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.
Knox brings athleticism to the Cardinals' tight end group, which Kliff Kingsbury will quickly utilize.
Boykin won't be an Antonio Brown-type playmaker but he should help take pressure off JuJu Smith-Schuster on the outside.
Layne has 33-inch arms and good quickness for the position. The Niners need him to create turnovers, as they only managed two interceptions last season.
McGovern can start at center for the Jets in 2019, where he started all season as a sophomore (and once as a junior) for Penn State.
Thompson could go late in the second round if there is a big run at the position early Friday evening. The Jags would love to see one of those talented defenders fall to them, though, as they try to replace Tashaun Gipson.
Jones fits well in the Bucs' new 3-4 scheme as a five-technique.
I expect the Patriots to find a quarterback in this draft, and Grier is worthy of a shot in the third round.
Roemer is a great value at this point in the draft. He can back up at either tackle spot and will eventually become a starter.
Carolina finds an underrated pass rusher in Jackson, who does not rank as an elite prospect in any one category but brings consistent pressure off the edge.
Davis has experience at guard and tackle, offering a backup plan if Ty Sambrailo is unable to secure the right tackle spot.
Edoga measures under 6-4, but simply does not get beat off the edge due to his length and footwork.
Omenihu will control the edge for Minnesota, which could use more youth on the outside with Everson Griffen in his 30s.
Mullen's been a productive starter for Clemson, and could rise up the depth chart before long with Logan Ryan ticketed for free agency after the 2019 season.
Ximines is not the largest edge defender, but he hones in on quarterbacks like they have beacons.
Edwards lands in Houston to compete at the right tackle position.
Hollins might remind some folks of Leonard Floyd and will be used in pass rush sub-packages early in his career.
Jerry Jones finds a very good route runner in Ridley.
Cominsky's size/athleticism combination and small-school background reminds me of former Chiefs draft pick Jared Allen.
Keke would be a bargain here for the Patriots, who could line him up inside or outside depending on the front.
Davis will be a surprise pick to many, but I think he's the sort of all-around player the Patriots appreciate on the outside.