Mike Band’s Final 2019 NFL Mock Draft

The mock is live, the picks are in, and the references are linked. What will happen during the first round the 2019 draft? A few thoughts on how the first round could play out…

  • It would be a surprise if the top 5 does not include some combination of Kyler Murray, Nick Bosa, Ed Oliver, Quinnen Williams, Devin White and Josh Allen. Don’t rule out Dwayne Haskins, who could go as high as #3 to the Redskins in a trade scenario. The price to move up from #15 to #3 may be too steep for owner Dan Snyder and president Bruce Allen, making the Lions at #8 a more reasonable landing spot for Haskins. The Raiders are a darkhorse to select Dwayne Haskins at #4.
  • Will Giants GM Dave Gettleman pick a quarterback with the 6th overall pick? If Josh Allen or Devin White is available at #6, my guess is no. Gettleman may not wait until the 17th pick and trade up for his guy, Daniel Jones.
  • The Jaguars (7th pick) hold the domino chip that will shape the board for the middle of the first round. The Jaguars are expected to start the run on offensive linemen at #7. As many as six offensive linemen could be selected between picks #8 and #23.
  • There are nine teams that could select a quarterback during the first three rounds of the draft: Arizona, Oakland, NY Giants, Denver, Cincinnati, Miami, Washington, LA Chargers and New England
  • Teams most likely to trade down in the first round: NY Jets, Detroit, Miami, Seattle, Baltimore, LA Chargers, LA Rams, New England
  • Teams most likely to trade up in the first round: Washington, Atlanta, NY Giants, Houston, Indianapolis
  • I have no direct knowledge of the severity of Montez Sweat’s heart condition and whether it will affect his playing career, but I do believe it will be tough for decision makers to convince ownership to use a first round pick on Sweat.

And now, the picks…

1. Arizona Cardinals – Kyler Murray QB, Oklahoma

Team Needs: DT, WR, EDGE, QB

For several months, all signs pointed to the Cardinals selecting Kyler Murray with the 1st overall pick. In a winner-take-all system like the NFL, if Kliff Kingsbury believes his of offense can be special with a talent like Kyler Murray, and around the league average with Josh Rosen, you can justify the selection. Back in October, new head coach Kliff Kingsbury told SI, “Kyler is a freak… I would take him with the first pick of the draft if I could.” Murray is unlike any quarterback we’ve seen in the recent era with his combination of arm talent and elusiveness. Josh Rosen, last year’s first round pick,  is expected to be traded at some point on Thursday or Friday with the Dolphins as a possible landing spot. I’m not buying Pete Prisco’s report saying the Cardinals will pass on Murray.

Top Targets: QB Kyler Murray, EDGE Nick Bosa, DT Quinnen Williams, Trade Down

2. San Francisco 49ers – Nick Bosa EDGE, Ohio State

Team Needs: WR, EDGE, DB

GM John Lynch and HC Kyle Shanahan are not done when it comes to adding pieces along the defensive line. After setting an NFL record for fewest turnovers forced in a single season (7), the front office has made it a priority to bring in defenders who can create pressure and force turnovers. They acquired Dee Ford for a second round pick and gave him a 5-year, $85 million contract in the early days of free agency. According to Next Gen Stats, Ford led the NFL last season in Turnovers Forced by Pressure (10). But there’s still a need at the other EDGE position. While, Nick Bosa would be the fourth defensive linemen drafted in the top 20 by the 49ers in the last five drafts (Arik Armstead, DeForest Buckner and Solomon Thomas), only iDL DeForest Buckner is considered a long-term building block. Lynch will listen to offers for the 2nd pick if the Cardinals surprise and pass on Kyler Murray, as well as consider Quinnen Williams, but will ultimately add the top edge rusher in the draft in Nick Bosa.

