Seven-round Green Bay Packer mock draft: 2.0

The NFL Draft is less than three weeks away, and I’m continuing my series of seven-round mock drafts focused on the Green Bay Packers.

Green Bay Packers” by Mike Morbeck is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

As I mentioned in my first mock draft, I will be using Matt Miller’s “big board” from Bleacher Report as the overall ranking of the available players. I used the same criteria for the second draft as I did in the first one, so without further adieu, let’s take a look at 2.0.

 

ROUND 1, PICK 12

  • T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
  • Previous pick: Unchanged

With potential pick DT Ed Oliver off the board, Hockenson falls to me at 12 again, and I can’t help but take him here, as he’s the highest-rated remaining player. Great in-line blocker and great receiver, Hockenson is the best all-around tight end in the draft and is a perfect fit in head coach Matt LaFleur’s new offense. I believe if Oliver is available here, GM Brian Gutekunst will have a tough decision.

 

ROUND 1, PICK 30

  • A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
  • Previous pick: Unchanged

Brown at 30 is a steal, as he rising up draft boards. He fits beautifully as Green Bay’s new slot option, as he is a monstrous version of departed receiver Randall Cobb. Brown had a private visit with the Packers at his pro day.

 

ROUND 2, PICK 44

  • Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, FS, Florida
  • Previous pick: Johnathan Abram, S, Miss St

Gardner-Johnson is a better fit for the Packers than Abram, as Gardner-Johnson is a more natural free safety. Gardner-Johnson would start from day 1 alongside newly signed Adrian Amos. Gardner-Johnson is an athletic freak and is a free safety with cornerback traits who had 71 tackles, three sacks, four INTs and two defensive touchdowns for the Gators in 2018.

 

ROUND 3, PICK 75

  • Max Scharping, OT, Northern Illinois
  • Previous pick: Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis

The Packers pick up Green Bay-native Scharping in the third to be the successor to right tackle Bryan Bulaga. Scharping is a behemoth of a man at 6’6″/327 lbs, with college starting experience at both tackle spots. Scharping would instantly bolster the depth of the offensive line and give the Packers an insurance plan for if/when Bulaga gets hurt. Started all 52 possible career collegiate games.

 

ROUND 4, PICK 114

  • Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis
  • Previous pick: Darnell Savage, Jr, S, Maryland

With two fourth round picks within four spots of each other, the Packers have the luxury of selecting an offensive skill player. I had Henderson slotted to the Packers in the third round in my previous mock, but he falls to the fourth here. The explosive Henderson would provide a new dimension to the backfield, while providing insurance to the potential injury-prone Aaron Jones.

 

ROUND 4, PICK 118

  • Cameron Smith, ILB, USC
  • Previous pick: Michael Dieter, OL, Wisconsin

Smith has drawn comparisons to current Packer linebacker Blake Martinez. Smith was a four-year starter at USC and averaged 89 tackles per season. Smith is said to have superb instincts, and could form a very good inside duo with Martinez. With the Packers very thin at inside linebacker, Smith would be a valuable addition in the fourth round with starting potential.

 

ROUND 5, PICK 150

  • Josh Oliver, TE, San Jose State
  • Previous pick: Dru Samia, OL, Oklahoma

Tight ends Jimmy Graham and Marcedes Lewis aren’t getting any younger, and Lewis provides very little athletically. After taking Hockenson in the first, Oliver would give the Packers another athletic, receiving tight end. Oliver isn’t as polished of a blocker, but could be a weapon over the middle in the passing game. Oliver’s 4.63-forty time was tied for third-best with Alabama’s Irv Smith from the tight end group at the Combine. Again, LaFleur’s offense relies on numerous two-tight end sets, so you can’t have too many bodies on the roster.

 

ROUND 6, PICK 185

  • Ross Pierschbacher, OL, Alabama
  • Previous pick: Renell Wren, DL, Arizona State

The Packers get a back-up interior offensive lineman after nabbing an offensive tackle earlier in the draft. Perischbacher was a four-year starter for the Crimson Tide, a team that went 53-5 over his four years. Pierschbacher played all three interior positions for Alabama, finishing his career at center as a senior. Playing in an NFL training ground under Nick Saban, Pierschbacher could step in and contribute if needed in his rookie season and would give the Pack fantastic depth on the line.

 

ROUND 6, PICK 194

  • Daylon Mack, DL, Texas A&M
  • Previous pick: Unchanged

I nab Mack in the sixth again. Mack has B.J. Raji-type size and could be a great rotational piece for the Packers, providing them with great depth on the defensive line.

 

ROUND 7, PICK 226

  • Maxx Crosby, EDGE, Eastern Michigan
  • Previous pick: Trey Pipkins, OL, Sioux Falls

The Packers get a developmental edge rusher with some athleticism with their final pick. After investing $118 million in two edge rushers in the offseason, the Packers have the luxury of waiting until the seventh round to address the position. Crosby was named a first-team all-MAC selection in 2018 after posting 70 tackles, 19 for loss, 7.5 sacks, and four forced fumbles in 12 starts. With some coaching and adjusting to speed of NFL game, Crosby could be a good find in the seventh.

 

************************

There you have it folks, my Packers mock draft: 2.0.

