2019 1st round draft pick analysis
and their potential impact
on the madden 2020 cycle
#1 – QB – KYLER MURRAY
I don’t blame the Cardinals for trading Josh Rosen and taking one of the most electrifying players in NCAA history. After all, he is a Heisman trophy winner. Murray is aggressive, has a strong arm, and will make things happen not only with his arm, but his legs too. Coach Adelmann heads this squad going into cycle 2020 and I expect him to tailor his offense around Murray’s strengths. The first season will indeed be a struggle for the Cardinals and their offensive line and I expect Murray to lead all QBs in rushing yards, but come season 2 and beyond, this squad will be an arm and leg-ful to deal with.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
#2 – DE – NICK BOSA
The 49ers got exactly who they wanted at the #2 pick in the draft. Bosa is an excellent run and pass defender, and it’s expected he’ll win a lot of one on one battles. The 49ers are led by fan favorite, Coach Caveman, and with his recent winning ways in the most recent cycle, it’s expected he’ll compete for titles this upcoming cycle. Expect Coach Caveman to exploit the weakness in an opponent’s offensive line by moving Bosa around the d-line and even in some sub-LB packages. How cool would it be to see a Bosa brothers RZ Bowl at some point this cycle?
NEW YORK JETS
#3 – DT – QUINNEN WILLIAMS
The J-E-T-S had been lacking along the interior defensive line and so they addressed that pressing need by selecting Quinnen Williams. With two very dangerous and hungry Williams’ on Coach Blueprints defensive line I expect the Coach to be very aggressive in his defensive play calling in the upcoming cycle. Quinnen is quick and strong and rarely loses one-on-one battles in the trenches. It’s going to be tough to run on this team, if not now, in the very near future, and I expect the pass rush to be relentless for the duration of the cycle.
#4 – DE – CLELIN FERRELL
The Raiders, they just do things differently it seems. Ferrell was not projected to be a top ten pick and yet here we are. The Raiders needed to address their pass rush and they feel they did just that by selecting Ferrell here. He’ll surely be disruptive with his quick hands and nimble feet while trying to get to quarterbacks. He is very versatile and can be moved around in different packages. Playing 4-3, he’ll be a defensive end, if the Raiders get creative and show a 3-4 look, then he’ll be playing outside linebacker. Is he the next Khalil Mack? Only time will tell.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
#5 – ILB – DEVIN WHITE
With the departure of Kwon Alexander, the Bucs had a pressing need and they selected who they think is the next defensive superstar in Devin White. He is known for his top-end speed and is a very instinctual player. He isn’t known for overpowering offensive lineman, but he is going to be involved in a lot of tackles with his excellent sideline-to-sideline speed. I believe White will lead the Buccaneers in tackles every season this cycle, barring any injuries.
NEW YORK GIANTS
#6 – QB – DANIEL JONES
Coach Mike Miles lands his dream job with his childhood and adulthood favorite team. The Daniel Jones era didn’t get off to a great start when a stadium full of Giants fans watching the draft could be heard in a chorus of boos upon his selection. I believe it is in the best interest of the team for Jones to be the starter from day 1. While his arm strength is average at best, he’ll thrive in a dink and dunk offensive scheme to begin his career. The Giants have a lot of work to do to get this team at a competitive level, and hopefully he makes smart decisions in doing so.
#7 – OLB – JOSH ALLEN
The Jags had other pressing needs, but they went out and selected who they thought was the best player available. Allen has an excellent burst of speed off the ball and is a great tackler. He’ll immediately be inserted into the starting lineup and is expected to make an immediate impact. He’ll be tasked to get to the opposing teams quarterback causing havoc and turnovers. If he’s not stripping the ball, then he’s disrupting timing routes that will allow his teammates to make plays. Now can the Jags capitalize on those turnovers and put up some points?
#8 – TE – T. J. HOCKENSON
The last time the Lions selected a tight end so high in the draft it didn’t work out so well (Eric Ebron, 1st round 2014); however, this time I think they got it right. Hockenson is the most complete TE to come out of the college ranks in some time. He’s an excellent pass catcher and blocker and with Coach Weedseed at the helm, I anticipate him getting Hockenson heavily involved in his offensive scheme. He’s the type of tight end that will be too quick for linebackers to cover and to big for smaller defensive backs to bring down. He’s my dark horse for ROTY.
