Now that the scouting combine and the bulk of free-agency have passed, the next big milestone in the 2019 offseason is the NFL Draft. Impressive outings during the combine have boosted the stocks of quite a few payers, while injuries, as well as disappointing performances at the combine, have sunk the stocks of other players. The narrative of the 2019 NFL draft has remained the same, this year is all about the players on the defensive side of the ball.
1. Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Previous: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
At the combine, Kyler Murray measured in at 5’10 1/8 inches tall. This almost certainly marked the first time a quarterbacks’ stock has risen from being that height. That being said, in the new NFL height isn’t quite as important for the quarterback position, especially for one with the skill set Murray possesses. Arizona should be able to get decent compensation for 2018 number 10 overall pick, Josh Rosen. Murray could help bring some excitement back to the Cardinals for many years.
2.San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Previous: Josh Allen, DE/OLB, Kentucky
Seemingly every year, the 49ers are drafting a defensive end in the top 10. Due to positional changes, as well as players not living up to their potential, San Fransisco appears to be in the same position once again. Though there are many holes to fill on this roster, Bosa is too good of a prospect to pass up on. Drawing comparisons to his brother, Joey Bosa, Pro Bowl defensive end for the Los Angeles Chargers, younger brother Nick will make an immediate impact for any team that selects him.
3. New York Jets: Josh Allen, DE/OLB, Kentucky
Previous: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
With the addition of C.J. Mosley in free agency, the Jets could have one of the most talented linebacking corps’ in the NFL. Josh Allen has the size of a prototypical edge rusher in the NFL at 6’5, 260, Aleen showed tremendous athleticism at the combine running a 4.63 in the 40-yard dash. Allen won the Chuck Bednarik award in the 2018 season, given to the nations top defensive player and was Pro Football Focus’ highest graded defensive player in 2018. Allen would be a great “plug and play” guy for the Jets’ 3-4 defense.
4. Oakland Raiders: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
Previous: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Now that the Raiders have shown the desire to win now, with the acquisitions of weapons on the perimeter in Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams, as well as signing a blindside protector for Derek Carr, Williams would be a perfect selection at number four. At 6’4, 295, Williams already has the size and talent to be a starter in the league and drafting him would drastically improve the Raiders’ interior defensive line.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
Previous: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
With The Buccaneers Bringing in Bruce Arians as their new head coach, the loss of Kwon Alexander in free agency was quickly filled by the signing of linebacker Deone Buchannon. Buchannon played for Arians in Arizona and fits into his defensive scheme very nicely. With the selection of Montez Sweat, the Buccaneers could potentially have one of the most dominant defensive lines in the league.
6. New York Giants: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Previous: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Eli Manning isn’t getting any younger, and now that the Giants have appeared to commit to rebuilding the franchise around Saquon Barkley after trading Odell Beckham Jr. to Cleveland, it might be time for the Giants to draft Manning’s successor. Dwayne Haskins might be the best pure quarterback in this years draft, and that is exactly what the Giants need going forward. If the Giants land Haskins and allow him to develop before rushing him out onto the field, they could be a dangerous team in the future.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: TJ Hockensen, TE, Iowa
Previous: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
With the addition of quarterback Nick Foles, the Jaguars have a new dynamic within the organization. When Foles led the Eagles to a Super Bowl title just over a year ago, he had a game-changing player at the tight end position. As of now, Hockenson is not the player that Zach Ertz is, but he has the potential to be a very impactful player in this league for a long time. NFL Network’s Lance Zierlein compared Hockensonto Chiefs All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce.
8. Detroit Lions: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan
Previous: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
With the future of Ezekiel Ansah and the Lions’ organization still undecided, Rashan Gary could alleviate the uncertainty the Lions are facing deciding whether to resign Ansah or to let him walk. Gary was ranked number one in the ESPN 300 prospects coming out of high school. At 6’4, 277, Gary’s 4.58 40 yard dash at the combine solidified him as a player who should be selected in the top 10 in the 2019 draft.
9. Buffalo Bills: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
Previous: Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma
After drafting their quarterback of the future in last year’s draft, the Bills should do everything in their power to keep him up-right. The Bills signed a couple of veteran receivers in Cole Beasley and John Brown to help Josh Allen out in the passing game. The next step for them would be to draft a player that could be an anchor on the right side of the offensive line for years to come.
10. Denver Broncos: Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama
Previous: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
The Broncos showed that bolster their offensive line was a top priority this offseason by signing right tackle Ja’Waun James to a big contract. In the process of securing a right tackle, they lost Matt Paradis from the interior of their line. Williams who will most likely transition from tackle to guard once he gets into the NFL has the size and athleticism to be a very good fit in Denver’s offense.
