Alex McRae’s 2019 NFL Mock Draft 1.0: Predictions for rounds 1-2

1. Arizona Cardinals: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State

The Cardinals have bigger needs than defensive end, but Bosa has the chance to be a truly dominant player in the league from day one. He should be a game changer from the moment he steps on the field, terrorizing every offensive lineman and quarterback he faces. Don’t let the fact he sat out the remainder of Ohio State’s season following an injury in the TCU game fool you, Bosa is the real deal.

2. San Francisco 49ers: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky

The 49ers pick arguably the best defensive player from any Power Five team. Allen is the model of productivity as a pass rusher and has the size and speed to be elite at the next level. A first-team All-American, Allen racked up a staggering 17 sacks and paired it with an equally impressive 21.5 tackles for loss.

3. New York Jets: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

Jets could go defensive line here, but I think the bigger need is offensive tackle. Jets ranked No. 25* in the NFL last season and protecting Darnold needs to be a priority. Williams could just be the next in the long line of dominant Alabama linemen, a first-team All-American, he started all three years at Alabama and didn’t fail to impress at any point.  (* indicated PFF grade)

4. Oakland Raiders: Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida

Oakland struggled mightily after trading Khalil Mack and they get the solution to their problem at four with Jachai Polite. Prototypical size with exceptional speed and strength, Polite was a cornerstone on an elite Florida defense and should step right in and be productive from day one.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

Tampa Bay gets a steal at five with Quinnen Williams. There may be bigger needs for the Bucs at this spot but Williams is too good to pass on. With Gerald McCoy aging, Williams looks to put his name alongside Warren Sapp as the next great Bucs defensive tackle.

6. New York Giants: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

The Giants finally draft for the future with Haskins at six. Haskins is young and raw but with a year behind Eli and I believe he could have almost a Pat Mahomes level of impact for the Giants. The three-headed monster of Barkley, OBJ and Haskins would be one of the most terrifying offenses in the league. His production at OSU is quite literally unmatched by any other quarterback in its history, and although he only started one season, he looks to be a future star in the NFL.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

The Jags quarterback struggles have been at the forefront of every NFL conversation for years now. So, they get college football star and Heisman winner Kyler Murray. I personally don’t think Murray is going to be an elite NFL quarterback for very long, but the Jags are one year removed from an AFC title game appearance and Murray could provide the spark this team needs for the rest of its run.  

8. Detroit Lions: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

The Lions could go with any position on defense here and it would be a good pick. Greedy Williams is the prototypical NFL cornerback and being partnered along an All-Pro cornerback like Darius Slay could turn him into an elite NFL corner by the end of his second season. His 6-2 185 pound frame partnered with his 71 career tackles and eight career interceptions in just two years at LSU have the makings of a Patrick Peterson-like player

9. Buffalo Bills: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

The Bills are losing Kyle Williams to retirement, he was a mainstay on one of the most underrated defensive lines of the last six or seven years. The Bills draft his replacement with a defensive tackle equally as dominant and disruptive in Ed Oliver, who would have been higher on most boards if he hadn’t gotten hurt this season, and then, like Bosa, sat out the rest of the season.  

10. Denver Broncos: Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss

Denver may still not have a quarterback, but they now have the perfect personal bodyguard for whoever quarterback that may end up being. Little is a phenomenal talent, being a first-team all SEC selection at left tackle, he fits the mold of Joe Thomas and Tyron Smith. The Broncos pick up a guy that could be an elite offensive tackle in this league for a very long time.

11. Cincinnati Bengals: Devin White, LB, LSU

The Bengals start off the post-Marvin Lewis era with a bang, selecting Devin White from LSU. White is an amazing athlete with a nose for the football, the guy can cover just about everyone and will pop a running back in the hole. He’s the perfect guy to be a leader on a pretty solid Cincinnati defensive unit.

12. Green Bay Packers: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State

With the relatively silent decline of Clay Matthews, the Packers select Montez Sweat from Mississippi State. Sweat is a dominant edge runner that can also pick up some tackles for loss while defending the run as well. In a conference with quarterbacks like Cousins, Stafford and Trubisky, getting to the quarterback is vital and the Packers greatly improve with Sweat.

