We are a little less than a month away from the 2019 NFL Draft. First round action is scheduled for Thursday, April 25 at 8:00 EST. Rounds 2-3 will follow on Friday with rounds 4-7 on Saturday.

Trying to project how it will unfold is no easy task and near impossible to get right. A big part of that is all the trades that take place on draft day. I’ve studied the offseason moves and picked players that fit both the schemes and needs of each team.

2019 NFL Mock Draft First Round Predictions & Projections

1

Arizona Cardinals

2018: 3-13 (4th NFC West)
Kyler Murray
QB, Oklahoma
Just because the Arizona Cardinals used the No. 10 pick on UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen last year, does not mean they shouldn’t draft a quarterback No. 1 overall this year. Arizona made Texas Tech head man Kliff Kingsbury their new head coach. He’s an offensive minded guy and the word is that he wants Murray. It’s definitely too early to write-off Rosen, but I for one don’t see him developing into a superstar. He reminds me a lot of Jared Goff, who needs a great scheme to succeed. If that’s the case, Arizona could decide to trade back for more assets or address the defense with one of the top guys on the board. My money is on Murray being the new guy in the desert.
2

San Francisco 49ers

2018: 4-12 (3rd NFC West)
Quinnen Williams
DT, Alabama
It will be interesting to see what the 49ers do with this selection. San Francisco filled a big hole at pass rusher with Dee Ford and have their quarterback in Jimmy G. Seeing how they only have six picks to work with, I could definitely see them trading back, allowing them to address their biggest needs at WR and CB. While it’s not as pressing of a need, they do need some help on the defensive line, which is why I think they take Alabama’s Quinnen Williams over the likes of Ohio State’s Joey Bosa.
3

New York Jets

2018: 4-12 (4th AFC East)
Nick Bosa
DE, Ohio State
New York gave their young quarterback a new toy in running back LeVeon Bell. Now it’s time to sure up the defensive side of the ball. New York desperately needs an edge rusher and the best one in the draft is about to fall in their lap. There’s a chance the Jets could trade back, but I can’t see them passing up a talent like this.
4

Oakland Raiders

2018: 4-12 (4th AFC West)
Josh Allen
OLB, Kentucky
Maybe Jon Gruden and the Raiders knew what they were doing after all. A lot of people mocked Oakland for trading away Khalil Mack and several other big names like Amari Cooper. Raiders are reloading in a big way, having already added the likes of Antonio Brown, Vontaze Burfict and Lamarcus Joyner. They have 3 picks in the first round, which gives them the ammunition to go after who ever they want. No need to move from this spot, as Oakland gets a fine replacement for Mack with Josh Allen.
5

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2017: 5-11 (4th AFC West)
Montez Sweat
OLB, Mississippi State
Offense wasn’t a problem for Tampa Bay in 2018, so I have a hard time seeing them go that direction with this pick. Linebacker is a need, so LSU’s Devin White and Michigan’s Devin Bush are in play. I just don’t think you can pass up an opportunity to get a potential elite pass rusher. Sweat would be a perfect guy to compliment veteran Jason Pierre-Paul.
6

New York Giants

2018: 5-11 (4th NFC East)
Dwayne Haskins
QB, Ohio State
I’m still in shock that the Giants parted ways with one of the best receivers in the league in his prime, which is why I wouldn’t put it past New York to continue to have faith in Eli Manning. I get he won them two Super Bowls, but he’s not any good anymore. The Giants have a special talent in Saquon Barkley. They don’t want to waste Barkley’s prime with a washed up Eli. I could see them trading up for Murray if the right deal falls into place, but I would love them staying put and hoping a guy like Haskins falls to them.
7

