Fourth Quarter Sports’ final 2019 NFL mock draft

Tomorrow is officially the biggest day in the NFL offseason. It’s draft day baby! It’s time of the year we finally get to see just what our favorite teams are planning on doing for the 2020 season! The internet has been flooded with mock drafts and opinions on who is taking who from fans and experts alike. Here at Fourth Quarter Sports, we wanted to join the party!

With most of the smoke screen’s up, and all the rumors out there, Joel, RahimAli and myself put together our thoughts on tomorrow nights first round! Below you’ll find our picks for each team, along with a breakdown of some of our most notable picks.

 

Mock Draft breakdowns

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RahimAli

I think it’s obvious Kyler Murray will be the No. 1 overall pick at this point. It’s going to be amazing to see what new Arizona head coach Kliff Kingsbury can do with a talented quarterback like Murray. The question that remains is, what are they going to do with second-year quarterback Josh Rosen?

For the Niners, this pick makes perfect sense. They didn’t do as good as they had hoped for last year with the additions of Jimmy Garappolo and Jerrick McKinnon, but both of those guys got injured and missed the rest of the season. So the Niners should leave the offense alone for now, especially after drafting to protect their quarterback last year.

The Jets’ offense is still a question, but they did find ways to stay in games with the offense they did have, so let’s get them better on the defensive line. The Raiders, oh Raiders! We could honestly go anywhere with this first pick, but they have three picks in the first round thanks to the Amari Cooper to Dallas and Khalil Mack to Chicago trades. The fourth pick belongs to the Raiders, and with that pick, they will try to find their replacement for Khalil Mack in edge rusher, Josh Allen. The Raiders will then draft TE Noah Fant to replace the loss of Jared Cook to the Saints, and add RB Josh Jacobs to add more depth at a position they just couldn’t get a handle on over the past few years.

Now I know the pick for Dwayne Haskins may surprise you for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but they could probably get their guy at 10, so they trade with the Denver Broncos. Let’s be honest, the Broncos are completely lost at QB and are looking for anything and everything that will get them back on the right side of things. They signed Case Keenum last year, and then traded him to Washington after trading for Joe Flacco, but Flacco isn’t the best option either. Tampa Bay is looking for a guy who could help them with the weak defense they had last year. That guy could be linebacker Devin White.

The New York Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars are also two teams who could’ve used a QB with their pick, but it appears that neither one will get one. The Giants actually take wide receiver D.K. Metcalf to replace their loss of Odell Beckham Jr. They also did go with QB Daniel Jones in hopes that he could potentially take over for Eli Manning.

With Haskins and Metcalf already off the board, the Jaguars would settle for an offensive linemen to both protect newly acquired QB Nick Foles, and help the run game of RB Leonard Fournette. That offensive linemen is Jawaan Taylor, and he will be asked to do more earlier on the season, as they try to reclaim the division.

The Detroit Lions’ biggest struggle wasn’t on offense, but instead it was on defense. They could honestly use a lot of help in different areas, but we’ll have them take an EDGE like Rashan Gary.

The Buffalo Bills used free agency to help them improve themselves with the offensive weapons, and their defense is fairly decent, but they need to worry about one thing. That one thing is protecting second year QB Josh Allen, who will be one of the young bright stars in the league if he can stay healthy. Hopefully drafting an OT like Andre Dillard will help with that.

The Cincinnati Bengals are like the Lions in the fact that they need more than what they can get. Though the offense took a big hit with injuries to the QB, WR, TE and RB, all those guys are expected back ready and healthy, so the Bengals will focus on getting themselves an EDGE in Montez Sweat.

The Green Bay Packers are going to be a totally new looking team. They will have a new head coach and several different players. The one constant is QB Aaron Rodgers, and they will look to the draft to find him more offensive weapons. With the 12th pick, Green Bay will draft TE T.J. Hockenson as the future of Green Bay with the injuries and age of Jimmy Graham being in question. The late first round pick, 30th, will be a speedy receiver who will come in to take the place of Randall Cobb, who has moved on to Dallas.

The Miami Dolphins are most certainly looking for a QB in this draft, but don’t be surprised if they try to trade up to get Haskins or Murray. I think Drew Lock might be a better pick for how they like to run their offense. Let’s see how the Dolphins’ players around him can play though after being very inconsistent all of last season.

At 14, the Atlanta Falcons have their man. Okay, we all believe they should be trying to draft an OL to help protect QB Matt Ryan, but when one of the best defensive linemen falls to you, there’s no way you pass him up. Plus, the Falcons are known for going defense early in drafts, so that’s why Ed Olivier makes perfect season. Pairing him up with Grady Jarrett could be good for the Falcons, who struggled defensively last season.

Washington now has three different QB’s on the roster, and that’s why we can’t see them taking one in the first round. Whether it’s Colt McCoy, Case Keenum or Alex Smith who starts for the Redskins, they need to find a way to protect and keep them healthy, so the addition of an OT like Jonah Williams would help!

The Carolina Panthers offense wasn’t the problem at all, despite watching QB Cam Newton struggle to play through an injury all season. We aren’t focusing on the offense, because the defensive is the bigger priority. They too need an Edge rusher who can disrupt the opposing QBs, especially being in a division like the NFC South. That’s why Clelin Ferrell is the perfect pick here.

