NFL Draft 2019 – Predictions for Each Round and Betting Opportunities
Published on March 11, 2019
The top of the 2019 NFL Draft was virtually decided.
Nick Bosa was the top overall college football prospect, and the Arizona Cardinals had enough needs where taking the best player available made the most sense.
It was boring and predictable, but it was also logical.
That’s the way it looked until Arizona hired former Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury.
Kingsbury was brought in for his offensive mind, and with direct ties to polarizing quarterback prospect Kyler Murray, the rumors started swirling.
They’re still rumors, but the top NFL betting sites have taken notice, and word around the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine was that Murray to the Cardinals was the “worst-kept secret.”
If so, the 2019 NFL Draft could get flipped on its side. If not, pretty much everyone piecing mock drafts together may be in for the mother of all smokescreens.
I was skeptical at first, but at some point, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. There is a great need for quality quarterback play, and here are two truths: other teams will want Josh Rosen, and as good as he may be, he’s not a perfect fit for what Kingsbury wants to do in Arizona.
Guess who is? That’d be Kyler Murray, who is suddenly a -250 favorite to be picked first overall in this year’s draft.
I can’t help but agree, and that drastic shift at the top of the draft will understandably have a ripple effect that completely changes round one and quite possibly the entire draft.
With that, here’s a look at my first-round NFL Draft predictions with my latest 2019 NFL mock draft.
Nick Bosa is probably the most complete prospect going into the draft, but sometimes need trumps talent. It’s hard to say this is even a true need for Arizona, but if Josh Rosen doesn’t fit Kliff Kingsbury’s offense, the smart thing is to make that call now.
The Cardinals can fail in a number of ways going forward, but giving their new head coach “his guy” makes a lot of sense if they want to give this a serious go. I think that ends up getting Josh Rosen traded out of town and puts Murray in play as the first pick in this draft.
There are obvious size concerns, and some even have questioned his character.
Those potential issues aside, Murray is an electrifying talent that could fit Kingsbury’s offense beautifully. This move could go down as the biggest gaffe in league history or one of the gutsiest, most epic decisions we’ll ever see.
You can bet on Joey Bosa (+175), Quinnen Williams (+1200), and Josh Allen (+1600) to go number one at top NFL betting sites like SportsBetting.ag, but the call is starting to appear quite clear.
The Niners don’t need a quarterback and honestly, outside of adding an impact wide receiver, seem largely set on offense. They even have a lot of nice defensive pieces, so for the most part, they can relax here and take the best player available.
San Francisco would normally entertain trade offers for the second overall pick, but when Nick Bosa slides into their laps, I don’t think that’s an option.
There will be a question of need here, but Bosa is the best talent available, and the Niners ranked 22nd in sacks a year ago.
The same can be said here with Gang Green, who have Leonard Williams on the defensive line. However, the Jets have shed big-name defensive linemen from their roster in recent years, and it’s possible Williams is the next to go in 2020.
Either way, the Jets are in a nice spot, as they have their franchise passer in Sam Darnold and can address their skill position players in free agency. They’ll aim to beef up their defense, and I’ll admit they could go with Williams or get an elite edge rusher like Josh Allen.
Williams strengthens both facets of their defensive line and also gives them a replacement for the likely departing Williams in the not too distant future.
This is the second spot where the 2019 NFL Draft could be tossed a curveball. The first pick will set things in motion to a certain degree, but there’s just no knowing what the combo of Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock will do at the four spot.
Considering the Raiders presently have a franchise quarterback in Derek Carr and traded away a high-level pass rusher last year, though, I have to think they go defense here.
More specifically, Allen ripped off 17 sacks last year and would provide a massive boost to an Oakland defense that generated zero pass rush (32nd in sacks) in 2018.
The Buccaneers are a prime suspect for a possible draft day trade. They have most of their offensive issues addressed and just need to improve their defense.
That also could just have them taking a stab at the best player available, whether that has them addressing the defensive line, linebacker, or their secondary.
