Dylan White’s 2020 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

It’s finally time. Time for a strange, exciting, and online(?) draft.

To be completely honest, it’s been difficult for me to get excited about this year’s draft. Normally, draft season is the best. It begins in January, with the college football postseason, where we get to see some of the most highly-touted prospects on a national stage. Then you have the Senior Bowl and the East-West game, where scouts fall in love with prospects based on less than a week’s worth of work. All of this was moving along according to plan with nothing standing in the draft’s way.

Then obviously something got in the way. The scouting combine was overshadowed by mass hysteria and nationwide concern, and after that, everything else was canceled. There were no pro days, so none of the injury-riddled athletes from the combine got to put out their official numbers. There were no real ‘official visits’ for prospects, so it’s a bit more difficult to see who teams are specifically looking at this year. And now apparently the draft is going to look like a shitty EA video game. The only good thing that’s come out of all this is the fake “Pro Days” that prospects are holding for themselves, where they magically shave .3 seconds off of their official combine-timed 40.

With all of this said, there are still plenty of reasons to get excited about this year’s draft. I can guarantee a trade in the Top 10 of the draft, with the Lions and Giants holding picks 3 and 4, dangling the hopes of drafting Tua Tagovailoa over the Dolphins and Chargers’ respective heads. Four teams have multiple first-rounders this year: the Dolphins, Jaguars, Raiders, and Vikings. I wouldn’t count out a trade-up for any organization except for the Vikings. Even though this draft will be conducted through computers, there will still be plenty of action in the first round. So without further ado, here are my predictions for the first round.

1. Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

Although there are some believers in Tua over Joe Burrow, I know there’s not much to overthink here. Joe Burrow just had one of the most dominant seasons that we’ve ever seen by a pure pocket passer in college, winning every major award, including the National Championship. He rolled through secondaries that were full of NFL talent in Alabama and Clemson, and he showed very few moments of weakness. He’s accurate, calm under pressure, and has enough arm talent to be a great NFL quarterback. The Bengals are lucky that they chose this year to completely suck. Just kidding, they suck every year.

2. Washington Redskins – Chase Young, EDGE, Ohio State

Taking Chase Young here is a no-brainer. I understand that cornerbacks have slightly more positional value than edge rushers. I understand that if they believe that Tua is an upgrade over Dwayne Haskins, they could take him. But Chase Young is the right pick. His draft profile is among the likes of Myles Garrett, Von Miller, and Jadeveon Clowney. The only difference is, he was twice as productive as any of them in college. Unless the Washington front office has literally zero faith in Haskins, Young HAS to be the pick here. He is as close as you can get to a guaranteed perennial All-Pro player.

3. Miami Dolphins (From DET) – Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

I’m not one for making trades in Mock Drafts, but it is so obvious that there’s going to be a trade in the Top 5. With two QB-needy teams sitting behind Detroit, they’d have to be completely incompetent not to have a bidding war for their pick, which would be the right to Tua Tagovailoa. Tua is a smart, athletically gifted, and productive player. There’s not much more you can ask for from a QB. The only ‘knock’ on Tua is that he played with too much NFL talent in his college career.

As you can see, there are two Alabama WRs picked in the rest of this mock, and there’s an OT from ‘Bama too. I don’t think that playing with too much talent is negative unless these receivers were consistently bailing Tua out of bad situations (ex.: Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans), but this was rarely the case. Tua maximized the production of his offense in Alabama, and I think he’ll be able to take command of an NFL offense with equivalent efficiency.

Trade Details: DET Receives: 5, 26, 56, ’21 R2, ’21 R4. MIA Receives: 3, 85, ’21 R5.

4. New York Giants – Andrew Thomas, T, Georgia

This pick honestly feels like a toss-up to me. The best player available here is clearly Jeffery Okudah, who I believe will be a franchise CB. However, the Giants have invested an insane amount of capital in the cornerback position over the past two years. They spent a first-round pick on Deandre Baker, and they completely overpaid James Bradbury, so it seems like they’ll be looking elsewhere with their fourth pick. A glaring need of theirs is at tackle with the aging Nate Solder at LT and an unsolved RT spot. Andrew Thomas was a stalwart for the Georgia Bulldogs over the past two seasons, he has prototypical LT size, and he hasn’t shown any glaring weaknesses. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dave Gettleman settled for Thomas here.

5. Detroit Lions (From MIA) – Jeffery Okudah, CB, Ohio State

This year’s draft has the potential to be a grand slam for the Detroit Lions. They most likely will trade out of their third spot. If they manufacture a trade that lands them only two spots back to five, they’ll get the guy they would’ve picked at three anyways. After trading superstar cornerback Darius Slay, they have a glaring need for an outside cornerback. If they can luck into Okudah here, they’ll have one of the most dangerous CB groups in the league, with Okudah and Desmond Trufant outside the numbers, and Justin Coleman at slot. Okudah was an absolute lockdown cornerback at Ohio State this past year, maintaining high levels of production against teams like Clemson and Penn State. He tested well at the combine and is as smooth of an athlete that you’ll see at the CB spot. He’ll be a perfect replacement for Slay.

