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INDIANAPOLIS — We are now less than a month away until one of the biggest annual events on the NFL calendar: the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Senior Bowl, Scouting Combine and beginning of free agency are out of the way, and now we are in the thick of pro day and formal visit season.
Plenty has developed since our most recent mock draft right after the Combine, so it's time to take a new look at how not only the first round of the draft may turn out, but also who your Indianapolis Colts could select with their four picks in the first three rounds. Let's get to it.
1. Arizona Cardinals
Pick: Kyler Murray | Quarterback | Oklahoma
It's pretty difficult to ignore this one at this point. The Cardinals haven't done much to dispel this rumor even though they could be drumming up interest for the top overall pick. In this scenario, new head coach Kliff Kingsbury gets his quarterback to welcome him to the NFL.
2. San Francisco 49ers
Pick: Nick Bosa | Edge Defender | Ohio State
After recently acquiring Pro Bowl pass rusher Dee Ford, the 49ers now add the best pass rusher in the draft in Bosa to create a potentially elite attack off the edges. Let's not forget about DeForest Buckner inside. Who wouldn't want that line?
3. New York Jets
Pick: Josh Allen | Edge Defender | Kentucky
You want to know who the last really good edge rusher was for the Jets? John Abraham back in the 2000s. That is far too long ago, but now the Jets strike gold with Allen, who is more than capable of being that premier edge player for New York. Allen is a versatile player, also capable of holding off-ball linebacker duties as well when needed.
4. Oakland Raiders
Pick: Quinnen Williams | Defensive Tackle | Alabama
Williams may very well be the best overall prospect in the draft, and the Raiders aren't in any position to be saying "no" to a player like that. This would be a huge addition to a young defensive line where they also recently added Maurice Hurst, Arden Key and P.J. Hall.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pick: Devin White | Linebacker | LSU
With Kwon Alexander leaving for San Francisco, the Buccaneers need to replace that speed next to Lavonte David in the middle of their defense, and they do it here with a player on which they are rumored to be very bullish.
6. New York Giants
Pick: Dwayne Haskins | Quarterback | Ohio State
I truly question whether this will be a quarterback or not, but I can't bring myself to throw darts at the board at this point. There are other players who would make sense here if they don't go with Manning's replacement, but Haskins is a very sensible pick. If the Giants want to let Eli Manning ride another year, in theory, Haskins has room to grow after starting just one year in Columbus.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
Pick: D.K. Metcalf | Wide Receiver | Ole Miss
The Jaguars signed free agent quarterback Nick Foles this offseason, so now they need to get some weapons around him. Dede Westbrook, Marqise Lee, D.J. Chark, Chris Conley and Keelan Cole are all nice receivers in their own right, but all are complementary pieces. If the Jaguars want a top dog-type of receiver then Metcalf is the move here.
8. Detroit Lions
Pick: Brian Burns | Edge Defender | Florida State
Burns' tape is enticing on its own, but his slender frame that was estimated around 230 pounds at Florida State obviously needed to be bulked up. Burns knew those concerns and showed up to the Combine weighing 249 pounds and then ran a 4.53 40-yard dash. If the Lions are indeed losing Ezekiel Ansah this offseason (Kerry Hyder also left) then they definitely need to address their edges. Burns might have the most diverse repertoire of pass rush moves in this class.
9. Buffalo Bills
Pick: Jonah Williams | Offensive Lineman | Alabama
Whether you consider Williams a tackle or guard (I say keep him at tackle), the Bills could still use his services. They didn't have a single offensive lineman with a grade of at least 70.0 in 2018 according to Pro Football Focus. If they want quarterback Josh Allen to take a big leap in 2019 then they need to keep him protected.
10. Denver Broncos
Pick: Jawaan Taylor | Offensive Tackle | Florida
Denver's offensive line isn't in as dire straits as Buffalo's, but it needs work. Starting left tackle Garrett Bolles was a fan punching bag at times, and right tackle Jared Veldheer is a free agent. They signed Ja'Wuan James to play right tackle, but he may only be a slight upgrade over Veldheer. Taylor could come in and be an immediate help right away at right tackle.
11. Cincinnati Bengals
Pick: Drew Lock | Quarterback | Missouri
Will we see new offensive-minded head coach Zac Taylor get his guy at quarterback? Maybe. The future of Andy Dalton has been in limbo in Cincinnati for at least a couple years now, so it would not be surprising to see a quarterback taken here.
12. Green Bay Packers
Pick: Devin Bush | Linebacker | Michigan
The Packers have done a good job with adding pieces to their defense last offseason as well as this one, but they could use more speed and athleticism in the middle. Bush would bring a nice blend of that with his sideline to sideline range and ability to play in the passing game.
13. Miami Dolphins
Pick: Rashan Gary | Edge Defender | Michigan
Cameron Wake is no longer a Dolphin, and Robert Quinn is not expected to be back in 2019, so there's not much that gives you confidence on the edges in Miami. Gary could provide some of that explosion off the edge. If you're facing Tom Brady twice a year, you won't survive without putting pressure on him.
