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2019 Cy Stoltz Preliminary Mock Draft
Published at 2/9/2019 3:56:34 AM
Free agency and roster cuts are going to play a huge role in draft decision making, but this mock is predictive as possible under the current roster climate. Players picked are projections of what I believe the team will pursue, and not necessarily reflective of my scouting assessment of the player. I like to give a detailed, in depth breakdown of each pick along with a quick assessment of the player, as well as listing other potential options for each pick. The alternative options are more players I think the team will target and aren't based on who is on or off the board so much. I refer to defensive tackles as 3 techniques and noseguards because I think that's an easy way to differentiate the two skill sets and roles in most base defenses, and I follow a similar path of logic when applying grades to characteristics of players. Using an A+ through F scale of grading is easy to understand and effective enough.
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The Cardinals would like to build around Josh Rosen and give Kingsbury personnel to fit his offensive scheme, so the Cardinals are likely to trade down here. A potential scenario could involve the Cardinals trading Josh Rosen for draft assets, and selecting Kyler Murray, if he declares for the NFL, with this selection. Murray is a better fit for Kingsbury’s college spread, and Kingsbury was on record saying he’d pick Murray first overall around a year ago while at Texas Tech. It’d be a very out there risky move, but if I was in the GM’s shoes it is one I’d make. The Cardinals need to generate offense however they can, and Murray’s skill set suits their scheme and personnel (Cardinals struggle to block anyone) better than an immobile pocket passer in Rosen. But, Steve Keim has proven to be one of the NFL’s most incompetent general managers outside of his partnership with Bruce Arians, and I think he is too conservative to make a bold, or crazy, depending on your viewpoint, decision like this. So barring a trade, I think a safe selection in either Josh Allen, Nick Bosa, or Quinnen Williams is the most likely scenario. (what a shocker) I had Bosa here for a long time, but the more I thought about it the more Josh Allen began to make sense with this selection. New DC Vance Joseph said shortly after he was hired that he plans to run an aggressive base 3-4 front that features exotic blitz packages heavily. Nick Bosa can fit in any scheme because most teams will play their nickel package 50-80% of their defensive snaps, and in the nickel the 3-4 OLB is almost always lined up with his hand in the dirt rushing the edge anyway. That said, his fit in the 3-4 is more awkward than it is in the 4-3. Though he could be used as a versatile 5 technique some like his brother was with Chargers, he's never been asked to drop into coverage as a primary responsibility, and would likely struggle if asked to do so at outside linebacker. Josh Allen is a much cleaner fit scheme wise than Bosa. Allen features more length and explosion off the edge and is a more dynamic athlete, but lacks the strength and size of Bosa. He is accustomed to playing the position and has the flexibility to run and turn the corner on offensive tackles. He is fantastic in coverage for his position, and would be an asset both dropping and rushing. The play calling flexibility he affords could be appealing to the Cardinals, as edge rusher/ outside linebacker Chandler Jones is already a liability in coverage. I think there will be more momentum for this pick after the combine, where Josh Allen is likely to put up fantastic numbers. If this pick is a trade down, it will likely be for one of the quarterbacks or Nick Bosa, as a team desperate for an edge rusher could look to leapfrog the 49ers.
Nick Bosa is the best case scenario for the 49ers. They have a huge need at defensive end, and Bosa is as NFL ready as they come. Bosa is about as safe of a prospect as an elite prospect can be, and the only concerns with him stem from his injury history at OSU, and his older brother's injury history with the Chargers. Bosa isn’t the elite athlete that other edge rushers like Myles Garrett, Jadeveon Clowney, and to a slightly lesser extent, Bradley Chubb are, but his technique and hand usage are at a lever higher than the majority of current NFL starters. His pass rush is very polished, and his arsenal of rips, swims, and counters will give most tackles problems. He is strong at the point of attack, has a great motor, and plays with excellent leverage. While not as explosive as some of the other recent elite edge rushing prospects, he would still grade as a A- athlete. He should enjoy a similar early career success to his older brother Joey. In terms of comparing the two, Joey is taller with longer arms to create separation from the tackle to run the edge, while Nick is more compact and built with a more powerful anchor. As for the 49ers, I think if Bosa is picked first that they end up taking Rashan Gary. Josh Allen is an awkward fit in their defensive scheme. The positional value of an edge rusher outweighs their need for a nose guard in Quinnen Williams, when they already have a solid interior 3 technique in DeForest Buckner. A solid nose guard is found much easier later in the draft and in free agency than a solid edge rusher, and Gary's combine performance should generate a lot of hype.