6. Los Angeles Chargers – Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

After losing the bidding war for Tua, the Chargers will have to ‘settle’ for Justin Herbert. Herbert’s production doesn’t jump off the screen, but that’s okay. He’s as NFL-ready as they come; he has a great arm, he does well under pressure, and he doesn’t have too many concerns with accuracy. If you compare him to some of the most recent rookie QB’s taken in the 5-10 range (Josh Allen, Daniel Jones), you’ll realize that the Chargers are actually getting pretty good value here. And if you doubt that Los Angeles will be looking for a QB here, I don’t know what to tell you. The only person that believes that Tyrod Taylor is a long-term solution is Tyrod Taylor. Out of all the QB-needy teams in the draft, I think that the Chargers would be the best situation for a young QB. You couldn’t ask for much more as far as weapons go. Herbert gets to stay on the west coast, and he gets to live in Los Angeles. I don’t see a better place for the Oregon kid to go.

7. Carolina Panthers, Isaiah Simmons – LB/S/EDGE, Clemson

I want this pick to happen so badly. With the sudden and devastating retirement of Luke Kuechly, the Panthers have a gaping hole at linebacker. They also have to fill a spot at safety. They also need a better DB for their nickel&dime packages. Isaiah Simmons is one player that could account for all three of those needs. Simmons is a modern defensive Swiss Army Knife; he played about 11 different positions on Clemson’s defense. He showed his ability to rush the passer, fill gaps as a run-stuffing linebacker, and to play centerfield as a safety. He’s an absolute unicorn, and in any other draft he’d be a Top-5 pick. The Panthers would be blessed if he fell to them. Oh, by the way, he’s 6’4″, 238lbs, ran a 4.38 40, and had a 39 inch vertical.

8. Arizona Cardinals – Tristan Wirfs, T, Iowa

This is a relatively easy pick to predict. There’s uncertainty as to who the Cardinals will take here specifically, but it’ll be an offensive tackle. Their offensive line is a complete disaster, but the rest of their offense is actually pretty damn good, especially after they fleeced Bill O’Brien out of DeAndre Hopkins. Tristan Wirfs consistently mauled Big-10 edge rushers this year, and he’s an athletic freak. The Cardinals will be able to plug him into their offensive line immediately. If Arizona can hit on this pick, I’ll be really excited to see how their offense evolves over the next few years.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

Once again, a team benefits from a loaded Top-10. I feel like I’ve already said this a couple times, but Jerry Jeudy should be a Top-5 pick. He would be in most draft classes. Over the course of his Alabama career, he dominated defensive backs with his superior physical profile, superior route running, and an extraordinary knack for winning contested catch battles. He’s as much of a sure thing as you can get at receiver, and he would be a perfect weapon for sophomore QB Gardner Minshew. Jeudy can stretch the field with his speed, he has above-average RAC ability, and he can also work as a possession receiver in the middle of the field. He’s a bit thin, but if he fills out in the NFL, he’ll have a prototypical WR1 frame.

10. Cleveland Browns – Ceedee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

After trading for perennial All-Pro LT Trent Williams, the Cleveland Browns have somehow figured out their offensive line since the season ended. This opens the door for them to improve their already lethal receiving corps. As the league has become almost universally pass-first, most NFL offenses consider three wide receivers to be starters. The Browns are missing a solid third option for Baker Mayfield. Adding Ceedee Lamb to their offense would create an elite receiving trio with Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham. Lamb would actually be reuniting with Mayfield after the both of them played at Oklahoma. Lamb shows very few weaknesses in his game. He has prototypical size, he’s lethal in the open field, and he’s a creative and refined route runner. This pick could catapult the Cleveland offense into one of the NFL’s elite.

11. New York Jets – Jedrick Wills Jr., T, Alabama

After doing Sam Darnold no favors over the first few years of his career, the Jets have to do something to help. Their receiving corps is a mess, their offensive line situation is less than ideal, and Adam Gase cannot be trusted. Rolling into 2020 with an unproven second-year right tackle and a left tackle that didn’t even start on the Seahawks(!) cannot be good for Sam Darnold’s confidence. If the Jets actually want to build something with Darnold at QB, they need to invest capital in their O-Line and their WRs. They could go with Henry Ruggs here to replace Robby Anderson, but I just think that Jedrick Wills is a safer pick for them. He’s played against the grown-ass men of the SEC for a couple years (and he dominated), and he protected Tua’s blindside as well as anyone could. He was also a superb run-blocker, creating power and leverage that’ll translate to the NFL. This would be a solid pick for New York.

12. Las Vegas Raiders – Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

The Raiders could go one of three ways here. In my opinion, I would trade back, letting a team jump the Buccaneers and 49ers to draft Henry Ruggs. The Raiders are in desperate need for depth at cornerback and wide receiver. They already have another first round pick, and if they could get two picks in the 20-45 range plus later capital for #12, Mike Mayock could hit an absolute home run with this draft. The value of this draft for receivers and corners is in the 20-45 range, so it’s almost a no-brainer to trade back, maybe pickup a Tee Higgins/Denzel Mims and a Jeff Gladney/Bryce Hall type guy. If they decide not to trade back, I would take Henry Ruggs III here. It’s a bit of concern that he hasn’t received a ton of volume on his Alabama team over the past couple years, but he has game-breaking speed and very few concerns with his actual level of play. He’s an elite deep threat with a clean and consistent release and 4.27 speed. He would open up the field for the Raiders, and they could have elite talent at every level of the field with Josh Jacobs, Darren Waller, and Ruggs.

