2019 NFL draft: First-round picks, instant grades

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2019 NFL draft: First-round selections

  • Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB Oklahoma

    If you're going to hire Kliff Kingsbury as your head coach, you might as well give him the QB he wants to run the system. This selection certainly has a bust factor to it, but he has electric ability that could be a paradigm changer. But Murray had better be good -- and relatively fast -- otherwise it could be trouble for GM Steve Keim. GRADE: B+


  • San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa, EDGE Ohio State

    Arguably the best player in the draft, definitely no lower than third, Joey’s younger brother is a plug-and-play prospect. He may not be as big and athletic as his older brother, but they are virtually the same player. GRADE: A-


  • New York Jets: Quinnen Williams, DT Alabama

    The No. 1 player on our draft board, Williams is the total package. He’s big, strong, fast and can take over a game. As Missouri coach Barry Odom said, “You have to gameplan around him.” Jets went QB last year, dominant defender this year. GRADE: A


  • Oakland Raiders: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE Clemson

    Solid player, military kid, winner, but No. 4? This is the Raiders not using group think and going with who they think is the best player on the board. They’re going to get crushed for picking a player most thought would go middle of the first round. They could have the last laugh. Or not. GRADE: C+


  • Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Devin White, LB LSU

    A former running back, White is as tenacious as they come. He is a vicious hitter who flies all over the field, which is his biggest knock: Can he play under control? He has the potential to be the heartbeat of the Bucs defense from Day 1. GRADE: B


  • New York Giants: Daniel Jones, QB Duke

    So Giants fans … here is Eli Manning’s replacement. No. 56 on our board, this is the best GM Dave Gettleman can do? Could have had their choice of QB last year (outside of Baker Mayfield), but instead have opted for a player who didn’t complete 60-percent of his passes in college. GRADE: C-


  • Jacksonville Jaguars: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky

    Fell right into the Jaguars lap. Allen is a game-changing talent who forces offenses to account for his whereabouts. Allen is a sack machine who will work best if Jacksonville simply lets him loose. GRADE: B+


  • Detroit Lions: T.J. Hockenson, TE Iowa

    Can catch and block, a rarity at tight end these days. The Lions will rely on him more for the latter to start, with the hope that A) he becomes a playmaker by Year 2 or 3 and B) isn’t Eric Ebron. GRADE: B


  • Buffalo Bills: Ed Oliver, DL Houston

    Rare athleticism for a big man, the 281-pounder’s shuttle time was faster than Saquon Barkley’s. Seriously. The only knock is that he’s a bit undersized for a D-lineman. That said, Oliver's play did lead the NCAA to make a rule change, so that's something. GRADE: B+


  • Pittsburgh Steelers (via trade with Broncos): Devin Bush, LB Michigan

    An instinctive playmaker who can cover the field sideline-to-sideline. Bush is a superb leader who can fit in anywhere. Pittsburgh, in an effort to fill the gap left by Ryan Shazier's injury, gave up their own first (20) a second this year and a third next year. GRADE: A-


  • Cincinnati Bengals: Jonah Williams, OL Alabama

    A detailed-obsessed film junkie, Williams can play every position on the O-line, save center. That gives the Bengals flexibility. Not a sexy pick, but Cincinnati can plug him in for the next eight to 10 years. GRADE: B


  • Green Bay Packers: Rashan Gary, LB Green Bay

    Good for him, bad for Green Bay. A high-maintenance guy who isn’t a pass rusher. Doesn’t strike fear in opponents. This has bust written all over it. GRADE: C


  • Miami Dolphins: Christian Wilkins, DT Clemson

    Big, big athlete. Wilkins is a high-character guy who will make the Dolphins locker room better Day 1. He’s a versatile guy who will help shore up a bad rushing defense. GRADE: B


  • Atlanta Falcons: Chris Lindstrom, OL Boston College

    No one moved up more through the draft process than Lindstrom thanks to a solid Senior Bowl. The best pass-blocking guard in the draft, he can step in and start immediately for the Falcons, who have a need at the guard position. Lindstrom may not be special, but he will be very good. GRADE: B-


  • Washington Redskins: Dwayne Haskins, QB Ohio State

    Washington gets their QB, as Haskins becomes the third quarterback off the board. Big body, analytical, strong arm … Haskins seemingly has all the necessary tools. The Redskins would be wise to sit him for a year behind Case Keenum. GRADE: B+


  • Carolina Panthers: Brian Burns, EDGE Florida State

    Just 21, Burns has massive potential (No. 4 on our board) that he’s yet to unlock. The Panthers may need to give him some time to develop, but when he does he could be one of the league’s premier pass rushers. GRADE: A


  • New York Giants (from Cleveland): Dexter Lawrence, DT Clemson

    Notable: Daniel Jones would have been available with this pick. Lawrence becomes the third defensive linemen from Clemson off the board. Three years ago, he would have been a top-five pick with rare athleticism/size combination, but he comes with a lot of risk (see the PED suspension and nerve damage in his leg). GRADE: C+


  • Minnesota Vikings: Garrett Bradbury, C N.C. State

    He’s not big for an interior linemen, but he’s quick, agile (he is a former tight end) and smart. He has the goods to start immediately for the Vikings and stay there for the next decade. GRADE: B


  • Tennessee Titans: Jeffery Simmons, DT Mississippi St.

