- One last mock draft before the real thing kicks off, complete with three big trades in the top half.
This is the last GamePlan before the start of the NFL draft, so I figured we’d do this one a little differently.
You guys love mock drafts, and you love the interaction of the mailbag portion of this column. So I’ll give you both, by answering your questions for your teams as I go through the draft order. Ready? Ready.
1. Arizona Cardinals select Kyler Murray, QB Oklahoma
From Raphael Reichman (@RaphaelReichman): If Josh Rosen was drafted this year, which quarterbacks would he go before and at what pick overall?
Most people I’ve talked to say Rosen would be the first quarterback taken, depending on how you see Murray. Here’s the smoking gun—if Arizona was not planning to pick Murray, I think the Rosen situation would’ve been handled differently. Given the two personalities, I find it hard to believe the Cardinals will be able to go long with both on the roster. Come Friday morning, Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock and Daniel Jones will be on teams, naturally removing potential trade suitors from the mix. Given Rosen’s contract (three years, $6.24 million), Arizona should be able to swing a second-round pick from someone from him. To give themselves the best chance at that return, I’d think they move him Thursday.
2. San Francisco 49ers select Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
From Sean Morgan (@gamerollerb): Once the 49ers turn in the Bosa card, do they start actively shopping Armstead? Would he have any value?
I see the 49ers taking Bosa here, as everyone has seen it forever. Once that happens, I think San Francisco will get phone calls about moving their interior defensive linemen, but I’m told Armstead is in their plans for 2019. We’ll see if that sticks.
3. *PROJECTED TRADE* Washington Redskins (via the New York Jets) select Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
From Rick Murphy (@rickm127): #Redskins draft a quarterback in the first round?
Rick, I think so, and I’m hearing that Haskins is the guy that Washington ownership and others in the organization want. This would be a massive swing up the board, but I think the Jets may be willing to bend a bit on the price in an effort to recoup what they lost in the trade up for Sam Darnold last year and accumulate some picks. Why would Washington feel the need to make this kind of move up? As I see it, on draft day, perception is as important as reality. Perception holds now, strongly in some corners, that the Raiders are considering Haskins at No. 4. Whether they are or not, I don’t know. I do know that it’s helping the Jets.
4. Oakland Raiders select Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
From chucky is back (@raider_chucky): Is quarterback buzz at No. 4 for the Raiders for real?
Again, perception can equal reality. After the scouts left the building at the end of last week, the idea that the Raiders could draft Haskins built. Do I believe it? Maybe. Either way this scenario would benefit them by dropping maybe the best player in the class into their laps.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Devin White, LB, LSU
From Steven Cheah (@CHEAH_SAY): If Josh Allen is still there at No. 5, do you still see Bucs passing to draft Devin White?
You have your answer, Steven. Taking White here is putting it in the middle of the fairway for the Bucs. You can argue whether they should’ve swung harder (for the great pass-rusher), but in the end, they probably won’t be disappointed with their lie. You can make the LSU product the nerve-center of your defense for a decade. And his rep isn’t quite what Jamal Adams’ was coming out of Baton Rouge two years ago, but he could have a similar culture-changing affect within the unit Todd Bowles is working to build. Which Bowles, Adams’ old coach, would know about.
6. New York Giants select Josh Allen, DE/LB, Kentucky
From KnightWhoSaysNih (@KonSeanneryy): Is it possible the Giants go OT at No. 6 instead of DL given the depth of DL in this draft?
Knight, I wouldn’t rule it out. The Giants have a hole at right tackle that Jonah Williams could certainly fill. But based on what I’ve heard, I have a hard time seeing a scenario where they don’t take a defensive lineman somewhere in the first round. Allen is both a nod to legacy of great pass-rushers there (remember, Dave Gettleman’s history in the organization is long) and a versatile piece that fits what DC James Bettcher wants.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars select Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama
From Daniel Hillmann (@dannyhillmann): Do you see the Jags trading back. If so, with who?
I don’t—and man, did I struggle with this one. I really wanted to give Iowa TE T.J. Hockenson to the Jaguars, In the end, the idea of a culture fit like Williams to add to a line that is this close to being a big-time team is too perfect for Tom Coughlin, Dave Caldwell and Doug Marrone. (Also, given the need and John DeFilippo’s affinity for tight ends … I’m not ruling Hockenson out by at all.)
8. *PROJECTED TRADE* Atlanta Falcons (via the Detroit Lions) select Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
From Cam Marino (@cmarino87): Falcons + Greedy Williams? Like or not?
