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.
You can see my biggest mistakes for picks 1-10 here. Keep an eye out for picks 22-32 & the teams not drafting in round 1, coming soon.
Cincinnati Bengals (11th Overall Pick): Ignoring the Rebuild
The worst place in the NFL to be is between 5-8 wins; just good enough to avoid ideal draft positions but not good enough to ever make a legitimate playoff run. The Bengals need to stop being okay with just okay and embrace a rebuild.
In a division being taken over by Mayfield and Jackson, Zac Taylor and the Bengals need their franchise quarterback and Dwayne Haskins should be their top priority. Haskins fits into Zac Taylor’s offense, and although his NFL ceiling is capped he has the potential to be Cincinnati’s Jared Goff.
Green Bay Packers (12th & 30th Overall Picks): Passing on a Tight End
The Packers could absolutely add pieces at EDGE and CB, but they have invested a lot of draft capital into that side of the ball the last few years. Now is their chance to give a fully healthy Aaron Rodgers, and their new offensive-minded head coach Matt LaFleur a dynamic playmaker.
I’m okay with Hockenson or Fant at 12, but they could wait and see if one of those Iowa tight ends falls to them at 30; if not Irv Smith would also slot nicely in their offense.
Miami Dolphins (13th Overall Pick): Drafting a Quarterback
The Dolphins roster is in a state of chaos, and it appears the front office has (thankfully) embraced a rebuild. They would be best served to invest in their offensive line and playmakers to ensure that when they do draft a quarterback in 2020, they are stepping into a situation where they can succeed.
Miami needs to avoid the pressure of burning a year of a rookie quarterback contract, especially if the “big 3” options are burned and Daniel Jones is the top quarterback remaining when they pick.
Atlanta Falcons (14th Overall Pick): Overthinking the Pick
Atlanta missed the playoffs in 2018 because of an abnormally high amount of injuries to key players. Their roster, overall, is well rounded and they have a lack of gaping needs-although an EDGE, interior offensive line, or defensive back could all help add depth.
The Falcons need to pick best available with their pick and utilize their talents while immediately contending for a playoff run.
Washington (15th Overall Pick): Passing on an Offensive Skill Player
Washington’s defense is good, so good that they kept them in playoff contention through the end of the season; a season where Alex Smith, Colt McCoy, and Mark Sanchez took snaps as the starting quarterback.
What Washington does not have is dynamic wide receivers (yes, that includes Josh Doctson) or a reliable tight end. Metcalf, Harry, Hockenson, or Fant are all picks that could help Case Keenum bridge the gap to a 2020 quarterback pick.
Carolina Panthers (16th Overall Pick): Passing on EDGE help
Yes, Carolina absolutely needs help along the offensive trenches; but the re-signing of Daryl Williams will help them wait to take an interior offensive lineman at value in the 2nd. Instead, the team that finished 28th in sacks in 2019 needs to focus on taking advantage of an incredibly talented EDGE class.
Minnesota Vikings (8th Overall Pick): Being Scared to take the First Interior Offensive Lineman
The Vikings have an incredibly talented group of offensive playmakers that are failing to reach their full potential, in large part because of horrendous offensive line play. It seems to be a written rule in the NFL that you can’t take interior linemen in the first round-but that didn’t stop the Colts from taking Quenton Nelson in 2018.
Garrett Bradbury and Chris Lindstrom are not Nelson, but they have long and successful NFL careers ahead of them-either would help the Vikings become a Superbowl contender again.
Tennessee Titans (19th Overall Pick): Taking More Offense Early
Tennessee is starting to look like a bit of an odd-ball collector with the receiving corps. they have pieced together this offseason. Add in both a veteran (Delanie Walker) and young (Jonnu Smith) tight end and I’m left confused by those seeking early draft capital be invested in another weapon for Marcus Mariota.
The Titans would be better suited to focus on their defensive line in the first round-and target a dynamic play maker like Christian Wilkins.
Pittsburgh Steelers (20th Overall Pick): Drafting like they Always do
The Steelers are the hipsters of the NFL; they feel a need to defy draft logic and make stunning picks, like taking a Day 3-graded Terrell Edmunds with their first-round pick in 2018. Now that that pick hasn’t panned out (duh) they need to dip back into the secondary well: with Bryon Murphy and Greedy Williams being their best targets.
Seattle Seahawks (21st Overall Pick): Picking in the First Round
If I was a betting man (I’m not) I’d drop a fat stack of cash on the table to face off against anyone who thinks the Seahawks will actually pick with the 21st overall selection. Instead, they will likely slide back to add additional picks to the just 4 selections they are heading into draft night with.
I’d also be willing to get in on any side-bet action that suggested they move back multiple times before Thursday night is over.