The series will re-draft college prospects from previous years based on their pro accomplishments. The best, worse and blunders from all 32 NFL teams in the 1st round will be furnished as evidence to the broader case that no one knows anything while scouting talents.
A Li'l Brushing of the Memory
Arizona Cardinals went through a complete turn over with the hiring of Kliff Kingsbury followed by the drafting of two sport phenom - Kyler Murray in 2019. Before all the rosiness, the Cardinals hired and fired Steve Wilks, they drafted Josh Rosen at #10 in 2018 before trading him away for chunk of changes to Miami, then Cards General Manager Steve Keim pleaded guilty to extreme DUI in the same year. If you are wondering, he still has a job. That was the storm before the calm in Scottsdale.
49ers kept pushing the defensive line button with Nick Bosa and his Brock Lesneresque lat muscle. Who's question John Lynch now?
Now defunct Oakland Raiders had three picks in the 1st round and Mike Mayock in charge. It wasn't the crash and burn everyone hoped for. It was rather a pleasant surprise.
The eventual SuperBowl champions, Kansas City Chiefs didn't have a 1st round pick in 2019 but they had Patrick Mahomes from 2017 NFL Draft to suffice.
All the Right Moves
Round 1 Pick 1
DRAFTEE - Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals
Kyler Murray didn't run during his combine but his selection by the Cardinals brass was a home run. Murray fitted right into Kingsbury's system after being recruited by him at Texas A&M Aggies. The zip on his ball was displayed from the get go alongside elusive speed. The offensive rookie of the year award cements validation from the NFL Community. Murray's quick release and precision perfectly compliments the modern game. Murray's success (although limited) proves again that a rookie's affluence is more about the system than the player himself (sorry Josh Rosen).
Round 1 Pick 2
DRAFTEE - Nick Bosa, San Fransisco 49ers
Nick Bosa came to the scene and instantly became the best player of arguably the best defense in the league. Bosa was the best player of the Super Bowl bound 49ers and consequently won the defensive rookie of the year while making a strong case for the DPOY award. Bosa produced again in the Super Bowl where he consistently disrupted Chief's game plan. Nick Bosa's motor, bend and power from the edge is unreal and only the Bosa brothers can make it look so easy.
Round 1 Pick 24
DRAFTEE - Josh Jacobs, Oakland Raiders
A viable option from the offensive rookie of the year award. Jacobs became the first Raiders Rookie to run for above 1000 yards. Josh Jacobs season came to an early end with shoulder injury but his toughness was much appreciated by Raiders coaching. Josh Jacobs is a legit three down back with real side to side speed. Jacobs was a great mid first round pick by Mayock-Gruden front office.
Round 2 Pick 64
DRAFTEE - DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks
DK Metcalf proved that he's as good on the field as he is without his shirt on. The speed and natural gift was known by all but his stiffness was a question because of the physical built. Metcalf consistently improved on the board and his work ethic & consistent improvement during practice made him one of the first names on the team sheet. Russell Wilson likes him too!
Round 3 Pick 76
DRAFTEE - Terry McLaurin, Washington Redskins
Terry McLaurin was the highest graded rookie wide receiver per PFF ahead of A.J. Brown with the Tennessee Titans (Round 2, Pick 51- another great WR pick). McLaurin's polished route running and deceiving speed established him as a sure fire WR1 in the league. McLaurin proved to be the only bright spot in the DC area last year.
Not The Best Moves
Round 1 Pick 4
DRAFTEE - Clelin Ferrell, Oakland Raiders
Ferrell didn't have a bad year by any stretch. He had a so-so year but when you're the 4th pick of the draft, a so-so year is not good enough. Clelin Ferrell got lost in the field over and over last year and his impact was hardly noticed. The other draft pick at the defensive end position was Maxx Crosby (round 4, Pick 106), who's impact was more relevant than the Clemson grad. Ferrell was sold on his leadership and work ethic but that's not good enough reason to skip over Devin Bush, Ed Oliver or Josh Allen.
Round 1 Pick 32
DRAFTEE - N'Keal Harry, New England Patriots
Patriots selected N'Keal Harry over Deebo Samuel, A.J. Brown, Mecole Hardman, DK Metcalf and Terry McLaurin at the wide receiver position. Harry wasn't able to stay healthy and when he was healthy, he wasn't able to earn Brady's trust. Harry's underwhelming rookie season led to more issues and distrust between the front office and Brady's camp. Finally, Brady's subsequent move to Tampa because of lack of target. Only if Belichick could hit on his WRs.
Underrated Draft Move
Round 2 Pick 42
DRAFTEE - Drew Lock, Denver Broncos
Elway might have finally found his quarterback. Drew Lock didn't start till late but ended up winning 4 of his 5 starts. Lock's arm talent was a known commodity around NFL sphere but his grit and composure was a positive start for the Broncos sans Joe Flacco. Lock is raw but Broncos future under Vic Fangio. The art of finding the next franchise QB is to keep choosing QBs and Elway did just that with this underrated move.
What-If This Happened?
Round 1 Pick 32
New England Patriots draft Terry McLaurin instead of N'Keal Harry
Tom Brady put his house on the market before the beginning of 2019 season. The 20 year relationship between Brady and Belichick seemed cracked beyond repair but they were Super Bowl champions after all. Rob Gronkowski had retired, Amendola didn't play in New England anymore, Edelmen got older and slower, Sonny Michel (teams #1 running back) is not a 3 down back with shady knee situation. To save the busted offense of NE they draft injury prone N'Keal Harry. Harry doesn't play for most of the season. The offense performs worse than ever. Patriots even try to sign Antonio Brown but his off the field issues lead to more chaos than calm. Now, Brady is a Buccaneer and the franchise is in a flex.
Terry McLaurin has proven to be a smart wide receiver with acute understanding of routes and speed to burn as an X option, if required. As intricate as the Patriots system is, McLaurin could have been the key addition and Sanu's capital would have been used on a running back/ full back or other necessary holes. McLaurin has been an underrated storyline because of his playing time in Washington DC even after having the best of season at the receiver position. The unknowns still remain, what-if McLaurin was the same rookie in a New England Jersey? Will Brady still be wearing a Tampa Bay jersey the coming season?
Looking Back For Draft Board Specials
Round 1 - Pick 1 - Cardinals - Kyler Murray (Same as original)
Round 1 - Pick 2 - 49ers - Nick Bosa (Easiest choice ever)
Round 1 - Pick 3 - NY Jets - Josh Allen (Jets chose Quinnen Williams)
Round 1 - Pick 4 - Oakland Raiders - Devin Bush (Raiders chose Clelin Ferrell)
Round 1 - Pick 6 - Not Daniel Jones - He is a big unknown but the fumbles don't look good
Round 1 - Pick 8 - Detroit Lions - Ed Oliver (Lions chose TJ Hockinson, a TE is too rich for #8)
Round 1 - Pick 15 - Not Dwayne Haskins - Redskins are ready to move on to their next QB under new coach Ron Rivera.
Lookout For A Solid Career
Round 1-Pick 27
Johnathan Abrams - Oakland Raiders
Abrams is a DAWG. He is the exact type of player that Las Vegas Raiders need in their system. Abrams was out with injury for the season after a solid start to the season. His ability to play as a strong safety as well as his smarts to fit into a free safety role will immensely help with the fluidity of Raiders defensive scheme. Gruden likes him and their is no reason for him to not have a great bounce back season.
The 2019 NFL Draft was not the flashiest. It will be fascinating to look back on the draft 4 years later when the rookie contracts are up for negotiation. My guess, Daniel Jones is a solid back up.