Top Targets: EDGE Nick Bosa, DT Quinnen Williams, Trade Down

3. New York Jets – Ed Oliver DT, Houston

Team Needs: OT, C, EDGE, CB

GM Mike Maccagnan is “determined” to trade down from the 3rd overall pick to accumulate draft capital after trading up for Sam Darnold ahead of last year’s draft and surrendering this year’s second round pick (#34 overall). There have been reports of trade talks with the Redskins, a team that could move up into the top 10 to take Dwayne Haskins. If the Jets stay at #3, look for the Jets to add one of the top pass rushers in the draft. Multiple reports suggest Maccagnan and new DC Gregg Williams prefer Ed Oliver over Quinnen Williams and Josh Allen due to position versatility and athletic upside. While the roster has a bigger need at EDGE than iDL, the Jets could still address the edge rusher role with one of a handful of veteran free agents still available. Ezekiel Ansah and Nick Perry are the best available options, however both are coming off injury. Offensive line is the team’s biggest area of weakness, but none are worthy of the 3rd pick.

Top Targets: EDGE Nick Bosa, Trade Down, DT Ed Oliver, DT Quinnen Williams, EDGE Josh Allen

4. Oakland Raiders – Quinnen Williams DT, Alabama

Team Needs: EDGE, CB, LG, RB, TE, QB

GM Mike Mayock and HC Jon Gruden sent most of the scouting department home last weekend, in what appears to be a move to keep their draft plans secretive leading up to Thursday night. With three first round picks (#3, #24 and #27), the Raiders are in a position to address several key areas of need. Don’t rule out the possibility of the Raiders drafting a quarterback at some point on Thursday. Todd McShay reported days ago about Jon Gruden preferring Kyler Murray to Derek Carr, while Jason La Canfora connects the Raiders to Dwayne Haskins. If Murray is taken #1 by the Cardinals, I expect the Raiders brass to go with the best defensive player available at #4. While the defense has a bigger need at EDGE than iDL, you have to imagine Mayock and Gruden covet Quinnen Williams and his Warren Sapp-like profile. While this should not affect the team’s decision, it’s worth noting Ed Oliver and Josh Allen are represented by Joel Segal, Khalil Mack’s agent.

Top Targets: QB Kyler Murray, EDGE Nick Bosa, DT Quinnen Williams, LB Devin White, DT Ed Oliver, QB Dwayne Haskins

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Devin White LB, LSU

Team Needs: LB, EDGE, DT, CB

The loss of Kwon Alexander leaves a major hole to fill as the signal caller of new DC Todd Bowles’ hybrid defense. It was Alexander [not Lavonte David] who primarily wore the “green dot” on defense. While GM Jason Licht could address the defensive line with the 5th pick (Josh Allen will be considered if available), the Buccaneers gravitate towards Devin White as the future quarterback of the defense. Licht downplayed the importance of position value [and size] when talking about the 5th pick in a recent pre-draft press conference. When you’re playing in the NFC South against Alvin Kamara and Christian McCaffrey, a three-down MIKE linebacker with range is one of the more important pieces of the defense.

Top Targets: DT Quinnen Williams, LB Devin White, EDGE Josh Allen, DT Ed Oliver

6. New York Giants – Josh Allen EDGE, Kentucky

Team Needs: EDGE, QB, RT, CB, LB

Armed with the 6th and 17th picks, GM Dave Gettleman is expected to target an impact defender and quarterback, though it is difficult to determine in what order. Charles Robinson is hearing Daniel Jones is the #1 quarterback on the Giants draft board, but whether they take him with the 6th pick, will depend on the players available on the board. Josh Allen and Devin White are more likely to be available than Bosa, Williams and Oliver at #6. Would Gettleman take Daniel Jones over Josh Allen and Devin White? My guess is no. The #1 need on the Giants roster is an edge rusher, so if Josh Allen is available, I expect Gettleman to stick to their board and “not force the pick.” The Giants enter Thursday night with 12 draft picks, tied for most with the Patriots. Don’t rule out a trade up from #17 to get their quarterback.

