Grades for each first round pick in the 2019 NFL draft

  1. Arizona Cardinals– QB Kyler Murray. F. They already have Josh Rosen. They have huge holes in the interior of their offensive line. Murray isn’t even the best QB in the draft, Taylor Cornelius is (see my big board). They used a bunch of picks to get Rosen last year and they’ll trade him for 30c on the dollar a year later. What a waste.
  2. San Francisco 49ers – DE Nick Bosa. F. They do need help on the opposite edge to Dee Ford but Bosa isn’t even in my top 5 of edge protectors, and if the Niners want to best utilise their former #3 pick Solomon Thomas, they’d make him a 3 gap player and thus have a 5 or 7 tech player opposite Ford who can cover a bit, unlike Bosa.
  3. New York Jets – DT Quinnen Williams. F. Williams will be a Pro-Bowler but the Jets are already stacked at defensive tackle – they have Leonard Williams, Nate Shepherd, Henry Anderson and Steve McClendon there already, two of whom they just signed to new contracts. They need starting a starting quality center and tackle, cornerback help, and QB help considering my extremely low grade on Sam Darnold. Stacking up at one position is not the answer to these needs.
  4. Oakland Raiders – DE Clelin Ferrell. F. I have a similar grade on Ferrell to Bosa – a starting level player but nowhere near the difference maker you want as a top 5 pick. The Raiders need some more offensive line help having lost Donald Penn and Kelechi Osemele, need more secondary help, and more impact players in the front seven. With them loaded at defensive tackle I would’ve thought they’d run a 3-4 D, where Arden Key is best used, so getting Ferrell who has no proven coverage ability doesn’t make sense there.
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – ILB Devin White. F. White is a great athlete, but lacks in tackling technique and the quick diagnosis of plays. He’s a borderline starter level player, but again, you need a Hall-of-Fame level player at this spot.
  6. New York Giants – QB Daniel Jones. C. Jones is my QB2 alongside Kyler Murray, and the Giants need not only an upgrade on Eli in the short term, but a long term answer. So that’s why this gets a C grade.
  7. Jacksonville Jaguars – SS Josh Allen. F. Yep, I have Allen as a safety. He doesn’t have great dip nor any rush to power, so good offensive linemen will know he’s either speed rushing, or using his hands to get inside. That lack of diversity means he’s best used as a defender in space who can blitz every now and then. The Jags need secondary help after letting go Tashaun Gipson and Barry Church, but there were better players available. They’re still already stacked in the front seven anyway with guys like Calais Campbell, Abry Jones and Yannick Ngakoue.
  8. Detroit Lions – TE TJ Hockenson. D. The Lions could use a two-tight end base lineup with Hockenson and Jesse James, which combined with Kenny Golloday and Marvin Jones on the outside could be pretty deadly and create huge mismatches considering the run blocking potential of that group. But the Lions need secondary help in a bad way, they need an edge defender opposite Trey Flowers since Ziggy Ansah seems to be unlikely to return there, they need interior linemen since TJ Lang retired and Frank Ragnow hasn’t proven to be reliable there, and even inside linebacker needs stocking up.
  9. Buffalo Bills – DT Ed Oliver. F. Oliver is extremely athletic but has limited moves. So unless he bursts through a hole in the line or defends in space, he cannot be a high impact player. He has some strength to disengage from blocks in the run game but for a top 10 pick, he’s not worth it.
  10. Pittsburgh Steelers – SS Devin Bush. F. Another college linebacker who is best in the secondary. Bush is fast as hell and can cover some, and is pretty reliable tackling, so is best used as a Landon Collins-esque safety. The Steelers do need help there since they reached on Terrell Edmunds at that spot last year, and they needed a fast linebacker to replace Ryan Shazier long-term, but Bush ain’t the dude. And they traded up for him!
  11. Cincinnati Bengals – T Jonah Williams. F. I like the positional selection, but not the player. Jonah Williams cannot move his feet nor get good enough leverage to be a starting tackle in the NFL right now. The Bengals need o-line help but he won’t provide that.
  12. Green Bay Packers – DE Rashan Gary. D. Gary is a weapon who will make Pro-Bowls, but the Packers already invested $27 million per year in two edge defenders in Preston Smith and Zadarius Smith in the offseason. So unless they want to put Gary at 3 tech where Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark and Dean Lowry already split time, this pick is strange.
  13. Miami Dolphins – DT Christian Wilkins. F. I like Wilkins but the Phins have the worst offensive line in the league right now, and I have Dexter Lawrence, Greg Gaines and Terry Beckner Jr as better players at DT still on the board at this point.