I went four-out-of-five picks on the offensive side of the ball to start, but I think providing Aaron Rodgers with more weapons is what this team needs. The defense was addressed in free agency for a reason (even though there is always room for depth). I think by getting two potential starters in Gardner-Johnson and Smith would go a long way in helping the defense improve even more in 2019.

Mock draft version 3.0 coming soon!

 

 

Green Bay Packers

Seven-round Green Bay Packers mock draft: 1.0

With the NFL Draft happening at the end of next month, I’ll begin a series of mock drafts focused on the Green Bay Packers.

Even after being very active at the beginning of the free agency period, the Green Bay Packers still have needs. With 10 picks in this years draft – including four picks in the top 75 – the Green Bay Packers have no excuses for not being able to acquire two or three players who should be able to contribute immediately.

Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers huddle” by Mike Morbeck is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

I used Matt Miller’s big board from Bleacher Report of overall player rankings, as well as a mock draft generator, with available players coming off the board via automatic algorithm. I then picked from the pool of remaining players and took who I would take. This is the format I’ll use for all upcoming mocks.

Without further adieu, here is my Packer mock draft: 1.0.

 

ROUND 1, PICK 12

  • T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

Hockenson is the most complete tight end in the draft, and I believe will be as good as – if not better than – San Francisco’s George Kittle. He provides Aaron Rodgers with a sure-handed weapon in the passing game, as well as a stout blocker in pass protection. Head coach Matt LaFleur has made it clear he wants to run more two tight end sets and run the ball more, so Hockenson makes perfect sense here.

 

ROUND 1, PICK 30

  • A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss

Green Bay hasn’t selected an offensive skill player in the first round since taking Rodgers in 2005, but I have them taking two in this mock. NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein describes Brown as a “slot bully” and an excellent route-runner, exactly what Green Bay needs. Brown could step into the slot role immediately and provide Rodgers with a sure-handed beastly safety blanket underneath, forcing defenses to shift focus away from Davante Adams. Brown would thrive in Green Bay.

 

ROUND 2, PICK 44

  • Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State

Even though Green Bay signed safety Adrian Amos in free agency, the position still needs help. Abram was a stud for the Bulldogs, leading the team with 99 tackles and also contributing three sacks and two interceptions. Abram plays like an extra linebacker on the field and has the speed to play sideline-to-sideline. Based upon scouting reports, to me Abram sounds like a lesser-known version of Chargers all-pro safety Derwin James.

 

ROUND 3, PICK 75

  • Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis

A running back in the third round may seem like a reach, but Aaron Jones has had multiple injuries in his career. Jamaal Williams is an above-average back-up to Jones, but if Jones were to go down, it’s Williams and that’s pretty much it. Henderson might be the best kept secret in the draft and would provide Green Bay a shiny new toy at running back. At 5’8″, 208 lbs, he looks like a combo of Tarik Cohen (elusiveness) and Kareem Hunt (receiving ability) on tape. He had 2204 yards on 223 touches (9.5 avg) for 25 TD in 2018 – explosive. Put him in the stable with Jones and Williams, and the Green Bay Packers are scary at RB.

 

ROUND 4, PICK 114

  • Darnell Savage Jr., S, Maryland

Another safety? Well, the position needs help. Like Abram, Savage is a hybrid-type safety and can be used in multiple roles. Savage excels in the ‘ball-skills’ department, as scouting reports highlight his ‘sticky coverage skills’ and ‘ability to close on throws from all areas of the field.’ Play-makers and speed on defense are what the Packers need, and Savage fits the bill.

 

ROUND 4, PICK 118

  • Michael Deiter, OL, Wisconsin

After signing OL Billy Turner in free agency, the Packers have the luxury of waiting until the middle rounds to beef up the o-line. Enter Deiter. Deiter primarily played guard at run-heavy Wisconsin, where they always have success running the ball. He projects on the interior in the NFL, but started 14 games at left tackle in 2017 for Wisconsin, meaning he could be a successor to Bryan Bulaga on the right side in 2020. He could likely start if needed, but will have the luxury of slowly learning the nuances of the NFL as a back-up.

 

ROUND 5, PICK 150

  • Dru Samia, OL, Oklahoma

Samia played on a very talented offensive line at Oklahoma and was named second-team All-American for his play in 2018. Samia didn’t allow a sack in 14 starts at guard in 2018, and only allowed five sacks on 1,675 pass-blocking snaps across a four-year career. Wow. Protecting Aaron Rodgers is a priority, and Samia has proven he can pass block. Samia could be a steal in the fifth round and prides himself on his self-proclaimed nastiness on the field.

 

ROUND 6, PICK 185

  • Renell Wren, DL, Arizona State

Wren is raw, just becoming a full-time starter in his senior year in 2018. He has phenomenal size (6’5″, 318 lb) and athleticism for a defensive end. He showed that to scouts at the Combine (5.01 forty, 30 bench reps, 32″ vert). Wren doesn’t have eye-popping college stats, but would add an intriguing piece to an already talented defensive line. Mike Daniels is entering his free agency year, so depth is necessary in case he leaves after this season.

 

ROUND 6, PICK 194

  • Daylon Mack, DL, Texas A&M

Mack is a very big kid (6’1″, 336 lb) and would add another vital depth piece to the defensive line. Mack is similar in size and athleticism to B.J. Raji, who the Packers have struggled to replace since his abrupt retirement in March of 2016. Mack would give the Packers a legit run stuffer in the middle, as well as someone who occasionally gets to the QB (5.5 sacks in 2018).

