Mock Draft 3.0; Post Superbowl

So the NFL season is sadly over ladies and gents but one of the only positives of that, and there are only a few is that it’s officially draft season! Although, to me, I’m not sure draft season ever stops…

 

Anyway, the order is now set until the inevitable trades rain down upon us all and make everyone go bananas… so I thought we better get a mock in before it all kicks off.

 

As it’s my first postseason mock, I’m still not allowing myself to include trades but this will be the last time… in mock 4.0, the shackles will well and truly off. I’ve already been thinking of some scenarios for you all but in the meantime, enjoy!

 

1. Cardinals – Nick Bosa, Edge, Ohio State

 

He’s back at the number 1 spot for me. I still believe Nick Bosa is the best player in this draft class and he’s one of only a handful of true blue chip players available this year as unfortunately I feel it is a little bit of a down year.

One thing Arizona needs is just players who are good, as they’re short on those in that category; if end up staying at number 1, they take they best available.

 

 

2. 49ers – Josh Allen, Edge, Kentucky

 

Josh Allen isn’t the second best player in the draft but unfortunately they don’t need an interior defensive lineman, which could rule out Quinnen Williams. If Bosa is off the board on draft night, I wouldn’t rule out the 9ers trading down if they find a partner who loves Quinnen or a QB.

As for Allen, well, I’m a big fan of production. I’m not someone who bases it all on numbers by any stretch but Allen has shown he knows how to get to the quarterback on a consistent basis, in the best conference in college football. This means there’s plenty of tools to work with when he gets in to the pros.

 

 

3.Jets – Quinnen Williams, IDL, Alabama

 

The Jets swap on Williams for another here as Quinnen comes on as Leonard leaves town. Leonard Williams was another high draft pick but he’s never reached the heights he was supposed to and could end up as a cap casualty.

Adam Gase has appointed Greg Williams as his DC in New York so we know one thing for sure, he’ll be bringing a lot of pressure packages and will need a bunch of guys who can move the pocket, especially given that as well as Leonard Williams’ potential departure, there’s a few guys who are set to hit free agency up front for New York.

 

 

4. Raiders – Clellin Ferrell, Edge, Clemson

 

A big jump for Ferrell here as I now have him going in the top 5 as the run on D line to open up the draft continues. So why the sharp rise?

Well, Gruden obviously needs to replace Khalil Mack, so he needs an edge defender; Ferrell is an edge. Check that one off.

Gruden will also want to insert some back bone into his team and stop the run. Ferrell isn’t as good as pass rusher as say, Brian Burns or Jachai Polite but he’s a much better run defender than other of those guys. Check number two.

Oakland could double down on edge guys depending on how they view Arden Key, just as they doubled down with PJ Hall and Mo Hurst last year.

 

 

5. Buccaneers – Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

 

Has anyone told you that the strength of this draft lies in the trenches? Well the first offensive guy is out but it’s tackle Jonah Williams, not a flashy skill player.

Williams is a tackle, I’ll make that clear, I don’t care what anyone says about him potentially being a guard.

Jameis Winston just found a new best friend… maybe one that’ll save his career in Tampa Bay.

 

 

6. Giants – Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma

 

Speaking of new best friends, well since the Giants are sticking with Eli, they better find some more guys up front who can keep him upright and open up some holes for phenom running back, Saquon Barkley.

Ford has just spent the past year on the right side of Oklahoma’s line which is where I see him slotting in the NFL. I really like his foot quickness and ability to beat pass rushers to their mark.

 

 

7. Jaguars – Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

 

Here we go again… I have to keep mocking Haskins to the Jags because even though I’m not even super high on Haskins, he’s still the best QB in this class.

Blake Bortles is just too dysfunctional and holds this talented Jags defense back… there’s a few other things that do but that’s another article altogether.

Haskins is accurate at short to intermediate distance and will require a patient approach when game planning for him and defending against him. The Jags would have to run an offense which kills you with one thousand paper cuts as opposed to a knife through the heart.

 

 

8. Lions –  Brian Burns, Edge, Florida State

 

I do question how much Matt Patricia cares about pass rushers but Ziggy Ansah is probably leaving Detroit and does need replacing. Any time you lose a player at one of football’s main positions, you need to spend prime capital when replacing them.