13. San Francisco 49ers – Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

This is a stupid pick, and I don’t like it. The 49ers have needs in their secondary, interior offensive line, and wide receiver. The problem with that is the lack of value at each of those positions at #13. Henry Ruggs would be an absolute perfect pick for them here. Hopefully he falls to them, but if he doesn’t, they’d probably have to take the best player available here then address WR at pick 31. Derrick Brown was a monster at Auburn. San Francisco would be the perfect spot for him. They need a space eating DT, and he’d face little to no pressure due to the 49ers’ already loaded defensive line. He’d see about zero double teams next year, which is a lot different from what he saw while in the SEC. He’d be a solid pick for the 49ers here, but if Ruggs is off the board, I wouldn’t be surprised to see San Francisco trade back.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Josh Jones, T, Houston

This draft is for Tom Brady. This draft is to get him more weapons, more protection, to make sure that the GOAT is happy in his first year away from New England. Once again, Henry Ruggs would be the ideal pick here. However, the Bucs also have the 45th pick. I’m confident that they could get a K.J. Hill or a K.J. Hamler to stretch the field for Tom Brady and co. So with their first rounder, they could address the eyesore they’ve had at tackle for a few years. With the choice between Josh Jones and Mekhi Beckton, I’d be inclined to say that Tampa would go with the safer option. Jones had an extremely productive year at Houston, giving up four sacks+qb hits+hurries on 635 total snaps. The Buccaneers should be content with taking the safe route at tackle here.

15. Denver Broncos – Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

The Broncos had a sneaky-good offseason. Their offensive line is young, but they’re set for a few seasons. They acquired Jurrell Casey and his contract for pretty much nothing. Now they have five Top-100 picks, and they’re ready to get some weapons for Drew Lock. Ideally they’ll trade up from 15 to 10, giving up 15, a third, fourth, and maybe a future third to the Browns. Jerry Jeudy or Ceedee Lamb would be a perfect complement for Courtland Sutton, but if they’re not able to do that, that’s okay. They can address their mess of a cornerback group in the first and take a WR later. Kristian Fulton is a corner with fantastic instincts, and any CB that has consistent success in the SEC should have little problems adjusting to the NFL.

16. Atlanta Falcons – C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

I have mixed feelings about the Falcons right now. They have little cap flexibility, and have major concerns at several valuable positions. But then again, this is what happens when you have a quarterback that makes >$35 million/year. After trading Desmond Trufant they have nothing at corner; no offense to Jordan Miller and Isaiah Oliver. C.J. Henderson is a prototypical man cover corner with elite physical traits. He’s not as consistent as you’d like a CB1 to be, but at 16 you can’t ask for much more.

17. Dallas Cowboys – Xaiver McKinney, S, Alabama

If McKinney falls to the Cowboys I’d be ecstatic. I’m not saying it’s unlikely, I just think he’s a perfect fit for them. He’s the total package as far as the safety position goes, he has deep coverage skills, he can be used in blitz packages, and he can move into the slot CB role if needed. He actually reminds me a lot of another Alabama safety, Minkah Fitzpatrick. For a team that is in desperate need of more talent in the secondary, McKinney should be their guy. I think McKinney and Grant Delpit are on the same tier as far as talent goes, but I think McKinney’s versatility makes him a more intriguing prospect.

18. Miami Dolphins – Grant Delpit, S, LSU

With the second of their three first-round picks, the Dolphins are free to pick the best player available. Kind of. I think Javon Kinlaw is probably the best player available here as far as class value and talent goes, but the Dolphins used their first on a d-lineman last year, so I’d think that they’d go in a different direction this year. Grant Delpit is a rangy, tall safety that can cover as well as any safety in this class. He has elite instincts in the passing game, and his length and speed will translate well to the NFL.

19. Las Vegas Raiders – A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson

The Raiders are in need of another man-to-man corner. It’s no secret that Gruden and Mayock love defensive players from Clemson. Put those two ideas together, and you have Las Vegas selecting A.J. Terrell with their second first rounder. He tested extremely well at the combine, and even though it may look like he was exposed by Ja’Marr Chase in the national championship, the tape on Terrell is kinder than expected. He’s a fluid athlete, he’s got good technique for a man corner, and I think the Raiders could plug him in as a day-1 starter in 2020.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars – Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina

It’ll be interesting to see if Kinlaw actually falls in the draft like this. He probably won’t. I honestly think that it’s more likely that Kinlaw is selected in the Top 13 of this draft. He’s all the way down to twenty just because it’s hard to justify taking a defensive tackle that high unless he’s a game-wrecker like Aaron Donald. Defensive tackle is a position that’s becoming more and more replaceable, and Kinlaw is suffering from this. Kinlaw was an extremely effective pass-rusher at South Carolina, and he has potential to be a cornerstone piece for the Jaguars’ defensive rebuild. He has incredible athleticism for his size (6’6″ 302), I think he’ll be a quality starter for years.

