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2019 NFL Draft Predictions

[Total: 1    Average: 5/5]

Welcome to the Draft Predictions article, where I make complete guesses on what some teams along with the Titans will do in the 2019 NFL draft, hosted in Nashville, if you couldn’t tell by the missing cherry blossom trees. 

Arizona Cardinals will draft Kyler Murray at No. 1: 

He’s a very good fit for the Kingsbury offense, because it’s similar to the offense he ran at Oklahoma with Lincoln Riley.  I don’t think he has quite the same accuracy as Baker Mayfield, but he’s an elite level athlete with excellent speed, that can cause a bevy of mismatches. 

However, the biggest reason why I believe they will make the pick is because I don’t think Josh Rosen is all that great.  His calling card last year was being the most “pro-ready” QB in last year’s class, yet he was the worst QB of all first-round picks. 

  • His QB rating went down each month, along with his completion percentage, showing very little signs of improvement. 
  • His college coach vouched for one of their biggest rival’s QB (Darnold – USC) when asked a simple “who would you pick first?” question.  This always signals some immaturity issues to me, because Pete Carrol wasn’t too kind to Mark Sanchez when he left college. 
  • His supporting cast wasn’t worse than Darnold or Allen.  All three of them had terrible offensive lines (which is evidenced by all of them touted to pick OL in this draft), and he has David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald (albeit not in his prime), Christian Kirk as receiving options.  How is this worse than Buffalo or NY?

Player A vs. Josh Rosen

Josh Rosen:  55.2 completion %, 2.8 TD%, 3.6 INT%, 5.8 Yards per attempt, 66.7 Passer Rating, 26.6 QBR, 10.3 % Sack Rate with Christian Kirk, David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald. 

Player A:  55.8 completion %, 2.7 TD%, 4.7 INT%, 6.9 Yards per attempt, 66.5 Passer Rating, 42.0 QBR, 8.8% Sack Rate.

Who is Player A?

Rookie Geno Smith.  Playing with Santonio Holmes (who was useless then), draft bust Stephen Hill, David Nelson (who was out of football, and was apparently on his couch when the Jets called), and Jeremy Kerley.  Oh, and Kellen Winslow, before his trouble with the law. 

The Jets passed on Terry Bridgewater, David Carr, and Jimmy Garappolo, (along with Manziel and local favorite Mettenberger) in the next draft because they believed Smith would take a big leap. 

There are plenty of rumors that Arizona may go with a defensive player or trade down, and that’s certainly a possibility, but the Cardinals would be better served having Murray play QB.  Rosen’s numbers will improve, mainly because the offensive scheme is better, but Murray is a better fit. 

2) The Jets will trade down:

If the Jets don’t trade down, it wouldn’t be from a lack of effort.  There have been plenty of reports on how the Jets are trying to engage teams to move down in the draft.  The team traded away this year’s 2nd round pick as part of the move to grab Sam Darnold last year, while fielding a team that harbors numerous question marks. 

Center:  They are desperate for a center, having Jonotthan Harrison as the starter right now.  They’ve been connected to Garret Bradbury, but picking him at 3 would be too high. 

Offensive Tackle:  The Jets also have a need at offensive tackle, and have been connected to all of the first round tackles, but even Jonah Williams would be a reach at 3.

Wide Receiver:  Another position of need because they lack a true No. 1 receiver that can pose as a red zone threat. 

Cornerback:  The Jets have Trumaine Johnson and Daryl Roberts as cornerbacks now, so that is a position of need.

The biggest need is an edge rusher, which could be taken care of by staying at pick 3.  However, with a roster that needs help at various places, I see them trying to trade down into the teens, and pick up as many draft choices as possible. 

3) The Jaguars will select TJ Hockenson:

The team spent a boatload of money on Nick Foles, and he’s thrived with a receiving tight end like Zach Ertz in Philadelphia.  He also played with Jared Cook in St. Louis, and Travis Kelce in Kansas City, but they were brief stops. 

The reason tight ends are important to Foles comes from his ability to throw deep passes down the field.  The safeties have to stay back further, which open up passes in the middle of the field for tight ends and slot receivers.

