2019 NFL Draft First Round Review

The first round of the 2019 NFL Draft is in the books and boy it was an interesting mock draft that was hard for anybody to really predict. Whether it was surprising teams moving up or teams we thought would stay put it was unpredictable to say the least. Our 2019 NFL Draft First Round Review takes a look at each pick and how we grade it. Because it is so early and letter grades are arbitrary we list if we love the pick, hate the pick or somewhere in between.

2019 NFL Draft First Round Review

Arizona Cardinals:
Kyler Murray QB Oklahoma

Not a big surprise here as the Cardinals have been linked to Murray for quite a while. It will sting to have to give up on Josh Rosen after trading up to get him the year before, but if Murray hits nobody will remember the Rosen pick. The Cardinals went with an unconventional hire in Kliff Kingsbury and if they want that to be successful they need to give him the pieces to be successful. Murray fits with what the Cardinals want to do.

Pick Grade: I’m Ok With it

 San Francisco 49ers
: Nick Bosa DE Ohio State

Pick two wasn’t much of a surprise as the 49ers have been on Bosa for quite a while. Adding Bosa to go along with the recently signed Dee Ford gives the 49ers two edge rushers, something they haven’t had since Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks. Not a whole lot to say here as this was expected.

Pick Grade: Love It

 New York Jets
: Quinnen Williams DT Alabama

With all the rumors of the Jets loving Ed Oliver they ended up passing on him to take the best defensive tackle in this class and arguably the best player in the draft. Williams is a perfect fit for the Jets and their defense. Regardless of whether they play a 3-4 or 4-3 he’ll line up shading the guard and give them a dominant presence inside next to another form top 10 defensive tackle in Leonard Williams.

Pick Grade: Love It

Oakland Raiders:
Clelin Ferrell DE Clemson

There was some talk that the Raiders would shock the world with this pick which prompted some talk of Ed Oliver and even some DK Metcalf. But nobody and I mean nobody saw them taking Ferrell. I mean Ferrell would have been a good pick at 24 or 27. But here? I do get it, Mayock talked about wanting good character guys who are tough and that fits exactly what Ferrell is and he fits their 4-3 better than what Josh Allen would have. Good fit, but terrible value.

Pick Grade: Dislike It

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Devin White LB LSU

No surprise here for this pick as the Bucs were linked to Devin White for what seems like months. With Kwon Alexander gone in free agency the Bucs needed to add somebody at middle linebacker who could do it all. White fits that mold as he is a sideline to sideline athlete who can drop into coverage and blitz. New defensive coordinator Todd Bowles doesn’t uses traditional edge rushers and instead wants his linebackers to do some blitzing. And let’s not forget that the Bucs loved White’s leadership skills. While an off the ball linebacker at five with some other guys available isn’t sexy it fills a big need that the Bucs wanted to fill.

Pick Grade: It’s Ok

 New York Giants:
Daniel Jones QB Duke

We all had heard the rumors of Daniel Jones going to the Giants with the 6th pick, but did anybody really believe it? Jones has some good traits and could be a NFL starter, but is he really worth the 6th overall pick? Haskins is a much better prospect who has a higher ceiling and could realistically be a franchsie quarterback. New York had to really like Jones and feel that he wasn’t going to be available with the 17th pick and just decided to pull the trigger.

Pick Grade: Hate It.

 Jacksonville Jaguars:
Josh Allen OLB Kentucky

Jacksonville was able to sit back and end up letting one of the top prospects in the draft just fall right into their lap. Sure they didn’t need Josh Allen and maybe taking Jonah Williams or TJ Hockenson would have filled a bigger need, but it’s hard to argue with taking the best available player. Allen gives the Jaguars another edge pass rusher that can take some of the pressure off of Yannick Ngakoue.

Pick Grade: Love It

 Detroit Lions:
TJ Hockenson TE Iowa

This may not be a sexy pick but the Lions took the highest rated offensive weapon in the draft to fill a hole that has been empty for quite a while. Hockenson helps this team out in a couple of different ways. Detroit has wanted to improve their rushing attack for years and Hockenson can give them a stout blocker to seal off the edge and help Kerryon Johnson pick up more years. But Hockeson is also a weapon out in the passing game showing the ability to get separation both on short and deep routes. As this passing attack continues to evolve Hockenson should be able to control the middle of the field.