21. Philadelphia Eagles – Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado

This is where the wide receivers start to fly off the board. As far as talent and NFL project-ability, I have most of these wide receivers pretty close to each other. It now comes down to fit. The Eagles need every type of receiver aside from a deep threat. And they also need a deep threat because Desean Jackson is like 50. Laviska Shenault has been on scouts’ radar since his sophomore year, as his ability to win contested catches has made for some impressive highlight tapes. He’s not just a jump-ball guy though. He has speed, and he’s as dangerous as anyone with the ball in his hands. He didn’t get much work from the slot at Colorado, but I think it’s easier for receivers to transition from outside the hashmarks to inside the hashmarks (Due to the lack of press). The Eagles have been building an offense around Carson Wentz for years, and Shenault should be one of the final pieces.

22. Minnesota Vikings – Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

The Vikings have been waiting quite a while to get rid of Stefon Diggs and his twitter antics. They waited for the perfect year, where they could use a late first round pick to select a wide receiver that could go Top-10 in a weaker class. Tee Higgins has been the number one option for one of the nation’s best offenses for two years. Even with all this attention from the NCAA’s best defenses, he still produced at a high level. He has a fantastic blend of height, speed, route-running nuance, and ability to win at the point of the catch. He’s a wideout with very few weaknesses, and I think he’d fit perfectly with the Vikings; where he has an above-average QB, and another good wide receiver to take the attention off of him.

23. New England Patriots – Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

Here’s the first true reach of the draft. Obviously the Patriots have very few weaknesses, Bill Belichick is one of the greatest team-builders of this generation. They have a need for playmaking wideouts, but they can address that more effectively in the middle rounds. They do however have a glaring need for an athletic inside linebacker. Queen is a modern linebacker, specializing in coverage as opposed to run defense. In his last year at LSU, he was moved all around their defense, taking snaps as a pass rusher, slot CB, and even safety. His versatility would be maximized in New England, making him a solid pick at 23.

24. New Orleans Saints – Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

The Saints have the most complete roster in the NFL. They have an offensive powerhouse that only got stronger after adding Emmanuel Sanders, and their defense has an above-average pass rush and secondary. Trevon Diggs was my pick here because the Saints need depth at corner, and if you add elite talent to a position that’s already solid at, you do so. Janoris Jenkins is their CB2, and he’s obviously not a long-term answer. Trevon Diggs is a press specialist, and he can lock down deep routes as well as anyone. He’s also violent at the point of attack, in regards to contested catches. He’s long and crafty, but he’s not an incredibly smooth athlete. The Saints could utilize his unique skill set correctly and make him an impact player.

25. Minnesota Vikings – Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah

After playing it safe and drafting Tee Higgins at 22, I’m inclined to think that the Vikings would take a bigger risk at pick 25. Jaylon Johnson reminds me of Marcus Peters: he’s extremely instinctual and physical, which ends up causing some extreme positives and negatives. He’s a smart player though, which is what allows him to play a sort of reckless style at cornerback. In his 1,256 cover snaps at Utah, he gave up three touchdowns.(PFF) He has a few weaknesses that’ll be ironed out in the pros, but he has the potential to be a game-changing player from outside the hashmarks.

26. Detroit Lions (From MIA) – A.J. Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa

I don’t think that Epenesa will fall this far. But Detroit is an awesome fit for him and I like to fantasize. He’s extremely technically sound, and he understands the leverage game at an elite level. He doesn’t have the burst that you’d want from an edge rusher, but he can win with a big arsenal of pass rushing moves and pure strength. He’s big, strong, and he can defend at a high level against the pass and the run. He’s like Diet J.J. Watt, and that is easily good enough. He’d be perfect for Detroit, who runs a scheme that needs defensive ends that aren’t just pass-rushing specialists.

27. Seattle Seahawks – Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State

Will the Seahawks take another edge rusher at the end of the first round? Yes. The addition of L.J Collier did little to nothing for Seattle’s pass rush. If they let Clowney walk, I’m reluctant to believe that Collier and a 32 year-old Bruce Irvin will provide an effective pass rush for a team that’s trying to contend for a Super Bowl. Curtis Weaver’s athleticism is severely lacking, and he’s not as fit as you’d want an NFL edge rusher to be. He produced on an otherworldly level at Boise State though, racking up 38 sacks over his three years of college football. He gives me big Jarvis Jones vibes, hopefully he can get into shape in the NFL.

28. Baltimore Ravens – Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame

This would somewhat be a steal for the Ravens. The Ravens just need someone to rush the passer. That’s all they need. He’ll do exactly what the Ravens need at a very high level, and not much else. His run defending isn’t great, but that doesn’t matter. The Ravens have Calais Campbell, Brandon Williams, and Derek Wolfe for that. Okwara is strong and fast, and he consistently pressured the passer at a high rate. He never really converted his pressures into sacks at a high rate, but once again, that doesn’t really matter.

29. Tennessee Titans – Mehki Becton, T, Louisville

This is another strange pick. I wouldn’t bet on this pick happening. I personally wouldn’t be comfortable spending a first-round pick on Becton, but he’s such an athletic marvel that a team is bound to take a swing on him early. He was moderately productive at Louisville, and some of his highlights are like watching Orlando Pace manhandle guys at Ohio State. Sometimes though his technique is lacking, and he gives up leverage easily due to his titanic frame. Tennessee has a need at right tackle, and Becton was exclusively a LT for Louisville this year. However, he did play RT during his Sophomore year.

