UPDATED – Freedman’s Final 2019 NFL Mock Draft: Giants Trade Up for Duke’s Daniel Jones

UPDATED – Freedman’s Final 2019 NFL Mock Draft: Giants Trade Up for Duke’s Daniel Jones article feature image
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  • It's finally Day 1 of the 2019 NFL Draft, which kicks off at 8 p.m. ET on ABC from Nashville.
  • Matthew Freedman breaks down each pick in his final mock draft for Round 1.

The 2019 NFL draft is finally here, and I could not be more excited. We’ve produced a lot of content for this event over the past couple of weeks, and it all culminates with this: My final mock draft.

Here’s the seven-round schedule for the next three days.

  • Thursday, 8 p.m. ET: Round 1
  • Friday, 7 p.m. ET: Rounds 2-3
  • Saturday, noon ET: Rounds 4-7

Please note that, although this is my final mock, I might update this piece throughout the day.

The Action Network NFL Podcast: Mock Draft & Player Props

Listen to the most recent episode of The Action Network NFL Podcast to hear Ian Hartitz and me discuss the top-10 picks as well as the NFL draft prop bets I like.

2019 NFL Mock Draft

UPDATE (7:30 p.m. ET): I have made a few final changes, which are not represented in the blurbs below. Here is my final Round 1 mock.

Alright, this is the final update to my Round 1 mock, assuming there’s no breaking news in the next 35 minutes. pic.twitter.com/s6j65ALshi

— Matthew Freedman (@MattFtheOracle) April 25, 2019

1. Arizona Cardinals

Kyler Murray (Oklahoma), Quarterback

  • Height: 5’10” | Weight: 207 pounds
  • 2019 Age: 22 | Class: Redshirt Junior

I’m very much expecting Murray to go No. 1 overall. We have been bullish on him for months.

I’m not about to back off of him now.

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper reportedly gives Murray a 99.9% chance to go No. 1.

That was Kiper. Not me. https://t.co/k7Dk74AlJI

— Todd McShay (@McShay13) April 23, 2019

Is Kiper perhaps a little too confident in his projection? Maybe — but Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury has been recruiting Murray since he was a sophomore in high school. They reportedly have a very tight connection, and Murray’s style of play makes him a perfect fit for Kingsbury’s Air Raid offense.

Entering the combine, there were doubts about Murray’s size, but he measured in with a Russell Wilson-esque physique and has since seen his draft stock soar. Although just last summer he was selected with a top-10 pick in the MLB draft and was expected to play baseball professionally after the 2018 season, he’s widely regarded as the No. 1 quarterback in this draft class.

Last year, the Heisman Trophy winner led the nation with his 13.0 adjusted yards per pass attempt last season, and he flashed elite athleticism in running for 1,001 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Before Kingsbury was hired, he said that he thought Murray was worthy of the No. 1 pick, and Baker Mayfield’s rookie success suggests that an undersized, spread-system quarterback can play at a high level in the NFL.

It’s not ideal for the Cardinals to select quarterbacks in the top 10 for two years in a row, but they should be able to offload Josh Rosen.

Recently, there have been rumors that the Cardinals aren’t 100% sold on Murray and that he might slide out of the top spot. I’m not buying the noise. Teams without a viable quarterback struggle in the NFL, and Murray looks like an upgrade on Rosen.

2. San Francisco 49ers

Nick Bosa (Ohio State), Edge

  • Height: 6’4″ | Weight: 266 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.79 seconds
  • 2019 Age: 22 | Class: Junior

The 49ers have needs all over the roster, so they might look to trade down, but Bosa will likely be the pick. Just two months ago, Bosa was the frontrunner for the No. 1 pick at -200 odds.

He’s a pro-ready prospect with the athleticism and skill set to be an All-Pro pass-rusher within a few seasons. In every recent reputable mock I’ve surveyed, Bosa has gone to the 49ers.

3. New York Giants

Trade: The New York Giants move up to No. 3. The New York Jets move down to No. 6.

Daniel Jones (Duke), Quarterback

  • Height: 6’5″ | Weight: 221 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.81 seconds
  • 2019 Age: 22 | Class: Redshirt Junior

Here we are. The impossible has become the inevitable. Jones is the quintessence of the Round 1 reach.

Why are the Giants trading up from No. 6 to draft a quarterback with a top-three pick?

To start with, general manager Dave Gettleman showed last year with his selection of running back Saquon Barkley that he’s not overly concerned with value: He wants to get his guy. And it seems like Jones is his guy.

Jones has seen his draft stock climb ever since the combine. As unbelievable as this sounds, in earnest he’s been compared to Peyton Manning. Needless to say, I think that evaluation is off: Jones looks not at all like a first-rounder with his 2018 mark of 6.9 adjusted yards per attempt (AY/A).

But former Cleveland Browns GM Mike Lombardi expects Jones to be the No. 2 quarterback on most draft boards, and the Giants have become increasingly connected to Jones over the past week.

