Packers improve offense in NFL first-round mock draft

IOWA CITY, IOWA- SEPTEMBER 22: Tight end Noah Fant #87 of the Iowa Hawkeyes catches a touchdown pass during the second half in front of safety D'Cota Dixon #14 of the Wisconsin Badgers on September 22, 2018 at Kinnick Stadium, in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)
IOWA CITY, IOWA- SEPTEMBER 22: Tight end Noah Fant #87 of the Iowa Hawkeyes catches a touchdown pass during the second half in front of safety D'Cota Dixon #14 of the Wisconsin Badgers on September 22, 2018 at Kinnick Stadium, in Iowa City, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images) /
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Green Bay Packers
ARLINGTON, TX – APRIL 26: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces a pick by the Green Bay Packers during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

In this mock draft, the Green Bay Packers improve their offense.

The 2019 NFL Draft is now just a day away, and with so many different possibilities for how this year’s draft plays out, it’s always interesting to try to predict how the board falls. Based on the needs for the teams picking, rumors around the league, and the rising and falling stock for the prospects, I have put together my best guess of how the board plays out on Thursday.

As a result of the inclusion of these three things, you’ll find that a certain quarterback destined to go number one slides down a bit further, and a surprise pick for the Raiders.

With that said, here is my mock for the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Arizona Cardinals, Pick 1: Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama

Based on everything I’ve seen so far from the Cardinals, I’m not ready to buy into the Kyler Murray hype just yet. And I don’t think the Cardinals front office is either.

When you are picking number 1, you expect a player that completely elevates your team. A game changer. Your franchise player. The face of your team. Someone that transforms the side of the ball they play on. I don’t see that as the case with Murray. Sure, picking him would be an upgrade over Josh Rosen.

But the difference between the two simply isn’t worth spending the number one pick for. Although the offense might look a little less explosive with Rosen at the helm, the sacrifice is worth it if you can get a defensive player you can build around for the next few years. Spending the number one pick on Murray to improve the position a little bit doesn’t make sense to me.

Spending the number one pick on a player like Quinnen Williams does, however. Williams would completely redefine the Cardinals defense and would give them a foundation they can build around. They could then continue to add to the defense in the later rounds.

San Francisco 49ers, Pick 2: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State

Easy pick. One of the 49ers’ biggest needs is the edge rusher position. They need someone to stand on the other side of Dee Ford to solidify the last pieces they need for a solid defensive line.

The 49ers could look at Bosa to do that here. He has everything you could ask for in an edge rusher, from a great initial punch to exceptional footwork. He is an extremely polished prospect and could have an impact immediately at the next level.

New York Jets, Pick 3: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky

The Jets take Allen, the best player on the board, with their third pick. He’s a little less polished than you would hope from a player with this high of a pick, but his high ceiling and incredible potential keeps the Jets interested.

It seems as if the Jets would like to move out of the third spot. And if a team wants to trade up to take it off New York’s hands, then they probably are looking for an edge rusher, as either Josh Allen or Nick Bosa will be the best players available. Although it may look great at first glance that players the caliber of Allen and Bosa are on the board, I actually think it holds the Jets back from making a trade.

The problem is that the draft class is so deeply loaded with talented edge rushers, most of whom are at least comparable to Bosa and Allen, that teams decide to wait it out until an OLB falls to their pick in the draft rather than trading up to get one and spending tons of capital. I don’t see a trade happening unless Williams is still left on the board. I think the Jets suck it up and take Allen with the third pick.

Oakland Raiders, Pick 4: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

Rumors are now flying about this selection that the Raiders are going to make a “surprise pick” at number four. Although nothing is confirmed, they do present some credibility because of the recent moves by the Raiders front office to release all their scouts a few days before the draft.

I think that surprise is Kyler Murray, the number one prospect at quarterback in this year’s draft. I believe the support behind Derek Carr at press conferences is all smoke and mirrors to convince teams behind them that they don’t have to worry about Oakland taking their quarterback.

The Raiders end Murray’s “slide” by taking him with their first of their three first-round picks.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Pick 5: Devin White, ILB, LSU

For the Bucs, the talk should be between either Ed Oliver or Devin White with this pick. And if the front office is deciding between the two players as well, then White should be the clear pick.

Don’t get me wrong, Oliver is a great option for your pick at number five. But, the problem with his pick is that the Buccaneers have a defensive line made up of Gerald McCoy, Vita Vea, and Jason Pierre-Paul, and so many positions that they need to fill, it doesn’t make sense to pick another defensive lineman.

And that’s why White should be the pick here. After the departure of Kwon Alexander, the Bucs are aching at the ILB position, and the presence of White not only helps fill that need but actually gives them an upgrade from the departed star linebacker.

New York Giants, Pick 6: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

The only logical solution I can offer for the New York front office’s recent moves. They traded Odell  Beckham Jr. to Cleveland. They traded away linebacker Oliver Vernon. They let star safety Landon Collins walk in free agency. If they draft Dwayne Haskins, that would be the only option that would make only a little sense for what their moves are.

Their approach could be that Eli Manning‘s play was going downhill, so they need to draft a quarterback and rebuild. They could have believed that by the time that they had a strong formation around a young quarterback, the production from there star players (Odell, Vernon, Collins) could begin to decline, so rather than tying these players down in a rebuilding phase, they let them go.

Now they look towards Dwayne Haskins to begin their new chapter as a franchise. It’s a long shot, but it’s a possibility.

Jacksonville Jaguars, Pick 7: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

Easy pick. Jawaan Taylor is one of the best prospects left on the board at pick number seven, and he fits a need at offensive tackle for the Jaguars. Drafting him would help keep new quarterback Nick Foles protected from the blind side for the upcoming season.

Buffalo Bills, Pick 8: Ed Oliver, IDL, Houston

I don’t believe Oliver falls lower than this. He’s an elite talent with tons of athleticism. There are questions about his production, but that can be pinned onto the scheme he was playing in. The chance he ‘busts’, or isn’t able to adapt at the next level is minimal, and his production potential isn’t limited whatsoever. The Bills get a steal in Oliver.