Seven-round mock drafts are similar to a pitch of a TV series to a network executive. We see the characters and the general plot, but the details will be worked out when the final scripts are written.
Trades and surprising selections are the plot twists that make the NFL draft -- the final script, in this case -- the marquee event of the offseason.
In my final mock of 2019, I've projected some selections that may be off the beaten path, as well as five first-round trades. The order of the other six rounds are kept as scheduled, except for the selections exchanged in the projected Round 1 trades.
As always this time of year, keep in mind that there might be developments over the next several days leading up to the draft -- be it a trade or some other information about a prospect -- that changes the outlook for how things could play out.
I root for surprises during the draft to make things interesting, but here's one 254-pick road map of how the 2019 NFL Draft (April 25-27) may play out.
Murray's the pick at No. 1 whether Kliff Kingsbury enacts a self-fulfilling prophecy or the Cardinals trade out for a bevy of selections.
PROJECTED TRADE WITH 49ERS. Jon Gruden gets his quarterback by moving up two spots. Gruden coached Lock at the Senior Bowl, and it's easy to see him appreciating the former Missouri quarterback's demeanor and physical tools. If he doesn't move up to get him, Miami or Denver could makes a deal with the Jets to land the Mizzou QB.
Bosa's the base end new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams will want in his front four.
PROJECTED TRADE WITH RAIDERS. Williams adds yet another elite talent to the 49ers' defensive front. The Niners get the Raiders' second-round pick this year and one of their first-round picks next year (they have an extra one from the Khalil Mack trade) in the move. As for that compensation, remember, the Colts did receive three second-round picks so the Jets could move up three spots in the top 10 last year. Anything can happen!
With the top four quarterbacks off the board, Denver picks an elite tight end prospect for Joe Flacco and whomever takes over the Flacco in the future.
If Washington does not grab one of the top quarterbacks in the first round, it should bolster the receiving corps with Metcalf.
Dillard to slides into the left tackle spot, where he will excel in pass protection.
Sometimes inside linebackers become available later in the first round than their talent would indicate. The Steelers pinch themselves that a talent like Bush is still on the board.
Baltimore gets physical up front with McCoy, who can play multiple positions.
Yes, the Eagles traded for Jordan Howard, but he has only one year left on his deal and giving up a 2020 sixth-round pick (conditions could allow it to flex to a fifth) is not exactly the price one would pay for a top difference-maker. Jacobs is a beast of a runner and could take pressure off of Carson Wentz.
GM Chris Ballard is always looking to upgrade his team's defensive line. Wilkins is a great value at this point of the round.
Gareon Conley gets a strong partner in Murphy, who possesses the best ballhawking skills in the class.
The right side of the Chargers' offensive line was exposed in the playoffs. Ford will tighten things up over there in a hurry.
Replacing Mitch Morse won't be easy, but Bradbury is an experienced and agile lineman worthy of the challenge.
PROJECTED TRADE WITH PATRIOTS. The Niners desperately need a talent like Brown at receiver if Jimmy G. is to have a successful return from injury in 2019. There's going to be a run on receivers and safeties early in Round 2, so it's a safe bet that teams are already starting to call the Pats to find the price for an upward move.