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The Draft Network's Jon Ledyard's 2019 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

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  • The Draft Network's Jon Ledyard's 2019 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

    LEDYARD’S 2019 NFL MOCK DRAFT 1.0
    JON LEDYARD
    AUGUST 13, 2018

    Welcome to my first official mock draft for The Draft Network. If you thought I hated your team last year, maybe you should sit down, prepare yourself for a minute. This is going to be a fun ride.

    The order of the selections below is based on the latest Vegas odds, or at least whatever the latest Vegas odds were when Trevor did his mock a week ago. I figured keeping the order the same would help you guys compare our mocks, obviously favoring mine over his.

    These picks were a combination of what I would do and what I think NFL teams would do in these situations. Please disregard that the real thing is over eight months away, take this super seriously and lambaste me for every pick you hate.

    Go.

    No. 1 – New York Jets
    PICK: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

    Many have already tabbed Williams as one of the best tackle prospects in recent memory, but I wouldn’t quite go that far. The Alabama left tackle is technically polished and assignment-sound, but physically/athletically/violently he’s more Jake Matthews than Tyron Smith or Trent Williams.

    Williams is very pro-ready however, and well-versed in a variety of pass sets. His strike timing and finishing can improve, but he’d be a plug-and-play upgrade for the Jets right out of the gate as a rookie.

    No. 2 – Miami Dolphins
    PICK: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

    Even when projecting players to the NFL, you don’t see many quarterbacks that can rip the football like Herbert. He has a cannon of an arm, and the flashes of deadly accuracy are incredible. But Herbert doesn’t always show great poise in the pocket, and he’s still coming along mentally.

    For Miami, a decision about Ryan Tannehill’s future should come after the season. If the veteran struggles, the Dolphins could look to trade him, or use him as the bridge until Herbert is ready. Either way, I think their interests in quarterbacks will be real next season.

    No. 3 – Chicago Bears
    PICK: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State

    Imagine the Bears defense with two top-tier edge rushers. On one side, Leonard Floyd is about to embark on a career-defining year coming back from injury after two up-and-down seasons. On the other side could be Bosa next season, unquestionably the best prospect in the class.

    Bosa’s pass rush plan and technique are extremely advanced for his age, and his level of play has been utterly dominant in the Big Ten. Few college rushers offer his blend of flexibility, speed and hand usage, traits that could make him an immediate double-digit sack artist in the NFL.

    No. 4 – Cincinnati Bengals
    PICK: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

    Will change finally come to Cincinnati? Until it happens, I’m just going to keep betting on it. If Marvin Lewis is finally sent packing, perhaps Andy Dalton will be as well. The latter is competent, but he’s never going to be the type of player to transcend the talented group around him.

    Lock has the arm, the mechanics and the improving accuracy to be an impact starter in the NFL. He needs to make a big leap in his consistency this season, especially as a downfield passer, where the flashes are great but the lows are messy. His ceiling is higher than Dalton’s, but his floor might be lower too.

    No. 5 – Buffalo Bills
    PICK: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson

    When the Bills make this pick, Jerry Hughes will either be entering the final year of his contract or no longer with the team. Either way, Sean McDermott’s group will be in need of pass rush help, especially with Shaq Lawson being a colossal disappointment two years into his career.

    McDermott prefers big-bodied ends, and Ferrell is the ideal prototype. The length, strength and size are there, but I’m worried Ferrell isn’t the type of athlete to ever be a highly-productive edge defender at the next level. Deadly hand usage is Ferrell’s calling card however, and could make up for his lack of great bend at the top of the arc.

    No. 6 – Arizona Cardinals
    PICK: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

    I don’t think Williams is on the level of Marshon Lattimore and Jalen Ramsey just yet, but the physical and athletic skills are definitely there. He’s fast, long and has flashes of tantalizing ball skills, but the technique and awareness are still coming together.