14. Atlanta Falcons
Pick: Ed Oliver | Defensive Tackle | Houston
Honestly, it's criminal for Oliver to still be available here, but it could very well happen as we see here. Oliver lining up next to Grady Jarrett in Atlanta's defense seems like a cheat code, but it makes a lot of sense. Defensive tackle isn't a huge need for the Falcons since they have Jarrett, but they could use another quality starter next to him.
15. Washington Redskins
Pick: Montez Sweat | Edge Defender | Mississippi State
Preston Smith left for greener pastures (pun intended, Packers fans) this offseason, leaving Washington with a need to add edge rush help opposite of Ol' Faithful, Ryan Kerrigan. Sweat has created a ton of buzz for himself this offseason with a big showing at the Senior Bowl and the Combine. Don’t rule out the Redskins trading up to get a quarterback, but for these purposes, they’ll stay at No. 15 and get the best weapon available.
16. Carolina Panthers
Pick: Cody Ford | Offensive Lineman | Oklahoma
The Colts made sure to build a wall in front of Andrew Luck over the last couple years to keep him healthy after various injuries, and the Panthers must do the same with Cam Newton. Ford is more of a guard in my estimation, but the jury is still out whether he'll stay at tackle.
17. New York Giants (from Cleveland Browns)
Pick: Andre Dillard | Offensive Tackle | Washington State
They got Nate Solder for the left side last year, and now we give them Dillard for the right side. Giants GM Dave Gettleman mentioned how well Manning did last season when the offensive line came together, so if they're hitching their wagon to him then they ought to build something stout for Manning and running back Saquon Barkley.
18. Minnesota Vikings
Pick: Christian Wilkins | Defensive Tackle | Clemson
I'd love to give Minnesota an offensive lineman here, but with Ford and Dillard going off the board right in front of them, it's not necessary to force someone up the board. Perhaps they could trade back to get either Garrett Bradbury of Chris Lindstrom, but here they get a great replacement for Sheldon Richardson in Clemson's Wilkins.
19. Tennessee Titans
Pick: T.J. Hockenson | Tight End | Iowa
Father Time may be ringing the bell on tight end Delanie Walker's tenure with the Titans sometime in the near future, but pairing Hockenson with him in the short term would ease the transition when the rookie becomes the team's leading tight end. Like Walker, Hockenson is both a great blocker and receiver.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
Pick: Greedy Williams | Cornerback | LSU
The Steelers need some help — if not quality depth — at corner. That's especially after Coty Sensabaugh, who played respectably in 2018, hit free agency this offseason. Williams has the athletic tools to be the top corner in this class, especially if he can toughen up a bit in the tackling department.
21. Seattle Seahawks
Pick: Taylor Rapp | Safety | Washington
There's several player-team matchups that just purely fit in this draft, and this is one of them. With Earl Thomas leaving for Baltimore, the Seahawks get a very steady, safe-feeling free safety here who can line up and play different roles. He doesn't bring the game-breaking ability that Thomas does, but how many safeties in the NFL do?
22. Baltimore Ravens
Pick: N'Keal Harry | Wide Receiver | Arizona State
With Willie Snead, Chris Moore and Jordan Lasley as the top three receivers, it seems highly unlikely this is the receiver corps that Baltimore enters the season with. Harry is a great prospect to pair up with quarterback Lamar Jackson. Harry is tremendous after the catch with a never-say-die attitude, and his 6-2, 228-pound frame makes him a solid option in contested-catch situations.
23. Houston Texans
Pick: Garrett Bradbury | Interior Offensive Lineman | NC State
Houston has to go with offensive line here, right? Deshaun Watson was sacked a whopping 62 times in 2018 — 12 of those courtesy of the Colts — which is the most in the NFL in nearly 15 years. There may need to be a little shuffling done on the Texans' interior line, but Bradbury would be a plug-and-play center for them from Day 1.
24. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago Bears)
Pick: Noah Fant | Tight End | Iowa
After losing Pro Bowler Jared Cook to the Saints, the Raiders have a big void to fill at tight end. While I have Fant's college teammate, Hockenson, going to the Titans, Fant is my top tight end in this draft class. He provides a huge threat as a pass catcher, and he is a quality blocker in his own right.
25. Philadelphia Eagles
Pick: Josh Jacobs | Running Back | Alabama
The Eagles could go in a handful of different directions here, but establishing a strong run game for quarterback Carson Wentz is something the Eagles couldn't go wrong in doing. Jacobs has fresh legs, only touching the ball 317 times at Alabama, and he brings a great blend of toughness and pass-catching ability.
26. Indianapolis Colts
Pick: Clelin Ferrell | Edge Defender | Clemson
Ferrell has been one of my big draft "crushes" dating back to last year before he announced he would return to Clemson, and the Colts land him for my second mock draft in a row.