The Jets had a dire need at edge rusher for the entire Todd Bowles regime as needs at other positions always took precedent in the draft. The Jets, like the Cardinals, are likely to trade down from this selection. The Jets traded away so many draft assets to the Colts last year (including this years second rounder) that it makes sense to try and move down and accumulate some extra picks. Also, like the Cardinals, the Jets have a new offensive head coach and a second year quarterback in Sam Darnold they will prioritize building around. I could easily see them moving down and targeting Clelin Ferrell or Montez Sweat, while using the other acquired picks to help bolster the offense. In the event they stay put, Gary should be the selection. Gary is a phenomenal athlete likely to test similarly to Myles Garrett at the combine. He is a much more unrefined player than Bosa, but he gives high effort and should turn teams on with his attitude. Teams will believe they can coach up his pass rushing technique and develop him into a star. Greg Williams' defense relied heavily on Garrett as a strong side end last year in Cleveland, and I could see him trying to use Gary in a similar role. In terms of athleticism, while Gary could test similarly at the combine, or even better than Garrett, he doesn't have the same hip flexibility Garrett has to run the corner and turn the edge on a tackle. As he currently stands, his pass rush is pretty limited to a bull rush, and he plays overaggressive and undisciplined at times. He is a much stronger player against the run than pass. He plays the run with good leverage and strong hands. If the Jets don't trade this pick away the only other two candidates for this pick I would anticipate would be Josh Allen and Nick Bosa. Nick Bosa is very unlikely to reach this pick, but Josh Allen easily could land here. He would fit well into Greg Williams' blitz packages in their base defense and provide a good weak side edge rush in their nickel and dime packages.
The Raiders are trying to build their team into a physical bully, and Quinnen Williams fits perfectly into that identity. His physicality and agility will make him a dominant force wherever his team chooses to line him up in the interior. The Raiders are sitting in a good position at 4, as they can take the best defensive prospect that falls of this group. I mentioned earlier there's a small potential a team could trade with the Cardinals to leapfrog the 49ers for Bosa, and I think if that does happen it will be the Raiders. Landing Williams without giving up assets has to be a best case scenario for the Raiders, however, as Williams is far and away the best interior defensive line player, and there are other talented edge rushers they can target with their later picks. Williams will pair well with the Raiders picks from last season as he can play nose while Maurice Hurst and PJ Hall play in the 3 technique. All in all, I think this is a no brainer selection. I don't think they will be likely to trade down from this pick. Any team looking to trade up to this range will likely target the Bucanneers to leapfrog the Giants for a quarterback. Williams is a dominant combination of size, strength, agility, and technique. He doesn't really have a weakness as a prospect. He will markedly improve the interior pass rush and run defense of whatever team he joins. If Williams is picked before this, I think the Raiders would take either Allen or Gary, whoever the Jets bypass of the two.