Top Targets: QB Kyler MurrayEDGE Nick Bosa, DT Quinnen Williams, EDGE Josh Allen, LB Devin White, DT Ed Oliver, QB Daniel Jones, QB Drew Lock, QB Dwayne Haskins

7. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jonah Williams OT, Alabama

Team Needs: RT, TE, WR, EDGE

VP Tom Coughlin and HC Doug Marrone are expected to support their new quarterback Nick Foles with either an offensive tackle or tight end with the 7th overall pick. Adding a tight end in T.J. Hockenson would be logical a fit in new OC John DeFilippo’s offense, but it appears the team is looking to fortify the right tackle position with a priority on toughness and character. Alabama OL coach Brent Key was a former player under HC Doug Marrone at Georgia Tech and was a major reason why they drafted Cam Robinson in 2017. The connection with Marrone and the Jaguars tendency to prioritize character under Coughlin, is the reason they take Jonah Williams over Jawaan Taylor.

Top Targets: TE T.J. Hockenson, OT Jonah Williams, OT Jawaan Taylor, OT Andre Dillard

***PROJECTED TRADE: Redskins receive #8 and #146 from the Lions for #15 and #46***

8. Washington Redskins (from DET) – Dwayne Haskins QB, Ohio State

Team Needs: QB, WR, EDGE, OL, CB

Dianna Russini reports the Redskins’ draft day decision will be made by owner Dan Snyder and team president Bruce Allen, with all signs pointing to Dwayne Haskins as the target in the first round. Even Haskins himself believes “something’s there” with the Redskins. There’s the local connection–Haskins attended Bullis in Potomac, Maryland with Dan Snyder’s son [Go Bulldogs!], and there’s the mentor connection–Haskins moved to the DC area for high school under the guidance of former Redskins cornerback Shawn Springs. Senior VP Doug Williams recently told reporters the team was more likely to trade down than trade up with the 15th pick, but don’t rule out a move up in the draft for the quarterback they covet. The Redskins have been in contact with the Jets about the 3rd overall pick, but the price may be too rich to make the move. The Lions are “open for business” at #8 and are in a prime spot to move down in the draft for a team looking for their quarterback.

Top Targets: QB Dwayne Haskins, EDGE Brian Burns, WR Marquise Brown, CB Greedy Williams, QB Drew Lock, WR D.K. Metcalf

9. Buffalo Bills – T.J. Hockenson TE, Iowa

Team Needs: DT, OL, TE, EDGE

The Bills addressed the offensive line heavily in free agency, allowing flexibility with the 9th overall pick. GM Brandon Beane, HC Sean McDermott and owner Kim Pegula have continuously stressed the importance of character and following “the process.” While an impact interior pass rusher like Quinnen Williams and Ed Oliver will fill the team’s biggest need, the Bills are unlikely to move up in the draft after trading up twice in the first round last season [for Josh Allen and Tremaine Edmunds]. It’s important to support a young quarterback with weapons, and some believe Hockenson would be the last key piece for the Bills offense.

Top Targets: DT Quinnen Williams, DT Ed Oliver, TE T.J. Hockenson, OT Jonah Williams, DT Christian Wilkins, OT Jawaan Taylor, OT Andre Dillard, DL Rashan Gary

10. Denver Broncos – Devin Bush LB, Michigan

Team Needs: LB, IOL, DT, TE, QB

There’s a growing sense the Broncos will not select a quarterback with the 10th overall pick. Enter new HC Vic Fangio, long-time defensive coordinator, who hopes to build around a strong defense. As the defensive coordinator with the Bears last season, Fangio’s system was a major reason the Bears picked Roquan Smith in the top 10 in last year’s draft. Adding a signal-caller on the defensive side of the ball is a must with Todd Davis and Josey Jewell expected to start at off-ball LB. If Devin White or Devin Bush are available at #10, GM John Elway will not hesitate.

