Steve Believes: 2019 NFL Mock Draft, First Round

  1. Arizona Cardinals-Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma. Given the recent comments by John Rosen, the incumbent starting QB for the Cardinals, and Murray getting early comparisons to Patrick Mahomes, it seems just about certain that an Oklahoma quarterback will be the number one overall pick for the second year in a row. If Murray’s first year or two resemble anything like Baker Mayfield (last year’s number one overall pick) or the aforementioned Mahomes, then the future will be a bright one in the desert.
  2. San Francisco 49ers-Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama. It appears the 49ers are set at defensive end with DeForest Buckner and $87 million man Dee Ford. However, the 49ers have no proven interior disrupter along the defensive line. That will change with Williams, who will help give the 49ers a vaunted front four for at least the next 10 years.
  3. New York Jets-Josh Allen, DE/OLB, Kentucky. Despite having a defensive coordinator (Gregg Williams) with a history in utilizing a 4-3 scheme, the Jets will remain in a 3-4 scheme. Either way, Allen is a no-brainer here, as the Jets lack an outside pass rushing threat, and that’s something that’s needed for a team that faces Tom Brady twice a year. In addition to Allen being essential for the Jets, his height and weight ratio is nearly identical to Shawne Merriman, a player who dominated during his first three years in the league. If the Jets get anything like that from Allen, then they’ll finally have their best outside pass rusher since John Abraham.
  4. Oakland Raiders-Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State. The trade of Khalil Mack negatively impacted Jon Gruden’s return to the sidelines in 2018, as they had no legitimate number one outside pass rusher. Bosa is the better prospect than the aforementioned Josh Allen, but Bosa is a better fit as a 4-3 defensive end. And if Nick’s play resembles anything close to his older brother’s, then the Raiders pass rush will be vaunted once again.
  5. Tampa Bay BuccaneersMontez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State. Aside from Shaquil Barrett and maybe Vita Vea, the Buccaneers don’t have the proper personnel for a 3-4 defense. Sweat can justify Bruce Arians’ decision to switch a 3-4 defense, as he has the body type of Chandler Jones, a player whom thrived as a 3-4 outside linebacker while Arians was coaching the Cardinals. Plus, with both Josh Allen and Nick Bosa off the board, Sweat makes perfect sense as the player for the Buccaneers to draft.
  6. New York GiantsBrian Burns, OLB, Florida State. The Giants don’t have a proven pass rusher on their roster, nor have they had a proven 3-4 outside linebacker since the great Lawrence Taylor. This spot might be early for Burns, but he’s the best player available in a position of need for the Giants.
  7. Jacksonville JaguarsJonah Williams, OT, Alabama. Jawaan Taylor is the better prospect at this position, but Williams has the tools to be a franchise left tackle, whereas Taylor is predicted to be a career right tackle, thus Williams being the pick for the Jaguars.
  8. Detroit LionsDevin White, LB, LSU. Jarrad Davis is an excellent linebacker, but he needs a running mate to be a tackling machine along with him, thus making White the perfect pick here.
  9. Buffalo BillsGreedy Williams, CB, LSU. The Bills boasted the league’s number one pass defense last season and Tre’Davious White was a big reason for that. The Bills will double down on LSU cornerbacks, by selecting fellow alum and White’s LSU teammate, Williams, to give the Bills a vaunted tandem of cornerbacks for years to come.
  10. Denver BroncosDevin Bush, LB, Michigan. The Broncos were at their best when they had not one, but two do-it-all inside linebackers in Danny Trevathan and Brandon Marshall. However, neither player is on the team and who knows if Josey Jewell is the answer opposite Todd Davis. Either way, Bush is an upgrade over Jewell, and he should thrive in a linebacking corps that boasts both last season’s first round pick in Bradley Chubb and future Hall Of Famer Von Miller.
  11. Cincinnati BengalsJawaan Taylor, OT, Florida. The Bengals are set on the left side with Cordy Glenn and Clint Boling, along with investing first round draft capital in Billy Price. However, Alex Redmond and Bobby Hart are the question marks in this unit, thus making Taylor a no-brainer for them.
  12. Green Bay Packers-Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma. The Packers have a lot of big-bodied pass catchers, but no one who is fast and crafty in the way that Randall Cobb was for them. Brown is exactly that type of player and someone who will almost immediately become a favorite target of Aaron Rodgers.
  13. Miami Dolphins-Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson. Once a position of strength is now depleted, as Cameron Wake and Robert Quinn are no longer with the team. Quarterback is also a need for the Dolphins, but the Dolphins have at least a serviceable player at that position in Ryan Fitzpatrick. The Dolphins could get Ferrell’s college teammate Christian Wilkins, but defensive end is a more pressing need for the Dolphins, thus Ferrell being the pick.
  14. Atlanta Falcons-Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State. The defensive tackle spot opposite of Grady Jarrett, and the cornerback spot opposite of Desmond Trufant are also positions of need for the Falcons. However, Ty Sambrailo isn’t starting material at offensive tackle, so the Falcons will draft the third best offensive tackle prospect in this year’s draft to bookend with Jake Matthews.