This season is all about turning around Jameis Winston for the Buccaneers and Bruce Arians. Arians had a lot of say in the draft with his previous regime in Arizona, and he should have similar influence in Tampa. I think when trying to correct Winston's game, Arians will reflect on his time in Arizona and what David Johnson meant to Carson Palmer in his offenses. Winston has been somewhat similar to Matt Stafford in that he's never had a reliable running attack, and has had to carry too much of the offensive burden through the vertical passing game. Like Stafford, Winston has developed a habit of trying to do too much with the ball in his hands. Unlike Stafford, however, his accuracy and footwork have been wildly inconsistent, his mistakes are more egregious, and he's been unable to keep his team afloat as Stafford did for many years under Jim Caldwell. Josh Jacobs is a dynamic running back, who excels both as a runner and receiver. His light playing time at Bama will be seen as a positive, less tread on the tires so to speak, and he should do fantastic at the combine. He has breakaway speed, good vision, and great lateral agility. He runs with a lot of aggressiveness and power, and he delivers an impact when lowering his shoulder to run through defenders. The Bucs have a need at left tackle as well, and Jawaan Taylor could be the selection, but I think Jacobs is the better prospect, and the better fit for the offensive identity Arians wants to establish. To resurrect Jameis Winston's career, a consistent ground game and an easy check down option should both be seen as a priority, and Jacobs fills both roles well. To minimize mistakes they will want to stay ahead of the chains and give Winston easy lay ups to help control his habit of forcing the ball. Some might find Jacobs at 5 to be outlandish, but I'd give him a better grade than Fournette. His 3rd down pass catching ability and lack of an injury history really separate him from Fournette. Even if a team like the Broncos tries to leapfrog the Giants for a quarterback here, I think the Bucs still take Jacobs, just a few picks later. That is probably the most likely scenario, as a team is almost certain to try and leapfrog the Giants. The Bills are the only team that could potentially take Jacobs over the Bucs in a trade down scenario, but Lesean McCoy's contract figure is too high to warrant a first round selection at running back. Another potential pick here could be DeAndre Baker, but I think the heavy investment at corner two second round picks in Carlton Davis and MJ Stewart last year, and the fear of another first round corner bust like Vernon Hargreaves could deter that.
I’ve been reading momentum Jones will be picked first of this year's quarterbacks, though this early in the process that could be a smokescreen. GM Dave Gettleman has been vocal in the past about how Eli's consistency and durability make him an ideal franchise quarterback, but with the skill positions the Giants have in place, rolling out Eli for one last ride would be a wasted opportunity. I do think Jones having the same coaching upbringing (David Cutcliffe was Eli's head coach at Ole Miss) and a similar personality to Eli really boosts his scouting evaluation for the Giants. Shurmur likes west coast pro style rhythym passers, and I think he'll be attracted more to Jones than bigger armed prospects in Lock and Haskins, who fit better in more vertical attacks, and I don't think he'll want to reconstruct his offense around Murray. For my money though, Jones is a bust. I think he’s received great coaching and is close to being a finished product. I don't think he has the physical attributes to succeed at a high level and his ceiling is as a league average to below average quarterback. Lock was more impressive in the senior bowl, and I think Jones will struggle facing NFL pocket pressure, and when not using his athleticism to elongate plays. If they don't go quarterback here, I think the selection would be Jawaan Taylor.
The Jaguars are another team that values toughness and power up front, and Malik Jackson is on his way out. Marcell Dareus might not be on the roster much longer either, and last year's first round pick, Taven Bryan, is lining up at strong side end behind Calais Campbell. The Jags are more likely to land a free agent quarterback (I'd guess Foles first, Flacco second) than draft one early. Despite the poor season last year, the Jaguars still probably feel as they are competing for a Super Bowl, and their draft should reflect that. I think they feel okay enough about their WRs, with Dede Westbrook and a recent early investment in DJ Chark, to pass on a receiver this high in the draft. I imagine they will pass on Jawaan Taylor in hopes Cam Robinson and Jermey Pernell return healthy at tackle, while center Brandon Linder and guard Andrew Norwell return healthy at center and guard. If healthy they could have a solid offensive line group, so I think they give their offensive line this season to prove what they can do when healthy, and take Christian Wilkins. Wilkins is a terrific locker room presence and leader, and that should only enhance his value in scouting circles. He plays with a quick first step, and often is able to shoot his gap to make a play in the backfield. He is strong at the point of attack and plays with a solid anchor, though he could stand to add strength to hold up against double teams at the point of attack. I think the Jaguars value his leadership and will be reminded of Calais Campbell, one of the locker room's most prominent leaders, and that will really help push him to be the pick here, as they've had a lot of character issues and locker room conflict. Marcell Dareus may or may not be released, but regardless Wilkins would play more of the three technique role while Dareus and Abry Jones would play a more physical one technique controlling the run through the A gaps. Other potential picks would be Jawaan Taylor, TJ Hockenson, Marquise Brown, or any of the top 4 quarterbacks.