 

ROUND 7, PICK 226

  • Trey Pipkins, OL, Sioux Falls

Pipkins finished third in the voting for the Gene Upshaw Award in 2018, given to the nation’s top D2 lineman. He was also named first-team D2 All-American by the Associated Press in 2018. Pipkins is a developmental tackle prospect, but has proven success against lesser competition. I’m intrigued by his size and length (6’6″, 309 lbs, 34″ arms). Definitely worth a shot in the later rounds.

 

Recap

To recap, LaFleur has made it clear he wants to run the ball more and win in the trenches. In my first mock, the Green Bay Packers take five lineman on either side of the ball. This team needs a newfound aggressiveness in the trenches if they want to have any success running the ball like LaFleur wants. Let’s hope they hit on draft picks from top to bottom in every facet of the team.

Mock draft 2.0 coming soon!

 

 

 

 

Post-Combine NFL Mock Draft

2019 Post-Combine NFL mock draft

Last week, before the NFL Combine, I put out my first 2019 NFL mock draft. To take a look back at my Pre-Combine NFL mock draft, follow the link here. Now that the Combine is over, several players have changed their draft stock, meaning things will look a little different this time around. Who will your favorite NFL team select? Let’s take a look at my Post-Combine NFL mock draft! 

Post-Combine NFL Mock Draft
jac.fbc.vsColorado.09.17.16.0505” by Maize & Blue Nation is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Post-Combine NFL mock draft

1. Arizona Cardinals: QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma

Although Kyler Murray didn’t participate in any workouts during the NFL Combine, he came out as the consensus No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft. The buzz around Murray being the first pick continues to grow stronger, so I think there’s a pretty good chance this happens. He’s a great fit for Kliff Kingsbury’s offense. What does that mean for QB Josh Rosen? We’ll find out later in this Post-Combine NFL mock draft.

 

2. San Fransisco 49ers: DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State

If the Cardinals select Murray first, Bosa is going to be the pick here. Bosa is widely considered the best player in the draft, and with a strong workout at the NFL Combine, his draft stock was only solidified. After ranking 23rd in the NFL in sacks last season, it’s clear the 49ers could use an elite edge rusher. His brother Joey Bosa came into the league and made an immediate impact for the Chargers. Scouts are saying Nick is a better prospect, so the 49ers should expect him to come in right away and improve their pass rush.

3. New York Jets: DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama

I believe the Jets are more in need of an edge rusher, but Quinnen Williams is too good to pass on. With him and Leonard Williams on the inside, the Jets could have one of the best, if not the best pair of interior lineman in the NFL. With a lot of money to spend in free agency, the Jets could look there for an edge rusher. That would allow them to take the best player available, which would be Williams.

 

4. Oakland Raiders: DE Josh Allen, Kentucky

We all know the Raiders were historically bad at rushing the passer last season. That makes this selection easy. Josh Allen is the second best edge rusher in this draft, with Bosa being the first. Oakland’s number one priority has to be improving on their lowly 13 sacks from a season ago. Allen instantly upgrades that pass rush. Easy selection here.

 

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: DE Rashan Gary, Michigan

There are several ways the Buccaneers could go here. I had them taking CB Greedy Williams last time around because of how bad their pass defense was last season, but I think they need to take the best player available. That player is Rashan Gary. The Bucs were 21st in the NFL in sacks last season, so Gary also fits a need for them, giving them a pass rusher with elite potential.

 

6. New York Giants: QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State

This pick remains the same for me. Dwayne Haskins is seen as the best QB in this draft by many. Even if the Giants do view Kyler Murray as the better QB, he’s off the board. I think Haskins is a better fit for the Giants anyway, as they’re used to having a pocket passer in Eli Manning. Haskins could sit and learn from Eli for a bit, and then take over mid season. Eli won’t last that long.

 

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: WR D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss

If the Jaguars are getting Nick Foles, they’re going to need to give him weapons. Foles had a great connection with Alshon Jeffrey in Philadelphia. Jeffrey is a big receiver who can go up and get the ball, which Nick Foles absolutely loved. D.K. Metcalf is also a big receiver, but he’s a big receiver who’s as fast as anyone on the field. The Foles to Metcalf connection could be great for sometime. Metcalf made a big jump up in my Post-Combine NFL mock draft because of his great Combine performance. He’s likely a top 10 pick, and this is a great spot for him.

 

8. Detroit Lions: DE Montez Sweat, Mississippi State

Same position as last time for the Lions, but a different player in this Post-Combine NFL mock draft. With the Lions likely moving on from Ziggy Ansah, they need a pass rusher to step in and fill his spot. Montez Sweat greatly helped himself at the NFL Combine, showing athleticism and speed. He showed everything teams want from their star pass rushers and significantly increased his stock.

 

9. Buffalo Bills: OT Jawaan Taylor, Florida

I’ve still got Taylor to the Bills in this Post-Combine NFL mock draft. He didn’t work out at the Combine, so his stock wasn’t helped or hurt. Many still view him as the best OT in this draft. There are many ways this team could go, but I believe they need to get Josh Allen protection if he’s going to reach his potential.

