NASHVILLE – Even with five first-round quarterbacks in the 2018 draft, there were clues as to how the proceedings might play out.
We knew quarterbacks would go No. 1 and No. 3, and the Buffalo Bills’ interest in trading up for Josh Allen was no secret. We also knew the Arizona Cardinals were likely targeting a passer.
This year, Kyler Murray is on track to go first. It’s anyone’s guess after that. Every team appears to have Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock and Daniel Jones ranked in a different order.
And who’s interested?
The Giants? Probably, but at No. 6 or No. 17?
The Redskins? Most likely, but who will be left for them?
The Broncos or Bengals? Who knows?
A surprise team like the Raiders? Perhaps.
Add in Cardinals 2018 first-rounder Josh Rosen — who becomes expendable if Arizona opts for Murray — and you essentially have five quarterbacks available and an unknown number of suitors. Oh by the way — 10 of the 11 first-round quarterbacks since 2016 have been drafted after a trade-up.
There will be fireworks. It’s just a matter of how early they start. Things appear to be settled at the top… for now.
- Arizona Cardinals: QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
Josh Rosen has yet to be traded, and the Cardinals have insisted no decision is final. But all signs point to Kliff Kingsbury running his offense through Murray this fall.
- San Francisco 49ers: DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State
Assuming the Cardinals don’t take Bosa, this appears all but locked in. Few prospects — in any draft — bring as complete of a package, even after he missed much of his final year to injury.
- New York Jets: DT Ed Oliver, Houston
The Jets want to trade out, but it’s hard to see who might pay enough to trade up. Quinnen Williams or Josh Allen are options, but Mike Maccagnan rolls the dice on Oliver’s athleticism.
- Oakland Raiders: DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama
This should be the best remaining defensive player, which is Williams in this case. If he’s gone, Oliver or Devin White would make sense.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers: OLB Josh Allen, Kentucky
The Bucs might also try to trade out, or go with a popular choice here in White. But with Allen available, they favor the position value of an edge rusher.
- New York Giants: LB Devin White, LSU
Even if Dave Gettleman has a quarterback he likes, it doesn’t appear he loves any of them. Here, he sticks to his board and takes the best remaining player.
- Jacksonville Jaguars: DE Montez Sweat, Mississippi State
Jawaan Taylor or T.J. Hockenson would make plenty of sense, but Jacksonville loves pass rushers and likes to go best player available.
- Detroit Lions: TE T.J. Hockenson, Iowa
An edge rusher would fill a need, but Matt Patricia’s defense doesn’t usually prioritize them. Instead, the Lions grab a two-way tight end after nearly trading for Rob Gronkowski last year.
- Buffalo Bills: DT Christian Wilkins, Clemson
Most don’t have Wilkins in the top 10, but 315-pounders who can rush the passer don’t come along very often. He would be a nice consolation prize for a team that might be eyeing Oliver.
- Denver Broncos: LB Devin Bush, Michigan
Passing on top quarterback prospects in consecutive years could come back to haunt John Elway, but Bush fits right into Vic Fangio’s scheme. Denver would probably prefer White or Hockenson, if available.
- Cincinnati Bengals: QB Drew Lock, Missouri
In what is a mild surprise, both Lock and Haskins remain on the board. In this case, Zac Taylor passes on the Buckeyes star and rolls the dice on Lock’s upside.
- Green Bay Packers: OT Jawaan Taylor, Florida
Expect Green Bay to address the offensive line with at least one of its two first-round picks. With Taylor available, the Packers get a successor to oft-injured Bryan Bulaga who can compete at guard in the meantime.
- Miami Dolphins: DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
Ferrell fits perfectly in the type of defense Brian Flores ran in New England. He can rush the passer but also sets a mean edge and is very technically sound.
- Atlanta Falcons: DE Rashan Gary, Michigan
With a reported shoulder issue and more potential than production on his resume, Gary could slide a bit. Dan Quinn pounces on one of the draft’s best athletes.
