With OTAs kicking off around the NFL this week, the players of the 2019 NFL Draft are busy preparing for their third season in the league. Some of them have established themselves as critical parts of their team. Others, well, have not. Although the universally accepted evaluation period is four years, that doesn’t stop us from making snap judgments on a player’s success, which is what we’ll do here with this 2019 NFL Draft redraft!
2019 NFL Draft Redraft | Picks 1-16
For this 2019 NFL Draft redraft, we’ve used the original order before the start of the annual selection event. As such, any trades made during Round 1 don’t occur here. Where possible, selections have been made to meet the pressing needs of the team as they were in 2019.
1) Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
There are no surprises to begin our 2019 NFL Draft redraft, as the Arizona Cardinals stay put with Kyler Murray. The former Heisman Trophy winner was the natural selection for the Cardinals after the Josh Rosen experiment failed in catastrophic style. Murray went on to be named the Offensive Rookie of the Year before earning a Pro Bowl nod in 2020.
2) San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
As with the Cardinals above them, the San Francisco 49ers stick with their original selection in this 2019 NFL Draft redraft. Despite missing most of the 2018 college football season following surgery, Nick Bosa was widely considered the best overall prospect in the class.
The Ohio State defensive end lived up to his billing during his first NFL season. Bosa was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year after recording 9 sacks in 14 starts. He was also named PFWA’s Rookie of the Year. Unfortunately for Bosa — and the 49ers — a torn ACL cut short his 2020 campaign after just two games.
3) New York Jets: Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky
After two selections that remained the same, this is now officially a redraft of the 2019 NFL Draft! The New York Jets swap out original choice Quinnen Williams for Kentucky pass rusher Josh Allen. The Jets were crying out for pass-rush production, and while Williams has been far from a bust, his usage hasn’t allowed him to be a dominant force.
Meanwhile, Allen set franchise records for the Jacksonville Jaguars after being selected with the No. 7 overall pick. He broke the franchise record for sacks by a rookie and became the first Jacksonville rookie to earn a Pro Bowl nod. Although he suffered a severe knee injury during the 2020 season, Allen would have given the Jets that pass-rush threat they desperately needed.
4) Oakland Raiders: Brian Burns, DE, FSU
Just two years removed from his selection with the fourth overall pick, Clelin Ferrell is already widely considered a bust by fans and analysts alike. Despite his incredible production for Clemson, he was regarded as a reach on draft night. His performances to date have done nothing to dispel that opinion. Ferrell has just 6.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles so far.
By contrast, Brian Burns is rapidly becoming one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. The former FSU defensive end has racked up 16.5 sacks and 4 forced fumbles in 19 starts for the Carolina Panthers. He’s getting better all the time, while the Raiders are still trying to resolve their pass-rush problems two years down the line.
5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Devin White, LB, LSU
Move along, nothing to see here. A freak athlete, Devin White has established himself as one of the best linebackers in the game. He was a pivotal part of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Super Bowl-winning defense. Any other selection for the Bucs in this 2019 NFL Draft redraft would be absurd.
6) New York Giants: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
Sit down, buckle up, and enjoy the ride New York Giants fans — for this 2019 NFL Draft redraft will change the direction of the franchise wildly. Whether it’s for the better or worse, that’s for you to decide.
With the original sixth overall selection, the Giants selected former Duke quarterback Daniel Jones. They were, of course, crying out for an Eli Manning replacement, and in many respects, you can’t blame them for jumping on Senior Bowl MVP Jones.
Still, was he worthy of such an early pick? Was he even worthy of a first-round selection? To my mind, the answer is no.
The Giants would have been better off following the Miami mold of openly admitting they’d sit out the quarterback market for a year. They ended up selecting fourth overall in 2020 anyway and could have had Justin Herbert or Tua Tagovailoa. I feel comfortable in saying both options are an upgrade on Jones.
So, with the No. 6 pick, they instead address the defensive trenches with Quinnen Williams. The Giants would hopefully utilize his talents better than the Jets. They get a top-three talent at No. 6, which is better value than their original investment. The rest of the master plan comes at the 17th selection.
7) Jacksonville Jaguars: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
Imagine telling Jaguars fans two years ago that in the year 2021, Tim Tebow would come out of baseball retirement to try and become the team’s tight end. Oh, how everyone would have laughed. Well, unfortunately for Jaguars fans, they don’t have to imagine that scenario. It is the grim, unfiltered reality of their current situation.
Now, what if I told you it didn’t have to be that way? With their original selection off the board already, Jacksonville addresses one of their most significant needs with Iowa’s tight end T.J. Hockenson. Although his rookie campaign didn’t live up to the pre-draft hype, Hockenson emerged as an absolute weapon for the Detroit Lions last season.
His 723 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns were more than any Jacksonville pass catcher in 2020.