 

10. Denver Broncos: QB Drew Lock, Missouri

After hearing the Broncos acquired Joe Flacco, I thought there was no way the Broncos would take a QB this early. After more thought, I think it’s a real possibility. Joe Flacco can be a good bridge QB for the Broncos as they ease Drew Lock in slowly. Denver needs to find their next franchise QB, and Joe Flacco isn’t that. Lock didn’t have the greatest workout at the Combine, but he didn’t hurt his stock too much. He’s still the best QB on the board at this point.

 

11. Cincinnati Bengals: DT Ed Oliver, Houston

I had Drew Lock at this spot in my Pre-Combine draft, but with him off the board now, the Bengals go with the best available player in my Post-Combine NFL mock draft. Ed Oliver overcame a few concerns at the Combine, which has raised his stock back up a little. Oliver is the best player left on the board at this point, but I also think the Bengals could use another DT to help the middle of their defensive line, so it’s a great match.

 

12. Green Bay Packers: LB Devin White, LSU

With the possibility of losing Clay Matthews, the Packers should try to acquire the NFLs next great LB. That could be Devin White. Even if Matthews comes back, he’s not the same player he once was. Devin White is big, strong, quick, athletic, instinctive, and just about everything teams look for in a LB. It seems like every year now, some of the best players in the NFL are rookie LBs. Now it’s Devin White’s turn.

 

13. Miami Dolphins: DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson

I originally had QB Daniel Jones here, but I don’t think he goes this high after his Combine performance. Instead, the Dolphins will look to address one of their biggest needs in this Post-Combine NFL mock draft. Last season they had just 31 sacks, ranking 29th in the league. That needs to be better, and Clelin Ferrell can help with that. He’s an experienced and proven pass rusher who can help the Dolphins from day one.

 

14. Atlanta Falcons: CB Greedy Williams, LSU

Although Greedy Williams had a good Combine performance, I have moved him down a little in this Post-Combine NFL mock draft, but it’s not because of his talent. I just think the players ahead of Williams are considered to be the better players. Anyway, the Falcons had all sorts of problems on their defense last season. A lot of that was because of injury, but it was also because of underperformance. The secondary could use an upgrade, and Williams could step in nicely as not only their big CB, but their fast CB.

 

15. Washington Redskins: WR A.J. Brown, Ole Miss

Don’t get confused because I didn’t go QB here. I know the Redskins need a QB, but if the Cardinals are taking Kyler Murray first, I think Washington is a leading candidate to land Josh Rosen. If the Redskins land Rosen and still have their first-round pick, they need to get Rosen a legit receiving threat. A.J. Brown didn’t do as well at the Combine as D.K. Metcalf, but, did anyone? He still had a nice performance, proving he’s one of the top WRs in this draft.

 

16. Carolina Panthers: OT Jonah Williams, Alabama

The Carolina Panthers’ OL needs to be better. Period. Cam Newton has suffered through several bad offensive lines over the years, and this needs to be fixed. The beating Newton is taking is impacting him as a QB. Jonah Williams can help this line right away, giving Newton a lot more protection and helping him get back to his best form.

 

17. Cleveland Browns: CB Byron Murphy, Washington

CB may not be the biggest need for the Browns, but I absolutely love the pairing of Byron Murphy with Denzel Ward. Ward had a great season in his rookie year. Now he needs someone reliable across from him. Murphy is a good sized CB who may not be the fastest, but he’s a hard hitter who can also play well in coverage. With Ward and Murphy together, the Browns will greatly improve their defense.

 

18. Minnesota Vikings: C Garrett Bradbury, NC State

We all know the Vikings need to improve their offensive line. They could go with several different offensive lineman with this pick. I had Jonah Williams here before, but he’s not on the board in this Post-Combine NFL mock draft. Instead, the Vikings go with Garrett Bradbury, who had an impressive performance at the NFL Combine and secured himself a spot in the first-round. I also believe he’s a good fit here because he can play multiple OL spots. The Vikings can plug him where they need him and get better by doing so.

 

19. Tennessee Titans: TE T.J. Hockenson, Iowa

At first I didn’t think the Titans would go TE, but I don’t think it can hurt to have multiple impactful TEs on a roster. Hockenson is the best TE in this class because of his ability to not only catch the ball, but block. He’s a well rounded player who knows how to play to his strengths. He will greatly help Marcus Mariota.

 

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma

I had Brown as my first WR off the board in my first draft, but his stock dropped a little bit in my Post-Combine NFL mock draft because of his injury and not working out at the Combine. Anyway, this would be an interesting pick, wouldn’t it? Picking the cousin of disgruntled Antonio Brown! Risky move, but I like what Brown brings to the table. He’d be a nice addition to JuJu Smith-Schuster.

 

21. Seattle Seahawks: DT Christian Wilkins, Clemson

I’m sticking with Christian Wilkins here. I still believe the Seahawks need to upgrade the middle of their defensive line. Wilkins is the best interior defensive lineman left on the board in this Post-Combine NFL mock draft, making him the selection.

 

22. Baltimore Ravens: LB Devin Bush, Michigan

With CJ Mosley being a free agent, the Baltimore Ravens will need to find a replacement at LB if they don’t re-sign him. Devin Bush would be a great replacement. He may be a little undersized, but he’s a quick LB who plays sideline to sideline and just flat out makes plays. Losing Mosley would hurt this defense, but adding Bush would make it hurt a lot less.