13. Miami Dolphins: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

A team that could probably use a quarterback in the Dolphins doesn’t see anybody they’re really dying to take at 13, so they pick who I think could be the best wide receiver in the draft in N’Keal Harry. Harry dealt with average at best quarterback play during his entire career at ASU, although it may continue for a time in Miami, he has the potential to be a true game-changer for a team that is in dire need of one.

14. Atlanta Falcons: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

The Falcons had a dismal 2018, riddled with injuries and misfortune. The first step in the right direction for 2019 happens right here with the selection of Wilkins from Clemson, the first of three first-round talents from Clemson who is a dominant defensive tackle. When sandwiched in between Vic Beasley and Tak McKinley, he shouldn’t miss a beat at the next level.

15. Washington Redskins: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

Washington doesn’t know what the future holds with Alex Smith following his devastating leg injury this past season, thus they draft Drew Lock. He’s a guy I believe could be the best quarterback in the class, as Lock has a phenomenal deep ball to pair with wideouts like Paul Richardson and Josh Doctson as well as tight end Jordan Reed. He could easily play at a high level right away.

16. Carolina Panthers: Dre’Mont Jones, DE/DT, Ohio State

The Panthers fell apart midway through the season last year and I think the defensive line play had a lot to do with it. They couldn’t defend the run like they needed too (Kuechly can’t do it all), so here they go with the guy who really came into his own once Bosa sat out, in Dre’Mont Jones. Jones has the ability to play all defensive line positions in the 4-3 and should be a starter and significant contributor right away.

17. Cleveland Browns: Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma

Cleveland took a massive step in the right direction this year. Baker Mayfield could be the quarterback the city of Cleveland has been praying for since Bernie Kosar, thus it’s important to protect that investment. Which is what the Browns do with offensive tackle Cody Ford. Paired back up with his college teammate from Oklahoma, Ford should find a spot to fill on the Cleveland offensive line even if it isn’t offensive tackle.

18. Minnesota Vikings: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State

Following a disappointing 2018, the Vikings look to regroup and reload. Simmons is the perfect way to do so. A dominant defensive at Mississippi State will fit right in on a defensive line that is already loaded with talent. He may be in a rotation for a short while until he can get up to the level of the other guys on that front, but he will be a solid defensive tackle for years to come.

19. Tennessee Titans: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

The Titans don’t have a ton of weapons on offense and that showed this last season. Enter Noah Fant, an exceptional athlete at the tight end position, Fant can catch and run like a wide receiver and he’s not afraid to throw a block either. A very polished player, one of the better tight end prospects I’ve seen in a while. He should be Mariota’s best friend for years to come.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson  

The Steelers are yet another team that was good enough to compete in the playoffs, yet fell just short thanks to a JuJu Smith-Schuster fumble in New Orleans. That said, offense is not the problem in Pittsburgh. Extremely productive during his time at Clemson with 50.5 career tackles for loss and 27 career sacks, when paired with TJ Watt he should make an impact on day one.

21. Seattle Seahawks: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

The Legion of Boom has been, to be generous, painfully average over the last few seasons. That’s why the Seahawks invest in Washington corner Byron Murphy. Where he lacks in experience, he makes up for in production, having 74 tackles and six interceptions in just 20 career games. There isn’t a better place for a young corner like Murphy than Seattle.

22. Baltimore Ravens: AJ Brown, WR, Ole Miss

Other than Torrey Smith, Steve Smith and Anquan Boldin, can anyone name a productive wide receiver for the Ravens since 2010? No? Okay, enter Ole Miss standout AJ Brown. Back-to-back seasons of over 1200 yards with 17 touchdowns over that span, he will be the perfect complement to Lamar Jackson’s running ability.

23. Houston Texans: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

The Texans have one of the most exciting young quarterbacks in the NFL right now in Deshaun Watson, the problem is, he gets hit too much. The solution? Jawaan Taylor, offensive tackle from Florida. An absolute unit, at 6-5 and 328 pounds, Taylor is your prototypical NFL left tackle, and Houston has been looking for that guy since they traded Duane Brown to the Seahawks in 2017.

24. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago from Khalil Mack trade): Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

Oakland stays on the defensive side with their second pick in the first round and they get a stud in Deandre Baker. Arguably the most NFL-ready corner in the draft, as he won the Jim Thrope Award. He goes to a team that desperately needs help, pretty much everywhere. Jon Gruden is going to try to build a legit defense and it could be led, in part, by Baker.  

