2019 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 8/27): Ed Oliver, DT
Dion Dawkins was a nice pick, and he's versatile enough to play guard or right tackle. Here's a long-term left tackle to protect Josh Allen.
Quenton Nelson was the top offensive lineman in college football in 2017, but the second-best guard in the nation could have been Smith. Considering there were other good guards like Will Hernandez and Braden Smith who were second-round picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, that is really saying something for how Smith played in 2017. The freshman was a steady pass protector and a bull in the ground game.
The 6-foot-6, 320-pound Smith dominated at the point of attack and was extremely impressive when taking on Alabama. He looks like he is just scratching the surface of his upside to be even better with more experience. Smith played guard and left tackle for the Volunteers as a freshman. He should settle in at left tackle over the next two years and could have the ability to dominate.
The Colts grab a No. 1 receiver for their offense. T.Y. Hilton could be on the decline by the 2020 NFL Draft, but he could still be a good No. 2 or slot receiver.
NFL scouts who were attending Alabama's practices last fall told me that Jeudy (6-1, 192) was the next great Crimson Tide receiver to keep the tradition going under Nick Saban that has seen elite receivers like Julio Jones, Amari Cooper and Calvin Ridley dominate the competition. As a freshman, Jeudy totaled 14 receptions for 264 yards and two touchdowns. He was just scratching the surface last season and could become a star as a sophomore or junior.
3.New York Jets:Najee Harris, RB, Alabama
2019 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 8/27): Nick Bosa, DE
The Jets grab a feature back to help Sam Darnold.
Harris (6-2, 230) was a star recruit coming out of high school, and as a freshman, he flashed a tremendous skill set with size, power and speed. He averaged 6.1 yards per carry last season for 370 yards with three touchdowns. Alabama didn't give him a lot of carries because of more experienced players ahead of him like Damien Harris and Bo Scarbrough. By the time of the 2020 NFL Draft, Harris probably will establish himself as an elite runner given his superb physical talent.
Kenyan Drake is a talented back, but he has had durability issues going back to his college years. Here is a feature back for Adam Gase.
In 2017, Mike Weber was supposed to be the next star running back at Ohio State, but an injury slowed him down to start the season. The Buckeyes turned to Dobbins and never looked back, because the freshman dominated the competition. He averaged 7.2 yards per carry last season for 1,403 yards with seven touchdowns. He also had 22 receptions for 135 yards and a touchdown. Dobbins has a fast first-step and is a danger to break off long runs on any carry.
5.Arizona Cardinals:Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia
2019 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 8/27): Trey Adams, OT
The Cardinals grab a successor to Larry Fitzgerald and get a long-term No. 1 for Josh Rosen.
Ridley (6-2, 200) came on strong for Georgia and had an impressive game against Alabama with six receptions for 82 yards. His production was hurt by Georgia's three-headed monster in the ground game, but Ridley is capable of producing a lot more as an upperclassman.
Tyron Smith wasn't the same player in 2017. If he doesn't turn things around, Dallas could be looking for a new left tackle by the 2020 NFL Draft.
Thomas (6-5, 320) was very impressive at right tackle as a true freshman, starting there all season and helping the Bulldogs produce a dominant rushing attack. He also flashed impressive athleticism and length in pass protection. With Isaiah Wynn moving on to the NFL, Thomas is being projected to move to left tackle for Georgia. Some NFL advance scouts told me that Thomas jumped out at them when watching practice and tape. They think he has the potential to be an early-rounder in his draft class.
Unless Cincinnati has a turn around over the next year or two, the Bengals could be ready to start over and look for an upgrade over Andy Dalton.
Because of an injury, Fromm (6-5, 225) was pressed into the starting lineup as a freshman, but he led Georgia all the way to the National Championship. Fromm was an excellent game-manager, making some clutch throws while protecting the football to allow his potent rushing attack and superb defense to control games. In 2017, Fromm completed 62.2 percent of his passes for 2,615 yards with 24 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He could be even better now that he has more experience.
8.Tampa Bay Buccaneers:A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa
2019 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 8/27): Greg Little, OT
Vinny Curry and Jason Pierre-Paul may not be long-term options. By the 2020 NFL Draft, Pierre-Paul will be in the last year of his contract.
Epenesa (6-5, 277) is a thick, physical and athletic defensive end who flashed pass-rush ability during an impressive freshman season for the Hawkeyes. In 2017, Epenesa totaled 4.5 sacks, 5.5 tackles for a loss, 15 tackles and one forced fumble. He looked like he was just scratching the surface of his potential.
9.Baltimore Ravens:Tarik Black, WR, Michigan
2019 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 8/27): Clelin Ferrell, DE
The Ravens will need to draft some receiving weapons for Lamar Jackson.
Black flashed big-time ability early in his freshman year, when he had 11 catches for 149 yards and a touchdown in three games. A foot injury ended his season early. The 6-foot-3, 215-pounder has a good combination of size and speed. Black could end up being a star as a sophomore or junior.
10.New York Giants:Isaiahh Loudermilk, DT, Wisconsin
Bradley Roby may not pan out as a No. 1 corner, and Chris Harris will be aging at this point. Denver may look to the 2020 NFL Draft for a cornerback.
Henderson was really impressive as a freshman, demonstrating excellent coverage and ball skills. He totaled four interceptions with four passes broken up and 22 tackles for the season. Henderson has excellent size to go along with speed and cover skills. Now that he has a year of experience, he could be even better. Henderson has a ton of upside and could be one of the top cornerbacks across college football in 2018 and 2019.
The Browns are going to need to find a replacement for Joe Thomas.
Little was impressive as a freshman starter at left tackle for Stanford. The 6-foot-7, 304-pounder did an effective job in run blocking and helped Bryce Love to a huge season. Little could be better as a sophomore and junior.
13.Kansas City Chiefs:Curtis Weaver, DE, Boise State
Tamba Hali is gone, Justin Houston is aging and has had injuries, and Dee Ford has been a disappointment.
Weaver (6-3, 266) broke out in 2017. The redshirt freshman had 11 sacks, 33 tackles, two passes broken up and a forced fumble on the year. With Weaver's size and body type, he might fit best as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
Kam Chancellor is gone and Earl Thomas is next. Here's a replacement,
After serving as a backup during his freshman campaign, Hudson broke out in 2017. The first-year starter totaled 83 tackles with 18.5 tackles for a loss, eight sacks, nine passes broken up and two interceptions. Hudson (6-0, 205) is an excellent blitzer with the upside to develop more coverage skills. He will be an interesting prospect to watch and has the potential to rise.
15.San Francisco 49ers:Ahmmon Richards, WR, Miami
2019 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 8/27): Montez Sweat, DE
The 49ers need a No. 1 receiver for Kyle Shanahan's offense.
A hamstring injury limited Richards (6-1, 190) to just seven games in 2017, and he totaled 24 catches for 439 yards and three touchdowns over those appearances. Richards was a play-maker and very impressive in 2016. The freshman totaled 49 receptions for 934 yards and three touchdowns. His downfield speed was illustrated by his average of 19.1 yards per reception. Richards easily could have produced more in 2016 if Brad Kaaya had played more consistently.
16.Detroit Lions:Marquez Callaway, WR, Tennessee
2019 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 8/27): Joe Jackson, DE
The Lions could use a true No. 1 receiver.
In 2017, Callaway caught 25 passes for 419 yards and five touchdowns. The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder flashed a lot of ability as a freshman and looked like he was just scratching the surface of his potential.