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Welcome to Zach’s Draft Corner, where it’s always amateur hour.
The first round of the 2019 NFL Draft has come and gone, and my goodness were there some surprises. They always say that the real NFL draft is crazier than any mock draft you could ever think of, and this year is no exception. Here’s everything you need to know about what happened in the first round.
The 49ers Selected Nick Bosa
There was infighting when the 49ers defeated the Seahawks. Everyone wanted Nick Bosa, and many were disappointed that the 49ers, drafting at second overall, would no longer be in position to take the consensus best player in the draft. The Cardinals changed the direction of their franchise, meaning they needed a new quarterback to fit their new vision, leading to the selection of Kyler Murray with the first overall pick. This led to Nick Bosa, one of the top two players in the draft and a player at a position of need for the 49ers, falling right into John Lynch’s lap. Lynch and Shanahan waited patiently, let the Cardinals talk every which way, and walked away with the biggest improvement they could have possibly made.
The Raiders Kicked Off the Wackiness
When the Jets took Quinnen Williams with the third overall pick, it was seemingly a great position for Oakland to take Josh Allen, Devin White, or Ed Oliver. Instead, the Raiders selected Clelin Ferrell with the fourth overall pick. While I was higher on Ferrell than most, I do think Oakland could have traded down quite a bit and still been able to select him, or even wait all the way until their pick at 24 to bring Ferrell to town. By drafting Ferrell fourth overall, the Raiders kickstarted what turned into a wacky night of strange overdrafts.
Multiple First Rounds Picks Mean Nothing When Wasted
Many teams had multiple first-round selections this year. Oakland selected Clelin Ferrell, Josh Jacobs, and Jonathan Abrams. Green Bay selected Rashan Gary, then traded up to select Darnell Savage as the first safety off the board. Atlanta took Chris Lindstrom a bit early and traded up to select Kaleb McGary way early. The Giants, with Josh Allen, Ed Oliver, Jonah Williams, and a ton of other talent staring Dave Gettleman in the face, selected Daniel Jones sixth overall, run-stuffing nose tackle Dexter Lawrence seventeenth overall, and traded back into the first round to select the all-around average cornerback DeAndre Baker above talent like Byron Murphy and Greedy Williams. The only team that wound up with multiple first-round picks and used them wisely was, surprisingly enough, Washington, who had my QB1 Dwayne Haskins fall into their lap at fifteenth overall and then traded back up into the first round to take Montez Sweat to replace Preston Smith on the edge. If you have multiple first round picks, it’s only a good thing if you don’t waste those picks by overdrafting players by multiple rounds.
The End of the First Round got Wild
Teams with multiple first-round picks weren’t the only ones to drastically overdraft players. While Jawaan Taylor has a knee injury that may be more serious than many let on, it was still a huge surprise that Houston selected Tytus Howard, the offensive tackle from Alabama State, with the twenty-third overall pick. Even if Taylor is more banged up than initially thought, players like Cody Ford and Dalton Risner were there for the taking. Seattle selected L.J. Collier, the defensive end from TCU who never started a single game in his TCU career, with the twenty-ninth overall pick, over talent like Chase Winovich. The Patriots took the second wide receiver off the board after the Ravens selected Hollywood Brown, but that receiver was not D.K. Metcalf, Deebo Samuel, or A.J. Brown. Instead, it was N’Keal Harry, a receiver who cannot get separation at the college level and who likely does not have the strength to consistently make contested catches at the pro level. There were reaches all over the place, which means…
There is So Much Talent to be Had in Round Two
Overdrafting certain players means that other players will fall. The 49ers will have the fourth selection of the second round. Samuel and Brown, two wide receivers widely connected to the 49ers, are still on the board, and that’s not even to mention the fact that Metcalf is still on the board. Risner, Ford, and Erik McCoy could all fortify the 49ers’ offensive line. Greedy Williams and Byron Murphy each bring traits at cornerback that the 49ers find valuable, and Nasir Adderley and Chauncey Gardner-Johnson can each play single-high safety in the NFL. It is very likely that the 49ers could select one of these first-round talents in the second round. If any of these players start falling even further, it’s also likely that the 49ers could trade back into the second round to stop one of these freefalls. Regardless, there is a ton of top-end talent left on the board. If the 49ers play their cards right, they could drastically improve their roster.
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