Here is my mock with a few brief thoughts. 2019 NFL Mock Draft Here are the rules that I have placed upon myself. I do not forecast trades in the mock draft because things will quickly get out of hand. In a highly unpredictable setting, I choose to deal with certainties and not uncertainties. I have made my picks based on whom I think each team will take, not who they should take. I have also taken the liberty to grade the pick based on a multitude of different elements including, but not limited to: fit, value, and need. This being said, do not consider the draft grade necessarily a grade on the player. In order to help you understand my thought process, let’s consider one of the more intriguing draft prospects of this year’s draft, Kyler Murray. My general thoughts on Kyler Murray are that his size really does scare me. Despite exiting the combine with similar measurables to Russell Wilson, on the field, he looks much smaller. I truly worry that he may simply be too small to play the quarterback position. That being said, I do think that Murray has great athleticism and accuracy. His ability to improvise and put touch on his passes warrants a look from front office officials. In my mind, Kyler Murray is all about fit. First of all, with baseball constantly looming in the background, Murray needs to go to a place where he can play sooner rather than later. In my mind, developmental places like Pittsburgh, the LA Chargers, and New England are non-starters as Murray could defect to baseball. I also think that teams that want to run more traditional offenses would be best served to shy away from Murray. In my mind, a team like the Broncos, would receive an F because of scheme/offensive philosophy issues, and a team like the Chargers would receive a D because of the distinct possibility that Murray would choose to play in California, but for the Oakland A’s. On the opposite side of the coin, I think teams that have creative head coaches that understand what Murray can and cannot do, could excel with Murray. Moreover, drafting Murray requires a dramaticshift in team vision. Murray is not a plug-and-play guy. A team will need to build its roster around him. Instead of a powerful offensive line, a team will need mobile, finesse offensive linemen that can be an asset to quarterback motion. That being said, teams with coaching ingenuity like the Patriots or the Cardinals would score as high as a B for drafting Murray. The best way to handle this supplement is to look beyond the draft grade, and read the blurb explaining the grade and take that into consideration when viewing the actual team that drafts the player. 1. Arizona Cardinals –Kyler Murray, QB Oklahoma For a player that I don’t particularly like, I do think that this is a smart pick. Pundits will give the birds flack for selecting a QB in back to back drafts, but I think it would be a sin for Kingsbury to pass up on the optimum guy to run his offense. Kingsbury is one of the most innovative minds in all of football, and if is able to maximize Murray’s strengths and minimize his weaknesses, the Cardinals could be a quick turnaround. Kingsbury will love his athleticism, accuracy, and ability to put touch on his passes. Unfortunately, I cannot grade this pick as an A because I just have too many concerns. The elephant in the room is ironically his size. I sincerely believe that at some point, a guy is just too small to play QB in the NFL, and Murray is teetering on that. Although he has the same measureables as Russell Wilson, he doesn’t appear to be built like him. Five years ago, Murray is a mid-round pick, but because there are a few exceptions in the league, all concerns have been mitigated. I tend to see this as a bit of a fallacy as pundits paint the exception as the rule. I also think that there is a very real possibility that Murray could wind up leaving the NFL quite early to play baseball. Early poor performance, injuries, unhappiness with his roster/coach, etc. could all leave Murray thinking that the grass might be greener in Oakland. In the preface, I mentioned building a team around Murray, and the line being a significant part of Murray’s success. No matter how you look at Arizona’s line, it is very bad. This could cause injuries or just general dissatisfaction for Murray. Finally, after watching his film, I kept getting flashbacks of Johnny Manziel’s film. Both signal callers were quite successful adlibbing plays; however, when watching both player’s film, I had serious reservations as to whether these skills would transition to the NFL or simply result in sacks or passes intentionally thrown out of bounds. I suspect that much of the magic of Kyler Murray could disappear. B 2. San Francisco 49ers –Nick Bosa, EDGE The Ohio State University There is likely a little debate in the 49ers headquarters as to whether or not they should take Nick Bosa or Quinnen Williams who grades a little higher. Solomon Thomas, the third overall pick in the 2017, has not lived up to expectations, but has not necessarily