The Much, much, much too early 2019 Mock Draft
Doing a mock draft for the next year the day after the draft is completed is more about the fun in it than anything. We have a long way to go but taking a look at some guys who could make impacts and be draft selections at least gives us an idea of who to watch closely in the 2018 college football season. The draft positions are obviously 100% speculations so please don’t get mad if your team is drafting too high.
- Miami Dolphins: Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn
If the Dolphins finish this bad, which there is a good chance, that means Ryan Tannehill was not effective. Most places right now won’t have Jarrett Stidham as their top rated quarterback but I believe he only touched the surface last year of his potential. He has a strong arm, mobile and was accurate completing 66.5% of his passes. He still has a ways to go but there is amazing potential there.
- Denver Broncos: Will Grier, QB, West Virginia
The Broncos are deciding to role with Case Keenum as their quarterback. While Keenum had a great year and led the Vikings to the NFC Championship, it can’t go without pointing out that the Vikings have one of the most talented rosters in the league. The Broncos added the best pass rusher in the 2018 draft but will be hindered by mediocre quarterback play. Grier has had a very tumultuous career but has been on the right path. After being suspended for a year for PED, Grier transferred from Florida to West Virginia. In 2017, Grier put up some great numbers, completing 64.4% of his passes for 3,490 with 34 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He averaged 9.0 yards per attempt. Grier is a very mobile, strong armed quarterback and while some of his past will follow him, he will also be 24 next year. If he follows up 2018 with another stellar year, look for his name to be called early in 2019.
- Cleveland Browns: Nick Bosa, Edge, Ohio St.
The Browns did an average job in the 2018 draft and should win some more games this season but I believe Hue Jackson will hold them back. Jackson knows how to coach but seems to struggle as the Head Coach. Nick Bosa will be the top prospect in this draft and many believe he is better than his brother. I would expect him to get 15 sacks this season and be the best defensive player in the country. If the Browns can put him on the same defensive line as Myles Garrett they will be a force.
- Buffalo Bills: Ed Oliver, DL, Houston
I believe the Bills made the wrong choice by taking Josh Allen and if they took Josh Rosen would have had a real opportunity to compete next year. Sean McDermott is a good coach but Brandon Beane insistence on getting rid of all of Doug Whaleys players will eventually come back to hurt him. The Bills can compete next year because McDermott is that good of a coach but I think Josh Allen will ultimately hamper their ability to take a step forward. Ed Oliver is one of the best interior defensive line prospects I have seen in a while. He is incredibly disruptive and is lightning quick off the ball. He finished 2017 with 5.5 sacks, 16.5 tackles for a loss and 73 tackles. He will be a very sought after player in this draft.
- Cincinnati Bengals: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon
This should be the final make or break year for both Andy Dalton and Marvin Lewis. Its amazing Lewis has lasted this long but if the Bengals have another disaster of a year this should be it. After 2018, the Bengals can cut Dalton with no dead money saving over $16 million. Justin Herbert is a very intriguing prospect who if he has a strong year will be a candidate to go first overall. He has an ideal frame standing at 6’6” and weighing 225 pounds with a strong arm and good mobility. He missed time last year due to a fractured collarbone so he must stay healthy. Oregon should be a serious contender in the Pac 12 and Herbert is the reason why.
- Chicago Bears: Dexter Lawrence, DL, Clemson
The Bears have a ton of talent and did a great job in the 2018 draft and could be a very competitive team this year. I think they will have some trouble getting to the quarterback on defense and I am not sold yet on Mitch Trubisky. Dexter Lawrence won’t put up eye popping numbers but he is one of college footballs best defensive linemen. He is constantly taking on double teams and moves incredibly well for a man his size (6’4”, 340 lbs). He can play many different roles in the Bears defensive scheme.
- Indianapolis Colts: Clelin Ferrell, Edge, Clemson
Ferrell was a dominate force in 2017 with 18 tackles for a loss and 9.5 sacks as a sophomore. He should be an even more imposing force along Clemson’s defensive line. He is a great athlete with a huge upside Ferrell can stand up to rush the passer but may be best suited to stay with his hand in the ground. The Colts could use some additional help getting to the quarterback.