#9 – DT – ED OLIVER
With Buffalo hero Kyle Williams retirement, the Bills had a pressing need at DT and so they selected Oliver. While he is undersized for the position, he’ll realize his potential if used correctly in a defensive scheme. The Bills were high on Oliver with his natural football instincts and top notch burst of speed at the snap. He’ll make a handful of tackles every game and will make plays while in pursuit of the ball carrier. He needs to improve his pass rush skills and I’m confident he’ll do so throughout the cycle.
#10 – ILB – DEVIN BUSH
The Steelers have had trouble finding Ryan Shazier’s replacement since his tragic on-field incident. They’re hoping they found that guy in Bush here and I believe they have. Bush reminds me a bit of a hybrid safety/linebacker with his size and speed. He has a knack for playing man to man coverage and with his speed he has great range in playing zone coverage. He’s what you want in a defender that can make plays all over the field. Pittsburgh has found their mainstay at the ILB positon to build upon.
#11 – OT – JONAH WILLIAMS
The Bengals haven’t had much success in drafting offensive lineman in recent years and they could’ve addressed a different position where they are aging, but here we are. Williams was the 1st offensive lineman selected and he’ll need to step up big time in a defensive heavy AFC North. He can play either the LT or RT spot and anchors supremely well in the run game. He can handle the speed rush off the edge and he’ll be taken to task immediately. He’ll need to hold off the likes of Myles Garrett, Olivier Vernon, T. J. Watt, and Bud Dupree to keep QB Andy Dalton upright.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
#12 – DE – RASHAN GARY
The Packers selected a very versatile player in Gary here. He has an excellent combination of size, length, and speed. While he’s a natural defensive end in a 4-3 package, he can also play outside linebacker if Coach Pat Allen decides to get creative. His bread and butter is defending the run game with his skilled block shedding techniques. I expect the coaching staff to help improve his pass-rushing skills so that he becomes an absolute disruptive monster this cycle.
#13 – DT – CHRISTIAN WILKINS
Everyone is well aware of the Dolphins current roster woes and they’re hoping they can begin to right the ship with the selection of Wilkins. Fresh off of a college championship Wilkins brings a winning mentality to a franchise in need of just that, wins. Mental fortitude will be very important for the Dolphins and their leadership this year. Wilkins has a high motor and excels in pass rushing. He’s an active defender who will also shed blocks and make plays in pursuit of the ball carrier. Wasn’t it great when Wilkins leaped into Commissioner Adel after his draft selection?!?!
#14 – OG – CHRIS LINDSTROM
The Falcons made it very well known that protecting their franchise quarterback is of the utmost importance when they selected their first of two offensive lineman in the first round. They chose Lindstrom here and it’s easy to see why. His versatility allows him to play either the guard or tackle position. He moves very well laterally with his excellent size and will fight to sustain his blocks. I expect the Falcons training staff to improve his strength so that he reaches his full potential.
#15 – QB – DWAYNE HASKINS
Not that he needed it, but Haskins has a chip on shoulder after the Giants proverbially slapped him in his face by selecting Daniel Jones. Now Haskins gets to take out his anger against the Giants two times a season. Haskins is a day one starter with his excellent arm strength and his ability to throw wide receivers open. With fan favorite, Coach Ricky Chapstick, leading the charge I expect to see Haskins in the running for ROTY. While the Redskins wide receivers don’t necessarily scare anyone, I expect the Redskins front office to immediately begin providing weapons to Haskins so that Coach Chapstick can finally win the BIG one.
#16 – OLB – BRIAN BURNS
The Panthers realized they needed help at the OLB position with Julius Peppers retiring and a few band aids on the roster. Enter Burns as a long-term solution with natural football instincts and his top notch acceleration. He’ll need to improve on his spin and swim pass rush moves, he’ll make up for in surprisingly being able to drop into coverage. He has the size and skills to be a three-down player, but he’ll become a dominant force once he masters his pass rushing techniques.