 

23. Houston Texans:  OT Cody Ford, Oklahoma

I had Andre Dillard, another OT, in this spot before, but I think Cody Ford has put himself ahead of Dillard for now. Regardless of who they pick, the Texans have to address the offensive line, and must address it early. Deshaun Watson can’t be allowed to take so many sacks. I can only imagine how good their offense could have been had Watson not been sacked the most times out of any QB.

 

24. Oakland Raiders (From Chicago Bears): S Jonathan Abram, Mississippi State

LB Devin Bush was in this spot previously, but he’s taken in this Post-Combine NFL mock draft. Instead, the Raiders look to improve their secondary by taking the top S in the draft, Jonathan Abram. I think the Raiders could really use a guy like Abram on their defense, as he can not only play safety, but could step in at LB at times. He’s a versatile player this defense doesn’t have.

 

25. Philadelphia Eagles: RB Josh Jacobs, Alabama

I’m sticking with Josh Jacobs in this spot. Jacobs didn’t workout at the NFL Combine, but he still remains the draft’s best RB. As I said before, the Eagles don’t have a workhorse RB. They struggled to run the ball last season, and need to improve their run game for Carson Wentz to get back to his MVP form.

 

26. Indianapolis Colts: DE Brian Burns, Florida State

After Jachai Polite had a bad showing at the Combine, I’ve not only removed him from this spot, but from the first-round all together in this Post-Combine NFL mock draft. However, I still have the Colts going with a DE. They need to get better pressure off the edge for this defense to get even better than it was. Brian Burns had a great showing at the Combine, elevating himself into the first-round.

 

27. Oakland Raiders (From Dallas Cowboys): TE Noah Fant, Iowa

After going defense with their first two picks, the Raiders look to improve their offense. TE Jared Cook is a free agent and may not return. If he’s gone, Noah Fant would be a good option to fill his spot. Fant is a quick, athletic TE who can easily run by people and make big plays. This offense lacked big plays last season, so Fant’s abilities to do so would be much welcomed.

 

28. Los Angeles Chargers: QB Daniel Jones, Duke

Daniel Jones dropped down the board after his Combine performance, but he’s still going in the first-round. This may be one of the best spots for Jones, as he would get to learn from Philip Rivers for a season or two before taking over as the starter. With a guy like Jones, I think it’d be best for him to sit and learn for a least a little bit, rather than being thrown in as a starter right away. Jones can learn, and the Chargers get their QB of the future. It’s a win for both sides.

 

29. Kansas City Chiefs: CB Deandre Baker, Georgia

Deandre Baker remains the pick at this spot for the Chiefs. Their secondary last season was one of the worst in the league, so this has been an easy choice for me so far. Deandre Baker can make an early impact on a secondary who struggled mightily a season ago.

 

30. Green Bay Packers (From New Orleans Saints): OT Andre Dillard, Washington State

One of the biggest issues the Packers have on offense is along the offensive line. I think G is their biggest need. Andre Dillard is an OT, but I don’t think he’d have any problem sliding inside to be a G. We’ve seen this done several times before, and I think Dillard could be the next candidate to make the switch while still being very impactful.

 

31. Los Angeles Rams: S Taylor Rapp, Washington

I had Jonathan Abram slotted here last time around, but he’s off the board this time. The Rams will still go with a S though, choosing Washington’s Taylor Rapp. Rapp is another versatile safety the Rams could use in a lot of different ways. With Lamarcus Joyner potentially not coming back, this pick would fill a need for the Rams, and I think, improve their defense as well.

 

32. New England Patriots: DE Jaylon Ferguson, Louisiana Tech

Jaylson Ferguson is relatively unknown because he played for a smaller school, but his impact on the field was not small in any way. This guy set an NCAA record for sacks, totaling 45 during his college career. He may have played for a small school, but he knows how to rush the passer. Teams will shy away because he had a small character issue a few years back, but he’s been good since then. The Patriots don’t have a problem taking players with character issues anyway.

 

****************************

Make sure to stay tuned for my next 2019 NFL Mock Draft, as it’s sure to be different next time around! NFL Free Agency is about to start, meaning several teams will fill positions of need and look elsewhere come NFL Draft time. 

Pre-Combine 2019 NFL mock draft

The 2019 NFL Scouting Combine starts tomorrow! That means we’re one step closer to the 2019 NFL Draft. Being closer to the NFL Draft can only mean one thing. An NFL Mock Draft! Who doesn’t love an NFL mock draft?

My first 2019 NFL Mock Draft comes before the combine, meaning my NFL mock draft picks are based on where teams view prospects as of right now, as well as team needs. Which player(s) will your favorite team land in the first-round this year?

NFL Mock Draft
PAB_FB_vsOSU2016_61” by Maize & Blue Nation is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Pre-Combine NFL mock draft

1. Arizona Cardinals: DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State

There’s a lot of speculation around the Cardinals ending the Josh Rosen experiment early to take QB Kyler Murray. It’s a real possibility that does happen, but I’m not sure it’ll be with the first overall pick. If the Cardinals are looking to draft Murray, they could trade down a few spots with teams who aren’t looking for a QB. For this NFL mock draft, the Cardinals are picking first. That means they’re going to, or at least should take the best player in the draft. That player is Nick Bosa.

