The 2019 NFL Draft is quickly approaching and mock drafts are likely flooding your twitter timelines. Instead, I want to take a different approach in this 3 part series: what should you favorite team NOT do?
Below is what I believe to be the biggest mistake each team can make on Day 1 of the 2019 NFL Draft. Keep an eye out for picks 11-32, coming soon.
Arizona Cardinals (1st Overall Pick): Drafting Kyler Murray
The Cardinals traded up in the 2018 NFL Draft to take Josh Rosen as their franchise quarterback. Rarely do quarterbacks find success in their rookie season; and behind Arizona’s offensive line, with a now fired head coach it is beyond irresponsible for the Cardinals to spend their first-round pick on another quarterback.
If Arizona takes Murray, they will be failing to address many of the gaps on their roster and will essentially waste an entire year of rebuilding.
San Francisco 49ers (2nd Overall Pick): Drafting DK Metcalf
It’s a reasonable idea; take an “X” receiver to open up the field for Pettis, Goodwin, and Taylor while giving Jimmy Garoppolo the weapons needed to instantly flip the 49ers from 2nd overall draft pick to playoff contender. The 49ers, though, would be passing on a franchise changing defensive talent in either Bosa or Quinnen Williams-depending on what the Cardinals do.
San Francisco would be better suited to draft a wideout with the 36th overall pick; where they could likely get their “X” in Hakeem Butler.
New York Jets (3rd Overall Pick): Holding onto their Pick
The Jets could absolutely use Williams, Bosa, or Allen on their defensive front. They also could utilize an offensive lineman like Jawaan Taylor or Jonah Williams.
The Jets, though, don’t have a 2nd round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft (see: Sam Darnold) and would be better served to pick up an extra pick/two by sliding back into the teens. That will still allow them to cash in on high-end offensive line or EDGE talent while investing in depth for their young roster.
Oakland Raiders (4th, 24th, & 27th Overall Picks): Reaching for Risky Offensive Playmakers
The Raiders roster needs a full rebuild. Rebuilds start at the foundation of a roster: quarterback, offensive line, EDGE, and cornerback. They are in a great position to fill 3 of those 4 needs in the 1st round of the 2019 NFL Draft-with quarterback not being an immediate need. There will surely be EDGE talent available with the 4th overall pick; with Allen, Burns, and Roshan Gary all being options. With the 24th overall pick, the Raiders could look to add to their offensive line with players like Dalton Risner or Andre Dillard. They could then focus on snagging Byron Murphy or Greedy Williams with their 27th overall pick.
What they need to avoid, though, is reaching for high upside/high risk players like Marquise “Hollywood” Brown or Josh Jacobs-both would be fun, splashy picks but not add to a dependable core that serves as the foundation that Gruden needs to build for long-term success.
For more on the fantasy football values of the 2019 Draft Class, check out the 48 Report: our 2019 Rookie Database
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 5th Overall Pick: Passing on Devin White
The Buccaneers are legitimate trade back candidates, especially if you believe the Giants are interested in drafting a quarterback in the 2019 NFL Draft (more to come on that). Devin White, though, is a high end playmaker that would not only fill the hole left by Kwon Alexander, but truly improve the position over what they had last season.
The Buccaneers have a solid offensive unit, now led by Bruce Arians-it’s time for them to focus on putting explosive playmakers on the defensive side of the ball.
New York Giants (6th & 17th Overall Picks): Drafting a Quarterback
Yes, the Giants do need a franchise quarterback to replace Eli Manning but no they do not need to find them in this draft class. Haskins, Jones and Lock all have potential, but none provide the Giants with a high upside player that can lead this team back from the brink of collapse.
Instead, the Giants need to focus on leaving the 1st round of the 2019 NFL Draft with a defensive playmaker and an offensive lineman that can slide into their Right Tackle slot.
Jacksonville Jaguars (7th Overall Pick): Ignoring their Offensive Line
If DK Metcalf is available at 7th overall it will be tough for the Jaguars to pass on him, but they do not need another wide receiver in their already messy corps.;even if it is someone with so much upside. They also do not need to seriously consider quarterback with this pick; the investment they made in Foles is significant enough to at least bridge them to the 2020 NFL Draft-where Jake Fromm, Tua Tagovailoa, and Justin Herbert will be available.
Instead, they would benefit from either keeping Jawaan Taylor in state, or drafting a versatile offensive lineman like Jonah Williams or Cody Ford.
Detroit Lions (8th Overall Pick): Letting Eric Ebron Haunt them
Detroit may be hesitant to take a playmaking tight end, like TJ Hockenson or Noah Fant, with the 8th overall pick after failing to properly utilize Eric Ebron-their 2014 10th overall pick.
The Lions offense, though, is in desperate need of a difference maker and Hockenson would offer them a player maker that could support Stafford through his pass catching skills and Kerryon Johnson through his run blocking ability.
The Lions other options will likely be Montez Sweat, Devin Bush, and Byron Murphy-all of which I believe would be reaches with the 8th overall pick.
Buffalo Bills (9th Overall Pick): Pouring more Draft Capital into their Defense
The Bills have done a fantastic job of infusing young talent into their defense over the past few NFL Drafts. They may be tempted to do that again, with players like Ed Oliver possibly still available with this pick.
Instead, they need to focus on building around their young quarterback who found some success in his rookie season. The Bills should look to either find him offensive line support (Williams, Ford), a dynamic playmaking wide receiver (Metcalf), or a dual-threat tight end (Hockenson).
Denver Broncos (10th Overall Pick): Passing on Drew Lock
The Broncos did a great job of addressing their major needs (offensive line and secondary) through free agency. It puts them in a position to be strategic and make a long-term investment in their roster. Drew Lock can be the quarterback that Elway finally gets right, with two years to learn behind Joe Flacco. Lock is a competitor, has 4 years of experience starting in the SEC against the best defenses in the country, and has the ability to shred defenses at every level of the field.