There is a team with Daniel Jones as their No. 1 QB on their board. And y’all know exactly who that team is.

— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) April 19, 2019

But the Giants are reportedly fine with passing on quarterback at No. 6, drafting a pass rusher instead, then using their No. 17 pick to select a passer — or maybe jumping back into the top 10.

In fact, NFL evaluators are expecting the Giants to trade up from No. 17.

So, again, why would they trade up to No. 3?

Gettleman has the draft capital to trade up. With all the picks they have, the Giants can afford to jump up three spots, especially since it’s an open secret that the Jets want to trade down: They traded up last year to draft quarterback Sam Darnold at No. 3, so they are without a Round 2 pick now. But if they trade back they will likely be able to pick one up.

So in the Jets, the Giants are able to find a willing trade partner. The Jets are reportedly determined to trade down.

And Gettleman is the type of GM who likes to move up the board.

#Giants currently have league-high 12 draft picks.

Dave Gettleman has been GM for six career drafts. He has never traded down but loves to trade up. Here’s how many picks he’s actually used by year:

2013: 5
2014: 6
2015: 5
2016: 5
2017: 7
2018: 6

Avg: 5.7 picks used per year.

— Evan Silva (@evansilva) April 23, 2019

Most importantly, the Raiders are a wildcard at No. 4. It’s almost impossible to know what’s going on with them. They sent their scouts away on Friday because they don’t know who to trust. Their plans at the top of the draft are apparently so unexpectedly radical that the Raiders require the utmost secrecy.

The Raiders probably don’t want Jones at No. 4. But is it possible that they want him? Yeah. It is. And the fear of losing Jones might be enough to entice Gettleman to trade up, especially since the Giants have the means to make the move.

Is it reasonable for the Giants to move up three spots for Jones, especially when the teams ahead of them seem highly unlikely to draft him? No. It’s not reasonable. But teams don’t act rationally when it comes to quarterbacks: Remember when the Chicago Bears needlessly traded up from No. 3 to No. 2 to draft Mitchell Trubisky two years ago?

And the Giants have arguably been one of the league’s most irrational franchises over the past year. Problematic organizations make suboptimal decisions.

4. Oakland Raiders

Ed Oliver (Houston), Defensive Tackle

  • Height: 6’2″ | Weight: 281 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.73 seconds
  • 2019 Age: 22 | Class: Junior

Oliver’s draft stock has dropped over the past year: He entered the 2018 season as the frontrunner to be the No. 1 pick in the 2019 draft. But as a junior he suffered a knee injury and played just eight games. Still, he was fantastic in his final season, finishing with a Pro Football Focus grade of 92.7, and he has recently enjoyed a surge in popularity.

At the combine he answered lingering questions about his size, and at his pro day he exhibited elite athleticism. There were previously doubts, but Oliver has the body and explosiveness to play as an NFL defensive tackle, where he’ll be a force as a rusher and run stopper.

A five-star recruit who opted to play for his hometown college instead of a Power Five program, Oliver was an immediate impact player as a freshman, putting together a first-team All-American campaign that made him a national name.

As a sophomore he somehow improved and won the Outland Trophy as the country’s best lineman on either side of the ball.

Even though the Raiders have attempted to keep their draft plans secret, they are reportedly in love with Oliver. And if they want him, they’ll almost certainly need to take him at No. 4.

Decent amount of Ed Oliver top five buzz going around. Interior pressure is incredibly important and teams believe he has elite ability from inside.

— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) April 22, 2019

Last month, I had Oliver mocked to the Atlanta Falcons at No. 14; last week, to the Buffalo Bills at No. 9. With his trajectory, he looks like a No. 4 pick.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Devin White (Louisiana State), Linebacker

  • Height: 6′ | Weight: 237 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.42 seconds
  • 2019 Age: 21 | Class: Junior

Almost every mock I’ve seen has White slated to the Bucs: They have a need at the position, and more importantly, they reportedly love him.

They arguably could go with Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams or Kentucky edge defender Josh Allen. But the Bucs seem to value White as if he’s the No. 1 player on their board.

New head coach Bruce Arians loves speed, and no linebacker is faster than White, who exhibited truly difference-making athleticism at the combine.

An unquestioned top-tier defender, White is a complete player capable of rushing the passer, stopping the run and defending running backs and tight ends in pass coverage.

Winner of the 2018 Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker, White has the potential to be a decade-long stalwart in the middle of a defense.

6. New York Jets

Trade: The New York Jets move down to No. 6. The New York Giants move up to No. 3. 

Quinnen Williams (Alabama), Defensive Tackle

  • Height: 6’3″ | Weight: 303 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.83 seconds
  • 2019 Age: 22 | Class: Redshirt Sophomore

Getting Williams at No. 6 is a massive win for the Jets, especially since he’s maybe the player they would have selected if they had stayed at No. 3.

For the past few months, many mocks have had either Williams or Allen going to the Jets at No. 3, but they reportedly aren’t sold on Allen, so Williams is the pick.