25. Philadelphia Eagles: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

The Eagles are looking to maintain their playoff ways in 2019 and that will include getting younger and faster in the defensive secondary. That’s where Deionte Thompson comes into play. Both Malcolm Jenkins and Corey Graham are on the wrong side of 30, and the Eagles look to grab yet another first-round safety talent from Alabama in Thompson.

26. Indianapolis Colts: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson  

The Colts surprised most of the NFL in 2018 by making the playoffs and beating the Texans. Looking to build towards an even better 2019, they select Dexter Lawrence, defensive tackle from Clemson. Lawrence was suspended from the College Football Playoff for testing positive for a banned substance, so teams will surely be watching closely come combine time. That said, he is a boulder to move in the middle and at 26 the Colts could have found a run-stuffing gem in Lawrence.

27. Oakland Raiders (via Dallas from Amari Cooper trade): Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

The third and final selection in the first round by the Raiders is Marquise “Hollywood Brown.”His larger-than-life persona may turn some teams off but Gruden knows a playmaker when he sees one and Brown is certainly that. Explosive speed and big-play ability will immediately make him a favorite target of Derek Carr.

28. Los Angeles Chargers: Taylor Rapp, S, Washington

Since Eric Weddle left, there has been a glaring hole in the Chargers secondary. They address that here with Taylor Rapp, who has shown  the ability to make plays all over the field, either by being a ball hawk in coverage or a savvy run stopper in the backfield. Paired with Derwin James, the Chargers could have an elite pair of safeties.

29. Green Bay Packers (via New Orleans for 2018 first round pick (Marcus Davenport)): Devin Bush, LB, Michigan

For the second time in the first round the Packers go defense with Devin Bush LB from Michigan. Many will look at his tape in his last game against Ohio State and drop him down their boards, but I for one believe everyone can be allotted one bad game before dropping him too far. During his time at Michigan he proved to have a great nose for the ball and taking great angles towards the ball. He should be a great addition in the middle of the Packers front seven.

30. Kansas City Chiefs: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan

If the AFC Championship Game said anything about the Chiefs, it’s that their defense needs a playmaker. Tom Brady methodically led the Patriots down the field twice, once to start the game, and once in overtime to end it that exposed this Chiefs defense. They need more pressure from the defensive end spot, that’s were Rashan Gary fits in. A disappointing 2018 at Michigan led to a potential star falling to the No. 30 spot in the draft. If he able to stay healthy, he should be a legit starter for the Chiefs.

31. Los Angeles Rams: Mack Wilson, ILB, Alabama

Next in the long line of first round inside linebacker from Alabama is Mack Wilson. A former five-star recruit was the leader of a vaunted Alabama defense and is a perfect fit for the Rams. At 6-0 and 230 he may be undersized, but he fits the mold of the other Rams linebackers and should be able to cover running backs like Alvin Kamara, who gave the Rams fits in the NFC Championship Game.

32. New England Patriots: Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State

Finishing off the first round of the 2019 NFL draft is wide receiver Kelvin Harmon from NC State. New England’s wide receiver struggles have been well-documented over the last few seasons, and with Gronk and Edelman not getting any younger or less injury prone,they select a guy that has had back-to-back 1000-yard seasons and could end up being a legitimate No. 1 option for Tom Brady and whoever will inevitably inherit the GOAT’s throne.

Round Two

33. Arizona Cardinals: Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State

Larry can’t play forever right? Highly productive and standing at a mountainous 6-6, Butler looks to fit into the Cardinals long-term plans, especially in Kliff Kingsbury’s offense.

34. Indianapolis Colts: Zach Allen, DE, Boston College

The Colts pick up tackles for loss machine Zach Allen as he, Dexter Lawrence and standout rookie Darius Leonard look to build a dominate defense in Indy for the first time in my lifetime (20 years).

35. Oakland Raiders: David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State

“ Beast mode” and Doug Martin didn’t get it done in Oakland this year, so the Raiders pick David Montgomery, who had back to back 1100+ seasons with 24 touchdowns over that time for the Cyclones.  

36. San Francisco 49ers: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

Metcalf was off to a great start this year before a neck injury ended his season. He’s not the most experienced player, having only played in 21 games under his belt, but at 6-4 and 225 pounds with a career yards per reception at 18.3, he’s the perfect big-play threat for Jimmy Garoppolo.

