The NFL Draft is finally here!
After months of speculation, workouts and mock drafts, everything will be settled tonight at 8 p.m. when the draft begins on ESPN. This year, the event is being held in Nashville, and Michigan hopes to have six players selected.
This mock draft will project the entire first round, as well as project where each Michigan player will be drafted. Last week’s mock draft can be found here, and includes no trades. This final edition will include trades, since it’s highly unlikely the first round is completed without one. Instead of sticking with many of the same picks as last time, I tried to be a little more creative with my selections. Let me know what you think in the comments.
Vailliencourt’s 2019 NFL Mock Draft 4.0
1. Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
My confidence level in this pick is declining, and part of that is due to my skepticism that Arizona will find a willing trade partner for Josh Rosen, whom it selected in the first round last year. However, there have been reports that the Cardinals could be willing to draft Murray and keep Rosen until a suitable trade arises. Rosen should be able to fetch a mid first-round pick. He’d be a top 10 pick in this draft and easily in the top three quarterbacks, so I’m not sure why any team would pick Drew Lock or Daniel Jones without first exploring a Rosen trade. Ultimately, Murray fits the type of offense Arizona wants to run and will lead to Rosen being traded, even if it’s only for a second round pick. If Arizona trades the pick or goes defense, I can’t blame them either.
Previous pick: Murray
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. No changes here.
Previous pick: Bosa
3. New York Jets: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
A lot of consideration will go to Josh Allen here, but Williams might be the best player in the draft. If I had the first overall pick, Williams would probably be my choice, so the Jets make out nicely here, despite their hopes of trading back. Ed Oliver will receive consideration as well, there’s been tons of smoke about that possibility of late.
Previous pick: Williams
4. Oakland Raiders: Josh Allen, Edge, Kentucky
The Raiders have been rumored to love Ed Oliver too, but for a team that needs edge rushers in the worst way, I don’t see how they can pass on Allen. All the surprise pick stuff we’ve been hearing will turn out to be a smokescreen (although with Jon Gruden, anything is possible).
Previous pick: Allen
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Devin White, LB, LSU
The Bucs lost Kwon Alexander to free agency, but they replace him with White. The recent buzz is trending towards Ed Oliver, but unless they trade Gerald McCoy, linebacker is still a bigger need. No changes again here.
Previous pick: White
6. New York Giants: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
There’s a very real possibility that Oliver is off the board by now, but if he’s still here, I expect the Giants to pounce. Devin White would likely be the pick if Oliver goes sooner. The Giants need a quarterback desperately, but if they don’t love Dwayne Haskins, they won’t take one here - unless a team trades up for him inside the top five, which could force the Giants to panic and draft either Drew Lock or Daniel Jones here. That’d be a disaster scenario for the G-men (but a great one for the Lions).
Previous pick: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
I changed this pick from Jonah Williams to Taylor last week, and I’m sticking with it again here despite the strong urge to slot T.J. Hockenson. Can’t go wrong with any of those three guys if you’re the Jags.
Previous pick: Taylor
8. *TRADE* Cincinnati Bengals: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
The Lions get their wish and trade down to 11. The Bengals should be looking to replace Andy Dalton and the home state hero is the perfect fit. He can sit for a year or play right away for new coach Zac Taylor. Detroit picks up Cincinnati’s third-round pick and sends back its fifth-rounder to the Bengals. That actually gives an edge to Detroit in terms of overall value (using the Jimmy Johnson chart) but with the Redskins pressing hard to move up to this spot as well after failing to trade up to third overall, the Bengals will take it. Detroit receiving the Bengals fourth and fifth round picks would work as well.
Previous pick: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston (to Detroit)
9. Buffalo Bills: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
Hockenson could be gone, but if he’s here it would make a lot of sense for Buffalo. Young quarterbacks typically thrive with talented tight ends, and Hockenson is the best of a talented class.
Previous pick: Hockenson
10. Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
I’ve gone back and forth with this pick. It could be Lock, but it also could be Devin Bush or an offensive lineman. However, with Haskins off the board, the Broncos go with Lock, who can take over after a year of sitting behind Joe Flacco.
Previous pick: Lock
11. *TRADE* Detroit Lions: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
What a pick this would be. Bush to the Lions has been completely off the radar until this week, but when you think more about it, it makes tons of sense. He can take over middle linebacker and be the linebacker that covers tight ends and running backs. He’s got great cover skills and obvious sideline-to-sideline speed, which is critical in the NFL. With Jarrad Davis moving over to outside linebacker, it’d give the Lions one of the fastest linebacking corps in the league. Detroit is committed to building a talented and versatile defense and Bush fits that perfectly. Christian Wilkins, Jonah Williams and Brian Burns are also considered here, as would have Montez Sweat if it weren’t for his reported heart condition.
