With the 2019 NFL season only hours away from kicking off, some fan bases already have their eyes on the next offseason. The draft looms over every football season. As the hopes of a team begin to wither: be it at the end of preseason, in week eight or in the fourth quarter of a playoff game, fans will start to consider the possibility and hope that lies in every draft. Before the season gets started, with every team still technically on the same plane, let’s jump forward to get an idea of how the draft could shake out. Hundreds of things can change between now and April, but this could give an early idea of top prospects and the teams that need them.
Draft order based on SportsLine Super Bowl Projections
Tua Tagovailoa, Quarterback, Alabama: The Dolphins seem hell bent on losing games this year. They have totally dismantled a young roster and despite trading for Josh Rosen last spring, the team seems ill equipped to support him. If/when Miami is drafting first overall, they’ll likely try to hit the resent button with this talented passer.
Andrew Thomas, Offensive Tackle, Georgia: Washington has a potentiallybright future with Dwayne Haskins in the fold, but the offensive roster is poised to let the team down this year. Trent Williams might be done in Washington and the team should commit to building around him long term.
Tristian Wirfs, Offensive Tackle, Iowa: Similar to Washington, the hopes in New York hinge on their young quarterback. While Daniel Jones might not see the field this season, they should have him in mind for the offseason. Wirfs is a gifted athlete and a high upside blocker. Exactly who teams will want blocking for a future franchise QB.
Justin Herbert, Quarterback, Oregon: Cincinnati is in the middle of a franchise overhaul. Likely that will mean that they will be looking for a new quarterback in the offseason. Herbert is a high upside passer and Zac Taylor would love to build around him.
Walker Little, Offensive Tackle, Stanford: The Cardinals have high hopes for Kyler Murray and have surrounded him with several talented skill players. However the offensive line is in need of help. Walker Little is a big time player who could turn into a franchise left tackle. I’m sure the Cardinals would be thrilled.
Chase Young, Edge, Ohio State: Tampa Bay should continue focusing on upgrading their defensive front. Vita Vea is going to be a good player for Tampa but they need true pass rushers. Chase Young might end up a better prospect than Nick Bosa was last year…
Jerry Jeudy, Wide Receiver, Alabama: To help Josh Allen’s development, Buffalo should invest in premium pass catchers. Jeudy looks like like a blue chip prospect who could change a passing game.
Trey Smith, Offensive Tackle, Tennessee: Detroit can go in a multitude of directions but when that’s the case, the best thing to do is often upgrade the trenches. Trey Smith has high upside at the offenses second most important position.
Kristian Fulton, Cornerback, LSU: The Broncos have some star power in their front seven and have upside on the offensive side of the ball. Conventional wisdom suggests they restock the cornerback position and draft a guy with star potential who can take over as Chris Harris Jr. heads into the latter part of his career.
10. New York Jets
AJ Epenesa, Edge, Iowa: With the Williams “brothers” manning the interior defensive line, the Jets need pressure coming off the edge. Epenesa is a freakish athlete who could transform that defense.
Paulson Adebo, Cornerback, Stanford: The Colts are going to experiment with Jacoby Brissett this year and it could go well for them. Adebo would help boost an improving defense to take pressure off the offense.
12. Tennessee Titans
Kenny Willekes, Edge, MSU: Tennessee is in a weird flux where they may need a QB here but no surefire first round QB has emerged at this point. Willekes would improve a solid Titans defense to bide time while they figure out the offense.
Tyler Biadasz, Center, Wisconsin: The Panthers have done a decent job recently stocking the offensive skill positions with talent but need to readdress their offensive line. Biadasz is a “safe” pick who could man the center position for the next decade.
Grant Delpit, Safety, LSU: San Francisco has a young defense that needs any talent it can get on the back end. Delpit is a do it all defender who could lock down the back end of the up-and-coming unit.
15. Oakland Raiders
Bryce Hall, Cornerback, UVA: The Raiders continue to upgrade their defense with a ballhawking playmaker. The rebuild continues on.
