2019 NFL Mock Draft: First-Round Predictions (post-Scouting Combine edition)

Kyler Murray wasn't active on the field yet remained a focal point of the Combine

The NFL Scouting Combine has come and gone and the 2019 edition may have been the most intriguing one in a decade given the amount of talent on hand at Lucas Oil Stadium and the eye-popping numbers put up by prospects far and wide. Questions about some big-name prospects were answered during the weekend in Indianapolis while the drills and testing led to even more second-guessing from scouts about other players.

 

Few events lead to more change to teams’ draft boards than the Combine and that figures to be the case once again after this year’s edition. There are a ton of guys who have seen their stock take off as a result so we could be in for some big changes as we take the next step on the road to Nashville.

 

So who is going where? Here’s a stab at how the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft could wind up shaking out:

 

1. Arizona Cardinals — Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State

Don’t buy all the Josh Rosen trade scenarios just yet as the front office would undoubtedly like to move down a bit and pick up more draft capital. While the franchise did bring in Kliff Kingsbury this offseason, even he knows that you need to generate a good pass rush and Bosa plays right into that with an ability to chase down Russell Wilson, Jared Goff and Jimmy G. twice a season.

 

2. San Francisco 49ers — Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan

Gary tested through the roof at the Combine and has enough off the charts athleticism to make most in the Bay Area overlook his so-so college production. The team has spent plenty of draft capital along the defensive line already but Gary is just such a unique package that he will be too tough to pass up.

 

3. New York Jets — Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

The Jets have to think their lucky stars that a player of Williams' caliber is there for the taking at No. 3 as the Crimson Tide lineman may very well be the best player available in the draft regardless of position. The firm of Williams, (coordinator Gregg) Williams and (Leonard) Williams has to sound good to Gang Green fans hopeful for a stout defense in 2019 and beyond.

 

4. Oakland Raiders — Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

Murray may very well play at the Oakland Coliseum yet... just in a Raiders uniform. Jon Gruden’s fascination with the signal-caller has been documented and if new GM Mike Mayock can find a taker for Derek Carr via trade, the team may very well have the buzzy-type of player they need to win games and generate interest prior to their move to Vegas.

 

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State

Sweat was the talk of the combine with his blazing fast 40-yard dash and a strong showing during drills. While this may still be a slight reach for the former Bulldog, the Bucs have to get better on defense and Sweat checks off every measurable box.

 

6. New York Giants — Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky

Dave Gettleman passed on a QB last year early in the draft and shocks many in the Big Apple by doing so again in 2019. Allen is simply too good of a talent to pass up for the Giants, especially with so many holes to patch in the front seven.

 

7. Jacksonville Jaguars — Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

With Blake Bortles on the way out and Nick Foles likely in at quarterback, that long-term decision under center might get kicked down the road a few drafts. The pressing need is weapons on offense as a result and the speedy Fant could be the solution in Duval.

 

8. Detroit Lions — D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

Metcalf put on a freakish display of athleticism in Indianapolis and may have solidified himself as WR1 in a unique draft class at the position. His big-play ability is certainly needed in Detroit even if Matt Patricia would prefer finding an edge rusher.

 

9. Buffalo Bills — Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State

Adding to Josh Allen’s supporting cast is the top priority this draft for Buffalo and Dillard goes a long way in addressing the issue of the franchise QB having to scramble time after time. The former Wazzu anchor has a chance to start right away at left tackle.

 

10. Denver Broncos — Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

John Elway can find Joe Flacco some weapons on Day 2 of the draft but needs to beef up his protection some more first. Taylor could really help the right side of the offensive line early in his career.

 

11. Cincinnati Bengals — Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

The franchise doesn’t seem sold on Andy Dalton being the guy beyond 2019 and with the young new coaching staff, finding a young signal-caller to mold makes plenty of sense. Haskins only having one year as a college starter under his belt won’t matter as much as he sits and learns initially before being the guy in the state he’s already a star in.

 

12. Green Bay Packers — T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

Jimmy Graham is the big name on the roster but his best days might be behind him. Enter Hockenson, who is a terrific blocker and still has plenty of athleticism to become Aaron Rodgers’ new best friend in the middle of the field.

 

13. Miami Dolphins — Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama

The Dolphins may be aggressive in moving up to land a QB but if they stay pat (with a potential eye toward next year’s crop of signal-callers), figuring out solutions along the offensive line could be the smart play. Williams could get kicked inside to guard but is otherwise very polished and a solid starter right away.

