Draft Day is tomorrow, and I can’t wait. There are so many possibilities and jobs at stake that we all have to treat it as a drama film rather than a sporting event. For example, will Kliff (Kingsbury) leave Josh (Rosen) for Kyler (Murray)? I’m just kidding, but it’s gonna be a fun night. Here are my last predictions for how tomorrow will play out.
OAK – SF
#2 pick overall
#4 pick overall
#35 pick overall
ARI – NYG
#17 pick overall
QB Josh Rosen
#33 pick overall
WAS – GB
#12 pick overall
#15 pick overall
#46 pick overall
- Arizona Cardinals – Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Rumors are flying around in the final days before the Draft, and Murray is the center of most. The word on the street is that Kyler isn’t as sure of a bet to go number 1 as he was a few weeks ago. I believe this is a smokescreen that the NFL wanted to come out. They want their show to be mysterious and intriguing, not a sure bet. I think Murray is still on the top of Arizona’s board and his name will be called first on Thursday night.
- Oakland Raiders (from San Francisco 49ers) – Nick Bosa, Edge, Ohio St.
This is my first fantasy, draft-night trade. In it, Mayock and the Raiders move up to snag Nick Bosa. Quinnen Williams or Ed Oliver would be a good fit in Oakland, but the Raiders really need an edge rusher to replace Khalil Mack. Bosa is certainly the top rusher of the draft, and the Raiders have the assets to move up and take him.
- New York Jets – Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
The Jets addressed some dire needs this offseason, but not on their D-Line. They re-signed Henry Anderson and they still have first-rounder Leonard Williams, so they should address concerns inside. Ed Oliver is a close second, but Quinnen Williams is the most talented interior D-Lineman of this class. He’s a freak, and he’ll terrorize runners and QBs alike for years to come.
- San Francisco 49ers (from Oakland Raiders) – Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
After Williams is gone, Oliver is the next best thing. The Niners don’t really need Bosa or any other edge rusher because they have Arik Armstead, Solomon Thomas, and newly-acquired Dee Ford already playing there. Those three were all first round picks, so why waste another on an edge rusher? So, S.F. upgrades the interior giving themselves an imposing defensive front that used to be a weakness for them.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Devin White, ILB, LSU
After losing Kwon Alexander, the Bucs take a new defensive leader. White may not be the best defensive player in this draft, but he’s the most exciting. He’s my favorite prospect. His explosiveness is insane. He’s my pick to be the best defensive player of this draft. The Bucs will love his leadership and ball skills.
- New York Giants – Josh Allen, Edge, Kentucky
After trading Olivier Vernon, the Giants have no talent on the edge. This is the lowest I’ve projected Allen to go, mostly due to Ed Oliver’s meteoric rise. However, N.Y. would be a good place for Allen’s development as a top rusher. The “Gmen” certainly need him, too.
- Jacksonville Jaguars – T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
Instead of taking an O-Lineman, the Jags select a player who can block as well as catch passes. Hockenson is a truly spectacular specimen. Nick Foles has dropped hints at wanting a capable tight end, and I think the front office will deliver.
- Detroit Lions – Montez Sweat, Edge, Mississippi St.
If Hockenson is gone, no big deal. Matt Patricia and his Lions just take an edge rusher to complement new arrival Trey Flowers. Flowers is a power rusher, while Sweat uses his blazing speed to burn tackles. Patricia will have to be happy with his defensive front after this move that also boasts big tackle Damon Harrison.
- Buffalo Bills – Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
It’s no secret the Bills need help with their line. They need to protect their franchise quarterback, Josh Allen. They can move new signing Ty Nsekhe to left tackle and slot Taylor in at right tackle from day 1. Buffalo has guys like Demarcus Lawrence, Von Miller, and T.J. Watt on their schedule, so they should take someone who can fend off those threats.
- Denver Broncos – Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
Lock is the prototypical John Elway quarterback. He has height and a strong arm. While I think Dwayne Haskins is better, Lock has more mobility, which Elway and the Broncos should favor. He had a great career at Mizzou, with a 44 passing touchdown season in 2017. He has the tape and the talent to be the franchise QB the Broncos have been searching for.
11, Cincinnati Bengals – Devin Bush, ILB, Michigan
The Bengals linebacking corps is very shallow. If Devin White is gone, they could certainly look at a quarterback like Drew Lock or an edge rusher. However, they need linebackers so bad that they should choose Devin Bush. Bush is just a step under Devin White. He was the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year last season. He would make an immediate impact for the Bengals.
