With the 2019 NFL draft a little more than a week away, the time is right to take another crack at projecting all 32 first-round picks. Here’s a look at how things could shake out, based on team needs and buzz from around the league on which players are favored by each team.
1. Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
It’s still not out of the question for the Cardinals to pass on Murray and draft Nick Bosa, but pairing Murray with head coach Kliff Kingsbury makes sense, particularly if the Cardinals can get a second-rounder for incumbent quarterback Josh Rosen.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
The defense needs a pass-rushing end more than it does another defensive tackle. The combination of Bosa and Dee Ford, acquired from the Chiefs, would provide a major upgrade for the defense.
3. New York Jets: Josh Allen, DE/OLB, Kentucky
With the Jets staying in a 3-4 defense, Allen is a great fit at outside linebacker. The Jets have been trying to get faster on defense the past few years, and Allen has great speed. Don’t forget, though, the Jets would like to trade down and add picks after giving away several last year in the move to draft Sam Darnold.
4. Oakland Raiders: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
Even though the Raiders might be trying to trade up for Murray, they are in a great position if they just sit at the No. 4 spot. They can’t lose if Williams, Bosa or Allen falls to them. Williams would give them a very strong inside pass rusher.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Devin White, LB, LSU
White continues to be one of the most sought-after players in this draft class. New defensive coordinator Todd Bowles would put him in the middle of his 3-4 defense at inside linebacker.
6. New York Giants: Montez Sweat, DE/OLB, Mississippi State
With the opportunity to draft a quarterback with the No. 17 pick, or trade for Arizona’s Rosen, General Manager Dave Gettleman can draft the best defensive player available here. In this case, that’s Sweat, an athletic and productive edge rusher.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
There’s a debate as to whether Taylor or Jonah Williams will be the first offensive lineman drafted. Taylor gets the nod here as an ideal fit for Jacksonville’s offense.
8. Detroit Lions: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
General Manager Bob Quinn could take an edge rusher here, or tight end T.J. Hockenson, or White if he were to fall this far. But because they signed Trey Flowers as an edge rusher in free agency, picking Oliver as an interior disrupter would further strengthen the defensive line.
9. Buffalo Bills: Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan
It’s not out of the question that the Bills would draft Jonah Williams here, even after they made six offensive line additions in free agency. But it would be hard for the Bills to not take a pass rusher as good as Gary.
10. Denver Broncos: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
It’s tempting to put Drew Lock here, but it isn’t a sure thing that Denver decision-maker John Elway will take a quarterback. Hockenson would help this offense.
11. Cincinnati Bengals: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
The perfect scenario would be if White dropped here, but if not the Bengals can go with Bush as the athletic inside linebacker to fortify this defense. Cincinnati could be tempted by one of the first-round cornerbacks here.
12. Green Bay Packers: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
The Packers could go a number of ways with this pick, but I’m giving them Wilkins, a disruptive interior lineman, because they haven’t re-signed Muhammad Wilkerson and might not re-sign Mike Daniels after this season.
13. Miami Dolphins: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Ideally, the Dolphins would like a position player, but it’s going to be hard to not take the second-best quarterback in this draft at this spot. In Miami’s opinion, that could be Haskins, Lock or Daniel Jones.
14. Atlanta Falcons: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
The Falcons made an interesting signing Friday when they reached a one-year deal for Tyeler Davison, giving them a possible starter at defensive tackle. That move gives them the luxury of taking the top cornerback in the draft in Williams.
15. Washington Redskins: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
If Lock or Haskins fall to this point, it could be difficult for Washington not to take one of them. The possibility remains, however, that the Redskins could draft a position player here and trade their second-round pick to the Cardinals for Rosen.
16. Carolina Panthers: Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama
The Panthers would be sitting pretty if the draft goes this way. They would be in a good spot to take a pass-rusher, but Williams is a really good value here.
17. New York Giants: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
The David Cutcliffe connection makes this work. The Duke coach is tight with the Manning family and coached Jones into being a first-round quarterback. If Jones isn’t available, expect the Giants to try to trade for Rosen as the eventual successor to Eli Manning.
18. Minnesota Vikings: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
The Vikings have to continue the rebuilding of their offensive line, and they catch a break in this scenario with Dillard falling to them. He’s one of the best pass-blockers in the draft.
19. Tennessee Titans: Clelin Ferrell, DE/OLB, Clemson
Brian Orapko retired, creating the need for an edge rusher. The Titans will have to decide if they prefer Ferrell over Brian Burns.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
The ideal selection would be Bush at inside linebacker. But if Bush is off the board, as in this scenario, the next option would be to take a cornerback. They signed Steven Nelson, but Joe Haden is getting older. Murphy could be groomed as a starter for the future.
21. Seattle Seahawks: Brian Burns, DE/OLB, Florida State
With only four draft choices, the Seahawks are expected to trade down a couple of times and add picks. But if they stayed put at No. 21, a pass-rusher such as Burns would be very tempting.
22. Baltimore Ravens: Garrett Bradbury, C, North Carolina State
Finding the right wide receiver for the Lamar Jackson offense could be tricky, because any wideout will need to have good run-blocking ability. Bradberry’s stock has been rising over the past few months, and he would help to solidify the offensive line and running game.
23. Houston Texans: Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma
The Texans have to get two offensive linemen in this draft. They can grab Ford here and find the next blocker with one of their two second-round picks.
24. Oakland Raiders: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
Coach Jon Gruden and GM Mike Mayock could be tempted by tight end Noah Fant, but there is too much of a need at cornerback to pass up Baker here.
25. Philadelphia Eagles: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
The Eagles’ biggest need is at cornerback, but with Greedy Williams, Murphy and Baker all gone in this scenario, Harry is a nice luxury pick. One of the players he is compared to is the Eagles’ Alshon Jeffery, and he could see some early snaps out of the slot for Philadelphia.
26. Indianapolis Colts: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
GM Chris Ballard is building a special team in Indianapolis through several solid selections in the draft. Lawrence would fit that mold, as a big, strong inside presence for the defense.
27. Oakland Raiders: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
This could a little bit of a surprise, given the Raiders’ many needs. But Jacobs is the best running back in the draft, and after selecting two defensive players, they could have the luxury of selecting a difference-maker on offense.
28. Los Angeles Chargers: Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame
The loss of Corey Liuget created the need for an inside defensive lineman. Tillery fits the bill.
29. Kansas City Chiefs: Jachai Polite, DE, Florida
The Chiefs have to add talent on defense. If a top cornerback doesn’t fall to them, they will look for an edge rusher to make up for the loss of Justin Houston and Ford. Polite would be a good fit here.
30. Green Bay Packers: Greg Little, OT, Mississippi
Bryan Bulaga is getting older, and the Packers need a long-term replacement for him at right tackle. Little could develop into that, while providing immediate depth along the offensive line.
31. Los Angeles Rams: Jonathan Abram, S, Mississippi State
After losing Lamarcus Joyner in free agency, the Rams could use another safety to pair with veteran pickup Eric Weddle. Delaware’s Nasir Adderley could also be under consideration here.
32. New England Patriots: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
It may be unlikely that Fant falls all the way to the bottom of the first round, but he’d be a great fit for a Patriots team that lost Rob Gronkowski to retirement this offseason.
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