The dust has seemingly settled on NFL free agency and we are less than a month away from Commissioner Roger Goodell walking to the podium in Nashville, Tenn. – greeted by his traditional avalanche of boos – to declare the NFL draft open for business.
The Cardinals are still playing coy with who they plan to select with their top overall pick (most analysts are still locked in on a certain miniature-sized quarterback), so all possibilities remain on the table.
The last month has altered most mock drafts and mine wasn't immune. There are big changes ahead.
The NFL draft has become a nice appetizer before our main course in September. A mock version of said draft is meant to educate, and even entertain. At very least, it helps you pass the time.
What follows is an attempt to figure out the best players available in this season's draft class, and which teams they'd match up well with considering the current draft order.
Here's an updated version of my 2019 NFL mock draft, now through three rounds:
1. Arizona (3-13) – Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma, Jr.
The Cardinals continue to do verbal gymnastics with their commitment to Josh Rosen and they met with Murray in Indy. They either plan on trading Rosen and selecting Murray or they are doing a helluva job in enticing someone to trade-up with them. Murray would be the first person ever drafted in the first round of both the NFL and Major League Baseball drafts, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Top needs: OL, DL, CB, WR, LB
2. San Francisco (4-12) – Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio St., Jr.
My "spidey" sense tells me this pick comes down to Bosa or Quinnen Williams unless GM John Lynch receives a "Godfather" offer. Top needs: Edge, WR, DB, OG, LB
3. N.Y. Jets (4-12) – Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky, Sr.
The Jets are actively trying to trade down, but if they can't find a dance partner, Allen isn't chopped liver. They missed out on Anthony Barr in free agency and this former Wildcat is capable of making a Khalil Mack-like jump at the next level. Top needs: OL, Edge, CB, LB, TE
4. Oakland (4-12) – Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama, So.
A trade-up with the Cardinals for the right to select Murray wouldn't shock me. Master of the Universe (in Oakland) Jon Gruden lacks any allegiance whatsoever to Derek Carr. Carr's contract is guaranteed next season, but wouldn't be difficult to ditch in 2020. If they stay put, they will take whomever is left out of Bosa, Allen and Williams. The 21-year-old was a revelation this season and put together an impressive performance in Indy – his 4.83 40-yard dash was the fourth fastest by a 300-pounder since 2003, according to NFL.com. Top needs: Edge, RB, CB, LB, TE
5. Tampa Bay (5-11) – Devin White, ILB, LSU, Jr.
The Buccaneers defense was horrendous (injuries played a part), and they certainly need to address their offensive line. The defense takes priority here. White is every bit as good as Roquan Smith and Rashaan Evans were last year – both were drafted in the first round. Top needs: LB, S, OL, DL, QB
6. N.Y. Giants (5-11) – Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan, Jr.
It makes sense for the Giants to target Eli Manning's replacement here – it wouldn't be shocking if the Raiders or Buccaneers take a quarterback or someone attempts to leapfrog the Giants via trade – but the Giants don't always do what makes sense. Gary is a rare physical talent – he's bigger and faster than Bosa or Clelin Ferrell. Top needs: QB, OL, DB, Edge, WR
7. Jacksonville (5-11) – T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa, So.
I expect the defense to bounce back in a big way, but the real questions here belong to the offense. Hockenson is the first sophomore ever to win the John Mackey Award (given to the nation's top tight end), and would help elevate both the pass and run game. Top needs: OL, TE, S, DT, Edge
8. Detroit (6-10) – Ed Oliver, DT, Houston, Jr.
Oliver offers exceptional quickness, strength and agility with his perceived lack of prototypical size (6-foot-2, 290 pounds). Minor injuries plagued him this season, and some scouts question his attitude, but there's top-five talent here. Plus, his versatility will endear him to head coach Matt Patricia. Top needs: Edge, CB, OT, OG, WR
9. Buffalo (6-10) – Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama, Jr.
The Bills need to overhaul Josh Allen's supporting cast on offense. This season was Williams' third leading a dominant Crimson Tide offensive line. His size and strength are NFL-ready and he's an instant upgrade for Buffalo at almost any position up front. Top needs: WR, OL, DT, CB, RB