failed either. A case could be made to take Williams and giving Thomas another year. Ultimately, Nick Bosa, a more athletic version of his brother, is just too tempting to pass up. The end position is far more valuable than the defensive tackle position. The Bosa boys bring power coming off the edge, and Nick seems to be bit quicker off the line than his brother. Obviously, by taking Bosa, you have solid genes and the comfort of knowing that they have likely been ends in training since they have left the womb. My biggest critique of Bosa is that if you are a strong tackle and can get position on him, he can be placated. In the end, he is one of the most disruptive defensive ends in the draft and a solid choice. A 3. NY Jets –Josh Allen, EDGE Kentucky After watching the film on Josh Allen, I immediately thought that Allen would be best served playing in a 3-4 system. Oftentimes in Kentucky, they would send him out in coverage, most notably, zone. Unlike many ends moonlighting in pass coverage, Allen looked comfortable and was able to maximize his athletic abilities and do a solid job in coverage. Allen is a very complete player. He can rush the passer (a skill that has evolved as he has progressed through college) and play the run. I would like to see him improve his initial burst off the line. I think that his 40 time makes him appear faster than he plays. An important note on Allen is that his frame is far more conducive to being a LB than a DE. I would give any team running a 4-3 a lower grade for taking him. A- 4. Oakland Raiders –Quinnen Williams, DT Alabama John Gruden’s night starts off with a bang as he gets the number one player in the draft. With so many draft picks and needs, Gruden is in the business of acquiring talent. Williams is incredibly disruptive and has elite strength. In college, offensive linemen had two choices: double team him or be dominated. Williams has a nose for the tracking down both quarterbacks and running backs as he can quickly read and recognize plays. He plays aggressively and with a mean streak. Williams is one of the most consistently disruptive players in the draft. A+ 5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers –Devon White, LB LSU Devin White is one of those “players of the future”that are currently only seen in video games. This guy has the look of a linebacker and the speed of a corner. The current state of the NFL involves using TEs and slot receivers as cheat codes to get defenses out of position and stuck on the field. White seems to be the answer teams are looking for, as he is able to play LB in a traditional manner and also has the speed and athleticism to get involved in pass coverage. The last time that I scouted a player like him was in 2016 with Myles Jack. The moral of the story is that players like him do not come around every year. A+ 6. NY Giants –Dwayne Haskins, QB The Ohio State University “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” In all my years of covering the draft, I have never seen a team in need of a quarterback so disinterested in one particular QB. At this point, reports are circulating that his stock is falling, and Giants’insiders have reported that the Giants do not see him as a fit - odd because Eli Manning is an immobile pocket passer and Haskins in an immobile pocket passer. I am going out on a limb and am going to say a lot of teams want to appear disinterested at this point in the draft. I do think that Haskins would be an idea fit in New York because he would have time to develop before hitting the field. In my mind, Haskins, for all practical purposes, has the second best arm in the draft. Now pundits will argue that Lock and Grier can throw a ball harder, and to them, I would say I agree, but as far as watching all of the QBs throw footballs in actual football games, Haskins stands out by a lot. Teams will like that his balls do not hang in the air for a long time, and they do not give defenders the ability to recover and make interceptions. Additionally, he has a quick release and is able to make accurate throws when out of position. My knock on this pick is that the Giants have selected the third best QB in a weak year at the position in the top 10. I do understand that Haskins has a high developmental upside, but he is just that –developmental. Haskins is painfully slow. His accuracy is overstated. His statistics are solid because the play calling was solid. Haskins is exceptional at throwing crossing routes, and Ohio State played to this strength. If you imagine a three-point arc on a football field, he is pretty accurate throwing any pass inside the arc. Once he throws outside the arc, you can see a noticeable decrease in accuracy. I do think spending time on the bench working on his repertoire of pass routes would behoove him. If he had to start right away, there is a realistic chance that coordinators could figure him out quickly. B- 7. Jacksonville Jaguars –Juwaan Taylor, RT University of Florida Juwaan Taylor is a big guy that certainly fits