With the understanding that it is way too early in the process to start projecting what is going to actually happen in the 2019 NFL Draft, it’s still a conversation starter when one of the top analysts for the last 30 years starts putting out who he believes will go where in the first round?
That’s what legendary ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. did on Thursday morning in debuting his first mock draft of the offseason on ESPN Radio, ESPN.com and their TV programming:
Mock Draft 1.0: https://t.co/tMY7AXRU0m
— Mel Kiper Jr. (@MelKiperESPN) January 17, 2019
Again, all of this should be taken in the vein that it is a conversation starter for January. And so much of the evaluation process from this weekend’s East-West Shrine Game in St. Pete, to the Senior Bowl later this month in Mobile, Alabama, to the scouting combine in Indianapolis at the end of February, and so on and so on, will begin to determine what teams do.
Nevertheless, fans of teams that are eliminated from the postseason, and at this point that would be all but four of them headed into this weekend, love to know what people like Kiper are thinking that their team might or should do?
So, with what will likely change several times over the next few weeks-couple of months, here’s what Kiper believes about the current top 10 and then, the Dolphins first selection of the draft currently at number 13:
Kiper believes the Cardinals will take Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa with the first overall pick. Then, at this stage, he has a bit of a surprise which is Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen going to the 49ers at the second overall pick. Kiper rounded out his top four with all defensive players being taken.
With the fifth selection, where Buccaneer fans will perk up, that Kiper believes Tampa Bay should or will take Alabama massive offensive tackle Jonah Williams with their first pick. Williams is out of the mold of former Alabama tackle D.J. Fluker and more recently Jaguar second round pick Cam Robinson.
Kiper believes the Giants should be looking strongly at Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who he believes is the best suited quarterback at this stage to go make an impact in the NFL. And, in New York he would hypothetically be a solution for the aging Eli Manning long term.
That choice would be interesting, if everything remains the same in the top seven order, because the Jaguars would be selecting next at 7th overall and Kiper has Haskins off the board.
However, Kiper doesn’t believe the Jaguars would take another quarterback, someone like Kyler Murray of Oklahoma, but instead would choose another Sooner, offensive tackle Cody Ford.
Of course coach Doug Marrone, a former offensive lineman himself, knows the Jaguars line has clearly struggled. Still, fans in North Florida would probably be exasperated that Jacksonville wasn’t trying to fix the quarterback situation and rather go with the “less sexy” offensive lineman pick.
And, finally and also intriguingly, Kiper does have the Miami Dolphins selecting Kyler Murray in his first mock draft. That would be with the 13th pick overall. Miami spent much of last January-April “kicking the tires” on QBs like Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold and Josh Allen. Yet none of them where available, when it came time for the Fins to pick.
Again opinions are varying everywhere, but most draft analysts question Murray’s heigth (being under 5 ’10) and believe that no matter his mobility and skill-set from college, he is not a first-round selection. It would clearly be a large risk for Miami or anyone else in the top 15 to take him.
And, also it’s so early for the Dolphins because, they have yet to officially hire a head coach. If that is in fact going to be Brian Flores of the Patriots, then maybe they will be looking at a defensive player and not a quarterback in round one.
It’s all part of the hype and the build-up for the draft coming over 90 days from now.
And, it all started on Thursday.
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