The Draft: Round 1, Review
There were several surprises on day one of the draft. The Arizona Cardinals now have two top ten quarterbacks on their roster. They were unable to trade last years’ first round pick Josh Rosen and drafted Kyler Murray with the number one pick in this years’ draft. Honestly, we are kind of curious to see how all of this plays out. Will they unload Rosen on day two?
The Raiders really did surprise everyone by taking Clelin Ferrell with the fourth overall pick. Ferrell was projected to go somewhere between 10-20 in most mock drafts.
And then the NYGiants, shocked us by taking Daniel Jones with the sixth overall pick. Some pundits had Jones buried towards the end of round three; and some had him going to the Giants at pick seventeen. However, nobody expected Jones to go at six, or before Haskins.
Let’s take a quick look at the first round.
1. Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Why Arizona waited to until draft day to make their selection known, who knows? Why did they not move Rosen a month ago, who knows? All we know is Murray is now the starting quarterback of the Arizona Cardinal and a perfect fit for new HC Kliff Kingsbury’s Air Raid offense. It will be fun to watch.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
The 49ers will line Bosa up opposite newly acquired DE Dee Ford to create havoc off the edges. Bosa has exceptional short area quickness and excellent lower body strength. The 49ers were said to be shopping Solomon Thomas a couple of days before the draft, but so far no trade.
3. New York Jets: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
Williams to the NYJets is another great fit, great pick. Williams is coming off a college season where he absolutely dominated opponents with his quickness, agility, and hand techniques. By lining him up next to Leonard Williams, the Jets are going to create a lot of pressure up front.
4. Oakland Raiders: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
The first major surprise of the draft. How big of a surprise? Even Raiders new DE Clelin Ferrell remarked on being picked No. 4 overall: “I would be lying to you if I said I wasn’t surprised.” Ferrell is about as complete an end as there is in this draft. Quick enough to get the corner and stout enough to hold up against the run.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Devin White, ILB, LSU
Not shocked here, but a little surprised they took a linebacker (White) over an edge rusher (Josh Allen) with both still on the board. However, the Bucs lost their MLB, Kwon Alexander, to the 49ers in the off-season -so, it makes sense. Plus with Tampa switching to a 3-4 they needed another inside linebacker to suit up next to Lavonte David. Another great pick, great fit.
6. New York Giants: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
His relationship with quarterback guru David Cutcliffe and the Manning family probably had a lot to do with Jones landing in the Meadowlands. That part wasn’t too surprising. What was a complete shock is that Jones went off the board at No. 6 overall. Jones will learn the ropes from Eli, while Eli can feel secure that the number one quarterback in East Rutherford, New Jersey, is still named Manning.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky
Jacksonville is in need of help along the offensive line, no secret there. The Jags gave up 50+ sacks last year. Most everyone expected the Jags to take an offensive lineman here. However, no one expected Ferrell to go off the board at No. 4 four, or Allen to slide to No. 7. Allen creates issues for tackles with his burst off the line, and bend around the corner. Jags took the best player available and will look for O-line help in round two.
8. Detroit Lions: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
The Lions need weapons on offense and they got a really good player here in Iowa’s T.J. Hockenson. Hockenson can inline block, adding value to the running game. He runs clean routes, gains separation, and has easy hands – adding value to the passing game. Just a smart pick.
9. Buffalo Bills: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
With the retirement of DT Kyle Williams, I thought they might address that need early in the draft. However, I thought they’d go after a big run-stuffer like Dexter Lawrence. The Bills, though, went after the smaller 3-technique Ed Oliver. Oliver is a tough competitor that plays from snap to whistle and should fit in well with that dominant defense.
10. Pittsburgh Steelers (via Den): Devin Bush, ILB, Michigan
This morning’s Detroit Free Press read, “Michigan’s Devin Bush Jr. was exactly what Pittsburgh Steelers wanted.”
The Steelers trade up to grab the second best linebacker in the draft — and they take him ahead of arch-rival Cincinnati, who may have been contemplating at the same player. Good move to go up and get the player you want and keep him out of the hands of the competition.
11. Cincinnati Bengals: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
New HC Zac Taylor wants to fill the locker room with high effort, high character players. Williams isn’t a “splash” pick, but he’ll be lunch-bucket reliable and a very good foundation piece for the new regime in Cincinnati. The four-year starter fills one of the Bengals’ most pressing needs. Good pick, good value.