- Washington Redskins (from Green Bay Packers) – Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio St.
After Haskins drops out of the top 10, the Redskins have to draft him. In case Miami takes him, Washington strikes a deal with the Packers. I believe Haskins is a top 10 player, but I don’t see it happening that way. This is a good situation for Haskins, though. The ‘Skins are a respectable team, and, although their styles are very different, Alex Smith can serve as a mentor.
- Miami Dolphins – Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama
After losing Ja’Wuan James in free agency, the Dolphins are shallow on the line. I’m assuming they’ll wait to draft their franchise QB until next year, when a class with Jake Fromm, Justin Herbert, and Tua Tagovailoa could enter the Draft. They’ll need to protect this future passer, though. Williams is a solid pick who can play guard or tackle. His versatility and consistency make him a top 15 talent.
- Atlanta Falcons – Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
Wilkins is not only a talented player, but he is also a fun-loving leader. His antics over his years at Clemson have given him fame, as well as his dominant play has. He logged 14.0 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks last year. The Falcons, who should return to their successful ways this year, had a lackluster defensive front last year. Wilkins would change that with his contagious energy.
- Green Bay Packers (from Washington Redskins) – D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
It makes sense for the Packers to trade down here because they should be targeting receivers. Not many receiver have been graded high in the first round this year. Metcalf has taken a lot of criticism since his freakish Combine performance. I don’t think Green Bay will want to let him go by, though. His downfield speed is insane for a man of his size. There are concerns, but imagine Aaron Rodgers dropping 50-yard dimes to D.K. Good luck to any cornerback trying to stop that.
- Carolina Panthers – Brian Burns, Edge, Florida St.
Burns is a versatile D-Lineman who showed speed and good hands at the Combine. He’s nimble for a big guy. Julius Peppers retired, leaving the Panthers front in shambles. It’s no question that the Panthers need edge rushers and Burns is the best available here.
- Arizona Cardinals (from New York Giants) – Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
In this trade, the Cards send Josh Rosen to the Giants. The Giants could easily take Daniel Jones here or Dwayne Haskins earlier. However, if Arizona offers their 33rd overall pick, which I think they would, then this should be a no-brainer for N.Y. GM Dave Gettleman. Now, this would work out for Arizona, too. Wanna convince Kyler Murray to focus entirely on football and leave the Oakland Athletics in the dust? Why not grab Murray’s favorite target in college? This would be an epic pairing. The Kyler and “Hollywood” Show takes on the pros. I’d definitely watch that.
- Minnesota Vikings – Chris Lindstrom, OG, Boston College
The Vikings line is honestly atrocious. Their tackles are decent, but the inside is in ruin. Insert Chris Lindstrom. He can’t play both guard spots, but he can solidify one. He’s quick and can even play tackle if needed. The Vikes need interior lineman, though, and Lindstrom is the man.
- Tennessee Titans – Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan
The Titans D-Line is more solid than it has been. They acquired Cameron Wake and they have second-year outside linebacker Harold Landry on the edge. Rashan Gary is an enigma. He’s obviously an outstanding athlete, but he disappointed at Michigan. However, he can be molded by defensive-minded coach Mike Vrabel. He can line up inside or outside, which will also increase his value to the Titans. Overall, Gary could be a steal for anyone that gambles on him, and I think, given the opportunity, Tennessee will take that bet.
- Pittsburgh Steelers – Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
(From my last mock) – The Steelers signed Stephen Nelson to address their cornerback concerns, but they’ll need more than a decent veteran to complement Joe Haden. With AB traded, the Steelers brass could target a receiver, but offense shouldn’t be their first concern this draft. I would solidify the defense before potentially remaking the offense around Juju Smith-Schuster and James Conner in the coming years.
- Seattle Seahawks – Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma
This is a tough pick. With Clelin Ferrell still on the board, the Seahawks could easily fill the void at defensive end left by recently-traded Frank Clark. However, Seattle needs to protect their 140 million dollar man, Russell Wilson. Wilson has worked with a subpar O-Line for years with his scrambling ability. However, as he ages, he may become more of a pocket passer. Ford is a player that will help keep Wilson’s pockets clean with his versatility.
