Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images
The NFL draft is here, and the 10-Point Stance has you covered with the latest intel on Thursday night’s moves, countermoves and rumors.
1. The mock draft to end mock drafts
This special draft edition of the 10-Point Stance is the Mueller report of mocks, and one big takeaway is that Alabama defensive lineman Quinnen Williams is rising—fast.
Many draft experts, like B/R’s Matt Miller, have been singing Williams’ praises for a long time. And folks across the league are no strangers to how good he is.
What is surprising is how chaotic it appears the top of the draft could be because so many teams have fallen in lust with Williams. For now, there are teams convinced the 49ers will take Williams with the No. 2 pick and the Jets will select Ohio State defensive lineman Nick Bosa at No. 3.
However, there’s also a great deal of chatter about teams contemplating jumping up to get Williams. It is thought by many that Williams is better than Bosa and would be worth the considerable price to move up into the top of the first round to grab him.
What is it about Williams that teams love? For one, he dominated on the field while at Alabama, making 71 tackles (45 solo) and eight sacks last season. Then he aced the scouting combine, running a 4.83-second 40-yard dash despite weighing over 300 pounds.
Williams’ rise, teams tell me, is also the result of the league’s continuing philosophical shift about the importance of interior linemen. It’s not that teams didn’t understand that value in the past. (It’s impossible not to see the value of a player like Warren Sapp.) It’s that outside pass-rushers were seen as more valuable. That dynamic is shifting, which makes this the perfect time for Williams to enter the draft.
A few other things on this Godzilla mock:
• Remember, during draft time, everyone lies. The fibs fly like Aladdin’s carpet.
• This mock is based on a handful of interviews with teams around the league. All information comes from my sources unless otherwise noted or linked. Like all mocks, these are educated guesses from teams and me.
• No trades are being projected. Trades are for losers.
• Numerous league officials keep reiterating they believe, overall, this isn’t a good quarterback draft. One AFC team official said, “It’s terrible.”
• One NFC scout told me this draft has some of the best pure athletes he’s ever seen, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.
• Another scout, also from the NFC, gave this wide receiver class a grade of C-minus.
• I’ve heard teams are going through social media accounts of players more than ever before. They have done this for years, but the scrutiny is intensifying.
• The Broncos, from everything I hear, remain smitten with Missouri quarterback Drew Lock. Considering John Elway’s luck with quarterbacks not named Peyton Manning, it might be better for Lock to get drafted elsewhere.
• The stock of Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins continues to fall.
• See bullet point No. 1.
On to the draft…
Jeffrey McWhorter/Associated Press
1. Cardinals: Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray. This still seems like one of the safer bets of the draft. There’s been very little inkling of them doing anything different. At least so far.
2. 49ers: Alabama DL Quinnen Williams. One of those picks where the 49ers can’t go wrong. Watch this team. It could sneak up on people next season.
3. Jets: Ohio State DE Nick Bosa. Joey Bosa’s younger brother will be a star on the field and, if he goes here, will be a huge one off it, too.
4. Raiders: Kentucky LB Josh Allen. Perhaps the most unique athlete in the draft. He also would help soften the blow of Khalil Mack’s absence.
5. Buccaneers: Michigan DL Rashan Gary. Another one-of-a-kind athlete. At this point in the draft, if this holds, four of the first five picks will be edge-rushers. One thing that may submarine that narrative, however, is the report by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport that Gary has a labral tear.
6. Giants: Florida OL Jawaan Taylor. Some teams are privately shredding general manager Dave Gettleman to pieces. He traded Odell Beckham Jr. and decided to stick with Eli Manning. I haven’t heard other front-office people rip a GM like this in a long time. Drafting the best tackle will help Gettleman calm some of the criticism.
7. Jaguars: Alabama OL Jonah Williams. The Jaguars have a lot of needs, and offensive line isn’t one of the big ones. But I’ve heard repeatedly how much the team really likes Williams, and why not? He’s an athletic mauler of a lineman.
8. Lions: Iowa TE T.J. Hockenson. The Lions need an athletic, pass-catching tight end, and this is the guy.
9. Bills: Washington State OL Andre Dillard. Quarterback Josh Allen needs more protection, and Dillard is a highly skilled pass protector. I even heard one rumor that Allen has been pushing for the team to draft Dillard.
L.G. Patterson/Associated Press
10. Broncos: Missouri QB Drew Lock. From one NFC West front office executive: “There’s a chance he ends up as the best quarterback in the draft.”