Jacksonville Jaguars

2018: 5-11 (4th AFC South)
Jawaan Taylor
OT, Florida
Jacksonville is moving on from Blake Bortles with Nick Foles, who they lured away from the Eagles. Foles isn’t the most mobile quarterback and the Jags have a glaring hole at right tackle, which is why I think they take the best tackle prospect on the board in Florida’s Jawaan Taylor. While it would be a bit of a reach, I think Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson would be a perfect fit to this run-first offense behind Leonard Fournettte.
8

Detroit Lions

2018: 6-10 (4th NFC North)
Devin White
LB, LSU
The Lions are another team that could use an upgrade at tight end and will at least give some thought to taking Hockenson. My bet is that head coach and former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia will look to add to the defense. Lions added a stud a couple years ago in the first round at linebacker in Jarrad Davis and I think they add to the position with LSU’s Devin White, who they can lineup all over the field. Pash rusher is another area of need, but in my mock all the big names are off the board.
9

Buffalo Bills

2018: 6-10 (3rd AFC East)
D.K Metcalf
WR, Ole Miss
Buffalo needs to get some weapons for their young quarterback Josh Allen. Sure they signed deep threat John Brown and slot Cole Beasley, but that’s not going to solve their problems. The Bills need a legit No. 1 option for Allen to throw to and I think Ole Miss’s D.K. Metcalf is going to be a star. He’s an absolute freak of nature.
10

Denver Broncos

2017: 6-10 (3rd AFC West)
Ed Oliver
DT, Houston
Denver is in a pretty good spot. The Broncos biggest needs are offensive line, inside linebacker, defensive line and tight end. Outside of maybe offensive line, there figures to be elite talent available at all 3 other spots. It’s also not out of the question that the Broncos could go after a quarterback. John Elway hasn’t been shy about adding new signal callers to Denver. With all of that said, I don’t think the Broncos can pass up on Ed Oliver, who some thought would be the No. 1 pick.
11

Cincinnati Bengals

2018: 6-10 (4th AFC North)
Devin Bush
LB, Michigan
I mentioned that Burfict is now with the Raiders and his departure from Cincinnati leaves the Bengals with a big hole at the position. If either LSU’s Devin White or Michigan’s Devin Bush are available, they would be perfect replacements. White is off the board in my mock, leaving them to go with the former Wolverine.
12

Green Bay Packers

2018: 6-9-1 (3rd NFC North)
T.J. Hockenson
TE, Iowa
The Packers have wasted too many of Rodgers prime years. Green Bay needs to do whatever it takes to give Rodgers the weapons he needs to exploit opposing defenses. I know they still have Jimmy Graham, but he’s now 32 and been on the decline for some time. Hockenson out of Iowa would be a great start. Wide receiver might be a more pressing need, but with MetCalf no longer available, I think they wait to address wide receiver later in the draft.
13

Miami Dolphins

2018: 7-9 (2nd AFC East)
Rashan Gary
DL, Michigan
The Dolphins appear to be in full on rebuild mode, as they are giving away their best players for future draft picks. I think a lot of people assume they will go quarterback with this pick, but if they don’t love the other prospects at the position, they would be wise to pass. Losing in 2019 might actually be a blessing with next year’s QB class. That’s why I think Miami goes with the best defensive player on the board in Michigan’s Rashan Gary, who has the physical tools to be a Top 5 pick.
14

Atlanta Falcons

2018: 7-9 (T-2nd NFC South)
Christian Wilkins
DT, Clemson
The Falcons two biggest needs come in the trenches, as they could use help on both the defensive and offensive lines. It’s just not a great draft class for offensive linemen and there’s so much defensive talent that you have a guy like Clemson’s Christian Wilkens falling to them in the middle of the first round.
15

Washington Redskins

2018: 7-9 (3rd AFC East)
Drew Lock
QB, Missouri
The Alex Smith experiment took a drastic turn for the worse. Washington did add Case Keenum to be their starter for at least this season. I still think the Redskins need to look to the future and believe it’s worth the gamble to go after Missouri’s Drew Lock with this pick.
16