There is a talent drop around this selection, as most the blue chip prospects are off the board. TJ Hockenson and Devin White may or may not fall into that category depending on the evaluator, but both are a blue chipper (likely pro bowl player) in my eyes. The Lions have a real need at edge rusher as well, and Montez Sweat, Clelin Ferrell, or Rashan Gary, if he falls, could all very well be the selection here The Lions are emphasizing toughness up front, and an ability to both run and shut down the run under Patricia. (drafting Ragnow, Johnson, Fullback Nick Bawden, trading away Golden Tate and bringing in Damon Harrison) Hockenson fits well into that modus operandi as he is an excellent run blocker. This is higher than most have Hockenson. I've been reading more and more reports that tight end will be a priority for the Lions, and nfl.com's Daniel Jeremiah first made this projection. I find myself agreeing with him here though. Hockenson's tape is fantastic and he compares favorably to Rob Gronkowski in his blocking and receiving versatility. Hockenson is the most dominate run blocker I've ever watched at the position, and he relishes driving his man into the dirt. He's deceptively fast, good at leveraging coverage, and high points the ball well. His hands are very good, and he runs his routes well and boxes out defenders who could use speed to get an angle on his routes. He should be a positive contributor as a receiver, and his blocking versatility should open things up for him in the passing game. The combine will be important for Hockenson, as a time under 4.7 and an explosive performance will help push him up to this range. Other possibilities I haven't mentioned would be TJ Hockenson or DeAndre Baker.
The Bills sacrificed Cordy Glenn to move up for Josh Allen, and his presence was sorely missed. There aren’t any receivers worth taking this high. I don't think reaching for a receiver this high is a good idea, and it appears NFL teams are catching on, as its a position with a high first round bust rate. Over the last three years we have Corey Davis 5th 2017, John Ross 9th 2017, Corey Coleman 15th 2016, Laquon Treadwell 23rd 2016, and Josh Doctson 22nd 2016 as negative return of investments as opposed to Mike Williams 7th 2017, Will Fuller 21st 2016 (being generous and overlooking injuries) DJ Moore 24th 2018, and Calvin Ridley 26th 2018, as positive. Meanwhile the best players at receiver in the 2016 and 2017 draft both went in the second round, the selections being Michael Thomas 47th 2016 and Juju Smith Schuster 62nd 2017. Last year showed that teams are beginning to feel reluctant to reach on the position with a top 20 selection and rightfully so. Unless a team feels like a receiver is a truly special player, they should not risk such valuable draft capital. That's the case here, as this receiver class mirrors 2016 in its lack of blue chippers at the top. That said, offensive tackle is the smart play here. Josh Allen’s injury last year and the amount of hits he took were concerning from a longevity standpoint. Taylor would give them a good pair of young bookends with Dion Dawkins. There is a scarcity of talented offensive linemen in the league currently, and taking Taylor here is a no brainer when compared to the relative value receivers on the board. Jawaan Taylor lacks a bit in height for the position, but is an agile mammoth of a man at 6'5 340. He has the athletic flexibility to play right and left tackle, but would remain at his college position of right tackle here. His size and anchor are his biggest assets as he can swallow defenders in pass protection and generate a real push in the ground game. He has better feet than you'd anticipate, but his pass protection sets need a little refinement. Overall he's the best tackle on the board, and should help both to protect Josh Allen, and help get Lesean McCoy back on track. As for other possibilities, Cody Ford or Jonah Williams could be selected as long term replacements for Richie Incognito and Eric Wood, both of whom retired before the start of last season.