- Washington Redskins: A.J. Brown, WR, Mississippi
The Redskins most likely are going to need some playmakers on offense, particularly on the outside to help out Alex Smith. A.J. Brown had a huge year in 2017 and I expect him to take another step in 2018 to being the best receiver in the SEC and the nation. Brown has a strong frame, runs great routes and great hands. He will be a very tough receiver to defend.
- New York Jets: Greg Little, OT, Mississippi
Kelvin Beachum is a solid left tackle but they can move him over to the right side or even inside to guard. Greg Little is a franchise left tackle who can lock down elite edge defenders. He has a good frame and a great deal of starting experience already.
- Baltimore Ravens: Andraez Williams, CB, LSU
Cornerback most likely won’t be the Ravens biggest need as I can see them looking for edge rushers or wide receivers but a lot will depend on who is officially making these calls once Ozzie Newsome is done. Greedy Williams has the ability to develop into a shutdown corner as he has the size and quickness that will make it tough for receivers to match up against.
- Dallas Cowboys: Rashan Gary, Edge, Michigan
If the Cowboys are picking here then there is a good chance Jason Garrett is not the head coach. Regardless, the Cowboys will need to find another edge rusher who can get to the quarterback. Gary is an ideal fit as he can move inside on passing downs. His versatility to rush the passer will be highly coveted.
- Seattle Seahawks: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
This will be a great opportunity for the Seahawks to secure their offensive tackle that they have been searching for. Williams could be the first offensive tackle taken but the Alabama product can stand to gain 10-15 pounds in order to lock down a NFL tackle job.
- Arizona Cardinals: Raekwon Davis, DL, Alabama
Davis is a gigantic defensive linemen who can anchor and push the pocket. Standing at 6’7” he collected 69 tackles with 10 tackles for a loss and 8.5 sacks in the middle of the Crimson Tide defense. He could see his name being called much earlier if he can again put up those types of numbers. The Cardinals could use an improvement along the defensive line.
- New York Giants: Christian Rector, Edge, USC
The Giants will need to find some additional pass rushers and if they didn’t take a quarterback at 2 in 2018 then I doubt they look for one in 2019. This is probably projecting Rector much higher than others will at this point but the big edge rusher can take a big step forward after a very good 7.5 sacks season in 2017.
- Los Angeles Chargers: Terry Adams, OT, Washington
Russell Okung is still a decent offensive tackle but he could be upgraded and Terry Adams is a guy who is going to push to be a top 10 selection. Adams is a big tackle who dominated the Pac 12 as a sophomore being named first team but his NFL dream was derailed after he tore his ACL in October.
- Carolina Panthers: DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia
The Panthers have a solid roster but could look to upgrade the secondary. Baker was a second team All SEC in 2017 as a sophomore and should be one of the best cornerbacks in the country in 2017.
- San Francisco 49ers: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona St.
This wide receiver class is going to be very fun to watch this year. There are a lot of players who can really break out. Harry is a big explosive receiver who was dominate as a sophomore and could work his way into the Top 10. He caught 82 balls for 1,142 yards as a sophomore. One of his best games was the Sun Devils bowl game against North Carolina St. in which he had 9 catches for 142 yards and a touchdown.
- Tennessee Titans: Beau Benzschawel, G, Wisconsin
The Titans have a lot of talent but their interior offensive lien could be upgraded. Benzschawel is the best guard in the class and while he might not be at the same level as Quenton Nelson he is a notch right below, and that’s a compliment.
- Detroit Lions: Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson
Wilkins is another great Clemson defensive linemen and he is an incredibly disruptive force in the middle of the defense. Wilkins is incredibly versatile and can play defensive end and rush off the edge. He would have been a first round pick had he come out in 2018.
- Atlanta Falcons: Chase Winovich, Edge, Michigan
Winovich is another player who can really solidify his stock this year with another great performance. He finished 2017 with 18.5 tackles for a loss and 8 sacks. There is no reason to think he can’t duplicate those number and even improve. There will be a lot of 3-4 teams that are also interested.
