2019-04-26 19:44:351 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST
-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray attempts pass. (Image Source: David Purdy/Getty Images)
Here’s a breakdown of the first four picks of the 2019 NFL Draft:
1. Arizona Cardinals: QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
True to his word, Kliff Kingsbury had the first pick in the NFL Draft and he selected Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray. This selection combines a complete about-face in NFL philosophy, as well as a perfect storm with an Air Raid coach owning the first pick in the draft. He might not have been the top player, or even quarterback, on everyone’s board, but Murray makes sense for the Cardinals. While undersized, the Boomer Sooner is blessed with a powerful arm and a lightning-quick release. The Heisman Trophy winner can drill passes into tight windows, as well as push the ball down the field. He’s accurate, knows how to make himself bigger as he throws, how to find throwing lanes, as well as adjust his arm angle when needed. At OU, he had a monster offensive line to throw over and did most of his damage from within the pocket. Murray is quick in the pocket with the ability to keep his eyes downfield even with defenders around him. His athleticism and breakaway speed is the icing on the cake.
2. San Francisco 49ers: DE Nick Bosa, Ohio State
If Nick Bosa can stay healthy, he might be the most-surefire prospect in the 2019 draft class. He has all the tools. Bosa has an excellent frame with elite athleticism. Explosive, fast, closing speed, and quick change of direction ability all describe the Ohio State product. Just as important, Bosa is strong and has massive hands. This allows him to disengage from blockers, as well as overpower offensive linemen. That’s a must in order to be an elite edge rusher. Not just a pass rusher, Bosa can defend the run very well. Solomon Thomas has been a disappointment as the 49ers weren’t effective in getting after the quarterback last season. With opposing teams worried about blocking newcomer Dee Ford, look for Bosa to have a big rookie season.
3. New York Jets: DT Quinnen Williams, Alabama
Strong, quick, and big, Quinnen Williams was an absolute stud upfront for Nick Saban’s defense last season. He carries 300 pounds very well and has one of the best first steps of any lineman in this class. That’s why he’s a rare interior defender who can make an impact as a pass rusher. Williams commands double teams, so look for him to take advantage of playing alongside Leonard Williams. He was announced as a nose tackle, which is an indication that the Jets are sticking to their guns as a 3-4 defense. This gives them one of the best D-lines in the NFL. With Gregg Williams as the defensive coordinator don’t be surprised to see the Jets mix in some 4-3 looks in order to get their best 11 players on the field at the same time. Edge rusher was probably a bigger need, but you can’t hate taking the best player on the board. Many had Williams ranked as the top prospect in this class.
4. Oakland Raiders: Edge Clelin Ferrell, Clemson
Jon Gruden, Mike Mayock, and the Oakland Raiders gave us the first ‘wow’ moment of the 2019 NFL Draft. After three fairly chalky picks, Clelin Ferrell went a lot higher than projections. Not the most athletic edge prospect, Ferrell brings excellent length, and a tremendous wingspan, with big hands. A powerful edge rusher, the Clemson man can really jar blockers when he gets off the ball. Sound technique, physicality, quickness, and closing speed are the traits that make him an excellent pass rusher. Like the man he was drafted to replace, Khalil Mack, Ferrell can play as a standup linebacker, as well as with his hand on the ground. A versatile hybrid edge rusher. With just 13 sacks in 2018, the Mack-less Raiders were by far the worst pass-rushing team in the NFL, so adding an edge defender topped their list of priorities heading into the draft. It’s a good fit, but feels like a reach at No. 4.
Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. You can reach him via email: email@example.com.
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