NFL Mock Draft 1.0: Defense rules the board as Bosa grabs top spot
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With the 2019 NFL Draft just a few months away, theScore's Dane Belbeck, Daniel Wilkins, and Mike Alessandrini project the first round of selections.

1. Arizona Cardinals - Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State

With 2018 first-round pick Josh Rosen set to lead Arizona's offense for years to come, the team can focus on selecting the top overall player in this year's draft. That player is Bosa. Alongside Chandler Jones, he'd help make the Cardinals' pass rush one of the most feared in the NFL. - Alessandrini

2. San Francisco 49ers - Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

The 49ers could certainly opt for one of several premier pass-rushers in this draft. But with Bosa off the board, they'd be just as happy to come away with an elite prospect in the secondary. Williams is a Day 1 starter opposite Richard Sherman, with the ability to develop into a true shutdown corner before long. - Wilkins

3. New York Jets - Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

Nobody had a more impressive college season in 2018 than Williams. The redshirt sophomore was an absolute wrecking ball for the Alabama Crimson Tide, amassing 18 tackles for loss and eight sacks. Whatever scheme the Jets' new head coach deploys, Williams will provide instant impact for a club that ranked 4th-last in points allowed. - Belbeck

4. Oakland Raiders - Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson

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The Raiders' pass rush produced an NFL-low 13 sacks in 2018. The Patriots and Giants shared the second-lowest total at 30 apiece. Ferrell has been one of college football's most dangerous defenders over the last three seasons. Let's connect the dots here. - Alessandrini

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky

Tampa Bay could use help at a number of defensive spots, but especially in pressuring the quarterback off the edge. Allen has everything scouts are looking for in a premier edge defender. Pairing him with Jason Pierre-Paul would give the Buccaneers an impressive duo to get after opposing signal-callers. - Wilkins

6. New York Giants - Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

Many experts balked last year when the Giants took Saquon Barkley at No. 2 instead of Sam Darnold, but New York won't skip the quarterback this time around. Fresh off what was arguably the best season by a pivot in Ohio State's storied history, Haskins gives New York its quarterback of the future. With offensive options like Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr., his transition should be relatively smooth once the front office bids farewell to Eli Manning. - Belbeck

7. Jacksonville Jaguars - Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

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The Jaguars drafted Taven Bryan in the first round last year but that won't stop them from selecting the top player on the board here. Oliver is an athletic specimen who excels as a pass-rusher and run defender. Imagine pairing him with Bryan, Calais Campbell, and Yannick Ngakoue. Yikes. Besides, Malik Jackson's days in Jacksonville are numbered. - Alessandrini

8. Detroit Lions - Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan

Don't be surprised to see this connection made throughout the pre-draft process; Michigan's star defender going to the Lions is a fun in-state pairing. More importantly, though, it fills a glaring need for Detroit up front. On the edge or perhaps lined up inside, Gary is a unique talent that can spearhead a pass rush for years to come. - Wilkins

9. Buffalo Bills - Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

After saying goodbye to Kyle Williams, the Bills turn to the Clemson star to plug the defensive line. The 6-foot-4, 350-pound Lawrence is an athletic freak and an absolute menace for the opposition. With the Tigers, Lawrence played alongside other first-round talents like Ferrell and Christian Wilkins, but don't be shocked if he ends up being the best pro of the bunch. - Belbeck

10. Denver Broncos - Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama

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John Elway passes on a quarterback in this mock, opting for one more season of Case Keenum. Instead, the Broncos add Williams to help solidify the offensive line opposite Garett Bolles. Tough and athletic, Williams is this year's clear top tackle prospect. - Alessandrini

11. Cincinnati Bengals - Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

The Bengals defense fell off a cliff this season, finishing dead last in passing yards allowed. Snagging Baker at No. 11 is an ideal scenario for the Bengals to address that issue as he'd be a strong running mate for William Jackson III. A pair of high-end cornerback talents is a massive advantage when it comes to matching up with the league's top passing attacks. - Wilkins

12. Green Bay Packers - D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Davante Adams has become an outstanding receiver and the Packers' No. 1 option with Aaron Rodgers throwing him the ball. Now imagine Rodgers also has the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Metcalf at his disposal. Look out NFC North. - Belbeck

13. Miami Dolphins - Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

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We believe owner Stephen Ross will usher in a new era in Miami this season. It starts with moving on from Ryan Tannehill and adding the quarterback of the future. Jones may be seen as a reach at this point, but he's a prospect whose stock should rise as April approaches. It's also never too early to take a quarterback if a team believes he can alter the course of the franchise. - Alessandrini

14. Atlanta Falcons - Raekwon Davis, DT, Alabama

Yet another first-round defensive line prospect out of Alabama, Davis can be an impact player against the run and pass. Atlanta's 28th-ranked defense needs help in both areas and Davis would be a solid inside pairing with Grady Jarrett. - Wilkins

15. Washington Redskins - N'Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State

Only one wide receiver caught more than 30 balls for Washington last season. Injuries clearly had a role to play but there's no doubt the Redskins need more talent at the position. Enter Harry, the Arizona State star that posted back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons. Adding the 6-foot-4 junior to an offense that struggled mightily in the red zone is a solid move for Jay Gruden's club. - Belbeck

16. Carolina Panthers - Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

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Thompson looks like a perfect fit in Carolina. The defense could stand to add an impact piece in the secondary and the Alabama defensive back profiles as an ideal schematic fit for Ron Rivera's stop unit. It helps that Thompson is likely the best player available at this pick. - Alessandrini

