Mock Draft 3.0 Draft Night Eve

Previous Mocks:

Mock Draft 1.0 Pre Free Agency

Mock Draft 2.0 Post Free Agency

 

3001624_SP_Cardinals_2 1. Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff Semifinal-Orange Bowl-Alabama vs Oklahoma

There has been so much smokescreen involved with this pick. The most recent one, where the Cards reportedly floated the idea of drafting Murray to drum up ticket sales, and that they view Bosa as a generational prospect, reeks of a team trying to force a 1-2 switch with the Niners. It might happen, but I expect Murray to end up with the Cards regardless. They desperately need more offensive line talent though.

 

49ers helmet 2. San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa, Edge, Ohio State

Bosa

If the Niners stand pat at two, they’ll get the best player in the class. Bosa is ready immediately to contribute opposite Dee Ford, and give some serious juice to this Niners defense.

 

skins helmet 3. TRADE: Washington Redskins: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

Big Ten Championship - Northwestern v Ohio State

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – DECEMBER 01: Dwyane Haskins #7 of the Ohio State Buckeyes throws a pass in the second quarter against the Northwestern Wildcats at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 01, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Trade details: Redskins receive 3, Jets receive 15, 48, 2020 2nd, 3rd

The Jets and Redskins look like logical trade partners, and Haskins and the Redskins have emerged as a hot item. Haskins has a good chance to begin this year as the starter, and massively improves the potential of this team.

 

raiders helmet 4. Oakland Raiders: Quinnen Williams, DI, Alabama

College Football Playoff National Championship Presented By AT&T - Alabama v Clemson

The Raiders stand pat at four and let an exceptional talent fall to them. Williams would be the number one overall pick in many drafts, and has generational potential. He also happens to be incredibly safe, with an easily translatable skill set, and should wreak havoc in the middle for Oakland.

bucs helmet 2 5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Josh Allen, Edge, Kentucky

Josh Allen

The early run on QBs suits the Bucs just fine, as they get an instant contributor that they sorely need opposite JPP. The Bucs are installing a 3-4 defense, and Allen is a perfect fit as a versatile linebacker with exceptional coverage ability and pass rush skills.

 

giants helmet 6. New York Giants: Ed Oliver, DI, Houston

Ed Oliver

Ed Oliver has shot up boards in the lead up to the draft. His pro day was especially impressive. If he’s there and Josh Allen isn’t, this should be the pick for the Giants. Oliver helps rebuild a once-fearsome defensive line as a seriously athletic interior presence with basically limitless potential.

 

jags 7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jawaan Taylor, T, Florida

Jawaan Taylor

Taylor is expected by many to be the first tackle off the board, and it’s easy to see why with his prototypical size for the position and outstanding foot quickness. He also has excellent play strength, though inconsistent fundamentals. His tape is impressive and the Jags have a serious need.

 

Lions 2 8. Detroit Lions: Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama

Jonah Williams

Williams can play anywhere on the offensive line, and he should be an upgrade in most spots on the Lions line, but they have a glaring need at the guard position that T.J. Lang just vacated via retirement.

 

bengals 9. TRADE Cincinnati Bengals: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

Drew Lock

Trade Details: Bengals receive 9, 112, Bills receive 11, 72

With new coach Zac Taylor in place, I expect the Bengals to move on from the mostly fruitless Andy Dalton era. Though Lock may not start right away, he has a great chance to be the franchise quarterback within a year or two. The Bengals move up a couple of spots, to get ahead of the Broncos, and other teams like the Giants who might have been interested.

 

Broncos 10. Denver Broncos: Devin White, LB, LSU

devin-white

In this scenario, the Broncos get an ideal replacement for Danny Trevathan, and more recently Brandon Marshall. Pairing White with last year’s pick Josey Jewell gives the Broncos a completely retooled middle of the defense that should dominate together for years.

 

texans 11. TRADE Houston Texans: Andre Dillard, T, Washington State

Andre Dillard

Trade Details: Texans receive 11, Bills receive 23, 54, 2020 3rd

The Texans have been rumored to trade up for offensive line help, and Dillard looks to be the guy they’re targeting. Dillard would mark a huge upgrade at the offensive line, and fix one of the biggest holes on the Texans, giving them an excellent prospect with actual potential at the tackle position.

 

Packers 12. Green Bay Packers: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

TJ Hockenson

The Packers tried to shore up the tight end position with Jimmy Graham last year, and he was largely a disappointment. Hockenson could be the next great player at the position, with a great mix of blocking and receiving skills.

 

miami 13. Miami Dolphins: Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan

Rashan Gary

Gary tumbles a bit in this mock, but the Dolphins continue to build a young, dynamic defense with Gary, who is described by many as a freak. He’s waiting for anyone to develop him, and new coach Brian Flores seems like an ideal fit for his unique skillset.

 

falcons helmet 14. Atlanta Falcons: Christian Wilkins, DI, Clemson

Christian Wilkins

The Falcons learned the value of depth on defense last year, with so many injuries to key players. Wilkins may not seem to fill a need, but he has top ten talent and production at a key position.

 

jets helmet 15. New York Jets: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

Noah Fant

The Jets get a player they value, and pick up a lion’s ransom in the bargain. Darnold will love having a dynamic target like Fant down the seam.

 

Panthers 16. Carolina Panthers: Brian Burns, Edge, Florida State

Brian Burns

Edge has been a big need for the Panthers for awhile, and Julius Peppers has gamely performed in that role, but with his retirement, the need can no longer be ignored. Burns happens to have an outstanding pass rushing skill set, and profiles similarly as a pro to new-teammate Mario Addison, though much longer and bendier.

 

giants helmet 17. New York Giants: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

Daniel Jones

The Giants stay home here and their coveted QB falls to them. The David Cutcliffe connection is real, and I imagine if Eli had to choose his own successor, he’d recommend Daniel Jones. Besides that, Jones should be ready to take over when needed as the Giants shift to a more run-heavy, short-passing offense.

 

Vikings helmet 18. Minnesota Vikings: Cody Ford, T/G, Oklahoma

Cody Ford

Ford is an excellent find here for the Vikings, as he fills a major need wherever he slides in. A unanimous All-American, Ford gave up only seven pressures as the starter at right tackle all season.

 

ten-titans-home 19. Tennessee Titans: Clelin Ferrell, Edge, Clemson

Clelin Ferrell

Especially after Derrick Morgan fell off, and with Brian Orakpo getting ever older, a player like Ferrell makes too much sense here. He might go before this, due to his schematic versatility.

 

pit-steelers-revolution 20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Rock Ya Sin, CB, Temple

Rock Ya Sin

Mike Tomlin is said to majorly covet Ya Sin, and views him as an ideal fit, for his notoriusly-difficult-for-cornerbacks scheme. That’s enough for me to believe he’ll pass up on maybe more talented options. Don’t be surprised if the Steelers trade back and still net Ya Sin.