Elway has preferred big quarterbacks with big arms in his Denver tenure, drafting both Brock Osweiler and Paxton Lynch. No Quarterback in this draft fits that mold, and I imagine they'll ride out Flacco before trading up for Justin Herbert or a talent with a similar profile in an upcoming draft. Vic Fangio's best defenses have always featured athletic playmakers at inside backer (Bowman/Willis 49ers Roquan Smith Bears) and he's been willing to invest high resources in the position. To build his defensive identity into the Broncos I believe he'll take White here. White's athleticism, physicality, intelligence, and coverage ability make him a perfect fit to man the middle of the defense, and he should only grow with pro coaching as he is a recently converted running back. White is an excellent athlete for the position, follows his reads and keys well, though he has room for growth in that regard, and is a compact, stout player at 6'0 250. He is physical taking on offensive linemen and drives his feet well on contact when tackling. He takes good pursuit angles that other linebackers can't manage because of his speed. This is earlier than many have him projected, but his combine 40 time is speculated to be consistently in the 4.4s, and that could propel his stock some. If the Broncos forego White with this selection, other prospects to watch are DeAndre Baker, Greedy Williams, and Cody Ford.
I was torn between Cody Ford and DeAndre Baker with this selection. I'm sure new HC Zac Taylor would like to bolster his offensive line, but the last ranked pass defense looms as an even larger issue. William Jackson is a good corner, but former first round picks Darqueze Dennard and Dre Kirkpatrick haven't panned out as hoped, and both might not be long for the roster. I think DeAndre Baker will eclipse Greedy Williams as the top cornerback on the board after the combine and pro days, and is a solid fit for the Bengals defense. Baker is a smaller cornerback at 5'11 180, but he is very fast and adept at preventing separation in the route. Before going fourth, Denzel Ward was undervalued because of his size by most draft analysts, and Baker could be similar. Baker plays more physical than his size would indicate and has an alpha dog personality. I think Baker has pro bowl potential as a shutdown corner. His ball skills aren't fluid and receiver-like when compared to guys like Patrick Peterson, but he excels at locating the ball and keeping it out of the receiver's hands. His coaches will undoubtedly work with him in turning some of his swats into interceptions. Baker would team well with Jackson and Jesse Bates to give their secondary a long term foundation. Baker's speed has been questioned leading up to the draft, but i'm betting he runs well and puts those questions to bed at the combine. Other potential picks would be Devin White, Devin Bush, TJ Hockenson, Greedy Williams, Jonah Williams, and Cody Ford. I think of this group White and Ford are the most likely alternates, as the Bengals linebackers were atrocious last year, and their offensive line has never recovered from the decision to allow Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler walk in free agency.
The Packers really need to add explosion to their edge rush. Clay Matthews is no longer an effective starter, and they need youth and speed in their rotation. I don't think there is a prospect available at receiver, safety, or guard that bypasses the need at edge rusher. This selection came down to two edge rushers for me, Jachai Polite and Montez Sweat. I chose Sweat for three reasons: 1) Dominant senior bowl performance and more college production 2) Minor character concerns about Polite I've read 3) Sweat's length advantage (6'6 vs 6'2). While both are explosive edge rushers, Polite is faster, but the combine could disprove that assumption. Sweat's length should give him the edge in swatting balls at the line of scrimmage, his ability to play the run, and in his ability to hand fight and run the corner on the offensive tackle in his pass rush. I think thats what ultimately vaults him over Polite here, though neither pick would surprise me. As a prospect, Sweat is tall, smart, and explosive. His athleticism is more than most offensive tackles can handle, and he has a variety of pass rushing moves. He is most effective running the corner and utilizing a rip move. He can stand to improve on his leverage and hand usage to hold up at the point of attack when teams run at him, and should add about 15-25 lbs to help strengthen his anchor. Other possible picks here are Cody Ford, Jonah Williams, Nasir Adderley, and Jachai Polite.