Previous pick: Bush (to Cincinnati)
12. Green Bay Packers: Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama
There are plenty of ways Green Bay could go, but adding Williams here is too great of value.
Previous pick: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
13. Miami Dolphins: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
Miami decides to pass on Daniel Jones and take the top player on its board. Wilkins has been talked about to a lot of teams, so don’t be shocked if a team trades up and selects him.
Previous pick: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan
14. Atlanta Falcons: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
I just don’t buy the idea that teams are going to let Williams fall to the end of the round or later just because he isn’t the best tackler. He’s the best cover corner in the draft and finds a nice fit in Atlanta.
Previous pick: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
15. *TRADE* Arizona Cardinals: Brian Burns, DE, Florida State
With Murray, Haskins and Lock all off the board, Washington is faced with three options: take Daniel Jones, trade for Josh Rosen or draft a non-QB. I went with the middle option, as the Cardinals would be thrilled to land this pick for Rosen. I’d be surprised if the Redskins stay in this spot regardless of if they trade for Rosen. There have been reports that they’re no longer interested in Rosen, but that only seems likely if they trade up into the top five or 10 to take Haskins. Arizona, meanwhile, gets its pick of some solid edge rushers, and opts for Burns. The idea that Rosen isn’t worth a first-round pick is asinine.
Previous pick: Burns (to Washington)
16. Carolina Panthers: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
The Panthers need to protect quarterback Cam Newton, Dillard is a great pass-blocking tackle. No changes here.
Previous pick: Dillard
17. New York Giants: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
Unwilling to trade this pick for Rosen, the Giants will settle for Jones to be the heir to Eli Manning.
Previous pick: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
18. Minnesota Vikings: Garrett Bradbury, C, NC State
The Vikings should be focusing on offensive line, and this pick helps solidify the interior.
Previous pick: Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama
19. Tennessee Titans: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan
The Titans are looking to take either an offensive lineman or an edge rusher, and Gary falls right into their laps here. Gary will likely slide due to reports of a lingering shoulder injury. The lack of production is much easier to overlook due to the high ceiling, but injuries can dampen the prospects of any player. It’s a tough break for the Michigan product, but it’ll serve as extra motivation.
Previous pick: Garrett Bradbury, C, NC State
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
The Steelers are one of the few teams that have had a different pick in all four of my mocks. With both top linebackers long gone, they’ll happily take Murphy.
Previous pick: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
21. Seattle Seahawks: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
Sweat is far too talented to slide this far, but his reported heart condition will scare off plenty of teams, causing him to fall. The Seahawks, if they’ve medically cleared him, would be ecstatic to take him here, where he can replace Frank Clark.
Previous pick: Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware
22. Baltimore Ravens: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
I’ve projected a wide receiver to the Ravens in all of my previous mocks, but Ferrell hasn’t been available this late in any of them either. They have a need at end, and can fill that void with the solid Ferrell.
Previous pick: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
23. Houston Texans: Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma
Houston needs to protect Deshaun Watson, it’s that simple. No changes here, as Houston finds itself a bit lucky that Ford is still available.
Previous pick: Ford
24. Oakland Raiders: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
The Raiders replace Jared Cook with an athletic deep threat in Fant.
Previous pick: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
25. Philadelphia Eagles: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
I’ve had Baker here a few times. He’s a very solid pick at this juncture, especially with Greedy Williams and Murphy off the board.
Previous pick: Baker
26. Indianapolis Colts: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
I was going to send a defensive lineman to the Colts, but with the Ravens passing on a receiver, the Colts can’t resist picking the draft’s top playmaker for Andrew Luck.
Previous pick: Brown
27. Oakland Raiders: Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple
The Raiders are able to address three huge needs in the first round, grabbing and edge rusher, tight end and cornerback. Alabama running back Josh Jacobs also was considered.
Previous pick: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
28. Los Angeles Chargers: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
The Chargers have a big need at defensive tackle and I prefer Dexter Lawrence over Jerry Tillery. Don’t be surprised at an offensive line pick either.
Previous pick: Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame
29. Seattle Seahawks: Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware
This pick was acquired by Seattle this week in the Frank Clark trade to Kansas City. Adderley has been my pick for the Seahawks at 21 throughout the mock draft season, so getting him here is a steal.