- Kansas City Chiefs: Josh Allen, LB, Kentucky
Josh Allen is a big athletic linebacker who still has yet to even touch his potential. He decided to stay in school for an additional year which was the right decision. Allen has the skill set to rush the passer (7 sacks in 2017) but he can also drop into coverage. He is a good fit in the Chiefs defense and his versatility will allow them to move him around as necessary.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Michael Deiter, OT, Wisconsin
Both Donovan Smith and Ali Marpet are free agents after this year and both could be gone. Marpet has been solid but if he can take another step forward might command a large contract and Donovan Smith is an athlete tackle but could be upgraded. Deiter was very good last year for Wisconsin and I expect another very good year from him. He is capable of playing inside as well.
- Jacksonville Jaguars: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
The Jaguars defense should once again carry them to a very successful season. They have weapons on offense but Blake Bortles will hold them back from being a Super Bowl contender. This is a draft I could see them going all in on, if they find a quarterback they really like and move up to get him. Lock threw 44 touchdowns last year and has a chance to be dominate again but he also has to work on some of his mechanics if he wants to move into the top portion of the first round.
- Green Bay Packers: Anfernee Jennings, LB, Alabama
Jennings has the potential to be the next great Alabama linebacker. Jennings shined in the Crimson Tide win over Clemson missed the National Championship due to an injured knee. 2018 will be his year and if he decides to come out early should be in contention to be a first round selection. He has been somewhat injury prone so he needs to stay healthy.
- Green Bay Packers (from NO): Mitch Hyatt, OT, Clemson
Hyatt has been First Team All ACC in the last two years by the media and first team by coaches in 2017 and second team by coaches in 2016. He has been a dominate pass protector for Clemson who has exceled since his freshmen year. The Packers have a good offensive line but Hyatt can step in and play almost any position.
- Houston Texans: Bryce Love, RB, Stanford
Most likely this will be Lamar Millers last season in Houston and I don’t believe D’onta Foreman is a 3 down back. While Bryce Love is on the smaller side, he is an explosive runner with game breaking abilities and elite speed. Putting him in the backfield with Deshaun Watson will really elevate the running game to an incredibly fast level.
- Oakland Raiders: Joe Jackson, Edge, Miami
The Raiders could look for a wide receiver to pair long term with Amari Cooper or even a shut down corner but other than Khalil Mack the Raiders have had trouble getting to the quarterback. Jackson is a big, strong defensive end who can set the edge and put pressure on the quarterback. He has 11.5 tackles for a loss and 6.5 sacks as a sophomore and double digit sacks are clearly within sight for 2018.
- Los Angeles Rams: Jeffery Simmons, DL, Mississippi St.
Simmons was one of the best defensive tackles in the SEC as a sophomore so teams are already on high alert. He has 12 tackles for a loss and 5 sacks in the middle of the Bulldogs defense and if he can take a step forward he will be a top 10 pick in the 2019 draft. Simmons may end up being the best defensive player from this draft when its all said and done.
- Philadelphia Eagles: Michael Jackson, CB, Miami
Jackson has the potential to be the top cornerback in this draft. He has the size, strength and speed to lock down nearly any receiver and 2018 will be a big year for him. The Hurricanes defense is set up to be very good and he will be expected to take half the field away from opponents.
- New England Patriots: Ahmmon Richards, WR, Miami
The Patriots will need a wide receiver who can stretch the field and Richards is another guy who can really elevate his stock this year. Richards only had 24 catches for 439 yards in 2017 but he was limited to 8 games. He can give the Patriots a very good, young receiver who they are lacking.
- Pittsburgh Steelers: Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma
It seems to be that Le’Veon Bell may not be a Steeler in 2019 as the team and player have struggled to come to a long term agreement. If Bell moves on the Steelers will take a running back early in the 2019 draft. The Steelers typically like bigger running backs and Anderson is listed at 6’1” and weighing in at 219 pounds. After running for 1,161 yards in 2017 the Sooners will rely on him heavily in 2019. He will need to improve his pass protection if he wants to be a three down back in the NFL. Also, Anderson avoided criminal charges when he had a rape allegation against him. This will be a story that follows him and a team like the Steelers has been very hesitant to take on this situations lately.
- Minnesota Vikings: Michael Jordan, G, Ohio St.
The Vikings should be set up to compete for a while at a very high level. They could use an upgrade along their offensive line and Michael Jordan is a guy who is expected to be one of the top guards in the nation in 2018. He was First Team Big Ten as a sophomore and started every game for the Buckeyes. He is another prospect would could go much higher than this if he declares.