30. Green Bay Packers – Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU

It’s time that the Packers get Aaron Rodgers more receiving help. I know it’s a controversial take, but I had to say it. Scooping random guys off the street to play wideout for them has worked in the past, but enough is enough. Jalen Reagor is an electric player, with game-breaking speed and an unmatched ability to change direction. He’d put some juice into the Green Bay offense, which is exactly what they need.

31. San Francisco 49ers – Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor

In a perfect world, the 49ers would get someone that can really stretch the field at #31. Denzel Mims ran a 4.38 second 40 at the combine. He can stretch the field. He has the perfect frame for the modern receiver (6’3″ 205), and his athletic profile is so elite that he can work pretty much anywhere on the field. He does have some pretty apparent weaknesses though. His hands are a problem (12.9 drop %), and he doesn’t have an expansive route tree. He’d be perfect for San Francisco though. He won’t be expected to run the route tree of a first option, or even a second option. He’ll be there to take the top off of a defense, and he’ll win contested deep balls. He could truly add another dimension to the 49ers’ offense.

32. Kansas City Chiefs – Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

To cap off the first round, the defending Super Bowl champs will be addressing the only hole in their roster. Damien Wilson and Anthony Hitchens are simply not the answer for them at linebacker. Not only are they not productive or particularly talented, they are slow. Slow inside linebackers have pretty much been phased out of the NFL in the name of pass coverage. Kenneth Murray is explosive, and he had one purpose at Oklahoma: hunt players at his level of the field, from sideline to sideline. He does need to improve his intelligence as a football player, he’s a bit slow in reading offenses and route combos, but his speed kind of makes up for it. KC would be good for him, he could learn from one of the smartest defensive players in the league in Tyrann Matheiu.

2019 NFL Mock Draft 1.0: Round 1

With the NFL Draft beginning in just about a week, it seems like as good of a time as any to release my first official mock draft. After gathering information from all across Draft Twitter, scouting reports, player film, and the league’s rumor mill, this is as good of an explanation as I can give as to what should happen in this year’s draft. Obviously this won’t be accurate at all (no mock drafts are accurate), but based off of team needs and prospect buzz, these are my predictions.

