Graphic: Sarah Keck, 42Fifty

We’ve witnessed the greatness of the 2019 College Football and NFL seasons, seeing Alabama finally fall short of the Playoff, along with the unexpected outburst of the Louisiana State University Tigers. Then fans witnessed something even more unforeseen, the Patriots getting a Wild-Card spot and exiting the playoff race early. College football is over, and with only two teams remaining in football’s biggest stage it’s time to think offseason. There is a lot of talent on the board for each team in the NFL Draft, as this is one of the deepest draft classes in awhile. As writers for 42Fifty, we decided to scout out the top prospects and condense the list into a first-round Mock Draft-comparing superior talent and best fits.

1. Cincinnati Bengals

Ryan: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

As much as I don’t want to see Burrow potentially deflate his career in Cincinnati, this pick is a no brainer. The franchise has obviously been trying to move away from Andy Dalton, and it only took them three games to realize Ryan Finley was not the solution. Cincinnati will have to retain AJ Green and look to add another solid wideout to rejuvenate Joe’s historic Heisman season at LSU.

Michael: Joe Burrow, QB, LSU

This is a great fit for Cincinnati as they need a QB desperately. Burrow is from Ohio so he will feel right at home and his historic senior season should be enough for the Bengals to select him number one overall.

2. Washington Redskins

Ryan: Chase Young, DE, Ohio State

Another no brainer here for the Skins, as Young’s 6’5, 265 lb., Khalil-Mack-type pass-rush ability is exactly what Washington needs. Redskins Quarterback Dwayne Haskins (who went to Ohio State) even took time on Twitter to hint at a reunion last Friday.

Michael: Chase Young, DE, Ohio State

Possibly the best prospect in the draft falls to No. 2 into the hands of the Redskins. Young is a dominant pass rusher just like the many Ohio State pass rushers who came before him. Pass rushers like Nick Bosa and Joey Bosa, Chase Young will bring muscle to the Washington defense.

3. Detroit Lions

Ryan: Jeffery Okudah, CB, Ohio State

Detroit finished off the 2019 season ranked 32nd, yes, last in passing yards allowed per game, and it’s pretty obvious Pro-Bowl corner Darius Slay needs some help. Matt Patricia is a defensive head coach, so drafting Okudah makes perfect sense.

Michael: Jeffery Okudah, CB, Ohio State

With an All-Pro corner like Darius Slay on your team you would think another corner is the wrong move. Even with one of the best corners, the Lions finished dead last in passing yards allowed per game. Having Slay and Okudah in the same secondary could very well turn this defense around.

4. New York Giants

Ryan: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

There is, and shouldn’t be any other position on the Giants’ radar than an offensive lineman, and Thomas is by far the best selection after being named the nation’s best tackle in 2019.

Michael: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia

If the Giants want to go forward with Daniel Jones at QB they need to keep him upright. Thomas should be a great fit at tackle and help Jones have more time in the pocket and not turn the ball over.

5. Miami Dolphins

Ryan: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

 The Dolphins started the year with the “Tank for Tua” campaign after expectations of a disgruntling season. Now, they didn’t finish off the year too bad after contributing to the fall of the Patriots dynasty and a 5-11 record. The Dolphins have to look quarterback, and seemingly enough, Tua has been on their radar for a long time.

Michael: Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama

The biggest wild card of the draft is Tua Tagovailoa. He is a very talented QB and was in the conversation for being the number one overall pick. His durability is in question though after the hip injury this season. If he is healthy by draft time, this will be the pick for the Dolphins. If not, then they could take the next best prospect at QB, Justin Herbert.

6. Los Angeles Chargers

Ryan: Jedrick Willis, OT, Alabama

An aging Phillip Rivers is set to become a free agent, and the main position the Chargers should look at is quarterback. Though, unless they trade up or trade down, the sixth pick has better value to help their weakened offensive line, and take the next best lineman, Willis, who was named to the nations second-offensive team.

Michael: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

If the Dolphins take Tua Tagovailoa, then that leaves the Chargers with Justin Herbert. Herbert has the physical traits but his consistency and progression could use work. But with coaching by Anthony Lynn he could be the QB of the future for Los Angeles.

