Way too early Round 1 grades

The Bills, Lions and Jaguars get good fortune after Giants, Raiders make perplexing picks in the first round

Derek Kramer
April 26, 2019 - 1:31 am

Photo: Troy Taormina - USA TODAY Sports

The first round has come and gone with some shocking picks and a lot of trades in the second half of the opening round.

While the players will eventually prove on the field how well the picks fare out, it's always fun to look back and react to the picks as they happen. Here are the "way too early grades" for the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft:

 

1.) Arizona Cardinals

The Pick: Kyler Murray - QB - Oklahoma 
Grade: B-

Without much stock into Murray himself, this grade is more an indictment of the Cardinals' front office for poor asset management and wasting their 2018 first round pick on Josh Rosen, who they traded up to draft. If Arizona truly believes Rosen won't work out, they better hope that Murray pans out.

 

2.) San Francisco 49ers

The Pick: Nick Bosa - DE - Ohio State 
Grade: A-

Bosa was the steady and expected pick for San Francisco. He will add pass rush for the 49ers, and goes pretty much where he was expected to. They could have gone with Quinnen Williams, but went for the edge rusher instead.

 

3.) New York Jets

The Pick: Quinnen Williams - DT - Alabama 
Grade: A

The Jets passed on potential trade offers and take Williams, who is seen by many as the top player of the entire draft class. The middle of the line in New York is scary with Quinnen Williams and Leonard Williams anchoring the defensive line.

 

4.) Oakland Raiders

The Pick: Clelin Ferrell - DE - Clemson 
Grade: D-

Wow. "Full Gruden" is going to become an adjective soon if the Raiders continue to make questionable decisions like this. Ferrell was seen as a player who could go in the mid-20s, where Oakland had two picks! The only reason this is not an "F" is that Ferrell is at least seen as a first round talent.

 

5.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Pick: Devin White - LB - LSU
Grade: B+

Josh Allen fell into their laps, but the Buccaneers chose to solidify the linebacking corps with White in the middle. Tampa needed a lot of help defensively, so passing on Allen isn't a harsh miss.

 

6.) New York Giants

The Pick: Daniel Jones - QB - Duke
Grade: F

Terrible management of two first round picks and an egregious reach on a quarterback, who has next to no right to be a first round selection, let alone a top-10 pick. Jones is a lesser version of Alex Smith, a safe quarterback with an average NFL arm and some athleticism but no "wow" throws. General manager Dave Gettleman apparently decided he didn't want to be out-done in bad picks by Jon Gruden.

 

7.) Jacksonville Jaguars

The Pick: Josh Allen - DE - Kentucky 
Grade: A+

The Jaguars get a gift to fall to them with Allen falling to seventh overall. Allen is one of the top players of the draft class and the Jaguars made no mistake in taking another young talent to add to their defense.

 

8.) Detroit Lions

The Pick: T.J. Hockenson - TE - Iowa
Grade: A+

Hockenson fell to Detroit and the Lions didn't overthink it. Some Bills fans wanted Hockenson, but it wouldn't come to pass. Credit the Lions for not being scared about a tight end in the top-10 again after the flop of Eric Ebron in 2014.

 

9.) Buffalo Bills

The Pick: Ed Oliver - DT - Houston
Grade: A+

Like the Jaguars and Lions, Buffalo had one of the top talents of the draft class fall right in their lap. Many mocks saw Buffalo taking the defensive tackle from Houston, but needed some good fortune to make it happen. Luckily for the Bills, good fortune did ring in the form of the Giants and Raiders.

 

10.) Pittsburgh Steelers (from the Denver Broncos)

The Pick: Devin Bush - LB - Michigan
Grade: B+

The trade up from 20 looked steep, but it only cost two second round picks to swap pick 20 for pick 10 and take Bush. Bush is likely the replacement for Ryan Shazier, whose career has been cut short by injury. Not using a first round pick to move up 10 spots is impressive, and Bush should help the Steelers defense.

 

11.) Cincinnati Bengals

The Pick: Jonah Williams - OT - Alabama
Grade: A+

The Bengals took the top available offensive lineman in Jonah Williams, whose versatility is matched by his capabilities as a blocker. Williams can play guard or tackle on the left and right side, allowing for him to be placed where needed in Cincinnati.

 

12.) Green Bay Packers

The Pick: Rashan Gary - DE - Michigan
Grade: B

The jury is out on Gary, who is an athletic marvel that did not have enough production at Michigan. However, Green Bay didn't reach and still got solid perceived value for Gary, who was expected to go anywhere in the top-15 picks.

 

13.) Miami Dolphins

The Pick: Christian Wilkins - DT - Clemson
Grade: A

The third AFC East team to take a defensive tackle, Wilkins could have been a top-10 selection if not for the quarterbacks and the presence of Quinnen Williams and Ed Oliver. Wilkins will be a quality defensive tackle in the league, and Miami should be happy with this pick for years to come.

 

14.) Atlanta Falcons

The Pick: Chris Lindstrom - G - Boston College
Grade: B

Lindstrom was a player I could see going later in the first round, but this is not a huge reach. Atlanta realized that their offensive line needed help and made the move to address it. While a bit high, Atlanta still gets solid value for an interior offensive lineman.

 

15.) Washington Redskins

The Pick: Dwayne Haskins - QB - Ohio State 
Grade: B-

The second-best quarterback of the class drops to 15 for Washington. There is no pressure for Haskins to play right away as Case Keenum can hold the fort for half the season if needed. This pick may also tell us what the status is of Alex Smith, whose leg injury may truly be a career-ender.