 

2. San Fransisco 49ers: DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama

DT may not be the biggest need for the 49ers, but it’ll be extremely hard for them to pass on Quinnen Williams. Williams is more than just a DT. He can play all along the defensive line. It didn’t really matter where he played at Alabama, he dominated. The 49ers have the second pick, and should take the second best player in the draft.

 

3. New York Jets: DE Josh Allen, Kentucky

One of the biggest needs the Jets have this offseason comes along the offensive line. Sam Darnold needs more protection. The problem with that is, is there an offensive lineman in this class who’s worth taking at No. 3 overall? Most people would say no. With that being the case, the Jets can look to fill that need in a later round. With the third overall pick, they’ll choose to fill another need by getting one of the best pass rushers in the draft. The Jets weren’t horrible at pass rush last season, totaling 39.0 sacks on the season. However, they definitely need to get better on the edge with an elite pass rusher, as no player on their defense had more than 7.0 sacks this past season. Josh Allen is a big, explosive pass rusher who the Jets desperately need on their defensive line.

 

4. Oakland Raiders: DE Rashan Gary, Michigan

Oakland’s pass rush was almost non existent last season, recording a league low 13.0 sacks the entire season. Finding an edge rusher who can make an immediate impact for this defense should be their number one priority. With three first-round picks, I could see a possibility of Oakland moving up to land Nick Bosa, but this NFL mock draft doesn’t include trades. Regardless of if they stay put or move up, a DE will likely be their first selection. I also think Gary would make a nice addition next to former teammate Maurice Hurst.

 

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB Greedy Williams, LSU

Greedy Williams has been highly ranked throughout the season, but many question some of his abilities. How he does at the combine will heavily determine where he’s drafted, but for now, we’ll keep him here. Williams sticks out because of his 6’3″, 183 lbs size. We all know how much teams are loving those bigger CBs in today’s NFL. Williams can help the Bucs fix one of their biggest problems from a season ago. In terms of pass defense, this team was bad. They gave up the seventh most passing yards per game last season. In addition to that, they allowed the highest passer rating to opposing QBs. Greedy Williams can instantly improve a pass defense that mightily struggled.

 

6. New York Giants: QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State

I know there’s some speculation about the Giants sticking with Eli Manning, but I think that’d be a mistake. If they do stick with Manning as the starter, it’s time to get a guy who can take over for him when they finally realize they’re not going anywhere with Eli. Dwayne Haskins is the top QB in this class, so the Giants should pull the trigger on him here.

 

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma

Who really knows where Kyler Murray will go? He could go first overall. He could go in the later part of the first. I think a team with an early pick will see his potential and take him. If the Jaguars know what’s good for them, they’ll take a QB here. They could go with guys like Drew Lock or Daniel Jones, but I’m not sure they’re the right fit for the Jaguars. I’m also not sure they’re worth drafting this high. I believe Murray is the right fit for this team and is worth taking at this spot.

 

8. Detroit Lions: DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson

There’s a good chance the Lions will be losing Ezekiel Ansah, who is their best pass rusher. That means they’ll have to find an elite pass rusher in the draft who can take his spot. That pass rusher is Clelin Ferrell. Ferrell was highly effective during his time with Clemson. I think he can come into the NFL and produce right away.

 

9. Buffalo Bills: OT Jawaan Taylor, Florida

There are many options for the Bills with this pick, but I think addressing the offensive line is the best one. They’ve got their so called franchise QB, although I don’t think that’s the case. Anyway, if they want Josh Allen to develop into who they think he can be, they need to protect him better. The Bills gave up 41 sacks last season. That’s too many for a young QB who struggles with accuracy. He needs protection and he needs it now.

 

10. Denver Broncos: WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma 

It looks like the Broncos are rolling with Joe Flacco this coming season. For Flacco to be effective in Denver, he needs to have weapons. After shipping DeMaryius Thomas away, that left the Broncos with Emmanuel Sanders and Courtland Sutton as the top two weapons. Sutton had a good rookie season and should continue to grow, but Sanders tore his achilles not too long ago. Even if he does return next season, he likely won’t be the same player. Having a big receiver in Sutton will be nice, but now they need a speed guy to take the top off the defense. Maybe Antonio Brown’s cousin Marquise Brown can be that guy.

 

11. Cincinnati Bengals: QB Drew Lock, Missouri

Cincinnati may continue to roll with Andy Dalton at QB, but I believe they should end the Dalton era and move on to someone else. I’m still not sure how I feel about Drew Lock as an NFL QB, but he’s thought of as one of the top QBs in the draft by many. With Haskins and Murray off the board in this NFL mock draft, Lock is the best QB option for the Bengals with the 11th pick.

 

12. Green Bay Packers: DE Montez Sweat, Mississippi State

The Packers could go multiple ways here, but I think their best bet is to go with an edge rusher. This team recorded 44.0 sacks last season, but there never seemed to be the constant edge pressure teams like to have at the position. I believe Montez Sweat can be just as good as the DEs predicted to go ahead of him. He can be a constant pressure to opposing QBs, which will help out the young secondary of the Packers in a big way.

