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 (or with their first pick) of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Baltimore Ravens (22nd Overall Pick): Waiting for a Wide Receiver
The Ravens wide receiving corps. is depleted; with Willie Snead, Jordan Lasley, Jaleel Scott, and Andre Roberts currently headlining the position. The Ravens don’t pick in the 2nd round-so if they don’t get a playmaking wideout early, they likely won’t get one who can make an immediate impact on their roster.
AJ Brown, Kelvin Harmon, N’Keal Harry, and Hakeem Butler could all have high impact roles early for Harbaugh and his young quarterback.
Houston Texans (23rd Overall Pick): Even Considering not Taking and Offensive Linemen
Houston had perhaps the worst offensive line play last season, for a team that otherwise has a dynamic offense. The bigger names (Williams, Ford, Taylor) might go earlier than 23, but Dillard is likely to be available and the Texans cannot pass on their chance for a franchise changing tackle.
Philadelphia Eagles (25th Overall Pick): Drafting a Running Back (aka Josh Jacobs) Early
Once the Eagles traded for Jordan Howard it completely wiped Josh Jacobs off my board for them. Howard, paired with Adams and Sproles, adds enough consistency, goal line presence, and big play potential for Philadelphia’s run-first offense.
Instead, look for the Eagles to focus on secondary support or a young offensive lineman to rotate in for 2019 and replace the aging Jason Peters.
Indianapolis Colts (26th Overall Pick): Forgetting to Show Up
The Colts continue to win the 2018 NFL Draft-their 34th overall pick (obtained in the Sam Darnold trade) gives them a lot of flexibility at the back end of the first. They have two picks to grab a defensive tackle and a play making wideout (in that order).
Their roster, overall, is solid and young. They have a lot of luxury in this draft and can go in a lot of directions and make their fan base happy.
Los Angeles Chargers (28th Overall Pick): Keeping this Pick over Josh Rosen
The Chargers also have a very well-rounded and deep roster. They could certainly take a defensive tackle with this pick, like Simmons or Tillery, but they would be better served by looking to the future. Reuniting the UCLA star with his fan base as a future successor to Phillip Rivers makes a lot of sense. It gives the Chargers a lot term plan to contend, with the quarterback many considered to be the best amongst a loaded draft class. It also gets Rosen out of a toxic situation in Arizona and a place where he can grow, compete, and learn-fitting his tenacious personality.
Reports suggest that the Chargers would be in the driver’s seat for Rosen, if the Cardinals are indeed shopping him. With just a 2nd round pick and New England’s 32nd overall pick being rumored to be potentially on the table, the Chargers have the ability to make this deal happen.
Kansas City Chiefs (29th Overall Pick): Ignoring the Defense
Kansas City has 8 picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, and I would be 100% okay if they used all 8 of those on a defense that held them back from a Super Bowl appearance in 2018. They have gaps on the defensive line, in their linebacker corps., and in their secondary. Look for them to start by trying to find a replacement for Eric Berry and grab a free safety to play opposite of Tyrann Mathieu.
Los Angeles Rams (31st Overall Pick): Not Thinking Long-Term
The revitalized Rams have made a pattern out of making splashy short-term free agent signings-especially on their defense. Instead of banking on a Nadakam Suh, Marcus Peters, or Eric Weddle, they need to invest in young talent. In particular, they could benefit from targeting help in their secondary, interior linebacker, or EDGE.
New England Patriots (32nd Overall Pick): Trading Back
The terms “NFL Draft”, “mistake”, and “Bill Bellicheck” don’t really go together, but I will give this an honest try anyways. New England has 12 total picks in the 2019 NFL Draft-making it questionable that the perennial trade back partner would be open for that business. Instead, the Pats should be looking to move up and be aggressive in finding an offensive playmaker that could give Tom Brady a jolt of energy that can’t be found in any vegetable smoothie.
Cleveland Browns (49th Overall Pick): Being Content with OBJ
The Browns already won the 2019 NFL Draft by fleecing the New York Giants to obtain Odell Beckham Jr.; however, it would be a mistake for them to stop being aggressive there. Despite not having the 17th overall pick the Browns still have 8 total selections.
Don’t be surprised if Dorsey moves up in the draft to take a sliding cornerback (Greedy Williams) or safety (Adderley, Gardner-Johnson), or even Devin Bush.
Dallas Cowboys (58th Overall Pick): Failing to Secure a Franchise Tight End
Dallas’ tight end situation is so bad they literally chose to bring a 36-year-old out of retirement to ensure some stability at the position. Dallas is in a perfect position to snag Jace Sternberger, who has a huge NFL ceiling, at 58th overall. They also could try to move up to get in on the Fant and Smith Jr. sweepstakes.
New Orleans Saints (62nd Overall Pick): Passing on Value at Wide Receiver
The Saints offense runs through Michael Thomas, but Drew Brees is going to need more support than the eclectic group of supporting wideouts currently on the roster. Tre’Quan Smith remains very raw, Tedd Ginn remains very one-dimensional, and will someone please tell me what happened to Cam Meredith’s career?
They have other needs, like Tight End and offensive line depth, but if a player like Deebo Samuel or Kelvin Harmon slip to them they would be making a big mistake by passing on them.
Chicago Bears (88th Overall Pick): Being Okay with their Running Backs
The Bears will be the last team to head to the podium and won’t do so until late Friday night. They have just 5 picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, and only 3 of them are before the 7th round. The Bears, though, have a fantastic roster mixed with veteran leadership, athleticism, and youth. What remains a giant question mark for their offensive-minded head coach, though, is what is happening at the running back position.
Tarik Cohen has a niche skillset and I’m far from sold on Mike Davis being anything more than a change of pace back. There is a lot of running back depth in this draft class, though, and they will likely be able to choose from a slew of potential playmakers at either 84 or 127. Rodney Anderson, Damien Harris, Alex Barnes, and Alexander Mattison will all likely be available for them.