 

 

9. Bills – David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin

 

I’m a big fan of Wisconsin’s offensive line, as I’ve said multiple times, I feel that they were the most talented line in college football last season. Unfortunately Tyler Biadasz opted to stay in school otherwise I think we could have seen four of the five starters go in the top 100 of this draft; (tackle, David Edwards, center Tyler Biadasz and guards, Michael Dieter and Beau Benzschawel).

Anyway, why am I picking Edwards in the top 10? He’s strong, powerful and at 6’7 and 319 lbs, he’s massive. However, he has great body control and moves really nicely for a man of his size. Lastly, he’s got that nasty streak that I really need to see in a lineman; he’ll really suit Buffalo in that sense.

 

 

10. Broncos – Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

 

This I just going to happen. John Elway is not going to be able to resist another swing at a big, strong armed QB and the more I think about it, the more I’m convinced.

Elway has been pretty open about his misses and doesn’t seem deterred by them AT. ALL.

Lock had a great senior bowl week and was clearly the best quarterback on display. However, that doesn’t make him good. So as much as this isn’t a pick I would make or like if I was a Denver fan, it is one I can see a mile off.

 

 

11. Bengals – Devin White, LB, LSU

 

I’m going to pick a linebacker for the Bengals until it happens. End of story. The Bengals have a good team but suffered horrendous injury luck through the season but even when they’re healthy then seriously lack a top linebacker.

White is one of 3 linebackers worthy of being drafted in this class and I almost not joking. This linebacker class is horrendous, if you’re a team that needs a linebacker and you need them to be good straight away, then you’re drafting one of; Devin White, Mack Wilson or Devin Bush. If you don’t get one of them, sign a free agent and try again next year.

 

 

12. Packers – Jachai Polite, Edge, Florida

 

As much as Cincinnati need a linebacker, the Packers need a fresh influx of pass rushers and an injection of speed. Kyler Fackrell’s 10.5 sack season was a welcome boon for Green Bay but considering he’s only got 5.5 sacks outside of last season’s body of work, they have to hedge their bets… and hey, if Fackrell is awesome and Nick Perry returns with all guns blazing then great but you can never have enough pass rushers.

Polite is a pure speed and bend guy who is just plain quicker than the guy across from him most of the time. Still needs to develop as a run defender but that’s cool… use him situationally if you have to at first but just wind him up and watch him fly.

 

 

13. Dolphins – Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

 

This pick actually pains me a little, I’m not going to lie. I am not sold on Murray as a prospect, I’m not sold on his potential to be successful at his height and weight in the NFL and I am certainly not sold on his PR campaign at the moment. He doesn’t sound committed to football and often talks about his options being open, even citing his father as a reference and talking about him having to make a decision when faced with a similar dilemma. If I’m a GM and I need a QB, am I using my first round pick on a guy with this many red flags? Hell. No.

However, the Dolphins are desperate. They need to ditch Ryan Tannehill, they need to get the future QB in the building. The Jets have got theirs, ditto the Bills and Brady is going to play into his 60’s. They’re in danger of being left behind in their division. As they say, desperate times call for desperate measures.

(Just prior to publishing, Murray announced he is committed to the NFL)

 

14. Falcons – Ed Oliver, IDL, Houston

 

The Ed Oliver to middle linebacker talk is just silly. Let’s get that out of the way now.

Oliver is going to play on the defensive line and he’s going to play it well. Yes he’s small, no he’s probably not the next Aaron Donald but he probably is going to be a really good player in the National Football League. The Falcons can put him next to Grady Jarrett and ask them both to move the pocket and at times when the line needs some added girth, they can rotate in Deadrin Senat. Easy.

 

 

15. Redskins – D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

 

Obviously the Redskins need to address the fact that they have no QB for the 2019 season as they have already announced that Alex Smith is going to be out after his horrific leg break… But unfortunately, 15th overall isn’t the right spot in which to do that from. I am very low on this QB class and even if I was allowing myself to trade in this mock, is it worth paying the price it would take to go from 15 to 5 for one of these guys? Nope.

Washington would be better served putting things in place for whoever comes in as a free agent and for whoever they draft in 2020 when there are some prospects who are actually good.

Step one of said plan is to get some guys in the building who can score some points and accumulate some yardage. D.K Metcalf can do those things and can be your WR1 for a long time… Size, speed, ridiculous catches made easy; these are what the ex-Ole Miss receiver bring to the table. One comparison I have seen made that I kind of like is Metcalf and Josh Gordon without the other stuff. Nice.