  1. ARI: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma – The media’s confidence in Arizona selecting Murray with the first pick is decreasing. The trade buzz around Josh Rosen is slowly dying, and I highly doubt that Arizona would draft Kyler with Rosen still on the roster. Kyler is one of the better QB prospects of this decade despite his height concerns, and I think that he’ll go first overall to whichever team ends up with this pick.
  2. SF: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama – San Francisco has a ton of money and talent tied up at EDGE so it would make sense for them to take Williams with this pick. SF just put money into Dee Ford, which is probably why they’ll go with Williams, who’ll still be a game wrecker. He dominated thoroughly at Alabama, pretty much destroying the interior of every offensive line he faced this past season. He has good hands, a high motor, and fantastic size, all which will translate to the NFL.
  3. NYJ: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State – Is pretty much a photocopy of his brother Joey, except with much more refined pass rushing moves for his age. He’s also slightly more athletic than his brother. Getting Bosa at #3 will give the Jets the dominant pass rusher that they’ve been searching for since John Abraham left.
  4. OAK: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky – There’s no replacing a player of Khalil Mack’s caliber, but Josh Allen would be a great consolation. He’s extremely versatile, he can work as a pass rusher or as a coverage linebacker. His strong suit is by far as an edge rusher, both as a 3-4 linebacker and a 4-3 defensive end. This versatility makes him an excellent pick for Oakland.
  5. TB: Devin White, ILB, LSU – He has excellent range, although I think he’s being hyped up too much. I don’t see what makes him so much better than Deion Jones, a similarly quick ILB from LSU, who was taken in the second round in 2016. I still think he’ll be a good player, and he’s going to be picked high due to the lack of depth at ILB in this class.
  6. NYG: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State – I really have no idea what the Giants are going to do here. Dave Gettleman seems to still have attachment issues with Eli Manning, but I have a feeling that it’s just a smoke screen. Dwayne Haskins was a one-year starter for Ohio State, setting Big Ten records in passing yard and passing touchdowns. He has an NFL build, although he’s terribly slow and a bit unathletic.
  7. JAX: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama – Jonah Williams is being supremely underrated. He’s not a guard, he’s not an RT. He is a franchise LT, and he has done nothing to disprove this in his two extremely productive seasons at Alabama. The Jaguars are a team with a ton of holes on offense, so you can never go wrong with the best available player.
  8. DET: Ed Oliver, DE/DT, Houston – The Lions will be lucky if Oliver slides this far, but I think it’ll happen. He’ll replace Ziggy Ansah with ease. He has as high of potential as anyone in the draft. Crazy Stat: He had a faster 20-yard shuttle than Saquon Barkley and Christian McCaffrey. At 280 pounds. Also, his 3 Cone Shuttle time would’ve placed him in the Top 5 of this class’s WRs. He’s undersized at around 6’1″, but just like Geno Atkins and Aaron Donald, his lateral speed will make up for his lack of size.
  9. BUF: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Missouri – The Bills need offensive weapons, but I don’t think any of this year’s receivers are worthy of a Top 10 pick. Montez Sweat would be a nice addition to their already solid pass rush. I predict a trade back for the Bills, but if not, Sweat has about as much potential as any edge rusher we’ve seen.
  10. DEN: Devin Bush Jr., LB, Michigan – This is a perfect fit for a team with a glaring need at ILB. Coverage linebackers are at an all-time premium in the NFL, and Bush can cover the field as well as any LB with his sub 4.5 40 speed. He’s also the most talented pass-rushing inside linebacker in this draft. Bush is a little undersized at 5’11”, but he plays much bigger than what he’s listed at.
  11. CIN: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington – Murphy has incredible ball skills and good measurables, and is more disciplined than Greedy, who I think is the second-best CB. He’s a good fit for Cincinnati, but he’d be a good fit anywhere, he’s explosive and has the best instincts out of any cornerback in this draft. Him and William Jackson III would make for one of the best young secondaries in the NFL.
  12. GB: TJ Hockenson, TE, Iowa – Outside of the top three picks, I don’t think you can get any safer than Hockenson in this draft class. Luckily for the Packers, they need a TE. Hockenson is a great receiver, great blocker, and he’s been through the same coaching as All-Pro TE George Kittle at Iowa.
  13. MIA: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri – Personally, I don’t love Drew Lock as a prospect. However, the QB room in Miami is looking extremely dire, featuring Ryan Fitzpatrick and Luke Falk as QB1 and QB2, respectively. It sounds like a crime, putting a rookie QB into a system with a new (defensive) head coach, but the Cardinals did it last year. If there’s any organization dysfunctional enough to make the same mistake this year, it’s the Miami Dolphins. Lock has an NFL-level arm, and the production in college to back it up. He has accuracy concerns though.
  14. ATL: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida – Although the Falcons tried to upgrade their talent at tackle with their signing of Ty Sambrailo, they don’t have much of a future at RT. I If Hockenson slips, I could see them going with a TE here. They need an upgrade at CB and EDGE too, so their pick is a toss-up. I could also see them taking Rashan Gary or Brian Burns here too.
  15. WSH: Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan – If I had to pick one first-round-projected prospect that I trust the least, it would be Rashan Gary. He’s an athletic marvel, but there are serious concerns with his pass-rushing inconsistency and his unreliable work ethic. It works out, though, because the organization that I trust the least is the Washington Redskins, who could pick Gary to replace an aging Ryan Kerrigan.
  16. CAR: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson – This is one of my favorite potential picks of the first round. Ferrell is being overlooked when it comes to this class of edge rushers. He set the edge for Clemson’s 3-4 just as well as anyone in CFB, and I think his talents will translate directly to what the Panthers run in Carolina. 19.5 TFL and 13 sacks on that stacked Clemson line are insane, and he has the pro-level measurables to back everything up.
  17. NYG: DK Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss Player Comparison: With this pick, I think the Giants will try to make a splash. There isn’t a more splash-inducing pick than DK Metcalf. After trading Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants have no deep threats at wide receiver. And when you’re a team that’s (not admittedly) rebuilding, you’re more adept at taking risks in the draft, which is precisely what Metcalf is; a risk. College production isn’t always an indicator of NFL success (George Kittle), and Metcalf may be one of the most physically talented receivers the NFL’s ever seen.