Top Targets: LB Devin White, LB Devin Bush, TE T.J. Hockenson, QB Drew Lock, QB Dwayne Haskins

11. Cincinnati Bengals – Andre Dillard OT, Washington State

Team Needs: OL, LB, QB, CB

In a scenario where both linebackers Devin White and Devin Bush are off the board, GM Duke Tobin and new HC Zac Taylor would be in a position to add a long-term offensive tackle at #11. The Bengals visited with Andre Dillard and Jawaan Taylor during the pre-draft process, and both will be in discussion for the pick. Zac Taylor’s scheme will resemble the 2017 & 2018 Rams, with zone concepts in the run game and longer-developing passing plays, which would point to Dillard’s athletic profile as a better fit for the offense. Left tackle Cordy Glenn could be released after next season, saving $9.5 million against the 2020 salary cap. While the Bengals have explored quarterback options during the pre-draft process, Zac Taylor is expected to stick with Andy Dalton as his starting quarterback for at least the 2019 season, which will be the final year of Dalton’s contract. Don’t rule out Dwayne Haskins if he’s available at #11.

Top Targets: LB Devin White, LB Devin Bush, OT Andre Dillard, OT Jawaan Taylor, OT Jonah Williams, OT Cody Ford, QB Dwayne Haskins, QB Drew Lock, EDGE Montez Sweat (+)

12. Green Bay Packers – Brian Burns EDGE, Florida State

Team Needs: LB, EDGE, OL, WR, TE

Just because the Packers gave out mega-contracts to Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith in free agency, doesn’t mean the Packers aren’t done adding pass rushers to the defense. The Packers rely on a rotation of pass rushers, often prioritizing position and role versatility. Clay Matthews and Nick Perry are no longer in Green Bay, leaving Kyler Fackrell–on the final year of his contract–as the only edge rusher returning from last season. Offensive line, linebacker and a pass catcher are also areas of need.

Top Targets: LB Devin White, LB Devin Bush, TE T.J. Hockenson, EDGE Brian Burns, OT Andre Dillard, OT Jawaan Taylor, OT Jonah Williams, EDGE Rashan Gary

13. Miami Dolphins – Christian Wilkins DT, Clemson

Team Needs: OL, EDGE, DT, QB

GM Chris Grier and new HC Brian Flores want to build a physical team, with the expectation that the staff will address the trenches (both offensive and defensive lines) heavily throughout the draft. The staff places a premium on players who are “tough, smart, football loving, team-first”, and adding players to revamp the culture of the locker room is vital for the rebuild. Christian Wilkins, former academic Heisman winner, is the perfect fit at a position of need and priority. Adam Schefter believes the Dolphins will look to the 2020 draft for their quarterback–Justin Herbert and Tua Tagovailoa both have first round traits. The Dolphins are reportedly one of the favorites to land Josh Rosen via trade. The Dolphins would be more willing to give up their 3rd round pick (#78) than 2nd round pick (#48) with so many holes on the roster.

Top Targets: DT Christian Wilkins, OT Jawaan Taylor, OT Jonah Williams, Trade Down, QB Dwayne Haskins, DT Jeffery Simmons, EDGE Montez Sweat (+)

14. Atlanta Falcons – Jawaan Taylor OT, Florida

Team Needs: RT, DT, EDGE

Falcons owner Arthur Blank wasn’t shy about the team’s need for offensive lineman in a recent interview. With Jake Matthews fixed at left tackle, the Falcons are in the market for a long-term right tackle. The Falcons are rumored to be interested in trading up in the first round, but would need a player like Ed Oliver to be available for a move up the board. Don’t rule out a trade between Lions and Falcons connecting Thomas Dimitroff and Bob Quinn from their time in New England, especially with the Lions looking to trade down.

