2019 NFL mock draft: Which teams might trade up in the 1st round?
A bunch of picks will get traded on draft night. Here are a few — mostly involving quarterbacks — that could happen. In last year’s draft, almost half of the picks in the first round were part of a trade. That included five of the first 10 picks — and with three of those, teams traded up to grab a quarterback. That could be the case again in the 2019 NFL Draft. This week’s mock draft explores some of the trades that could happen during draft weekend. 1. Arizona Cardinals: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State Trading the first pick in the NFL Draft is rare. It’s only happened three times since 2000, and all of those trades were for quarterbacks (Jared Goff and the Rams in 2016; Eli Manning and the Giants in 2004; and Michael Vick and Atlanta in 2001). It’s unlikely to happen this year because there isn’t a superstar quarterback in the draft. But would it be in the best interest of the Cardinals to trade the first pick? Probably, considering the needs the team has on the offensive and defensive lines. Still, moving off the top pick is unlikely, so holding and taking Bosa is the most likely course of action. 2. San Francisco 49ers: Josh Allen, DE/OLB, Kentucky It will be hard for San Francisco to trade back, the same way it will be for Arizona. Because of that, the 49ers could be stuck at No. 2 taking Allen. That’s not a bad thing, though. He’s an exceptional athlete on the field and can do everything. He’ll have to adjust some playing with his hand down a little more, but he should be fine. TRADE: Jacksonville gives up pick Nos. 7 and 38 and a 2020 second-round pick to the New York Jets for the No. 3 pick 3. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State This would be a bold move by Jacksonville, but maybe not a bad one. The biggest issue for the Jaguars has been quarterback play. What happens if they can get a good quarterback in Haskins and a talented defense bounces back next season? The amount of draft capital given up in a trade wouldn’t matter. 4. Oakland Raiders: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama The Raiders would be smart to consider a trade if Williams is gone already. With three first-round picks in 2019 and two in 2020, the Raiders could accumulate even more picks by trading down from the No. 4 selection. But that would be hard to justify if Williams is available. He’s considered by some the top player in the draft and fills a big need for the Raiders. TRADE: Denver gives up pick No. 10 and a 2020 first-round pick to Tampa Bay for the No. 5 pick. 5. Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri If a team moves ahead of the Giants for Haskins, the Broncos could feel compelled to trade up and get the quarterback they really want. In 2016, John Elway made a trade to move up in the first round to take Paxton Lynch. That one obviously didn’t work. The hope is that Lock, a high-upside but inaccurate quarterback, does work. 6. New York Giants: Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma It would be a shock to see the Giants move off the No. 6 pick. General Manager Dave Gettleman has never traded up in his career, and last year was strongly opposed to giving up future assets. That leaves the Giants in a difficult position regarding a quarterback. If two teams jump the Giants for one, New York could choose to turn to 2020 for a passer. That bring the Giants to an offensive lineman, and Gettleman has always had a fondness for “hog mollies.” That could lead them to Ford — a natural right tackle — over someone like Jonah Williams of Alabama. 7. New York Jets: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan The Jets could be interested in trading down from the No. 3 pick to recoup some of the draft capital lost in last year’s deal for Sam Darnold. Dropping down is a gamble, but Gary is the pass rusher New York needs and he has much better value at No. 7 than inside the top five. 8. Detroit Lions: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU The Lions had one of the worst secondaries in the NFL in 2018, according to Pro Football Focus. That could lead Detroit to targeting a cornerback with its first pick in the draft. If so, that should be Williams. He’s an exceptional playmaker at cornerback and should only get better as a tackler. 9. Buffalo Bills: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama The moves inside the top five for quarterbacks would have a trickle-down effect, and a team like Buffalo will benefit. Williams would fit nicely with the Bills helping to protect franchise quarterback Josh Allen. He can play either tackle spot, and some consider him a guard. 10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston You couldn’t really fault the Buccaneers for taking Oliver with the fifth pick in the draft. To get him at No. 10 while also adding a first-round pick next year would be a steal. With Tampa moving to more of a 3-4 under Todd Bowles, Oliver could line up next to nose tackle Vita Vea and play more inside in odd fronts. 11. Cincinnati Bengals: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa Cincinnati strangely has three free agent tight ends this offseason, with the contracts of Tyler Eifert, Tyler Kroft, and C.J. Uzomah all expiring. Eifert has played just 14 games the last three seasons, and Kroft only played five in 2018. Cincinnati and new head coach Zac Taylor could wipe the slate clean at the position and have Hockenson be one of the key pieces of his offense. 12. Green Bay Packers: Jachai Polite, DE/OLB, Florida There are a few pass rushers who can be cycled through with the 12th pick. That could lead Green Bay to dropping back slightly if the right trade is made available. One didn’t make sense this week, but it’s something to keep in mind. For now, the choice for Green Bay is back to Polite, the aggressive Florida edge rusher. 13. Miami Dolphins: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma If the Dolphins really fall in love with Haskins or Lock, they should pursue a move up. Unfortunately, getting from No. 13 to inside the top five would at least require this year’s first- and second-round picks and a first-round pick in 2020. Instead of giving up that many picks, the Dolphins could hold at 13 and take Murray, the fan favorite Heisman Trophy winner. 14. Atlanta Falcons: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson Even with Oliver gone, the Falcons should be in a good position to find an interior defensive lineman with the 14th pick. Because they should have options, the Falcons could be another team that could move down a couple picks and still find a starter-level player. 15. Washington: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington In an effort to save $8.5 million in 2019 and $12 million in 2020, Washington could release Josh Norman this offseason. If that happens, cornerback jumps ahead of an edge rusher and offensive line as the team’s top need. That would make the versatile Murphy, a speedy corner with great ball skills, the obvious choice. 