Mel Kiper's 2019 NFL Mock Draft 1.0: Predictions for every first-round pick

Mel Kiper JR

It's NFL mock draft time, and this is my first crack at predicting picks 1-32 for the Class of 2019. April's draft is coming faster than you think, and we now know which underclassmen are leaving school early and headed to the NFL, a list that includes intriguing quarterback prospect Kyler Murray.

Remember that teams are early in their evaluations, and we still have to get through postseason all-star games, combine testing, medicals, pro days and individual workouts before their draft boards become set. Free agency in March also will change needs for several teams. I'm predicting each first-round pick here based on a combination of my Big Board rankings, each team's needs right now and my view on positions that could be upgraded.

Let's dig into my 2019 NFL Mock Draft 1.0, starting with Arizona and ending with Green Bay, which has New Orleans' pick. Check out the SportsCenter special at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2 for more on my thoughts -- and see if Todd McShay agrees -- on every pick.

Note: We used ESPN's Football Power Index to project the order for picks 29-32.

1. Arizona Cardinals

Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
General manager Steve Keim is going to have a chance to trade down and accumulate picks. He should take a look at it too, because this roster has been stripped of talent since the Cardinals went to the NFC Championship Game in 2016. But Bosa is going to be tough to pass up, as he is an elite pass-rusher. New defensive coordinator Vance Joseph is expected to switch this defense back to a 3-4, and Bosa has the versatility to play multiple spots. Give new coach Kliff Kingsbury a defensive stalwart opposite Chandler Jones who can get after Jared Goff, Russell Wilson and Jimmy Garoppolo twice a season.

2. San Francisco 49ers

Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky
The 49ers took defensive linemen in the first round in three straight years (2015 to '17), but DeForest Buckner is the only true star of the group. And none of those picks has the edge-rushing potential of Allen, who racked up 17 sacks for the Wildcats this season. If you're talking about pure pass-rushing ability, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Allen is right up there with Bosa. San Francisco needs to add offensive weapons this offseason, but none is worth taking this high.

3. New York Jets

Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
The Jets will have the most 2019 cap space of any team, so expect them to be active in free agency. For now, I'll go with the best player on the board in Williams, who finished eighth in the voting for the Heisman Trophy this season. If new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams switches to a 4-3, Williams is a perfect fit as a 3-technique penetrator. Remember that the Jets don't have a second-round pick -- they dealt it in the Sam Darnold trade up last year -- so it's extra important that they hit here. New York does have an extra third-round pick from the Teddy Bridgewater trade.

4. Oakland Raiders

Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
It's tough to predict what Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock will do with three first-round picks in this class, but fixing an aging defense should be a priority. The Raiders have needs across the board, including at pass-rusher -- they had a league-low 13 sacks in 2018. But with Bosa and Allen off the board, I'll go with a corner. Gareon Conley came on strong at the end of the season, but there's a hole across from the 2017 first-rounder. Williams is a big, 6-foot-3 corner with long arms and lockdown potential. The comp I've made for him is Aqib Talib.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Jonah Williams, OT/G, Alabama
The Bucs could look very different under new coach Bruce Arians in 2019, as they have several key free agents (Kwon Alexander, Donovan Smith, Adam Humphries, among others), plus veterans (DeSean Jackson, Gerald McCoy) who are candidates to be released. Upgrading the offensive line should be a priority, however, and Williams has Pro Bowl potential at both guard and tackle. Washington's Brandon Scherff is the example I've used -- Williams made 43 straight starts at tackle for the Crimson Tide, but he has the frame (6-foot-5, 301 pounds) to easily move inside.

