The biggest off-season event in the NFL is the NFL Draft, and there’s a lot of speculation going on who will end up being drafted first to the Arizona Cardinals. This is a chance for the below average teams to take use of this advantage and really step up for next year, and it will definitely be interesting to see how teams take their approach for this draft.
1. Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
If these rumors are true, then we can assume that Kyler Murray will become an Arizona Cardinal. Although these rumors are indicating that Murray will become a Cardinal, Arizona did meet with Nick Bosa recently, so there may be a chance that they may end up changing their minds in order to select Bosa. Murray definitely has a lot of potential, as he is an electric athlete with incredible speed and a great arm.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Despite the heavy investment in the defensive line in San Francisco, Nick Bosa will be the right choice for them in this situation. The best player in the draft will fall into the hands of the 49ers, and there will be no regret. Nick Bosa’s combination of speed and strength reminds us of his brother, Chargers Pro Bowler Joey Bosa. Nick would also be a great 1-2 pass-rush punch with Dee Ford.
3. New York Jets: Josh Allen, DE/OLB, Kentucky
The Jets clearly wanted to upgrade their edge rusher spot, as they nearly signed Anthony Barr during free agency. New York has passed on quality players at this position in the past, and it’s time for the Jets to invest in Allen. Allen is not a Bosa-like player just yet, however, he does have great speed around the edge. Although he’s still developing his pass-rush moves, Allen is clearly the right choice for the Jets moving forward.
4. Oakland Raiders: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
The Raiders are changing up their team as they made many transactions during free agency this year. They still have to address a quality pass-rush this draft and Qunninen Williams fulfills their needs. Williams dominated last year against top offensive linemen and has the power to impact both the run and pass. The Raiders are unpredictable, and none of us are completely sure of what they’ll do, but if they’re smart, they’ll select Williams.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Devin White, LB, LSU
For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, they can use someone like Devin White as he can be the main anchor for this defense. White has the ability to shoot gaps as he looks to make plays at the backfield and can also be aggressive and purposeful in tugging the ball lose from running backs. White’s work ethic, competitiveness, and rare play speed are things that cannot be taught, as this should allow White to jump right into the starting-role from day one to make a huge contribution to the Buccaneers.
6. New York Giants: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
Many are speculating that the Giants will select Dwayne Haskins, however, it’s in the Giants’ best interest to improve their offensive line. Jawaan Taylor offers agility, smarts and technique to handle most athletic edge-rushers. Taylor has been rising up recently, and it’s not a coincidence. He can thrive better than anyone else in this class on the left side, and it’ll be essential for the Giants to select Taylor in order to improve the offensive line.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Rashan Gary, DT/DE, Michigan
Rashan Gary has excellent size and speed and can line up anywhere on the defensive line as he provides flexibility to the Jaguars. Gary can fit in well with the Jaguars’ scheme, as he has the ability to use his hands, power and big frame to occupy run-blockers. He also has some intriguing inside pass-rush ability. In all reality, Gary can be selected in the top 5 of this years draft, so in a sense, this is considered a “steal” for the Jacksonville.
8. Detroit Lions: Montez Sweat, DE/OLB, Mississippi State
Montez Sweat crushed his Combine workouts, running the 40-yard in 4.41 seconds and recording a vertical of 36 inches, which is ridiculous, considering that he’s 6’6 and 260 pounds. He translates that into relentless pursuit of the passer. There are many mock drafts that project Sweat going later in the first round, but the way he performed in the Combine, and the amount of potential he has, there is no way that he can be passed up from Tampa Bay’s perspective.
9. Buffalo Bills: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
The Bills got more receiving help for Josh Allen in free agency with John Brown, Cole Beasley, and Tyler Kroft to add to Zay Jones and Robert Foster. Jonah Williams is a strong pass protector, who is also big enough to pave the way in the running game. Despite him being 6’4 and 302 pounds, he also has great athleticism as he’s able to play on either side or inside the guard. Buffalo would be completing a line overhaul that would include Williams, Mitch Morse, Spencer Long and Ty Nsheke.
10. Denver Broncos: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
This pick would represent the future for the Denver Broncos. Despite acquiring Joe Flacco over free agency, the Broncos need to move forward with a young quarterback. For next year, Flacco would most likely be the starter, but that would be a good thing for Denver. Dwayne Haskins would need a year to hone his pocket presence skills and fine tune his downfield accuracy. He’s a strong packet passer, and has the right dose of athleticism. That checks the right boxes for Elway.