Williams is arguably the top player in the class, and the Jets have needs on the defensive line.

Williams led the nation with his 96.0 PFF grade in 2018. He also led all linemen in defensive stops and quarterback pressures.

He can anchor against the run with his size, and he can get to the passer with his athleticism. Williams could be an interior force on the defense for a decade.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars

Jawaan Taylor (Florida), Offensive Tackle

  • Height: 6’5″ | Weight: 312 pounds
  • 2019 Age: 22 | Class: Junior

The Jaguars need help along the offensive line to protect new quarterback Nick Foles, and they released right tackle Jermey Parnell this offseason.

Washington State offensive tackle Andre Dillard, Alabama offensive tackle Jonah Williams and Oklahoma offensive tackle Cody Ford are all options, but Taylor is increasingly going off the board as the No. 1 overall tackle in the class even though he played mostly on the right side in college.

And Taylor is a good fit for the Jags. He’s a three-year SEC starter and widely regarded as the best run blocker in the class. The Jags have a run-heavy offense, so Taylor’s strengths will be utilized.

Taylor skipped most of the measurement drills at the combine because of a hamstring injury, but he did participate in the on-field workout and was praised by former offensive lineman Joe Thomas.

In theory, it’s suboptimal for the Jags to draft someone with perhaps limited blindside potential, but Taylor should start immediately. And with pass rushers increasingly lining up all over the formation, the distinction between left and right tackles is less important than it used to be.

8. Washington Redskins

Trade: The Washington Redskins move up to No. 8. The Detroit Lions move down to No. 15.

Dwayne Haskins (Ohio State), Quarterback

  • Height: 6’3″ | Weight: 231 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 5.04 seconds
  • 2019 Age: 22 | Class: Redshirt Sophomore

Although the Lions could stay put and draft Allen or another defensive lineman, Lions GM Bob Quinn has openly stated that he wants to trade down.

And the Redskins need a quarterback unless they want to depend on Alex Smith, Case Keenum and Colt McCoy for the next few years. There have been rumors that they might trade the No. 15 pick to the Cardinals for Rosen, but that seems highly unlikely to happen.

Here is the latest on the Washington Redskins and what the plan is for the NFL Draft at pick 15 #nfldraft pic.twitter.com/0jYzhP5nda

— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) April 24, 2019

With Rosen not in play for the Redskins, Haskins is reportedly the quarterback the Redskins are targeting. In fact, they’ve even considered moving into the top five to get him.

There are some in the organization opposed to drafting a quarterback in Round 1 …

It’s clear there are many in the Redskins organization on the coaching and scouting staff who do not want to take a QB in the first round. The decision isn’t up to them. So while leaks will continue, nothing is likely to change tomorrow unless someone can change the owners’s mind

— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) April 24, 2019

… but the decision is going to come down to owner Dan Snyder, who has “taken over the first round of the draft” for the team.

The last time Snyder got involved with a draft decision, the team traded up to No. 2 to take quarterback Robert Griffin III.

It’s hard to say that the Redskins are an ideal landing spot for any quarterback, but Haskins played his high school ball in Potomac, Maryland, and his family lives in the area. It’s a decent fit.

Haskins led the nation with 50 touchdowns last season. He has only 14 starts over the past three years, which gives him an unfortunate Mark Sanchez-Mitchell Trubisky type of vibe, but with Keenum on the roster, Haskins can sit on the bench for at least a few games as a rookie as he acclimates to the league.

In a year with little top-end talent at the sport’s most important position, Haskins looks like a top-10 player.

9. New York Giants

Trade: The New York Giants move up to No. 9. The Buffalo Bills move down to No. 17.

Josh Allen (Kentucky), Edge

  • Height: 6’5″ | Weight: 262 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.63 seconds
  • 2019 Age: 22 | Class: Senior

Like the Lions, the Bills are more than open to trading back, and the Giants have the draft capital and desire to trade up from No. 17.

Back in the top 10, the Giants do what they’re widely expected to do: Draft a pass rusher, specifically Allen, who provides a lot of value at No. 9 and will help the Giants replace the recently traded Olivier Vernon.

Allen put up great numbers in 2018 with 17 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss, and he flashed good athleticism at the combine. The winner of both the Bednarik Award and Nagurski Trophy, Allen should be an immediate contributor.

10. Denver Broncos

Devin Bush (Michigan), Linebacker

  • Height: 5’11” | Weight: 234 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.43 seconds
  • 2019 Age: 21 | Class: Junior

Since February, I’ve had Missouri quarterback Drew Lock slated to the Broncos, not because I think he’s worthy of a top-10 selection but because GM John Elway reportedly was “smitten” with Lock at the Senior Bowl.

The Broncos dedicated one of their 30 prospect visits to Lock, so they are certainly considering him. But the Broncos traded for the veteran Joe Flacco this offseason, and there’s a feeling around the league that they won’t take a quarterback early.

Ultimately, Elway is drafting for his job: Even if he likes Lock, he might not want to take a guy with a top-10 pick if he’s not going to play right away.