7. Carolina Panthers

Ryan: Issiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

Luke Kuechly recently retired out of nowhere respectfully calling it quits after one Defensive Player of the Year Award, seven Pro Bowls, and five All-Pro First Team Awards. The Panthers need that next man up, in which Simmons has perfect value at the seventh pick. The 6’4 redshirt junior out of Clemson is a player that can be played on the pass rush, or either dropped into coverage at safety or corner.

Michael: Derrick Brown, IDL, Auburn

The Panthers were terrible in run defense finishing last in rushing touchdowns allowed and No. 29 in rushing yards allowed per game. Brown is a perfect fit and an excellent run stopper. Also at seventh overall he is the best available.

8. Arizona Cardinals

Ryan: Derrick Brown, DL , Auburn

The Cardinals actually did better than expected in 2019, after drafting Kyler Murray first overall last year. Already with a solid offense, they will look to take defense, in which Brown is the next best up. The inside linebacker’s versatile talent fits well with any team, but his strong tackling ability will surely help Arizona, who finished twenty-first in yards allowed.

Michael: Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama

Offensive line is something that the Cardinals are going to target this draft and they get one of the tackles in Willis. The Cardinals were tied for the fifth most sacked team. They are going to want to protect Kyler Murray if they want him to progress as a quarterback. His ability to be an efficient pass protector, Willis will be a day one starter for Arizona.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars 

Ryan: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

The Jaguars have consistently been strong defensively, despite having a lackluster season in 2019. Their receiving core should look to move past average, taking Jeudy at number nine. Jeudy has proven himself as the best wideout in the draft, and it would be nice to give high-paid Nick Foles, or fan-favorite Gardner Minshew III a superstar wide receiver.

Michael: Isaiah Simmons, LB Clemson

A receiver could be the pick here, but with a lot of talented receivers in this draft class and the fact that Jacksonville has two more picks in the top two rounds, Jacksonville will go with Simmons. He is versatile and a perfect fit for this struggling Jaguar’s defense.

10. Cleveland Browns

Ryan: Triston Wirfs, OT, Iowa

It’s hard to avoid the disappointment from the Browns’s organization, but one position they surely need is an offensive lineman. The potential is there, but Baker Mayfield needs much more time to stay under center in order to maintain a balanced, under control play style.

Michael: Triston Wirfs, OT, Iowa

Offensive Tackle is a big need for the Browns team. Wirfs is one of the best tackle prospects in the class and will help this Browns offense turn around. Wirfs’ mobility as pass protector and a run blocker will be a massive help for Baker Mayfield and company.

11. New York Jets

Ryan: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

As bad as the Jets may have looked this season, they did end up finishing 7-9, in which three of those games were without starting quarterback, Sam Darnold. New York should look to add an elite offensive weapon in Lamb, who finished his junior year at Oklahoma with 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Michael: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama

Jeudy is a phenomenal talent and is the best receiver prospect in the class. The Jets need a lot of help on both sides of the ball that they can address later because they will not pass on Jeudy. He is an excellent route runner and was explosive in his three years with Alabama. The Jets will get a great receiver to pair up with Robby Anderson and Jamison Crowder.

12. Oakland Raiders

Ryan: Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon

The Raiders made multiple moves over the last two years, to get the multiple early draft options they have, trading Khalil Mack, Amari Cooper, and Jonathan Abram. Now this pick comes to good value, with the Raiders taking their next future quarterback. It would be wise to move on from Derek Carr, and Jon Gruden is hinting at that next guy up.

Michael: CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma

CeeDee Lamb is the playmaker this Raiders team needs. The Raiders leading receiver this year was a tight end. Lamb brings great ball skills and control to this offense and will slot in as a true number one wide receiver for the Raiders.

13. Indianapolis Colts

Ryan: Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina

A guy you may not have heard of, Kinlaw possesses great size, and ability after the snap. The Colts may either look to sign their next quarterback in free agency, so taking defense in the first round would be wise. Paring the speedy linebacker with 2018 Rookie of the Year Darius Leonard would be dangerous for a Colts team that could use explosiveness on either side of the ball.