 

16.) Carolina Panthers

The Pick: Brian Burns - DE - Florida State
Grade: A+

The Panthers get a premium pass rusher for their defense to replace the retired Julius Peppers, and get a top player in the class. Burns has the motor, bend and technique to terrorize quarterbacks in the NFL for years.

 

17.) New York Giants

The Pick: Dexter Lawerence - DT - Clemson
Grade: C-

Lawrence was seen by many as a Day 2 player with a second round grade, yet here we are with Gettleman deciding to make head-scratching picks in the first round. Lawrence made plenty of plays, but there will always be questions on if he was a beneficiary of playing alongside Christian Wilkins and Clelin Ferrell.

 

18.) Minnesota Vikings

The Pick: Garrett Bradbury - C - NC State
Grade: A-

The Vikings filled a major need and did not need to reach to make it happen as Bradbury was a player seen with a pick range of 15-25. Minnesota didn't need to make any moves and got help for their terrible offensive line.

 

19.) Tennessee Titans

The Pick: Jeffrey Simmons - DT - Mississippi State
Grade: C

This is a bit of a risky pick as Simmons was in an incident in 2016 where video shows him in a fight, and Simmons is also recovering from a torn ACL suffered in January, which puts his availability for 2019 in question.

 

20.) Denver Broncos

The Pick: Noah Fant - TE - Iowa
Grade: A+

A trade down allows the Broncos to collect more assets and sees one of the top pass catchers of the draft class fall to them at 20. Denver seems to believe in Joe Flacco, who loves checking down to tight ends. Fant fills a need and gives Flacco an athletic target to throw to.

 

21.) Green Bay Packers

The Pick: Darnell Savage - S - Maryland
Grade: C

Green Bay moved up to draft the first safety in Savage. Green Bay's secondary needs plenty of help, but to trade up nine spots almost seemed unnecessary, as only one other safety was taken. Furthermore, while it filled a need, Savage wasn't really seen as a player that would be a sure-fire first round selection.

 

22.) Philadelphia Eagles

The Pick: Andre Dillard - OT - Washington State
Grade: A+

Philadelphia had to vault Houston to get to Dillard, a great value pick that cost next to nothing to move up three picks late in the first round. Dillard is the real deal, an athletic tackle who can be used for a lot of sweeps and trap plays involving pulling.

 

23.) Houston Texans

The Pick: Tytus Howard - OT - Alabama State
Grade: D+

I think Houston panicked here. They were ready for Dillard to drop to them, then the Eagles moved in to take him. Many suspected that the Eagles vaulted Oakland for a running back, not that they would take Dillard. Houston drafted for need, but Howard had a third round grade for me. A massive reach and another odd decision on the offensive line for general manager Brian Gaine.

 

24.) Oakland Raiders

The Pick: Josh Jacobs - RB - Alabama
Grade: C-

The Raiders drafted to fill a need here in Jacobs, but after Philadelphia moved up for an offensive lineman, there was no reason to take Jacobs in the first round anymore. Oakland holds the 35th pick overall, which is the third pick of the second round. Jacobs would've fallen, as none of the other teams drafting after Oakland needed a running back.

 

25.) Baltimore Ravens

The Pick: Marquise Brown - WR - Mississippi
Grade: A

The only concern for Brown is that he's recovering from a Lisfranc injury suffered in January while training for the draft. Other than that, Baltimore got great value for the first receiver off of the board. Lamar Jackson's newest top target has that elite speed to separate at the NFL level.

 

26.) Washington Redskins

The Pick: Montez Sweat - DE - Mississippi State
Grade: A

After a brief stint of reports of a heart condition, Sweat's stock took a small tumble. However, there are new reports that the heart condition was misdiagnosed, which was enough for the Redskins to trade back into the first round and select Sweat to bolster the pass rush.

 

27.) Oakland Raiders

The Pick: Jonathan Abram - S - Mississippi
Grade: A-

Well, the Raiders got one right. One of the top defensive backs of the draft goes to Oakland, and the pick fills a need and was a solid value for Gruden's secondary. As a standalone pick, Oakland did well here.

 

28.) Los Angeles Chargers

The Pick: Jerry Tillery - DT - Notre Dame
Grade: A-

The Chargers don't have many holes to fill, but Tillery should be able to crack the lineup and get some snaps early and often for Los Angeles. This is right about where Tillery was projected to be taken, and the Chargers took advantage of a solid talent on the defensive line.

 

29.) Seattle Seahawks

The Pick: L.J. Collier - DE - TCU
Grade: D+

Collier was not seen as a Day 1 selection after being a one-year starter on the defensive line for TCU. Collier also lacks a lot of athleticism and doesn't have a great bend to his pass rush.

 

30.) New York Giants

The Pick: DeAndre Baker - CB - Georgia
Grade: B+

Like the Raiders, the last pick by the Giants in the first round was their best. Baker was often seen as the fourth-best corner of the class, but at least Baker was also seen as a first round pick candidate.

 

31.) Atlanta Falcons

The Pick: Kaleb McGary - OT - Washington
Grade: C+

Atlanta traded back into the first round for a player who might be a right tackle or moved inside to guard. McGary was a right tackle in Washington, but the challenge of speed rushers in the NFL may cause McGary, who does better against power and bull rushers, to bump inside.

 

32.) New England Patriots

The Pick: N'Keal Harry - WR - Arizona State
Grade: B+

Harry was a solid first round prospect in his own right. New England drafts the rare first round receiver for their offense, but gets a good one in Harry.

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