The 2019 NFL Draft was held last April 25-27, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. The first round was held on April 25th while the second and third rounds were held on April 26 and Rounds 4-7 were on April 27th.
This year’s draft set the record for most trades with 40, surpassing the 37 sets in 2017 and it also established a new NFL-high with 111 underclassmen declaring for the draft. After seven rounds and three days, a total of 254 applicants were drafted in seven draft rounds. The Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks led the draft with 12 picks each while the New Orleans Saint picked the fewest with 4. As for the positions of the players picked in the draft, cornerback had most picks with 32 while linebackers followed at 31 and there were 28 wide receivers drafted.
With the draft done, NFL teams are now ready to prepare for the 2019-20 NFL season. That said, let’s take a look at which players were selected ahead of their contemporaries as the Top 10 picks of the 2019 NFL Draft:
1. Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray QB
There was plenty of speculation regarding the Cardinals’ pick. In the end, they selected Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray. A quarterback whom new coach Kliff Kingsbury has tracked since Murray went 42-0 as a starter at Allen High School in Texas. Although critics point to his size as a disadvantage, Murray was the 2014 Gatorade Football Player of the Year as a high school senior. In his junior year at Oklahoma, Murray was named as the 2018 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, 2018 AP College Player of the Year and the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner. The 5-10 quarterback from Bedford, Texas was also the 9th overall pick of the 2018 MLB draft by the Oakland Athletics. He was set to join 2019 Spring Training but after winning the Heisman Trophy, he decided to join the NFL draft and forego his senior season in college. Murray is the first player to be drafted in the Top 10 of both the NFL and MLB drafts.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa
In a world without Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury, the #1 overall pick of the 2019 NFL draft would have been Nick Bosa. Bosa was a five-star recruit and one of the best players of his recruiting class when he committed to play for Ohio State. Bosa was a standout defensive end during his freshman and sophomore seasons but got hurt in his junior year and underwent core muscle surgery. He declared for the draft in October and proved critics wrong with a solid performance at the Draft Combine. Bosa’s ability to take over games on the defensive end makes him an elite player. The 49ers were sure happy that Arizona picked Murray. It’s just like they won the lottery themselves with Nick Bosa.
3. New York Jets: Quinnen Williams
Quinnen Williams was the best available defensive player. With Nick Bosa already taken so with a big need on that side of the field, the Jets picked the 6-3 Defensive End from the University of Alabama with the 3rd overall pick of the Draft. Williams was the 2018 Outland Trophy winner as the best interior lineman in College Football. He was a unanimous All-American in 2018, SEC champion in 2018 and was part of the 2017 College Football National Championship. Williams is a one-man wrecking crew who can create havoc and pressure up the middle. The Jets reportedly staying to their 3-4 defense despite the arrival of 4-3 disciple Gregg Williams as their Defensive Coordinator. Quinnen Williams is going to be a huge addition to the Jets’ defense.
4. Oakland Raiders: Clelin Ferrell
The Raiders picking Clelin Ferrell with the 4th overall pick was a surprise to many and a shock to some. Though Ferrell was an All-American as a junior at Clemson, he had 11.5 sacks last season. Many draft experts weren’t expecting him to go that high in the draft. Especially with Kentucky’s Josh Allen and Houston’s Ed Oliver still on the board. Ferrell was a four-star recruit out of Benedectine High School in Richmond, Virginia. He was a First Team All-American in 2017 and 2018, the 2016 Fiesta Bowl Defensive MVP, 2018 ACC Defensive Player of the Year and a two-time College Football Champion at Clemson. The 6-4, 265-pound defensive end was the 2018 Ted Hendricks awardee as the top defensive end in College Football.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Devin White
Devin White was a kid from a small town with a big dream. Now his dream is a reality after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected the 21-year old linebacker from Springhill, Louisiana with the 5th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft. After being a controversial recruit from North Webster High School, White joined LSU and led the SEC with 133 total tackles in his sophomore season, 4th most total tackles in a single season in LSU history. He also became the first SEC player to be named as Defensive Player of the Week four times in a single season. He is the highest selected LSU Tiger since Patrick Peterson in 2011 and is the 2018 Butkus award winner for top linebacker in the nation. With his skillset, White should strengthen the middle of the defense and make a difference on the field for the Bucs.
6. New York Giants: Daniel Jones
Daniel Jones was another controversial pick because the Giants were expected to pick rusher Josh Allen from Kentucky. However, they ended up drafting a quarterback they could have picked with their other first round picks. The Giants owned the 6th, 17th and 30th pick of round one and many observers felt that Duke quarterback Daniel Jones would still be on the board at 17th or even 30th. Giants’ GM David Gettleman already received plenty of backlash for trading OBJ. Now he’s getting flooded with criticism for picking Jones that early. Jones is described as a competent game manager with decent athleticism. However, scouts don’t consider him elite. But compared to Eli Manning, he’s an upgrade. Jones was the MVP of the 2017 Quick Lane Bowl, MVP of the 2018 Independence Bowl and the 2019 Senior Bowl MVP as well.
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Josh Allen
The Jacksonville Jaguars listened from pick to pick and were very surprised that Josh Allen was still available after six names were already called. In his senior year at Kentucky, Allen was the Chuck Bednarik award winner for top defensive player in college football and the Bronko Nagurski award winner as the best defensive player in the NCAA. He was also the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and the Lott IMPACT Trophy winner as the college football defensive IMPACT (Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community, and Tenacity) player of the year. The 6-5 edge player was a consensus Top-5 pick in all mock drafts but with the Raiders and Giants making surprise picks, the Jaguars could end up the big winners here.
8. Detroit Lions: T.J. Hockenson
With their 8th pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions selected tight end T.J. Hockenson from the University of Iowa. The Lions ignored their forgettable history of drafting tight ends and selected Hockenson to address their primary need. The Lions had considered trading their pick to acquire more selections but ultimately decided that they had a player that was hard to pass up on. The 6-5, 265-pound Hockenson was the 2018 Johnny Mackey award winner as the top tight end in college football and the 2018 Ozzie Newsome trophy as the best collegiate tight end.
9. Buffalo Bills: Ed Oliver
Some experts are saying that the Buffalo Bills pulled off the Biggest Heist of the 2019 NFL Draft. The Houston Cougars’ defensive tackle announced in March 2018 that he would enter the NFL Draft at the end of his junior season. At that time, he was projected to be a To-3 pick and the #2 pick in many mock drafts. However, Oliver had a disappointing season after suffering a bruised right knee and missed four games. Then he also got into an argument with Houston coach Major Applewhite. Somehow, his stock plummeted and was available at #9. But despite a low 2018, there is no questioning his talent and skills and Oliver is going to prove that once he suits up for the Bills
10. Pittsburgh Steelers: Devin Bush
The Pittsburgh Steelers moved up to pick University of Michigan linebacker Devin Bush Jr. in the 2019 NFL Draft. The Steelers traded their 20th, 52nd and 2020 third rounder to Denver for the right to pick Bush. The 20-year old from Atlanta had a breakout sophomore season which saw his stock rise after being just a four-star recruit out of high school. Bush is undersized as a linebacker but makes up for it with high football IQ and sideline to sideline skills. Bush was named as 2018 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and 2018 Big Ten Linebacker of the Year while being a Big Ten First team selection in 2017 and 2018. Bush was a consensus All-American in 2018 as well.