I wanted to try changing a few picks to see how things would unfold if a few teams went in a different direction. Here’s the result:
1.Arizona Cardinals – QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
2.San Francisco 49ers – DE Nick Bosa, Ohio St.
3.New York Jets – LB Josh Allen, Kentucky
4.Oakland Raiders – DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama
5.Tampa Bay Buccaneers – LB Devin White, Louisiana St.
6.New York Giants – DE Montez Sweat, Mississippi St.
7.Jacksonville Jaguars – OT Jawaan Taylor, Florida
8.Detroit Lions – DE Rashan Gary, Michigan
9.Buffalo Bills – DT Ed Oliver, Houston
10.Denver Broncos – QB Drew Lock, Missouri
11.Cincinnati Bengals – LB Devin Bush, Michigan
12.Green Bay Packers – TE T.J. Hockenson, Iowa
13.Miami Dolphins – DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
14.Atlanta Falcons – OT Jonah Williams, Alabama
15.Washington Redskins – QB Daniel Jones, Duke
16.Carolina Panthers – LB Brian Burns, Florida St.
17.New York Giants – QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio St.
18.Minnesota Vikings – OG Cody Ford, Oklahoma
19.Tennessee Titans – WR D.K. Metcalf, Mississippi
20.Pittsburgh Steelers – CB Greedy Williams, Louisiana St.
21.Seattle Seahawks – DT Christian Wilkins, Clemson
22.Baltimore Ravens – WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma
23.Houston Texans – OT Andre Dillard, Washington St.
24.Oakland Raiders – TE Noah Fant, Iowa
25.Philadelphia Eagles – OG Chris Lindstrom, Boston College
26.Indianapolis Colts – DT Dexter Lawrence, Clemson
27.Oakland Raiders – RB Joshua Jacobs, Alabama
28.Los Angeles Chargers – DT Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi St.
29.Kansas City Chiefs – OG Garrett Bradbury, North Carolina St.
30.Green Bay Packers – DB Johnathan Abram, Mississippi St.
31.Los Angeles Rams – CB Byron Murphy, Washington
32.New England Patriots – TE Irv Smith Jr., Alabama
The first mock draft of the year; click on a prospect’s name to see their scouting report.
- Arizona Cardinals – QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
- San Francisco 49ers – DE Nick Bosa, Ohio St.
- New York Jets – LB Josh Allen, Kentucky
- Oakland Raiders – DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – LB Devin White, Louisiana St.
- New York Giants – DE Rashan Gary, Michigan
- Jacksonville Jaguars – OT Jawaan Taylor, Florida
- Detroit Lions – DE Montez Sweat, Mississippi
- Buffalo Bills – DT Ed Oliver, Houston
- Denver Broncos – QB Drew Lock, Missouri
- Cincinnati Bengals – LB Brian Burns, Florida St.
- Green Bay Packers – TE T.J. Hockenson, Iowa
- Miami Dolphins – QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio St.
- Atlanta Falcons – DT Christian Wilkins, Clemson
- Washington Redskins – QB Daniel Jones, Duke
- Carolina Panthers – DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
- New York Giants (from Browns) – OT Jonah Williams, Alabama
- Minnesota Vikings – OT Cody Ford, Oklahoma
- Tennessee Titans – DE Chase Winovich, Michigan
- Pittsburgh Steelers – CB Greedy Williams, Louisiana St.
- Seattle Seahawks – CB Byron Murphy, Washington
- Baltimore Ravens – WR D.K. Metcalf, Mississippi
- Houston Texans – OT Andre Dillard, Washington St.
- Oakland Raiders (from Bears) – LB Devin Bush, Michigan
- Philadelphia Eagles – OG Chris Lindstrom, Boston College
- Indianapolis Colts – DT Dexter Lawrence, Clemson
- Oakland Raiders (from Cowboys) – TE Noah Fant, Iowa
- Los Angeles Chargers – OT Greg Little, Mississippi
- Kansas City Chiefs – OG Garrett Bradbury, North Carolina St.
