It was almost exactly two months ago I published my first mock draft of the year on the eve of the NFL Scouting Combine.
What a difference 60 days makes.
In the time since posting Mock Draft 1.0, the projected first pick has changed, as has the most likely first quarterback taken and oh yeah, the Cleveland Browns no longer have a first-round pick.
With only three days remaining until Thursday, only so much can change between now and the time the Arizona Cardinals make the first pick of the draft. With that in mind, here's my latest -- and final -- projection for the entire first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
1. Arizona Cardinals - Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
In my first mock draft, I projected the Cardinals to select Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa, with Kyler Murray not coming off the board for another 10 picks. That mock draft ultimately had the shelf life of less than a week, however, with all of the buzz out of the combine being that the Cardinals would make Murray the second straight Heisman Trophy winner from Oklahoma to be drafted first overall.
Most recently, some of that buzz has seemingly died down -- although at this point, it's tough to tell what is and isn't a smokescreen. In the end, it appears that Arizona has done too much damage to its relationship with Josh Rosen to not use the top pick in the draft on his replacement.
2. San Francisco 49ers - Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Assuming the Cardinals stick with Murray, San Francisco will gladly jump at the opportunity to take the player many consider to be the top overall prospect in the draft. Even after acquiring Dee Ford in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this offseason, the 49ers are in no position to turn down a player with both the talent and potential of Bosa, who recorded 17.5 sacks and 29 tackles for a loss in 29 games during his career at Ohio State.
3. New York Jets - Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
Had the Jets been able to seal the deal with Anthony Barr in free agency, perhaps they'd be more willing to turn their attention to their offense, but as their roster is currently constructed, pass rusher remains one of their biggest needs.
Fortunately for New York, Josh Allen not only makes for a heckuva consolation prize for missing out on Bosa, but also possesses the type of versatility new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams often utilizes.
4. Oakland Raiders - Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
Even though they're currently deep at defensive tackles between Maurice Hurst, Johnathan Hankins and P.J. Hall, Quinnen Williams is the type of player who can help take a defensive unit from solid to spectacular. Having recorded 8.0 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss at Alabama last season, the 6-foot-3, 303-pound prospect is a proven playmaker who could pair alongside Hurst to give Oakland one of the best defensive tackle combos in the entire league.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Devin White, LB, LSU
With Kwon Alexander signing with the 49ers in free agency, the Buccaneers now have a sizable hole in the middle of their defense -- literally. In LSU's Devin White, Tampa Bay may not only fill that hole, but do it by upgrading its middle linebacker position with a sideline-to-side speedster who tallied a combined 256 tackles -- 25.5 of which came for a loss -- in the last two seasons.
6. New York Giants - Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Even though the Giants remain insistent they don't need a quarterback and the recent buzz has Dwayne Haskins sliding instead of rising, the fit between the two sides makes too much sense to pass up. Even with Eli Manning entrenched as New York's starter in 2019, Haskins is the type of raw prospect who could stand to sit a year before ultimately assuming the mantle as the team's franchise signal-caller in 2020.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars - Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
After moving on from the Blake Bortles era, the Jaguars are putting all of their offensive eggs in the Nick Foles basket. But if the former Super Bowl-winner is going to find the same type of success in Jacksonville that he did with the Philadelphia Eagles, the Jaguars are going to need to improve their pass protection after allowing the third-most sacks (53) in the NFL last season.
Although it's not a particularly strong offensive line class, Florida's Jawaan Taylor has established himself as the top tackle prospect. And given Jacksonville's glaring need at the position, he may not be moving too far from Gainesville.
8. Detroit Lions - Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan
With Ezekiel Ansah's future uncertain, the Lions are in the market for a pass-rusher. And while there will be plenty of intriguing options on the board, they won't have look much further than down the road in Ann Arbor, where the No. 1 recruit in the 2016 class, defensive end Rashan Gary, spent his college career.
While Gary may have never reached All-American heights at Michigan, his talent remains intriguing nonetheless. Furthermore, he possesses the versatility to play multiple positions on the defensive line, which could make him an even more appealing option should Ansah ultimately re-sign.