The Colts just added veteran pass rusher Justin Houston in free agency, but they'll never stop trying to get their best eight-or-so defensive linemen. Adding Ferrell would give the Colts an edge rotation at the top of Jabaal Sheard/Houston with Kemoko Turay/Ferrell following them up.
With Sheard due to hit free agency in 2020, the Colts wouldn’t be placed in a bind should he sign elsewhere due to the depth they would already have after selecting Ferrell.
27. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas Cowboys)
Pick: Byron Murphy | Cornerback | Washington
Oakland's secondary is a big question mark almost everywhere, so here they add a really nice corner prospect with a ton of sticky coverage ability and ball skills. If 2017 first-round pick Gareon Conley can turn the corner and get back on track, then he and Murphy would form a young corner duo that would be tough for opposing receivers to deal with.
28. Los Angeles Chargers
Pick: Jerry Tillery | Defensive Tackle | Notre Dame
Plugging Tillery into a line that already features Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram on the ends doesn't even seem fair. You can’t double-team everyone, right? The Chargers could of course look for quarterback Philip Rivers' eventual replacement here, but there is endless value to be had in possessing an elite defensive line.
29. Kansas City Chiefs
Pick: Chase Winovich | Edge Defender | Michigan
After parting ways with Houston and Ford this offseason, it leaves you asking, "who is coming off the edge for Kansas City this year?" It's arguably the second-most important area on a roster and they currently don't have many answers on paper. Winovich bolstered some really nice tape with good pre-draft testing scores, running a sub-4.6 40 and a sub-7.0 three-cone.
30. Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans Saints)
Pick: Chris Lindstrom | Interior Offensive Lineman | Boston College
Green Bay's interior offensive line could use some help, and Lindstrom is an easy choice to provide it. He may be the safest interior lineman in the draft, featuring solid abilities both as a pass protector and in the run game. You can never invest too much protection in front of your franchise quarterback.
31. Los Angeles Rams
Pick: Dexter Lawrence | Defensive Tackle | Clemson
With Ndamukong Suh unlikely to return to Los Angeles, the Rams tab Lawrence to become their new nose tackle. At 6-4, 342, he is a massive space-eater, but he's got a little bit of unexpected giddy-up in his legs. He doesn't provide much in the way of pass rush, but he could be a big-time run-stopper in a division that features David Johnson, Chris Carson, Jerick McKinnon and Tevin Coleman.
32. New England Patriots
Pick: Hakeem Butler | Wide Receiver | Iowa State
This is actually the most holes I can recall seeing on a Patriots roster in a while. While they could go with a pick at a foundational position here, I have them surrounding Tom Brady with weapons to make another run at a championship. Butler's hands are spotty, but his ability to make plays downfield and win in contested situations would be a huge bonus for a team whose current receiving corps doesn't have that in its arsenal.
34. Indianapolis Colts (from New York Jets)
Pick: Jeffery Simmons | Defensive Tackle | Mississippi State
If Simmons weren't available here then the pick would be Texas defensive lineman Charles Omenihu. Like Denico Autry and Margus Hunt, he can play defensive end and tackle. However, if a player like Simmons lands in your lap — especially after you've already made one pick — you've got to pounce.
Where Simmons lands is anyone's guess. He's a top-10 overall player in the draft, but he recently tore an ACL while training. He also has an episode of assault in his past in between high school and college, so that and the injury could have him available early in the second round.
Simmons brings an excellent blend of run-stopping ability and interior pass rush that is invaluable to teams who are fortunate enough to have those types of players. With players like Denico Autry, Margus Hunt and Tyquan Lewis already on the roster, the Colts could afford to wait on Simmons' recovery and give him a redshirt season as a rookie.
The Colts met with Simmons at his pro day on Wednesday, per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
59. Indianapolis Colts
Pick: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson | Safety | Florida
If he's still available late in the second, then I could easily see my top safety being the pick here. Gardner-Johnson is smart, instinctive, tough in the box and can track the ball downfield in the secondary. He can play the nickel as well as do anything a safety would be asked.
The Colts use plenty of three-safety looks, especially in dime packages, so already having Malik Hooker and Clayton Geathers wouldn't be an issue. The Colts have also had some bad luck in the injury department with their safeties, so it's a position group of theirs that needs depth.
89. Indianapolis Colts
Pick: Terry McLaurin | Wide Receiver | Ohio State
The Indianapolis native who grew up idolizing Marvin Harrison would be a nice fit for the Colts, who could use another downfield presence aside from T.Y. Hilton. Like Hilton, McLaurin is a speedy receiver who is a technician as a route runner, but he's got a couple inches and about 20 pounds on The Ghost.
The Colts did draft Deon Cain and Daurice Fountain last year, but Cain unfortunately tore an ACL in the preseason. He was having a great training camp, so the hope is that he picks up where he left off. Fountain developed most of the season on the practice squad before being called up to the active roster late in the year. Regardless, Ryan Grant, Dontrelle Inman and Chester Rogers are all currently free agents (Rogers, a restricted free agent, did receiver a tender from the Colts that he is yet to sign). The Colts need more quality players in the room.