The Minnesota Vikings are one of those teams who are almost ready to get to the big game, they just need a few more pieces to help with that. Those pieces are on the offensive line, and an addition of Cody Ford could be a huge plus for the Vikings as they try to give Kirk Cousins more time to do what he does best.

The Tennessee Titans could go with many different positions here, but with an aging defensive line, it’s only fitting they go with a younger defensive linemen in Dexter Lawrence, as he hopes to lead the Titans in sacks and hopefully help them get back into the playoffs.

The Pittsburgh Steelers could go in any direction, but we know the offense will figure things out without having to worry about the drama of Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, so we’ll leave the offense allow for now. Instead, let’s help them get better on defense with one of the best linebackers available in the draft, Devin Bush!

Had the Seattle Seahawks and QB Russell Wilson not agreed to a deal, this pick might have happened earlier, and with different people involved. Fortunately, it was a done deal this past week, and now the Seahawks can turn their attention to the defensive side of the ball. There is always going to be the defensive first when it comes to the Seattle Seahawks and their draft picks. This year will be no different as they select DL Christian Wilkins.

The Baltimore Ravens pick is pretty obvious. They are going to go one of two ways with a receiver or a DB. Given the style of offense that the Ravens play with Lamar Jackson at QB, I am going to pass on them taking a wide receiver here. Instead, they will take safety Jonathan Abram to try to help feel the void that is left with Eric Weddle’s departure.

The Houston Texans have had some success with their offense and how things have been going for them! They will need to address the aging defense and having a young corner back like Greedy Williams could definitely help as they look to go even further.

The Philadelphia Eagles could also use the help at cornerback as they saw what Saints QB Drew Brees and WR Micheal Thomas did to them twice last season. An extra DB to help them cover the better receivers in the NFC could help them be a Super Bowl team again and I think Byron Murphy will be a good addition.

The Indianapolis Colts shocked the world last year the way they were able to make the playoffs. The good thing about this pick is that they know what direction they want to go in, but it’s a matter of which one they want to draft.  After watching the young defense hold teams down, the offense led by QB Andrew Luck would turn it up. They need to get him more weapons though and that’s where this pick comes in at. Marquise Brown will be a nice complimentary piece to the weapons like T.Y. Hilton, Eric Ebron, and Marlon Mack.

For the Chargers, it’s a pick that will help add a few more years onto QB Philip Rivers playing career. That pick is offensive guard Chris Lindstrom.

Had it been the Kansas City Chiefs pick , they would’ve taken a receiver because we know how important it is to have somebody who can catch the ball deep for the arm of QB Patrick Mahomes. It’s also a security blanket for if anything does go wrong with the investigation of WR Tyreke Hill. That’s why A.J. Brown would be a nice addition to the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Los Angeles Rams are probably the most stacked team on the defensive side of the ball and they don’t really need to go out and draft much, but they will need to think about the future of their offensive line and QB and that’s why this pick to grab Garrett Bradbury makes perfect sense. It will allow him a year or so to develop into one of the young offensive players.

But now it’s the pick that everyone is always interested in. That pick is the pick of the Super Bowl winning champions, New England Patriots. It’s a tough decision because you want to see them go for a tight end, but with both Hornsenon and Fant have already gone off the board this late, we could see the Patriots find a steal in a player like Brian Burns who has fallen in the draft because of other positions on the offensive side that needed to be addressed. So why not take advantage of another man’s treasure.

 

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Dennis

This draft is a polar opposite from last years draft. The year before was loaded with quarterbacks and offensive weapons while this one is loaded on the defensive side of the ball. All positions have crazy first round depth and all can be major play makers for their respected teams.

Arizona fans will see yet another quarterback took in the first round this year, this time a Heisman Trophy winner in the name of Kyler Murray. Murray going here is not that much of a surprise. The only question left is where Josh Rosen is going to go and how much are the Cardinals going to get for him.

I think the biggest surprise in the top ten is going to be TJ Hockenson, Tight End from Iowa going as high as eight to the Detriot Lions. Matt Patricia is a protege of Bill Belichick and I think he is going to try and model his offense around the great one. Though I think it is a stretch for a Tight End, but he is versatile and I think used well could produce for the Lions.

Another surprise to round out the top ten will be Drew Lock going to the Broncos. Rumors have it that Elway is in love with the quarterback out of Missouri and I think we can all say that Joe Flacco isn’t the long term answer for them. Expect them to sit Lock behind Flacco, learn a little and take over as early as this season.

A pick that I really love is Marquise Brown, a wide receiver from Oklahoma going to the Redskins at fifteen. The Skins have not seen a great receiver since the days of Art Monk running routes. With Derrius Guice getting healthy alongside Alex Smith and newly acquired Case Keenum, I think this is a great opportunity for them to add more weapons for the future.

RaShan Gary once considered a top ten pick, drops in the laps of Pittsburgh at twenty. I am a Michigan fan and I will be the first to say that Gary is highly overrated. Never produced the numbers many in Ann Arbor expected from a top recruit in the nation. Really is a workout warrior and I think tape really shows that. An environment like Pittsburgh could change that though.