- Baltimore Ravens – Clelin Ferrell, Edge, Clemson
Baltimore lost many key members from their front 7 to free agency. Za’Darius Smith, Terrell Suggs, and C.J. Mosley all left. Drafting Ferrell should make up for their losses on the edge. They need receivers and O-Linemen, but Ferrell is too good to pass up here.
- Houston Texans – Andre Dillard, OT, Washington St.
(From my last mock) – The Texans offensive line was pitiful last year, allowing Deshaun Watson to be sacked 62 times. Dillard would be an instant starter in Houston. If the Texans made the playoffs with that O-Line, then imagine what they could do with a replenished front.
- Oakland Raiders (from Chicago Bears) – Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
(From my last mock) – After Jared Cook left in free agency, the Raiders have a hole at tight end. Fant is crazily fast for a player of his position. Oakland needs defensive players, but Josh Jacobs and Fant are so talented I find it hard to believe that if they’re available, Gruden and Mayock would pass up on them.
- Philadelphia Eagles – Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
(From my last mock) – The Eagles did end up re-signing Ronald Darby, but only to a 1-year deal. This indicates they could be looking for a long-term replacement in the draft. Greedy Williams is a very polarizing player. He’s obviously very talented, but he’s inconsistent. The Eagles will have depth at cornerback, though, so they can afford to groom him to become a star.
- Indianapolis Colts – Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
The Colts could use upgrades everywhere on their defense. That’s not to say their D is bad, it just could use some more dynamic players. Murphy is just that. He’s an explosive playmaker who bats balls away from receivers with ease. With the Texans and Deandre Hopkins competing with the Colts for a division title, having Murphy to groom into a top corner will be extremely valuable.
- Oakland Raiders (from Dallas Cowboys) – Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
After Marshawn Lynch’s retirement, the Raiders are left with just Isaiah Crowell at RB. Jacobs would be able to learn from Crowell, who is also a powerful runner. Of course, Jacobs is much more dynamic. He can catch passes and any defender will be hard-pressed to take him down after the reception. A side note: Derek Carr would have to be jumping for joy if the Raiders haul in Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams, Josh Jacobs, and Noah Fant in a single offseason. That’s an insane upgrade from what he had last season.
- Los Angeles Chargers – Dexter Lawrence, DT, Los Angeles Chargers
(From my last mock) – L.A.’s two positions of need are linebacker and interior D-Lineman. They signed Thomas Bryant, which at least filled that hole temporarily. They have yet to solve their lineman problem, though. Lawrence is a good long-term solution, unlike the 1-year deal they’d likely ink a free agent like Ndamukong Suh to.
- Seattle Seahawks (from Kansas City Chiefs) – Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi St.
As I wrote before, the Seahawks need to find a new edge rusher. However, I don’t think there are anymore fit for a first round selection at this point. So, why not bring back “The Legion of Boom”? After losing Earl Thomas, the Seahawks don’t have any core members of the old, vicious secondary that defined them for a few glorious years. Abram isn’t really like Thomas, though. He’s more like retired strong safety Kam Chancellor, who was a hard-hitter like Abram. This is just too interesting of a move for me to ignore.
- Green Bay Packers – Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama
(From my last mock) – After the Jimmy Graham experiment failed, the Packers need to give A-Rod a solid tight end. I had them drafting Noah Fant in my last mock, but at this point, he has been taken. That leaves Smith, who is just a slight step under Fant. He was one of Nick Saban’s top receivers for the Crimson Tide in a season where they went to the National Championship. Irv Smith is accustomed to winning and Green Bay needs to re-accustom themselves to achieving.
- Los Angeles Rams – Garrett Bradbury, C, NC State
(From my last mock) – The Rams don’t seem to have any intention to re-sign veteran center John Sullivan, so it seems likely that they’ll find his replacement soon. Bradbury was had a breakout performance at the Combine. He can be a game 1 starter for L.A.
- New England Patriots – Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi St.
(From my last mock) – After Malcom Brown departed for New Orleans, New England doesn’t have many talented interior D-Linemen. With the top tight ends gone, Simmons would be a good pick. He has been said to be one of the top players of the draft, but injuries, off-field issues, and, as a result, no Combine performance have brought his stock down. Belichick is a coach of shrewd moves, and this, by all means, would be shrewd.
Tomorrow, I’ll try to churn out more of a viewer’s guide detailing what’s at stake. Until 8:00 PM tomorrow, keep your eyes trained on the news, as frenzied analysts try to dissect all of the crazy rumors flying around the league.