 

Colts 21. TRADE: Indianapolis Colts: Jerry Tillery, DI, Notre Dame

Jerry Tillery

Trade Details: Colts receive 21, 124, Seahawks receive 26, 59

The Seahawks, even after the Frank Clark trade, are still light on picks, so scooping up another second rounder to drop back five spots is a relative bargain. They also scoop up a premiere talent in Tillery, who tied with Quinnen Williams for the highest pass rushing grade of interior defensive lineman.

 

Ravens 22. Baltimore Ravens: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss

AJ Brown

I still think Brown will be the pick here. He’s the ideal, rugged, dependable chain mover that helps in the running game that Harbaugh wants and needs for his transitioning offense. Basically, he’s what the Ravens hoped they were getting from Crabtree last year.

 

Bills 23. Buffalo Bills: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

DK Metcalf

After picking up a boatload of picks, the Bills find a potential number one receiver of the future in Metcalf. He profiles athletically similar to Julio Jones, but doesn’t have the same production and polish, which is why he’s still available at this point.

 

raiders helmet 24. Oakland Raiders: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama

The ideal running back for the Gruden offense, Jacobs represents excellent value here, as I believe he has top fifteen talent and looks to me like a more rugged Alvin Kamara on tape.

 

Eagles 25. Philadelphia Eagles: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan

Devin Bush

The tumble of Bush isn’t indicative of his talent or potential, just how the board fell. The Eagles gladly end it, finding an ideal Jordan Hicks replacement and scooping him up with open arms.

 

Seahawks helmet 26. Seattle Seahawks: Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware

Nasir Adderley

Adderley is the best center fielder in the draft, and an ideal replacement for Earl Thomas, filling one of the weakest spots on the Seahawks’ defense. Sweat could be a consideration here, considering the obvious edge need after the Frank Clark trade, but the Seahawks haven’t visited with him and probably don’t have enough info to be comfortable with his medical.

 

raiders helmet 27. Oakland Raiders: Montez Sweat, Edge, Mississippi State

Montez Sweat

The heart condition tumble isn’t anything new to the Raiders, as they scooped up Maurice Hurst in the fifth round last year. The condition isn’t considered as bad for Sweat, so the Raiders pounce here, having done plenty of pre-draft work on him. He represents incredible value here as a height-weight-speed specimen with solid tape.

 

Patriots 28. TRADE New England Patriots: Will Grier, QB, West Virginia

NCAA Football: Kansas at West Virginia

I’ve heard a lot of love from the Patriots for Will Grier and it feels genuine. Grier is a highly accomplished college passer with a mature approach. He’ll be an ideal understudy for Brady and will either be the heir apparent, or a solid trade chip in a couple of years.

 

Seahawks helmet 29. Seattle Seahawks: Lonnie Johnson Jr., CB, Kentucky

Lonnie Johnson Jr

The Seahawks still covet long, athletic corners, and they don’t come much more tantalizing than Johnson. With the extra second round picks, they should find better value at edge, but Johnson has a special combination of height, weight and speed.

 

Packers 30. Green Bay Packers: Kaleb McGary, T, Washington

Kaleb McGary

The Packers, strangely, don’t have many visits with players in this range, suggesting they may try to trade out, be it down or up. If they stay, McGary’s rare size and foot quickness make him a potential first round surprise, and he is one of the very few Packers visits that fits the range. The Packers need to find a replacement for Brian Bulaga.

 

rams helmet 31. Los Angeles Rams: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

Byron Murphy

The Rams find outstanding value here and continue to stock a stacked secondary against poor play and injuries. Murphy might be the best corner in the draft, so the Rams happily scoop him up.

 

chargers 32. Los Angeles Chargers: Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama

Mack Wilson

Any number of defensive players could be considered here, but I’ve believed for a long time that linebacker is their biggest need. The Chargers seem to like Mack Wilson, and after picking up extra draft capital and dropping back, they can be excused for what might be considered a minor reach.

 

 

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Mock Draft 2.0 Post Free Agency

Previous Mocks: Mock Draft 1.0 Pre-Free Agency

3001624_SP_Cardinals_2 1. Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB, Cardinals

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff Semifinal-Orange Bowl-Alabama vs Oklahoma

While this may not be the best move for the team from a team-building perspective, the belief is that new head coach Kliff Kingsbury will use this pick to begin to make his mark on this team. He has stated that Josh Rosen is a fit for his system, but that hasn’t stopped the endless flood of rumors coming out of the building that Murray will be the pick. From a football perspective, this is intriguing, because the success of this pick will hinge on the Cardinals ability to build an offensive line capable of giving Murray enough early protection to do what he does best and create down the field. The problem, of course, being that the ideal situation would be to take a top offensive lineman in this draft. You can’t have both in this scenario, so it looks as though the Cards will be going into the season with many of the same issues that plagued them last year, unless they trade back out of this pick.

 

49ers helmet 2. San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State

Bosa

This is the ideal scenario for John Lynch, and 49ers fans everywhere. Nick Bosa is a well-developed and pro ready edge defender, who will be able to pair up with DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead, Solomon Thomas and new addition Dee Ford to wreak havoc on the offenses of the NFC West. Bosa still has some growing to do in his game, but he has incredible tools and a mature, technique-sound approach.

 

jets helmet 3. New York Jets: Josh Allen, DE, Kentucky

Josh Allen

This fit just feels inevitable. The Jets are trying to rebuild their 3-4 with special talents at all 3 levels. With Jamal Adams in the secondary and CJ Moseley manning the middle, the outstanding pass rusher is the next piece and Josh Allen gives them that and more. Allen is a very well-rounded prospect who was a more traditional coverage linebacker first, but became a pass rushing force as his college career went along. His athleticism and prowess will bring needed juice to a Jets pass rush that had only Leonard Williams and Henry Anderson to scare opposing offenses.

 

raiders helmet 4. Oakland Raiders: Devin White, LB LSU

devin-white

Adding Brandon Marshall and Vontaze Burfict is nice, but neither is a long-term answer at a position that has too long been the black hole on the Raiders. Devin White brings a young stud into the position for potentially five years, and maybe more than that, for which the entire defense can be built around. This is an intelligent, forward-thinking move for Jon Gruden and has a very Mike Mayock feel to it.

 

bucs helmet 2 5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

College Football Playoff National Championship Presented By AT&T - Alabama v Clemson

The Bucs must be pinching themselves with Williams falling to them at fifth, Gerald McCoy is on his way out and though they just spent high draft capital on Vita Vea, he doesn’t bring the incredible game-wrecking ability and insane athleticism that Williams does. The two could form a special duo to kickstart a young and ascending Bucs defense, provided they solve their issue at safety, opposite Justin Evans.