Murray is the wildcard of this draft with the widest range of possible destinations. Murray is as unique of a prospect at quarterback as there's ever been. His athleticism and agility are off the charts, but his height at 5'9 restricts the style of offense he can play. He needs an organization to commit to his skill set as the Ravens committed to Lamar Jackson a year ago. Situation and coaching is very important for his success. An offense built around Murray would resemble a college spread and what he had at Oklahoma. He needs the ball in shotgun to see over his line, and he'll play best if he's allowed to play a backyard football style of offense. If he is placed in the right scheme and situation, Murray should be the best quarterback of this draft. His athleticism would grade easily as an A+ and his arm as an A-. He can throw deep with great touch, but his arm angles are limited because of his height, and he's likely to have trouble with batted balls at the line of scrimmage. At his size its imperative that he learns when to slide and that his coaching staff tries to minimize the hits he takes. If used properly, though, he could really enhance a lackluster ground game with zone read and option looks. The Dolphins have an owner in Stephen Ross that I could see mandating this pick in order to revitalize the organization and fan base. Murray would bring an immediate superstar presence to the Dolphins that they've been lacking for some time. As a former DC, Brian Flores understands the difficulties in defending a quarterback like Murray, and new offensive coordinator Chris O'Shea could be willing to construct his playbook around him. He has spent the majority of his career as the WRs coach for the Patriots, and doesn't have an ingrained playbook like other more experienced OC's. The presence of Jim Caldwell at QB Coach might not mesh well with this pick, as Caldwell was a pro style guy with the Ravens and Lions, but he won't be calling plays in Miami and won't have too much say in the draft process. His addition to the staff could also signal that the Dolphins will prioritize grooming a young quarterback. The Dolphins are pretty depleted talent wise, and could go in a number of different directions with this pick if not Murray. They could wait until next year if they don't like the quarterbacks available this year. Cody Ford, Dwayne Haskins, Jonah Williams, Christian Wilkins, Ed Oliver, TJ Hockenson, DeAndre Baker, and Greedy Williams could all be options for this selection. Of that group, I'd say Wilkins or Oliver would be the most likely selections. When I put this together Murray hadn't declared solely for the NFL yet, and I actually said "a public declaration of intent would go along towards helping his draft status." Now that's he's declared, he's likely to go in the top 5 via a trade up. The plan is to put together a second final version of this mock a week or two before the draft, and I'll wait until then when there's more clarity to move him up.
The Falcons need to get tougher up front, and they have an affinity for Clemson products. The Falcons will hope to retain Grady Jarrett, but even if they do, they still need a partner to pair with him in the interior of the line. Jarrett has a powerful anchor and plays with great leverage, but is on the smaller side at 6'1 290. Lawrence fits well as the interior A gap player to Jarrett's 3 technique. While Ed Oliver has been a popular projection here, I don't think the Falcons will want to double up on undersized tackles as Oliver was reported to be playing at around 6'3 275-280 last season. Together Lawrence and Jarrett could form one of the best tackle tandems in the league. Lawrence is a mammoth of a nose guard at 6'4 340. He was stellar as a freshman in Clemson's first national championship run, but his play never reached its potential due to some injuries and inconsistent effort, and he never became the top 3-10 caliber prospect many thought he'd become. He was suspended for Clemson's most recent national championship run because he tested positive for PEDs. That was more accidental, however, and Dabo Swinney recently said they might have unknowingly given them to him, so I don't think this hurts his draft positioning much. Lawrence is a special athlete for his size, and his agility is uncommon in a man so large and powerful. He is very strong at the point of attack and excellent at pushing the pocket in the passing game. He has the athleticism to contribute as more than just a pocket pusher when rushing the passer, and he can overwhelm interior offensive linemen in one on one situations. Lawrence has been dinged up often since his freshman year, and his play, particularly his leverage and hand usage, becomes more sloppy when he plays a higher snap count. For the NFL he should work on his conditioning and consistency with his technique. His athletic profile and skillset gives him the potential to be among the NFL's most dominant nose guards and his ability to contribute on all three downs is a huge component to his evaluation. The Falcons will be able to keep him on a pitch count and use him to keep their speedy linebackers free from climbing offensive linemen, and he should greatly improve their run defense while being an asset as a pass rusher. The Falcons also have Scott Pioli high up in their front office, and he picked Dontari Poe, so the positional precedent is there for this selection. The Falcons emphasis in this round should be to get tougher up front. If they forego Wilkins, I imagine this pick would be one of the guards in Cody Ford or Jonah Williams. A surprise pick could be a corner like Baker or Byron Murphy, as Isaiah Oliver struggled last season and will need to improve to stay in the starting lineup.
