2019 NFL Mock Draft: Patriots take TE to groom behind Rob Gronkowski, Redskins pick Dwayne Haskins
Another season laboring through injuries for the immensely talented Rob Gronkowski, and at 29, he seems to be drifting toward the time when Bill Belichick shows no mercy toward his star players not named Tom Brady.
Gronk will likely be back in New England in 2019, but don’t be shocked if Belichick uses an early-round pick on a tight end in the draft.
The draft order is based on SportsLine’s current win projections.
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1. Oakland Raiders
Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State. While I’m not totally positive if Derek Carr will be Oakland’s starter next season, Carr and the Raiders offense have played better of late. There isn’t a signal-caller worth taking here, anyway. And the defensive-end spot is the most glaring need for Oakland on defense.
2. San Francisco 49ers
Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson. The 49ers need edge help, even with three former first-round picks on their defensive line. Ferrell isn’t as finished of a product as Bosa but is tall, long, and undoubtedly athletic. He’s a three-down end as a rookie and would improve greatly if he learns more pass-rushing moves.
3. Arizona Cardinals
N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State. The Cardinals drafted Christian Kirk, an Arizona native, in the second round of the 2018 Draft, and they stay local again with Harry, who went to Chandler High School, a 40-minute drive from University of Phoenix Stadium. He’s a 6-foot-4, 215-ish pounder with intense ball skills and deceptive athleticism and long speed.
4. New York Jets
A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss. This is a deep receiver class, but the Cardinals and Jets really need receivers to help their young signal-callers. Brown is more of a slot wideout than Harry, and that’s fine. He’s outstanding after the catch and has an NFL body.
5. Buffalo Bills
Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama. The Bills need to build a sturdy offensive line around Josh Allen, especially considering his field-stretching arm and the vast vertical elements in Buffalo’s offensive scheme. Williams is the best blocker in the draft and began his career at Alabama on the right side. He starts at right tackle for Buffalo as a rookie.
6. Jacksonville Jaguars
Drew Lock, QB, Missouri. The Jaguars have to find a new franchise signal-caller, and in this scenario they fall in love with the arm strength and SEC experience of Lock.
7. New York Giants
Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson. If there’s one GM picking in the top 10 who might fall head over heels in love with Lawrence it’s Dave Gettleman of the Giants. Lawrence can play the nose and get after the quarterback thanks to an impressive first step despite his size and developed hand-use weaponry.
Greedy Williams, CB, LSU. Time for the Browns to get Denzel Ward a cornerback partner. Williams is a long, fluid outside corner who’d complement Ward well.
9. Detroit Lions
Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky. Lions head coach Matt Patricia knows the impact a versatile edge-defender can have on a defense based on his time with Rob Ninkovich in New England. Allen can play a similar role to Ninkovich during his prime with the Patriots, but the Kentucky star is more athletic.
10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia. The Buccaneers might be reluctant to take a smaller corner after the nightmare of an early portion of an NFL career for Vernon Hargreaves. But Baker is a much more physical outside defender.
11. Atlanta Falcons
Ed Oliver, DT, Houston. Somewhat of fall for Oliver, and the Falcons are ecstatic to pick him here to pair next to the similarly “undersized” but explosive Grady Jarrett.
12. Green Bay Packers
Zach Allen, EDGE, Boston College. With Allen, the Packers can play him at end in running situations then slip him outside to rush from a two-point stance on second and third downs. His power and weight allow him to set a strong edge, and he showed off high-quality pass-rushing moves — like a devastating swim — in 2018.
13. Cincinnati Bengals
Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State. Yes, quarterback will be on the radar for Cincinnati this season. So will offensive line … particularly the right tackle spot. Risner is best right tackle in this class and has locked down the right side for Kansas State for three full seasons with a consistent blend of quick feet, anchoring power, and balance.
14. Carolina Panthers
Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama. At this point, we don’t even know if Williams will declare for the 2019 NFL Draft, and as spectacular as he’s been this season, he does have only one year of serious production. Still, going in the top 15 would be quite an accomplishment for someone who was a limited role player in 2017. The Panthers grab him to groom alongside Kawann Short.