Carolina Panthers

2018: 7-9 (T-2nd NFC South)
Jonah Williams
OT, Alabama
The Panthers need to improve on the offensive line and I think they do just that with Alabama offensive tackle Jonah Williams, who could also play guard. There are needs for a pass rusher and corner, but both are a bit of reach here. Look for Carolina to play it safe and make sure Cam Newton has some better protection in 2019.
17

New York Giants

2018: 5-11 (4th NFC East)
Dexter Lawrence
DT, Clemson
New York landed their future franchise quarterback at No. 6 with Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins. Now it’s time to look to improve on the defensive side of the ball. They need help all across the defensive line and Clemson nose tackle Dexter Lawrence is the best on the board.
18

Minnesota Vikings

2018: 8-7-1 (2nd NFC North)
Chris Lindstrom
C, Boston College
There’s nothing sexy about picking offensive linemen, but protecting the quarterback is an area the Vikings have to improve on. That’s why I think the versatile Chris Lindstrom out of Boston College would be a great addition. Lindstrom is ready to start right away and could play either guard or center.
19

Tennessee Titans

2018: 9-7 (3rd AFC South)
Brian Burns
OLB,Florida State
The Titans have a promising young pass rusher in Harold Landry and have added in veteran Cameron Wake to be his partner in crime for 2019. However, Wake is only a short-term solution, as he turned 37-years-old earlier this year. Florida State’s Brian Burns is the best pass rusher left and could be used as a specialist early on before eventually replacing Wake.
20

Pittsburgh Steelers

2017: 9-6-1 (2nd NFC North)
Deandre Baker
CB, Georgia
Who would of thought we would be going into the 2019 draft and the Steelers would be without both Antonio Brown and LeVeon Bell. The only thing that could have made it worse if Ben Roethlisberger retired. That day is just around the corner, but for now Pittsburgh needs to keep trying to improve their defense. I know the signed Steven Nelson to play opposite Joe Haden, but Nelson is average at best and you still need a legit guy to play the slot. Georgia’s Deandre Baker is the top corner in this class.
21

Seattle Seahawks

2018: 10-6 (2nd NFC West)
Johnathan Abram
S, Mississippi State
The “Legion of Boom” is no longer in town, but it hasn’t kept Seattle from remaining a serious contender in the NFC. Seattle’s biggest need is at safety, where they have recently lost both Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas. Mississippi State’s Johnathan Abram is a difference maker when on the field and his physical style of play is a perfect fit on this team.
22

Baltimore Ravens

2018: 10-6 (1st AFC North)
Marquise Brown
WR, Oklahoma
Baltimore’s transition to Lamar Jackson came sooner than some expected, but it’s hard to argue with the results. While Jackson still has a ways to go as a passer, the Ravens run game put up ridiculous numbers when he was on the field and they have added Mark Ingram. I know the defense lost some big names, but I think they desperately need a playmaker on the outside and someone that Jackson can use to stretch the field. Enter Oklahoma wide out Marquise Brown.
23

Houston Texans

2018: 11-5 (1st AFC South)
Andre Dillard
OT, Washington State
Deshaun Watson was sacked 62 times last year, most in the league. It would be a shame if Houston didn’t use it’s resources in the draft to try and fix this problem. Washington State offensive tackle Andre Dillard would be my top choice for Houston to draft.
24

Oakland Raiders

2018: 4-12 (4th AFC West)
Daniel Jones
QB, Duke
This will be pick No. 2 for Oakland in the 1st Round. I had them taking Kentucky outside linebacker Josh Allen No. 4 overall and now I have them going after a potential replacement for Derek Carr. I for one think Carr has been overrated from the start and Gruden has made it pretty clear he’s not shy about getting rid of guys he doesn’t believe in. Jones might be the least talked about of the quarterbacks, but I got a sneaky feeling the Duke grad might end up being the best of them all.
25