the mold of a right tackle in the NFL, and undoubtedly, the Jaguars have a conspicuous need at the very position entering the draft. However, there are numerous reasons why I don’t like the pick. First and foremost, I stand by the theory that if a team is drafting in the top ten, they need to walk away with a playmaker. Even drafting a stud left tackle is debatable at this position. In my mind this has all the makings for a trade back scenario. Second of all, I have my reservations about Taylor. All too often, it appears that Taylor gets out of position with his blocks. At times when he gets out of position, you see can see him get angry and recover with pure aggression and athleticism. I am not convinced that athleticism alone will work at the next level. At the end of the day, I leave myself thinking that if we looked back at this draft five years from now, there is simply no way that we could grade taking a right tackle as anything higher than a B. C+ 8. Detroit Lions –Reshan Gary, DT/DE University of Michigan Montez Sweat lit up the combine world with his freakish measurable, and perhaps, Reshan Gary fell to the wayside despite having solid measureables as well. Gary has that perfect blend of size and speed. I think Matt Patricia ultimately winds up taking Gary because of his position flexibility. I’d imagine that he brings the Patriot way with him to Detroit and emphasizes scheme over player. I do think that you get a more complete player with Gary as he proves to be more than just a pass rusher and is an effective run stopper. I have long felt that production is overrated as an evaluation tool. Josh Allen’s sack total clearly will wow front office personnel; however, many of his peers had a lot of plays that very well could have been sacks. My problem with Gary is that despite his tools, he never felt like a disruptive force. To me, it feels like a dangerous proposition when a coach starts thinking, “When he gets to the NFL and I work with him, it will be different.” I feel like Gary winds up being a good player, but his ability to be a premier player is in doubt. *Update* - It has been reported that Rashan Gary has a torn labrum that he is expected to play through next season. B- 9. Buffalo Bills –Ed Oliver, DT University of Houston The Bills sure have shown a lot of interest in one of the most interesting players in the draft. In my mind, Ed Oliver is the Kyler Murray of the defense. Like Murray, the undersized Oliver was explosive and dynamic at the collegiate level, but much of his success will be contingent on scheme. Many scouts have reported that his playing weight was lower than his combine weight and other scouts see him as a LB at the next level. I do think that his size will be an issue at the next level. With more athletic, technically sound guards in the NFL, it will be a significant change from the AAC competition. Moreover, I think that Buffalo would be a particularly poor fit as the harsh playing conditions could mitigate both his strengths and playing style. Additionally, I think that character concerns are an issue with Oliver. I think Oliver’s best chances for success are in a dome/warm weather team. C+ 10. Denver Broncos –Drew Lock, QB University of Missouri In another instance of smokescreens, John Elway, who through much of the draft process seemed fascinated with Lock, now seems to have soured on Lock. I am not buying this at all. Lock has what Elway looks for in a QB. He is tall, has a strong (sometimes over-exaggerated) arm, and throws an accurate ball. He certainly looks the part. He has a quirky throwing motion that has bothered me throughout the draft process, but it really has not affected his accuracy. Lock tends to get dinged for his lack of production as a collegiate athlete. Lock played against great talent with good talent around him. I view Lock as my second rated passer and consider this to be pretty decent value. What I find most compelling about Lock is that I can’t give you a definitive reason why he will not pan out in the NFL. He has all of the attributes that one could ask for in a QB. He just needs to convert that into production. B 11. Cincinnati Bengals –Devin Bush, LB University of Michigan Devin Bush like Devon White is a LB with corner speed. Usually, these are my kind of players, and Bush, in the right scheme, could be a solid player. Bush does an exceptional job in coverage. At times, he even lined up at corner at Michigan. His lateral quickness allows for him to play both zone and man and be a true sideline-to-sideline player. I really do not feel like Bush is a good fit in Cincinnati. The AFC North still likes to pound the rock, and Bush frequently gets lost in traffic. Once he has a blocker on him, he is usually taken out of the play. My guess is that much of this pick is predicated on the Bengal’s need and Bush’s elite athleticism. What separates Bush from White is that White can play the traditional role of linebacker where Bush is more of a coverage LB. C+ 12. Green Bay Packers –TJ Hockenson, TE