It’s that time of year folks. Time for decisions to be made by NFL franchises that could affect them for years to come.
The 2019 Draft is loaded with defensive talent, especially pass rushers. We could see as many as 4 quarterbacks taken in round 1. Expect a few trades and record number defensive lineman taken.
Let’s take an in depth look at the first round predictions for each team.
1. Arizona Cardinals
Needs: Edge, OL , WR
Selection: Nick Bosa, DE Ohio State
The fact that it’s the day before the draft and the Cardinals still haven’t leaked their selection tells me two things. Either they are undecided on Kyler Murray (as they should be), or they are thinking of trading down. Regardless, Bosa is the safe pick here for a position of need.
2. San Francisco 49ers
Needs: Edge, WR, DB
Selection: Quinnen Williams, DT Alabama
Perhaps the top prospect in this year’s draft according to many scouts. The Alabama DL will bolster an already solid D-Line. Wouldn’t be shocked if John Lych trades down here for more picks to fill more of his team’s needs.
3. New York Jets
Needs: Edge, OL, CB
Selection: Ed Oliver, DT Houston
Pair this guy with Leonard Williams and CJ Mosley, and what the Jets have is the making of a fierce front 7. Oliver is an undersized DT that is drawing Aaron Donald like comparisons.
4. Oakland Raiders
Needs: Edge, TE, CB
Selection: Josh Allen, Edge Kentucky
With 3 picks in the first round, Gruden and Mayock need to nail everyone of them. Fixing the pass-rush is a good place to start. Allen is all around solid SEC edge rusher, who could attempt to fill the void that was once Khalil Mack.
5. TRADE ALERT! (Buccaneers trade the 5th overall pick to the Miami Dolphins)
Needs: QB, DL, OL
Selection: Kyler Murray, QB Oklahoma
Tampa has a list of needs to fill, and trading down is just the way to fill them. Miami needs a new QB, and trading up here is the best way to go get their guy. Jumping in front of the Giants, Broncos and Bengals is the safe bet to lock up Murray as the new face of the franchise.
6. New York Giants
Needs: QB, DL, CB
Selection: Dwayne Haskins, QB Ohio State
QB Ohio State
Eli Manning’s official replacement goes at number 6 overall. The Giants have a big need at DL, but they also have the 17th overall pick to fill that need. Haskins is not a runner, but may be the best pure pocket passer in the draft.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
Needs: OL, TE, WR
Selection: Jawaan Taylor, OT Florida
Safe pick for a team that has chosen Nick Foles as their guy. Protecting him is a priority, and this pick will make him feel like the front office cares. Taylor might be the top tackle this year.
8. Detroit Lions
Needs: CB, Edge, OL, TE
Selection: Rashan Gary, DE Michigan
In a draft full of pass rushers. The Lions get their’s at number 8. A Michigan product who the Lions local scouts have definitely had their eyes on.
9. Buffalo Bills
Needs: DL, OL, TE
Selection: T.J. Hockenson, TE Iowa
Adding some weapons for Josh Allen is the play. A good tight end is a security blanket for young QBs. Hockenson is one of the top rated tight ends to come along in years.
10. Denver Broncos
Needs: OL, LB, CB
Selection: Devin White, LB LSU
With the departure of Brandon Marshall, the Broncos have a need at LB. Taking the top one in the draft is the beginning of a defensive rebuild for Denver.
11. TRADE ALERT! (Cincinnati Bengals trade the 11th overall pick to the Washington Redskins)
Needs: QB, WR, OL
Selection: Drew Lock, QB Mizzou
Alex smith may never play football again, and Keenum is not a long term solution. Adding the Mizzou QB and letting him learn behind a couple of veterans may buy Jay Gruden a couple more years.
12. Green Bay Packers
Needs: OL, LB, WR
Selection: Devin Bush, LB Michigan
Position of need here. A fast cover LB from Michigan that adds depth to front seven. The NFC North is a solid offensive division lately, which explains the Packers loading up on defense.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (from Miami)
Needs: LB, DB, RB
Selection: Greedy Williams, CB LSU
One of the top corners in the draft is a good fit for a team that is desperate for secondary help. Williams will hopefully be what Vernon Hargreaves III wasn’t for Tampa.
14. Atlanta Falcons
Needs: DL, OL, CB
Selection: Christian Wilkins, DT Clemson
The Falcons were hit with injury bug on defense last year. They need all the help they can get. Wilkins paired with his fellow Clemson Tiger Grady Jarrett will make for a stout d-line.
15. Cincinnati Bengals (from Washington)
Needs: LB, OL, DL
Selection: Jonah Williams, OG Alabama
If new head coach Zac Taylor thinks Andy Dalton is the guy. He needs to be protected in the pocket. Jonah Williams can give you that. It’s also the safest pick for team in rebuild mode.