Pick Grade: Like It

 Buffalo Bills:
Ed Oliver DT Houston

Buffalo has plenty of stout run defenders at defensive tackle but they lack the athletic penetrater that Sean McDermott had in Kawann Short while with the Panthers. Ed Oliver was once considered to be a top 3 prospect but teams were scared off because of his size. Their loss is the Bills gain as they get a powerful defensive tackle that runs and moves like a safety. Having him next to Harrison Phillips and Star Lotueleli will be very difficult to double team him. I know Tom Brady didn’t like this pick.

Pick Grade: Love It

 Pittsburgh Steelers:
Devin Bush LB Michigan

I was very surprised when the Steelers moved up with the Broncos jumping 10 spots. But when you think about it, they desperately needed help at linebacker and after the two Devin’s this class has a huge drop off at linebacker. Pittsburgh identified a huge need and went hard after a player that fits perfectly into their scheme. Bush’s ability to go sideline to sideline along with his toughness and tackling ability will add a dimension to this defense that they haven’t had in a while.

Pick Grade: Love It

 Cincinnati Bengals:
Jonah Williams OT Alabama

Taking a offensive lineman isn’t a surprise as the Bengals need help at both right guard and tackle. I think Jawaan Taylor would have been a better fit because of the nastiness he plays with, but it’s hard to hate the Bengals getting my top rated offensive lineman. Cincinnati loved that Williams has some position flexibility in that he could realistically play all five line spots. Williams likely gets first crack at right tackle but he could be a Pro Bowler at any position. Great pick here.

Pick Grade: Love It

 Green Bay Packers:
Rashan Gary DE Michigan

I’m not too surprised that the Packers went pass rusher here because you can never have enough pass rushers, but them taking Gary was a bit of a surprise. Gary was also announced as an outside linebacker which could tip their hat to where they think he fits within their defense. Now he isn’t going to be asked to stand up and rush the passer but maybe the Packers will utilize him more outside to take advantage of speed and athletic ability. Gary was criticized for his lack of production, but he was often lined up as the strongside defensive end and saw plenty of double teams. That isn’t going to happen in the NFL. His best days are ahead of him.

Pick Grade: I’m Good with it

 Miami Dolphins:
Christian Wilkins DT Clemson

Miami never did anything to replace Ndamukong Suh and Jordan Phillips when they moved on leaving only late round picks to struggle. The Dolphins did a lot here to fix the problem adding the versatile Wilkins. New head coach Brian Flores comes from New England where they love players that can fill different roles. Whether you need him to be a two gap run defender one game or a one gap penetrater the next Wilkins can fill a variety of different roles and do it well.

Pick Grade: Love It

 Atlanta Falcons:
Chris Lindstrom G Boston College

It was clear that the Falcons wanted to improve the right side of their offensive line and they took the first step here with Chris Lindstrom. Whenever you watch him on tape the first thing you notice is that he is very explosive moving lateral or attacking at the defensive lineman. Lindstrom fits in well in the Falcons zone blocking scheme and could also be used to pull outside or inside to help spring Devonta Freeman. Fourteen may have been a bit rich for Lindstrom, but he was clearly one of the top interior lineman in a top heavy group, so it’s hard to blame them.

Pick Grade: Like It

Washington Redskins:
Dwayne Haskins QB Ohio State

After seeing the Giants reach big time for Daniel Jones with the 6th pick the Redskins fans have to be excited that they were able sit at fifteen and have Dwayne Haskins fall right into their lap. Here they get the top rated quarterback in our rankings and a player that has all the tools to be a franchise quarterback. Heck Washington has the offensive line that can allow Haskins to sit in the pocket and if they’re able to add a weapon at receiver in round two or three, this offense could really break out next year.