Top Targets: DT Ed Oliver, OT Jawaan Taylor, OT Jonah Williams, DT Christian Wilkins, OT Cody Ford, OT Andre DillardEDGE Brian Burns, DT Dexter Lawrence

***PROJECTED TRADE: Redskins receive #8 and #146 from the Lions for #15 and #46***

15. Detroit Lions (from WAS) – Chris Lindstrom OG, Boston College

Team Needs: OL, EDGE, TE, DT, CB

GM Bob Quinn and HC Matt Patricia are “aggressively” trying to trade down from the 8th pick according to reports. This could be a spot where the Redskins (15th pick) or Giants (17th pick) move up to select their quarterback. The Lions are expected to address the offensive line, defensive line or tight end with their first pick. Jonah Williams would be the perfect fit to take over at right guard for the retired T.J. Lang, but there’s belief the Jaguars could take Williams with the 7th overall pick. T.J. Hockenson and Christian Wilkins are also in the conversation if they make the pick at #8. Connecting the dots, however, the Lions could be targeting Boston College guard Chris Lindstrom in a trade down scenario. DC Paul Pasqualoni was the DL coach for Boston College in 2016 & 2017 during Lindstrom’s sophomore and junior seasons and Bob Quinn’s comments on undersized, versatile offensive lineman can be applied to Lindstrom’s skill-set. The Lions wait until day two to add impact pass rushers and defensive backs with the picks acquired from a first round trade down.

Top Targets: DT Ed Oliver, OL Jonah Williams, Trade Down, TE T.J. Hockenson, DT Christian Wilkins, OG Chris Lindstrom, EDGE Clelin Ferrell, OT Cody Ford

16. Carolina Panthers – Cody Ford OT, Oklahoma

Team Needs: OT, EDGE, IOL, S

The Panthers #1 priority heading into the draft is the offensive line, with left guard and [long-term] right tackle as the team’s most pressing needs. It’s worth noting the Panthers prefer size along the offensive line, with incumbent starters weighing in at 6’5-325 (Taylor Moton) and 6’6-330 (Daryl Williams), respectively. GM Marty Hurney selected OT Jeff Otah with the 19th pick in the 2008 draft–Cody Ford and Jeff Otah have a similar pre-draft profile.

Top Targets: Trade Up, OT Jawaan Taylor, OT Jonah Williams, OT Andre Dillard, OT Cody Ford, EDGE Clelin Ferrell, EDGE Brian Burns, DT Dexter Lawrence, EDGE Montez Sweat (+)

17. New York Giants (from CLE) – Daniel Jones QB, Duke

Team Needs: EDGE, QB, RT, CB, LB

GM Dave Gettleman has said he won’t “force the pick” at #6 which indicates a desire to wait until his second pick in the first round to take his quarterback. Reports suggest Daniel Jones is the #1 quarterback on the Giants draft board. The connection between the Manning family and Daniel Jones through Duke HC David Cutcliffe is a major selling point for the Giants transition from the Eli Manning-era. There’s a strong possibility Gettleman doesn’t wait until #17 and trades up for his guy.

Top Targets: QB Daniel Jones, QB Drew Lock, EDGE Clelin Ferrell, EDGE Brian Burns, EDGE Rashan Gary, OT Cody Ford, QB Will Grier

18. Minnesota Vikings – Garrett Bradbury IOL, NC State

Team Needs: OL, DT, TE

GM Rick Spielman is expected to address the offensive line in the first round. The most immediate need along the OL is the left guard position, but don’t rule out a center with the 18th pick. Starting center Pat Elflein has experience at left guard from his time at Ohio State and could be a candidate to make the position switch. Scheme fit is a vital component of the scouting process in Minnesota. In OC Kevin Stefanski’s scheme (with Gary Kubiak as an adviser), athleticism and intelligence are the most desirable traits for an offensive lineman. Garrett Bradbury ran a 4.93 40-yard dash, put up 34 reps on the bench press and scored a 35 on the Wonderlic test.

