The first round of the 2019 NFL draft is in the books and it certainly was a memorable one: from Kyler Murray getting drafted first overall, to questionable decisions being made, to trades and steals and everything in between. For the New England Patriots, it was a pretty straight-forward affair as the club stayed put and picked wide receiver N’Keal Harry with the 32nd overall selection to close out the day.
Let’s take a look back at the action:
1-1 Arizona Cardinals: QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
1-2 San Francisco 49ers: DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State
1-3 New York Jets: DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama
1-4 Oakland Raiders: DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
1-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: LB Devin White, LSU
1-6 New York Giants: QB Daniel Jones, Duke
1-7 Jacksonville Jaguars: DE Josh Allen, Kentucky
1-8 Detroit Lions: TE T.J. Hockenson, Iowa
1-9 Buffalo Bills: DT Ed Oliver, Houston
1-11 Cincinnati Bengals: OT Jonah Williams, Alabama
1-12 Green Bay Packers: DE Rashan Gary, Michigan
1-13 Miami Dolphins: DT Christian Wilkins, Clemson
1-14 Atlanta Falcons: OL Chris Lindstrom, Boston College
1-15 Washington: QB Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State
1-16 Carolina Panthers: DE Brian Burns, Florida State
1-17 New York Giants: DT Dexter Lawrence, Clemson
1-18 Minnesota Vikings: OL Garrett Bradbury, NC State
1-19 Tennessee Titans: DT Jefferey Simmons, Mississippi State
1-20 TRADE Pittsburgh Steelers —> Denver Broncos: TE Noah Fant, Iowa
1-21 TRADE Seattle Seahawks —> Green Bay Packers: S Darnell Savage, Maryland
1-23 Houston Texans: OT Tytus Howard, Alabama State
1-24 Oakland Raiders: RB Josh Jacobs, Alabama
1-25 TRADE Philadelphia Eagles —> Baltimore Ravens: WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma
1-26 TRADE Indianapolis Colts —> Washington: DE Montez Sweat, Mississippi State
1-27 Oakland Raiders: S Jonathan Abram, Mississippi State
1-28 Los Angeles Chargers: DT Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame
1-29 Seattle Seahawks: DE L.J. Collier, Texas Christian
1-30 TRADE Green Bay Packers —> Seattle Seahawks —> New York Giants: CB DeAndre Baker, Georgia
1-31 TRADE Los Angeles Rams —> Atlanta Falcons: OT Kaleb McGary, Washington
1-32 New England Patriots: WR N’Keal Harry, Arizona
Some thoughts on what transpired those last few hours:
The Cardinals put themselves in an interesting situation: As was expected, the Cardinals picked Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray with the first overall selection — one year after drafting Josh Rosen with the tenth pick. Naturally, Arizona has an interesting situation at its hands now with two first-rounders competing for the starting job. Murray will likely get it, which makes Rosen a candidate for a trade if a team is willing to pay the asking price. Speaking of trades...
Six trades took place: Not counting the five moves that already took place before the draft, six trades were made in round one. The pick to change hands the most was number 30: originally belonging to the New Orleans Saints, it was traded to the Packers during last year’s draft. Last night, it moved from Green Bay to the Giants through the Seahawks.
Round one started off as a defensive affair: After Murray was picked, four straight defenders heard their name called — a general theme throughout a defensively dominated first round: eighteen defenders were selected overall, with ten of them hearing their names called in the first half of the round. Despite the NFL becoming ever more titled towards offense, defense is still important as Super Bowl 53 and now the draft illustrate.
Two surprising players make an appearance in the top-10: The expectation was that the Raiders would address their defense with their first of three selections. However, seeing them pick Clelin Ferrell can be counted as a surprise: while the Clemson product is a high-upside player, he was not projected to crack the top-10 — something that also can be said for new Giants quarterback Daniel Jones, who likely benefitted from 2019 being a down-year for quarterbacks.
The first running back was picked ahead of the first wide receiver: While passing is the way to move the football in this era, the first wide receiver — Oklahoma’s Marquise Brown — did not hear his name called until the Baltimore Ravens made him the 25th selection. Interestingly enough, a running back was picked one selection earlier when the Raiders invested in Alabama’s Josh Jacobs.
New England invests another first-round pick in a wide receiver: While the Patriots never picked a wide receiver in round one under Bill Belichick, the team did invest a first-round draft choice in a wideout before: New England traded a day one pick to New Orleans for Brandin Cooks in 2017. Cooks lasted only one season with the team before getting traded again, and so the Patriots had to look for another high-upside wideout this year. They found one it Arizona State’s N’Keal Harry.
Clemson and Alabama reign supreme: The two schools met in the National Championship Game in January, and now they again showed that they are the best talent factories in the country. The Tigers and the Crimson Tide produced three first-rounders apiece, four of which on the defensive side of the ball.