At twenty-two, I think the Raven’s will go with EDGE rusher Brian Burns. To me, this is a typical pick for the Ravens who lost half their defense to free agency this year. Needing to replace the likes of Suggs and Preston Smith, Baltimore is going to need rebuild in that area. Burns will play a pivotal part in that process.

At twenty-four and twenty-seven, the Raiders add to their offense with weapons like RB Josh Jacobs from Alabama and TE Noah Fant from Iowa. The second TE took from Iowa, Fant will replace the missed Jared cook in the Silver and Black. A better pass catcher than a blocker, Fant will provide a safety blanket for Carr. With the news of Marshawn Lynch retiring, Oakland now has a need at running back and Jacobs is the best option. Built like a tank Jacobs was the best runner in the three-headed monster that formed the Bama backfield. He is also the best pass catcher the Tide had to offer as well.

All in all, I feel there will not be many shockers in this first round. I will say though I wouldn’t be surprised if the Saints trade up into the first round to take one of the premier defensive players this draft has produced.

 

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Joel

Despite the rumors we’ve heard about Kyler Murray not going No. 1 overall to the Cardinals, I still believe he’s going there. If he goes number one, Nick Bosa is a sure fire second pick. The next few picks of Quinnen Williams and Josh Allen coming off the board are pretty standard compared to most mock draft’s I’ve seen.

The biggest variation between the three of us starts at pick five, where I have the Bucs taking OT Jawaan Taylor. I believe the Bucs need to get better along the offensive line if Jameis Winston is actually going to be what he was drafted to be. The back and forth rumors of the Giants taking or not taking Dwayne Haskins at six hasn’t swayed my pick. I believe that’s where the Giants should go. At pick seven, the Jags need to get Foles a big target, which is why D.K. Metcalf comes off the board there.

Now let’s skip down a bit to where the Titans pick. You’ll notice I have them taking Rashan Gary. If you’ve seen a lot of mock drafts, you probably haven’t seen many where Gary is out of the top 10, if not the top five. I believe Gary will fall because he doesn’t stick out to me as being on the same level as the guys who are slated to go above him.

Another interesting pick I have comes right after the Titans. I have the Steelers selecting Antonio Brown’s cousin, Marquise Brown. I think a lot of people want to see that happen, mostly for the drama it will cause, although that’s a reason why it may not happen.

I think the last really interesting pick I have in the first-round would have to be QB Daniel Jones going to the Chargers. Jones will become the next franchise QB for the Chargers. He’ll sit behind Rivers for a year or two, and then take over the starting role after watching and learning from a great QB.

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
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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.

 

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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. 

2019 NFL Combine winners and losers

The 2019 NFL Combine is officially complete. With the Combine being over, it’s time to take a look back at the 2019 NFL Combine winners and losers.

2019 NFL Combine winners and losers
Devin White, SELU vs LSU at Tiger Stadium, September 8th 2018, Tammy Anthony Baker, Photographer, Devin White, #40” by Tammy Anthony Baker is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

With so many great performances, and quite a few disappointing ones, we could list several 2019 NFL Combine winners and losers. However, we’ve narrowed down the list to just five 2019 NFL Combine winners and five losers. These lists contain the names of players who helped or hurt themselves the most as we inch closer to the 2019 NFL Draft.

 

2019 NFL Combine Winners

  • D.K. Metcalf

D.K. Metcalf lit up the NFL Combine! He measured in at 6’3″, 228 lbs. His measurements had everyone talking about him before he did anything. It wasn’t just his size that impressed scouts though, it was also his workouts. Metcalf ran a 4.33 40-yard dash. That’s incredible for a guy of his size! He also put up 27 reps on the bench. His agility drills weren’t the best, but his other workouts heavily outweighed those. Metcalf’s combine performance will likely have him as the first WR off the board in the upcoming NFL Draft. Among all the 2019 NFL Combine winners, Metcalf may have helped himself more than any other player.

  • Garrett Bradbury

Garrett Bradbury was already considered to be the best interior lineman in the NFL Draft, but he wasn’t a for sure first-round pick. After his combine performance, Bradbury secured himself a spot in the first-round. A 4.92 40 time as a 300+ pounder, 34 bench reps, etc. Bradbury excelled in every drill. There’s no question to as to whether or not Bradbury will be a first-round pick. He is a first-round pick.

  • Kyler Murray

Kyler Murray didn’t do any drills at the NFL Combine, but coming out as the heavy favorite to be the first overall pick in the NFL Draft makes him one of the biggest 2019 NFL Combine winners. His measurements helped scouts feel better about his size. He must have done well in his interviews. When you don’t do anything except get measured and talk to teams at the NFL Combine, being considered the number one pick is a huge win!

  • Montez Sweat

Montez Sweat was a top five ranked DE in many rankings before the NFL Combine, but his performance will likely move him up several draft boards. Sweat’s biggest accomplishment was running the 40 with a time of 4.41. That’s quite impressive for a guy who’s 6’6″, 260 lbs. While his speed was the highlight for him, Sweat also put up good numbers in pretty much every workout. I don’t think Sweat put himself in the same conversation with Nick Bosa or Josh Allen, but he did close the gap a little bit.