Enter Bush, who could be a standout as the man in the middle of new HC Vic Fangio’s 3-4 defense.

Although Bush hasn’t gotten quite the hype that White has as the top off-ball linebacker in the class, Bush might be just as good. He’s a little smaller, but he’s young, explosive and strong against the run, in coverage and as a blitzer.

11. Cincinnati Bengals

Andre Dillard (Washington State), Offensive Tackle

  • Height: 6’5″ | Weight: 315 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.96 seconds
  • Class: Redshirt Senior

The feeling around the league is that the Bengals are not looking to take a quarterback at No. 11, but new HC Zac Taylor has risen through the ranks on the offensive side of the ball. I expect him to want an offensive contributor for his first pick.

The Bengals need help along the offensive line, and Dillard should be more than up to the task.

#Wazzu LT Andre Dillard:

* Top SPARQ among all OLs in Indy

* Top pass-pro OT in nation per @PFF_College in 2018

* Zero holding penalties as senior per @SportsInfo_SIS

* 41 straight starts; no injury history

* OL guru @LanceZierlein: immediate starter with Pro Bowl potential

— Evan Silva (@evansilva) March 5, 2019

Dillard flashed elite athleticism at the combine, and he has ample experience as a blindside protector with three years starting in Wazzou’s pass-heavy offense.

With his physical ability and pass-blocking chops, Dillard might end up being the best tackle in this class.

12. Green Bay Packers

T.J. Hockenson (Iowa), Tight End

  • Height: 6’5″ | Weight: 251 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.70 seconds
  • 2019 Age: 22 | Class: Redshirt Sophomore

Over the past 12 years, only 10 tight ends have been selected in Round 1, but the position is strong in this class, and Hockenson is a locked-in first-rounder in every mock draft I’ve seen.

Although I think it’s possible that he could go later in the draft, pick No. 12 is reportedly Hockenson’s floor.

Winner of the 2018 Mackey Award as the nation’s top tight end, Hockenson has Rob Gronkowski-esque potential as a mismatch weapon in the receiving and blocking game. Entering the NFL from the same institution that produced George Kittle, C.J. Fiedorowicz, Tony Moeaki, Scott Chandler and Dallas Clark, the young tight end should be a solid professional right away.

With his two-way skill set, Hock could be an every-down player by the middle of his rookie year, and the Packers need a long-term replacement to Jimmy Graham, who will turn 33 in November.

13. Carolina Panthers

Trade: The Carolina Panthers move up to No. 13. The Miami Dolphins move down to No. 16.

Jonah Williams (Alabama), Offensive Tackle

  • Height: 6’4″ | Weight: 302 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 5.12 seconds
  • 2019 Age: 22 | Class: Junior

The Panthers want to trade up for offensive line help, and the Dolphins need to accumulate picks to aid their rebuilding effort, so this trade makes sense.

There’s nothing special about Williams’ athleticism, but he’s a strong player who shouldn’t fall out of the top half of Round 1.

The Panthers have failed to protect quarterback Cam Newton adequately ever since losing left tackle Michael Oher in 2016, and Williams played as a three-year starter for one of the best teams in college football.

A versatile player, Williams has been talked about as a potential guard, where he would likely dominate. But he played on the outside in college, first on the right side as a freshman and then on the left in his two final seasons. If for some reason he doesn’t work out as a tackle, he probably will still be able to contribute on the interior.

But I see him as an NFL tackle: Despite facing strong SEC edge rushers, he didn’t allow a sack last year.

14. Atlanta Falcons

Brian Burns (Florida State), Edge

  • Height: 6’5″ | Weight: 249 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.53 seconds
  • 2019 Age: 21 | Class: Junior

The Falcons need help along the defensive line, and Burns is a high-upside prospect with youth and elite athleticism.

A five-star recruit, Burns broke out as an 18-year-old freshman in 2016, leading all first-year players with his 9.5 sacks. He had 13.5 tackles for loss in 2017, and last year he progressed with 15.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks and ranked third in the nation with 67 quarterback pressures (per PFF).

With his strong combine, Burns probably pushed himself into the top 20.

15. Detroit Lions

Trade: The Detroit Lions move down to No. 15. The Washington Redskins move up to No. 8.

Rashan Gary (Michigan), Edge/Defensive Tackle

  • Height: 6’4″ | Weight: 277 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.58 seconds
  • 2019 Age: 22 | Class: Junior

Like the Jets at No. 6, the Lions are still able to draft one of the players they might have selected if they had kept their original pick. This is a big win for them.

As for Gary, he underwhelmed in his three years at Michigan, and there are questions about whether he’ll be best as a pure edge rusher, a 3-4 defensive end or a 4-3 tackle. But he was the No. 1 player in the 2016 recruiting class, and he’s an elite athlete at a position where athleticism is predictive of NFL success.

But there are injury issues with Gary.