10. Denver (6-10) – Drew Lock, QB, Missouri, Sr.
This is John Elway utilizing the "kitchen sink" strategy to find a franchise quarterback. He solved his short-term issues at the position by trading for a veteran (Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco). It was clear he was smitten with Lock in Mobile. The Mizzou signal caller shares some traits with the college version of Patrick Mahomes. Both have elite arm talent, can extend plays with their athleticism and are overaggressive with their decision-making. Top needs: OL, LB, DL, TE, QB
11. Cincinnati (6-10) – Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio St., So.
New head coach Zac Taylor just helped Sean McVay develop Jared Goff in Los Angeles. Andy Dalton still has two years left on his contract so there's no rush in developing the Heisman Trophy finalist. Haskins is a classic drop-back passer with a strong arm and the ability to throw receivers open. Top needs: LB, OL, S, QB, TE
12. Green Bay (6-9-1) – Andre Dillard, OT, Washington St., Sr.
The Packers' top priority should always be to protect Aaron Rodgers above all else. Through him, all is possible. Dillard is a talented four-year starter at left tackle who is capable of replacing Bryan Bulaga by the end of year one, if not earlier. Top needs: S, OG, LB, WR, TE
13. Miami (7-9) – Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida, Jr.
The "Tank for Tagovailoa" march is on (meaning a QB will not be a true priority this offseason). Taylor's nasty demeanor will have a positive impact on the run game right away. Top needs: QB, DT, Edge, OL, CB
14. Atlanta (7-9) – Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson, Sr.
The Falcons will almost certainly address their defensive line in this plentiful draft class. Wilkins is a prize here. I was shocked when he decided to stay in school – congrats on the national title, though. I guess the unanimous first team All-American believed he could still improve, which is a scary thought. Top needs: DT, OG, LB, CB, K
15. Washington (7-9) – D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss, So.
Alex Smith's gruesome leg injury might make a QB a necessity here. Or maybe Case Keenum is an OK placeholder for a season. Either way, it'll be hard to pass on Metcalf here. He's a big, explosive target who could develop into one of the league's premier home-run threats. Top needs: QB, WR, C, CB, Edge
16. Carolina (7-9) – Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi St., Sr.
The talented pass rusher was dominating the draft process like few have (highlighted by a record-breaking 4.41 40-yard dash in Indy) before combine doctors took a thorough look at Sweat because of a pre-existing heart condition. It remains to be seen how this will affect his draft stock. Top needs: Edge, OL, DB, LB, WR
17. N.Y. Giants from Cleveland (7-8-1) – Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson, Jr.
The Giants contend for a championship over the past decade-plus when their defensive line is the strength of their team. The 6-foot-4, 342-pounder is the best true nose tackle in this draft class. Top needs: QB, OL, DB, Edge, WR
18. Minnesota (8-7-1) – Cody Ford, OG, Oklahoma, Jr.
The Vikings need a talent infusion on the offensive line. Ford is mammoth (6-foot-4, 338 pounds) and versatile (he can play tackle and guard), but he could eventually dominate at guard. Top needs: OL, DL, LB, RB, WR
19. Tennessee (9-7) – Brian Burns, OLB, Florida St., Jr.
The Titans have moved on from edge rushers Brian Orakpo (retirement) and Derrick Morgan (free agent). Burns is blazing fast (he ran a 4.53 40 in Indy), surprisingly strong and had a very productive junior season. He led the Seminoles with 15.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks among his 52 tackles, while also breaking up three passes and forcing three fumbles. Top needs: Edge, TE, OG, WR, LB
20. Pittsburgh (9-6-1) – Devin Bush, ILB, Michigan, Jr.
The Steelers' defense hasn't fully recovered from the loss of Ryan Shazier. Bush doesn't have the ideal height (5-11), but he plays fast, is a ferocious hitter and a great tackler. He's capable of making plays from sideline to sideline. Top needs: ILB, WR, CB, OT, RB
21. Seattle (10-6) – Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi St., Jr.
With a league-low four selections in this draft, there's no doubt Seahawks GM John Schneider will be busy wheeling and dealing in hopes of acquiring more picks. If they stay put, this is likely the highest an injured Simmons is taken. A torn ACL and off-the-field issues could push him out of the first round, but he's a top-10 talent otherwise. Top needs: DL, OL, DB, WR, TE
22. Baltimore (10-6) – Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma, Jr.
The Ravens are in desperate need of a No. 1 wide receiver, preferably someone who can stretch the field. "Hollywood" features a slight frame, but he's a speedy game-breaker with potential to "house" it on every snap. Top needs: Edge, LB, WR, OG, DT
