The 2019 NFL Draft is finally here! Months of speculation and guesswork gets proven right or wrong over the next three days.
Here is my final guess at where the players go in the draft. This is my prediction of what the NFL teams will do and does not necessarily reflect the decisions I would make in the same situation. Because more of these will likely be wrong that right, I\\\'ll keep the commentary to a brief blurb.
1. Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma. Despite the late speculation to the contrary, the rookie coach gets his preferred QB. Best guess on Josh Rosen’s fate: traded to Washington for two 2nd-round picks.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State. A long-rumored match and it makes sense, as the 49ers need an EDGE who can create havoc and also snuff the run on the way to the QB. That’s Bosa.
3. New York Jets: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama. It’s easy to see new Jets DC Gregg Williams banging the table for the best interior rusher in this draft, a perfect fit to set up his blitz-happy D.
Possible trade: Jets trade out, Bengals trade up to snag a QB
4. Oakland Raiders: Ed Oliver, DL, Houston. Oliver might be the best player in this entire draft, though there is risk. It’s easy to see both Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden loving his potential based on what they\\\'ve said and done in their respective pasts. I view this spot as Kyler Murray’s draft floor, be it the Raiders taking him or a team (Miami?) trading up to get him.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Devin White, LB, LSU. This has been the hot match since at least the Combine and I’ve not been presented with any compelling reason to swim against the current.
6. New York Giants: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State. Sweat has two double-digit sack seasons in the SEC and the highest athletic upside of any defensive player in this draft. Perfect blend of proven performance and high ceiling that will get GM Dave Gettleman to bite. I don’t believe the Giants go QB here but if they do it’s Daniel Jones.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida. Another team/player match that has been hotly rumored for months. There are whispers of T.J. Hockenson and Daniel Jones here. One trade scenario that makes sense: the Bengals moving up here from No. 11 to take Dwayne Haskins and the Jaguars landing Taylor at 11.
8. Detroit Lions: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky. Best-case scenario for the Lions, who desperately want to add more pass-rushing oomph to an underrated defense. Plan B is Jonah Williams. Plan C is T.J. Hockenson.
Possible trade: Washington moves up from 15 to 8 and takes Daniel Jones. Lions fall back and select Clelin Ferrell.
9. Buffalo Bills: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa. Dual-threat TE to pair with a dual-threat QB. I can see Andre Dillard or Jonah Williams here too.
10. Denver Broncos: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan. The rangy, hard-hitting Bush is a perfect fit for Vic Fangio’s defensive vision. I can definitely envision a QB here too. Drew Lock was linked with this pick for a long time, I have to think that’s still within the realm of possibility.
It’s at this point where I realize I don’t have Daniel Jones slotted in the top 10. I do believe he’s going in the top 10 somewhere, but in this scenario, I just couldn’t place him. Qué tontería.
11. Cincinnati Bengals: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State. It certainly could be Dwayne Haskins here, but a couple of sources I respect indicate the team really likes Dillard. Maybe they trade up later to get the potential successor to Andy Dalton. Dillard will help either guy with his elite-level pass protection.
12. Green Bay Packers: Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama. A safe pick with positional versatility and a strong history of playing well against top competition, Williams makes sense for the rebuilding-on-the-fly Packers.
13. Miami Dolphins: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State. Probably the best-case outcome for Miami, which sorely needs a long-term solution at QB and in this case doesn’t need to move up to land one. Haskins slotting this draft season has been an exercise in futility.
14. Atlanta Falcons: Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan. Too much potential in Gary for him to fall too far, and he offers the Falcons an injection of athleticism on the defensive front.
Possible trade: If Ed Oliver starts to drop, the Falcons get aggressive and move up as far as 7 or 8 to snag him.
15. Washington: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke. Rather than try to forecast the trade up to land Jones, I’ll just marry the player and team here in the original Skins slot. I expect Jones to come off higher and the rumors of the Skins looking to move up--way up--to get him have been present for some time.
16. Carolina Panthers: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson. Rock-solid productive pass rusher and he’s a local for the Panthers, making it a great fit for a position where they desperately need youthful help. This is also the range where Oakland or Seattle could move with their extra 1sts.
17. New York Giants: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri. During Senior Bowl week the Giants media could not get enough of Lock, which tells me they’ve either been tipped the Giants had a real interest or are easily drawn to talented but flawed QB prospects. Tough to ignore Cody Ford or Andre Dillard here too.
18. Minnesota Vikings: Garrett Bradbury, C/OG, North Carolina State. I suspect this is a popular pick, matching the best center with the team that needs center more than any other.