#Michigan DT Rashan Gary, one of the draft’s top defensive players, has a shoulder that was flagged, sources say. It’s a labral tear from college, and most believe he can play this season, then possibly have surgery afterward. It will likely have to be managed or harnessed, tho

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 23, 2019

For a potential tweener who didn’t live up to his hype in college, the shoulder injury I expect will be enough to knock Gary out of the top 10.

But at his best, he’s a versatile player who can line up all across multiple types of fronts for head coach Matt Patricia’s unit, and he could help replace the production lost from defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, who is currently a free agent member of my fictional expansion team, the Green Dot City Action.

A boom-or-bust prospect, Gary provides Patricia with the type of player he likes at a position of need. That Gary is a Michigan product is just an added bonus.

16. Miami Dolphins

Trade: The Miami Dolphins move down to No. 16. The Carolina Panthers move up to No. 13.

Montez Sweat (Mississippi State), Edge

  • Height: 6’6″ | Weight: 260 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.41 seconds
  • 2019 Age: 23 | Class: Redshirt Senior

Like the Jets and Lions, the Dolphins get a player they might have selected if they had picked at their original draft position.

The Dolphins need to replace free agents Cameron Wake and William Hayes, and Sweat is a high-upside prospect with truly difference-making athleticism. A top high school tight end, Sweat transitioned to defense at Michigan State before transferring to Copiah-Lincoln Community College then eventually Mississippi State, where he put up 17.5 sacks in two seasons.

A two-time All-SEC first-teamer, Sweat provides a lot of value — if he’s able to stay on the field.

Last week, news broke that Sweat has a medical condition that could cause his draft stock to fall: He has an enlarged heart.

Montez Sweat’s heart condition has been discussed extensively by NFL teams and their medical staffs. Yes, he’s been off some draft boards, but for other teams, it’d be a matter of taking precautions. @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/DuWdNgM2Tt

— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 19, 2019

I believe that he has the same condition that defensive tackle Maurice Hurst had when he entered the league last year. Based on his abilities and athleticism, Hurst could have been a Round 1 pick. Instead, he was selected in Round 5 by the Raiders.

Last week, Sweat was commonly mocked in the top 10, but I doubt strongly he’ll be drafted there now.

In fact, he’s almost certainly expecting a Round 1 fall: He originally accepted his invitation to attend the draft, but after his heart condition was made public, he decided not to go to Nashville, presumably to avoid the awkwardness of an extended wait in the green room.

Getting Sweat at No. 16 is a nice win for a team that will likely lose a lot next year.

17. Buffalo Bills

Trade: The Buffalo Bills move down to No. 17. The New York Giants move up to No. 9.

Christian Wilkins (Clemson), Defensive Tackle

  • Height: 6’3″ | Weight: 315 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 5.04 seconds
  • 2019 Age: 24 | Class: Graduate Student

With the retirement of defensive tackle Kyle Williams, the Bills need help on the interior of their defensive front, and Wilkins should be able to provide assistance.

Wilkins is a total force. He was incredibly disruptive in 2018, recording 46 quarterback pressures and 39 defensive stops and racking up a 93.0 PFF grade, the third-highest mark for any college player.

Capable of rushing the passer on the interior and honoring his responsibilities in the run game, Wilkins will be a strong contributor in HC Sean McDermott’s defense.

Wilkins is a locked-in first-rounder.

18. Minnesota Vikings

Cody Ford (Oklahoma), Offensive Tackle

  • Height: 6’4″ | Weight: 329 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 5.21 seconds
  • Class: Redshirt Junior

Opinions are split on Ford, who was outstanding at right tackle in 2018 but is regarded by some draftniks as a guard, where he played early in his college career.

Regardless, the Vikings need significant offensive line help, and Ford is a versatile player who can plug in wherever needed.

Even with his positional uncertainty, Ford is a top-20 pick in most mock drafts.

A number of sharp drafters have center Garrett Bradbury going here instead of Ford. Why am I going with Ford? He offers more positional utility: He might be able to play on the outside at a high level, whereas Bradbury is purely an interior lineman.

Plus, Ford is attending the draft. Bradbury isn’t.

These 23 prospects will attend the 2019 @NFLDraft in Nashville! #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/T8EFIwO8Qm

— NFL (@NFL) April 9, 2019

I have a lot of respect for Bradbury, who is the hands-down No. 1 center in the class. But in most cases, it’s probably safer to bet on the guy actually attending the combine being the one selected first.

19. Tennessee Titans

Clelin Ferrell (Clemson), Edge

  • Height: 6’4″ | Weight: 264 pounds
  • 2019 Age: 22 | Class: Redshirt Junior

The Titans need help with their pass rush — outside linebackers Brian Orakpo (retirement) and Derrick Morgan (free agency) are no longer with the team — and Ferrell is a great fit for HC Mike Vrabel’s defense.

With 11.5 sacks last year, Ferrell won the 2018 Hendricks Award as the top defensive end in the nation. He didn’t flash as much at the combine as some of the other edge rushers, but he was a three-year starter for a two-time national champion and is expected to be a rock-solid professional.