 

giants helmet 6. New York Giants: Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan

Rashan Gary

Though Haskins could be the pick here, GM Dave Gettleman’s MO is to build the trenches first. He’s done some great work on the offensive line so far, with the recent addition of Kevin Zeitler transforming the unit. The defensive line, however, has bled talent, losing JPP, Snacks Harrison and Olivier Vernon since he took over. Rashan Gary is not a fully realized player, but figures to be a moldable chess piece that will fill holes that need to be plugged. He’s a great piece to the puzzle on this Giants defensive rebuild.

 

jags 7. Jacksonville Jaguars: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

DK Metcalf

Though the Jags need to continue to build the O-line, it’s hard to imagine them passing up the chance to give QB Nick Foles his big weapon. Metcalf fills the role Allen Robinson vacated last offseason, and has much higher physical upside. With his absolutely eye-popping measurables, it’s hard to believe some team in the top ten won’t fall in love with the potential.

 

Lions 2 8. Detroit Lions: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

Montez Sweat

Trey Flowers is a great addition and a great piece to be the glue on this Lions defense, however, he is not an adequate replacement to what Ziggy Ansah brought at his peak. Montez Sweat could be, and it’s hard to imagine the Lions passing up the chance to draft such a unique talent as this 6’6 255 lb pass rusher that runs a 4.4 and actually has very solid tape. Sweat will go in the top 15, and probably in the top ten.

 

giants helmet 9. Buffalo Bills TRADE to New York Giants: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

Drew Lock

I find it highly suspicious that people have speculated seemingly every quarterback but Drew Lock to the Giants. This is especially considering that Lock would have a fairly ideal scenario here in which the regime continues to voice its unwavering support of Eli Manning as the starting QB. Lock absolutely needs to sit and develop with NFL coaching, and he could do worse than sitting behind a highly intelligent and accomplished veteran like Manning. Once he is ready to take over, he’ll have the benefit of one of the most dynamic young running backs in the game and what’s shaping up to be a very solid offensive line. Of course, Elway is in love with Lock, the latest version of himself, so the Giants have to leapfrog the Broncos to make this happen. The Bills, meanwhile, see far more value in sliding back and picking up extra draft capital, waiting for better value later in the round. They have the unique position of having their franchise quarterback in place, and having few glaring holes on the roster after a highly active offseason.

 

Broncos 10. Denver Broncos: Jonah Williams, T/G/C, Alabama

Jonah Williams

With the temptation of Lock gone, the Broncos can focus on building around Joe Flacco and waiting for next year’s superior crop of QBs. In that vein, a player like Jonah Williams, who is very intelligent and had great interviews at the combine, to go along with dominant tape, figures to plug right in wherever the Broncos need him. That may be at left tackle, where he played well for Alabama the last two years. The concern of short arms with him is viable, but the Broncos are betting on a player with an extremely high floor, similar to the departed Matt Paradis.

 

bengals 11. Cincinnati Bengals: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

NCAA Football: SEC Championship-Alabama vs Georgia

It seems like the Bengals always need secondary help, but drafting a player like Baker could add a physical edge to a secondary, and defense overall, that scared no one last year in the second half of the season. The offense for the Bengals is a mess, but the new regime needs to hit on this pick, and Baker has the mentality of a lockdown corner. This addition could unlock the entire defense and allow the Bengals to shift to a more Ravens-esque type of squad (tough, physical defense and running game).

 

Packers 12. Green Bay Packers: Andre Dillard, T, Washington State

Andre Dillard

With David Bahktiari in place, drafting a tackle may not make sense on the surface, but Dillard has special measurables that indicate his ability to be incredibly effective on the right side, where incumbent Byran Bulaga will soon need to be replaced. For a team with few holes after a strong defensive free agency, improving Aaron Rodgers’ protection is paramount for success under new coach Matt LaFleur.

 

miami 13. Miami Dolphins: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

Ed Oliver

They never really replaced the departed Ndamokung Suh, and continue to build a young, talented defense. They have Jerome Baker manning the middle, Xavien Howard and Minkah Fitzpatrick are patrolling the secondary, but adding a dynamic athlete like Ed Oliver could be a boon once this team is ready to compete in a year or two. Oliver will probably take some time to reach his potential, I expect him to begin to reach his prime around year three.

 

falcons helmet 14. Atlanta Falcons: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama

Surprise! The Falcons know they can’t afford to go into the season with just Devonta Freeman, and they have very few holes on the roster as it stands. Jacobs fills the Tevin Coleman role with a bigger, stronger Alvin Kamara-type back in Jacobs. He has fresh legs with under 300 college carries, but shows an excellent all-around game, with notably stunning balance, something that has been the calling card of young stud backs Kamara and Ezekiel Elliott.

 

skins helmet 15. Washington Redskins: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

Big Ten Championship - Northwestern v Ohio State

It’s hard to imagine such a talent as Haskins to fall this far, but I’ve heard very little hype about Haskins in NFL circles so far. I wouldn’t be surprised if a team like Cincinnati tried him out, but in this scenario, the Redskins stand pat and get my favorite QB prospect in the entire draft at 15. Haskins has a rare, vintage pocket passing style to go with solid functional athleticism. He’s a perfect replacement for Alex Smith, and adds more juice at this point in their respective careers.

 

Panthers 16. Carolina Panthers: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

Byron Murphy

It seems like the Panthers have been trying to fix their mess of a secondary for years now, but quietly they’re really only one or two pieces away with James Bradberry, Donte Jackson and Eric Reid in place. Adding Byron Murphy locks down the ever-important Nickel slot, while also giving them excellent insurance, should one of their starters be injured or underperform. I could also see a tackle or edge rusher here, but there’s no great left tackles left available. Brian Burns, however, is a real option here as well.

 

Bills 17. Buffalo Bills: Jawaan Taylor, T/G, Florida

Jawaan Taylor

The Bills have an excellent young left tackle in place with Dion Dawkins, and got their stud center in free agency in Mitch Morse, With Jon Feliciano and Ty Nsheke also in place, they can afford to slide Taylor wherever he fits on the offensive line. What they’ll get is a massive human with excellent anchor and solid movement skills for his size. He’s still learning the game, especially the leverage aspect of it, and where he should set up his blocks on the edge, so starting at guard could be the way to go. Either way, continuing to invest in Josh Allen’s protection is a great idea and fits the profile for coach Sean McDermott.

 

Vikings helmet 18. Minnesota Vikings: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan

Devin Bush

The Vikings must allow Anthony Barr to be more of a Jack linebacker (pass rusher primarily on the edge) if he is to reach his potential and hide his weaknesses in coverage. With that, they need a true off-the-ball dynamic athlete at linebacker, who can run with the speedy slot receivers and tight ends of the NFC when called upon. Devin Bush is that athlete, and boasts solid instincts in the run game as well.