6. New York Giants

Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
This is an easy call. The Giants need a quarterback, and Haskins is the best quarterback in the class. The Giants can't afford to put off the decision for another year, even if they bring back 38-year-old Eli Manning and let the rookie learn behind him. Haskins (6-3, 220) is far from a finished product -- he started only 14 games at Ohio State -- but he has an extremely high ceiling. One thing to watch is whether QB-needy teams get aggressive and try to trade up to get in front of the Giants.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars

Cody Ford, OT/G, Oklahoma
Can the Jaguars pass on a quarterback in this draft? Here's why I'm going in a different direction: Despite the struggles in 2018, this roster is built to win now. Jacksonville has talent and is just a year removed from playing in the AFC title game. That's why I think Tom Coughlin & Co. will already have made their quarterback decision by April's draft, going with one of the free-agent optionswho is more likely to help the Jags win in 2019. Instead, let's upgrade a porous offensive line with Ford, a mauler who would slot in at guard or right tackle.

8. Detroit Lions

Devin White, LB, LSU
This is a spot to watch for a pass-rusher, as the Lions could part ways with free agent Ezekiel Ansah. In fact, coach Matt Patricia could use improvements at every level of his defense. White is a fly-to-the-football linebacker with similar athletic traits as Detroit middle linebacker Jarrad Davis, who was taken in the first round in 2017. The two could form a stellar tandem, as both are three-down linebackers. White isn't a true pass-rusher, but he makes plays in the backfield.

9. Buffalo Bills

Rashan Gary, DE/DT, Michigan
Could the Bills get their Kyle Williams replacement here? At his peak, the 6-foot-6, 283-pound Gary is a menace who makes offensive linemen look foolish, but you'd like to see him do it with more regularity. Gary could play end or nose guard in a 3-4 defense or tackle in a 4-3. Buffalo could look at centers or guards here; improving the interior of the offensive line should be a priority.

10. Denver Broncos

Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

Former first-round pick Bradley Roby is a free agent, and Chris Harris Jr., who broke his leg in December, turns 30 over the summer. Cornerback is the No. 1 need for the Broncos. Baker isn't far behind Greedy Williams as the top corner in this class. General manager John Elway hit on his 2018 draft class, and he needs another good one to get the team back on track under new coach Vic Fangio.

11. Cincinnati Bengals

Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
The Bengals have missed on a few offensive linemen in the draft in recent years, and there's still a hole at right tackle. That's where Taylor would slot in. He took a huge step forward playing on the right side in 2018, though there's still mixed opinion from people I trust in the league. Taylor is raw, but he has the tools to be a premier road grader in the running game.

12. Green Bay Packers

Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
Ferrell, who had 21 sacks the past two seasons, isn't a perfect fit in the Packers' 3-4 defense, but he's the best pass-rusher left on the board. Green Bay needs to add edge-rush help this offseason -- Clay Matthews and Muhammad Wilkerson are free agents -- and Ferrell (6-5, 265) could play end or outside linebacker here. The Packers will likely keep an eye on offensive playmakers too, and they have New Orleans' first-round pick from last year's draft-day trade.

13. Miami Dolphins

Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
The Dolphins need to rebuild. What better way to start that rebuild than to take the Heisman Trophy winner? Now, just because Murray has entered the draftdoesn't mean he's sticking to football. He could still back out and play baseball. But I'm treating him as if he's all-in for now, and if he goes to the combine -- he's going to run a blazing 40-yard dash -- and goes through workouts for teams, I expect him to be picked in Round 1. This is an unprecedented situation for a 5-foot-10 quarterback, but it's going to be fun to watch over the next few months.

14. Atlanta Falcons

Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
If Grady Jarrett's price tag in free agency proves too much for the Falcons, Oliver is the perfect replacement as an interior game-wrecker. His tape was picked apart this season, and he was better in 2017, but he can dominate a game when he's playing at his best. He needs to keep developing as a pass-rusher, however. Oliver is only 21, and he has a high ceiling.