11. Cincinnati Bengals: Devin White, LB, LSU
Previous: Devin White, LB, LSU
With Vontaze Burfict now officially out of Cincinnati, Devin White can pick up right where Burfict left off. Even though White is undersized at 6’0, 237, he more than makes up for his lack of typical middle linebacker size with his instinct as well as his athletic ability. At the combine, WHite ran a 4.42 40 yard dash, faster than pro-bowl running backs Ezekiel Elliot and Melvin Gordon
12. Green Bay Packers: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
Previous: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan
Ed Oliver is a top 5 talent in this draft, but he is undersized for a defensive tackle in the NFL, especially in a 3-4 defense. That being said, if he is available at 12, the Packers should not pass on him based on lack of size. Oliver is the second highest graded defensive lineman in this draft, according to Pro Football Focus. Some front office personnel around the league believe that if Oliver can’t get his weight above 280 that he could make a positional switch from the line to an inside linebacker.
Ed Oliver was been a force in his 3 seasons at Houston. pic.twitter.com/s1LpHlaMpY
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) March 23, 2019
13. Miami Dolphins: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
Previous: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
Free agency has come and gone and the only quarterbacks on the Dolphins’ roster are Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jake Rudock, and Luke Falk. Fitzpatrick showed glimpses of greatness last season, but overall he turned the ball over far too much to consistently win games in this league. Lock brings unbelievable arm talent and great leadership to the table which any NFL team is willing to take a chance on. During his pro day at Missouri, Lance Zierlein compared him to Matthew Stafford, which if he could live up to the comparison, would be an upgrade over what the Dolphins have had at quarterback in recent years.
Drew Lock has a rocket arm?? pic.twitter.com/CepwREU7cu
— College Town™ (@CollegeT0wn) August 24, 2018
14. Atlanta Falcons: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
Previous: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
Christian Wilkins is one of the most talented players in this draft. On top of that, he is a winner, winning two national championships since he arrived at Clemson. Wilkins earned first-team all ACC honors last season, posting 57 tackles, six sacks, and two forced fumbles. His production goes deeper than the box score, Wilkins was often doubled teamed, which gave his linebackers more opportunities to make tackles without having to shed blocks. Wilkins could be a day one starter, alongside Grady Jarrett, which would make the Falcons interior defensive lines one of the best in the NFL.
15. Washington Redskins: DK Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
Previous: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
If Drew Lock is still available at 15, Washington could draft him, but if he is gone they must add some weapons for Case Keenum to get the ball to. Washington took receiver Josh Doctonson in the first round of the 2016 NFL draft, and thus far, Doctson has not grown into the player they were hoping he would. DK Metcalf has all the makings of a true number one receiver. He is a physical freak, at 6’3, 288 with only 1.6% body fat. At the combine, Metcalf was clocked at 4.33 seconds in the 40 yard dash, which is the fastest time for a player weighing over 225. His numbers aren’t super impressive, but he only played in six full games last season due to injury.
16. Carolina Panthers: Clelin Ferrell, OLB, Clemson
Previous: Jachai Polite, OLB, Florida
With the signing of Bruce Irvin this offseason, the Panthers have shown that they are actively trying to improve their pass rush from last season, in which they ranked 27th with 35 sacks. Ferrell was a 4-3 defensive end at Clemson but has all of the tools to smoothly transition to a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL.
17. New York Giants (via CLE): Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
Previous: (CLE) Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
After selecting a quarterback with the sixth overall pick, it would be smart for the Giants to either draft Odell’s replacement or an offensive lineman with the 17th pick. Since Metcalf is off the board, Washington State tackle Andre Dillard is a better option than the receivers still on the board. While this is not the most exciting pick for the Giants, they will be happy in the future when their quarterback is standing upright in the pocket. Dillard was a four-year starter at left tackle for pass-happy Washington State, he has tremendous footwork and should be a week 1 starter.
18. Minnesota Vikings: Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma
Previous: Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss
As of today, Cody Ford would be more effective in the NFL as a guard and can start from day one there, but he has the size and athletic ability to become a good tackle eventually. Last season the Vikings really struggled to keep franchise quarterback Kirk Cousins off the turf. Drafting Ford here will instantly make their offensive line better, it will just be up to the coaching staff where they want to put him.
19. Tennessee Titans: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
Previous: Brian Burns, OLB, Florida State
The Titans had one of the leagues best defenses in 2018. If there is one area they could improve upon it would be that of their defensive line. Lawrence could make an immediate impact in the middle of the defense. At 6’4, 351 Lawrence has the size of a prototypical space-eating defensive tackle. He is more athletic than most defensive tackles in the league, especially at his size.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
Previous: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
It’s no secret that the Steelers’ defense hasn’t been the same after Ryan Shazier’s career-threatening injury. While Shazier is making progress physically, he is still nowhere near to returning to the field and it is still uncertain if he ever will be able to. Devin Bush is going to have some big shoes to fill if the Steelers draft him, but if anybody can live up to the legacy Shazier left behind, it is him.
21. Seattle Seahawks: Brian Burns, OLB/DE, Florida State
Previous: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
Burns has the versatility to play either defensive end or outside linebacker in the NFL. He has the speed and quickness to beat heavy footed tackles around the edge, as well as the strength to bull rush the smaller tackles throughout the league. After the Seahawks placed the franchise tag on Frank Clark, the combination of Birns and Clark could keep opposing offensive coordinators up at night.