NEW YORK GIANTS
#17 – DT – DEXTER LAWRENCE
With the Giants cleaning house and trading Damon “Snacks” Harrison they were in immediate need of a true nose tackle and they feel they’ve selected the right guy in Lawrence. With his massive size and decent quickness it’s expected that he’ll make an impact from the get go. He’s expected to see double teams and will need to develop more of his pass rushing skills if he wants to realize his full potential in the league. Coach Miles and his staff will need to keep Lawrence focused if he’s to become an impact player in the Red Zone.
#18 – C – GARRETT BRADBURY
The Vikings were very aware that they needed to improve along their offensive line and they nabbed the best Center available in the draft. Bradbury is an excellent pass blocker, and while he won’t wow you with his strength, he will finesse a defender with his smarts and football IQ. He’ll excel in a zone scheme and moves very well laterally. He’s versatile and can play the guard position too. No pun intended, but he’ll be a centerpiece of this offensive line for the entirety of the cycle.
#19 – DT – JEFFERY SIMMONS
The Titans had other pressing needs, yet they still took Simmons after tearing his ACL in February while training for the Combine. There is no doubt that Simmons was a great player before his injury. We won’t delve into his off-field issues, but the kid is a natural talent. He’s stout with long arms and has well above average strength. He’ll need to continue to work on his block shedding techniques, but with his exceptional recovery from his injury, we expect him to make an immediate impact for the Titans and their defensive line.
#20 – TE – NOAH FANT
Another team that hasn’t had much luck drafting TE’s the past few drafts, but here is where they end that trend. Fant is the second TE taken from Iowa, and while he’s not quite the total package that Hockensen is, he’s an absurd oversized slot receiver. I expect Coach Tholstrup to coach up Fant in his run blocking ability, but the kid has receiving talent out the wazoo. He’ll create havoc downfield as linebackers will struggle to keep up with him down the middle of the field and with his speed at his size he is a threat to take it to the house evertyime. I expect to see a lot of RAC yards from Fant in the upcoming seasons.
GREEN BAY PACKERS
#21 – S – DARNELL SAVAGE JR.
The knock against Savage is his size, but you can’t discount his heart and football IQ. He’s a playmaker plain and simple, plus the Packers had a need at the Safety positon after trading HaHa Clinton-Dix. With his quickness, speed, and natural football instincts, Savage is very skilled at anticipating routes and creating turnovers. He also has a knack for identifying run plays quickly and getting involved. The Pack have completely retooled their defensive backfield in a quick span of time and it’s expected that Savage will be a big part of their anticipated success.
#22 – OT – ANDRE DILLARD
The Eagles are going to have a dilemma on their hands after selecting one of the more athletic offensive tackles available in the draft, all the while still having the capable and perennial All-Pro Jason Peters on their roster. It’s expected that Dillard will get the reps so that he progresses rapidly. He has quick hands, quick feet, and a significant range with his athleticism. The NFC East pass rush is no joke, so while there will be some hard lessons learned, it will ultimately lead to Dillard excelling this cycle and potentially earning himself a spot in the RZ Pro Bowl.
#23 – OT – TYTUS HOWARD
There is no doubt that the Texans boast the worst offensive line amongst RedZone teams and with their selection of Howard they’re trying to rectify that issue. Howard is a big boy, but don’t slack on his talents. With his size comes tremendous athletic ability, especially in pass blocking. He is strong as an ox as well and the tape has shown that he can move defenders around with that brute strength. It’s important this season for the Texans to protect Watson and keep him upright so that he can get the ball to his playmakers downfield and with this selection are trending in the right direction in doing so.
#24 – HB – JOSH JACOBS
The Raiders had other pressing needs and could’ve selected the best player available here, but after losing Beast Mode to retirement, they decided to make Jacobs the first HB selected in the draft. He has the attributes to turn into a complete RB in the league. He does have a knack for finding the running lanes and has a quick burst to go along with those instincts. One thing he definitely has going for him is his pass blocking skills. Ultimately I believe Jacobs will help improve the Raiders in their run game, and if Jacobs can develop into a great receiving back then he’ll become the ultimate package the Raiders thought he’d be.