9. Buffalo Bills - Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
Another former 5-star prospect, Ed Oliver enjoyed a productive college career (53 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks in three seasons) despite not spending it at a traditional powerhouse program. And although there are some questions about his size -- his NFL.com profile lists him at 6-foot-2 and 287 pounds -- he'd seemingly make for a perfect fit in Buffalo's one-game, 4-3 defense.
10. Denver Broncos - T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
Quarterback might be Denver's biggest need -- at least long-term -- but if both Murray and Haskins are already off the board at this point, the Broncos might be better off adding a weapon to aid Joe Flacco rather than drafting his eventual replacement.
In Iowa's T.J. Hockenson, Denver could select a prospect many consider to be the top playmaker in the draft. While his numbers -- 49 receptions for 760 yards and 6 touchdowns last season -- may be underwhelming, he possesses the size (6-foot-5, 251 pounds), athleticism and skill set to become a premier pass-catcher in the NFL.
11. Cincinnati Bengals - Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
With the Vontez Burfict era over in Cincinnati, the Bengals find themselves in need of a playmaker at the linebacker position. Michigan's Devin Bush can not only fill that very void, but is also versatile enough to be a cornerstone of the Cincinnati defense for years to come regardless of who he's playing alongside.
12. Green Bay Packers - Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
In hiring head coach Matt LaFleur, the Green Bay Packers seemed to signal a newfound emphasis on optimizing Aaron Rodgers'. And considering how much success the 2-time MVP has found with receivers who largely can't separate, just imagine what he'd be able to accomplish throwing to a speedster like Marquise Brown, who averaged 17.6 yards on his 75 catches (1,3,18 total yards) and scored 10 touchdowns at Oklahoma in 2018.
13. Miami Dolphins - Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
With Miami seemingly headed toward a multi-year rebuild, it can afford to draft for talent over need. In this case, that means selecting Mississippi State's defensive end Montez Sweat, who has been one of the biggest risers in the weeks leading up to the draft.
14. Atlanta Falcons - Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
The Falcons entered this offseason needing to solidify both their offensive and defensive lines, but spent enough on the former in free agency that they can now turn their attention to the latter. In Clemson's Christian Wilkins, they grab a proven interior pass-rusher to pair alongside Grady Jarrett, who could also ultimately replace the franchise-tagged defensive player as the anchor of Atlanta's defensive line for years to come.
15. Washington Redskins - Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
With Alex Smith's football future in question and Case Keenum far from a long-term solution, Washington may need a quarterback just as much as any team out there.
While Drew Lock's upside may be relatively limited -- at least for a first-round pick -- he possesses many of the characteristics that have previously led to lengthy NFL careers. And as a four-year starter at Missouri, he could be ready to see the field sooner rather than later in his pro career.
16. Carolina Panthers - Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
Following the retirement of Julius Peppers, the Carolina Panthers find themselves in the market for a pass-rusher. And while there's some question as to what position he's best suited for at the next level, what isn't up for debate is that Florida State's Brian Burns is good at getting to the quarterback.
17. New York Giants - Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma
While it might make sense for the Giants to use the first-round pick they acquired from the Browns in the Odell Beckham Jr. trade on a replacement for their star wide receiver, general manager David Gettleman seems more intent on building from the inside out.
With that in mind, drafting Oklahoma's Cody Ford would make a lot of sense, with the 6-foot-4, 329-pound prospect possessing the potential to play either right tackle or offensive guard at the next level.
18. Minnesota Vikings - Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama
Also in desperate need of offensive line help, Minnesota grabs versatile blocker of its own. A former 5-star prospect, Jonah Williams is talented enough to anchor a unit and can also play multiple positions -- guard or tackle -- depending on the personnel he's paired on his new team's roster.
19. Tennessee Titans - D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
Whether it's Marcus Mariota or Ryan Tannehill, whoever's playing quarterback for the Titans next season could use an upgrade in his receiver arsenal. And in Ole Miss' D.K. Metcalf, Tennessee could land the top wideout in the draft -- a 6-foot-3, 228-pound physical freak who also happened to run a 4.33 40-yard dash at the scouting combine in February.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers - Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Thanks to an early run on pass-rushers, it's not inconceivable to think that Pittsburgh might get its pick of the top cornerback in the draft. That decision will likely come down to either LSU's Greedy Williams or Washington's Byron Murphy, with Williams getting the slight edge based on his overall talent.