22. Baltimore Ravens: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
Previous: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
With the number one defense last season, the Ravens can focus on the offensive side of the ball in the early rounds of the draft. The Ravens need to get a big play receiver to be a security blanket for Lamar Jackson. N’Keal Harry would be a perfect fit in Baltimore. At 6’4, Harry is an explosive athlete who can score from anywhere on the field.
One area for concern when it comes to Harry is his route running, but over time that should improve and he could go on to be an Allen Robinson type receiver, who can win over the top but also on intermediate routes.
— Clayton Holloway (@HollowClay) March 27, 2019
23. Houston Texans: Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington
Previous: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
After winning the division this year, the Texans were defeated in the Wildcard round of the playoffs. With a defense that was productive for most of the 2018 season, Houston needs to make protecting Deshaun Watson a priority this offseason. Kaleb McGary could be the anchor of the offensive line for years to come.
24. Oakland Raiders (via DAL): Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
Previous: Zach Allen, DE, Boston College
As of right now, the Raiders starting running back is Jalen Richard. Richard is best suited as a third down, change of pace back. Jacobs split with Damien Williams this last season but is the most complete running back in this draft. Drawing comparisons to Patriots’ running back Sony Michel, Jacobs could be the three-down back the Raiders have been searching for in recent years.
25. Philadelphia Eagles: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
Previous: Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State
Last Season, the Eagles’ secondary was their biggest weakness. Some of the struggles they faced were due to injury, but selecting Byron Murphy at 25 could drastically help the backside of the Eagles defense. Murphy is 5’11 but plays larger than his size, and is athletic enough to follow some of the fastest receivers in the league.
Byron Murphy brings the boom not only in coverage, but also in run defense.
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) March 26, 2019
26. Indianapolis Colts: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
Previous: Kelvin Harmon, WR, North Carolina State
While the Colts have some other needs they need to address, they need help along the defensive line. The signing of Devin Funchess made it possible for the Colts to pass up on a receiver late in round one. Simmons is a top 10 talent in this year’s draft but a torn ACL along with off the field issues will cause him to fall, but most likely not out of the first round.
27. Oakland Raiders (via CHI): Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Previous: Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama
The Raiders have a lot of holes to fill in their roster if they want to be able to compete in the strong AFC West. Williams measured in at 6’2 while running a 4.37 in the 40. While his measurables, as well as his coverage skills, are unquestioned, teams are concerned about his ability, and willingness to make stops against the run. Selecting Greedy Williams with the 27th pick they would have a player who is big enough to lineup across from Keenan Allen twice per year, but also quick enough to stay with Tyreek Hill in the open field.
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) March 21, 2019
28. Los Angeles Chargers: Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State
Previous: Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State
The Chargers’ offensive line struggled at times against good defensive lines last season. With right tackle Joe Barksdale missing the majority of the 2018 season with injuries, they had to lean on 6th round draft pick Sam Tevi to anchor the right side of the offensive line. The addition of Risner could really help the Chargers keep 37 year-old Philip Rivers on his feet.
29. Kansas City Chiefs: Jaylon Ferguson, DE/OLB, Lousiana Tech
Previous: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama
With the losses of both edge rushers, Dee Ford and Justin Houston, the Chiefs need to regenerate a pass rush through the draft. Ferguson is a player who played at a smaller school, but he has all the tools to rank in the top 10 in sacks down the road. Ferguson is similar to Marcus Davenport, whom the Saints traded up to draft in the first round last year, they are both small school guys who are full of potential.
30. Green Bay Packers (via NO): Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
Previous: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
With the loss of Randall Cobb in free agency, the Packers receiver corps is looking very thin. After taking care of needs along the defensive line with the 12th pick, Marquise Brown would be a great fit for Green Bay’s offense. Brown, the younger cousin of Antonio Brown, has elite speed and is a threat to score from anywhere on the field.
31. Los Angeles Rams: Garrett Bradbury, C, NC State
Previous: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
Since John Sullivan’s contract option was declined, there is uncertainty for the Rams’ at the center position. Bradbury is very athletic for the position and incredibly technically sound. If the Rams select Bradbury with the 31st he could be the starter week 1 and for years to come.
32. New England Patriots: Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama
Previous: Christian Wilkins, DE, Clemson
With Patriots’ legendary tight end Rob Gronkowski announcing his retirement earlier this week, they have a huge spot to fill on their roster. Former Alabama tight end Irv Smith Jr. has the rare combination of athleticism and strength to make the departure of Gronkowski less of an issue. It is rare to find a tightend with Smith’s athletisim that is a willing blocker, but Smith excells at blockingin the run game.
Irv Smith, Jr’s block on Damien Harris’ touchdown run is violent pic.twitter.com/VHB6VmuZJy
— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) September 4, 2017