 

 

16. Panthers – Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

 

There are rumours swirling that the NFL isn’t as high on Thompson as a lot of people would expect, so this is potentially a little too high for him to go but Carolina desperately needs a safety. How many years have we said that for by the way?

I like Thompson, he’s a safety 1 in the class. I think he’s a physical tone setter on defense who dictates to the offenses as opposed to the other way around. He didn’t have the best of ends to the season with Alabama and was playing much better at the start of the year, so consistency is a potential issue but it’s not enough to scare me off personally.

 

 

17. Browns – Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

 

The Browns kind of hit the jackpot here if it pans out this way in late April. Pairing Murphy with last year’s first round corner, Denzel Ward gives Cleveland a couple of fiery and competitive perimeter defenders who have excellent ball skills.

That, along with the pass rush abilities of Myles Garrett and co up front are the cornerstones of a very good defense for years to come on the shores of Lake Erie.

 

 

18. Vikings – Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State

 

This year’s tackle class is really fun to me. It kind of makes up for the lack of quality in last years class and in the same breath, last year’s quality at guard is let down by a down year on the interior this year.

However, one man who can be a plug and play starter at any position on the line is Kansas State’s Dalton Risner. Risner has started at least 10 games at center, guard and tackle throughout his 4 year college career. Risner is a day 1 starter wherever you want him to start and due to extensive experience, you can move him around, even as a rookie.

 

 

19. Titans – Christian Wilkins, IDL, Clemson

 

The Titans needs an interior presence to take over from Bennie Logan in the short term and maybe Jurrell Casey in the long term and also give some interior pressure to go along with Harold Landry on the outside.

Now I’m not advocating for Wilkins at the nose but he could slot in Logan’s spot easily, giving the Titans a solid run plugger and a guy with some pocket moving ability.

Wilkins maybe could have been a first rounder last year but went back to school and won the national championship and saw his stock rise tremendously. I personally, wish more kids would take such a decision and make themselves more NFL ready rather than chasing the cash. This could end up end Wilkins’ floor rather than his ceiling.

 

 

20. Steelers – Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

 

Big, long press corners, just what the Steelers like but is Williams the athlete that Pittsburgh usually draft? This is the question I am asking myself here. Williams will need to run some good times in the agilities and the 40 yard dash come combine time to cement his place in round 1. However if he doesn’t I can see him sliding out of round 1 altogether and the Steelers overdrafting someone like Lonnie Johnson, or Kendall Sheffield. They have this tendency with athletic DB’s; see Burns, Artie or Edmunds, Terrell.

 

 

21.Seahawks – Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware

 

Seattle aren’t afraid to think outside of the box in round 1 or draft from small schools, case in point their selection of Rashaad Penny last year.

Seattle also needs to continue their defensive revamp and that’s where I see a spot for Adderley. Adderley projects as a deep safety with the versatility to play in the box of over the slot when covering tight ends or bigger slot receivers. This is the sort of thing that all DC’s are looking for in their DB’s nowadays.

 

 

22. Ravens – N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

 

I really like N’Keal Harry. He’s not super athletic but he is a fantastic playmaker who showed a great YAC-ability with the Sun Devils; Harry can take a simple pass like a wide receiver screen and take it the distance at any moment.

The reason I like the fit in Baltimore is actually just that too. The Ravens will fully install their Lamar Jackson offense from this off season and they will be best served by giving Lamar some easy, relatively short completions throughout the offense in order to maximise his strengths and guard against his shortcomings. Harry’s ability of jet or fly sweeps also means he could be incorporated into the offense which will be run heavy from a wide range of looks and utilise a wide range of methods.

 

 

23. Texans – Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

 

Much like the Bengals draft policy in round 1 should be linebacker no matter what, the Texans should be thinking offensive line, no matter what.

DeShaun Watson took a beating last year and his coaches have to do a better job of protecting him to ensure their and his success.

Jawaan Taylor has been a riser up the draft boards in recent times as he put in some really good performances in the SEC against some of the top competition of college football last year.

 

 

24. Raiders (Via Bears) – Kelvin Harmon, WR, N.C. State

 

Wide receivers under contract in Oakland next season; Jordy Nelson, Seth Roberts, Marcell Ateman and Keon Hatcher. None of whom are good.