Pick Grade: Love It

Carolina Panthers:
Brian Burns DE Florida State

Without a left tackle on their roster it was surprising to see them pass up on Andre Dillard, but the Panthers also desperately needed help rushing the passer and they have shown a lot of interest in Brian Burns during the predraft process. Burns is a true speed rusher who wins by beating tackles to the edge and then bending the corner. If Burns can add some strength and quality weight he has the potential to develop into a Pro Bowl caliber defensive end. But at a minimum he may be a good pass rush specialist.

Pick Grade: Like It

 New York Giants: 
Dexter Lawrence DT Clemson

After reaching for Daniel Jones at six the Giants are right back at it again taking a two down run stuffer in the top twenty. I get that a lot of people really like Dexter Lawrence and that he has been a good player at Clemson since his true freshman year, but is a role player really worth the 17th overall pick? He’s good against the run and can control two gaps, but he doesn’t offer much as a pass rusher and I’m not sure he’ll develop as one either.

Pick Grade: Don’t Like It

Minnesota Vikings:
Garrett Bradbury C North Carolina State

Offensive line was clearly a need for the Vikings and they were able to get our top rated interior offensive lineman. Bradbury is an elite athlete for the center position which help him reach defenders to both sides. In the Vikings new zone blocking scheme he’ll be a perfect fit and allow Pat Elflein to move back to guard where he could be better suited. Sure taking a left tackle like Andre Dillard may be been what I would have done, but it’s really hard to dislike this pick because Bradbury fits so well.

Pick Grade: Like It

Tennessee Titans: Jeffery Simmons DT Mississippi State

This is quite the interesting pick for the Titans because they are fighting to make the playoffs in a tough division and they take a player who may not be able to play his rookie season. Jeffery Simmons is a top five rated player but he fell to the 19th pick because of an ugly off the field incident and a torn ACL during his draft prep. If Simmons is able to get back to 100% he could give the Titans another dynamic interior player, but history does not bode well for him.

Pick Grade: Neutral

 Denver Broncos:
Noah Fant TE Iowa

If the Broncos would have stayed at ten and taken Noah Fant I highly doubt anybody would have batted an eye and probably praised the Broncos for getting a dynamic tight end to help Joe Flacco. But the Broncos were able to drop ten spots and add picks and still get a top 10 player in our books. Tremendous value for Denver but they also get a player that fits into their offense and could help Flacco.

Pick Grade: Love It

 Green Bay Packers:
Darnell Savage S Maryland

It is definitely a different regime in Green Bay when they are moving up in the draft to get players. Darnell Savage has been a fast riser this offseason as his Combine performance really showcased the explosiveness he showed on the field. Green Bay continues to remake their secondary after drafting cornerbacks the past couple years and bringing in Adrian Amos this offseason. Savage should slide into the strong safety position where he can react to plays in front of him and fly to the ball. While I like Savage as a prospect and a fit here, I’m not sure he’s the top safety.

Pick Grade: I’m Ok with it

 Philadelphia Eagles:
Andre Dillard OT Washington State

Andre Dillard is one of my favorite prospects in this class so I was a bit surprised that he fell all the way to the twenty second pick in the draft. However there are some concerns about his arm length and how he factors into the run game. That being said he is a tremendous value and fit for the Eagles who have needed help at the tackle position. Don’t be surprised to see Jason Peters become a cap casualty.

Pick Grade: Love It

Houston Texans: Tytus Howard OT Alabama State

WHAT? Now I like Tytus Howard quite a bit. He’s very athletic tackle who was a high school quarterback who was recruited to Alabama State as a tight end. On tape he showed good lateral agility and the ability to get depth and played well against Auburn. But for him to go in the first round is surprising to say the least. I don’t really have that big of a problem with the pick if a guy like Jawaan Taylor was already gone, but Taylor is a top 10 player in this class for me.

Pick Grade: Don’t Hate It

Oakland Raiders:
Josh Jacobs RB Alabama

This was a slam dunk pick for the Raiders as Jacobs is a good value here in the twenties and they need a running back to replace Marshawn Lynch who retired. The clear cut number one running back in this class Jacobs fits this new age offensive attacks. He is a tough runner who can make defenders miss in space is also good in the passing game showing the ability to run routes and make catches outside his frame.