 

ten-titans-home 19. Tennessee Titans: Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College

Chris Lindstrom

The number one goal for coach Mike Vrabel this offseason should be improving protection for his fragile starting QB. Lindstrom is a rock-solid prospect who should be a day 1 above-average starter, and certainly improve on the departed duo of Josh Kline and Quinton Spain.

 

pit-steelers-revolution 20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Brian Burns, DE, Florida State

Brian Burns

Burns would be a stand-up rush linebacker with the Steelers, and with his long lanky frame and arms, that may just be an excellent NFL fit for him. The Steelers lack pass rush juice off the edge, opposite TJ Watt, and it’s been a big problem with their recent defensive iterations. Burns has an excellent first step and constantly pops on tape, as a relentless and bendy edge rusher.

 

Seahawks helmet 21. Seattle Seahawks: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

Noah Fant

A reliable target, and dynamic athlete down the seam is something that has been notably missing throughout Russel Wilson’s career. The Jimmy Graham trade ultimately didn’t add this element, but the addition of Fant will, and suddenly would make this offense very difficult to stop, considering the power running game, and excellent route runners already in place at receiver in Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett.

 

Ravens 22. Baltimore Ravens: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss

AJ Brown

This is the rugged, tough wide receiver that John Harbaugh wants. Brown is a fluid route runner, who makes his hay in the short to intermediate range of the field. He presents a very friendly target for quarterbacks and has a great feel for finding holes in zones and creating early separation in man. He would become Lamar Jackson’s best friend instantly.

 

texans 23. Houston Texans: Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss

Greg Little, Kenny Hebert

Greg Little is everywhere in the draft process, but he makes too much sense for the Texans, where he will be an improvement over their current situation, pretty much regardless, as Matt Kalil is slotted as the current starter. Besides that, he has an ideal body for the position, and reminds me of former Ole Miss stud Laremy Tunsil.

 

raiders helmet 24. Oakland Raiders: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

TJ Hockenson

This is the perfect tight end for Jon Gruden and his run-first offense. Hockenson will be a favorite of Derek Carr for his pass blocking ability, and excellent feel for leveraging himself open in coverage. His biggest strength, though, is as a stud run blocker, he can be an extra offensive tackle when needed, despite his relative small size. Hockenson is a rare throwback tight end in the mold of prime Jason Witten. It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s taken earlier than this.

 

Eagles 25. Philadelphia Eagles: Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama

Mack Wilson

Wilson is an ideal replacement for Jordan Hicks, as a pass coverage-first linebacker. Hicks was even more raw coming out of college, so perhaps Jim Schwartz can give his magic touch to Wilson, who seems like he’s just waiting for someone to tap his enormous potential. At the moment, he’s a run and chase linebacker, with adept coverage skills, who needs to improve his understanding of running lanes.

 

Colts 26. Indianapolis Colts: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

NCAA Football: Clemson at Texas A&M

Lawrence is a perfect addition to what is shaping up to be an incredibly well-rounded defense for Indy. A big anchor on the interior of the D-line who adds some pass rush juice as well, Lawrence is a player that can add a physical edge, especially to the Indy run defense, which will make them all the harder to bully.

 

raiders helmet 27. Oakland Raiders: Taylor Rapp, S, Washington

Taylor Rapp

All I keep hearing about Rapp is that he’s one of the safest and most intelligent players in the draft, safe is the key word here. The Raiders simply must hit with these first round picks. Mayock will be under the microscope and a player like Rapp should improve the Raiders defense regardless.

 

chargers 28. Los Angeles Chargers: Will Grier, QB, West Virginia

NCAA Football: Kansas at West Virginia

Some team is going to come after Grier at the end of the first round, there’s a lot of love for him around the league. Why not the Chargers? They’ve continued to recycle the talent under Philip Rivers and look capable of continuing their winning ways beyond his career, so long as they shore up the succession plan.

 

chiefs helmet 29. Kansas City Chiefs: Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware

Nasir Adderley

Pairing a deep center fielder with a sideline to sideline playmaker like Tyrann Mathieu would be a great start for a fully re-tooled Chiefs secondary.

 

Packers 30. Green Bay Packers: Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama

Irv Smith Jr

After shoring up Rodgers’ protection, the Packers could stand to add a tight end of the future and Irv Smith has as much upside as anyone in this draft that didn’t play college football at Iowa. He set receiving records for the position at Alabama, with over 700 yards and 7 TDs in 2018, so his receiving game comes fairly pro-ready.

 

rams helmet 31. Los Angeles Rams: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State

Jeffery Simmons

The Rams are in a position in this round where they can afford to swing for the fences with a top ten prospect like Simmons. His fall comes primarily due to a predraft injury, but some teams are also concerned about a domestic violence incident his freshman year. His game profiles similar to Fletcher Cox, and pairing that with Aaron Donald long-term sounds like a great recipe for the Rams.

 

Patriots 32. New England Patriots: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

Daniel Jones

The Patriots continue to bring in young quarterbacks behind Brady, and if Jones isn’t the one to finally take up the mantle, he’ll continue in a rich tradition of yielding draft capital a couple of years down the road. Jones profiles as a tantalizing pro-ready prospect, but with limited upside he tumbles to a very grateful New England.

 

 

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Mock Draft 1.0 Pre Free Agency

3001624_SP_Cardinals_2 1. Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB, Cardinals

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff Semifinal-Orange Bowl-Alabama vs Oklahoma

Dec 29, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray (1) throws against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the fourth quarter of the 2018 Orange Bowl college football playoff semifinal game at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Murray is the pick, according to multiple sources. Personally, I’d build around Rosen, but if Kingsbury wants his guy, he should be able to convince the front office.

 

49ers helmet 2. San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State

Bosa

Edge is a desperate need for the Niners, and Bosa is the best prospect in the draft, regardless of position. Perfect fit.

 

jets helmet 3. New York Jets: Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky

Josh Allen

The Jets have needed a blue-chip edge rusher forever, and here’s Josh Allen, fresh off a 17 sack season. He’s a perfect fit for their 3-4 defense.

 

raiders helmet 4. Oakland Raiders: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

College Football Playoff National Championship Presented By AT&T - Alabama v Clemson

The Raiders love Williams, need help everywhere, and Williams happens to be the highest player left on the board. He’s probably their number two guy.

 

bucs helmet 2 5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Devin White, LB, LSU

devin-white

With Kwon Alexander headed for free agency, a replacement is needed, and the Bucs can’t do much better than the next great LB from the factory at LSU.

 

giants helmet 6. New York Giants: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

Big Ten Championship - Northwestern v Ohio State

The Giants and Haskins are a perfect fit. Haskins slides right in as an ideal backup to Manning, with his pocket passing skills, and has the kind of high upside to take over as starter quickly and go to pro bowls.

 

jags 7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jonah Williams, T/G, Alabama

Jonah Williams

The Jags are a team ready to compete right now, and Williams slides in as an immediate high-impact starter on an offensive line that desperately needs to do a better job facilitating its offense.