Michael: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

With a guy like T.Y. Hilton on your team you would think receiver is an afterthought. But the pro bowl receiver was not even the leading receiver on his team. This offense needs another playmaker and Higgins is that guy. Higgins has great size and length which gives a big catch radius. Indianapolis may try to fix their quarterback situation in free agency so that the Colts will try to add playmakers to help this offense perform at a high level.

14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Ryan: Grant Delpit, S, LSU

Delpit spent his Junior season at LSU locking down top receivers all year, and Tampa Bay needs a guy that brings that energy. The Buccaneers secondary needs some help after finishing 3rd in most passing yards allowed per game.

Michael: Javon Kinlaw, IDL, South Carolina

The Buccaneers had the NFL’s best run defense this season, only allowing 73.8 yards per game. But defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh will enter free agency this offseason so the Buccaneers are looking for a replacement. Kinlaw is explosive off the line of scrimmage and can stuff gaps when they open. Kinlaw will be a great fit and will hope to continue the success of the 2019 Tampa Bay run defense.

15. Denver Broncos

Ryan: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

The Broncos made it known that they are looking to get a speedy wide receiver in the draft, and the next man up is Ruggs, who is arguably the fastest man in the draft.

Michael: Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

Denver needs to replace their deep threat after they traded Emmanuel Sanders to the 49ers. Ruggs is going to be one of the fastest players in the draft with his 4.2 speed. He will leave defenders in the dust and help QB Drew Lock and the passing offense who ranked twenty-eighth in passing yards per game.

16. Atlanta Falcons

Ryan: A.J. Espenesa, DE, Iowa

The Falcons will look to improve defensively and can do that in drafting Espenesa. The strong, speed edge defensive end will add to Atlanta’s standard, pairing well withVic Beasley-assuming they resign him this offseason.

Michael: A.J. Epenesa, DE, Iowa

The Falcons are in need of a pass rusher and Epenesa is the solution to their problem. Atlanta last season was tied for twenty-ninth in sacks and their leader in sacks, Vic Beasley, has an expiring contract this year. Epenesa is a powerful pass rusher and should bring a lot of pressure to opposing quarterbacks.

17. Dallas Cowboys

Ryan: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

The Cowboys lack on defense, and with another lackluster season, now would be the time for Dallas to look for a next star corner. Fuller has tremendous potential, being a very knowledgeable corner with great footwork and timing. He recently showcased his ability on the national stage, winning a National Championship with a top defense with LSU teammates Grant Delpit and Derek Stingley Jr.

Michael: Grant Delpit, S, LSU

The Cowboys finally solve their problem at safety with Delpit. Dallas was trying all of last offseason to get safety Earl Thomas and this season they were trying to trade for Jets safety Jamal Adams but to no prevail. The Cowboys get a versatile and instinctive safety in Delpit and will help round out this secondary who ranked thirtieth in interceptions.

18. Miami Dolphins (via Pittsburgh)

Ryan: K’Lavon Chaisson, DE, LSU

Another LSU guy off the board, the Dolphins could use a lot of help on defense. Chaisson’s ability to pass rush and drop into coverage could fit well in young defense.

Michael: Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU

The Dolphins need a lot of help on both sides of the ball. They picked their quarterback for the future at number five so the get a great cornerback for the defense. Fulton is a great man corner and has excellent press skills and hands. Pairing Fulton with Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard should help this secondary not finish last in passing touchdowns allowed next season.

19. Oakland Raiders (via Chicago)

Ryan: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson

The Raiders are extremely thin at receiving depth, after seemingly carrying their 2019 offensive production through Josh Jacobs and Darren Waller. They are still looking for an Amari Cooper replacement, and Higgins fits that playstyle. The Clemson superstar possesses lots of speed and deep route ability, which would help the Raiders bring back their fire-power.

Michael: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

Murray is explosive linebacker and the Raiders need one of those. Murray shows excellent sideline to sideline speed and can bring as a pass rusher too. The Raiders are looking for a leader for this defense and Murray will fit the hole in the middle of this struggling Raider’s defense.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars (via Los Angeles)

Ryan: Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma

Murray showcased the heart of the Oklahoma defense, who ended up making the College Football Playoff in consecutive years. He has lots of experience taking on high-powered offenses, and has lots of potential. The Jaguars will look to get back to the 2017 defensive form, strongly improving their pass rush.