11. Bengals: LSU LB Devin White. The Bengals run defense was putrid last season, and that was with Vontaze Burfict, who has had his share of misdeeds but can still play. Burfict is in Oakland now, and White would give the Bengals a fast and aggressive inside presence.
12. Packers: Florida State DE Brian Burns. The team needs to add more playmakers on defense, and Burns is one of the best in the draft.
13. Dolphins: Duke QB Daniel Jones. I have rarely seen a player whom teams are so high on but analysts and others rank lower in their mocks. It’s fascinating. And there are some teams who have told me privately they think Jones could go even higher than this.
14. Falcons: Houston DT Ed Oliver. The Falcons need defense like the Democratic presidential field needs another candidate. Oliver, though, has the potential to be a genuine star.
15. Washington: Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins. His slide stops here, and for good reason. Few teams are in need of a quarterback more than this one.
16. Panthers: NC State OL Garrett Bradbury. Carolina loves Bradbury, and despite its signing of center Matt Paradis, the 6’3″, 306-pound senior is too tantalizing to pass up.
17. Giants: Clemson DE Clelin Ferrell. Anyone who says they have a good feel for what the Giants are going to do is full of it. This is nonetheless a big need, and Ferrell makes a lot of sense.
18. Vikings: Oklahoma OL Cody Ford. Kirk Cousins is a mediocre quarterback, but in his defense, his line play was some of the worst in the league last year. Ford should help.
19. Titans: Oklahoma WR Marquise Brown. One of the easier forecasts of the draft. This is the perfect spot to pick Brown, and the Titans need speed at wide receiver.
20. Steelers: Temple CB Rock Ya-Sin. A somewhat raw defensive back with the size (6’0″, 192 lbs) and body type to blossom as a defender. The Steelers will also need—and I cannot believe I’m writing this sentence—to counter an explosive Browns offense.
Gerald Herbert/Associated Press
21. Seahawks: LSU CB Greedy Williams. The Seahawks are a strong possibility to move down. They always are. But Williams is one of the most physically gifted players in this draft and should go around here no matter who is picking.
22. Ravens: Mississippi WR D.K. Metcalf. The Ravens’ job in this draft is simple: Get quarterback Lamar Jackson some receiving threats. Metcalf ran a 4.33 40-yard dash at the combine.
23. Texans: Texas A&M C Erik McCoy. Teams tell me they think the Texans might jump into the top 15 to try to snag the best offensive tackle available. If they can’t, McCoy won’t hurt.
24. Raiders: Michigan State CB Justin Layne. No one has a clue what the Raiders are going to do here. And I mean no one. Oakland has gone all Mission: Impossible with its draft room. Teams do tell me, though, they’ve seen the Raiders pay a lot of attention to Layne.
25. Eagles: Florida S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. The Eagles play it safe and get a talented corner who is skilled in coverage.
26. Colts: Notre Dame DL Jerry Tillery. The Colts continue to build a good defense. Believe it or not, this is a Super Bowl team already.
27. Raiders: Iowa TE Noah Fant. Again, the Raiders are being extremely secretive, but this pick would address a huge need.
28. Chargers: Boston College OL Chris Lindstrom. This is another potential destination for Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen. Teams also are telling me the Chargers want to add more pieces to their offensive line, and at 6’4″, 308 pounds, Lindstrom would be a big one.
29. Seahawks: Mississippi State DL Montez Sweat. Seattle traded defensive lineman Frank Clark and will be looking for a pass-rusher. Teams believe Sweat’s heart condition will drop him, but the slide might stop here. If his medical situation is OK, he would be one of the steals of the draft.
Elise Amendola/Associated Press
30. Packers: Clemson DT Christian Wilkins. The Packers are in a prime spot to move back, and some teams I speak to think they will. Assuming they don’t, Wilkins, whose work ethic has impressed as much as his leadership in the Tigers locker room, could well be the call.
31. Rams: Mississippi State DT Jeffery Simmons. L.A. is likely going to lose Ndamukong Suh in free agency. Simmons is potentially a good replacement.
32. Patriots: Mississippi WR A.J. Brown. Bill Belichick gets Tom Brady another weapon.
Mike Freeman covers the NFL for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter: @mikefreemanNFL.
Matt Miller and Connor Rogers of the Stick to Football podcast join Adam Lefkoe on The Lefkoe Show to discuss all things NFL draft, from what team controls the board to where Josh Rosen will end up to Dwayne Haskins’ future and a lot more.