University of Iowa Hockenson is one of my favorite players in the draft. He is a true do-it-all tight end. The guy is a fantastic blocker, solid route runner with great hands, and is deceptively fast. I really think that he would be a solid pick for all 32 teams because he can do whatever a coach asks. Green Bay has tried to address the tight end position by acquiring Jimmy Graham and Mercedes Lewis in recent years. Both of those players are aging and Graham is expensive. Hockenson gives Aaron Rogers the stability and reliability he needs at the tight end position for the rest of his career. A+ 13. Miami Dolphins –Montez Sweat, EDGE Mississippi St. New coach Brian Flores is transitioning from a position as a linebackers’coach in New England, and said that he wants scheme flexibility. Sweat can play both end and linebacker because of his freakish athletic qualities. He wowed the coaches at the combine with his workout. He continues the trend of big guys with corner speed. He has a solid frame with long arms that enables him to get involved on tackles and disrupting the passer. Sweat needs to work on converting his speed into power as has difficulties breaking loose from blockers. If Flores can work to improve his strength, there is a legitimate chance that Sweat could be a Julius Peppers type of player. *Update* - Doctors found Sweat had a heart condition at the combine, but cleared him to play. This could affect his draft stock. A 14. Atlanta Falcons –Christian Wilkins, DT Clemson My intel suggests that the Falcons may be looking up to acquire Ed Oliver, and because I do not forecast trades, I will have them settle for Christian Wilkins. Wilkins is an interesting prospect. He is an athletic interior defensive guy who can moonlight as an end if need be. Like a lot of outside guys, Wilkins predicates his game on twitchy athleticism and speed off the line. His position flexibility would certainly be an asset to creative teams. Getting both pass rush and athleticism out of the interior certainly perks my curiosity. The one red flag that stands out with Wilkins is his lack of power. His game is based on getting around guys instead of overpowering them. I am not sure if his finesse style will translate to the NFL with bigger, stronger, more technically sound interior linemen. B- 15. Washington Redskins –DK Metcalf, WR Ole Miss The Redskins are a team in purgatory. Alex Smith’s career could possibly be over, but his salary cap lives on. Many people seem to think that this pick has Daniel Jones all over it. It is entirely possible if the Redskins know that Smith is done. Jay Gruden’s seat is getting warm, and I do not think that Jones would help him right now. Moreover, by the end of next season, there should be more certainty about Smith’s future and a better crop of QBs available. Keenum and McCoy are both capable QBs, and for a year, should be acceptable option. The Redskins think that Metcalf will have the chance to become what Josh Doctson has failed to become. Metcalf is a guy that absolutely looks the part, and has a NFL pedigree. Throughout the process, I kept wondering who exactly he reminds me of. He looks the part of many of the big WRs. At best, I could see him as Julio Jones. The injuries kinda scare me like Sammie Watkins. And the drops kinda make me think Terrell Owens, possibly a Demaryius Thomas. I do think the two season ending injuries are certainly cause for concern, and nobody would object to those concerns. There are some things that I really loved about DK. I loved watching him run a route up until the ball touched his hands. He can run the entire route tree, and he runs it well. He gets high and extends his hands to the ball. But here is the thing that gets me. He inexplicably drops passes. Technically, he does his job. He will have separation, position, and form, but he will still drop passes. Would I be happy if DK was on my team? Yes. Would he be my first option on 3rddown? Nope. B- 16. Carolina Panthers –Clelin Ferrell, EDGE Clemson Riverboat Ron couldn’t be happier to see one of my top players in the draft fall to him at the 16 spot. Ferrell is probably the fastest edge guy off the ball in the draft. He has an imposing stature and looks the part on the field. He has a nose for the ball and has the arm length to get in on a lot of plays. While watching the tape, I thought that he was easily one of the most disruptive players in the draft. Ferrell will get exceptional defensive coaching with Rivera, and with the departure of Julius Peppers, this is a remarkable pick. A+ 17. New York Giants –Jonah Williams, G/T Alabama Poor offensive line play has plagued the Giants in recent years, and in order to get better, they need to vastly improve the line. In a twist of fate, the Giants take Williams despite previously getting burned with a short-armed offensive lineman. I think that the results will be drastically different this time around. Williams is one of my favorite prospects in the draft. I nicknamed him “Happy Feet”while watching his film. It