12. Green Bay Packers: Rashan Gary, OLB, Michigan
How will the Packers use Michigan DT/DE hybrid Rashan Gary? “He’ll start in the outside linebacker room. He’s a guy, because of his size and speed and versatility, you’d hope you can move him around the front,” Packers scout Joe Hueber told reporters Thursday night.
13. Miami Dolphins: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
I’m comfortable with Wilkins going at thirteen, but are the Dolphins throwing the 2019 season out the window? I can’t believe Fitz-Magic is really their answer? We’ll see if they go after a QB in day two? Miami Dolphins GM Chris Grier gushed about Wilkins position versatility and leadership – and he’s right about those things, I just thought they had a bigger need at QB.
14. Atlanta Falcons: Chris Lindstrom, OG, Boston College
I had Lindstrom going toward the bottom of round one, so there was a little surprise when he came off the board at fourteen. He’s definitely the best OG prospect in this year’s draft. In Atlanta, Lindstrom will be joining another former BC player in quarterback Matt Ryan. It will be Lindstom’s job to keep Ryan’s jersey clean. Solid pick.
15. Washington Redskins: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Happy for Washington to get the quarterback they really wanted without having to trade up to get him. I had Haskins as my number one rated quarterback since December. He’s accurate, patient, has excellent pocket presence and light feet. Next question, does Washington start him on day one?
And what did Haskins think of “falling” to pick fifteen?
“To be honest, I’m more motivated than ever before. I’ve got a chip on my shoulder,” Haskins told ESPN. “The league done messed up.” Got to like a guy who finds ways to self-motivate.
16. Carolina Panthers: Brian Burns, DE, Florida State
The Panthers have concerns on both sides of the line. They went defense first. “This guy has a huge ceiling,” GM Marty Hurney said. “He’s got some elite skill-set traits that are hard to find. He needs to develop as he grows and his body matures – he needs to get stronger – but you can’t coach some of the traits he has. The speed. The length. The change of direction.”
17. New York Giants (via Cle): Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
New York Giants general manager Dave Gettleman loves those big-bodied lineman that improve your team and defense by winning in the trenches. With QB Jones and DT Lawrence, Gettleman has improved his roster already.
18. Minnesota Vikings: Garrett Bradbury, OC, NC State
Bradbury seems like he’d be a best fit for a zone-blocking team – a team like Minnesota. The Vikings need to protect QB Kirk Cousins, so I thought they would go with an offensive tackler at eighteen, getting interior help a little later in the draft. HC Mike Zimmer said of Bradbury, “This dude is tough, physical and a ‘can’t miss’ guy.”
19. Tennessee Titans: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State (NLF)
The Titans coming out of round one with a DT wasn’t a surprise. Taking Simmons, who is coming off an ACL injury, was a minor surprise. Simmons has top ten talent, but he won’t be ready to play right away. The Titans are willing to wait, and should be largely rewarded for their patience.
“He’s a guy we did extensive research on, and he is going to come in here and get to work and help this football team,” Titans General Manager Jon Robinson said of Simmons. “I’m just really excited about the ability that he has. He has really good quickness, can really run for a big man. He is explosive, changes direction well. He finishes plays, and he is an aggressive player.
20. Denver Broncos (via Pit): Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
GM John Elway had this to say about trading down from ten to twenty, and about getting Fant with the twentieth pick.
“We had a couple other options too. We had a lot going on in that 10 minutes. We ended up taking the deal with Pittsburgh, and we just felt like getting that extra pick in the second and getting a third next year that the value was there. Then to be able to pick up Noah at 20—he can really run and stretch the field, very athletic, and a very effective receiving tight end. We’re excited about where he ended up.”
21. Green Bay Packers (via Sea): Darnell Savage, S, Maryland
Seattle traded down to gain additional draft picks, while Green Bay made the move up to get the best safety in this year’s draft, Darnell Savage. The Packers exchanged their No. 30 pick and two fourth-rounders (No. 114 and 118) to move up to take the Terrapins’ senior safety, who had 181 tackles and eight interceptions (two returned for a touchdown) in 45 career games.