My bet would be on Alex Smith never playing again, and I wouldn't be surprised to see the Redskins add a veteran passer in free agency and a young signal caller early in the draft. Charlie Campbell reported that the Redskins like Daniel Jones, but don't think he'll make it to their pick. So there's a possibility they trade up for Jones, but I think that could be a smokescreen and the quarterback they prefer is actually Dwayne Haskins. Doug Williams is high up in the Redskins personnel office, and I think he is likely to be reminded of himself when scouting Haskins. Williams was a tall pocket passer with a cannon of an arm, and became the first black quarterback to win a Superbowl, defeating Elway's Broncos back in the day. Haskins has the biggest arm in this class, but also is the most immobile of the top four. That isn't to say he's a bad athlete, but he doesn't have the elusive speed of the other top 3 prospects at the position He would grade as a C+ athlete, as he has some natural elusiveness and power, but isn't a threat to outrun anyone in the defense's back 7. His arm talent would grade as an A. He shows pretty good pocket awareness and maneuverability, but a team with poor blocking would be a bad match for his skill set. Haskins can be a second slow reading his progressions and can pull the trigger too late at times. He will need to speed up the mental aspect of his game to be really successful at the next level. Situation is an important fit for Haskins as well, as he needs a team with solid pass blocking to be able to stand tall in the pocket and deliver strikes. A team like the Giants wouldn't mesh well unless they improved their offensive line. He would fit well into Jay Gruden's scheme as a drop back pro style passer, and the Redskins offensive line is one of the league's best when healthy, they've just had issues with their unit's durability in the past two seasons. The Redskins are one of the most obvious trade up candidates as they'll be desperate for a quarterback, and a cheap one on a rookie contract, as Alex Smith will be owed roster crippling amounts of money the next two seasons. If they bypass a young quarterback in favor of a veteran, DK Metcalf, Marquise Brown, Cody Ford, Jonah Williams, Greedy Williams, or Nasir Adderley would be other plausible options. The Redskins are likely to try and leapfrog the Giants to take their quarterback first. I think Haskins and Kyler Murray will be the two they pursue if they do that.
The Panthers are one of the most difficult teams to mock in the opening frame. They have pretty glaring needs at a couple of positions, but I think offensive line takes priority because of Cam Newton's shoulder. The Panthers have two solid right tackles in Daryl Williams and Taylor Moton. Williams is a free agent and coming off an season ending knee injury sustained early last season. Williams is a free agent, but Carolina would do well to retain him, as he has been one of the league's better right tackles when healthy. The Panthers would be best served moving one of the two over to left tackle, if possible. If not, Moton would be a quality guard. Jonah Williams would give the Panthers some line versatility as he could potentially play any position, but he would be best replacing Ryan Kalil inside at center. Bama's coaching staff said last year they felt that was his best position and wanted to move Williams to center, but left him at left tackle because of need. Williams would be able to take over for Kalil immediately as the long term center of the future. Williams lacks the ideal size for a tackle at 6'5 297 and needs to add 10-20 lbs to build strength in his anchor for the next level. He is a technician more so than an athlete, and a move to center would really enhance his play as a pro. He is decently strong and quick, though, and would be an asset both as a pass blocker and a run blocker. His technique allows him versatility across multiple positions, but his lack of length limits his upside at tackle. His mental makeup is also perfect for making line calls at center, and he'd be able to fill that role immediately with no hiccups. The Panthers also have needs at safety, linebacker, and edge rusher. Edge rusher being the pick most likely to be addressed here if they don't pursue an offensive linemen. Cody Ford, Montez Sweat, Clelin Ferrell, and Greedy Williams are the other players I see being in contention for this pick.