11. Cincinnati Bengals: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
New Bengals head coach Zach Taylor came from Los Angeles, where he spent a year with Jared Goff, a strong-armed pocket passer. As for Drew Lock, he has a big arm to go with his ideal size at 6’4 and 228 pounds. Lock wouldn’t be rushed onto the field right away, as they still have Andy Dalton, however, he could very well be the future of Cincinnati. Lock also has the fearlessness and elusiveness that every NFL team would like in a downfield passer.
12. Green Bay Packers: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
Over free agency, the Packers addressed their pass-rush in a big way by signing Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith. That gives them the ability to draft someone who can give Aaron Rodgers more help on the offensive end. Particularly in the tight end position, where Jimmy Graham struggled last season. Hockenson is a very well-rounded tight end who can run, catch and block. With Graham and Hockenson, it would really open things up for Davante Adams on the outside.
13. Miami Dolphins: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
After Cameron Wake decided to leave the Dolphins for the Tennessee Titans during the off-season, Miami needs fill in that void. They need a versatile cornerstone for Brian Flores’ defense and Clelin Ferrell is the perfect player for them. Ferrell has great size, length, and athleticism that would play well under the defensive scheme. Since he’s 6’4 and 264 pounds, it makes him a good outside run-stopper to add his explosiveness as a pass-rusher.
14. Atlanta Falcons: Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State
One of the biggest holes for the Atlanta Falcons is at right tackle. With Dalton Risner, he can step into that spot right away and lock it down from day one. Risner is a technically sound lineman with a mean streak to pair with his physicality. He is being undersold as a pass blocker, but there is no doubt that he will be a huge asset for the running game. This is the one player the Falcons need to draft, as this will help their team out tremendously.
15. Washington Redskins: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
The Washington Redskins have a crowded quarterback but beyond the injured Alex Smith, there is no other quarterback that can answer the call for the future. Despite the quarterback situation, Jones would have a chance at some point during his rookie year to play due to the fact that he’d be a nice fit with Jay Gruden’s West Coast offense. Jones is a quarterback that’s under the radar at the moment, but don’t let that fool you. He definitely has the potential to do great things in this league.
16. Carolina Panthers: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
Andre Dillard is someone who can just come in and contribute right away. He’s ready to come in as a pass protector and would be a great investment for the Carolina Panthers. His athleticism was on full display during the Combine, and it’s safe to say that he is the smoothest pass protector in this class. With the edge-rushers not lining up for the Panthers in this slot, they can go for someone that can keep away players from Cam Newton and his recovering shoulder.
17. New York Giants: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
Even with Alec Ogletree, the Giants could use another athletic linebacker. Bush would add more depth and infuse the second level of New York’s defense with tremendous speed. He’s only 5’11, but there’s no doubt that he’s a tough linebacker with great speed and instincts. Bush is often compared to Ryan Shazier due to their builds, and there is potential that Bush could have a similar impact like Shazier has had in Pittsburgh.
18. Minnesota Vikings: Garrett Bradbury, C, NC State
The Minnesota Vikings immensely struggled and didn’t get much from the offensive line last year. Pick any offensive line position, and that’s what the Vikings can target for this draft. Garrett Bradbury is sold in both pass protection and as a run-blocker, and can slot in either position right away. He also has elite movement skills at the center position and can help this Vikings team out in a big way.
19. Tennessee Titans: Christian Wilkins, DT/DE, Clemson
Christian Wilkins can line up just about anywhere and can help this Titans team out from day one. Wilkins is equally effective stopping the run outside and getting to the quarterback inside as well. He also has the size and athleticism to be an excellent upfield-attacking lineman in any front. Standing at 6’3 while weighing at 315 pounds, he lived up to his expectations during the Combine and should be a good selection for Tennessee.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
Greedy Williams has excellent ball skills and technique in both man and zone defense, and could become a No.1 cornerback in short order. GM Kevin Colbert would not waste time on this pick if Williams was still available at this point in the draft, as Pittsburgh would be filling in a huge hole. Williams is a long, lean corner who has rare speed, quickness, and agility for his size. He isn’t the most physical player, however, he uses his length at the line of scrimmage to break up routes.
21. Kansas City Chiefs: Brian Burns, DE/OLB, Florida State
Originally, the Seattle Seahawks own the No.21 pick, but in this situation, Seattle will most likely trade down for an extra pick or so. For the Kansas City Chiefs, their Super Bowl window is wide open, and all they need is some more talent on the edge ever since Dee Ford and Justin Houston departed during the off-season. With Brian Burns, the Chiefs would be getting a pass rusher with All-Pro talent.
