Week 1 of the 2018 NFL season is officially in the books, but it’s never too early to look at what teams may have planned for next year’s NFL Draft.
After spending months wandering a barren, football-less landscape, the NFL is officially back. And oh how quickly our optimism has already turned to pessimism after only Week 1’s slate of games.
Regardless of how you feel about your team following its opening contest, behind the scenes, they’re already preparing the strategy to build their roster for next season via the 2019 NFL Draft. Scouts have scattered the country looking for the next NFL superstar, knowing that the right draft class could instantly vault a team from pretender to contender in the course of one offseason.
I wrote a number of mock drafts for you all at FanSided covering the 2018 NFL Draft and I’m back once again to continue my draft coverage this year. Despite my attempts to tell you Baker Mayfield would be the first overall selection last year falling on deaf ears (and very loud Internet commenters), I’m still here! Oh, and remember to always keep in mind my mock draft rules:
- Yes, I hate your team.
- Yes, I hate your team.
There are sure to be huge changes to the order and players selected in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, but here’s a quick look at how it could shake out.
*Draft order based on preseason NFL power rankings from our good friends at Sports Illustrated
EDGE, Ohio State
Bills general manager Brandon Beane has gone about rebuilding Buffalo’s roster in a rather curious way, trading away two of the team’s best offensive players (QB Tyrod Taylor and LT Cordy Glenn) in the offseason and spending a good deal of that draft capital to draft Wyoming’s Josh Allen to be its quarterback of the future.
Regardless of how you feel about Allen’s long-term prospects (he looked awful in the preseason and that offensive line certainly won’t do him any favors), the Bills are a long-term rebuild project. The fact that they’re relying on 2017 fifth-rounder Nathan Peterman as their starting quarterback, who infamously threw five interceptions in the first half of a game against the Chargers last season, tells you just about everything you need to know about the team’s prospects of going back to the playoffs in 2018.
Luckily for Beane, this draft class is loaded in impact defensive players, especially up front. Nick Bosa, brother of current Chargers defensive standout Joey Bosa, is a player who should figure to be in the conversation for the first overall pick throughout the season. Like his older brother, Nick Bosa is extremely athletic for his size and combines power and technique to wreak havoc off the edge.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are a bit of a mess, due in part to its three-game suspension of starting quarterback Jameis Winston to begin the year. Sure, this team has plenty of talent, but it seems like a team that could blow up at any second. The Bucs face a brutal start to their 2018 schedule and if they start slow, I’m not sure they’ll be able to make up the ground needed to salvage its front office and coaching staff.
Whoever is in charge of running the Bucs come the 2019 Draft, one way to hit the reset button for your organization is to find its future franchise left tackle and Alabama’s Jonah Williams could fit the bill. A former five-star recruit, Williams has started every game for the Crimson Tide since arriving on campus .
At 6-foot-5 and 301 pounds, Williams has good size for the left tackle position and is athletic enough to handle speed rushers at the next level. His heavy hands and power have opened up numerous holes for the Alabama running game and if he stays healthy throughout the draft process, it’s unlikely he makes it out of the top five selections.