16. Carolina Panthers: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State Whether it’s Sweat, Clelin Ferrell of Clemson, or Brian Burns of Florida State, the Panthers will have options at pass rusher with the 16th pick. Sweat has the length advantage over Ferrell and the strength advantage over Burns. The combination would be hard to pass up. 17. Cleveland Browns: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State The Browns have a lot of talent on the defensive line, but they still need a couple of players to finish off the group this offseason. Simmons is the type of powerful tackle who would line up nicely next to the more agile Larry Ogunjobi. 18. Minnesota Vikings: Devin White, LB, LSU An offensive lineman has been the popular pick for the Vikings, but Anthony Barr could depart in free agency. If that happens, a player like White would be a good choice to pair with Eric Kendricks at linebacker. 19. Tennessee Titans: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma The Titans don’t have a wide receiver who can do what Brown does. He’s a quick and precise route runner who picks apart zone defenses in the short and middle areas of the field. In man coverage, he has the type of speed to fly by defensive backs for big gains. He could immediately become Marcus Mariota’s top target. 20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia Although Pittsburgh’s offense seems to be crumbling, the team arguably has bigger needs on defense this offseason. The Steelers especially need talent in the back seven, where they’ll be picking from edge rushers, linebackers, and cornerbacks. Baker is the type of player who could come in and start straight away for them. TRADE: Indianapolis trades pick Nos. 26 and 89 to Seattle for the No. 21 pick. 21. Indianapolis Colts: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson With two picks in the second round this year, the Colts can go bold in the first and trade up if a player falls. In this case it’s Ferrell, the talented pass rusher from Clemson. A wide receiver might be an option too, but the Colts currently have more money for free agency than any team in the NFL. They can afford to overpay someone like Golden Tate, for instance, and then maneuver and fills holes in the draft. 22. Baltimore Ravens: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama If the Ravens choose to address running back via free agency with someone like Tevin Coleman or Mark Ingram, the Ravens could move off this pick. But if they don’t pick up a veteran back, Jacobs is a good choice. He would become Baltimore’s workhorse and focal point of the offense. 23. Houston Texans: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State With the top three cornerbacks all gone, the Texans could turn their attention in the first round to the offensive line. Houston’s line did little to keep Deshaun Watson upright, and a player like Dillard could take over the left tackle spot as a rookie. 24. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago): Brian Burns, Edge, Florida State If the Raiders can get Williams at the top of the first round, they should be looking for an edge rusher with one of their later picks. Burns is at his best when he can play right on the edge on the left side with his hand down. There, he can rely on his quickness and length to beat offensive tackles both on the edge and working back to the inside. 25. Philadelphia Eagles: Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss I nearly made a trade for the Eagles to go up a few picks to draft Dillard. It would be an easy move for Philadelphia since the team has two second-round picks. Instead, I kept the Eagles at No. 25 to take Little. He’s a little raw still, but his athleticism and size make him a natural at left tackle. 26. Seattle Seahawks: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson Seahawks general manager John Schneider is always active on draft weekend and without a second-round pick this year, look for him to move down. It could even be all the way out of the first round if the offer is good enough. In this mock draft, he stays inside the first and picks up an extra third-round pick. An interior defensive lineman might be considered a secondary need for the Seahawks, but Lawrence’s size and athleticism will be hard to pass up. 27. Oakland Raiders (via Dallas): D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss Here we are with the third Raiders pick of the first round. It begs the question of whether or not the Raiders should trade one of them. The easy answer is no because of how poor the roster is right now. That’s particularly true regarding offensive playmakers. Derek Carr has an average set of targets, so a player like Metcalf could be attractive. He’s not a polished receiver, but he can make the type of splash plays the Raiders need. 28. Los Angeles Chargers: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida The playoffs proved that the Chargers need to seriously upgrade the right tackle position this offseason. Taylor is a natural on the right side, and would easily replace 2017 sixth-round pick Sam Tevi. 29. Kansas City Chiefs: Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State If Oruwariye has a decent NFL Scouting Combine later this month, he could easily find himself in the first-round mix. He’s a physical corner with good size and hands. But there are some concerns about his playing speed. If he times well, his stock will be on the rise. 30. Green Bay Packers: (via New Orleans): Noah Fant, TE, Iowa Some see flashes of Travis Kelce in Fant’s game. If he’s anything close to that as a pro, imagine what Aaron Rodgers could do with that type of weapon. Fant can run a variety of routes and be lined up at multiple spots. He’s only average as a blocker, but he does enough to get by. 31. Los Angeles Rams: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama What the Rams do in the first round is completely dependent on which players they can retain in free agency. The big free agents for Los Angeles are real big ones. They include defensive end Dante Fowler, safety Lamarcus Joyner, left guard Rodger Saffold, and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. If the Rams lose a couple of them, which is possible, the team should try and move back. But if they’re stuck at No. 31 and Joyner leaves, Thompson would be a nice addition. He’s a very good coverage safety and comes to the NFL pro-ready in his technique thanks to playing at Alabama. 32. New England Patriots: Zach Allen, DE, Boston College The Patriots don’t really pay big-money second contracts to defensive ends, so Trey Flowers may not be back with the Super Bowl champions. If that’s the case, a player like Allen would be a nice pickup. He plays the run and pass well, and can move inside in certain situations.