Top Targets: DT Ed Oliver, OT Jonah Williams, OT Andre Dillard, IOL Garrett Bradbury, OG Chris Lindstrom, TE Noah Fant, WR Marquise Brown, OT Dalton Risner, DT Jeffery Simmons

19. Tennessee Titans – Clelin Ferrell EDGE, Clemson

Team Needs: DT, EDGE, IOL

GM Jon Robinson and HC Mike Vrabel brought Clelin Ferrell for a late top 30 visit last week, with a clear need for an edge rusher. After losing Brian Orakpo (retirement) and Derrick Morgan (free agency), the Titans signed 37-year old Cameron Wake to fill their immediate need, but still could use a fusion of youth at the position for the long-term.

Top Targets: DT Christian Wilkins, EDGE Brian Burns, EDGE Clelin Ferrell, DT Dexter Lawrence, WR Marquise Brown, OG Chris Lindstrom, EDGE Rashan Gary

20. Pittsburgh Steelers – Rock Ya-Sin CB, Temple

Team Needs: LB, CB, WR, OT

Under GM Kevin Colbert and HC Mike Tomlin, the Steelers have been known to do extensive due diligence on the team’s early round draft picks through top 30 visits or by attending pro day workouts. Peter King reports Mike Tomlin “loves” Ya-Sin for his size and physicality, while Albert Breer pegs Ya-Sin to the Steelers as the “cleanest” corner in the draft. The Steelers will likely address defense with their first pick (LB, CB or pass rusher) and could be a team to watch that could move up to select one of the top linebackers–Devin White or Deon Bush–if either slides on draft night.

Top Targets: LB Devin White, LB Devin Bush, EDGE Brian Burns, CB Rock Ya-Sin, CB Byron Murphy, WR Marquise Brown, CB DeAndre Baker, CB Greedy Williams

21. Seattle Seahawks – Rashan Gary DL, Michigan

Team Needs: EDGE, DT, WR, DB

On the Tuesday before the draft, the Seahawks acquired the 29th pick and a 2020 second round pick from the Chiefs in exchange for Frank Clark, giving GM John Schneider five picks heading into Thursday night, tied for fewest with the Bears. With so few picks, the Seahawks should be considered trade down candidates from both #21 and #29, having traded their first round pick in each of the last seven drafts. When the Seahawks do make a selection, expect the front office to address the defensive line. Rashan Gary is expected to be drafted later than expected due to a combination of medical flags (shoulder), low production at Michigan and work ethic concerns. Schneider and Carroll prioritize athleticism, versatility, and upside, and have been known to take players with high-risk, high-reward profiles early in the draft.

Top Targets: DT Ed Oliver, EDGE Rashan Gary, DT Jeffery Simmons, Trade Down, S Johnathan Abram, S Nassir Adderly, CB Byron Murphy, S Taylor Rapp

22. Baltimore Ravens – Erik McCoy C, Texas A&M

Team Needs: EDGE, WR, IOL, LB, RB

The Ravens will look to build their offense around the style of Lamar Jackson. While wide receiver is perhaps the team’s biggest need, adding a first round receiver would be a wasted investment in OC Greg Roman’s run-heavy scheme. With Marshal Yanda getting long in the tooth, and instability at the center position, the Ravens are expected to address the interior offensive line with the 22nd pick.

Top Targets: EDGE Rashan Gary, C Garrett Bradbury, C Erik McCoy, RB Josh Jacobs, WR D.K. Metcalf, WR Marquise Brown, Trade Down

23. Houston Texans – DeAndre Baker CB, Georgia

Team Needs: OT, CB, DT, TE

The Texans did little this offseason to address their offensive line, and are considered candidates to trade up for one of the top offensive tackles. In this scenario, the run on offensive line leaves options bare. The Texans also have needs at cornerback (Bradley Roby and Johnathan Joseph are on one-year deals) and defensive tackle.

