Phil Perry's NFL Mock Draft 6.0
The pre-draft process is winding down, which means the time of year known as "lying season" in the NFL is also winding down, which means it's time for everyone with skin in the game to vomit as many fibs as possible before they're worthless.
What is the universal truth by which our final mock will be guided? Quarterbacks matter. And they matter more than any other position by a landslide, meaning teams that are on the prowl for their next passer are willing to pay through the nose for one. Happens every year. It'll happen again, multiple times over, in this mock's first half-dozen picks.
The final selection, meanwhile, has been determined by fans on Twitter. (Thanks for your help on that one.) We'll have a full seven-round, Patriots-specific mock -- loaded with your choices -- ready to go on Wednesday.
Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Say the Cardinals really do want to keep Josh Rosen. If the Raiders were desperate enough to acquire Kyler Murray, they'd likely have to part ways with No. 4, No. 24 and another first-rounder (whether it was No. 27 or a future first). The Raiders could do it. They have the draft capital. Nobody they take with their other two firsts would equal the value of finding a true franchise quarterback. Instead, they sit tight.
Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
The Niners have invested so much along their defensive line -- particularly on the interior of their defensive line -- that finding a surefire contributor on the edge could suddenly make the whole operation sing. Bosa is that guy.
3. REDSKINS (VIA JETS)
Redskins trade No. 15, future first-round pick, future third-round pick
Jets trade No. 3
Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
This is a heavy investment for a quarterback who has one year of big-time college production under his belt. But this is the quarterback market in the NFL in 2019. You're scrambling for one until you have one. And you've gotta move up to get the one you want before anyone else can snag him. Doug Williams said Monday that he doesn't foresee his club trading up in the first round. Smokescreen?
Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
Would the Raiders have been interested in Haskins? Maybe. Derek Carr isn't the guy there. But neither is Drew Lock or Daniel Jones. So the choice here is arguably the best player in the entire draft class. Not a bad fallback option if you're Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden.
5. BRONCOS (VIA BUCS)
Broncos trade No. 10, No. 71, future second-round pick
Bucs trade No. 5
Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
The Broncos get their quarterback of the future to work behind Joe Flacco for a year or two. Lock showed significant improvement over the course of the last year and if he continues on that trajectory, he could have Flacco's job sooner rather than later.
Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
The Broncos made the trade they thought they had to make to ensure they got the quarterback they wanted. In so doing, they reduced the number of remaining "first-round quarterbacks" to one: Jones. Between No. 6 and No. 17 (the next Giants selection) are the Bengals and Dolphins, both of whom seem to be in the quarterback market. Rather than risk it, Dave Gettleman gets his guy here. And just like that, four quarterbacks -- in a weak quarterback class, mind you -- have gone in the first half-dozen picks.
Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
Plenty of options here for Tom Coughlin and Co. But with a need at tackle, and with a brand new quarterback who needs protecting, the Jags go with a tackle. That drops one of the top players in the class to Matt Patricia in Detroit.
Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
Manna from Heaven. Allen was at one point thought to be a top-three pick. He can rush the passer. He has strong hands that will help him against the run. And he can cover in the open field much better than most players his size. Patricia will be licking his chops to deploy Allen in a variety of different ways with the Lions.
T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
Brian Daboll will be encouraging Bills decision-makers to sprint to the phone to call this one in. Hockenson isn't Rob Gronkowski, but he's the closest thing to Gronkowski in this year's draft class. Daboll, the former tight ends coach in New England, knows just how impactful a matchup weapon like Hockenson can be.
Devin White, LB, LSU
How's this for roster management? The Bucs scoot back five slots, add some draft capital, and still manage to land the player they were eyeing at No. 5 anyway. Pretty much an ideal scenario for a team that still has plenty of building to do. White is the type of player who'll at least provide some stability in the middle of the Tampa defense for years to come.
Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
No quarterbacks -- at least no "first-round quarterbacks" -- left? The Bengals instead opt for a defensive quarterback. Bush has the sideline-to-sideline range that should make him a perfect fit for a team that has to try to figure out a way to stop the running games in Baltimore and Pittsburgh.
Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
Oliver is projected by some to go as high as inside the top-three of this year's draft, but if there's some quarterback shakeup at the top, he could slide. In Green Bay, Oliver's fit would also be pretty ideal. Especially if Mike Daniels eventually bolts for free agency. Together in 2019, they'd be a formidable duo for opposing interior offensive lines.
Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama
If Williams makes it this far, it's hard to imagine the Dolphins passing him up. Maybe they'd rather a physical press-man corner like Greedy Williams in Brian Flores' scheme, but Jonah Williams looks like a plug-and-play starter for the next decade -- whether he's a guard or tackle.
Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
Brian Burns makes plenty of sense here as a classic get-up-the-field-and-go edge rusher in Atlanta's scheme. But the Falcons have gone with a first-round sub-rusher before and outside of a great 2016, Vic Beasley hasn't exactly worked out. Sweat's frame and athleticism are rare enough -- and make him versatile enough -- of a top-10 choice. The only reason he's slipped this far is because of a heart condition that has caused his draft stock to fall.
