NFL Draft 2019 – some final round 1 predictions

Just enough time to rattle off some final thoughts in anticipation of next week’s 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville, Tennessee. New Mock Drafts are flying through the air with pundits final thoughts on who will be selected on that first night. We are in full-on misdirection and rumour territory. I’m not going to do a pick-by-pick final summary, more a series of things to watch for as the first round progresses.

1. Domino effect of pick no.1
Everything points to the Arizona Cardinals taking QB Kyler Murray with the first pick of the draft. If this proves to be true there are then 2 immediate potential consequences – the first is that the phones may get hot for a Josh Rosen trade with any of the Giants, Redskins or Dolphins interested. The problem may be the cost: the Cardinals will want a 1st rounder which may prove to be too high. The Giants do have a ‘spare’ first rounder but so many holes to fill defensively whereas the Dolphins or Redskins could potentially barter some form of intricate deal involving swapping picks with Arizona further down the draft to offset any 1st round pick given up.

The second consequence is that this will start the slide of some of the non-QB stars of round 1. Fast forward to pick no.6 and the Giants may have the option of a Josh Allen, Quinnen Williams, Ed Oliver, Devin White (which could work for them if, and it’s a big if, they did give up no.17 for a Rosen trade). The Giants pick at no.6 will be fascinating if they do not trade for Rosen – do they take a QB at no.6 or risk them being long gone by no.17? There is no consensus over whether it Lock, Haskins or Jones are preferred, and Giants fans are torn between taking a QB and focussing squarely on the D (relying on Eli keeping them competitive).

2. Old Guard look to make a statement
Both the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers had seasons to forget in 2018. ‘Pretenders’ have taken their divisional crowns and other rivals also sense weaknesses in the sides which have previously dominated the North! The Packers did spend in free agency but the draft offers a further opportunity for both. The Packers own nos.12 and 30 and the Steelers have an additional 3rd round pick. It would not surprise me to see either side make a move up the board in order to capture a real marquee signing. Both are sat not far behind picks from divisional rivals (Bengals and Lions) and both could seek to play leapfrog to steal away a coveted choice, I’m sure that would be pretty sweet.

3. Who else could move up?
In the AFC South the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans both own additional 2nd round picks and these could be used as leverage to move up 5 or 6 spots to secure their favoured player (maybe Christian Wilkins for Colts and maybe Jonah Williams or Andre Dillard for Texans). The Cincinnati Bengals are in desperate need of acing their 1st round pick and with 11 total picks they could package something up with a trade partner to move into the top 10 depending on who they are targeting. Another one to watch, as always, will be the New England Patriots at no.32. Again they are stacked with picks (12) and I’m sure if they don’t think their guy will fall far enough they may move into the mid 20s to go get him.

4. How many QBs go?
We definitely have 4 going in the first round (Murray, Haskins, Lock and Jones). Where to is the question! QB needy teams (at differing stages of need) are the Giants (6), Broncos (10), Bengals (11), Dolphins (13), Redskins (15) and you can make an argument for the Chargers (28) and Patriots (32) although maybe not first rounders. That makes at least 5, possibly 7. Can’t wait to see how those selections pan out.

5. Who’s bored?
The fans of the Bears, Browns, Cowboys and Saints can have Thursday night off but the ‘War Rooms’ will still be busy as the picks are made as they will impact who is available on Day 2. Make no mistake if any side sees an opportunity to trade back in to round 1 in order to take a key player then they will -i think we see at least 1 of the 4 coming back in on Thursday night.

6. Watch the Seahawks
With the recent Russell Wilson mega-contract there is a knock-on effect in relation to Frank Clark and I think he gets traded on the first night as the Seahawks look to boost their number of picks (currently 6). A possible partner for that trade could well be…..

7. And don’t take your eyes off the Raiders
Three first round picks and I very much doubt they just sit where they are at nos. 4, 24 and 27. I think they will stay at 4 but 24 or 27 will definitely be on the table. I could see 27 being used as trade value for Clark from the Seahawks. If you then go into probably too much detail I could then see Seahawks trading 27 with Patriots at 32 in order to pick up a couple of later picks. Suddenly the Seahawks would have 9 picks instead of 6 and Pete Carroll has a history of finding value in the later rounds.

The NFL Draft seems to take on greater significance each year and in the run up to this year it feels as though, given the different motivations of each team and the calibre of players at each position available, Thursday 25th April in Nashville is going to be monumental. When Friday rolls around I doubt reporters and bloggers alike will be short of a headline or six!

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