22. Philadelphia Eagles (via Bal): Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
GM Howie Roseman traded up to draft Washington State offensive tackle Andre Dillard. Roseman said Dillard was not a need selection, rather he was the best player on their board. In fact, Roseman said, the Eagles had Dillard ranked as a top 10 player. They are not expecting him to step into the starting rotation right away.
23. Houston Texans: Tytus Howard, OT, Alabama State
Houston had to find a way to protect QB Deshaun Watson. With Dillard off the board, Houston turned its attention to Tytus Howard of Alabama State. Howard looked very good at the Senior Bowl. He has an excellent kick-step and mirrors well. GM Brian Gaine said that he believed Howard could play four of the five O-line positions.
24. Oakland Raiders (from Chi): Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
Oakland got their feature back in Josh Jocobs. With a big offensive line to run behind, a veteran quarterback to lead the way, and wide receivers to stretch the field, Jacobs should have a big rookie season.
25. Baltimore Ravens (via Phi): Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
For the second straight year, the Ravens traded in the first round with the Philadelphia Eagles, moving back three spots to No. 25 and picking up fourth- (127) and sixth-round (197) picks in return. With their pick, the Ravens selected WR Marquise Brown – a guy who can take the top off a defense. With QB Lamar Jackson’s cannon of an arm and Brown’s blazing speed, look for a lot of explosive plays from the Raven’s offense this season.
26. Washington Redskins (via Ind): Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
Washington traded the 46th overall pick and a 2020 second-round pick to the Colts to draft Mississippi State pass rusher Montez Sweat at No. 26 overall. Sweat was considered a top 20 prospect on most draft boards. By getting their QB and a starting edge rusher the Redskins definitely had a successful first day.
27. Oakland Raiders (from Dal): Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State
Speed on defense was a priority this offseason for the Raiders, who added safety Lamarcus Joyner in free agency. Adding physicality was another priority, so they drafted Mississippi State’s Johnathan Abram. Abram is a hard-hitting tone-setter that flies to the ball and punishes ball-carriers.
28. Los Angeles Chargers: Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame
The Chargers need OL help and DT help. So, taking Tillery here was simple, take the best player available that fills a pressing need. GM Tom Telesco loves Tillery’s length, size, flexibility, and strength. Tillery was enjoying the Sun in Maui when he received the call from the Chargers.
29. Seattle Seahawks (via KC): L.J. Collier, DE, TCU
The Seahawks have been busy wheeling-and-dealing this week. They trade DE Frank Clark to Kansas City, then select Texas Christian defensive end L.J. Collier at the bottom of round one. While, Collier has been a player on the rise, taking him in the first round seems like a bit of a stretch. He not your prototypical rush end; he’s a bigger bodied run-stuffing end that has some up-field ability. Good player, but not sure its good value for the pick? The Chiefs traded out of the first round.
30. New York Giants (via New Orleans, GB, Sea): De’Andre Baker, CB, Georgia
The Gaints make a trade to go up and get Georgia cornerback De’Andre Baker. Baker won the Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back in college football. He’s not the fastest guy, but he’ll be a solid tackler – and maybe even be the starting nickel. It’s been a good day for the Giants.
31. Atlanta Falcons (via LAR): Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington
Atlanta trades back up into the first round to get some more help on the offensive line. McGary is an aggressive run blocker and likes to play with a nasty streak. With the addition of Lindstrom and McGary, the Falcons have improved one of the NFL’s worst rushing offenses (98.3 ypg 27th overall).
32. New England Patriots: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
The Patriots definitely needed a wide receiver. Taking a wide receiver that suffers from concentration lapses (aka dropping passes when he’s wide open) was a surprise. Harry is physically ripped, big bodied, with great control and the ability to make the circus catch. Basically, a big bodied slot receiver that is good at getting yards after the catch. Why not A.J. Brown, who has better hands? Why not D.K. Metcalf to stretch the field? Never doubt Bill Belichick — we’ll find out why Harry when the season starts.
Draft Review: Round 2
Draft talk . . . draft picks, rounds, team needs, and prospects to watch.
AZ | SF | NYJ | OAK | TB | NYG | JAX | DET | BUF | DEN | CIN | GB | MIA | ATL | WASH | CAR | CLE | MIN | TEN | PIT | SEA | BALT | HOU | CHI | PHI | IND | DAL | LAC | KC | NO | LAR | NE
The 2019 NFL Draft will be held Thursday-Saturday, April 25-27 in Nashville, Tenn.