always felt like he was in great position to block his defenders and hand and enough power to hold his defenders in place. His short arm length is a legitimate concern, but his film was so dominate. My thoughts would be to try him at tackle and if it doesn’t work out, kick him in to guard. At the end of the day, I think you will get a solid lineman. The Giants’line has been so bad that they can take the help wherever they can get it. A+ 18. Minnesota Vikings –Cody Ford, G/RT Oklahoma At this point in the draft, you start to see a run on offensive linemen as these tweeeners start to fly off the board. Ford quickly emerged as one of my favorite guys in the draft to watch due to his professionalism. Ford is a guy a coach can trust to do his job and finishes every, single play. He has solid form and technique. Most notably, he has solid footwork, and puts himself in position to make solid blocks. Unpopular opinion –Ford is better right tackle prospect than Taylor. Ford is more refined and relies less on athleticism than Taylor does. There are some scouts that feel that Ford will be a better guard than tackle. That being said, the Vikings, much like the Giants, are in such need at the line position that filling any line position would fulfill a need. A 19. Tennessee Titans –Noah Fant, TE Iowa The Titans continue to want to surround Marcus Mariota with talent. Delanie Walker is both aging and coming off injury making him a prime candidate for replacement. Fant, unlike Hockenson, is more of a pass catching tight end than a complete package. Don’t get me wrong, Fant is solid at what he does, and in today’s NFL there is value in that. He is both smooth and agile, and has a reliable set of hands. He is just okay as a blocker. This pick has more long-term value than short term value. B 20. Pittsburgh Steelers –Rock Ya-Sin, CB Temple If recent history serves as any sort of predictor of the future, I would expect the departures of egos like Bell and Brown will preclude the Steelers from drafting another giant personality. I just couldn’t see the Steelers drafting a guy named Greedy or Hollywood. Instead they opt for the Temple stud, Rock Ya-Sin. Ya-Sin is a bit of a raw prospect, but he has everything a team looks for in a prospect. Ya-Sin was a stud wrestler, and is able to translate those skills to make tackles; however, at times, he can get a little handsy in coverage. He earned one of the highly coveted low numbers at Temple for his strength. He looks longer than his measurements show. I love his agility and able to switch direction. Despite not having ideal straight-line speed, it never seemed to show up on the field. The Steelers seem to fit a never-ending void at corner with a character guy. Unfortunately, because of the problems in the locker room, they choose to pass on a more talented player at the same position. B 21. Seattle Seahawks –Jonathan Abram, S Mississippi St. This is a selection that I would really, really like to see Seattle make. Abram is one of my favorite players in the entire draft. This guy was born to wear a Seahawks’jersey. This guy is just mean. The absolute poundings that he brings from the safety position allows for him to become a tone setter for the entire game. If you think about a guy that a coach would want to build the identity of a defense around, I couldn’t think of a better guy. Abram is a tough, trash talking, and aggressive guy. Interestingly enough, there is a real chance he doesn’t go in the first round. If so, he would be an early target on Friday. A 22. Baltimore Ravens –Hakeem Butler, WR Iowa St. This is the pick that leaves a lot of draft pundits scratching their heads. Hollywood Brown is on the board and rated by most scouts as a much better player than Butler. The Ravens have found themselves in a real pickle at this pick. They need linebackers, but the top backers in this draft have been off the board for a while now. To put it bluntly, the Ravens’receiving corps is terrible. At about this point in the draft, I expect to see a run on receivers, and they might not be able to get one of the top tier guys at this point in the second round. More than just drafting a player, they are drafting an idea. Undoubtedly after watching the Ravens play last year, they realize that Jackson has accuracy problems. Jackson was able to hook up with his tight ends, and the thought of getting him a big target makes a lot of sense. John Harbaugh is smart enough to realize that the current Ravens’offense is a band aide and will only last for so long. I like the idea, but Butler is a reach here. He reminds me of a poor man’s DK Metcalf. He has the size, speed, and the problems with drops. He does have the top end speed of Metcalf, but he is really slow off the line. If I were an opposing coach, I would press him at the line, and make his first steps difficult. When he does catch the ball, like a tight end, he is extremely difficult to bring down. He does bring both big play and red zone potential. C+ 23. Houston Texans –Andre Dillard, T