The NFL Draft is less than a week away, and it is scramble time for a lot of these teams looking to make their final decisions. I am going to go over who I think the first ten picks are without projecting any movement within the picks themselves.
Arizona Cardinals – Kyler Murray (Oklahoma)
Murray is a freak athlete that happens to fit exactly what the Cardinals want to do on offense moving forward. I will go ahead and believe what everyone is saying about this being a virtual lock. My personal take on Murray is very different from what I hear, and he is one of the guys I have watched the most leading into this process. Murray needs to become a better quarterback, and I am unsure how good he can ever become at the nuances of the position. Murray uses incredibly little eye manipulation and lacks real skills when going through progressions. Murray’s success is heavily dependent on his situation. Murray needs to be a puppet for an elite offensive-minded coach, like a version of a much more talented Jared Goff. If he gets a bad coach, Murray could be a train wreck when it comes to bad decisions.
San Francisco 49ers – Nick Bosa (Ohio State)
Bosa is the safest player in the draft, and I don’t think it’s close. Bosa missed most of the season due to a core muscle injury, but his skill level speaks for itself. I believe Nick is a better prospect than Joey, who is one of the best young ends in football.
New York Jets – Josh Allen (Kentucky)
Allen is a freak of an athlete and had outstanding production at Kentucky last season. I think Allen is slightly riskier than advertised simply due to his lack of production before this season combined with his relative struggles vs. the best opponents. Allen clearly feasted on the weaker part of his schedule, which is fine, but it does present a few questions. I normally don’t worry as much as others when it comes to production when I think the player could have done more if given opportunity earlier, but I don’t think that’s quite the case with Allen.
Oakland Raiders – Quinnen Williams (Alabama)
I think Williams is a good example of my previous statement about Allen. I am much more willing to believe Williams jump in production because I think the production could’ve been there earlier, we just didn’t get to see it. Guys at the few elite programs in the country lack experience and stats compared to “the guy” on lesser teams, but that doesn’t mean they’re not as good. Williams is pretty clearly my second best defensive guy on the board here.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Devin White (LSU)
White has been the frontrunner for the Buccaneers all along, and I think that holds true on draft night if they hold onto the pick. The top 3 defenders are pretty solidified in my mind, and this is where teams will start picking for fit more.
New York Giants – Dwayne Haskins (Ohio State)
Haskins is “my guy” in this class, and I will be at the front of the train on Haskins for the foreseeable future. I think Haskins is the most underrated player in the draft and a lot of that stems from the lack of experience. Haskins improved significantly throughout the season, and a lot of that was because he was learning about himself in game action for the first time. Haskins is incredibly smart and is exceptional at locating the defense’s weaknesses and exploiting them. The lack of experience for Haskins is not even close to a concern for me because again, he was at an elite program. When J.T. Barrett got hurt in 2017 at Michigan, Haskins came in with his team trailing and led them to victory off the bench in his second year. This shows me that Haskins was waiting in the wings behind a veteran more than he was “not ready” and I won’t punish him for that.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Montez Sweat (Miss State)
Sweat is one of the best athletes we will see at his position, and I think that Jacksonville is a fantastic spot for Sweat. The Jaguars defense is already talented, and they don’t need a polished player to become their leader on day one. Sweat can develop in a good system but also play right away.
Detroit Lions – Greedy Williams (LSU)
This is the biggest question mark in the top 10 for me. The Lions have a lot of needs but none that are musts in round one. I think a lot of information leans to them going corner in round one, but that might include them trying to trade down to 15 or even the 20-range, and they may still be able to land Williams there.
Buffalo Bills – D.K. Metcalf (Ole Miss)
Metcalf is a freak athlete, but I am not sold on him as an elite receiver. Metcalf lacks the ideal lateral movement and route running of top prospects, which gives me a lot of concern, but I do love the fit here. Pairing crazy fast freak athlete to catch deep balls from Josh Allen all game could be the plan here for the Bills at 9.
Denver Broncos – Drew Lock (Missouri)
Lock has seen a lot of hype through the draft process, and it is pretty clearly due to his physical tools. I am not sold on Lock as a prospect because he just lacks consistency from the pocket. Lock is a solid athlete and has all the physical tools you want in a QB. We have seen Elway draft on tools many times before, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he takes Lock to develop around a similar QB in Joe Flacco.