#25 – WR – MARQUISE BROWN
Good luck RZ defensive backs, Hollywood has arrived to RedZone. This kid has speed for days and the only thing at this time limiting his ability will be his quarterback’s arm strength and accuracy. There is no question that Brown is one of the fastest wide receivers to enter the RedZone. He’s going to cause headaches for defensive coordinators who have to account for his whereabouts in all facets. He’s quick off the line and has a burst to create acceleration. While everyone will be worried about keeping him contained over the top, watch out for those slants and double moves.
#26 – DE – MONTEZ SWEAT
We won’t dive into his medical history, but boy did the Redskins get lucky here. Once considered a top 5 pick, this athletic flexible athletic specimen is a monster. He has tremendous burst at the snap, long arms, and a range and change of direction ability that keeps offensive lineman off-balance. He can play both edge rusher from the OLB position or DE in 4-3. He doesn’t lack strength and has excellent pass rushing moves to get involved in both passing and running plays. I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t get 15 sacks in season 53.
#27 – S – JOHNATHAN ABRAM
Here the Raiders take the best player available I believe and it’ll be interesting since they have Joyner and the recently drafted Karl Joseph slotted to play safety. If the current coaching staff can find a way to keep all three involved things could get interesting. Abram is a hard-hitting safety, no questions about that, so maybe they have a rotation for expected run/pass plays. He excels at tackling and has a great burst of speed when closing in on ball carriers on run plays. If he can show some skill in covering today’s big and fast tight ends then he might find himself in just about every defensive package the Raiders deploy.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
#28 – DT – JERRY TILLERY
The Chargers had to be drafting strictly for upside here as Tillery has been inconsistent throughout his collegiate career. He’s shown both flashes as a pass-rusher and run-stopper. However, he’s heading to a destination where the coaching staff does just that, coaches their players up. He showed great burst with his vertical and short shuttle times, but can he be as explosive if he were to add on some weight. With Bosa, Ingram, and Mebane being the mainstays on the defensive line I believe it allows Tillery to gain knowledge, and the Chargers training staff will get him quickly coached up to join the rotation and be a difference maker in the long run.
#29 – DE – L.J. COLLIER
The Seattle Seahawks are trying to create a new defensive identity, long gone is the Legion of Boom. They’ve traded away defensive assets and here they try to reload with Collier. He had one of the more impressive Senior Bowl weeks by showing off his impressive pass-rushing skills and while the stop watches may reflect a certain time, he definitely plays faster than expected. He doesn’t give up on plays and is known to overwhelm both offensive tackles and guards. He’s expected to start and improve the Seahawks run defense immediately.
NEW YORK GIANTS
#30 – CB – DEANDRE BAKER
The Giants are in rebuild mode and Baker is was their third selection in the first round. He’s going to be busy and have to prove to himself and his teammates that he’s capable of shutting down the likes of Amari Cooper and Alshon Jeffery in the NFC East. He has a natural feel for reading receivers and can anticipate their routes, but as with all rookies, can he do it consistently. While he’s a bit undersized, he’s not afraid to tackle (and good at it), which in my book is an A+++. He’s expected to start opposite of the aging Janoris Jenkins. I expect he’ll be the #1 lockdown corner for the Giants come season #54 and beyond.
#31 – OT – KALEB MCGARY
The Falcons selected their second offensive lineman in Mcgary here. Again, the main focus is to keep Ryan well protected, but McGary really excels in run-blocking off the right side. He can anchor down to protect the pass, but the tape has shown that he prefers to move defenders around in the run game. The more practice and reps he receives will benefit him in the long run. If the Falcons can keep McGary and Lindstrom together throughout the duration of this cycle then they have two big uglies that will make the Falcons look pretty.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
#32 – WR – N’KEAL HARRY
The Patriots knew they had to select an offensive weapon here with the retirement of Gronk, the departure of Hogan and Patterson, and the suspension of Gordon. It seems Brady can play ball with anyone and make them better. Harry is a big bodied receiver and I’m expecting to see a good bit of 50-50 balls thrown his way that will allow him to go up and make some plays. He won’t wow you with speed, but his size combined with the speed he has, and with Brady’s ball placement, makes Harry a dangerous threat in all combination of routes. If he earns the trust of Brady earlier, it’s going to pay dividends later.