  15. Washington Redskins-Drew Lock, QB, Missouri. Dwayne Haskins is the better prospect at this point, but Lock is more NFL-ready to start almost immediately for a Redskins team that had a quarterback carousel during the last six weeks of the 2018 season.
  16. Carolina Panthers-Jaylon Ferguson, DE, Louisiana Tech. The retirement of Julius Peppers has created a void at the defensive end position. Plus, the only proven player at that position on their roster is Mario Addison. Chase Winovich is more polished than Ferguson, but Ferguson’s upside is too hard to pass up in this spot.
  17. New York Giants-Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State. It’s predicted that Eli Manning will play at least one more season. And should that be the case, the Giants will draft Haskins to be his eventful successor.
  18. Minnesota Vikings-Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson. Wilkins will probably go higher than this. But should he be available here, then he will make perfect sense for a Vikings team that needs a defensive tackle to tandem up with Linval Joseph.
  19. Tennessee Titans-Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma. There are questions as to whether Aaron Stinnie is starting material at right guard. Especially when he’s considered to be the weakest line along the offensive line. Ford has the nastiness that Mike Vrabel looks for in offensive linemen, thus making him the pick here.
  20. Pittsburgh Steelers-Jachai Polite, DE/OLB, Florida. Despite Bud Dupree having his fifth-year option picked up by the Steelers, 2019 figures to be his last season with the team. Plus, you can never have too many pass rushers. The Steelers will draft for depth, along with the possibility of replacing Dupree, thus Polite being the pick here.
  21. Seattle Seahawks-Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware. The Seahawks have some solid and serviceable players at the safety position. However, none of them come even close to their former tandem of Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor. Adderley will change that, as his skillset is similar to the former of those two safeties.
  22. Baltimore Ravens-De’Andre Walker, DE/OLB, Georgia. Chase Winovich and Austin Bryant are also good choices in this spot, but Walker is the closest thing to Terrell Suggs at this point of the draft, in terms of his skillset. And given how the departures of both the future Hall Of Famer and Za’Darius Smith have depleted the Ravens’ outside linebacker position, Walker makes perfect sense here.
  23. Houston Texans-Chris Lindstrom, OT/OG, Boston College. Him and Kaleb McGary are the best offensive tackle prospects at this point of the draft. However, I have Lindstrom going here, because he has better quickness to help protect Deshaun Watson.
  24. Oakland Raiders-Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama. The Raiders are the only team that has a need for running back and Jacobs is the only running back projected to go in the first round, thus making this a perfect match.
  25. Philadelphia Eagles-Byron Murphy, CB, Washington. On a team that is strong at a lot of positions, as well as being one year removed from being Super Bowl champions, cornerback is by far the position of need on this team. Greedy Williams would be the pick here, but I pegged him 16 spots ago. So with that being said, Murphy is the pick here. And he’s a perfect pick at that, as his skillset is similar to that of Darrelle Revis. Plus, he plays bigger than his 5-11 frame.
  26. Indianapolis Colts-Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan. The Colts upgraded their outside pass rush, by signing former Kansas City Chief Justin Houston. However, that doesn’t mean the Colts are finished stocking their pass rush cupboard. Especially with Houston’s injury history and the fact that he just turned 30 years old. Gary is the best player available at this point of the draft, as well as the best player available for outside pass rushers, thus making this a perfect landing spot for him.
  27. Oakland Raiders-Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia. There are questions as to how good Daryl Worley can be opposite of Gareon Conley. On the other hand, Baker is a sure thing in this draft. Plus, he’s an upgrade over Worley, thus him being the Raiders’ third and final first round pick of this draft.
  28. Los Angeles Chargers-Ed Oliver, DT, Houston. I almost mocked Dexter Lawrence here, but the Chargers already have a player similar to him in Brandon Mebane. However, Mebane is more of a run stuffing threat than a pass rushing threat, and the Chargers lack the latter at the defensive tackle position. Oliver will remedy that problem, along with being an excellent complimentary player to both Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.
  29. Seattle Seahawks-Chase Winovich, DE, Michigan. The Seahawks trade for an additional first round pick, as they sent Frank Clark to the Chiefs. The Seahawks will draft another Michigan alum in Winovich, whose array of pass rush moves and nonstop motor are perfect for Ken Norton Jr.’s defense. 
  30. Green Bay Packers-Taylor Rapp, S, Washington. Tramon Williams is better suited to be an extra cornerback at this point of his career, thus Rapp being the pick here. However, this could change if the Packers sign another former Chief in safety Eric Berry.
  31. Los Angeles Rams-Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame. It’s unlikely that Ndamukong Suh will return to the Rams, so they should draft a younger and cheaper version of him. Tillery was a matchup nightmare during his time at Notre Dame and is a sure thing in this draft. He’ll be a steal at 31 and will work well in tandem with Aaron Donald.
  32. New England Patriots-D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss. Despite the signing of Demaryius Thomas, there’s no guarantee that the former longtime Bronco will be the player that he once was. Especially coming off an Achilles injury. Plus, Julian Edelman will be a year older (33) heading into the 2019 season. Metcalf is the best receiver in this draft and could be the best Patriots big-bodied receiver since Randy Moss.