With the scouting combine over and free agency winding down, we look at the potential prospects that could be drafted in the first round this upcoming April.
Cardinals, Pick 1: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Ever since Murray weighed in at the Combine, he has almost been a lock to go first overall. The only question is which team drafts Murray. Here, the Cardinals keep the first overall pick and draft their new quarterback.
New head coach Kliff Kingsbury has not been quiet about how much he loves Murray and drafting him would make Cardinals fans excited about the future. The only way I see the Cardinals moving from the pick or not drafting Murray is if an offer they cannot refuse comes up or if something unknown about Murray comes up.
49ers, Pick 2: Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama
The 49ers would be drafting Nick Bosa if they were drafting off potential, but since it seems like the 49ers want to win now, they draft Williams. Williams is probably the most NFL ready player in this draft and it also fills a need for the 49ers.
Dee Ford was recently traded to the 49ers which means that interior line is a bigger need than edge rusher for them. The addition of both Williams and Ford could make players such as Solomon Thomas and DeForest Buckner better or make them better.
Jets, Pick 3: Nick Bosa, Edge, Ohio State
With this pick the Jets draft a player that many people consider to be the best in this class. Nick is Joey Bosa's younger brother and many people, even older brother Joey, think that Nick is the better brother. If that is the case, the Jets would get a steal here.
Bosa is a terrific pass rusher and has a terrific build to be a great player. Bosa has few flaws but one big thing that sticks out to people is that he missed all last season with a core injury. If this injury is only a one-time thing and Bosa can stay healthy then the 49ers and Cardinals might regret passing on him.
Raiders, Pick 4: Josh Allen, Edge, Kentucky
The luck of the Raiders continues with this pick when they draft Josh Allen, another player that is first overall pick worthy. Allen would be a great fit with the Raiders because they are desperately looking for a pass rusher since they traded Khalil Mack. Allen has the ability to rush the passer as well as drop back in coverage if needed.
Allen has the same skill set as another former Raider in Bruce Irvin. Allen has the speed to chase down quarterbacks or to drop back in zone and cover the nearest tight end or running back. Allen will be a great addition to the Raiders' already young defensive line, and can hopefully give them all the spark they need.
Buccaneers, Pick 5: Montez Sweat, Edge, Mississippi State
Sweat blew people away at the NFL combine, which is why he is here at the fifth pick. There were reports out that Sweat has a heart condition. This condition is not supposed to scare teams away since he was cleared to participate in the Combine and Senior Bowl.
Sweat was very dominant in college but his recent performances in the Senior Bowl and the Combine has boosted his stock and put him in the top 5 discussion. Sweat ran a 4.41 forty and him being 6’6” and 260 pounds, with that combination of size and speed, Sweat will be a force on an already talented Buccaneers defensive line.
Giants, Pick 6: Rashan Gary, Edge, Michigan
Gary would be a great pick for the Giants, especially since they traded away Olivier Vernon and Damon Harrison. He has the ability to play anywhere on the defensive line, but he is best on the edge. Gary impressed everyone at the combine when he ran a 4.58 in the 40-yard dash which shows he does have some speed.
Even though Gary ran that impressive 40 he does not use his speed in his game. He is very good at setting the edge when needed, so he is good against the run. The only move that he seems to use to rush the passer is his bull or power rush, but after this, the Giants might try to turn him into a more complete pass rusher.
Jaguars, Pick 7: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
After signing Nick Foles to a monster contract this free agency, the Jaguars use this pick to protect him. Williams is a top tackle in this draft but what makes him unique is that he can play either side. There have been some concerns about Williams' size and how he is not big enough to play tackle in the NFL.
At 6’4” and 308 pounds, Williams is not the biggest player on the field but he beats players with his technique. Williams has great technique which helps him win battles that some people do not expect. If Williams can get stronger then he can possibly turn into the next Joe Thomas.