21. Seattle Seahawks - Taylor Rapp, S, Washington
Like the Steelers, the Seahawks will gladly allow the early run on other positions to give them their first pick at a position of need. And when it comes to replacing Earl Thomas, Seattle could do worse than Taylor Rapp, who spent his college career down the road at Washington, where he tallied 58 tackles, 4 sacks, 2 interceptions and 4 pass defenses in 2018.
22. Baltimore Ravens, Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
The Ravens haven't invested much in the running back position since Ray Rice, but their interest in Le'Veon Bell during free agency was interested. If they're going to rely on Lamar Jackson's run-heavy style, they might as well go all in. And what better way to do that than to draft Alabama's Josh Jacobs, a 5-foot-10, 220-pound bruiser considered by many to be the best running back in the draft.
23. Houston Texans - Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
Houston needs a tackle to protect Deshaun Watson's blindside in the worst way and will likely be forced to hold its breath during an offensive line-run at some point in the first round. But if the Texans hear their name called with a prospect like Andre Dillard still on the board, they won't be able to turn their pick in fast enough.
24. Oakland Raiders - Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
With their second first-round pick -- this one from the Khalil Mack trade with the Bears -- Oakland can afford to take the top talent on the board. In this case, that's Washington cornerback Byron Murphy, who tallied 58 tackles, 4 interceptions and 13 pass defenses in 2018.
25. Philadelphia Eagles - A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
At this point in the draft, the Eagles will have to consider selecting Jeffery Simmons, but the chance to add a top-flight wide receiver may be too good to pass up. In Ole Miss' A.J. Brown, Philadelphia would be getting a 6-foot-0, 226-pound target who recorded 85 receptions for 1,320 yards and 6 touchdowns last season and would make for an ideal pairing alongside Alshon Jeffery and DeSean Jackson.
26. Indianapolis Colts - Jeffery Simmons, DL, Mississippi State
Of the few needs remaining on the Colt's roster, defensive tackle may be the biggest one. And between his off-field history and torn ACL, Jeffery Simmons might not only still be available, but could provide Indianapolis the opportunity to potentially land one of the top talents -- regardless of his position -- in this year's draft.
27. Oakland Raiders - Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama
With their third of three first-round picks -- this one acquired from the Dallas Cowboys from the Amari Cooper trade -- the Raiders can afford to get creative. Drafting Irv Smith Jr. out of Alabama wouldn't just qualify as that, but fill a need in Oakland after Jared Cook signed with the New Orleans Saints in free agency.
28. Los Angeles Chargers - Dexter Lawrence, NT, Clemson
After losing Darius Philon to Arizona in free agency, the Chargers have a glaring hole in the middle of their defense. In Dexter Lawrence, they could fill it with a 6-foot-4, 342-pound former 5-star prospect, who could help take up space to free up pass-rushers Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.
29. Kansas City Chiefs - Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
Following a season in which it ranked 31st in yardage and 24th in scoring, the Kansas City defense already needed all the help it could get -- and that was before it lost Dee Ford and Justin Houston. But in Clemson's Clelin Ferrell, the Chiefs can add a top-flight pass rusher (11.5 sacks, 20 tackles for loss last season), who likely wouldn't otherwise be available if not for a loaded crop of players at this position in this year's class.
30. Green Bay Packers - Garrett Bradbury, OL, North Carolina State
After drafting someone for Rodgers to throw to, the Packers select a player to help protect their franchise quarterback. North Carolina's Garrett Bradbury is a former tight end-turned-Rimington Trophy winner, who possesses the versatility to play either center or guard at the NFL level.
31. Los Angeles Rams - Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama
If the Los Angeles Rams possess a glaring hole on their otherwise talent-filled roster, it's at the linebacker position. So while Alabama's Mack Wilson might be considered a reach given his limited upside, it might be well worth it for the Rams to select a productive player who may ultimately be nothing more than a solid starter at the next level.
32. New England Patriots - Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State
The retirement of Rob Gronkowski will likely only amplify the defending Super Bowl champs' need to add a playmaker at the wide receiver position. And not only does Ohio State speedster Parris Campbell fit the mold, but the special teams standout possesses the type of versatility New England so often seems to covet.