    The Cardinals have Patrick Peterson on one side, but opposite him has been a revolving door of ill-fitting options. Adding Williams to a secondary with Peterson and Budda Baker would move the Cardinals unit one step closer re-discovering their past success.

    No. 7 – Cleveland Browns
    PICK: Ed Oliver, IDL, Houston

    Could Oliver really fall to Cleveland? Call me crazy, but I’m not sure the NFL is going to be as wild about a 270-275 pound defensive tackle who whoops up on AAC opponents every week. Personally? I think Oliver is an incredible athlete with insane power and anchor in the trenches. He lives in opponent’s backfields, and he moves like a linebacker.

    The Browns still need interior defensive line help to complete their defensive overhaul. Oliver would be a great fit next to Larry Ogunjobi, giving the Browns two explosive one-gappers for Gregg Williams’ defensive front. Those two, with Myles Garrett and Emmanuel Ogbah? Whew.

    No. 8 – Washington Redskins
    PICK: Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama

    Could the Redskins really pick an Alabama player in the first round for the third year in a row? Looking at their roster, Zach Brown and Mason Foster are solid, but neither have made a big impact in coverage during their NFL careers.

    In the modern NFL, you need those skills in your second-level defenders. Wilson is rangy, athletic and instinctive in coverage, consistently making plays as a zone defender. He’s exactly what Washington is missing in their quest to build a defense to compete with the score of talented tight ends and running backs in opposing NFC East passing attacks.

    No. 9 – Indianapolis Colts
    PICK: Raekwon Davis, IDL, Alabama

    What will the Colts need after this season? Your guess is as good as mine, as the roster needs major work in several places. After building up the offensive line with a lot of his early 2018 NFL Draft moves, I’m guessing Chris Ballard keeps stacking the trenches with premier talent in 2019.

    Davis is an immediate NFL starter right away due to his technique, physicality and pad level when playing the run. He was productive as a pass rusher last season, but still has work to do in order to win 1v1 and get home consistently from the interior.

    No. 10 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    PICK: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

    As talented as they are, three Alabama players coming off the board in a row doesn’t sound super likely. Nevertheless, the weakest spot on the Bucs roster is clearly safety, where I don’t trust Justin Evans and I trust whoever his running mate will be even less.

    Enter Thompson, a redshirt junior who started both college football playoff games for Alabama and played wonderfully. He’s big, rangy, physical and athletic, but does need to work on wrapping up cleaner and processing things a tad quicker from single-high coverage.

    No. 11 – Seattle Seahawks
    PICK: Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan

    Seattle needs a lot of pieces, but Gary just seems like the kind of player they will covet. Personally, I think this is too high for him, as his lack of technique and pass rush plan make him far too ineffective on money downs.

    But Seattle will likely kick him inside a bit, where I think he can have more success as a one-gap penetrator on a linear rush path. Can he keep his weight down and stay in shape? There is certainly no questioning Gary’s desire when he’s on the field, as he plays with the kind of intensity Seattle covets.

    No. 12 – Detroit Lions
    PICK: Jeffery Simmons, IDL, Mississippi State

    I’ll be floored if Matt Patricia doesn’t address the defensive line early in the 2019 NFL Draft, unless he does it before then in free agency. The Lions are very weak on the interior, where A’Shawn Robinson and Sylvester Williams have both been busts.

    Simmons could cure all of that, as his athleticism and raw power are a rare combination of traits packed inside a chiseled 300-pound frame. Simmons can run you over as easily as he can run around you. He’d be a massive upgrade over the Lions’ current best interior defensive lineman.

    No. 13 – Baltimore Ravens
    PICK: Devin White, LB, LSU

    The Ravens need a running mate for C.J. Mosley, and it sure doesn’t sound like they’ve solved the issue this offseason. White is a little bit raw, but another year of growth at the college level should help prepare him for the NFL, where he could be the missing piece for a Ravens defense nearing elite levels once again.