Lions, Pick 8: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
The Lions have many needs and corner is one of them. They already have an elite corner in Darius Slay, and with drafting Greedy Williams they will have two lockdown corners. The Lions could draft a defensive lineman here but due to the position being very deep, they take Williams. Williams is by far the best cover corner in this draft and has perfect size to go along with it at 6’2”.
He does have some concerns about his effort on run plays, as he does not try to get off blockers or does not try to tackle the running back. Other than his lack of effort in the run game, Williams is an almost flawless corner and would give a much needed boost to the Lions defense.
Bills, Pick 9: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
The Bills addressed the receiver position in free agency so they draft Taylor to help protect quarterback Josh Allen. The Bills already have a respectable defense and offensive line is one of their biggest needs.
Taylor is a fantastic run blocker, especially for the tackle position. He is a very aggressive blocker and is very athletic. Taylor showed in college that he can block any type of move that a defender will use, such as a spin move.
Broncos, Pick 10: Devin White, LB, LSU
Denver needs to find a good linebacker that they can build around and White fits that description perfectly. White is a sideline to sideline player and was a prototypical middle linebacker in college.
He is good against both the run and pass which is crucial with the Broncos being in the AFC West. White does have some issues with his instincts but when he starts to get used to NFL speed he will be the anchor of Denver’s defense for years to come.
Bengals, Pick 11: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
Tight end is not a huge need for the Bengals but it is a position they would like more consistency in. Tyler Eifert was just re-signed by the Bengals on a one year deal, but knowing his history he will more than likely get hurt. Hockenson would be the player they thought they were getting when Eifert got drafted.
Hockenson is the best all around tight end in the draft and one of the most pro-ready players in this draft. Hockenson would be a huge help in the run game as he can block both defensive lineman and linebackers. He would also give Andy Dalton another big target outside of A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd.
Packers, Pick 12: Ed Oliver, DL, Houston
After signing two edge rushers in free agency, the Packers boost their interior line by drafting Oliver. Oliver is a very versatile player, as he can play any position and there are even rumors that he can play linebacker in the NFL.
Oliver is not as highly touted as he was in his earlier college career but he is still a dominant player. People have concerns that Oliver's pass rush has not developed as fast as they wanted but with NFL coaching, Oliver can develop his play more.
Dolphins, Pick 13: Clelin Ferrell, Edge, Clemson
The Dolphins could easily trade this pick so a team could draft Haskins or Miami themselves could draft Haskins. Instead Miami looks to keep rebuilding their team and draft a defensive end to replace Cameron Wake and Robert Quinn. Ferrell would be an excellent pick for Miami since he has some of the same measurables as Trey Flowers.
That is key because new Dolphins coach Brian Flores is from New England and tried to sign Flowers this past offseason. Ferrell would give Miami another defensive player to build around. Ferrell is very good against the pass and even jamming tight ends off the line of scrimmage.
Falcons, Pick 14: Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson
Wilkins is another Clemson defensive lineman who is expected to go in the first round of the NFL draft. Wilkins has a good size and speed at 6’3” and 315 pounds and ran a 5.03 in the forty. The thing that makes Wilkins so great is that he is a great leader on and off the field. Many of his former players and coaches praised his character which is always a good thing.
As for his play, he is very effective at the line of scrimmage and keep leverage while being engaged with blockers. If Wilkins can play at the level he played at in college he will be one of the NFL’s favorite players.
Redskins, Pick 15: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
The biggest question of this draft is, where will Dwayne Haskins go? People have said Haskins can go top 5, while others say the will fall out of the top 10. Here, Washington picks him up with the 15th pick. Even though they traded for Case Keenum earlier this offseason, Haskins would be a great fit in Jay Gruden’s system and could possibly start day one for Washington.
Haskins has rivaled Kyler Murray for the top quarterback in the draft even through the two are completely different. Haskins is everything Gruden would want in a quarterback and then some, making him an excellent pick for Washington.
Panthers, Pick 16: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
Cam Newton has been subject to injuries his whole career. Now whether that is his fault or because he gets hit every play is the question. It is about time the Panthers get Newton some protection. Dillard was a four year starter for a pretty good offense and is a very athletic blocker.