23. Houston (11-5) – Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas St., Sr.
The Texans' first, second and third priority should be to protect Deshaun Watson at all costs. Risner is versatile and athletic enough to play multiple positions up front. Top needs: OL, CB, TE, WR, RB
24. Oakland from Dallas (10-6) – Andraez Williams, CB, LSU, So.
The defensive rebuild continues. "Greedy" features the best combination of size (6-3, 184) and athleticism in this defensive back draft class. According to Pro Football Focus, opposing quarterbacks had a passer rating of zero when targeting him on third and fourth down. Top needs: Edge, RB, CB, LB, TE
25. Philadelphia (9-7) – Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson, Jr.
The Eagles would pounce if Ferrell falls this far. Ferrell was the most productive player on the most talented defensive line in college football last season and would have likely been a first-rounder in the 2018 NFL Draft. Top needs: LB, OT, S, WR, DT
26. Indianapolis (10-6) – Byron Murphy, CB, Washington, So.
The Colts have finally figured out how to protect Andrew Luck. Now they can focus on building an elite defense to match their offense. Murphy is an athletic play-maker with great instincts and an active tackler, especially against the run. Top needs: DT, WR, Edge, CB, S
27. Oakland from Chicago (12-4) – Noah Fant, TE, Iowa, Jr.
The Raiders lost tight end Jared Cook to the Saints during free agency. Fant is an athletic, seam-stretching weapon who could be an upgrade over Cook. Top needs: Edge, RB, CB, LB, TE
28. L.A. Chargers (12-4) – Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame, Sr.
Tillery enjoyed a breakout senior season – 30 tackles, 10.5 for loss, eight sacks, three forced fumble, two blocked kicks in 13 starts – and was very impressive in Indy. His presence should free up Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram to wreak even more havoc. Top needs: OT, DT, S, CB, QB
29. Kansas City (12-4) – DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia, Sr.
The Chiefs defense needs upgrades everywhere. Baker is a lock-down cornerback who didn't allow a touchdown to his receiver his entire junior season. He was chosen last season's Jim Thorpe award winner – the nation's top defensive back – as a follow-up performance. Top needs: Edge, DB, C, RB, WR
30. Green Bay from New Orleans (13-3) – Nasir Adderley, FS, Delaware, Sr.
Adderley is listed as a free safety, but has spent significant time at cornerback. He makes plays regardless of where he lines up. Top needs: S, OG, LB, WR, TE
31. L.A. Rams (13-3) – Garrett Bradbury, C, N.C. State, Sr.
The Rams need to address the interior of their offensive line after not resigning center John Sullivan and guard Roger Saffold. Bradbury features flawless fundamentals and the athleticism to be dominant for a decade. Top needs: C, DT, S, RB, LB
32. New England (11-5) – N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona St., Jr.
The highest Bill Belichick has ever drafted a receiver is Chad Jackson with the 36th pick in 2006. I'd consider Harry a steal here. He has elite size (6-2, 228) and you'll be hard-pressed to find a better play-maker at the position with better hands. He'll pair nicely with Julian Edelman. Top needs: TE, WR, DL, OL, QB
33. Arizona – Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss, Jr.
34. Indianapolis from N.Y. Jets – A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss, Jr.
35. Oakland – Jaylon Ferguson, DE, Louisiana Tech, Sr.
36. San Francisco – Deionte Thompson, FS, Alabama, Jr.
37. N.Y. Giants – Daniel Jones, QB, Duke, Jr.
38. Jacksonville – Elgton Jenkins, OG, Mississippi St., Sr.
39. Tampa Bay – Taylor Rapp, SS, Washington, Jr.
40. Buffalo – Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa St., Jr.
41. Denver – Chris Lindstrom, OG, Boston College, Sr.
42. Cincinnati – Mack Wilson, ILB, Alabama, Jr.
43. Detroit – Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn St., Sr.
44. Green Bay – Irv Smith, TE, Alabama, Jr.
45. Atlanta – Michael Deiter, OG, Wisconsin, Sr.
46. Washington – Erik McCoy, C, Texas A&M, Jr.
47. Carolina – Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington, Sr.
48. Miami – Jachai Polite, OLB, Florida, Jr.
49. Cleveland – Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple, Sr.
Ya-Sin would compliment Denzel Ward perfectly. He's physical, fast, has elite ball-skills and doesn't shy away from run support. Top needs: CB, OT, S, OG, WR