22. Baltimore Ravens: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
As for the Baltimore Ravens, their identity is to run the football, and to do to it effectively. Despite having a run-heavy offense, the Ravens could use a talented receiver to remain a flexible offense. Utilizing play-action play-calls would be tremendous for this offensive unit, and this would provide Lamar Jackson with a receiver good enough for him to rely on. This is definitely the move to make for the Ravens moving forward.
23. Houston Texans: Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington
One of the biggest needs for the Houston Texans is to find a player to help protect Deshaun Watson. As for Kaleb McGary, he comes without technical flaws and contribute to the Texans from day one. McGary has the size, length, power, and athleticism to be a franchise tackle and a Pro-Bowler. If McGary is available at this point of the draft on draft day, the Texans need to select him in order to help Watson more on the offensive end.
24. Oakland Raiders: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
For the Oakland Raiders, they bolstered their offense by acquiring Antonio Brown over the off-season. Playing Brown as a big slot receiver between Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams will give the Raiders a formidable pass-catching trio for the foreseeable future. This is the type of offensive firepower that Derek Carr could play great off of, and could somewhat resurrect how he played in the 2016 campaign.
25. Philadelphia Eagles: Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State
For the Philadelphia Eagles, their best bet would to draft a safety. Johnathan Abram is a tone-setter at the safety position and has some linebacker to his game. It’s definitely possible that he can blossom into a superstar, especially from the fact that he has the ability to learn from Malcolm Jenkins for a year or so. The Eagles are a stacked team, and by drafting Abram, who has superstar potential, would be great for the organization moving forward.
26. Indianapolis Colts: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
After building outward from the offensive line last year, GM Chris Ballard could follow the same approach on defense this year. The Indianapolis Colts can think about the best player available here to add in-depth to their defensive front under Matt Eberflus. Dexter Lawrence is a space-eater as he stands at 6’4 while weighing at 342 pounds, making him an ideal run-stuffer in the heart of any defense.
27. Oakland Raiders: Justin Layne, CB, Michigan State
After selecting an offensive player in N’Keal Henry, the Raiders will be looking forward to adding more depth on the defensive end. That includes acquiring cornerback Justin Layne. Standing at 6’3 while weighing at 183 pounds, Layne is a long, athletic and feisty cornerback, as he could help form a dangerous tandem with the 2017 first-round pick Gareon Conley. Going up against Patrick Mahomes and Philip Rivers twice a year, this would probably be the right choice for Oakland.
28. Los Angeles Chargers: Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame
At 6’6, 295 pounds, Jerry Tillery proved to be a beast as a three-technique in college. He also backed that up with his stellar performance at the Combine. For the Los Angeles Chargers, selecting Tillery would be a smart acquisition for them because he’s someone who can just come in from day one and contribute. Tillery is a powerful, ball-rushing three-technique who had seven sacks n 2018, and could fit in well with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram.
29. Seattle Seahawks: Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware
Originally, the Kansas City Chiefs own the 29th overall pick, but it’s very possible that the Seattle Seahawks trade down like always to maximize their amount of picks. This is an ideal scenario for the Seahawks, who would trade down to add extra picks while acquiring a quality player in Nasir Adderley. Adderley is a good playmaker for the secondary, and although he isn’t Earl Thomas, Adderley’s athleticism and versatility gives him a lot of upside.
30. Green Bay Packers: Cody Ford, G, Oklahoma
There is no doubt that the Green Bay Packers’ offensive line needs to improve. As for Cody Ford, he is a raw lineman better suited for guard who can be a big asset in run blocking before rebounding into a physical pass protector. Ford is a flexible player for any team as he can provide toughness who can fit well at the tackle position or inside the guard. Regardless, this would be a smart selection for the Packers as Aaron Rodgers needs more protection from his offensive line.
31. Los Angeles Rams: Jaylon Ferguson, OLB, Louisiana Tech
For Jaylon Ferguson, Wade Phillips should be able to see some Von Miller in him. Ferguson is someone who has explosive pass-rush moves and has been productive in that area. He will be able to stay on the field in the NFL as a big, natural run-stopper on the edge. Ferguson has many strengths that includes him having a natural feel as a pass-rusher and has some strength to work off the blocks. This is definitely someone the Rams should target, should he be available at No. 31.
32. New England Patriots: Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama
Rob Gronkowski’s retirement leaves a glaring hole at the tight end position for the New England Patriots, and drafting Irv Smith Jr. would be the right choice for them. Smith Jr. is the clear-cut third best tight end in this draft, as he has the ability to block and receive efficiently. Despite his 6’2, 242 pound frame, Smith Jr. has shown that he can run vertical routes at a consistent rate. For the Patriots, this would be the guy to pick to help fill in the gaps on the offensive end.