- Green Bay Packers (from Saints) – LB Jachai Polite, Florida
- Los Angeles Rams – CB Deandre Baker, Georgia
- New England Patriots – TE Irv Smith Jr., Alabama
6’0” – 201 lbs. – 4.51
Was a wide receiver in high school. Redshirted, practicing at both receiver and cornerback, then appeared in eleven games the following year before taking over a starting job in 2016, retaining that role for three seasons and totaling eight interceptions over that span to conclude his collegiate career. Well-built cornerback who took snaps on both the left and right sides of the defense and both the field and boundary sides. Often backpedals out of off-man coverage, but will also press regularly as well. Backpedal itself looks very nice; demonstrates good balance and quick feet, giving him an advantage over many corners in this class who tend to turn and run out of press on the majority of their snaps. Looks good flipping his hips to turn and run with opposing receivers. Not the fastest or most explosive player, but overall speed and athleticism are pro-caliber. Has good reaction times to receivers breaking off their routes, which allows him to provide tight coverage through the stem. Puts himself in position to break up throws even if his plant-and-drive burst is nothing special. Has a little bit more trouble navigating the congestion in the middle of the field. Has good footwork to match opposing releases from press-man, but would like to see him be more physical with his arms to disrupt timing; temperament is a little bit finesse, especially for a bigger cornerback. Also doesn’t have much stopping power as a run defender; willing to stick his nose in, but doesn’t play with the sort of power or physicality you’d expect given his size. Misses some arm tackles and even some attempts to hit and wrap opposing runners. Needs to keep the play in front of him, as he lacks the recovery speed to chase down opponents when caught flat-footed. Silver lining is that he gets good extension and understands positioning when taking on blocks, allowing him to funnel opposing runners back inside to help. Comes from an FCS program, so he’ll be making a big leap up in terms of the level of competition he’ll be playing. Nonetheless, his combination of size, technique, quickness, and pattern recognition is intriguing enough that it’s hard to believe he’ll slip much past the mid-rounds. Surest route to working his way up the depth chart will be by improving the overall level of physicality in his game.
5’9” – 169 lbs. – 4.52
Appeared in six games on special teams as a freshman, then started the final three of twelve games played on defense the following year, posting 17 tackles and two interceptions. Took over a starting role this past year and intercepted seven passes before declaring for the draft. Undersized defensive back who lines up on both sides of the field, playing a combination of man and zone coverages from both press and off looks. Wasn’t really asked to backpedal much during the games reviewed but had controlled footwork on the snaps in which he was. Also demonstrates good footwork to match releases at the line of scrimmage, using his hands well to provide tight man coverage. Not a particularly fast or explosive mover, but has quick reaction times to routes breaking which allows him to put himself in-phase to go for the breakup or interception. Obviously doesn’t have the best wingspan but proved this past season that he can compensate for it by diagnosing and undercutting routes for the interception. Also somewhat makes up for his lack of size with impressive leaping ability, having recorded a 39” vertical and 10’2” broad jump at the Combine. In zone coverage, does a good job of staying over the top of route combinations in order to keep the play in front of him. Looks like he may be susceptible to double-moves, with some technique issues; see Kelvin Harmon’s double move on him early in the fourth quarter of the North Carolina St. game this past season. Really struggles to shed blockers in the run game, as might be expected given his physical profile. Willing to attack blockers but is most effective when he uses his quickness to try and slip past them, as he tends to either get glued to blocks or driven out of the play. Wraps up opponents but doesn’t have a wide radius or much stopping power. Size limitations may force him to slide down into the slot as a pro, where he could use his pattern recognition skills to break up or intercept throws over the middle; however, may never be the type of run defender teams look for in their nickel corner. On-ball production and solid workouts at the Combine should have put him on the radar in this year’s class, but probably more likely as a late-round candidate.
6’0” – 195 lbs. – 4.42
Started one of thirteen games played as a freshman, totaling 18 tackles and two interceptions. Took over a full-time starting role the following year, with 46 tackles, ten breakups, and five interceptions. Posted 37 tackles and two interceptions as a junior before declaring for the draft. Has good size and relatively long arms for a defensive back, which measured 31.75” in Indianapolis. Lined up on the left side of the Chippewas’ defense. Plays a lot of shuffle technique, with some press-man as well. Pretty light on his feet, although he wasn’t asked to backpedal during the games reviewed. Does a good job of using his length to stick with opponents in press-man, pinning them to the sidelines; can also crowd inside releases to create tough throws over the middle of the field. Has good quickness and uses his hands to provide pretty tight coverage through the route stem. Working in zone, demonstrates a pretty good feel for route combinations and play development; can break off of his original man to help on another defender or get upfield to attack screens, although his burst when planting and driving is good but not elite. Combines soft hands and the physical/athletic tools to contest passes, with good length and flexibility and explosive leaping ability, having recorded a 41.5” vertical and 10’6” broad jump at the Combine. However, needs to be quicker about getting his head around in order to locate the ball when targeted down the field. Not one of the more physical run defenders in run support; attacks blocks, but tends to struggle to disengage and put himself in position to make tackles. Too often walls himself off by trying to go around the outside shoulder of a receiver. Will wrap up opponents, but really lacks stopping power and functional strength and can often be taken for a ride by a running back with some leg drive. Generally considered a candidate to come off the board in the draft’s mid-rounds, he offers two years of starting experience as well as an impressive combination of length, flexibility, speed, and explosive leaping ability. However, in order to be a successful player at the pro level, he will have to improve his ability to defend the run, most importantly by getting stronger and improving his overall hand usage and positioning. Thus some time in a pro strength program may be necessary before he sees the field.
