With the draft coming up in about a month, let’s look at how the first round should shake out. This draft will be in four parts.
1. Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Although I don’t like this move, everything points to the Cardinals selecting the Heisman winner from Oklahoma. Kliff Kingsbury recently came out and said that everything is on the table with the number one pick. He also said that he spoke to Josh Rosen and that Rosen understands its a business. If that doesn’t point to the Cardinals moving on, I don’t know what does. However, maybe this is all just an elaborate smokescreen to drive up the price of acquiring the first pick.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
Nick Bosa is arguably the best player in this draft. Some say he may even be better than his brother, which is high praise. The Niners are poised for a breakout year and a player like Bosa could really help on defense. Bosa rushing the passer with guys like Solomon Thomas, Deforest Buckner, Arik Armstead, and Dee Ford could cause problems for the rest of the NFC West.
3. New York Jets: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
People who don’t think Bosa is the best player in the draft will likely argue that it’s Williams. He’s a tremendous defensive tackle that comes from the school that breeds defensive linemen. He’s a solid run stopper and pass rusher, so you’re getting a three down player with Williams. Some even say he could dominate the game in the same way that Aaron Donald does. With an offense that’s starting to come together with talent, Williams would be the perfect guy to help buff the defense.
4. Oakland Raiders: Josh Allen, LB, Kentucky
The Raiders traded a generational defensive talent last offseason. This time year, they should look to replace him. While no one can replace Khalil Mack, Josh Allen could be a solid fit for the Raiders. He’s a solid pass rusher who blew up last year with 17.5 sacks, which is especially impressive considering he plays in the SEC. The Raiders have a lot of picks to turn around the franchise quickly and getting a pass rusher like Allen could prove to be helpful in doing so.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Devin White, LB, LSU
Tampa Bay just hired offensive guru Bruce Arians and had a pretty solid offense without him last year. However, the Buccs had one of the worst defenses in the NFL. Since they draft is loaded with defensive players, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them look to beef up their defense. Devin White is an inside linebacker, meaning his draft stock isn’t as high as someone like Josh Allen. However, he was the centerpiece of a very good LSU defense, so expect him to go high. Roquan Smith went eighth last year as an inside linebacker so seeing White go fifth wouldn’t surprise me.
6. New York Giants: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
I know that the Giants are rolling with Eli this year. And that’s fine. He actually had some pretty good numbers last year, despite being behind one of the worst offensive lines in football. However, Eli is in the twilight of his career and they need to find his successor soon. Dwayne Haskins is the number two in what many people describe as a two QB draft. Haskins is known for his accuracy but not his mobility, making him similar in skill set to Eli. You don’t have to start him right away, which could be key for his development. Drafting Haskins and letting him sit behind Eli for at least this year is the best move with this pick.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: TJ Hockenson, TE, Iowa
The Jags need help across the board in terms of skill position players. Their best player is the oft-injured Leonard Fournette. Although I thought about them taking a receiver, I think they may bank on DJ Chark and Dede Westbrook breaking out this year, which certainly isn’t out of the question. Hockenson has drawn comparisons to Gronk, and is the clear number one TE in this draft. He could be a solid playmaker and security blanket for the newly acquired Nick Foles.
8. Detroit Lions: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
The Lions didn’t resign Ziggy Ansah, who was there best pass rusher the last few years. However, he’s be inconsistent for the Lions, so it wasn’t a huge surprise. The Lions will be looking for someone to put opposite the newly acquired Trey Flowers to help get after the quarterback. With an offense that is looking to be above average and with a defensive minded head coach, the Lions taking Sweat would make a ton of sense.
Make sure to check out the next eight picks tomorrow!