Ferrell is a unanimous first-rounder in every mock draft I’ve seen.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers

Greedy Williams (Louisiana State), Cornerback

  • Height: 6’2″ | Weight: 185 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.37 seconds
  • 2019 Age: 22 | Class: Redshirt Sophomore

With his speed and ability, Williams has the raw feel of a top-10 pick, but he’s fallen in mocks the closer we’ve gotten to the draft. It’s at the point where most draftniks are slating cornerback Rock Ya-Sin to the Steelers instead of Williams. And several experts I respect a lot have him falling out of Round 1 altogether.

He’s thin, he’s not a willing tackler and he reportedly has some character issues.

But it’s unusual for guys at the draft to fall out of Round 1. Granted, it happened last year to running back Derrius Guice, Greedy’s college teammate. But I’m still tempted to mock the guy at the draft over the guy sitting on his couch at home.

Greedy has the name, swag and skillz to develop into a shutdown corner. Hailing from CBU, Williams is a typical LSU press-coverage player. Last year, he held quarterbacks to a 58.1 passer rating on targets in his coverage.

Few teams play more press-man coverage than the Steelers, so Greedy looks like a good fit. The Steelers don’t have an obvious need at corner, but Joe Haden is in the final year of his contract, Artie Burns has failed to live up to his 2016 first-round draft pick and Steven Nelson is a replacement-level player.

21. Seattle Seahawks

Byron Murphy (Washington), Cornerback

  • Height: 5’11” | Weight: 190 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.55 seconds
  • 2019 Age: 21 | Class: Redshirt Sophomore

Greedy is the flashier player, but some evaluators prefer Murphy, who is more of a complete prospect thanks to his ability to play press-man and zone and support in run defense.

At the combine Murphy exhibited subpar athleticism for a small corner, but everyone raved about his technique and footwork in the on-field drills. Most big-name analysts actually considered him a combine winner despite his slow 40-yard dash.

Murphy led all corners last year with his 91.9 PFF grade, holding quarterbacks to a 54.4 passer rating when targeted. Although he played primarily on the outside in college, Murphy looks like he could be an especially strong defender in the slot, which is perhaps Seattle’s biggest secondary weakness.

Murphy is a late first-rounder in almost every mock draft I’ve surveyed.

22. Baltimore Ravens

D.K. Metcalf (Mississippi), Wide Receiver

  • Height: 6’3″ | Weight: 228 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.33 seconds
  • 2019 Age: 22 | Class: Redshirt Sophomore

The Ravens are without wide receivers Michael Crabtree and John Brown, so they seem likely to address the position.

The draft community is divided on Metcalf: He’s big, fast and explosive, and he comes from a family of NFL veterans, but he has limited stop-start agility, struggled to stay healthy and never had a true breakout campaign.

But Metcalf was on pace for a 1,000-yard, 10-touchdown season in 2018 before a neck injury cut his year short, and his catch radius makes him an intriguing option for quarterback Lamar Jackson.

What the Ravens hoped Breshad Perriman would be when they drafted him No. 26 overall in 2015, Metcalf actually could be. He has the most upside of any receiver in the class.

23. Houston Texans

Garrett Bradbury (North Carolina State), Center

  • Height: 6’3″ | Weight: 306 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.92 seconds
  • Class: Graduate Student

The Texans are weakest on the offensive line, but Bradbury’s addition to the unit should immediately strengthen the interior. A first-team All-American and Rimington Trophy winner as the best center in college football, Bradbury provides great value at No. 23.

A vaunted tight end recruit, Bradbury moved to the offensive line in 2015, playing one season at left guard before finishing his college career with two years at center. With his interior versatility, Bradbury offers the Texans great flexibility. At one position or another, Bradbury will be an immediate starter as an inside lineman.

Exhibiting elite athleticism at the combine, Bradbury is a strong pass protector and capable run blocker. His addition should benefit both phases of HC Bill O’Brien’s offense.

While Day 1 centers are relatively rare, Bradbury has All-Pro potential and is regularly mocked as a first-rounder.

24. Oakland Raiders

Josh Jacobs (Alabama), Running Back

  • Height: 5’10″ | Weight: 220 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.60 seconds
  • 2019 Age: 21 | Class: Junior

Capitulation complete. I avoided putting Jacobs in Round 1 as long as I could, but sometimes the levee breaks.

Jacobs is the consensus No. 1 back in the class, and it’s not all that hard to see why: Of all the backs likely to be drafted, Jacobs is first with a 59.2% positive play rate and second with 38 broken tackles per 100 touches, 2.4 yards per route and 41.9 expected points added.

But he has below-average athleticism and not one 1,000-yard season to his name. This is a poor class for running backs, but in a normal year, Jacobs would probably be talked about as a likely third-rounder with upside.

Even so, HC Jon Gruden and GM Mike Mayock are reportedly enthralled with Jacobs, and most mocks have him going to the Raiders, usually at No. 24.