  14. Atlanta Falcons – G Chris Lindstrom. F. They need a guard, but Lindstrom just doesn’t have the strength nor pad level to be worthy of this pick. Nate Davis and Connor McGovern, and even kicking Yodny Cajuste inside, would be better picks there.
  15. Washington – QB Dwayne Haskins. F. I understand Washington fans might want a long-term option at QB, but Case Keenum can hold down the fort until Alex Smith comes back. They need an edge rusher and offensive line help outside of Trent Williams and Brandon Scherff.
  16. Carolina Panthers – OLB Brian Burns. F. Burns is not strong enough to hold up against the run and too unrefined to get to the QB reliably.
  17. New York Giants – DT Dexter Lawrence. D. I love Lawrence, but they had a chance to get their starting right tackle or franchise cornerback in Byron Murphy. BJ Hill, RJ McIntosh and Dalvin Tomlinson already made up a solid defensive tackle rotation. The Giants must be missing SNACKS!
  18. Minnesota Vikings – C Garret Bradbury. F. Bradbury’s teammate Terrone Prescod is a better prospect than Bradbury. Bradbury is undoubtedly athletic, so he can block smaller dudes in space and get to the second level, but his poor balance and pad level will make him a liability in the trenches.
  19. Tennessee Titans – DT Jeffery Simmons. C. The Titans are going ok at defensive tackle with Jurrell Casey, DaQuan Jones and a ton of rotational pieces (eg Bennie Logan, Austin Johnson) so going at this position is a bit strange, but I love the player.
  20. Denver Broncos – TE Noah Fant. F. They already have young tight ends Jake Butt and Jeff Heuerman who aren’t dominant but do the job.
  21. Green Bay Packers – FS Darnell Savage. B. I like the choice of position, and while I would’ve gone Deionte Thompson, Nasir Adderley or even Terrill Hanks at that position, Savage is pretty good too.
  22. Philadelphia Eagles – T Andre Dillard. D. I know they’re looking at life after Jason Peters, but the Eagles desperately needed help at cornerback, and Dillard isn’t even a top 5 tackle IMO.
  23. Houston Texans – T Tytus Howard. B. Love the choice of position. Yodny Cajuste, Greg Little, Isaiah Prince and Cody Ford are all better than him, but Howard will still come in and contend for Pro Bowls from day one.
  24. Oakland Raiders – RB Josh Jacobs. F. They desperately need a running back after Marshawn Lynch announced his retirement. But I have 13 running backs ahead of Jacobs. He can run hard with solid burst and can catch passes in the backfield some, but he’s not nearly dynamic enough laterally to be worthy of such a high pick.
  25. Baltimore Ravens – WR Marquise Brown. B. The Ravens need help at WR badly (although that would be mitigated if they move Lamar Jackson to wide receiver :O) so Brown is a great option. Not awesome though, because Hakeem Butler, Jakoby Meyers and Deebo Samuel are still available.
  26. Washington – OLB Montez Sweat. F. Washington do need an edge rusher to replace Preston Smith, but Sweat ain’t the dude. He’s fast but very unrefined with hand usage, leverage etc.
  27. Oakland Raiders – SS Jonathan Abram. FF. Yep. Double F!! The Raiders already have thumping safety in Karl Joseph, who they picked high a couple of years ago. Abram is a presence in the box, but the Raiders needed to go offensive line, edge or cornerback here.
  28. Los Angeles Chargers – DT Jerry Tillery. F. The positional choice is ok, but Tillery is extremely overrated, even by the dudes over at PFF – he is going to get blown off the ball most snaps due to his terrible pad level and balance. He is the Taven Bryan of this year’s class – tall and athletic, but too unrefined.
  29. Seattle Seahawks – DE LJ Collier. F. I get they want to replace Frank Clark, but couldn’t they get a Nate Harvey or Cole Holcomb in the later rounds? The tape on Collier isn’t very convincing.
  30. New York Giants – CB Deandre Baker. C. I like Baker. I think he can come in and be a solid starter from day one. I have seven corners ahead of him though.
  31. Atlanta Falcons – T Kaleb McGrary. C. They needed to replace Ryan Schraeder and they’ve done so to an extent with McGrary. He’s a big dude who can move pretty well, but again, Cajuste and Little were still available.
  32. New England Patriots – WR N’Keal Harry. F. As good as the Pats are, they have not been good at drafting lately. Sony Michel in the first last year, when they could’ve gotten Derrius Guice, Nyheim Hines or Nick Chubb, was a blunder. And now they went Harry, who is strong as a receiver but doesn’t show the well-rounded game that the aforementioned Butler, Meyers or Samuel have. The Pats need a receiver, but he ain’t it.


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