  • LBs named Devin (Devin Bush and Devin White)

Both Devin White and Devin Bush had great performances at the NFL Combine. Both guys were likely going to be first-round picks anyway, but their performances only secured their spots as the top two LBs in this draft. Devin Bush is a little undersized, but he showed great speed, movement and athleticism. His workout will help teams feel much better about his lack of ideal size. Devin White put up equally impressive numbers, which only reassured scouts of their assessment on him.

 

2019 NFL Combine winners and losers
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2019 NFL Combine Losers

  • DE Jachai Polite

Jachai Polite was heavily mocked as a first-round draft pick before the NFL Combine, but that’s likely not going to be the case now. He didn’t perform as expected in drills. He ran a 4.84 40 and had a 32 inch vertical. Not the worst numbers, but he was expected to do much better. He was dealing with an injury, so the low numbers have an excuse, but that’s not the only thing that hindered Polite. Polite didn’t perform great on the field, but he really lowered his stock in interviews. Several teams walked out of interviews unimpressed with Polite’s personality. He’s got some work to do during the rest of the draft process to elevate his stock once again.

  • RB Elijah Holyfield

Elijah Holyfield has been considered an underrated RB in this draft class. I haven’t seen him mocked in the first-round, but I have seen him as an under the radar second-rounder. After his combine performance, Holyfield may not be drafted as high as he’d like. One of the biggest ways for an RB to elevate their stock, is to run an impressive 40 time. Elijah Holyfield did exactly the opposite. On his first two attempts, Holyfield ran a 4.78 and 4.81 in the 40. He was one of the slowest RBs at the combine, and NFL teams aren’t looking for slow RBs.

  • WR Lil’Jordan Humphrey

Lil’Jordan Humphrey. Say it with me again. Lil’Jordan Humphrey. I’d draft this kid just because of his name! Not only does he have a cool name, but he’s got outstanding size for a WR. Humphrey stands 6’4″, 210 lbs. While Humphrey has great size and an awesome name, he proved at the NFL Combine he doesn’t have what NFL teams want in their WRs. Speed. Lil’Jordan Humphrey doesn’t have speed. Humphrey clocked a 4.75 40 time. QBs, TEs, defensive lineman, and just about every position had someone run faster than Humphrey. This will, and already has caused NFL teams to question his ability to separate.

  • CB Joejuan Williams

Joejuan Williams is a 6’4″, 211 lb CB. His size will help keep his draft stock up, but his chance of getting into the first-round may have been lost after he ran the 40. Williams ran a 4.64 40 time, which isn’t exactly what teams want to see from their CBs. Being 6’4″, it’s okay for Williams to run a slower 40 time. Richard Sherman ran a slow 40, and look how he turned out. However, Sherman was a fifth-round pick. Williams could have put himself in serious first-round consideration, but his slow 40 time probably cost him.

  • RB Devin Singletary

Devin Singletary has widely been considered a top five RB in this class. The small school RB needed to have a great combine to not only keep, but elevate his draft stock. Singletary didn’t do that. Singletary ran a 4.66 40, which was very surprising. I didn’t expect him to run any slower than 4.5. His slow 40 time will force teams to go back and take a look at his tape. Hopefully he can have a better pro day.

 

Buy or Sell: First QB drafted, Nolan Arenado’s extension, and James Harden’s streak ending

We’re back for another edition of “Buy or Sell.”

In Joel’s recent article, we see who the best QB in the 2019 NFL Draft is based on the QB rules of a Hall of Fame coach, Bill Parcells, and the results may surprise you. This works well with our first topic in this week’s edition.

We have also been wondering what’s going to happen with the Bryce Harper contract. And in case you missed it, it was a 13-year, $330 million deal. But we discuss another deal made by one of the best third basemen in the game. 

“Colorado Rockies” by jenniferlinneaphotography is licensed under CC BY 2.0

So let’s take a look at if we think Parcells’ rules will work. Mickayeen, Joel and I will also discuss if the Rockies and Nolan Arenado’s extension was worth it. Our third topic will be about whether or not James Harden’s historic 30+ point game streak ending is best for the Houston Rockets.

 

Joel: A QB other than Dwayne Haskins or Kyler Murray will be the first off the board in the upcoming NFL Draft

RahimAli: This is a tough decision, because you automatically want to see Kyler Murray be paired with QB minded head coach Kliff Kingsbury and watch what the two can do together. I just don’t think the Arizona Cardinals are going to give up on QB Josh Rosen just yet, so first overall will be a defensive player.

The next four picks will likely be defensive players too, as they all have a QB who they are somewhat comfortable with. I find it hard to believe that any of them would be willing to draft one here, unless we get a trade done that allows teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins to move up.

For that reason, I’m going to sell this. I think Murray and Haskins are the best two QBs in the draft, and I don’t think there’s any debate.

I honestly want to see Murray or Haskins get drafted by the New York Giants as the potential franchise QB after they finally part ways with Eli Manning. The only way I could see this not happening is if the Giants decide to take Daniel Jones, who was played for David Cutcliffe. Cutcliffe also worked with Eli and Peyton, ironically. But I don’t think Jones or Drew Lock will get drafted ahead of Murray or Haskins.

Mickayeen: I’m selling that one. Any mock draft you look at has either one of them off the board first.

The only QB who has a chance of threatening that would be Drew Lock. Barring any unlikely Baker Mayfield-type rises, that’s unlikely to happen. I don’t think it’s impossible, but I’m going trust the people who know more than me who are doing the mock drafts and say that either Haskins or Murray will be first off the board.

