Free agency is off and running and many of the big-name veterans have already been scooped up in the first week or so of activity. And while there’s certainly a second wave of signings soon to come, the deals already in place are the ones that will have an impact — if any — on the first round of the 2019 NFL draft.
Here’s With The First Pick’s second mock draft of the season, post-free agency edition:
Nothing in free agency was going to change the Cardinals’ approach to the No. 1 overall pick. In fact, the chatter surrounding Arizona selecting Kyler Murray has only gotten louder. And it should. Murray is the most logical choice with this pick because of his fit with new coach Kliff Kingsbury. Sure, it stings that QB Josh Rosen is a one-and-done first-round pick, but the franchise can’t pass up a potentially special offensive playmaker simply because of a decision they made in 2018. It’s Murray or bust.
The 49ers made a huge power move by trading for edge rusher Dee Ford, but his addition (and big new contract) won’t change San Francisco’s draft plans at No. 2 overall. It’s still Nick Bosa, and the only way it won’t be is if the 49ers decide to trade out.
The Jets tried to fill their edge-rushing hole with Anthony Barr in free agency, but the bizarre last-minute change of heart by Barr left New York holding the bag. Now they’ll turn to Josh Allen, who has as much upside as an edge rusher as any prospect in the class.
The Raiders pass rush was non-existent last season, an obvious side effect of trading arguably the NFL’s most dominant sack artist in Khalil Mack. They’ve spent most of free agency focusing on offense with the additions of Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams and Trent Brown and have added some pieces on defense, but still don’t have that potentially dominant pass rusher. Enter Montez Sweat, whose raw physical traits are as exciting as any player in this year’s class. Note: A report surfaced Sunday that Sweat has a minor heart condition that was a focal point of his medical examination at the NFL combine. It could end up causing a first-round slide.
All signs point toward a perfect marriage between White and the Buccaneers, especially now that Kwon Alexander is off the San Francisco. Quinnen Williams will be tempting, but White just makes too much sense. His exceptional sideline-to-sideline ability and thumping style of play will instantly make him one of the locker room’s leaders.