Michael: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

The Jaguars traded their star corner Jalen Ramsey earlier this season. This season they were twenty-fifth in interceptions and are in need of another corner to fill Ramsey’s shoes. While no one can really fill the shoes of the All-Pro corner, Diggs will be the pick here to try and strengthen this secondary. His great coverage skills and size should make for a great pickup for the Jaguars.

21. Philadelphia Eagles

Ryan: Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama

Philadelphia finished off another season average, and could look to vamp up its pass defense. Ronald Darby is set to become a free agent this offseason, and with regression and aging in his game, the Eagles could use Diggs’ lockdown defense and high potential. 

Michael: Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU

When your top 3 receivers on your team is two tight ends and a running back, something needs to change. Eagles tight end Zach Ertz had more receiving yards, catches, and only one less touchdown than the Eagles top 2 receiver combined. Jefferson provides the Eagles with an athletic playmaker and that is something Philadelphia needs.

22. Buffalo Bills

Ryan: Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State

The Bills defense is strong against the pass and run, but could use an explosive edge player to create more pressure on the opposing quarterback. Matur spent his three years at Penn State building his strength as a versatile edge rusher off of first contact. A player with great leadership, and a lot of potential would fit in well with a regressing Jerry Hughes and an improving Ed Oliver. The mafia would be getting a steal.

Michael: Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado

Buffalo’s receiving core is not bad, but they do lack a big body receiver. The two hundred and twenty pound receiver from Colorado will be a great fit for that need. He will be able to out strength defenders and go up and get balls over his head. Bills quarterback Josh Allen will love throw the deep ball to Shenault Jr. because he will have the size advantage most of the time.

23. New England Patriots

Ryan: D’andre Swift, RB, Georgia

The Patriots have consistently been a playoff team, but they are lacking explosiveness. Their runningback core is already solid in James White and Sony Michel, but it isn’t exceptional. Swift brings true speed and versatile athleticism, and can break off big plays to bail out the aging Tom Brady-assuming he returns for his 21st season.

Michael: Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame

The Patriot’s offense is struggling with the retirement of Rob Gronkowski and Kmet could be the solution. With his size he can win contested catches and is a great route runner he can thrive with Tom Brady. The Patriots tight ends did not perform well as the top 3 tight ends could not even rack up more than 500 yards combined. Kmet will fit in to this offense nicely and Tom Brady will have big tight end target to throw to again.

24. New Orleans Saints

Ryan: Raekwon Davis, DL, Alabama

The Saints will look to move on from an aging Sheldon Rankins, taking Davis. The Alabama lineman has lots of experience coming off of his senior year, and New Orleans will improve their interior pass-rush tremendously, with an already advanced outside pass-rush, in Cameron Jordan and 2018 first round draft pick Marcus Davenport.

Michael: Patrick Queen, LB, LSU

Queen is a natural athlete and will be a great pick up for the Saints. New Orleans will be losing a few linebackers to free agency so Queen will be a great guy to replace them. He is sharp and explosive and will fit nicely with Saints All-Pro linebacker Demario Davis.

25. Minnesota Vikings

Ryan: Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama

There is strong belief around the league that the Vikings will part ways with Xavier Rhodes, who has been under his All-Pro contract for five years, worth $70 million. With an aging secondary, McKinney would fit well with his stretched ability to cover man-to-man or as a deep safety.

Michael: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

The Vikings defense is no slouch but they are getting up there in age. He is a great man coverage corner who has an eye for the ball. With this ball hawking corner, the Vikings defense will once again be one of the best in the league and potentially the best.

26. Miami Dolphins (via Houston)

Ryan: A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson

The Dolphins traded away Minkah Flitzpatrick, who was predominantly their best defensive player. They will continue to fill the defensive holes in taking Terell, who is a great zone corner. The Clemson corner and All-Pro Xavien Howard will be a nice, young backfield.

Michael: K’Lavon Chassion, DE, LSU

If Chassion falls all the way down to twenty-six it’s a no brainer for Miami. Chassion is an explosive edge rusher that will find a way to opposing quarterbacks. The Dolphins are in need of an edge rusher as they finished last in sacks last season. Chassion will be another great first round talent that the Dolphins pick up and this team could be dangerous next year.

