7 Burning Questions for the 2019 NFL Draft

BY the time you are ready this there’s a chance that the NFL Draft will be underway. With three days and 256 picks ahead of us, the rumour mill has officially kicked into overdrive as we gear up for one of the most exciting events in the NFL calendar. With a sub-6-foot Heisman winner set to dictate how things begin, the draft may go in a thousand different directions after that with these seven questions on the tip of everyone’s tongues.

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Q. Which team is most likely to trade up?

THE easy pick here in my eyes is the Washington Redskins. With Alex Smith’s future surrounded by uncertainty, the Skins need to look at alternative options for 2020 and beyond. Case Keenum could be a fine stopgap for one year, but a move into the top-5 could see Washington take their pick of Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock, Daniel Jones, or perhaps, even a falling Kyler Murray. Keep your eye on the Texans as well. With offensive line a priority, they could be forced to leap from 23 into the first half of the draft to snag the likes of Andre Dillard or Garrett Bradbury.

Q. Which team is most likely to trade down?

THE New York Jets were a team on the other side of the ledger last year, moving up to secure Sam Darnold at pick No. 3. This time around, with their franchise quarterback in uniform, the Jets could look to move out of the top-3 and chase future assets, a move that many expect to come to fruition on Thursday. With Miami also in a full-blown rebuild mode, there’s a world where they move the 13th overall pick on in the attempt to secure future selections.

Q. Will T.J. Hockenson crack the top-10?

IN the 21st century only three tight ends have been taken inside the top-10 and Eric Ebron (10th in 2014) is the only one over the past 10 years. There is a chance that Iowa State product T.J. Hockenson could become the most recent member of this group, looming as a complete product at the TE position. Excelling in the passing game (760 receiving yards with six touchdowns in 2018) and showcasing stellar run-blocking ability, don’t rule out the Jaguars (7th) or Bills (9th) taking Hockenson off the board early.

T.J. HockensonImage from thegazette.com

Q. If Arizona takes Murray first overall, who makes a play for Josh Rosen?

A lot of people, myself included think that Kyler Murray will be the first player drafted in 2019, with Arizona going in a new direction under first-year head coach Kilff Kingsbury. If that happens, then it’s unlikely that Josh Rosen will have a future with the Cardinals and there are a few teams that could come calling. Personally, I think the Giants should, but they might choose to draft a future franchise guy. There’s a chance the Dolphins and Chargers enter the discussion’s with Miami kick-starting their rebuild, maybe by even letting him sit for a year behind Ryan Fitzpatrick. With Philip Rivers not getting any younger, landing Rosen could give L.A. a good succession plan too.

Q. How far will Kyler Murray fall if he doesn’t go #1 overall?

MURRAY’S height (5′ 10″) continues to be a massive talking point, with players of his size never usually in the mix for the top overall selection. However, Heisman winning quarterback’s don’t come around every day, with Kyler owning the tools to alter a franchise in the right direction. His playmaking ability with both his arm (4,361 passing yards, 42 touchdowns) and his feet (1,001 rushing yards, 12 touchdowns). I can’t imagine Murray falling out of the top-5, with one success-hungry franchise bound to leap up the board to draft the Oklahoma standout.

Q. How many quarterbacks will go in the first round?

IN 2018, five quarterbacks were selected in the first round, the most since 2012. There’s a chance that we could come close to that number again this year, with four players, in particular, expecting to hear their names called on Day 1. Kyler Murray (naturally), Drew Lock, Dwayne Haskins and Daniel Jones appear in the top-20 for most NFL mock draft‘s and if a certain team falls for a specific play-caller they might be inclined to move up the board and halt their slide, ala Baltimore last year with Lamar Jackson. Lesser known names like Will Grier and Ryan Finley could be surprises as well.

Q. How will the Raiders use their three picks?

ALMOST the key to the entire draft is how Oakland chooses to use their picks, mainly their three inside the first 27. Their later picks in the 20’s come via the Amari Cooper/Khalil Mack trade’s and it’ll be crucial for new GM Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden to prove they know what they’re doing. The owners of pick No. 4 as well, means we could see the Raiders go a number of different routes at the Draft. They may emerge with three blue chipper’s, there’s also the chance they move back and acquire more picks to further reshape the franchise. However, that wouldn’t be fun. With a move to Vegas nearing, perhaps they want another face to plant next to Antonio Brown’s on the billboards, using those three picks to swipe the No. 1 pick from Arizona. Holding all the power, Oakland could use it on Kyler Murray, Nick Bosa or even shock the world by taking Dwayne Haskins. Never say never.

Peace ✌

Banner from bloomberg.com

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