The 2019 NFL Draft is a little over three months away, but for now, general mock drafts are going to look fairly similar at the top. The Arizona Cardinals could decide Jonah Williams is the pick to protect Josh Rosen, but for the most part it’s Nick Bosa and Josh Allen occupying the top two spots.
Today, Monday, January 14th, marks the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft. I had Alex, Greg, and Josh put together mock drafts of the top ten picks now that we know most of what the available underclassmen looks like. They also each offered up an explanation for their San Francisco 49ers pick. They ended up with the same pick, Kentucky edge rusher Josh Allen, so we get a look at three opinions on him.
Allen is likely to be a 49ers selection in mock drafts for much of this offseason, but one thing that could shake that up is if Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray elects to enter the draft. I would still be surprised if he went No. 1, but he adds a wild card to the process.
Murray was drafted by the Oakland A’s and agreed to terms on a $4.66 million signing bonus. He agreed to that before a breakout 2018 season that earned him the Heisman Trophy. He had planned on sticking with baseball, but his apparent love of football coupled with a monster final season has potentially changed that. He is in the midst of meeting with the A’s to figure out some ways to get a better guarantee out of baseball. As a first round draft pick, he would make more money out of the gate than in baseball, and he would be guaranteed a shot in the NFL. As a baseball draft pick, he was guaranteed the signing bonus, but would also likely be riding buses in the minors for at least a couple years.
There are all sorts of rumors as to what Murray has asked for of the A’s. There was an initial report he wanted $15 million, but that has since been reported as false. The two sides are working with MLB to figure out ways to get something out of this, whether it be a spot on the 40-man roster right out of the gate (and thus fewer options to keep him away from free agency), or a deal along the lines of what some of the Cuban players land with more upfront money and the better chance at getting to the big leagues quickly.
Whatever the case, this has been a fascinating story to follow. Normally, players are the chattel and they have few options to exert much leverage. I don’t know what Murray will end up getting out of this, but I love seeing a player exert some leverage in an unexpected situation. Hold the owners feet to the fire!
On to our 49ers picks and then the three mock drafts!
Assuming the Arizona Cardinals select Nick Bosa and don’t go cuckoo for coco puffs selecting Kyler Murray, the San Francisco 49ers are left with one incredible consolation prize. It is no secret that the 49ers need a pass rushing threat. It is by far their number one need and after quarterback, it is perhaps the next most important position, especially in today’s pass-friendly NFL.
Josh Allen is looking more and more like the exact prospect and pass rusher that the 49ers can utilize in their defensive scheme. Allen has a relentless motor and ability to attack from the edge. Allen has a natural blend of burst, length and flexibility who is able to put a tremendous amount of stress and pressure on offensive tackles. I absolutely love his range and abilities to make and finish plays that are extended well beyond the pocket and outside the numbers. He plays with constant urgency and will not let up as the game carries on. Allen is loose and fluid in his hips which helps with his initial burst and feet in motion. Lastly, his versatility is second to none, having been tasked to take on multiple responsibilities throughout the course of the season.
Nick Bosa might be the crown jewel of this draft class, however Allen is breathing down his neck. This should be a no-brainer option for a team who is sorely lacking a constant pass rushing threat. Josh Allen is a day one, blue-chip selection who is a top ten lock in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The 49ers finally get their edge presence with the selection of Josh Allen. Allen has shown the capacity to improve throughout his collegiate years, transforming himself from a 210-pound freshman into one of the best defensive players in all of college football. The explosive Allen displays tremendous versatility with the capability to rush, set the edge, and be effective in coverage showcasing fluidity in space and flashes of impressive awareness.
Right out of the gates, Allen is a dominant SAM backer; however, to pigeonhole him to the SAM would be a mistake, and I believe with further development in technique, refining and developing more pass rush moves, and increased functional power, the ceiling is high for Allen as an elite edge prospect. Explosion is the theme with Allen, as he generates tremendous power to burst off the line of scrimmage, launching his impressive thick and muscular frame against his opponents with flashes of a violent push at the point of attack and pure bolstering speed off the edge. His speed and bend off the edge is impressive as Allen showcases superb athleticism with good technique (work in progress), excellent burst and second gear closing speed, amazing first-step off the line, fair hands with decent pop at point of attack, impressive suddenness, and the balance and body control coming out of the arc from his bend adjusting with ease taking advantage of his length hitting with explosion. A high character athlete with a strong work ethic, Allen’s journey to the 49ers, and its fan base, would be warmly welcomed with open arms, faithfully. Don’t stop believin’!
I cannot tell you how tempted I was to slot Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray at the first overall selection. It would be absolute madness for newly-hired head coach Kliff Kingsbury to contemplate having Arizona select Murray at one but it’s a fun scenario to run through mainly due to the fact that Nick Bosa would most assuredly end up in the red and gold.
If we’re trying to base this mock draft around what’s most likely going to happen in reality, then Josh Allen out of Kentucky makes the most sense. After Bosa, he is the purest and most gifted pass rusher available and would provide San Francisco with a bonafide defender who is able to get to opposing quarterbacks on a consistent basis.
It’s also possible that some quarterback-needy teams may try to trade up to No. 2 and swoop in on Dwayne Haskins. If I’m John Lynch then I would not consider anything less than a king’s ransom; shoring up the pass rush is far too important to stash picks unless the offer is too good to pass up.
NN mock draft, 9/14
|Pick||Team||Josh Eccles||Greg Valerio||Alex Eisen|
|Pick||Team||Josh Eccles||Greg Valerio||Alex Eisen|
|1||Arizona Cardinals||Nick Bosa, DE - Ohio State||Nick Bosa, DE - Ohio State||Nick Bosa, DE - Ohio State|
|2||San Francisco 49ers||Josh Allen, DE/OLB - Kentucky||Josh Allen, DE/OLB - Kentucky||Josh Allen, DE/LB Kentucky|
|3||New York Jets||Quinnen Williams, DE - Alabama||Quinnen Williams, DE - Alabama||Quinnen Williams, DT - Alabama|
|4||Oakland Raiders||Greedy Williams, CB - LSU||Clelin Ferrell, DE - Clemson||Clelin Ferell, DE - Clemson|
|5||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Clelin Ferrell, DE - Clemson||Greedy Williams, CB - LSU||Greedy Williams, CB - LSU|
|6||New York Giants||Ed Oliver, DT, Houston||Dwayne Haskins, QB - Ohio State||Jonah Williams, OT - Alabama|
|7||Jacksonville Jaguars||Dwyane Haskins, QB - Ohio State||Daniel Jones, QB - Duke||Dwyane Haskins, QB - Ohio State|
|8||Detroit Lions||Devin White, LB - LSU||Ed Oliver, DT - Lions||Devin White, LB - LSU|
|9||Buffalo Bills||Jonah Williams, OT - Alabama||Jonah Williams, OT - Alabama||Ed Oliver, DT, Houston|
|10||Denver Broncos||Rashan Gary, DT, Michigan||Byron Murphy, CB - Washington||Rashan Gary, DT, Michigan|