Washington St. It has been borderline criminal to see how little pass protection that they have given Deshaun Watson. They absolutely need to address the offensive line. Matt Khalil signed a one-year deal and is viewed as a temporary solution to a long-term problem. Dillard would probably start out on the right side and move to the left next year. Scouts seem to tout him as the best pass blocker in the draft. Dillard was hard to scout due to Washington State’s scheme. It felt like he was never really one-on-one with a guy. I think that this was a big part of his success. This is neither a plus nor a minus more of an observation. Washington St. really did not try to run all that much, and because of that, his run blocking skills are a bit of an unknown. Jonah Williams has been the victim of criticism for having short arms, and some scouts have placed Dillard above Williams for that reason. It befuddles me because Dillard has shorter arms than Williams. Perhaps it is teams dealing in black magic trying to get Williams to fall into their laps. For all the criticism that I give Dillard, he was highly effective due to his strength and positioning. B 24. Oakland Raiders –Greedy Williams, CB LSU By the end of the offseason, one thing has been abundantly clear. Jon Gruden is not afraid of big personalities and character concerns. There have been rumors that Williams has an off switch. When LSU was out of championship contention, his play dropped off. Scouts wonder if he is the type of player that would give up on a team. Despite this concern, Williams is a top player in my mind. There are few corners as big, fast, and smooth as Williams. He has nice fluid hips, elite speed, and has been productive, albeit, when he wanted to be. If Williams can focus and a have strong attitude, he could be an elite corner at the next level. A+ 25. Philadelphia Eagles –Jeffrey Simmons, DT Mississippi St. Howie Roseman is smart enough to realize that if he plays his cards right, the Eagles could be a dynasty. Jeffrey Simmons is a top 10 player in terms of talent. After a workout injury, Simmons’rookie season will be shelved. Simmons also has character concerns that do not exactly help his cause. That being said, Simmons has solid power, size, and speed from the inside. He is a long rangy player that uses his arms to get involved in plays that other linemen would be unable to do. He is a disruptive force from the center and putting him next to Fletcher Cox would be a force to reckon with. A+ 26. Indianapolis Colts –Marquise“Hollywood”Brown, WR Oklahoma The diminutive Brown is one of the most explosive players in the draft, and after TY Hilton, the Colts have plenty of question marks at receiver. Watching Brown, he reminded me of DeSean Jackson. He may not be a complete receiver, but he can run a deep route better than anyone. With Luck getting increased time in the pocket, this could really be a nice match. I would like to see Brown work to catch more contested passes going forward. B+ 27. Oakland Raiders –Josh Jacobs, RB Alabama Josh Jacobs is being billed as power back, but after watching the film, I feel like that is a bit of an overstatement. John Gruden is looking for a younger, cheaper Marshawn Lynch, but I am not entirely convinced that Jacobs is that guy. Jacobs is the type of back that can get small, make a cut, and scoot. He is decent in the passing game. Honestly, after watching him, I really did not think that he warrants a first round pick. I really can’t think of one attribute that he does exceptionally well. What I did see was traces of Derek Henry’s time in Alabama where his line was so good that Jacobs was going untouched for four yards down the field, and his numbers became vastly overinflated. D 28. LA Chargers –Byron Murphy, CB Washington As far as fit goes, this really is an exceptional fit. Murphy, like Ya-Sin does not have the top end speed. But with him, it is slightly more noticeable. Murphy belongs in a zone system, and that is exactly what the Chargers run. Murphy is good at finding his zone, bursting to the ball/receiver and either making a tackle or disrupting the pass. A lot of scouts seem to really think that he may be the best corner in the draft, but I would shy away from making such a bold claim. He never wowed me on the film. It felt more like a lunch pail guy doing his job. B 29. Seattle Seahawks –Garrett Bradbury, C/G NC St. Lemme tell you about a guy I would love to put at the interior of my offensive line. Bradbury is a mover of men. I could not get over watching how he was able to position his defenders and open up holes at will. He is a cerebral guy who knows his role and responsibility, he is able to move up field and find the next level of defenders and hit and position defenders. I always thought that a solid litmus test was watching him play against Clemson. There was elite competition across the line, and Bradbury was still able to play his game. At this point in the draft, Bradbury is an absolute steal. The Seahawks are thrilled to give Russell