27. Seattle Seahawks

Ryan: Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville

Despite being a Divisional Round playoff team, the Seahawks lack a strong offensive line. They could use Becton’s incredible size at 6’7” and strength to hold down the rush. His awareness at his position is high, and can help give Russell Wilson more time in the pocket.

Michael: Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State

The Seahawks need to pressure the quarterback more as the finished second to last in sacks last season. Last year the drafted L.J. Collier who has lived up to a first round pick yet. Gross-Matos has the length and explosiveness as an edge rusher and should put in some great work for this front seven. 

28. Baltimore Ravens

Ryan: Laviska Shenault Jr, WR, Colorado

With the NFL Most Valuable Player under center for Baltimore, Lamar Jackson managed to put up insane numbers without a star receiver. Shenault Jr. is one of the most underrated players in the draft and has star potential to become Jackson’s key target alongside Mark Andrews. 

Michael: K.J. Hamler, WR, Penn State

Outside of Marquise Brown the Ravens did not really have many wide receivers to throw to. Hamler has excellent speed and acceleration and can make defenders miss when he has the football. It will be fun to see the three speedsters in WR Marquise Brown, WR K.J. Hamler, and QB Lamar Jackson all out on the field at once.

29. Tennessee Titans

Ryan: Curtis Weaver, DE, Boise State

The Titans will mainly look to retain their key offensive players in free agency, in Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry. They should end up looking defense early on, due to a vulnerable and aging Jurell Casey and Cameron Wake on the roster at the defensive edge position. Weaver has great size and great run prevent, which would make the Titans a dominant defensive team.

Michael: Terrell Lewis, DE, Alabama

The Titans defense is on the rise and Terrell Lewis could be a great addition to this defense. His brutal style of rushing makes him a problem for opposing offensive lines. He will pair up with another young edge rusher in Harold Landry and this duo could make the Titans defense one of the best in the league.

30. Green Bay Packers

Ryan: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU

The Packers evidently need help at wide receiver, despite having Davante Adams. Marquez-Valdez Scantling really hasn’t lived up to expectations, and Jimmy Graham is more of a blocker than a deep threat. Despite only recording 611 yards and 43 receptions at Texas Christian, his tremendous route running ability pairs nicely with Aaron Rodgers.

Michael: Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU

The Packers receiving core was struggling last season. It even got worse when receiver Davante Adams missed some games due to injury. Green Bay does not have a true number two receiver but Reagor can fix that problem. His craftiness and explosiveness will make him hard to catch and hard to take down which makes him a great target for Aaron Rodgers.

31. Kansas City Chiefs

Ryan: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

The Chiefs may have reached the Super Bowl, but think about how much greater they could be with a highly skilled running back-no shots at Damien Williams. Taylor rushed for a combined 6,194 yards in just three seasons as a Badger. And no, this wasn’t the Big 12, this was the Big Ten, where defense is actually played. Having a record breaking running back under center for the Chiefs would be scary, and would project them to have more than this Super Bowl appearance this decade. Wisconsin is a candidate for Running Back University (RBU), producing Melvin Gordon, James White, and now Jonathan Taylor.

Michael: Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin

The Chiefs are in need of a star running back. They have been surviving with a committee with running backs such as Damien Williams and LeSean McCoy but Taylor will be a great starting running back for Kansas City. There are a few other running backs that could be taken here but Taylor out matches them with his combination of size and power. Kansas City will finally get a another premiere back in their back field and will be a top offense again next year.

32. San Francisco 49ers

Ryan: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida

What do the 49ers really need? That question could go either way. But with an impeccable draft history in late round steals of Arik Armstead and Deforest Buckner, the NFC champs can’t go wrong taking the best man available in Henderson. With Jason Verrett set to become a free agent and Richard Sherman losing a bit of fire power, San Francisco can get back that quick coverage from the lengthy corner from Florida.

Michael: Xaiver McKinney, S, Alabama

McKinney could play a plethora of positions for the 49ers defense. He can play man to man, deep safety, or even come in as a blitzer off the edge. With McKinney in the secondary, he can give the opposing offense many looks and confuse quarterbacks into making mistakes. McKinney will help this defense stay as one of the most feared defenses in the league.

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