37. New York Giants: Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State

The grass is green, the sky is blue, the Giants’ offensive line sucks. Risner is a bit on the old side at 24, and projects to be guard in the NFL instead of the tackle he played at KSU, but he’s proven to be one of the better offensive linemen in college football for years now.  

38. Jacksonville Jaguars: Darryl Williams, OG, Mississippi State

The Jags draft protection for Murray as well as a hole-opener for Fournette. Williams projects to be one of the top guards in the class.

39. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Joe Jackson, DE, Miami

Very productive and a favorite of new Miami head coach Manny Diaz. He started all three years at “The U” while accumulating 35.5 tackles for loss and 22.5 sacks over that time. The Bucs take a local prospect that can provide much-needed pass rush.

40. Buffalo Bills: Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina

The Bills need weapons to help out Josh Allen and they find the perfect slot receiver to compliment Allen’s play style in Samuel. Samuel has some injury concerns, but a healthy senior year showed he can be a legit NFL receiver.

41. Cincinnati Bengals: TJ Hockenson, TE, Iowa

It’s time to move on from injury-prone Tyler Eifert and the Bengals find a more than worthy replacement in Hockenson. Considering he out-produced Noah Fant this season on the same team should say something.  

42. Denver Broncos: Will Grier, QB, West Virginia

Denver finds a quarterback they like at 42 with Grier. Will he be long term? Will he beat out Keenum? All I can say is John Elway will make sure he gets his shot.

43. Detroit Lions: Jaylon Ferguson, DE, LA Tech

The Lions will likely let Ziggy Ansah walk in free agency, or at very least sign him to a short-term, relatively cheap deal, so they draft the hyper-productive sack man out of LA Tech Jaylon Ferguson. The NCAA all-time sack leader will hopefully help shore up a decent Lions defense.

44. Green Bay Packers: Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware

After losing Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at the trade deadline, the Packers go defense for a third time with Adderley. A very physical safety as he can hit like a linebacker and stands out as an athlete at the FCS level.

45. Atlanta Falcons: Beau Benzschawel, OG, Wisconsin

With Matt Ryan getting older and Devonta Freeman returning from injury, the Falcons draft one of the many monsters Wisconsin had on the offensive line this past season with Benzschawel. One of the strongest prospects in the draft, Beau is able to blow open holes big enough for a truck to drive through. The only question is his pass protection, as he comes from a very run heavy offense in Wisconsin

46. Washington Redskins: Connor McGovern, OG, Penn State

Washington will look to add protection for new first round pick Drew Lock, and there won’t be many better than McGovern. He opened numerous holes for Saquon Barkley and Miles Sanders as well as provided excellent protection for McSorley. McGovern should fit right into the starting rotation for Washington.

47. Carolina Panthers: Isaiah Prince, OG, Ohio State

A high-risk, high-reward prospect, Prince was a starter for three seasons at Ohio State and showed flashes of greatness at times. That’s to say that he also looked fairly bad at times as well. He goes here because of his athletic ability and potential as Carolina looks to limit the injury risk to Cam Newton and Christian McCaffrey. He played tackle in college, but will likely move inside in the NFL.

48. Miami Dolphins: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

The Dolphins get the quarterback they liked all along. They didn’t think he was worth the No. 13 overall pick, so they take their chances and see if he would fall. He shows great potential and is able to move around in the pocket but he needs to be more accurate.

49. Cleveland Browns: Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson

The star corner of the Clemson defense, Mullen has shown the ability to make plays in the backfield and has prototypical NFL  size. When partnered with the phenomenal defensive line that is in Cleveland, Mullen will feel right at home after playing behind Wilkins, Ferrell and Lawrence.

50. Minnesota Vikings: Tre’Von Coney, OLB/EDGE, Notre Dame

Super productive linebacker for the Irish with 239 tackles, 21 tackles for loss and seven sacks over his final two seasons in the golden dome, he could serve as the perfect replacement for potential free agent Anthony Barr.  

51. Tennessee Titans: JJ Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford

Prototypical NFL size at wide receiver, Whiteside was a touchdown machine at Stanford and has the ability to open up the field, as he averaged 16.4 yards per reception during his college career.

52. Pittsburgh Steelers: Tre Lamar, ILB, Clemson

If you were to create the ideal inside linebacker in a lab, the result would be Tre Lamar from Clemson. At 6-4 and 250, he has the potential to be the next great linebacker of the steel curtain.  

