2019-02-11 by W.M.
2019 NFL Mock Draft: Early 1st-Round Predictions for Top Prospects | Bleacher Report
Brynn Anderson/Associated Press
The NFL draft season is going to ramp up considerably in just a few weeks, when prospects gather in Indianapolis for the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine.
A total of 338 prospects have been invited, including some big names like Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa and Mississippi wide receiver D.K. Metcalf. At the combine, they’ll meet with teams, go through position-specific workouts and undergo medical evaluations. When it’s over, the draft picture will be just a little bit clearer.
Really, though, the combine should only be used to determine a player’s health and to confirm existing notions. Overvaluing combine performances is how teams end up burning top-10 picks on guys like Vernon Gholston and John Ross.
What a player has put on game tape should be the biggest factor considered, and this early mock draft is based on what players have done to this point and how they may fit with their respective NFL homes. After it, you’ll find some of the latest draft-related buzz.
2019 NFL Mock Draft Round 1
1. Arizona Cardinals: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
2. San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
3. New York Jets: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
4. Oakland Raiders: Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
6. New York Giants: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
8. Detroit Lions: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
9. Buffalo Bills: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
10. Denver Broncos: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
11. Cincinnati Bengals: Devin White, LB, LSU
12. Green Bay Packers: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
13. Miami Dolphins: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
14. Atlanta Falcons: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
15. Washington Redskins: Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
16. Carolina Panthers: Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia
17. Cleveland Browns: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
18. Minnesota Vikings: Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma
19. Tennessee Titans: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
21. Seattle Seahawks: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
22. Baltimore Ravens: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi
23. Houston Texans: Greg Little, OT, Mississippi
24. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago): Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
25. Philadelphia Eagles: Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson
26. Indianapolis Colts: Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida
27. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas): Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
28. Los Angeles Chargers: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
29. Kansas City Chiefs: Taylor Rapp, S, Washington
30. Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans): T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
31. Los Angeles Rams: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
32. New England Patriots: Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama
Williams Hoping to Crush Combine
As previously mentioned, the combine is best-used to confirm what teams already think of players. This is great for Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams because he is already worthy of being the first defensive player off the board.
Edge-rushers like Bosa and Kentucky’s Josh Allen are going to stay in the first-pick conversation because edge-rushers are valuable in the NFL. However, Williams is the kind of disruptive interior defender that is becoming coveted in the league. Reigning Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald has a lot to do with that.
Obviously, it’s way too early to be calling Williams the next Donald, but it isn’t a totally unrealistic comparison. Williams proved that he can impact both the run and the pass by racking up 71 tackles, 19.5 tackles for a loss and 8.0 sacks last season.
Now, Williams is hoping to use the combine to prove he is the best prospect in the raft.
“I’m a very hard worker,” Williams said, per Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area. “My IQ level for football is through the roof, and I believe I can compete for that position and become the No. 1 pick if I crush the combine and do what I have to do.”
Expect Williams’ to step even further into the draft spotlight in the coming weeks.
Haskins Has a Sense of Humor
Haskins may also end up being the first overall pick if a team decided to move up to secure a quarterback. Unless that team wants a “running” quarterback, though, Haskins may not be the right target—at least that’s the view of ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith.
The First Take host recently raised a few eyebrows by saying that he viewed Haskins as “more of a runner than a thrower” (h/t Barrett Sallee of CBS Sports).
Instead of getting too upset over Smith’s comments, Haskins took to social media to have a little fun with them.
To be clear, Haskins is not and has never been a running quarterback. He passed for 4,831 yards and 50 touchdowns in 2018 while rushing for just 108 yards and 1.3 yards per carry.
It’s a fairly safe bet that no teams will be asking Haskins to work out as a wide receiver at the scouting combine.
Clemson May Have Been Responsible for Banned Substance
When players test positive for PEDs, they often blame tainted supplements. For Clemson defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, this may have actually been the case.
Lawrence, along with two other Clemson players, was suspended for the College Football Playoff after testing positive for Ostarine. According to Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, it’s possible the banned substance came from a supplement or other product provided by the university.
When asked about the possibility, Swinney said the following, per of the Charleston Post & Courier:
“Oh yeah, I mean, there’s a chance that it could come from anything. They’re going to test everything and look at everything. And that’s the problem. As you really look at this stuff, it could be a contaminant that came from anything, that was something that was cleared and not a problem, and all of a sudden, it becomes there was something.”
Teams are going to want answers regarding Lawrence’s positive test. If it turns out that Lawrence really did ingest the banned substance on accident—and it’s proven before the draft—it will help teams feel a bit more comfortable about using a first-round pick on him.