With the NFL regular season over, fans without a playoffs team turn their attention to the draft. Last year was the “Year of the Quarterback”. We saw five taken in the first round and all have the potential to be franchise guys. This year, the theme is edge rushers.
Mock drafts before the combine and free agency will be quite inaccurate and the draft order is almost certain to change by or on draft day. However, it is still fun to take a look at where the top prospects could fall come this Spring.
1. Arizona Cardinals
Nick Bosa, DE – Ohio State
Bosa is widely regarded as the top overall player in this year’s draft class. He missed a majority of this season with a groin injury and elected to withdraw from school in order to prepare for his pre-draft process. He is a better prospect than his older brother, Joey, was. Pairing him opposite Chandler Jones would give the Cardinals a pass rush to worry about.
2. San Francisco 49ers
Josh Allen, OLB – Kentucky
No one has seen their stock rise more than Josh Allen this season. He made the switch from inside to outside linebacker and his production increased. He recorded 56 solo tackles (32 in 2017) and 17 sacks (7 in 2017). Allen is also solid when asked to drop into coverage. The SEC defensive player of the year would wreak havoc on the edge for the 49ers.
3. New York Jets
Jonah Williams, OT – Alabama
The Jets need to do whatever is necessary to help Sam Darnold succeed. Fortifying the offensive line would be the best place to start. Williams’ athleticism and polished technique make him a viable option anywhere on the offensive line and right now, the Jets need the most help with their interior line.
4. Oakland Raiders
Quinnen Williams, DT – Alabama
With Bosa sidelined for most of the season, Williams was arguably the most dominant player in college football this year. He was a constant force up the middle and has such explosive quickness. Interior pass rushers are becoming more desired in the NFL and Williams would give the Raiders much needed help in that area.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Greedy Williams, CB – LSU
The Buccaneers had the 3rd best offense in football if you’re going by the numbers so adding to the defense is a must here. Williams is a long athletic corner who is 6’3″, 184 pounds, and displays great ball skills and instincts. Tampa’s secondary was Swiss cheese this year and Williams would provide a great boost to that department.
6. New York Giants
Dwayne Haskins, QB – Ohio State
If the Giants land Haskins, it won’t be at 6. Quarterbacks are always in high demand and they may want to consider trading up to secure the likelihood of landing Haskins. Even if Eli Manning is on the roster next year, Haskins would be a good successor or replacement. He displays excellent touch and a strong arm that is capable of making every throw. An offensive core made up of Haskins, Barkley, and Beckham has the potential to be very dangerous.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
Yondy Cajuste, OT – Ole Miss
The Jaguars had a very disappointing season after reaching the AFC championship a season ago. While a quarterback should be their top priority, Haskins may be the only one actually worth taking in the first round. Next on the list is upgrading the offensive line. Cajuste is a great athlete and would provide more protection for whoever is the Jaguars quarterback in 2019.
8. Detroit Lions
Clelin Ferrell, Edge – Clemson
Ferrell has been a strong presence on the dominant Clemson defensive front for the past three seasons. He displays great power and has a heavy of moves that make him one of the more polished edge defenders in this class. He has the versatility to stand up or put his hand in the dirt. Ezekiel Ansah may be headed for free agency and Ferrell has the potential to be an upgrade at the position.
9. Buffalo Bills
N’Keal Harry, WR – Arizona State
The Bills need to build around Josh Allen, who is in desperate need of a supporting cast. Harry is a big target at 6’4″, 213 pounds, and excels at jump balls and running after the catch. He would be a great weapon to give Allen who cannot be asked to run 100 yards every game.
10. Denver Broncos
Drew Lock, QB – Missouri
The Case Keenum experiment didn’t go exactly as planned in Denver. He wasn’t able to recreate the season he had with the Vikings a year ago and the Broncos are again looking for a quarterback. Lock possesses a great arm and has good mobility. He has a good chance to increase his stock at the Senior Bowl and Elway could look to take a swing on him.
11. Cincinnati Bengals
Devin White, LB – LSU
The Bengals have plenty of holes to fill and linebacker is one of them. White is the best middle linebacker in this class. He shows great burst and speed going sideline to sideline.
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