With both the college and NFL seasons over, it’s time to turn our attention to the NFL Draft, which takes place April 25-27 in Nashville. The University of Michigan has a number of prospects that are hoping to hear their name called at some point in the draft.
This mock draft will project the entire first round, as well as project where each Michigan player will be drafted. With the combine and the opening week of free agency in the books, we take a look at how things could shake out.
Vailliencourt’s 2019 NFL Mock Draft 2.0
1. Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
All the talk recently is that the Cardinals favor Murray over Josh Rosen, who could be traded before the draft to a QB needy team. Murray gives the team a dual-threat play-maker that can excel in the team’s new system.
Previous pick: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
2. San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
This is a perfect scenario for the 49ers, who need an edge rusher and will happily take Bosa.
Previous pick: Bosa
3. New York Jets: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
After adding Le’veon Bell and CJ Mosley, the Jets are in win now mode and add Williams to boost the defensive line.
Previous pick: Josh Allen, Edge, Kentucky
4. Oakland Raiders: Josh Allen, Edge, Kentucky
The Raiders have plenty of options with three first-round picks, but Allen makes too much sense to skip over.
Previous pick: Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Devin White, LB, LSU
The Bucs lost Kwon Alexander to free agency, but they replace with with White.
Previous pick: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
6. New York Giants: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
This is a dream scenario for the Giants. They don’t need to trade up, but still get the top quarterback on the board. They don’t seem to know what they want to do as an organization, trading away Odell Beckham Jr. right after resigning him for a decent but not overly impressive haul. After signing Golden Tate, they need someone that can take over for an aging and ineffective Eli Manning.
Previous pick: Haskins
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
The Jags seem to have found their man with Nick Foles, so quarterback doesn’t seem like an option here. Williams can protect him and beef up a mediocre line. Grabbing a defensive lineman or tight end is tempting, but it’s a little early to take a tight end and they still have good depth at end.
Previous pick: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
8. Detroit Lions: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
I agonized over this pick for a long time, going back and forth between Oliver and Montez Sweat. However, Oliver fits the Lions better from a positional standpoint. He can slide in next to Snacks Harrison at defensive tackle, with Trey Flowers, Romeo Okwara and Da’Shawn Hand at defensive end. There are questions about his size, but Oliver is a terrific prospect with all-pro potential. He’d give the Lions a very solid top six defensive linemen.
Previous pick: Oliver
9. Buffalo Bills: Jawann Taylor, OT, Florida
With Williams off the board this time around, the Bills settle for Taylor.
Previous pick: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
10. Denver Broncos: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
With the addition of Joe Flacco, the Broncos pass on a quarterback and instead pair Sweat with Bradley Chubb to form an intimidating pass-rushing duo.
Previous pick: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
11. Cincinnati Bengals: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
The Michigan star boosted his stock with an excellent combine just like Devin White did. This allows both to go higher in the draft. Bush can start from day one in Cincinnati and should be an impact NFL player.
Previous pick: Devin White, LB, LSU
12. Green Bay Packers: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
The Packers pick up an elite edge rusher with Ferrell, who was outstanding at Clemson.
Previous pick: Ferrell
13. Miami Dolphins: Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan
Rashan Gary falls a few spots from where I had him being selected a month ago. Miami has a need for a versatile defensive lineman and Dolphins owner Stephen Ross would be happy to take the Michigan product. There are plenty of questions about his college production, but he’s an athletic freak that has a very high ceiling. Even with the trade of Ryan Tannehill, The Dolphins are trying to tank for 2020.
Previous pick: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
14. Atlanta Falcons: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
Wilkins was a beast for Clemson and can start from day one.
Previous pick: Wilkins
15. Washington Redskins: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
The Redskins would be very tempted to take quarterback Drew Lock here, but the need for a receiver is just as big. The Redskins can ride out the season with Case Keenum if Alex Smith is unable to play, and can draft a top quarterback in next year’s loaded QB draft.
