The 2019 NFL draft finally begins tonight, which means it’s time to get last-minute predictions in for which college superstars will go where to start their NFL careers.
A handful of picks have remained consistent across all my mock drafts this year, but as the NFL’s lying season wraps up another year we’ve seen the composite big board and my personal board shake up. It’s hard to know what to believe when it comes to scouting reports, desires of teams when it comes to trades, etc.
All the rumors, the waiting and the other toxic waste that blends together to create the pre-draft process finally comes to a halt on Thursday when the teams start making picks. Here’s the Dzwierzynski mock draft 3.0:
This has been the most talked about pick for months, with good reason, and I’m still not convinced Arizona keeps its last top-10 quarterback over Murray. He’s got a cannon, insane mobility and could do wonders in Kliff Kingsbury’s offense.
San Francisco would be thrilled if Murray goes first, because that would mean the top EDGE player in the draft would fall into its lap. The 49ers are in excellent shape no matter what; they either get a piece to pair with Dee Ford for a strong pass rush duo or they get Quinnen Williams and establish a strong defensive line even further.
Williams has seen his stock soar in recent weeks, with several outlets saying he’s the true best prospect in the class. It’s not as big of a need as EDGE for New York, which means Josh Allen is also in play here, but he’s a gamebreaker and instantly makes the Jets a lot better.
It’s hard to believe Ed Oliver, one of the most highly regarded college prospects in recent memory was ever considered not a top-five pick, but his stock has rightfully risen again lately. The Raiders have so many needs that they would be smart to take the best player available.
This is one of those picks that just makes too much sense. White can play immediately, he’s fast and he’s fierce, which would add a big play athlete to a defense that needs one badly.
I had mocked Dwayne Haskins to the Giants non-stop this year until lately, when rumors about his fall and New York’s interest in other passers caused me to have them filling a different (but also major) need here. Allen is a Day 1 starter on the Giants defense.
Alabama’s Jonah Williams is making a late push up draft boards, but Taylor has steadily been a top tackle pick for a while now and still makes a lot of sense for Jacksonville. Also in play here are Dwayne Haskins, TJ Hockenson and possibly even a trade back.
Bush was told he’ll play middle linebacker if Detroit takes him, which he added is where he’s most comfortable. Detroit needs some defensive playmakers, and despite being undersized Bush’s strength and athleticism make him a tempting prospect here.
Excellent scenario here for the Bills, who have their pick between Burns, Clelin Ferrell and a few other top-end prospects. Burns might be the best pure pass rusher of the group, which makes him a great fit here.
Drew Lock had been the pick here for a long time, but if Haskins slides past New York and Jacksonville he’d be a great choice for Denver. He’s not 6-foot-5 or taller, but he is fairly immobile, so that fits John Elway’s type. Sarcasm aside, Haskins is worthy of a top-10 pick and would make the future a whole lot brighter for the Broncos.
Williams to Cincinnati has been the pick in all three of my mocks and I’m keeping it that way. He’s the best remaining offensive lineman on the board and while he should play tackle at the next level, he could play guard if needed. Great strength and some versatility make him a great pickup.
There’s been a lot of smoke lately about the Packers taking an offensive lineman with their first first-round pick, but if Hockenson is available he plugs a long-standing need for Green Bay. He’s the most complete tight end prospect in some time and would contribute right away as a receiver and blocker.
It was extremely tempting to put Drew Lock here, but the Dolphins have so many holes and, frankly, will be so bad this year they’ll be able to take a top quarterback prospect next year. Wilkins is a safe pick and another Day 1 contributor.
Two straight Clemson Tigers go off the board here as Atlanta gets some much-needed pass rush help. Recently re-signed Adrian Clayborn isn’t a key piece for Atlanta’s future and Vic Beasley’s production is a massive question mark, so EDGE help is vital for the Falcons.
If rumors are to be believed, Washington may trade up for a different quarterback that hasn’t come up in this particular mock yet. Yikes. Lock is the next quarterback on the board though, and while Washington has to fill a lot of holes across the board, all it has to do is look at its quarterback battle between Case Keenum and Colt McCoy to know it needs a long-term answer under center.
Sweat’s medicals have him dropping down boards, but if Carolina vets his health and says he’s OK, he’d be an absolute steal here. A top-10 talent that fills a major need.
To be blunt, I hate this pick. But the word is both New York and Washington are interested in Jones, which is baffling but not surprising considering who runs these two teams. Quarterback of the future is a need, at least.
Minnesota has no choice but to address the offensive line right away this year. Ford was a tackle in his last year at Oklahoma but played guard prior to that, which is probably where he ends up with the Vikings. Garrett Bradbury or Chris Lindstrom could be options here, but Ford is the top offensive lineman prospect on the board.
The love affair with the genetic freak D.K. Metcalf has died down, but he’s still largely considered the top wide receiver in the draft. Tennessee needs to get Marcus Mariota another option as a pass catcher.
