With the 2019 Scouting Combine in the rearview mirror, the NFL is one step closer to the main event of the offseason: the NFL Draft. As general managers and coaches evaluate the incoming talent, so does On The Clock.
Post-Combine, Mock Draft 2.0 features dramatic player movement on the draft board, team needs and now trades. A number of athletes boosted their stock at the Combine; others didn’t fare as well. Which athletes and teams are on the move?
Note: “Proj. TRADE” denotes trades that have been projected. These have not occured… Yet.
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- Arizona Cardinals – Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Team Needs: WR, CB, MLB — 1.0 Pick: Nick Bosa, DE
Measuring 5’10¼” does not normally help quarterbacks move up draft boards. Yet, this is not a normal prospect or a normal year. With a solid Pro Day in Norman, Kyler being drafted #1 overall is not only very real possibility, but a sentence no one imagined writing one week ago. Kliff Kingsbury runs an offensive system that doesn’t afford a quarterback much protection and Kyler’s escapability is a perfect match.
What about Josh Rosen? Rosen, along with a 3rd-round pick, will be sent to a quarterback-needy team in exchange for a first-round pick. More on that later.
- (Proj. TRADE) Oakland Raiders, from SF – Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Team Needs: DE, WR, OL, MLB, OLB — 1.0 Pick: Quinnen Williams, DT
With the Arizona Cardinals drafting quarterback Kyler Murray, the top overall talent in the draft “falls” to the second pick and sets off the draft dominoes. Since trading Khalil Mack to the Bears, Gruden has spoken to how difficult it is to find a premier pass rusher in the NFL. The Raiders give up the 4th and 27th picks to move up so Gruden and Mayock can get their guy.
If the Raiders find a suitor for Derek Carr, all bets are off, and the Raiders may trade their way into the first pick. If Kyler Murray does not go #1 overall, Carr may have played his last down in Oakland.
- New York Jets – Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
Team Needs: OL, DT, DE, RB — 1.0 Pick: Josh Allen, DE
At the combine, Williams made clear that he is a top-5 pick, as well as his love for Oreos. Williams aced his position drills and then ran a 4.87 in the 40-yard dash. Against the advice of his agent, Williams ran the 40 again, improving his time to 4.83. While he could be considered as the first overall pick, the Jets would be lucky to have him at #3.
- (Proj. TRADE) San Francisco 49ers, from OAK – Josh Allen, DE, Kentucky
Team Needs: OLB, DE, WR — 1.0 Pick: Clelin Ferrell
Similar to Chris Ballard’s move last year, John Lynch would be the leader in the clubhouse for “draft deal of the year” in 2019. By trading back from 2nd to 4th, not only do the 49ers pick up the 27th overall pick, they still draft a player they might have taken at #2. San Francisco fans cheer for someone not named George Kittle for the first time since Jimmy Garoppolo was named the 49er’s quarterback last offseason. Allen’s 17.0 sacks at Kentucky last year would be a welcomed sight in the bay.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan
Team Needs: CB, SS, RG, DT — 1.0 Pick: Greedy Williams
This pick depends entirely upon whether or not Gerald McCoy is re-signed in free agent. According to reports, McCoy isn’t hopeful. Though Gary played defensive tackle at Michigan, he may be suited better for defensive end at the next level. If McCoy is back in 2019, this gives the Buccaneers one of the scariest defensive fronts in the NFL. If McCoy is a cap casualty, Gary still may make sense in an effort to shoure up the defensive line.
- New York Giants – Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Team Needs: OL, QB, DE — 1.0 Pick: Kyler Murray, QB
The Giants seem content with letting their two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback ride into the sunset on his own terms. Just because Eli Manning will be back in 2019 doesn’t mean the Giants should go without a backup plan. Haskins, like Manning in his youth, is a well-built pocket passer (6’3”, 231 pounds), an exceptional arm talent, and an unwilling runner. The Ohio State quarterback would gel quickly with Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, and Evan Engram to form one of the most talented young cores of skill position players in the league.
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
Team Needs: QB, TE, OC — 1.0 Pick: Dwayne Haskins, QB
If the board falls as projected, the Jaguars will be lucky to have already signed Nick Foles early in free agency. Cutting starting quarterback Blake Bortles is a necessary move in returning Jacksonville to its 2017 edition. By drafting Jonah Williams, who made his case for top offensive tackle at the combine, they can kick Greg Robinson out to right tackle. With a new quarterback in place, a reinforced offensive line, and a healthy Leonard Fournette, the Jaguars can leave games up to their stifling defense, just as they were designed to do.
- Detroit Lions – Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
Team Needs: WR, OLB, CB — 1.0 Pick: Rashan Gary, DL
The Lions spent their first two draft picks of 2018 on the offensive side of the ball. With Matt Patricia at the helm, that won’t happen again this year. Patricia would sign up today to work with the 6’6”, 260 pound Sweat, who ran a 4.41 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine Sunday. To keep up in the NFC North, the Lions will need a player of Sweat’s caliber to get after Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, and Mitchell Trubisky.