5’10” – 201 lbs. – 4.48
Played sparingly, predominantly in a special-teams capacity as a true freshman, then started the final nine of thirteen games played as a sophomore, posting 163-966-8. Was the full-time starter as a junior, enjoying a similar season of 164-985-4 before declaring for the draft. Team captain who’s a little bit smaller than your typical running back, although he has a muscular build. Did a lot of his work out of shotgun and pistol formations, mostly on attempts between the tackles. Despite explosive athletic testing at the Combine (39.5” vertical, 10’10” broad jump), doesn’t appear to have elite burst or speed on tape. However, does bring a tough approach to the position, with the ability to get behind his pads and fight for additional yardage after contact. Able to lower the shoulder and run over defensive backs in one-on-one situations. Demonstrates pretty good leg drive to push the pile once engaged. Needs some time to get going before his power kicks in; can be stopped near the line of scrimmage before he builds up momentum and wasn’t an automatic converter in short-yardage situations during the games reviewed. Can struggle to win the edge when faced with congestion or when running off-tackle, although he has pretty clean footwork when making cuts to bounce outside. Considered together with his smaller frame, style of running might cause him to absorb a lot of punishment/wear and tear. Ball security has been an issue; fumbled six times on just over 370 career touches, including four times on just over 180 touches this past season. Not afraid to stick his nose in as a blocker, and was often retained in pass protection rather than being sent out on a route. Doesn’t always get the best extension with his arms, but throws some physical chip blocks to buy time for his quarterback. Demonstrates solid lateral quickness to mirror once engaged. Wasn’t integrated that heavily into the team’s plans as a receiving option, most commonly running some releases into the flats off of play action, or catching screens. Does appear to have solid hands and is the type of runner you’d like to isolate against opposing corners. Plays the game with the type of toughness and physicality teams look for, but his smaller frame, lack of elite burst, and ball-security issues may relegate him to being more of a late-round pick or undrafted free agent. Past experience working on special-teams coverage units may help his cause.
6’0” – 210 lbs. – 4.52
Hybrid running back and wide receiver who also served as a dangerous return specialist. Redshirted, then received a total of sixty touches the following year, split almost evenly between rushing attempts and receptions. Had another sixty-six touches the following year, then rushed 78-552-6 and caught 39-458-3 in his junior campaign before declaring for the draft. Also returned a total of seven kick returns for touchdowns over the past three years. Lines up all over the formation; plays quarterback in the wild cat, runs out of the backfield, and takes snaps from the slot. Despite his success returning kicks, overall speed and burst are just good, not great. Does have enough juice to beat opposing defenders to the edge and get himself into space against smaller opponents; most of his runs were off-tackle. Smooth accelerator and overall mover who combines pretty good vision with solid cutting ability, allowing him to weave through traffic. Not the most powerful back, playing a little bit smaller than his listed size, but is capable of running through arm tackles when he gets going and doesn’t shy away from contact. Has pretty good ball security, with just three career fumbles on over three hundred touches, all of which came in his redshirt freshman season. Gives solid effort as the lead blocker in two-back sets, including out of the wildcat. Willing to get physical with opponents and does a good job of using his athleticism to successfully line up and engage opposing defenders in space. More competitive than powerful but still managed solid results during the games reviewed, a holding call negating a touchdown in the UCF game notwithstanding. As a receiver, caught a lot of tunnel screens and other shorter patterns: hitches, slants, etc. Was mostly used as a stalk blocker and decoy from the slot. Route running is a little bit rough at this point, looking like a back rather than a true receiver. Struggles to make adjustments to poorly-thrown balls, with two passes hitting his hands and falling incomplete in the Houston game. Was also retained in pass protection and is willing to get physical but needs to use his arms more instead of throwing chips. A fun gadget player who comes solid size and athleticism with dangerous ability as a return specialist, those traits should be enough to get him drafted, even if he’s not quite a master of either carrying or catching the ball on offense.