19. Tennessee Titans: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson. Those close to coach Mike Vrabel have strongly hinted he’s a huge fan of the huge man on the DL. He and Jurrell Casey together make for a very difficult day for opposing offenses.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple. It might not happen at 20, but the Steelers interest in Ya-Sin appears legit. This is Devin Bush’s absolute floor. Keep an eye on Oakland moving up here.
21. Seattle Seahawks: Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State. After the Frank Clark trade, it’s hard to see the Seahawks not aggressively targeting a pass rusher. Burns brings sizzle and speed off the edge despite questions about his size and run defense. They could trade back and still get him, and a team looking to snag a top corner or safety (Chargers, Rams?) might indulge them.
22. Baltimore Ravens: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss. Tough choice here as I think they like both Erik McCoy and Cody Ford a lot, but the chance to get a lottery ticket in Metcalf at a position of need will woo new GM Eric DeCosta. At least one member of their scouting staff ranks the athletic freak WR considerably higher than this slot.
23. Houston Texans: Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma. Expect the Texans to aggressively address the league’s worst offensive line. Ford can play tackle or guard and Houston desperately needs help at both. They could draft as many as 3 linemen (and multiple CBs) this weekend.
24. Oakland Raiders: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa. More of a supersized WR, Fant would nicely replace Jared Cook. It’s a bigger need than gets widely publicized, and Fant has potential to be a great NFL receiver.
25. Philadelphia Eagles: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State. Simmons would likely have been a top-10 pick if he didn’t tear his ACL in December. The Eagles have enough depth they can afford to take a redshirt guy with big upside. I can see Marquise Brown here too.
26. Indianapolis Colts: Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame. Tillery posted several game tapes where he looks worthy of being drafted much higher than this. He’s a nice fit and value for the monster of a youthful Colts defense GM Chris Ballard is building.
27. Oakland Raiders: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU. It came down to playmaking corner or running back, and both after a trade; I expect the Raiders to make this pick very early on Friday instead of at No. 27. Williams brings size and ball skills to a secondary lacking both. New England moving up for a TE or Cleveland aggressively jumping in for a CB both make sense as trades.
28. Los Angeles Chargers: Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State. Talented, versatile (he can play RT, either G spot or C) and physical, Risner is a great fit for what the Chargers want up front.
29. Seattle Seahawks: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington. Arguably the best CB in this draft (he’s my top CB), Murphy helps restock a secondary in transition without having to relocate far from college.
30. Green Bay Packers: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma. A pick that would firmly distinguish GM Brian Gutekunst as a definitive new leader, Brown is a high-risk/reward prospect. No other WR can come close to his dynamic skills, but at 166 pounds and coming off a potentially career-altering foot injury, it’s a leap of faith. I suspect Aaron Rodgers would approve.
31. Los Angeles Rams: Darnell Savage, S, Maryland. He can play safety, he can play cornerback, he can play both in the same series without needing to sub out. Savage is a good fit for a team that figures to face a lot of pass attempts.
32. New England Patriots: Dawson Knox, TE, Ole Miss. A surprise pick for some, but little birdies have been chirping about Knox since the Combine. Just don’t say he’s replacing Gronk; Knox is a different kind of TE. I can definitely see a trade down from here to snag Knox a few picks later too. Wild card would be a QB.
The picks from here on out are much more about matching player to slot than team to player.
33. Cardinals: Erik McCoy, OG/OC, Texas A&M
34. Colts: Nasir Adderly, S, Delaware
35. Raiders: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
36. 49ers: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
37. Giants: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
38. Jaguars: Will Grier, QB, West Virginia
39. Buccaneers: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
40. Bills: Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State
41. Broncos: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, Florida
42. Bengals: D’Andre Walker, EDGE, Georgia
43. Lions: Chris Lindstrom, OG/OC, Boston College
44. Packers: Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama
45. Falcons: David Long, CB, Michigan
46. Washington: Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State
47. Panthers: Tytus Howard, OT, Alabama State
48. Dolphins: Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss
49. Browns:Justin Layne, CB, Michigan State
50. Vikings: Christian Miller, EDGE, Alabama
51. Titans: Blake Cashman, LB, Minnesota
52. Steelers: Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
53. Eagles: Chase Winovich, EDGE, Michigan
54. Texans: Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State
55. Texans:Elgton Jenkins, OG/OC, Mississippi State
56. Patriots: J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, WR, Stanford
57. Eagles: Terry McLaurin, WR, Ohio State
58. Cowboys: Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia
59. Colts: Kelvin Harmon, WR, North Carolina State
60. Chargers: Taylor Rapp, S, Washington
61. Chiefs: Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame
62. Saints: Emanuel Hall, WR, Missouri
63. Chiefs: Amani Hooker, S, Iowa
64. Patriots: Charles Omenihu, DL, Texas
88. Bears: Sean Bunting, CB, Central Michigan