 

14. Atlanta Falcons — Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

Nobody should be surprised to see Atlanta grab an interior lineman in this draft and Wilkins’ production could give him the edge over others at his position, especially with his knack for getting up the field and after the QB.

 

15. Washington Redskins — Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

A Lisfranc injury to Brown’s foot has pushed him down several draft boards but that is to the benefit of Washington, which has needs all over and may be looking more towards 2020 than they are the upcoming season.

 

16. Carolina Panthers — Garrett Bradbury, OL, N.C. State

Ryan Kalil’s retirement may beget a perfect replacement in the draft for Carolina from just down the road. Bradbury was already being tossed around as a first-rounder and a great workout at the Combine is pushing him up even further.

 

17. Cleveland Browns — Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

It will be hard for GM John Dorsey to pass up a top-10 talent like Oliver at this point in the draft and the potential for him to develop into a force in the middle of the Browns defense. He won’t see double-teams as he did in college which should make him an even better player at the next level.

 

18. Minnesota Vikings — Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

The Vikings do have a host of needs and will no doubt be looking to get the offense back on track this offseason but the kind of athlete that Lawrence is doesn’t come along often. Mike Zimmer has developed plenty of talent up front and the Clemson defender could turn out to be the best yet.

 

19. Tennessee Titans — Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson

It’s no secret the Titans need an edge rusher or two and Ferrell has both the production and measurables to make an impact early for Mike Vrabel’s defense.

 

20. Pittsburgh Steelers — Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

The Steelers may be looking for an Antonio Brown replacement but that should come later in the draft given the depth at wideout in this class. Baker is a very polished product out of Athens and their head coach will have to love the physical nature he brings with him at the line.

 

21. Seattle Seahawks — Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame

The Seahawks are more than content to reach a bit with their first-rounder than most but Tillery’s upside is apparent as he steps off the bus. The coaching staff can get the most out of him and he could be even more dangerous lining up next to Frank Clark.

 

22. Baltimore Ravens — N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

Harry ran a solid 4.53 40-yard dash at the Combine, answering one question scouts had about his overall speed. With that out of the way, the Ravens make him Lamar Jackson’s new WR1.

 

23. Houston Texans — Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

Williams has evaluations all over the place but the need is too pressing for Houston to pass on the talented corner from LSU. He still has a few questions about how physical he can be but he’s a top-tier athlete that can hold his own on the outside.

 

24. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago) — Devin Bush, LB, Michigan

The Wolverines linebacker has a ton of good tape and impressed in just about every area at the Combine. He’s the type to make you fall in love with given the number of plays he makes and Oakland should have no issue adding him to help shore up the defense.

 

25. Philadelphia Eagles — Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple

The Eagles have to have a good scouting report on the local kid and have to love how he checks off all the boxes they’re looking for in a corner.

 

26. Indianapolis Colts — Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State

The Colts' secondary will be re-tooled in a variety of ways this offseason and adding a heavy hitter like Abram makes plenty of sense. He could be a nice young replacement for free agent Clayton Geathers and form a heck of a tandem with Malik Hooker for years to come.

 

27. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas) — Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State

Burns is only scratching the surface of what he can do and the athleticism and ability to get up the field will be more than enough for the Raiders' brain trust to take a chance on him turning into something special after a little coaching.

 

28. Los Angeles Chargers — Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma

Offensive line isn’t quite as pressing an issue as it once was in L.A. but Ford makes plenty of sense for a team still looking to get more stout up front and help protect Philip Rivers.

 

29. Kansas City Chiefs — Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

The Chiefs are built to win now and need a corner who can step in right away. Murphy is not going to blow you away with his speed but he’s a savvy defensive back who is as sound as they come and can help the team from the moment he steps on the field.

 

30. Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans) — Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida

A sub-par Combine effort may have pushed Polite down the board of a few teams but his rare athletic combination can find a home in Green Bay, which likely will need a replacement for Clay Matthews and others.

 

31. Los Angeles Rams — Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware

The NFC champs could move on from Lamarcus Joyner in free agency and Adderley might even represent an upgrade given how fluid he is in coverage and how he reacts ranging toward the ball.

 

32. New England Patriots — A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss

There might be more pressing needs for Bill Belichick up front depending on free agency losses but Brown would represent a great addition to the passing game that still needs weapons as the team looks to pull off a repeat.

 

— Written by Bryan Fischer, an award-winning college football columnist and member of the Athlon Contributor Network. You can follow him from coast-to-coast on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat at @BryanDFischer.

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