 

Mickayeen: Arenado’s contract extension was worth it

RahimAli: I’m buying this one! I think the Colorado Rockies made the right decision in getting this deal done. The timing of it couldn’t have came at a better time either. Arenado was set to hit the free agent market next winter, but with this deal, it allows both him and the Rockies to move into the future together.

We don’t know what could’ve happened a year from now if he hadn’t signed the extension. I mean, take Bryce Harper for example. As teams are about to start spring training, he just barely signed his contract with the Phillies. Now most of that is Harper’s doing, but at least Arenado won’t need to worry about that.

This contract is for eight-years at $260, which is a record-setting contract. I honestly don’t think it’s bad though. Arenado will turn 28 at the beginning of the season, and he is still improving himself every season. Last season, he helped lead the Rockies into the playoffs, as he led the National League in Home Runs for the third time in his six year career.

Arenado has also been a 4X All-Star, 6X Gold Glove Winner, 4X Silver Slugger, and led the NL in RBI’s twice. He’s batting a .291 with 975 hits, 186 HRs, and 616 RBIs. Over the span of the eight year contract, I could honestly see him as part of the 3000 hit club and 1500 RBI club as he looks to place his name in the hall of fame picture. However, I don’t think this move will result in more than just one championship if they could get the right pieces in place.

Joel: I agree with RahimAli on this one and am buying, although I don’t have much more to add. However, I will just point out that Mickayeen listed Arenado on the Rockies’ Mount Rushmore. That alone tells me this deal was worth it. If he’s one of the greatest players in franchise history, he deserves this deal. They could have even paid him more and I would buy this as being worth it.

Those type of players don’t come around every day. The Rockies paid a him a lot of money, like a lot, but that’s what teams should be doing with players of his caliber. The reason Mickayeen put Arenado on the Rockies’ Mount Rushmore is because of this quote by Mike Schmidt. “In my opinion, Nolan Arenado is going to be the heir apparent to the all-time greatest third basemen.” A player like that is worth every penny.

 

RahimAli: Harden’s 30 + point streak ending is good for the Rockets heading into the playoffs

Joel: I buy Harden’s 30+ point streak as a good thing for the Rockets. While it was a great achievement for Harden, I often felt like he didn’t care about the result of the game, as long as he got his 30 points. His 30 points often did lead to wins, but I felt like winning wasn’t the first thing on his mind. Now that his streak has been snapped, Harden can get back to what he should really be focused on. That’s winning.

Not only winning in the regular season, but winning in the postseason too. People have criticized Harden’s game recently, saying his style of basketball won’t win championships. If he plays like he did when he was on that 30+ point streak, then they’re correct. However, we saw Harden come within one game of the NBA Finals last season, so we know that when he’s not just playing to score 30 points, he can win.

The playoffs are getting closer, so Harden needs to play the style of basketball that will get the Rockets a win. If that means he only scores 20, that’s just fine. He now has no reason to try and score 30 points every single night, but he does have reasons to win basketball games. Hopefully Harden’s mentality of having to score 30 or more points every single game breaks like his streak. If it does, the Rockets will benefit from it.

Mickayeen: I buy that it’s better for the team overall that he isn’t putting near as much effort to carry them every game. They’re good enough to make it back to the conference finals against the Warriors. Whether Harden is going crazy or not, that’s probably their ceiling, so I don’t think it makes a huge difference in the long run. So I both buy and sell.

 

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

And there you have it! Now, what do you think?

  • Could a QB other than Kyler Murray or Dwayne Haskins be drafted first?
  • Was Nolan Arenado’s extension worth it?
  • Is James Harden’s streak being over a good thing for the Rockets?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

*All Nolan Arenado stats courtesy of baseball reference.

Bill Parcells' QB Rules

Bill Parcells’ QB Rules: Breaking down the top QBs in the 2019 NFL Draft

Who’s the top QB in the 2019 NFL Draft? Some say it’s Dwayne Haskins. Others say it’s Kyler Murray. We’ve even heard some say there’s no clear frontrunner at the position. With not much clarity at the QB position in the 2019 NFL Draft, we thought we’d take a look at how Hall of Fame head coach Bill Parcells would evaluate these QBs. Year’s ago, Bill Parcells develop rules for drafting a QB. We’re going to use Bill Parcells’ QB rules and apply them to the 2019 NFL Draft class to help us determine which QB should be the first off the board.

Bill Parcells' QB Rules
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Before we start evaluating the top QBs in the 2019 NFL Draft using Bill Parcells’ QB rules, we have to take a look at what those rules are. Bill Parcells’ QB rules contain seven criteria a QB must meet. Let’s take a look at what those seven criteria are below.

  1. Be a three-year starter
  2. Be a senior in college
  3. Graduate from college
  4. Start 30 games
  5. Win 23 games
  6. Post a 2:1 TD-to-INT ratio
  7. Compete at least 60% of passes thrown

Now that we know the criteria, let’s start taking a look at the top QBs in this year’s draft class. I wanted to stick to just five QBs, but we’re actually going to take a look at six. The reason for that is because I’ve seen Will Grier and Ryan Finley ranked both fifth and sixth by several different sources. For this evaluation, we’ll rank them tied at fifth, with the QBs above them being Dwayne Haskins, Kyler Murray, Drew Lock and Daniel Jones.