 

Lions 2 8. Detroit Lions: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

Ed Oliver

The Lions have been looking for an interior disruptor like Oliver since Ndamokung Suh left. It’s time.

 

Bills 9. Buffalo Bills: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson

Clelin Ferrell

The Bills have a solid tandem at edge, but rotational depth is important, and highly valued by Coach Sean McDermott. Don’t be surprised if the Bills trade back, too.

 

Broncos 10. Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

Drew Lock

Lock should be the apple of John Elway’s eye through the pre-draft process. Big arm, excellent measurables, extensive starting experience, intangible moxie. He can and should be the face of the franchise.

 

bengals 11. Cincinnati Bengals: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

NCAA Football: SEC Championship-Alabama vs Georgia

Baker is a stud, with real shutdown ability and a physical edge that fits right in with what the Bengals are building on that side of the ball.

 

Packers 12. Green Bay Packers: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

Montez Sweat

The Packers have a glaring need at rush end, and Sweat is a great fit for the Packers 3-4 base. He destroyed the combine and has solid tape and production.

 

miami 13. Miami Dolphins: Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan

Rashan Gary

The Dolphins are trying to build something special on the defensive side of the ball, and could do worse than adding a dynamic athlete like Gary to the defensive line.

 

falcons helmet 14. Atlanta Falcons: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

Greedy Williams

The Falcons must shore up the spot opposite Desmond Trufant for the long term, and though Greedy Williams may not be an impact starter right away, he has sky-high potential with his height-weight-speed combo.

 

skins helmet 15. Washington Redskins: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

DK Metcalf

Metcalf is probably the highest upside receiver in the draft, and should help out whoever lines up at quarterback for the Skins in 2019. His combine was incredible, and he passes the eye test.

 

Panthers 16. Carolina Panthers: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

Byron Murphy

The Panthers should continue to develop their secondary, which has been a huge liability, with a rock solid prospect like Murphy, who does a great job reading and reacting.

 

browns helmet 17. Cleveland Browns: Andre Dillard, T, Washington State

Andre Dillard

The Browns have improved the roster a lot, but need to find a franchise left tackle. Dilllard has maybe the best pass blocking resume, and profiles well as Baker Mayfield’s blindside protector.

 

Vikings helmet 18. Minnesota Vikings: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

Christian Wilkins

Losing Sheldon Richardson, as the Vikings are expected to, would leave a big hole on the Vikings defensive line. The Vikings have bigger needs and would probably trade back in this scenario, but take a talent that has tumbled too far already in Wilkins.

 

ten-titans-home 19. Tennessee Titans: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

TJ Hockenson

The Titans find Mariota a rock-solid option with great hands, who will also help tremendously in the running game.

 

pit-steelers-revolution 20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Brian Burns, DE, Florida State

Brian Burns

Burns is a heck of a pass rusher, and would be great opposite TJ Watt. That pass rush would help the whole defense and mask the deficiencies at linebacker and in the secondary.

 

Seahawks helmet 21. Seattle Seahawks: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa

Noah Fant

After Jimmy Graham left, the Seahawks turned to Will Dissly who was solid. Fant is a perfect complement to him, and gives Wilson the seam stretching weapon he has really never had.

 

Ravens 22. Baltimore Ravens: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

Marquise Brown

Brown is among the most dynamic players in this draft, and would fit perfectly in the short passing and hard-nosed running game the Ravens are building with Lamar Jackson.

 

texans 23. Houston Texans: Jawaan Taylor, T/G, Florida

Jawaan Taylor

Taylor is a bit of a projection as an NFL player, but he has ideal size and great foot quickness and functional strength. Despite his rawness, he may already be better than any offensive lineman in Houston.

 

raiders helmet 24. Oakland Raiders: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss

AJ Brown

Brown would give the Raiders and Derek Carr a reliable winner in the short to intermediate levels of the field. He’s a better, younger Michael Crabtree.

 

Eagles 25. Philadelphia Eagles: Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State

Parris Campbell

The Eagles love dynamic receivers after the catch, and need more weapons for Wentz, especially if Agholor’s strong season in 2017 turns to have been a fluke.

 

Colts 26. Indianapolis Colts: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

NCAA Football: Clemson at Texas A&M

The Colts desperately need a dominant presence in the middle of the defensive line, and they don’t come much more imposing than Lawrence.

 

raiders helmet 27. Oakland Raiders: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama

Jacobs is a perfect lead runner for Gruden’s Raiders and continues to transform what was a very poor offense a year ago.

 

chargers 28. Los Angeles Chargers: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan

Devin Bush

The Chargers biggest need, for awhile now, has been a dynamic pass-coverage linebacker. Bush is it.

 

chiefs helmet 29. Kansas City Chiefs: Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware

Nasir Adderley

The Chiefs need serious help all over the defense, but secondary profiles as a good spot to improve here.

 

Packers 30. Green Bay Packers: Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama

Irv Smith Jr

After cleaning up the a hole on defense with the first pick, the Packers take a field stretching threat at tight end, who was extremely successful at Alabama.

 

rams helmet 31. Los Angeles Rams: Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama

Mack Wilson

The Rams need to continue to infuse young, cheap talent into their defense, since they’ll eventually need to pay big money to Jared Goff and maybe Cooper Kupp.

 

Patriots 32. New England Patriots: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

Daniel Jones

Jones is a rock-solid QB prospect, with great size, great coaching and solid arm talent. The Patriots will either look to Jones as the successor or flip him for picks a couple of years down the road.

 

As always, drop your slant in the comments section by hitting the “Leave a Comment” button at the top of the article. If you enjoyed, find us on Facebook and Twitter, links below:

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Official After Review Mock Draft

giants helmet 1.  *TRADE* New York Giants via Arizona Cardinals: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

Trade details: Giants Receive 1 overall, Cardinals Receive 2019 pick 6, 2020 1st, 2020 2nd, 2020 3rd

Pick by: Shae via Shae

 

raiders helmet 2. *TRADE* Oakland Raiders via San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State

Trade details: Raiders receive 2 overall, DE/DT Solomon Thomas, 49ers receive 24 and 27, 140 and CB Gareon Conley

Pick by: Trentyn via Eric

 

jets helmet 3. New York Jets: Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky

Pick by: Trentyn

 

raiders helmet 4. Oakland Raiders: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

Pick by: Trentyn

 

bucs helmet 2 5. Tampa Bay Bucs: Tre Lamar, LB, Clemson

Pick by: Eric

 

3001624_SP_Cardinals_2 6. *TRADE* Arizona Cardinals via New York Giants: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State

Trade details: Giants Receive 1 overall, Cardinals Receive 2019 pick 6, 2020 1st, 2020 2nd, 2020 3rd

Pick by: Shae via Shae

 

jags 7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jawaan Taylor, T, Florida

Pick by: Shae

 

Lions 2 8. Detroit Lions: Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama

Pick by: Eric

 

miami 9. *TRADE* Miami Dolphins via Buffalo Bills: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

Trade details: Miami Dolphins receive 9 overall, Buffalo Bills receive 13, 48

Pick by: Shae via Trentyn

 

Broncos 10. Denver Broncos: Devin White, LB, LSU

Pick by: Trentyn

 

skins helmet11. *TRADE* Washington Redskins via Cincinnati Bengals: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

Trade details: Redskins receive 11, Bengals receive 15, 76

Pick by: Trentyn via Eric

 

Packers12. Green Bay Packers : T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

Pick by: Shae

 

Bills 13. Buffalo Bills: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

Pick by: Trentyn

 

falcons helmet 14. Atlanta Falcons: DreMont Jones, DT, Ohio State

Pick by: Eric

 

bengals 15. *TRADE* Cincinnati Bengals via Washington Redskins: Germaine Pratt, LB, NC State

Trade details: Redskins receive 11, Bengals receive 15, 76

Pick by: Eric via Trentyn

 

chiefs helmet 16. *TRADE* Kansas City Chiefs via Carolina Panthers: Rashan Gary, DE/DT, Michigan

Trade details: Chiefs receive 16, Panthers receive 29, 61, 167, 2020 3rd

Pick by: Trentyn via Trentyn

 

giants helmet 17. New York Giants: Cody Ford, T/G, Oklahoma

Pick by: Shae

 

Vikings helmet 18. Minnesota Vikings: Andre Dillard, T, Washington State

Pick by: Eric

 

ten-titans-home 19. Tennessee Titans: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

Pick by: Shae

 

pit-steelers-revolution 20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jonathan Abram, S, Mississippi State

Pick by: Eric

 

Colts 21. *TRADE* Indianapolis Colts via Seattle Seahawks : DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia

Trade details: Colts receive 21, Seahawks receive 26, 34

Pick by: Shae via Trentyn

 

Ravens 22. Baltimore Ravens: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan

Pick by: Trentyn

 

texans23. Houston Texans: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

Pick by: Eric

 

49ers helmet 24.*TRADE* San Francisco 49ers via Oakland Raiders: Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State

Trade details: Raiders receive 2 overall, DE/DT Solomon Thomas, 49ers receive 24 and 27, 140 and CB Gareon Conley

Pick by: Eric via Trentyn

 

Eagles 25. Philadelphia Eagles: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

Pick by: Shae

 

Patriots 26. *TRADE* New England Patriots via Seattle Seahawks: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

Trade details: Patriots receive 26, Seahawks receive 32, 64

Pick by: Shae via Trentyn

 

49ers helmet 27. *TRADE* San Francisco 49ers via Oakland Raiders: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

Trade details: Raiders receive 2 overall, DE/DT Solomon Thomas, 49ers receive 24 and 27, 140 and CB Gareon Conley

Pick by: Eric via Trentyn

 

chargers 28. Los Angeles Chargers: Dalton Risner, T, Kansas State

Pick by: Eric

 

Panthers 29. *TRADE* Carolina Panthers via Kansas City Chiefs: Brian Burns, DE Florida State

Trade details: Chiefs receive 16, Panthers receive 29, 61, 167, 2020 3rd

Pick by: Trentyn via Trentyn

 

Eagles 30. *TRADE* Philadelphia Eagles via Green Bay Packers: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

Trade details: Eagles receive 30, 114, Packers receive 57, 2020 2nd

Pick by: Shae via Shae

 

rams helmet 31. Los Angeles Rams: Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama

Pick by: Eric

 

Seahawks helmet 32. *TRADE* Seattle Seahawks via New England Patriots: Garrett Bradbury, C, NC State

Trade details: Patriots receive 26, Seahawks receive 32, 64

Pick by: Trentyn via Shae

 

As always, drop your slant in the comments section by hitting the “Leave a Comment” button at the top of the article. If you enjoyed, find us on Facebook and Twitter, links below:

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Scouting Report: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff Semifinal-Orange Bowl-Alabama vs Oklahoma

Height: 5’10 Weight: 207 lbs.

Tape Viewed: 2018 vs. Texas, 2018 vs. UCLA, 2018 vs. West Virginia, 2018 vs. Alabama (Orange Bowl)

 

OVERVIEW

Murray is a unique prospect, in that his stature is so striking, even at the college level. One could imagine once Murray takes an NFL huddle, the difference will be all the more accentuated. Trailblazers like Drew Brees, Russel Wilson and Doug Flutie have shown the workaround for extremely gifted QBs who are height-challenged. The key is finding passing lanes, and working the protection in the pocket. Another option is to be highly mobile, able to escape the pocket entirely and improvise as plays break down, count Murray in the number of the latter.

With his stark quickness, long speed, ability to navigate blocks, and willingness to take off as soon as he sees lanes forming, Murray is a running quarterback, first and foremost. He thrives most working outside the framework of a traditional NFL offense, much like Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes. The game is evolving in such a way that players like Murray not only are viable options, they’re becoming the new ideal. His arm talent, too, is impressive, but his scattershot accuracy brings questions about his ability to consistently keep his completion percentage in the high 60’s. Regardless, his big play potential and clear intelligence and patience will make him a player that has a high chance of early success.

 

PASSING

Accuracy: 10 out of 15

The actual mechanics of Murray’s game display his lack of experience. His footwork constantly affects his accuracy, even on passes he completes. He flashes incredible accuracy, especially deep downfield, but can miss simple throws because of his happy feet and lack of a tight release.

 

Power: 3 out of 5

Flashes functional throw power for most throws that will be asked of him, but will never be considered as having a rocket arm. Struggles driving balls to the sideline from the opposite hash.

 

On the run: 3 out of 5

This is where Murray’s best and worst plays tend to occur. Especially on one deep TD against Alabama, Murray throws an absolute dime in a full forward sprint. However, Murray also puts balls behind, too high, and too low, often on film. Most of those throws are when he’s scrambling.

 

Consistency: 8 out of 10

Murray typically plays at an extremely high level for a college player, displaying an excellent understanding of situational football. There are occasional bizarre lapses, where all fundamentals go out the window and he can look fully out of rhythm.

 

Field General: 16 out of 20

Murray does a great job operating his offense, moving around receivers and making strong reads presnap. He struggles with reaching intermediate reads, though he often didn’t need to at school. The system typically had him throwing to his first or second read, and they were usually open. There are occasional flashes of ability to run quickly though 3 or more reads, but it’s rare.

 

Athleticism: 5 out of 5

This is where Murray really shines, he displays incredible acceleration, and sufficient top speed to run away from top-level college defenses. His ability to work outside the script makes him a dangerous threat on every play.

 

Pocket awareness: 9 out of 10

While Murray does an excellent job using his pocket, and moving around it, he doesn’t often step up. This hasn’t gotten him into much trouble yet, but bares watching going forward.

