB
With the Broncos trading for Flacco, I see Lock dropping. He seemed to interest Elway despite an underwhelming Senior Bowl performance, so the fit with Denver seemed to be there. But with two high paid mediocre QBs on the roster, Denver isn’t in the market for a third. With that said, the Chargers are in the position where they can take a chance on a guy like Lock, who has a big arm but a lot of question marks. He would benefit greatly behind an aging Philip Rivers.
29. Kansas City Chiefs: Nasir Adderley, SR (Delaware) S
The Kansas City defense needs an infusion of talent and production to get their team to Super Bowl caliber. Enter Nasir Adderley, who has been a monster at the FCS level, racking up 11 interceptions at the safety position. Kansas City getting Nasir will allow their already lethal pass rush to have time to get to the quarterback. With a good draft, Kansas City’s defense can be the most improved next season.
30. Green Bay Packers: Noah Fant, JR (Iowa) TE
It’s crazy that two tight ends from the same school could go in the first round of the same draft, but it’s possible with Iowa. Fant projects more as a receiving tight end than his counterpart, which lowers his value on draft day but is a total steal for a team like Green Bay. Jimmy Graham has been a disappointment thus far, so they might as well have him coach up a young and talented TE in his last years with the team. Two tight-end sets would be unstoppable with these two working together.
31. Los Angeles Rams: Brian Burns, JR (Florida State) EDGE
The Rams biggest decision next year is whether to keep Ndamukong Suh or Dante Fowler in 2019. With the DT talent dried up this late in the first round and a lethal edge rusher like Burns available, I think they draft an edge rusher and bring Suh back for 2019.
32. New England Patriots: Will Grier, RS SR (West Virginia) QB
Grier was considered one of the favorite to win the Heisman before last season. With a disappointing season ending in Grier skipping his team’s bowl game, he could fall as far as the third round. Once he goes through the combine though, he will solidify himself as a late first round guy, which is perfect for New England. The past two seasons I have predicted the Patriots will take someone young to learn behind Tom Brady, but they decided to go the Hoyer route last season. Who knows, maybe they trade up and get a talented TE to replace Gronk. A lot is yet to be seen with the Pats before draft day rolls around. Part the punishment for Patriots owner Robert Kraft could be loss of picks, so who knows if and when the Pats will be on the board.
Kristian Megowan is a Writer for the Unwrapped Sports Network website. Follow him @Megowan75 on Twitter.