I tend to think the Bucs will just grab Greedy Williams. The Buccaneers ranked 26th against the pass last year, and they need fresh talent. Williams is the best defensive back in this draft, so he fits the bill.
Eli Manning is back for another year, but this has to be it for him in New York. The Giants are making questionable decisions left and right, but if they nab a franchise quarterback here, they could rectify a few things.
Haskins has his question marks, but he’s a big quarterback who can win in the pocket and take the top off of defenses. He makes sense here, and one could argue he’s actually the most complete passer in this draft.
New York has a lot of holes, but they truly don’t have a long-term answer under center. They need to make sure they have that before thinking about anything else.
Nick Foles is going to the Jaguars via free agency just like I predicted, which marks the end of the Blake Bortles era.
Assuming Jacksonville feels good about the 30-year-old Foles, it doesn’t make that much sense to address the quarterback position in a weak quarterback class. That has them turning their attention to wide receiver or a big impact defender.
I’ll hear the D.K. Metcalf argument in this spot, but the Jaguars already lost Dante Fowler Jr. last year and are losing more pass rushing help in free agency. They recoup some of what’s lost via Gary, who has the versatility to help in a number of ways.
Some will mock Ed Oliver lower due to size issues and character concerns, but the guy is a freak when he wants to be. He also can be used all over the place due to his athleticism and explosiveness, so going higher is even on the table.
While I can see him falling a bit longer, I don’t see why he should when Detroit needs so much help defensively. Detroit didn’t have a bad pass rush in 2018, but Ziggy Ansah is probably gone, and they’re aging up front.
Oliver is too small right now to play inside in the NFL and too big for the outside. He’s a freak, though, so Detroit just needs to decide where they want him and get him to bulk up or lose weight. Either way, they’ve got a player here in a guy who was once discussed for the #1 pick.
For a second there, it looked like Buffalo swung a huge trade to land deep threat Antonio Brown. As it turns out, even the Bills don’t want to deal with his antics.
That may be wise, but the Bills still need help at wide receiver. Metcalf has questions about agility, consistency, and health, but he’s a physical marvel.
Metcalf also perfectly aligns with what quarterback Josh Allen does best.
John Elway may have cooled slightly on his infatuation with Missouri gunslinger Drew Lock, especially since he made a deal to acquire veteran passer Joe Flacco. However, the Broncos also just dealt Case Keenum to Washington and don’t have a long-term solution under center, so there is still work to be done here.
If the feeling is right, I think Denver pounces on a guy they clearly are enamored with.
The Broncos could use more help on defense, and there are plenty of viable bodies, but few things are as valuable as landing a franchise quarterback. I think the Broncos bite the bullet and get their guy here.
The Bengals are breaking in a new head coach in Zac Taylor, so it remains possible they could make a splash on the offensive side of the ball.
While true, it’s no secret the Bengals need the most help on defense.
Compound that with star linebacker Vontaze Burfict being an unreliable headcase, and I think adding a talented linebacker like White looks like the play here.
The Packers have two first-round picks and have numerous needs, so they could go in a number of directions here. I think their pass rush has to be their top priority, though, as Clay Matthews should exit via free agency, and the expensive Nick Perry is a likely cap casualty.
That should hurt Green Bay’s pass rush, so bringing in a guy like Montez Sweat is necessary. Luckily, he’s quite explosive on the edge, so the Packers would be injecting a serious burst into their pass rush.
The Dolphins are going to have a massive need under center once they get rid of Ryan Tannehill, but I expect them to pick up somebody in free agency. That should allow new defensive-minded head coach Brian Flores to start rebuilding Miami’s defense in his image.
Miami is already set to let some pass rushers walk, so an edge rusher like Clelin Ferrell makes a lot of sense. The Clemson product racked up 21 sacks over the last two years and appears to have the athleticism and versatility to be used in a plethora of ways.
This is a positively loaded pass rushing draft class, so don’t be shocked to see a bit of a run here in the middle of the 2019 NFL Draft. Add Brian Burns to the heap, as he registered 10 sacks last season and showed well at the combine.