16. Baltimore Ravens
Tee Higgins, Wide Receiver, Clemson: The Ravens spent a first round pick on Marquise Brown to give the team speed on the outside. The 6-4, 210 pound Tee Higgins would perfectly compliment him as a dominating red zone threat.
17. Seattle Seahawks
Jeff Okudah, Cornerback, Ohio State: Heff Okudah is the next in line for talented OSU cornerbacks. The long, athletic defender would fit perfectly into Pete Carroll’s style.
18. Miami Dolphins (From Houston)
Calvin Throckmorton, Offensive Tackle, Oregon: The Dolphins will need to commit to protecting whomever they put under Center next year. Throckmorton would be the first piece in the puzzle to upgrade the line.
19. Atlanta Falcons
Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge, Penn State: The Vic Beasley era has not worked out for Atlanta and Takk McKinnley hasn’t taken the expected steps forward. Gross-Matos is an athletic pass rusher who could bring much needed exterior heat to the Falcon front.
CeeDee Lamb, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma: The Jaguars have good starters all over their roster with a glaring hole being wide receiver. The team needs a big play threat in the passing game to compliment their ground and pound philosophy. Lamb is a homerun hitter that Nick Foles would be lucky to throw to.
Shane Lemieux, Guard, Oregon: The Vikings need to shore up their interior offensive line. Lemieux is a big, athletic blocker who could provide a boost to the run game and give Kirk Cousins inside help.
D’Andre Swift, Running Back, Georgia: While Swift night not be the clear cut top back, his fit in Green Bay is enticing. He’s a home run hitter who can catch passes out of the backfield. This is an intriguing paring with Aaron Rodgers.
Julian Okwara, Edge, Notre Dame: The Steelers made a great pick getting Devin Bush last year but could benefit from another pass rusher to complement TJ Watt. Okwara’s best football is still ahead of him and he could thrive under Mike Tomlin.
24. San Diego Chargers
Travis Etienne, Running Back, Clemson: With Melvin Gordon likely out of San Diego, running back will be a big hole going into 2020. Etienne is a star who can score on any touch. He will boost an already dangerous Chargers defense.
25. Dallas Cowboys
Javon Kinlaw, Defensive Line, South Carolina: The Cowboys defense has grown into a solid unit recently. Kinlaw would be a deadly interior presence to help our Demarcus Lawrence.
26. Cleveland Browns
Tommy Kraemer, Offensive Line, Notre Dame: The Browns roster has few holes (???) But they could upgrade their offensive line. Kraemer is a solid, experienced player who could play right tackle or guard.
Isaiah Simmons, Linebacker, Clemson: I take exception to Philly not having better Super Bowl odds but they end up with a great player here. Simmons is a playmaking linebacker whose coverage ability means he never has to come off the field.
Tylan Wallace, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma State: The Saints keep upgrading their offense with a playmaker out of OSU. Wallace can run by guys or catch passes over them. Him and Mike Thomas would be a deadly duo.
29. Los Angeles Rams
Prince Tega-Wanogho, Offensive Tackle, Auburn: With Jared Goff getting paid, the Rams will need to commit to keeping him upright. Tega-Wanogho is extremely talented and will warrant draft attention by the end of the season.
Jacob Eason, Quarterback, Washington: Eason, Jacob Fromm and Jalen Hurts will all be playing themselves into high draft consideration this season. Of those three, Eason has the “NFL tools” that teams will love: Big frame, strong arm and decent athlete. The Pats will eventually need to plan for life after Brady. Though the world may end before his career does.
31. Oakland Raiders (From Chicago)
Erroll Thompson, Linebacker, Mississippi State: The Raiders have a big hole at the linebacker position. Erroll Thompson will emerge as one of the better linebackers in the country this year and the Raiders would be lucky to get him this late.
Jonathan Taylor, Running Back, Wisconsin: It’s likely Jonathan Taylor will be going much higher than this but it’s always hard to gauge running back interest from the NFL. Taylor’s talent speaks for itself but seeing him in Kansas City would be crazy.