Pick Grade: Like It

 Baltimore Ravens:
Marquise Brown WR Oklahoma 

While I like Marquise Brown, I’m not really loving his fit here with the Ravens. Sure Brown has elite speed and he’ll be able to take advantage of Lamar Jackson’s strong arm. However Jackson is much more accurate throwing the ball over the middle than he is to the sideline. Plus Brown is a smaller target and Jackson isn’t overly accurate. Now if the Ravens add another receiver on day two that ‘s bigger and then maybe an interior lineman than I’ll be more open to this pick. I like the player and value, but not understanding the scheme fit.

Pick Grade: It’s Ok

Washington Redskins:
Montez Sweat DE Mississippi State

Concerns about his heart condition had to be the reason that Sweat fell out of the top 10 discussion and to the bottom of the first round. But it sounds like there might have been a misdiagnoses of the condition but we also did see Sweat cleared to compete at the combine. If he is ok the Redskins get a potential steal here adding a freak height, weight, speed athlete who has production in the toughest conference of college football.

Pick Grade: Love It

Oakland Raiders: Johnathan Abram S Mississippi State

Oakland clearly went into this draft wanting to add players who are tough, physical and have high character. That was the case with Ferrell and Jacobs and reigns true with Abram. Current strong safety Karl Joseph was on the trade block last year and could be on his way out leaving the door open for Abram to take control. While I don’t dislike Abram as a prospect I’m not a big fan of his value. Hes good at coming forward but I have questions about his coverage ability. Now that will be minimized in the Raiders Cover 2 defense, but if I’m taking a safety in the first round in today’s NFL, I want him to cover.

Pick Grade: Don’t Like It

Los Angeles Chargers:
Jerry Tillery DT Notre Dame

The Chargers have a lot of very good pieces to their defense but they got gashed in the playoffs by the run because they didn’t have anybody up the middle. Los Angeles didn’t want that to happen as they got the top second tier defensive tackles. Tillery thrived this past season defeating guards with his hand usage and athletic ability. With so many teams having to focus on Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram it should allow Tillery to work one on one inside and give the Chargers some interior pressure.

Pick Grade: Like It

 Seattle Seahawks: LJ Collier DE TCU

A week ago the Seahawks were going to come into the draft with only four total draft picks but after the Frank Clark trade and a few trades that allowed them to move around and add more picks. And when they have two picks in the twenties, moving down isn’t as big of a deal as they are basically picking second round players it was a good move. But then when they finally make a pick they basically drafted Frank Clark’s replacement. LJ Collier isn’t a bad prospect but I doubt he was the 29th best prospects in this draft. He can flash here and there but he is far to inconsistent. Another swing and miss here for Seattle.

Pick Grade: Don’t Like It

 New York Giants:
Deandre Baker CB Georgia

At first it looked as if the Giants were looking to move up to possibility get Jawaan Taylor but instead they take the first cornerback in the draft in Deandre Baker. Cornerback was a big need for the Giants who only had Janoris Jenkins and last year’s supplemental pick Sam Beal who missed the entire 2018 season. The Giants identified Baker as their top guy and moved up to get him. I’m not a huge fan of Baker because he isn’t a great athlete and long speed may be an issue. But he does play the ball well. I just thought there were better propspects and cornerbacks available.

Pick Grade: Don’t Like it

 Atlanta Falcons:
Kaleb McGary OT Washington

After taking Chris Lindstrom with the fourteenth pick the Falcons continued to build up the right side of their offensive line by taking McGary. Now McGary is a solid prospect and can be a quality starter in the league you have to wonder why he was taken over Jawaan Taylor. McGary isn’t the athlete that Taylor is and his short arms can cause him issues. That being said McGary is a talented blocker who once he gets his hands on you he can control and move you around.

Pick Grade: Ok With It

New England Patriots: N’Keal Harry WR Arizona State

It was clear that the Patriots were going to have to replace Gronk’s ability to win contested catches. But most of use assumed that would come from the tight end position. And while the Patriots will still likely draft a tight end or two, they decided to go with Harry to fill that role. Harry isn’t an elite route runner but he understands how to use leverage and can high point the ball as good as anybody in this draft. Look for the Patriots to use him both outside and in the slot and give Brady somebody he can throw the ball up to.

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