Wilson and his big pay day some protection. A+ 30. Green Bay Packers–Brian Burns, EDGE Florida St. For the life of me, I do not understand the fascination with Brian Burns. By all accounts, Burns is rising up draft boards quickly, but I just really had trouble envisioning someone grabbing him. Burns fits into the Sweat/Gary mold in which his measurables are off the charts. But when watching him, I felt like for the most part, I didn’t see his attributes translate to production. What I did see was brief flashes. He is a pure speed guy. If he can’t get by a defender with speed, he can’t get past him. It is as simple as that. To make matters worse, there are better EDGE guys still available. In my opinion, drafting him in the first round is akin to drafting him on potential alone. D+ 31. Los Angeles Rams –Dexter Lawrence, DT Clemson Leave it to Sean McVay to not overcomplicate things. Dexter Lawrence is a behemoth of a human being topping the scales at almost 350 lbs. He is exactly what you’d expect a man of his frame to be. He is hole clogger that can really disrupt the running attack. He is quicker than his 40 time might show due to his long strides. Lawrence’s fall may be due to his PED suspension (which he vehemently denies) or more so do to his lack of versatility. There are other defensive linemen that can do more at the position than he can. I don’t think I have used the word “hogwash”in the last ten years, but today is the day to break it out. It is hogwash to see him slip this far and possibly into the second round. There are so few men in the world built like him, and a ton of coaches would love to have him. He immediately makes any team’s run defense significantly better. Yeah, he will probably come off the field on passing downs, but he is too much of an asset on early downs. I think he deserves to go much earlier, and NFL front offices are overthinking this player. Just imagine sticking him next to Aaron Donald! A+ 32. New England Patriots –AJ Brown, WR Ole Miss The Patriots deviated from the conventional Patriot way last year when they took Sony Michel in the first. With Gronk gone, I think the Patriots are going to have to find a way to keep the offense running. Brown works the middle just like the Patriots like, and he is one of those guys that are more quick than fast. Despite having DK Metcalf, the passing game at Ole Miss ran through Brown. I do think that this is an exceptional fit and the kind of player that the Patriots want. B Big Board 1. Quinnen Williams, DT Alabama 2. Nick Bosa, EDGE The Ohio State University 3. Montez Sweat, EDGE Mississippi St. ✚ 4. Devin White, LB LSU 5. Jeffrey Simmons, DT Mississippi St. ✚ x 6. Clelin Ferrell, EDGE Clemson 7. Greedy Williams, CB LSU x 8. Josh Allen, EDGE Kentucky 9. TJ Hockenson, TE Iowa 10. Jonah Williams, G/T Alabama Top Quarterbacks 1. Daniel Jones, Duke 2. Drew Lock, Missouri 3. Dwayne Haskins, The Ohio State University 4. Kyler Murray, Oklahoma 5. Ryan Finley, NC State 6. Tyree Jackson, Buffalo Order in Which the QBs Will be Drafted 1. Kyler Murray, Oklahoma 2. Dwayne Haskins, The Ohio State University 3. Drew Lock, Missouri 4. Daniel Jones, Duke 5. Ryan Finley, NC State Top 3 Most Overrated Players (True Value in Parenthesis) 1. Kyler Murray, QB Oklahoma (4th) 2. Josh Jacobs, RB Alabama (4rd) 3. Brian Burns, EDGE Florida St. (3rd) x - Character concern ✚ - injury concern 10 years from now, we will say the best player in the draft in the draft was Quinnen Williams, DT Alabama. 10 years from now, we will say the biggest first round bust was Kyler Murray, QB Oklahoma. The annual hidden gem of the draft is Benny Snell Jr., RB Kentucky. Odds and Ends First thing is first, if you have been with me for years, you have to be asking yourself, “Has old age made you soft? The grades look surprisingly good this year.” Fear not, I am still both old and angry, but I really like this draft class. Even the guys that are reaches have some redeeming qualities that could have the pan out. Piggybacking off my previous thought, I think it is time to discuss the general strategy for the draft. First and foremost, I would implore teams to stick to the trenches and avoid skill positions. The defensive line and edge guys are really strong and really deep this year. If you see a team take an edge or defensive tackle seemingly too early, I would not be alarmed nor would I call it a reach. Think of these guys like flavors of ice cream. Some teams may favor speed guys, others may favor power guys, and others look for complete guys while others look simply for pass rushers. My point is that you really have to take into consideration what a team wants to add and what their role within the team is. If the player fits the role, it is a good pick, if not, it is a bad pick. If they are looking to draft on the offensive line, I would urge them to be flexible and understand that some of these tweener tackles may end up as guards. That being said, I think they will be solid. I don’t think that this is the year to need a