Alabama RB Josh Jacobs to the @Raiders at No. 24 is suddenly easiest call of tomorrow night’s draft. Jacobs is the closest thing to Marshawn that the Raiders could possibly hope for.

— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) April 24, 2019

Setting aside concerns about his production and athleticism, Jacobs is intriguing when his age, size and draft position are considered. Young big-bodied backs drafted in Rounds 1-2 have historically had massive career success.

25. New England Patriots

Trade: The New England Patriots move up to No. 25. The Philadelphia Eagles move down to No. 32.

Noah Fant (Iowa), Tight End

  • Height: 6’4″ | Weight: 249 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.50 seconds
  • 2019 Age: 22 | Class: Junior

After taking Jacobs at No. 24, the Raiders will almost certainly consider Fant at No. 27 — they need to replace tight end Jared Cook, who left via free agency — so the Patriots jump ahead of them to get their guy.

With 12 picks, the Patriots have the draft capital to make this trade happen, and the Eagles have historically displayed a willingness to trade down and accumulate picks under Executive VP Howie Roseman.

NFL Network Analyst Daniel Jeremiah says that the Pats could trade up for Fant if he slips. The Patriots need a long-term replacement to the retired Rob Gronkowski, and Fant is an NFL-ready receiving tight end similar.

Despite sharing the field with Hockenson, the supremely athletic Fant led his team with 11 and seven touchdowns receiving over the past two seasons.

Fant doesn’t have Hockenson’s strength as a blocker, and he dropped 11-of-80 catchable passes in his two final seasons (per PFF). But he could be the more productive NFL player.

26. Indianapolis Colts

Jeffery Simmons (Mississippi State), Defensive Tackle

  • Height: 6’4″ | Weight: 300 pounds
  • 2019 Age: 22 | Class: Junior

Before tearing his ACL in February while training for the combine, the former five-star recruit was a top-10 pick in almost every mock draft thanks to his stout play as a run defender and pass rusher.

The Colts under GM Chris Ballard have done a remarkable job of quickly rebuilding their roster while maintaining a long-term perspective. Even though Simmons likely won’t play in 2019, he should still add value to the team over the life of his first contract, especially since the Colts will have a fifth-year option because they selected him in Round 1.

Given that his knee injury is not expected to have any permanent impact on his ability, Simmons offers tremendous value at No. 27.

27. Oakland Raiders

Marquise Brown (Oklahoma), Wide Receiver

  • Height: 5’9″ | Weight: 166 pounds
  • 2019 Age: 22 | Class: Junior

The Raiders have an obvious need at tight end, not wide receiver, but it’s probably too early for them to draft Irv Smith Jr., and they can at least get some pass-catching help from Brown, who is simply too dynamic to pass up.

Besides, “Hollywood” certainly provides an upgrade on slot receiver Ryan Grant and probably No. 2 wide receiver Tyrell Williams. And his cousin — Antonio Brown — will be 31 years old when the season starts.

Brown has been unable to work out for scouts in advance of the draft because of a Lisfranc injury he suffered in the Big 12 Championship Game, but he’s assumed to have elite speed — which he’ll need to have at his size.

Often compared to DeSean Jackson because of his build, athleticism and style of play, “Hollywood” enters the NFL with three consecutive seasons of good production.

  • 2016 (College of the Canyons): 50-754-10 receiving, two return touchdowns in 10 games
  • 2017 (Oklahoma): 57-1,095-7 receiving in 13 games
  • 2018 (Oklahoma): 75-1,318-10 receiving in 13 games

As the draft has approached, Brown’s status as a first-rounder has seemingly solidified …

I do feel good about this WR going in 1st round👇🏻 pic.twitter.com/otkLAnqSlT

— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) April 10, 2019

… and he could be a fantastic lid-lifting receiver for the Raiders.

28. Los Angeles Chargers

Dexter Lawrence (Clemson), Defensive Tackle

  • Height: 6’4″ | Weight: 342 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 5.05 seconds
  • 2019 Age: 22 | Class: Junior

The Chargers suffered last year without defensive tackle Corey Liuget (quad), who is no longer with the team, and nose tackle Brandon Mebane is a 34-year-old rotational player. The Chargers have a significant need on the interior of their defensive line.

A coveted five-star recruit, Lawrence broke out immediately as a freshman with seven sacks and has the size to impose his will against the run. And he flashed elite athleticism at the combine for a prospect of his size.

He was suspended for his two final college games because of a positive performance-enhancing drug test, and he failed as a sophomore and junior to match his first-year production, but he still has the physical attributes and skills teams crave, and he has the versatility to play in the middle of a 4-3 or 3-4 front.

An interior presence on the Chargers defense will make edge rushers Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram even more difficult for offensive lines to stop, and Lawrence is a low-end first-rounder in most mocks.

29. Seattle Seahawks

Darnell Savage Jr. (Maryland), Safety

  • Height: 5’11” | Weight: 198 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.36 seconds
  • Class: Senior

Savage has seen his draft stock rise over the past month: He’s now a Round 1 selection as the first safety off the board in almost every recent mock I’ve surveyed.

