For all the die-hard football fans around the world, this Thursday night holds a very special place in our hearts. Finish up all of your mock drafts, look out for all the smokescreen rumors coming out in the next 24 hours, and get ready for a crazy draft night. Not many bought into the Baker Mayfield-to-Cleveland rumors that eventually became true. Expect the unexpected during the NFL Draft.
Who does the Arizona Cardinals select number one? Heisman QB Kyler Murray, or a defensive stud in Nick Bosa or Quinnen Williams? Who do the new Oakland GM Mike Mayock and coach Jon Gruden select with their three first round picks? Do they get themselves a new QB despite having Derek Carr? Who trades up or down to get their guy? Here’s some of my predictions for the 2019 NFL Draft.
1. Arizona Goes Best Player Available
The Kyler Murray going number one to Arizona rumors began immediately after the hiring of head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Kliff recruited Murray and loves his game. Despite trading up and selecting QB Josh Rosen 10th overall last year, there would be no surprise if the new HC gets his new QB. But I can’t see them giving up on Rosen so quickly after a season with no help around him. If there are no offers containing future early picks, I can’t see them throwing away Rosen.
Get the best player available. According to draft analyst Todd McShay, Quinnen Williams out of Alabama is preferred by ARI over Ohio State’s Nick Bosa. Getting either Williams or Bosa will set that defensive line for future success for many years. Kyler Murray is a sexy pick at the top. But the defensive prospects at the top are too good to pass up on.
2. Kyler Murray Causes Trouble in the Top-5
Hear me out. Arizona gives their trust in Josh Rosen by passing up on Murray. Does Oakland draft the Oklahoma QB with their fourth pick? I wouldn’t doubt it. Jon Gruden loves Kyler Murray, and it’s no secret. Jon has had no problem parting ways with former GM Reggie McKenzie’s guys since arriving back to Oakland. With this in mind, don’t be surprised if QB Derek Carr gets shipped out.
Kyler Murray working out for the #Raiders today.
— Raiders Beat (@RaidersBeat) March 31, 2019
Now say that doesn’t happen. Oakland gets the best player available on defense. But picking before them is the New York Jets, and they’re looking to trade down. There’s a QB-needy team outside the top-10, and that’s the Washington Redskins. They trade up with the New York Jets, mortgaging multiple draft picks, to get their guy in Kyler Murray. WAS has been vocal about their love for Ohio State’s QB Dwayne Haskins. But with Arizona passing up on Kyler, the ‘Skins gets the former Heisman winner.
3. Giants Find Their Eli-replacement
It’s been a very will-they, won’t-they situation between Eli Manning and the New York Giants the past couple of seasons. Last year, they passed on multiple QBs with their selection of Saquon Barkley second overall. Then-new GM Dave Gettleman cannot be scrutinized for that selection. Barkley is a stud of a running back, but now it’s time to get that quarterback. Eli Manning obviously isn’t the answer for New York long-term at 38-years old. Dave Gettleman has been adamant with the media that Eli is his guy, but didn’t he say that about former Giant Odell Beckham Jr. before trading him to the Browns?
Gettleman will not reach for talent with their sixth overall pick, and they won’t by selecting QB Dwayne Haskins. In my opinion, he’s the best QB in this draft, better than Murray and Drew Lock of Missouri.
A GIANT TARGET?
— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoSNY) April 24, 2019
There have been rumblings about a defensive selection with their first pick and then a QB with their second pick. But Duke’s QB Daniel Jones, to me, is not the answer for the Giants. In addition, I do not believe Drew Lock falls that far to 17. Sooner or later, Gettleman must get his future QB. Haskins goes sixth overall and becomes the next great Giants’ quarterback.
4. Final Mock First Round Draft
Obviously, I could be totally wrong tonight, and that’s the best thing about draft night. Creating mock drafts and seeing the final results is always fun. Drinking games with your buddies on draft night is even better. For instance, hear for buzzwords like ‘potential’, ‘versatile’, ‘football IQ’, etc., and take a sip. Overall, draft night opens up plenty of possibilities.
Here’s my final first round mock draft including a trade. Like I said before: expect the unexpected.
|1||ARI||DT Quinnen WIlliams||Alabama|
|2||SF||DE Nick Bosa||Ohio State|
|3||NYJ||OLB Josh Allen||Kentucky|
|4||OAK||DT Ed Oliver||Houston|
|5||WAS (via TB)||QB Kyler Murray||Oklahoma|
|6||NYG||QB Dwayne Haskins||Ohio State|
|7||JAX||T Jawaan Taylor||Florida|
|9||BUF||OL Jonah Williams||Alabama|
|10||DEN||QB Drew Lock||Missouri|
|11||CIN||ILB Devin White||LSU|
|12||GB||TE Noah Fant||Iowa|
|13||MIA||DT Christian Wilkins||Clemson|
|14||ATL||DL Rashan Gary||Michigan|
|15||TB (via WAS)||ILB Devin Bush||Michigan|
|16||CAR||EDGE Montez Sweat||Mississippi State|
|17||NYG||DE Clelin Ferrell||Clemson|
|18||MIN||OL Cody Ford||Oklahoma|
|19||TEN||WR N’Keal Harry||Arizona State|
|20||PIT||CB Byron Murphy||Washington|
|21||SEA||S Johnathan Abram||Mississippi State|
|22||BAL||WR D.K. Metcalf||Ole Miss|
|23||HOU||T Andre Dillard||Washington State|
|24||OAK||RB Josh Jacobs||Alabama|
|25||PHI||WR Marquise Brown||Oklahoma|
|26||IND||CB Deandre Baker||Georgia|
|27||OAK||CB Greedy Williams||LSU|
|28||LAC||DT Dexter Lawrence||Clemson|
|29||SEA||WR A.J. Brown||Ole Miss|
|30||GB||CB Lonnie Johnson||Kentucky|
|31||LAR||OL Garrett Bradbury||N.C. State|
|32||NE||S Darnell Savage||Maryland|