No, but I do like defense, and I do like the idea of Atlanta dealing up into the top 10 and Detroit making a move down. My belief is the Lions’ asking price will have to come down a little for this to happen. There are three players I’ve heard as potential targets for a Falcons trade up—Oliver and Christian Wilkins (who could both play the nose for now, and potentially replace Grady Jarrett as 3-techniques later), as well as Michigan linebacker Devin Bush. Oliver’s availability here could motivate the Falcons when Detroit goes on the clock.
9. Buffalo Bills select Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
From Terry Long (@TerryGoLong): Top three options for the #Bills at No. 9 if they stay put?
Easy—Oliver, Jonah Williams (who played for Buffalo OC Brian Daboll at Alabama) and Dillard, with Hockenson as an outside possibility. As this mock falls, of the top three, just one is left. And while we’re there, Jonah Williams and Hockenson, as you can tell, are prospects that most believe will be very, very safe plays for someone. As for Bush …
10. Denver Broncos select Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
From Mark Cerny (@IamCern): Will the Steelers get one of the Devins [Bush or White] tomorrow night?
I think the Steelers would love for Bush to fall a little further than this, and might even consider a trade up for him if he gets close to the 20th pick. But I believe there are too many teams right in this area that really like the Wolverine All-America for that to happen.
11. Cincinnati Bengals select Cody Ford, OG/OT, Oklahoma
From josh (@GrandmasterJw): Chances of Bengals drafting Haskins?
The idea is on the table if he’s available. In this mock, he’s not here, so I’m going with some late info that crystallized what I’d previously heard on Cincinnati—it could well be Haskins, Bush or an offensive lineman.
12. Green Bay Packers select T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
From Max Helbing (@scootsiedblday): What would be the biggest personnel need/difference for the #Packers for Gutenkust for LaFleur’s new offense, and who would fit?
Tight end or tackle seems to be the consensus likelihood here. I could see Green Bay taking Dillard if he slipped to No. 12. Otherwise, I’d watch both the Iowa tight ends—with many NFL people regarding this as the floor for Hockenson.
13. *PROJECTED TRADE* Minnesota Vikings (via the Dolphins) select Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
From michael kass (@mjkass383): What are the odds a team moves up before the draft to secure a better spot?
Well, so long as the Cardinals and Niners stay put with the first two picks and, as expected, take Murray and Bosa, respectively, all the trades arranged pre-draft will be based on contingencies and pushed over the goal line on the clock. This would be a good example of such a circumstance—I have two of the three top tackles off the board, a team with a need at the position that’s done a lot of work on offensive linemen, and teams in front of them (Jets, Panthers, Giants) with a tackle need. In this circumstance, I think Minnesota would have to weigh the value of getting a tackle against the interior players they could have at 18, like NC State’s Garrett Bradbury and Boston College’s Chris Lindstrom, both of whom I believe they like.
14. Detroit Lions (via the Falcons) select Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
From Detroit Sports (@Detroit_Pride37): Any interest in the #Lions moving towards the bottom of the first round? Or are they looking to move down just a few spots?
Is this big enough move for you? I think the Lions are motivated to move, yes. And I think it’d be a smart play by Bob Quinn, who is sitting just outside the range to get one of the truly elite players in the class (whether Oliver is one depends on who you are as a team), and wanting to build some capital. If he could do that and get Wilkins, I’d say that’d be a good result.
15. New York Jets (via the Redskins) select Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
From Avika Cohen (@AkivaMCohen): What’s the least return the Jets should take to move back?
I think the Jets’ first job is replacing the second-round pick lost in the Sam Darnold trade. And I’ve heard the Jets are looking to do that, and then some. Moving this far down would require the “and then some” part of the equation to be considerable. In this scenario, I love coming away with Fant to pair with Chris Herndon, knowing you’ll have more to build with on Friday.
16. Carolina Panthers select Brian Burns, DE, Florida State
From Michael Van Ausdeln (@mikevan9) Panthers visiting so many OL pro days—smoke screen or true interest?
True interest! I think Carolina is a trade-up candidate too, and would love to get a starting tackle out of the next three days. I’m told that if they can’t land a tackle, they’d likely move to the pass rushers. There’s been a little buzz on Montez Sweat here. But just based on how he’s handled the last three months, I think they’d go with a safer play. Which Burns is.
17. New York Giants (via the Browns) select Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
From S.W. Schubert (@swschubert): What’s the craziest thing you potentially see happening on Day 1?
