NFL Draft Mock 5.0: Two-round mock, post-free agency
By Ian Cummings
41. Denver Broncos – Texas A&M OL Erik McCoy
Congratulations, Denver. You got a player who could very well become your franchise quarterback in Drew Lock. But if you throw him out onto the field without a competent offensive line, you might permanently stunt his development. With both his reputation and the return of high-value investments at stake, John Elway needs to make sure his new quarterback has a line he can trust. Drafting Erik McCoy is a step in the right direction; McCoy is one of the most athletic linemen in the 2019 NFL Draft, and he has high upside at the next level. Denver has a need at both guard and center, and McCoy can play both spots, if called upon.
42. Cincinnati Bengals – Alabama TE Irv Smith Jr.
The Bengals re-signed Tyler Eifert to another one-year deal in free agency, but as talented as Eifert is when he’s healthy, it’s becoming wishful thinking to imagine that he might eventually see the field for an entire season. They also re-signed C.J. Uzomah, but even though Uzomah is coming off a career season, more reliable weapons can always be added. Reliable is exactly what Alabama’s Irv Smith Jr. is. Smith has great ability as an all-around tight end, and as a receiving threat in Zac Taylor’s offense, his upside is substantial. Smith Jr. models his game after Jordan Reed, and with his quick twitch and route running refinement, he can have a similar impact early in the Bengals’ offense.
43. Detroit Lions – Michigan State CB Justin Layne
The Detroit Lions locked down their slot cornerback position by picking up Justin Coleman in free agency, but they still need a starter opposite Darius Slay. Who better to take that job than the hometown kid out of Michigan State: Justin Layne? Layne has been an NFL Draft board riser all offseason, and he capped off his ascent with a tremendous NFL Combine performance. Layne offers the utilities of 6-foot-2 length and a wingspan over 80 inches, while also providing the movement skills and developmental upside of a former wide receiver. Disruptive, dangerous, and ultimately due to keep improving, Layne is a must-get for a defense that needs another playmaker.
44. Green Bay Packers – Wisconsin OL Michael Deiter
The Packers had a home run first-round, picking the best player available in Ed Oliver at pick No. 12, and then the ever reliable Deebo Samuel at No. 30, to fill the void left by Randall Cobb. With top-end talent added on defense, and another sturdy weapon added on offense, the Packers can turn to the trenches, where a need exists at guard. Wisconsin product Michael Deiter projects well to fill such a need. He played tackle in college, but with a relatively small wingspan, and good anchor and mobility, Deiter projects best as an interior blocker at the next level. There, he can help facilitate Matt LaFleur’s offense, and keep Aaron Rodgers clean.