Atlanta struggled to get after the quarterback last year (22nd in sacks) and may opt to move on from Vic Beasley. Adding an athletic pass rusher like Burns seems like a logical move to help turn their defense around.
The Redskins just completed a trade for Case Keenum and owe Alex Smith a bunch of money, so I don’t think they’ll reach for a passer here. Instead, look for them to address their defense.
To me, the most pressing need is going to be safety. Abram is arguably the best safety prospect on the board, so Washington gets their guy and retools a defense that’s already pretty talented.
Everyone will demand a big-play wide receiver here, but the Panthers have some nice talent and could always make a play for a big name elsewhere. Instead, I see them shoring up their pass protection or beefing up their defense.
Cam Newton is this franchise’s most prized possession, so making sure he’s protected should be mission number one. Addressing the offensive tackle position could help with that, and it’s arguable Jawaan Taylor is the best outside pass protector in this draft.
The Browns are retooling their defense a bit, as they just cut Jamie Collins loose recently. The sexy play is for Cleveland to land a wide receiver here, but those Odell Beckham Jr. trade rumors are just now heating up.
If there’s any truth to that, Cleveland won’t be spending a pick on a receiver. Heck, this pick might head to New York. If they stay here, though, they should add to their linebacker corps via Bush, who is undersized but also happens to be a terrific athlete.
The Vikings can do a number of things with this pick, but I’ve narrowed it down to adding o-line help or picking a linebacker. Every other position feels largely settled.
The offensive line could be better, as Kirk Cousins ate 41 sacks and got hurried a ton. The protection has to improve so that Cousins can get the ball out. Minnesota could just sign someone, but why not grab a versatile body like Williams, who should be able to play inside or out at the next level?
At some point, I need to find a spot for Baker, who is easily the second-best cornerback in this draft class. The Titans luckily work as a landing spot, as they weren’t good against the pass in 2018 and may be down for reconfiguring things.
It’s a bit messy with their two main starters currently under contract, but there’s nothing wrong with drafting high-level insurance. Baker qualifies as such.
There is also Byron Murphy, who arguably slides in as the third-best cover man in the 2019 NFL Draft. If you want to switch the order up mildly, I won’t fight you, but the point is these three guys are good, and all should be taken in round one.
The Steelers are another team in need of help in the secondary, as they have little else beyond Joe Haden. I see the need for a true Ryan Shazier replacement, but the Devins don’t fall here, and there’s no point in reaching.
Instead, Pittsburgh addresses an equally important piece of their defensive puzzle and lands a guy who knows how to play the ball.
The Seahawks are notorious for having a weak offensive line, and that continues to be an issue. They could patch holes across the o-line, whether it’s to improve their run-blocking or to help protect Russell Wilson.
That need for more than one type of offensive lineman gets me on Cody Ford here, as he can operate effectively anywhere on an o-line in the NFL.
The Ravens always seem to be in the market for a wide receiver or running back, and I agree they could be again this year. However, the release of safety Eric Weddle could create a hole at safety, and it’s a position they now need to address.
Baltimore could opt to dig back into free agency to address the situation, but if they didn’t want to pay a still-effective Weddle $6 million, they must have had other ideas. One could be Thompson, who projects as this draft’s top safety.
Deshaun Watson’s protection hasn’t yet been taken seriously in Houston. The Texans allowed him to get sacked a league-leading 62 times in 2018, and that simply can’t continue.
Little isn’t the top left tackle heading into the 2019 NFL Draft, but he’s awfully close. The Ole Miss product has the size, length, and athleticism of a rock-solid left tackle for the pros. Now the Texans just need to embrace the non-sexy move and select him.
After addressing their woeful pass rush earlier this round, the Raiders have the opportunity to go get Derek Carr a weapon. The Raiders lacked many in 2018, as they traded away Amari Cooper and tried relying too much on an aging Jordy Nelson.