15. Washington Redskins

Jachai Polite, OLB, Florida
This is another potential landing spot for Kyler Murray. Alex Smith's scary injury put his future in jeopardy, and it wouldn't shock me if the Redskins added a young quarterback this offseason. Ultimately, I'm going with Polite, a perfect pass-rusher for a 3-4 defense who came on strong with 11 sacks this season. Former second-round pick Preston Smith has been inconsistent, and he's a free agent, so Polite makes sense as a replacement opposite Ryan Kerrigan. Safety is another position to watch, depending on what happens with free agent Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

16. Carolina Panthers

Brian Burns, OLB, Florida State
Mario Addison led the Panthers with nine sacks this season, followed by five for the ageless Julius Peppers. Unless Peppers can play forever, this is a clear area of need for Carolina. The 6-foot-5, 235-pound Burns, who had 10 sacks in 2018, needs more time in the weight room, but he could grow into a defensive end.

17. Cleveland Browns

Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
The surging Browns hit on their 2018 draft class, led by Baker Mayfield, Denzel Ward and Nick Chubb. Can general manager John Dorsey do it again? My comp for Simmons is emerging Chiefs star Chris Jones, whom Dorsey picked in Round 2 when he was in Kansas City. Simmons is supremely athletic and already advanced in his technique as a pass-rusher. However, he will have to answer to NFL teams about his 2016 arrest during the pre-draft process.

18. Minnesota Vikings

Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss
There's a case to be made that Little is the best true left tackle in this class. He's certainly the most talented. The former five-star high school prospect was inconsistent at times in college, but he should take off in an NFL strength and conditioning program. Coach Mike Zimmer loves guys who get after quarterbacks too, so that's going to be in consideration here.

19. Tennessee Titans

T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
This might not look like a need on paper, but Delanie Walker is 34 and missed most of the season after a severe ankle injury. Hockenson can be a weapon. He is an all-around tight end, an excellent blocker and a good pass-catcher with a big 6-foot-5, 250-pound frame. The Titans will keep a close eye on playmakers for Marcus Mariota.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers

Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
The Steelers tied for the NFL lead with 52 sacks this season, but the weakness on defense was at inside linebacker, as they struggled to replace Ryan Shazier. The phrase I keep repeating about Bush is "perfect for today's NFL." He would be a great fit as a three-down linebacker who never has to leave the field. At 5-foot-11, Bush is undersized, but he should test well at the combine.

21. Seattle Seahawks

Oshane Ximines, DE/OLB, Old Dominion
How about this: Ximines is going to be the first prospect from Old Dominion to be picked in the NFL draft. Seriously: Check it out. He is an explosive pass-rusher -- 12 sacks in 2018 -- who has the versatility to play with his hand in the dirt or standing up on the edge. His game reminds me a little bit of DeMarcus Ware's, though Ximines has a ways to go. Pete Carroll is always looking for pass-rushers, and the Seahawks could lose Frank Clark in free agency.

22. Baltimore Ravens

A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
Let's get a playmaker for Lamar Jackson. He's going to improve in Year 2, but he needs a better (and younger) supporting cast. And yes, the Ravens have a terrible track record in taking receivers, but they have to hit some time, right? Brown is explosive after the catch. Reminder: New general manager Eric DeCosta doesn't have a second-round pick as a result of the move up for Jackson last year, so this is an important pick.

23. Houston Texans

Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
It will be a fascinating offseason for the Texans, who need to make decisions on free agents Jadeveon Clowney, Tyrann Mathieu and Kareem Jackson, among others. Corner sticks out as a need because Johnathan Joseph, the starter opposite Jackson, will be 35 when the 2019 season starts, and the big-money signing of Aaron Colvin last offseason looks like a miss. Murphy is still raw, but he's a ball hawk on the outside. He also has the versatility to play in the slot. Keep an eye on offensive line too, as Houston gave up a league-high 62 sacks this season.

