Kyler Murray

NFL mock draft 2019: Projected first-round picks from No. 1 to No. 32

NFL mock draft 2019: Projected first-round picks from No. 1 to No. 32

The Bay Area's NFL teams will not have to wait long.

The 49ers will know for sure just 10 minutes after the 2019 NFL Draft begins Thursday night. The Raiders must wait for three teams to make their selections before they go on the clock for their first of three first-round draft picks.

And it all starts with the Arizona Cardinals at No. 1 overall. For the past two months, Arizona and new coach Kliff Kingsbury have been connected with dynamic Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Kyler Murray.

And that’s the way Scott Bair and Matt Maiocco have decided to keep it in Mock Draft Version 4.0.

Here’s a look at how the NBC Sports Bay Area insiders project the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft:


NFL draft rumors: Raiders' Jon Gruden loves Kyler Murray, not Derek Carr

NFL draft rumors: Raiders' Jon Gruden loves Kyler Murray, not Derek Carr

We're a little more than 48 hours away from the start of the 2019 NFL Draft, and it sounds like almost no one knows how things will shake out. 

The Arizona Cardinals own the No. 1 overall pick, and many expect them to draft Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray to pair with new coach Kliff Kingsbury.

However, a report leaked over the weekend that the Cardinals were planning to pass on Murray, leaving many to wonder how far the Heisman Trophy winner would fall should Arizona go in a different direction.

As it turns out, Murray might not have an Aaron Rodgers-type wait in the green room if the Cardinals pass on him, as many see the Raiders as a potential suitor at No. 4 overall. Coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock have publicly supported current quarterback Derek Carr, but it sounds like Gruden isn't all that high on his signal-caller. He is, however, quite high on Murray, according to ESPN's Todd McShay.

"Jon Gruden loves Kyler Murray, I'm told. And does not necessarily love Derek Carr, I'm told, which is going to be the interesting thing to see," McShay said on Monday's episode of "Get Up!," via Bleacher Report. "It may not play out in this draft, but I think at some point, it's going to come to an end between Carr and Jon Gruden, from what I hear."

Last Friday, Gruden and Mayock reportedly closed ranks, sending all of their scouts home so they could finish their draft prep surrounded only by a few trusted members of the organization.

With a number of leaks coming out over the past few weeks, it's possible the decision to close ranks came out of the Raiders' desire to try and find a way to move up and take Murray while maintaining plausible deniability should the talks fall through. Oakland has four picks in the top 35, so the Silver and Black undoubtedly have the trade ammunition needed to move up to the top spot if they so desired.

[RELATED: Why Raiders might be looking to trade up for Kyler Murray]

But the Raiders have a number of holes to address in the draft. With game-changers like Quinnen Williams possibly being available at No. 4, the Silver and Black might want to restock their defense and worry about quarterback at a later date.

But if Gruden really does "love" Murray, all bets are off.

49ers GM John Lynch hypes up Kyler Murray days before 2019 NFL Draft

49ers GM John Lynch hypes up Kyler Murray days before 2019 NFL Draft

John Lynch is a big fan of quarterback Kyler Murray, and believes that if the Cardinals don’t select him with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, there will be a flurry of calls to the 49ers regarding the No. 2 pick.

“I would, wouldn’t you?” Lynch said Monday at his draft preview media availability when asked about Murray's draft prospects. “There seems to be a ton of interest and I understand, man. We, a couple times, just threw him up in here (the draft room) and it’s electric stuff, it really is. 

“Had some nightmares about, not me myself chasing him, but about us chasing him if it does fall that way. He’s pretty special."

Lynch said that conversations will naturally heat up this week with teams who might be interested in trading with them for the No. 2 pick. 

“My experience, it typically happens this week,” Lynch said. “My first year, some things happened at the owner’s meetings. This week, which is just this morning thus far, a couple calls but nothing of substance. 

“I’d imagine if there is interest, those things will heat up. But as of right now, like I said, we’ll listen. We also feel extremely comfortable that we could get some game-changing players there, and that’s a good feeling.” 

Lynch would obviously not tip his hand to who he and coach Kyle Shanahan would prefer, but Nick Bosa would appear to be the favorite. Lynch quipped that no matter what the Cardinals do, it will happen quickly and that they will be ready for it. 

“The one thing I know, we aren’t going to have to wait long,” Lynch said. “You know, whatever that is, 15 minutes and then we’ll know. Whether it’s them or someone else picking him [Murray] or someone else. 

“Do I want to know? Sure, just like you do. Just like everybody does, and that’s why there’s been so many different stories.” 

Lynch could very well be fanning the flames of the Murray hype with his compliments about the prospect’s abilities. While he restrains himself from too much social media exposure, he is definitely aware of the chatter on it regarding who might be the top pick. 

“I think that’s the hard thing about social media,” Lynch said. “People are talking about it all the time now. I think things in conjecture, used to start much later in the process. It starts fairly early and it’s pretty brilliant what the league does because people talk about this all the time.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about it. I think that what I know is that we’re in a really good position and we’re not, as I said, going to have to wait long.”  

[RELATED: 49ers could land two first-round picks trading No. 2]

No matter how the situation unravels on draft day, Lynch is certain that he and his team are well prepared to deal with it. 

“What happens there at one, will it have an effect on what we do at two? We’ll see.”