Here’s a new one: NFL mock draft has the Cardinals not taking Nick Bosa
Overwhelmingly, NFL mock draft creators have predicted the Arizona Cardinals will begin the 2019 draft by selecting Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa.
Of the 56 mock drafts and revisions listed in our mock draft tracker as of Tuesday morning, Bosa has been the Cardinals’ pick in all but 14 mocks, and 10 of those have the Cardinals selecting Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams instead.
So when NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein posted his first mock draft, it wasn’t only notable because he didn’t have Bosa going first to Arizona. It’s that for the first time (from our scanning of the web), Kentucky linebacker Josh Allen is first off the board.
The Cardinals are moving back to a 3-4 front. Allen offers elite size and rush talent off the edge to fit perfectly opposite Chandler Jones.
Allen has been hovering atop most big boards after forcing five fumbles, recording 88 tackles (21.5 for loss) and tallying 17.0 sacks during his senior season.
But the Cardinals grabbing him first overall is not the only bold prediction made by Zierlein. He has Bosa falling to the New York Jets at third overall, and he doesn’t have Alabama’s two Williamses — DT Quinnen and OT Jonah — going until fifth and 14th, respectively.
There’s more: Zierlein mocks four quarterbacks coming off the board in the first 10 picks, something that would greatly benefit the Cardinals if they intend to trade down from No. 1 overall and gain an extra pick or two.
Zierlein has Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray coming off the board No. 4 to the Oakland Raiders, who by the way also have the 24th and 27th picks.
This is not just some click-bait pick. Murray doesn’t have prototypical size. Yeah, I get it. However, when you look at his ability to make winning plays, Murray stands out way above the rest of this year’s QB class. He can be weaved into the offense in 2019 and take over for Derek Carr in a year.
Then, the draft analyst sees the New York Giants taking Duke quarterback Daniel Jones at No. 6 and the Jacksonville Jaguars selecting Ohio State signal-caller Dwayne Haskins at No. 7.
Finally, it’s Missouri’s Drew Lock heading to the Denver Broncos after GM John Elway apparently left the Senior Bowl telling folks he was impressed by the quarterback this week, per The Denver Post.
Those picks make a lot of assumptions, among them that the Raiders are willing to move on from QB Derek Carr and any of the teams grow enamored enough with a quarterback crop that by and large isn’t considered especially strong.
However, if NFL teams’ big boards look similar to Zierlein’s projection and the evaluations build momentum for those quarterback prospects, it would be quite favorable for the Cardinals.