From Kyler Murray to N’Keal Harry, we grade all 32 picks in the crazy first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. How did your team do?
The first round of the 2019 NFL Draft is in the books, which means there’s no better time than right now for some premature draft grades.
Staff writer Chris Dougherty and site expert Sayre Bedinger took the odds and evens respectively, and graded all 32 picks.
1. Kyler Murray, Cardinals | GRADE: B — Cardinals stick to their guns and give first-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury his guy at first overall. I’m firmly of the belief that if you believe a specific player is going to elevate you to the next tier, then you do whatever you need to do to get him, and the Cardinals did that. While passing on a more pressing need like pass rusher may come back to haunt them, you simply don’t pass up a potential franchise-changing talent like Murray.
2. Nick Bosa, 49ers | GRADE: A — Although this pick was somewhat of a no-brainer, the 49ers get a high grade anyway. Bosa is an extremely talented edge player and I like this pick even better pairing him with Dee Ford. What prevents this from A+ is Bosa’s injury history, which cannot be ignored.
3. Quennen Williams, Jets | GRADE: A — The Jets were rumored to be strong candidates to trade out of the third pick, but stood pat and watched the clear-cut top prospect fall into their laps. For a team that historically seems to mess up their picks, the Jets are now on the verge of having a dominant defense that could allow them to push for contention in the Monarchy that is the AFC East.
4. Clelin Ferrell, Raiders | GRADE: C+ — I’m not going to give the Raiders a terrible grade for this pick, but there was no need to keep it a big secret. No one else was thinking on this frequency. Ferrell is a good player who has been consistent and part of a great defense, but is he a top 5 talent?
5. Devin White, Buccaneers | GRADE: A — Devin White is one of those players that could’ve gone anywhere in the top-5 and there’d be nearly nothing you could argue against. White is a traditional plug-and-play prospect who will immediately fill a gap left by Kwon Alexander’s free agency departure.
6. Daniel Jones, Giants | GRADE: D — This pick will get an A+ grade but only in hindsight. The saying goes if you have a QB you love, you do whatever it takes to get him. The Giants did that, but a year too late. They could have taken Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, or Josh Rosen last year, and all are better prospects than Daniel Jones. It’s ominous that they took a QB with ‘pick 6’.
7. Josh Allen, Jaguars | GRADE: A — Allen is the best EDGE prospect in this draft and he fell out of the top-5. Jacksonville couldn’t be happier with this pick, as it allows them to quickly re-establish a position that was left unclaimed after former first round pick Dante Fowler, Jr. never truly solidified himself.
8. TJ Hockenson, Lions | GRADE: B+ — I love the pick of TJ Hockenson, and the idea of him being the Lions’ version of Rob Gronkowski is fun but 8th overall? After you signed Jesse James this offseason? Not even OJ Howard, a similarly talented prospect with even more athleticism, went in the top 10, or even top 15. This is a solid pick because Hockenson is a great player.
9. Ed Oliver, Bills | GRADE: A+ — Ed Oliver has been my #1 prospect in this draft for 13 months now, and it’s never wavered. The fact that Oliver was on the board for the Bills at ninth overall is first degree grand theft. Buffalo saw longtime defensive stalwart Kyle Williams ride off into the sunset, and are immediately able to not only replace him but upgrade with a generational talent like Oliver. Despite the Raiders and Giants having six total picks between them on Thursday, Buffalo instantly won the first round for me with this lone selection.
10. Devin Bush, Steelers | GRADE: B — I don’t buy that Bush is a top 10 player in this year’s class, though some (Louis Riddick) have him as the top overall player in the class. Yikes. The Steelers needed a ‘quarterback’ for their defense, as Mike Tomlin called him, so you can’t argue with that. Giving up a 1, 2, and a 3 to get Bush is a hefty price, therefore I would grade this an above average pick.
11. Jonah Williams, Bengals | GRADE: B- — Williams is a player you can line up at either an interior position or weak side tackle. There had been rumors that Zac Taylor would follow in Kingsbury’s footsteps and try and nab his own quarterback in the first round, but going with Williams allows the perennial fringe Bengals to continue to retool on the fly with Andy Dalton and AJ Green.
12. Rashan Gary, Packers | GRADE: C+ — Despite concerns about a labrum injury for which he might need surgery this year and despite his lack of production despite elite athleticism, the Packers brought in Rashan Gary as a cornerstone piece of their defense. I’m not overly sure what the Packers’ plan is with all of their pickups on the defensive front — Preston Smith, Za’Darius Smith, now Rashan Gary — this offseason.
13. Christian Wilkins, Dolphins | GRADE: B — Christian Wilkins, one third of Clemson’s Power Rangers defensive line is a great pick for Miami which allows them to begin their inside-out rebuild process. The Dolphins didn’t push their chips in to reach for a quarterback, even after we saw both Kyler Murray and Daniel Jones were overdrafted.
14. Chris Lindstrom, Falcons | GRADE: C — The Falcons drafted for need, which is a big no-no, but they got a solid player. I would have been thrilled to get Lindstrom with the 14th pick in round two, and would not have batted an eye were he gone within the first five picks of day two. At 14 overall, however, this is not great value at all. Good player, poor value in my opinion.
15. Dwayne Haskins, Redskins | GRADE: A — Washington had long been rumored to jump into the Top-10 for one of either Haskins or Daniel Jones. Lying season saw it’s peak when we saw Daniel Jones come off the board at sixth overall and the Redskins patiently waited in tall grass to snag Haskins at their origin slot of 15th overall. It was a great show of patience for a team that historically has demonstrated the football front office equivalent of beer muscles when trying to make a splash on draft day. Haskins could very well start Week 1, and at the very least will be an intriguing watch early on.
16. Brian Burns, Panthers | GRADE: A — I actually love this pick for the Panthers but I hate that it came at the expense of protection for their quarterback. They had nothing at defensive end, at least in terms of youth, so getting Burns at 16 is a great value and I really like the player here. He’s so explosive and a true edge-bender who can make a difference late in games.