 

Applying Bill Parcells’ QB Rules

Dwayne Haskins – Ohio State

  • Three year starter? – No (One year)
  • Senior in college? – No
  • Did he graduate? – No
  • 30 starts? – No (14 starts)
  • Did he win 23 games? – No (13)
  • 2:1 TD-to-INT ratio? – Yes (54:9)
  • 60% completions? – Yes (70%)

Criteria met: 2/7

 

Kyler Murray – Oklahoma

  • Three year starter? – No (One year)
  • Senior in college? – No
  • Did he graduate? – No
  • 30 starts? – No (17 starts)
  • Did he win 23 games? – No (14)
  • 2:1 TD-to-INT ratio? – Yes (50:14)
  • 60% completions? – Yes (67.4%)

Criteria met: 2/7

 

Drew Lock – Missouri

  • Three year starter? – Yes (Three+)
  • Senior in college? – Yes
  • Did he graduate? – Yes
  • 30 starts? – Yes (46 starts)
  • Did he win 23 games? – No (21)
  • 2:1 TD-to-INT ratio? – Yes (99:39)
  • 60% completions? – No (56.9%)

Criteria met: 5/7

 

Daniel Jones – Duke

  • Three year starter? – Yes (Three)
  • Senior in college? – Yes (Technically a fourth year junior, so we’ll count it)
  • Did he graduate? – Yes
  • 30 starts? – Yes (36 starts)
  • Did he win 23 games? – No (17)
  • 2:1 TD-to-INT ratio? – No (52:29)
  • 60% completions? – No (59.9%, Ouch, just barely missed the cut)

Criteria met: 4/7

 

Will Grier – West Virginia

  • Three year starter? – No (Two+)
  • Senior in college? – Yes
  • Did he graduate? – Yes
  • 30 starts? – No (28 starts)
  • Did he win 23 games? – No (21)
  • 2:1 TD-to-INT ratio? – Yes (81:23)
  • 60% completions? – Yes (65.7%)

Criteria met: 4/7

 

Ryan Finley – NC State

  • Three year starter? – Yes (Three)
  • Senior in college? – Yes
  • Did he graduate? – Yes
  • 30 starts? – Yes (42 starts)
  • Did he win 23 games? – Yes (27)
  • 2:1 TD-to-INT ratio? – Yes (63:30)
  • 60% completions? – Yes (64.2%)

Criteria met: 7/7

 

After evaluating the top six QBs in the 2019 NFL Draft using Bill Parcells’ QB rules, the only QB who met all seven criteria was Ryan Finley. The next closest on the list was Drew Lock (5/7), followed by Daniel Jones and Will Grier (4/7). It’s interesting that the two QBs widely considered the best in this class meet just two of the seven criteria.

This criteria doesn’t necessarily mean Dwayne Haskins and Kyler Murray won’t be good NFL QBs. The same goes for Drew Lock, Daniel Jones and Will Grier. It doesn’t necessarily mean Ryan Finley will be the best QB from this class. You’ll notice the seven criteria in Bill Parcells’ QB rules don’t include much about their actual traits and intangibles as QBs. For the most part, the point of this evaluation is to see which QBs have the mental toughness, accuracy, durability and experience needed at the position. Just a fun fact: Baker Mayfield was the only QB among the first-rounders last season who checked off all seven criteria. So far, that’s worked out nicely for the Cleveland Browns.

For me personally, if I’m one of the teams in the market for a QB at the top of the draft, I’m not taking Ryan Finley. However, I’m not going to argue with a Hall of Fame head coach. Among the top QBs, Ryan Finley won this evaluation. We’ll soon be looking at the later round QBs in this draft class, looking to see if anyone can match Finley in these categories.

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
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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.

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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!

The NFL today: Biggest headlines since the Super Bowl

A little over a week removed from the Super Bowl, the NFL is proving there truly is no offseason. Though we’re well removed from match-up previews and making our picks, the NFL is still reeling from some major headlines that could have major implications on the 2019 season.

 

Kyler Murray all in on a career in the NFL

“I am firmly and fully committing my life and time to becoming an NFL quarterback.”

That tweet took the sports world by storm yesterday. We all knew Kyler Murray had declared for the NFL draft, but questions were still looming about his dedication to football and if he would still entertain the idea of playing baseball for the Oakland Athletics.

Murray strongly got his point across on Twitter yesterday, and in turn is making NFL teams entertain the idea of Murray being an NFL quarterback a little more seriously. I’m willing to bet that any team in the market for a quarterback in 2019 is probably putting together trade packages for each of the top five teams in this year’s draft to see if they can move up and snag the Heisman Trophy winner.

Would that happen? From the looks of things, no.

As of right now, the Cardinals are on the clock. There are a lot of inside sources hinting at the possibility Arizona’s new Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury might pull the plug on the Josh Rosen experiment after only one year. He’d then pull the trigger on picking Murray number one overall. He even hinted to it back in 2018 when he was still at Texas Tech.

Youtube video provided by NFL Scrimmage.