8) Detroit Lions: A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
Having been sniped by the Jaguars for Hockenson in this 2019 NFL Draft redraft, the Lions add pass-catching talent for Matthew Stafford in the form of Ole Miss wide receiver A.J. Brown. Although they had Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones at the top of the depth chart, you can’t convince me that Brown doesn’t automatically upgrade Detroit’s offense.
Formerly a second-round pick of the Tennessee Titans, Brown has put together consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. Meanwhile, he has tallied 19 touchdowns in the regular season. With an average of 17.4 yards per catch, Brown has emerged as one of the NFL’s premier big-play threats.
Other positional needs included cornerback and offensive line. However, no player at those positions could have had the same level of impact that Brown would on this Lions team.
9) Buffalo Bills: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
Ed Oliver was a dominant defensive lineman at Houston, and he’s begun to establish himself as such in the NFL. So far, he has contributed 8 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, and 14 quarterback hits. Furthermore, Oliver was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team despite only starting seven games in 2019.
The Buffalo Bills filled their most significant need when selecting the 6’2″ defensive tackle with the ninth overall pick. There is no better option for them in this 2019 NFL Draft redraft.
10) Denver Broncos: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
During the 2019 NFL Draft, the Denver Broncos maneuvered down the board, allowing the Pittsburgh Steelers to come up and select Michigan linebacker Devin Bush. The move gave them Noah Fant, plus the ammunition to jump up and take Missouri quarterback Drew Lock in Round 2.
While the need was there for both of those players, they ensure that Bush remains the 10th overall pick in this 2019 NFL Draft redraft. Having had a PFWA All-Rookie Team-worthy season in 2019, Bush entrenched himself as a critical component of Pittsburgh’s defense. After he unfortunately suffered a torn ACL against the Cleveland Browns, his void was noticeable.
Bush’s inclusion on the inside of a linebacker group that contained Von Miller and Bradley Chubb would have given the Broncos one of the best groups in the NFL.
11) Cincinnati Bengals: Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama
Despite missing his entire rookie season with an injury, Jonah Williams was the proper selection for the Cincinnati Bengals. They desperately needed to upgrade their offensive line, and doing so in 2019 should have given their franchise left tackle a year of experience before protecting Joe Burrow.
Sadly, it didn’t quite work out that way. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t the right thing to do. The Bengals showed their faith in Williams by not selecting Penei Sewell with the fifth overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
12) Green Bay Packers: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
I think it’s fair to say that Rashan Gary hasn’t had the impact that the Green Bay Packers expected from him as the 12th overall pick. The former Michigan defensive end has made just four starts, contributing 55 tackles and 7 sacks. Although his role increased last season, he hasn’t been a difference-maker for a defense that is still a work in progress.
Meanwhile, Green Bay’s inability to surround Aaron Rodgers has been well-documented. Tight end and wide receiver were needs before the draft.
In this 2019 NFL Draft redraft, they fill that pass catcher role with D.K. Metcalf. The former Ole Miss receiver almost slid out of the second round after posting some devastatingly poor testing times.
However, he has developed into one of the most dominant receivers in the NFL. How you would contain Metcalf and Davante Adams is beyond me. Just don’t ask Metcalf to run a three-cone drill.
13) Miami Dolphins: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
The Miami Dolphins had one of the most impressive defenses in the NFL last season. At the heart of it was defensive tackle Christian Wilkins. Would Dolphins fans swap his selection with the 13th overall pick? I don’t think so, and they keep hold of their defensive leader in this 2019 NFL Draft redraft.
14) Atlanta Falcons: Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College
Despite missing most of his rookie season with a broken foot, Chris Lindstrom has proven to be a valuable contributor for the Atlanta Falcons. He started every game last season and is a pivotal part of an offensive line with issues elsewhere. Although there were other needs on the defensive line and at cornerback, it makes no sense to change the selection here.
15) Washington Football Team: Terry McLaurin, WR, Ohio State
Two years after selecting Dwayne Haskins with the 15th overall pick, the former Ohio State quarterback is no longer on the roster. Although he is still in the league with the Pittsburgh Steelers, his time at Washington can be legitimately be described as unsuccessful.
One Ohio State product that was successful for Washington out of the 2019 NFL Draft, however, is wide receiver Terry McLaurin. The former third-rounder takes a significant jump up to the first round here. That’s a reflection of his importance to this offense.
McLaurin has the third-most receiving yards of any receiver from the class, despite the uncertain QB play he has endured during his two years in the league.
16) Carolina Panthers: Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State
With their original selection long gone in this 2019 NFL Draft redraft, the Carolina Panthers answer their pass-rush questions with, arguably, one of the bargains of the class.
As a result of health concerns, Montez Sweat slipped down the original order. Although his slide was halted by Washington when they traded back into Round 1, he represented excellent value.
An athletic freak, Sweat has established himself as one of the most disruptive defensive ends in the league. In just two years, he has amassed 20 tackles for loss and 16 sacks.