Top Targets: OT Jonah WilliamsOT Andre Dillard, OT Cody Ford, DT Dexter Lawrence, CB DeAndre Baker, CB Greedy Williams, CB Byron Murphy, OT Greg Little, OT Tytus Howard, EDGE Montez Sweat (+)

24. Oakland Raiders – Josh Jacobs RB, Alabama

Team Needs: EDGE, CB, LG, RB, TE, QB

Ian Rapoport reports the Raiders plan to take a running back early, and Josh Jacobs is in play with one of their first round picks. Marshawn Lynch’s retirement leaves Isaiah Crowell, Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington as the Raiders best options at running back. Offensive guard, tight end, defensive line and quarterback are the positions to watch for when the Raiders pick at #24 and #27.

Top Targets: IOL Garrett Bradbury, CB Greedy WilliamsEDGE Rashan Gary, RB Josh Jacobs, CB Rock Ya-Sin, IOL Chris Lindstrom, TE Noah Fant, CB Byron Murphy, CB DeAndre Baker, EDGE Montez Sweat (+)

25. Philadelphia Eagles – Marquise Brown WR, Oklahoma

Team Needs: IOL, WR, DL, DB

Led by GM Howie Roseman, the Eagles are one of the most analytically-driven teams in the NFL and are aware of the value of speed and the big play. The Eagles double-dip at ‘Z’ receiver by signing 32-year old DeSean Jackson to mentor Marquise “Hollywood” Brown. A field-stretching wide receiver becomes a bigger need if and when Nelson Agholor is traded this offseason. This also be where Jeffery Simmons comes off the board.

Top Targets: EDGE Brian Burns, WR Marquise Brown, DT Jeffery Simmons, RB Josh Jacobs, DT Dexter Lawrence, OG Chris Lindstrom, CB DeAndre Baker, S Johnathan Abram

26. Indianapolis Colts – Jeffery Simmons DT, Mississippi State

Team Needs: EDGE, DB, WR

GM Chris Ballard is reportedly considering “about 8 players” with the 26th pick. If a player with “blue” traits falls to the 26th pick, Ballard has been known to take chances. Jeffery Simmons is considered a top talent by many, but an ACL tear suffered in January will force Simmons to miss most if-not-all of his rookie season. With the success of the 2018 rookie class, the Colts have significantly fewer needs [than previous seasons] on roster. The Colts are in a position to take Simmons, who could be back from injury in time for a potential playoff run.

Top Targets: EDGE Brian Burns, EDGE Rashan Gary, DT Jeffery Simmons, S Johnathan Abram, WR Marquise Brown, EDGE Montez Sweat (+), WR A.J. Brown, CB Byron Murphy

27. Oakland Raiders – Noah Fant TE, Iowa

Team Needs: EDGE, CB, LG, RB, TE, QB

The Raiders brought in Noah Fant for a pre-draft visit, an offensive weapon who could fill an immediate need at the “move” tight end position. If Montez Sweat does get taken in the first round, it could be the Oakland Raiders–the team that added Maurice Hurst in the fifth round of last year’s draft–that ends his slide. Gil Brandt said on SiriusXM Radio that the Raiders are one of the teams to clear Montez Sweat. Whether Sweat goes in the late first round, day two, or even day three, the Raiders are a potential landing spot.

Top Targets: IOL Garrett BradburyEDGE Rashan Gary, RB Josh Jacobs, CB Rock Ya-Sin, IOL Chris Lindstrom, TE Noah Fant, CB Byron Murphy, CB DeAndre Baker, CB Greedy Williams, EDGE Montez Sweat (+), TE Irv Smith Jr.

***PROJECTED TRADE: Bengals receive #28 from the Chargers for #42, #110 and #183***

28. Cincinnati Bengals (from LAC) – Drew Lock QB, Missouri

Team Needs: OL, LB, QB, CB

After missing out of Dwayne Haskins at #11, the Bengals trade back into the first round for their quarterback-in-waiting, Drew Lock. When looking at Zac Taylor’s scheme during his time with the Rams, the offense used heavy play-action, QB misdirection, and vertical route concepts. Of all the quarterbacks in this year’s class, Drew Lock is the best fit for Zac Taylor.