- Buffalo Bills – Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss
Team Needs: OL, WR, DT, OLB — 1.0 Pick: Jawaan Taylor, OT
The Bills watched their top-10 pick, franchise quarterback scramble for 631 yards in his rookie year. Josh Allen scrambled for only 767 yards in three seasons at Wyoming. Keeping Allen healthy and developing in his sophomore year should be priority #1 in Buffalo. At 6’5”, 310 pounds, with 35-inch arms, Little has prototypical left tackle size. Current left tackle Dion Dawkins was seen as a guard/tackle coming into the league, it may be time to test Dawkins at left guard.
10.Denver Broncos – Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
Team Needs: QB, S, OL — 1.0 Pick: Drew Lock, QB
At the Combine, a media member asked Denver’s General Manager John Elway if he felt this quarterback class was being dismissed too early. Elway’s response was, “we’re still evaluating.” While the Broncos still have Case Keenum and Joe Flacco on the roster, they’re still in the mix for a first round quarterback, and Elway has a soft spot for large quarterbacks. While the Broncos reportedly didn’t meet with the top four quarterback prospects at the combine, there is still time for meetings before the draft.
11.Cincinnati Bengals – Devin White, LB, LSU
Team Needs: MLB, RT, TE, QB — 1.0 Pick: Devin White, MLB
The Bengals’ linebacking corps has deteriorated from a strength into a liability. Vontaze Burfict’s concussion issues have kept him off the field and his usual antics have given the front office headaches. Preston Brown was brought in via free agency to rectify the situation. Instead, Brown finished the year on the injured reserve. In Devin White, Cincinnati gets the best linebacker in the draft, and a defensive field general.
12.Green Bay Packers – Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
Team Needs: OLB, RG, SS — 1.0 Pick: Jachai Polite, DE
When Aaron Rodgers wasn’t on the field, the Packers were hapless in 2018. No remaining prospects that would fill the most pressing needs on the Green Bay roster would be worthy of the #12 pick.
The Packers go the best-player-available route and end up with a top five talent in Ed Oliver. Had Oliver foregone his senior year of college and come out early last year, he likely would have been selected in the first five picks. Instead, Oliver slips to 12th due to an injury-plague campaign lowlighted by a sideline dispute over a coat and questions about his true position in the NFL.
- (Proj. TRADE) Arizona Cardinals, from MIA – D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
Team Needs: CB, WR, QB? — 1.0 Pick: A.J. Brown, WR
Josh Rosen, welcome to Miami. The Dolphins trade the 13th overall pick to the Cardinals for Rosen and a third round pick.
If the draft plays out this way, the analysts will be quick to anoint Arizona the winners of the NFL draft, a meaningless title before the season begins. Kliff Kingsbury gets his quarterback and a successor to Larry Fitzgerald. D.K. was the darling of the combine after testing with a 4.33 40-yard dash (faster than Julio Jones), 27 bench press reps (more than Khalil Mack) and a 40.5-inch vertical. He has garnered some Calvin Johnson and Julio Jones comparisons. By the time the media hype runs its course, Metcalf may be a top-ten pick.
14.Atlanta Falcons – Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
Team Needs: DT, CB, TE — 1.0 Pick: Dexter Lawrence, DL
Wilkins, the Walter Campbell Award winner, is just as impressive off the field as he is on it. On the field, Wilkins was a cog in what is widely regarded the NCAA’s best defensive line. He ended his college career with 192 tackles, 16 sacks, 15 passes defensed, two forced fumbles, and three offensive touchdowns.
The Falcons solidify their defensive line, helping out their secondary, and giving Matt Ryan and the offense more chances to score.
15.Washington Redskins – Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
Team Needs: QB, FS, CB — 1.0 Pick: DeAndre Baker, CB
In this mock draft, the Redskins lose the league-wide game of quarterback musical chairs. With Rosen to the Dolphins and the three top-rated quarterbacks off the board, Washington looks to Teddy Bridgewater or Jacoby Brissett to replace injured Alex Smith.
Even with the 15th pick, Washington comes away with the best cover corner in the draft and future complement to Josh Norman. In his senior campaign, Murphy had four interceptions, one returned for a touchdown, and defended an impressive 13 passes.
16.Carolina Panthers – Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
Team Needs: DE, OL, FS — 1.0 Pick: Montez Sweat, DE
It’s “CLEE-LIN”. Full disclosure, Ferrell may be long gone by the 16th pick. If he does drop this far, the Panthers have an easy decision to make. An All-American, Ferrell wrapped up his National Championship season with 53 tackles, 19.5 for a loss, 11.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles. Ferrell drops due to his injury history – a torn ACL in high school, a hand injury that forced him to redshirt his freshman season at Clemson, and most recently, a tweaked hamstring during his 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine.
With the Clemson defensive end, the Panthers find their long-term replacement for future Hall of Famer Julius Peppers.