quarterback. For the most part, these quarterbacks are good prospects, but they are not great prospects. I do think that these guys have the tools needed to be successful, but I am not sure about how many of them would be first round picks if they came out next year. Finally, the running back and wide receiver market may have some solid players, but I do not see a Randy Moss or a Todd Gurley in this year’s draft. I know that trades are an exciting part of the draft, but I would advise teams to really stand pat. Except for the top 10 or so guys, the difference in talent is negligible. I think a team would be better off having those extra picks. I especially wouldn’t trade up for a quarterback. The difference between my number one quarterback and my number five is not that much. Okay, the next thing on the docket worth a discussion is my stark hypocrisy. “How are you gonna call Kyler Murray the biggest bust and then grade him a B?” Here is the thing. I believe that the Cardinals made an organizational decision that they believe in Kliff Kingsbury and his system. I also believe that if you asked Kingsbury who would be the ideal guys to run his system, Murray would be high on that list. I do not believe in doing anything 50% or 75%. I would be all-in on building him the absolute best version of his system possible. I don’t know if it will work, but I would try to properly build out his system. And even in this best-case scenario, Murray does not fix all of Arizona’s problems. Honestly, this whole thing would be much easier if he went to the Raiders, and I could grade the pick an F and move on with my life. I am not a guy that will overly read into one interview or sound bite, but I really do question his devotion to football. After watching his interview with Colin Cowherd, I seriously doubt he is 100% committed to football and I would not feel comfortable taking him in the first round. Piggybacking off of the piggy’s back, the biggest story of this draft is overcoming size. Oliver and Murray will both look to prove the critics wrong as they fall far below the ideal sizes for their position. I have doubts about just how successful either will be. Daniel Jones is what’s wrong with Twitter scouts. They have probably never watched a Duke game in their lives, but will tell you that he is awful and does not belong in the first round. I am telling you, he is the best quarterback in the draft. He is a big guy, with a high release, and throws a very accurate pass. I do not think his arm is as bad as scouts claim, and I would call it good. The guy is exceptionally smart, and was accepted into Princeton, so his ability to learn is off the charts. When watching him play, it is obvious that the talent around him was abysmal. His receivers caught extremely catchable passes that in many times would vastly boost his production. Deep touchdown passes would just be dropped. His line failed him on the regular, and he would still throw very accurate passes. Before criticizing his possible first round, and maybe even top ten pick (Giants), just watch the guy play. This is my mock draft, and I suppose I can talk about whatever I want. And it just so happens there are two guys that I want to talk about: Ryan Finley, QB NC State This guy has solid arm strength and exceptional ball placement. More than any other quarterback prospect, I saw Finley throw the ball through NFL windows. He is a smart guy that scored the highest Wonderlic score. Here is the thing though. The guy would have epic mental collapses. He would be having a great game where everything was going perfectly for him, and then throw some of the worst interceptions I have ever seen. I feel like he is somewhere between a young Tony Romo and a Jay Cutler, but if he cuts down the mental mistakes, he really could become a starter in the league. Tyree Jackson, QB Buffalo I hate QB projects. They almost never pan out. That being said, Jackson should be somebody’s project. He is a big guy and kind of reminds me of Brock Osweiler. Now I know you are thinking it is a sad state of affairs when you are trying to find the next Brock Osweiler, but do not forget that he was a second round pick for a reason. Like Osweiler, Jackson has a cannon for an arm. I haven’t seen a guy throw a ball 50 yards with such release since Michael Vick. Like Osweiler, Jackson has accuracy issues as he sprays the ball all over the place (Fear not, he does throw a great slant.). This may be related to his elongated release. I guess when you are 6’7’’everything is elongated. Who knows? Maybe that is why we have never really had an exceptionally tall QB have sustained success in the league. But my thoughts are that he probably did not get the best coaching and development in Buffalo, and a real expert could possiblyfix his accuracy. I do not think that he is even ready to be a second string quarterback, and a team would have to find a roster spot for him. I think it would behoove a team with an aging veteran to bring him in and to see what they could do with him.