Harmon gives the Raiders a WR1 for years to come having logged two season with at least 1,000 yards receiving for the Wolfpack. Harmon also has a good amount of experience having played in 10 games as a freshman. Experience is another one of those things that really means something to me when I look at players for the NFL.

 

 

25. Eagles – Charles Omenihu, IDL, Texas

 

Some have Omenihu playing inside, some have him coming off the edge. I don’t think it matters and nor do I feel the Eagles will.

Philly love these versatile linemen who they can roll into their rotation with the other 46 guys they seemingly have on the defensive line.

There are a couple of expiring contracts in that area for the Eagles so a bigger role for guys like Josh Sweat and some new blood like Omenihu wouldn’t go amiss.

 

 

26. Colts – Jeffrey Simmons, IDL, Mississippi State

 

So the Colts killed the draft last year and get this year off to a flying start with the pick of Jeffrey Simmons too.

Simmons hasn’t got a combine invite due to a violent incident in his past, both of which will hurt his stock and may even take him off the board of some teams completely.

However, you’ll find it hard to find a bad word said or written about his character ever since that event, so that means someone is going to get a bargain.

 

 

27. Raiders (Via Cowboys) – Rashan Gary, IDL, Michigan

 

I love the idea of the Raiders doubling down on the D line in the first. Yes, they have holes all over the roster but the draft is 7 rounds long, there’s plenty of time to fill those needs without reaching.

Gary gives the Raiders a big upside player with versatility to mix with Ferrell and the 3 guys they drafted there last year. Some may think this is an excessive use of picks in one area of a team but to me, football games are won in the trenches and by defenses who put pressure and hits on quarterbacks. Sign me up for all of those defensive line guys who get to the passer.

Remember that the Raiders will also pick again in just a few picks time at the start of the second round too…

 

 

28. Chargers – Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama

 

So it looks like Denzel Perryman could be playing on another team next year. Unfortunately for him, he just can’t seem to get through a full season without ending up in the treatment table. So if I’m the Chargers, I’m probably not bringing him back unless it’s on a pretty dirt cheap deal.

Even then, Perryman is a thumper in the run game but a liability in coverage. We all know that as offenses evolve, there are less and less linebackers on the field and none leave the field quicker than those who can’t cover. The Chargers epitomised this in the playoffs where they often had 6 or 7 defensive backs on the field…

The problem was they then got ran all over by the Patriots. Enter Wilson who is a modern day linebacker who whilst undersized, can tackle and cover from sideline to sideline.

 

 

29. Chiefs – Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S/CB, Florida

 

The Chiefs secondary is bad. They need new corners and a new safety not named Eric Berry. Chauncey Gardner-Johnson can play safety and can play some corner too so I feel like he’s a great place to start the revamp of the defensive backfield.

CGJ had a big uptick in production and actually learnt how to tackle this past year at Florida so his stock has risen dramatically.  

 

 

30. Packers (Via Saints) – Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

 

Jimmy Graham may be sticking round but he’s nowhere near the Jimmy Graham of old. It’s time to pass the torch and there’s no better year for a tight end needy team to strike than in the 2019 draft… it’s the best tight end class for many a year.

Fant and Iowa team mate TJ Hockenson head up the class as the top 2 on offer this year, so why Fant over Hockenson here for Green Bay?

Well, Fant is more of a pure receiver than Hockenson, Green Bay doesn’t really ask it’s tight ends to stay in and block very often at all so they’ll opt to go with Fant to give Aaron Rodgers a big target over the middle to compliment Davante Adams and the young wide receivers they drafted last year.

 

 

31. Rams – Chris Lindstrom, IOL, Boston College

 

One of the big reasons the Rams lost the Superbowl (sorry, too soon?) is because New England ran all over their offensive line and Jared Goff couldn’t get into rhythm as he was on the run so much.

So whilst the L.A. offensive line was good throughout the season, it may be time for some fresh blood there, so I’m giving them the best guard in the class.

Lindstrom could take over from free agent to be Rodger Saffold or Austin Blythe on either side of John Sullivan.

 

 

32. Patriots – TJ Hockenson, TE, Iowa

 

Hockenson to New England would almost be unfair. He’s a great receiver and he can bury guys in the run game too; so just as Gronk either retires or plays in what could be his final season, the Patriots get the new version of Gronk again for another decade… and Hockenson isn’t half bionic like Gronkowski is now.

Josh McDaniels could bring back those lethal two tight end sets that the Patriots used to use with Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, should Gronk put off his retirement.

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