Top Targets: QB Drew Lock

29. Seattle Seahawks – Johnathan Abram S, Mississippi State

Team Needs: EDGE, DT, WR, DB

With only five picks heading into Thursday night, GM John Schneider is likely to field calls to trade down from the 29th pick acquired from the Chiefs in exchange for Frank Clark. If they stay at #29, Johnathan Abram, the draft’s top safety, is a name to watch to play the box safety role, while Delano Hill slides into Earl Thomas’ free safety spot.

Top Targets: DT Jeffery Simmons, S Johnathan Abram, EDGE Montez Sweat (+), Trade Down, S Nassir Adderly, CB Byron Murphy, S Taylor Rapp, EDGE L.J. Collier

30. Green Bay Packers – D.K. Metcalf WR, Mississippi

Team Needs: LB, EDGE, OL, WR, TE

After addressing the defensive front with the 12th overall pick, the Packers will look to add offensive help with the 30th pick. Since Aaron Rodgers became the starting quarterback in 2008, the Packers have not drafted a running back, wide receiver or tight end in the first round. D.K. Metcalf would be the height-weight-speed prospect Aaron Rodgers would be happy to have in his arsenal.

Top Targets: WR D.K. Metcalf, WR A.J. Brown, TE Noah Fant, QB Drew Lock, WR N’Keal Harry, EDGE Montez Sweat (+)

31. Los Angeles Rams – Dexter Lawrence DT, Clemson

Team Needs: EDGE, IOL, DT, CB

The Rams are reportedly open to trading back, according to GM Les Snead, but “have to be prepared to pick at #31.” If Dexter Lawrence is on the board, look for Snead to bring in support on the interior defensive line to take pressure off Aaron Donald fill the void left by Ndamukong Suh. Lawrence visited the Rams complex on a top 30 visit less than two weeks ago.

Top Targets: DT Dexter Lawrence, IOL Garrett Bradbury, EDGE Montez Sweat (+), C Erik McCoy, EDGE Chase Winovich, OG Dalton Risner, EDGE Jachai Polite

32. New England Patriots – N’Keal Harry WR, Arizona State

Team Needs: TE, WR, DL, S, QB

The Patriots are expected to add multiple pass catchers early in the draft with five picks in the first three rounds (12 picks total). While tight end becomes an immediate need with the retirement of Rob Gronkowski, the Patriots receiving corp is also missing long-term pieces–Braxton Berrios is the only receiver on roster signed beyond the 2019 season. Former Patriots executive, Michael Lombardi recently said on his podcast, “if you take [Metcalf] before N’Keal Harry, you’re an idiot.” Harry was one of several receivers to visit the Patriots on a top 30 visit.

Top Targets: TE T.J. HockensonWR Marquise Brown, TE Noah Fant, S Johnathan Abram, QB Daniel Jones, WR N’Keal Harry, TE Irv Smith Jr., QB Will Grier, EDGE Chase Winovich, DB Joejuan Williams

***PROJECTED TRADE: Bengals receive #28 from the Chargers for #42, #110 and #183***

42. Los Angeles Chargers (from CIN) – Dalton Risner OT, Kansas State

Team Needs: OT, DT, CB, QB

GM Tom Telesco is reportedly open to trading down from the 28th pick. While there are reports the Chargers could be interested in Drew Lock as a future successor to Philip Rivers, the Chargers pass on a quarterback and address the offensive tackle position.

Top Targets: OT Cody FordDT Dexter Lawrence, CB Greedy Williams, CB DeAndre Baker, QB Drew Lock, OT Dalton Risner, CB Byron Murphy, DT Jerry Tillery, DT Dre’Mont Jones, OT Greg Little, QB Will Grier

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