The first round of the 2019 NFL Draft starts Thursday, April 25th. We’ve got predictions on our mock board for all 32 NFL teams. Broken down from the late rounds of the draft board to the top.
Year to year, no team consistently fares better than the rest at picking winners in the NFL draft, except maybe the Patriots or the Steelers front office. It’s not unheard of for a franchise to go on a roll, landing multiple stars over a couple of off seasons, and we’ve seen specific draft classes over the years which have produced multiple hall of fame QBs and stars (See the 2004 Draft Class), as well as major draft busts and trade disasters.
What surprises will the 2019 NFL Draft have in store? Let’s explore.
32. New England Patriots | Jeffery Simmons | DL | Mississippi State
Few teams can afford to spend a first-round pick on a player who might not see the field as a rookie, but the Pats are one of them. The defending Super Bowl champs are loaded with Day 2 picks, which allows them the luxury of spending this pick on a top-10 talent who is rehabbing from a torn ACL and will have off-field questions to answer.
31. Los Angeles Rams | Dexter Lawrence | DL | Clemson
The Rams could use a big boy in the interior of the defense, and that big biy is Dexter Lawrence.
Ndamukong Suh won’t be lining up next to Aaron Donald in 2019, but replacing him with a huge presence like Lawrence, who has rare athleticism and explosiveness for his size is a necessity. If the LA Rams look to repeat as NFC Champions, they’ll need to plug the Suh hole.
30. Green Bay Packers (from NO) | Chris Lindstrom | OL | Boston College
After removing Mike Mccarthy as head coach earlier in the ’18 season, the Green Bay Packers have made it clear that they’re all in on Aaron Rodgers; for better or worse as a locker room leader, he’s arguably the best QB in the game. That being said, the Packers need to help Rodgers with this pick. At this stage of the draft, the WR and TE targets should presumably be off the board so the Packers should look instead toward upgrading their offensive line.
Chris Lindstrom is the best pure guard in this year’s class, and is absolutely worth a first-round selection.
29. Kansas City Chiefs | Marquise Brown | WR | Oklahoma
Sure, there are much bigger needs for the Chiefs on both sides of the ball. But would they really pass up the chance to add yet another explosive playmaker to an already ridiculous passing attack?
Brown’s slight frame will definitely be a concern at the next level in terms of durability, but pairing him with a rocket-armed passer like Patrick Mahomes would be some high-quality entertainment.
Hot take: The Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles also have Brown on their draft board(s) and depending on what happens to their higher rated targets in the first round, look for both to make a move for Brown is necessary and possible.
28. Los Angeles Chargers | Dalton Risner | OT | Kansas State
If the Bolts are going to keep riding the Philip Rivers train for the foreseeable future, he’s going to need more protection. With needs at both tackle and along the interior, finding a versatile blocker who can play multiple positions would be ideal here.
Risner would be a great fit for Rivers’ offense.
27. Oakland Raiders (from DAL) | Byron Murphy | CB | Washington
One thing not in short supply for franchise headed to the desert in 2020 is draft picks. Oakland have a lot of them and they’ll use this one on the secondary. What Bryon Murphy lacks in size he makes up for in intelligence, instincts and ball skills. This would be a bargain late first rounder.
26. Indianapolis Colts | Jerry Tillery | DL | Notre Dame
Few rosters in the NFL have more promise and upside than the 2019 Colts, but there are still a handful of glaring needs that should be addressed in this draft.
In this scenario, the best value comes along the defensive line, where the Colts could use a versatile, disruptive force like Tillery. His massive frame and ability to line up anywhere on the line and make plays in the backfield should make him an instant success at the next level.