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Mel Kiper's 2019 NFL Mock Draft 3.0: First-round pick predictions and rankings

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Kiper: 'Perfect storm' for Kyler Murray to go No. 1 (0:45)

Mel Kiper Jr. explains why he is projecting Kyler Murray to be drafted No. 1 overall by the Cardinals in his latest mock draft. (0:45)

Can you believe we're less than a month away from the 2019 NFL draft? The combine is over. Pro days are winding down. Most of free agency is done, although a few signings are still trickling in. And the complete draft order -- all 254 picks -- is set.

Let's go 1-32 with a new Mock Draft, my third of the cycle. As always, I'll project the first round and give my thoughts on each pick and prospect. Since the bulk of free agency is over, we have a good feel for the needs of every team. And we also have true heights, weights and athletic testing numbers for every prospect, which means you'll see some new names based on combine risers -- and notice a few players who have dropped out of Round 1.

Let's start with the Cardinals, where I have changed my pick from my previous two projections ...

QUICK LINKS
Kiper Mock 2.0 | 1.0 | McShay Mock 3.0
Full draft order | 2018 draft re-grades


1. Arizona Cardinals

Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma | Highlights

The buzz around Murray going No. 1 has only heated up since the combine. And here's why it makes sense: New coach Kliff Kingsbury can start his tenure in Arizona with his guy. The 5-foot-10, 207-pound Murray can run the offense Kingsbury wants to run, with no limitations. Josh Rosen is a much different quarterback than Murray, and Kingsbury was going to have to fit his Air Raid concepts to Rosen's strengths. Now, we can question the logic behind taking a quarterback in the first round in back-to-back drafts. It's a terrible look to ditch a top-10 pick after a year. Can general manager Steve Keim get a first-round pick for Rosen in a trade, even if it's in 2020? That might help the Cardinals save face. There's a lot to like about Heisman Trophy winner Murray, even if we should expect some struggles early behind Arizona's offensive line.


2. San Francisco 49ers

Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State | Highlights

The 49ers could be the big winners if Murray goes No. 1 because it means the top pass-rusher -- and my top-ranked prospect -- is still on the board here. Two potential options:

  • Take Bosa and put him on the other side of new addition Dee Ford, and the edge-rushing group -- a major weakness in 2018 -- immediately becomes a strength.

  • Put the pick up for sale and get more capital to improve a talented team that still has some holes.

We've seen San Francisco GM John Lynch trade down before; he did it in 2017, when the Bears moved up one spot to take Mitchell Trubisky, and the Niners got back two third-round picks and a fourth-rounder. Could Lynch do it again?


3. New York Jets