- Washington Redskins: QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State
Washington could wind up deciding between Rosen — who might cost only a second- or third-round pick via trade — or Haskins, who starred in high school in Maryland. If Haskins falls this far, he’d be difficult to pass up.
- Carolina Panthers: OT Andre Dillard, Washington State
Daryl Williams is back, but only on a one-year deal, and he has an injury history. Between Dillard and Taylor Moton, Carolina would be in great shape on the edges.
- New York Giants (from Cleveland): QB Daniel Jones, Duke
Most signs suggest Jones is the Giants’ preferred option at quarterback, but not necessarily a slam-dunk option. Would they trade up slightly to get him, or hope he falls to No. 17?
- Minnesota Vikings: C Garrett Bradbury, NC State
It’s unclear how much influence Gary Kubiak will have on the offense, but Bradbury — the draft’s best center — would fit perfectly in Kubiak’s famed outside-zone-heavy scheme. Pat Elflein would bump to guard.
- Tennessee Titans: OG Chris Lindstrom, Boston College
Marquise Brown or an edge rusher would make plenty of sense, but the Titans need more athleticism on the interior. Head coach Mike Vrabel is well connected at Boston College.
- Pittsburgh Steelers: OLB Brian Burns, Florida State
Burns may well go earlier than 20, but in this case, he’s available. The Steelers kept Bud Dupree into his fifth-year option, but he’s a free agent next March.
- Seattle Seahawks: OL Jonah Williams, Alabama
Seattle is normally a trade-down contender, but a mini trade-up for Burns would make sense if he slides. In this case, no edge rushers on the board stand out, but Williams is a nice consolation prize.
- Baltimore Ravens: C Erik McCoy, Texas A&M
A solid, scheme-versatile pivot, McCoy could fit the Ravens better than Bradbury, if both are on the board. Marquise Brown would also be tempting.
- Houston Texans: OL Cody Ford, Oklahoma
The Texans might prefer Dillard or Williams, but Ford should get a chance at right tackle. If they view him as a guard and the top tackles are gone, a corner would make sense here.
- Oakland Raiders (from Chicago): RB Josh Jacobs, Alabama
With so many defensive needs, it would be bold for Oakland go running back (and tight end a few picks later?). But Jon Gruden just can’t help himself sometimes.
- Philadelphia Eagles: DT Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State
Perhaps more than any other team, the Eagles believe in using first-round picks in the trenches. Here, Howie Roseman bets big on one of the five best players in the draft hoping to have him at full strength in 2020.
- Indianapolis Colts: WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma
Some might see Brown and T.Y. Hilton as redundant in the same offense, but Frank Reich’s options could really open up with one on the outside and one in the slot. Safety could also be a possibility.
- Oakland Raiders (from Dallas): TE Noah Fant, Iowa
Fant lacks nuance as as a route-runner and doesn’t have great natural hands, but his speed is a weapon that would help replace Jared Cook.
- Los Angeles Chargers: CB Rock Ya-Sin, Temple
Set at one cornerback spot (Casey Hayward) and in the slot (Desmond King), the Chargers take a swing at a rising talent to fill the No. 2 role.
- Seattle Seahawks: WR A.J. Brown, Mississippi
Could Brown go before workout-warrior college teammate D.K. Metcalf? Stranger things have happened. Doug Baldwin is 30 and has been very banged up.
- Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans): WR D.K. Metcalf, Mississippi
If Metcalf makes it this far, it would be tough for the Packers to pass, given their need for explosive playmakers on offense.
- Los Angeles Rams: C Elgton Jenkins, Mississippi State
Three centers in Round 1? You bet. Jenkins has been garnering buzz lately, and the Rams need help on the interior. They could try to target him in a trade down.
- New England Patriots: DL L.J. Collier, TCU
Collier plays exactly like a Patriot. He’s big, powerful and versatile — with some ability at end and at tackle — and is an excellent technician.
–David DeChant, Field Level Media