As you can tell, Kingsbury has been high on Murray for quite sometime. He probably never thought he would have the opportunity to do good on his word and draft Kyler first overall. Time to see if Kingsbury’s word is true. Arizona really has nothing to lose at all if they actually do trade Rosen away. They are in a complete rebuild and are going to be do what it takes to build around their young coach, in hopes to mimic the success the Rams have seen.

 

Kareem Hunt gets second chance

“If a person wants to better themselves, and be a better person, I am willing to give them a chance…after all the deep research I have done I believe he will be a better man today than he was yesterday” 

That quote was from Cleveland’s General Manager John Dorsey at yesterdays press conference, held in response to the Browns’ signing of Kareem Hunt. Hunt was released by Kansas City back in November when TMZ released a video of him shoving and kicking a woman in a hotel lobby. Dorsey showed his soft side yesterday, as he stated he is a true believer in second chances. They determined that Hunt is in fact remorseful for what he had done, that he has sought out professional help and counseling and he is proving he wants to be a better man.

Missouri Gov. Michael Parson (left) talks with Kareem Hunt, a member of the Kansas City Chiefs football team, at the Chief’s training camp in St. Joseph, Mo., Aug. 14, 2018. The Chiefs hosted a military appreciation day on their final day of training. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Michael Crane) is licensed under Public Domain

Though there wasn’t any rock solid proof Hunt is truly remorseful for what happened that night (that was indicated by Dorsey’s strategic dance around reporters questions), all signs are pointing to the Browns have bought in on helping Hunt. Though a place where people’s careers usually die, Cleveland has a rare opportunity to reignite the former Pro Bowl RBs career.

The next few months will be telling for Hunt. Actions always speak louder than words. Though Dorsey was yelling from the roof tops yesterday that Hunt was remorseful and will be a better man at the end of this, still responsibility lands on Hunt to show everyone that it is true.

 

Antonio Brown makes it official on Twitter that he wants out of Pittsburgh

“Thank you Steelernation for a big 9 years…..time to move on and move forward”

The Pittsburgh Steeler’s are starting to look more like a soap opera than a football team. Last season it was the Le’Veon Bell situation, which by the way still needs to be resolved. And now this, a tweet from Antonio Brown giving his farewell to SteelerNation when he hasn’t even left yet. Bold move by a bold person.

It has been made public by Brown that he wants out of Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh though is not making any sudden moves when it comes to dealing the All-Pro Wide Receiver. Brown still has three years left on his current contract (4 year 68 million dollar extension). Trading him puts the Steelers in a conundrum financially. If they were to trade Brown before June 1st of this year, Pittsburgh’s cap savings would be very minimal. Moving Brown after June 1st would save them about 12 million dollars in cap space, but would result in nearly 10 million dollars of dead money in 2020. Pittsburgh reportedly is asking for a first round pick on top of other incentives in exchange for Brown.

We do know the Steeler’s do take their dear sweet time when it comes to these types of decisions. I do expect to see a lot more tweets from Brown like the one we saw over the course of the offseason.

 

 

 

Will Kliff Kingsbury target Kyler Murray?

Will Kliff Kingsbury target Kyler Murray in the 2019 NFL Draft?

As the new head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, Kliff Kingsbury holds the number one overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Will Kingsbury target Kyler Murray?

Will Kliff Kingsbury target Kyler Murray?
Kliff Kingsbury, head coach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders football team, at the 2017 Big 12 Conference Media Days in Frisco, Texas.” by Bobak Ha’Eri is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0

“Kyler, I mean, he’s a freak, man. Kyler is a freak. I’ve followed him since he was a sophomore in high school. Just think the world of him and what he can do on a football field. I’ve never seen one better in high school and he’s starting to show it now at the college level. I don’t have enough good things to say about him. He’s phenomenal. I’ve never seen him have a poor outing. Not one, which at quarterback is impossible to do but he’s done it. I’d take him with the first pick of the draft if I could. I know he’s signed up to play baseball but he is a dominant football player and I would take him with the first pick.”

Those are the words of new Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury. These words by Kingsbury have sparked some interesting draft talks, especially since Kyler Murray is now expected to be in the NFL Draft. The reason why it’s so interesting, is because the Cardinals just finished their first year with rookie QB Josh Rosen. They selected him with the 10th overall pick in last year’s draft.

 

Could Kingsbury target Kyler Murray and trade Josh Rosen away?

Could Kingsbury target Kyler Murray? Interesting question. First of all, we have to put what Kingsbury said about Murray into context. The above quote by Kingsbury was made just days before his former team, Texas Tech, was about to take on the Oklahoma Sooners, who were then led by Kyler Murray. Knowing that, this wasn’t something Kingsbury said out of the blue just because he wanted to say it. Saying good things about the other team and their players is usually something coaches and players do before a matchup against them.

We’ve recently heard Bill Belichick say, “Keenan’s as good a receiver as there is in the National Football League,” while talking about Chargers receiver Keenan Allen ahead of their Divisional Round playoff game this Sunday. Does this mean Bill Belichick is trying to trade for Keenan Allen? No. I’m sure he’d love to have him, but saying something nice about him before a game against him doesn’t mean he’s targeting him.