5’11” – 208 lbs. – 4.47
Started eight of thirteen games as a true freshman, leading the team in rushing with a line of 179-889-6. Was suspended for his entire sophomore season after allegedly participating in a credit card fraud scam, then came back to start for the team once again, posting 131-776-5. Declared for the draft following the season. Has a pretty solid build for a modern running back. Despite running well at the Combine, is not the fastest or most explosive runner, but offers an impressive combination of flexibility, balance, elusiveness, and tackle-breaking ability. Demonstrated the ability to make something out of nothing, slithering out of the grasp of opposing defenders and bouncing runs outside for a few yards where a loss previously seemed all but certain. Able to juke and stutter-step his way past defenders in one-on-one situations when he gets to the edge. More of a chunk runner than someone who’s going to hit home runs, and despite being able to slip out of more than his fair share of tackles, can’t really be considered a power back either; survives rather than punishing opponents with a low pad level, and most of his better runs came off-tackle, either by design or by necessity. Ball security is solid, with just two career fumbles on just under 360 total touches. Struggled as a receiver during the games reviewed, letting a few passes slip through his grasp. Caught just fifteen passes over the course of his career, ten of which came this past season. Would line up on the outside as a receiver at times, but that tended to be just window dressing rather than an indicator of high-quality receiving ability. Showed more as a blocker, with a good level of physicality to take on opponents in blitz pickup or when leading the way on a rushing play. Does a good job of staying on his feet and knocking opponents off-balance with powerful shoves/chip blocks. A prospect who proved that he could produce at the SEC level over two seasons as a starting back, his size, speed, and power are nothing special, but he has a pretty interesting combination of tools which allow him to produce on the ground. Lack of value as a receiving back and season-long suspension in 2017 may relegate him to being more of a late-round pick or even undrafted free agent.
5’10” – 212 lbs. – N/A
Redshirted, then finished second on the team in rushing with a line of 99-731-5. Ended up starting seven games as an injury replacement the following year, enjoying his most productive season: 237-1,402-10. Had a similar if somewhat less voluminous junior year (183-1,037-12), then was limited to just 63-400-6 over five games this past year, breaking and dislocating his ankle in early October. Looks a little bit thinner than his Combine weight on tape, although he was able to handle a heavy load in 2016 and 2017. Most of his carries come out of the shotgun on a combination of dives and off-tackle runs; demonstrates good burst through the hole, as well as the ability to squeeze through tight holes for yardage. Some ability to escape and bounce runs outside when there’s too much congestion on the line; not a battering ram who’s going to bulldoze opposing defenders between the tackles. More likely to try and bounce runs outside, demonstrating an effective stiff-arm when moving laterally but struggling with balance and ending up being tripped up by too many arm-tackles. Has some elusiveness when he gets into the open field, using stutter-steps to freeze opponents and create opportunities for himself. Good but not great speed in the open field. Has solid ball security, with just three fumbles on over six hundred career touches. Tended to stay on the field on passing downs, but wasn’t used heavily as a receiving option (twenty-three career catches). Shows good competitiveness and lateral quickness in blitz pickup, as well as a willingness to stick his nose in and engage opposing pass-rushers from his feet; however, would be well-served by using his arms more consistently, exhibiting a tendency to throw his torso at opponents, sometimes with a lowered head. Made some delayed releases or ran swing patterns out of the backfield; dropped one pass against Penn St. this past season during the games reviewed, although he has the type of short-area quickness to potentially try and get the ball in space. Season-ending ankle injury will likely affect his draft stock, especially given that he was unable to work out at the Combine. Might be more of a late-round pick at this point, but has enough quickness, athleticism, and competitiveness as a blocker that he might eventually be able to work his way into a running-back rotation.
6’0” – 230 lbs. – N/A
Carried the ball 38-209-1 as a freshman, then dealt with an ankle injury as a sophomore en route to 97-412-5. Had a junior year of 129-493-3 and then finished as the team’s leading rusher in 2018, with a line of 155-1,082-12, his yards-per-carry nearly doubling. Very big, thickly-built running back on the borderline between a running back and fullback size-wise. Has the type of running style his size would suggest; the type of back who can rumble up for a few yards, with the leg drive to push the pile and pick up yards after contact, finishing his runs by falling forwards. Knows when to put his head down, get behind his pads, and barrel ahead for a few sure yards instead of trying to hit home-runs. Also demonstrates the vision and footwork to shuffle and locate holes to run through, working in a powerful stiff-arm when he runs off-tackle. Not the fastest or most explosive runner, but can be a handful to bring down, especially when he reaches the edge and can get one-on-one matchups with linebackers and defensive backs. Needs to gather to cut in the open field and sometimes struggles to maintain his balance through ankle tackles, but also flashes the ability to use effective back-jukes to make defenders miss near the line of scrimmage. Has pretty solid ball security, with only four fumbles on nearly 460 career touches. Often stayed on the field on passing downs, but wasn’t integrated too heavily into the game as a receiving back; did play some wide receiver in high school, but usage at the college level was limited to your typical swing passes and releases into the flats as a relatively little-used safety valve. Looks like he offers more as a blocker, where his size, strength, and competitiveness allow him to mix it up with defenders, delivering effective chip blocks to buy time. Could use his arms more consistently but already looked like a pretty valuable asset in blitz pickup even without the most technically-sound approach. Struggled to produce prior to this past season, but finally managed to put it together and enjoyed a successful season which should put him on the radar of pro teams seeking a power back for a rotation. The fact that he wasn’t invited to the Combine suggests that he may be more of a late-round option.