15. Washington Redskins
Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State. Given the seriousness of Alex Smith’s injury, the Redskins have no choice but to pick a quarterback early in the 2019 Draft. Haskins flashed major franchise quarterback skills in his first year as a starter but needs to get more calm against pressure.
16. Philadelphia Eagles
Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss. Little doesn’t come without some technical flaws, like a subtle tendency to stop moving his feet or bend at the waist, but he’s a long, super-athletic tackle who can be the heir apparent to Jason Peters at left tackle if Lane Johnson doesn’t move over to that spot in 2019.
17. Miami Dolphins
Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State. The Dolphins need receiver reinforcement, especially if the team decides to release DeVante Parker before his $9-plus million fifth-year option salary in 2019 kicks in. Even if he stays, it’d be smart of Miami to get another young pass-catcher for Ryan Tannehill.
18. Indianapolis Colts
Byron Murphy, CB, Washington. When it comes to twitchiness and play-recognition, Murphy is the most impressive corner in college football. He can lock down the slot or play on the outside against smaller receivers.
19. Minnesota Vikings
Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida. Currently cruising under the radar, Taylor is a 6-5, 328-pound power tackle who glides on the edge thanks to awesomely light feet. He’d be the perfect bulldozer on the right side in Minnesota.
20. Tennessee Titans
Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida. With Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan set to hit free agency in March, the Titans need to fortify the edge-rusher position. If they pick Polite, they’d have two young, bendy, speed-rushers on the outside with him and 2018 second-rounder Harold Landry.
21. Denver Broncos
Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama. The Broncos still have one of the best defenses in the NFL, but it’s a group that could use some youth in the secondary. Thompson is a versatile safety prospect with the length and speed to range all over the field.
22. Pittsburgh Steelers
Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State. The Steelers must address the defensive backfield, and Oruwariye would be a welcomed addition to a group that’s struggled in key games recently. He’s a very experienced outside corner with explosive movement skills.
23. Baltimore Ravens
D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss. A bit of a fall for Metcalf, precipitated by his neck injury and his relative inexperience. With him on the roster, Lamar Jackson gets a huge, downfield threat out wide.
24. Oakland Raiders from Cowboys
Devin White, LB, LSU. Same pick as last week. Too perfect to change right now. White can play out of control at times, but his reckless abandon also leads to him making a variety of splash plays. The Raiders need more speed at linebacker, and they’d certainly get that with the LSU standout.
25. Seattle Seahawks
Taylor Rapp, S, Washington. While Rapp won’t be expected to totally replace the impact of Earl Thomas in this scenario, he’s a multi-dimensional safety with springy athleticism and no fear when flying downhill.
26. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago)
Damien Harris, RB, Alabama. We should get some type of curveball from Jon Gruden in the draft right? How about a running back in Round 1? Harris is a boulder of a back with fluid hips and the ability to cut efficiently to find creases through the second level.
27. Houston Texans
Michael Jackson, CB, Miami. A big, physical cornerback, Jackson could play the outside in the NFL as a rookie, and the Texans absolutely need to get younger in their secondary.
28. Los Angeles Chargers
Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State. With Simmons in the middle, the Chargers would have a frightening pass-rushing trio on their defensive line.
29. New England Patriots
Noah Fant, TE, Iowa. Belichick grabs a talented pass-catching tight end who played for his buddy, Kirk Ferentz. Fant will complement Rob Gronkowski well down the seam.
30. Green Bay Packers from Saints
Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama. Jake Ryan is set to hit free agency, and Wilson has experience manning the middle of a defense with a 3-4 philosophy. He’s not simply a downhill thumper either.
31. Kansas City Chiefs
Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame. The easiest way for the Chiefs to improve their defense is to add more pass-rushers up front. Tillery and Chris Jones would be a scary tandem that can play anywhere and be productive on the defensive line.
32. Los Angeles Rams
Terronne Prescod, OG, NC State. Rodger Saffold has matured into one of the best guards in the NFL, but he’s 31 and set to hit free agency. Prescod is a compact, power guard with quick feet who’d be a wonderful fit in the Rams’ stretch run game.