24. Oakland Raiders (from CHI)

Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
Can you name the Oakland player with the most receiving targets in 2018? It was ... tight end Jared Cook. And yes, Gruden traded top wideout Amari Cooper, but this roster needs pass-catching upgrades. Brown is going to be one of the fastest prospects in this draft. He can run every route, and he's tremendous after the catch. Size is the question, as he's only 5-foot-9, 168 pounds. He is more in the mold of John Ross, who went in the top 10 in the 2017 draft, than a typical No. 1 receiver. But he can be a downfield threat for Derek Carr.

25. Philadelphia Eagles

Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
With free agents Brandon Graham and Chris Long potentially moving on, Philadelphia could add some pass-rush help here. At 6-foot-6, 241 pounds, Sweat is a rangy prospect who is athletically gifted. And he produced, racking up 22 sacks the past two seasons. Receiver is also a position to watch, as Golden Tate and Mike Wallace are both on the free-agent market.

26. Indianapolis Colts

Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
Lawrence is higher on my Big Board -- No. 17 -- but he won't fit every NFL team. At 6-foot-5, 340 pounds, he's the top nose tackle in this class, so he needs to find a team looking for a plugger in the middle. With Margus Hunt -- who had a stellar 2018 -- a free agent, the Colts could have a need along the interior of the line. Lawrence can disrupt a pocket and hold up against the run, but he's never going to be an elite penetrator like Quinnen Williams.

27. Oakland Raiders (from DAL)

Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama
I don't have another Round 1 edge rusher left on my board, so I'm moving on to tight end with the third Raiders pick of the first round. I mentioned Cook earlier, and he's a free agent, so this is going to be a need for Oakland. Smith had 44 catches and seven touchdowns for the Crimson Tide this season, and he is a really good player. He needs to improve as a blocker, but I expect him to test well at the combine. The Raiders have a ton of cap space, so they also could address the position in free agency.

28. Los Angeles Chargers

Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
Did you see the Patriots punish the Chargers up front in the AFC divisional round? They were pushed around. The 6-foot-4, 310-pound Wilkins would be an improvement. He could plug the nose for L.A. and also bump outside to end. He was a four-year starter for the Tigers and always showed up on tape; he had 15 tackles for loss in 2018. Derwin James was one of the stars of the Class of 2018, and the Chargers have a solid roster. Let's get them past the divisional round.

29. New England Patriots

Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
Tom Brady is going to be 42 when the 2019 season begins. Forty-two! It's unbelievable what he's continuing to do on the field, but the Patriots have to start thinking about the future ... right? Jones could be the heir apparent. He has learned from quarterback guru David Cutcliffe at Duke, and you see it in his footwork. He excels in the pocket. Jones is athletic too, and he has a big, 6-foot-4 frame. There's no guarantee that Jones will be the third quarterback off the board, and you can see more of him at the Senior Bowl next week, but this fit makes a lot of sense.

30. Los Angeles Rams

Dre'Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State
You can't discount the Rams trading out of this spot -- they didn't pick until No. 89 last year. But since there are no trades allowed here, let's give Wade Phillips a piece with which to work. Ndamukong Suh will likely move on in free agency, which means there's an open spot next to all-world interior pass-rusher Aaron Donald. Jones, who had 8.5 sacks in 2018, is an athlete. He could even play end for L.A.

31. Kansas City Chiefs

Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
Eric Berry has played 154 snaps the past two seasons. There's no guarantee that the 30-year-old will get back to an All-Pro level, and we know the weakness for this defense is in the secondary. Thompson would help immediately. He's a rangy playmaker with supreme athletic traits, though he was inconsistent down the stretch in 2018. We know the Chiefs' offense is loaded, but a safety or corner would boost the defense.

32. Green Bay Packers (from NO)

Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State
Free-agent Randall Cobb is probably finished in Green Bay, and Aaron Rodgersneeds some help. Campbell was one of the most electric players in college football in 2018, and he could move even higher after athletic testing at the combine. He caught 90 passes and scored 12 touchdowns this season. Let's see what Matt LaFleur & Co. cook up with an athlete such as Campbell.