Nelson can still be decent in short area and red-zone situations, but Oakland needs someone to stretch the field. That could be Brown, who posted a 4.4 40-yard dash at the combine.
I’m sure there’s a chance the Eagles join the Le’Veon Bell sweepstakes, but only one team can get him. If it’s not Philly, they should think about boosting their offensive backfield, which wasn’t very good last year.
Jay Ajayi is scheduled to hit free agency, and Darren Sproles is 100, too. Bringing in a true feature back option like Jacobs wouldn’t cost as much as splurging for Bell, and getting him this late in round one is technically a massive steal.
The Colts should be in the market for a number of positions, but wide receiver is an area where they simply lack high-end talent. T.Y. Hilton is a stud, but after him, you can get lost in a slew of no-name spares.
Adding some more weapons for Andrew Luck is crucial for the Colts to take the next step, and Harry gives them a strong number-two option.
I personally don’t want Hockenson to get sucked up in the sea of sadness that is Oakland these days, but this does look like a fit for them.
Jared Cook was great for the Raiders, but he’s a tight end mercenary at this point in his career. He’ll likely price himself out of town, and Oakland will be back to square one. They’ve been about saving cash lately, so they can kill two birds with one stone by adding a fantastic athlete at the tight end position.
The strength of the Chargers at times last year was their defense, but they could lose two key free agents up front on their defensive line. Either way, adding long-term depth to the line to keep that defense humming along could make sense.
Lawrence also happens to be a steal this late in the draft, as the Tigers alum has championship experience and elite versatility. He can potentially play anywhere on LA’s defensive front, making him an invaluable piece to their future.
KC needs to get better on defense. They surprisingly ranked first in sacks (52) last year but struggled in virtually every other capacity on that side of the ball.
To make matters worse, the team was forced to let veteran pass rusher Justin Houston go. Bringing in another edge rusher like Polite could help make up for that big loss.
The Packers have a lot of holes, but after landing a stud pass rusher, they could think about addressing safety. The hope is they can lure at least one veteran free agent safety into town, but the other spot may be best filled through this draft pick.
If they can’t land Deionte Thompson, perhaps Washington’s Taylor Rapp could be worth the mild reach. The Huskies star can do it all, but elite tackling and run support could be useful for a Green Bay defense that had difficulty (22nd) stopping the run.
Some draft experts will vote for Dexter Lawrence teammate Christian Wilkins to go first, so flip these guys as you see fit. I still think Lawrence is more talented and more versatile, but if the Rams get Wilkins, they should be ecstatic.
The play here is the Rams don’t know yet what will happen on their defensive line. Ndamukong Suh is a free agent and is no lock to return. If he’s a goner, bringing in Wilkins to slide in next to Aaron Donald could be a smart move.
You never can be sure what the Patriots will do. They could eye a quarterback like Daniel Jones, beef up their offensive line, or even replace a potentially retiring Rob Gronkowski.
They could also trade out of the first round, as they’ve been known to do. The possibilities seem endless, but with an injured stud in Simmons falling into their lap, things get made easy for them.
Simmons had top-ten-pick upside prior to an injury. That was even with some domestic violence issues in his past, so it’s clear the kid has immense upside. If he lasts this long, don’t be shocked if the Pats pluck him off of their draft board.
It’s important to take a look at how the draft can change in just a matter of weeks, even when we know it will be altered even further once the 2019 NFL free agency period starts.
Constantly tracking the ups and downs, the latest rumors, signings, team interest, team needs, and player stock is vital, however, especially if you plan on betting on the NFL Draft and making money off of it.
The latter is both fun and very doable. The best path to profit through NFL Draft betting, though, is mapping things out ahead of you and keeping your finger on the pulse of the league.
With mock drafts, player rankings and staying in the loop, you can get a good grasp on which players are going where and which teams are looking to address certain positions. From the top pick of the draft to various NFL Draft prop bets, there are plenty of ways to make money off of the second-biggest event during the NFL season.
Hopefully, this mock finds you well and can help you with your own football betting process. Thanks for stopping by, and good luck with your wagers!