Previous pick: Jonathan Abram, S, Mississippi State
30. Green Bay Packers: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
The Packers grab a big time weapon for Aaron Rodgers.
Previous pick: Jeffrey Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
31. Los Angeles Rams: Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame
The Rams are able to replace Ndamukong Suh with Tillery.
Previous pick: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
32. New England Patriots: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
This almost seems unfair, but adding Harry to a wide receiver group with Julian Edelman and newly signed Demaryius Thomas would be huge for Tom Brady, especially with Rob Gronkowski gone. The Patriots never draft receivers in the first round, but this could finally be the exception. It’s also possible that a team trades up to this pick for a quarterback like Will Grier.
Previous pick: Harry
Other Michigan Players
With Gary and Bush being selected in the first round, that leaves a number of other Michigan players wondering where they will be selected. Here are both my projections, as well as fellow Maize n Brew analyst Daniel Allweis’:
(See above for Bush and Gary)
Chase Winovich: 2nd round, pick 49 (17th of the round) to the Cleveland Browns
Winovich has seen his draft stock improve over the last several weeks and is now considered a consensus second-round pick. He has the perfect personality to fit in with the Baker Mayfield led Browns, who need an edge rusher.
David Long: 3rd round, pick 68 (3rd of the round) to the New York Jets
Long improved his stock dramatically at the combine. He seems like a good bet to go late second or early third round and the Jets would be a nice landing spot.
Karan Higdon: 6th round, pick 214 (41st and last of the round, compensatory pick) to the Kansas City Chiefs
Without Kareem Hunt, the Chiefs will likely look to add at least one back in the draft.
Zach Gentry: 7th round, pick 223 (9th of the round) to the Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals don’t have a whole lot at tight end, and Gentry will be given the opportunity to earn time on the field.
Rashan Gary: 1st round, pick 8 to the Detroit Lions
This seems like a natural fit. After losing Ziggy Ansah and Snacks Harrison, the Lions need defensive line talent. Trey Flowers is a big signing, but Gary gives them a Swiss Army knife on the defensive front. He can play end in all schemes and I’ll die on the hill that he’d be a great three-tech. Yes, there are some injury concerns at the moment, but if Oliver is off the board here, it’s hard to see the Lions passing up on the immediate on and off the field impact that Gary could have in Detroit. (Other Destinations: Cincinnati, Miami, Denver)
Devin Bush: 1st round, pick 10 to the Tampa Bay Bucs (via trade with Denver)
The Bucs have major holes on the defensive line and at linebacker. At this point, much of the discussion in Tampa Bay seems to be surrounding Devin White or Ed Oliver if they stay at #5. I don’t think the gap between those guys and the next tier is all that large, and see the Bucs trading down once again to collect assets and get a guy they like. Bush is a similar, though probably better, player to former Bucs’ linebacker Kwon Alexander who signed a major deal in San Francisco this off-season. Tampa Bay is shifting to more of a hybrid defense this coming year, something Bush has experience in. (Other Destinations: Cincinnati, Miami, Pittsburgh, Seattle)
Chase Winovich: 2nd round, pick 56 to the New England Patriots
Apparently some recent mocks have Chase climbing near the first round. I don’t really see that happening, though would say it’s likely he goes higher than I have him pegged here. Winovich seems like the perfect New England pass rusher. He’ll come in, give 100000% effort, probably rack up eight or nine sacks in one of his rookie contract years and then sign for like $15 million per year in Jacksonville or Miami now that the Browns are probably done taking Belichick’s castoffs. (Other Destinations: Seattle, Oakland, Detroit)
David Long: 2nd round, pick 61 to the Kansas City Chiefs
I saw this pick mocked a few weeks ago and have really loved it since. Based on their move in acquiring Frank Clark from Seattle, the Chiefs are clearly in win-now mode and want to anchor up that defense. KC’s back-end went through a drastic transformation this off-season, marked most notably by the departure of Eric Berry. Adding Long gives the Chiefs a ready-to-play corner with the size and technique to matchup against #2 and #3 receivers on the outside from the jump. (Other Destinations: Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, Dallas)
Karan Higdon: 6th round, pick 175 to the Pittsburgh Steelers
Late in the draft, teams are looking for value, and Pittsburgh has learned better than almost anyone that you can never have enough talented backs in the backfield. Higdon brings a balanced attack that will compliment James Connor well, and the type of all-around skillset that could allow him to slide in as seamlessly as possible. (Other Destinations: Jacksonville, Buffalo, Detroit)
Zach Gentry: Undrafted