Will Kingsbury target Kyler Murray? After putting this quote by Kliff Kingsbury into the right context, it doesn’t seem like something we should be hyping up. However, the possibility of this happening is still something interesting. Come one, how many times does something like this happen? How often do you see a college coach say he’d draft a player with the first overall pick if they could, and then move to the NFL and actually have the first overall pick? That just seems like fate to me.

 

Is Josh Rosen a franchise QB?

Some might believe Josh Rosen is a future franchise QB, but I personally don’t think he is. I didn’t like him coming into the draft, and I still don’t like him after his first NFL season. No, he didn’t have the best talent surrounding him in his rookie year. While that may be true, he still didn’t seem to show much promise. His stats for his rookie season were 55.2% completions, 2,278 passing yards, 11 TDs, 14 INTs and a passer rating of 66.7. Not exactly stats you’d see from a future franchise QB.

The Browns didn’t have the most talent this season, but they were significantly improved in the talent department from last season. Their rookie QB, Baker Mayfield, completed 63.8% of his passes for 3,725 yards, 27 TDs, 14 INTs and a passer rating of 93.7. You can’t sit there and honestly tell me you think Josh Rosen would have done just as well with the Browns as Baker Mayfield did. There’s just no way. The Browns would still have been the laughing stock of the league with Rosen at QB this season. On the flip side, I’d be willing to bet the Cardinals would have won more than three games with Baker Mayfield.

There’s a huge difference between Baker Mayfield and Josh Rosen. One is a franchise QB (Mayfield), the other, in my opinion, is not (Rosen). If you’ve been following Fourth Quarter Sports for a while, you’ll know I was a huge fan of Baker Mayfield entering the NFL Draft. I pushed for the Browns to draft him over any other QB in the draft, because I knew he was the best QB in that draft class.

Here’s where I begin to make my push for the Cardinals to draft Kyler Murray.

 

Kyler Murray vs Josh Rosen

Again I pose the question, will Kingsbury target Kyler Murray? I believe he should. I believe that if Murray chooses the NFL over MLB, he’ll be a franchise QB in the league. Can anyone else see the next Russell Wilson? Maybe even a better version of Russell Wilson! Forget the height concerns, just look at the stats.

In his Heisman winning season, Kyler Murray completed 69% of his passes for 4,361 yards, 42 TDs, seven INTs and a passer rating of 199.2. He also added 1,001 yards and 12 TDs rushing the ball. If you haven’t seen Murray run, go watch some tape. This kid has speed, which teams are starting to value a lot more from the QB position. If you want an example of that, look at Lamar Jackson.

Jackson had a lot of success this season because of his ability to run. His biggest improvement area has to do with his passing ability. Kyler Murray is still young and can improve as as a passer, but he’s already miles ahead of where Lamar Jackson is, and he doesn’t even play in the NFL yet.

Josh Rosen doesn’t have that special rushing ability. He doesn’t have that special passing ability. If you ask me, I don’t think the Cardinals are trending in the right direction with Rosen under center. I think all they’ve done is stall their growth. They might improve slightly over two or three years, but I just don’t see Josh Rosen ever taking the Cardinals to the place every team wants to be. With Kyler Murray, I can see that growth. Will Kingsbury target Kyler Murray? That remains to be seen, but he should, because their potential as a team will be significantly higher with Murray than it will ever be with Josh Rosen.

 

Are there trade partners for Josh Rosen?

Unless the Cardinals plan on making the former 10th overall pick their backup QB in just his second year, they’ll obviously have to trade Josh Rosen for this move to even be considered seriously. The problem is, would there be any takers for the second year QB?

If you look at all the teams who need a QB, you’ve got the Broncos, Giants, Dolphins, Redskins and Jaguars who are the most likely takers. With all those teams, there’s a good chance they could look to the draft for their next QB. The Cardinals could wait until after the draft to see how it plays out for those teams. They could then try trading him to a team who didn’t get a QB. But maybe the Cardinals want to get some more draft capital for the 2019 NFL Draft.

So who else could potentially be in for Josh Rosen? Well, you’ve got teams with aging QBs. Some of those teams are the Patriots, Chargers and Saints. Would they be willing to pay the price the Cardinals would want for Josh Rosen?

I think the Cardinals could find a trade destination for Rosen, but would they get the price they’d want? I’m not sure about that.

 

Is Kyler Murray better than 2020’s QBs?

Here’s another good question to consider. As I asked the opinions of my fellow writers on this topic, Cullen Jekel posed this answer. “Too soon to move on from him (Rosen). And if after one year it’s clear he isn’t the answer, take Tua (Tagovailoa) or (Jake) Fromm next year.”

Cullen makes a good point. The Cardinals could stick with Josh Rosen for another year to see how he improves. If he doesn’t work out, they’ll have some of the top QB choices available to them in the 2020 NFL Draft. Is Kyler Murray going to be a better NFL QB than Tua Tagovailoa or Jake Fromm? That’s up for the Cardinals to decide.

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Will Kingsbury target Kyler Murray? It makes sense for the Cardinals to stick with Rosen and give him more time. However, I think Murray will be the better NFL QB. If Kingsbury and the Cardinals think so too, they could actually make this move. If this move actually did happen, it could have a huge impact on the future of the NFL. It’d be one of the most interesting moves we’ve ever seen, and we’d definitely remember it for a long time.

Will Kingsbury target Kyler Murray? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!