Top 5 1st Round NFL Picks I Like
1. DE/DT Nick Bosa (#2 49ers)
The 49ers were in need of a pass rusher with Solomon Thomas not developing as quickly as expected, luckily the Cardinals passed on the top prospect/top pass rusher in the draft in Nick Bosa. Bosa completes the 49ers D-line next to two huge DTs in Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner. The addition of Bosa not only gives them a nice addition of pass rushing, but also solidifies the run stuffing up front, as his high motor allows him to apply balanced pressure against the run and pass. If Nick’s impact is anything close to his brother Joey’s, he will be a problem for years to come and could help the 49ers add a few wins.
2. DT Quinnen Williams (#3 Jets)
The Jets needed a playmaker on the D-line to help Leonard Williams, as they never really replaced Mo Wilkerson. Luckily, one of the most athletic 300lbs. prospects in Quinnen Williams fell in their lap. Williams can play both inside and out, but naturally will be more dominate taking on double teams inside which will free up Leonard Williams, who is a big DT playing outside, which really seals the run stuffing. Williams is the type of player who can also make the LBs better by clearing space, so his talent should have a ripple effect on the defense which hopes to be much improved after free agent and draft additions.
3. DT Ed Oliver (#9 Bills)
This pick was right on the nose, as I mentioned in my mock draft, Ed Oliver was extremely talented, but looked at as undersized; however in Buffalo, they already have a big run stuffing NT Star Lotuleilei, as well as, Harrison Phillips. Oliver will also play with pass rushers Trent Murphy and Jerry Hughes who have consistently wreaked havoc from off the edge over the years, so Oliver would cause even more problems up the middle. Oliver has been compared to top NFL player Aaron Donald, if he is even close this D-line could be a problem with him as the finishing piece.
4. OLB/DE Josh Allen (#7 Jaguars)
Josh Allen was probably my favorite pure pass rusher on the board, as he led a much underrated Kentucky defense and was very consistent getting to the QB off the edge with double digit sacks. Allen could help the Jaguars by giving them a true playmaker off the edge from the LB position that they hoped Dante Fowler would have been or Allen could give them a rusher from DE, if they want to move Calais Campbell inside. His versatility and ability to get after the QB should help the Jags on the front end and help restore the “Sacksonville” title back to the defense.
5. Devin Bush (#10 Steelers)
The Steelers moved up to grab their guy in Devin Bush who is a perfect fit as a replacement for the skill set of Ryan Shazier that the Steelers have been missing since his injury. The Steelers have lacked that sideline to sideline playmaker that used to get the team off the field when Shazier was flying around the field. Bush may be considered undersized because of his height, but coming out Michigan and being the son of a former NFL player, Bush knows what it takes to play in the league. He plays with toughness, physicality, and good athleticism making plays in coverage, while being very instinctive. With a lot of playmakers around him, Bush could make an instant impact in the middle that the Steelers will need in a much improved division.
Top 5 1st Round NFL Picks I Didn’t Like
1. QB Daniel Jones (#6 Giants)
The Giants not only passed up on Dwayne Haskins, but picked the QB ranked 3rd or 4th best on most draft boards which didn’t make sense at the #6 pick. Daniel Jones didn’t have a very good showing at the combine and wasn’t coming off very impressive college numbers; due to lack of a supporting cast. I do like Daniel Jones as a prospect due to his accuracy, but at #6 the Giants had other needs to fill or could have traded down and still grabbed their guy. The spotlight for Jones to contribute and overtake Manning is really hot now, which will make things tough for his development.
2. TE T.J. Hockenson (#8 Lions)
Most draft experts correctly project Hockenson to the Lions, but the move never made sense. This was a very top heavy defensive draft and the Lions have been lacking playmakers in their front 7 for years; this was definitely not the year to pass up top talent, especially pass rushers and D-line. Hockenson was the #1 ranked TE, but is known more for his blocking than receiving, which is a solid attribute, but the offense didn’t have a pressing need and TE wasn’t a top need at #8, despite an opening. Unless he contributes early, they will regret missing a difference maker on defense.
3. T Tytus Howard (#23 Texans)
Everyone knew the Texans were in the market for the best LT on the board, however with the top prospects off the board, the Texans reached for Tytus Howard who was possibly picked a round or two higher coming out of a small school. Howard has good size and a nice skill set to potentially be a starting LT, but as a versatile player and a smaller school player I’m not sure he will start at LT from day 1 or if that’s even his best fit after playing multiple O-line positions.
4. S Darnell Savage (#21 Packers)
With two 1st round picks the Packers were expected to lock in two legit playmakers, while they did with the 1st pick, Savage was taken too early possibly even a round too early. While Savage does have good speed and ball skills; the Packers needed a safety and Savage is undersized for the position full time, I could see him eventually locking in as a nickel CB where he would have more value. If he can lock in a CB position, then this would make the pick worth it, but if he struggles to move up the depth chart size will be a factor.
5. DT Jeffrey Simmons (#19 Titans)
Jeffrey Simmons is clearly a force on the defensive line and was considered a top prospect before his ACL injury. However, with the ACL injury occurring in preparation for the draft, Simmons would be lucky to see the field this season which makes picking him at #19 for a redshirt season confusing. The Titans needed an instant playmaker to take their team from their normal 8-8/9-7 finish, in a tough division, over the top. While Simmons will be a much needed help on the D-line with Jurrell Casey, he can’t help if he is recovering on the sideline; with so many other needs mostly on offense the Titans could have traded down and still got their guy.