 

13. Miami Dolphins: QB Daniel Jones, Duke

If the Dolphins haven’t realized that Ryan Tannehill isn’t going to take them anywhere by now, I don’t know when they will. Tannehill has always been destined to be a quality backup QB, but not a franchise QB. It’s time for the Dolphins to move on from him. It might be a bit of a stretch taking Daniel Jones 13th overall, so they could trade down, but again, this NFL mock draft doesn’t cover potential trades. However, if they feel like he or another QB still on the board can be their true franchise QB, they have to pull the trigger.

 

14. Atlanta Falcons: DT Ed Oliver, Houston

There’s a possibility DT Grady Jarrett could be gone this offseason. If that’s the case, that would be a huge blow to the Falcons on defense, meaning they’d need to find his replacement. If he stays, drafting another DT won’t hurt either. Ed Oliver is projected as one of the better players in this draft by many. Some have him top two. I’ve seen others rank him around this spot. We’ll have to wait and see how he tests to get a more accurate feel for where he’ll go. I believe he’ll do well and move way up in my next NFL mock draft. If he does land here, the Falcons would be getting a top notch player who can help this defense, regardless of if Grady Jarrett sticks around.

 

15. Washington Redskins: WR D.K. Metcalf, Ole Miss

The Washington Redskins have been looking for a number one receiver for a while now, so it makes perfect sense for them to target one of the top receivers in this draft. D.K. Metcalf has the size to be a dominant receiver in this league, especially in the red zone. I think his fellow Ole Miss receiver A.J. Brown might be a better prospect right now, but Metcalf definitely has the potential to be a great NFL receiver. With questions at QB, it would also make sense for them to target a top QB in this draft, but they’ll likely have to trade up to get the guy they want. In this NFL mock draft, all the first-round worthy QBs are already off the board.

 

16. Carolina Panthers: LB Devin White, LSU

The Carolina Panthers won’t be getting Thomas Davis back next year, which means they have a hole to fill at LB. Enter Devin White. White is a big, athletic LB who could step in and fill the open spot left by Davis from day one. There may be other needs the Panthers need to fill, but I think it’ll be too hard to pass on Devin White if he’s available here.

 

17. Cleveland Browns: CB Byron Murphy, Washington

There are several ways the Browns could go here. They could solidify their offensive line. They could choose to get a true number one WR for Baker Mayfield. Or they could choose to draft one of the best CBs in this draft and pair him with last year’s No. 4 overall pick, Denzel Ward. Ward played exceptionally well for the Browns last season, and it looks like he’s going to be a great CB for years to come. Now the Browns need to find a guy who can play alongside Ward for years to come. Byron Murphy has all the tools to be great CB in the NFL. The CB tandem of Ward and Murphy could be scary a couple years down the road.

 

18. Minnesota Vikings: OT Jonah Williams, Alabama

There’s no question in my mind what position the Vikings need to address in the first-round. That position is offensive line. It doesn’t matter if they go OT or G, they just need offensive line help. With no Gs really having the first-round pedigree in this class, OT looks like the choice. Jonah Williams is one of, if not the best OT in this draft class. He would instantly upgrade the Vikings’ offensive line, helping them protect their big investment in Kirk Cousins.

 

19. Tennessee Titans: WR N’Keal Harry, Arizona State

The Titans had a great defense last season, but their offense held them back. Derrick Henry didn’t get going until late in the season. Hopefully he can carry that over into next season, but even if he does, Marcus Mariota still needs more weapons. The Titans’ leading receiver last season was Corey Davis, who had 891 yards and four TDs. He improved a lot last season, and should continue to improve. Delanie Walker should be back at TE, but the Titans still need more, which is why I have them drafting a top WR in N’Keal Harry. He and Davis could be a scary duo down the road.

 

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: WR A.J. Brown, Ole Miss

If the Steelers really are parting ways with Antonio Brown, they’re going to need someone to fill his spot. Nobody is going to step right in and produce the way he did, but they need someone with potential to do so down the road. For now, JuJu Smith-Schuster is going to be the number one receiver. He had a great season, but will he be able to produce the same without Brown demanding so much attention? Pittsburgh needs to draft a receiver who can come in and take the pressure off JuJu.

 

21. Seattle Seahawks: DT Christian Wilkins, Clemson

Despite the Seahawks being very good defensively last season, the middle of their defensive line needs a little bit of work. They have some nice pieces on their defensive line, but they need more help. You can never have too many pass rushers. Christian Wilkins is a guy who can not only be an effective pass rusher on the inside, but a guy who can also make big plays against the run. He would help solidify the young defensive line the Seahawks have.

 

22. Baltimore Ravens: WR Riley Ridley, Georgia

John Brown led the Ravens in receiving last season, recording 715 yards and five TDs. In order for Lamar Jackson to develop as a passer, the Ravens have to surround him with receiving threats. Riley Ridley didn’t put up huge numbers in college, but he projects to be a better pro than college player. He has all the tools he needs to be an effective receiver. He may not produce right away, but he would provide Lamar Jackson with a young receiver to grow alongside of.

 

23. Houston Texans: OT Andre Dillard, Washington State

After allowing Deshaun Watson so be sacked more times than other QB last season, the Texans must make offensive line their priority in the first-round. Andre Dillard could step in right away and increase protection for the Texans’ franchise QB. Their line was so bad last season, I might even consider moving up in the draft to try and get one of the top two OTs if I were them. If they choose to stay put, Andre Dillard is another great OT prospect who should develop into a really solid NFL starter.