53. Philadelphia Eagles: Damien Harris, RB, Alabama

The Eagles haven’t had a feature running back since Chip Kelly traded LeSean McCoy, thus they draft one here with Damien Harris. He split time his entire career at Alabama, so he has relatively low wear and tear while still being to average 6.4 yards per carry and accumulating 23 touchdowns over his four seasons with the Tide.

54. Houston Texans: Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia

With the rumors of the Honey Badger (Tyrann Mathieu) leaving Houston in 2019, the Texans select a ball hawking, tackling machine in Juan Thornhill. In his final two seasons with the Cavaliers, Thornhill accumulated 161 tackles as well as 10 interceptions.  

55. Houston Texans: Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame

Both Kareem Jackson and Johnathan Joseph are on the wrong side of thirty, which is why the Texans get Julian Love here. He started all three years he was at Notre Dame, a 2018 All-American with 39 career passes defensed, he should fit right into the Texans starting lineup.

56. New England Patriots: Oshane Ximines, EDGE, Old Dominion

Is it really the NFL draft without the Patriots getting a small school steal? Ximines is old for a rookie, having played as a freshman way back in 2014. That said he has been the model of production, accumulating 51 career tackles for loss. With the possible departure of Trey Flowers, he could be a day one starter for the Pats.

57. Philadelphia Eagles: Kris Boyd, CB, Texas

The Eagles go with a defensive back for the second time with Boyd from Texas. A three-year starter, he consistently covered and often shut down the opposing team’s best wide receiver. He showed an ability to be a factor in the running game as well, having 4.5 tackles for loss as a senior.

58. Dallas Cowboys: Zach Gentry, TE, Michigan

Dallas’s first selection is a guy they hope can be better than his college numbers. Recruited as a quarterback, Gentry is built like Zion Williamson at 6-8 and 262 pounds while also showing consistent improvement blocking. He was a bit of a deep threat tight end as well, averaging 16.7 yards per reception in two years at Michigan.

59. Indianapolis Colts: Andy Isabella, WR, UMass

The Colts take a page out of the Patriots’ book and select the most productive Group of Five player of this past season in Andy Isabella. He put up jaw-dropping numbers last season at UMass with almost 1700 yards and 13 receiving touchdowns. If you’re questioning his ability to play against better competition, just pop in the Georgia game tape, when he caught 15 balls for 219 yards and two touchdowns. He is a legitimate compliment to TY Hilton.

60. Los Angeles Chargers: Corbin Kaufusi, DT/DE, BYU

If bigfoot is real he probably looks something like Corbin Kaufusi. Standing at 6-9 and weighing 275 pounds, he is a terror on the defensive line. He might not have the speed to be a defensive end at the next level, but can eat up blockers and be a major factor in the run game, as well as put pressure on the quarterback.

61. New Orleans Saints: Emanuel Hall, WR, Missouri

Injuries have been a bit of an issue for Hall, but he is the definition of a big-play receiver, averaging over 22 yards per reception his last two seasons at Mizzou. Drew Brees will love a guy that can create explosive plays as well as free up more space for Michael Thomas.

62. Kansas City Chiefs: Justin Layne, CB, Michigan State

One of the longest program draft streaks continues here with Justin Layne from Michigan State. Very productive with prototypical size, Layne could jump right in and start on day one for the Chiefs. He was the lockdown corner for the third ranked MSU defense in terms of defensive efficiency, racking up 72 tackles and defending 15 passes. He was recruited as a wide receiver and therefore shows great ball skills as well.

63. Kansas City Chiefs: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

The second Alabama running back off the board comes here in Jacobs. He’s a guy that lacks a bit production wise, but that’s because he split time with three other NFL talents at running back. He can catch the ball out of the backfield well, as well as put his head down and initiate contact. He could be a legitimate replacement for Kareem Hunt,who is the exact same size at 5-10 and 216.

64. New England Patriots: Khalil Hodge, ILB, Buffalo

For the second time in this round alone, the Pats find a Group of Five gem in Khalil Hodge. Although not at as good as the last linebacker named Khalil from Buffalo, he’s pretty good in his own right. As a three-year starter for the bulls, he racked up a whopping 419 tackles at the inside linebacker spot. Although a bit undersized at 6-1 and 235, he has an unteachable nose for the ball and should push for playing time very early.