16. Carolina Panthers
Needs: Edge, OL, WR
Selection: Montez Sweat, DE Mississippi State
The combine standout finds a home in Carolina. Fitting that some scouts have compared him to Julius Peppers. A heart condition has some teams worried about his future however.
17. New York Giants
Needs: DL, CB, WR
Selection: Jeffrey Simmons, DT Mississippi State
An interior pass rusher who has been compared to Fletcher Cox. After losing Damon “Snacks” Harrison and Olivier Vernon, this is depleted d-line that needs young talent.
18. Minnesota Vikings
Needs: OL, DL, TE
Selection: Andre Dillard, OT Washington State
The Vikings O-line was flat out bad last year. If Kirm Cousins is going to succeed, he needs time to throw. Dillard could be the long term answer at left tackle.
19. Tennessee Titans
Needs: DT, Edge, TE
Selection: Dexter Lawrence, DT Clemson
Grouped with Jurrell Casey, Harold Landry and Cameron wake. Lawrence could make the Titans front look scary. Even at 342lbs, the big Clemson Tiger is nimble and fast. This is a power move by Mike Vrabel, who knows the importance of dominating the line of scrimmage.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
Needs: LB, WR, CB
Selection: Deandre Baker, CB Georgia
Joe Haden is not the guy he used to be, and Sean Davis is a free agent soon. The playmaker from Georgia adds much needed depth.
21. Seattle Seahawks
Needs: DL, WR, DB
Selection: Clelin Ferrell, DE Clemson
So long Frank Clark, hello Clelin Ferrell. Seattle didn’t want to pay Clark what he thought he was worth. Naturally, they replace him with a cheaper rookie. Ferrell becomes the 3rd Clemson d-lineman off the board.
22. Baltimore Ravens
Needs: Edge, WR, LB
Selection: Brian Burns, DE Florida State
The pass rusher trend continues with the FSU seminole going to Baltimore. After losing Za’Darius Smith to free agency, the new GM Eric DeCosta needs a young edge rusher.
23. Houston Texans
Needs: CB, OL, RB
Selection: Cody Ford, OT Oklahoma
Deshaun Watson was sacked more than any QB in the league last year (62 times). This an obvious pick for the Texans who have to protect their young QB. Ford is an excellent pass protector who blocked for Kyler Murray.
24. Oakland Raiders
Needs: RB, Edge, TE
Selection: Noah Fant, TE Iowa
With their second pick in the first round, Gruden goes offense and gets Derek Carr a great weapon. Fant is a fast pass-catching TE who can stretch the field.
25. Philadelphia Eagles
Needs: LB, OL, DB
Selection: Jonathan Abram, Safety Mississippi State
Eagles get a tackling machine in Abram. A box safety who will bring Brian Dawkins like physicality to the Philly secondary.
26. Indianapolis Colts
Needs: DL, WR, LB
Selection: Marquise Brown, WR Oklahoma
The Colts brought in Devin Funchess to replace Donte Moncrief, but Funchess isn’t the downfield threat Andrew Luck needs. Marquise Brown is that guy, he’s this year’s DeSean Jackson, who will compliment T.Y. Hilton nicely.
27. Oakland Raiders
Needs: DL, RB, WR
Selection: D.K. Metcalf, WR Ole Miss
Splash move for the Raiders, who get the combine standout Metcalf. Who is better know as “the bod” (just google him). A big Physical receiver, who would be a great redzone weapon.
28. Los Angeles Chargers
Needs: OL, CB, DL
Selection: Byron Murphy, CB Washington
When healthy Jason Verrett is a top corner in the league, the problem is he’s never healthy. Chargers have to be able to stop the Cheifs offense if they want to go deep in the playoffs. Murphy is the strategic pick here.
29. Seattle Seahawks
Needs: CB, OL, WR
Selection: Rock Ya-Sin, CB Temple
With the last member of the “legion of boom” gone. Seattle begins their rebuild of the secondary around Ya-Sin. A tough and physical corner who can bring back the swagger to Seattle’s defense.
30. Green Bay Packers
Needs: OL, WR, LB
Selection: N’Keal Harry, WR Arizona State
Replacing Randall Cobb and giving Aaron Rodgers something to be happy about is the move here. Harry is all about physicality and jump balls. He’s a sideline and redzone threat for A Rod to throw it up to.
31. Los Angeles Rams
Needs: OL, DL, LB
Selection: Garrett Bradbury, OG N.C. State
Not the sexy pick, but the right one. If the Rams want to stay on top, they have build in the trenches. Bradbury can play guard or center at the next level. Top interior O-Lineman.
32. New England Patriots
Needs: TE, DL, DB
Selection: Daniel Jones, QB Duke
It’s Garoppolo 2.0 here, the Patriots get Tom’s successor yet again at the end of the round. Jones stock has been rising all year and the Patriots need a future waiting on the bench before Tom rides off into the sunset.