15. JETS (VIA REDSKINS)
Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan
The Jets would've been open to taking Josh Allen at No. 3, but they traded out, added draft capital, and drafted another freaky athlete at No. 15 instead. The only problem is, as freaky as Gary is, that skill set never translated to serious pass-rush production in the Big 10. Can defensive coordinator Greg Williams make all of those special traits shine? We'll see.
Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
Arguably the best pass-protector in this class, Cam Newton will be happy to see Dillard come aboard. There are still edge defenders and defensive backs galore available here, but getting one of the best players at this position at No. 16 is value that's hard to beat.
Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
Gettleman wants players who are going to win the game in the trenches, and Ferrell did exactly that better than most over the last two seasons. A long and powerful defensive end, Ferrell might not be the greatest athlete at this position -- he's probably not the best athlete among draft-eligible Clemson defensive linemen this year -- but he was a two-time All-American.
Chris Lindstrom, OL, Boston College
The Vikings need help along their offensive line in the worst way. Kirk Cousins needs time to throw the football to one of the league's best receiving duos. The running game, when it's deployed, needs more room to run. Lindstrom could be the guy to provide that time and open those lanes.
Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson
Remember those athletic linemen from Clemson I mentioned a couple of picks ago? This guy shouldn't be overlooked in that regard. Considered one of the top linemen in the class not too long ago, he's done nothing to drastically alter his stock since. All he did was produce for the Tigers, which teams will remember. This is a dependable player that coach Mike Vrabel will lean on for a long, long time.
Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
Murphy might not have the man skills of some others in the class, but he might be the best zone corner available. The Steelers are trying to play more man these days, but they still play a lot of zone, which should put Murphy's skills on display early and often.
Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
If Seattle ends up trading Frank Clark for draft capital, selecting Burns here would make a ton of sense. Burns is a little light, but he's as dynamic as anyone this year flying off the edge.
UPDATE (Tuesday, 1:45pm): According to Adam Schefter, Seattle has traded Clark to the Chiefs.
D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
How low will he go? With a number of quality receivers looking like second-, third- and fourth-round prospects, the Ravens are the first to bite at this position. Metcalf will provide second-year quarterback Lamar Jackson something those middle-round pass-catchers can't, which is a highly unusual blend of size and speed. For a passer like Jackson, who had accuracy issues as a rookie, Metcalf can turn some of those misfires into lunging, acrobatic grabs.
Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State
Risner gives the Texans positional versatility and a nasty streak that could have a trickle-down effect on the rest of the locker room soon after he’s added. Any help they can give Deshaun Watson right now -- especially after Watson criticized his protection immediately following Houston's playoff loss to the Colts last year -- will seem like a sound decision.
Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State
How's this for a statement in your first draft as a head coach and general manager duo? With Williams and Abram, the Raiders land a couple of no-nonsense players with room still to grow. Might they have the opportunity to add one more supremely-talented SEC defender before the first round is through?
Jeffery Simmons, DL, Mississippi State
Simmons is considered a top-five player on talent alone. But he just tore his ACL, and he was involved in an ugly assault on a woman from years ago that teams will need to consider. If the Eagles have him on their board, they'll get four years out of Simmons on a first-round, five-year contract.
Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
A 220-pound bruiser, Jacobs has the ability to make an impact as a receiver as well. He's universally considered the top back in the class, and his game should reach heights not previously seen behind one of the game's up-and-coming offensive lines.
27. RAMS (VIA RAIDERS)
Rams trade No. 31, No. 133, No. 169
Raiders trade No. 27
Garrett Bradbury, C, NC State
Fascinating stat highlighted by Pro Football Focus' Mike Renner: The Rams ran more outside zone running plays than any team in the NFL last season; NC State ran more outside zone than any team in college football last season. Bradbury would be a godsend for an offensive line that could use an upgrade in the middle. And worth trading up for.
Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma
The Chargers would've loved to snag Bradbury. They're are almost on the Vikings' level when it comes to needing help along the offensive line. The position doesn't matter. Nor does the name, really. They simply need someone who can block. Ford can block, and from a variety of different spots. Unfortunately for L.A. he can only handle one at a time.
Nasir Adderly, S, Delaware
After making six Pro Bowls during his nine-year career in Seattle, Earl Thomas is now a Raven. So after adding another first-round pick in the Frank Clark trade, Seattle can add a true free safety who can take over for Thomas.
Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
After adding one elite athlete to the interior of its defensive line earlier in the round, Green Bay selects another to play tight end. Fant has had his share of issues holding onto the football when its thrown his way, but few players possess his physical traits.
31. RAIDERS (VIA RAMS)
DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia
Baker isn’t blowing anyone away with his athleticism, but his effectiveness in the nation’s top conference is impossible to ignore. He was a first-team All-American last season and won the Jim Thorpe Award as the top defensive back in the country.
Dexter Lawrence, DL, Clemson
If Lawrence is available here he's a rare enough physical specimen (6-foot-4, 342 pounds, 35-inch arms, 5.0-second 40-yard dash) that he'd be worth a first-round selection. The Patriots added Mike Pennel to the middle of their defense via free agency, but they're going to need a rotation of big bodies up front and Lawrence could factor into that mix immediately. In Monday's Twitter poll, Lawrence (43 percent of the vote) beat out Ole Miss wideout A.J. Brown (31 percent) and Jerry Tillery (19 percent) to earn the fan vote.