    No. 14 – Tennessee Titans
    PICK: Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State

    One year after landing the edge rusher with the highest ceiling in the 2018 NFL Draft class in Harold Landry, the Titans land the one with the second highest in the 2019 class. Burns may not be Nick Bosa, but his ability to cover ground up the arc, bend the edge and get his hips and feet in line with the quarterback is highly impressive. With Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan both turning 33 and hitting free agency after this season, this move makes a ton of sense.

    No. 15 – Denver Broncos
    PICK: Trey Adams, OT, Washington

    Adams has drawn high praise from many draft pundits already, while NFL teams have been highly invested in his success for some time now. Denver needs a bookend to pair with Garrett Bolles, and while Adams might not be quite that rare of an athlete, it would almost complete Denver’s rebuild of their offensive line over the past few years.

    No. 16 – Carolina Panthers
    PICK: Lukas Denis, S, Boston College

    The Panthers might have the worst safety group in the league, which is bad news for Ron Rivera’s Cover 3 heavy defense. Denis is not the most physical safety in the world, but he has ball-hawking skills that led to seven interceptions last season. The Panthers need that kind of splash play on the back end, even if Denis feels like a reach here.

    No. 17 – Dallas Cowboys
    PICK: Dexter Lawrence, IDL, Clemson

    I have not been very impressed with Lawrence’s college tape so far, but I know he played hurt last year, so I’ll reserve my judgement for now. He moves fluidly for a big man and flashes exceptional power, but explosiveness, pass rush ability and flexibility all seem limited. Dallas needs a player of his ilk however, and the NFL is rumored to covet Lawrence regardless of his concerns on tape.

    No. 18 – New York Giants
    PICK: Levonta Taylor, CB, Florida State

    Taylor might check in sub-5-foot-10, but he’s a fluid technician with some impressive click-and-closer on underneath throws. James Bettcher values versatile defensive backs, and Janoris Jenkins will probably need a new running mate after this season, unless Eli Apple surprises. Taylor might not have Greedy Williams’ ceiling, but he can play right away on the inside or outside.

    No. 19 – Kansas City Chiefs
    PICK: Lavert Hill, CB, Michigan

    A press-man corner with good patience and technique, Hill isn’t the biggest corner, but for what Kansas City defensive coordinator Bob Sutton asks his guys to do, he might just be the perfect fit. Since jettisoning Marcus Peters, the Chiefs have one sure thing at corner in Kendall Fuller, and even he only has one strong season under his belt. In a scheme that values corners heavily, Hill could be a target.

    No. 20 – Oakland Raiders
    PICK: Kelvin Harmon, WR, N.C. State

    With Martavis Bryant struggling in camp and Jordy Nelson nearing the end, the search for Amari Cooper’s sidekick will probably roll into next offseason. Harmon is a big-bodied receiver with speed concerns, but exceptional ball skills and ability to finish in contested catch situations.

    No. 21 – Jacksonville Jaguars
    PICK: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

    The Jaguars don’t have a lot of major needs, but if they’re determined not to improve on Blake Bortles, then finding a big-play tight end could be a nice addition to the offense. Fant has rare size and athletic traits, and while he might not be a great blocker, his skill set projects beautifully to the modern NFL.

    No. 22 – Los Angeles Chargers
    PICK: Rashard Lawrence, IDL, LSU

    Lawrence isn’t a first round prospect right now, but I’ve seen flashes of high-end ability from the former five-star prospect, even when playing through injury. He has the size, power and movement skills the Chargers need on the interior defensive line, especially with Corey Liuget and Brandon Mebane on the decline.

    No. 23 – Atlanta Falcons
    PICK: Dawson Knox, TE, Ole Miss

    Nobody has heard of Knox right now, but that will change after this season. He’s 6-foot-4, 250 pounds and an exceptional athlete who was producing at a high level before suffering a foot injury last season. Knox has first round potential, and frankly Austin Hooper just hasn’t delivered on his promise just yet.