17. Cleveland Browns - Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss

A sensational rookie season from Baker Mayfield left no doubt the Browns finally have their quarterback. Now it's time to make sure he's well-protected. Adding Little would be a massive step, complementing a rock-solid interior with a raw but extremely high-upside prospect that could hold down left tackle going forward. - Wilkins

18. Minnesota Vikings - Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State

There isn't much use investing $84 million in your quarterback if you aren't going to protect him; with a struggling offensive line, the first year of the Kirk Cousins' tenure with the Vikings was a disaster. The veteran pivot certainly shoulders a large portion of the blame, but adding the versatile Risner should help Minnesota give the high-priced Cousins more time to throw. - Belbeck

19. Tennessee Titans - Brian Burns, DE, Florida State

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Mike Vrabel bolsters his pass rush at No. 19 with a long, athletic, and productive prospect that’s sure to get executives excited this draft season. Tennessee could use more edge rushers to contain the likes of Deshaun Watson and Andrew Luck in the AFC South. Uniting Burns with Harold Landry would give the Titans a lethal combination. - Alessandrini

20. Pittsburgh Steelers - Devin White, LB, LSU

Giving the Steelers a linebacker that can potentially maintain Pittsburgh's long-standing tradition of high-level play at the position seems almost too easy. But it just makes too much sense given their current need on the inside. White is an every-down player who can make an impact in all phases of the defensive game. - Wilkins

21. Philadelphia Eagles - Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

To say Philadelphia needs cornerback help would be a massive understatement. With Murray, the Eagles address that need immediately. The Washington standout enjoyed a very successful collegiate career and his ability to attack the ball should play well in the NFC East. - Belbeck

22. Indianapolis Colts - Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State

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General manager Chris Ballard isn't one to draft based on team need - he picks the best player available. The selection of Simmons is no different. The former Bulldog combines athleticism and production in the middle of the defense and profiles as an ideal fit with defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus. - Alessandrini

23. Seattle Seahawks - Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

Seattle's defense has exceeded expectations while ushering in the post-Legion of Boom era. But after allowing 4.9 yards per carry this season, improving against the run is a must. Adding Wilkins to the defensive line would be a major step in the right direction while his presence on the inside would complement an already-fierce pass rush. - Wilkins

24. Oakland Raiders (from DAL) - Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

Thanks to years of Jon Gruden raving about quarterbacks for ESPN, we know the Raiders head coach can fall fast and hard for a talented collegiate pivot. Enter Lock, the Missouri standout who threw 95 touchdowns in the past three seasons. Look for Gruden to decide Derek Carr isn't his long-term signal-caller and address that need with the second of three first-round picks. - Belbeck

25. Baltimore Ravens - Montez Sweat, OLB, Mississippi State

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At first glance, the Ravens’ roster is ripe with edge rushers. But Terrell Suggs and Za'Darius Smith are both scheduled to hit free agency in March and recent draft picks Tim Williams and Tyus Bowser have yet to prove themselves in the pros. Sweat is coming off an incredibly productive college career and would be excellent long-term add for an already-solid Ravens defense. - Alessandrini

26. Houston Texans - Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia

A patchwork offensive line is one of the only factors keeping Houston from establishing itself among the NFL's elite. As good as Deshaun Watson may be, forcing him to play under pressure so regularly isn't a recipe for success. Cajuste could help address that concern as an immediate and possible long-term starter at left tackle. - Wilkins

27. New England Patriots - Jachai Polite, DE, Florida

Bill Belichick has shown his fondness for Florida players in the draft before, and that pipeline will continue with the explosive Polite. The junior posted 11 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss in his final collegiate season and immediately helps the glaring lack of pass rush in New England. - Belbeck

28. Oakland Raiders (from CHI) - Kelvin Harmon, WR, NC State

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How about a future No. 1 receiver to pair with Lock? Oakland is in desperate need of an offensive playmaker and Harmon is just what the doctor ordered. The talented wideout has the size and skill set NFL teams covet; he could potentially slide in as the Raiders' top pass-catching option. - Alessandrini

29. Los Angeles Chargers - Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama

The Chargers' defense has impact players both up front and in the secondary. Wilson, the latest in a long line of top linebacker prospects out of Alabama, adds another in the middle for Los Angeles. His ability as an every-down linebacker would help one of the league's most well-rounded defenses take another step forward. - Wilkins

30. Los Angeles Rams - David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin

Boasting one of the deepest rosters in the league, the Rams don't have many holes. But with Andrew Whitworth entering the final year of his contract at age 37, offensive line depth is needed. The list of standout Wisconsin linemen in the league grows by the year with Edwards proving to be the latest. - Belbeck

31. Kansas City Chiefs - Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn

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The Chiefs have other needs on defense, but Brown is the top player left on the board and could arguably be selected earlier. The interior defender possesses an excellent blend of size and athleticism, dominating against the pass and run with Auburn. Kansas City already features two dynamic edge rushers and pairing Brown with Chris Jones on the inside would be nearly impossible for opposing blockers to stop. - Alessandrini

*Editor's note: Brown has opted to return to Auburn for his senior season

32. Green Bay Packers (from NO) - Jaylon Ferguson, DE/LB, LA Tech

After solidifying the future of their secondary in last year's draft, the Packers would be wise to get that group some help with a pass-rusher up front. Ferguson, the all-time FBS sack leader, would be a strong choice to take the torch from Clay Matthews. - Wilkins

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NFL Mock Draft 1.0: Defense rules the board as Bosa grabs top spot
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