50. Minnesota – Dre'Mont Jones, DT, Ohio St., Jr.
51. Tennessee – Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio St., Sr.
52. Pittsburgh – Riley Ridley, WR, Georgia, Jr.
53. Philadelphia from Baltimore – Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia, Sr.
54. Houston from Seattle – Kaden Smith, TE, Stanford, Jr.
55. Houston – Johnathan Abram, FS, Mississippi St., Sr.
56. New England from Chicago – Jace Sternberger, TE, Texas A&M, Jr.
57. Philadelphia – Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida, Jr.
58. Dallas – Zach Allen, DE, Boston College, Sr.
The Cowboys continue to add pieces to a possibly elite defensive unit. Allen's strength and versatility allows him to contribute against the run and pass. Top needs: WR, S, Edge, TE, K
59. Indianapolis – Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama, Jr.
60. L.A. Chargers – David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin, Jr.
61. Kansas City – Oshane Ximines, OLB, Vanderbilt, Sr.
62. New Orleans – Kelvin Harmon, WR, N.C. State, Jr.
Harmon is a first-round talent who will likely drop because of a 4.60 40. This, of course, is ridiculous because he's mastered the route tree, specializes in making contested receptions and has never looked slow on the football field. Top needs: WR, LB, C, CB, S
63. Kansas City from L.A. Rams – Michael Jordan, C, Ohio St., Jr.
64. New England – Charles Omenihu, DE, Texas, Sr.
65. Arizona – Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson, Jr.
66. Pittsburgh from Oakland – Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame, Jr.
67. San Francisco – Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina, Sr.
68. N.Y. Jets – Connor McGovern, OG, Penn St., Jr.
69. Jacksonville – Juan Thornhill, FS, Virginia, Sr.
70. Tampa Bay – Gerlad Willis, DT, Miami, Sr.
71. Denver – Germaine Pratt, ILB, N.C. State, Sr.
72. Cincinnati – Beau Benzschawel, OG, Wisconsin, Sr.
73. New England from Detroit – Chase Winovich, DE, Michigan, Sr.
74. Buffalo – Damien Harris, RB, Alabama, Sr.
75. Green Bay – J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford, Sr.
76. Washington – D'Andre Walker, OLB, Georgia, Sr.
77. Carolina – Darnell Savage, FS, Maryland, Sr.
78. Miami – Lonnie Johnson, CB, Kentucky, Sr.
79. Atlanta – Drue Tranquill, ILB, Notre Dame, Sr.
80. Cleveland – Tytus Howard, OT, Alabama St., Sr.
81. Minnesota – Devin Singletary, RB, Florida Atlantic, Jr.
82. Tennessee – Caleb Wilson, TE, UCLA, Jr.
83. Pittsburgh – David Montgomery, RB, Iowa St., Jr.
84. Seattle – Terry McLaurin, WR, Ohio St., Sr.
85. Baltimore – Bobby Evans, OG, Oklahoma, Jr.
86. Houston – Justin Layne, CB, Michigan St., Jr.
87. Chicago – Miles Sanders, RB, Penn St., Jr.
Sanders will pair nicely with Tarik Cohen, giving Matt Nagy two dynamic running backs who will contribute in both the run and pass game. Top needs: WR, RB, CB, Edge, K
88. Detroit from Philadelphia – Emanuel Hall, WR, Missouri, Sr.
89. Indianapolis – Anthony Nelson, DE, Iowa, Jr.
90. Dallas – Andy Isabella, WR, Massachusetts, Sr.
91. L.A. Chargers – Ryan Finley, QB, N.C. State, Sr.
92. Kansas City – Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis, Jr.
93. N.Y. Jets from New Orleans – Kris Boyd, CB, Texas, Sr.
94. Jacksonville from L.A. Rams – Joe Jackson, DE, Miami, Jr.
95. N.Y. Giants from Cleveland via New England – Isaiah Prince, OT, Ohio St., Sr.
96. Washington – David Long, CB, Michigan, Jr.
97. New England – Amani Hooker, S, Iowa, Jr.
98. Jacksonville from L.A. Rams – Vosean Joseph, ILB, Florida, Jr.
99. L.A. Rams – Khalen Saunders, DT, Western Illinois, Sr.
100. Carolina – Te'von Coney, ILB, Notre Dame, Sr.
101. New England – Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn, Jr.
102. Baltimore – Austin Bryant, DE, Clemson, Sr.