  18. MIN: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson – The Vikings need to address two significant sections of their roster in this draft: Their defensive line, and their offensive line. In my opinion, the class of offensive linemen is slightly deeper than the defensive line class this year, so in round one, I have them choosing a defensive tackle that will eventually take Linval Joseph’s place. Wilkins eats space like no other DT in this class and has the agility and lateral speed to become a run-stuffing stalwart in the NFL.
  19. TEN: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa – Titans GM Jon Robinson has sneakily built one of the deepest and balanced rosters in the NFL; there are just about zero red flags when it comes to their needs in this year’s draft. However, after Delanie Walker’s gruesome ankle injury this past season, it is time for the Titans to find their future at Tight End. Noah Fant would be a great fit on just about any team, and I think he’ll come in and make an immediate impact for the Titans. He was highly graded in his junior season at Iowa, and he had WR-like numbers at the combine. He needs to add muscle and weight to his frame to adjust to the physicality of the NFL, but I think he’s still a solid prospect.
  20. PIT: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU – Williams is a sticky, agile man-to-man cover corner, with great instincts and natural talent while playing the ball in the air. He’s long and athletic, he’ll be able to run with almost anyone and challenge almost anyone physically. He doesn’t love to defend the run, but the Steelers have been drafting a ton of non-tackling defensive backs lately with players like Artie Burns and Senquez Golson.
  21. SEA: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State – This past season, Seattle solidified its identity as a run-first team; ignoring the emergence of the high-powered, pass-first offense that is dominating the new NFL. Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has dedicated his life to perfecting the art of the power run scheme, and for that to rise to its full potential, the Seahawks need to add more talent to its offensive line. They already have Duane Brown at LT, but he’s aging, and they Dillard can still fill in at RT.
  22. BLT: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma – Despite his below-average stature and concerning weight, Marquise Brown has maintained a first-round status throughout combine season. He’s the most talented route-runner in this class, and he has Desean Jackson-esque burners. He’s pretty much a souped-up version of John Brown, a player that the Ravens lost this offseason.
  23. HOU: Dalton Risner, OT/OG, Kansas State – Dalton Risner is one of the more underrated players of this draft class. I’ve seen several experts that are projecting him as a guard in the league, but after four extremely productive seasons at tackle for Kansas State, I see no physical or football-related reasons for him converting to guard. Houston’s offensive line is unarguably the worst in the NFL, and their number-one priority for this draft HAS to be to protect Deshaun Watson more, who is the future of their franchise. I can see Risner as a franchise LT, which would be insane value at 23.
  24. OAK: Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State – Oakland is (in)famous for taking freakish athletes with their high picks. Obi Melifonwu, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Darren McFadden; players along those lines. Brian Burns fits right in with those guys. He ran a 4.5 40 and broad jumped about eleven feet at around 250 pounds at the NFL Combine. Those types of numbers are unheard of (unless we’re talking about Montez Sweat). Brian Burns is a high-ceiling, productive edge rusher that could somewhat fill the shoes of players like Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin, two pass rushers that the Raiders have gotten rid of lately.
  25. PHI: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama – According to Pro Football Focus, there are five college running backs in the past 6 years with running and receiving grades above an 85: Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara, Saquon Barkley, Joe Mixon, and Josh Jacobs. All four of these players have translated exceptionally well to the pros, and I have no doubts that Jacobs will be elite. It works out well, as the Eagles probably have the most significant need for a running back, and although I disagree with drafting running backs early, they have very few holes on their roster outside of running back.
  26. IND: Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame Jerry Tillery is one of the more underrated prospects in this class. He’s an incredibly disruptive pass rusher, possibly as effective as any interior pass rusher in this class. (Except for Quinnen Williams) He’s a little inconsistent in run defense, which is the cause for his lack of hype. In the right scheme, he could become one of the league’s premier pass rushers. The Colts are a franchise with a ton of momentum, and hitting on a player like Tillery could push Indianapolis into the upper echelon of AFC teams.
  27. OAK: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama – The Raiders knock out another team need with this pick. Thompson is a player with limited range athletically, but his instincts and playmaking are what propels him into the first round. After whiffing on Obi Melifonwu and reaching for Karl Joseph, the Raiders hopefully can counter their tendencies of falling for uber-athletic players, and instead, take a much safer prospect in Deionte Thompson.
  28. LAC: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State – The Chargers have just about an equal need for depth at interior defensive line and offensive line, so with the 28th pick, I have them taking the best available player of the two positions. Although he recently suffered a torn ACL, Jeffery Simmons was an absolutely dominant player at Mississippi State, comparable to what Fletcher Cox did during his time there. He was a monster in the run and pass game, and the Chargers will be lucky if he slides due to his injury.
  29. KC: Taylor Rapp, S, Washington – This pick fills one of many holes on the Kansas City defense. Come to think about it, the only position that isn’t a need on their defense is in their interior defensive line. That is a problem. If I were the Chiefs, I wouldn’t select a single offensive player in this draft. Taylor Rapp played well at Washington, and he’ll be a fine pro.
  30. GB: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss – A.J. Brown could go anywhere from the 15th overall pick to the 45th overall pick in this draft. Personally, I think he has a ton of talent and a ton of charisma. Brown can be an elite receiver out of the slot or outside of the numbers. He’s a crisp route runner, and he has a strong build with good height. There aren’t many concerns with his hands, about zero total red flags. He’d work beautifully with Aaron Rodgers, who’s desperate for a middle-of-the-field receiver.
  31. LAR: Garrett Bradbury, OG/C, NC State -Garrett Bradbury is an excellent fit for the Rams, an organization with a quickly aging offensive line and a Super Bowl window that’s wide open. He plays as hard as any O-Lineman in this class, and he does it efficiently.
  32. NE: Jonathan Abram, S, Mississippi State – The Patriots’ most glaring need is at playmaking positions like wide receiver and tight end. Given Bill Belichick’s inability to draft wide receivers, I believe that the Patriots will avoid that position in the first round, especially given the depth at WR. Instead, the Patriots improve the depth of their secondary, the unit that can be most credited for winning their past Super Bowl. Abram is an active, instinctual, hard-hitting safety that can properly replace Patrick Chung, who is getting older and has been riddled with injuries lately.