If this all works out, the Giants passing on a quarterback at No. 6 and taking one at No. 17. As I’ve detailed the last few days, GM Dave Gettleman’s history of taking the top player on his board (Panthers LB Shaq Thompson might be the best example) is there. If he gets Allen and his quarterback here, that’d be a win. But I just have trouble with the logic here. You take a quarterback in the first round, you’re tying your job security to the guy. You have to feel strongly about a guy to do that. And yet, you’re willing to risk losing him over 11 draft slots. That doesn’t add up to me. So to me, this is crazy. But we’ll see.
18. Miami Dolphins (via the Vikings) select Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
From Alejandro (@MiamiAlejandro): The Dolphins’ QB conundrum—are we taking one this year, or is the 2020 class the goal?
The one way I could see Miami taking one would be if Murray were to fall—and I don’t see it happening. So that would bring the Dolphins to where I think most teams see them the next three days, taking strong character players (Ferrell is a picture of that), and potentially pushing some assets into next year to get the quarterback for the Chris Grier/Brian Flores Era then.
19. Tennessee Titans select Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
From BlindEye Media (@PodBlind): Realistically, who is the best prospect fit for the Titans at No. 19? I don’t see Wilkins making it to us. Is it too high for McCoy, Lindstrom, or Bradbury?
I wanted to put Rashan Gary here. I worry about the personality fit for the program though. Ferrell is a great fit in that regard, but he’s gone in this scenario. And Lawrence is a monster that Jon Robinson and Mike Vrabel can plug right into anchor their run defense, with some potential to become a problem in the passing game for offenses, too. I know one team was told by a o-lineman in the class that Lawrence was toughest player to block he’d ever come across.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers select Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple
From Ryan Legge (@Terror10_WMC): Rock Ya Sin to the Steelers? Seems to be a reach?
Nope. There are character questions on Georgia’s Deandre Baker (who’s been linked to the Steelers in league circles) and LSU’s Greedy Williams. There are questions about the athletic ceilings of Washington’s Byron Murphy and Vanderbilt’s Joejuan Williams. All that makes Ya-Sin the cleanest of the top-five corner prospect.
21. Seattle Seahawks select Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan
From Joshua Hennigan (@12hawks12): Seahawks: Obviously were trading down a first-rounder, which one do you think it is and what’s the compensation for it?
I actually really, really wanted to do this with one of the picks. And I could bring myself to, mostly because of the players who landed in these spots. I think Gary and Garrett Bradbury would both be very serious consideration if things happened this way. Imagine if Seattle got both of them.
22. Baltimore Ravens select Chris Lindstrom, OG, Boston College
From chucky is back (@raider_chucky): What players do you think are in play at No. 4 for the Raiders?
Weird to have a Raiders question here? Well, follow me on this one. It’s not a huge secret that Gruden likes Alabama RB Josh Jacobs. Enough to take him in the first round? I think so. Enough to take him at No. 4? I doubt it. But I’ve had more than one team bring it up as a possibility to me. And one reason why is that Jacobs is very well liked across the league. The Ravens are one team that I think Gruden would have to be concerned with, even if I have them picking an interior lineman here, and even though they signed Mark Ingram.
23. Houston Texans select Eric McCoy, OG/C, Texas A&M
From Shawn Roeske (@TheRoosky75): All the trade speculation re: the Texans involves trading up, but very little about trading back. What are good trade-back scenarios?
The tackle-needy Texans find themselves in a bit of a no-man’s land here—too late to take one of the top three, too early to reach for Washington’s Kaleb McGary, Alabama State’s Tytus Howard or Ole Miss’ Greg Little. As much as they value their two second-rounders, a trade back (to better position themselves to take a McGary, Howard or Little) might become almost as appealing to Houston as a trade up. Maybe a team really wants Marquise Brown, and thinks the Eagles are taking him? In this scenario, I have them sitting tight and taking a really good player at a position where they’re not quite as desperate. I wouldn’t rule out a corner here either.
24. Oakland Raiders select Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
From Leandro (@LeandroPiromal): There is a player Gruden didn’t like?
Believe it or not, I bet there is! But this guy would be the opposite of that.
25. Philadelphia Eagles select Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
From G WoodzThaBarber (@gwoodz92): It’s #HowieSzn. Intrigued about what #Eagles do at R1.25? Move up?
