The 2019 draft class is jumbling mock drafts because of the stellar performances on the field at the Combine.
That includes my latest version: Mock 8 3.0, Combine Impact.
Changes are coming in my third mock draft, and as the tag line implies – “Combine Impact” -- it’s based on how the prospects performed in the drills in Indianapolis. There are more options compared to my first two mock drafts.
The Detroit Lions, who have the eighth pick in the first round, are one of those teams who will benefit from a talent pool that was expanded by the athletes who ran, lifted and jumped at impressive levels.
Unlike my first two mock drafts – the most recent of them a pre-Combine draft – trades are allowed in Mock 8 3.0. There’s a big one at the top that makes sense.
Here is my Mock 8 3.0, with speculation, if there is any, on teams potentially in the trade market, what they did in my previous two mocks, and my projection for this one.
As always, feel free to disagree. And, of course, there’s more to come before the first round on April 25.
1. Arizona Cardinals (3-13):
Combine impact: GM Steve Keim and new head coach Kliff Kingsbury expressed different levels of support for second-year QB Josh Rosen, the Cardinals’ first-round pick last year. It created such a buzz on Twitter that Kingsbury, who came out in full support of Rosen, could have changed his Twitter handle to Kliff Clicksbury.
Speculation: Trade speculation is made of morsels like the ones the Cardinals sprinkled at Indy. I bite. Trade!!!! Cardinals deal Rosen to the Giants, but for a compensation package that does not include the Giants’ first-round pick this year (No. 6).
Cardinals pick: QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma. The franchise gets a badly needed injection of energy.
Previous mocks: DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State, in both.
2. San Francisco 49ers (4-12):
Combine impact: They were in line to get a good defensive player, and now they get a better one, thanks to the Cardinals.
49ers pick: DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State. His workouts showed he is healthy after missing most of the 2018 season. It could still be a worry going forward, but for now he passes his physical.
Previous mocks: DE/OLB Josh Allen, Kentucky, in both.
3. N.Y. Jets (4-12):
Combine impact: Defensive tackle Quinnen Williams of Alabama drew comparisons to Ndamukong Suh as a 2010 rookie with his performance. That’s high praise, and it makes it even more likely that Williams is headed to the Jets.
Speculation: There was a report Combine week that the Jets would consider trading this pick for “a haul.” Well, how about that?
Jets’ pick: DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama. He was too good to pass on before the Combine, and even more so now.
Previous mocks: Quinnen Williams in both.
4. Oakland Raiders (4-12):
Combine impact: Any team that’s projected taking a defensive player in the top 10 will benefit from how the defensive talent pool has grown. It also helps the Raiders if the Cardinals take a quarterback, which is the case in this draft.
Raiders pick: DE/OLB Josh Allen, Kentucky. He’s the No. 2 pass rusher in the draft behind Bosa. The Cardinals’ switch from Bosa to Murray at No. 1 puts Bosa in San Francisco and Allen here, with Williams still in the middle at No. 3. With 17 sacks in 2018, Allen adds a pass rusher that the Raiders were lacking after last year’s trade of Khalil Mack to the Bears.
Previous mocks: Rashan Gary of Michigan in both.
5. Tampa Bay Bucs (5-11):
Combine impact: There shouldn’t be any major questions this high in the draft, and there are two on players previously ticketed for the Bucs. Offensive lineman Jonah Williams of Alabama came up short in arm length when he was measured, and LSU cornerback Greedy Williams has turned some people off because of a lack of physicality.
Bucs pick: DE Rashan Gary, Michigan. His Combine workout showed he means business.
Previous mocks: CB Greedy Williams of LSU, then OL Jonah Williams of Alabama.
6. New York Giants (5-11):
Combine impact: It’s a chain reaction. Murray is tall enough to be drafted No. 1, and for Rosen to be traded to the Giants, who are no longer in the market to draft a QB here.
Speculation: They could be looking to trade down to recoup the picks they gave up to get Rosen. The Raiders and Packers both have two later in the first round. And somebody could be moving up to take a quarterback. The Giants are in a good spot here.
Giants pick: OL Jonah Williams, Alabama. The Giants have drafted one offensive lineman in the first five rounds in the last three years. They did well by taking guard Will Hernandez in Round 2 last year. Add a partner.
Previous mocks: QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State, in both.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-11):
Combine impact: Another quarterback-needy team affected by the Murray-Rosen chain reaction.
Speculation: Reports are that the Jags will fill their QB need by signing a veteran free agent, with the focus on the Eagles’ Nick Foles. So we go to the draft, where the Jaguars have other offensive needs at wide receiver, tight end and offensive line.
Jaguars pick: TE T.J. Hockenson, Iowa. He can run routes, catch and block. He’d look good in Detroit, too.
Previous mocks: Kyler Murray, then QB Drew Lock of Missouri.
8. Detroit Lions (6-10):
Combine impact: The top prospects performed well, and a few others did well enough to expand the top group.
What might have been three or four solid choices – not including Hockenson – has grown to a half dozen, at least. That leaves more genuine options for the Lions than they might have expected.
Some players to consider: Defensive end Montez Sweat of Mississippi State and inside linebacker Devin White of LSU had impressive workouts, as did Michigan linebacker Devin Bush.
Defensive end Clelin Ferrell of Clemson did only the three-cone drill on the field. He looked smooth and under control in his movements. Ferrell and Sweat both had major production in college.
Two more who’ve been largely overlooked and shouldn’t be: Cornerback Deandre Baker of Georgia, and edge rusher Brian Burns of Florida State.
Speculation: GM Bob Quinn is always looking to deal, but there hasn’t been much of a buzz about the Lions moving up or down from No. 8. They’re in a good position to deal though, because of the premium on a top 10 pick – and with Haskins projected to be on the board when the Lions make their pick.
If Hockenson is on the board, it’ll be tempting to take him.
Lions Pick: LB Devin White, LSU. Put him next to Jarrad Davis, and the Lions would have their best linebacker tandem since Chris Spielman and Mike Johnson mowed down ball carriers in 1994-95 like Rome plows going through bamboo.
Previous mocks: DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson, in both.