 

Poise: 10 out of 10

Murray’s best comes out in big games, as the game against Bama displays, he showed heightened ability even from his incredible standards.

 

Clutch: 5 out of 5

Murray is definitely a late-game QB, he has a knack for rallies, as well as closing out close, hard-fought victories, with intelligent decision making.

 

Size: 2 out of 5

Clearly lacking ideal size, Murray’s slight frame could become an injury concern and will give many teams pause.

 

Reliability: 8 out of 10

 

Murray has had no injury issues, It’s a small sample size, but he’s been available consistently. However, there has been differing word on his interviewing ability and recall at the whiteboard. To me, this is a minor red-flag, because this could very well be a smokescreen.

 

Total Prospect Rating: 79/100

 

Pro Comparison: Doug Flutie, QB, Retired

Murray 1

Doug-flutie

Flutie was a diminutive quarterback that took his height limitations and crafted an incredibly unique and explosive game around his strengths. Both Flutie and Murray are outstanding natural runners, though with the nature of the game as it is today, Murray should expect far more career rushing yardage than Flutie’s 1634. Just as Flutie was a sensation and sparkplug for any team he suited up for, Murray definitely has that star quality needed to be a top-level NFL QB.

 

As always, drop your slant in the comments section by hitting the “Leave a Comment” button at the top of the article. If you enjoyed, find us on Facebook and Twitter, links below:

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Scouting Report: Nick Bosa, Edge, Ohio State

Nick Bosa, Edge, Ohio State

Bosa

Height: 6’4 Weight: 263 lbs

Tape Viewed: 2018 vs. Oregon State, 2017 vs. Wisconsin, 2017 vs. USC, 2017 vs. Michigan

 

OVERVIEW

Bosa has the same relentless effort and superior hand technique his brother has. He is a player that pops on tape numerous times with second, third and fourth effort sacks. His ability, willingness and patience setting the edge in the run game is also very impressive for such a young prospect.

Bosa will benefit from an NFL weight room, as he is sometimes beaten at the point of attack, and needs to build up steam to win with power in both pass rush and run stop situations. He intelligently handles double teams by using his superior speed, hand usage and leverage understanding to win, where brute strength is lacking.

His technique, tool box of pass rush moves, and diagnosis ability vastly improved from 2017 to 18. His game tape against Oregon State is easily his most impressive, but even in that one he shows his tendency to be fooled by reverses. This facet will need to improve with the increase in dual threat QBs that is sweeping the NFL.

 

PASS RUSH

Moves: 4 out of 5

Bosa prefers finesse moves, like the swim and rip, but also developed usage of a spin move as his career progressed. He also flashes bull rush, as well as quick and explosive lateral moves.

 

Technique: 13 out of 15

This is an important part of Bosa’s game as he uses this to mask his slight deficiencies in play strength. He shows a superior understanding of the minutiae of the position, but can get in trouble as the game goes along and he gets more tired.

 

Bend: 4 out of 5

Though it doesn’t happen often on tape, Bosa shows the bend reguired to run under a table sideways at full speed, which is crazy considering his size and frame.

 

Finish: 5 out of 5

Bosa always either gets the sack or affects the QB when he has the opportunity, it’s the most impressive part of his game.

 

Tenacity: 5 out of 5

Second most impressive, and most similar to his brother, Bosa hustles all over the field, hunting the ball with reckless abandon.

 

Consistency: 8 out of 10

While Bosa boasts an elite toolbox and skillset, he can disappear in pass rushing snaps, usually due to extra attention by larger linemen.

 

RUN STOPPING

Edge Setting: 9 out of 10

Bosa shows extreme discipline and patience in forcing runs inside where the help is, but there were a few instances on tape where he jumps inside and loses contain as a result.

 

Tackling: 9 out of 10

I don’t recall any one-on-one missed tackles on tape, but Bosa doesn’t have many as he’s often mixing it up in the middle and has swarm tackling help from his active defensive teammates.

 

Double Teams: 3 out of 5

This is the way to win against Bosa in the run game, if he doesn’t win with agility, he can get washed out. He’s quite good at masking this most of the time, but NFL OC’s will be able to exploit it.

 

Lane Discipline: 7 out of 10

This is perhaps his biggest weakness, and it has majorly improved in his most recent tape, Bosa showed a tendency to jump laterally at the line in order to have a free penetration into the backfield, but both running backs and quarterbacks were able to outrun him in many of these situations. This is by no means a negative area of his game, however, he is still often very disciplined, there are just a few glaring examples on tape.

 

Consistency: 8 out of 10

Bosa can get washed out of plays, but very often positively influences them with his leverage and technique.

 

GENERAL

Reliability: 9 out of 10

Despite the injury that prematurely ended his career at Ohio State, Bosa has shown no indication that injury problems will plague his NFL career, he also has no character concerns.

 

Total Prospect Rating: 84 out of 100

Pro Comparison: DeMarcus Lawrence, DE, Dallas Cowboys

Bosa 1

Lawrence

The relentless motor, edge setting ability, and similar size with tendency to take false steps against reverses are areas these two players share. Lawrence is a much stronger player, but didn’t come into the league that way and was a bit of a late bloomer. Bosa could have similar struggles early, especially if asked to be the sole provider on defense as a rookie. However, he has the toolbox and natural athleticism to be a top player at his position at some point.

 

As always, drop your slant in the comments section by hitting the “Leave a Comment” button at the top of the article. If you enjoyed, find us on Facebook and Twitter, links below:

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Gut Picks Week 11

Another week, another humbling experience eh? If you’re a faithful listener to the show, you know that Shae and I agreed on every pick last week and believed there was at least a possibility we’d have a perfect picking week.

 

Boy, were we wrong. Six misses (only five in my official picks, as I flipped to Dallas at the last moment on nothing more than a hunch). After five consecutive weeks of only four misses, I was feeling good, but the NFL loves to show you how little you know and I swallowed my humble pie. With that in mind, join me in my fruitless quest to make sense of the madness.

 

Packers @ Seahawks

This is a battle of teams I think of quite similarly, the Packers have an elite quarterback, and a solid defense. The Seahawks boast the same essential elements, but are far more balanced in their offensive play calls. They’re running perhaps the most consistent 50-50 run pass balance in the modern version of the NFL, and it’s working to keep a team that is in the midst of a rebuild in the wildcard conversation. The Packers have more on the line, as they’re within striking distance of the division lead, whereas the Seahawks can pretty much give up that dream after being swept (in very competitive fashion) by the division-leading Rams. I thought last week was going to be the end of the Thursday Night Blowouts, and I think the same this week. This is a close game that hinges, ultimately, on the location: Seattle is still tough at home, and that’s enough to be a tipping point in a game that looks even.