 

24. Oakland Raiders (From Chicago Bears): LB Devin Bush, Michigan

After getting Rashan Gary with the fourth pick, the Raiders will come right back to Michigan for their second selection in the first-round. Not only is this another selection of a Michigan player, but it’s a selection of another defender. Improving the pass rush will help the Raiders defensively, but they’ll need a lot more than that. This defense gave up the most points in the league last season. LB is also a need after getting rid of Khalil Mack. I’m not saying Devin Bush is Khalil Mack, but he is a solid LB with the tools teams want from the position. Bush may be a little undersized, but he makes up for it with his play. If he has a good performance at the NFL Combine, Bush could move up in my next NFL mock draft.

 

25. Philadelphia Eagles: RB Josh Jacobs, Alabama

Philadelphia is in need of an upgrade at the RB position this offseason. Jay Ajayi is coming off a torn ACL and is set to be a free agent. Darren Sproles missed a lot of last season and is also set to be a free agent. The Eagles still have Corey Clement, but he’s also coming off a knee injury. There’s not a guy on that roster right now who you could consider a true workhorse RB. Alabama RB Josh Jacobs is considered the top RB in this draft class. He has all the tools and skills a team could want from their workhorse RB. He should be able to provide Carson Wentz with the run game he needs to get back to his MVP form.

 

26. Indianapolis Colts: DE Jachai Polite, Florida

Indianapolis improved defensively throughout the course of the season, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t holes to fill. For this defense to take the next step, they have to get a more consistent pass rush. Last season they ranked 19th in sacks, totaling 38.0. If this defense is going to be taken seriously, they have to find a guy who can be their consistent pass rusher. Jachai Polite had 11.0 sacks last season. Before that, he had only recorded 4.0 sacks in two seasons. That’s why he’s ranked lower than the other top pass rushers, but you can see the potential and growth is there.

 

27. Oakland Raiders (From Dallas Cowboys): CB Rock Ya-Sin, Temple

Now that the Raiders have taken care of their front seven with their first two picks, it’s time to take care of the back end of their defense. Oakland actually ranked 14th in passing yards allowed last season, which is good considering how bad this defense was, but it’s not good enough. Oakland needs a CB who can develop into a shut down guy. CB Rock Ya-Sin might not be well known because of where he played football, but NFL fans will soon know his name. He’s got great ball skills and natural instincts. His 6’2″, 190 lbs size will also be something he can use against bigger receivers in the NFL.

 

28. Los Angeles Chargers: OT Cody Ford, Oklahoma

The Chargers actually did pretty well along the offensive line last season, until late in the year. As the Chargers began to play some of the better defensive teams, it became more clear the offensive line needed some work. The LT position is in good shape right now, but the RT position could use an upgrade. In order for the Chargers to stay competitive, they have to keep Philip Rivers upright as much as possible.

 

29. Kansas City Chiefs: CB Deandre Baker, Georgia

The secondary for the Chiefs was absolutely terrible last season. Their defense totaled 52.0 sacks, which was tied for the most in the league, but even with the pressure put on opposing QBs, the secondary always let them down. Giving up the second most passing yards per game is not a good way to help out one of the best offense’s in the league. I’m not worried about the offense at all, but something has to be done about the secondary. Georgia CB Deandre Baker can help with that.

 

30. Green Bay Packers (From New Orleans Saints): TE T.J. Hockenson, Iowa

Packers fans might be pushing for a WR at this spot, but in this NFL mock draft, there’s not a guy left who’s worth taking here. Instead, the Packers will go another route in this NFL mock draft to give Aaron Rodgers a weapon. I know the Packers already have Jimmy Graham, but there’s nothing wrong with having two TEs who can make plays. T.J. Hockenson might not be as athletic as his Iowa teammate TE Noah Fant, but he’s more polished as a TE in the areas of receiving and blocking. He does both very well. I’m sure Aaron Rodgers could find creative ways to use him.

 

31. Los Angeles Rams: S Jonathan Abram, Mississippi State

There’s a good chance Lamarcus Joyner won’t be returning to this team next season. If that’s the case, they’ll need to find a replacement. Even if Joyner does return, it’s not like he had the greatest season last year. The Rams can use an upgrade at S regardless. Jonathan Abram is the top ranked S in the draft by many, so a team in need of a S, such as the Rams, would be wise to target him with their first pick.

 

32. New England Patriots: TE Noah Fant, Iowa

I can honestly see the Patriots trading out of this spot, but they’ll stay put for this NFL mock draft. With their selection, the Super Bowl champs get the other Iowa TE with the final pick in the first-round. Noah Fant may not be as polished all-around as T.J. Hockenson, but he’s a big bodied TE who’s a great receiving threat. With questions about the future of Rob Gronkowski, drafting a TE would be a good direction for the Patriots to go. If Gronk doesn’t stick around, they’ll have a potential replacement. If he does stick around, they’ll have another receiving threat for Brady. We’ve seen two TEs be heavily involved for the Patriots before and work out nicely on the field.

****************************

As is always the case after the NFL Scouting Combine, things will change based on how players perform, so keep an eye out for my second 2019 NFL Mock Draft shortly after the combine wraps up!

What did you think of your teams’ selection(s) in my first NFL mock draft of the season? Comment below who you’d have your team taking in an NFL mock draft below!