NFL

NFL experts predict – Answering the 2019 draft’s biggest questions

Round 1 of the 2019 NFL draft featured six draft-day trades, pass-rushers and defensive linemen galore and surprises throughout. Rounds 2-7? That’s where teams will find the real value.

Our panel of ESPN NFL experts evaluates the new crop of rookies, diving into their favorite picks and answering questions about what we should expect this season. Check back every day this week to see more answers:


What was your favorite pick of the draft?

Matt Bowen, NFL analyst: DT Quinnen Williams to the New York Jets (No. 3 overall). Everything you see on tape with Williams is real. This guy is an interior game-wrecker who can rush the passer. And he has the versatility to play in multiple fronts for new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

Mike Clay, fantasy writer: QB Kyler Murray to the Arizona Cardinals (No. 1). If there was one player in this draft who could immediately change a franchise’s fortune, it’s Murray. Top quarterback prospects often are either prolific passers or super athletic. Murray is both. Props to Arizona for not succumbing to sunk cost bias with Josh Rosen and instead taking the potential game-changing quarterback in Murray.

Dan Graziano, national NFL writer: DE/OLB Josh Allen to the Jacksonville Jaguars (No. 7). What a break for Tom Coughlin’s current team that his former team passed on the talented Kentucky pass-rusher at No. 6 and left him for the Jaguars. Allen adds to a position of strength, and being around the star players on all three levels of the Jacksonville defense should only help him fit in and make an impact as soon as possible.

KC Joyner, fantasy writer: LB Devin Bush to the Pittsburgh Steelers (No. 10). John Madden used to say that one or two tough tacklers can make all of the difference on defense, as their enthusiasm for hitting can inspire the rest of the defenders to be better hitters and tacklers. Bush will be that type of tackling and hitting difference-maker for a Steelers defense that has never been the same following Ryan Shazier‘s devastating injury.

Mina Kimes, NFL writer: DT Ed Oliver to the Buffalo Bills (No. 9). I liked the value that Jacksonville got with Josh Allen, but Oliver to the Bills was a better fit. He’s the perfect replacement for Kyle Williams: A strong, explosive tackle who can rush the passer from the inside, and he will finally get to play his correct position.

Jason Reid, The Undefeated: QB Dwayne Haskins to the Washington Redskins (No. 15). Shortly before the 2012 draft, the Redskins sent four high-round picks — three in the first round and one in the second — to acquire the second overall pick from the-then St. Louis Rams, which they used to select quarterback Robert Griffin III. Obviously, Griffin didn’t work out over the long haul. With the franchise still unsettled at QB, Washington used a first-round pick on Haskins, who obliterated Ohio State’s single-season marks for passing yards and touchdown passes. I get that there are questions about him, partly because he started only one season for the Buckeyes, but he’s a sharp, true pocket passer. And I almost forgot: Haskins has a boulder-sized chip on his shoulder after falling to No. 15. For Washington, this could work out spectacularly.

Mike Sando, senior NFL writer: QB Kyler Murray to the Arizona Cardinals (No. 1). Murray makes the Cardinals such a compelling team and gives them a chance at having a truly dynamic quarterback. The biggest short-term concern is simply whether Arizona can protect him.

Kevin Seifert, national NFL writer: QB Drew Lock to the Denver Broncos (No. 42). Whether or not he was overrated in mock drafts is irrelevant at this point. The Broncos grabbed a quarterback who has nearly 50 games experience at the SEC level, with perhaps the strongest arm in the entire draft, at a point in the second round where there is no pressure to get him on the field. He is easily John Elway’s best pick at the position.

Field Yates, NFL analyst: DT Quinnen Williams to the New York Jets (No. 3). I’ll keep it simple: I thought Williams was the best player in the entire class. Getting him at No. 3 was not necessarily a heist — the Cardinals were all-in on a quarterback upgrade, and Nick Bosa is the same caliber of player as Williams — but the Jets were able to stay in their slot when they were unable to find a trade-down partner to land the star defensive lineman.



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