Pick: Seahawks

 

Cowboys @ Falcons

If you know me, you know I’m picking the Cowboys. Major props to the Boys in blue (and white) for winning the game they had to and justifying my last-minute flip flop. Linehan changed his tendencies, at least for a week, and Garrett was clapping for the right reasons. The Cowboys defense remains elite (a much stronger unit overall than the one that stifled Ryan and company in Cleveland last week) and the passing offense showed a definite ability to exploit mismatches in the secondary with an improved top 3 of Cooper, Gallup and Beasley. The Falcons meanwhile, are bitter and disappointed that they couldn’t get over the hump. They’re desperate, but they’re also wounded. If this Cowboys team is any good, it should smell blood in the water.

Pick: Cowboys

 

Panthers @ Lions

The Lions sit at a lowly 3-6, despite a roster that should have them just a touch above .500 (some obvious flaws in the construction of the defense hold it back). Usually, the culprit is coaching, but I believe in Matt Patricia, and the product has been very strong at times. The Panthers, with the mirror record of 6-3 have been classic overachievers, riding a one-dimensional offense (albeit with dynamic playmakers) and a defense that has far more attitude than top end talent. That caught up with them last week when they met an offense with a dynamic enough vertical element to fully exploit the overall weak secondary of Carolina. The Lions have that too, if only they can close the running lanes and force the Panthers to pass. I don’t see that happening, so the Panthers should pick up the road win, while giving up plenty of points.

Pick: Panthers

 

Titans @ Colts

This one is fascinating: On both sides, we have some of the hottest up and comers in football, in a divisional battle that has major playoff implications. The Titans just blasted the Patriots and beat Tom Brady into submission with their punishing defense, while the Colts outlasted a comeback bid by the Jags (who beat the Patriots in week 2, remember?) The Colts have the homefield advantage, though that hasn’t really existed for them (2-2 home record, vs. 2-3 away). More importantly, they’ve developed some of the best pass protection in football, allowing zero sacks in 4 games (200 Andrew Luck pass attempts). The Titans might have trouble getting home on Luck, and the Titans have needed their defense to set the tone in their last couple of games. As long as Luck doesn’t fold, this one should stay close until the end. Ultimately, I see the Titans as the more talented team overall, and in this case that’s enough to win this game.

Pick: Titans

 

Bucs @ Giants

JPP is ready to roll for this one, and the Bucs defense has another get-well opportunity against a weak NFC East offense. If Fitz and company can continue to drive the ball, and add in some redzone efficiency, the Bucs should roll, regardless of what Barkley and OBJ get up to. Side note: The Bucs had 501 yards last week, and just 3 points. That level of point-scoring inefficiency is not sustainable.

Pick: Bucs

 

Texans @ Redskins

This one is difficult, because I see it being a low-scoring slugfest. I think the Texans have played far above their heads during their six-game win streak. Regression to the mean seems inevitable. The Redskins, however, can’t score points consistently, and against an explosive offense, that will be the end of them. Stick a fork in them, I said last week; I stick by that bold statement: The 2018 Redskins are done.

Pick: Texans

 

Steelers @ Jags

A very briefly mighty team has fallen completely off the map. The Jags perceived strength (their pass defense) has been dismantled due to injuries that exposed underlying depth issues. The starting 11 on that side of the ball remains perhaps the best in football, but they can’t seem to get on the field at the same time. The Jags D is always tougher at home, and the return of Fournette was a huge boon, especially to their redzone offense. The Steelers are rolling though, the offense is borderline unstoppable and the defense has a penchant for sacks and turnovers. Joe Haden also looks to be back in his prime. This is very bad news for Blake Bortles.

Pick: Steelers

 

Bengals @ Ravens

Despite featuring the same two records and division rival characteristics of the Titans-Colts matchup, this one just lacks the panache. These teams are both going down the tubes. Both have lost their most relevant games on the schedule lately and are hovering around .500 after starting strong. The Ravens offense mirrors the Bengals defense (both units have talent, but major flaws in both the starting lineup and the depth). The Bengals offense has fallen off without AJ Green, and for whatever reason they underused Joe Mixon against the Saints, despite him being the catalyst for the only successful drive the Bengals mounted against the Saints first-team defense. The Ravens are tough at home and AJ Green still isn’t healthy, the Bengals injuries on defense also hurt.

Pick: Ravens

 

Raiders @ Cardinals

The Raiders have folded, next…

Pick: Cardinals

 

Broncos @ Chargers

In one corner, you have a team that can’t finish games, in the other you have winners of six straight, many of which have been close finishes. Can you believe the Chargers are the latter? This point is meant to demonstrate one thing: the 2018 Chargers are different, and Melvin Gordon is the big reason why. Joey Bosa is coming back soon, all the better for them, all the worse for anyone in the path of this wrecking ball. The Broncos should put up a fight, but I don’t see Keenum and company being able to keep up with the Chargers’ balanced and explosive attack.

Pick: Chargers

 

Eagles @ Saints

Remember last week when the Saints feasted on a secondary riddled with injuries? Rinse and repeat, right? Not so fast, these Eagles are a highly talented, albeit highly underperforming group. Pederson is a good coach that should be able to coax the best out of his team in a game which is by all means a must-win. The Saints have suffered their only loss in the cozy confines of the Dome, so it’s not unheard of to think they could stumble here. The intangibles say yes, but the matchup says an emphatic no. I’ll meet it in the middle, Saints win by the hair of their chinny chin chin. Enjoy those sweet color rush unis, Who Dats.

Pick: Saints.

 

Vikings @ Bears

This is one I’ve flip-flopped on. The Bears have yet to win a game against a top-quality opponent, though their schedule hasn’t given them much opportunity. Losses to the Patriots and Packers imply they’re not ready to play with the big boys, but the lack of Khalil Mack against the latter puts on a big fat asterisk to that result. Trubisky has improved leaps and bounds over the season, even if the run-pass balance hasn’t. More to the point, are the Vikings a top-quality opponent? I would say no, so I don’t think the matchup precludes the possibility of a Bears victory. When you get down to the nitty-gritty, this should be a relatively low-scoring game in which the more poised team wins. Give me Zimmer’s group by decision.

Pick: Vikings

 

Chiefs @ Rams

The main event, especially considering it’s now back where it belongs in LA. We’ve been waiting all weekend for Monday night and I expect this matchup to look a heck of a lot like the battle in New Orleans a couple of weeks ago. The Rams are down Kupp, which hurts, but the Chiefs defense has shown little ability to limit yardage, and the Rams are excellent in the redzone. Points should come in bunches, as the Chiefs should be able to slice up the very vulnerable zone defense of the Rams. Gurley and Hunt are almost a wash, as are Mahomes and Goff. I would give the Rams the edge in defensive talent, but the coaching (regular season Andy Reid versus Sean McVay) may also come to a draw. This is a matchup of very similar teams, and I expect the final score to resemble an Oklahoma-Oklahoma State scoring bonanza. This is a true gut pick, but…

Pick: Chiefs

 

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