4) The Denver Broncos will select Drew Lock: 

QBs tend to be overvalued during the draft, and Lock has considerable upside.  His main issue stems from consistency, but he definitely has potential.  He’s similar to Paxton Lynch, when he came out in the draft, and John Elway loved that pick.  With Joe Flacco onboard to at least start the season, I believe Elway takes Lock as the long-term project, similar to how KC held Mahomes back a year to get acclimated to the NFL.  I’m not a fan of Lock (at least as a franchise guy) but he’s a much better prospect than Paxton Lynch coming out of college.  It’s easy to say that now, since Lynch has been terrible, but there were numerous red flags about his arsenal of throws in college, which I communicated to my friends and family!  Come by the office and we can discuss what I look for in a QB!!

5) The Tennessee Titans will pick a Wide Receiver in the first round:

Wait, before you type out asterisks to get around the filter, at least hear me out. 

This is a huge year for the organization because they need to evaluate Marcus Mariota.  QB contracts have been inflating faster than real estate prices in Nashville, and making the wrong choice can absolutely cripple you financially.  Therefore, the team needs to do everything in their power to understand the abilities of Mariota, before they are forced to make a decision. 

Wide receiver a position of need? I would say so, as I argued for Hakeem Butler in this article

The main issue is simple, the offense lacks explosiveness.  From past articles, you can tell that I’m not a fan of Corey Davis as the No. 1 receiver.  He may or may not develop into one, but he’s certainly not one right now.  He fits much better as the No. 2 receiver, which them makes the life of Adam Humphries easier in the slot.  Throw in Delanie Walker at tight end and Derrick Henry at running back, and this is a formidable offense.  If Mariota can’t be successful with this surrounding cast, then it’s time to look at the draft next year. 

However, I am going to stay positive, so let’s assume he breaks out and becomes an absolute star.  One thing I will say, there are absolute studs that put up stats that I would hate rooting for (Brown, Antonio), but Mariota strikes me as one of the most likeable players that I follow.  Maybe I’m going soft now as a new dad, but something about being genuinely nice makes me root for him.  Anyway, let’s assume he breaks out and the Titans franchise him and then sign a long term deal. 

The cap hit for Mariota would be massive, so they would need to save money elsewhere for at least 2 years.  One of the most expensive roster spots? No. 1 WR.  The Titans can control the costs for their WR group with draft pick, Corey Davis, and Adam Humphries for the next 3 years or so. 

The draft has a good amount of high potential receivers, so I can definitely see them trading back for extra picks, but since I’m making predictions, I’ll say they will pick a wide receiver in the first.  The evaluation of Mariota should be the biggest concern for the team this year, because they don’t want to be caught in limbo.  You don’t have to look far to see the consequences because Ryan Tannehill showed promise through injuries, but the Dolphins guessed wrong on him being a franchise QB. 

6) Seattle Seahawks will pick Noah Fant:

Russel Wilson just got paid as a true franchise QB, so they will now turn to give him more weapons.  They have one of the best deep ball threats in Tyke Lockett, with a dynamic receiver in Doug Baldwin, when healthy.   The team also saw George Kittle torch the NFL this season with the 49ers, and Fant compares very favorably in terms of athleticism.   Seattle is known for relying on SPARQ scores to evaluate physical ability, and Fant shows up in the 94th percentile.  A depleted depth chart at tight end position, and needing more weapons on offense fits the bill. 

7) The Patriots will trade up for Chase Winovich:

If there is one guy that fits the Patriot’s way in this draft, it’s Chase Winovich.  He’s a high energy player that has matching physical attributes to go along with production.  He’s been overshadowed by Rashan Gary at Michigan, even though Winovich was more productive.  The Patriots like to take guys that don’t fit the prototypical mold and allow them to play to their strengths.    

Random Predictions:

  • N’Keal Harry will not be drafted in the first round
  • The Titans will draft an edge rusher in the second round
  • Josh Jacobs will not be the first running back selected
  • Lions will pick DK Metcalf after trading out of the top 10

Just as a disclosure, these are all random guesses that I’m making, while I follow the draft process from home, and while I sit on I-65 at the 440 exchange.  Hopefully, everyone has a safe day driving out there tomorrow.  I’ll try to tweet during the draft, but I am heading to the office tomorrow (so if anyone wants to look at homes, let me know!) therefore stuck in the gridlock at rush hour.   Thanks for reading the 2019 NFL Draft Predictions.

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