This pick will start a run on corners, because a lot of teams from here on out need one. Murphy is good at making plays on the ball, which the Steelers need after finishing 28th in the NFL last year with just eight interceptions as a team.
Seattle has a ton of flexibility in the first round now that it has two picks, and in all reality one of them will probably be traded. In all likelihood Fant won’t be around at No. 29, so the Seahawks will take him here to add a pass-catching athlete to Russell Wilson’s arsenal.
Wide receiver was the play here in my first two mock drafts, but I’ve recently been convinced that for a team that will run the ball a lot as long as it has Lamar Jackson at quarterback, the Ravens need to shore up their offensive line. Lindstrom is the best pure guard in this draft and will help open up running lanes right away.
Houston’s top goal for this draft needs to be finding a way to protect Deshaun Watson. He’s a fantastic pass blocker which should have the Texans salivating. He’d be something of a steal if he lasts this long.
Finally a big need for Oakland is filled as it gets maybe the best ballhawk in the draft. There are questions about Williams’ tackling ability among other things, but there’s a reason he was considered the best corner in the draft for a long time.
Philadelphia is a tough team to draft for this year, but help in the secondary (or at least depth) is important here. Gardner-Johnson can play over the top, in the box and has good enough cover skills that he can slide over to slot corner.
This makes way too much sense. Brown is explosive and has good hands, and Indianapolis needs another receiver. His lisfranc injury should scare teams, because it’s been a death sentence to the careers of speedsters before, but if he’s healthy he’s going to be a superstar.
Generally speaking, running backs aren’t valuable picks in the first round, but the Raiders’ stable of backs is far from great and Derek Carr needs some more offensive weapons. Jacobs is the consensus top running back in the draft and will plug the hole left open with Marshawn Lynch’s retirement.
Simmons had a major off-field concern from before his time in college. He also injured his knee in February and could miss substantial time this year. But he’s likely the best interior defensive lineman in the draft and once healthy will make L.A.’s already good defense a lot better up the middle.
I think this is the more likely pick of Seattle’s two in the first round that it trades. If they stay here, though, Ya-Sin would be an excellent addition. He doesn’t have much FBS tape but he’s a smart player, a fast player and given the state of the Seahawks’ secondary will probably start right from the jump.
If the Packers don’t go offensive line at No. 12, Risner would be a sensational pick here. He could be either Green Bay’s future starting right tackle (oft-injured Bryan Bulaga is in the last year of his contract) or could start right away at right guard. He’d be an excellent fit.
The Rams’ offense falls apart when Jared Goff faces a lot of pressure. Enter Bradbury, who will strengthen Goff’s protection by virtue of plugging the weakest spot on their offensive line.
Brown is a crisp route runner with good hands, both of which are key for a Patriots offense that is currently largely devoid of pass catchers. Dexter Lawrence, Irv Smith Jr. and several other players are options here (both of those players were featured in previous mock drafts), but Brown provides a good fit and good value.
First-round athlete for sure whose collegiate production did not match up with his hype as a prospect. Arizona could use offensive line help here, but it’s hard to pass up great value like Gary would be.
This is a dream scenario for Indianapolis. The Colts fill two big needs with a stud wide receiver in the first round and then a starting-caliber defensive lineman eight picks later.
Baker has gotten first-round grades from a lot of analysts, and I’m a big fan of his game, so San Francisco would be in great shape if he falls here/
Picking Harry would confirm that new Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles will actually have someone to throw the ball to. He’s not the fastest but he’s got stellar hands.
A safety finally comes off the board early in the second round. Denver could need a cornerback here more desperately if it doesn’t plan on keeping Chris Harris Jr. around, but the Broncos need help all across the secondary so getting the top-ranked safety is a smart choice.
Polite was once projected to be picked in the top half of the first round before he was derailed by a disastrous combine. The Lions would fill a need with good value with him in the second.
I’m a lifelong, die-hard Green Bay Packers but I swear I didn’t intentionally set this whole mock up just to have the Packers select three of my favorite players in the whole draft. Adding Samuel and Hockenson to Aaron Rodgers’ list of weapons would be something of a dream, though.
The Dolphins finally start helping their offensive line by getting a player some analysts have mocked as a first rounder.
Arguably a bit of a reach, but Ximines would provide pass rushing help to a defense that was squarely in the middle of the pack when it came to sacking the quarterback last year.
Ferguson owns the NCAA record for sacks in a season, and while there are some questions about the breadth of his abilities, New England will find a way to utilize him to the strengths better than anyone.
It’s finally time for the Kansas City Chiefs to make a pick, and Brett Veach has plenty of options to continue shoring up the defense. Deionte Thompson is an option here, but Thornhill is a complete player who could push Armani Watts for a starting role immediately.
The Chiefs double dip in the secondary by going with Williams. He’s 6-foot-4 with decent speed, not to mention good length, and he’d help complete a Kansas City cornerbacks group that is much improved from last year. Wide receiver isn’t out of the question here, though, as the though of Parris Campbell’s 4.3 speed in the Chiefs’ offense is still tantalizing.