Previous pick: Metcalf
16. Carolina Panthers: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
The Panthers need to protect quarterback Cam Newton and need offensive weapons. This pick does both, as Hockenson can take over for the 34-year old and often injured Greg Olsen.
Previous pick: Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma
17. New York Giants: Andre Dilliard, OT, Washington State
The Giants received this pick in the OBJ trade from Cleveland. With it, they select their future starting right tackle.
Previous pick (Browns): Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
18. Minnesota Vikings: Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma
The Vikings need o-line help and Ford falls right to them at 18.
Previous pick: Jawann Taylor, OT, Florida
19. Tennessee Titans: Brian Burns, DE, Florida State
The Titans grab a pass-rusher to help their defensive line.
Previous pick: Jachi Polite, Edge, Florida
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
Ben Roethlisberger is nearing retirement having flirted with it once already and may not be good in the locker room anymore. The Steelers are surprised to see Lock fall this far, and snatch him up to be their quarterback on the future.
Previous pick: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
21. Seattle Seahawks: Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware
Adderley is guy who starred at the Senior Bowl. He can fill Earl Thomas’ spot right away.
Previous pick: Adderley
22. Baltimore Ravens: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
Harry gives Lamar Jackson the big-play receiver that he needs. He has great hands and is a deep threat.
Previous pick: Harry
23. Houston Texans: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
If Williams falls this far, the Texans should run to the podium, despite their needs on the offensive line.
Previous pick: Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss
24. Oakland Raiders: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
The Raiders are able to fill a need with their second pick of the round.
Previous pick: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
25. Philadelphia Eagles: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
The Eagles secondary needs help and Baker, the last of the three solid first-round corners, falls to them.
Previous pick: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
26. Indianapolis Colts: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
The Colts land a big man to stop the run. They consider safety here too.
Previous pick: Brian Burns, DE, Florida State
27. Oakland Raiders: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
The Raiders made a huge splash trading for Antonio Brown and now can replace Jared Cook with an elite pass-catching tight end.
Previous pick: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
28. Los Angeles Chargers: Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame
The Chargers have a big need at defensive tackle and Tillery can fill the void.
Previous pick: Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama
29. Kansas City Chiefs: Deionte Thompson - S, Alabama
Alabama sees yet another player drafted. Thompson can provide a huge boost to the poor Chiefs secondary.
30. Green Bay Packers: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
The Packers need to give Aaron Rodgers more weapons, and Brown provides that.
Previous pick: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
31. Los Angeles Rams: Garrett Bradbury, C, N.C. State
The Rams have a new center after John Sullivan was let go.
Previous pick: Dre’Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State
32. New England Patriots: Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama
There’s still a possibility Rob Gronkowski does not return and Tom Brady needs to have another weapon. A receiver or edge rusher are both possible here too, but the Patriots are hard to predict.
Previous pick: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
Other Michigan Players
With Gary and Bush Jr. being selected in the first round, that leaves a number of other Michigan players wondering where they will be selected. Here are my projections:
Chase Winovich: 2nd round, pick 56 (24th of the round) to the New England Patriots
Winovich had incredible production during his time at Michigan. He’d fit in with the Patriots, who do a good job developing their defensive ends. They also have two picks late in the second round, so using one on Winovich would make sense.
David Long: 2nd round, pick 59 (27th of the round) to the Indianapolis Colts
Long improved his stock dramatically at the combine. He seems like a good bet to go late second or early third round.
Karan Higdon: 5th round, pick 142 (third of the round) to the Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers add Higdon to backup James Connor after Le’Veon Bell officially left in free agency. Higdon should find a role no matter what team he lands with.
Zach Gentry: 6th round, pick 175 (first of the round) to the Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals don’t have much at the tight end position and need to give quarterback Josh Rosen or Kyler Murray, should they draft him, some weapons. Gentry could be a nice pick for them just like Mason Cole was.