    No. 24 – San Francisco *****
    PICK: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State

    Explosiveness? Check. Stride length to eat up the arc? Check. Bend to corner through contact. Ehhhh, checkkkk. Sweat has a lot of coveted traits for a defensive end, but he needs to get stronger and continue to develop his speed-counter game for the NFL. Last season was a coming out party for the young defender, this year can solidify his stock as a first rounder.

    No. 25 – Houston Texans
    PICK: David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin

    Edwards is a destructive titan in the run game, with good attention to detail and an obvious nasty streak. Pass protection is where he needs work, but the Texans are pretty desperate for help up front, and Edwards could end up going a lot higher than this if he develops how many believe he will.

    No. 26 – Green Bay Packers
    PICK: Ahmmon Richards, WR, Miami

    The Packers wide receiver group is currently Davante Adams and a bunch of dudes who might not/won’t be on the team next year. Randall Cobb is in the last year of his contract, Geronimo Allison needs to step up this season and none of their three day three wideout selections look like long-term locks in Green Bay.

    Richards has the size, speed and polish to start right away in the NFL. The Packers love downfield threats in their passing game, and Richards’ game screams danger for opposing defenses when he and Aaron Rodgers’ develop some chemistry.

    No. 27 – Green Bay Packers
    PICK: Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina

    Back-to-back receivers? It’s pretty simple really. Green Bay is only going to be as successful as Rodgers will be, so why not give him the best group of pass catchers possible to accomplish such a task?

    Like Richards, Samuel has to stay healthy, but he’s ready to contribute right now. He’s polished in his releases and routes, and has dangerous open field abilities after the catch and as a return man. He’d be a perfect replacement for Cobb when he leaves this offseason.

    No. 28 – Minnesota Vikings
    PICK: Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State

    Risner is a right tackle who could move inside at the NFL level if he can’t handle elite edge speed. He’s physical, smart and an impressive technican, all things that Minnesota desperately needs on their interior. The Vikings just lost Nick Easton for the season and already had to move Mike Remmers to guard. They need to address their front five in the worst way.

    No. 29 – Los Angeles Rams
    PICK: Paddy Fisher, LB, Northwestern

    Fisher may not be an elite athlete, but he’s big, instinctive and has shown the ability to make plays in zone coverage. His polish for a redshirt freshman was very impressive last season, and it’s exactly what Los Angeles needs on their second level. The Rams have beefed up the secondary and defensive line, but they’ve got to get better play out of their linebackers in the future.


    No. 30 – Pittsburgh Steelers
    PICK: Rodney Anderson, RB, Oklahoma

    With Le’Veon Bell set to his free agency after the season, the Steelers will be looking for his replacement. I expect them to acquire that player in the draft, but whether it happens in the first round or not may depend on how the linebacker group falls.

    Anderson is big, physical and instinctive as a runner. He consistently finishes through contact, and his hands are promising in the passing game. He’s the type of back Pittsburgh covets, and some of Oklahoma’s run game staples are things the Steelers run very well.

    No. 31 – Philadelphia Eagles
    PICK: Jalen Jelks, EDGE, Oregon

    Jelks is rumored to be highly athletic, and the tape certainly seems to back up that premise. He’s raw and playing out of position in Oregon’s defense, but there are flashes of high-end flexility and hand usage from Jelks that are very intriguing. He has a chance to be a real riser with another year of development on tape.

    No. 32 – New England Patriots
    PICK: Michael Jackson, CB, Miami

    Jackson is at his best playing press man, where his length and strength can dominate reps at the line of scrimmage. New England needs such a corner opposite Stephon Gilmore, as their secondary currently awaits the play of Jason McCourty and Eric Rowe. With Gilmore and Jackson on the outside and Duke Dawson in the slot, the Patriots could have a loaded cornerback room once again.


  • #2
    Where they have the Rams picking is more interesting than the pick

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