G Woodz, I think the Eagles love where they’re at—sitting in the mid-20s in a draft that will plateau around 8 or 9, and with a roster that doesn’t have a lot of crying needs. Love Hollywood’s fit in Philly, too, but I believe Jeffrey Simmons and maybe even Sweat would tempt Howie Roseman here
26. Indianapolis Colts select Jeffrey Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
From Faraz (@BrownMamba13): Who will be the best EDGE prospect available to the Colts at No. 26 and who are the eight players that Ballard is targeting?
At this point, Faraz, the best edge guy available would be Sweat. The issue with his heart is lingering, though, as are concerns linking to how he’s conducted himself during his pre-draft run-up. Some teams have doctors saying, because of the heart issue, Sweat is undraftable in the first round. Others have him off the board all together. Others still look at the combination of off-field problems and the medical issue and are staying away. It’d be telling if Simmons went in this two-pick cluster, to either Philly or Indy, and Sweat didn’t. And I think there’s a decent chance that happens, with Simmons (widely seen as having top five talent) in play for both teams, despite the video of him striking a woman in high school and his torn ACL.
27. Oakland Raiders select Irv Smith, TE, Alabama
From Just a chubby guy living a chubby life (@jv8151): Is it possible the Raiders trade back and take Josh Jacobs from Bama?
See? The drumbeat on Jacobs to Oakland is out of control. I don’t think it’s impossible that the Raiders trade back from No. 4 (if Quinnen Williams is gone)—I do think the idea of replacing the No. 3 and No. 5 they lost in the Antonio Brown trade would appeal to Mike Mayock. Or maybe dealing up from No. 24 to, like I said, jump the Ravens. What does that have to do with Irv Smith taking Jared Cook’s place? Nothing.
28. Los Angeles Chargers select Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
From Daniel Neumark (@DanielNeumark1): Will the Chargers take a QB this draft?
I’m not ruling it out. Lock could tempt them here. Josh Rosen—who they weren’t wild about going into the last year’s draft—could too, if the price was right. But in this case, value meets need. Teams have their trepidations on Greedy, who’s seen as a little full of himself, not all that tough, and having a lot to learn. The talent, though, is there. And some believe he’s just a young kid who needs to mature some. Playing for Anthony Lynn and Gus Bradley would be good for him.
29. Seattle Seahawks (via the Chiefs) select Garrett Bradbury, C, NC State
From OriginalityMonitor (@AndrewRBlack1): Will Seahawks use a first round pick this year or trade them both down?
Originality, I think that’s absolutely in play. But the value in Gary at No. 21 was too much for me to have them passing. And I’d heard over the last couple days that they’d love to get a center to anchor their reborn offensive line—and Bradbury is a prospect that everyone seems to love. Like Gary at 21, he’d be too good to say no to at No. 29.
30. *PROJECTED TRADE* Denver Broncos (via the Packers) select Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
From Daniel Hillmann (@dannyhillmann): Three players that you see getting traded during the draft not named Josh Rosen?
Justin Ellis from Oakland is one I see as a distinct possibility. The right trade could pry Duke Johnson from Cleveland. And then, there’s Denver CB Chris Harris. He’s still a damn good player, and this isn’t a great draft for corners. How does this relate to drafting Lock? Well, I think the Broncos would see taking a young quarterback at this point as a bit of a luxury. Dealing Harris could add capital allowing Denver that luxury. So let’s go in on a connection between player and team that’s existed since everyone was in Mobile for the Senior Bowl.
31. Rams select Elgton Jenkins, C/G, Mississippi State
From Badger Dave (@badgerdms): Odds that Rams trade out of first round?
Pretty decent, but I think they’ll have competition as sellers—with the Packers, Seahawks and Patriots also open to it down here. And I think if a Jenkins or a Lindstrom or a Bradbury falls here, it’d be awfully tough for them to pass.
32. Patriots select Joejuan Williams, CB, Vanderbilt
From Brian Goodwin (@brian22goodwin): The Pats obviously need pass catchers. But doesn't the depth at WR in this draft allow Belichick to go OL or DL at 32? Or you think with their 12 picks, they could vault up to the teens?
A trade up is a possibility with New England’s surplus of picks, and I’d tend to agree with you—my guess is that the team will work to add skill-position talent on Friday, a point in the draft where there’s depth in starting-level tight ends and complementary receivers. Which would free them to go with the best player at 32, and Williams would qualify as the best player for them at 32. I’ve heard they love the kid, and would like use him as a Patrick Chung hybrid.
And that’ll do it, folks. As you know, I’ll be going 32 for 32, and accepting all your compliments on that tomorrow morning. Thanks in advance, and we’ll see you tonight for the draft show!
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