Philadelphia Eagles

2018: 9-7 (2nd NFC East)
Greedy Williams
CB, LSU
The Eagles ranked 30th in the NFL against the pass last year, so it would make a lot of sense if they looked for some help in the secondary. I think LSU’s Greedy Williams would be a nice addition to this team. Williams was once considered a Top 10 pick, but has fallen because of his poor tackling. That can improve. What you can’t teach is his ball skills.
26

Indianapolis Colts

2018: 10-6 (2nd AFC South)
Clelin Ferrell
DE, Clemson
I really like what Indianapolis is doing under GM Chris Ballard. The Colts don’t have near as many holes as you might think. A defense that was once a liability has become a strength and they just added a top tier pass rusher in Justin Houston. I think they continue to focus on the defensive side of the ball and take Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell.
27

Oakland Raiders

2018: 4-12 (4th AFC West)
Byron Murphy
CB, Washington
The Raiders are up again. Having locked in a replacement for Mack on defense and taking a shot on Duke QB Daniel Jones, I look for Oakland to add to their secondary with Washington corner Bryon Murphy. With Mahomes in KC and Rivers in LAC, you need guys who can cover to have a shot at slowing down those two teams.
28

Los Angeles Chargers

2018: 12-4 (2nd AFC West)
Cody Ford
OL, Oklahoma
The Chargers don’t have a ton of glaring weaknesses, but one area that they need to make sure is a strength is the offensive line. Oklahoma’s Cody Ford would be an ideal fit at right tackle, but also has the ability to move in an play guard if someone else were to emerge at that spot.
29

Kansas City Chiefs

2018: 12-4 (1st AFC West)
Jeffery Simmons
DT, Mississippi State
I like this pick a lot for Kansas City. Jeffery Simmons would already be off the board if it wasn’t for an ACL injury that figures to cost him a good chunk of the 2019 season. The Chiefs nearly made it to the Super Bowl last year with the worst defensive in the league, so I think they can make do without Simmons for the first 10 weeks or so. Whatever team is willing to accept the limited role this year is going to get an absolute steal. Whether or not KC is willing to take that risk, I fully expect them to be thinking defense only with this pick.
30

Green Bay Packers

2018: 6-9-1 (3rd NFC North)
Terry McLaurin
WR, Ohio State
Green Bay is back on the clock and the offensive overhaul continues. We had the Packers snagging Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson with the No. 12 pick and now I got them going after Ohio State wide out Terry McLaurin.
31

Los Angeles Rams

2018: 13-3 (1st NFC West)
Irv Smith Jr.
TE, Alabama
You might be thinking the Rams have more than enough weapons on the offensive side of the ball, but I think Sean McVay continues to look to add more toys for Jared Goff. Sure they could make-do with Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett at tight end, but neither offer anything close to the upside of Alabama’s Irv Smith Jr.
32

New England Patriots

2018: 11-5 (1st AFC East)
Noah Fant
TE, Iowa
Predicting what Belichick and the Patriots are going to do is near impossible, so I’m just going to make the most logical choice for them with the last pick in the 1st round. New England lost Rob Gronkowski to a surprise retirement and need to find a replacement. Iowa’s Noah Fant has the tools to thrive with Brady and it wasn’t that long ago he was considered the best tight end prospect in this year’s draft.

You won’t see many of the NFL win totals adjust after the draft no matter who a team takes.  Rookies just rarely have that big of an impact.

Sometimes the early NFL odds that have been released will change and you can use that information to update the expected win total of a team and take advantage of your win total wagers.

I think it’s important for handicappers to have a full grasp of the team needs of each franchise so they can better prepare for the season.  I go through each team thoroughly so my premium and free NFL picks are top notch once the season starts.

The draft and free agency are the two ways teams fill gaps, if they do then you would think they would be improved.  Teams that don’t help themselves likely will remain in the basement of their divisions.

For more draft coverage check out the MockDraft database at DCProSportsReport.com.