NFL Draft 1st Round Winners and Losers

Winner: Arizona Cardinals

The pick: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma (No. 1)

Kliff Kingsbury got his guy. It’s as simple as that. This is about the Cardinals giving their coach the best chance to succeed right out of the gate.

QB, Oklahoma (No. 1)

Kyler Murray is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in NFL draft history, he can make every throw required of an NFL QB, and he’s going to drive linebackers, safeties and defense coordinators crazy this season. This was both the obvious choice and the right choice at #1 for the Arizona Cardinals and their new look offense from first year head coach Kingsbury.

Winner: Pittsburgh Steelers

The pick: Devin Bush, ILB, Michigan (TRADE to No. 10)

The Pittsburgh are rarely known for being a franchise that gets aggressive in free agency or on draft day, so while rumors of their calls to teams on Wednesday about moving up in the draft turned out to be true, many were still shocked to see it – yet for Steelers’ fans it was a welcomed surprise.

The trade with the Denver Broncos sent the Steelers from #20 to #10. The Broncos received the Steelers’ No. 20 pick and No. 52 pick in addition to Pittsburgh’s third-round selection in 2020.

The Pittsburgh Steelers trade with the Broncos for the No. 10 pick and select Michigan LB Devin Bush.

Once there, the Steelers went and got their Ryan Shazier replacement they had been looking for. Bush is an athletic, sub-240-pound linebacker who has elite closing speed and can play sideline to sideline.

The Michigan linebacker diagnoses quickly and finds the ball, he collected 194 career tackles, including 19.5 for loss and 10 sacks. Some have called Bush the most complete player in the NFL draft and he fills a hole the Steelers have desperately tried to fill since the Shazier injury a few seasons ago. The Pittsburgh Steelers moving up in the first round of the draft for a superstar linebacker – it’s surprising but it feels right.

Winner: San Francisco 49ers

The pick: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State (No. 2)

The Niners front seven will now be one of the strongest in football. They’ve also taken four defensive linemen in the first round of the NFL Draft since 2015. And Nick Bosa is a legit prospect for Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after the San Francisco 49ers selected Bosa in the first round at the NFL football draft, Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn.(AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Bosa is not just a strong candidate for best player available in the Draft, but he has the ability to be the most dominant rookie right out of the gate, and he’s a strong fit for the Niners Defense.

The 49ers front seven is going to be very good, and their secondary should also benefit from the added pass rush. While fans in the Bay Area may be divided on who the Niners should have taken with the first pick, its no wonder why John Lynch sprinted to the podium to take Bosa; he’s overwhelmingly the right choice for this franchise.

Loser: New York Giants

The picks: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke (No. 6); Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson (No. 17); Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia (No. 30)

Giants fans looked stunned as New York used the first of its three 1st round picks on Daniel Jones, QB at Duke. After a rollercoaster ride offseason which saw the G-men part way with Odell Beckham Jr. and Landon Collins, NY needed to stick the landing on picks in the 1st round that could translate into immediate impact playmakers. Did they do that? Doubtful.

Jones was arguably the third best QB in the draft with many mock draft boards having him taken in the middle to late part of the 1st round. Haskins and Drew Lock were rated higher on some mocks. But the New York Football Giants felt that Daniel Jones would be the right guy to sit behind Manning in presumably his final season and then take the reins. Judging by how we’ve seen the franchise run, I doubt they’ll give Manning that much time before Jones is hurled into the fire.

Lawrence is a solid player at Defensive Tackle, but there were similar talents available in later rounds, and he’ll do little to improve the Giants’ pass rush. Lawrence is green nose tackle, not exactly Casey Hampton.

Dec 1, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Deandre Baker (18) prepares for a defensive play against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the SEC championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, DeAndre Baker out of Georgia is another head scratcher. The Giants needed to replace their number one receiver, not use a 1st round pick on CB with sloppy technique. Meanwhile, Greedy Williams of LSU is still available as of the writing of this article (2nd Round) and he’s arguably a more talented and dominating press man cornerback than Baker.

Loser: Houston Texans

The pick: Tytus Howard, OT, Alabama State (No. 23)

I get that Andre Dillard had just been picked, but there were better offensive linemen available. Cody Ford and Jawaan Taylor were still available while the Texans were drafting an offensive lineman in the 1st round with a third round mock grade. Typical Texans.

If you read a grading on the Texans’ 1st round pick from the Houston Chronicle, they do their best to sell it, but fail miserably. Not sure if that’s because the person writing it has to tow the line or if they’re just confused about what an NFL franchise is suppose to do with a 1st Round Pick.

As a friendly reminder, you should take the best available player at the position you need to fill the most. One can argue that the Texans most glaring need is on the offensive line, but the Alabama State OT was far and away not the best player available at the position. The Texans used a 1st round pic on a small school prospect who had less than a handful of memorable outings against top 25 college programs.