    Character issues and an ACL tear are definite concerns surrounding Simmons. But if he turns out to be the guy he models his game after (J.J. Watt, sans the injuries), the Titans are getting a stud (No. 3 on our board) who can be a disruptor on the defensive line. GRADE: A


  • Denver Broncos (via trade with Steelers): Noah Fant, TE Iowa

    Second tight end off the board, second tight end off the board from Iowa (the first time that’s ever happened). He’s a better pass-catcher than blocker, but good luck putting a linebacker on him man to man. GRADE: C+


  • Green Bay Packers (via trade with Seahawks):

    They had to trade up to 21 to get Savage, who was 89th on our board? A nice player, but this is a questionable move by the Packers, who gave up a couple of fourth-round picks to move up eight slots. GRADE: C-


  • Philadelphia Eagles (via trade with Ravens): Andre Dillard, OT Washington State

    The Eagles traded up to fill a need, replacing Jason Peters. This is an excellent move by Philadelphia, who need to keep Carson Wentz healthy. GRADE: B+


  • Houston Texans: Tytus Howard, OT Alabama State

    A former high school quarterback who couldn’t bench 175 pounds once when he arrived at Alabama State. Can play both left and right tackle, who swapped between the two in games. Big question: Does the competition at Alabama St. transfer to the NFL? GRADE: C


  • Oakland Raiders (via trade with Bears): Josh Jacobs, RB Alabama

    With Marshawn Lynch retiring, the Raiders fill a need at running back. It may have been an obvious pick, but it’s a solid one. He’s elusive and can catch the ball, key in Jon Gruden’s scheme. GRADE: B+


  • Baltimore Ravens (via trade with Eagles): Marquise Brown, WR Oklahoma

    Lamar Jackson gets his home run threat. Brown is the first wide receiver off the board. The Ravens can utilize him all over the field: screens, deep, end arounds. GRADE: B


  • Washington Redskins (via trade with Colts): Montez Sweat, DE Mississippi State

    Maybe the biggest question mark in this draft. Sweat's talent as a defensive playmaker isn't in question; his enlarged heart is. Some teams took him off their boards entirely. The Redskins clearly did not, trading up to get him. They paid a price (a second rounder this year and next), but they got a top-10 talent late in the first round. GRADE: A-


  • Oakland Raiders (via trade with Cowboys): Johnathan Abram, S Mississippi State

    He is a junkyard dog, perfect for the Raiders. Hard worker in practice who will bring it every single day. He’s a decent cover player, but he is an enforcer who will make his presence known. GRADE: B+


  • Los Angeles Chargers: Jerry Tillery, DT, Notre Dame

    A fascinating character, some call eccentric. Some question if he has other interests outside of football, but when he wants to turn it on, he can be a nasty dude. He will complement an already stout Chargers defensive front. GRADE: B+


  • Seattle Seahawks (via trade with Chiefs): L.J. Collier, DE TCU

    Some like him more than others. Collier is a rough-and-tumble power end to help replace Frank Clark. It’s an interesting pick for the Seahawks, but it remains to be seen if he can help get after QBs consistently. GRADE: C-


  • New York Giants (via trade with Seahawks): Deandre Baker, CB Georgia

    The Jim Thorpe Award winner brings his shutdown corner skills to the Giants, who are in a division that is looking up at Philadelphia. Baker doesn’t lack in confidence and isn’t afraid to say as much. GRADE: C+


  • Atlanta Falcons (via trade with Rams): Kaleb McGary, OT Washington

    Falcons fortifying the right side of their offensive line after taking Chris Lindstrom earlier. It’s a huge win for Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones. GRADE: C+


  • New England Patriots: N’Keal Harry, WR Arizona State

    A big, physical receiver who the Patriots have been on for awhile. Harry is a hard-working, high-character player, which means he’ll be perfect for Brady/Belichick. GRADE: B-

Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray walks the red carpet ahead of the first round at the NFL football draft. (AP)
Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray walks the red carpet ahead of the first round at the NFL football draft. (AP)


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