In drafting Savage, the Seahawks continue to rebuild their secondary and find a potential long-term replacement to safety Earl Thomas, who left via free agency this offseason. Based on name alone, Savage seems like a good fit for the Seahawks, and his style of play somewhat matches his name.

Aggressive in pass defense and run support, Savage flies to the ball and can play multiple positions: He has spent most of his time at strong safety, but in today’s NFL, safeties must be able to line up all over the field, and Savage has the ability to play deep as a free safety and in the slot as a corner.

With Murphy and now Savage, the Seahawks might have another Legion of Boom-caliber secondary.

30. Green Bay Packers

Drew Lock (Missouri), Quarterback

  • Height: 6’4″ | Weight: 228 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.69 seconds
  • 2019 Age: 23 | Class: Senior

Time is a flat circle.

This season, Aaron Rodgers will be 36 — the exact age Brett Favre was whenever the Packers drafted Rodgers to be his eventual replacement.

The Packers don’t need a quarterback, but they also didn’t need one when they drafted Rodgers in 2005, after he fell to them at No. 24. As Rodgers did 14 years ago, Lock lands with the Packers after a steep fall down the board, and they can’t help but draft him because of the value he offers: Lock has long been ticketed for Round 1.

On top of that, the Packers reportedly have a genuine interest in Lock. They used one of their 30 allotted visits to work him out. I don’t think the Packers actually should draft Lock. I’d rather see them draft a tight end, wide receiver or offensive lineman. I view Lock as a Day 2 quarterback.

But I can see this happening.

A four-year starter, Lock never seemed to put it all together in college. As a junior, he had a respectable 10.2 AY/A, but he completed only 57.8% of his passes. As a senior, he completed more of his passes (62.9%), but he still wasn’t especially accurate, and he was far less efficient (8.5 AY/A).

Throughout his career, he’s been plagued by inconsistency, but at the combine he flashed a strong arm and faster-than-expected speed, as a junior he led the nation with 44 touchdowns passing and as a recruit he was an Elite 11 participant.

With the opportunity to sit behind Rodgers for a few seasons, Lock might be able to develop into a starting quarterback.

Of course, his long-term future with the Packers — whether they eventually trade him or use him to replace Rodgers — is a totally different matter.

31. Los Angeles Rams

Deandre Baker (Georgia), Cornerback

  • Height: 5’11” | Weight: 193 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.53 seconds
  • 2019 Age: 23 | Class: Senior

The Rams don’t have many needs, but starting cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters are both in the final year of their contracts, and slot corner Nickell Robey-Coleman has just two more seasons left on his deal.

Baker didn’t flash great athleticism at the combine, but scouts came away impressed with his on-field workout, and he was dominant against SEC competition in his two final seasons, putting up a PFF coverage grade of at least 90.0 in both years.

A first-team All-American and the Thorpe Award winner as the nation’s best defensive back, Baker is versatile enough to play in man and zone coverages, and he held quarterbacks to just a 40.2 passer rating last year (per PFF).

For his two final college seasons, Baker allowed zero touchdowns in his coverage. He could develop into a lockdown corner in defensive coordinator Wade Phillips’ scheme.

32. Philadelphia Eagles

Trade: The Philadelphia Eagles move down to No. 32. The New England Patriots move up to No. 25.

Dalton Risner (Kansas State), Offensive Lineman

  • Height: 6’5″ | Weight: 312 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 5.30 seconds
  • 2019 Age: 24 | Class: Redshirt Senior

The Eagles don’t have massive problems on the offensive line, but center Jason Kelce could retire soon, left guard Isaac Seumalo had a mediocre 62.1 PFF grade last year and right guard Brandon Brooks is recovering from a torn Achilles suffered in the playoffs.

Lane Johnson is one of the league’s best right tackles, but he’s already 28 years old, and left tackle Jason Peters is 37 years old and playing on a one-year deal.

The Eagles need an offensive lineman, and Risner is an NFL-ready player whose seemingly non-elite ceiling is likely outweighed by his high floor.

A four-year starter with experience at center and right tackle, Risner might be dependable enough to be the eventual replacement for Kelce in the middle or Peters on the blind side: He allowed just one sack in his entire college career. In the meantime, he could likely slot in at guard.

With his positional flexibility, Risner is reminiscent of Kansas State predecessor Cody Whitehair, who started two years each at guard and tackle in college before transitioning to center as a rookie in 2016. Last year Whitehair made his first Pro Bowl.

In 2018, Risner was PFF’s No. 2 offensive lineman with an 89.9 overall grade, and he had an elite 93.2 pass-blocking grade. He’d be a strong long-time contributor in HC Doug Pederson’s offense.


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Matthew Freedman is the Editor-in-Chief of FantasyLabs. He has a dog and sometimes a British accent. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he’s known only as The Labyrinthian.

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