2019 NFL Mock Draft

By John Laub
John Laub





  The Gridiron Scholar’s Mock Draft 1.0



I’ll never forget the first mock draft that I published. In the 1980s, mocks were scarce, and I alleged that fanatics like myself must also crave multiple perspectives on teams and players. I was a sports writer for the student newspaper at Western Connecticut State University and convinced the editor to print my selections for the 1988 Draft. 

Who knows if any students read it? The only feedback came from an administrator who questioned the importance of column space on professional sports in a school newspaper. I did not care…I shrugged off the criticism.

I watched the Draft on ESPN like a 20-year old Trekkie attending a Sci-Fi convention for the first time. Ohio State linebacker Chris Spielman enthralled me, and I wanted the Dolphins to select the All-American in the first round. To this day, I still cannot believe that Don Shula and the scouting department grabbed Spielman’s teammate, DE Eric Kumerow, instead. It drove me furious at the time. Thirty-one years later, it still troubles me.

I always enjoy looking at past drafts. In 1988, there were five Hall of Famers (WR Michael Irvin, WR Tim Brown, OG Randall McDaniel, RB Thurman Thomas and C Dermontii Dawson) selected among the first 44 players. Three receivers were taken in the first eleven selections: Brown (6), Sterling Sharpe (7) and Irvin (11). All three became Sunday luminaries on the gridiron, combining for 2,439 receptions for 34,972 yards and 230 touchdowns and producing twenty-one 1,000-yard crusades. Unbelievable!


Thurman Thomas, Oklahoma State

For its’ live coverage, ESPN sent a camera crew to Thomas’ house expecting the Oklahoma State star to be selected among the elite. Unfortunately, the entire league bypassed the future Hall of Famer in the first round, and the television audience observed the anticipation, anger and despair on Thomas’ face as it unfolded in their living rooms. Afterwards, Buffalo’s dynamic dual-treat fueled his career on the rejection narrative and became one of the paramount pass-catching runners in NFL history.

How much has draft capital changed in thirty years? Two fullbacks were hand-picked in the first round: Brad Muster, Chicago Bears (23) and Craig Heyward, New Orleans Saints (24). In the second round, the Washington Redskins plucked a kicker, Chip Lohmiller, at pick No. 55 and Tom Tupa was the first quarterback selected at No. 68 by the Phoenix Cardinals. Tupa, also a punter, earned a paycheck for 16 seasons in the NFL and made more punts (873) than pass attempts (504) during his career. Wild!

After 38 years, the NFL Draft remains my favorite event of the year. As an organization, the league, as well as the draft and scouting community, continuously changes and evolves. There is so much more information and varying perspectives available on all the players for football diehards to analyze and digest. 

Over the past seven months, I have studied the prospects and completed my big board for all the positions. When viewing the first-round projections, it is based on my personal rankings as if I was hired as the general manager of each franchise. I hope you enjoy my third annual Mock Draft on FootballDiehards.com.

P.S. If my memory serves me well, I only projected 14 of 30 players correctly in 1988.

Feel free to send me a message on Twitter with any comments @GridironSchol91.


Pick Team Player School
1 Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray Oklahoma
2 San Francisco 49ers DT Quinnen Williams Alabama
3 New York Jets Edge Nick Bosa Ohio State
4 Oakland Raiders Edge Josh Allen Kentucky
5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers DT Ed Oliver Houston
6 New York Giants OT Jawaan Taylor Florida
7 Jacksonville Jaguars TE T.J. Hockenson Iowa
8 Detroit Lions LB Devin White LSU
9 Buffalo Bills OL Jonah Williams Alabama
10 Denver Broncos TE Noah Fant Iowa


Edge Montez Sweat, Mississippi State


11 Cincinnati Bengals Edge Montez Sweat Miss. St.
12 Green Bay Packers S C. Gardner-Johnson Florida
13 Miami Dolphins QB Dwayne Haskins Ohio State
14 Atlanta Falcons Edge Brian Burns Florida St.
15 Washington Redskins WR N'Keal Harry Arizona St.
16 Carolina Panthers Edge Clelin Ferrell Clemson
17 New York Giants QB Drew Lock Missouri
18 Minnesota Vikings OL Dalton Risner Kansas St.
19 Tennessee Titans DE Rashan Gary Michigan
20 Pittsburgh Steelers CB Greedy Williams LSU


CB Byron Murphy, Washington


21 Seattle Seahawks OT Andre Dillard Washington St.
22 Baltimore Ravens WR Hakeem Butler Iowa State
23 Houston Texans OL Cody Ford Oklahoma
24 Oakland Raiders Edge Chris Winovich Michigan
25 Philadelphia Eagles DT Jeffery Simmons Mississippi St.
26 Indianapolis Colts DT Christian Wilkins Clemson
27 Oakland Raiders CB Byron Murphy Washington
28 Los Angles Chargers CB Amani Oruwariye Penn State
29 Kansas City Chiefs CB Rock Ya-Sin Temple
30 Green Bay Packers S Nasir Adderley Delaware
31 Los Angeles Rams LB Devin Bush, Jr. Michigan
32 New England Patriots TE Irv Smith, Jr. Alabama


Best Available Day 2 

QB Will Grier, West Virginia
RB Josh Jacobs, Alabama
RB David Montgomery, Iowa State
WR A.J. Brown, Mississippi
WR D.K. Metcalf, Mississippi
TE Jace Sternberger, Texas A&M
DT Dexter Lawrence, Clemson
CB DeAndre Baker, Georgia