He is an all around good blocker in both the run and pass. He can drive defenders on run plays and can protect your quarterback in the pass game. Dillard will give the Panthers offensive line a very much needed boost.
Giants (via Browns), Pick 17: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
After the Giants pass on Haskins with the sixth pick they pick their franchise quarterback in Daniel Jones. There have been reports that the Giants do not like Haskins at all and other reports saying they love him. If they are not interested in Haskins, Jones makes the most sense.
Jones has been compared to current Giants quarterback, Eli Manning and because of that the Giants might be interested in drafting him. Jones has also worked out with the coach that coached the Manning brothers. If the Giants are serious about keeping Manning as their quarterback, and keeping their scheme the same, Jones would be the smartest pick.
Vikings, Pick 18: Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma
After Anthony Barr had a change of heart and re-signed with the Vikings, they need to address the offensive line position instead. Ford is very athletic for his 6’4” and 329 pound frame.
He also has experience to play both guard and tackle which is very beneficial. Ford never gives up on a play and is very aggressive. His pass blocking is not the best but he should still be a day one starter so he can progress through the season.
Titans, Pick 19: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi
Corey Davis did not turn out to be the player the Titans hoped for when they drafted him. Metcalf on the other hand is one of the most explosive receivers to come into the draft in recent memory.
At 6’3” and 228 pounds, he ran a 4.33 forty and it blew people away. Due to Metcalf’s size and speed combination corners are going to have a tough time covering him. Hopefully with the addition of Metcalf, Davis can turn into the player everyone projected him to be.
Steelers, Pick 20: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
The Steelers defense was the reason they lost games last year. The addition of Murphy will boost both their run and pass defense. Murphy had seven interception and 20 pass breakups on only 87 targets in his college career.
For a corner he is very aggressive and can be a hard hitter. He is the perfect size for a slot corner but he can play outside due to his aggressiveness. Murphy would also be a great compliment with Joe Haden.
Seahawks, Pick 21: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
The Seahawks offensive line got progressively better as the season went on last year. That is why the Seahawks draft one of the most exciting players in this year's draft. Fant had one of the most impressive combines and was already considered to be a first round pick.
At 6’4”and 250 pounds he is big enough to block edge rushers but running a 4.5 in the forty he is fast enough to outrun linebackers. The only issue with Fant is that he is not aggressive enough with blocking or when running routes. Once he realizes how to use his body better those weaknesses should go away.
Ravens, Pick 22: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
With the loss of C.J. Mosley, the Ravens are now looking for a new middle linebacker. Bush would immediately fill the void left by Mosley and is exactly the type of player the Ravens look for. Bush is the prototype of a modern middle linebacker although he is a bit undersized.
Bush has the ability to cover sideline to sideline and is not scared to stick his nose in the run game. The only negative with Bush is that since he is a bit undersized, he can easily be bullied by guards. If Bush can find a way to get off blocks from bigger guys and improve his reaction time, the Ravens will have another star linebacker on their hands.
Texans, Pick 23: Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State
Abram would replace Tyrann Mathieu who left in free agency. Abram is one of those safeties that can play as an extra linebacker. He is very aggressive and a hard hitter who is great in the run game.
He is better against the run compared to the pass so he might get moved to linebacker later down the road. His hip movements are not the best so in order for him to be a great safety they will need to improve.
Raiders (via Bears), Pick 24: Brian Burns, Edge, Florida State
The Raiders double down on edge rushers with their first two picks. Burns was very impressive during the combine and pairing him with Josh Allen would be deadly. The Raiders are only lacking edge rushers on their defensive line since they already have Johnathan Hankins and Maurice Hurst in the interior.
Running a very impressive 4.53 forty will give the Raiders the ability to send Burns off the edge and he has the speed to chase down running backs. Burns is very athletic which makes it easy for him to get off or go around blockers. If Burns can set his frame and not give away his position when approaching blockers he can be a very good player.