NBA Lottery Mock Draft 1.0

First round of the 2019 NBA Draft lottery picks. Analysis and projections. Complete first round is coming later.

2019 MOCK DRAFT

  1. NYK – Zion Williamson, Duke, Zion Williamson is a generational player. Someone has not come around since LeBron. He needs to lose weight and trim down to about 250-260 for his body to be able to withstand a 82 game season. Could go down as one of the best/most influential players of our lifetime, NBA Projection: Multiple All-NBA Selections
  2. PHX – Ja Morant, Murray State, Morant is a great scorer of the ball. However, he is an even better floor general/passer/true point guard. His defense and scoring and passing is all there, he just needs to lower the turnovers, NBA Projection: Multiple All-NBA Selections
  3. CLE – RJ Barrett, Duke, Barrett is a great rebounder, scorer, and passer of the ball. For him to be one of the best in the NBA he needs to lower the turnovers, work on his off hand dribbling, and get the free throw percentage up especially if he is going to play the 2, however, expect him to play the 3, NBA Projection: Multiple All-Star Selections
  4. CHI – Jarrett Culver, Texas Tech, An average college 3 point shooter expect that to fall off in the transition to the NBA, Culver is an outstanding defender. A very good guard already, leading Texas Tech to a National Championship game appearance helped Culver’s stock a TON. He has potential to be a top 3 player coming out of this draft. Expect Chicago or Atlanta to take him and I do not see him falling out of the top 5. At 6’6” and and 20 years old Culver is developing into a great rising star, NBA Projection: better Jeremy Lamb, All-Star Selections
  5. ATL – Cam Reddish, Duke, Reddish is a great shooter. Something that the Hawks need, however, he is going to need to step up his defense and his rebounding if he wants to reach his career ceiling, NBA Projection: Ceiling is Multiple All-Star Selections, Floor is Rotation Player like a worse defending but better shooting Andre Iguodala
  6. MEM – De’Andre Hunter, Virginia, I am BIG on De’Andre, but I do not think that he is going to be great. I want him to so bad and I really hope that he elevates his game, I think right now it translates well into the NBA, but there is always room for improvements. If he can get into the right system to start, and get around the right people, expect this guy to be GREAT, UPDATED 4-9-19: EASILY the biggest game of De’Andre’s young career, Hunter proved that nothing was too big for him. Scoring 27 points and grabbing 9 boards, Hunter proved to be the best player on the court. Shooting 50% from the floor and ⅘ from 3, Hunter helped Virginia to its first National Championship. A face up between the legs crossover step-back from the extended free throw line was a clutch shot to make. However it was his corner 3 in regulation with 15 seconds left, helped Virginia force overtime. Hunter is proving himself to be one of the best players in this draft. STOCK RISING, NBA Projection: Multiple All-Star Selections
  7. ATL – Jaxson Hayes, Texas, At 6’11” Hayes averaged 5 rebounds a game for Texas. 5. He’s a young kid and needs to reel back his urges and be comfortable to play solid defense possession after possession and not try to block every shot. He is going to foul A LOT, but, he is good enough that he will block the shot A LOT also. Hayes is a great post player, on defense and on offense and he understand really well where to be and how to run the floor properly. His post moves are solid but I do not think that they are going to translate that well into the NBA. Hayes has a lot of potential and is a good player for the Hawks to pick at 7 ONLY IF they take a smaller 3 and D player earlier. I just do not think that Hayes will be able to find success in the NBA, NBA Projection: Bust, Sixth Man
  8. WSH – Rui Hachimura, Gonzaga, At 6’8”, 225 Hachimura is a little old to be taken with a higher draft pick. Already 21, 8 might be considered a stretch pick for the power forward. An average rebounder in college, Hachimura is a great defender and he understands where to be on the floor. Runs the pick and roll extremely well and can face up on the extended post. With his length he is a very good shot blocker down in the post and can run with a driving guard to block his shot. His post moves are a little weak and need to be worked on to be a great talent in the NBA. He can take it coast to coast and handle to ball fine for a 4, but do not expect that to carry over well into the league, NBA Projection: Slightly smaller Derrick Favors
  9. NOP – Coby White, UNC, I am also VERY big on Coby White. Watching him dominate the ACC and especially that final game at home against Duke, White finally established himself to me. VERY quick guard, extremely fast and agile White needs to take care of the ball just a little better, but that does not mean to much in the NBA. A decent shooter of the ball, White is a very good floor general. Can get his shot off quick and has the NBA range, expect Coby to be one of the better NBA players from this draft, NBA Projection: Multiple All-Star Selection, Potential for All-NBA
  10. LAL – Bol Bol, Oregon, Unfortunately a left foot injury left Bol Bol out for the season after only playing 9 games. Averaging 21-10 and also averaging 3 blocks a game, Bol Bol is one of the better prospects, NBA Projection: Multiple All-Star Selections
  11. MIN – Sekou Doumboya, France, Standing at 6’9″ with a 6’11” wingspan, Doumboya has potential to be a NBA star. Not a great rebounder at his length Doumboya needs to limit his fouls and improve on his rebounding to reach his ceiling. A lot of drive and dump offs after a shot fake move, I do not think most of his moves are going to translate well into the NBA. When he gets into the post, his moves are terrible. Do not expect him to be great in the league, NBA Projections: Average NBA Player, Probable bust
  12. CHA – Brandon Clarke, Gonzaga, In my opinion Clarke is one of the most underrated players in the NCAA and that is probably due to his age. He is 22 and only a junior, this is a major setback for Clarke. However, he’s got the game to be able to make up for it. Does a fantastic job of catching and making a decision to turn and face up, or put a post move on his defender. He is a tremendous finisher at the rim and can go above or below the rim. The first step on the face up is very quick. Expect him to succeed in the league, NBA Projection: Average NBA Player
  13. ORL – Darius Garland, Vanderbilt, A great shooter, and rebounder as a point guard, he needs to up the assists and lower the turnovers. If he can work on his defense as well he can be a multiple time all star. NBA Projection: Ceiling is Multiple All-Star Selections, Floor is Jameer Nelson/Raymond Felton
  14. BOS – Romeo Langford, Indiana, Langford had a lot go hype surrounding him going into college at Indiana. He was not a great 3 point shooter, and will probably be even worse on into the league, he is a young, good defensive guard. Langford played well in a tough Big 10 league, but he needed to show out a little more and lead the Hoosiers a little better than their 19-16 record and a season ending NIT appearance. Expect just a average player to compliment this great Boston team, NBA Projection: Poor Man’s Khris Middleton