04/23 14:57 CDT Defense order of the day for 1st round of NFL draft
Defense order of the day for 1st round of NFL draft
By BARRY WILNER
AP Pro Football Writer
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) --- We learned during the 2018 season that offense is
beloved by NFL teams (and fans). We also learned that defense, as performed by
the Patriots in the Super Bowl, carries away the Lombardi Trophy.
This year's draft, which begins Thursday night, is stocked with defenders who
can be difference-makers. Many of them play up front and will go very high in
Here's one view of the first round, presuming no trades --- something extremely
1. Arizona --- You don't hire a new coach out of college who plays a specific
system and then not give him what he considers the perfect player to run that
scheme. So Kliff Kingsbury gets ...
KYLER MURRAY, QB, OKLAHOMA
2. San Francisco --- Pedigree means plenty with this pick, even if the Niners'
choice missed much of 2018 while injured. Yet another D-line early pick for San
NICK BOSA, DE, OHIO STATE
3. New York Jets --- The Jets easily could trade out of this spot. Staying put,
they'll put into their new uniforms a dynamic guy for the trenches.
QUINNEN WILLIAMS, DL, ALABAMA
4. Oakland --- With the first of three picks in the opening round as the
rebuild begins in earnest, the Raiders fill the chasm created by their trading
of Khalil Mack last summer.
JOSH ALLEN, LB, KENTUCKY
5. Tampa Bay --- Lots of holes here for Bruce Arians to get filled, and he's an
offensive-first guy. Still, there are too many studs on the other side of the
ball to pass on one of them.
DEVIN WHITE, LB, LSU
6. New York Giants --- Around the Big Apple, fans are salivating about the
Giants taking Eli Manning's successor at quarterback in this spot. Sorry, New
Yorkers, you'll have to wait. Defense first, if that sounds familiar in this
MONTEZ SWEAT, LB-DE, MISSISSIPPI STATE
7. Jacksonville --- Tom Coughlin stays in-state for a protector for his new QB,
JAWAAN TAYLOR, OT, FLORIDA
8. Detroit --- Another team staying within state boundaries for its choice.
Matt Patricia's strength is defense and he adds to the building process with ...
RASHAN GARY, DL, MICHIGAN
9. Buffalo --- Did we mention this is a defense-first draft?
ED OLIVER, DL, HOUSTON
10. Denver --- Big decision time for John Elway, who loves drafting
quarterbacks and is staring at one who threw for 50 TDs last year. But Elway
also traded for Joe Flacco, who isn't on his last legs. So ...
BRIAN BURNS, LB-DE, FLORIDA STATE
11. Cincinnati --- Now the decision on that QB belongs to Cincinnati, which has
seen attendance drop as the team flounders. Another in-state pick, this one a
gamble and not for an immediate need.
DWAYNE HASKINS, QB, OHIO STATE
12. Green Bay --- Replace (sort of) LB Clay Matthews or replace (sort of) WR
Randall Cobb or help (sort of) TE Jimmy Graham?
This is high for a tight end, but there are two worthy of first-round status.
T.J. HOCKENSON, TE, IOWA
13. Miami --- Las Vegas odds-makers see the Dolphins as the worst team in 2019.
If they are right, how much does it matter which player they choose here?
CLELIN FERRELL, DE, CLEMSON
14. Atlanta --- Although help up front is a most crunching need, the Falcons
see the top cornerback in this crop on the board and grab him.
GREEDY WILLIAMS, CB, LSU
15. Washington --- If he wasn't a quarterback, he wouldn't have cracked the top
half of the first round --- or maybe gone in the entire opening round. But he
is a QB, so ...
DANIEL JONES, QB, DUKE
16. Carolina --- Another team that is looking for a developmental passer. With
several likely available later on, the Panthers grab something more pressing.
JONAH WILLIAMS, OT, ALABAMA
17. New York Giants (from Cleveland) --- CRUSHED! New York figured it could get
Jones here, and considering he's been coached by the same guy who handled Eli
and Peyton Manning in college, he was a perfect fit. Sorry, Big Blue.
DEVIN BUSH, LB, MICHIGAN
18. Minnesota --- If they go by need, the Vikings have their choice of blockers
to fill a major void.
CODY FORD, OL, OKLAHOMA
19. Tennessee --- The Titans' temptation could be taking a tight end or
wideout. They also could use help on both lines. Time to boost the excitement
D.K. METCALF, WR, MISSISSIPPI
20. Pittsburgh --- An offseason of turmoil and sea change has placed added
emphasis and attention on this pick. Strange to see Pittsburgh with so many
BYRON MURPHY, CB, WASHINGTON
21. Seattle --- Few teams have the wise front offices and coaching staff that
can retool and still be successful. That success continues with ...
DEXTER LAWRENCE, DT, CLEMSON
22. Baltimore --- Metcalf would have been a nice fit here, but he's in Music
City. The Ravens could go defense, but the offensive line needs bolstering.
ANDRE DILLARD, OL, WASHINGTON STATE
23. Houston --- Dillard was in their sights, and the Texans' blocking needs
fortifying. Sticking with that approach, they get ...
DALTON RISNER, OT, KANSAS STATE
24. Oakland (from Chicago) --- Jon Gruden has made it clear how much he adores
tight ends who can block and catch the ball. He'll get one.
NOAH FANT, TE, IOWA
25. Philadelphia --- Eagles boss Howie Roseman rubs his eyes in disbelief and
takes little time to select a college champion he couldn't imagine would fall
CHRISTIAN WILKINS, DL, CLEMSON
26. Indianapolis --- Never doubt GM Chris Ballard's selections after pulling
off one of the great drafts of recent years in 2018. He begins this one with ...
DEANDRE BAKER, CB, GEORGIA
27. Oakland (from Dallas) --- Gruden would have loved Baker in his secondary.
He is tempted to stick with that position, then goes for the other backfield
and a do-everything RB.
JOSH JACOBS, RB, ALABAMA
28. Los Angeles Chargers --- This comes down to if the Chargers want to wait
for DT Jeffery Simmons to recover from a major knee injury, or play it safer.
JEFFERY SIMMONS, DT, MISSISSIPPI STATE
29. Seattle --- Defense is a must, as we saw in the AFC championship game. The
Seahawks dealt front-line stud Frank Clark to KC for this spot, but Simmons
comes off ACL tear.
NASIR ADDERLEY, CB, DELAWARE
30. Green Bay (from New Orleans) --- After getting help for Aaron Rodgers
earlier, the Packers try to fill a hole in their secondary yet again.
JUSTIN LAYNE, CB, MICHIGAN STATE
31. Los Angeles Rams --- The most talented roster in the league adds to it up
GARRETT BRADBURY, OL North Carolina State.
32. New England --- Predicting anything about the Patriots on draft day is like
trying to figure out when (if?) Tom Brady will retire.
A.J. BROWN, WR, MISSISSIPPI
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