Eagles, Pick 25: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
The Eagles running back position has been very inconsistent over the years. With Jacobs they get a dependable guy who can do it all. Jacobs has been praised by his coaches for his work effort. He is a traditional runner since he does not have breakaway speed but he makes good use of his blockers.
Jacobs is also very good out of the backfield which is a crucial part of the Eagles offense. The best part about Jacobs' game is that he is very patient with his blocks and attacks the hole at the right time. Hopefully Jacobs will be the player the Eagles need to fix their running back woes.
Colts, Pick 26: Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple
The Colts are one of the NFL’s most interesting teams. They are very young and they have a lot of cap space to grow. By drafting Ya-Sin the Colts boost their young defense and give much needed help to their secondary.
Coaches love him and that shows that Ya-Sin is both coachable and a great player. Ya-Sin is great in coverage and can break on the ball at any given moment. He also is not scared to stick his nose in the run game which will help the Colts out as well.
Raiders (Via Cowboys), Pick 27: Irv Smith Jr, TE, Alabama
Jared Cook was arguably Derek Carr’s favorite weapon this past year. He has left in free agency and the Raiders find his replacement in Smith. Even though the Raiders got plenty of weapons in free agency, the way Carr used Cook last year should be a reason why they draft Smith.
Smith is more of a receiving tight end but he can block if needed. His blocking is a bit inconsistent but if he gains more weight and more coaching he will get better. He is not the biggest at 6’2” but he does have a little speed on him with a 4.62 forty. He has strong hands so he has the ability to be a red zone threat as well.
Chargers, Pick 28: Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington
The Chargers are one of the most complete teams in the NFL. The only position they really need help with is offensive line. McGary is a very good player but he has a lot of issues that just need to be worked out over time.
He is a very effective blocker but he is not always consistent. He has potential to be a franchise tackle and with that the Chargers will be picking best player available based off of need.
Chiefs, Pick 29: Dexter Lawrence, DL, Clemson
The Chiefs need all the defensive help they can get, especially since they traded away Dee Ford and released Justin Houston. Lawrence improved every year that he was in college. He is also very althletic and has great size at 6’4” and 342 pounds.
The Chiefs have been looking for a new defensive tackle ever since Dontari Poe left and Lawrence could be that guy. Since the Chiefs do not have many defensive pieces, they could start to build their new defense around Lawrence.
Packers (via Saints), Pick 30: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
The Packers do not have many receivers outside of Davante Adams. Brown would give Aaron Rodgers a new weapon to play with. With Brown’s explosive speed Aaron Rodgers will have a lot of fun with him.
Brown is the best route runner in this year's draft and with his speed, he should make an impact day one. He does have some recent injury concerns but teams should not worry about that since he did not participate in the combine to stay healthy.
Rams, Pick 31: Garrett Bradbury, G/C, North Carolina State
The Rams are a very complete team but the offensive line is a huge need. Bradbury is the best interior lineman in the draft and would become an instant starter for the Rams. He has great hand placement and once he is locked onto a defender he stays locked on.
Bradbury is a bit undersized and uses the same blocking moves every time, making him predictable. Bradbury’s size is not that big of a concern since he very technical but with NFL coaching he will start to use different blocking moves, which will only improve his game.
Patriots, Pick 32: Zach Allen, Edge, Boston College
All throughout the combine, scouts said that Allen plays and acts like a Patriot. He is very coachable and does whatever he is told. The Patriots draft Allen to replace Trey Flowers who they just lost in free agency. At 6’4” and 280 pounds, Allen can rush the passer and set the edge.
Allen also has incredible football IQ which is something the Patriots look for in players. He does not have great length so he may be on blocks longer than scouts like but Allen always keeps his eyes in the backfield to know where the ball is going. It seems like Allen is a player that the Patriots will love to have and also need.
This story was written by Tanner Elliott. Follow him on Twitter: @Elliott302Tj
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