We’re two weeks into the NFL season and 2019 draft storylines are starting to take shape. The Bills are making their case for the league’s worst team, Eli Manning continues look every bit the 37-year-old quarterback he is, and, in a development no one could have predicted, the Raiders are suddenly unable to generate a pass rush after shipping Khalil Mack out of town.
Because you’re wondering, we’ve ordered the picks based on each team’s records this season then sorted by how they finished in 2017. It’s why the Buccaneers (2-0 this season but 5-11 last season), for example, pick before the Rams (2-0 this season but 11-5 last season).
Looking for a hot new podcast that’s your home for all things NFL? Look no further. The Pick Six Podcast with Will Brinson has you covered every weekday morning with new episodes around 30 minutes each. Subscribe: via iTunes | via Stitcher | via TuneIn | via Google Play.
1. New York Giants
Drew Lock, QB, Missouri. We can make all the excuses we want about the offensive line but the reality is that the Giants need to move on from Eli Manning. At 37, he is who he is, which at this stage of the proceedings is a quarterback who is perpetually panicked in the pocket — even when he has time — and it’s affecting the rest of the offense.
2. Houston Texans
Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss. Deshaun Watson has been sacked seven times in two games. Coming into the season, the offensive line was the biggest unknown and the unit has struggled — along with just about everybody else. The Texans were our favorites to win the division and through two weeks they’re alone in last place in the AFC South.
3. Oakland Raiders
Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State. The Raiders are 0-2 and after each loss, new (old) coach Jon Gruden made his way to the podium to announce to the media that Oakland needs a pass rush. Of course, they had one of the best pass rushers on the planet a month ago but decided Khalil Mack wasn’t worth the money. So now the Raiders will have to wait until the offseason to bolster the defensive line.
4. Arizona Cardinals
Ed Oliver, DT, Houston. When you lose your first two games 24-6 and 34-0, you’re desperate for help everywhere. The Cardinals have their franchise quarterback in Josh Rosen so why not start rebuilding the defense with arguably the draft’s best player.
5. Detroit Lions
Dre’Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State. New coach Matt Patricia is a defensive guy and as a member of the Bill Belichick coaching tree he was brought to Detroit to make this team, which finished 9-7 last season, into consistent winners. In two games, the Lions have given up 78 points and 359 rushing yards. They’re also winless. Jones is a hybrid pass-rushing specialist who fills an obvious need.
6. Buffalo Bills
Jonah Williams, LT, Alabama. We suspect the Bills will slowly creep up the draft board as the losses pile up. One of the ancillary benefits to being one of NFL’s worst teams is that you can have your pick of the litter come draft day. And for the Bills, who have needs up and down the roster, protecting 2018 first-round pick Josh Allen will be key to avoiding drafting early again in 2020.
7. Oakland Raiders (via Bears)
Brian Burns, DE, Florida State. In case you haven’t heard, the pass rush is a huge concern for Jon Gruden. And since you can’t replace Mack with just one player, the Raiders take two in first seven picks.
8. Cleveland Browns
N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State. With Josh Gordon officially done in Cleveland, the Browns add Harry, a big-play downfield threat who would nicely complement Jarvis Landry, Antonio Callaway and David Njoku.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers
Devin White, LB, LSU. The Steelers haven’t drafted this high since 2000, when they used the No. 8 pick on Plaxico Burress. Four years later, they grabbed Ben Roethlisberger with the No. 11 pick. This time around, they grab one of the draft’s most athletic players and fill a need in the middle of the defense.
10. Seattle Seahawks
Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan. The Seahawks have needs on both sides of the ball, including along the offensive line where Russell Wilson is perpetually running for his life, but the team chooses to bolster the interior defensive line with this pick.
11. Indianapolis Colts
12. New York Jets
13. San Francisco 49ers
A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss. Tight end George Kittle leads the teams in receptions through two games (seven for 112 yards) and is second on the team in yards per reception (16.0). First on the list? Fullback Kyle Juszczyk (four catches, 69 yards, 17.3 YPC). Put another way: Give Jimmy Garppolo a deep threat.
14. Washington Redskins
Anthony Johnson, WR, Buffalo. The run on wide receivers continues; Alex Smith has leaned heavily on his running backs and tight ends to start the season. Chris Thompson leads the team with 19 receptions through the first two games, Jordan Reed is second with 10. For an idea of just how bad it is, Adrian Peterson is fourth.
15. Dallas Cowboys
Noah Fant, TE, Iowa. Fant has just 12 catches for 112 yards and two scores through three games this season but he hauled in 11 touchdown passes as a sophomore in 2017. With Jason Witten now in the broadcast booth, Dak Prescott could use a reliable middle-of-the-field target.
16. Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon. Adding help along the defensive line makes sense here but after passing on a quarterback last year, the Chargers take one in 2019. This assumes, of course, that Philip Rivers won’t play forever.
17. Tennessee Titans
Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson. The Titans have struggled to keep their offensive line healthy, and the same holds for tight end, but adding a run-stuffer in the middle of this defense could also be an option. Which brings us to the 350-pound Lawrence, who has flashed some pass-rushing skills too.
18. Baltimore Ravens
Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State. Same pick as last week. The Ravens got production out of their new receivers in the first two weeks so perhaps they’ve finally cracked that riddle. If so, they can focus on other needs here, like replacing 35-year-old Terrell Suggs even though he’s playing like he’s 10 years younger.
19. Atlanta Falcons
20. Green Bay Packers (via Saints)
21. Carolina Panthers
22. Philadelphia Eagles
23. New England Patriots
24. Green Bay Packers
David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State. The Packers could also look to beef up the offensive line but Montgomery would give Aaron Rodgers something he hasn’t had in a while: a proper running back who is also a threat catching passes coming out of the backfield.
25. Minnesota Vikings
Mitch Hyatt, OT, Clemson. The Vikings battled through injuries along the offensive line during preseason and they’ll continue to protect $85 million man Kirk Cousins by adding one of the most fundamentally sound blockers in the draft.
26. Denver Broncos
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jeffery Simmons, DT, Mississippi State. Last season, the Bucs’ defensive line ranked 20th against the run and was dead last in pass rushing, according to Football Outsiders’ metrics. Simmons would fill an obvious need.
28. Miami Dolphins
Ryan Finley, QB, NC State. Ryan Tannehill if completely healthy and has looked sharp through the first two weeks of the season. He’s completing 72.5 percent of his throws and has a passer rating of 104.9. But are we convinced he can consistently run Adam Gase’s offense? Because if not, the Dolphins could target a quarterback.
29. Cincinnati Bengals
Tyler Petite, TE, USC. It’s unclear if Tyler Eifert will ever return to form and with the Bengals‘ offensive line coming together, the team can focus on surrounding Andy Dalton with down-the-field playmakers.
30. Jacksonville Jaguars
Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State. Jacksonville lost left tackle Cam Robinson to an ACL injury on Sunday and with Blake Bortles playing the best football of his career, it’s imperative to keep him upright.
31. Kansas City Chiefs
32. Los Angeles Rams
Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky. The Rams have very few needs, but pass rusher is one of them and Allen fits the bill.